Planning 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur and seeking the perfect Kuala Lumpur itinerary? Great, because we have got you covered. After spending some time backpacking Kuala Lumpur, we can share what we got up to and what we consider to be the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days. We also include the best places to eat, where you should stay, and all of our top tips, so that you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying this exciting city.
Any trip to Malaysia is sure to begin in the Capital City of Kuala Lumpur. KL Airport is also a major international hub in South East Asia. So if you’re backpacking around that area you’re sure to pass through here at some time or another. Often travellers skip through the city without giving it a chance, as many don’t regard Kuala Lumpur as an exciting destination. When in fact, the city has a lot to offer.
The first thing that struck us about Kuala Lumpur was how culturally diverse it is. We would later find this to be a staple of Malaysia in general. But, to be greeted by an amalgamation of Chinese, Indian, European and Malay influence was quite the culture shock. We also found the city to be packed to bursting with architectural wonders, religious sites, bustling markets and incredible food choices. Not to mention hiking opportunities and other hidden gems in Kuala Lumpur that we just didn’t expect from the city.
Anyhow, we have a lot to cover, so let’s look at what a 2 Day Kuala Lumpur Itinerary might look like.
Two Days In Kuala Lumpur – Itinerary & Guide
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Where to Stay with 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur
We’ve done the rounds in Kuala Lumpur, returning on numerous occasions over the past 3 years. Which is why it’s not too difficult for us to recommend great places to stay, particularly if you’re on a budget.
Naturally, there is no shortage of accommodation options in KL, regardless of what you’re willing to spend. However, if you only have two days in Kuala Lumpur, you’ll want to make sure you’re located centrally. This way, you can avoid journey time eating into your valuable exploring time.
With this in mind, we suggest choosing accommodation around Bukit Bintang or China Town. This way, you’re close to several of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur, as well as being well connected by public transport. I’ve made some hotel suggestions below, or you can click the link for a list of all hostels, guesthouses, and hotels in the city. Alternatively, if you would prefer to stay a little out of the city centre check out apartments in Bukit Jalil area!
For a full list of places to stay in Kuala Lumpur, you can check the latest prices here.
Or, if you’d prefer something more personal, you may wish to consider an Air BnB instead. These are particularly great if you are staying long term and we are pleased to offer a £26 discount on your first booking. Simply click the link to validate your offer.
Hostel – Paper Plane Hostel – Sporting quirky wall art and chic modern design throughout, it’s no wonder that Paper Plane hostel is a consistent favourite among backpackers. Along with a choice of comfortable dorms or private rooms, guests can enjoy socialising on the rooftop and the common glass room. Hungry? The hostel is located within walking distance of Bukit Bintang, Chinatown and the Central Market.
Budget Private – Step Inn Guesthouse – Step Inn is an affordable yet highly rated hostel in the city. Guests love the friendly & sociable atmosphere, as well as the excellent location just minutes away from China Town. The cheap private rooms make it a great option for couples, while the working space & high-speed wifi considers it the perfect choice for digital nomads. Not to mention you get a free breakfast included in the unbeatable price!
Luxury – The Face Suites – If budget permits, we highly recommend splurging on a one night stay in this luxury apartment block. Not only can you enjoy a night of divine comfort, but you will undoubtedly go crazy for the rooftop infinity pool sporting unrivalled views of the cityscape.
The Best of Kuala Lumpur in 2 Days
We have a lot to cover in this comprehensive Kuala Lumpur Itinerary, so if you’re short for time, here’s a taster of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 Days.
- Visit the mystical Batu Caves.
- See the Petronas Twin Towers in the day & night.
- Hike the notorious Bukit Tabur trails.
- Marvel the architecture of Masjid Wilayah Mosque.
- Relax at the botanical gardens.
- Check out some of the more unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
- Take a day trip to vibrant Melacca or the Cameron Highlands.
- Sample the best of Malaysian cuisine.
Backpacking Malaysia? Don’t risk missing out on bus tickets by leaving them to the last minute! Book your ticket in advance with 12 Go Asia for the best prices, a guaranteed seat, and peace of mind. We booked all of our transport with 12 Go and it made our lives a hell of a lot easier. Click the link to book your tickets now.
Things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 Days
From religious landmarks and architectural wonders, to glorious nature areas and challenging hikes, here are the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. While you might not be able to fit all of these awesome places into 48 hours, you can choose the places you want to visit over your 2 days in Kuala Lumpur.
1. Visit the Ancient Batu Caves
The Batu Caves are arguably the most impressive place to visit in Kuala Lumpur in 2 Days. The caves are an astonishing 400 million years old, and carved amid tremendous limestone cliffs are a sight to behold. A series of Hindu Temples and Shrines can be found throughout the complex, and it’s one of the most important religious landmarks in the city.
To get into the caves is quite the obstacle. First, you’ll have to battle your way through the hundreds of pigeons that flock the perimeter of the cliffs. I assume they must get fed regularly as they weren’t phased at all by tourists. Then you’ll come across the giant statue of the Hindu Deity Murugan, who guards the entrance to the caves. At a height of 42m, it is said the be the tallest statue in the world.
If the huge gold statue allows you to pass, you’ll find yourself on the 272 step rainbow staircase – An Instagram Hotspot in Kuala Lumpur. Here you’ll find a colony of monkeys who are known to reign havoc on tourists passing by. The trick is to have nothing on show that they can snatch from you – hats, food, phones – keep them locked away! We even saw one cheeky monkey lift a woman’s skirt while we were there, so you may want to pay attention to what you wear. As it’s a place of worship, you should keep shoulders and legs above the knee covered up.
*Tip – If you are keen to get a good shot without the crowds, we recommend arriving a little before the 7 am opening time. Either way, it’s good to arrive early to tackle the 272 stairs before it gets too hot.
Allow: 2-3 hours/Entrance: Free/Open: 7am – 9pm daily
2. Visit the Impressive Masjid Wilayah Mosque (Federal Territory Mosque)
Although Malaysia is a multi-cultural society, the official religion is in fact, Islam. It is, therefore, no surprise to find some spectacular Mosques located around the capital city.
While none of the mosques failed to impress, our favourite of them all is the Federal Territory Mosque. The opulent structure, inspired by other architectural wonders such as the Taj Mahal and Mecca, is truly awe-inspiring. If you are a keen photographer, you are sure to be in your element here.
When visiting the mosque, we were offered a free guided tour, where our guide shared his infinite knowledge about Islam tradition and the mosque itself. If you are spending 2 days in Kuala Lumpur, this should be a priority on your list of things to do.
*Tip – When visiting any of the mosques throughout the city, be prepared to wear robes and a headdress of which will be provided free of charge.
Allow: 1 hour/Entrance: Free/Open: 10am-6pm (CLOSED Friday 12pm-2.30pm)
3. Hike Bukit Tabur
One of the more adventurous things you can do with 2 days in Kuala Lumpur, is to go hiking. We were surprised to learn there are many hiking trails dotted around the outskirts of the city. That said, they all vary in length and difficulty so be sure to do your research before heading out. I recommend checking out this article regarding the various hiking trails in Kuala Lumpur.
Despite its precarious reputation, we decided to climb the West Trail of Bukit Tabur one morning. The hike itself wasn’t too difficult; however, towards the peak is where things got a little tricky. Here we had to use ropes and footholds to traverse the ridge of the mountain. This section probably shouldn’t be attempted unless you feel entirely confident to do so. But so long as you keep your wits about, you should run into little trouble.
Once we’d got past this point we were rewarded with a mesmerising view as if straddling 2 different worlds. On one side we had the rolling green hills and scenic reservoir, while on the other the glistening skyline of the city. This is, without a doubt, one of the most adventurous and unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Things to note:
- There are two sides to Bukit Tabur – East & West. The Eastern trek is meant to be longer and slightly more dangerous.
- Some information online states that you need a permit to climb; however, there was no office when we arrived at the starting point.
- We arrived at the starting point to find the route had been taped off. We tracked down a local who told us it was ok to climb so we went around the tape.
- Be aware of the monkeys along the route.
- Do not attempt this hike after it has been raining.
- See our guide to hiking Bukit Tabur for more information.
4. Visit the Petronas Towers at Night
At a height of 450m, the Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world. A significant landmark in the city, they are an essential addition to any Kuala Lumper Itinerary.
The towers are impressive at any time of day. However, our favourite time to visit is at night when they are lit up and appear futuristic. There is also a better atmosphere at night, with several food trucks and pop-up stores making an appearance nearby.
There is a sky bridge that connects the two towers and makes for a great view of the city; however, it’s not cheap and we would suggest the KL Tower Sky Deck instead. Book tickets for the Petronas Towers Sky Bridge here.
*Photography Tip – For the best photo angles, you can head to the fountains at the front of the buildings. It pays to have a go pro or wide-angle lens, but if you don’t have one there are usually hawkers at the towers who sell cheap ones for your phone.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Entrance: RM80.00 for Sky Bridge
5. Marvel the Awe-Inspiring Thean Hou Temple
Thean Hou Temple is the epitome of Buddhist temples. It’s vibrant, it’s extravagant, and it’s jaw-dropping. What’s more, it’s said to be one of the oldest and largest temples in South East Asia, which makes it a fascinating place to visit.
We decided on taking a walking adventure tour of the city, and Thean Hou Temple was the first spot on our list. It took us over an hour to walk from China Town, but it meant we passed through Little India and other spots of interest.
Upon arrival at the temple, we were blown away by the ornate detail of the six-tiered temple. Also known as the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven. It was around Chinese New Year when we visited, and hundreds if not thousands of red lanterns adorned the complex. The colour red is said to represent prosperity and good fortune.
While we were blown away by the architectural design of the temple, we also relished the serenity it provided. Such a luxury can be hard to find amid the hustle and bustle of the city, so we lapped it up while we could. You can also find a great view of the city from the temple. All things considered, it’s one of the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur in 2 Days.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Entrance: Free (donations welcomed)/Open: 8am-6pm daily
6. Take to the Skies at KL Forest Eco Park
From sweeping jungle to concrete jungle, it’s hard to believe that Kuala Lumpur was once dominated by rainforest. Today the cities skyline is adorned with towering skyscrapers and air pollution. Although, we were pleased to see some effort has been made to preserve the cities routes.
The KL Eco Park is a 200m squared area of protected rainforest in the heart of the city. Home to a variety of endangered plants, birds, and monkeys, it’s rare to encounter such raw nature in a modern metropolis.
The park boasts a number of trails including canopy walkways amid the treetops. This is one of the more unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur and definitely worth checking out.
Allow: 1 hour/Entrance: Free/Open: 7am to 6pm daily
7. Visit Historical Merdeka Square
If you are at all interested in Malaysian history, a trip to Merdeka Square is a worthy addition to your 2 days Kuala Lumpur itinerary. Here is where Malaysia declared their independence in 1957, and previously served as the colonial core of Kuala Lumpur. A giant flagpole holding the Malaysian flag dances in the wind as if still celebrating.
Other than the dancing flag, the highlight of Merdeka Square is most-certainly the architecture. The heritage buildings, such as the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, offer a stark contrast to the contemporary architecture seen throughout the rest of the capital. Otherwise, it’s what it says on the tin – a square of green grass.
Allow: 30 mins/Entrance: Free/Open: 24 hours
8. Explore the City on a Neuron Scooter
Neuron scooters are changing the game in a select few South-East Asian cities, and the most recent to jump on the bandwagon is Kuala Lumpur. Simply download the neuron app, upload some credit, and pick up a scooter at the numerous scooter stations around the city.
Call us childish, but whizzing around the parks and streets of KL was awesome! If you only have 2 days in Kuala Lumpur, use them wisely and rent yourself a neuron scooter.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Price: Free for the first 15 mins. RM0.60 per minute thereafter
9. Shop ‘Til you Drop
Shopping isn’t really our bag (pun intended), but if you are a keen a shopper, you will doubtlessly be in your element in KL. Luxury shopping malls to budget thrift stores are overflowing in the city, as well as an abundance of bustling markets. For the best places to snag yourself a bargain, check out this interesting article, 10 best budget shopping places in Kuala Lumpur.
*Top Tip – Kuala Lumpur is an incredibly cheap place to pick up any electricals such as camera equipment, laptops, and mobile phones. For the best deals, head to the Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang. But be sure to check the manufacturer’s website for the authorised resellers, otherwise, you may not be covered by the guarantee.
Take the stress out of planning and cover the KL cultural highlights with an organised tour. Click the link below to read hundreds of positive reviews regarding the tour which includes the Batu Caves, Thean Hou Temple, and the National Mosque. At just $25 it’s insane value for money, but be sure to book in advance as it sells out fast!
Book Your Tour: Group Tour: Batu Caves & Cultural Exploration Tour
10. Get the Best View in the City at Kuala Lumpur Tower
As you gaze upon the skyline of the city, the focal points are that of the Petronas Towers and the Kuala Lumpur Tower. It is the KL communications tower, however, that is particularly recognisable, resembling something almost other-worldly. This is even more apparent at night when the vivid lights shift colour amid the night sky.
You can spot the tower from almost anywhere in the city; however, the main attraction is the panoramic view from the top of the tower. The Observation Deck, positioned at 276 metres is the cheapest option, whereas the Sky Deck, is the ‘premium’ view. Alternatively, you can enjoy a unique dining experience at Atmosphere 360 – the towers rotating restaurant.
Whichever option you choose, the Kuala Lumpur Tower provides the best vistas in the city and deserves a spot on your 2 Day Kuala Lumpur Itinerary.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Price: click here to see the packages available.
11. Refuel at a Quirky Cafe
The weather in Kuala Lumpur can be unpredictable. One minute you will be sweltering in the blazing sunshine, and the next you will be dodging lightning bolts (slight exaggeration)! Either way, you will often find yourself on the lookout for a good cafe to either cool down or shelter from the storm.
Luckily there are plenty of good spots around the city. As well as popular chains such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean, you can find a number of chic, privately owned cafes. Some of our favourites include Lucy in the Sky, ETC, and Merchants Lane. Or check out this article for the best cafes in Kuala Lumpur.
12. Escape the Hustle & Bustle at the Botanical Gardens
If you’re not really a city person, 2 days in Kuala Lumpur can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the Botanical Gardens are the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy some peace & tranquillity.
The gardens cover over 200 acres, and as well as a place to relax host many outdoor activities. We discovered tree houses, a butterfly farm, a deer park, plus much more.
Allow: 1-3 hours/Entrance: Free/Open: 7am-8pm daily
13. Sample the Street Food
Food plays a huge part in Malay culture, and why wouldn’t it. The cuisine is insanely good – one of the best in South East Asia! With several tantalising Chinese, Indian, and Malay options, it’s easy to get carried away. We often leave the city a few pounds heavier than we started. But hey, C’est la vie!
Eating Malaysian street food is an affordable way to sample all of the delicious flavours of Malay cuisine. You will find hawker stands dotted all over the city; however, Jalan Alor Street is the most famous spot for street food. Equally significant are the hawkers dotted around China Town, and if you are in KL on a Saturday the Jalan Masjid India market is a must!
Experience the street food of Malaysia on a night tour of Kuala Lumpur, and follow in the footsteps of the locals at a lively night market and more. Taste typical flavours and delicious bites, such as chicken curry puff, dim sum and satay sticks.
BOOK YOUR TOUR: Kuala Lumpur: Local Street Food Night Tour
14. Masjid Negara – Malaysia’s National Mosque
As you would expect, Malaysia’s National Mosque is an architectural wonder. Built to accommodate over 15,000 people, the sleek and contemporary design of Masjid Negara makes it unlike any other mosque in the city.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Entrance: Free/Open: Check website
15. Helipad @ Helilounge Bar
Helipad by day, HeliBar by night. One of the best nocturnal things to do in Kuala Lumpur is to enjoy a drink at the Helipad Bar. I say A drink, as they are a little on the pricey side if you’re a budget backpacker. Nevertheless, it’s worth enjoying a sunset beer here for the experience of drinking atop a Helipad. As you can imagine, the vista is one of the best in the city, but we recommend arriving early to secure a good spot for sunset.
*Tip – Find the best deals on drinks during happy hour (5-9pm) with cocktails available for RM 30.
Opening Hours: 5:00 pm – 12:00 am (2:00am closing Friday & Saturday)
16. KLCC Park
For a unique perspective of the Petronas Towers, it is worth paying a visit to the KLCC Park located at the rear of the skyscrapers. As well as the view, the park boasts dancing water fountains, a children’s play area, and a running track.
Allow 1-2 hours/Entrance: Free/Open 7am – 10pm daily
17. The Face Suites
If budget permits, we highly recommend splurging on a one night stay in this luxury apartment block. Not only can you enjoy a night of divine comfort, but you will undoubtedly go crazy for the rooftop infinity pool sporting unrivalled views of the cityscape.
If money isn’t an issue, you may wish to check out the luxury hotel option. Alternatively, if you’re on a budget, you can find incredible deals on Airbnb for modernised apartments in the same block. Either way, you are guaranteed an unforgettable stay.
Day Tours from Kuala Lumpur
In my opinion, two days is not enough time to do day trips out of the city. You’ll just lose too much time. That said, if you’re spending longer than 2 days, or if want some time out of the city, there some great tours and day trips in Kuala Lumpur. Click the links below for more information regarding these best selling tours:
- Full-Day Trip to Historical Malacca
- Cameron Highlands Private Day Tour
- Kuala Selangor Fireflies & Wildlife Tour
- Private Full Day Tour to Taman Negara
2 Days in Kuala Lumpur – Top Tips
Best Time to Visit Kuala Lumpur
Since Kuala Lumpur is close to the equator, it has a tropical climate, sporting hot and humid conditions all year round. That said, the best time to visit is considered to be between May to July and December to February when the humidity is lower and days are mostly dry.
Thunderstorms are common throughout the year; however, often they only last an hour or so and help to clear the air. March and April see the most rainfall, so it may be best to avoid visiting during that time if you plan to go sightseeing.
Malaysia Visa Requirements
Malaysia has a very laidback policy when it comes to tourist visas. Many nationalities including all European, United States, Australian and South African Citizens are granted visa-free entry into the country for 90 days.
For more information regarding visa requirements for your country, please check with the Immigration Department of Malaysia ahead of travel.
While the dress code appears to be relaxed in Kuala Lumpur, it is recommended that female travellers respect the Islam tradition of covering shoulders and legs from the knee upwards. Not only is it respectful, but it will help to avoid unwanted attention.
Be Aware of Scams
In all touristy areas, there are many travel scams you should be aware of so consequently, you can avoid them. There are also known to be skilled pickpockets operating in Kuala Lumpur so be sure to keep your valuables secured at all time. We use either a small padlock or compartmental bag to keep our valuables safe.
Don’t forget, if it’s your first time travelling or backpacking Malaysia, check out our First timers guide to travelling Malaysia. It’s jam-packed with useful information regarding entry requirements, currency, safety, and all that jazz.
2 Days in Kuala Lumpur – Getting Around
Public Transport – In our experience, the easiest way to explore Kuala Lumpur is by using bus and rail networks. As well as being reliable, they are also super cheap.
The metro system in Kuala Lumpur puts the London Underground to shame with comfortable, air-conditioned carriages and boasting routes to all the must-see spots across the city. There are even ladies-only carriages for female travellers who may feel uncomfortable in the mixed.
Taxi – Grab Taxis operate in the bigger cities and are a safer, cheaper alternative to a local taxi. If you do take a local taxi, be sure they use the meter. Or agree on the fare in advance to avoid being ripped off.
Onward Travel – For onward travel within Malaysia, be sure to check out 12go Asia for the latest timetable and competitive prices.
Where to Eat in Kuala Lumpur
Any city you visit in Malaysia is a foodie paradise, and Kuala Lumpur is no exception. This is the city where you can eat for $1 or $100 depending on your budget. Either way, you can almost guarantee that the food is going to be good.
We are big foodies on a small budget, meaning we are always on the lookout for the best affordable food in the area. For a cheap yet delicious sit-down meal, we recommend heading to the food courts in Little India or China Town. Or for delectable street food, you cannot miss Jalan Alor Street. Otherwise, check out this list of the best restaurants in Kuala Lumpur.
For those a little shy of sampling the local cuisine, you need not worry. Although slightly more expensive than the local food, many restaurants offer tasty western options. You can also find many of the popular fast-food chains here as well as several Michelin Star Restaurants.
What to pack for 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur
Unsure of what you might need to pack for your adventures in Kuala Lumpur? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Check out our backpacker essentials, for a packing list of items that we carry with us on every adventure.
As travellers, it should always be a top priority to travel responsibly. We already leave a substantial carbon footprint just by flying to our travel destinations, so that’s even more reason to make a positive impact when we get there. There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller, and we recommend you check out this list of eco-travel essentials. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to minimise your footprint when exploring Kuala Lumpur
1. Consider your transportation: Do you really need to take that taxi? Could you walk it? Any way in which you can minimise carbon emissions is having a positive impact on the environment. We personally love walking in new places. You discover so much more that way. Not to mention the calories burnt, we have a Fitbit that tracks this!
2. Carry a Steripen or iodine tablets to sterilise water: This not only limits your usage of single-use plastic but also saves you money too!
3. Carry a reusable bag: Take a reusable bag with you everywhere. Even an old plastic bag tucked in your handbag will suffice. Just try to say no to plastic bags when doing your shopping.
More on Malaysia
Planning a trip to Malaysia? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
- THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO MALAYSIA – A FIRST TIMERS GUIDE
- 2 WEEKS IN MALAYSIA – ITINERARY AND TRAVEL GUIDE
- 15 Cool & Creative Instagram Spots in Kuala Lumpur
- 15 Unique Things to do in Kuala Lumpur – Hidden Gems in KL
- Bukit Tabur West & East Hiking Trails in Kuala Lumpur
- Gay In: Malaysia – A LGBT Travel Guide to Malaysia
Did you enjoy our 2 day itinerary & guide for Kuala Lumpur?
Well, that concludes 2 days in Kuala Lumpur itinerary & guide. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical country. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here where we share further travel advice & inspiration.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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