Kuala Lumpur is a city that has fully embraced the contemporary and cutting edge, to deliver incredible sights and experiences to locals and tourists alike. The Malaysian capital’s modern skyline sparkles at nightfall, with the stunning Petronas Towers dominating the cityscape with its distinctive charm. Standing alongside this architecture are incredible examples of colonial-era landmark mixed with traditional street food and markets to create a destination like none other in the world.
To help you get the most out of your holiday, we’ve put together this handy travel guide. We’ll be covering everything from the most popular tourist attractions to the most divine and delectable dining options and everything in between to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.
- Kuala Lumpur was founded by Chinese tin miners in 1857.
- Kuala Lumpur is fondly known as KL, and its residents are known as KLites.
- The Batu Caves are a series of cave temples and has one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India including idols of Lord Murugan (God of war) and Lord Hanuman (a symbol of strength and devotion).
- The weather in Kuala Lumpur is often warm and humid throughout the year and it’s important to stay well-hydrated.
- If visiting religious temples, shoes are expected to be taken off prior to entering as a sign of respect.
- Remember to book tours from verified places as scammers may operate in this region.
- It’s best to insist that taxi drivers use the meter to avoid scams and unreasonably high charges.
Getting Around Kuala Lumpur
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The Malaysian capital offers an abundance of fantastic public transport options, meaning you can avoid the hassle of renting a car and negotiating the busy rush hour streets for yourself. While many of the biggest tourist destinations can be reached by foot in the city, you can traverse Kuala Lumpur by metro, bus or taxi if you are planning on going a little further afield.
One of the most popular methods of travel in Kuala Lumpur is the metro. There is a choice of Light Rail Transit LRT) lines here, including the RapidKL, KTM Komuter and Monorail, which reach the furthest corners of the city between them. While these lines are not always connected, they do allow you to explore any destinations, with the RapidKL and KTM Komuter running from the city centre to the suburbs and the KL Monorail expanding across the city centre.
The latter option is likely to be the most appealing to tourists, with services running every 3 to 4 minutes between 6am and 12pm. It is a cheap and convenient way of seeing the biggest and best sights that this city has to offer. However, you should be aware that, as the KL Monorail serves over 5,000 commuters per hour on a normal weekday, it is best to avoid it during rush hour. Please note also that pickpockets operate in this area, so always be aware of your belongings.
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If you do opt for journey by LRT, you will find clearly marked and easy to understand maps in every station. These will help you find your destination and metro line with ease. Printed maps are also available at the station counters. Here you can also buy your tickets, which are available from the automated machines as well. Daily passes are available although it is recommended that your purchase a Touch ‘N Go card during your visit. This prepaid card can be swiped at the turnstiles, with your fare automatically being deducted for a faster and simpler experience.
If you’re planning a trip to somewhere unreachable by metro, you can go by one of Kuala Lumpur’s bus services. RapidKL is the largest bus operator in the city but unfortunately, they are still lacking on service, with no routes or timetables available. If possible, it is therefore advised that you board your bus from Puduraya, the city’s central station which can be found near Chinatown. Hundreds of different services depart here every day, spanning across the city and beyond to neighbouring districts.
No matter which bus you catch though, always remember to pay for your fare as you enter the bus or in advance at the station’s automated machines. If you do pay the driver though, please be considerate and give exact change if possible.
Image source: Stefan Fussan
If you’re sticking to sightseeing in the city, the Hop-on, Hop-off busses are a must. These bight and colourful vehicles depart from more than 20 locations, giving you a hassle-free way to reach the most popular attractions and shopping destinations around the centre. Tickets can be purchased at the Hop-on, Hop-off counter, which can be found at the station in front of the mall Lot10 in Jalan Bukit Bintang. You can also pay for your fare on board the bus.
If you’re willing to fork out a little more for luxury and the convenience of being dropped off at your destination’s door step, then taxi is your best bet. You won’t be short on options here, with an array of different cabs vying for your service. Drivers can often be reluctant to use their meters though, especially around tourist destinations, closing times and for journeys outside of the main city. It is therefore important that you always ask your driver to turn their meter on (e.g. to “flag down”) or negotiate a set fee before you start your journey.
Image source: Nat Friedman
While some drivers will try to overcharge tourists, taxis in Kuala Lumpur do tend to be an affordable option, with trips in the city centre costing around ₹ 240 on the meter. Taxi rides after midnight are also subject to a 50% surcharge.
Flights to Kuala Lumpur
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If you’re feeling excited by everything you’ve read and can’t wait to jet off to this Malaysian capital, then the first step is to book your plane tickets. At Expedia, we offer you the best prices on all journeys, so browse now and start planning your incredible Asian experience.