Kuala Lumpur is one of the most interesting cities in Southeast Asia . The capital of Malaysia is the best example of the multiculturalism and contrasts of the country. On one side, you will find financial neighborhoods with huge skyscrapers and the Petronas Towers, but, on the other, neighborhoods of low houses in which to discover the interesting cultural mix of Malaysia. If you are thinking of traveling to the area, be sure to include it in your itinerary and know some things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
- Contemplate the Petronas Towers
We start our list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur with one of its greatest exponents, the fabulous Petronas Towers. These towers were the tallest buildings worldwide between 1998 and 2003 until they were overtaken by Taipei 101. However, they are still the tallest twin towers on the planet, and their 88 stories can be seen from almost any corner of the city. You can visit its interior, which will cost you about $20, but you can also settle for seeing it from the many viewpoints to visit in Kuala Lumpur or its base.
In addition, you can take a walk through the shopping centre on the first floors of the towers, the Suria KLCC, or enjoy other views behind the lake at KLCC Park.
- Walk through Plaza Merdeka and admire the buildings around it
One of the most important places to visit in Kuala Lumpur is Merdeka Square. This is so not only because of its political and cultural relevance but also because of its buildings. Merdeka Square or Independence Square was where the Malaysian flag was raised for the first time after the country’s independence. The flag continues to reign in the square, rising on a 95-meter high pole.
In addition, you will find the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, one of the most beautiful in Malaysia. It currently houses the Malaysian Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture offices, but previously it contained government offices during the British administration and later the Malaysian high courts.
Suppose you are interested in the history and culture of Kuala Lumpur. Other buildings of interest in the square are the National Textile Museum, the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery or the Royal Selangor Club.
- Do some shopping on Petaling Street
One of those corners that makes Kuala Lumpur special is Petaling Street. This is the main street in the city’s Chinatown and a haggling paradise. Although active throughout the day, the best time to visit is at sunset. When it is less hot, there is much more atmosphere, and all the street food stalls tend to open.
Don’t expect to find good quality products on Petaling Street, but good prices if you are willing to get into the haggling game. Most of what is sold in these stalls are counterfeit bags, clothing, sneakers and watches.
- Surprise yourself with the Bukit Bintang district
For something to do in Kuala Lumpur completely opposite of the previous point, head towards Bukit Bintang, the city’s quintessential shopping and entertainment district. Here you will find huge shopping centers, well-kept streets, restaurants for all tastes and the latest design cocktail bars.
The best way to get to know it is to roam freely at sunset. So you can see it both in daylight and at night when neon lights are the protagonists. If you want to know what the nightlife of Kuala Lumpur is like, then head to Changkat Bukit Bintang, where many of the bars and clubs are concentrated.
- See Kuala Lumpur from above
Although there are many things to do in Kuala Lumpur, we believe that something you cannot stop trying is to contemplate it from the heights. There are many viewpoints and even accommodations that offer infinity pools with views of the Petronas Mountains in the city. One of the best places to have a breathtaking view is the KL Tower, from which you get a 360º panoramic view, and, in addition, it has a glass floor that is not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo.
A slightly more relaxed and somewhat cheaper plan is to take the opportunity to have a cocktail in a corner with views. Our favourite is the Heli Lounge Bar, located in the Bukit Bintang area. Climbing the stairs, you won’t believe where you are – on an old helipad! Converted into a bar, the views of the city are incredible. Therefore, one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur is to come here at sunset to see the Malaysian capital light up while you have a refreshing drink.
- Savor the local gastronomy
Malaysia’s multiculturalism is appreciated not only by sight but also by taste. With so many different towns on its streets, you will be amazed by the incredible variety of foods you will find. Therefore, one of the things we recommend you do in Kuala Lumpur is a food tour. You can start in the morning in some “Kopitiam” that you find interesting. Here you cannot stop ordering a typical “roti canai” accompanied by a “teh Tarik”. At noon, look for a “Mamak” in which to get a “nasi campur”, that is, white rice with the dishes you choose from the display case. Let it surprise you!
At night, we advise you to end up in Jalan Alor, one of the liveliest streets to visit in Kuala Lumpur. As the sun goes down, it turns into a huge street restaurant. You will see that there are many tables on the street and many stalls to choose from. A suggestion that will make you fall in love: try the ‘kuey Teow, some typical Malaysian noodles, which are delicious.
- Discover Little India
Another corner we recommend you visit in Kuala Lumpur is the Indian neighborhood or Brickfields. Although it began as a brick manufacturing centre, hence its name, at this time you will no longer find such an industrial air. Walking through its streets is to feel that you have returned to India. Do not miss the Vivekananda ashram, the Sri Lankan Hindu temple and the Maha Vihara Buddhist temple, but above all, let yourself be seduced by their smells, flavors and colors.