Getting Around: Transportation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Discover the best options for transportation in Kuala Lumpur, including public transit, rideshare, and more, to navigate the city efficiently and affordably.

Kuala Lumpur is a massive sprawling capital city with sights to see in every corner. You definitely won’t be able to walk your way around this city, especially with the heat and humidity. 

We’ve been to Kuala Lumpur a handful of times and have tested all the different methods of transportation. This guide will breakdown which transportation method you should take and how to best use it. 

Right off the bat, I would say public transportation and Grab (rideshare) will be your best bets, but dive in to find out more. 

We’ll cover public transportation in Kuala Lumpur, public transportation in Kuala Lumpur, the MRT KL, traffic in KL, Grab in Kuala Lumpur, and more!

Transportation in Kuala Lumpur

This post is all about the best transportation options in Kuala Lumpur!


Best for Budget: Public Transportation

Most Convenient: Rideshare with Grab

Best Option to/from Airport: KLIA Train

Transportation in Kuala Lumpur

Public Transportation

mrt kl

The public transportation in Kuala Lumpur is some of Southeast Asia’s best. They have multiple public transit methods, including buses, trains, and a monorail. All are simple to use with Google Maps and are really inexpensive. 

I will say, it’s not always the cleanest, and I personally don’t like taking it at night. Many homeless people find refuge in the bridges and stairwells leading up to the stations at night.

However, if your hotel is near to a train station (like our favorite hotel located inside KL Sentral), it is super convenient to get around the city. We used it often on our most recent trip, especially when celebrating Merdeka Day!

You must purchase tickets (tokens) with cash or buy a pre-paid contactless card (Touch’n’Go) to ride any transportation. I would recommend purchasing tokens for each ride at the ticketing area just before the turnstiles at the rail stations. While in KL, we mostly took the rail systems or rideshare rather than the buses.

KLIA - Airport Train

kuala lumpur train from airport

The KLIA is Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s dedicated rail line. There are two options: the KLIA Ekspres or KLIA Transit.

The KLIA Ekspres will get you from the airport (KLIA1 or KLIA2) to KL Sentral in under 30 minutes. It costs 55 RM one-way or 100 RM roundtrip. It’s our preferred way to get to town and avoid the traffic. However, it only runs between 5:00 am and midnight, so we’ll take Grab if we have a late or early flight. 

The KLIA Transit only takes 39 minutes from the airport to KL Sentral and costs 55 RM ($11.70) per person. It runs every 15 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Since it’s the same rate as the Ekspres, we will take either, depending on which has the shorter wait time from when we arrive. 

Rideshare or Taxis

grab in kuala lumpur

There are plenty of taxis for transport around KL as well. I would recommend downloading Southeast Asia’s top rideshare service, Grab. This will hail cars for you and give you fare estimations before you ride. You can also pay and tip within the app via credit card, making it super convenient. 

It was nice to grab a rideshare for us when we traveled a bit farther or when it was just too hot. Each ride was incredibly affordable, and it was always nice to be delivered directly to where we wanted to go with in AC.

The cars are not the nicest, but the drivers were always friendly. Beware that traffic in KL can be extremely tedious and can cause a 20 minute ride to be over an hour at times. Even in these cases, the rates are never too high. 

Rental Car

traffic in KL

You could rent a car while you are in Kuala Lumpur, but I would not recommend it. KL is a massive city with a LOT of traffic. I don’t think there are great parking options everywhere. It could be a good idea if you plan to go straight out of town. There are plenty of public transport options or rideshare if you prefer more privacy and convenience.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

There are a few Hop On Hop Off Bus option in Kuala Lumpur that are super affordable. This could be a great way to easily get to each top destination and learn a bit more about the city as you go. 

We prefer this style tour to guided tours since we have a lot more flexibility in our day and how long we can explore each site. However, with the ease of public transportation and cost of Grabs in KL, we have not experienced any of these options. 

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This post outlined all the top transportation options in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Happy Travels!

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