Kuala Lumpur is the federal capital and the largest city in Malaysia with over 7 million residents including the surrounding areas which seem to stretch on forever. What fascinates most travellers with Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia is the multi-cultural mix of its residents where ethnic Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indigenous people and a handful of expats all live together in relative harmony, and it really shows in their incredible food. Not only does Malaysia have some of the best shopping in the world, but it is also blessed with some of the best street food.
KL is the new hub of southeast Asia thanks to the continuing expansion of AirAsia and Malaysian Airlines, meaning most travellers at some point are going to get the option to stop over in KL and you really should take this chance – even if it is only for 3 days! Spend your days here exploring historic districts, the nature which lays just beyond the city outskirts or simply lounging poolside at your luxury hotel. And return at night to find the traffic-clogged streets cleared to make way for the hawker stands which explode out across the side-walks, where you can sit in plastic chairs, people watching with a cold beer and some delicious Laksa, Hainanese Chicken Rice or Bak Kut Teh.
Of course KL also has elegant dining, luxurious day spas and plenty of delicious cocktail bars with mind-blowing views and we have covered both to give the best blend of things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days!. A city for everyone, read on to discover the perfect Kuala Lumpur 3 days itinerary and my vote for the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur!
Choosing the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur is difficult if you are arriving into this sprawling city for the first time. The roads are confusing and the public transport is rather disjointed, and discerning a central area is a perilous task in-and-of itself. After visiting multiple times over the years I can confidently say that the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur. Offering affordable luxury, a curious fusion of old-world style colonial style and modern design, two swimming pools, free transport shuttles and gorgeously appointed rooms you wont have to worry about getting a good nights rest as you power through these things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days!
One of the top 5 star hotels in Kuala Lumpur, the Majestic Hotel actually has a variety of room categories so entrance level rooms are insanely affordable compared to the Western world – and why not splurge a little to ensure you have the perfect 3 days in KL. Built in 1932, the Majestic Hotel is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most famous landmarks and has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion the return the The Hotel Majestic to one of grandest and most prestigious hotels in Kuala Lumpur. Today there stands the historic Majestic Wing and new Tower wing conveniently located by an air-conditioned walkway giving guests the option of 47 luxurious suites dripping with old world elegance or 253 guest-rooms and suites in the new Tower wing which offers subtle hints of the Hotel’s past but bring a more contemporary and sophisticated feel.
Centrally located with a convenient and frequent free shuttle direct to the KLIA Ekspres, a premium non-stop high-speed train service that connects KL International Airport and the Kuala Lumpur city center – by staying at the Majestic Hotel in KL you won’t waste any time traipsing to distant hotels on the outskirts of the city. Everything is a short taxi or walk away from the Majestic Hotel meaning you will get more of the following things To Do In Kuala Lumpur In 3 Days done and make the most of your Kuala Lumpur stop-over – but as you will see, a few of KL’s top attractions are actually the dining at the Majestic Hotel. Trust us, tell any local you’re staying at the Majestic Hotel and their first comment is ‘Have you had the Majestic Hotel High Tea in the Orchid Conservatory?’ A hotel like no other which compliments your 3 days in KL and will be as memorable as anything else on this KL itinerary – take a look now at the Majestic Hotel KL story!
A luxury shopping destination with over 550 retail outlets and restaurants, even if you’re not out for a shopping spree this mall is fascinating for its grandiose design, central location in Bukit Bintang and to watch all the fashionista’s running around spending their hard-earned ringgit (or not so hard – who really knows!). Popular with Asian tourists, if you are around any holidays head to their main atrium which will undoubtably be decked out in an absolutely insane amount of decorations, and there is often a pretty decent schedule of free events and performances to draw you in. A temple of consumerism and a great place to get lost for a few hours.
One of the largest aquariums in Asia and home to over 150 species of marine life – Sure there might not be any great diving in this part of Malaysia (for that you will need to head to Sipidan in Borneo!) but why not spend a few hours here getting up close and personal with seahorses, tiger sharks, blue rays and more. The Aquaria KLCC offers a unique experience to walk though different watery environments from flooded jungles to open ocean with the highlight – a 90m walk-though tunnel under a giant tank with a shipwreck! See if you can spot Nemo and all his friends! If you like tiny things or the big picture, relaxing or thrill seeking – the Aquaria KLCC has you covered and is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days!
Easily one of the most Instagram-worthy Spots in Kuala Lumpur – You just need to head to the Orchid Conservatory at the Majestic Hotel to complete you stay in Kuala Lumpur. Not only is the location phenomenal – a hanging garden and orchidscape enclosed in a surreal glass atrium – but you can enjoy the best high tea in KL surroundings by thousands of these colourful beauties. World-class service and a relaxing atmosphere, you need to book a few weeks in advance (or more) to enjoy afternoon tea in the Orchid Conservatory – but for last-minute bookings the tea lounge or Colonial cafe are almost as good! Of course if you take my advice and stay at the Majestic Hotel you can confirm a booking with your reservation, but either way – high tea at the orchid conservatory KL will be a highlight of your time in Malaysia!
Chaotic, slightly touristy and famously delicious, the Jalan Alor Kuala Lumpur Food Street is an institution in Kuala Lumpur, a world-away from the glossy malls and apartment towers. As the sun sets, the street comes alive with all manner of Asian food, you simply have to make up your mind amongst so many delicious options. The perfect place to chat with other travellers or mingle with locals over a beer – the entire street is one beautiful, crazy, photogenic mess of hawker stands all vying for your attention. This is the Malaysia you wanted to see, and it’s a place you will end up returning to time and time again.
Even though Kuala Lumpur is a Muslim-majority country – and Muslims are forbidden legally from consuming alcohol, the nightlife in Kuala Lumpur is just as vibrant as any cosmopolitan city in Asia! There is even a vibrant Kuala Lumpur gay scene if you can believe! For an epic night out you should start at Heli Lounge Bar, a trendy hangout which is actually an amazing helipad that morphs into a rooftop bar in the evening with the best views in the city or head to hyper-fashionable Man Tao Bar, with its stunning rooftop terrace views, great music and designer cocktails poolside!
Later at night Zouk Kuala Lumpur offer’s endless dancing and crowded spaces in six different themed rooms or you could head to Under9 Kuala Lumpur, a semi-secret underground house and techno club not for the mainstream crowds. There are obviously plenty more options, and the guys at Paper Plane Hostel were great at helping us find exactly the right place and vibe!
The KLCC Park, a 50-acre garden set around the luxury Suria KLCC shopping centre and Petronas Towers is one of the best places to view the Petronas Towers from, and all the locals know it too. A great-spot to people watch and wander, especially in the afternoon everybody is out enjoying the various waterfalls, lakes and reflecting pools scattered around the park. Even better are the water fountain shows at midday or in the evening. Of course you’re also going to want to go up the stunning postmodern style/ 21st-century icon Petronas Towers, which are still the tallest twin towers in the world! Lines can be horrifically long in the peak-season, weekends or around sunsets but you can save some time by buying Petronas Towers online with e-ticket delivery to skip the lines!
The old town of Kuala Lumpur, today Petaling Street and surrounding blocks are known as Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown – a swirling mess of shops and stalls that come together to form a bargain hunters paradise. Fake designer goods, dirt-cheap prices (depending on your negotiating skills) and delicious old-world restaurants make this a great place to wander for half a day. Alive by day or by night, look out for the beautiful street art that can be found on the side-streets here and make sure to pop into the landmark Hindu Temple Sri Mahamariamman Temple or the Sin Sze Is Ya Taosist Temple, amongst the oldest in Kuala Lumpur.
If you’re going to get through all of this amazing things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days you are going to need a break – if only for your sanity! The luxurious Majestic Spa by the Majestic Hotel is exactly what the doctor ordered! Offering a truly indulgent spa experience – among the best in Malaysia – in a re-purposed turn-of-the-century tea room. The exotic and traditional, the Majestic Spa harks back to a golden era in Malaysian history, offering massages and spa packages that will leave you more relaxed and pampered than you ever thought possible. For couples the 2.5 hours Golden Chersonese package is the perfect escape from the conformities of everyday life and offering a custom treatment inspired by the intriguing history, delectable fruits, and heavenly fragrant flowers of the Malaysian peninsula. Or why not try the Queen Victoria’s Lavender treatment with a tranquility breathing ritual, harmonising exfoliation, curative lavender and aloe gel mask and heavenly drift away lavender massage.
Easily the best food court in Kuala Lumpur, don’t miss the opportunity to see and taste all of the cities best hawker street food under one roof. Yes, I’m not kidding – no need to read through hours of food blogs or search obscure districts of the city – Kuala Lumpur has ingeniously brought all of the most beloved places under one roof: Lot 10 Hutong. Malaysia’s first and only heritage destination which collected all the best-loved national treasures aka good food and the art of local cuisines into one location. With so many options however you will still find it impossible to decide, but at least you can rest assured there are no bad choices to be made here.
Probably the most famous tourist attraction in KL is the Batu Caves – a series of caves and cave temples built into a stunning limestone hill, filled with monkeys and watched over by a giant golden statue. One of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, climbing the Batu Cave Steps amongst other travellers (and a few religious practitioners) is just something you cannot miss when you visit KL – but it is a long way out from the city centre. While the metro extends here making it somewhat easier, if there is more than one of you it’s inexpensive and far easier to simply take a ride-share app, or what not make a day off it by birdwatching in the Templer’s Park rainforest and seeing fire-flies in a floating village by night?
Malaysians are not one to miss a trend, and with the growing trend of dog cafes around the globe they decided to take it one step further with an entire cafe dedicated to just Huskies…the cutest of all dogs, or at least the fluffiest! Newly opened Huskiss Cafe is absolutely everything you could dream off – delicious coffee, über-clean and modern faculties and of course DOGGOS! With five resident huskies – and one mammoth Alaskan Malamute – there is plenty of dog to go around, and the staff are well-trained at helping guests interact with the dogs, without either party getting overwhelmed.
I also loved that compared to the dog cafe in Hong Kong I visited, the food and drinks were actually a focus here and you could easily just pop in for one of their daily sessions to sip coffee and watch – but where would be the fun in that. There are four 1.5 hour sessions daily starting from midday and a full-clean goes on between every one, so you barely see a stray fur and there is no animal smell inside – no small feat! A completely different experience in Kuala Lumpur, make sure you reserve in advance because unsurprisingly Huskiss Cafe in very, very popular!
An icon of colonial Malaysia and still one of the most celebrated buildings in Kuala Lumpur, make sure to swing by the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad building which is located in front of Dataran Merdeka and Royal Selangor Club. One of Kuala Lumpur’s earliest Moorish-style buildings and named after the reigning sultan at the time, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a cultural landmark now houses the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture and is frequently a backdrop of Malaysia’s Independence Day Parades. With graceful arches, a prestigious copper cupola and towering clock tower it easy to see why Malaysian’s continue to revere this enduring landmark in a city whose skyline seems to transform with every visit!
It’s no secret the concrete jungle and heat of KL can get a bit overwhelming – so on your Kuala Lumpur 3 days itinerary you need to plan in a bit of a break from it all! Luckily the KL Butterfly Park offers a hidden oasis of five gardens and parks with over 6000 butterflies from more than 120 species, right in the heart of the city! You will immediately feel transported to a Borneo jungle camp or the Amazon jungle in this beautifully landscaped park filled with lush greenery and colourful flowers, seemingly a million miles away from the busy city. Not to mention the swirling mass of colourful butterflies that float freely on the breeze and are guaranteed to take your breath away – and give you some of the best Insta-worthy photos in KL. Also pop your head into the Deer Park Kuala Lumpur next-door, admission is free and there are a variety of deer on display.
An elegant fusion of Hainanese cuisine meets classic British elements and ingredients, the Colonial Cafe is a perfect option for your last night in KL. Like stepping back in time, not only will you enjoy grand interior design and fabulous service, but there is live jazz music every evening meaning the Colonial Cafe is simply dripping with grace and old world style. You could just stop in for a few classic cocktails at the bar but the delectable menu will surely tempt you to stay longer under the glimmering gold-leafed dome ceiling. The colonial sampler tasting menu is the best bet to get a true taste of the magic here, and the chance to try a bit of everything – although the Baked Seafood Crab Shell or the pressed Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball are supremely tempting in their own right. A magical restaurant dining experience never to be forgotten, the Colonial Cafe KL is perfect to finish of your Kuala Lumpur 3 days itinerary and to celebrate in style with your loved ones!
Calling all thrill seekers and nature lovers! KL might be mega-metropolis but don’t forget it has some of the world’s most incredible nature right on its door step! A perennial favourite of travellers is the Kampar River, and what better way to experience nature than crashing down a scenic river, screaming with joy and terror? Clean water, continuous rapids, lush rainforest and even some old tin mining plants on the way down – though you will probably be too excited to even notice! Try something different while in Malaysia and give white water rafting KL a go (or maybe explore the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve for a less arduous adventure!)
The famous Cameron Highlands are an easy day trip from Kuala Lumpur where you can enjoy the cool climate and the fantastic scenic viewpoints. Of course if you have more time in Malaysia you should consider staying here longer but even on just a Cameron Highlands Day Tour you will get to experience the stunning natural beauty of this location filled with waterfalls, tea plantations, native locals and tropical rainforest literally dripping in moss – plus quite a bit more (strawberry picking anyone?). Take a look at all the options on a Cameron Highlands Day Tour now, a bit of fresh air will do you good!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site only a few hours away, heading out on a Kuala Lumpur to Malacca Day Trip is a great way to experience this historic and beautiful city with its world-famous food – without staying overnight, because…well there isn’t much more than a days worth of things to do! Once a key port for trade between the West and East you can easily see the influences of former European rulers here, being controlled at different times by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Long before KL even existed here the stunning sites of St Paul’s Hill the Stadthuys, the fortress A’Famosa and Cheng Hoon Teng, Malaysia’s oldest Chinese temple were in full swing and this town was decidedly less sleepy than it is today! You can take a bus from TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) to get here – though it will involve a separate taxi or bus trip either end, or there is also some great shared or private Malacca day trip from Kuala Lumpur options.
If you have than 3 days in KL – or none of these things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days interested you – then why not just check into the newly opened Hotel Stripes for a few lazy days! With the best rooftop infinity pool in Kuala Lumpur, spacious and modern rooms and an indulgent Le Goûter French Afternoon Tea experience you really don’t need to go anywhere. Sometimes you are exhausted after long-haul travel and just want to relax for a few days and do nothing – we all feel this way! That’s what I loved so much about Hotel Stripes as it’s a compact hotel with everything you could want at easy access – but if all you managed was swimming in the infinity pool and a few drinks at the Man Tao exciting neighbourhood nook-inspired rooftop bar then you still had a great day! The Hotel Stripes is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur you have a creative and vibrant downtown on your doorstep – but there is absolute no pressure to head out your front door if you don’t want to! No judgement!
And there you have it! A cheat sheet to all the things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days. Of course in almost any city I recommend you stay as long as possible – but it’s not always possible and I think this KL itinerary gives you a great overview of this dynamic city, encourages you to explore different neighbourhood and will have you wanting to come back for more! Don’t forget to check out the fabulous Majestic Hotel to see if they have availability over your travel dates as this hotel will truly complement your KL experience and means every second of your 3 days in KL is well-spent!
Now you're all set and prepared to explore our big wide world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you're after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and - of course - booked the best flight deals!
Many budget travelers (including me) indulge in worldwide airport lounge access, so we can experience luxury while still slumming it in economy. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more a more general travel guide since we couldn’t possibly cover everything here!
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don't forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...I'd love to hear from you!