We have written this Kuala Lumpur Itinerary to ensure you get to see as much of the city as possible. Therefore our 1-day Kuala Lumpur Itinerary is filled of Culture, Food, Architecture and a little bit of exercise for good measure. But most importantly it will be fun, leaving you wanting to explore the rest of Malaysia.
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We have laid out our Kuala Lumpur Itinerary step by step, recreating our time in the city. We have strategically ordered each stop from morning to night. Obviously, you can mix it up to suit your needs. However, we feel this is the best order for two main reasons.
Reason 1, each location can get very busy. To ensure you have the best time possible, we have tried to avoid the most popular times of the day.
Reason 2, is that it gets HOT in Kuala Lumpur! 🥵 We have tailored our itinerary so that around the hottest time of the day, you won’t be climbing hundreds of steps to reach the temple. But instead you will be eating some amazing food surrounded by the world’s best invention, air conditioning. 🥶
Kuala Lumpur Itinerary – Batu Caves 🌈
The Batu Caves are one of Kuala Lumpur’s most famous attraction. Did you know that the steps haven’t always been painted bright multi colours? In 2018 some clever chap came up with the idea to paint the 272 red steps that lead to a Hindu temple at the top 🌈 They transformed the stairs into the brightly coloured rainbow you see today. Although this did cause some controversy. The idea was that it would make the site more Instagram-able and therefor increase the tourism in Kuala Lumpur. I mean, we are here because of the stairs so I guess you can say its worked!
The Batu Caves are a 15-minute drive from the city centre. Public transport is limited to the caves so we recommend taking a Grab Taxi. 🚕
Batu Caves Opening Hours ⌚
The caves are open 06:00 – 21:00 daily.
We recommend getting here for when it opens if you are after that famous Instagram shot 🤳 At around 7:30 it starts getting busy with coaches of tourists turning up. There is also something relaxing about being able to explore these beautiful temples as the sun is rising and when it is silent.
Batu Caves Entrance Fee
Although there is no entrance fee you may be asked to carry a bucket of sand up there steps to the temple. We are not really sure why this is, it only seemed to happen within the first 30 minutes of it being open.
PHOTOGRAPHY TIP ⇢ 📸 The sun rises behind the mountain, so you will be in shadow for the whole morning. The sun doesn’t touch the stairs until the afternoon 🌞
If you plan to go to the top and enter the temple, then you will need your knees and shoulders covered. In our opinion even if you are not planning on going all the way to the top, it is respectful to cover up for the whole time you are here. At the entrance to the stairs, you can borrow some clothing to cover your legs with.
Come Prepared ☕
We know this sounds a bit dramatic, but if you have met Milly, you will know she is a tad dramatic. If you are getting up at 6am and having breakfast, hiking 272 steps in the heat might not be the best idea you have ever had. Climbing the steps, exploring the temple, taking pictures can be tiring. With the humidity of Kuala Lumpur, the tiredness hits you a lot quicker. Make sure you pack water 🚰 and some snacks to keep you going 🍎 Milly feel victim to the exhaustion and nearly fainted whilst taking pictures of the steps 🤢
The Temple And Statue 🛕
As you approach the Batu Caves the first thing you will see is the huge gold statue guarding the entrance to the steps. To the left of the entrance there is a pray hall where you can watch the morning ceremony take place. At the top of the stairs, built into the limestone cliffs are the Hindu Temples and caves.
Beware of the monkeys. We were warned by the locals before we came that the monkeys are notorious for stealing people’s bags when they leave them unattended to take photos. We were fortunate enough not to see any, but we have friends that have had their breakfast snacks stolen by the monkeys.
📍 Batu Caves Address 📍
Once you have finished at the Batu Caves, it is time to move on to your next location.
We have written a complete Vietnam Itinerary which includes a full budget breakdown.
Thean Hou Temple Kuala Lumpur (Chinese Temple) 🏮
The Thean Hou temple is known by many tourists as the Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur. It is a six-tiered temple of the Chinese sea goddess Mazu. The stunning architecture of the white walls and red pillars spreads across all levels, with lanterns draped across the courtyard 🏮 On the first level you can find a gift shop and a small food hall. Whilst on the fourth level there are three tiers, and this is where the prayer hall is located.
Thean Hou Temple Entrance Fee 🎟️
The entrance fee is FREE! Whilst there is no entrance fee for the temple, there is a donation box inside.
Dress Code 👗
Unlike most temples you will visiting in Malaysia, this one does not have a strict dress code. We would recommend wearing respectful clothing, which means covering your shoulders and knees. When you enter the main prayer hall, make sure you remove your shoes.
Opening Hours ⌚
The temple is open 8am – 10pm daily. It starts to get busy around 9am, but if you are looking for something to do in the evening, then this is where the lanterns come alive and light up the courtyard 🏮
How to get to the Thean Hou Temple 🚖
If you are following our Kuala Lumpur Itinerary, then we would recommend taking a Grab Taxi from the Batu Caves to this temple. Similar to the Batu caves, this temple opens at 8am and a lot of the tour groups will starts to arrive between 9-9:30. To avoid the crowds and to be able to explore this beautiful building alone, taking a Grab taxi is the most direct and quickest way of reaching the Thean Hou Temple.
If you are starting your day in the city and want to catch a train, the following station is your best options.
⇢ KJL train line from the city centre to Bangsar station, from here it is 1.7km’s to the temple which you can either walk or take a Grab Taxi.
Thean Hou Temple Address 📍
Kuala Lumpur Itinerary – Federal Territory Mosque 🕌
Once you have finished at the Thean Hou Temple, we recommend you head over to the Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan, also known more commonly as the Federal Territory Mosque or the Blue Mosque. Even if you are not interested in religion or culture architecture, we highly recommend you still come. We promise you will not be disappointed or bored.
Lucky you, we have already written a whole blog post about our time visiting the Federal Territory Mosque 📴 which you should check out immediately. For those of you who have already got it on your list, here are the main things you will need to know.
Federal Territory Mosque Opening Hours
10:00 – 18:00 daily
But we recommend checking out the tour times to time your arrival 10 minutes before the tour starts.
The mosque runs free tours daily where you are guided around each part of the building and given history about the building. For details of the tours and times read out blog post here ⇢Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan.
It is totally free, although there are donation boxes at the entrance if you wish to leave something.
📍 Address 📍
Pavilion Shopping Mall 🛒
After exploring you are going to be hungry and probably hot, so the next stop will be full of food and air-conditioning.
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City is the Pavilion Shopping Mall. The district in which the mall is located in, is the Bukit Bintang District. Outside the Pavilion you will find the main crossroads which can only be described as Kuala Lumpur’s Times Square. There are huge LED billboards everywhere and street performers along the pedestrian walk ways.
Food Court 🥗
In the basement area spread out across two sides of the centre you will find the food halls. This is where you can find some cheap, but good quality food. We stuck to the local cuisine as its cheaper and more fun trying new dishes. On the ground floor level there are lots of restaurants with some well-known food chains.
Opening Hours ⌚
10:00 – 22:00 daily
Petronas Twin Towers 🗼
The Petronas Towers are the most iconic landmark in Kuala Lumpur. The Petronas Towers Stand at 451 metres high, they were once the highest buildings in the world until 2004, until Taipei took the record. Only a short walk from the Pavilion Shopping centre are the gardens that surround the towers. This is a great area to relax after lunch.
If you fancy going into the towers and seeing an amazing view across Kuala Lumpur, you can. We did not choose to do this activity, as it was out of our daily budget.
Entrance Fee 🎟️
Adults (13-60 years ) £14.80
Child (3-12 years) £6.10
Sky Bridge and Observation Deck
Your ticket will give you access to the Sky Bridge which connects the two towers and the observation deck. This is the highest point of the towers and where you can get the best views.
Opening Hours ⌚
Tuesday – Sunday, 9.00am – 9.00pm
Closed between 1.00pm – 2.30pm on Fridays
Grab a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Borneo to see wild Orang-utans
Rooftop Pool Accommodation Kuala Lumpur 🏊♂️
Did you even visit Kuala Lumpur if you didn’t visit a rooftop pool? Most hotel selling points are their rooftop pools, overlooking the city skyline. It only seemed right that we should include it in our 1-day itinerary. By now you would have spent the whole day running around the city and what better way to end it, than watching the sun set across the city with a beer in your hand relaxing around the pool.
When it comes to choosing a rooftop pool you are spoiled for choice. We have suggested 3 rooftop pools varying in prices, that all centrally located to the Bukit Bintang district.
Budget Hotel 🤑
Mid range 🤑🤑
Other things to do in Kuala Lumpur 🎢
If you are planning on staying in Kuala Lumpur for a few days, check out some more of the city’s hot spots, listed below. Most of these other locations are within the city centre.
KL Forest Eco Park 🌳
Fancy a slightly different way to explore the city? Walk through the canopies of the treetops at the KL Forest Eco Park. Here you will find purpose-built walkways, winding through one of Malaysia’s oldest forest. Only a short walk from the city centre and the Kuala Lumpur Tower, this forest makes a great place to get some cool photos.
Opening Times ⌚
The park is open 07:00 – 18:00 daily.
KL Forest Eco Park Address 📍
Perdana Botanical Gardens🌳
If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for an hour or two, then head to the Perdana Botanical Gardens. Located in the Heritage Park, the gardens are known by the locals as the “Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur”. The botanical gardens are free to enter and make sure you check out the miniature Stonehenge replica and Deer + Butterfly park.
📍 Perdana Botanical Gardens Address 📍
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia 🎨
If the heat is getting to you and you enjoy diving into different cultures and art, then the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is the perfect place for you. This modern white building with the beautiful teal coloured dome is full of history and more importantly, air-conditioning.
Entrance fee 🎟️
Adults £2.60, Child under 6 are free
Islamic Arts Museum opening times ⌚
Monday to Sunday 09:30-18:00
You may have heard of the Cameron Highlands, famous for their amazing tea, but not many people know about the Genting Highlands. These Highlands are a lot closer to the KL City and therefore, it is the perfect stop to add on the end of your Kuala Lumpur Itinerary. The Highlands are found 60 km’s (1-hour drive) north of the city centre, high up in the hills where the air is cooler and you can escape the humidity.
The best way we can describe the Genting highlands is a theme park/resort area completed with rides, a golf course and temples. If you are looking for somewhere to stay, then the top hotel in the area is the Resorts World Genting, it comes complete with an indoor snow area.
Did you know Borneo is part of Malaysia. We have written a guide to Sabah, Northern Borneo
Kuala Lumpur Itinerary FAQ’s ❓
Best time to visit Kuala Lumpur
It is always hot and humid in Kuala Lumpur, but there are still some good months to visit and some to avoid. During the months of ☔March and April ☔ it tends to rain a lot, whereas 🌞May-July 🌞 and 🌞December-February🌞 are drier, and the humidity is bearable.
How much to budget for your Kuala Lumpur Itinerary – 1 day 💰
Trying to organise your budget for KL really depends on the type of trip you are after. The three things you will be spending money on is your accommodation, food and transport. We are backpackers, but we also enjoy shopping way too much. Here is a quick break down of our budget (2 people) for 1 day in Kuala Lumpur.
🚕Transport £25 (all Grab Taxi’s as it was too god am hot to walk)
🏨Accommodation £25 (with a rooftop pool)
🍜Food £22 (including snacks and drinks)
🎫Entrance Fees FREE
Total = £37 Per Person.
Our transport to and from the airport was the our biggest out going each time we visited KL. The journey from the airport into the city is usually 45 minutes, which cost us £13. Check out more information about getting in/out the airport here.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur 🛏️
We would always recommend trying to find accommodation as close to the city centre as your budget allows. The main district where people stay is called Bukit Bintang which is where you will also find the Pavilion Shopping Centre and is close to the Twin Petronas Towers.
We found a great apartment called D’Majestic in the Puda district with a train station (Puda LRT) right outside. This meant our accommodation was considerably cheaper and only a few stops by train into the city centre. It also has a rooftop pool. 😏
How to get around Kaula Lumpur 🚖
🚶🏽♀️Good old fashion walking, which we did mainly at night as it was a lot nicer without the hat from the sun.
🚄 The train network in Kuala Lumpur is pretty good, also known as the LRT (Light Rail Transit) you can get most places with this line. The other option is to use the Monorail which has 11 stations strategical positioned through the city.
🚕The most expensive but very convenient way to travel is to use the Grab Taxi App. Compared to the UK the taxi rates are ridiculously cheap, but they do soon start to add up.
Getting to and from Kuala Lumpur International Airport ✈️
Depending on where you are flying from you will either land at 1 of 2 airport terminals, these are known as Klia 1 or Klia 2. Both terminals have the Klia Eskpres running through them. This is the train line which will take you directly into the city centre.
The second option you have is to take a taxi. The journey normally takes 45 minutes – 1 hour to get from the city to the airport. The journey will be slightly increased if you are coming from the north side of the city. From the city centre a taxi to the airport will cost you £15-£20.
That’s it folks! We hope our Kuala Lumpur Itinerary has helped to plan your time in this city slightly better. If you are are sticking around in Malaysia, check out the Cameroon Highlands next!