10 Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

10 Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, has a number of cultural and historical attractions. While many of these sights are located in the city center, there are also a few day trips that are well worth making. Here are some of the top attractions for Kuala Lumpur visitors, including the most popular sights and some that are lesser-known.

Visiting Kuala Lumpur: Top Things To Do

10 Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lake Gardens

This huge park in Kuala Lumpur was established about 100 years ago. Within the 230 acres of landscaped greenery are many tourist attractions, including the Bird Park and the Butterfly Park. Both of these parks are beautifully laid out with jungle-like foliage and are ideal for a leisurely stroll. The Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens are adjacent to the parks and also worth a stop if you are interested in tropical flowers. Growing orchids is a popular hobby in Malaysia and the Orchid Garden well reflects this.

The Lake Gardens is also home to the National Monument, a bronze sculpture dedicated to the soldiers who died in World War Two and during the National Emergency which followed the war. It was designed by American Felix de Weldon, who also sculpted the Iwo Jima Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, D.C. The two monuments do look strikingly similar.

Kuala Lumpur Tower

The Kuala Lumpur Tower is a fairly recent, and towering, addition to the city’s skyline. Completed in 1996, it is one of the tallest telecommunications towers in the world. You can take an express elevator to the observation deck at the top for a very impressive view of the city and the suburbs. If you’re really energetic, you could even run up the 2,058 steps to the top as do competitors from around the world in the annual Towerthon challenge!

Bukit Nanas Forest Recreational Park

In the heart of Kuala Lumpur there is a rainforest, albeit a small one, called the Bukit Nanas Forest Recreation Park. The forest lies at the foot of the Kuala Lumpur Tower and has some nature trails, a picnic area and a playground. The park has shrunk a lot in the past few decades due to urban development, but the ancient jungle canopy nevertheless offers a remarkable glimpse into Kuala Lumpur’s prehistoric past.

10 Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Petronas Towers and Kuala Lumpur City Center

In the space of a few years since its completion in 1998, the Petronas Towers has become one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. It is now the second tallest building in the world and arguably the most beautiful. You can take the elevator to the skybridge which links the two towers and get a magnificent view of the city. The park at the base of the towers is known as Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC) and is a great spot to take the children, as it has playgrounds, a pool and fountains.

Colonial Buildings

One of the most beautiful buildings constructed during the time of British rule is the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. Built in 1910, the Moorish-inspired building was until recently the primary hub for all rail transport traversing the country to Thailand in the north and Singapore in the south.

Another building considered of vital importance during the colonial era was the Secretariat, now called the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Built in 1897 with a mix of Moorish, Mogul and Neoclassical styles incorporated in its design, the building is now home to the Malaysian high court. Other colonial relics located nearby are the Tudor-style Selangor Club and St. Mary’s Church.

Handicraft Complex

The handicraft complex at Jalan Conlay is a good place to stop for locally made souvenirs. Local crafts include batik fabric, wood carvings, pewter ornaments and rattan furniture. At the complex you can also learn the traditional Malay art of batik painting with wax and watch artisans at work.


A stroll through Chinatown during the day will take you to temples, traditional medicine vendors, pet shops and numerous little stores selling all kinds of goods. At night, Chinatown is closed to traffic and vendors set up stalls for the night market. If haggling for fake watches and DVDs is not your thing, try some of the exotic Malaysian fruits being sold and grab a few sticks of satay (skewered meat grilled over flames).

10 Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Batu Caves

The impressive limestone formation of Batu Caves lies on the outskirts of the city. Hindu devotees turned the main cave into a temple for Lord Murugan several decades ago. You can climb the more than 270 steps to the temple entrance and view the religious statues and paintings. Expect to be accosted by monkeys on the way up.

Malacca Day Trip

Many hotels and travel agents in Kuala Lumpur organize day trips to the historical port of Malacca. Malacca was an important stop on the spice route for European traders hundreds of years ago. It has been ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British and the cultural influences are evident even today. A typical day trip would include a tour of the Portuguese Fort de Santiago, the ruins of St. Paul’s Church and old Dutch tombstones, and shopping for antiques.

Elephant Sanctuary

One day trip that every visitor with children should make is to the elephant sanctuary at Kuala Gandah. This sanctuary is home to rescued elephants who have lost their habitats due to farming. The young elephants are rounded up with the help of two older trained elephants and brought to the sanctuary where they are cared for until they are old enough and sufficiently independent to be rehabilitated into the wild.

They are introduced to a new herd in the country’s main national park. The sanctuary takes about two hours to get to and the drive itself is interesting. At the sanctuary you get to interact with the elephants even to the extent of going for a swim in the river with them, so bring an extra set of clothes!

Image Credit: Depositphotos

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