Zoo Negara


Animal lovers may prefer to give all zoos a wide berth, but overall Malaysia's National Zoo is mindful of animal welfare and prides itself on educating visitors about conservation issues. Some enclosures could definitely be bigger (we thought hornbills and other birds lacked enough space to swoop), but larger beasts such as tigers, rhinos and elephants had shade and enough room for dust bathing and roaming.

It's 15km northeast of KL (get a taxi from Wangsa Maju).

A highlight is the Savannah Walk, allowing visitors to stroll onto a boardwalk among zebras, ostriches and other African natives. The giant pandas, in a carefully managed building, are most popular with visitors.

It’s possible to spend a day as a volunteer here – the website has details.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Malaysia attractions

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2. Alliance Française

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Take language classes and attend French-themed exhibitions and events at this outpost of the French institution.

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7. National Visual Arts Gallery


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8. Goethe-Institut Malaysia

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KL branch of worldwide German cultural centre. Check online for details of free events including movie screenings.