Kuala Lumpur is a city of delightful contrasts and one of the most vibrant cities in Asia. Visitors will be greeted by the stunning Petronas Twin Tower, a world-renowned icon of the contry.
The numerous pre-war heritage buildings reflect Kuala Lumpur’s rich past & stand in charming juxtaposition to the modern ambience. Lush greenery and well-manicured parks lend a refreshing garden appeal to the city.
With its colourful potpourri of races and cultures, Kuala Lumpur, as the city is popularly known, is kaleidoscope of fascinating sights and sounds. Immerse yourself in its abundance of attractions – exciting theme parks, world-class sporting events, dazzling cultural performances and entertaining nightlife.
Kuala Lumpur traces its origins to the 1850s when tin prospectors established a trading post here. As the years passed, KL emerged as the centre of commerce in the country. It was made the capital following the country’s independence in 1957. KL’s flourishing growth led to the conferment of city status in 1972. Two years later, on 1 February 1974, the city was ceded to the Federal Government by the state of Selangor and established as a Federal Territory. Today, KL is home to a population of 1.6 million people and is a microcosm of modern Malaysia.
English is widely spoken here and visitors can go on organised tours or explore the capital at their own pace. The city boasts a comprehensive transportation network that makes your sightseeing experience pleasant and hassle-free. This guide suggests the nearest or most convenient modes of transport to the various places of interest. Enjoy your visit to this modern metropolis.
Places of Interest:
- National Museum – The country’s premier museum is a repository for the nation’s rich heritage and history. Built in 1963, the façade features a Minangkabau-styled roof with two impressive front murals. The museum showcases four main galleries with highlights such as traditional musical instruments, ceramics from the Ming Dynasty, vintage cars and a steam locomotive.
- Sultan Abdul Samad Building – One of the most prominent and distinguished landmarks of KL, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is an enduring attraction amidst the rapidly changing city skyline. Built in 1897, the building was named after the reigning monarch at the time. The stately edifice served as the government administrative building during the British era. Constructed entirely of brick, it boasts a Mahometan or Neo-Saracenic style with an imposing porch, graceful arches, shiny copper domes and a 41.2m high clock tower.
- Merdeka Square (Independence Square) – This is a good starting point to explore the city’s heritage sites. On 31 August 1957, the Union Jack was lowered here to mark Malaysia’s independence from colonial rule. Hence the name, Dataran Merdeka, which means ‘Independence Square’. In its heyday, the square used to be the venue for parades, cricket matches and other important occasions. Today, this historic heart of KL is preserved with beautifully manicured lawns, terraces and a fountain. It is the ideal backdrop for photography. Adjacent to Dataran Merdeka is the Royal Selangor Club, a mock-Tudor structure with an interesting history.
- KL Railway Station – Boasting a Moghul inspired neo-Saracen architecture with gently curving domes and arches, the KL Railway Station is a striking landmark in the city. Situated at the heart of the city, this station used to serve as the hub for the nation’s rail transportation system before the modern KL Sentral Station was built. Just across the road is the Malayan Railway (KTM) Headquarters.
- Masjid Negara (National Mosque) – Masjid Negara is one of the most distinguished landmarks in the city. It has a unique star-shaped dome and a 73m high minaret. The National Mosque is situated fringing the KL Lake Gardens. Visitors are advised to dress appropriately when visiting the mosque. Women will be required to wear headscarves. Visitors who are interested in Islamic arts can visit the Islamic Arts Centre situated overlooking the mosque.
- Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque) – Hailed as KL’s oldest surviving mosque, Masjid Jamek was built in 1909 and officially opened by the then Sultan of Selangor. Its design was inspired by Moghul architecture with cupolas, minarets and arched colonnades. Just minutes away is Masjid India, another mosque showcasing southern Indian architectural elements.
- Sze Ya Temple – Built by Kapitan Cina Yap Ah Loy, this is the oldest Taoist temple in the city with a history dating back to 1864. The temple features an ornate interior and elaborate roof ridges. Sze Ya Temple pays tribute to the deities of Sin Sze Ya and Si Sze Ya. The oracles of the former were said to have guided Yap Ah Loy during the Selangor Civil War.
- Sri Maha Mariamman Temple – One of the oldest and most elaborate in the country, this Hindu temple has a magnificent 22m high tower. The walls and ceilings are adorned with intricately carved images of Hindu deities.
- Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin – A fine example of early English Gothic architecture, this cathedral features stained glass windows, tasseled tile paving and buttresses. A unique feature here is the pipe organ built in 1895 by Henry Willis, one of the greatest organ builders of his day.
- The Heritage Centre – Situated within the grounds, the Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman is a classic example of a traditional Malay house in the northern state of Kedah. This house was relocated and restored to preserve its original carvings, furniture and other artefacts. Aside from the traditional Malay house, The Heritage Centre comprises of an exhibition centre, a resource centre, a gift shop as well as an office.
- Thean Hou Temple
- Royal Selangor Club
- National Planetarium
- National Science Centre
- Perdana Botanical Gardens (KL Lake Gardens)
- Orchid & Hibiscus Gardens
- Deer Park
- KL Butterfly Park
- ASEAN Sculpture Garden
- Titiwangsa Lake Gardens
- National Zoo
- Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve
- Maybank Numismatic Museum
- National Telecommunications Museum (Telekomuzium)
- Petronas Art Gallery
- National Monument
- P.Ramlee Memorial
- Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex
- Berjaya Times Square Theme Park