The Ultimate Layover Guide To Kuala Lumpur

48 Hours In Kuala Lumpar

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, having been there multiple times for layovers I never really felt the need to explore the city until now. One of my great friends @hola decided to spend his last days in Asia exploring KL, and I thought it was a great opportunity to tag along and see what the city has to offer.

Kuala Lumpur is a culturally diverse city with a mix of Malay, Indian, and Chinese influence. The city is best known for it skyscrapers, shopping malls, and amazing food but had so much more to offer. Here is what we did during our 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur.

What To Expect


The official language in Kuala Lumpur is Malay however you will do just fine speaking English.


The currency in Kuala Lumpur is the Malaysian Ringgit. 1 USD is equivalent to about 4.19 RM. You can use your card at most places in KL but I recommend to pull out cash from the atm when arriving. You will need cash if you plan to visit small or local shops and eateries.

Cell Phone:

Need data? Get a sim or pocket wifi. For the best deals pick up a local Sim card or portable wifi from the airport. It is much cheaper and they usually have pretty good deals for tourist needing data. Most hotels have wifi however I visited a lot of restaurants and tourist locations that didn't so its best to get a sim just to be safe.

Getting round

The city has an excellent transportation system including trains, monorail, metro and buses making it super easy to see the city. You can also check out grab (as an alternative to uber) for affordable ride sharing.

The quickest way is the KLIA Express; this train brings you from the airport to Kuala Lumpur central train station (KL Sentral) in just 28 minutes. The cost for the train is $13 for a one-way ticket (which can be bought online in advance), the first train departs at 5 am, the last train at 12.30am. We landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 at 1 am and realized the only way to get to the city was by car. We ordered a grab car that cost us $15 and made it to our hotel in 1 hour.

Where To Stay

Bukit Bintang and Brickfields are the two most popular and convenient areas to find a hotel and stay in Kuala Lumpur. They are located in the city center with easy access to the metro and walking distance from most sights.

We stayed in The Face Suites. We booked the apartment on Airbnb. You get a bedroom with amazing views, a marble bathroom, and a spacious living space for only around $40 a night. Upstairs is the amazing infinity pool with views of the KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers, a gym, and two restaurants. The Airbnb is centrally located and is only a few minutes walk to the Petronas Twin Towers and a short drive away from most of the tourist hotspots. We spent a lot of time hanging around the pool during our trip.

What To Do

Since we only had a limited amount of time here, we could only chose a few things to do in Kuala Lumpur filling our days with multiple activities. Here is what we did:

Thean Hou Temple

This is a beautiful multicolored Chinese temple dedicated to the Queen of Heaven. The temple borrows from Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian traditions. It is one of the oldest and largest in South East Asia and is a must-see for its incredible panoramic views over the city.

Things to know:

Hours: The temple is open 8 am – 10 pm daily.

Cost: There is no fee to enter Thean Hou temple.

Dress Code: There is no dress code, but it is a place of worship so be sure to dress respectfully

Batu Caves

The Batu Caves is a spot that you don't want to miss and is only about a 20-minute drive from the city center. The 272 rainbow colored stairs leading up to the limestone hill is one of a kind. One of the highlights of the entrance is the towering 50-meter gold statue of the Hindu God, Lord Murugan. Batu Caves is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India. Head to the top for city views and explore the three main caves.

Things to know:

Monkeys: there were more monkeys then expected and all though they look adorable they can sometimes be a bit stubborn and steal food, bags, phones, cameras, glasses and more. So be careful and make sure to keep your belongings in your backpack.

Dress code: If you decide to wear a dress, skirt, or shorts, make sure its knee length. If not they will charge you $1 to borrow a sarong.

Cost: There is no entrance fee for the main temple, but there is an entrance fee of $4-$9 for the other caves.

Petronas Twin Towers

The Petronas Towers are the second highest twin towers in the world and is what most would say put KL on the map. The towers are one of the most Instagrammable spots in Kuala Lumpur, and at night the twinkling lights add more charm to these 452-meter tall towers. Inside the towers, you can also find a huge shopping mall called Suria KLCC. They have stores like Gucci, Zara, and Sephora.

Things to know:

The bridge from the Sky Bridge offers impressive views and cost around $15 to enter.

KL Tower

KL Tower is a telecommunication tower in the center of Kuala Lumpur. The tower is 421 meters tall and has a great view of the skyline. The tower has many things to do, but the most impressive is the Sky Deck and Sky Box. The Sky deck is an open-air deck 300m above ground with a 360-degree view of KL. One of the best features of the Sky Deck is the Sky Box. There are two boxes with glass floors and walls. It is a bit scary, but it is an excellent location for a photo.

Things To Know:

Hours: The Sky Deck is open 9 am – 10 pm every day (closed if raining, lightning, and thunder)

Cost: The Sky Deck, including the Sky Box, cost $25 for adults and $15 for children.

Forest Eco Park

KL Forest Eco Park is a rainforest oasis hidden in the middle of the bustling city. This park is filled with several nature trails and a 200m canopy walkway providing breathtaking views of Kuala Lumpur and the lush rainforest. To make it even better the fun eco walk is completely free to enter and if you're a real nature lover you can even get permission to camp in the park overnight.

Things To Know:

Bring bug spray! This is a must when visiting, we made the mistake of forgetting our spray hand had multiple bites in minutes.

Hours: The park is open from 7 am - 7 pm every day. I recommend going between 7-9 am if you're looking to get photos. It gets busy at around 10 am.