Is Singapore more beautiful than Kuala Lumpur
Planning Your Trip: Practical Travel Tips for Kuala Lumpur
Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur? Great, Kuala Lumpur is an ideal destination for a city break. Here we have written down our best travel tips for Kuala Lumpur for you. In our article you will find everything you need to know before your trip to Kuala Lumpur.
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Since the airport in Kuala Lumpur is the largest hub in Southeast Asia next to Bangkok, you can easily make a longer stopover to your actual destination in Kuala Lumpur.
We did the same on our way from Koh Lanta to Sri Lanka and were in Kuala Lumpur for four days.
In another article we show our best insider tips in Kuala Lumpur. This post is about general travel tips.
If you're planning on going to Kuala Lumpur, here's everything you need to know before and during your trip.
Read all of our articles on Malaysia
The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur
You can travel well to Kuala Lumpur all year round. The rainy and dry seasons are not as important here as in other areas of Southeast Asia. The temperatures are warm all year round.
Most of the rain falls in the months of October to December, as well as in March and April. The least precipitation falls in June and July. The rainy months are not characterized by monsoon-like rains, instead it rains for one to two hours a day.
We were in Kuala Lumpur in October, one of the rainiest months, and it rained about 1-2 hours in the afternoons on two out of four days.
Arrival and entry
You can get to Kuala Lumpur either by plane or bus if you are already in Malaysia. You have to pay attention to all of this when you arrive.
Arriving by plane
Most travelers arrive in Kuala Lumpur by plane. The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is, among other things, a hub for Air Asia, which offers cheap flights throughout Asia.
We flew ourselves with Air Asia from Krabi to Kuala Lumpur and from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo and can only warmly recommend the airline.
There are also numerous direct flights to Kuala Lumpur from Europe. To find the cheapest flight, we use the flight search engine Skyscanner, which in turn queries all possible other portals and, in our experience, always finds the best price.
Transportation from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city
The airport is located 60 km from the center of Kuala Lumpur. That sounds like a lot, but you can get to town pretty quickly. There are different possibilities for this.
By train: KLIA Express
In our opinion, the KLIA Express is the best way to get to the center. The train departs directly from both terminals and then travels to KL Sentral station without stopping.
The journey takes 28 minutes from Terminal 1 and 33 minutes from Terminal 2, where Air Asia lands, among others. The first train leaves at 4:55 a.m. and the last one at 0:55 a.m. During the main travel time, the trains run every 15 minutes, otherwise every 20 minutes.
A ticket costs 55 RM, which is roughly 12 euros. There are sales counters and ticket machines on the platform. This is a quick and easy way to get to the city for a reasonable price.
The cheapest way to get to Kuala Lumpur from the airport is by bus. These also leave the terminals at regular intervals and, depending on the traffic situation, take 60 to 90 minutes to get to KL Sentral station. Tickets are available directly on the bus.
The longer journey time is outweighed by the lower price. A bus ticket costs around 10 RM, around 2 euros.
With the taxi
The most expensive, but not the fastest way to get from KLIA to Kuala Lumpur is by taxi. Depending on the traffic, the journey takes about an hour and costs between 70 and 100 RM depending on the destination in the center.
There is a taxi counter in the terminal where you can buy a ticket for a taxi before driving. If you get into a waiting taxi right in front of the terminal, there is a risk that you will have to pay too high a price.
Arriving by bus
If you are already in Malaysia or Singapore, you can take the bus to Kuala Lumpur. The central bus station Pudu Raya is very centrally located, very close to Chinatown.
There are countless bus companies in Malaysia and the buses are relatively comfortable to downright luxurious. You can get tickets directly at the bus stations at affordable prices.
You can also conveniently book the bus trip online on the travel portal 12Go.Asia. We have also used the site several times. From Singapore, the bus journey costs around 15 to 20 euros and takes around 5 hours.
To the bus ticket from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
Arriving by train
Trains run to and from the KL Sentral train station in the direction of the main locations in the country and Singapore. Tickets are also very cheap and can be bought directly at the train station.
To enter Malaysia you need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. A visa is not required. You will receive a stamp in your passport upon entry and can stay in the country for 90 days.
In Kuala Lumpur or on the entire Malaysian peninsula, it is always an hour later than in Thailand.
Compared to Germany, it is 6 hours later in Kuala Lumpur during summer time, and even 7 hours later during winter time.
What do you have to pack?
It is warm all year round in Kuala Lumpur. Still, in the city, you're more likely to catch a cold than sunburn.
Most of the cafes, restaurants, subways, shops and shopping malls are air-conditioned and that is not too scarce. So if you tend to get sick quickly from air conditioning, you should definitely pack something long.
Many properties offer a laundry service. The prices vary quite a bit here and are between 5 and 15 RM per kilo (1 to 3 euros). If your accommodation is too expensive, don't hesitate to drop by the hotel next door.
If you are traveling with a camera, we advise you to pack a waterproof bag. It didn't rain often in Kuala Lumpur, but when it did, it rained briefly and heavily.
Then it is always an advantage to have something to protect your equipment with.
There are different types of electrical outlets in Kuala Lumpur. With a universal power adapter you are always on the safe side.
Otherwise you don't need anything special for Kuala Lumpur. You are welcome to take a look at what we had with us on our entire Southeast Asia trip: Our packing list for 6 months in Southeast Asia.
If you've forgotten something, that's no problem at all. Kuala Lumpur is a shopping paradise. There are hundreds of shopping malls where you can get everything you need.
Transportation in Kuala Lumpur
The local public transport in Kuala Lumpur is very well developed and you can easily get from A to B.
Metro, monorail and other trains
In Kuala Lumpur there are various providers of local public transport by rail. There is the Monorail, Light Rail Transit and Commuter Rail. All have different traits. In principle, however, you don't have to worry about which company you are currently working with.
The route network comprises 8 lines that serve all major points in Kuala Lumpur. Tickets are valid for all trains and companies, so you don't have to worry.
At each station there are counters and machines that accept coins and small bills (5 RM, 10 RM). There is a touchscreen with the route network on the machines. There you simply select your destination stop and the price will be displayed.
Depending on the number of stations, you usually pay between RM 1.50 and RM 4 per trip within the center. You will receive a chip that you hold up to the turnstile and have to insert it again after you get out.
If you drive more often and don't feel like getting a new ticket every time, you can get a Touch ’n Go Card. It costs 10 RM and can be topped up with any amount. You simply hold it up to the turnstile before boarding and the fare is simply debited.
Taxis in Kuala Lumpur
We have heard from various people that one should be careful when driving a taxi in Kuala Lumpur and always insist that the taximeter is switched on. But that is the case in many Asian cities.
We only took a taxi once and the driver turned on the meter straight away. The prices are quite cheap and it is worth taking a taxi from time to time, especially for short trips for two.
On foot through Kuala Lumpur
We walked a lot through Kuala Lumpur. You can discover a city on foot in a completely different way than just taking the train from A to B.
The paths between the individual districts and sights are usually not that long and easy to reach on foot. Unfortunately, pedestrians are a rarity in Kuala Lumpur and hardly considered in traffic planning.
Sometimes there are only very narrow sidewalks or no sidewalks at all and you should be careful when crossing the street. There are pedestrian lights, but many of them are just always red. So check out the traffic and then quickly cross the street if there is space.
Money and travel expenses
In Malaysia you pay with the Malaysian ringite (RM). 1 euro is roughly equivalent to 5 RM.
How much money you need in Kuala Lumpur naturally depends a little on your lifestyle. You can definitely spend a lot of money in KL if you want to. If you stay in cheap accommodation and eat at street stalls, it can also be very cheap.
A few numbers for orientation:
A ride on the metro: 2 to 4 RM
Eating at the street stall: 5 to 10 RM
Eating in the restaurant: from 20 RM per dish
A large beer (approx. 0.6 l): 15 to 20 RM
A simple but clean hotel room: 100 RM
You can find ATMs everywhere in Kuala Lumpur where you can get Ringit.
Our top tip:Withdraw cash for free in Kuala Lumpur! With the free DKB VISA credit card, you can withdraw cash free of charge not only in Kuala Lumpur, but worldwide.
This is of course very practical, as we don't have to worry about it before we go. We just get off the plane and withdraw the local currency at the nearest ATM.
Hotels in Kuala Lumpur
In Kuala Lumpur you can find accommodation in every price range - from cheap and shabby to expensive and luxurious. We prefer to book our hotels via booking.com and usually find the cheapest prices there. Here you can find a list of all hotels in Kuala Lumpur on booking.com.
Chinatown is particularly popular with backpackers. Here you can find the cheapest, but also the shabbiest accommodations.
In the meantime, however, more and more new hotels are opening there, the standard of which is significantly higher. We stayed at the 1000 Miles Hotel, which was in an ideal location. The metro was five minutes away, from where we never had to travel more than three stations in any direction.
It was only a 10 minute walk to Chinatown. The hotel was simple but very clean and had everything we needed.
We would stay there again anytime. The rooms cost between 15 and 25 euros per night and are excellent value for money.
Our tip: Another good area to live in is the Bukit Bintang district. Most of the shopping malls and many restaurants are located here. Here you can find a list of all hotels in Bukit Bintang on booking.com.
to eat and drink
Kuala Lumpur is a real paradise. If you love food as much as we do, then you will feel very much at home in Kuala Lumpur. The food has influences from Malaysia, China and India. You can also get all kinds of western dishes here.
We loved to eat at small street stalls and food courts. The food there is very cheap and authentic. You can get the best Indian and Chinese food in Little India and Chinatown.
The shopping malls are also great for eating. Usually there is a huge food court at the bottom or at the top, where you can find great food at dozens of stalls. Once we went to one of the malls to eat sushi and really filled our stomachs.
If you feel like exploring the best street food places with a local guide, we can recommend this tour: Street Food Tour.
Beer and other alcoholic beverages are relatively expensive in relation to food in Malaysia. If you eat 5 to 10 RM at a street stall, the beer usually costs twice as much as the food (15 to 20 RM).
The best travel guide to Kuala Lumpur
There is currently only one German travel guide on the market for Kuala Lumpur: Reise Know-how Kuala Lumpur. If you are visiting more than just Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, we recommend Stefan Loose's Malaysia travel guide.
If an English travel guide is not a problem for you, things will look better. Lonely Planet has two different travel guides: a pocket guide for a short city trip or a more detailed travel guide about the three cities of Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Georgetown.
Attractions in Kuala Lumpur
Compared to other cities, Kuala Lumpur is not equipped with the very extraordinary sights. In our article on Kuala Lumpur Insider Tips, we show you four great places that not every tourist goes to.
The most famous sight are of course the Petronas Towers. The twin towers are most beautiful in the evening when they are glowing. Of course you can also go up the towers - on the bridge between the two towers and the observation deck at the top.
Tickets cost 84 RM (29 euros) and are sold every morning from 8:30 a.m. except Mondays in the basement of the Petronas Towers.
You get a ticket for a certain time of the day and can then go up the towers. However, you have to expect a long queue very early in the morning and therefore a long waiting time.
If you want to be a little more comfortable and want to make the most of your time in Kuala Lumpur, then you can simply book a ticket before your stay. This is associated with a small surcharge, but you will get it delivered directly to the hotel.
Menara Kuala Lumpur
The Menara KL, the television tower of Kuala Lumpur, is very close to the Petronas Towers. From up there you have a great view of the Petronas Towers and you can even take photos without annoying glass panes. Admission to the Open Deck costs an impressive 105 RM.
The view is great, but there is even better. The best vantage point can be found in our article on Kuala Lumpur insider tips.
Even more sights in Kuala Lumpur
Worth seeing is the Merdeka Square, the independence square in Kuala Lumpur. There is also a surprising amount of green in the city. Nature lovers will find a bird park and a butterfly park in the city.
Just outside are the Batu Caves, a large cave complex that is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus.
In addition to the actual sights, what we liked best was to stroll through the individual districts and get to know life there. Every area is different - Chinatown, Little India, modern Bukit Bintang. Let yourself go and discover Kuala Lumpur on foot.
If you don't have much time and want to see many sights as quickly and comfortably as possible, we recommend this 4-hour private city tour: City tour in Kuala Lumpur.
Surroundings of Kuala Lumpur
If you're only in Kuala Lumpur for a few days and don't have time to travel around Malaysia, a day trip might be a good idea for you. Offer would be z. B. a day trip to Malacca, 150 kilometers south.
The city has a colonial past under Portuguese and Dutch sovereignty. The really picturesque old town of Melake is therefore now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We can recommend you this private tour: Day trip to Malacca.
Sim card in Kuala Lumpur
Almost every hotel in Kuala Lumpur offers free WiFi. In our hotel the connection was very fast, so that we could work well from there. Many cafes and restaurants also have wifi.
Cellular and mobile internet
If you always want to be online, you can buy a SIM card for your mobile phone. You can get them directly at the airport, in every shopping center and in small shops or vendors on the street.
If you buy the SIM card in a larger shop or at the airport, you usually have to bring your passport with you to buy it. We bought our card from a small street stall and were not asked for it.
We had a SIM card from Hotlink. For 10 RM we had 300 MB of data. Another 150 MB could be booked for 6 RM at any time. The connection wasn't incredibly fast, but it was completely sufficient for our purposes.
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