© Elora Pautrat / Culture Trip

The Insider Guide to Kuala Lumpur

You may know some of Kuala Lumpur’s highlights already – it’s impossible to miss key sights like the Petronas Towers and the Exchange 106 jutting out among the city’s skyline. But there’s more to Kuala Lumpur than what meets the eye – ready to dive in?

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Jom - Let’s Go! The Main Attractions

Cultures collide in Malaysia’s capital city, where influences from neighboring countries abound – whether you’re haggling for deals on Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, or heading into the nearby Jamek Mosque or even the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, some of the oldest places of worship in town. In Kuala Lumpur’s Old Town you’ll also find clues to the city’s colonial past dotted all over, from Merdeka Square, where the Malayan flag was raised for the first time after centuries of British occupation, to the sprawling Perdana Botanical Gardens (formerly Lake Gardens), now the perfect spot for a picnic or afternoon stroll. Just next door to the gardens is the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, the largest museum of Islamic art in Southeast Asia, and a must-see for any history or culture buff. Shoppers will want to head east to KL’s Golden Triangle, the central business district where you’ll find Bukit Bintang, a popular spot for upscale shopping, nightlife and street food. You won’t miss seeing the Petronas Towers, in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) development, or the Kuala Lumpur Tower, which offers some of the best views in the city from its observation deck. And thanks to Kuala Lumpur’s robust transit system, you’ll be zipping around town in no time, whether that’s to the dazzling temple complex at the Batu Caves on the edge of town, or back to Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur’s Little India, just south of downtown. A short walk from Brickfields and you’ll end up at Thean Hou Temple, a dizzying six-tier temple dedicated to Chinese sea goddess Mazu. Ready to go? Read on for more of our recommendations all around Kuala Lumpur.

Neighborhoods in Kuala Lumpur