How to spend two days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

by Kelly

How to spend two days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We must have transited through the Kuala Lumpur airport over 30 times since we started flying with Air Asia but had never stopped and spent any time exploring the city itself. We decided to change all that and spent 24 hours hitting all the big draw cards and discovered that there is still a lot left to see.

Getting there

We flew with Air Asia but Malaysian Airlines also has some good prices, it really depends where you are coming from. The airport is huge and has been developed so much since we started coming through there. Terminal 1 has the largest amount of services but on this trip we spent more time in terminal 2 which wasn’t bad either.
If you only have a very short stop and need to rest there is a rest n’ go area above the international departures entry. Just head up the escalators and you will see a lounge area with massage chairs that you don’t have to add money into to stay sitting in, there is carpet if you want to stretch out or there are other rooms with lino floors and are a little cooler. There will be lots of people in these areas resting while waiting for their next flight. We spent the night there on a few legs as we landed late and were leaving really early the next morning. Sleeping in an airport is never really a fun thing to do but if you are saving money for travel sometimes you take the floor over an airport hotel!
Having said that there are some really decent airport hotels and lounges available depending upon your needs. Terminal 2 also has a heap of food options and shopping available out in the front area if you are in the mood for it.</p>

Getting to and from Terminal 2 and Kuala Lumpur:

When you land head through immigration and then head out the exit, you will land in the front area, keep walking through to the outer exit and you will see an escalator going down on the left hand side to level 1. Here is where you will find your transport options.
It is quite a long way from KLIA Airport to the Kuala Lumpur city centre. We decided to take a shuttle which costs only 12 MYR per ticket and was really comfortable. Choosing Star Shuttle, it took just over an hour and was really comfortable.

We stayed in Chinatown at The Travel Hub Highstreet and it was a great pick, right near Petaling Street and really close to all the action. It was a hard choice between Chinatown and Bukit Bintang but we were happy with it. The rooms are well maintained, clean and big, the shared bathrooms (one on each floor) were clean and modern and there was a breakfast of toast, oats and coffee included.

The location could not be faulted, it was perfect! It is around the corner from Merchants Lane coffee shop and there is great food and markets right nearby. There is also a train station just down the road, literally a 2 minute walk, called Pasar Seni that connects up to KL Sentral and makes it very easy to get all around the city. It was a really strategic location to experience the nightlife of Chinatown and be able to explore all of KLCC and surrounds very easily.

How to spend two days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Batu Caves

Visiting the Batu Caves very nearly didn’t happen for us! We woke up early to catch the first train out there as they are about 40 minutes away, unfortunately after catching the train from Pasar Seni station to KL Sentral which costs approx MYR 1.4 and headed for the KTM Komuter trains to get to Batu Caves to be told that they were not working! We headed outside and decided to get a Grab instead, this cost more but we had a plan and were determined to stick to it.
When we finally got there the Batu Caves were amazing! Unfortunately we were much later than we planned to be and there was already a large crowd however it was still great. They are a limestone with 3 caves and once you walk up the 272 stairs you enter the first cave. There are intricate and colourful buildings throughout the caves and at the bottom. These are really lovely to wander through and to observe the culture.

There are temples where you can witness small ceremonies and This temple is considered an important religious landmark by Hindis and there are pilgrimages that have taken place here. Recently the stairs were painted bright colours which has really become a draw card for even more visitors. Inside the main cave there are 2 sections and it really is an incredible sight to see the sheer rock cliffs with plants growing all over and monkeys swinging down through them, it feels like you have walked in to an otherworldly mini forest. The light streams down through small openings as you wander through making it quite a surreal experience.

Perdana Botanical Gardens, Kuala Lumpur

Straight after checking in at our hotel we wanted a quick activity that was nearby and we could check off our must visit list…so thinking it was simple I suggested walking to Perdana Botanical Gardens.

What looked simple on my map ended up being a good hour and a half walking around the city to get there. While it was great exercise and really nice to see the city up close it was also a long rather hot walk and we later found out we could have caught the rail for 1.40 MYR and it was just one stop away. I was not the most popular person that day, but the Perdana Botanical Gardens were totally worth it! They are beautiful and a complete retreat in the middle of the city.

There are stacks of little areas to discover from orchid gardens, herb and spice garden, bamboo house play area for kids, a deer park, the lake and so much more to find and wander through. It is a popular spot for exercising and picnicking and free to enter although there are some areas that might charge to get in we did not have to pay while we visited.

I loved the incredible unique gardens and their beautiful layout, there really is something for everyone to enjoy and I highly recommend visiting.

If you are keen to visit I suggest packing a picnic or eating at the cafe on the grounds, you will need to leave at least half a day to really experience these gardens as there is so much to look at. If you would like more information their website is

KL Butterfly Park

The KL Butterfly Park is located right nearby and is another place I will definitely be visiting on my next trip. We were too late for it on the day we went to the gardens and had planned to do both while we were there. There is a charge to get in 25/13MYR for adult tourists/locals and 13/6 MYR for children. You can find more information on their website

Best tours in Kuala Lumpur

These are the best tours in Kuala Lumpur, there are tons of cool things to do. Check out these tours and day trips with Get Your Guide.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur

The Sri Mahamariamman Temple was founded in 1873 and is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Malaysia. It rises 23m above ground and is covered with decorative Hindu gods. It is open from approximately 6am most days however there are some select hours that it closes during the day. You can always view the outside entrance and wander through when it is open. It is a really lovely temple to visit and very welcoming of visitors wandering through and it is free to enter.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple

Kuala Lumpur City Centre:

There are a lot of attractions right in the city centre of KL.

Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers

The Petronas Towers are the biggest attraction and are best viewed in the late afternoon. They rise 88 stories or 451.9 m above the ground and are linked by a sky bridge. It is possible to buy tickets to go up there which cost RM80/28 (tourist/local) adult and MR33/14 (tourist/local) child. You are able to walk across the bridge and also go up to the 86th level for breath-taking views of the city.

At the base there is a huge shopping centre and a lake with gardens around it. It is a great place to unwind and enjoy some people watching, and there are signs around showing you the best vantage points for your very own Petronas selfie, although you will see so many others taking them you probably wont need the signs! In the late afternoon a crowd gathers as when the sun goes down around 8pm there is a music and water show in the lake, music is played and there are multicoloured lights and water fountains that run in time to the music. It is a really lovely sight, you might want to position yourself near the edge of the lake at the far end to get the best position with the towers in the background, although there really is a good view from any spot.

Sky Deck KL Tower

KL Tower has a an observation deck that has 360 degree views of the city. There is a sky box which you can walk in to and feel that you are standing in the air, it is completely transparent and can fit up to 6 people in at once. I don’t love heights and we didn’t get to it this trip but I think I am going to have to face my fears because it does look amazing!

We saw the Tower from the ground and that was impressive enough I can’t wait to check out the views from the top!

KL Tower from the bottom, incredible 360 degree city views from the top

KL Aquarium

The Kuala Lupur Aquarium is right in the complex in the city centre at the Petronas Towers. In fact is is underneath it! We walked past in our attempt to get from the bus station to the towers in air conditioning, it was pretty easy. Coming from the KL Eco Park and caught the FREE (more on this later!) bus to the city centre. We hopped off and headed for the undercover airconditioned walkway that we thought would lead us to the next bus stop but in fact it led us underground to another walkway and we ended up right at the aquarium. Essentially it is all one big complex that links up to the shopping mall and is a really great way to get from one attraction to another in the city centre.

The aquarium was huge, it looks amazing for kids and families or even if you are keen on sea animals. We just didn’t have time and had to keep powering on to the twin towers. You can do an incredible number of activities from diving with sharks to learning about conservation which I really believe is so important. This is a half to full day experience to really get the best from it so you would need to plan out your days accordingly to include it. The KL aquarium is open from 10am-8pm (last admission is at 7pm) and tickets cost  RM 69/49 (tourist/local) adult and RM 59/39 for children.

Petaling Street Food:

Petaling Street food is a major draw card to staying in Chinatown! It is everywhere and so delicious. Honestly you can’t walk outside without coming across another little place to try. Right next door to our accommodation there was a little cafe that is super cool and serves great food here is a pic of their cute logo, I really loved it. It was pretty busy but if you go just before or after usual lunch hours you should be right.

The Kuala Lumpur street food scene really steps up in the late afternoon early evening. The markets swing in to full gear. All the cafes and restaurants really kick in to gear and you’ll find loads of options. The whole Petaling Street and surrounding area becomes a hive of activity. Shopping, drinking and eating you will not be lost for something to do.

The Central Market area has a load of shopping and eating options all in a really small area. We spent a good afternoon here before wandering over to Petaling Street. Enjoy a beer in a café there watching everyone bargain at the market stalls across the path. We wandered down the road to a side street that had a load of street food options all along it. I couldn’t walk past the claypot chicken! It looked hot, fresh, super busy and the man cooking it was such a character I had to try it! Completely delicious and a huge portion! It wasn’t the most photogenic meal so I didn’t snap a pic but it was tasty.

KL Eco Park

The Kuala Lumpur Eco Park or Eco Forest as it is also known is a really lovely place to visit. We had a ball wandering the gardens. The highlight is the canopy walk which is a path strung up high in the trees. You really do feel like you are away from the city even though you can see it peeking through. It’s an easy way to spend an hour or more if you really love nature. Parts of the canopy walk were a little rough. The planks you walk on were starting to break up and fall away. The suspension ropes all seem in tact though and so do the stairs that you climb up to get there.

Thean Hou Temple

The Thean Hou Temple was one of my favourite places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately on the day we visited it was overcast and they had taken down the bright yellow lanterns. They usually hang across the court but it was still a beautiful place to visit and one I definitely recommend.

We caught a Grab out to the temple, which was pretty cheap and just so easy. The driver was great and filled us in on all the foods we have to try while we are here. When we reached the temple it was still early and not to crowded which was great. I love the architecture and bright colours used to decorate. Everywhere I turned there was something else to discover.

About the temple

The temple was opened in 1989 and is a six tiered temple that offers stunning views across Kuala Lumpur. The main court is wide and open and leads up to the main temple. Inside is the Goddess of Thean Hou with Goddess of Waterfront on the right and Goddess of Mercy on her left. There will be a constant stream of people coming and going to leave a candle or flower blessing. The roof is ornately decorated and the whole building is incredibly beautiful.

You can buy incense sticks and flowers to leave for a blessing. Walk up the other levels of the temple and look at the views. You also get a lot closer to the building itself. You will be able to see the ornate statues or birds and dragons that decorate the edges of the roof. We found so many little spots to sit and watch and pretty little garden areas to wander and explore.

The temple is very popular for weddings, Thean Hou ROM is so popular that there is a wedding hall underneath. There was a wedding taking place while we visited and photos being taken at the vantage points. It is an incredibly interesting and beautiful place to visit, I really recommend taking the time to explore it properly.

Our top tip for visiting Kuala Lumpur:

I really loved visiting Kuala Lumpur so much more than I expected to! There is so much to do and it really is quite varied. We have a lot left on our list to come back and see. My top tip is leave enough time! You will want to really soak up this city so don’t rush it. Kuala Lumpur is worth adding a few days to your trip.

Kuala Lumpur has so much to discover we really loved discovering it

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