Bukit Bintang is one of the liveliest neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur, providing a rich mix of both historic cultural attractions and first class modern facilities. It’s one of my favorite areas in the city, a place that any tourist should visit!
The streets of Bukit Bintang are lined with skyscrapers, luxurious malls, five-star hotels, exquisite fashion boutiques and trendy bars, restaurants and hundreds of entertainment venues for both young and old. Needless to say, the nightlife in Bukit Bintang is simply amazing!
This is the commercial, shopping and entertainment Mecca not only for high-end fashion and electronics, but also for simple and unique collectibles that can be found in the many street markets scattered throughout Bukit Bintang.
As far as dining options go, there is no need to worry about where to eat in Bukit Bintang. Your choices are endless. From western McDonald’s type of quick foods, to luxury dining, to wholesome traditional local and oriental snacks, you can find pretty much anything here.
If you’re planning a visit to Kuala Lumpur and wondering what to do in Bukit Bintang, this post is for you.
Things to do in Bukit Bintang
1. Eat Kunafa at Kunafa Crisp
Let’s get our priorities right and start our list of things to do in Bukit Bintang, with a yummy gooey kunafa at Kunafa Crisp right in the heart of the city. For those who don’t know what a kunafa is, you’ve led a sheltered life.
It’s a dessert made of layers of crispy vermicelli-like pastry with a soft creamy-cheesy centre, dunked into heavy syrup and topped with chopped pistachio nuts. My only advice is to eat it while it’s hot. It’s my favorite dessert!
2. Admire the street art at Jalan Rembia and Graffiti Alley
Just a few blocks away, what once was drab district, has been transformed into one of most popular Bukit Bintang tourist attractions. At Jalan Rembia and Graffiti Alley you can find a kaleidoscope of colour. Every square inch of wall, pavement and apartment block facade is a show-stopping masterpiece.
You could walk for hours in this touristy district tasting the various street delights on sale almost everywhere, while admiring the most imaginative and colossal artworks, some of which engulf entire multi-storey buildings.
Honestly, the Graffiti Street in Bukit Bintang is my favorite area. There are not too many tourists, the sights are breathtaking and there’s no entry fee! This is probably one of the best tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur!
3. Shop for electronics at Plaza Low Yat
If you’re in the market for any hi-tech electronic gizmo, there’s no better place to visit in Bukit Bintang, than Plaza Low Yat. Situated a few blocks south of Graffiti Alley, this massive multi-floor shopping mall has every electronic gadget that has ever been invented and at very reasonable prices too. An electronic heaven.
There are also tons of boutiques and shops that sell basically everything and a food court, in case you get hungry from all the shooping.
Good to know: Plaza Low Yat has the best prices for electronics in the entire Kuala Lumpur. I bought a camera 25% cheaper than in my home country. Taxes on electronics are lower in cities like Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, that’s why prices are so affordable.
4. Shop ‘til you drop at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
For a once-in-a-lifetime shopping experience, the Pavillion is considered by many as the best shopping mall in the world. You could spend your entire holiday in this building and still not see every shop. This award-wining 10-storey mall has everything. I mean everything.
Lavishly decorated even if you buy nothing, you’ll be mesmerised by the shop window displays. Home décor, designer clothes and jewellery, electronics, food, entertainment – this is one of the places to visit in Bukit Bintang!
5. Have fun at Berjaya Times Square Theme Park
Situated in the heart of Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur, Berjaya Times Square is a must visit and one of the biggest shopping malls in Malaysia, housing over 2000 stores that sell virtually everything. The food court and its indoor amusement park offer some of the wildest rides you’ll ever experience.
Here are some of the rides you can enjoy: an amazing indoor roller-coaster, haunted house, arcade games and many other attractions suitable for all ages. Designed to cater to adults and children alike, this is the place to spend a fun day shopping, eating and having enjoying the rides. If you have brought your kids here, good luck tearing them away at the end of your visit.
6. Try some delicious street food at Jalan Alor
One of the best things to do in Bukit Bintang at night, is to visit Jalan Alor Street for a taste of authentic Malay street food cuisine. This street food haven operates 24/7 but at night when the lights are turned on, it becomes a colourful hive of activity. Just come hungry because you won’t know what not to eat.
Most restaurants are open during the day too, but some stalls only open after 5.30 pm. If you really want to feel the vibe of this incredible market, I recommend arriving here after 6 pm. The stall are open until late in the night. It’s one of the main attractions in Bukit Bintang!
Sit-down restaurants and street vendors produce some of the most exotic and imaginative foods you’ll see anywhere. Everything that is edible on this planet is here. A street market on steroids.
Here are some dishes I recommend trying: coconut ice-cream, Mango Sticky Rice, Dry Chilli Chicken and Thai Basil Chicken.
7. Take a walk on Jalan Sultan Ismail, the main street in Bukit Bintang
Running across almost the entire Bukit Bintang district for more than three kilometres, this street provides its lifeblood and is a definite must-see whenever you visit Bukit Bintang. It is lined with towering skyscrapers from one end to the other, housing a multitude of high-class restaurants, bars and cafes, shopping malls, businesses, and 5-Star hotels.
You can buy whatever you want from a car to an ice cream along this street or you can just take a walk and admire the views.
8. Visit the Museum of Illusions
If you haven’t been impressed enough walking this hectic city, the Museum of Illusions will mesmerise you and blow your mind all at the same time. Located on the 1st floor of Ansa Hotel, less than a block away from Jalan Sultan Ismail, this is definitely one of the most fascinating places to visit in Bukit Bintang.
Forget all the magic shows and tricks you’ve seen in your life. Hundreds of exhibitions using science math, psychology and art, will challenge your mind in an unbelievably entertaining way. There are simply far too many fun-filled activities and illusions to try to describe them here. All I can say is that whether you’re with your kids or your grandparents, you’ll all love this place.
9. Shop some more at Lot 10
If you’re still in the mood for more shopping and your credit card has not been exceeded yet, Lot 10 will take care of that. Lot 10 is a multi-storey mall housing hundreds of classy shops offering trendy fashion, lifestyle and electronic gadgets.
Amongst these stores you’ll find the famous Isetan Japan Store – the first outside of Japan and Malaysia’s flagship H&M Store. A stunning food court compliments this seriously classy mall with loads of local, Chinese and Japanese snack joints and eateries. This is one of the things to do in Bukit Bintang you shouldn’t miss!
10. Have fun at Blastcars
If you’re up for some adrenaline pumping action and fancy yourself as speed wizard, head to Blastcars, just round the corner from Lot 10. Situated on the 5th floor of Sungei Wang Plaza, here you can race specialised drift-karts slipping and sliding round a 200 metre racetrack.
Blastcars is suited for almost everyone over 1.2 metres tall and eight years or older, no matter what go-karting experience you have; from complete novices to full-on professionals.
After a short crash course, you get all the gear and settings for your machine and you’re good to go. These vehicles are perfectly safe and come with 270cc or 390cc Honda engines capable of reaching some harrowing speeds.
Can’t think of a more fun way to spend an hour or two with friends or family. They even go out of their way arranging custom made events to suit your needs.
Places to visit near Bukit Bintang
1. Admire the views from Menara Tower
Situated within Bukit Nanas Forest reserve on the outskirts of Bukit Bintang, Menara Tower, also known as KL Tower, is a must-see attraction for any visitor to Kuala Lampur (to avoid long lines, book your ticket online). Rising a whopping 421 metres from the ground, it was at the time of construction the tallest tower in South East Asia and the 7th tallest in the world!
Three years later it was outdone by the Petronas TwinTowers, at 452 metres and again by the 453.6 metre Signature Tower, also known as The Exchange 106. At 300 metres above ground, the glass-enclosed sky deck with glass floor of Menara Tower, offers spectacular views of the city spread as far as the eye can see.
If you want a complete 360° views of this skyscraper city, the revolving restaurant, named Atmosphere 360, is the place to go, just a few floors below. A dining experience, especially during sunset time is simply an unforgettable memory. Make sure to make a reservation!
2. Explore Kwai Chai Hong
This little alley, with all its unique and beautiful street art, brings back the vibe and nostalgia of 1960s Chinatown. Kwai Chai Hong is a huge favourite for creative photographers and a big hit for instagrammers, capturing incredible shots of brightly coloured murals covering entire buildings.
The Chinatown feel is enhanced deeper by the number of snazzy cocktail and gin bars, restaurants and dessert outlets, serving a rich mix of local and century-old recipes and traditional oriental flavours.
3. Admire Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
Just a couple of hundred metres away on Jalan Tun H S Lee, the magnificent Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, is another gem not to be missed while you’re around the Buikit Bintang district. The original building was constructed in 1873, making it the oldest and richest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur.
You cannot but be astounded by the architectural beauty of this structure. The main tower above the entrance stands at 23 metres high and is covered with hundreds of colourful Hindu carvings. Photographers could spend hours capturing their images. Even if you’re spending just one day in Kuala Lumpur, you have to visit this place!
Inside you can admireprayer halls and several shrines, exquisitely decorated with more vibrant coloured statues, murals and frescoes. Entrance to this fascinating temple is free, but keep in mind that in order to enter the temple, you’ll have to take your shoes off.
4. Get lost in Chinatown
If you’re still wondering what to do in and around Bukit Bintang, the lively and buzzing Chinatown, situated almost next door is the place to go. There are tons of interesting Chinese businesses and street vendors offering traditional Chinese goods as well as local crafts, electronics, fashion wear, bags and souvenirs.
Counterfeit designer stuff also do well here. If you want to impress your friends back home with a genuine counterfeit Rolex, you’ve come to the right place. As expected, there are also tons of restaurants and street traders serving Chinese and local dishes, snacks and desserts. This is Kuala Lumpur’s grand bazaar where you’ll find virtually everything. Do not miss it!
5. Shop ’till you drop at Central Market
Even if you’re not in a shopping mood, a visit to the Central Market not far from Chinatown, is an experience you’ll never forget. Since 1888 this market has served the local population and has now become a favourite destination for tourists. Four floors plus a roof terrace crammed with unique shops, art galleries, and handicraft workshops, providing a wide variety of collectibles, souvenirs, dining options and unusual experiences.
Where else can you get a fish pedicure, have your fortune read, learn the ancient art of calligraphy and “jump into a painting” at a 3D Illusion Museum, all under one roof? Need I say anything more?
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur?
There are plenty of accommodation options in the city, to suit every taste. If you’re looking for good-value-for-money options, I’ve got you covered! Here 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
Having so much to offer – history, culture and architecture amidst all the modern skyscrapers, malls and hi-tech gadgets all thrown into one pot, there will be no shortage of things to do, see and experience in Bukit Bintang.
I hope this post has will help you plan your next trip to Kuala Lumpur.
May the travel bug bite you!