Things to do in Kuala Lumpur – 36 interesting and unique ideas

KL tower is an interesting thing to visit in KL

KL is a vibrant and multicultural city with something for everyone.

Before jumping into the list of unique ideas (many of which only locals know), make sure you properly plan your trip by bookmarking some other articles that I’ve written to help travelers get the most out of their visit to KL:

If you’re already on top of those things, let’s dive into this list of awesome ideas to make your visit to Kuala Lumpur a trip to remember.

Places to go if you’re… a food lover 

Traders Hotel Sky Bar

If you’re looking for drinks, atmosphere and a great view, this is the place to go.

Located in the very heart of KL, the Traders Hotel Sky Bar is an upmarket bar with an infinity pool to boot.

From here, you’ll be able to see the lovely KL city skyline, and enjoy some great food from their menu, which not only includes classic local dishes like curry puffs and satay, but also bar snacks like pizza, burgers, and chicken wings. 

Dinner in the Sky KL 

Another experience and gastronomic delight combined into one, Dinner in the Sky lifts you 50 metres off the ground for a truly unique dining experience amongst the stars. 

The cooking is all done directly in front of you and it’s a small party of only 22 people – but book early because seats can run out quickly.

Dining in the Dark KL 

Much like Dinner in the Sky, Dining in the Dark is another novelty experience that you can’t miss out on when you visit Kuala Lumpur.

Through shutting off the visual sense in order to heighten your four other senses, Dining in the Dark also boasts a 4-course surprise menu that guarantees a special experience each time. 

A night market

It isn’t a complete Malaysian experience if you don’t go to a night market.

Here, you can find cheap copy clothing, delicious food, fruits, fake goods (with very interesting spellings), and if you’re lucky you might even get to try some durian.

Or perhaps that should read unlucky – durian is a very polarising fruit!

Night markets pop up everywhere, but here are a few that are particularly worth visiting:

  • Taman Connaught Night Market – takes place every Wednesday evening, with almost 700 stalls over the course of 2 kilometres.
  • Chow Kit Night Market – this is a good place to grab fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as getting some local street food and fresh meat.
  • Fiesta Nite at Mont Kiara – this is a bit of a departure from your traditional night market, as its a bit more upscale and expensive, but the quality of goods is definitely better compared to your typical night market.
  • Jalan Masjid India Market – looking for Indian clothing and food? Try here.
Chow Kit Street Markets + Kampung Baru Nasi Lemak (plus Otak-Otak)
Check out my visit to the Chow Kit night market in this video.

Jazz night at No Black Tie 

This is KL’s number one jazz club, with events happening almost every other day. With food and music combined, this is sure to be a night to remember.

Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the music from local Malaysian talent while gazing into the eyes of your loved one.

Music night at Publika The Bee 

Publika’s The Bee is more well known for showcasing up and coming talent, something that you might be interested in if you want to hear more pop or rock pieces. 

The menu is also great, serving mostly Western fare rather than local food.

Places to go if you… have kids 

Petrosains Discovery Center

This is great fun for kids, because you can experience science through a multitude of hands on experiences and interactive shows! It’s mostly a Malaysian science and technology exhibition centering around the petroleum company (Petronas). 

Petrosains Discovery Center is located in KLCC, on the 4th floor. Tickets are RM17.50 for non-Malaysian children, and RM29.70 for non-Malaysian adults. 

Kidzania

If you’re looking for a fun filled day where you can leave your kids without fear, bring them to Kidzania!

It’s a fun, immersive world for children that lets them explore occupations with hands on activities led by trained adults. You might even have fun as well.

Entrance fees differ depending on the age of your child, so check out their website before you head over there.

National Planetarium

Built on top of a hill, this architectural work of art also houses a space theatre that shows 3-D films and space shows. 

There are plenty of artifacts to interest budding astronauts, and most, if not all are related to space science. There is also a telescope in the observatory. 

Places to go if you… really want to get into the culture & religious background of KL 

Chinatown

Chinatown is located in Petaling Jaya, and is known for its vibrant street culture and iconic stalls scattered around the area. If you go, make sure to try the various types of street food on offer.

Little India

Much like Chinatown, Little India is full of Indian goods and food, and you’ll definitely know where you are when you hear the music playing.

You’ll be able to get lots of interesting souvenirs here, as well as try some unique Indian sweets and food such as barfi, laddu and imarti. 

Dataran Merdeka 

If you’re lucky enough to come around our Independence Day, you’ll be able to see lots of flags and performance practices in full swing. 

When it’s not being used as a parade ground, it’s just a lovely piece of cricket green (although not much cricket is actually played there).

Muzium Negara

For those who love to learn about other cultures, this is the place for you. The museum houses a range of artefacts of Malaysia, and provides an overview of Malaysian history. 

It also houses tableaux of traditional events such as weddings, festivals and costumes. 

National Monument 

Erected in 1966, the National Monument commemorates those who died in WW2 in the struggle for freedom, particularly during the Japanese Occupation.

It’s a great historic piece, so make sure to snap some pictures with it.

National Mosque

No matter if you’re just a tourist or a worshipper, this Mosque is beautiful by anyone’s standards. 

However, non-Muslim tourists are only allowed to visit at certain times of the day, and make sure you dress appropriately. 

Thean Hou Temple

Another religious site, this colourful temple is a must-see for any visitor. It’s noticeably bigger than most temples, and is a lot grander, with lots of intricate carvings and symbolism.

Atmosphere 360, KL Tower

A restaurant and a place to sightsee all in one, Atmosphere 360 is on top of KL Tower, a revolving restaurant.

This place can be a little pricey, but the sights are definitely worth it. 

KLCC Petronas Twin Towers

The Twin Towers are one of the most recognizable things about KL.

Located in the city center next to a ton of great shopping centres, this is a great place to spend the day, take some great photos and get some souvenirs.

You can also take your little ones up to the top of one of the towers for some views they will never forget – but be sure to book in advance because you will often be turned away if you try to go up on spot. Spaces are limited.

Places to go if you’re… a nature person 

KL Bird Park

Come to the KL Bird Park to see magnificent tropical birds in their natural habitats. Set amongst lush greenery that evokes the sensation of being in a real jungle, don’t forget to take the classic photo with real live birds sitting calmly on your hands and all around you.

KLCC Aquaria 

KLCC Aquaria is located in the city center, in KL Convention Center. With amazing displays such as giant sea turtles, shark walks, and iridescent jellyfish, there’s something here to please both adults and children, regardless of age. 

KL Butterfly Park

Want to see butterflies up close and personal? If you’re intrigued by the beauty of these insects, look no further than the KL Butterfly Park, which is the largest in the world and houses almost 5000 butterfly species.

As a bonus, the setting for these butterflies is a beautiful orchid garden, which will keep you divided on which is more beautiful- the garden or the butterflies.

Cameron Highlands

Known for their fresh produce and clean air, Cameron Highlands is probably one of the coolest (temperature-wise) places in Malaysia.

It’s not exactly in KL, it’s a couple of hours drive away – if you’re visiting in the rainy season, be careful, because it can be quite slippery.

It’s also quite famous for its fresh produce and vegetables, with luscious strawberries comparable to those from overseas.

Broga Hill

This one is quite a hike to get to, so make sure you go an hour or so before the sun rises, and wear proper shoes.

If you manage to make it to the top before the sun rises, you’ll be rewarded with a lovely view of nature and the city.

Once you climb down, you’ll be able to reward yourself with a freshly chilled coconut or even some breakfast as the stalls at the bottom of the hill open.

Zoo Negara 

Any animal lover should definitely visit the zoo, and if you get there quick, you might be able to catch a glimpse of our pandas, gifted to us by China. 

There are definitely a myriad of animals to interest you, including some tropical birds and creatures native only to Malaysia. 

Perdana Lake Gardens

This is Malaysia’s largest recreational park, located right in the city and filled with beautiful greenery. If you’re tired of looking at buildings and getting lost in the concrete jungle, try here instead.

Places to go if you’re… looking for a wardrobe change

Shopping in Bukit Bintang

Bukit Bintang is home to many amazing shops, such as high end fashion, to more affordable stores squirrelled away in corners.

Asian fashion rules here, so if you want to spice up your look, you don’t need to go any further- Pavilion and KLCC are the best places to hunt for designer brands.

Places to go if you’re… a thrill-seeker 

Sunway Lagoon

Sunway Lagoon is Malaysia’s biggest water park and theme park, so be ready to spend an entire day here.

There are roller-coasters and massive slides to please everyone, and in the adjacent Sunway Pyramid, there’s even an ice-rink for you to cool down if it gets too hot. 

Genting Resort World

Genting Resort World is for those who want to stake a little more than their lives on the line- their money.

Only those who are 21 years of age and above can enter, and those who are not of the Muslim faith.

Besides that, there are some great hotels to stay in, an amusement park, and plenty of shopping to keep you entertained. 

The views are also unmissable- wonderful greenery and mountains. 

Escape Room

If you have a group of friends or even a family of four to five people, then going to any one of the escape rooms in KL should be quite fun.

Some of the experiences can be scary, but overall quite fun. 

FRIM Canopy Walk

This is just outside KL, and is a suspended bridge walk in a lush, rainforested area. This allows you to experience a forest first hand without having to travel too far.

Changkat Street

For those who love to party, the nightlife at Changkat Street is not to be missed. There are plenty of clubs to choose from, and lots of international DJs come over to play at these clubs as well. 

Places to go if you… want something new and fresh 

Visit the Batu Caves 

These limestone caves are awe-inspiring and truly wonderful, and there is also a unique dark tour through the limestone caves to have a look at the bats. 

Petronas Philharmonic Hall

Want to listen to some of the finest classical music players in the world? Look no further than the DFP. The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra is well known around the world, and they have concerts on both weekdays and weekends. 

Make sure you grab a picture of the hall as well, which is on par with some of the best in Europe. 

Royal Selangor Visitor Center 

The home of our production of pewter goods, the Royal Selangor company has also recently partnered together with Star Wars to produce figurines based off popular characters from the movies, so get ready to unleash your inner nerd and try to collect all of these.

Selfie Museum

These are a relatively new phenomenon, but will give your Instagram feed tons of material for months to come. The KL Selfie Museum is located in Fahrenheit 88 shopping mall, so you can shop and snap at the same time.

Places to go if you want to see an authentic local market

Chow Kit wet market

Chow Kit is famous for two things – the red light district and the wet market.

At this market you’ll find an amazing variety of incredibly fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.

You’ll also see some delicacies that you probably don’t see very often, such as an entire fresh cows head.

Fresh fish at the Chow Kit wet market.
Chow Kit Wet Market (fresh cow heads 🐮fruit & veg🥭🥦🍌)
Watch my video about Chow Kit wet market to get a better feel for what to expect.

Final word on interesting things to do in Kuala Lumpur

KL is a vibrant and welcoming city with a wide range of things to do, no matter your preference.

Most people only spend a couple of days here before moving on to other parts of Asia, but in my opinion, you could easily spend a week here falling in love with the place.

The food is renowned as some of the best in the world, the weather is welcoming all year round and the cost of living is very low compared to much of the rest of the world, it’s even great value compared to much of the rest of Asia.

I hope you have a great visit to Kuala Lumpur and that you get to experience at least a few of the recommendations on this list.

Safe travels!

Marty Spargo

I first visited Malaysia as a tourist in 2004 and frequently returned for short visits over the next decade or more before moving to Kuala Lumpur to live in 2018. I live and work in KL, but remember what it's like to see the city for the first time as a tourist, so I try to create helpful articles with that in mind. You can read my full bio here.

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