Stopover Guide: How to spend 72-Hours in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I’ve heard mixed opinions about how people feel about Kuala Lumpur. Some of my friends love the diversity and inclusiveness, the food, and the accessibility to the rest of the world; others feel that it’s a stopover city – in and out – with no a lot of major attractions to see.
Personally, I like Kuala Lumpur. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the city four or five times now and each time I’ve uncovered something new, and still have plenty left to explore!

As major stopover point, especially with the convenience and great prices that come with flying through Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Malaysia Airlines or AirAsia, Kuala Lumpur is the perfect stopover point from the Northern to Southern Hemisphere, or connecting you to Asia.

On a recent stopover in Kuala Lumpur, I only had three days to explore the ‘best bits’. Here’s what I’d recommend you do if you have just 72 hours in Kuala Lumpur.

What to do on a Stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:

Day 1

Oasia Residences Kuala Lumpur

Check-in to the Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur

Book an early check-in at your home away from home in Kuala Lumpur because most flights from Australia arrive early! The Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur is a serviced apartment in the Golden Triangle, the cities commercial, shopping, and entertainment hub.

I loved the Oasia because it’s close enough to great food and sights but with all the amenities and space of a home, including a walk-in wardrobe, separate living room, the luxury of cooking space AND a washer/dryer. Nothing like being able to wash your clothes in the comfort of your room instead of wasting hard-earned money on sending it out.

When I wasn’t exploring the city or relaxing in my room making use of the free WiFi while watching StarWorld (a TV channel found around Asia), my favourite place to be was poolside (more about that below!)

HOT TIP: if you are on a short-stopover, consider booking into one of the coolest boutique hotels in Kuala Lumpur or if you are on an overnight stopover, check out these hotels near Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Oasia Residences Kuala Lumpur

Oasia Residences Kuala Lumpur

Oasia Residences Kuala Lumpur

Visiting KL Tower (Menara KL)

Visit Pineapple Hill and Menara Kuala Lumpur (KL Tower)

Recharge and grab a quick bite from Cafe Oasia, conveniently located adjacent to the lobby of the hotel, before taking the short walk to Pineapple Hill.

Directly behind the hotel, is a place known as ‘Bukit Nanas’ or Pineapple Hill. This tiny parcel of land, better known as KL Forest Eco Park, is the only surviving virgin tropical rain forest left in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Open to the public daily for free, the land at the foot of KL Tower has a jungle trail, museum and canopy walk!

Oh, and the reason it’s called ‘Pineapple Hill’? Raja Abdullah of Klang protected his castle on the site by planting pineapples around it as protection. Mmm… delicious!

After spending some time stretching your legs, take the shuttle up the hill to Kuala Lumpur Tower (Also known as Menara Kuala Lumpur). From the Observation Deck you’ll get panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur, and with it only taking 54 seconds to go from the ground floor to the observation deck, there’s no excuse not to visit the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world!

There are two levels to the tower. The Observation Deck is an enclosed room at 276 metres above the ground with binoculars pointing out the must-see sights of the city. Amplify your experience by heading up to the Sky Deck. At 421 metres above the ground, and out in the open air, it’s a fantastic way to experience a 360° view of Kuala Lumpur!

For the truly brave, step out onto the SkyBox. A new experience at the tower, you can step into a glass box suspended 300 meters above the city for a truly birdseye view. While not the faint of heart, it’s an experience and the team at the tower will look after you.

While the KL Forest Eco Park and Kuala Lumpur Tower are the two most popular attractions, there’s plenty more to see and do around the base of the tower. From F1 Simulators to the Blue Coral Aquarium, the Upside Down House and plenty of restaurants.

Essential Information:

  • Ticket price: The observation deck costs RM49 for adult and RM29 for children. Open deck cost RM99.
  • Opening hours: 9 am – 10 pm every day
  • Website: Kuala Lumpur Tower

Coming soon: Up High and Down Low: Exploring Kuala Lumpur Tower

Visiting KL Tower (Menara KL)

Visiting KL Tower (Menara KL)

Visiting KL Tower (Menara KL)

Visiting KL Tower (Menara KL)

The view from KL Tower (Menara KL)

The view from KL Tower (Menara KL)

The view from KL Tower (Menara KL)

Afternoon Tea in the Orchid Conservatory at the Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Enjoy Afternoon Tea among the Orchids at the Majestic Hotel

Your afternoon tea experience will be bloomin’ brilliant at the Majestic Hotel! Served in the hotel’s Orchid Conservatory, a gorgeous ‘glass house’.
Twinings tea is served and a three-tiered tiffin is presented filled with cakes, pastries, scones and sandwiches. A separate plate of warm savouries, such as curry puffs, are also included.

Essential Information:

  • Address: The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, KL (03 2785 8000).
  • Ticket price: RM108 per person in the Orchid Conservatory, though rates can be cheaper if you choose to sit in the Colonial Café instead (from RM58).
  • Availability: Daily from 3-6pm.
  • Bookings are highly recommended.
  • Website: Majestic Hotel Afternoon Tea

Flower Markets in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur's Little India

Take a Walking Tour of Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur’s Little India

Just south of the city centre is Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur’s ‘Little India’. Explore the sights, the sounds of Bollywood blasting from a radio in a street side stall, and revel in the colourful flower stalls selling garlands and offerings for people to take to temple for just a few RM

Wander the grounds of the Vivekananda Ashram, which is still used for spiritual education classes, prayer meetings, and yoga or try AA Blind Traditional Massage, a traditional Chinese massage parlour who train and employ the vision impaired. Great massages, fantastic price and supporting a business trying to improve the lives of their employees.

If you are feeling peckish, try some of the local food. Much of the food in this area is from south India and the banana leaf curry is often recommended. Inside these leaves is thali with vegetable dishes, pickles, chutney and rice. Pour the curry sauce over the rice and finish with a lassi!

Day 2

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Perfect Way to Start the Day at Organica Lifestyle

When I travel I’m always on the lookout for a true gem. Tucked away amongst the row houses of the popular suburb of Bangsar, Organica Lifestyle delivers on every point.

Opened by Melbourne expats and designed to be an ‘urban sanctuary’, Organica Lifestyle nurtures the soul through their organic, nutritious food and yoga classes.

The food here is ah-maze-ing, and will have you wanting to come back for seconds. Combine a morning yoga or pilates class and it’s the perfect way to begin your day, or lose a few hours sipping on a coffee and cosied up in a reading nook, maybe with Waffles – the resident pooch – coming for a cuddle.

Essential Information:

  • Yoga class price: RM40 for a single class. RM70 for 7 day pass.
  • Opening hours: 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Sunday. Closed Monday.
  • Website: www.organicalifestyle.com

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nurturing the soul at Organica Lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Petaling Street (China Town) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Explore the Sights and Sounds of Petaling Street

Spend some time wandering Petaling Street, the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown. There are rows and rows of colourful buildings, vendors selling trinkets, souvenirs, everyday items and delicious food! Haggling is recommended, so give it a go.

While you are there stop by Japan Sultan for some cool street art, Sin Sze Si Ya Temple claims to be the oldest Taoist temples in the city, and the colourful exterior of the oldest Hindu Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Sri Mahamariamman, is sure to catch your eye with its 75 feet high entry gate featuring 228 Hindu idols.

If you want to visit the Central Market, be sure to take the Malaysia Heritage Walk, called Kasturi Walk by locals. The open-air flea market has an eclectic mix of wares for sale and is a great place to people-watch or relax as the courtyard out the front of the market frequently hosts free cultural performances.

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market

Explore the Stores at the Central Market

One of the most iconic landmarks in the city, the Central Market was built-in 1928 as a traditional wet market but after a renovation in the 1980s today the market focuses on cultural arts and crafts. It’s a little bit touristy but there are still bargains to be found and plenty of delicious restaurants.

The Central Market sells everything from ornaments to jewellery, traditional batik prints and souvenir T-shirts. There is hope to revitalise what was once an even bigger cultural hub, but for now, each of the areas is ‘zoned’ so you can find arts and crafts from each area of Malaysia and beyond in Asia.

While you are there, stop by Gyuniku Signature. Gyuniku is ‘beef’ in Japanese and this restaurant sure knows how to cook it! Try their signature dishes – Saute Peppered Brisket and Tendon Rice or Mixed Beef Kuey Teow Soup Special. To finish, cool down with a traditional sweet but savoury shaved ice dish known as ‘cendol’. Inside you’ll often find pandan noodles, coconut milk, red bean and corn. Don’t knock it til you try it because it is super yummy!

Essential Information:

  • Opening hours: 10am – 10pm every day

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market

Kuala Lumpur's Central Market

MUD: the Musical - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

History can be fun at MUD: The Musical

Spend an evening at MUD, Malaysia’s longest-running musical. The hour-long interactive show aims to educate the public on the founding of KL – how Kuala Lumpur managed to go from a village to a small tin-mining town, eventually building itself into the metropolis it is today. It also shows how the town survived the Great Fire and the Great Flood of Kuala Lumpur, both of which unfortunately happened within the year of 1881.

Just remember the more active the audience, the more fun the performance will be!

Essential Information:

  • Ticket price: RM84.80
  • Showtimes: Twice daily. 3pm and 8:30pm
  • Location: Panggung Bandaraya, Jalan Raja, 50350 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Website: MUD KL

The Best View of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Get the BEST Views of the Petronas Towers

They were the tallest building in the world until 2004 and they’re still one of the most incredibly beautiful skyscrapers in the world (I may be biased, though!) Whether it’s by day or by night, the Petronas Towers are simply stunning.

Marini’s on 57

If you want to experience the best view of the Petronas Towers there’s only one place I recommend to friends: Marini’s on 57.
I have written and raved about this Italian restaurant/bar/cigar lounge for years and when I went back recently was still so pleased to see the same great service was still in place and the food was divine!

Traders Hotel is another great spot but it’s just not the same as Marini’s. At Traders, you are stuck in a pool room which, while it has a beautiful view, isn’t quite the same as being able to stand on one of the outside corner balconies and gaze up at the towers…

Reservations for the restaurant are recommended.

Essential Information: FIX

  • Address: Level 57, Menara 3 Petronas, Persiaran KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur (enter through the door at the base of Tower 3, near the Mandarin Oriental)
  • Opening hours: 3pm – 1:30am daily. 3pm – 3am Friday + Saturday.
  • Insider tip: If you want to go inside the Petronas Towers, be sure to preorder your tickets. They’ll be delivered to your hotel the day before and you can skip the queue!
  • Website: www.marinis57.com

Heli Lounge Bar

I am yet to visit the Heli Lounge Bar but my friends recommend it highly for the unrestricted views of Kuala Lumpur! Atop the Menara KH, there is a still active Heliport which is converted to a bar once night falls.

The bar downstairs also has an aviation theme, expressed through their cocktail names and decor – the DJ console is constructed from the turbine of a Boeing 747, a plane cabin seat was turned into a couch and a turbine has been turned into a statement table. It’s a little corny but it’s the helipad view you are here for!

The entrance is free, but if you want to go to the landing spot, you have to buy a drink at the bar and I’ve been told they’re definitely worth it for the amazing view.

Essential Information:

    • Address: 34th Floor, Menara KH, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
    • Opening hours: 6pm – late daily.
  • Insider tip: If you want to go inside the Petronas Towers, be sure to preorder your tickets. They’ll be delivered to your hotel the day before and you can skip the queue!

Read: Sky High Dining at Marini’s on 57 || Read: Where to get the BEST views of the Petronas Towers

Day 3

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wake up at Batu Caves

I’m going to admit that even after five trips to Malaysia I am yet to make it to the Batu Caves but my friends have all raved about the caves, but you need to go early before the heat!

Climb up 272 steps to the top of this 100-year-old limestone caves and cave temples. It’s one of the most important Hindu landmarks with the Cathedral Cave, the largest of the three major caves, housing several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling.

Fruit bats and macaques (small primates) call the caves home, and if you are a rock climber you can take on one of the 160 climbing routes on the outside. The Batu Caves are a must-see experience on any trip to Kuala Lumpur!

Essential Information:

  • Where is it: 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur.
  • How to get there: It is easily reached by Komuter train using the red Batu Caves-Port Klang Line. If you are planning on getting there in time for sunrise, I’d recommend taking a taxi.
  • How much does it cost: Free
  • What to wear: You have to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders as this is a temple and you will be turned away otherwise. Wear comfortable shoes as you must climb 272 steps! Remember to bring water (or buy some at the ground before you start climbing).

Oasia Residence Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Take a Quick Dip

Kuala Lumpur is hot pretty much year-round so finding a good pool is key to cool down after a day of exploring. Located on level 24 of the Oasia Suites, the rooftop pool is surrounded by lush garden and views of the city. Whether you want to sit and relax, take a dip or even bask in the air-conditioned lounge, it’s all possible. Bliss!

If pools aren’t quite your thing, consider hitting the gym, enjoying a bite to eat at Cafe Oasia or relaxing in your room.

Shopping at the Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Shop Til You Drop or Pamper Yourself with a Massage

The Bukit Bintang area of KL is the epicentre of fashion and entertainment in Kuala Lumpur. Whether you want to explore temples and more great tasting food, shop til you drop at the 28-storey Berjaya Times Square which features over 1,000 retail stores, or my personal favourite Pavilion, home to 400 boutique flagship stores. There’s also plenty of places to pop into and pamper yourself with a massage. The perfect way to wind down and truly relax.

Being so close to the Oasia Suites, it’s the perfect way to finish your 72 hours in Kuala Lumpur before heading home or onwards on to your next adventure!

Let me know in the comments:

What would you do on a 72 Hour Stopover in Kuala Lumpur?

Plan your trip to Malaysia:

Where to stay on a layover in Kuala Lumpur

The Coolest Boutique Hotels in Kuala Lumpur

Where to go to get the BEST views of the Petronas Towers

Sky High Dining at Marini’s on 57

Hanging out with Orangutans and Sunbears in Malaysian Borneo

Finding Eden’s Garden on Pangkor Island

I was a guest of Far East Hospitality while in Kuala Lumpur,
but put this guide together using the insight gained from all my visits and with the help of local friends!

All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.

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  • Reply
    November 3, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I have been to KL a couple of times and I have to say I would probably said the same things to visit 🙂
    The hotel looks beautiful btw!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Ah you had much more time than I did when I passed through. I only had 24 hours, wish I could have got to the Batu Caves. That pool looks awesome too.

  • Reply
    Dan On The Road
    November 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Pretty solid 3-day itinerary you have there! Loved the fact you discovered Marini’s on 57 with its spectacular views of the Twin Towers.

  • Reply
    jo Ann Lawery
    July 14, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I just discovered your blog from a website and this post brought back a lot of wicked beautiful memories of KL . I was a reservation sales agent for Malaysia Airlines in Los Angeles for 7 plus years. It was my first time in Asia and what I loved about it besides the food and how inexpensive it was, was the diversity of the people and how friendly they were. I would love to go back .your pictures make me homesick for Malaysia even though I’m not Malaysian . I LOVE KL!

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