Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia‘s effervescent capital, is a dynamic city with state-of-the-art shopping malls, historical colonial-era buildings, picturesque natural scenery, original art and an impressive skyline dominated by the majestic Petronas Twin Towers. Influenced heavily by the Chinese traditions from across the water, Kuala Lumpur is a melting melting pot of Asian cultures, elevating itself as a dynamic and varied place to engage with and explore. From bustling museums to idyllic gardens, here’s 10 of the best things to do and see in Kuala Lumpur.
The Central Market of Kuala Lumpur is a dynamic hub of activity thriving on the streets of the city, a center not only for shopping, but for the arts, culture and handicrafts too. Exuding a unique charm and bustling atmosphere, there is over 100,000 square feet of retail space here, and there is also a large outdoor stage providing a venue for multicultural performances and celebrations. Everything from traditional masks to authentic Malaysian fare can be purchased here, and additionally a number of interesting cultural activities are held monthly, such as the ‘mid-autumn cultural fiesta’ this fall. Visiting the market and taking part in these activities is a great way to get to know Kuala Lumpur’s culture and its people.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Opening hours: depends on different stalls and restaurants, usually 5pm-12am
Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Constructed in 1873, the magnificent Sri Mahamariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu structure in Malaysia. The gopuram, which is the monumental tower of the Hindu gods, is the first thing which captures a visitor’s eye here, an impressive feature standing at 22.9 meters tall and opulently decorated with depictions of Hindu gods sculpted by southern Indian artisans. Inside there are a series of separated buildings serving different religious purposes, and even if you aren’t particularly spiritual, the richly decorated ceilings, intricate sculptures of goddesses and majestic main prayer hall here all make the site worth visiting.
Opening hours: Daily 6am-8:30pm
Jalan Tun H S Lee, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2078 3467
Petronas Twin Towers
The iconic landmark of Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC) are the tallest structures of their kind on planet Earth. The 88-storey skyscrapers were built in 1992, and designed by Argentine architect César Pelli in a dinstinctive postmodern style, with the aim of creating an innovative, 21st-century emblem for the city. They house the gigantic shopping mall Suria KLCC, and boast an observation deck, situated on the 86th floor, offering jaw-dropping views of the spirited city.
Opening hours: Daily 9am-9pm
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2331 8080
Islamic Art Museum
Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, with 60% of its people practising the ancient belief. The Islamic Art Museum gives a fascinating insight into this religion, and offers engaging information on the art which flourishes from it. The museum is the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia, and houses 12 galleries set over two floors dedicated to increasing the engagement between visitors and the Islamic arts. The objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, with the aim of creating a collection which is truly representative of the Islamic world.
Opening hours: Daily 10am-6pm
Jalan Lembah Perdana, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2274 2020
Ode to Art
Ode to Art is a contemporary art gallery which exhibits paintings, photography, sculptures and installation artworks by prominent artists from all around the world. Featured artists include Chen Wen Ling, Lorenzo Quinn, Robert Indiana and Xi-Aige, and there are creative and diverse exhibitions held regularly.
Perdana Botanical Garden
Built in 1888, Perdana Botanical Garden, also known as the Lake Gardens, was the first urban park ever to be constructed in Kuala Lumpur. The beautiful, natural space features picturesque waterfalls and multiple collections of different flower and plant varieties. Take a boat around the idyllic lake here, or rent a bike to really traverse the wonder of nature; this is an unmissable experience transporting visitors to a tropical rainforest location, right in the middle of the Malaysian metropolis.
Opening hours: Daily 7am-8pm
Jalan Kebun Bunga, Tasik Perdana, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2617 6404
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Close to the Perdana Botanical Gardens sits the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, a home to more than 3000 birds of 200 different species. A self-proclaimed zoo just for birds, visitors can have fun here taking pictures with the creatures at designated photo booths, and feeding the birds themselves. This is also a popular venue for weddings and birthday parties, with the tropical scenery and colorful critters making for a unique and memorable day.
KL Bird Park, 920, Jalan Cenderawasih, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2272 1010
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.