Kuala Lumpur may be best known for its amazing central city, but a cluster of neighborhoods that cater to a variety of tastes and lifestyles add to its variety. Here are some of the most interesting neighborhoods in KL for you to explore.
The main retail center of the city, Bukit Bintang is popular as a site of retail therapy, with many international franchises and high-end luxury brands. From food to fashion, spend a fun evening window shopping among some of the most world-famous clothing stores, and tuck into cheap and tasty food in the same area. In KL’s Golden Triangle, the malls are close together, so grab a cool bubble tea or two on the go.
Don’t turn in for the night just yet! Changkat Street is the ultimate place to get down and booze up. Catering to party people and pub-faithfuls, this street has everything you’d want in a good time on a night out. Malaysians love their nightlife – whether it’s partying their heart out or catching up over a nice simple cup of teh tarik – and be ready for a gastronomical trip, as a no outing is complete without food. Each bar and pub has their own specialty, from the local fusion meals to traditional English treats. The Whisky Bar especially is highly rated for its expansive collection of liquor and helpful guides in tastings for connoisseur tryouts alongside its pairing menu of seafood and steaks. If a more local taste is desired, head over to Opium KL for oriental fusion delights on their food and beverage menus. Don’t worry, opium is only in its name!
The Whiskey Bar KL, 46 Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL, Malaysia. T: +60 3-2143 2268
Opium KL, 50 Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL, Malaysia. T: +60 3-2142 5670
This predominantly Indian neighborhood features bright displays of cloth, jewelry and spices. While Malaysia’s Indian community are spread out all over the country, Brickfields functions as a Little India of sorts, and is the main area to go for all things Indian. Dine on authentic Indian foods and desserts to your heart’s content (recommend) and don’t be shy to go into the many stores for a curious look at the many cheap goods. Head over to Legend’s Claypot Briyani House, where the traditional Indian rice is cooked using an oriental method, via the clay pot for a true Malaysian multicultural feel; or Moorthy’s Corner for great banana leaf rice.
Moorthy’s Corner, 144A Jalan Vivekananda, KL, Malaysia. T: +60 12-288 0940
This neighborhood is the proud cultural hub of the city. Pasar Seni is where a traditional Malaysia can be seen, with many old-time shops selling local produce from the many different cultures residing in Malaysia. Head to Petaling Street for some of the most exciting open market experiences full of Chinese street treats and other affordable specialty shops containing hidden treasures. Pasar Seni is also the junction for food roads, branching out from the historical alleys of Jalan Pudu to the very popular Jalan Alor.
Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC)
KLCC is the business hub of the country, hosting many international offices and shops. The neighborhood of the Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC hosts some of the best state-of-the-art facilities that celebrate Malaysia through art galleries, science museums and a philharmonic hall. The number one tourist destination for pictures and hanging out, the KLCC Park and Convention Center are just some of the many areas to chill and take a scenic walk around. And if a little shopping needs to be done, the twin towers are surrounded by many international retail outlets catering to middle- to high-end budgets.
Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC, KL, Malaysia. T: +603 2331 8080
An affluent suburb, Bangsar has one of the largest clusters of hipster cafes in the region. This cosmopolitan area is the place to go for the modern art, boutiques and artisan places for the urban dweller. Catering to niche tastes, Bangsar is a great hideout for regulars and a haven for cafe hoppers looking for the new next best thing. The charm of the area is its more local feel, as foreign tourists aren’t the main target market. Even so, the basic cafe foods made to local tastes are sure worth a visit, and the innovation of some of these cafe-cum-bistros are fun to check out. KGB Bangsar is popular for the burger hype, offering spins on the classic burger with additions of pineapple and truffles; while La Cucina offers delightful renditions of Mediterranean cuisine.
KGB Bangsar, 23 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, KL, Malaysia. T: +60 3-2201 1220