Visiting Malaysia and just have a day to spend in its capital? Or perhaps you’re on a short layover. Whichever your reason, 24 hours is just enough time to get a taste of what the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur has to offer. Here’s are three itineraries that will help you make the most of your day in the city.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant art scene is to visit Zhongshan Building. This communal art space serves as both housing and a gallery for local artists. Browse the galleries, visit private studios, catch a gig or workshop or take home a unique art piece.
Appam is a traditional Southern Indian pancake that’s popular for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. Love Mom Restaurant in Klang, run by the half-Sri Lankan Aunty Parames (as she’s affectionately known) is a great spot to try this dish. Dishes served here are made using family recipes that have been passed down from her mother, so you know you’re experiencing only authentic South Indian dishes.
A short cab ride away in Bangsar, Bobo KL lets you feast on elevated local and European fare while admiring the owner’s contemporary Malaysian art collection. Head upstairs to the intimate piano bar, which showcases the city’s best jazz singers.
Where to stay
Stripes Hotel is situated in what was formerly a tin mining settlement. The black-and-white photography adorning the rooms reflect the rich history and character of the neighbourhood.
Enjoy Australian-inflected breakfast dishes at Urban Daybreak, located on Jalan Telawi. Down the road, CzipLee sells a wide array of books and stationary and also offers creative workshops that’ll be a hit with the artsy types.
Instagram-worthy spots abound in the Taman Paramount suburbs. Dine on western brunch classics at Awesome Canteen, a retro-chic café with a lush vertical garden. Walk off lunch at Ilaika, an airy space showcasing quirky merchandise from local artisans, or Awegallery, which houses regular flea markets and pop-up exhibitions.
Once a somewhat sketchy neighbourhood, Petaling Street is undergoing a renaissance, thanks to new establishments like Chocha Foodstore, a photogenic hotel-turned restaurant serving up Asian small plates made with local ingredients. Keep your eyes peeled for a hole-in-the-wall ostensibly selling old toys; it’s actually PS150, a tiny speakeasy helmed by one of KL’s top mixologists.
Where to stay
The newest addition to renowned landscape architect Seksan Ng’s portfolio, the offbeat Sekeping Backlane offers just one double room, a rooftop garden, and great views of the neighbourhood.
Take the little ones on a fun canopy walk at KL Forest Eco Park, a sprawling nature reserve in the heart of the city. Then refuel at Dough by Meg for hearty lunch followed by their specialty bombolonis (Italian stuffed doughnuts).
If you’re looking for something both educational and fun for your kids, head to Petrosains, The Discovery Centre to experience its regularly refreshed interactive exhibits. For lunch, TAPAK, a food truck park that offers a wide array of local cuisine along with international favourites.
Wind down at Pavilion Elite, the recently opened extension to Pavilion Mall which is also home to the biggest Lego store in Malaysia. For dinner, grab a table atAl Halabi Gourmet Restaurant for a spread of hearty Middle Eastern dishes that kids and adults alike will enjoy.
Where to stay
The recently opened five-star Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre has a play zone equipped with an Xbox and a PlayStation – perfect for keeping the kids entertained.