The things to do in Kuala Lumpur are so different and diverse that I’m sure you will find the capital of Malaysia as fascinated as I did during my first trip to Southeast Asia. This is the nation’s most populous city and is a diverse area that includes Chinese, Malay, Tamil, and indigenous residents. The literal translation of Kuala Lumpur is “muddy confluence” but don’t worry; this is a beautiful city.
Tourism is a central focus here, so there are plenty of places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. From temples and mosques to futuristic skyscrapers and local markets to tempting street food, there are activities in Kuala Lumpur for everyone. The city is also a popular layover for flights around Asia, so whether you’re there for a day or a week, you can find fun things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
The cheapest way is to get to the city center from the airport is to take the Star Shuttle or AeroBus Shared Bus. However, the passengers are often harassed by tour employees who pressure them to board the buses, often taking their luggage and carrying it onboard without their permission. Instead, our personal favorite is the KLIA Ekspres airport train, which takes 28 minutes to reach the city center. If you prefer private transportation, I recommend this airport transfer.
Before we dig into all there is to do in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, I suggest you get the KL pass since you will be able to visit most of Kuala Lumpur attractions for free. Besides, you will be able to get around the town with the KL Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Bus.
Now, let’s explore the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur!
1. Petronas Twin Towers, the most popular attraction in Kuala Lumpur
The Petronas Towers are one of the most recognizable tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur. Not only are they magnificent on the outside, but the interior is one of the famous places to visit in Kuala Lumpur.
Known as the “Identical Wonder,” these twin skyscrapers, joined by a double-decker skybridge, were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, boasting 88 floors and standing nearly 1,500 feet tall.
Inside the Petronas Towers, at the ground level, be sure to check out Suria KLCC, an upmarket retail center with 380 stores, the largest in Malaysia. It includes a concert hall, an art gallery, and The Discovery Center, a science and technology museum that is a great visit to do in Kuala Lumpur with kids.
At the top of Petronas, at the observatory of the 86th floor you can access with this ticket (along with the glass bridge), you will have stunning views of Kuala Lumpur. From there, you can also see the KLCC Park, a 50-acre park at the foot of the building that has walking paths and the beautiful Lake Symphony, where every night, there are light shows.
The show, which features music, lights, water jets, and a 59-foot-tall fountain, only lasts for 10 minutes, and it happens every half hour at night until midnight.
From this park, you will have breathtaking views of the Petronas Towers day and night, and even if you don’t enter the building, going there for a stroll is one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
2. KL Tower, another place you can’t miss in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The KL Tower is another one of the top attractions in Kuala Lumpur. It’s the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world and has the highest viewpoint in the city that’s open to the public (1,380 feet).
The tower also houses the Atmosphere 360 restaurant, making it one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur for couples. The revolving restaurant sits 900 feet up, giving you a stunning view of the city and takes over an hour to do a full 360° rotation. The best time to eat at this restaurant is at night when you can enjoy a wonderful buffet dinner. For a more comprehensive experience, book this option that also includes a city night tour that stops by the Petronas to enjoy the night light show.
If you are not very into having dinner at the KL Tower, you still have two options to get the bird’s-eye views from the top. The standard one is the indoor Observation Deck on the same floor as the Atmosphere 360 restaurant. However, if weather permits, I do recommend paying the extra money to visit the Sky Deck, an open-air deck located at 985 feet.
The most popular part of the Sky Deck is the SkyBox, a glass box jutting out from the deck where you can see the city under your feet. No doubt, this is one of the best fun things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night. You can book your ticket to the Observation Deck, the Sky Deck, or both, here.
Just below the tower is the Upside-Down House, which is a favorite place to visit in Kuala Lumpur for the younger crowd and is also included at the KL pass.
3. Explore the Batu Caves, the best thing to do in Kuala Lumpur
For the perfect blend of history and nature, check out Batu Caves, one of the most popular Hindu sanctuaries outside of India. It’s said that the caves are around 400 million years old! They sit on a limestone hill and are accompanied by Hindu shrines, including a 140-foot-tall statue of Murugan, the Hindu god of war. Coated in gold paint, it’s one of the most popular Kuala Lumpur attractions.
There are several caves, but the main one, called Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, is at the top of a colorful 272-step staircase flanked by monkeys that try to steal from tourists. Anyway, exploring the Batu Caves is one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur for first-time visitors.
If you also want to visit the Dark Cave, which is located halfway up the staircase, you will have to pay MYR 35 ($9) for the 45-min educational tour, or MYR 160 ($40) for the 3-hour adventure tour. Both options are great, but if you go for the second one, get ready to climb, slide, crawl, and get dirty, exploring the wilder section of the cave.
Once back downstairs, you can find other caves that are also sacred for Hindus. The Ramayana Cave has an entrance fee of MYR 5 ($1.20) and you will recognize it by a 50-foot statue of Hanuman, a Hindu monkey deity, at its entrance.
There is a lot to explore at Batu Caves but they are far from the city center, so if you don’t want to mess up with trains, I suggest booking this half-day tour or one of the combos than combine the visit to the cave with other popular day trips from Kuala Lumpur, as you will see later.
4. National Mosque, a stunning place to go in Kuala Lumpur
The National Mosque, or Masjid Negara, is one of the most important places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Islam is Malaysia’s official religion, and you can see the influence in the architecture and art of the city. While there are several mosques in the city, the Masjid Negara is the most impressive. It sits on 13 acres and has a 15,000-person capacity. You’ll instantly recognize it by its 240-foot minaret.
Construction of the mosque began in 1963, and it was completed in 1965. It remains a symbol of independence from British rule. This site exudes an air of grace and power, as well as beauty. Walking around the gardens is one of the interesting things to do in Kuala Lumpur, and I recommend visiting the peaceful reflecting pools and fountains. The interior of the mosque is also a sight to see, particularly the turquoise 16-pointed star roof.
The colors and intricate patterns that adorn the walls and ceilings are well worth a visit. It’s best to come prepared with the right attire, although the staff are very welcoming and will lend you coverings for your shoulders, legs, and hair.
The mosque is close to the Islamic Arts Museum, so if you’re not sure what to do in Kuala Lumpur, stop by. The museum itself is a work of art, but you can also find thousands of artifacts and art books reflecting Islamic culture across India and China. One of the best parts of this museum is the inverted dome pavilion on the ground floor, with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the fountain garden. The museum entrance fee is MYR 14 ($3.50).
Even there is no an entrance fee to the National Mosque, if you’re a religious history buff, I recommend this tour that combines the Masjid Negara, Batu Caves, and Thean Hou Temple, as well as non-religious tourist sites.
5. Perdana Botanical Gardens, the most romantic thing to do in Kuala Lumpur
These lovely botanical gardens are a must-do in KL. Formerly known as Lake Gardens, Perdana Botanic Gardens was the first large-scale recreational park in the city. It sits on 226 acres, and its lush greenery and colorful blooms make it one of the popular tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur.
Among the garden’s attractions are the Sunken Garden, an area with a star-shaped fountain surrounded by pergolas, and the National Monument. This bronze sculpture was erected to honor those who sacrificed their lives for Malaysia during the Japanese Occupation of WWII.
The main part of Perdana is the Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens. The hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia, and this beautiful garden allows you to fully enjoy the radiant blossoms. This area also includes a 13-foot waterfall, fountains, and a colonial-style exhibition hall. There, you can enjoy tea or peruse the galleries. The Orchid Garden has various walkways and fountains amidst thousands of species of orchids.
Several of the botanical garden’s attractions require an entrance fee, so I recommend this tour, which includes access to the Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens, as well as the KL Butterfly Park and KL Bird Park, which are adjacent to Perdana.
Visiting the botanical gardens is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur since it’s close to many other interesting places. In addition to seeing the butterfly park, I also suggest spending some time at the ASEAN Sculpture Garden, where you can take a quiet stroll and enjoy several public art installations by Southeast Asian artists. If the weather is less than ideal, you might want to visit the National Planetarium or the National Museum, which I’ll describe below.
6. National Museum of Malaysia, an interesting place to go in Kuala Lumpur
Close to the Perdana Botanical Gardens is the National Museum, also known as the Muzium Negara. If you’re a history and culture buff, it’s my top recommendation for what to do in Kuala Lumpur! Not only is this museum a national landmark, but it has become part of the area’s national identity and the entrance fee is only MYR 5 ($1.20). The National Museum was completed six years after the country declared independence and sits on the site of the former Selangor Museum, which was destroyed during WWII.
Walking through the museum is like a journey through a history book. There are four main galleries, each focusing on specific eras (prehistory, Malay kingdoms, colonialism, present-day). The halls are filled with artifacts, costumes, traditional weapons, musical instruments, crafts, and more. Some of the most intriguing ancient relics here were the Kitson & Co. steam locomotive and the bronze Buddhist statues, which date back to the 8th century.
There is also an outdoor exhibition space, which I highly recommend checking out. This compound is filled with different modes of transportation, such as traditional carts and horse drawn wagons. Another popular part of the museum is the Istana Satu, a timber palace erected by the Sultan of Malaysia’s Terengganu state. It’s a popular tourist attraction, but it makes for a good photo opportunity. The grounds also include the Orang Asli Craft Museum, another one of the cool things to do in Kuala Lumpur that provides a closer look at the aboriginal populations on the Malaysian Peninsula.
Even though you can tour through the museum within a couple of hours, it’s one of Kuala Lumpur’s main attractions worth visiting.
7. Visit the National Palace, one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur
The National Palace (Istana Negara in Malay) is another cool place to visit in Kuala Lumpur. It was built in 1928 and served as the residence of the Supreme King of Malaysia. In 2011, a new palace replaced the old Istana Negara, and the project costs $191.5 million!
You can’t go into the old palace, but you can walk up to the main gate and sneak a peek at the grounds, which cover 13 acres and overlook the Klang River. Even from the outside, the palace’s 22 golden domes and manicured grounds make it one of the top things to see in Kuala Lumpur.
When you go to the main gate, which the locals call “The Big House,” you’ll see members of the Royal Malay regiment standing guard. The beautiful backdrop and the uniformed guards make for a unique photo op.
Istana Negara is huge. Throughout the years, the building has undergone renovations and extensions. The old palace was converted into the Royal Museum, and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. It’s full of glamour and luxury, although the rooms are blocked off so you can’t go in, only peek inside. Some of the highlights include a private cinema, royal bedrooms, the Minister’s room, and a prayer room. The museum staff preserved the original decor and many of the items from when the royals lived there, so it’s like being transported to the land of luxury.
8. Walk Around Merdeka Square, one of the best places in Kuala Lumpur
Merdeka Square, also known as Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square, is one of the most interesting places to go in Kuala Lumpur. It’s located in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which was completed in 1897 and houses the government offices. It’s one of the most popular parts of the square, with its shiny copper dome and a 135-foot clock tower that strikes every hour. The area got its name after the Federation of Malaya Independence Act of 1957. Oddly enough, it was once the cricket green for the Selangor Club Padang. Today, it’s the venue for the city’s National Day Parade (August 31st).
The square is one of the most unique Kuala Lumpur tourist attractions because it provides a great historical overview. For example, there is St. Mary’s Cathedral, which was founded in 1894, and the Jamek Mosque, one of the oldest in Kuala Lumpur and reminiscent of the Mughal style of architecture. Merdeka Square also has one of the tallest flagpoles in the world (312 feet). For some indoor activities, I recommend the National Textiles Museum (free) or the City Gallery ($2.40).
Visiting Merdeka Square is also one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night. Here, you can explore the Golden Triangle, the city’s main shopping and nightlife district. I highly recommend stopping by the River of Life in the evening to catch the “Dancing Symphony Fountain,” a high-tech water show set to music. The show takes place every weekday from 12 pm to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 11 pm, and from 10 am to midnight on weekends. This night tour bus is another fun way to see the square and nearby attractions.
9. Explore Chinatown, a place you must visit in Kuala Lumpur
I can’t mention Merdeka Square without recommending Chinatown, which is right next door. It’s one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur city, no matter the time of day. One of Chinatown’s biggest draws is the yummy food! I recommend checking out Petaling Street Market, which has dozens of restaurants and food stalls. One of the city’s most famous noodle shops, Koon Kee, is located here.
A few minutes away from Petaling Street is Central Market. Completed in 1937, it has a funky Art Deco style and has been named a Heritage Site by the Malaysian Heritage Society, making it one of the cultural hotspots of Chinatown. It’s open daily and offers cheap shopping, fortune-telling, massages, and the Illusion 3D Art Museum.
Not only can you enjoy great food here; the temples in Chinatown are some of the most interesting places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. The most famous is perhaps the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, which I’ll talk about later. There is also the Chan She Shu Yuen Ancestral Hall and Kwai Chai Hong, a restored Chinatown lane with impressive murals and tasty restaurants.
I also recommend visiting the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, the oldest Taoist temple in the city, and the Guan Di Temple, which is home to a legendary 130-lb copper pole weapon. Many believe that those who can lift it will be blessed with a special power.
For those wondering what to do in Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown can take care of just about any interest you may have. I highly suggest this private night food tour, which includes all the highlights, a multi-cultural show, and a buffet meal.
10. Sri Mahamariamman Temple, one of the most popular attractions in Kuala Lumpur
While there are lots of temples in this city, Sri Mahamariamman is worth noting as one of the most popular Kuala Lumpur attractions. Founded in 1873, it’s the oldest Hindu temple in the capital. If you’re wondering what to do in Kuala Lumpur after visiting Chinatown, head a few blocks over to this temple.
Sri Mahamariamman Temple was built in the South Indian style, which is reflected in the main tower’s pyramid shape. The tower has five tiers and stands 75 feet tall. Over 200 ornate and colorful sculptures of Hindu gods adorn the tower, creating an impressive sight.
Visiting the temple is one of the most amazing things to do in Kuala Lumpur, and admission is free, although you’ll have to remove your shoes. Once you step inside, you’ll see the main prayer hall and shrines to Muruga, Lakshmi, and other deities. The room is painted vibrant colors and is often filled with the aromas of incense. Depending on when you visit it, you may hear prayerful chants emanating from down the hall.
Another popular part of the temple is the silver chariot, which is made from over 750 lbs. of silver and measures 21 feet tall. It cost nearly $84,000 to build and is still used during festivals to carry statues through the city to the Batu Caves.
11. Thean Hou Temple, another unique thing to do in Kuala Lumpur
Thean Hou Temple is another primary temple in the city and it deserves a place on the list of beautiful places in Kuala Lumpur. This six-tiered temple is one of the largest in Southeast Asia and is dedicated to Mazu, a Chinese sea goddess. Throughout this grand structure, you’ll notice Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements. The temple is also a beautiful mix of traditional design and modern architecture.
The temple is free to enter, although you should be quiet and respectful. There is a lot to see and admire here, so take your time! The octagonal hall reflects a modern Buddhist pagoda and includes goddess statues and a Chinese herb garden. There is also a lovely tortoise pond and wishing well, and a bodhi tree sits next to the temple to complete this peaceful ambiance.
As you step into the prayer hall, you’ll see three altars, each dedicated to a goddess. If you visit during Chinese New Year or the Mid-Autumn Festival, you’ll see lots of cultural activities happening here. Throughout the year, you’ll likely see devotees burning incense and kneeling outside the temple.
If you’re looking for Kuala Lumpur activities to do, you can tour Thean Hou Temple and take martial arts classes or get your fortune told. Or, if that’s not your thing, I think quietly observing the shrines and altars is one of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
12. Butik Bintang Neighborhood, an incredible thing to experience in Kuala Lumpur
The city has several interesting neighborhoods, but Bukit Bintang is the entertainment epicenter and one of the must-see places in Kuala Lumpur. It is nestled in the Golden Triangle, so you can find shopping, food, spas, and much more here.
The area is always busy, but it’s also where you can find just about anything. Some of the most popular attractions include the Illusion 3D Art Museum and Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman, a restored traditional Malay house. These types of homes were built on stilts and made of dark wood with intricate carvings. You can explore the house on your own or take a guided tour for just MYR 10 ($2.40).
Tourists and locals alike go shopping at the Pavilion Mall KL, which has over 500 stores. Berjaya Times Square offers even more activities to do in Kuala Lumpur, including the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia.
Bukit Bintang is even more lively at night, so I recommend visiting in the evening. I especially like this tour that takes you around the area to try popular Malaysian street food. Some of the hottest places include the Jalan Alor Night Market and Lot 10 Hutong Food Court. The former is in the old red-light district and includes various hawker stalls offering unique Malay street foods. The latter food court has over 20 stalls and offers award-winning noodles, pork, prawns, and much more.
For those looking for things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night, Butik Bintang won’t disappoint!
13. Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, an awesome place to go in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
For those super-hot days, Sunway Lagoon is one of the perfect Kuala Lumpur attractions. The 88-acre theme park is open year-round and features 90 attractions across six unique zones, two of which are waterparks. Here, you’ll find attractions for all ages, including children’s rides, thrill rides, and interactive experiences. I think it’s one of the top places to visit in Kuala Lumpur with kids.
In addition to rides and waterslides, the Sunway Lagoon offers meet-and-greets with cartoon characters, entertainment shows, and a variety of dining options. The park is open Wednesday through Monday from 10 am to 6 pm and is located about 11 miles outside of the city center.
If you’re not sure what to do in Kuala Lumpur to please everyone, consider Sunway Lagoon. You can even skip the line by purchasing admission tickets in advance here. The package also includes a free shuttle to the water park.
14. Hike KL Forest Eco Park, one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur
Some of the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur are free, like KL Forest Eco Park. Formerly known as the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, it’s one of the oldest forest reserves in the country. It’s also the only remaining part of the tropical rainforest within the city limits. Most locals would agree that this is where to go in Kuala Lumpur if you want some fresh air and space!
The park covers 22 acres and features nature trails, jogging paths, picnic areas, and an herbal garden. Urbanization has diminished the park’s size from 43 acres to 22, so I hope the government works to preserve this natural area. It’s a beautiful place to see endangered flora species as well as local wildlife and birds. Don’t be surprised if you come across a monkey or two!
One of the park’s highlights is the Canopy Walk, a 650-foot-long hanging bridge that sits above the lush greenery of the forest. It provides an amazing view of the treetops and city, with the KL Tower looming in the distance.
Admission to the park, including the Canopy Walk, is free. The most convenient entrance is just outside the Masjid Jamek metro station. With all that the Eco Park has to offer; I consider it one of the most enjoyable things to do in Kuala Lumpur for families. Just be sure to wear your walking shoes.
15. Firefly Tour at Kuala Selangor, the best thing to visit around Kuala Lumpur
The Kuala Selangor Fireflies tour is just as lovely as it sounds, and I consider it one of the top things to do outside of Kuala Lumpur. The excursion is at Kuala Selangor Nature Park, in a traditional fishing village about 1.5 hours from the city center. It’s also one of the few places where you can find “magical” fireflies.
Among all the tours available, I suggest this one, which includes the Batu Caves and a cruise down the mangrove swamp to see the world’s largest firefly colony. You may also spot silvered leaf monkeys and migratory birds while enjoying a beautiful sunset from the river. After this magical ride, you will be able to taste the best seafood in the city. However, if you’ve previously visited the Batu Caves, you can take this tour and skip that part of the journey.
While you’re at Kuala Selangor Nature Park, I recommend visiting Bukit Melawati Hill and Kota Melawati Fort, a fort built for Sultan Ibrahim back in the late 18th century. They’re some of the most breathtaking places to visit around Kuala Lumpur.
16. Visit Genting Highlands, the best thing to do in Kuala Lumpur with kids
Genting Highlands is a popular entertainment destination and one of the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur if you consider yourself a gamer or a thrill-seeker. Located about an hour from the city center, this hillside resort is accessible via car or the Genting Skyway or Awana Skyway cable car. I suggest booking transportation here for convenient hotel pick-up, minibus to Genting, and cable car tickets for your return trip.
These days, the Highlands goes by the name Resorts World Genting, and it definitely has a resort-like atmosphere. As one of the top Kuala Lumpur tourist attractions, it features a casino (the only one in Malaysia), theme parks, and shopping malls, so there is something for everyone.
The Skytropolis Funland Indoor Theme Park is one of the coolest things to do in Kuala Lumpur with kids. It has family and thrill rides, as well as a virtual reality experience. Attractions cost MYR 10 (about $2.40) each. There are several other theme parks, including Snow World, Vision City Video Game Park, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Adventureland.
Resorts World Genting also features a first-class hotel, but I don’t think it’s necessary to stay overnight. If, in addition to visiting Genting Highlands, you are thinking about exploring the Batu Caves, instead of hiring just the transport, book this tour, which includes a day trip to Genting Highlands followed by a visit to the Batu Caves.
17. Putrajaya, the most peaceful place to go in Kuala Lumpur
Putrajaya is one of the many beautiful places to visit near Kuala Lumpur. The city was named after the first Prime Minister of Malaysia and is home to the PM’s office and residence, as well as the Palace of Justice and the Putra Mosque. It’s located about 20 miles from Kuala Lumpur and offers everything from people-watching to serene natural landscapes.
For example, when looking for Kuala Lumpur things to do, consider Putra Square, a beautiful public plaza. Here, you can shop or sit outside and take in the sights. The circular square is decorated with an 11-pointed star to represent the 11 original states of Malaysia upon gaining independence in 1957.
What I like most about Putrajaya is that it has lots of open areas like a lake, botanical garden, and wetland. Putrajaya Lake is a fun destination for water sports (it hosted the Southeast Asian Games in 2017). Here, you can also find the Putra Mosque (Pink Mosque) and Millennial Monument, which mimics the Washington Monument in the United States capitol.
Another idea is to visit Putrajaya Wetlands Park (free), where you can see different land and aquatic animals. Or take a leisurely stroll or bike ride through the Putrajaya Botanical Garden. Admission is free and the gardens span over 200 acres divided into five sections where you can picnic, paddle-boat, or walk.
As one of the best tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur, I recommend this half-day tour to ensure you see all that Putrajaya has to offer. You might also like this tour, which combines Putrajaya, the Batu Caves, and popular Kuala Lumpur attractions.
18. Dine at a Night Market, the best thing to do in Kuala Lumpur
There are lots of fun things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night! One of my top recommendations is to visit the night markets scattered throughout the city. While there are plenty of interesting places to go in Kuala Lumpur, I can think of a few must-sees.
First is Pasar Malam Taman Connaught, which opens every Wednesday evening. There, you can browse 700 stalls selling all kinds of items. Not only can you find Malay foods, but also Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Thai, Taiwanese snacks. It’s the furthest from the city center, but still worth a visit.
Then, there is the Kampung Baru Night Market, which runs from Saturday evening to early Sunday morning. Founded in 1899, it’s the place to go for popular Malay foods and traditional handicrafts. The neighborhood itself is a pleasant area where you can see traditional homes amidst the modern skyscrapers.
Another good option is the Jalan Alor Street Food Night Market. This area was once a red-light district, but today it’s more family-friendly and has become a top foodie destination. While you might not see much happening during the day, just wait until sunset!
If you’re worried about what to do in Kuala Lumpur on a budget, check out the Uptown Night Market Putrajaya. It’s open every Tuesday and Friday evening and boasts great prices on fresh produce, Malay delicacies, and souvenirs.
19. Wilayah Mosque, an extraordinary thing to do in Kuala Lumpur
Also known as the Federal Territory Mosque, the Wilayah Mosque is another stunning place to visit in Kuala Lumpur. The mosque’s architectural design reflects Malay and Ottoman styles and includes 22 impressive domes, making it a crowd favorite. Some people refer to it as the Mosque in the Garden, thanks to its lovely outdoor grounds and moat.
As one of the most eye-catching places to see in Kuala Lumpur, the Wilayah Mosque features radiant blue tilework, turquoise accents, and intricate patterns. While it is one of the country’s most modern mosques, it is still one of the most popular places of worship. It can accommodate 17,000 worshippers, although anyone can visit for free.
I recommend checking out Wilayah Mosque to learn more about the religion and culture of Malaysia. It’s one of the most stunning Kuala Lumpur attractions, whether you’re religious or not. The main arch contains woodcarvings from Kelantan and Terengganu, two states in Malaysia. The inner room is decorated with precious stones and marble. From outside, you can see the Moroccan influence of the architecture and the bright blue color.
Wilayah Mosque may be a bit out of the way if you’re taking public transportation, but it’s worth it to see the biggest mosque in Kuala Lumpur. A taxi ride there typically costs MYR 22 (around $5).
20. Bukit Tabur, a secret area to visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
If you ask the locals where to go near Kuala Lumpur, you’re sure to hear about Bukit Tabur. This ridge is in the Hulu Gombak Forest Reserve in Selangor, although lots of people call it Dragon’s Back. The quartz ridge is a popular spot for hikers, making it one of the most unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Keep in mind that this is a moderately challenging hike that takes a few hours. If you’re not an experienced hiker, I highly recommend this guided tour. An expert will take you on a sunrise hike where you can look out over the jungle and city below. You’ll also catch views of the Klang Gates Dam and Klang Gate Ridge, the largest quartz ridge in the world. Keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats, which are a rare sight on the ridge.
In addition to the safety concerns, be careful when hiring a guide, as many of the hiking guides in this area operate illegally. That’s why I suggest the tour above so you can avoid that unnecessary aggravation.
Bukit Tabur is divided into the eastern and western section by the Klang Gates Dam, with four discrete trails: Bukit Tabur West, Bukit Tabur East, Bukit Tabur Far East and Bukit Tabur Extreme. All the trails will give you great views of the region below, and it makes for the perfect day trip for nature lovers.
21. Malacca, one of the top places to go near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Besides the fun tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur, there are some awesome day trips that I recommend, one of which is Malacca. Located about 90 miles from the city, Malacca is a port town and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to several museums and galleries. Tourism is a big part of Malacca’s economy, so it’s one of the best places to visit near Kuala Lumpur.
To make the most of your visit, I suggest booking this guided tour, which will take you to the most popular sites in Malacca. These include St. Paul’s Church, the oldest functioning Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia, and the Red Square, also known as the Dutch Square. It gets its name from the red buildings surrounding the plaza as well as its Dutch colonial history.
The tour also passes by the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, a worship space for Buddhists, Confucians, and Taoists, and open to the public for free. It’s one of the most important temples in Southeast Asia and is Malaysia’s oldest Chinese temple. The layout of the temple carefully adheres to the concept of feng shui to create perfect harmony with nature.
The Melaka Straits Mosque is another religious site worth visiting. Its construction cost nearly $2.4 million back in 2006, although admission is free. From the outside, you can see its stained-glass archway and 30-foot minaret. Even from afar, it is quite a sight, as its placement along the shores makes it appear to be floating on water.
Another cool site in Malacca is A’Famosa, which is a testament to its rich history as a Portuguese and Dutch port town. Built in 1511, A’Famosa fortress is one of the oldest surviving remnants of European architecture in Asia.
I’d say visiting Malacca is one of the best things to do in and around Kuala Lumpur, especially if you’re into history.
22. Travel to Cameron Highlands, another amazing thing to do in Kuala Lumpur
About 120 miles outside the city, you can find Cameron Highlands, a district in Pahang. Most of the area is a plateau, although there are serene orchards, waterfalls, and tea estates to explore. If you have the time, I recommend visiting and doing this full-day tour, which includes all of the must-see attractions in Cameron Highlands.
For instance, one of the oldest sites here is the Butterfly Farm, which opened in 1920. This is where you can see gorgeous (and sometimes rare) butterflies. It’s located on Kea Farm, an agricultural hotspot with a charming market where you can buy fresh produce and flowers.
Another one of the must-see places in Kuala Lumpur is Raju’s Hill Strawberry Farm, which offers free admission. Here, you can learn about the strawberry field and processing plant as well as tour the facilities. Once you’re done, pick your own strawberries or treat yourself to some homemade ice cream.
The Highlands is also home to the Boh Tea Plantation, one of the top Kuala Lumpur tourist attractions. Founded in 1929, the plantation now has three tea gardens and a packaging factory to prepare shipments for domestic and international customers. The place is scenic and serene, plus you can tour the grounds for free.
I also think you’ll enjoy the Lata Iskandar Waterfall, which you can find in Cameron Highlands along the main road. It cascades over granite slopes from 80 feet into a small pool. Stopping here to complete your visit is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur for a day.
23. Taman Negara National Park, the best place to see the sunset in Kuala Lumpur
Another one of the top-rated places to visit near Kuala Lumpur is Taman Negara National Park. It was established over 80 years ago, although its deciduous rainforest is estimated to be 130 million years old (the oldest in the world)! The park is a wonderful idea for a day trip, so if you’re unsure of what to do in Kuala Lumpur, I suggest this full-day tour of Taman Negara, complete with a boat ride through the rainforest.
For those who want even more adventure, consider this overnight tour, which includes a night jungle walk. There are several hiking trails to journey on in Taman Negara, including paths to Gunung Tahan and Bukit Teresek. Gunung Tahan is the highest point in Malaysia at 7,175 feet, and the climb is quite difficult. Bukit Teresek is much easier and offers breathtaking lookout points.
A visit to the park isn’t complete without a bit of adventure. Give yourself an adrenaline boost at the Lata Berkoh rapids, where you can traverse the water while surrounded by lush jungle. Or, check out the Gua Telinga cave system. Roughly translated, it means “ear cave,” and the geological structure comes from an ear-shaped rock formation. Taman Negara also has a hanging Canopy Walkway measuring 150 feet tall and offering views of gray-haired monkeys. Tickets cost just MYR 5 ($1.20).
24. Waterfall Forest Park Kanching, an exciting place to visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Just north of the city center, you can find Waterfall Forest Park Kanching, one of Kuala Lumpur’s best places to go. The area covers 1,200 acres, costs MYR 1 ($0.25) to enter, and is perfect for camping and hiking enthusiasts. This is one of the best activities to do in Kuala Lumpur if you have a half-day free. The park’s seven waterfalls are all accessible, although the trails becoming increasingly difficult.
The park has a pleasant stream where you can rest and relax, as well as several footpaths that lead to different waterfalls. The first four levels are quite doable, but if you aren’t an experienced hiker, I don’t recommend levels 5, 6, or 7.
Another nice hiking spot nearby is Taman Rimba Templer, a rainforest reserve with several trails. Admission costs MYR 1 ($0.25), and you can enjoy hiking, swimming, and picnicking. The park is just north of the Batu Caves, and you can follow a 1-mile trail to a lovely waterfall. There are a few other paths here, but some are overgrown and quite challenging, so I would advise against it.
Even so, the Kanching Taman Rimba Templer park is a great place to visit near Kuala if you need some fresh air and quiet time.
25. Rafting in Gopeng District, the best thing to do around Kuala Lumpur
Finally, for those willing to take the 2.5-hour drive from the city, Gopeng District has some of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. These old mining plains now boast gorgeous, lush views as well as outdoor activities and a healthy dose of history. It’s accessible via bus, train, or taxi.
One of the most popular Kuala Lumpur attractions in Gopeng District is white-water rafting. I highly recommend this tour, which includes hotel pick-up/drop-off, equipment, and a certified guide who will take you along the rapids of the Kampar River. Be prepared for one of the most adrenaline-boosting Kuala Lumpur attractions!
If that’s too thrilling, you can check out some of the other attractions in Gopeng District. One is the Gua Tempurung cave, a popular spelunking spot. At nearly two miles, it’s one of the longest caves in Malaysia. Parts of the cave are outfitted with electric lighting and walkways, so it’s easier to see the stalagmites, stalactites, and small river inside. Entrance fees range from MYR 20 ($4.80) to MYR 50 ($12).
There is also the Bukit Batu Putih trail, which does a 2.6-mile loop through mangrove swamps, rainforest, and secret beaches. At the summit, you can see views of the Strait of Malacca.
The Gopeng Heritage House and Museum are free and also worth a visit. Here, you can find antiques, old paintings, and other relics from the past 125 years.
I hope I was able to give you some ideas of things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Truly, there are amazing attractions in Kuala Lumpur for everyone regardless of your interests. As the largest city in Malaysia, it’s a hotspot for entertainment, gastronomy, and yes, even nature.
In the following Kuala Lumpur map, you can find the 25 best attractions of the city. I hope you find it handy!
If you’re looking for what to do in Kuala Lumpur, be sure to check out my tour recommendations! It might seem like the capital city is purely an industrial hub, but we found amazing things to do in Kuala Lumpur, from hiking through lush forest to strolling through orchid gardens and taking in beautiful architecture. Happy traveling!