Must see attractions in Kuala Lumpur

  • Top ChoiceSights in Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

    Menara KL

    Although the Petronas Towers are taller, the 421m Menara KL, rising from the crest of Bukit Nanas, offers the best city views. The bulb at the top contains a revolving restaurant, an interior observation deck at 276m and, most thrilling of all, an open-air sky deck at 300m, access to which is weather dependent. Risk vertigo to take your photo in the sky box, which puts nothing but glass between you and the ground below.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

    Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad

    This graceful, onion-domed mosque, designed by British architect AB Hubback, borrows Mogul and Moorish styles with its brick-and-plaster banded minarets and three shapely domes. Located where the Gombak and Klang rivers meet, Masjid Jamek was the first brick mosque in Malaysia when completed in 1909. It remained the city's centre of Islamic worship until the opening of the National Mosque in 1965.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Thean Hou Temple

    Sitting atop leafy Robson Heights, this vividly decorated multistorey Chinese temple, dedicated to Thean Hou, the heavenly queen, affords wonderful views over Kuala Lumpur. Opened in 1989 by the Selangor and Federal Territory Hainan Association, it serves as both a house of worship and a functional space for events such as weddings. In recent years it's also become a tourist attraction in its own right, especially during Chinese festival times and the birthdays of the various temple gods.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

    Inhabiting a building that's nearly as impressive as its collection, this museum showcases Islamic decorative arts from around the globe. Scale models of the important Islamic buildings, fabulous textiles, carpets, jewellery and ceramics all vie for attention; the relocated 19th-century Damascus Room interior is a gold-leaf-decorated delight. Don't forget to gaze up at the building's intricate domes and tile work.

  • Sights in Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

    KL Forest Eco Park

    KL's urban roar is replaced by buzzing insects and cackling birdlife at this forest of tropical hardwoods, covering 9.37 hectares in the heart of the city. One of the oldest protected jungles in Malaysia (gazetted in 1906), the park is commonly known as Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill).

  • Top ChoiceSights in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Lake Gardens – Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park

    This 70-hectare lush, beautifully landscaped park is most commonly known by its colonial-era moniker: the Lake Gardens (Tasik Perdana in Malay). This is KL's largest green space, and you can spend the better part of a day exploring the rolling terrain.

  • Sights in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    National Monument

    On a palm-fringed plaza, with fine views of KL's skyscrapers, stands this bombastic monument. Commemorating military sacrifices in the name of Malaysian freedom, the National Monument's centrepiece is a bronze sculpture of soldiers (one of them holding aloft the Malaysian flag), created in 1966 by Felix de Weldon, the artist behind the Iwo Jima monument near Washington, DC. A royal-blue pool and curved pavilion heighten the grand impression.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

    Sin Sze Si Ya Temple

    Kuala Lumpur's oldest Chinese temple (1864) was built on the instructions of Kapitan Yap Ah Loy and is dedicated to Sin Sze Ya and Si Sze Ya, two Chinese deities believed instrumental in Yap's ascension to Kapitan status. Several beautiful objects decorate the temple, including two hanging carved panels.

  • Sights in Kuala Lumpur

    Me.Reka Makerspace

    Search out this innovative project space, where various contemporary design and technology skills are taught and can be practised. Laser engravers, 3D printers and virtual-reality gadgets are among the resources available. An offshoot of the sustainability initiative Biji-biji (www.biji-biji.com), you can also buy products here, such as cool bags and purses made from old car belt straps and up-cycled fabric offcuts.

  • Sights in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Taman Tugu

    The first stages of this 27-hectare park have opened in recent years, with the third and final stage originally due for completion some time in 2020. It currently comprises 4km of naturally landscaped trails through lush secondary forest that includes soaring old-growth trees, rattan, oil palms and specially selected native flora. Listen out for kingfishers and magpies as well as monkeys and even civet cats that make this forest their home. Stage three will see a camp site and 3km of extra trails opened.

  • Sights in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Kebun-Kebun Bangsar

    A community group led by local architect Ng Seksan has created this garden on an 8-acre linear strip of land reserved for the national electricity company's pylons as they march through Bangsar. Join volunteers on weekends to help tend the garden terraces packed with indigenous plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables – there's even a section of rice paddy. Bee hives, creative gazebos and landscaping elements add to the charm.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Masjid India, Kampung Baru & Northern KL

    National Visual Arts Gallery

    The artworks on display at the NVAG are worth a trip out of central KL for their inventiveness and sheer scale. In rotating exhibitions by regional artists, themes of Malaysian politics and local identity positively leap from canvases. Upper galleries are accessed by a spiral-shaped ramp that recalls the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Bukit Bintang, KLCC & Pudu

    Petronas Towers

    Resembling twin silver rockets, the Petronas Towers are the perfect allegory for the meteoric rise of the city from tin-mining shanty town to 21st-century metropolis. Half of the daily allocation of tickets for 45-minute tours – which take in the Skybridge on the 41st floor and the observation deck on the 86th – are sold online in advance. Otherwise, turn up early to be sure of scoring a ticket to go up.

  • Sights in Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

    Sri Mahamariamman Temple

    Rising almost 23m above this lively Hindu temple is its gopuram, a tower decorated with colourful Hindu gods. Founded in 1873, making it one of the oldest such temples in Malaysia, it is decorated in South Indian style and named after Mariamman, the South Indian mother goddess (also known as Parvati). Her shrine is at the back of the complex. On the left sits a shrine to the elephant-headed deity Ganesh, and on the right one to Lord Murugan.

  • Sights in Masjid India, Kampung Baru & Northern KL

    Bazaar Baru Chow Kit

    This daily wet market, serving the working class of Chow Kit, packs a heady, chaotic atmosphere. It sprawls across several blocks including new sheds, old buildings and the surrounding alleyways, You'll find hangars loaded with fruit, veggies and freshly butchered meat, with vendors shouting their prices to drum up business.

  • Sights in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    KL Bird Park

    More than 3000 birds flutter and soar through this 21-hectare aviary. Some 200 species of (mostly) Asian birds can be spotted here, from strutting flamingos to parakeets. The park is divided into four sections: in the first two, birds fly freely beneath an enormous canopy. Section three features the native hornbills (so-called because of their enormous beaks), while section four offers the less-edifying spectacle of caged species.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

    Merdeka Square

    The huge open square, where Malaysian independence was declared in 1957, is speared by a 95m flagpole, one of the world's tallest. In the British era, the square was used as a cricket pitch and called the Padang (field).

  • Top ChoiceSights in Bukit Bintang, KLCC & Pudu

    KLCC Park

    At the heart of the mammoth KLCC development, this excellent park offers a 1.3km soft-surface jogging track, a great children's playground and paddling pool. Crowds gather here in the early evening to watch the glowing towers punching up into the night sky and the Lake Symphony fountains play at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm in front of the Suria KLCC.

  • Sights in Masjid India, Kampung Baru & Northern KL

    Kampung Baru Gateway

    A modern concrete and blue glass gateway marks the entry to this neighbourhood of traditional Malay wooden houses. Gazetted by the British in 1899, Kampung Baru's low-slung charms are best revealed by simply wandering its streets. Along the way, enjoy tasty home-cooked Malay food at unpretentious roadside cafes and stalls.

  • Sights in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Galeri Prima

    In an expansive double-storey building, this hidden gem promotes local art heavyweights and emerging names like Zarina Abdullah and Anassuwandi Ahmad. The shows peddle a rotating schedule of intriguing art forms (think fauvism or the ancient Islamic khat calligraphy) while revisiting important themes pertinent to Malaysia’s history, culture and society.