There’s something about exploring a city’s nightlife that offers a completely different experience, oftentimes exhilarating or even enigmatic.
However, without an experienced guide, you won’t really get to enjoy KL’s nightlife to the fullest just like a local does.
So, what are the best things to do at night in Kuala Lumpur?
To make sure that you’ll get the most out of KL’s nightlife during your stay here, I’ve made a list of some of the local hot spots not to be missed!
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Places to go if… you want to pick up local singles
If you’re looking for the best places to meet singles in KL, the first stop would be visiting nightclubs.
At some places, it’s advisable to call and book before going to the nightclub, as they might be closed for private functions or they might have early bird promos you can take advantage of.
For the list of the best nightclubs in KL (complete with contact and address), you should check out my guide to the best places to party in KL.
Bars and Pubs
If you think visiting a noisy club isn’t your thing and prefer quality time getting to know someone, bars are the best bet to meet singles. Here’s a list of famous bars that are often packed with local singles:
- Havana Bar & Grill at Changkat: Famous for its al-fresco setting and easy-mixing crowd. Havana boasts daily happy hour promos for drinks. It’s especially packed on weekends and tends to be busiest around midnight for a couple of hours.
- Zeta Bar at the Hilton: As one of the few spots that feature a live international band, expect to spot a few expats hanging out here as well.
- Iron Fairies at TREC KL: This is usually packed with ladies, due to its ‘fantasy’ fairytale-like decor. The best days to go might be Wednesdays and Thursdays, as these are the ladies’ nights (free-flow promotional cocktails and RM10 wine). However, it’s also really busy on weekends and is a really cool place for a drink and a mingle.
Looking to pick up singles within the LGBT community in KL? Here are discreet yet happening spots you should check out:
- BlueBoy Discotheque at Bukit Bintang: Filled with a great mix of both local and expat singles, BlueBoy for being one of the best places for drag shows in KL. Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular and the crowd usually comes in after 10pm.
- The Geytherin Pub at Wisma Cosway, Jalan Raja Chulan: This karaoke bar quickly became one of the most popular hangout places in the LGBT community in KL.
Places to go if you… want to have a romantic night as a couple
Movie dates…with a twist
Enjoy a movie date over your favorite drinks at Pisco Movie Night that usually happens on Tuesdays, offering a mixed genre from international blockbusters to award-winning titles.
If you’re into ‘arthouse’ kind of films that aren’t shown in cinemas (accompanied by drinks in a cozy environment), Cinephilia will make a memorable movie date.
Dinner Date with unique local delicacies
Make dinner dates memorable by indulging yourselves in some local specialties, with plenty of ambiance to set the mood.
Here’s a list of dining spots serving up the best local delicacies ‘love birds’ must-try:
- Isabel Restaurant and Bar at Bukit Bintang
- Qureshi at Bukit Kiara
- Opium KL at Changkat
- Bijan Bar & Restaurant at Jalan Raja Chulan
By the way, if you want to try some great local food that will cost only a fraction of the places I’ve listed above, take a look at Wanjo Nasi Lemak which is unbelievably good value and delicious… but not very romantic!
Places to go if you… want to have a night view of the city
Located on the 33rd floor of Traders Hotel KL, Sky Bar has its own resident DJs. It’s suitable for those looking for a night of partying accompanied by the best view in town.
Troika Sky Dining
Looking for more of a classy outing rather than a party? This spot will be perfect for you.
It has 2 fine dining sections and a wine bar that will leave you spoilt for choice.
Located on the 23rd level, you’ll be treated to one of KL’s best views accompanied by a lavish dining experience.
Marini’s on 57
As the name suggests, it’s located on the 57th floor.
Adjacent to Suria KLCC, this spot is suitable for any occasion with 3 sections: a dining area, a bar, and a chill lounge.
Really nice place.
The winner is Atmosphere 360, as it’s located 282m above ground level at the tallest building in Southeast Asia – KL Tower.
Another unique feature is that it’s a revolving restaurant. Imagine dining and drinking while the view changes gradually over time. It’s pretty cool.
Places to go if you… like arts and performances
Famous for its live jazz performances, this piano bar is comprised of 2 floors: downstairs is the restaurant, while upstairs is the live performance area.
Please try Bobo KL’s Duck Confit dish if you’re at the restaurant, it’s highly recommended!
Art & Bonding
Love painting? Love drinking wine? Why not both!
With different themes almost every day of the week, this experience is bound to create lasting funny moments as well as camaraderie among you and your friends.
Best of all, you get to bring home a souvenir of your own ‘drunk’ painting!
Crackhouse Comedy Club
Hailed as Malaysia’s first & longest running comedy club, Crackhouse offers a range of shows on a nightly basis featuring both seasoned and new comedians.
If you’re looking for experienced comedians, Fridays and Saturdays (RM40 per entry) is when you’ll want to go.
If you’re just curious for a free look, go on a Tuesday night where untested comedians do their best to crack funnies for the crowd.
Places to go if you… want bars with cheap drinks
With beers in mugs and bottles starting from RM15 onwards, this is one of the popular spots within Hartamas that not only brags the best drinks… but also signature pizzas (must-try)!
Popular for serving ‘frozen’ Carlsberg beer that costs only RM10.95 per mug, this bar also serves fusion food. Don’s Homemade Meatballs is definitely a must-try here!
With prices as low as RM7 for a mug of beer, it’s no surprise that this is a popular spot for locals for affordable beers.
It usually gets super crowded on weekends!
Places to go if you… want to discover hidden bars even most locals don’t know about
This bar is hidden behind a vending machine!
A famous spot for young hipsters and influencers, this is one of the most happening hidden bars around.
However, if you’re into a more mature and sophisticated crowd, perhaps it’s not really your scene. To enter, look for a vending machine with an astronaut poster above it.
Omakase + Appreciate
As the name suggests, this bar serves drinks the “Omakase” way: whereby the bartender decides your drinks based on his perception of you.
To get in, simply look for the “Dilarang Masuk” sign.
Hailed as the one and only Kingsman-inspired restaurants and bars, this spot is exactly how the movie depicted it: a high-end tailor suit boutique with a secret door as the entrance.
How do you locate the hidden secret door?
Just look for the red hat on the shelf.
This hidden club in Publika is one of the most obscure and exclusive bars – so exclusive, only ‘chosen’ ones can get in.
Not only that, but most nights are also reserved for VIP members only. To be considered one of the ‘chosen ones’, you’ll have to go through a screening test!
Final word – KL’s nightlife overview
KL’s nightlife is not really like any other place, as the city literally never sleeps. Personally, even after spending in Malaysia, I still find that KL’s nightlife never ceases to amaze me.
Here are some FAQs for a better overview of KL’s nightlife:
Q. Is KL safe at night?
A. The streets of KL are generally safe at night. However, it’s always good to be cautious in busy places like clubs and bars as pickpockets might be lurking in the crowd.
If you’d like to know more about KL’s safety and how to avoid being scammed or a victim of theft, check out my other article ‘Is Kuala Lumpur safe for tourists?’
Q. What is the best time to enjoy KL’s nightlife?
A. If it’s for dinner, anytime between 7pm – 9pm would be a good time. If it’s for bar hopping, anytime between 8-11pm would be great as that’s when locals usually start going for drinks.
If you’re going to the club, it’s advisable to go around 11pm onwards as that’s when the crowd starts. Anytime before that and you’ll have more dance floor space than people.
Q. What should I do during the day?
A. Check out my previous article on 36 interesting and unique ideas for things to do in KL.
Q. Are there dress codes for nightlife activities in KL?
A. It depends on the location. However, to be safe, always wear long pants and covered shoes (no flip flops) then you’ll be guaranteed access to any spot in town, from the casual to the lavish.
For ladies, a little black dress never fails!
Hopefully, this article is helpful in your itinerary planning. All the best and may your nocturnal life in KL be memorable.
Safe travels! ✌🏼