Kuala Lumpur, the buzzing capital of Malaysia and a cultural melting pot, is a great destination for foodies, shoppers and curious tourists alike. In Kuala Lumpur, the luxury, history and nature don’t disappoint and you’ll be able to experience it all in just 3 days.
Besides regular tourists, Kuala Lumpur is very popular among those doing a layover or a border hop (visa reasons). As it’s home to one of Asia’s biggest budget-friendly airlines, AirAsia, it means you can get to plenty of destinations fast and for a good price. We spent a month in Malaysia and also visited Georgetown, which is a few hours North from KL, as well as Singapore. In this guide, you’ll see the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days.
1. Walk the Colorful Steps of Batu Caves
Batu Caves is a limestone hill which, besides a temple, houses 3 major caves and a few smaller ones. Nowadays, it’s mostly known for the colorful 272 steps, the crazy monkeys and a gold monumental statue of Hindu deity Lord Murugan. It’s located approximately 15km from downtown KL and is easily accessed by a Grab Taxi in just 30min. Batu Cave is also one of the most popular and important Hindu shrines outside India.
The entrance fee to Batu Caves temple cave and stairs is free, however other smaller temples do have different fees. You can easily spend 2 hours here. Don’t forget to empty your pockets, so the monkeys don’t get you to it!
2. Visit the Petronas Twin Towers
Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. They are impressive to look at any time of the day, and especially cool to shop in. The Suria KLCC shopping malls are situated at the foot of the towers and are home to stores for any budget. The architecture of the towers is inspired by both Malaysian and Islamic culture and are connected by a double-decked sky-bridge. The sky-bridge offers amazing views of the city, which makes it a popular destination for tourists.
Besides shopping and sky-bridge, you can also go all the way up to Level 86 and visit the Petronas Twin Towers’ observation deck. This is where you can get a closeup view of the tower’s spire as well as the chance to learn more about the Towers’ history.
3. Take a Free Tour of the Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan Mosque
You simply can’t miss a visit to this beautiful mosque when you come to KL, it was my favorite from the things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days. With their free tours, conducted by volunteers, you will get a real glimpse into the beauty of Islam and their beautiful venue for worship. The mosque is also known as Mosque in the Garden and its architecture, moat and a well-manicured garden make it a true sight for sore eyes. The prayer hall can house 17,000 people at a time, so be careful when you plan to visit. Friday’s, when the imam calls for the Solat Jumaat (Friday prayer), can be extremely busy – so I’d highly recommend you avoid this day altogether.
The mosque is located about 7km from downtown KL and takes about 20min to get to by a Grab Taxi. You can rent a robe and scarf for free and you can leave your shoes by the entrance.
4. Visit the Colorful Thean Hou Temple
The Thean Hou Temple is a beautiful six-tiered temple of the Chinese sea goddess. It is also one of the oldest and largest temples in Southeast Asia. Its beautiful, colorful architecture and unique surroundings, make it a great destination for those who want to see a unique contrast of old and new. The temple also provides a beautiful KL skyline view. Besides the temple, there is also a garden, food court, a small shopping mall and a very, very interesting collection of statues. Not sure how many people decide to read those, but if you do – you’re in for a treat!
There is no entrance fee to the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur. The temple is open from 8 am until 10 pm and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur. So if you are planning to take photos, try to arrive at opening time, before the buses start arriving. We also saw about 10 bridal parties on our way out, so bear in mind that it can get very crowded after 9 am.
5. Stay at The Face Suites
Probably one of the most Instagram Famous hotels out there The Face Suites provides an unbeatable view of KL’s most impressive landmark, The Petronas Twin Towers, from the rooftop pool. Your stay here can be done on a budget since they rent out self-serviced apartments right on Airbnb. Or you could book through the hotel and treat yourself to a little more luxury.
We booked an apartment in The Face Suites via Airbnb and paid around $900 for a two-week stay. KL was our work-base for a month, so we really wanted to stay somewhere that felt like home. Even if it was way more luxurious haha!
If you plan only on visiting the pool, you can’t. You must be a resident and own a key-card to gain access to the pool. There are also security guards at the top to make sure only residents visit. If you are staying here and plan to take photos – it won’t matter how early you are, there is almost a 100% guaranteed crowd at sunrise. So work those angles and get as close to the edge of the pool for those Face Suites shots everyone comes to get here.
6. Sip on a Cocktail at Heli Lounge Bar
Another unique rooftop, this time without the pool, is the Heli Lounge Bar. During the day it operates as a helipad and after 5 pm it transforms into a busy rooftop bar. Albeit the drinks are over-priced and not that amazing, and the staff is unfriendly, it’s a great way to experience a unique 360 view of KL during sunset. To avoid further disappointment, book a table before you arrive. They have some general seats as well, but then you’ll have to share with other people. You can only access the rooftop bar if you ordered and paid for your drinks downstairs first.
If you do want a great cocktail, then go to The Face Suites – their Deep Blue bar serves great drinks and offers amazing views of the city.
7. Shop & Eat at Central and Petaling Market
My favorite market in Kuala Lumpur, as well the best place to taste some local dishes and buying souvenirs. The market is both indoors (air-conditioned) and outdoors, so get ready to spend at least an hour here.
Just a few minutes walk from the Central Market, is Petaling Market in KL’s Chinatown. Petaling is much crazier than Central Market, but it’s a perfect place to buy some clothing and accessories (plenty of fakes here) and sitting down to people-watch with a cold beer in hand.
8. Take a Stroll in KLCC Park
KLCC Park is a perfect addition to the surroundings of the Petronas Towers. Besides the greenery, it also provides the area with a huge children’s playground and a public children’s swimming pool. There is also a jogging track, shelters and benches, footpaths, sculptures and even a mosque. At the park, you will also see a man-made lake, Lake Symphony and be able to take plenty of nice photos of the Petronas Towers.
9. Ride an Indoor Rollercoaster at Berjaya Time Square Mall
Yes, this is as crazy as it sounds. Kuala Lumpur definitely has its fair share of shopping malls, but there is one to take them all. Berjaya Time Square shopping mall is in fact so big, it took us half an hour to find the indoor theme park. There are two different areas of the theme park in the mall and between them, they have 14 indoor rides. So ‘something for everyone’ really takes it on another level here! Boyfriends of the world – this is your place to not be bored while she shops 😉
10. Canopy Walk at KL Forest Eco Park
One of the most nature-related things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days, is taking a canopy walk at the KL Forest Eco Park. Submerge yourself in treetops, stroll in the beautiful park, which serves as the city’s green lungs. The entrance is free and you can easily spend 1-2 hours here.
11. Try Local Food at Jalan Alor Night Market
Jalan Alor Night Market is for the daring foodies. The market is filled with hawker stalls and seafood restaurants. Here you can really go local and try lots of out-of-comfort-zone delicacies. We ordered a chicken and rice dish here and were not impressed, however those who dare to taste more than the touristy dishes won’t be disappointed here!
Having spent a month in Malaysia, we did a lot of things that didn’t make this list. Keep in mind that Kuala Lumpur is a humid, busy city and you should dress comfortably on your visit here. You can easily do all these things in 3 days in Kuala Lumpur. If you plan on doing lots of shopping, then add a day or two though. Enjoy your time in Kuala Lumpur!