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Kuala Lumpur

A city where glitzy skyscrapers meet hawker-style street markets, Kuala Lumpur is so much more than just a layover. Wander through street stalls and sample neon coloured-dragon fruit, visit one of Malaysia’s sparkly, mega malls or spend the afternoon drinking cocktails on top of a helipad. KL is definitely one for the bucket list. Use our Kuala Lumpur travel guide to help plan your Malaysian adventure.

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Places to stay

There’s no shortage of accommodation in Kuala Lumpur. While many hotels are designed for business travellers, quirky Airbnbs, hostels and super-glam hotels can be found scattered through the city. Stay in the Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur for affordable deluxe suites a few minutes from KL’s best eateries and bars. Budget travellers may wish to opt for a hostel in the heart of atmospheric Chinatown.

For those who prefer living the high life, book a room at the St Regis Kuala Lumpur for old-school Hollywood glamour complete with lake views.

Things to do

Because KL is a cultural mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian communities, the best thing to do in the city is to eat to experience the diversity of these cuisines. Think doughy roti dipped in thick curries, long chewy noodles submerged in spicy laksa or freshly steamed dumplings dipped in chilli. It’s foodie heaven.

In between meals, head to Kuala Lumpur’s famous Central Market and barter for clothes, handicrafts and art, then make your way to Marini's on 57 (bookings are recommended) and watch the sunset between the Petrona Towers.

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Where to go

Discover more restaurants to dine at in KL Seafood laksa

Food and drink

If you love hawker-style street food, KL is the place for you. Head to Petaling Jalang in Chinatown and get your mouth around fried noodles or Portuguese grilled fish. You’ll also find the quaint Old China Café in China Town. Popular with expats and locals alike it serves up some of the best traditional Nonya style cuisine in the city. 

There’s also French food. TopShelf restaurant slings authentic French cuisine, with classics like foi gras and some very agreeable desserts.

Discover more restaurants to dine at in KL
Discover unique places to shop in KL KL skyline

Shopping

The second-best thing to do while in KL is shop. The city is chock-a-block full of shiny, airconditioned mega-malls. You can spend days perusing Pavilion KL, Suria KLCC and Mid Valley Megamall for designer items.

If you’re after some cool one-off pieces from a local designer head to Bangsar and Publika. Shiny souvenirs, homewares and art can be found at Central Market. 

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Getting around

From the airport: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is Malaysia’s main International airport. There's taxi and bus services available at the main terminal building to help travellers move on to their next destination. For fast transfer between terminals use the ERL train services.

In and around the city: you can easily and freely get around much of central Kuala Lumpur through a combination of rail and monorail services or walking around the city. If you need catch a cab, gently remind the driver to turn on the meter, alternatively order an Uber.

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