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Buckle up to the mother of all melting pots: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This vibrant metropolis of skyscrapers, temples, mosques and street markets, is the perfect blend of tradition and modern living.

Ten Best Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur

There is something magnetic about this city, and no matter how long your stay is, it always manages to keep it fresh and interesting. But what if we tell you that you can fit the top 10 best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days? No, we are not skipping some great attractions just to squeeze them into 3 days, you can spread them out over 15 days and it will still remain our top 10 best things to do in Kuala Lumpur!

Whether your visit is with the intention to learn about its history, culture, satisfy your shopping needs or eat your way through every neighborhood, Kuala Lumpur has something for everyone and you won’t break your bank for getting out and about. 8 out of 10 activities on this travel guide are actually Free things to do in Kuala Lumpur. How cool is that?

Explore with us the capital of Malaysia in this list of the 10 Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

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Best Things To Do in Kuala Lumpur

Walk up the Batu Caves Rainbow Stairs

What can make a Hindu complex located in limestone caves, which features a 43-meter-tall golden statue of Lord Murugan at the entrance, stand out more? 272 steps painted in all the colors of the rainbow. As soon as you reach the top of Batu Caves, you will step into an impressive cave where the sounds of chanting and the smell of incense take center stage.

Batu Caves stairs and golden statue, one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur
Woman in white dress in must visit Kuala Lumpur attraction Batu Caves

Visiting the Batu Caves is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur for free. Nevertheless, there are a few caves and art exhibitions which you can visit for a cost, but honestly, they are not life-changing.

man smiling in famous rainbow stairs of Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur
Woman in orange clothes in Hindu ceremony at Batu Caves

Fit a visit to Batu Caves early in the morning, into your Kuala Lumpur 3 day itinerary to avoid the crowds. Dress respectfully, covering your knees and shoulders, or you will be requested to rent out scarves/skirts before entering.

man dressed for a Hindu ceremony in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

Be careful with your belongings, Batu Caves are known for the huge amount of pigeons and cheeky monkeys that will be ready to steal your snacks or any object they believe they can trade for snacks.

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Travel back in Time in KL Chinatown

Wander through the narrow streets of the lively and colorful neighborhood of Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, searching for the best bites and bargains. Petaling Street will surely satisfy your open-air market needs, with finger-licking street food and everything from souvenirs to electronics.

one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur is to explore Chinatown
must visit mural and graffiti area in Kuala Lumpur

It is socially accepted to bargain with street vendors, but most malls and stores have fixed prices. Remember not to get too carried away and keep things polite.

Kwai Chai Hong

This narrow alleyway, that translates to “Little Ghost Lane”, is without a doubt a must-visit in KL Chinatown.

This once neglected area has been restored to take you back in time to the 1960s, the golden era of Chinatown. Explore all the murals depicting scenes of daily life back then, and have a drink while pondering whether the name "Kwai Chai Hong" originated from the Cantonese word "kwai chai", meaning "naughty child" (as this was once a popular hangout spot for children), or from the legend that this was a place where ghosts were said to dwell.

Kwai Chai Hong the best thing to visit in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
mural of kids playing in Kwai Chai Hong, a Chinatown must visit in Kuala Lumpur

Scan the QR codes by the murals to listen to sounds that will transport you to that moment, from children laughing to street vendors chanting.

Kwai Chai Hong is open daily from 9 am to midnight, and it blows our mind that we can include such a lovely project in the category of free things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

streetart in Kwai Chai Hong Chinatown

Try the Best Street Food in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a foodies paradise. From local to western cuisines you have choices in abundance. Head to Jalan Alor in the evening for lines of hawker stalls, or to Tapak Urban for a casual food truck experience, and try local dishes such as Nasi Lemak, Bak kut teh, Roti Canai, Satay and Char Kway Teow.

best street food market in Kuala Lumpur
amazing street art in Kuala Lumpur
must visit street art area in Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Alor and Bukit Bintang are also known for their vibrant street art scene, so make sure to check out the colorful murals and graffiti.

One of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur is a Food Tour. There is simply no going wrong with it! Enjoy the company of local pros showing the ins and outs of the best street food in Kuala Lumpur. Click here to join an amazing food tour in Kuala Lumpur*.

Visit the Federal Territory Mosque (Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan)

Kuala Lumpur doesn’t lack mosques, the Federal Territory Mosque was the 44th to be built in the city. So why is this one in particular one of the best things to see in Kuala Lumpur? It could be for its beauty, designed in a blend of Ottoman and Malay architecture, with details in marble, 480 chandeliers, and a mesmerizing central dome in blue tones. Or it could be for its size, as it accommodates up to 17000 worshippers. But the reason to visit the Federal Territory Mosque of Kuala Lumpur is how enlightening and welcoming the experience is.

two people in the most beautiful mosque in Kuala Lumpur
Must visit Federal Territory Mosque Kuala Lumpur from above

The Federal Territory Mosque takes the things to do in Kuala Lumpur for free to a whole new level, as you will be assigned a volunteer guide who will show you around the premises, provide you with information about the religion and culture, and answer any questions you might have. To this day we keep in contact with our wonderful guide, Elina.

must do mosque tour in Kuala Lumpur
man visiting the Federal Territory Mosque

Men can enter the mosque as long as they are wearing pants and sleeves that cover at least the shoulders, in its absence a jubah (long robe) will be lent for free. Women will be requested to wear a jubah and hijab (head scarf) lent on site.

The mosque is open for visitors Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 3:30 pm (Friday has a limited schedule). Avoid praying times when planning a visit and arrive at Entrance B.

worshippers in Kuala Lumpur mosque

No matter if you are exploring Kuala Lumpur in 3 days or 3 hours, download the app Grab (equivalent to Uber). It is very affordable and a fast way to get to locations such as the Mosque. Just avoid it in the city center area at peak times, or you will be stuck in traffic for a long time.

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Stroll Along Merdeka Square

Visit the historical square where Malaysia’s independence was declared in 1957, now a popular spot for events and gatherings. Merdeka Square is the home of landmarks such as the beautiful Sultan Abdul Samad Building, and the National Monument, a tall obelisk that was built to commemorate the independence.

If you are adding Merdeka Square to your Kuala Lumpur itinerary, make sure to visit early in the morning or late afternoon so the sun doesn’t get the best of you, and that way you can also enjoy a leisurely stroll through the calm surrounding gardens.

Public transportation in Kuala Lumpur is easy to use and affordable. Rapid KL is the subway system that can take you pretty much everywhere, avoiding the city center traffic. Get the prepaid Touch 'n Go card to move freely in all 5 lines.

Admire the Iconic Petronas Twin Towers

Climbed by some daredevils throughout the years, and admired from the safety of the ground by many, these two iconic towers made their mark as the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. The Petronas Twin Towers are a landmark of great importance for both the city and the country, and visiting them is not only one of the best but also one of the Must things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

best view of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Enjoying the magnitude of the Petronas Twin Towers from the ground is one of the mandatory free things to do in Kuala Lumpur, but if what you are looking for is to see the amazing city views from above, get your ticket here for the Observation Deck on the 86th floor*. The deck is open from Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

If you visit in the evening you will not only see the towers completely light up but also enjoy the Lake Symphony.

Lake Symphony is a fountain show located in KLCC Park, behind the Petronas Twin Towers. It consists of several fountains that display over 150 unique programmed animations, in a performance to the sound of music. The show is held daily at 7:30pm, 8:30pm, and 9:30pm, and guess what, one more item for your “best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur” list.

relax in a park or garden

Escape the urban hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur without leaving the city by visiting KL Forest Eco Park. Take a canopy walk for a unique perspective of this rainforest reserve located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, for a €8 entrance fee.

As an alternative visit, without a cost, the Perdana Botanical Gardens, which has over 10,000 different plant species, but also a nice lake where to relax and have a picnic.

flowers from one of the must visit parks in Kuala Lumpur

Explore REXKL

Once upon a time a €0.90 ticket would give you access to a world of fantasy in one of the first theaters in Malaysia. But after repeated fires, a place that seemed to have no hope was turned into a cultural hub with a fantastic library, food hall and space for events, performances, screenings and exhibitions. We simply adore REXKL, and for us visiting it is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur, no matter how many times you visit this city.

woman at best library in Kuala Lumpur, REXKL

While we could sneakily count this as one of the things to do in Kuala Lumpur for free, the reality is that you will probably want to get yourself a nice book, have a bite in the lively atmosphere of the main food hall, or explore the intimate atmosphere of Cock’s Tail Bar, a speakeasy style bar specialized in cocktails. But hey, don’t tell anyone🤫

interior of the must visit library REXKL in Kuala Lumpur

Stare at the Red Lanterns of Thean Hou Temple

Hundreds of bright red lanterns embellish the six-tiered Thean Hou Temple of the Chinese sea goddess Mazu. Enjoying its serene ambiance, panoramic views of the city skyline and taking dozens of photos of the beautiful details of this temple is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur and it is absolutely free. Don’t leave without shuffling the fortune-telling sticks, which will tell you what the future has in store for you.

couple in famous red lanterns temple of Kuala Lumpur, Thean Hou Temple
statue of Chinese goddess in must visit Thean Hou Temple

Kuala Lumpur is home to several different ethnic groups living harmoniously, such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, among others. Their influence shines through from architecture to gastronomy, and this cultural tapestry is evident in every inch of the city.

touch the sky

Kuala Lumpur has always been proud of turning its buildings into statements, holding some of the highest buildings in the world at different points in history. There is no better place to try to touch the sky and see a city from above.

Presently Merdeka 118 is not only the tallest building in Malaysia, but the second tallest in the world, just behind Burj Khalifa. You can see it from pretty much everywhere in the city and the opening date for its amazing deck on the 118th floor will be announced soon.

second tallest skyscraper in the world, Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur
must visit Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur

Until then, you can see the city from above from the Petronas Twin Towers, put your fear of heights to the test in the sky boxes of KL Tower, or if you want to splurge on the highest hotel in the city, and get the best view of Petronas Twin Towers the Four Seasons Hotel* is for you.

iconic Kuala Lumpur landmark, KL Tower
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Your visit to Kuala Lumpur in 3 days turned out to be at high speed, and you still have some time to spare? Consider adding these extras to your itinerary:

bukit bintang

The heart of Kuala Lumpur's shopping and entertainment scene. If you are looking for amazing prices in technology, this is the place to go.

Find the Best Brunch in Kuala Lumpur:

Kuala Lumpur is the paradise for brunch lovers, from classic eggs benedict to Malaysian-inspired menus, there is something for everyone. Some of our favorites and possible contenders for best brunch in Kuala Lumpur are Ra-Ft Café, Feeka Coffee Roasters and VCR.

little india

Strolling down the streets of Little India in Kuala Lumpur is a feast for the senses. Bright colors, aroma of intense spices, bargaining in vibrant markets, and mouth-watering Indian food.

relax at a rooftop bar

The perfect way to wrap up a full day of exploring is to enjoy a drink overlooking the most stunning skyline. When choosing the perfect rooftop bar for you, consider what type of atmosphere you are looking for, as they range from extra exclusive and chic to easy-going casual.

glass on iced tea in best brunch place in Kuala Lumpur

day trips from
kuala lumpur

Too much to see and too little time? We have all been there! Visiting Kuala Lumpur in 3 days equals a packed itinerary. But if you have an extra day or so, and you are seeking to sample as many experiences as possible without the hassle of changing accommodations, considering one of the available day trips from Kuala Lumpur might be a good idea. Here are a few of our favorites:

cameron highlands

Popular destination for its cooler climate, lush tea plantations, British colonial architecture, strawberry farming, hiking and waterfalls.

Best tea plantation to visit in Cameron Highlands

ipoh

A former tin mining town that turned into a modern city, popular among foodies, due to the abundance of hawker stalls and Michelin-starred restaurants.

malacca

Beautiful historic city, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with Portuguese and Dutch influence. It has plenty of tourist attractions reminiscent of its time as a major trading port, a lovely weekend market and fantastic restaurants.

Visit Melaka is a must do while in Malaysia

kuala selangor

In the mangrove swamps of Kuala Selangor, live a group of fireflies that are known for their synchronized magical show of lights. Enjoy a calm boat ride up Selangor River where fireflies will keep you company. They are more active from June to September.

taman negara

Get your adventurer hat on and explore the oldest rainforest in Malaysia, home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

best time to visit kuala lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has a tropical climate, which means it is quite hot and humid year round.

The dry season (May to August) is generally considered the best time to visit Kuala Lumpur due to its low rainfall and humidity levels. The sunny days will allow you to explore the city with all its wonderful outdoor activities. Nevertheless, this also means more tourism and higher prices.

If you are looking for a more affordable option and don’t mind occasional rainy days and milder temperatures, try to visit between December and February. This season includes popular celebrations such as Christmas, New Year's Eve, and possibly Thaipusam (a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil) and the Chinese New Year.

Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Best Place to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a big city with plenty of accommodation options. Choose one that reflects your interests, budget, and what you want to experience during your time here. Some of the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur are: Bukit Bintang – the entertainment hub of the city, KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) – a sophisticated area where the Petronas Twin Towers are located, KL Sentral – the main transportation hub of Kuala Lumpur, and Chinatown – an exciting area with amazing street food and culture. Here are some of our top hotel recommendations:

CitizenM Bukit Bintang best budget friendly hotel in kuala lumpur
Ascott Star Klcc best hotel with petronas views in kuala lumpur
Four Seasons Hotel best luxury hotel in kuala lumpur

Planning Time

If you are ready to start planning your next trip, here you have all the usefull links you need to make it happen! By using them you are supporting our work as we might get a small fee from it. But hey! You pay the same (or might even get a discount), so is a win-win situation!

This applies to all the links in this website marked with a *

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