With all the sights to see, culture to experience, and food to try, you might wonder how you can fit everything into a 2 days Kuala Lumpur itinerary. While you might not be able to see all Malaysia’s vibrant capital city has to offer, 2 days in Kuala Lumpur will allow ample time to discover the city’s best bits!
In this Kuala Lumpur itinerary, I’ll cover the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days. There will be opportunities to explore the city’s must-see attractions, shop till you drop, trek through lush jungles, and sample the fantastic cuisine! I’ve also included loads of tips and tricks to help you maximize your 48 hours in KL. From things to know before you go, how to get around, the best time to visit, where to stay, and even what to eat!
Ready to find out what to do in Kuala Lumpur? Read along to discover the best of the city in this 2 days Kuala Lumpur itinerary! Let’s go!
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Table of Contents
Kuala Lumpur Itinerary: Pre-Travel Tips
Before diving into this 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur travel guide, here are a few tips to help you plan the perfect trip.
- Most countries enjoy visa-free entry to Malaysia for up to 30 days. That said, it’s always best to check if you need a visa.
- Search the best hotel and hostel deals in Kuala Lumpur. It’s easy to find accommodation in KL, but make sure to book well in advance if you’re visiting during special holidays, like Chinese New Year. (See my hotel recommendations below).
- Book a discounted seat on the KLIA Express Train to access the city easily.
- Grab a prepaid 4G Sim card for pickup at the airport. This way, you can plan your stops, access maps, book Grab taxi, and much more on the go.
- Malaysia’s currency is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR 1=USD 0.21/ GBP 0.17/ EUR 0.20/ TWD 6.75). It’s best to exchange money at the airport, but currency exchangers are easy to find in hotels, shopping malls, or on the street.
- Don’t feel like navigating the city on your own? Here’s a great full-day tour to help you see all of the city’s highlights without the hassle of planning a thing!
- You may need a travel adapter for your trip. The standard voltage in Malaysia is 240V, with a frequency of 50Hz, and the plug type is G.
- Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 activities, as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
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Traveling further afield? Read my comprehensive guide on the most beautiful places to visit in Malaysia.
How to get to Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is Malaysia’s biggest airport and the main gateway to the city.
There are two airports, KLIA and KLIA2. Both are located less than 1 hour from the city center, and it’s easy to take a bus, taxi, private transfer or the airport express train to reach the city.
While the bus is the cheapest way to get to the city, taking the KLIA Express Train is by far the fastest and most convenient way to reach Kuala Lumpur! Trains only take 28 minutes to reach KL Sentral, and they are frequent and surprisingly affordable. It is possible to buy a ticket straight at the airport, but I really recommend booking a discounted seat in advance. That way, you’ll save a bit of money, and you can skip the long queues at the ticket office!
Of course, if you are traveling with lots of luggage or don’t want to bother with public transport, a private transfer or a taxi is your best option. A taxi ride to the city center will cost you around MYR75, but make sure you get a fixed-rate taxi or ask them to turn on the meter. Alternatively, get a Grab Taxi at much cheaper rates. That way, you can guarantee not being ripped off as you’ll know the price before booking the ride.
How to get around Kuala Lumpur in 2 days
While it is possible to explore some areas in the city on foot, you should know that Kuala Lumpur is a massive city, and the city’s attractions are quite spread out. Since you only have 2 days in Kuala Lumpur, you probably don’t want to waste too much time commuting.
KL has an extensive, yet a complicated metro system that can take you to all corners of the city. It consists of three rail networks, KTM Komuter, the KL Monorail, and a Lightrail. (See transit map here). While it is the most affordable option with stops near all the must-see places to visit in Kuala Lumpur, I wouldn’t bother trying to figure out the stops and schedules with only 2 days in Kuala Lumpur. Instead, opt to use the Hop on Hop Off bus or Grab Taxi.
Travel Tips: Grab Taxi is a popular ride-share service in Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Make sure to download the app before your trip. Oh, and don’t worry, it’s super easy to use and very convenient.
For those traveling on a budget, consider using the KL City bus (see more details here). It’s a free service and a great way to access most of the top spots. Just a heads up, though, it’s not the fastest mode of transport!
When to visit Kuala Lumpur
The weather in Kuala Lumpur is mostly hot and humid, with average high temperatures between 28°C and 32°C throughout the year. Since KL has a tropical climate, frequent downpours aren’t uncommon either. The hottest month is March, while November sees the most rainfall.
With that being said, the best time to visit is from May to July and December to February. During these months, the temperatures are mostly pleasant, it’s not too humid, and it rains less. If you want to beat the heat, January is your best bet, as it is the “coldest” month with an average high of 27°C.
No matter when you choose to kickstart your 2 days Kuala Lumpur itinerary, though, make sure to pack light, breathable clothes, and an umbrella!
Where to stay during your 2 day Kuala Lumpur Itinerary
Kuala Lumpur has a huge range of accommodation, so you will be able to find just about anything to match your budget.
If it’s your first visit to this megacity, it’s best to stay somewhere central, close to public transport. That way, you’ll be able to maximize your 2 days in Kuala Lumpur. Here are my top recommendations on where to stay.
Bukit Bintang is the best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur and a firm favorite among first-time visitors, shoppers, nightlife seekers, and foodies. It’s also home to some of KL’s coolest cafes!
Since you’ll be right in the city’s heart, you’re guaranteed a good time with plenty to do!
Mercure Kuala Lumpur Shaw Parade is a beautiful 4-star hotel at surprisingly affordable rates. It is also located a short stroll from Bukit Bintang’s most lively and atmospheric streets. The rooms are spacious and sport beautiful, modern interiors. What’s more, the glimmering rooftop pool is the perfect spot to kick back with a boozy cocktail as you watch the setting sun over the gorgeous cityscape. Check rates & availability here!
KLCC is another popular area to stay and offers easy access to several of Kuala Lumpur’s most iconic landmarks. Besides its perfect location, KLCC is famous for its luxury hotels, trendy rooftop bars, and excellent fine-dining opportunities. That said, expect to pay premium prices!
W Kuala Lumpur is the creme de la creme of luxury accommodation, and you can’t go wrong with booking a stay here! This gorgeous hotel comes with all the trimmings you’d expect from a 5-star hotel — from beautiful, modern rooms and impeccable service to a dreamy indoor pool and a relaxing spa. Not to mention, convenient location! Check rates & availability here!
Travelers looking for something a bit more budget-friendly and culturally vibrant can opt to stay in Chinatown. The area is steeped in history and oozes with teeming streets full of markets, temples, fantastic cafes, and authentic eateries.
Travelodge City Centre is a beautiful 3-star hotel with very affordable rates. The rooms are bright and modern, and the hotel is a skip from bustling Central Market and Petaling Street. If you’re looking for a convenient place to stay that’s not a hostel, this is the perfect budget-friendly choice! Check rates & availability here!
Need more help finding the perfect hotel or hostel in Kuala Lumpur? Check more options here on Agoda.
Kuala Lumpur Itinerary: Quick Overview
KL Day 1: Thean Hou Temple, Little India, National Mosque, Central Market, Petaling Street, Petronas Towers.
KL Day 2: Batu Caves, KL Forest Eco Park, KL Tower, Jalan Alor, Changkat Avenue.
Kuala Lumpur in 2 days: The best things to do
Kuala Lumpur, or simply KL as the locals like to call it, offers endless attractions and plenty to do!
There’s something for everyone in KL — from jaw-dropping landmarks and historical sites to colorful neighborhoods and delicious street food! Since I’ve included the city’s highlights, feel free to mix things up and tailor this guide to your own needs, preferences, or traveling style. Ready? Let’s go!
Day 1 Kuala Lumpur Itinerary
Day 1 of your Kuala Lumpur itinerary is all about culture and shopping! You’ll get to explore the city’s great religious sites, get lost in colorful neighborhoods and bustling markets, before finally topping the day off with incredible views from atop the Petronas Towers!
Make sure you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes, as you’ve got a lot of ground to cover today!
Thean Hou Temple
Get an early start and visit one of the most Instagrammable places in Kuala Lumpur – Thean Hou Temple.
Built in 1987, Thean Hou Temple is a gorgeous six-tiered Buddhist temple dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu.
Besides marveling at the ornate architecture strewn with hundreds of dangling red lanterns, there are quite a few other things to see while visiting here. Don’t miss the Chinese Medicinal Herbs Garden, the Wishing Well, and the very cute Tortoise Pond!
Little India or Brickfields is one of the most colorful and vibrant neighborhoods in KL. It’s filled with culture, history, great food, and cute shophouses selling all kinds of wares, like fabrics, flower garlands, spices, jewelry, and Bollywood paraphernalia.
Little India is the perfect place to shop, take photos, and get lost in a colorful maze of alleys. Don’t forget your camera, because you’ll be needing it!
Masjid Negara, also called the National Mosque, is one of the largest mosques in Southeast Asia, and definitely deserves a spot on your 2 day Kuala Lumpur itinerary!
Constructed in 1965 to memorialize Malaysia’s independence, it can host up to 15,000 worshippers and is beautiful inside and out! Besides the massive main prayer hall and lush 13-acre gardens, the most striking feature is its blue tile roof with 18 points representing the 13 states of Malaysia and the five pillars of Islam.
It’s an extremely tranquil place to visit and a good opportunity to learn a bit more about Islamic culture. The mosque is only open to non-worshippers at certain hours during the day, so it’s best to time your visit here. The entry is free.
Since this is a place of worship, make sure to dress appropriately. Free robes are provided at the entrance for both men and women. It’s also a good idea to wear socks as you’re not allowed to wear shoes within the complex.
Travel Tips: If your schedule is flexible, it’s worth exploring a few of the sights nearby. Get a closer look at the old Malaysian Railway Station, learn more about Islam at the Islamic Arts Museum, or immerse yourself in nature at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park and Lake Gardens.
When it was first built in 1888, Central Market was just a simple wet market. Over the years, the market has transformed in many ways. Today, it is a Heritage Site and one of the most popular places to visit in Kuala Lumpur.
It is a great place for a leisurely walkabout and the perfect spot to find all kinds of artisan goods, batik artworks, handicrafts, souvenirs, and cute boutique stores.
After browsing the first level, and practicing your haggling skills, head to the second floor. Here, you’ll find several restaurants and a food court to satisfy your hunger.
Travel Tip: Make sure also to take a stroll along Kasturi Walk, which runs along the market. It’s a cool open-air flea market, and the whole lane is lined with little cafes, tea shops, and loads of stalls selling all kinds of snacks, souvenirs, and handiworks.
Chinatown, Petaling Street
Next up on your Kuala Lumpur itinerary, is Chinatown. Nestled right in the heart of this vibrant neighborhood, you’ll find one of KL’s most bustling markets, Petaling Street.
Petaling Street is an absolute haven for bargain hunters and chock-full with stores and stalls selling all kinds of stuff, from cheap street food and Louis Vuitton knock-offs to interesting Chinese knick-knacks and souvenirs.
The market is always teeming with people no matter which time of day you go, so get ready to join the scrum! Oh, and don’t forget to haggle!
Afterward, get lost in Chinatown’s nooks and crannies, hunt for street art, pop into quaint tea houses, and marvel at the colorful colonial-style buildings.
End the first day of your Kuala Lumpur itinerary by visiting the city’s most iconic landmark and the world’s tallest twin towers.
Standing 451.9 meters tall, the Petronas Towers is truly an architectural wonder. Surrounded by skyscrapers, no matter which way you turn and the beautiful KLCC Park at its base, this is one KL attraction you cannot miss.
For a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent cityscape, opt to tour the Skybridge and the Observation Deck. The guided tour lasts about 45 minutes, which is a bit short, but it’s still an amazing experience. You can visit the towers throughout the day, but come at sunset or night for a truly unforgettable experience!
Just a heads up though, tickets for the Petronas Towers sell out fast! So, make sure to book your tickets in advance. It’s also good to know that the towers aren’t open on Mondays.
Travel Tips: If your budget doesn’t allow exploring the towers’ inside, you can still enjoy epic ground-level views at KLCC Park. Grab a coffee and find a bench or spot on the grass to kick off your shoes! To snap an Instagram-worthy selfie with the towers, make sure to pack a wide-angle lens. I love this Xenvo Pro clip-on lens that easily fits in my handbag!
Day 2 Kuala Lumpur Itinerary
On the final day of your 2 day Kuala Lumpur itinerary, you’ll visit one of Malaysia’s most iconic attractions, Batu Caves. Afterward, immerse yourself in nature as you wander along with treetop canopies in KL’s very own rainforest. Then dive right into the city’s bustling night markets and vibrant nightlife scene!
A Kuala Lumpur itinerary would simply not be complete without visiting the spectacular Batu Caves.
Located about 25 minutes’ drive from the city center, Batu Caves is an important religious site revered for its 400 million-year-old caves, funky rainbow stairway, cheeky monkeys, and giant Buddha statue guarding the cave’s entrance. It’s also one of the most popular temples to visit in Southeast Asia!
Besides exploring the temples at the base of the cave, snapping photos of the stairway, and marveling at the towering statue of Murugan, it’s worth tackling the 272 steps to the top. The views along the way are incredible! Keep an eye on the sneaky monkeys, though; they are notorious for snatching anything from food and hats to phones and sunglasses!
Inside the cave, browse by several Hindi shrines and temples and get a close-up look at the cave’s ancient limestone interior.
Travel Tips: Since Batu Caves is easily the city’s most touristy spot, come as early as possible to avoid the crowds. Make sure to dress appropriately, cover your shoulders and legs above the knees, and bring a scarf just in case. With that being said, you might still need to rent a sarong for MYR10 at the foot of the cave.
KL Forest Eco Park
Neatly nestled among the city’s concrete jungle is the beautiful KL Forest Eco Park. As the only protected patch of rainforest within the city’s borders, it’s just the place to escape Kuala Lumpur’s often unbearable heat. The best part, it’s free!
The park spans over 9 hectares and houses an incredibly diverse range of plant life. There are several walkways perfect for jungle trekking, but make sure to climb up to the canopy walkways too! From here, you’ll get to walk amid the treetops and spot all kinds of birds, monkeys, and butterflies! Of course, the views of the lush jungle below and the cityscape are just as rewarding!
Menara KL Tower
Towering 421 meters above the city, the KL Tower is the world’s seventh tallest telecommunications tower and another top attraction to add to your 2 days in Kuala Lumpur itinerary.
There’s a lovely forest area at the tower’s base where you can take a walkabout or sit back and enjoy the surroundings. For panoramic views, though, a visit to the Observation Deck and the Sky Deck is a must! From here, you can see the entire city, and it’s incredibly beautiful no matter which way you turn!
Make sure to book your tickets online as the lines are always long! Oh, and if you’re brave enough, there’s also bungee jumping to add to your list of things to do!
Jalan Alor is probably the most famous food street in Kuala Lumpur and the perfect spot to grab seafood, hawker food, and authentic Malay cuisine.
The area really only comes alive at night when the street is jam-packed with hawker stalls selling all kinds of food and brimming with people deciding what to eat. Come hungry, because there are lots to try!
End your final day of 2 days in Kuala Lumpur by exploring Changkat Avenue – the city’s bustling go-to nightlife area.
The street is lined with tons of bars, hipster lounges, cool eateries, thumping nightclubs, and everything in between! No matter where you go, you’re guaranteed a good time!
What to eat in Kuala Lumpur
No visit to KL would be complete without indulging in the city’s mind-blowing cuisine! There’s so much to try, and to be honest; you’ll be hard-pressed not to find something to satisfy your tastebuds in this incredible foodie hub!
With only 2 days in Kuala Lumpur, the easiest way to sample loads of different options and learn a bit more about the food culture is on a food tour. Of course, if your itinerary is a bit more flexible and you enjoy cooking, consider joining this fun cooking class!
No matter what you decide to do, don’t miss the following dishes during your 2 days Kuala Lumpur itinerary:
- Nasi Lemak – Malaysia’s national dish and a huge must try! The best part, you can find it everywhere in Kuala Lumpur! While it’s a simple dish, it’s packed with flavor and finger-licking goodness! Nasi Lemak consists of coconut rice served with spicy sambal, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, and eggs.
- Beef Rendang – An insanely delicious, coconut beef stew served with Nasi Lemak. It also comes in lamb and chicken variants, but the beef is by far the best!
- Char kway teow – A popular street food snack consisting of flat rice noodles quick fried with egg, prawns, beansprouts, cockles, and sausage.
- Roti canai – A crispy pan-fried pancake often served with Indian dishes like dhal or curry. The pancake is made with lots of butter and oil, so it’s probably not the healthiest food to eat in Kuala Lumpur, but it’s incredibly tasty! You can get roti canai stuffed with just about anything your heart desires, but the most common options are egg, cheese, or onion. If you have a sweet tooth, try the banana chocolate ones! They are divine!
- Laksa/ Curry mee – A spicy coconut and yellow curry noodle soup served soft tofu, prawns, and beansprouts.
- Hainanese chicken rice – If you’ve been to Singapore, you’ve probably tried this incredibly aromatic yet straightforward dish. The chicken is cooked in garlic, ginger, and chicken stock and then served with rice and a chili sauce.
- Satay skewers – Meat such as beef, chicken, or lamb grilled on sticks and served with a nutty peanut sauce, and cucumbers and onions of the side. It’s the perfect street food snack!
- Bak Kut Teh – A delicious soup consisting of pork rib meat stewed for hours in a herbal broth.
Kuala Lumpur Day Trips
If you have a few more days to spare on your Kuala Lumpur itinerary, it’s worth exploring the city’s outskirts. Here are some of the best day trips from Kuala Lumpur:
- Genting Highlands – A huge casino resort and theme park nestled among beautiful mountains with plenty to do. Try this tour.
- Cameron Highlands – A tranquil area, filled with tea plantations, rose gardens, butterfly farms and strawberry picking spots. Check out this tour.
- Malacca – A gorgeous colorful little town steeped in history. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the tour details here.
- Ipoh – A charming town filled with street art, hidden temples, and heaps of exotic culinary delights. Join this tour.
- Bukit Tinggi – Wander along the cobblestone streets of Colmar Tropical Resort lined with colorful European-style buildings, bakeries, and cute cafes. Check out this tour.
That wraps up this 2 days Kuala Lumpur itinerary! Feel free to share your tips on the best things to do in KL, places to stay, the best places to eat, and everything in between below!
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