The Best Neighbourhoods for Expats in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sunrise view of KLCC lake and park
Sunrise view of KLCC lake and park | © Nur Ismail Photography/Shutterstock
Sam Bedford

Kuala Lumpur ranks among the top cities for expats and a growing number of digital nomads. With comfortable accommodation, decent entertainment, excellent food and strong WiFi, it’s easy to see the capital’s appeal. Discover Culture Trip’s round-up of the best neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur for singles, couples and families.

Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Expats working for one of the big companies in the city centre often stay in KLCC. Most accommodation includes fully-furnished condominiums and apartments with on-site fitness centres and swimming pools. The spacious apartments are often a haven for families as well as both couples and single expats. KLCC is the best neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur for anyone who wants to stay in a central location in comfort. Most of the city’s world-class shopping centres and malls are within walking distance as well as being in the centre of the entertainment district, the Golden Triangle. But, expect congestion, a fast-paced life and potential noise from the endless construction.

One of the more popular expat area in KL

Damansara Heights

Damansara Heights, also called Bukit Damansara or Kuala Lumpur’s Beverly Hills, ranks among the more affluent parts of the city. Located near both Bangsar and Midvalley in a leafy neighbourhood within 15 minutes from KLCC, expats can enjoy gated communities with a choice between international schools. Typical accommodation ranges from bungalows and small houses to a few low-rise apartments. For expats, Damansara Heights is one of the best neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur for families.


Expats looking for peace will find Bangsar the best neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur. Bungalows, houses and condos give the district variety. Long-term expats prefer living in this part of the city because it has a community-based atmosphere with the bustle of an active neighbourhood. Expect to find plenty of local and mid-range restaurants and bars in Bangsar along with a few shopping centres. Younger expats, both single and couples, tend to choose this neighbourhood. But, the area is relatively old and lacks international schools and day care centres.

Desa Sri Hartamas

Anyone looking to escape the noise and chaos of the city centre tends to stay in Desa Sri Hartamas. After undergoing a major redevelopment in the 1990s, this neighbourhood has quickly become a hotspot for both Western and Eastern expats. Located next to the exclusive Mont Kiara and at the junction of four major expressways, the convenient location gives it both isolation and quick access to the city centre. Accommodation inside this secure district consists of low-rise condos and town houses. Expats often rate this as one of the best neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur for its green spaces in a dense city as well as having a very homey feel. Childcare facilities, as well as a country club and high-end spa facilities, are nearby.

Night aerial view of Sri Hartamas

Mont Kiara

Filled with several deluxe bungalows, small houses and high-rise apartments, Mont Kiara provides expats with a selection of high-end accommodation to suit any lifestyle. The residential district tends to appeal to long-term residents and the availability of international schools makes an ideal spot for families. Mont Kiara provides expats with a suburban environment within reach of shopping centres, supermarkets and entertainment. But Mont Kiara isn’t the best neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur for expats without a vehicle, and public transport doesn’t yet reach this part of the city.

Bukit Tunku

For a more exclusive and luxurious residential area, consider buying property or renting in Bukit Tunku. The green space in the heart of Kuala Lumpur provides high-class accommodation in an upscale neighbourhood. If money isn’t an issue or the company offers a generous housing allowance, the luxury condos in Bukit Tunku give the highest level of the lavishness in the city. The exclusivity and comfort make this neighbourhood a haven for Malaysia’s rich and famous.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article