Morning: See KL’s Iconic Landmarks
After arriving and checking in, your first day in Kuala Lumpur is best spent exploring the city centre as it is home to many picturesque landmarks. Make sure you visit the city’s iconic structures, such as the Petronas Twin Towers (hailed as the tallest twin structures in the world), Aquaria KLCC, Menara KL Tower, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, and the National Museum.
Afternoon: Bargain-hunting in Street Markets
Kuala Lumpur’s shopping scene is well-regarded as a massive ‘one-stop souvenir shop for everything’, and Central Market is one of the most popular flea markets in the city. Built in 1928, the blue-hued building houses several art galleries, handicraft and souvenir stalls, as well as boutiques selling authentic Malaysian batik prints and local artwork. Just a five-minute walk away from Central Market is the ever-bustling Petaling Street in Chinatown Kuala Lumpur, where you can purchase handicrafts, accessories, and apparel at dirt-cheap prices.
Evening: Enjoy KL’s Diverse Dining Scene
After the sun sets in Kuala Lumpur, make your way to Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang for a gastronomic experience of Asian delicacies and local hawker fare. This five-foot walkway is filled with rows of air-conditioned restaurants and hawker stalls, with plenty of plastic tables and chairs spilling out onto the road. There’s also plenty of stylish restaurants and bistros serving authentic Asian, western, and European cuisine, as well as extensive alcoholic offerings.
Night: Party with the Locals All Night Long
No trip to Kuala Lumpur is complete without experiencing its vibrant nightlife scene, and Changkat Bukit Bintang is the city’s most popular nightlife boulevard. Just a five-minute walk from Jalan Alor, expect plenty of international two-storey restobars, snazzy nightclubs, cocktail lounges, whisky bars, and lively Irish pubs. Standout establishments here include Pisco Bar, Havana Grill, and Healy Mac’s Irish Pub.
Full Day Trip to Temples and Wildlife Sanctuaries
In the morning, visit Batu Caves and spend the day admiring the colourful Indian temples and architecture. Situated about 30 minutes from KL city centre, the main temple sits within a massive limestone cave where you have to climb a total of 272 steps to reach it. Near the entrance is a towering golden statue of Lord Muruga, which is the tallest statue of a Hindu deity in Malaysia.
We also highly recommend animal lovers to book a day tour to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, a wildlife conservation centre (situated about two hours from KL) that allows visitors to feed rehabilitated elephants and enjoy entertaining elephant shows. If you prefer staying within the city, the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is a covered bird park that’s home over 3,000 birds from 200 species all over the world.
Evening: Explore KL’s Shopping Centres
Most of Kuala Lumpur’s major shopping centres are concentrated within Bukit Bintang, housing onsite restaurants, entertainment centres, and even weekly street markets. Standout retail venues include Pavilion KL, Starhill Gallery, and Farenheit88, where you can find mid-range and high end brands such as Topshop, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, and Coach. Refined restaurants, bistros, and cafes serving quality Asian and European fare are also set within close proximity to these shopping centres.
Night: Drinks with a Great View at Swanky Rooftop Bars
Finally, celebrate your two-day stopover in Kuala Lumpur at any one of the city’s glitzy rooftop bars such as Sky Bar, Troika Sky Dining, and Heli Lounge Bar. Serving a wide variety of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails, these nightlife spots features an impressive line-up of international DJs, fun-loving crowds, and breathtaking night views of the Petronas Twin Towers and KL city centre.
Deciding where to stay in Kuala Lumpur can be a daunting task for first-time visitors, so we’ve included an extensive inventory of hotels for your convenience. Kuala Lumpur hotels are plentiful, ranging from charming backpacker inns and guesthouses to quirky boutique hotels and international hotel chains. Catering to travellers of various budget levels and preferences, these hotels are categorised according to popularity, location, budget, and preference.