Kuala Lumpur, the bustling capital of Malaysia, is the city of the Petronas Twin Towers and Bukit Bintang’s malls, modernist mosques and traditional temples. Here’s our guide to the KL attractions you really must tick off your list.
Immerse yourself in all the culture, history and shopping you can handle before relaxing in the Malaysian capital’s public gardens, its butterfly park, bird park and zoo, or even the virgin rainforest of KL Forest Eco Park.
Shopping is one of the most popular things to do in KL and this cluster of malls, which includes Berjaya Times Square, will suit a range of budgets, from quirky cheap outlets to luxurious high-end stalls. The name translates to Star Hill and development of the area starred in the 1980s. Today, you can wine and dine and shop till you drop in this retail haven, full of flagship stores and international brands.
The National Museum is the best place to learn about the whole of Malaysia. From the Neolithic era to World War II, educate yourself on how this part of the world grew from its ancient kingdoms to become the commercial and cultural hub it is today. It was designed in the late 1950s, spurred on by the nationalism that followed independence in 1957, and the building itself is inspired by traditional Malay structures. After your visit, contemplate your new-found knowledge of Malaysia with a stroll around the nearby Perdana Botanical Garden and Perdana Lake.
Right in the middle of the concrete jungle is a 22 acre (9.3ha) slice of ancient rainforest. What separates Kuala Lumpur from even the most progressive, green cities in the world is this treasured piece of land, which is known to most locals as Bukit Nanas, meaning “Pineapple Hill”. Although the reserve has shrunk in size from the 43 acres (17.5ha) first designated in 1906 – in part to build the Kuala Lumpur tower that stands next to it – the area still provides a refuge for native species including squirrels, snakes, and a few bird species. Human visitors can take one of several trails, including rope bridges high in the canopy. Be sure to bring bug repellent, as the mosquitoes can be particularly aggressive.