Kuala Lumpur is a spectacular city full of diverse foods, glamorous shopping, and endless activities! You get a little bit of Asian culture, but not overwhelming. If you’re traveling the world and need a comfortable place to take a break and relax – this is a perfect stop! My husband and I spent a month here with our three young children (ages 7, 6, and 2) between Thailand and Indonesia. We went to Kuala Lumpur without doing any research or planning, so it was fun to explore and discover with open minds.
While the public transportation seemed efficient, we relied almost completely on Uber. Ubers in Malaysia (and most parts of Asia, actually) are SUPER inexpensive and so much more comfortable than a taxi. You could ride to the opposite side of the city for less than $5USD in an Uber!
Here’s a list of our top 5 favorite things to do in Kuala Lumpur:
1. Batu Caves
You can’t go to Kuala Lumpur and miss out on this – you have to see it in person to appreciate it!
From the parking lot, you will see the world’s tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu God! You can’t miss it – it is unbelievable! Behind him, you’ll catch sight of the million stairs! There’s a slight exaggeration here, but not much. 😉 Before you start the hike to the caves, the ladies are asked to wear a shawl to cover any immodesty. (They offer some to rent for a reasonable price.) Remember this place is a very sacred place to Hindus, so be respectful to their beliefs.
While making the climb, you’ll be surrounded with dozens of small monkeys! They are mostly harmless as long as you’re smart and cautious. Some visitors were even feeding them out of their hands. Yuck! I wasn’t about to risk getting bit or catch some nasty disease, so we stood back and took pictures. They sure were cute, though! By the way, I highly recommend bringing a COLD water bottle!!! With the heat and humidity, the climb is not for the weak.
When you finally reach the caves, you’ll see Hindu shrines, paintings, and temples. It is incredible! Catch your breath, walk around, bask in the beauty, and take pictures. I’ve heard of some people even participating in a Hindu blessing as a guest. We didn’t get to do this, but would have loved to given the opportunity. We learned that the Batu Caves is the most popular Hindu shrine outside of India!
2. Petronas Towers
I wasn’t expecting much from this tour, but it ended up being great and the kids loved it! They only sell 1,000 tickets per day for the tour, so I absolutely recommend buying them online (http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my/tickets) and plan around your scheduled tour time. We didn’t know this at the time, so we arrived around 9-10am and ended up getting tickets for an afternoon tour, leaving us waiting for several hours. It all worked out, though, because there is a mall right next door to the towers, so we hung out there until our assigned time.
Each tour group contains only 15-20 people, so it never felt crowded, which is so nice. They first take you up an elevator to the 42nd floor, which is the skybridge that connects the two towers! You’re allowed 15 minutes here, which is plenty of time to take it all in and get some good pictures.
After the 15 minutes on the skybridge, they take you on a different elevator to the 86th floor observation deck, where you’ll have 20 minutes to enjoy! I’m extremely scared of heights, but the unbelievable view made me forget my fears. It is incredible!! The creative design of the building results in some interesting nooks and crannies to have fun with taking pictures. There is also plenty of seating available on this floor.
My kids not only enjoyed the amazing views, but they learned a lot about the highest towers in the world. At some point during the tour, there is a picture showing the tallest towers in the world and how they each compare to one another. That was fun to study and learn with them. Overall, we were very impressed with the organization of the one-hour tour and the knowledgeable staff. Loved it!
3. Sunway Lagoon
Imagine an amusement park, waterpark, and zoo all in one…and THAT is Sunway Lagoon! We loved it so much that we went a second time during our one month visit in Kuala Lumpur. It is about a 30 minute drive outside of Kuala Lumpur – we took an Uber and it only cost $7.10USD – that even included the tolls!
Every single part of this park is impressive! Both times we went, there were NO crowds – absolutely no lines!! We went in February, which is when they’re celebrating Chinese New Year, so maybe that’s why it was so slow.
We started at the amusement park and they have rides for all ages. Their biggest roller coaster probably doesn’t compare to the overwhelming thrill rides you’ll find at Six Flags, but it was fun! Their height restrictions aren’t as strict as American amusement parks, so my big kids had access to almost every ride. They even have extreme sport rides like kayaking, an ATV course, and a zipline! For an extra fee, you can even go bungee jumping! This park has it all!
Next, we headed to the waterpark and it was a blast!! It has a wave pool, toddler playgrounds, pools, hot tubs, and TONS of different slides! My big kids (ages 6 and 7) were able to ride most of the slides as long as we were with them, which was awesome! The water playgrounds were great for the kids, too, especially my little 2-year old. Then there were a few thrill rides that us adults took turns going on. We spent hours at the waterpark!
The wildlife park was like a zoo! They had wild animals of all shapes and sizes. My favorite part was the petting zoo, where we got in the cage with giant tortoises and fed them pieces of lettuce! These guys were as big as my kids and we were all walking around them as they snap lettuce right out of our hands! It was awesome! My kids also got to hand feed rabbits and gerbils. We loved the petting zoo!
I wish they had parks like this in the US. If they do and you know about it, please share. If you go see for yourself you’ll see why this is one of our favorite things to do in Kuala Lumpur!
4. Aquaria KLCC
This aquarium is great and a lot like the big aquariums you can find in the US. You’ll follow a path where you’ll see thousands of different water animals. You’ll be able to get your hands on starfish, sea cucumbers, and crabs! This aquarium also has one of those huge underwater tunnels where you’ll see turtles, sharks, and fish of all sizes swim over and around you.
Our favorite part of the aquarium was in the AquaTheater, where they were feeding giant rays! These rays were probably 6 feet long and a diver was in there feeding them right in front of us! Have your cameras ready – it was incredible!
5. Shopping Malls
You can’t miss the shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur! They’re everywhere and each of them hold their own jewels…and a large selection of restaurant choices. We always felt very safe in them, too – security guards are at almost every entrance.
If you have younger kids (ages 0-10 years), check out The Parenthood in the Sunway Putra Mall. Here, you walk through a mock neighborhood filled with shops and activites suited for your kiddos. There is even a craft section where your kids can make a little craft while you shop! You’ll also find a huge playland, which was a family favorite!
Something else worth seeing is the Times Square Theme Park in the Berjaya Times Square Hotel Mall. This is Malaysia’s largest indoor amusement park and it has rides for all ages! The big roller coaster was a too scary for my big kids (ages 6 and 7), but my husband and I had a blast taking turns going on it!
That’s all she wrote. I hope this list helps you realize that you won’t have a problem finding things to do in Kuala Lumpur!