All the Best Spots on a 3 Day Kuala Lumpur Itinerary

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Discover the ultimate 3-day Kuala Lumpur itinerary, packed with must-see attractions, delicious local food, and travel tips to make the most of your visit to Malaysia’s vibrant capital.

Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s bustling capital and a melting pot of diverse cultures, including Malay, Chinese, Indian, and more. With a population of over 1.8 million, this vibrant city offers a unique blend of modern skyscrapers, colonial architecture, and lush green spaces.

We’ve now been to Kuala Lumpur four different times and we have tried and tested dozens of activities and restaurants. These are all our favorite activities and foods that we feel you cannot miss on your 3 day trip to Kuala Lumpur. You could also add a few days to visit Genting Highlands

We’ll cover our detailed Kuala Lumpur itinerary, the best time to travel to Kuala Lumpur, how to get around KL, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, and more!

Kuala Lumpur Itinerary

This post is all about the perfect 3-day Kuala Lumpur itinerary.

Kuala Lumpur Itinerary - 3 Days

Day 1: Petronas

Breakfast - Roti Canai + Teh Tarik

kuala lumpur teh tarik

First, start off with a classic Malaysian breakfast of Roti Canai. This is listed as one of the top foods in the world by TasteAtlas, and KL has the best of the best. Roti is a soft, flakey flat bread made of flour. In Malaysia, it’s often served for breakfast with a curry sauce and soft-boiled eggs. I personally love to mash it all up and get a good bite with each component.

This is also a great time to try the famed Teh Tarik, or “pulled tea.” The tea is named after its method of preparation: they pour the tea from one meter high to help cool it down. It’s a simple recipe of black tea made with condensed milk, giving it a slightly sweet edge. Since it’s so hot in Malaysia, we prefer the iced version, but you can also order it hot.

We personally went to Mansion Tea Stall for a local experience and some great food and drink! 

KL Tower

kuala lumpur kl tower
kl tower

Before heading to the famed Petronas Towers, we recommend getting any outdoor activities in early in the day before it gets too warm. The KL Tower, or Menara Kuala Lumpur, is located in the center of town. You can admire this massive structure from below (like we did), visit the observation deck at 276 m (905 ft) above the ground, or dine at the revolving restaurant, ARAS Restaurant KL Tower.

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KL Forest Eco Park

kl forest eco park

Within the same area, you’ll also find the KL Forest Eco Park. This park’s claim to fame is their massive adult-sized jungle gym, complete with swinging suspension bridges. It’s a large complex with wobbly bridges and spectacular views of the city past the forest of trees. It was such an unexpected fun thing for us to do. It’s nice and shaded on the ground but it can get pretty exposed to the sun on the bridges, hence the early morning recommendation. It costs 40 RM ($8.50) per person to enter the park.

Petronas Towers

petronas towers
kl petronas towers

Since, it’s hot and muggy in KL and you’ll want to spend the middle of the day indoors. Since you can go to the top of the Petronas Towers and they also host a large mall, this is a good activity to take on during the heat of the day where you’ll only be outside for a short while.

Catch a glimpse of the towering twin towers from the outside during the day before heading inside. The Petronas Towers are the tallest twin skyscrapers in the world and were actually the tallest building(s) in the world from 1998 to 2004.

You can head up to the 86th floor observation deck to get a sprawling view over all of Kuala Lumpur. Don’t miss the glass bottomed bridge connecting the two buildings on the 41st and 42nd floors.

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Suria KLCC Mall

Once you admire these sparkling twin towers, head into Suria KLCC to enjoy the AC and some food. This mall is massive and you’ll find over 300 stores, the KLCC Aquarium, a concert hall , and of course, lots of food. This is a great spot for lunch. Head up to the food court for casual fare or to some of their table service restaurants for a sit-down meal overlooking KLCC Park.

Sometimes people think it’s weird to go to the mall while on a trip to a foreign country, but I promise, this is part of the culture in Southeast Asia. It’s just so hot outside, that you have to go inside, but you need something to do. So malls are extremely popular and have tons to see and do.

Funny Fact: we asked our very first Grab driver what his favorite restaurant was in KL and he said Chili’s at Suria KLCC 😂 It does have a great view! 

Pool Time

kl pool

You can spend the rest of your afternoon at the mall or head back to the hotel for pool time. A lot of the hotels in KL have rooftop pools. Not only will you get to cool off in the cool water, but you might have an awesome view of the Petronas Towers and the rest of the KL skyline. This is also not a bad place to catch the sunset. You might not get a clear sky with all the heat and smog, but you can still get all the awesome colors of the sunset!

KLCC Park

klcc park

Once the sun sets, head back to KLCC Park to catch a view of the Petronas Towers at night. They honestly sparkle and light up like no building I’ve ever seen. I love seeing these towers at night! They also host a fountain show, the Symphony Lake Water Show (sound and light) in front of the towers every night at 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm. This five-minute show is a fun way to enjoy the park with an epic background.

Dinner - jalon alor

You have a few options for dinner on your first full night in KL. If you just can’t get enough of the Petronas Towers at night, I would recommend finding a spot with a view over the towers. These can be a bit more expensive (understandably so), but they could be totally worth it. Here are a few highly-rated recommendations:

  • Fuego at Troika Sky Dining 
  • Marini’s on 57
  • THIRTY8 Restaurant, Bar, & Lounge

If you want to explore a new part of KL, head to Jalon Alor. This street comes alive each evening with its popular night market. Starting around 5:00 p.m. and going until midnight, you’ll find all kinds of delicious local street foods. My recommendation is to go where the people go and avoid any empty restaurants. It gets busier the later it is, especially after dark. 

Day 2: Get Outside

Batu Caves

kuala lumpur batu caves
kl batu caves

Batu Caves is one of the top attractions in Kuala Lumpur. And for good reason! This temple is inside a cave at the top of gorgeously painted colorful stairs. The earlier you can get here, the better. It gets busy and hot. It opens at 6:00 am and takes about 25 minutes to get there via taxi (cost: 5-10 RM or $1-2). You could also take public transportation for only 2.50 RM ($0.50) and will take about 45 minutes.

When visiting the caves, it’s important to remember that it’s a religious site for those who practice Hinduism. As such, it’s crucial to show respect and dress appropriately. There’s a dress code in place, with women required to cover their shoulders and knees. If needed, you can rent a sarong at the entrance for 5 RM or $1. Men have fewer restrictions, but it’s advisable to avoid tank tops or short shorts.

Don’t miss the opportunity to climb the 272 stairs to reach the main temple in the cave. It’s a unique experience that offers a breathtaking view. While it’s free to visit the main temples, there’s an additional cost for the other caves or attractions along the way. We chose not to visit these. The areawith souvenir shops, food stalls, and various touristy services, such as palm reading is also dotted .

PRO TIP: Beware of the monkeys! 

To be honest, I LOVE animals, but monkeys scare me. These guys are massive and will try to take things from you. Do not hold a water bottle or any food in your hands or the side of your backpack. Don’t set down your bag or backpack because they will try to grab it. Please don’t feed them or try to hold them! They are WILD animals just trying to survive, so don’t make it harder for them or you. They will bite. Have you seen their teeth?! Yikes.

Lunch - Restoran Wong Mei Kee

best food in kl
best drinks in kl

There are so many fantastic restaurants in KL from which you can choose. I will say that the Michelin Bib-Gourmand Restoran Wong Mei Kee is well worth a visit. They are only open from noon to 3:00 pm. They sell out of their top item, Siew Yuk (roast pork), daily, so you know it’s good. Trust me, go a bit before noon to get in line. Order at least one siew yuk per person and try it with the spicy sambal on the tables. Thank me later. 

We also ordered the sour plum drink (iced), which was sour but delicious! 

Perdana Botanical Gardens

perdana botanical gardens
kl perdana botanical gardens

If you have a good weather day and want more time outside, head to the Perdana Botanical Gardens. This sprawling park of 226 acres is free to the public. You’ll find many gorgeous pathways through flower gardens and jungle-y streams. It is gorgeous. 

The park includes restaurants, cafes, historical buildings, and religious monuments. If you are interested, you can also take advantage of a few additional activities within the park for a fee, such as Deer Park or the Islamic Arts Museum. You can purchase tickets at the entrances. 

or Berjaya Time Square Indoor Theme Park

If you are looking for a bit of time indoors under the AC, I get it. You can head to the Berjaya Time Square Mall and Indoor Theme Park. That’s right. This mall has a full-blown theme park indoors. This is including a roller coaster with a loop! The roller coaster is a blast and we were lucky enough to go on it multiple times. It is also great for kids with their Fantasy Garden area. It’s a great way to get the blood pumping without sweating!

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Speakesasy - PS150

bars in kl
kl speakeasy

You can choose from just about any neighborhood to find a good restaurant or bar. But I recommend heading to PS150 before or after dinner for a few drinks. This speakeasy cocktail bar is located in a fake toy shop, making it a fun adventure to find. Once inside, it’s a cool dark, classy lounge vibe. 

But the best part is the cocktails. They make really good cocktails here, and you can even get the opportunity to try absinthe! They also have food, but it’s light bites, a bit expensive, but tasty.

Day 3: Merdeka

Merdeka Square

kuala lumpur mosque
kuala lumpur merdeka square

Head out as early as possible to Merdeka Square to beat the heat. Merdeka means “independence” in Malay, and this square is ripe with history and cultural significance for the country. This is the heart of their Merdeka Day (Independence Day) celebrations

The square itself is a large grassy area surrounded by some important buildings. You’ll find the Sultan Abdul Samad Building as well as the I Love KL statue at the far end. Just behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is the Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad mosque. This is a pretty brick mosque that you can visit. I had to borrow a hooded cover for a donation (we gave 10 RM ($2.15) to enter since I didn’t have a proper head cover. 

Chinatown

kuala lumpur chinatown

Chinatown is just a few blocks away and a great place to explore in KL. There are a ton of restaurants and street food stalls. Be sure to sample a few dishes or grab a meal here. We ate at Lala Noodles and enjoyed it! There is also the Petaling Market here if you want knock-off clothing, bags, or shoes.

Central Market

kuala lumpur central market
kl central market

I highly recommend you visit the Central Market. This building is already so pretty from the outside, but the shopping is top-notch. It’s a market filled with local vendors selling their arts and crafts. Everything is so unique, and I wanted to buy something from EVERYONE! They are all so kind, and we absolutely loved this market. This is one of my favorite markets in the world, let alone Southeast Asia! Plus, they have AC!

PRO TIP: Stop by the Siooyu Art Studio to get a custom anime drawing from any photo! So cute 🥰

Sunset - Heli Lounge

kl heli lounge
kl petronas view

For sunset, you’ll want to head to the Heli Lounge. This place is on a helicopter pad at the top of a skyscraper—a real helicopter pad that has been used before. You only come here for the views, so don’t expect much from the drinks department. But the views are epic, overlooking the Petronas Towers and the KL Tower. 

Coming at sunset gives you a nice daytime view in less heat, and you also get to see the KL skyline glitter at night. There is a cover charge that includes a drink, and I would recommend the beer since the cocktails are overly sweet and don’t include much alcohol.

(LATE) Dinner - Ramly Burger

kuala lumpur ramly burger
best kl ramly burger

Since we spent most of the day in one area of the city, I want you to take a Grab to Brader John. It’s a 30-minute ride and costs about 20 RM ($4.25). But it’s worth it! 

This tiny little food truck is only open from 10 pm – 2 am and serves the iconic Ramly Burger. Technically, you can get Ramly burgers just about anywhere, but I highly recommend Brader John. It’s such a fun late-night atmosphere with the locals and tourists alike. And the burger is delicious!

More Information about Kuala Lumpur:

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

We’ve been to Kuala Lumpur four times and have stayed at different locations. Personally, we love the Hilton brand, and there are some perfect Hilton locations in KL. 

Get the list of the 10 Best Hotels in Kuala Lumpur

Getting around in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a huge metro city with really good public transportation. We often took the trains and monorail to get around town. The best way to get from the airport is by using the KLIA Transit or KLIA Ekspres. We also use Grab, the rideshare app of Southeast Asia for rides that don’t quite work for public transit. 

Larger Southeast Asia Itinerary Overview

If you are traveling through Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a great option to add to your itinerary. Kuala Lumpur is very centrally located, making it a perfect hub to reach other major SE Asia destinations like Bali, the Philippines, Bangkok, or Singapore. This three-day Kuala Lumpur Itinerary will work nicely for a quick stopover before continuing on your Malaysian or Asian adventures.

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Dive into our destination guides, including itineraries and cost posts! Or look at individual countries to start planning your next adventure!

Cost of Travel in Kuala Lumpur

It is very affordable for those coming from the US, and the dollar can go a long way, even for more luxury preferences. We found the food to have great variety and low prices. This is also one of our favorite cities for accommodation. They have some gorgeous hotels for relatively affordable rates!

Kuala Lumpur Trip cost

Our Total:

$2,296 for 2 people over 17 nights

Daily Total:

$135 per day; $67 per person per day

Value:

Cash vs. Credit Card in Kuala Lumpur

As with most of Southeast Asia, cash is still king but everything is very inexpensive. We used cash for quite a bit on our trip, including food, shopping, and public transportation. It is a big metropolitan city, though, so you can use your credit card for hotels, larger restaurants, shopping malls, and rideshares. 

Since you will need cash, I’d recommend using our favorite no-fee debit card at a local ATM to withdraw Malaysian Ringgit. We normally withdraw 200 RM ($42) at a time, which will last us about three or four days.

Best Time to Visit Kuala Lumpur

Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, you can expect the typical hot and humid weather you will get in neighboring countries. The weather (temperature and humidity) is fairly consistent year-round since it is close to the equator. 

You will experience two seasons: rainy (March to April & September to October) and dry (May to August & November to February). When we say rainy, we mean monsoons, not just a small rain storm. It can dump water like you’ve never seen! We’ve seen streets flooded from a single hour’s rain.

Sim Card Kuala Lumpur

E-sims are the way to go when traveling internationally. Most phone models can host e-sims now, and you can easily purchase your data before leaving on your trip. This way you will have data when you land in the new country. You can purchase a Malaysia data plan from $4.50 on Airalo. Or if you have a bigger trip planned, you can purchase an Asia Regional plan that covers 18 countries from $5.00.

Use the code(s) below for a discount on your e-SIM for Malaysia

New Users (15% discount): NEWTOAIRALO15
Existing Users (10% discount): AIRALOESIM10

Visa for Kuala Lumpur

US Citizens do not need any visas or prior documents for entering Malaysia for less than 90 days. You will need at least one blank page for a passport stamp and at least 6 months validity on your passport. And if you are hopping around Southeast Asia on a longer trip, your visa resets each time you leave the country and re-enter.

Double-check your visa requirements for Malaysia!

Travel Insurance for Kuala Lumpur

Travel insurance with SafetyWing can help protect you from tons of unexpected events while traveling to Malaysia. They cover trip insurance like cancelations, delays, or lost luggage. They also cover medical emergencies that may occur while on the road. We never leave home without it and it has saved us a ton of money over the years!

Is it Safe in Kuala Lumpur?

Overall we found Kuala Lumpur to be super safe. We’ve never felt threatened or unsafe while traveling through the massive city. In fact, we felt very welcomed and looked after by most!

However, Kuala Lumpur is a highly populated metropolitan city, so there are some dangers associated with that. Petty crime can be common, so keep your valuables safe or hidden. You will also see quite a bit of homelessness. KL and Manila, Philippines, are the two SE Asian cities we feel have the most homelessness. Again, we never felt threatened; we were just more aware of them here. 

Packing List for Kuala Lumpur

Pack your bags for a hot and muggy trip. You’ll want to cover up in lighter clothing to stay cool but also keep the mosquitos off you. This is also important for any religious sites you plan on visiting, like Batu Caves or any of the mosques.

  • Portable Fan: this is a game changer for us traveling around Southeast Asia. Charge it overnight, and it lasts the next day, with lots of usage.
  • Power Bank: My phone is always drained while traveling since I use it for directions, information, and photos. Plus it’s hot. This MagSafe charger is small enough for a purse and sticks on the back of your phone without any cords.
  • Sun Hat: These SPF hats are perfect for travel since they roll up nicely for packing. They will keep your head protected and give your face a small reprieve from the sun.
  • Swimsuit: Even though there are no beaches in sight, don’t forget a swimsuit for your rooftop pool!
  • Bug Lotion: We highly prefer bus repellant in lotion form vs. spray. It’s way easier to apply in a city hotel room, and it’s not sticky or smelly!

This post was all about an epic 3 day Kuala Lumpur Itinerary so you get the most of your stay in the Malaysian capital!

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