I spent over three years living in Kuala Lumpur and loved every minute. Our weekends were always busy eating at our favourite restaurants and exploring and around this vibrant city. So I thought it was time to give you a sneak peek into my life as an expat in Malaysia by listing my favourite things to do in Kuala Lumpur on the weekend.
Before you go to Kuala Lumpur for the weekend
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur
Splurge –Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Managed by Banyan Tree
The Pavilion Hotel is within walking distance of The Pavillion Shopping centre and KLCC. It is an excellent location for those wanting to be in the city centre. In addition, it is an ideal location for some of KL’s best restaurants and bars. The rooms are spacious, with all the amenities you can expect from a 5-star hotel. The lounge is open all day, which allows you to sneak away to this cosy area for a quiet cup of tea during the day and a glass of wine at night.
Great Price –Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur
The Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur has always been one of my favourite hotels at a great price. This hotel is at 138 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50450, a short walk to KLCC. The rooms have a modern feel, and the pool is undercover, so it can swim in even when torrential rain is outside. The Hotel Maya is an excellent price for a great location.
Colonial Style – The Majestic Hotel
The Majestic Hotel has always been one of my favourite hotels for many reasons. The architecture makes me feel like I had gone back in time to when Malaysia was colonized and sipping high tea in the afternoon was the norm. Although the rooms are a little tired, the grounds of this hotel are magnificent. Whether you choose to spend time in the cigar room, at the spa or truefitt and Hill, you will have a marvellous time. There is so much to do at this hotel! So if you want to only spend time at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend, then that is okay too.
AIRPORTS IN KUALA LUMPUR
Most major airlines fly to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is essential because the next airport is a train stop away and not within walking distance. It is also approximately an hour’s drive to KL city centre (depending on traffic).
Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 is where Air Asia and other budget airlines fly in and out; it also has limited facilities after immigration and no airport lounges. So I would highly recommend eating before entering the immigration area. KLIA 2 is also approximately a 1-hour drive to the city centre.
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport *(Subang International Airport)
The Subang International Airport is approximately 30km west of the city centre. Very few airlines fly into this airport as it only has two gates; it is a no-frills terminal with only one shop inside that sells instant noodles and coffee.
Transport in Kuala Lumpur
Getting from the KLIA 1 and 2 (airports)
Airport cars are the most expensive option, but they are reliable and hassle-free; book with your hotel before arriving.
KLIA Ekspres – This is the quickest and cheapest way to get into KL. However, you will need to get from KL Sentral to the city centre (either by taxi/grab or train).
Taxi – Cabs are a set price, and you can buy the ticket at the desk before leaving immigration. If you have luggage, it is easy to find at both terminals; they will charge you for each piece.
Grab – download the Grab app and book online, this is an easy option, and they will typically message you with a gate number to meet the driver.
Transport when you arrive in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend
Grab/Cab – Transport in Kuala Lumpur is affordable, but do not be caught out during peak hours when grab (uber equivalent) prices can double, and traffic can be horrendous. Try only to use the blue taxi service as they are more reliable; sure, they are a little more expensive, but they are worth every cent.
Buses – I wouldn’t bother trying to catch a Bus outside the CBD. They are unreliable and dirty. However, the free bus system (Go KL) within the CBD is a great, free way to get around the city centre.
MRT – MTR is fast, affordable and dependable, and more importantly, it has air conditioning.
Weather in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend
Although the weather is hot and humid all year round, the Monsoon season does apply between April–May and Oct–Nov, but rain is possible at any time and can come when you least expect it.
10 OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR ON THE WEEKEND
Eat at one of my favourite restaurants.
Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar is one of my favourite restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Okay, so you will not find local cuisine here, but you will find a fusion of Latin American and Asian with a little bit of a twist. You will also find delicious cocktails and a dramatic ambience in a loft-style penthouse at the WOLO boutique hotel, Bukit Bintang.
Sit amongst the prettiest room for High Tea.
High tea is always one of my favourite things to do, but add a beautiful room, and it becomes a must-do! The gorgeous Orchard Conservatory at the Majestic Hotel is beautifully maintained, and the surroundings (and food) are an experience worth mentioning. Bookings are essential as this place is always busy. (Ensure you ask to sit in the Orchard Room when booking).
Shop your favourite boutiques
You can pretty much go to any neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur and find a shopping centre, market place or local boutiques. Shopping is what the Malaysians do best, and on any weekend, the malls are pounding with people. So here are my favourite shopping malls:
- The Gardens Mall (and Midvalley Mega Mall right next to it), these two malls are always busy because they have everything there. From your favourite brands, high-end international brands and some local favourites. You can also find a movie theatre, some great restaurants, along with many spa locations.
- The Pavillion, this mall loves to decorate for all occasions. Here is where you will find almost all international and high-end stores you would find all over the world. In addition, some great restaurants and bars are located here, so it is an excellent option if you are only in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend.
- Suria KLCC, you could spend all day at this mall; with an aquarium, a movie theatre and an observation deck, there is plenty of things to do outside of just shopping. Here you will also find some great restaurants and bars along with KLCC park, where you can take pictures of the Petronas Twin Towers.
- Berjaya Time Square – What makes this shopping mall different from all the rest has to be that you can find an amusement park inside the shopping mall. Yes, you read right. This shopping mall, situated in the city’s heart, has an indoor amusement park with a roller coaster.
- Sunway Pyramid – Attached to this huge shopping mall is Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur’s largest waterpark. This shopping mall has everything you would expect to find at a mall around the world. In addition, you will find loads of great international-style bars and restaurants on the ground floor.
Spend an entire day at Kuala Lumpur’s largest water park
Sunway Lagoon has always been a favourite place of ours to visit. Even before moving to Kuala Lumpur, we stayed in KL hundreds of times, and Sunway Lagoon was always on our list of things to do. Not only does Sunway Lagoon have a waterpark, but it also has a complete park full of activities. These include an amusement park with loads of rides, a wildlife park with many animals and an extreme park and scream park (which is height and age-restricted, so check before arriving). You can also stay the entire weekend as there is accommodation at the Sunway Pyramid Hotel.
Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
Whether you book a tour or hire a car, you must visit Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. Hire a local guide when you arrive to show you around this elephant sanctuary, where you will hear about the history of the place, watch them eat and help bathe them in the river. No riding is permitted here for the safety and well-being of the animals.
See a temple on a limestone hill.
Batu Caves is set amongst a limestone Hill where you will find a temple in its caves. This Hindu temple and shrine is a 20-minute drive from KL city centre (depending on traffic). Remember to wear long trousers or a skirt or bring a sarong to wrap around you before entering. Don’t worry too much if you don’t have anything, for a small fee you can hire something when you get there.
Have a drink with a view
The Heli Lounge Bar is precisely as its name suggests! A bar is now situated on the roof of a building of an old helipad. The view is impressive, the cocktails are good, and the atmosphere is fun and dynamic. Get in early so you can get a chair upstairs on the roof and see the sunset.
Enjoy a night out at Changkat Bukit Bintang
Changkat Bukit Bintang is a street full of bars and restaurants. During the weekend, it is busy, with people up and down the street bar hopping. There are many fun restaurants, like Dining in the Dark and fun places to stop by for a drink, like the Havana Bar and Grill.
Explore Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown
If you are anything like my family, we are always heading to Chinatown. We love the hustle and bustle that Chinatown brings. During the day, you will find that although stores are open, everything comes to life at night. Chinatown, also known as Petaling Street or Jalan Petaling, has many things that other Chinatowns have around the world, markets, massages and great little food eateries.
Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. I hope this post has given you the necessary information before travelling to Kuala Lumpur. If you have any recommendations, tips or travel advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!
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6 thoughts on “10 of my favourite things to do in Kuala Lumpur on the weekend”
Great story Paula, look like Kuala Lumpur is a place I should visit.
Thanks, Thomas, it really should be on your bucket list if you are visiting anytime soon.
This story is so inspiring and dreaming Paula, really making me wish I could travel right now. I can’t wait to get back to it.
Me to Rebecca, I am already planning for my next trip, let’s hope it is sooner rather than later.
Gosh I had never thought of KL as a possible holiday destination before, but after reading this it’s right up there – there’s something for everyone! Thanks for sharing 😊
You are welcome, I hope you get to enjoy KL as much as I have.