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Last updated : Nov 2009
Kuala Lumpur Sightseeing
Kuala Lumpur Sightseeing Guide - TravelPuppy.com

The traffic system can still be a nightmare during the congested rush hour, but it is increasingly easier for tourists with a number of rail and monorail options in the city centre. A real pleasure is walking around, savouring the sights and sounds of this colourful city.

The heart of the city is Datran Merdeka (Independence Square) and this makes a good starting point for a city tour. The square is dominated by a towering flagpole commemorating the country’s independence from Britain on 31 August 1957 and the day the new Malaysian flag replaced the Union Jack. Also on the square is the Royal Selangor Club, an excellent example of colonial architecture. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building (the seat of the high and supreme courts) is an interesting mix of Victorian and Moorish architecture.

In striking contrast to the British-built architecture, are the stunning Masjid Negara or National Mosque and Masjid Jamek the Friday Mosque. The ornate Kuala Lumpur Railway Station looks more like a dreamy Moorish palace than a transport hub. Today it no longer functions as a main railway station, giving it a lost, old world feel that definitely warrants a visit.

Those looking to get a a birds eye view of the the city should ascend to either the observation level of the Petronas Towers or the viewing platform at the Menara Observation Tower. The second is a better option as it gives 360-degree views that include the Petronas Towers from its hilltop location. Menara has a restaurant, a café and a small museum.

KL’s ethnic diversity is one of its greatest charms and a visit to the different areas of the city is essential. Chinatown, with its shops and lively night market, Little India and the Art Deco Central Market, that showcases cultural displays and Malaysian arts and crafts.

The main attractions in the Golden Triangle hotel, business, and shopping district are the towering Petronas Towers. Also the KLCC Park, the fashionable and lively Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail. A newcomer on the tourist route is the western suburb of Bangsar Baru. It is a short journey from the new Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station. The pavement cafés of Bangsar are popular with visitors and locals alike. Further out and towards the international airport, the new administrative city of Putrajaya and the hi-tech city of Cyberjaya are now open for day tours, offering an insight into town planning on a grand scale.

Malaysia Tourism Centre (MTC)
109 Jalan Ampang
Telephone: (03) 2164 3929 or 2164 2163. Fax: (03) 2162 1149.
Email: ticmtc@tourism.gov.my
Web site: www.tourism.gov.my
Hours: 24 hours daily.

This tourist office looks more like a resort than an information centre. There are restaurants and shops but unfortunately the commercialism continues to the desk staff, who are more interested in organizing guided tours or trips around the country rather than providing information about the city. The other tourist information offices are in Plaza Putra (on the southern edge of Independence Square) and at KLIA.


No tourist passes currently available in Kuala Lumpur.

Main Attractions in Kuala Lumpur

Masjid Jamek (Friday Mosque)

The Friday Mosque, Masjid Jamek is Kuala Lumpur's oldest mosque which was built in 1909. It is situated at the junction of the Gombak and Klang Rivers where the 1st Europeans scrambled ashore and is 1 of the most amazing and famous sights in Kuala Lumpur. The best time to visit is at sunset or during the muezzin’s call to prayer, which echoes around the ornate domes. While visiting any of the city’s mosques, it is very important to dress properly and to take off your shoes.

Jalan Tun Perak
Telephone: (03) 2691 2829.
Transport: Masjid Jamek LRT station.
Hours: 08:30-13:30 and 14:30-18:00 daily.
Free Admission.

Masjid Negara (National Mosque)

Besides the Friday Mosque, the National Mosque is a modern structure and was constructed in 1965. It shines every bit as brilliantly as any of the city’s skyscrapers. The dome itself is crafted in the shape of an 18-point star to symbolize the 13 states of the country and the 5 central Pillars of Islam. The main prayer hall can contain up to 10,000 worshippers, but this section is closed to non-worshippers. Towards the rear is a mausoleum holding the remains of some of the country's most revered sons.

Jalan Perdana
Telephone: (03) 2693 7784.
Transport: Pasar Seni LRT station.
Hours: 09:00-12:00, 15:00-16:00 and 17:30-18:30 daily.
Free Admission: visitors are not allowed during prayer times.

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Veteran train traveller and author Paul Theroux summed up this building when he called it ‘the grandest station in South East Asia’. The 1911 Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is an architectural mélange where Walt Disney meets Moorish British colonialism. The towers, arches and spires make beginning or ending a journey here, or even just visiting the station for pleasure. The InterCity trains no longer stop at the station, even though it still serves as a refueling stop and passenger pick-up area for the grand Eastern and Oriental Express. Making a visit to see this luxurious locomotive pull in, fill its water tanks and depart is a memorable experience.

Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
Telephone: (03) 2274 7410.
Web site: www.keretapi.com/the-kuala-lumpur-railway-station.html
Transport: Pasar Seni LRT station.
Hours: 24 hours daily.
Free Admission

Central Market

The pink and blue pastel Art Deco Central Market was constructed in 1936 and for many years was the place of the city’s largest fresh produce market. Since 1986 tourism has taken over and now the market houses 130 arts and crafts outlets with batik, basketry, pottery and woodcarvings. It also has frequent cultural performances on the stage near the river. Some authentic Malaysian food shops have managed to survive alongside the tourist restaurants.

Jalan Hang Kasturi
Telephone: (03) 2274 9966.
Transport: Central Market LRT station.
Hours: 10:00-22:00 daily.
Free Admission

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

For those who are interested in Islamic art, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is an ideal place. The 3 stories of the museum are designed in a domestic Islamic architectural style and there are scale models of the Taj Mahal and the Amir Timur Mausoleum. The Ottoman Room holds various artifacts from the days when the forceful Islamic empire threatened the gates of Vienna and the rest of Western Europe. The Al-Quran and Manuscripts Gallery contains over 200 Islamic manuscripts.

Jalan Lembah Perdana
Telephone: (03) 2274 2020. Fax: (03) 2274 0529.
Email: info@iamm.org.my
Web site: www.iamm.org.my
Transport: Seni LRT.
Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00.
Admission: RM8, concessions available.

Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers has become 1 of Kuala Lumpur's principal symbols. It is now the world’s second tallest building, looming into the skies. It is always lost in clouds when the afternoon thunderstorms rumble in. Standing at 452 metres or 1,483 feet and 88 stories high, the building was designed by Cesar Pelli. It comprises 2 similarly shaped towers linked by a 58 metre (192 feet) Skybridge at the 41st and 42nd floors, which is open to visitors wishing to view the city skyline. Petronas also opened a Science Discovery Centre packaged as PETROSAINS, and offers a fun and educational mean for children to learn about petroleum science and science in general.

Level 4, Suria KLCC
Telephone: (03) 2331 8181.
Email: info-petrosains@petronas.com.my
Web site: www.petrosains.com
Transport: KLCC LRT station.
Hours: Tue-Thu 09:30-17:30, Sat and Sun 09:30-18:30 and Fri 13:30-1700.
Admission: RM17.

Muzium Negara (National Museum)

The National Museum is a required place for those interested in searching beyond the skyscrapers and learning more about the rich history and culture of the country. The exhibitions display the Malay history while the building includes several Malay architectural styles and craft work from different regions of the nation, making the National Museum a centre of the many aspects of Malaysia.

Jalan Damansara

Telephone: (03) 2282 6255. Fax: (03) 2282 7294.
Email: info@museum.gov.my
Web site: www.museum.gov.my
Transport: Bangsar LRT station.
Hours: 09:00-18:00 daily.
Admission: RM1.

Tugu Negara (National Monument)

The National Monument is a stunning brass sculpture designed by an American, cast in Italy and constructed in Kuala Lumpur in 1966. It is 1 of the world’s largest freestanding sculptures. The heroic soldiers that it depicts were involved in ‘The Emergency’ in the 1950s, when Malaysia encountered the communist insurgents.

Jalan Tugu, off Jalan Parlimenn

Transport: Pasar Seni LRT station.
Hours: 24 hours daily.
Free admission

Menara Kuala Lumpur

This onion dome topped, needle-like Menara Kuala Lumpur is the fourth tallest telecommunications tower in the world. It provides wonderful 360-degree impressive views over the city from its 276-metre high observation deck. It was constructed in 1996 and stands 421 metres tall and as it sits on a hilltop, it offers unique views of the soaring Petronas Towers. It provides a revolving restaurant, cafés and a souvenir shop.

Jalan Punchak
Telephone: (03) 2020 5444. Fax: (03) 2034 2609.
Email: azhar@menarakl.com.my
Web site: www.menarakl.com.my
Hours: 09:00-22:00.
Admission: RM15. Concessions available.