When you only have one day in Kuala Lumpur, for whatever reasons it could be, here are the places you must visit in a day in Malaysia’s Capital City.
When you only have one day in Kuala Lumpur, you better have your running shoes on. A day trip in Malaysia’s Capital City is going to be quite hectic, and you won’t have time for a coffee break.
Just kidding, there’s always time for coffee on your KL City tour!
Anyway, you’re not going to be able to reach all of the Kuala Lumpur Tourist attractions on your big day out. A one day trip in Kuala Lumpur will not allow for it.
The reasons are that not everything within the city limits is near, and with the manic traffic, keeping close the city and using the monorail or subway is the best option for a short trip.
In this Kuala Lumpur day tour itinerary, we’ll keep most activities compacted to the city. If you’re to follow this path, you’re bound to see plenty of Kl attractions of heritage buildings, shopping malls, beautiful gardens, taste great food and even visit a couple of famous buildings.
One day in Kuala Lumpur! Let’s get into the big day out, and by the day’s end, you’ll be buying a cold beer and chillin’ at the bar, because the petrol tickets would have run out.
One Day in Kuala Lumpur – Places To Go In A Day in Malaysia’s Capital City
The first thing is first, the best transportation options in KL
Public transport is not expensive in Malaysia, and if you’re having a one day trip in KL, you should buy a KL Rapid Card. This pass will allow you to ride on the bus, monorail or train system in Kuala Lumpur. Your only job is to make sure you’re topping the card up with enough funds.
Personally, the best way around KL is to download the Grab App (UBER) register your details and go from there. The downfall with the Grab is the waiting time can be excessive, and when you don’t have time to waste, it causes unfortunate delays.
Alternatively, you can get around with a taxi, it’s twice the cost of Grab, but taxis are everywhere in the city, so it’s easily accessible.
Final word to the wise, don’t waste your time with a taxi/Grab in the peak hours of the morning or evening. While the KL traffic is extreme at most times, it’s a nightmare during peak hour.
During rush hour, stick to walking the streets of Kuala Lumpur or catch a train or monorail instead.
Attractions left out of one-day Kuala Lumpur City Tour Itinerary
In a mad rush around a major city, a few tourist places in KL are bound to be missed.
In this Kuala Lumpur itinerary, a few distant attractions like the Batu Caves, Sunway Lagoon and Genting Highlands are excluded from the list. These KL attractions are a distance from the City Centre, and it’ll demand a few hours of your time.
If your motto while travelling, is less is more, by all means, add Batu Caves and include other major attractions, like the Petronas Towers and KL Tower.
No matter which way you go about it, you’re bound to have a great day out in KL.
Let’s begin the one day in Kuala Lumpur!
Begin the morning at Perdana Botanical Gardens
In the scorching heats of Malaysia, a morning walk through the Perdana Botanical Gardens is the ideal way to start the day trip in Kuala Lumpur.
With free entry to the gardens, it’s recommended to spend time walking in nature before heading to the hustle and bustle of the city.
There is a variety of things to do in the Botanical Gardens. You can visit the Hibiscus Gardens, walk through the Sunken Garden, view beautiful water features during your quiet walk and a wander around the picturesque Lake Garden for shade and relaxation.
The activities will mount, but what will be appreciated most is the laid-back and peaceful nature of the Perdana Botanical Gardens.
Go Heritage with Merdeka Square and Central Market in your KL one day trip
Once finished with the delightful gardens it’s heritage time in your KL City tour with the Merdeka Square, known locally as Dataran Merdeka, in translation meaning Independence Square.
Heritage buildings within Merdeka Square include the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral and many more camera-worthy snapshots of well-constructed buildings.
Once you walk through Merdeka Square, the Central Markets, is another landmark building not too far away and provides fascinating local shopping within a two-story building.
Central Market is an indoor and outdoor market layout where you can browse through different stalls in the comfort of a closed roof.
Inside Central Market, there is a range of goods for sale from traditional clothing, souvenirs, unique jewellery and beautiful art which will undoubtedly capture your attention.
Outside the markets, the products are more modern and may suit your style preference as you search for the next bargain on your KL trip.
Explore Chinatown and enjoy the vibrancy in the Kuala Lumpur City Tour
Chinatown Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant marketplace decorated with Chinese lanterns and sells a variety of goods usually seen in a famous Asian market. Including popular souvenirs to bring back home for memories of your KL trip.
By the time you have wandered through Chinatown KL, it should be lunchtime. Within the markets, there are many tasty Chinese street foods such as the delicious dim sims, pork bun rolls and other delicious goods to snack on while walking around.
You’ll also find plenty of sit-down restaurants too when you need to rest your feet at the halfway point of your one day trip in KL.
Visit KL Towers and the KL Forest ECO Park
A taxi or Grab is probably the best way to go from Chinatown to the KL Tower. Precious time can’t afford to be wasted in your busy afternoon schedule as you visit one of the best attractions in KL.
The KL Tower is appropriately priced to gain entrance to the Sky Deck which has unbelievable views of the city.
There’s added things to do other at the Sky Deck other than to take pictures of the city skyline. Inside, you can test your fear of heights by stepping into the glass cube and enjoying panoramic views at the Revolving 360 restaurant.
At the base of the tower, if you choose to avoid the Sky Deck, you can check out the mini-zoo and other minor attractions to enjoy the Tower experience from a different angle.
Not too far from the tower is the beautiful KL Forest ECO Park, it’s free entry and gives you respite from typical heat of Malaysia.
It’s a laid-back nature walk on the doorstep to the city and has plenty of bushlands, gardens, skywalks and more views of the KL Tower.
Visiting Bukit Bintang and dinner at Jalan Alor Night Food Market
When the sun begins to come down over Kuala Lumpur, it’s time to go to the hottest tourist spot in the city, Bukit Bintang.
Bukit Bintang is a famous nightspot and offers plenty of shopping, cafes and Malaysian food experience at the Jalan Alor Night Food Market, the perfect place for dinner.
The Jalan Alor Night Food Court contains many food outlets with a variety of cuisines, such as grilled meats, Asian soups and famous Chinese dishes. At Jalan Alor, you can either sit down a-la-carte style or purchase street food and eat on the run to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere of the food market.
For those who need more retail therapy in their one day in Kuala Lumpur, shopping is a must a Bukit Bintang, thanks to the number one Shopping Mall, The Pavilion. The Mall is a city within a city and has an impressive food court, cafes, bars and Retail Outlets that will dent the credit card.
There are other retail outlets along the streets of Bukit Bintang where you can purchase stylish and fashionable clothing. An extensive range of fashion accessories such as quality jewellery, sports goods, unique art and a selection of your favourite stationery.
Conclude the hectic day at Petronas Twin Towers under the night sky
Leaving the most famous tourist attraction in KL for last, The Petronas Twin towers light up the city at night and looks incredible, especially from ground zero.
Whether you elect to view the 86th floor of the Observation deck is up to you. The experience is not cheap, and sometimes that fate is out of your hands anyway as sessions are generally sold out and you need to book in advance.
It’s advised to plan accordingly and book a session time in advance, it’s worthwhile because you never know when you’ll see the Petronas again.
If you don’t make it to the top, no big deal, the best pictures of Petronas are taken from the base looking up at the incredible Twin Buildings.
The best vantage points are at the front of the towers or the rear at the KLCC park, where you can capture more great photos of a tower that certainly stands out in an incredible city.
When you’re done marvelling the star attraction, depending on the time you have available, there is plenty to do in KLCC.
You can go inside the Suria Mall under the Petronas and experience another fantastic shopping experience with popular retail outlets and excellent food choices.
Alternatively, you may want to wander the streets of KLCC and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in one of the several bars located in the area for a drink or two, recovering from a big day.
It’s one day in Kuala Lumpur; it’s been rushed, quite chaotic, and memorable all in one.
Who knows, if the days allow for it, you may change your Malaysia itinerary to include KL for a more extended stay, because one day, is never enough.