Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL, is one of the main airline hubs in Southeast Asia. That’s why a lot of tourists come there for a short stopover. For me it was not a layover but the starting point for my trip along Malaysia’s west coast. To be honest I didn’t expect much from that city before that’s why I only spent one day there. But one day is actually enough to explore the most important Kuala Lumpur attractions and to get an overview of the city. The main points of interest are located very central and close to each other which makes it easy to explore the city by foot. Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant city between modernity and cultural traditions. You’ll find tall skyscrapers next to mosques and mosques next to Buddhism or Hindu temples. Shopping malls are a big deal in KL as well as local street food markets. In my opinion Kuala Lumpur is after Singapore the most developed and western kind of metropole in Southeast Asia. Maybe that was the reason why I didn’t like KL that much. I missed the chaos on the streets and the mess (in a positive way) you find in other Southeast Asian cities. But still there are plenty of things to do in Kuala Lumpur: Explore historic buildings, do a hike in a rainforest located in the middle of the city, taste delicious food from different cultures or admire the impressive skyscrapers.
MY 4 TOP THINGS TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR
Whether you are looking for modern city life or traditional and historical buildings, you’ll find it all in KL. I’ve listed my top things to do in Kuala Lumpur for you. Happy exploring!
Strolling Around Little India & Chinatown
KL is a big melting pot and that’s why it has quite a lot of different cultural quarters. Brickfields is Kuala Lumpur’s Little India. It is the biggest Little India in Malaysia and nice for a little walk through the alleys. In Brickfields you can spot a lot of colorful Hindu temples, even more colorful saris, spices and flowers in the shops and great, authentic Indian food. Expect Bollywood music coming out loudly of the speakers on the streets. A real Indian experience!
Visiting One Of The Beautiful Mosques
Because KL is home to a lot of muslims you’ll find mosques everywhere in the city. I was lucky and visited Kuala Lumpur on a Friday. What is so special about Friday you might wonder? Well, Friday is the holy day of the week for muslims. That means all muslims come together to pray at the mosque. It’s a unique experience to see masses of muslims pilgrim to the mosques and listening to the muezzin’s call at almost every corner of the city. As a non-muslim you’re not allowed to visit the mosques while prayer time. But never mind, you’ll get a chance to go inside the mosque once the prayer time is over. And you should not miss it! Especially the national mosque Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur is worth a visit. Its modern architecture gives this mosque an outstanding and unique design. Take a deeper look at the main roof. Can you see that the design was inspired by an open umbrella? In contrast the minarets look like a folded umbrella. What I like most was the geometric architecture inside the mosque. A great spot for some nice photos! By the way, the mosque can accommodate 15,000 people. And it’s only one of many mosques in KL. Impressive, isn’t it?!
Marvel At The Impressive Petronas Twin Towers
Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has the Empire State Building and Kuala Lumpur has the Petronas Towers. It’s the town’s landmark and you shouldn’t miss it on your sightseeing tour in Kuala Lumpur. Behind the towers you find a nice park where you can have a picnic and relax after a long and exhausting sightseeing-day. Once the tallest building in the world the Petronas Towers impress with their Islamic-inspired architecture. Nowadays the Petronas Towers still head the table in being the highest twin towers in the world but they’re “only” the 9th tallest building in the world by height.
Explore The Canopy Jungle Walk In The Heart Of Kuala Lumpur
A jungle trek in the middle of a city? One of the unusual things to do in Kuala Lumpur! I was quite surprised when the friendly guy in the hostel gave me the tip to visit the jungle in KL. So, my curiosity won and I made my way to the canopy jungle walk. I would say using the word “jungle” is a bit exaggerated but still it’s a beautiful green oasis in KL’s city center. And it’s fun to walk on the 150 meters long walkway in the treetops which is built 30 meters above the ground level.
I think it’s the only “jungle” in the world where you can see skyscrapers in the back. Originally this walkway was built for researchers and scientists to study above-ground flora and fauna more effectively. Now it’s a good way for travelers to scent the air of a jungle without traveling out of the city.
WHERE TO STAY IN KUALA LUMPUR
As you know all the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur now, it is time to give you an advice on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur. During my stay in this vibrant city I booked a private room in Mingle Hostel. The hostel has a very friendly and helpful reception which provides valuable tips for your stay in Kuala Lumpur. Mingle Hostel is clean and I totally felt in love with the historical building. They understood how to combine the original aesthetics of this old building with modern decorations and designs. Very tasteful! Tasty was also the breakfast which is included in the room rates. Must try: Kaya on bread. Kaya is a Malaysian coconut jam. Due to the use of Pandan leaves it has a weird green color but the taste is just….yummy! One night in a private double room costs around US$25 per room.