They say the best things in life are free and if you are looking for a fun way to spend your day but have got no cash to splash, we suggest you take advantage of our fun and free guide to happenings around Kuala Lumpur. When deciding which places should make the list, we thought of those of you who want to explore the city on a very strict budget and decided to put in a mix of great no-charge deals: from museums and movie screenings to free food and wine tastings.
Determined to keep your calendar booked solid, we have got you covered and the only thing you will be short of is free time to hit all these spots, so be sure to arrange your schedule well when you are in KL!
- Half-Day City Highlights Tour
- Best City Highlights Half-Day Tour
- City Tour After Dark with Dinner
- Private Traditional Cooking Lesson
- Private Half-Day City Heritage Tour with Lunch
- Heritage Buildings & Icon of City Tour
- Private Night Heritage Trails
- Guided Perdana Botanical Gardens Tour
- Evening Street Food Walking Shared Tour
- Private City Street Eats Evening Tour of Chinatown
A glass of wine can still cost a lot in Kuala Lumpur but there is one place where you can get it for free – Cronier Wines at The One Avenue, Dataran Pelangi. With its 300-plus years of expertise as a wine distributor, Cronier Wines is a great place to immerse yourself in viniculture, broaden your know-how on South African wines and talk with some interesting people.
As limited space is available, take note that advance reservations are required for this free weekly wine tasting session, which happens every Friday from 17:00 – 18:00.
- Opening Hours: Friday 17:00 – 18:00
- Address: 5-6 The One Avenue, Dataran Pelangi Utama, PJU 6A, Jalan Masjid, 47400 Petaling Jaya
- Tel: +603 7722 2252 or +6014 965 1037
A host of pleasant surprises await you at the PETRONAS Art Gallery, a free-entry museum in Suria KLCC. Home to over 1,000 local and international, traditional and contemporary works of art ranging from paintings and photographs to costumes and crafts, the gallery is an unpretentious yet elegant and brightly-lit space.
Established in 1993 to support the development of arts in the country, the non-profit gallery has a programme of changing art, craft and design exhibitions so each visit to the gallery offers a distinctly different experience. Also called the Galeri PETRONAS, we love the fact that the place hosts themed exhibitions; the closer attention you pay to these special pieces, the more obvious that attention to detail is evident. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 20:00 Tuesday – Sunday
- Address: Lot 341 – 343, Level 3, Suria KLCC, PETRONAS Twin Towers
- Tel: +603 2051 7770
It’s the weekend and you are pinching pennies, bored and hotel-bound. What to do when all the happening clubs in the city charge an entry fee – or do they? Well, in KL there are quite a few places that do not charge you a dime – hosting free-entry nights, a small number of these places even offer drinks on the house.
Some examples include Sky Bar at Traders Hotel (with fantastic Happy Hour promotions from 11:00 – 23:00) and Zeta Bar at Hilton KL which offer free entry no matter what day of the week you visit. Meanwhile, Frangipani offers free entry on Saturday nights and two cocktails for the price of one from 22:00 – 24:00, or you can opt to visit The Establishment whenever it rains for a free glass of beer.
From 07:00 – 10:00 every Sunday, roads at Publika, Solaris Dutamas are closed to cars, allowing families to cycle, skate and jog in a safe and clean environment. Called Wheelie Sunday, the event is the perfect activity for the whole family as you can just show up at The Square at Publika to get free bicycle rides (they even have tandem bicycles!), which means no need to bring your own set of wheels.
The 1.2km loop along Publika’s main roads is also a great way to meet people but if you are looking for something a little more strenuous, you can take part in the aerobics class at The Square to get your adrenaline pumping.
- Opening Hours: Sunday 07:00 – 10:00
- Location: The Square, Publika
Movie nights are pretty popular in Kuala Lumpur, with local brand theatres such as Golden Screen Cinemas and Tanjong Golden Village taking up the lion’s share of audience numbers. However, KL is also home to some pretty unique free film experiences.
Moontree House nearby Petaling Street, Chinatown has a free movie night on Sunday from 18:30 – 21:00, where they showcase feminist-oriented big screen titles. However, we are big fans of The Stage, Publika’s open-air ‘theatre’ which takes place on Monday nights. They play Malaysian and regional films, in English or with English subtitles: we loved the classic Dickens-theme and Japanese film screenings that have been screened in the past.
Located approximately 11km to the north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. What many people do not realise is that it has also been the centre of rock climbing development in Malaysia for over 10 years. Offering more than 160 climbing routes scattered all over the 150m limestone hill face, it has free access to the crags and some are easily within reach from ground level, making it a great spot for non-experts.
Early in the day, the atmosphere is charged with lots of people staking out a claim for specific areas of the hill – we suggest you arrive early to pick just the right area to rock climb for your level of expertise. The hillside is safe with many routes available, making it great for those who want simple climbs as well as those looking for a greater challenge. You have to bring your own gear (unless you join a tour outfit), but the open-air feel makes climbing here an absolute pleasure.
Register for free with Open Rice and you will get to tag along when they do free food tasting sessions, a weekly event called Makan Ventures, at some of Kuala Lumpur’s best restaurants. You will have to jump through a few small hoops to qualify: first you will have to become an Open Rice member and submit a personal food review to qualify for Makan Ventures.
Next, scroll through their next Makan Venture event listing, sign up for it and they will confirm if you have been selected via email. One thing to note though – you will have to share your food experience on the Open Rice website or on your personal blog afterwards, but that is a small price to pay for a free meal.