Batu Caves Temple
Before you begin exploring the places of interest in Kuala Lumpur city center, take a half day trip from KL to the famous Batu Caves. The caves were formed in the limestone hills millions of years ago, but in the year 1890 a sacred statue of Sri Murugan Swami was erected in the cave. Today, that cave is called Temple Cave and – being just a short trip from KL – it is visited by people of all faiths and as a pilgrimage journey by Hindus.
As one of the best places to visit near Kuala Lumpur, there are several things to see at the caves. Below the cave entrance is a gigantic golden statue of Lord Murugan, to whom the Batu Caves temple is dedicated. The statue is 140-feet-tall and reigns as the world’s tallest Murugan statue. Near the base of the statue is the staircase – of 272 steps – that leads up to the cave entrance. In addition to the worshipers and visitors that climb the steps, local long-tailed macaque monkeys scamper up and down the stairs and along the railings – take a break from the steep incline to catch your breath and watch the cheeky monkeys (but don’t feed them!).
Inside the massive caves, several shrines line the rock walls. During our visit, we witnessed a special blessing at the temple. Visitors are free to explore the depths of the cave and the various religious icons and natural cave formations. Adventurous travelers can book abseiling and spelunking trips with tour companies who can organize Kuala Lumpur excursions.
The iconic Petronas Towers are one of the top places to visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – and should be on every KL trip itinerary! Also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, the skyscrapers ranked as the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 until 2004, when their height of 1,483 feet was surpassed by the Taipei 101 building. (The Petronas Towers still currently hold the title of Worlds Tallest Twin Towers). The 88-story towers mimic Islamic art forms (even though Malaysia is a multicultural country, more than 60% of the population is Muslim). The Skybridge, a double-decker bridge, connects the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors. Both towers are used for office space, but at the base of the towers is the upscale shopping mall, Suria KLCC, and the Petronas Philharmonic Concert Hall.
Visitors can ascend the towers to the 41st story Skybridge and the 86th floor observation deck. Petronas Tower tickets are sold in person the day of the visit and online. Due to the popularity of the Petronas Towers, only a limited number of tickets are sold each day and queues can be quite long. Visitors short on time should consider buying Skip the Line tickets in advance, which include interactive displays detailing information about the towers and stops at viewpoints on both the Skybridge and 86th floor observation deck.
As one of the top attractions in Kuala Lumpur, you will want to make sure you get the perfect photo of Petronas Towers. The best spots for pictures are from the end of the fountains on the northwest side of the buildings and from the KLCC Park on the southeast side of the towers.
Symphony Fountain Lightshow
Situated on the southeast side of the Petronas Towers is a city center green space, KLCC Park. The 50-acre garden features tropical foliage, more than 1km of walking trails and a man-made pond, Symphony Lake. At the lake’s edge, just opposite the entrance to Suria KLCC, fountains spray water is a dazzling display – with the largest fountain able to spout water to the height of 350 feet. At night, the fountains are accompanied by music and lights in an incredible water show. Note: Special shows occur at 8:00pm, 9:00pm and 10:00pm.
The Kuala Lumpur Tower (Menara Kuala Lumpur) is a communications tower…and an entertainment hub. Completed in 1995, the KL Tower is the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world (standing at 421m) and provides the highest public viewing platform in the city. It only takes 54 seconds for the elevator to transport visitors from the base to the 360-degree city view. Book your ticket in advance with Viator!
In addition to the observation decks, other tower attractions include the Atmosphere 360 revolving restaurant, cultural shows, a mini zoo, the Blue Coral Aquarium, the Upside Down House, the F1 Experience, shops and a forest park. At night, the tower lights can be seen from afar and multiple times after dark, the tower glows in a spectrum of colors in a synchronized light show.
KL Forest EcoPark
The KL Tower was built in the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve – where nature still reigns despite the modern marvel rising above it. In fact, a rare 100-year-old Jelutong Tree stands alongside the tower in a protective enclosure; the tower had to be built a few feet from where it was originally planned in order to accommodate the tree (at the cost of more than $100,000 USD). The tropical rainforest was designated a reserve in 1906 and is home to endangered plant species, birds and monkeys. Walking paths allow nature lovers the opportunity to walk through the city-center tropical rainforest – and a Canopy Walk lets visitors get a view from the treetops.
Bukit Bintang Malls
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur: Housing a variety of stores, shoppers will find international luxury brands, like Hermes, Gucci, and Prada.
Lot 10: Recently redeveloped, visitors will find popular clothing stores, such as Zara and H&M.
Low Yat Plaza: The entire multi-level mall is dedicated to gadgets; a tech geek paradise.
Sungei Wang Plaza: Bukit Bintang’s oldest mall offers merchandise for budget shoppers.
Starhill Gallery: This is Kuala Lumpur’s most glamorous mall, with a Louis Vuitton flagship store.
Berjaya Times Square: One of the largest shopping malls in the world…with Malaysia’s largest indoor theme park occupies the upper floors (yes, including roller coasters). Top Tip: This is one of the favorite kids attractions in Kuala Lumpur.