It’s true that visiting capital cities is usually an expensive experience. But, visiting the capital of Malaysia is in many ways different. There are so many epic free things to do in Kuala Lumpur, that you won’t find yourself dipping into your pockets to have a great time.
In fact, many of the absolute best things to do in KL are free. We find this unusual in a capital city that’s so often frequented by tourists. Especially when other cities tend to capitalize on the steady flow of visitors.
Free things to do in Kuala Lumpur, jump to:
Why should you visit Kuala Lumpur?
We see Kuala Lumpur as a city that offers something truly different to the West. There’s no doubt that a trip to KL will give you a true Southeast Asian experience. Yet, it’s still modern enough for you to stay right in your comfort zone. You can expect to find a great transport system, heavenly food and world-class shopping experience.
Kuala Lumpur has a rich cultural history with landmarks being found right across the city. You could visit here solely on a culture trip, a shopping trip or a foodie’s trip and leave satisfied. Or, you could easily combine them all into one, that’s what we do and why we can’t wait to return.
And, just to reiterate the point, there are so many free things to do in Kuala Lumpur that you can really dive headfirst into the city without spending a fortune. That’s an opportunity you shouldn’t take for granted.
The best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur
With no further ado, let’s get into the top activities that you can do in KL absolutely free of charge.
1. The Petronas Twin Towers
Considered to be one of the national symbols of Malaysian pride, the Petronas Twin Towers deserve their place at the top of this list. After all, they’re one of the highlights of visiting KL.
So, the fact you can visit them free of charge makes them one of the top free things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
They were once the tallest building(s) in the world and a trip to KL wouldn’t be complete without visiting the amazing Petronas Towers. The towers are visible from all across the city, but we promise you they’re best viewed from up close.
It doesn’t have to be a quick trip. The towers boast a cool shopping mall, epic viewpoint and wonderful musical fountain show every evening.
There is an epic viewing platform in the towers, with views right across the city. However, they charge quite handsomely (RM 80) for the pleasure of visiting the towers ‘SkyDeck’. Also, the Petronas Towers are one of the highlights of the KL skyline. So, in our opinion, it’s best to head to somewhere where you can view the towers from too.
The towers are located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The area is called ‘KLCC’ (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) and there’s a metro station of the same name which is located just a 5-minute walk from the towers themselves.
Otherwise, if you’re in the Bukit Bintang area of KL, you can reach the towers by walking in about 20 minutes.
2. Petronas Twin Towers Symphony Fountain Show
The Petronas Twin Towers look great in the day, but arguably even better by night! If seeing the illuminated towers dominate the night sky isn’t enough then turn your attention to the stunning fountain show.
Every night, the fountains on the lake dance to the sound of music and perform a colourful light show. It’s one of our favourite nighttime activities in Kuala Lumpur and the perfect way to end your day.
You can catch the show at 8 pm, 9 pm and 10 pm. It gets busy, so, arrive early to find somewhere to sit.
Where is the Symphony fountain show?
You can find the light and musical fountain show on ‘Simfoni Lake’ right behind the towers. Exit out the back of KLCC Suria Mall and the lake is just in front of the entrance.
3. Stroll around KLCC park
KLCC Park is a nice green space right next to the Petronas Towers. It’s a great place to come and relax with stunning views of the towers.
If you’re the active type, there’s a running track and children’s play area in the park, making it perfect for all kinds of visitors!
4. Visit the Batu Caves
If you spend any time on Instagram then you’ll know all about the Batu Caves! The caves, located in a large limestone hill, are one of Kuala Lumpur’s most visited tourist attractions.
There are two main reasons this place is so popular with tourists. The first is the photogenic (Insta-worthy) entrance with the gigantic Murugan statue and steep, colourful flights of steps. The second is the temple(s) which are located within the caves. At the top of the 272 steps, you’ll find the massive main cave, which is home to multiple Hindu shrines.
You might be surprised to find some local wildlife at the Batu Caves too. Mischevious monkeys live in the area and are almost always found on the steps. They run up and down, playing and fight with each other.
All in all, the monkeys won’t threaten you. However, we recommend not trying to interact with them or having any loose items (such as food) on the outside of your bag. If you do, you’ll make yourself a target, as the monkeys can’t help themselves from grabbing themselves a new toy or interesting lunch.
Visit earlier in the day when it is slightly cooler outside. Take it from us, walking the steps is not easy, especially when the sun is beating down on you.
There are multiple ways of getting to the caves including bus and taxis. Our preferred way is to head to KL Sentral and take the KTM line straight to Batu Caves. The ticket costs between RM2 – RM3.
5. Thean Hou Temple
The Thean Hou temple is an impressive 6 tier, Chinese style Buddhist temple. It’s said to be one of the largest and oldest temples in South-east Asia. One thing is for sure, it’s one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
After travelling in Asia for so long you might not want to visit ‘just another temple’. Don’t worry, we get it. But listen to us, this one is different and well worth the journey. With the stunning architectural design and views across KL city, this temple is a must-see.
Good to know:
If you’re interested in photography, the Thean Hou temple is definitely one of KL’s most photogenic locations.
There isn’t an easy way to get to this temple with public transport. Unless you also like lots of uphill walking that is.
You can reach the temple via Grab taxi for as little as RM10 from most areas of KL city centre.
6. KL Eco Forest
KL eco forest is a tropical rainforest in the heart of KL. The remaining forest is now, gladly, a protected forest reserve that can’t be built upon.
This is a great place to come to relax and escape the ‘concrete jungle’ of Kuala Lumpur. You can come here to simply chill out, walk the trails, have a picnic and listen to nature. However, the most popular part is the canopy walk through the forest’s trees. These bridges offer great views of the KL tower and skyscrapers on one side and forest on the other.
The main entrance to KL Eco Forest is on Jalan Raya Chulan. There are two other entrances, though this is the one closest to the popular canopy walk.
7. Merdeka Square & Sultan Abdul Samad building
Merdeka Square (Independence square) is an absolute must-visit. It is an iconic and important piece of Malaysian history, being the location that Malaya independence was declared in 1957.
The Sultan Abdul Samad building flanks the square. Built over 120 years ago this building is of great historical importance. Because it once hosted the British Colonial administration offices. Today, less interestingly, it is home to the Ministry of communications and multimedia.
We have to say though, on this occasion, it’s not what’s on the inside that counts, it’s the outside. Tourists flock to this building for its wonderful exterior which is inclusive of the 40-metre high clock tower. If you’re looking for a great picture then this has to be on your list.
You can find the Sultan Abdul Samad building a couple of minutes walk away from Masjid Jamek MRT station. It’s also located only a short walk from Central Market.
8. Learn about Malaysian Islamic principles at Wilayah Mosque
One of our favourite free things to do in Kuala Lumpur was a visit and tour of Wilayah mosque. You can take a free tour of the beautiful mosque and learn all about the history and principles of the Islamic religion in Malaysia.
This is one of the best things to do if you’re interested in learning more about Malaysian culture. We can’t speak highly enough of our tour guide who was very knowledgeable, but also hilarious. Even though we’re not usually interested in religious experiences we found this highly enjoyable and very insightful.
Wilayah Mosque is located a little further out of KLCC than most of the other free attractions on this list. Public transport doesn’t really service the area. So, the best option is to take a taxi.
9. Bukit Bintang street art
Another of Kuala Lumpur’s amazing free activities. This area looks like it has been hit by an artistic colour bomb. These backroads in Bukit Bintang were once (apparently) dirty and unattractive. You’d never have guessed though as the series of roads now offer many stunning murals.
The paint literally covers everything. From the walls of the tall surrounding buildings, the steps and even the ground itself. This is a great, free, activity that you can use to fill up a spare hour or so.
Afterwards, why not head out into Bukit Bintangs itself. You’re free to walk through the entertainment district, exploring the mega-malls and taking in the bright advertisement lights as you go.
If you head towards Changkat Bukit Bintang, you’ll pass by the top of Jalan Alor food street. Carry on and look out on the right-hand side of the road. You’ll see the street art and can explore the back streets from here.
10. Explore Central Market and Kasturi Walk
Built-in 1928, Central Market is a significant cultural landmark. Today, it’s filled with boutiques shops, handicraft stores and souvenirs stalls. You’ll also find eateries ranging from a food court, and local chains like Old Town White Coffee.
The stalls inside the market are as beautiful as they are interesting and worth the visit. Especially if you’re looking to find something unique to take home with you.
Outside of the market, you’ll find Kasturi walk. The narrow, pedestrianised passage is lined with food vendors and markets stalls either side. You’ll find a number of souvenirs, foods and clothes on offer.
Reach central market by travelling to MRT Pasar Seni (MRT Central Market). From there the market is a short 5-minute walk away.
Otherwise, it’s good to know that Central Market is only a 5-minute walk from Petaling Street. And, 5 minutes in the other direction, you have Merdeka Square. So, consider visiting some, or all of these places together.
11. Visit the frantic Petaling Street
Petaling Street is the heart of Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. It’s more than just one street, it’s more a small area of pure excitement. You’ll find tons of Chinese street food, all brands of clothing and lots of discounted electronics here.
This, again, is a great place to be both daytime and night. In the day, expect more of shopping experience. In the evening expect a wonderful night market which is touted as another one of Kuala Lumpur’s best eating experiences.
Of course, you can spend money here, but it’s completely free to wander the area and just take in the atmosphere.
Being so close to Central Market, the best way to get to Petaling Street is to also head to MRT Pasar Seni. From here, head west for 5 minutes and you’ll soon find the gates to Petaling Street.
Bargaining is not only accepted but also an expected way of buying things here, so work on your negotiation skills if you plan to grab a bargain.
12. Perdana Botanical Gardens
If you’re looking for a little bit of peace and quiet in the city then visit Perdana Botanical Gardens. The park is Kuala Lumpur’s largest park and recreational area.
The gardens have many points of interest including the lakes, sunken gardens, orchid garden and deer park. Some of the activities such as the deer park do require a small fee to enter. However, visiting and relaxing in the massive park, on the whole, is completely free.
This is definitely one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur when you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle. Also in the area, just north of the gardens, you’ll find the national monument of Malaysia, which is also free to visit!
The Perdana Botanical Gardens are absolutely huge. So, we recommend finding the point of interest you want to visit first and taking a taxi.
There are multiple drop-off points throughout the park so you’re sure to find one close to where you are planning to visit.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur
Budget – 1001 Nights Mix Dorm KLCC
One of the top reviewed hostels in the whole of Kuala Lumpur, It even boasts an outdoor swimming pool.
Mid Price – Travelodge Bukit Bintang
An affordable, clean and perfectly located hotel for you to easily explore.
To read our review of Travelodge Bukit Bintang, you can click here.
Luxury – Mandarin Oriental
An ultra-stylish 5-star hotel that will exceed all expectations. This hotel is for those wanting a luxurious stay in Kuala Lumpur with great views across the city.
For more places to stay in Kuala Lumpur you can check the latest prices here.
Have we given you enough free things to do in Kuala Lumpur?
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our list of 12 free things to do in Kuala Lumpur. These are by no means the only free things to do in the city, but the ones that we have enjoyed most.
So, whether you’re travelling on a budget, or just looking to save some money, we hope that we’ve helped you out. You likely won’t be able to visit all of these places in one trip to KL, so if you only follow this list, you might find yourself spending almost nothing on enjoying yourself.
If you have already visited KL, how many of these free activities did you enjoy? Have we missed out any of your top free things to do in KL? We’d love to hear all about it, so, drop us a comment down below!
More Kuala Lumpur
- Getting around Kuala Lumpur – A Full guide for using public transport in KL
- The best money changers in Kuala Lumpur – The complete KL currency exchange guide!
- Kuala Lumpur Budget breakdown – How to budget travel in KL!!
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