21 Unique Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur, The Melting Pot of Cultures
Updated On: November 08, 2023
Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur is one of the top 10 most visited cities in the world. It is called the Garden City of Light because of its gleaming ultra-modern buildings. Additionally, it has splendid parks, beautiful gardens, and iconic landmarks. Kuala Lumpur local time is eight hours ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time (GMT/UTC+8).
The city of Kuala Lumpur is the cultural centre of Malaysia with a diversity of ethnicities, races, cultures, and traditions. That is why it is called the Melting Pot of Cultures. The majority of Kuala Lumpur’s population is Malays, Indians, and Chinese. In this article, we will provide you with a list of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
What is Kuala Lumpur Best Known for?
Kuala Lumpur is best known for its gleaming twin towers, the tallest twin skyscrapers in the world with its sky bridge that connects the two towers. It is also known for its 400-year-old Batu Caves. Kuala Lumpur also has a lot of fascinating natural destinations that attract numerous tourists from around the globe. The bustling Petaling Street Flea Market is another popular destination in Kuala Lumpur. That’s why you will enjoy a lot of things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
How Large is Kuala Lumpur?
The largest city in Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. It covers an area of 243 km2 (94 mi2). This multicultural city is surrounded by Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. It also has a large number of Chinese and Indians. Additionally, the city is influenced by British and Portuguese cultures. That’s why Kuala Lumpur is home to various cultures and is rich in its history.
Languages Spoken in Kuala Lumpur
The official language of Kuala Lumpur is Malay, the lingua franca of Malaysia’s residents. Malaysian English is also used in Kuala Lumpur. The original local dialects there are Hakka and Hokkien which are spoken by senior citizens. However, younger generations mostly speak Cantonese.
Since Kuala Lumpur is home to various cultures, there are additional languages spoken there. Chinese residents always speak Mandarin and Chinese. Furthermore, Indian residents speak Tamil and Indian.
Where is Kuala Lumpur?
In southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur is located on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is one of the three Malaysian federal territories in the state of Selangor. You can travel to Kuala Lumpur by car or train. There are also many flights to Kuala Lumpur that disembark at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), one of the largest airports in Southeast Asia and the world.
How to Reach Kuala Lumpur
The distance from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur is approximately 316 km. It takes six hours and a half to travel from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur by train and 50 minutes to travel by plane. You can also drive to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore for around four hours.
To travel from New Delhi to Kuala Lumpur, take a flight to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which takes around five hours and 20 minutes. You can also fly from London to Kuala Lumpur. The flight to Kuala Lumpur from London takes 13 hours and 15 minutes. If you are from the Philippines, you can travel to Kuala Lumpur by plane or by ferry.
Kuala Lumpur Weather
Kuala Lumpur is located in proximity to the equator. Therefore, it has an equatorial climate with a temperature that tends to be constant. This makes Kuala Lumpur perfect for visits all year round. However, the best time to visit it is from May to July.
The hottest month in Kuala Lumpur is April with an average temperature fluctuating between 32°C and 35°C (90°F and 95°F). However, the coldest month is January with an average temperature of 31°C (87.8°F). November is the wettest month of the year in Kuala Lumpur.
What to wear in Kuala Lumpur
If you are travelling in winter, pack an umbrella, a lightweight raincoat, sweatshirts, long-sleeved shirts, jeans, boats, and converse. In summers, pack cotton, linen, or silk clothes, jeans, comfortable footwear, sunscreen lotion, a hat, and sunglasses.
If you are a woman, take a pashmina or a light jacket with you in your bag. That is because some religious sites ask you to cover your legs and shoulders before entering the place. Additionally, the air-conditioner is sometimes fiercely chill in the shopping malls and restaurants.
What Are The Best Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?
Kuala Lumpur is a popular tourist destination since it has numerous natural attractions, sparkling skyscrapers, British colonial-era landmarks, astonishing parks, shopping complexes, amazing restaurants, comfortable accommodations, and much more. Keep reading this article to know more about the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1. Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
If you are a water lover, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park is your perfect destination. Visiting it is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. As Asia’s 1st Nickelodeon Themed Land, this aqua park has more than 90 attractions in six adventure zones. It has many restaurants where you can taste local and Indian cuisine. There are also cafes, snack bars, and refreshments all over the park.
In the Water Park adventure zone, have fun in the world’s largest surf pool and vortex. Also, enjoy watching a 3D movie in Waterplexx 5D. Your kids will have fun in the African village Little Zimbabwe and the Amusement Park.
With 150 animal species, explore many wild animals in the Wildlife Park. If you love scary events, Scream Park challenges you with Nights of Freight and Sharknado Alive! Other adventure zones are the Extreme Park and the Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon. What are you waiting for? Book your ticket online now and let the thrill begin!
2. Maya Falls
Ready for a new hiking adventure? Then, Maya Falls is your next destination! Having fun there is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Wear suitable clothes and discover this fascinating natural destination. Locally known as Lata Medang, this falls has astonishing views. Appreciate the water cascading down the rocky cliffs with beautiful greenery on both sides.
3. Perdana Botanical Gardens
Formerly known as Taman Tasik Perdana or Perdana Lake Gardens, Perdana Botanical Gardens is Kuala Lumpur’s first large-scale recreational park. It is located in the heart of the bustling city; however, you will feel that you are in a tropical rainforest. Picnicking there is one of the unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Perdana Botanical Gardens contain several gardens. Entering is free all year long, except for the bird and butterfly gardens; they require paying entrance fees. You will also pay entrance fees when you visit the Orchid and the Hibiscus Gardens on weekends.
a. Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, also known as Taman Burung Kuala Lumpur, is a wonderful destination if you want to watch a diversity of colourful birds and listen to their beautiful singing. Relaxing there is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. It is the largest free-flight walk-in aviary in the world where marvellous birds fly freely and breed naturally in an environment similar to their natural habitat.
In the park, there is a playground for children to play in. There are also refreshment stations and resting huts and benches to relax and eat a snack. Try rustic Malay food in the park’s restaurant in the lush tropical rainforest. Additionally, there are gift shops to buy souvenirs and ample parking spaces.
The park has four zones with over 3000 splendid local and foreign birds of around 150 bird species. Zones 1, 2, and 3 are free-flight zones; however, birds are kept in different cages and small aviaries in Zone 4. The latter is home to flightless birds, like the ostrich, the cassowary, and the Emu.
Discover the different species of parrots in the park, such as the Congo African grey parrot which is the most intelligent parrot species. There are also oriental bird aviaries and a waterfall.
In the education centre in Zone 4, explore how chicken and duck eggs are incubated artificially and watch the live hatching. There is also a bird gallery with bird taxidermy, bird feathers, and skeletal systems of two flightless bird species.
Do not miss the bird show in the amphitheatre in Zone 4, presented at 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm every day! Do not also miss feeding the free-flying birds in the park!
b. Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park
Among the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur is to visit Butterfly Park. Adjacent to Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park which is the largest butterfly park in the world. In the beautifully landscaped gardens, enjoy watching the colourful butterflies flying over the stunning waterfalls and the astonishing scented flowers.
Explore more than 5000 butterflies, along with several exotic plants and butterfly-host plants and ferns. There are also exhibitions for freshwater turtles, Japanese koi fish, and live insects. The park has also a museum with a wide collection of preserved butterflies and insects from around the world. It contains live scorpions, beetles, millipedes, and bugs.
c. Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden
As part of Perdana Botanical Gardens, Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden is full of various types of orchids from around the world. Strolling on the walking paths, there is one of the unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Also, appreciate the beautiful views and the artificial fountains there. Additionally, admire the semi-circle pergola with the climbing and the epiphytic varieties. There is also a rock garden that houses terrestrial varieties.
d. Hibiscus Garden
Next to the Orchid Garden, visiting the Hibiscus Garden is among the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. It houses different species of Malaysia’s national flower hibiscus. The garden also has a colonial-era building with a tearoom and a gallery. The latter recounts the history of hibiscus and shows its significance in the history of Malaysia. Besides, you can enjoy the wonderful view of the high waterfall, the pools, and the fountains.
e. Kuala Lumpur Deer Park
Kuala Lumpur Deer Park is also near the Orchid Garden. Going there is one of the top free things to do in Kuala Lumpur. It is an enclosure that houses some species of deer, including the fallow deer from Holland, known as the dama deer, the mousedeer, known as the chevrotain, the sambar deer, and the axis deer.
f. Laman Perdana
Also part of the Perdana Botanical Garden, Laman Perdana is among the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. To relax and have a peaceful mind, take a luxurious stroll in the Laman Perdana’s garden and appreciate the greenery landscape, tall trees, and astounding flower beds. Then, sit under the semi-transparent awning and grab a snack while enjoying the view of the manmade lake surrounded by trees and bushes.
g. Sunken Garden
Another beautiful tourist attraction in Perdana Botanical Gardens is Sunken Garden. It is among the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. It has a big star-shaped fountain. Surrounding the fountain, there are lots of flowers planted geometrically, along with low shrubs. Walk through the paths covered with pergolas and enjoy the astonishing views of the garden.
h. Herbarium Perdana Botanical Garden
Herbarium Perdana Botanical Garden is considered a gallery of plants. It houses a collection of dried plants that are stored and curated for long-term study. The collection includes fruiting and flowering plants. The gallery is open to the public from Monday to Friday. If you are interested in plants, visiting Herbarium Perdana Botanical Garden is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
4. The National Museum of Malaysia
Near Perdana Lake Gardens, the National Museum of Malaysia with its contemporary and traditional decorations is located. Visiting it is among the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. It is a three-storey museum where you can enjoy the culture and history of Malaysia.
The museum contains historical wedding clothing and scenes, traditional weapons, hunting displays, bronze and stone sculptures, and replicas of Malaysian houses. It also has an outdoor exhibit that includes a 19th-century timber palace with a Terengganu Malay architectural style and traditional horse-drawn carriages.
5. Taman Tasik Titiwangsa
Visiting Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, also known as Lake Titiwangsa, is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur with kids. Admired by many, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa is one of the most famous recreational parks in Kuala Lumpur. It has several facilities and fun activities for you and your kids.
Take your kids and go for a picnic in the park. Jogging or running through the park’s canopy paths or jogging trails will energize and refresh you. Also, ride a horse or cycle on the spacious tracks. Your kids will have fun in the playground and the water play area with its water sports activities.
There is also a tennis court, a football field, and an exercise area. To enjoy the views of the big lake and the high fountain, have a seat in the remote control car. At the end of the day, relax at a rest hut and eat a sandwich in one of the food stalls. Do not miss out on taking a helicopter tour to see wonderful views of Kuala Lumpur and take amazing photos with your camera.
6. National Visual Art Gallery
Close to Lake Titiwangsa, the National Visual Art Gallery is a four-storey gallery with a unique blue glass pyramid roof. It houses sculptures, paintings, and more. These Malaysian artworks are made by some of Malaysia’s leading artists. Visiting it is one of the top free things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
7. Selangor River
One of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night is riding a fireflies boat on the Selangor River. In a majestic view, fireflies flash in the mangrove forest and blink in a wave effect similar to that of Christmas lights’ strings. During this wonderful tour, enjoy numerous tourist attractions on both sides of the river.
8. Royal Malaysia Police Museum
Are you interested in the history of the Malaysian Police? Heading to the Royal Malaysia Police Museum is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. The museum consists of three-lettered galleries that show the history of the Royal Malaysia Police dating back to Portuguese times. Explore the outdoor attractions, including an old police ship, an armoured train carriage, and a cable car. Entry is totally free.
9. Museum of Illusions in Kuala Lumpur
Ready for another new adventure? One of the most exciting things to do in Kuala Lumpur is to explore the Museum of Illusions in Kuala Lumpur. Step into a world full of intriguing visual, sensory, and educational experiences. It includes illusionary exhibits, more than 80 various dilemma games for all ages, and interactive rooms. The museum tricks your eyes and entertains your mind.
10. KL Forest Eco Park
With a wooden gazebo overlooking Menara Kuala Lumpur, one of the free things to do in Kuala Lumpur is to visit KL Forest Eco Park, previously known as Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve. Enjoy walking through the series of hanging bridges over lush greenery. This canopy trail leads you to the base of Menara Kuala Lumpur in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).
The park consists of several trees, creepers, bamboo, and herbs. It also has a campsite and a playground. You will have a free tour guide if you buy a ticket to the tower’s observation deck.
11. Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)
Including Malaysia’s most popular landmarks, Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is “A City Within a City” as it was designed to be. Going there is one of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Appreciate the gleaming glass facades and Postmodern-Islamic style of the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers. Enjoy the magnificent views of the city from the sky bridge and the observation deck on their 41st and 86th floors, respectively. The towers in the background make the place suitable for taking Instagrammable photos.
If you are a shopping addict, do not miss out on visiting Suria KLCC Shopping Mall at the base of the twin towers. With more than 300 shops, buy everything you need. Then, enjoy the astonishing panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur while you try one of the Malaysian dishes in the court food on the top floor.
From Suria KLCC, walk through an air-conditioned walkway to reach Pavilion Kuala Lumpur where you can buy wonderful souvenirs. Then, relax at the KLCC Park and enjoy the greenery, the lake, and the statues. Relaxing in KLCC Park is among the most interesting things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Near Petronas Twin Towers, visit the tallest tower in Southeast Asia, Menara Kuala Lumpur. You can enjoy riding a pony around it or seeing some animals in the animal zone.
If you are adventurous, visit Aquaria KLCC! Explore marine life and dive with real-life sharks. Your kids can sleep with sharks, feed marine creatures, and have fun workshops and educational tours.
Read our article to find out more about the wonderful attractions in Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
Whether you are young or old, Kidzania is your perfect destination. This family-themed learning centre is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Kuala Lumpur with kids.
With over 70 recreational role-plays, your kids will experience the adults’ life in a replica of a real city. Let them choose what they want to be from a wide range of career options, including chefs, firefighters, dentists, and surgeons.
13. Crackhouse Comedy Club
Trying Malaysian comedy at the Crackhouse Comedy Club is one of the most entertaining things to do in Kuala Lumpur. It is the first dedicated stand-up comedy club in Southeast Asia. Every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, there are presented shows. At the end of the show, dine with your loved ones at the club.
14. Petaling Street
Known by the locals as Green Dragon, Petaling street is a pedestrian shopping street covered by a green roof. The roof is a perfect shield against rain and scorching heat.
Traversing Petaling Street is one of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night. Try Malaysian local food and drinks. If you are into shopping, you can buy clothes, fresh produce, and electronic devices.
Centred in Petaling Street, Chinatown is a colourful area containing Chinese cultural attractions, lively street markets, hawker stalls, and more. Wandering through it is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. There are a lot of stalls where you can buy souvenir accessories and clothes. Do not miss out on trying the local Chinese street food there.
16. Brickfields Little India
Exploring Brickfields Little India is one of the unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur. You will feel that you have left Malaysia and are walking in the streets of Delhi. If you want to try Indian cuisine, Brickfields Little India has many restaurants where you can taste amazing curries. There are also Indian shops to buy traditional Indian clothes and jewellery.
17. Jalan Alor Food Street
One of the special things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night is eating and drinking at Jalan Alor Food Street. Previously known as Redlight District, Jalan Alor Food Street is the cultural heart of the city’s local cuisine. It includes small stalls that serve a variety of fresh juices, dumplings, and snacks.
Experience the best Chinese and Thai food at one of the world-famous hawker food stalls or the cheap restaurants there. There are also shops lined along the street where you can buy lots of souvenirs.
18. Dinner in the Sky Restaurant
Do you love heights? If yes, head to Dinner in the Sky restaurant. Having lunch or dinner in the sky is one of the most entertaining things to do in Kuala Lumpur. The restaurant overlooks Petronas Twin Towers and Menara Kuala Lumpur. If you have enough courage, take your loved ones and book your seats there!
19. Plane in the City Restaurant
What about having a dining experience in an aircraft? Then, the Plane in the City restaurant is your destination. Dining with your family or friends at this creative plane-themed restaurant is one of the unusual things to do in Kuala Lumpur. You can book an economy-class, business-class, or first-class ticket. There is a variety of 5-star cuisine for each class.
Besides dining, there are a lot of activities you can do on the plane. If you want to experience the feeling of flying a plane, visit the flight deck in-flight and sit in the cockpit. You can take wonderful photos of yourself in the cockpit or while walking on the plane’s wing.
20. Dining in the Dark Restaurant
Located in the heart of the bustling city, one of the top interesting things to do in Kuala Lumpur is try Dining in the Dark restaurant. Try different cuisines in the dark and test your tasting and smelling senses. The menu is a surprise. It changes every day to make your dining experience one of its kind. Guess what is on the plate. It will be really amusing.
21. The Seven Wonders of Kuala Lumpur
Visiting the Seven Wonders of Kuala Lumpur is worth a stop. The Old Colonial District of Kuala Lumpur has wonderful tourist attractions. Among the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur is visiting the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery and taking photos with the iconic “I ♥ KL” structure in the background. Appreciate the colonial-era architectural style of the surrounding buildings.
Thean Hou Temple is among the seven wonders of Kuala Lumpur. Appreciate the contemporary and traditional architectural styles when mixed together. Also, admire the amazing paintings and the decorative pieces there. Batu Caves Temple is another wonder in Kuala Lumpur where you can explore various statues.
Why not also explore the seven wonders of Kuala Lumpur in our blog?
What Food is Kuala Lumpur Famous for?
There are a number of wonderful restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Since Kuala Lumpur has a rich cultural diversity, it has various Indian, Chinese, and Malay dishes. Trying the local dishes is among the most interesting things to do in Kuala Lumpur. If you are into cooking, Kuala Lumpur offers cooking workshops in the city. Here are some of the cuisine for which Kuala Lumpur is known.
1. Nasi Lemak
Nasi lemak is the national dish of Malaysia. It consists of pandan leaves and fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk. The dish comes with anchovies, a hard-boiled egg, slices of cucumber, and nuts. Nasi lemak can be served with lamb, beef curry, rendang chicken, seafood, or vegetables.
If you love spicy food, you can order sambal beside your dish which is a chilli-based sauce. Locals usually eat Nasi lemak for breakfast, but you can order it at any time of the day. The dish is usually served on a banana leaf. Trying it is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
2. Mee Goreng Mamak
An additional dish from Malaysia is Mee Goreng Mamak or Mamak-style noodles. It is an Indian Muslim dish made from fried yellow noodles, boiled potatoes, choy sum, fresh egg, shrimps, pan-fried tofu, and dhal which are dried legumes in Indian kitchens. The noodle is then tossed in an irresistible sauce and served with beef or chicken.
3. Mee Rebus
Mee Rebus is another noodle dish in Malaysia. Unlike Mee Goreng Mamak, Mee Rebus is a Chinese-style noodle. With its sweet and savoury flavours, it consists of yellow noodles soaked in a curry-like sweet potato-based gravy with soybean paste and spices.
4. Ayam Masak Lemak
With coconut cream, Ayam Masak Lemak is one of the must-try dishes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is made of chicken soaked in coconut creamy sauce. Chilli, ginger, turmeric, garlic, shallots, and lemongrass are added to the relish to give it a delicious flavour.
Known worldwide, Satay is a stick of beef, chicken, rabbit, or venison marinated in local spices and then roasted over charcoal. It is served with slices of cucumber, raw onions, and white rice. Trying this dish is among the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Dip your stick in the creamy peanut sauce or sambal or both of them and enjoy the flavour.
6. High Tea
Colonized by Great Britain for a period of time, tea time has become one of Malaysia’s popular traditions. Experiencing the local afternoon high tea is among the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Choose your favourite brew and drink it with a diversity of delicious treats.
There are many attractive things to do in Kuala Lumpur. It has many breathtaking parks, historic areas, and astonishing tourist attractions. The city with its multicultural heritage is worth visiting. Enjoy your stay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!