What to do in Kuala Lumpur in one day

Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful bustling city in the lush country of Malaysia. This Kuala Lumpur day trip is filled with the best of what this city has to offer. Stay at the beautiful Anggun Boutique Hotel for a lovely tropical experience. Stroll over to the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers that stretch high into the sky, and then wander through the busy Kuala Lumpur City Center. Stop for a midmorning coffee break at the hip and industrial Acme Coffee and Bar and then head over to Aquaria to have an amazing underwater experience. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the surprising local favorite, Black Forest Restaurant. After a filling meal head over to Central Market for a diverse and colorful afternoon of shopping

Take a break to sip a warm cup of coffee at the artsy and cozy Aku Café and Gallery, and then go over to the Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad building to see the beautiful architecture. Spend the remainder of your afternoon experiencing the tropics of Malaysia at the lush and exciting Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. Have Dinner at the excellent restaurant, El Cerdo where you will be greeted with warmth and comfort food. Spend your evening in the brightly colorful Chinatown Market, have drinks with your friends while listening to live music at the Pisco Bar and then finish your night in true Kuala Lumpur style at the popular nightclub, Zouk. You will have an incredible time on your Kuala Lumpur day trip

09:00 – Start your day trip at the Cozy and Tropical Anggun Boutique Hotel

Right in the center of the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur is the cozy and beautiful Anggun Boutique Hotel. The hotel is located in an old Malaysian house that has been remodeled in a lovely style and is now the perfect place to stay while in Kuala Lumpur. The friendly staff will greet you as you walk through the antique foliage covered entrance. There is a beautiful patio leading up to the lobby. The front desk is made from old dark brown wood and interesting antique lamps hang from the ceiling. The space is filled with wood antiques and various plants. It is a homey tropical paradise in the middle of the city and you will love staying at Anggun Boutique Hotel

The Anggun Boutique hotel has lots of gorgeous public spaces for you to enjoy. The patio is a great place to sit and enjoy the city sounds, while inside there are lots of couches and chairs for you to kick back and relax on while you wait to be taken up to your room. Colorful and interesting lamps hang everywhere and there are lots unique and traditional decorations around the hotel. On the roof of the building, there is a lounge and restaurant. It’s a great space to enjoy the natural atmosphere surrounding the Anggun Boutique Hotel. The hotel’s ambience is cool and tropical and makes your feel right at home immediately

When you are taken to your room, you will love walking through the old hallways that wind their way up the floor of the hotel. The rooms have gorgeous hardwood floors and the walls are painted in rich colors like forest green and burnt red. The rooms feature big floor to ceiling windows that let the light stream in beautifully. The furniture is mostly made from dark brown wood and there are tropical flowers in vases on the tables and arranged in bouquets on the bed. The Anggun Boutique Hotel strives to make sure your stay feels personal and luxurious. This is the perfect place for you to stay while on your Kuala Lumpur day trip  // Anggun Boutique Hotel – 9, Tengkat Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

09:30 – Head Up Into the Clouds at Petronas Twin Towers and Enter into the Bustle at Kuala Lumpur City Center

Kuala Lumpur is a bustling city of business and tourism and there is no better place to experience this metropolis than at the Petronas Twin Towers in the Kuala Lumpur City Center. The skyscrapers here are magnificent and the Petronas Twin Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world. It is a fantastic landmark of the city of Kuala Lumpur that the local people are very proud of. The city center is beneath the shadow of the towers and is home to many interesting shops and sites. This is a great way to spend a morning in Kuala Lumpur

The Petronas Twin Towers are breathtakingly tall and sunlight gleams off their shiny windows. The towers are connected by a bridge known as the Skybridge located at the 41st floor. Head into the Petronas Twin Towers to get an amazing view of the city. There are many beautiful shops and colors inside the towers. You can take the elevator up to the sky bridge where you will get an excellent view and feel like you are walking on air high above the city. Walk between the towers and enjoy the incredible experience offered here at the Petronas Twin Towers

Once you come down from the Petronas Twin Towers, you can walk out into the Kuala Lumpur City Centre where you will find a city within a city. The area is home to a large shopping mall, a park, a mosque and many beautiful skyscrapers. The famous mall is known as Suria KLCC and is a massive space for high-end shopping. The park is a beautiful place to walk through and gaze up at the skyscrapers as you enjoy the natural green space. This is the heart of the city so experience the buzz of it all as you wander through city center of Kuala Lumpur  // Petronas Twin Towers – Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

10:30 – Have a Cup of Coffee and People Watch at the Sleek Acme Bar and Coffee

For a truly unique and wonderful café experience, head over to Acme Bar and Coffee where you find a great atmosphere and fantastic coffee and food. Inside you will find a friendly staff eager to serve you. Acme Bar and Coffee has a wonderful interior that feels a bit like an industrial loft. The vibe is very urban and interesting and their coffee carries on that feeling. The founders of the café gathered much of their inspiration from Portland and Seattle and the fusion of those coffee scenes with atmosphere of Kuala Lumpur is exactly as magical as you might expect

Acme Bar and Coffee offers all your usual coffee options like lattes and espressos but they also have an extensive list of alternative beverages for you to choose from if you want to forgo the coffee. The have fresh pressed orange, lemon and lime juice, and they have handcrafted sodas like cucumber mint and pomegranate cranberry. There is of course a wide selection of teas and if you are feeling extra healthy today they have what they call “A Jar of Detox”, which is freshly pressed vegetable and fruit juices with added herbs like ginger or parsley. Whatever you order will be refreshing, delicious and perfect to enjoy in this laid-back café

As you sit back at a cozy table you will get a great view of the surrounding city and green space. The walls of the cafes are mostly glass floor to ceiling windows, which make for excellent people watching. You can sip your delicious beverage and chat with your friends in this fantastic atmosphere. If you are a bit hungry don’t be afraid to ask for their sweets menu. They have incredible cakes like Mango Pistachio Roulade and Orange Lava Cake. There also have many unique ice cream flavors such as red velvet macaroon and sizzling brownie Oreo. From start to finish your experience at Acme Bar and Café will be unique and delicious  // Acme Bar & Coffee – The Troika, Persiaran KLCC, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

11:00 – Dive Under the Sea and Check Out All of the Beautiful Creatures at Aquaria

In the Kuala Lumpur City Centre is one of largest aquariums in the world known as Aquaria. The massive aquarium is home to more than 150 different species of marine life and offers a beautiful space from which to view them. Aquaria is one of the city’s most famous and visited landmarks. It offers a unique underwater experience unrivaled by any aquarium you have been to before. You will have an incredible time exploring the bottom of the sea as you wander through the many exhibits and among the massive tanks

Aquaria has thousands of marine creatures swimming through its tanks. There are tiger sharks, blue rays, coral fish, seahorses and many more. The Aquarium is designed so that you can view the fish from many different perspectives and landscapes. They have exhibits from the watery Malaysian jungles, beautiful coral reefs, the lush Amazon basin, and the bottom of the open ocean. There is a wonderful submerged tunnel that you can walk through to see fish swimming above and around you. There is also a touch pool where you can get your hands wet while picking up starfishes

Feeding time is a great time to be at Aquaria you can see the sharks eating their protein-filled lunch and piranhas making their meal disappear in a flash. There are large tanks filled with the brightest colors of fish. The Weird and Wonderful section of the aquarium features marine life that is exactly that. Their interesting jellyfish and the sea shell-looking creatures known as Nautilus. There is plenty to see and do here at Aquaria and you will feel like you have taken a dive down into the sea yourself  // Aquaria – Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Complex, Jalang Pinang, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

12:30 – Enjoy a Unique Meal at the surprising and popular Black Forest Restaurant

A German restaurant might seem like an odd choice for lunch here in Kuala Lumpur, but Black Forest is a favorite spot for both locals and tourists and offers a Malaysian twist on the European cuisine. The chef here has live in Kuala Lumpur for years and found a way to prepare German food that made the Black Forest restaurant one of the most popular restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Get ready for a full and hearty meal served by a friendly staff in a warm and cozy atmosphere

Black Forest is done up in a laid back style with nods to Germany throughout. The tables are all covered with blue and white checkered tablecloths. The restaurant opens up to the street, which gives it a very welcoming neighborhood feel. German beer signs hang everywhere, and this restaurant is definitely a place where you should order a beer. They offer some of the best German beers there are, so definitely ask the waiter what they have. Of course, there are Paulaner and Guinness, but there’s plenty more to choose from as well. Hang out with the locals enjoying a unique German atmosphere in Kuala Lumpur

The menu will have your mouth watering in no time with its wide selection of comfort foods. They have several cold starters, which feature various combinations meats and cheeses and locally grown vegetables. In true German style, they also have various types of rich schnitzels, which are favorites among the local Malaysian guests of the restaurant. There are also burgers, steaks, fried chicken and pastas. All of which are delicious and filling. Black Forest offers a really unique lunch experience here in Kuala Lumpur and you will quickly understand its popularity  // Black Forest – 47, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

14:00 – Have an Afternoon of Shopping at the Diverse and Quirky Central Market

One of the most popular tourist attractions and favorite place for shopping is Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market. This iconic space was built in 1928 and features lots and lots of fascinating stalls selling various locally made creations. It is known for its very artistic and quirky vibe and it is a beautiful space to spend an afternoon of shopping for unique trinkets and souvenirs. The entrance to the Central Market is a beautiful blue building façade located near to a beautiful palm tree-filled square. Step inside the cool air-conditioned market for great shopping experience

The shops inside of the Central Market are all unique and interesting. Take your time wandering through and admiring all the fascinating items. There are boutiques selling clothes, souvenir shops and handicraft stalls selling locally made jewelry and batik art prints as well as many other beautiful handmade items. There are also stores that sell designer brands and others which sell second-hand items. Some highlights include the Borneo Peral shop, Kheng’s Antique and Collectible, and Dodo Art & Craft shop. There are so many great places to stop in and find a nice souvenir

The Central Market is divided into different cultural zones to allow visitors to see the distinct qualities of the various cultures that live in Malaysia. There are alleys selling Indian products and others, which sell traditional Peranakan products, which means products from Malaysians with ancient Chinese heritage. Malaysia has rich cultural diversity and Central Market offers a unique look into this diversity through their many stalls and shops. It is an amazing shopping experience that will enlighten you as well as give you the chance to buy things to commemorate your Kuala Lumpur day trip  // Central Market – Jalan Hang Kasturi, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

16:00 – Cozy Up in an Atmosphere of Art and Sweets at the Aku Café and Gallery

After a busy afternoon of shopping, it is definitely time for a coffee break. Aku Café and Gallery is the perfect little hipster café that you have been hoping for. It offers a calming and quiet atmosphere contrasting with the busy and bustling city just outside the doors. When you walk into this hidden café you will fall in love with its simple living room feel and the friendly artsy locals who hang out here during the day. You will feel like you have stumbled upon a great local secret and nestling into this café is exactly what the afternoon calls for

As you walk up to the counter of Aku Café and Gallery, you will love all the locally made art that hangs on the walls. The café is a gallery as well and they display many beautiful pieces created by Malaysian artists. They have great coffee options that you can order either hand brewed or siphoned, which is a popular way to have coffee prepared here in Kuala Lumpur. Siphon coffee involves a fascinating chemistry set-looking apparatus that makes a really good cup of coffee. Talk to the friendly baristas and watch them expertly prepare your cup of coffee

Aku Café and Gallery has more than just coffee. They also have freshly made smoothies like Orange Ginger Mint and Green Apple Yogurt. The café has a wide selection of teas and there are also delicious desserts and sandwiches to go alongside. Order a cucumber sandwich or their bread pudding for a tasty afternoon snack. Settle down at one of the beautiful wooden tables and admire the collection of books and trinkets that add to the ambience of the café. It is a quaint and wonderful place to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee  // Aku Café and Gallery – 1st floor, 8, Jalan Panggong, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

17:00 – Experience an Interesting Historical and Architectural Gem at the Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad

One of the significant and stunning buildings and landmarks in Kuala Lumpur is the beautiful Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad building. This magnificent structure is located in front of Independence Square. It was built in the 1800s under the orders of Sultan Abdul Samad. It was original designed to hold various government offices and has been used for various purposes including the High Court of Malaysia. Now it is home to the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture. The building has a very royal and official appearance and you will be impressed by its beauty

The Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad building was built in what is known as Mahometan style. This type of architecture was developed in India and is an interesting mixture of gothic and Italian with some notable Islamic elements. This fascinating style is worth seeing and you will be able to see the fusion of cultures in this grand building. The Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad building stretches for 450 feet and when it was built it was the largest building at the time. There is a beautiful clock tower with a shiny copper dome the rings every hour and will let you know the time

Another thing that makes the Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad building so stunning is that it is nestled in the bustling metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, surrounded by skyscrapers. The best view of the building and the surrounding city is from Independence Square or Dataran Merdeka. This large green space is surrounded by palm trees and opens up beautifully to face the Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad building. It is a really unique and beautiful space and an interesting structure to see while on your Kuala Lumpur day trip  // Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad – Jalan Raja, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

18:30 – Wander Through a Lush Tropical Paradise at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

Right within the city of Kuala Lumpur there is a beautiful oasis of nature and gardens that is known as the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. This beautiful green space is the world’s largest covered bird park and is home to over 3,000 birds from 200 different exotic species. What makes this bird park so amazing is that most of the birds are free and not confined in cages. They are also accustomed to being around people so many birds will come and eat from your hand or peck at your shoes. It is an incredible space that allows you to feel like you’ve walked into an enchanted jungle

The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is divided into a few different sections. Brahminy Island has a beautiful collection of the local Malaysian bird, brahminy kite. The World of Parrots is exactly what it sounds like and is home to 20 different species of parrots. The Oriental Birds Aviary has more than 50 kinds of interesting oriental birds. There is also Flamingo Pond and Hornbill Park and many other interesting spaces that allow you to get up close and personal with a wide array of various birds of all shapes and colors

The park has wonderful tiled walkway beautiful trees and plants and many rivers streams and waterfalls throughout its space. It is an incredible and photogenic place so get your camera ready. The gardens and ponds are filled with flamingos and storks and the sounds of birds flying and singing through the trees is all around you as you stroll through Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. It is an incredible place to spend time in and you will be amazed by everything there is to see here in this stunning bird park  // KL Bird Park, 920, Jalan Cenderawasih, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

19:30 – Indulge in the Delicious Pork-Centric Foods at the Friendly Restaurant El Cerdo

One of Kuala Lumpur’s most beloved and delicious restaurants is the delightful El Cerdo. Specialized in expertly crafted pork dishes, El Cerdo is a wonderful local spot featuring food that will leave you happy and satisfied. Food is the focus here and you will have a dinner experience focused on flavor. As you walk into El Cerdo you will be greeted by a delightfully friendly staff, warm lighting, happy yellow walls and deep brown furnishings. The restaurant feels cozy and it matches perfectly with the delicious comfort food that they serve

The food at El Cerdo is rich and tasty and very pork centered. Some favorite dishes include the hickory smoked soft ribs, the ham knuckle, and the marinated pork shoulder steak. Each dish is expertly crafted and beautifully presented on the plate. The dishes come with various sides including truffled mash potatoes cheesy pastas, or salad. They also serve paella, a selection of pasta dishes and there is a whole section of the menu just dedicated to sausages. El Cerdo is a meaty and delicious restaurant that indulges all your pork cravings

Enjoy your meal at one of El Cerdo’s deep mahogany tables amidst the tinkling of wine glasses and the friendly chatter of the many restaurant patrons who love this popular dinner spot. The restaurant exudes warmth and satisfaction. Top off your dinner with some dessert. El Cerdo offers homemade ice cream, churros, rum and raisin pancakes, and caramelized bananas. Relish the savory goodness of your meal and of El Cerdo’s rich and warm atmosphere  // El Cerdo – Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

21:00 – Shop and Explore Beneath the Twinkling Lights at the Chinatown Night Market

Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown Market is one of the most popular tourist destinations at any of time of the day, but when the market truly comes alive is in the evening once the sun goes down. The market has a huge variety of items, everything from groceries to clothing to DVDs. If you want a good bargain on some quirky souvenirs, this is the place to go. The prices go down with the sun so get ready to haggle like a local for kitsch items

As you enter the Chinatown Night Market, you will be greet by a large sign that says Petaling Street. That’s the name of the street that this market is on and you will know you have arrived when you see the glow of the warm light emanating from the stalls. There are also beautiful traditional lights and Chinese decorations strung from the tops of buildings and lighting up the street. The market is buzzing with light and energy. It’s hard not to get caught up in the bright colors of the Chinese Night Market in Kuala Lumpur. Take your time wandering beneath the golden lights

The best part of the Chinatown Night Market is the bustling lively crowds that come here at night. People come here to shop, eat a late dinner at a street food stall, or just walk around with their friends. The market is an excellent place to see the diversity of Kuala Lumpur people from all areas of the city come to the Chinatown Market. It’s a neighborhood that never seems to go to sleep. Join in with the locals hopping from stall to stall, ordering food and drinks from street vendors, and chattering with their friends as they stroll casually through the market  // Chinatown Market – Jalan Petaling, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

22:30 – Hang Out and Listen to Some Great Live Music at the Quirky Pisco Bar

Kuala Lumpur’s nightlife is always bright and buzzing and one of the trendiest spots to experience this exciting atmosphere is at Pisco Bar. The city’s hippest locals and expats are the regular crowds at this fun bar. It is a two-story building providing lots of room for everyone who wants to experience the good vibes that Pisco Bar has to offer. Walk into this colorfully lit bar and get ready to enjoy some drinks with your friends and live music at this excellent Kuala Lumpur bar

The bar has a fun and eccentric style with interesting décor filling the industrial space. The walls are exposed brick and black and white photographs of famous pop stars cover the walls. The downstairs has a chill lounge and dining area with lots of wooden benches and tables. Upstairs there is a beautiful terrace and an indoor space perfect for hanging out and listening to music with a drink in hand. Head to the bar and ask the friendly bartender to mix you up a nice cocktail. You are going to love hanging out here at Pisco Bar

On the second floor of the Pisco Bar there is a stage where fantastic live musicians are often playing or famous local DJs are mixing chill house music. Find a place to sit or stand and enjoy the music and the atmosphere. Pisco Bar is a wonderful place to enjoy a chill night out with your friends. Join in with the other visitors and feel free to dance to music. Hang out on the terrace and watch Kuala Lumpur’s streets come to life as the night goes on  // Pisco Bar – Malaysia, 29, Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

23:59 – Party With Kuala Lumpur’s Elite Crowd While Dancing at the Eccentric Zouk Club

For an exciting end to a fantastic Kuala Lumpur day trip, head over to the infamous nightclub, Zouk. Get ready to dance and party the night away at the incredible club among Kuala Lumpur’s hottest crowds. Zouk appropriately means “party” in French Creole and that is exactly what you are going to do tonight. Zouk is what is known as a superclub featuring a unique combination of restaurant, live music venue, bar and nightclub. It has an incredible vibe that will let you leave all your worries behind and just dance and party on this amazing night

Zouk nightclub is well known for featuring an incredible and diverse lineup of international DJs. The music is always on point here and you will not be able to help but break it down on the dance floor. There are also lots of theme nights so you could happen upon an evening of retro Mambo Jambo, which is music from the 70s and 80s remixed with house music. Everyone who comes to Zouk has an amazing time so swing to the rhythm as you dance with an eclectic crowd of locals and expats. Everyone agrees that Zouk is the place to be once the sun goes down

The atmosphere and décor of Zouk are both elegant and eccentric with interesting chandeliers and deep purple, blue and red furniture in the lounge area and a waterfall of colored lights hanging down from the ceiling and illuminated the dance floor and bar area. A particularly exciting part of the lounge at Zouk is the gold slide in the middle of the room that twists down from the floor above. There are lots of spaces to dance or sit back with a cocktail or just hang out at the bar. The whole nightclub is quirky and opulent. It is the perfect place to end an exciting day in Kuala Lumpur  // Zouk Club – 36, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

We mapped out your day trip in Kuala Lumpur

Each highlight of your day trip is numbered, simply follow the guide

What you should absolutely know about Kuala Lumpur

City highlights, food & drinks, expressions, weather, how to get there and how to get around

During your Kuala Lumpur day trips, you’ll soon see how the city grew from a sleepy village to metropolis bursting with life. Journey through the city’s melting pot of people and places. Kuala Lumpur boasts great shopping, wonderful and diverse assortments of food, towering skyscrapers, and magical natural wonders. Wander among the streets lined with food stalls. Sit and enjoy the sights under the leafy canopy of native banyan trees. Walk along the skybridge and see the city of Kuala Lumpur from high up in the Petronas Towers observation deck. It’s easy to see how this dynamic city has something for every traveler

Kuala Lumpur is full of architectural delights. Visit the Petronas Twin Towers or take the bus into the heart of the city to look at the old colonial buildings. Don’t leave Kuala Lumpur without seeing the ASEAN sculpture garden or the National Monument

It’s all about the food in the city of KL, where you can find blends of Asian traditions. Try popiah and congee for breakfast. Snack on freshly made roti and chicken curry. Afternoon tea is very important here too, so stop and have a cup

Although many Malaysians speak English, it is good to know a few words in Malay. “Good morning” is “Selamat Pagi”, “Thank you” is “Terima kasih”, and to ask someone the time, ask “ Pukul Berapa Sekarang?”  To say “Yes”, say “Ya” and to say “No” is “Tidak”. It cannot be more simple to start a conversation

Kuala Lumpur tends to not have distinguishable seasons and it is hot year-round. The weather is characterized by two monsoon seasons: the Northeast Monsoon from November to March which brings heavy rain and the Southwest Monsoon from late May to September which brings drier weather

Taking a taxi from the airport to the city center costs anywhere from 75 to 200 Malaysian ringgits. The KLIA Express Train runs into the city about every 20 minutes and costs around 35 Malaysian ringgits for a one-way ticket

Kuala Lumpur is a city best explored on foot, if you can stand the heat. Many shops, restaurants, and attractions are within short distance of one another in the city center. Taxis are also a fast way to get around the city

Feeling adventurous? Have a look at these city guides