The most popular and iconic attractions in Kuala Lumpur have come to define the city as a tourist destination – from the unmistakable outline of the Petronas Twin Towers to the colossal standing Murugan statue at the entrance of Batu Caves. However, Kuala Lumpur attractions comprise so much more for those who want to look deeper into this fascinating city, from the colourful Petaling Street market in Chinatown and the famous Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the city’s colonial quarter, to the indoor Aquaria KLCC oceanarium in Suria KLCC.
Petronas Twin Towers
Or also known as KLCC, it is one of the tallest twin tower in the world, standing at an amazing height of 452 meters. The building is based on the five pillars of Islam, which can be seen in the round shapes of the towers. The building was designed by Cesar Pelli, a famous architect. Today, the building has become the figurehead of Malaysia. The largest part of the building is used by PETRONAS, the national oil company of Malaysia. The building has 88 floors; visitors can go up to the 42nd floor, at 175 meters, where a walking bridge of nearly 60 meter length connects the 2 towers. It is open daily from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm except Mondays. Tickets are limited and issued on a first come first served basis.
Located on the concourse level of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the 5,000 square feet Aquaria KLCC is said to be largest aquarium in the world. Home to over 150 species of marine life, its star attractions include scary tiger sharks, lethal sea snakes, blue rays, bright coral fish, seahorses and more.
It’s a well-stocked aquarium just begging to be explored, and after a few hours here you'll have seen over 5,000 freshwater and marine creatures, including massive arapaimas, giant groupers, gar fish and more. Some people write it off as a tourist trap, but they’re sorely missing out – beyond the big tanks, with gallons of water, filled with necklaces of kelp, coral and mysterious and sometimes menacing sea creatures, is one of the country’s foremost sightseeing attractions with real depth and complexity. It is open daily from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm daily.
KL Tower is the 7th tallest telecommunications tower in the world with a height of 421 meters. Its Observation Deck is at a less impressive 276 meters, being situated on the lowest of the 6 levels in the head of the tower, but as the tower stands on top of a small hill, it still gives excellent views of KL. The tower was opened to the public in 1996. Attractions including a revolving restaurant. KL Tower is open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
KL Forest Eco Park / Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve
One of the oldest permanent forest reserves in the country. It covers an area of approximately 11 hectares and is the only remaining tropical rainforest in the heart of the city of KL. It was gazetted in 1906 and was formerly known as Bucket Weld Forest Reserve. In 1934, it was gazetted as a Wildlife Reserve and Bird Sanctuary. In 1950, a pristine section of about 5 hectares was gazetted as a Virgin Jungle Reserve. Here, visitors can see the rich variety of flora that flourishes within the forest including rare herbs, creepers, ferns, climbers and giant bamboo grasses. The KL Forest Eco Park is open daily from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.
It was here, in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building that the Union Flag was lowered and the Malayan flag was hoisted for the first time at midnight on August 31, 1957. Ever since then, Dataran Merdeka has been the venue for the annual Merdeka parade.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
One of KL’s famous landmarks. The building has been the focal point of many historical events. The declaration of Malaysia’s independence was done in this building on August 31, 1957. The building was used by the British government as an administrative office for the Federated Malay States. It later served as a High Court, Federal Court and Court of Appeals Complex for Malaysia until 2007. Today the building is home to the Malaysian Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture. It is also the place where Malaysians gather annually to celebrate the country’s independence anniversary.
Petaling Street / China Town
Located along Jalan Pudu and Jalan Sultan, Petaling Street is popularly known as the Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur. This famous street is also a well known shopping district, where a multitude of traders can be seen hawking all kinds of goods at bargain prices from t-shirts, watches, leather foods and food. Petaling Street is best visited at night where the whole area transforms into a lively and vibrant night market with hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of knick-knacks.
The centre for Malaysian culture, arts and craft. It first started off as a wet market in 1888. In the 1970’s there were plans to demolish the building, however, the Malaysian Heritage Society fought for its preservation under its heritage program and the building was later preserved, restored and transformed into the current façade which we can see today. Gazetted as a Malaysian Heritage Site, Central Market is the award-winning and go to destination for all things Malaysian, be it handicraft, art, textiles, souvenirs, collectibles and restaurants.
Guan Di Temple
Located on Jalan Tun HS Lee, the temple is an easily recognisable building with a bright orange façade. It was built in 1888 to honor the great warrior Guan Di, the Taoist God of War. Standing majestically in his resplendent uniform, the red-face and long beard statue of Guan Di watches defensively over the temple entrance. This temple is open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and admission is free.
KL Bird Park
Established in 1991 and was officially opened by the ninth Raja Permaisuri Agong (Queen) of Malaysia, Tunku Bainun. The KL Bird Park claimed to be the world’s largest walk-in aviary is home to thousands of colourful birds from nearly over 60 species. Sprawling approximately 20.9 acres, visitors will have an exciting experience of watching colourful and melodic birds while relaxing in a natural and beautiful surrounding. The bird park is opened dailiy from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
KL Railway Station & KTM
The old KL Railway Station is one of KL’s most famous landmarks. The station was completed in 1910. It was designed by the talented British colonial architect, Arthur Benison Hubbock. The station was built with Mughal features featuring dome-capped pavilions of Indian origin along it’s roof line. It was once the central hub for all trains of Keretapi Tanah Melayu, Malaya’s rail system. The station is opened daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Located approximately 11 kilometres to the north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. Considered one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions, this 100-year-old temple features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it. Incorporated with interior limestone formations said to be around 400 million years old, the temple is considered an important religious landmark by Hindus.
Cathedral Cave – the largest and most popular cavern in Batu Caves – houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling. At the foot of Batu Hill are two other cave temples – the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave – which houses numerous Hindu statues and paintings.
Sri Mahamariamman Temple
This temple is the oldest Hindu temple in KL. It is situated at the edge of Chinatown and on Jalan Tun HS Lee. The temple was built in year 1873 by K. Thamboosamy Pillai as a private shrine for the Pillai family but was only opened to the public in the 1920s. In 1968, the original structure was replaced with the current building we see today. The most impressive feature of the temple is the five-tier gopuram (tower) which is carved in south Indian style, with 228 brightly coloured figures from the Indian epic, Ramayana. The temple is open daily to visitors from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm and the admission is free.
Cathedral of St. Mary
An Anglican church. The foundation stone for St. Mary’s Cathedral was first laid by the British Resident of Selangor, Sir W. H. Treacher in a ceremony, on February 3, 1894. The church opened in 1895 and was the first brick church erected in Malaysia. The church was constructed in the early English gothic architectural style designed by AC Norman. The church is open daily from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Sze Ya Temple
KL’s oldest and most characterful places of worship. Founded in 1864 by Yap Ah Loy, the 3rd Chinese Kapitan Yap Ah Loy went through to develop Kuala Lumpur. The temple is made up of a main hall and 2 side halls. As you enter the temple you will not miss the century old sedan chairs that were used for the annual temple processions during the 1900s. The temple is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, admission is free.