9 reasons to visit Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur is the perfect getaway for a luxury holiday. Cosmopolitan, fashionable and with a towering skyline, the city seamlessly blends its colonial past with modern trends and is full of amazing attractions. If you need a reason to go, read on, otherwise check out our tailor...
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur is the perfect getaway for a luxury holiday. Cosmopolitan, fashionable and with a towering skyline, the city seamlessly blends its colonial past with modern trends and is full of amazing attractions. If you need a reason to go, read on, otherwise check out our tailor-made luxury holidays and hop on a plane.


Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur makes for the perfect luxury holiday. Soak in the views from the sleek Petronas Towers and sample the delights of its bustling Chinatown; then, a short hop away, you're slap bang in the middle of some of the most fragile and diverse ecosystems in the world. If that's not reason enough to visit, read on to discover some of the city's top attractions.


Reason 1:  Petronas Twin Towers

Completed in 1998, the magnificentPetronas Twin Towers  soar 452m (1,483ft) into the sky. They remained the tallest buildings in the world until 2004 and the completion of the Taipei 101 Tower. A spectacular view of the city can be had from the skybridge halfway up.

See the Petronas Towers and more on the family-friendly holiday to Traditional Malaysia and Wild Borneo.


Reason 2:  Lake Gardens

A sanctuary from the city, the 227-acre (92-hectare) Lake Gardens ­(Taman Tasik ­Perdana)  include deer, bird and butterfly parks. Visit the ­beautiful orchid garden amid lakes, lawns and undulating hills. 


Reason 3: National Art Gallery

A traditional and pleasant location for viewing art is the ­National Art Gallery  (Balai Seni Lukis Negara). The modern building has five galleries showcasing experimental, ­permanent and temporary works.


Reason 4: Central Market

With its art deco features and renovated high ceilings the Central Market  has been converted into a handicraft centre. Inside there is a good selection of shops, stalls and restaurants. Lively cultural shows are held at the outdoor stage.


Sri Maha Mariamman hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sri Maha Mariamman hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: inavanhateren / Shutterstock.com


Reason 5: Sri ­Maha Mariamman Temple

6.  Built in 1873, the Sri ­Maha Mariamman Temple  is a somewhat incongruous sight in its Chinese setting. A major Hindu shrine, the temple is the starting point for the annual Thaipusam ­pilgrimage to the Batu Caves. Jasmine ­garlands are on sale outside the complex.

Reason 6: Chinatown 

Chinatown is a paradise for those who like the exotic and the odd. There are apothecaries, goldsmiths, casket and basket makers, optical houses, pet shops, fortune tellers and snake charmers, all calling out for your valued custom. Chinatown’s Petaling Street night market  (pasar malam) is one of the most atmospheric places in KL, especially at weekends, and is popular with tourists and locals alike. Be prepared to bargain hard, otherwise you will almost certainly pay over the odds.

Explore Chinatown with our Indulgent Malaysia holiday


Reason 7: Genting Highlands 

The Genting Highlands  are hugely popular with city-dwellers; at some 2,000m (6,500ft) above sea level, they offer relief from the constant heat and humidity of the lowlands, and are easily accessible. A family-oriented theme park and Malaysia’s only casino are further draws.


Reason 8: Melaka

Easily reached from Kuala Lumpur, Melaka  was once the centre of a mighty trading empire in the days of the spice trade with Europe. The compact historical centre can be explored on foot or trishaw, a picturesque scene of narrow lanes, old temples and mosques and faded colonial architecture. The descendants of Portuguese traders are still here.

Entrance to the Batu Caves. Photo: ShutterstockEntrance to the Batu Caves. Photo: Shutterstock


Reason 9. Batu Caves

Around 30-minutes’ drive from the city centre, the Batu Caves  are something of a must-see for visitors to KL. The spectacular caves are sacred to Hindus, and each year the Thaipusam festival draws thousands of devotees to offer thanksgiving and prayers at the shrine of Subramaniam in the main cave. Visit the Gallery of Indian Art in a smaller adjacent cave.

Visit the Batu Caves and more on our Splendour of Malaysia trip.



Inspired?

Pick up: Insight Guides Malaysia to help you find more secret spots. Free app included!

Find your way around town: Fleximap Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia features as one of 17 places to visit in Asia this year. Find out why here

Get inspired: 20 best places to visit this year

Read more: Best places to go in June, July, August

Get a head start on this autumn's adventures: Best places to go in September, October, November