Bukit Bintang is well-known as Kuala Lumpur's fashion and entertainment hub, but if you're tired of clubbing and shopping, there are still plenty of things to do. Whether you're in town for a short visit or a longer stay, we've compiled a list of must-visit attractions in Kuala Lumpur

    You can explore stunning temples and colourful street markets, have a fun day out without spending a dime, learn some culinary tricks at a cooking class, or even unleash your inner child at Asia's largest indoor amusement park. All of these experiences shape and define Bukit Bintang, and our guide to what Buikit Bintang is most famous for will help you make the most of your visit.

    What are the best things to do in Bukit Bintang?


    Changkat Bukit Bintang

    Bukit Bintang's notable street

    Changkat Bukit Bintang is a popular destination for after-hours entertainment in Kuala Lumpur. This trendy avenue is home to many of the city's most popular bars and restaurants, making it an excellent spot for pub crawls. Located just behind Jalan Bukit Bintang, it's easily accessible, especially if you're staying in the Golden Triangle area. The area can get very crowded, especially on weekends and public holidays.

    The buildings in Changkat Bukit Bintang are unique as they were once pre-war colonial shophouses that have been renovated and transformed into upmarket pubs and restaurants, most of which serve Western cuisine. A short walk away is Jalan Alor, another famous avenue in Kuala Lumpur that's renowned for its hawker stalls and Chinese seafood restaurants.

    Location: Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


    photo by Azreey (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Jalan Alor

    A hub of local cuisine

    Jalan Alor is one of the most renowned streets in Kuala Lumpur for food and it's often regarded as the cultural heart of the city's local cuisine. Situated just behind Jalan Bukit Bintang, it comprises a row of atmospheric air-conditioned Chinese seafood restaurants, with hawker stalls set up on the five-foot walkway on both sides and plastic tables and chairs spilling out onto the road.

    The food and ambience are the main draws, with vendors furiously fanning grills of chicken and beef skewers, the metallic clang of frying woks, and the air thick with charcoal smoke. The variety of food available is astonishing, with barbecued meats, noodles, and desserts recognized as some of the best (and cheapest) in the city. Most of these dishes cannot be found in fashion-conscious restaurants, making these hawkers a favourite on the city's foodie scene. Most have picture menus, making ordering an easy affair.

    Location: Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur (behind Jalan Bukit Bintang), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


    photo by IQRemix (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Berjaya Times Square

    A go-to complex for shopping and dining

    Berjaya Times Square is a twin-tower complex with 48 floors that span the lengthy Jalan Imbi boulevard. It's one of the largest buildings in the world, with over 1,000 retail stores and 65 food outlets. First opened in 2003, adjacent to the 700,000 square-metre mall is the 4-star Berjaya Times Square Hotel – a high-rise venture with 650 rooms, a pool, gym, sauna room, rooftop garden, and squash courts.

    Inside each 203-metre-high tower, you can find a variety of affordable, small-time retail boutiques. When it comes to entertainment, this is where the mall really shines – there is a 9-screen cinema, one of Asia's largest indoor theme parks (with 14 specially-designed rides, including a thrilling roller coaster), an archery range, and a 48-lane bowling alley. It is connected to the Kuala Lumpur Imbi Monorail station via a footbridge.

    Location: 1, Jln Imbi, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +60 (0)3-2117 3111


    photo by IQRemix (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Menara Kuala Lumpur

    One of the city's towering landmarks

    Together with the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL is easily Malaysia's most recognizable and popular landmark. Constructed in 1994, the tower stands at 421 metres and effortlessly surpasses the Petronas Twin Towers in height. It boasts a viewing deck that is, at 276 metres, at least 100 metres higher than the Twin Towers' Skybridge. Currently the 18th-tallest freestanding structure in the world, Menara KL is used primarily as a communications infrastructure and is the 5th-tallest telecommunications building globally. It also features a revolving restaurant, Atmosphere 360.

    Sitting atop the Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill) Forest Reserve, which is the oldest gazetted forest reserve in the country, Menara KL showcases Malaysia's vibrant Islamic heritage with Arabic scripts, Islamic tiles, and archetypal Islamic floral and abstract patterns reflected in its architectural style.

    Location: 2 Jalan Punchak, Off, Jalan P. Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +60 (0)3-2020 5444


    Central Market

    A hub for the Kuala Lumpur's artistic community

    Central Market, also known as Pasar Seni, is a cultural landmark in Kuala Lumpur and a focus for the city's artistic community. It is located just a short walk away from Petaling Street along Jalan Hang Kasturi. Built in 1928 as a simple wet market, it was revamped in the early 1980s into a handicrafts outlet. Inside the building, visitors can explore a warren of boutiques, handicrafts and souvenir stalls, selling local merchandise such as authentic Malaysian batik prints and more.

    Divided into different zones, vendors' stall zones are distinctive by race. The purpose of this zoning practice is to let visitors gain insight into the cultural differences of the various races in Malaysia. There is even a Malacca 'Jonker Street,' an area of Central Market that looks like a typical Baba-Nyonya house with Peranakan-style furnishings and fixtures on sale. Central Market can be described as Kuala Lumpur's version of New York's SoHo flea market, where the merchandise is cheap and comprises traditional goods such as batik, embroidery carvings, souvenirs, and sculptures.

    Location: No. 10, 1st-3rd floor, Jalan Hang Kasturi, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


    Sri Mahamariamman Temple

    An ornate and monumental Hindu temple

    • History
    • Photo

    The Sri Mahamariamman Temple is Kuala Lumpur's main Hindu temple. Extravagantly decorated, it is an incongruous sight between 2 Buddhist temples at the edge of Chinatown, incorporating Spanish and Italian tiles, precious stones, and gold into its design. Tamil immigrants initially built it in 1873, and in 1968, a significant renovation occurred with the construction of an impressive 75-ft tower serving as the entrance to the temple's inner sanctum. Sculptors from India executed the design, featuring 228 Hindu idols adorning the 5 tiers of the polychromatic entry gate.

    As the oldest and most reputedly the wealthiest Hindu temple in the city, it is a prominent feature during the annual Thaipusam festival. During the celebration, a 21-ft silver chariot dedicated to Lord Murugan (Subramaniam) transports the statues of Lord Muruga and his consorts, Valli and Teivayanni, through the city streets en route to Batu Caves, located on the northern edge of the city.

    Location: Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Phone: +60 (0)3-2078 3467


    Chan She Shu Yuen Temple

    A Cantonese-style heritage landmark

    The Chan She Shu Yuen Temple is one of the oldest and largest surviving Buddhist temples in Malaysia, situated at the southern end of Jalan Petaling. Built between 1897 and 1906, it is a remarkably elaborate temple with an open courtyard, intricately carved roof, gables, and specially crafted terracotta friezes.

    Accessible via the Pasar Seni LRT, just a 15-minute walk from the station, it functions both as a shrine and a community centre. Initially built as a kongsi (clan house) for families with surnames Chan, Chen or Tan, in addition to its stunning architecture, visitors can also view black-and-white photographs of deceased clan members above the altars on the right and left of the primary temple.

    Location: 172, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +60 (0)3-2078 1461


    Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve

    Lush greenery in the heart of the city

    Formerly known as Bucket Weld Forest Reserve, Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve is one of the oldest permanent forest reserves in the country. It is a refreshing green oasis in the middle of the busy metropolis. The 100-year-old forest reserve, covering an area of around 11 hectares, is the sole remaining tropical rainforest in the city's heart.

    The well-maintained nature trails offer visitors a chance to explore the forest reserve. It is worth including a visit to this place in your itinerary if you plan to visit the KL Tower. Those who purchase tickets to the tower's observation platform can enjoy a complimentary nature walk.

    Location: No. 2, Jalan P.Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Phone: +60 (0)3-2026 4741


    Starhill Culinary Studio

    Diverse Malaysian culinary heritage

    Many visitors discover that Malaysia has a proud yet undervalued culinary heritage. Once you get a taste of the country's diverse cuisine, you will want to recreate it at home. If this resonates with you, head to the sleek Starhill Culinary Studio located in Starhill Gallery, along busy Jalan Bukit Bintang.

    This studio offers classes where you will learn not only food preparation but also how to handle kitchen utensils and use local herbs like a pro. Three-hour classes are held almost every day, offering 'Malay' and 'hawker food' classes where you can learn how to make local favourites such as rendang, nasi lemak and mee rebus, as well as classes for Japanese dishes and French bite-sized snacks like macaroons and pralines.

    Location: Starhill Culinary Studio, Muse Level, Starhill Gallery, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +60 (0)3-2782 3800


    Malaysia Heritage Walk

    A pleasant stroll through a flea market

    The Malaysia Heritage Walk, known as Kasturi Walk to locals, is a covered open-air flea market located along Jalan Kasturi, a lane that runs alongside Central Market. Established in early 2011, in a similar vein to Petaling Street, vendors selling local snacks, fruits, and counterfeit branded goods (such as T-shirts, flip flops, and watches) are set up side by side. In addition, the goods are reasonably priced, and its convenient location makes a trip here worthwhile. Food stalls sell everything from Malay kuih and Chinese dim sum to Indian rojak and other local snacks. A popular spot with tourists, Kasturi Walk also organises cultural performances during special events.

    To get there using the LRT, alight at the Pasir Seni station. From there, it is only a few minutes' walk to Kasturi Walk. The KTM Komuter also has a nearby stop (Kuala Lumpur) near the market.

    Location: 32, Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller

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