Flights to Kuala Lumpur (KUL)

Flights to Kuala Lumpur offer everything a trip to a south east Asian city should: impressive skylines and chaotic markets.

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Flights to Kuala Lumpur

Gazing out at Malaysia's cosmopolitan capital as your flight to Kuala Lumpur arrives, you'd never believe it was only 150 years old. Kuala Lumpur in Malay means ‘muddy river confluence’, and it was along the banks of the Klang River that this Chinese tin mining village grew into not just the largest city in the country, but one of the most exciting in the world.

Kuala Lumpur, like all the best capital cities in Asia, is a mishmash of old and new. Merdeka Square's beautiful 19th century colonial buildings stand in the shadows of some of the biggest and boldest architecture in the world – none bigger or bolder than the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, once the world's tallest building.

In contrast, the Batu Caves in the northern suburbs are home to the country's most sacred Hindu shrine, and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia boasts a breathtaking treetop canopy walkway, right over the rainforest. The only sight that can compare is the dazzling light show performed each night by Kuala Selangor's fireflies.

While Malaysia's largest city isn't short on sights it's also a great place for a wander. A cross-section of cultures such as Malay, Chinese and Indian means the cuisine, like the conversations heard on the street, is deeply diverse. Locals are known for their friendliness toward tourists, and being such a cosmopolitan city, many locals speak English and are quick with a smile and happy to help with directions.

Make your way downtown to the Golden Triangle, and you'll find all the best restaurants, nightlife venues and shopping malls – lots and lots of malls. KL (as the locals and those in the know call it) has over 50 big shopping malls – including two of the world's biggest, Berjaya Times Square and Mid Valley Megamall.

The best restaurants in KL include everything from street food to fine dining, and there's something to suit every budget in between. The city specialises in Asian fare – not just Malay, but Chinese and Indian – though it also offers good food from pretty much every major cuisine around the world.

But where Kuala Lumpur really comes into its own is with its markets. For the true KL experience, head to a night market and sample all of the sights, sounds and smells of the city. Hunt for bargains in Chinatown or stop by Brickfields, home to Little India, to try out the banana leaf rice restaurants. And if you're still not ready for bed after all that, hit the Mamak stalls. A visit to these lively 24-hour curry houses loved by Malaysians of every background is like a little night out in itself.

Eat at a 24-hour Mamak stall

Malaysian Mamak – whose ancestors migrated from south India – founded these lively, unpretentious curry shops, many of which now run 24 hours a day. One of the best is the Banana Leaf Restaurant, which does amazing noodle dishes and screens sports on its TVs.

The Banana Leaf Restaurant
Centre Point Bandar Utama
Bandar Utama Petaling Jaya
+60 3 7732 6662

Support KL's artists

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market once sold only simple produce, but the focus has slowly shifted towards the city's artistic community and their wares. Sample the street food, admire the market's Art Deco building and try to barter a good deal on an authentic Malaysian batik print.

Jalan Hang Kasturi
City Centre
Wilayah Persekutuan
+13 0022 8688

Shop at Suria KLCC

Kuala Lumpur is the perfect destination for shopaholics, with over 50 malls in the city. Berjaya Times Square is one of the biggest in the world, but many shoppers prefer the slightly smaller Suria KLCC, which sits beneath the Petronas Twin Towers and is home to more than 400 stores.

Jalan P Ramlee
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Wilayah Persekutuan
+60 3 2382 2828

Breakfast at Imbi Market

Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang – better known as Imbi Market – is loud, bustling and friendly. It can be enjoyed from the comfort or a stall and with the help of a conversation with the local traders. Or immerse yourself and eat some chee cheong fun (rice noodle roll) and sample Hainanese coffee at Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea as you wander around the market.

Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea
Jalan Melati
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala

Visit KL Bird Park

The north of the city is home to impressive natural wonders, such as the Batu Caves, the National Zoo and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia. However, one of the city's best nature spots is the KL Bird Park. It's the world's largest free-flight walk-in aviary.

920 Jalan Cenderawasih
Tasik Perdana
+60 3 2272 1010

Hang out at Galeri Petronas

Galeri Petronas is home to more than 1,000 works from both local and international artists, covering everything from painting and photography to mixed media and visual arts. The exhibitions change regularly, but you're always sure to find something worth seeing.

Level 3
Suria KLCC
Jalan Ampang
+60 3 2051 7770

Wondermama Restaurant & Cafe (Malay)

The only thing better than Wondermama's decor – it feels like you're eating on a movie set – is its food. The restaurant excels at local and Asian fusion dishes, but offers equally tasty western plates, all created with a modern twist. Wash the food down with their classic beverages.

Bangsar Village 1
Jalan Telawi 1
Bangsar Baru
+60 3 2284 9821

Acme South (Southern)

This welcome addition to the restaurant scene in Bangsar Village serves up generous portions of high-end comfort food in a rustic yet modern setting. The focus is on recipes from the south like gumbo and jambalaya; but the highlight of the menu is undoubtedly the 12-hour Black Angus smoked beef brisket.

Bangsar Village 1
+60 3 2283 6288

Village Park (Malay)

Village Park's specialty is Ayam Goreng – chicken with golden spiced skin, diced into chunks, and as juicy on the inside as it is crispy on the outside. It has to be tasted to be believed. But this place is no one-trick pony – the rest of the menu is just as good.

5 Jalan SS 21/37
Damansara Utama
Petaling Jaya
+60 3 7710 7860

Nobu KL (Japanese)

Nobu transports the famous Michelin-starred Japanese brand to KL, bringing with it some of the world's very best sushi, sashimi and tempura. The view of the city's skyline from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers complements the food and ensures an unforgettable dining experience.

Level 56, Menara 3 Petronas
Persiaran KLCC
+60 3 2164 5084

Fierce Curry House (Indian)

Despite its fierce name, this is a very chilled out Indian restaurant. It specialises in dum biryanis direct from Hyderabad, a recipe where dough is wrapped around the rim of the pot to retain moisture during the steaming process. If you consider yourself a bit of a foodie, it's a must-try.

16 Jalan Kemuja
Bangsar Utama
+60 19 770 1945

Sek Yuen Restoran (Chinese)

You have to admire the confidence of a restaurant that has no menu. Sek Yuen has been cooking exceptional Cantonese fare for 60 years, so you know the veteran chefs in their wood-fired kitchen are masters of their craft. And the Art Deco building it stands in makes a beautiful setting.

315 Jalan Pudu
Wilayah Persekutuan
+60 3 9222 0903

Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

Super-modern Aloft looks like the headquarters of some thriving tech startup. The location couldn't be better for transport and shopping, and its infinity pool comes with captivating views of the Petronas Twin Towers. Definitely one to splash out on.

No 5 Jalan Stesen Sentral
Kuala Lumpur Sentral
+60 3 2723 1188

Grid 9 Hotel

Grid 9 is easily one of the best budget hotels in Kuala Lumpur. This ‘flashpacker’ accommodation falls somewhere between a hostel and hotel. The decor is cool and minimalist – more Berlin nightlife spot than backpacker hostel – with lots of room to socialise and all the mod cons you'd expect.

9 Jalan Maharajalela
Wilayah Persekutuan
+60 3 9226 2629

Anggun Boutique Hotel

The star of the show at this four-storey, four-star boutique hotel is its courtyard atrium, which is a perfect place to spend your hours, flooded with natural light during the day and lit with period lanterns in the evenings. Plus, this hotel makes a great base for exploring KL.

7 and 9 Tengkat Tong Shin
Bukit Bintang
Wilayah Persekutuan
+60 3 2145 8003

Number Eight Guest House

The people behind Number Eight believe you shouldn't have to compromise on style just because you're on a budget. And this boutique hotel in the centre of the city proves it can be done, with super-cool rooms for reasonable rates and lots of communal space to hang out.

8-10 Tengkat Tong Shin
Bukit Bintang
Wilayah Persekutuan
+60 3 2144 2050

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

The original Majestic Hotel is now a national heritage site, but you'll be happy to know that its successor is equally grand and glamorous. This hotel is a stylish mix of neoclassical, colonial and Art Deco decor, and one of the best five-star stays in all Asia.

5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
KL City Centre 
Tasik Perdana
+60 3 2785 8000

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