Petronas Towers

Getty Images/Flickr RF

Petronas Towers

Top choice in Kuala Lumpur

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.

First stop on the tour is the Skybridge where you can look down 170m as you walk across the glass-walled connection corridor between the two towers. Next you take the lift up to the 86th-floor observation deck to see the city from 370m.

Even though completed back in 1998, the shimmering stainless-steel-clad towers, designed by Argentinian architect César Pelli as the headquarters of the national oil and gas company Petronas, continue to epitomise contemporary KL. The 88-storey twin towers are the tallest pair in the world at nearly 452m and their floor plan is based on an eight-sided star that echoes arabesque patterns. Islamic influences are also evident in each tower's five tiers – representing the five pillars of Islam – and in the 63m masts that crown them, calling to mind the minarets of a mosque and the Star of Islam. They look particularly impressive when illuminated at night.

Last admission is at 8.30pm.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kuala Lumpur attractions

1. Petrosains: The Discovery Centre

0.05 MILES

Fill an educational few hours at this interactive science discovery centre, which has all sorts of buttons to press and levers to pull. Many of the…

2. Galeri Petronas

0.05 MILES

Swap consumerism for culture at this excellent art gallery showcasing Petronas' art collection, including photography and paintings. It’s a bright, modern…

3. KLCC Park

0.26 MILES

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…

4. Muslim Cemetery

0.28 MILES

Tucked away off Jln Ampang and split from Kampung Baru by a highway is one of KL's oldest Muslim burial grounds. It's shaded by giant banyans and rain…

5. Aquaria KLCC

0.31 MILES

The highlight of this impressive aquarium is its 90m underwater tunnel: view sand tiger sharks, giant gropers and more up close. Regular feedings of…



Housed in a 60-storey tower designed by British architects Foster and Partners, this impressive art gallery presents exhibitions spanning various media…

8. Tabung Haji

0.58 MILES

Designed by celebrated Malay architect Hijjas Kasturi, this distinctive tower houses the funding body which supports Malaysian haji pilgrims. The five…