An abundance of religious buildings can be found in Kuala Lumpur, as Malaysia’s population practices a variety of religions, such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. The city centre offers a diverse range of sightseeing opportunities with majestic mosques, Catholic churches, Buddhist temples, and Hindu shrines coexisting harmoniously alongside KL’s gleaming skyscrapers and contemporary architecture.
Most of these impressive religious buildings in KL are more than 100-years-old, featuring intricate Persian, Chinese, Indian, and Victorian-style edifices with imported materials such as precious stones, gold, and marble. Hailed as some of the most iconic landmarks in Kuala Lumpur, anyone visiting the capital should make for these 10 top picks.
Masjid Negara (National Mosque)Jalan Perdana
Located within the Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, Masjid Negara (National Mosque) is well-regarded as the nationwide symbol of Islam. This blue-hued building was built in 1965, comprising a main prayer hall with 48 smaller domes, a 73-metre-high minaret and a 16-pointed star concrete main roof. Contemporary interpretations of traditional Islamic art and calligraphy, abstract shapes and geometric lattice are incorporated into its roofing and ironworks, while the walls of the Grand Hall are beautifully adorned with verses from the Koran. As Masjid Negara is a holy place for KL’s Muslim community, visitors are required to dress appropriately and remove their shoes before entering the vicinity. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Saturday – Thursday 09:00 – 23:00, Friday 02:45 – 18:00
- Location: Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2693 7784
Thean Hou TempleOff Jalan Syed Putra
Another must-visit religious building in KL is Thean Hou Temple, one of the oldest and largest temples in Southeast Asia. Situated along Jalan Klang Lama Road, the six-tiered Buddhist temple is also known as the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven and commemorates Tian Hou, a goddess said to protect fishermen as well as Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Built in 1894, Thean Hou Temple features contemporary architectural styles and traditional designs with intricate embellishments, ornate carvings, and hand-painted murals. This iconic temple also houses a Chinese medicinal herb garden, tortoise pond, well, and a sacred Bodhi tree. To get there, take the LRT train to the Tun Sambanthan stop and Thean Hou Temple is accessible via an overhead bridge. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00 - 18:00
- Address: 65 Persiaran Endah, Off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2274 7088
Chan See Shu Yuen TempleJalan Petaling
Chan See Shu Yuen Temple, built between 1897 and 1906, serves a dual function as both a shrine and a community centre in Kuala Lumpur. Originally built as a kongsi (clan house) for the Chan, Chen or Tan families, this intricate temple is easily distinguished by its open courtyard, carved roof, gables, and terracotta friezes with Chinese history and mythological scenes. The main temple’s interior is fitted with bold red pillars with scenes of gold-painted warriors battling lions, dragons and other mythical creatures. Easily accessible via LRT, Chan See Shu Yuen Temple is a 15-minute walk from the Pasar Seni LRT train station (only a 15-minute walk from the station). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 18:00
- Location: Southern end of Jalan Petaling
Situated approximately 45 minutes from KL city centre, the Putra Mosque is arguably Putrajaya's most distinctive landmark and one of the most stunning contemporary mosques in the world. Facing the scenic Putrajaya Lake, the mosque is heavily inspired by the Persian Islamic architecture of the Safavid period with rose-tinted granite and elements derived from Malaysian, Persian and Arab-Islamic designs. One of the mosque’s design highlights is its 116-metre tall minaret with five tiers that represent the Five Pillars of Islam. Putra Mosque is easily accessible via the ERL Transit train, disembark at the Putrajaya station and the mosque is a 10-minute taxi ride away. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:30 – 18:00
- Address: Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 8888 5678
Sri Mahamariamman TempleJalan Tun H. S. Lee
Sri Mahamariamman Temple, situated near KL Sentral, is the oldest and richest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur. Adorned with beautifully preserved Spanish and Italian tiles, precious stones and gold in its design, this temple is sandwiched between two Buddhist temples at the edge of Chinatown and is accessible within a three-minute walk from Petaling Street. Great for interesting photo opportunities, the five tiers at the entrance gate of Sri Mahamariamman Temple feature intricate carvings of 228 Hindu idols frozen in dozens of scenes from the Ramayana epic while the interior are decorated with beautiful hand-painted motifs depicting stories from early Hinduism. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 21:00
- Address: 163, Jalan Tun H. S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2078 3467
Kuan Ti TempleJalan Tun H. S. Lee
Also a three-minute walk from Petaling Street in Chinatown KL is Kuan Ti Temple, a121 year-old Taoist shrine dedicated to Guan Di, the Taoist God of War and Literature. Easily recognisable due to its bright orange façade, the establishment is home to replicas of Guandi’s weapons, a famous sword (guan dao) and spear (guan jie). Taoist devotees believe that that they will be blessed if they ‘touch’ or ‘lift’ the 59kg copper guan dao. Colourful dragons are coiled around the two main pillars in the temple while the massive wooden and gold-painted statue of Guan Di is flanked by carved imagery of his godson Guan Ping and bearer Zhou Cang. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 19:00
- Location: Along Jalan Tun H. S. Lee
Sri KandaswamyKovil Hindu TempleLorong Scott
Built in 1902, Sri KondaswamyKovil Hindu Temple is a colourful shrine in Brickfields, Little India. Dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Muruga, the temple hosts a pavilion and lotus pond with a number of peacocks wandering through the main courtyard. As one of the most orthodox Hindu temples in Malaysia, photography is strictly prohibited inside temple grounds. However, visitors can take stunning shots of its ornate entrance gate which devotees believe to be the threshold between the material and spiritual world. Well-regarded as Sri Kondaswamy Kovil Hindu Temple’s most impressive feature, the ‘gopuram’ (entrance gate) is embellished with intricate carvings of hundreds of Hindu deity statues.
- Opening Hours: Daily 05:30 – 07:00, 11:30 – 13:00 & 17:00 – 21:30
- Address: 3, Lorong Scott, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2274 2987
Sin Sze Si Ya TempleJalan Tun HS Lee
Well-regarded as the oldest Taoist temple in Kuala Lumpur, Sin Sze Si Ya Temple also serves as a cultural centre for the city’s Chinese community, especially during festivals such as Chinese New Year. It was built in 1864 by Yap Ah Loy and dedicated to patron deities Sin Sze Ya and Si Sze Ya. Comprising a main prayer hall and two smaller side halls, the temple grounds host open-air pavilions where devotees light incense and joss sticks. A unique practise here is crawling under a table right in front of statues of Sin Sze Ye and Sze Ye to help lessen mortal burdens. Devotees also believe that circling the temple’s main altar three times will bring good fortune. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 20:00
- Address: 113A Jalan Tun HS Lee, 14A Leboh Pudu, Kuala Lumpur
Kuan Yin TempleChinatown
Kuan Yin Temple is a venerable and refined Buddhist shrine in Kuala Lumpur, honouring the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin, with simple yet dignified architecture. Set within Chinatown Kuala Lumpur, the temple is only a one-minute walk from the Maharajalela monorail station. Kuan Yin Temple features distinctly Chinese and European baroque architecture, with plenty of stalls selling traditional prayer items such as joss sticks and candles. A must-visit religious building in the city centre, the tranquil temple is home to three golden Chinese Buddhist statues in the main prayer hall, namely Shakyamuni (Gautama Buddha), South Sea Guanyin, and Qianshou (Thousand Arm Goddess of Mercy). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 17:00
- Address: Jalan Stadium and Jalan Maharajalela, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Holy Rosary ChurchJalan Tun Sambanthan
Holy Rosary Church, built in 1904, is beautiful Neo-Gothic style structure which caters to the city’s Chinese Catholic community. Accessible within a 10-minte walk from the Kuala Lumpur KTM train station, it is one of the few well-preserved religious buildings in KL after the end of World War II. Standing out against the countless modern-style buildings nearby the vicinity, the church was blessed by French missionary Father Francis Emile Terrien and is adorned with European-style features such as stained glass windows, a pointed arch, ribbed vault, and flying buttress. Do note however, that Holy Rosary Church is only open for mass during weekends and visitors are only allowed photograph the church’s all-white exterior. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Saturday 17:00 – 21:00, Sunday 08:30 – 12:00
- Address: 10, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2274 2747