One day in Kuala Lumpur – the PERFECT itinerary

Visiting Kuala Lumpur in one day might seem overwhelming at first. With a population of almost 2 million people, the city is a modern capital with many tourist attractions to choose from.

However, the good news is that the transport system works great, which means that you can see more in less time. Kuala Lumpur is known for its multicultural environment, as well as for its modern buildings. It’s a beautiful city that can entertain even the most demanding travelers.

Traffic and buildings in Kuala Lumpur

I visited Kuala Lumpur countless times and each time, I managed to discover something new about it. In this guide, I’ll share with you the perfect one-itinerary of Kuala Lumpur. I included all the must-see places and many tips and tricks to help you have a great time in this fascinating city.

If you only have 24 hours to spend in Kuala Lumpur, this guide is for you!

1. Reasons to visit Kuala Lumpur for one day

If you are traveling in S-E Asia, chances are that you will have at least one layover in Kuala Lumpur. A major hub for some of the biggest airlines in Asia, KL is definitely worth exploring, even for just a few hours.

The good news is that there is a super fast train – KLIA Express – from the airport to KL Sentral. The ride will take only about 30 minutes and the price is $14 one way. Be careful as there is also a KLIA Transit train that has the same route but more stops at the same price.

Good to know – If you book your tickets online, you can save up to $8.

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One day in Kuala Lumpur itinerary, KL one day itinerary
One day in Kuala Lumpur itinerary, KL one day itinerary
One day in Kuala Lumpur itinerary, KL one day itinerary

Apart from the excellent airport connections, Kuala Lumpur is worth visiting for its modern architecture, vibrant culture and friendly people. The first things you’ll notice when entering the city are the countless skyscrapers and modern buildings. The city is developing really fast and I’m sure that it will look completely different in just a few years.

Also, I loved that the Kuala Lumpur’s cultural diversity shaped its architecture. China Town, Hindu Temples and mosques are just 5 minutes apart. You can never get bored in this city!

Another advantage of visiting Kuala Lumpur is that it has excellent connections with other amazing cities in Malaysia such as Melaka, Cameron Highlands or Penang.

2. Kuala Lumpur one day itinerary

If you plan a KL day trip, I am sure that this itinerary will be helpful. I made sure to include the must-see attractions in the city. You’ll have plenty of time to see the best of Kuala Lumpur in under 24 hours!

Are you planning to explore the entire country? Check out this amazing itinerary and discover all the hidden gems in Malaysia.

1st STOP – Chinatown

Chinatown shops in Kuala Lumpur

Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 h

Wake up early in the morning and head to one of the fascinating areas in Kuala Lumpur – Chinatown! If you want to buy some souvenirs or simply experience the daily life of the city, this is the perfect place to be!

Prices in Chinatown are lower than in other parts of the city and there are so many things to choose from! This is a must-see if you are planning a one day trip to KL. If you’re hungry, immerse yourself in the Chinese culture and enjoy some of the tasty street food!

2nd STOP – Sri Mahamariamman Temple

Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur

Duration (getting there + visiting): 0.5 h

Just 5 minutes away from the center of Chinatown is the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur – Sri Mahamariamman. If you’ve never seen a Hindu temple before, you should definitely visit this one.

I absolutely loved all the bright colors and beautiful decorations. To enter the temple, you will have to leave your shoes at the entrance (you will see a window on the left side of the temple) and dress respectfully (no short pants or skirts).

3rd STOP – Central Market

Central Market in Kuala Lumpur

Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 h

The Central Market is just a short walk away from Sri Mahamariamman Temple. The Market opens each day at 10 AM and closes at 10 PM. It’s one of my favorite places in Kuala Lumpur!

Here you can find pretty much anything from clothes and jewellery to electronics and food. For those who like unique experiences, there are a few fish spas.

Right near the Central Market is Kasturi Walk, an open-air flea market. If you haven’t had breakfast yet, I recommend stopping by Rotiboy, a local bakery with delicious and filling breakfast snacks.

4th STOP – The National Mosque of Malaysia

Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 h

One thing that I love about Kuala Lumpur is its cultural diversity. In this city you’ll find Buddhist temples, Hindu temples and mosques just a short distance away. The National Mosque of Malaysia is a beautiful example of Islamic architecture.

With a capacity of 15,000 people, several gardens and fountains, this mosque is a must-see even if you’re staying for just one day in Kuala Lumpur. There is no entrance fee for visiting this mosque, but you’ll have to wear a robe when entering its grounds. You can borrow one at the entrance.

Opening hours – 06.30 AM to 01.00 PM, 02.30 PM to 04.00 PM, 05.30 PM to 07.00 PM

5th STOP – Sultan Abdul Samad Building & Merdeka Square

Sultan Abdul Samad Building view from Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur

Duration (getting there + visiting): 1 h

Merdeka Square translates into Independence Square. It’s the place where the first Malayan flag was raised, symbolizing the independence from the British rule over Malaysia.

The most iconic building in this square is the famous Sultan Abdul Samad Building. During the British colonial administration, this building housed the offices of important British officials. Nowadays, it’s home to the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia.

Mederka Square is one of my favorite places in Kuala Lumpur and a must-see when visiting KL for one day. Every time I visited it, I couldn’t resist taking at least a few photos.

6th STOP – Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twim Towers seen from KLCC park

Duration (getting there + visiting): 1.5 h

No visit to Kuala Lumpur is complete without a stop at the Petronas Twin Towers. They used to be the tallest building in the world until 2004 but still remain the tallest twin towers. Even though Burj Khalifa has dethroned them, the Petronas Twin Towers are iconic. Be prepared to meet many tourists, each of them trying to take the perfect selfie.

If you are looking for a more quiet place to admire the towers, go to the KLCC Park, right behind them. Here you can take as many pictures as you want without being disturbed. Petronas Twin Towers are a must-see if you only have one day in KL.

Tip – For one of the best views in the city, go to Traders Hotel Skybar instead of climbing to the top of the twin towers. However, if you want to go to the Petronas viewing platform, make sure to book your tickets online to skip the line.

7th STOP – Admire Petronas Towers from Traders Hotel Skybar

Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers at sunset

Duration (getting there + visiting): depending on how much you want to stay

After a day full of activities and sightseeing, you deserve to drink a cocktail while admiring one of the best views in Kuala Lumpur. Watch the sunset behind the Petronas Twin Towers at Traders Hotel Skybar. If you are traveling with children, keep in mind that after 7 pm only guests over 21 years old are allowed to enter.

3. If you have extra time in Kuala Lumpur

If you have another half day to spare, I recommend visiting the iconic Batu Caves and the beautiful Thean Hou Temple

Thean Hou Temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Asia. Famous for its thousands of red lanterns, this temple is dedicated to Tian Hou, the goddess who protects the fishermen.

Girl at Thean Hou Temple, Luala Lumpur
Thean Hou Temple

One of the most famous landmarks of Kuala Lumpur is the incredible Batu Caves. Built on a limestone hill, Batu Caves is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.

Climb the colorful steps, admire the golden statue of Lord Murugan and visit the caves. There is plenty to do at Batu Caves. I wrote an entire guide about how to get to this temple. You can check it out here!

Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur facade
Batu Caves

Other attractions in the city include the KL Tower that offers spectacular views of the city and Aquaria KLCC, one of the top 5 aquariums in Asia.

4. How to get around Kuala Lumpur

KL has a great public transport infrastructure. You can get to any part of the city by either bus, monorail, light rail or commuter trains. The tickets’ price is accessible and depends on how many stations you are traveling. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or use the Grab app. Unfortunately, Uber is not available in Malaysia.

5. Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

I’ve been looking for the best accommodation in Kuala Lumpur, for every budget. Below are my recommendations:

  • Luxury – W Kuala Lumpur – pool towards the Petronas Towers, beautiful and spacious rooms, excellent staff & location
  • Mid Budget – Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel – excellent location, spacious & clean rooms, awesome pool
  • Budget – Kitez Hotel – excellent location, modern design, friendly staff

If you were wondering which are the things to do in Kuala Lumpur in one day, I hope you found this article useful. Most of the attractions in this guide are located close to one another, making it easy to walk between them.

I’m sure that you’ll have a blast visiting Kuala Lumpur! You can read more about Malaysia here. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below.

May the travel bug bite you!

Disclosure: Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend companies and products that I trust and the income goes to keeping this website running. Thanks!
Aurelia Teslaru

Aurelia Teslaru is a professional travel blogger and the writer behind Daily Travel Pill. With a 4-year experience as a travel writer and photographer, Aurelia only shares travel guides about destinations that she visited.

She has been to more than 40 countries during the past 10 years and aims to explore 50 countries before turning 30 years old. Aurelia is a digital nomad who transformed her passion for travel into a lifestyle. Read more about her here.

To follow her adventures, check out her Instagram and Facebook pages!


  1. June 30, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    I used to frequent KL with my family when I was younger (we lived in S’pore) but I’ve never been to Chinatown, Sri Mahamariamman Temple or the central market! Looks like I need to get myself back to KL and explore it a bit more. I like how you’ve included spending time at each place! Really like your photos and your outfit at the temple is so colourful, i love it!

    • dailytravelpill
      July 1, 2018 / 1:40 am

      Oh, you have to go to Sri Mahamariamman Temple. I loved it! Thanks so much.

  2. June 30, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    My sister and I have always wanted to go to Malaysia. This article will be super handy when we go, so I’m parking this so I can refer to it soon I hope. I’m sure our first stop will be the Central market for some street food, I’m already salivating!

    • dailytravelpill
      July 1, 2018 / 1:40 am

      Street food is always a good idea!

  3. Taylor Howard
    July 3, 2018 / 1:06 pm

    We will be heading here in 10 days!! So that was extremely helpful and makes me even more excited!??

    • dailytravelpill
      July 4, 2018 / 1:44 am

      I am so happy to hear this!

  4. Regina
    July 3, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    this is awesome!!!! thanks for this. will definitely keep this in mind for my upcoming trip there once i finish up studying abroad in spain!

    • dailytravelpill
      July 4, 2018 / 1:47 am

      So happy to hear this! Thanks

  5. July 4, 2018 / 1:15 am

    Just loving your blog!!! I find it very useful with all the small details one needs to have an amazing trip. And I can’t wait to visit all the places you’re writing about,meanwhile I just take notes and make my to visit list ?

    • dailytravelpill
      July 4, 2018 / 1:48 am

      I am so happy to hear this, Oana! Thanks so much!

  6. Malaina Monroe
    July 4, 2018 / 6:30 am

    Thank you for this amazing information. You don’t know how much this helps for future travelers. You’re the best. ?

    • dailytravelpill
      July 5, 2018 / 2:07 am

      So happy to hear this! Thanks

  7. Karen Diener
    March 7, 2019 / 4:01 pm

    Love the blog and great advice to help me plan a great trip around (was overwhelmed with the options in Malaysia prior to your blogs!). I will be visiting close friends who currently live in KL, then setting off on my own, alone. Planning to go in March-April. Good time to go? Would you have any concerns traveling as a female alone outside of KL? I’m thinking of basing off of your 2 week itinerary and adding in Singapore.

    • dailytravelpill
      March 8, 2019 / 11:49 am

      I think you will have a great time in Malaysia. It’s perfectly safe to travel as a female all over in Malaysia. The people are extremely kind and the infrastructure is great!

  8. March 17, 2019 / 2:30 pm

    Planning a romantic getaway with my hubby to Malaysia and Singapore. Your article is very helpful, thanks!!!

    • dailytravelpill
      March 23, 2019 / 5:16 am

      I am so happy to hear this!

  9. June 4, 2019 / 8:46 pm

    Kuala Lumpur is an amazing country, I love to be there.
    People are friendly and they have amazing foods.
    Everything is pretty much than in the US.

    You wrote a good guide by the way and photos are mind-blowing.

    • dailytravelpill
      June 5, 2019 / 10:21 am

      Thanks so much! So happy you liked this post! 🙂

  10. Yara
    August 4, 2019 / 3:06 am

    I think this would be great. Thank you for this.

    • dailytravelpill
      August 14, 2019 / 6:14 pm

      Enjoy Kuala Lumpur! It’s an amazing city!

  11. August 11, 2019 / 2:38 pm

    Enjoyed your Kuala Lumpur itinerary; don’t think it is “too much” for one day. There are plenty of those types of itineraries online — where someone couldn’t possibly do/didn’t actually do all the listed things in a day — but think yours is properly curated and realistic.

    Happy to see that you made it to Traders SkyBar; it’s our favourite viewpoint for the Petronas Towers, also. It’s definitely a better value than KL Tower, as well!

    • dailytravelpill
      August 14, 2019 / 6:10 pm

      Thanks so much! I always aim to write realistic guides on my blog. I loved the Traders Skybar too! It has the best view over Petronas Towers! 🙂

  12. joe
    December 17, 2019 / 7:08 am

    Just loving your blog I find it very useful with all the small details one needs to have an amazing trip 🙂

    • dailytravelpill
      December 30, 2019 / 9:11 am

      So happy to hear this! <3

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