Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

Itineraries for Your Trip to Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur locals share their perfect days.
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1 Day in Kuala Lumpur for First Timers

Curated by Theodora SutcliffeA freelance writer and recovering nomad, Theodora divides her time between Britain and Bali. With bylines including CNN, BBC, the Guardian, Discover, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic Traveler, she’s working on a book, still blogs once in a while at, and spends far too much time on Twitter.

From spectacular street food to city views, historic temples to tropical gardens, and bustling night markets to iconic skyscrapers, it’s hard to get bored of vibrant, multicultural Kuala Lumpur. While natural attractions outside the city merit further attention, it’s easy to check off KL’s signature sights in a single day. Here’s how.


Begin your one day in Kuala Lumpur discovering the city’s signature sights on a guided sightseeing tour. Sneak a first peek at the famous Petronas Twin Towers, establish how districts such as Little India and Chinatown slot together, and get a handle on the city’s confusing geography. Absorb colonial architecture, such as Masjid Jamek mosque and the King’s Palace, alongside more modern attractions like the National Monument and KL Tower. Some tours include stops at craft stores or outlets such as the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre pewter workshops.


Get a handle on Malaysia’s multicultural diversity by touring some of Kuala Lumpur’s myriad religious monuments. Besides the wealth of Chinese temples in Chinatown and the Indian temples that adorn Little India and beyond, don’t miss the Batu Caves. These ancient limestone caverns have been transformed into a sanctuary to the Indian Hindu deity Lord Murugan, who stands guard over them in gold. The cave system is about a half hour from central Kuala Lumpur. Some tours include stops at craft centers, other religious monuments, and city highlights.


As evening arrives, Kuala Lumpur really comes into its own—and that’s not only because of the glittering lights that bedeck skyscrapers and colonial buildings alike. Whether your tastes run to Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, or fusion foods, KL street food provides a feast for all the senses, and joining a food tour is a spectacular way to get a taste of the city. If formal dining is more your speed, Atmosphere 360—the revolving restaurant set 925 feet (282 meters) above the city in the Kuala Lumpur Tower—delivers epic city views, as does the observation deck in the Petronas Twin Towers. 

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