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KUALA LUMPUR ITINERARY: Best Things to Do & Tourist Spots in and near Malaysia's Capital

Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Tourist Spots in Malaysia Itinerary

Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Here's a sample Kuala Lumpur itinerary with list of top things to do and best tourist spots to help you plan your trip!


Kuala Lumpur is very special to this writer. My first airplane trip departed for this city more than a decade ago just when low-cost airlines like Cebu Pacific Air first began to offer rates that ordinary Juans like me could afford. Looking back, I can say that visit to Malaysia's capital city ignited my wanderlust. Hundreds of journeys later, I was happy to step foot once more on KL's soil to explore old haunts and learn new things about this vibrant city of culture and cuisine.

As part of Cebu Pacific Air and Tourism Malaysia’s media familiarization tour, I joined fellow travel and lifestyle journalists on a 4-day trip around Kuala Lumpur. Here is a list of the best things to do in KL, activities to enjoy, tourist spots to visit, and sample itinerary.

THINGS TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR: Tourist Spots, Attractions and Sample Itinerary



WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS KUALA LUMPUR TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG?



Kuala Lumpur Travel Requirements


But first, what are the new normal travel requirements when traveling to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia?


Prior to the epidemic, we were used to just showing up at the airport when traveling to our Southeast Asian (and visa-free) neighbors. However, despite the relaxing of Covid-19 travel requirements, there are still certain things you need to accomplish first before leaving.

Remember: Double-check first with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and your airline for any changes in the current travel requirements.

Prior to our flight, we were asked to prepare our vaccination certificate from VaxCertPH that certifies you receiving two doses and at least one booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine.

We were also instructed to download and complete the MySejahtera app with the necessary information prior to our arrival in Kuala Lumpur (downloadable on Google App and Apple Play Store).

Flying back to Manila requires you to fill out a One Health Pass to get a QR code.

Since Malaysia is visa-free for Filipino travelers, vaccinated Pinoys can stay up to 30 days without a swab test and quarantine. Unvaccinated Filipinos, need to undergo Covid testing and submit additional documents.

Kuala Lumpur Travel Requirements Malaysia
Make sure to double check all travel requirements

Night 1: Departure from Manila and Check in at Ibis Hotel


We boarded Cebu Pacific aircraft 5J501, which leaves Manila every evening at 8:00 p.m. At exactly midnight, we landed in Kuala Lumpur. It took us a little over an hour to go through immigration, wait for our luggage, and get to our hotel.

We got to Ibis Hotel (see room rates and reviews) at 1:15 in the morning. After a quick shower, our trip’s first night in the capital of Malaysia was filled with restful slumber.

(Writer’s note: I’m fine with this flight schedule because it will enable me to complete all work the day before, travel to the airport at night, and begin my first day of exploration at my destination first thing in the morning.)

TRAVEL TIP: How to get to the city center from Kuala Lumpur International Airport? For ease and convenience, you may take the KLIA Express Train or avail a Private KLIA Transfers.

Ibis Hotels in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
My room at ibis Hotel KLCC

Day 1: Genting Highland (Genting Skyworld, Skytropolis, and Indoor Theme Park)


Genting Highland is among the places I visited with my brother way back in 2007, making this return trip more interesting as I'm interested to see what changes have occurred in this mountaintop location since then.

After having breakfast and a quick fix, we left Ibis Hotel at approximately 8 am, and we reached Genting Highlands just after 9 am. The route going to this mountain theme park and resort was lined with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside near Kuala Lumpur.

BOOK GENTING HIGHLANDS DAY TOUR HERE!


Highlights of this day trip include the following:

A Scenic Cable Car Ride


This is where I rode a gondola lift for the first time ever back in 2007, which made this subsequent visit even more enjoyable.

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide Genting Highland
The cable car ride passes through a scenic mountainside

Fun Rides at Genting SkyWorlds


Once known as 20th Century Fox World Malaysia, a theme park planned by 20th Century Fox inspired by movies before it canceled its license agreement. It was then renamed Genting SkyWorlds.

There are nine different themed worlds, including Andromeda Base, Rio, Robots Rivet Town, Central Park, Eagle Mountain, Epic, Ice Age, Liberty Lane, and Studio Plaza.

20% OFF! BOOK GENTING SKYWORLDS TICKETS HERE!


Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide Genting SkyWorld Things to Do
The 4-D Independence Day Defiance is the only ride we tried but its all worth it

Shop and Eat at SkyAvenue


Come shop at the highest shopping mall in Malaysia as it’s located 1,800 meters above sea level. Here, you can find various shops, and dining places — along its mock Malaysian Food Street that is lined up with hawker stalls serving local cuisines and the Skytropolis Funland’s Indoor Theme Park where kids can enjoy choosing from more than 20 fun rides.

BOOK SKYTROPOLIS INDOOR THEME PARK TICKETS HERE!


Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide Genting Highland Things to Do
Our group of travel writers inside the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park

Chin Swee Cave Temple


You have the option to visit The Chin Swee Caves Temple en-route back to the main Gondola station. The late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, the founder of the Genting Group, donated a 28-acre parcel of rocky wooded land for the construction of this Taoist temple, which is in the most scenic area in Genting Highlands. It was built in memory of Reverend Master Chin Swee, a Buddhist monk from the Fujian province known for his prodigious powers to fend off bad spirits and call down rain.

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide Genting SkyWorld Things to Do
There is a cable car station where you can get off to visit Chin Swee Cave Temple

Food tripping experience


Every foodie's hunger will be sated by the representation of Malaysian cuisine and worldly fusion found in Genting Highlands.

Start your adventure in Gohtong Jaya, a retreat on a hilltop that is only 5 kilometers from the summit and well-known for its plethora of seafood restaurants. The Coffee Terrace is a good option if you feel like you need to stuff yourself with a plethora of food but are still unsure of what to eat. This restaurant offers a broad variety of dishes in a buffet format, including local specialties, Chinese cuisine, as well as Western, Indian, and Japanese cuisine.

One may get the ultimate culinary pleasure by trying different cuisines like Nasi Goreng, Nasi kandar, roti canai, rojak, sung har mee, and nasi dagang just to name a few. The mouth-watering flavors of Malaysian food will leave Genting visitors craving for more.

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide Genting SkyWorld Things to Do
Din Tai Fung is just one of the many dining shops located at SkyAvenue

Outlet Shopping


I ended up buying a pair of Asics Tiger shoes at the Genting Highland Premium Outlets. That says a lot about the outlet shopping here since you rarely will see me shopping unless it’s really something I needed.

Our tour guide told us that if one would want to fully explore Genting Highland, one must stay for 2 or 3 days. There are a lot of amazing hotels to stay in such as the 7,351-room First World Hotel, the award-winning boutique hotel Crockfords, SkyWorlds Hotel, and more. For some nightlife, there's the Empire Club located in one of Genting's five nightlife areas.

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide Genting Highland Things to Do
The Andromeda Base is one of the nine themed worlds in Genting SkyWorld

Night 2: Saloma Link Bridge + Petronas Tower


If you’re a Kuala Lumpur returnee, chances are you’ve had your Petronas Tower photograph already. This time, there’s an added new attraction that bodes well with the twin towers in the background. The Pintasan Saloma Link Bridge.

The Pintasan Saloma, named after Malaysia's legendary singer-actress, is a combined pedestrian and bicyclist bridge across the Klang River in Kuala Lumpur that spans 226 feet and connects Kampung Baru to KLCC. It was inspired by the Sirih Junjung, an ornamental leaf traditionally offered in Malay weddings as a symbol of unity.

25% OFF! RESERVE PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS TICKETS HERE!


Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tourist Spots
The lights of Pintasan Saloma Link bridge changes its colors after a few minutes. The Petronas twin towers is seen in the background.

Day 2: Batu Cave and Central Market bargain hunting


Batu Caves


After a leisurely breakfast that gave us time to hang out on the rooftop hotel, we checked out of our hotel (to transfer to another hotel later). The Batu Caves, a center of Hindu worship, is where we first went exploring for the day.

The redecorated 272 stairs leading to Batu Caves now look more stunning to the eye thanks to a variety of colors. The Batu Caves is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site and home to the world's 2nd tallest Lord Murugan statue (recently edged by the 146 feet tall Lord Murugan statue in Tamil Nadu, India)

Despite being here for the fourth time, I still relished the experience of ascending the 272 stairs to the main chamber. As expected, mischievous long-tailed macaques made the short hike entertaining.

TRAVEL TIP: For ease and convenience, you may book a Kuala Lumpur City and Batu Caves combo tour. See rates and availability here!


Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tourist Spots
Asta Alvarez of the Poor Traveler poses before climbing the stairs to Batu Caves

Central Market


After our Batu Caves incursion, we headed to Central Market, an 1888 British colonial art deco structure previously used as a wet market for locals and tin miners. Despite being surrounded by modern developments, this two-story building is beautifully preserved by the Malaysian Heritage Society. Central Market is an example of a single- and a two-story building that imitates kampong-style dwellings.

The inside of the market is reminiscent of the Malaysian traditional marketplaces of the 1800s, with rows of stalls as the focal point. Visitors may tour the Central Market's several sections, including the Lorong Melayu, Straits Chinese, and Lorong India on the west wing. The second level is where a food court with delectable choice of dishes is situated.

Best thing to buy: Beryl’s chocolates. They come in different sizes and flavors. I bought these two for only 50 MYR. I wish I bought more.

Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tourist Spots
All kinds of groovy stuff can be found in Central Market, making it a thrift shopper's haven

Night 3: KL Tower and The Chow Kit Hotel


KL Tower


During my last visit to Kuala Lumpur, we went to the view deck of KL Tower. You can easily insert this activity into your itinerary since this landmark is located within the city center. Check out this Kuala Lumpur travel guide I wrote when I also represented this website on an earlier Cebu Pacific Familiarization tour in 2018.

This time around, we caught a glimpse of the colorful interchanging lights of KL Tower from where we had dinner. It was a beautiful sight that would certainly liven up a mood to walk around the city at night.

Up to 15% OFF! BOOK KL TOWER ADMISSION TICKETS HERE!


TRAVEL TIP: Experience great food at Atmosphere 360 Revolving Restaurant while enjoying the gorgeous view of the whole Kuala Lumpur on top of KL Tower for as low as ₱1,124! Lunch buffet, buffet high tea, and dinner buffet are available. RESERVE HERE!

Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tourist Spots
The KL Tower at night

The Chow Kit Hotel


For our next accommodation, we checked in around 9 pm at The Chow Kit Hotel (see room rates and reviews). This boutique hotel is one of the best ones I’ve stayed in all my previous trips to Kuala Lumpur. Check out the Where we Stayed in Kuala Lumpur section on this post for details about this place.


Every corner of the interior of Chow Kit Hotel lavish the eyes with visual feast

Day 3: Art, Religion and Thrilling Fun at Sunway Lagoon


Mural Art Hunting


I had an early morning breakfast of Nasi Lemak at around 7am and afterward went on a walk around the Chow Kit neighborhood. After half a kilometer, I came upon a couple rows of alleyways lined with murals. Small caf├ęs and old homes converted into shophouses lined the streets. I took some photographs before returning to our hotel to prepare for our trip to Sunway Lagoon.

New Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
Discovered rows of alleys dotted with charming small cafes and beautiful mural art during my morning walk around Chow kit

Thean Hou Temple


On the way to Sunway Lagoon, which is 40 minutes from the city center, we stopped by for a moment at Thean Hou Temple. Serving as a one stop wedding place where couples pray for the blessings of the goddess Kwan Yin, obtain a marriage certificate, get married, and even hold their wedding reception in the temple's banquet hall, I find the temple arresting my attention because of its architecture and my fascination of the Buddhist religion.

The temple's interior and exterior lavish the eyes with an arresting riot of colors featuring prominent reds (to harness prosperity) various hues of greens, and gold roofs with upturned eaves topped with intricate dragon statues.

After you've finished thanking the universe for all the good karma that has come your way, you can watch beautiful couples pose for wedding photos or view the Kuala Lumpur skyline from the upper deck.

New Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
The vibrant exterior of Thean Hou Temple

Sunway Lagoon


Sunway Lagoon is a one-stop entertainment destination with over 90 attractions spread across 88 acres. It offers the ultimate theme park experience in six adventure zones: Water Park, Wildlife area, and four other thematic attractions like the Amusement, Extreme and Scream Park, and Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon- Asia's first Nickelodeon Themed Land.

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
Melo Villareal of Out of Town Blog instantly became a bird whisperer

Like Genting Highland, it is an attraction on its own, where guests can spend a few days to explore all the rides and thrilling activities. Sunway Lagoon is home to a slew of opulent hotels and excellent dining establishments, including one owned by Gordon Ramsay.

RESERVE SUNWAY LAGOON TICKETS HERE!


Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
Sunway Lagoon has 25 thrilling water slides and 12 swimming pools including this wave pool and a surfer's pool

This is my second time here and, on this trip, I was glad that we spent more time in the wildlife area where we joined a Wild Encounters trip to observe how various animals in a specially created habitat environment behave. We were welcomed by the gorgeous white lions Zola and Zuri, and the other inhabitants such as the meerkats, prairie dogs, miniature horses, otters, sun bears, panthers, tigers, eagles, hornbills, peacocks, pythons, and more!

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
Ruth Dela Cruz of Ruthilicious poses on one of Sunway's main attraction, the 428 meter long suspension bridge

Disclaimer: This writer is not a fan of zoos, yet we were told that the enclosures where each type of animal wanders and dwells are 30% larger than required by law. Our guide also told us that Sunway strictly follows the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2010. "The animals we have here were actually bred in captivity and they would face greater risk in the wild" our guide told us.

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
White Lion Zola resting after having his lunch

Night 4: Experiencing Kuala Lumpur’s Nightlife, only if it didn’t rain


Our last night in Kuala Lumpur should have been spent experiencing some of the best night life spots in the city. But it rained on our way back from Sunway Lagoon and it extended throughout the night.

Good thing, chances are, when you visit KL, you’ll have a better weather. When that happens, be sure to check out the trendy and hip bars along Changkat Street especially the rocking dance floor of Havana Bar and Brill. Other favorites in the area includes Pisco Bar, No Black Tie, Twenty-One Kitchen, Opium Kuala Lumpur, La Boca Latin Bar, The Rabbit Hole and more. Other nightlife areas are Petaling Street, Jalan Alor, Bangsar, Ampang, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Chow Kit just to name a few.

Related Post: You can read my nightlife experience on my previous visit to KL in this other Kuala Lumpur travel guide: Cebu Pacific Air Highlights Some Must Things to Do in and Near Kuala Lumpur.

ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY: Local Evening Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur

Day 4: City tour and more Outlet Store shopping


City Walking Tour


As I wrote on my previous KL trip, one can easily explore Kuala Lumpur's heritage trail by foot or taking the dependable Metro train lines. You can start at Chinatown or the Central Market, and from there you can follow a path leading to several streets lined up with architecturally gifted heritage structures.

On this trip, we started at Kuala Lumpur Museum before making our way to Merdeka Square, the 19th-century Mughal building of Bangunan Sultan Adbul Samad, the Masjid Jame Mosque ending at the River of Life.

OTHER MUST-VISIT MUSEUMS IN KUALA LUMPUR
Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
Travel writers and friends from Stratworks and Tourism Malaysia poses in front of the I Love KL sign in KL Gallery

BookXcess RexKL


A labyrinth of bookshelves awaits you inside the BookXcess RexKL, a bookshop haven for book junkies like me. It sells thousands of titles from classic to contemporary literature, non-fiction, astronomy, coffee table books, and much more on the top floor of an old movie theater turned into a modern cultural hub REXKL.

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
A mountain of books neatly shelves awaits you in this instagrammable bookstore

The River of Life


The River of Life is a great place to rack up steps on your daily step count. Thanks to a scenic setting, you will never easily get tired of exploring by foot. Located near Masjid Jamek, one of the city's oldest mosques, the river is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the Klang River and the Gombak River.

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
Murals and a walkable esplanade highlights the surroundings of River of Life

Stripes Hotel KL


The Stripes Hotel Kuala Lumpur has a distinctive red brick facade, which I later learned was a tribute to the former neighborhood of old brick houses that was completely burned down decades ago. Hotel Stripes is one of two Autograph Collection hotels in KL, with the other one being the heritage Majestic Hotel KL.

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
In a city now getting filled up by towering skyscrapers, Stripes Hotel's brick-covered facade stands out

Turu Negara (National Monument) and Istana Negara King's Palace)


Two prominent locations in Kuala Lumpur are located near each other: the Turu Negara or the National Monument and the Istana Negara, the King's Palace, also known as the National Palace.

The Istana Negara is the official home of Malaysia's King. Unbeknownst to many, Malaysia is still one of the few countries with a monarchy - a constitutional monarchy to be exact in Malaysia's case.

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
In front of the King's Palace or the Istana Negara

The Turu Negara honors Malaysian troops who served in WWII. There are two monuments that honors the soldiers: the Cenotaph and the Turu Negara bronze sculpture depicting fighting troops.

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
This writer poses in front of Turu Negara

Chinatown (Petaling Street)


No trip to Kuala Lumpur without dropping by Petaling Street. Petaling Street dates back to the 1870s, when Malaysia was still known as Tanah Melayu. It was also known then as Chee Cheong Kai, which in Cantonese translates exactly to Starch Factory Street.

Tourists are welcomed by an oriental archway at the entry and the brilliant red lanterns draped along the streets, plus a multitude of food stalls and stores offering a variety of things from clothing, silverware, shoes, jewelries, souvenir items, electronic gadgets and more.

Think of it as Divisoria but more orderly. Other historical spots and quaint cafes you can visit near Petaling street are the Guan Di Taoist Temple, and the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple. For rainy days (like the one we experienced when we were there), you can enjoy a cup of coffee or good food at these charming cafes and restaurants (just Google map them): Merchant's Lane, Luckin Kopi, Pandan Republic, Bunn Choon Restaurant, Beryl's Chocolate and Cafe at Lot 18, and more.

Tip: You can include the walking tour, Petaling Street and Central Market in the same day since they are in the same area.
Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
You start your walk here and up somewhere with heaps of shopped items, that's for sure

Outlet Shopping before heading to the airport


On the way to the airport (KLIA2), we stopped by Mitsui Outlet Park. Located less than ten minutes from the airport, it is perfect for travelers wanting to do last minute shopping. I saw an Onitsuka Tiger pair of shoes at 50% discount but decided not to buy it since I don't have luggage space anymore.

Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur Attractions Malaysia Tourist Spots
One last call for pasalubong shopping

Now, customize your Kuala Lumpur itinerary based on your preferences


Since this is just a sample itinerary based on the activities we did during our trip, you can design yours based on the many travel guides we had in this website. Check out these highlight attractions in Kuala Lumpur, or this wonderful side-trip just a couple of hours from KL, the coffee town of Ipoh. For first time Malaysia visitors, we also have this handy guide for you. Or better yet, check out Pinoy Adventuristas’s Malaysia-related articles and travel guides.


SEARCH FOR HOTELS IN KUALA LUMPUR


You may also use this search engine below to find the best hotel in KL that suits your needs. Just enter your destination ("Kuala Lumpur"), your check-in and check-out dates, number of room and guests, and click "SEARCH". This will show you the best affordable hotels on your preferred travel dates.

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR OTHER HOTELS IN KUALA LUMPUR



KUALA LUMPUR TRAVEL ESSENTIALS


  • Private KLIA Transfers - Traveling to/from Kuala Lumpur International Airport? Take the hassle out of your journey by booking from a wide selection of cars, taxis, and other airport transfer options. This is ideal for families and group of friends and especiallu when traveling with huge luggage.

  • KLIA Express Airport Train - for hassle-free travel from the airport to the city center, take the KLIA Ekspres Airport Train. Just book your ticket in advance and simply head to the barrier gate of the KL Airport Express and have your voucher barcode scanned for fast and efficient entry. The KLIA Express train will take you to KL Sentral Railway Station in less than 30 minutes.

  • KL TravelPass (Metro Card) - How to get around the city in the most convenient way possible? Book this KL TravelPass and enjoy unlimited rides on the city’s LRT, MRT, and KL Monorail lines for two consecutive days!

  • 4G SIM Card for Malaysia - Stay connected to the internet while exploring Malaysia. Enjoy wide network coverage in Malaysia with this reliable travel 4G/3G SIM card. This SIM includes Call/SMS & Data usage.

  • 4G LTE Pocket WiFi - If you prefer to use a pocket WiFi, you may book this device that can be used to connect up to 5 devices. You could pick-up the device at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and it's ready to use upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur.

  • Klook Pass Kuala Lumpur - Looking for an all-in-one travel pass? Go Kuala Lumpur sightseeing and visit its popular attractions with this amazing Klook Pass Kuala Lumpur! Save up to 44% and get access to 2,3 or 4 activities with this one pass!

Things to Do in KL, Tourist Spots and Activities



How to go to Kuala Lumpur from Manila?


Many airlines are reopening routes for commercial flights as governments continue to relax COVID-19-related travel restrictions. Cebu Pacific encourages all Juans to travel again by giving affordable flights and enforcing safety measures.

Cebu Pacific Air flies daily at 8:00 pm from Manila to Kuala Lumpur. Offering the lowest base fares starting at 2,088 pesos — still the cheapest option to fly to Malaysia's capital city.

Flight time normally takes 4 hours and 20 minutes. Enjoy a more comfortable flight by pre-ordering your meals.

Visit Cebu Pacific Air's website or download their app to book your flights to Kuala Lumpur.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This article was written by Marky Ramone Go of Nomadic Experiences. He represented Pinoy Adventurista on this Cebu Pacific Air and Tourism Malaysia media trip to Kuala Lumpur from August 25 to 30, 2022, for a roundup of must-see places, tourist spots, and other things to do in and near Malaysia’s capital city.



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