Planning 3 days in Kuala Lumpur and seeking the perfect itinerary? Great, we have got you covered. In this guide, we bring to you what we consider to be the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days. We also include the best places to eat, where you should stay, and all of our top tips, so that you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying the city.
3 Days in Kuala Lumpur Itinerary (2023)
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Kuala Lumpur is a major international hub in South East Asia. At the same time, it is a fascinating city packed to bursting with architectural wonders, rich culture, and delectable cuisine. Whether you are a backpacker on a budget or a traveller flush for cash, Kuala Lumpur has everything you need to have a truly fantastic time.
*Tip – Are you extending your travels in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur? Check out this 2 Week Malaysia Itinerary to help plan your trip.
A seamless combination of old and modern architecture, bustling street markets, peaceful nature areas, and hidden gems make up the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Here is our suggested 3-day itinerary for Kuala Lumpur that ensures you’ll cover all of the highlights.
3 Days in Kuala Lumpur – Day 1
From awe-inspiring religious sites to spectacular rooftop bars, here is some inspiration to help plan your first day in the city.
If there is to be only one thing on your Kuala Lumpur bucket list, make it the extraordinary Batu Caves. The caves are said to be over 400 million years old and formed amid tremendous limestone cliffs are a sight to behold.
Today the caves house a collection of Hindu Temples & Shrines. The most prominent being the 42m statue of the Hindu Deity Murugan – said to be the tallest statue in the world. If you have ever been to India, it’s impossible not to reminisce on your time there.
The Batu Caves are deemed a sacred pilgrimage site among Hindu devotees, and several religious ceremonies take place here throughout the year. At the same time, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur, and thousands of people visit every day.
To explore inside the caves, visitors must first climb the 272 step rainbow staircase to the entrance. This recent renovation has proved to be a hit with photographers and is now considered one of the most instagrammable spots in Kuala Lumpur.
The best time to visit the caves is first thing in the morning. This way you’ll avoid the crowds and grueling midday heat. You should allow 3-4 hours for the Batu Caves, including travel time. Oh, and watch out for the cheeky monkeys who occupy the grounds!
*Tip – Break for a cheap and delicious lunch at one of the Indian restaurants outside of the Batu Caves. Suitable for vegetarians!
Masjid Wilayah Mosque (Federal Territory Mosque)
Serving as a true reflection of Malaysia’s multi-cultural society, you’ll find a variety of religious sites located throughout the capital city. One of our favourites, and arguably the most impressive, is the Masjid Wilayah, otherwise known as the Federal Territory Mosque.
Representing the countries official religion of Islam, the grandeur Mosque is a real architectural gem. It’s also one of the lesser-known spots in the city, meaning you can visit at any time during the day without the worry of crowds.
Inspired by other architectural wonders, such as the Taj Mahal and Mecca, the majestic structure of the mosque is truly breathtaking. Visitors can also enjoy a free guided tour of the property, where you will learn the history behind Islam religion.
All things considered, this is one of the best and most educational things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Sunset Drinks at Helipad Lounge Bar
For an unrivalled panoramic view of the city, we suggest heading to Helipad Lounge Bar for sunset drinks. As the name suggests, the location is a helipad by day, transforming into one of the best rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur by night.
Famed for being one of the best sunset spots in Kuala Lumpur, tables on the upper deck fill up quickly. We recommend reserving beforehand or arriving in good time to secure yourself a decent place. As the night progresses, live DJs move the relaxing sunset drinks to a full-fledged pumping nightclub located on the floor below. As you can imagine, nights here tend to escalate very quickly!
Petronas Towers by Night
If you make it out of Helipad Lounge Bar in good time, a short walk to the Petronas Towers will allow you to see the iconic structures by night. Arguably, this is when they are at their most impressive. Although, you should check them out in the day if you have time so you can compare them for yourself.
To avoid long lines, you can purchase a skip a line ticket here.
Afterwards, head to KLCC Park at the rear of the towers for the Symphony Fountain Lightshow. Accompanied by music, the spectacular light show is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night. Showtimes are at 8.00 pm, 9.00 pm and 10.00 pm.
*Tip – For dinner, we recommend checking out Tapak Urban Street Dining located nearby KLCC park. Here you will find a selection of street-food trucks serving a variety of cuisine.
3 Days in Kuala Lumpur – Day 2
From the highest vantage point of the city to a night out in China Town, let’s start planning day 2 of your Kuala Lumpur sightseeing Itinerary.
Thean Hou Temple
Thean Hou Temple is an impressive 6-tiered Buddhist temple located South West of the city. It is said to be one of the oldest and largest of its kind in all of South-East Asia. Inside the temple complex is a series of gardens, ponds, sacred trees, shrines, and prayer halls where devotees come to burn incense and make offerings.
The striking traditional design of the temple is truly breathtaking. Intricate carvings, ornate details, and bold colours adorn the grandiose structure. The hilltop location rewards spectacular views of the city, and a visit here feels like a peaceful retreat from the hustle & bustle.
One of the things we loved most about sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, is that all of the religious sites are free to enter. I have to admit this made a welcoming change relative to other countries in South East Asia and encouraged us to see way more than we would normally. Either way, Thean Hou Temple is one of the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur.
Explore Little India
If you have the time, it’s worth stopping by the colourful streets of Little India on your return to the city. Walking past the various Indian restaurants and textile stores, inhaling the tantalising aroma of spices and incense, felt like being back in India again. You don’t need much time here, but it’s definitely worth stopping off for a traditional banana leaf curry.
KL Eco Park
When you think of the concrete jungle that KL is today, it’s hard to believe that the city was once dense rainforest. Today, you’ll find the skyline adorned in towering skyscrapers; however, some attempts have been made to preserve the cities routes.
The KL Eco Park is a 200m squared area of protected rainforest in the heart of the city. Home to a variety of endangered plants, birds, and monkeys, it’s a rare encounter to experience such raw nature in a modern metropolis.
Visiting the eco-park is one of the fun things to do in KL and makes for quite the adventure. A variety of walking trails lead you through the park, while canopy walkways through the treetops allow a spectacular view of the city skyline.
Sunset at KL Tower
The KL Communications tower is unmistakable among the city skyline, and along with the Petronas Towers is easily Malaysia’s most recognisable landmark. Standing at a tremendous height of 421 metres, it is the 7th tallest freestanding building in the world! And the pod-like apex resembles something other-worldly.
There is a common dispute as to whether the viewing decks within the KL Tower or Petronas Towers award a better view. When, in my opinion, the KL tower undoubtedly trumps the Petronas Towers, with the 276-metre high viewing deck boasting the highest and most spectacular vista in the city.
Naturally, the views from KL Tower are incredible at any time of the day. Still, sunset is a great time to visit as you’ll also get to experience the sparkling city lights of a night time. Depending on your budget, there is a choice of observation decks, as well as a rotating restaurant. You can book your tickets online here.
To conclude the 2nd day of your Kuala Lumpur City Tour, we suggest taking the short trip to China Town where you can enjoy a fun-filled night on the town. The vibrant neighbourhood is worth visiting in the day-time too if you have the time; however, at night is when all the fun happens.
We suggest starting your evening by indulging in some delicious Chinese food, before meandering the street market and buying some souvenirs. If by this point you aren’t ready to call it a night, Chinatown is also home to some of the best nightlife in KL. We recommend checking out the famous Reggae Bar, or for something a little more offbeat, a Speakeasy Bar such as PS150.
3 Days in Kuala Lumpur – Day 3
From meandering the botanical gardens to eating your weight in street food, here are our suggestions for your 3rd and final day sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur.
If you’re anything like us, by now you’ll be seeking a bit of respite from the strenuous city of KL. Fortunately, the Perdana Botanical gardens offer just that. The 250-acre gardens were constructed in the 1880s, and have served as a recreational area for visitors ever since.
As well as boasting sweeping verdant gardens and a diversity of flora and fauna, the botanical gardens are home to numerous attractions. Free attractions include the National Monument, Orchid Gardens, and National Planetarium. While others such as the National Museum, KL Bird Park and Butterfly Garden, you’ll have to pay to enter.
Located within the grounds of the Botanical Gardens, the National Mosque is considered one of the crown jewels of Malaysia. The grandeur structure can accommodate over 15,000 people, while the 240-foot-tall minaret is recognisable from miles around.
*Tip – Why not break for lunch at the trendy Merchant’s Lane Cafe. The cafe is considered one of the most Insta-worthy spots in the city, and when you see the rustic decor, you’ll understand why.
Next up, head to Merdeka Square, famed for being one of the most notable locations in Malaysia’s history. Merdeka literally translates to Independence in English, and it was here that Malaysia declared their Independence from the British on 30th August 1957.
Today, the Malaysian Flag flies proudly on one of the tallest flagpoles in the world. The square itself is basically an enormous field; however, the buildings lined around the outside are considered historical landmarks.
To learn more about the history of Merdeka Square and the buildings surrounding it, you can take part in a free walking tour through the Kuala Lumpur website.
Bukit Bintang for Shopping
Although we aren’t big shoppers ourselves, many consider shopping to be one of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. From modest street markets to thrift stores, and huge shopping malls sporting all the top designer brands, everybody should indulge in a bit of retail therapy when visiting KL.
Bukit Bintang is one of the most popular spots for shopping in KL, boasting some of the cities most lavish malls. It may not be the best place to shop if you are on a budget; however, it’s worth a visit all the same. Not only is the area great for shopping, but you’ll find a variety of restaurants along with some of the best nightlife the city has to offer.
*Tip – If you are on a budget, check out these 10 best budget shopping places in Kuala Lumpur.
Jalan Alor Street Food Market
After spending 3 tiresome days sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, you deserve to indulge in as much street food as your belly can stand. Thankfully, just around the corner from the shopping malls of Bukit Bintang, Jalan Alor Street Food Market is one of the best dining experiences you can have in KL.
During the day you wouldn’t think much of this typical city street; however, after 5 pm Jalan Alor transforms into one of the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Countless hawker stalls set up shop, delivering a delightful fusion of dishes and cuisines. It’s an atmospheric place to be of an evening, and you can expect the market to be swarming with locals and tourists alike.
*Tip – Work your way through this list of the best street food in Kuala Lumpur.
Other Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
While the above itinerary should keep you busy over your 3 Days in Kuala Lumpur, you may have some spare time or wish to make some adjustments. With this in mind, here are some other exciting things to do in the city.
Surprisingly, there are numerous hiking trails located in Kuala Lumpur. If you are a nature lover feeling overwhelmed in the city, this is the ideal opportunity to take some time out.
Visit Putra Mosque
Naturally, there are several other mosques you can visit when sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur. One of the most unique, however, is the striking Putra Mosque. Constructed in pink granite, it is unlike any other mosques in the city.
Take a Day Trip from KL
Some of the more unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur include day trips out of the city. The Genting Highlands is a fun-filled day out where you can experience a thrilling cable car ride up to an entertainment complex. Otherwise, you can visit historic Malacca or go off the beaten path at Kanching Waterfall & Hotsprings.
The Best Time to Visit Kuala Lumpur
The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur is considered to be from May to July and December to February. While you can expect hot and humid conditions all year round, these months are on the cooler and drier end of the scale. If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, this is the best time to go.
The city sees a lot of rainfall during March and April, so I suggest avoiding it altogether. Nevertheless, Kuala Lumpur is known to be one of the stormiest cities in the world, so you should prepare for downpours at any time.
Getting Around in Kuala Lumpur
Public Transport – In our experience, the most convenient way of getting around the tourist hotspots in KL is by using the bus and rail networks. Not only are they reliable, but they are also super cheap.
The metro system in Kuala Lumpur is one of the best underground services we’ve experienced. The carriages are clean, comfortable, and air-conditioned, while several rail lines cover the city extensively. The trains even have ladies-only carriages for those who may feel uneasy in the mixed.
Taxi – If you must get a taxi, Grab Taxi is a safer and cheaper alternative to a local taxi. If you do take a local taxi, be sure they use the meter. Otherwise, agree on the fare in advance to avoid being ripped off.
Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur
Budget – Step Inn Guesthouse – Just 10-minutes walk from China town, Step Inn Guesthouse is one of the best budget options in Kuala Lumpur. The cheap private rooms are a hit among couples, while solo travellers love the friendly vibe. What’s more, you even get free breakfast included in the price!
Mid Range – Expressionz Suites – For a touch of luxury without breaking the bank, Expressionz Suites is an unbeatable mid-range option in KL. Boasting an outdoor pool with a view, stylish rooms, and a fitness centre, you’re guaranteed an enjoyable stay here.
Luxury – The Face Suites – If budget permits, you won’t regret spending a night or 2 in this exclusive hotel in the heart of KL. Boasting an iconic rooftop pool with an unrivalled view of the city skyline, 5* luxury rooms, and multiple bars & restaurants, this is arguably the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Author Bio: Charlotte and Natalie are the explorers and adventurers behind Our Taste For Life. You will often find them wandering off the beaten path, immersed in nature, or enjoying authentic cultural experiences. The rest of the time, you will find them eating. Follow their journey on their blog or Instagram.
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I visited Kuala Lumpur many years ago and had a great time. From your post, it seems that many things have since changed, and a return visit is in order! I’d love to see the Batu caves.
I’ve been to KL and loved Batu Caves, however the steps weren’t painted then. I haven’t visited the Eco park. That suspension bridge looks like fun. Your 3 day itinerary is certainly packed with great suggestions.
Malaysia is a culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse country but Islam is the state religion. Visit the Museum of Islamic Art where art and history collide through the intricate artifacts.