Malaysia is one of Asia’s most vibrant and captivating destinations. It’s a culturally and geographically diverse country offering something for every kind of traveler. Whether you’re into nature, history, or culture, you’ll never be bored in Malaysia. But with so many cool attractions, fascinating monuments and stunning natural sites, deciding which landmarks in Malaysia to visit can be overwhelming.
To help you find the very best attractions, I recently asked a bunch of globetrotters to share their favorite Malaysian landmarks. Read along to find out which landmarks of Malaysia made our list!
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Malaysian Landmarks Quick Overview
Before we dive into this guide, let’s have a quick look at which landmarks of Malaysia made our list:
- Famous Landmarks in Malaysia: Petronas Twin Towers, Batu Caves, Georgetown, Kek Lok Si Temple, Cameron Highlands, Langkawi Sky Bridge, Melaka Floating Mosque, Genting Highlands
- Natural Landmarks in Malaysia: Tioman Island, Sipadan Island, Mount Kinabalu, Penang Hill
- Cultural & Religious Malaysian Landmarks: Thean Hou Temple, Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, Christ Church, Perak Cave Temple, Concubine Lane, Islamic Civilisation Park
The Most Unmissable Landmarks in Malaysia
Petronas Twin Towers
Let’s kickstart this list of Malaysian landmarks with the capital city’s most iconic sight, the Petronas Twin Towers.
Towering 451.9m meters above Kuala Lumpur’s skyline, the Petronas Towers is the tallest landmark in the city. It’s also the tallest twin tower globally. The towers were completed in 1998 and actually held the title as the world’s tallest building until 2004, when Taipei 101 surpassed it. Despite this, the towers remain a must-visit attraction on any Kuala Lumpur itinerary.
The towers’ design was inspired by Islamic art, and since the facade consists mainly of steel and glass, the buildings always seem to be shimmering no matter which time of day you visit. While it’s possible to admire this incredible structure from its base at the KLCC Park, don’t skip the Observation Deck for a truly remarkable experience.
The Sky Bridge is a double-deck walkway located roughly 170m above the ground and offers incredible views over the city. Interestingly, the bridge not only connects the two towers, but also dubs as an escape route in the event of a disaster.
For the best experience, come at sunset. That way you can watch the sun melt away over the city. Most visitors join a 45-minute guided sky bridge tour, but it’s also possible to visit independently. Just make sure to grab an admission ticket well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Entrance fee: MYR 80
- Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday
- Address: Concourse Level, Petronas Twin Tower, Lower Ground, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Batu Caves is Kuala Lumpur’s second most famous landmark and one of Malaysia’s most popular places to visit.
Located less than 30 minutes drive from KL, Batu Caves comprise several grottoes cut into a limestone hill, which is believed to be more than 400 million years old. While there are quite a few caves to explore, the Cathedral Cave is the largest and most popular. Here you can get a closer look at various shrines, idols, and a Hindu temple, which dates back to 1891. To this day, Batu Caves is an important religious site attracting thousands of pilgrims every year.
Besides its religious significance, Batu Caves is arguably the most photogenic spot in Malaysia. At the Cathedral Cave’s base, there’s a giant gold-painted sculpture of Murugan towering 42m high. From here, it’s a steep climb up on the 272-step rainbow-colored stairway. Along the way, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and most definitely spot a few cheeky macaques who live here. Just a head’s up; the monkeys are notorious for snatching things. So make sure to keep valuables out of sight!
Since this is a religious sight, it’s important to dress modestly. Make sure to cover your knees and shoulders. It’s a good idea to bring extra cash, because you’ll probably still be required to rent a sarong (MYR 10) at the cave’s base.
- Entrance fee: free
- Opening hours: 6 am – 9 pm
- Address: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
Thean Hou Temple
Next up on our list is Thean Hou Temple – another famous Kuala Lumpur landmark.
Thean Hou Temple was built in 1987 and sits atop Robinson Heights. Although it’s not the oldest temple in Kuala Lumpur, it’s arguably one of the most beautiful. The massive six-tiered temple integrates Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. And as a result, several deities are worshipped here, with Mazu among the most famous.
The temple complex covers a massive area of 6,758m2, making it the biggest Mazu temple in Malaysia. It features beautiful architecture, with colorful frescos, ornate rooftops and huge dragon pillars. But perhaps the most striking feature here is the hundreds of dangling red lanterns!
Besides climbing up all the towers to get different views over the city and complex, there’s much more to see here. For example, a Chinese medicinal herbs garden, a wishing well, a tortoise pond, and a giant outdoor chess board!
- Entrance fee: free
- Opening hours: 8 am – 10 pm
- Address: 65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Another iconic landmark in Malaysia is George Town, Penang’s capital city. George Town is exemplary of a living museum and is home to so many attractions that it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While George Town is famous for many things, from food to culture to history, its street art makes it a must-visit destination in Malaysia. You can spot colorful murals all over the city, and as a result, it a great place to hunt for street art. Along the way, you’ll find everything from quirky cafes and colorful colonial-style architecture to heaps of museums and temples. Grab a street art map from the tourist office so that you can easily find all the best gems.
Other popular tourist spots include the Clan Jetties and the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, also known as the Blue Mansion.
Location: George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu Mosque
While most visitors rush through Kota Kinabalu rather quickly to explore the lush jungles of Sabah and stunning nearby National Marine Parks, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque should not be overlooked.
This grand masjid is an iconic Malaysian landmark located near Likas Bay, just on the outskirts of KK. It was completed in 1992 but only opened up to the public several years later, in 2000.
It’s an excellent example of contemporary Islamic architecture and features an ivory white exterior and a massive blue and gold dome. Among the many beautiful features here is a massive prayer hall that can house up to 12,000 people and three madrasahs. Besides these, perhaps the most striking characteristic is the lovely lake that surrounds the mosque. And if you happen to visit at the right time, you’ll get to see the complex “floating on water.”
Whether you’re exploring the inside or outside of this remarkable attraction, the setting here is absolutely amazing. If you’re up to it, you can even paddle around the lagoon to get a completely different vantage point over the complex! Come at sunset when you can see the complex lit up.
When visiting the masjid, make sure to dress modestly and cover your knees and shoulders. For a small additional fee (RM 5-10), you’ll also need to rent a coverup before entering.
- Entrance fee: RM 5
- Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 8 am – 12 pm, 2 pm – 3:30 pm, 4 pm – 5:30 pm. Closed on Fridays.
- Address: Jalan Pasir, Jalan Teluk Likas, Kampung Likas, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
The City Mosque is not the only landmark in KK worth setting your sights on. Roughly 80km east of the city in Borneo is Mount Kinabalu. Soaring 4095 meters above sea level, Mount Kinabalu is a beautiful natural wonder of Malaysia and the highest mountain in the country.
It’s popular for its stunning natural scenery, varying landscapes, and excellent hiking opportunities, with the Summit Trail among the most popular. It involves a 2-day trek, and while it’s not the easiest climb, the effort will be well worth it! From atop, you’ll enjoy incredible views over Sabah’s jungles and with a bit of luck see all the way to KK. Only a limited number of climbers can visit the mountain on any given day. Therefore, it’s best to sort your permits well in advance. All hikes require a guide, so joining an organized 2D1N guided trek is your best bet.
Even if climbing Mount Kinabalu is not on your Malaysia bucket list, you should still visit! The Kinabalu National Park is home to lush rainforests full of hot springs, rare plants, more than 352 species of tropical birds, and an array of animal life! If you’re lucky, you might even spot an orangutan or gibbon amid the canopies! The Botanical Garden, in particular, is a great spot to get a close-up look at the rafflesia – a rare carnivorous flower and the world’s largest bloom.
- Entrance fee: MYR 15 park entrance, and additional costs apply for mountaineering.
- Opening hours: 7 am to 5 pm daily for day visitors
- Location: Ranau district, West Coast Division of Sabah, Malaysia.
Recommended by Martina from PlacesofJuma.
The Cameron Highlands is definitely one of the most famous landmarks in Malaysia. They are located about 200 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur, at an altitude of 1,500 meters. As a result, it’s one of the most beautiful highland areas in the country. Especially locals, but also international tourists love the landscape, and the pleasant cool climate of this region, because during the day, it never exceeds 25 degrees.
However, the Cameron Highlands are actually famous for their numerous green tea plantations, which have been planted on the hills of the landscape and make a charming picture. Photographers, in particular, will have their pleasure here. But that’s not all; there are other great activities and things to do there. Dense mossy jungles, tropical waterfalls, and beautiful colonial houses are just a few of the region’s main attractions.
Besides tea, other things also grow in the fields of Cameron Highlands. There are heaps of strawberry fields here, and tastings are possible in many places!
- Entrance fees: Free Entrance – to walk through a plantation around 3 MYR
- Opening hours: 24h
- Address: Tanah Rata
Langkawi Sky Bridge
Recommended by Bec from Wyld Family Travel.
Langkawi Island is a wonderful place. Whether you go for fun, thrill-seeking activities, or pure relaxation, Langkawi has it all.
One place that is a Langkawi must-visit is the Langkawi Sky Bridge. Not only are the views from the bridge magnificent the ride to get there is also pretty spectacular.
To get to The Langkawi Sky Bridge, you must first make your way to the Oriental Village. Here you purchase your tickets for the cable car to get to the Sky Bridge. If you are visiting Langkawi with kids, you can spend some time at the activities in the village before you ride in the cable car.
The ride on the cable car to the top takes around 15 minutes, and the views from the cabins are wonderful. Once you arrive at the top, you can take your time in the main arrivals and departures area, or you can head straight to the Sky Bridge.
Being at the peak of the Machinchang Mountains, the Langkawi Sky Bridge gives you amazing 360-degree views of some of the smaller islands in the Langkawi Archipelago and the mountains of the Machinchang Mountain Range that surround the peak. The Sky Bridge is 125 meters long and 660 meters above sea level, allowing you to see all the way to Southern Thailand on a clear day! The bridge is an easy walk, and there are plenty of sections where you can stop for pictures. There are also clear sections on the bridge where you can see directly below you, although these may not be good for people afraid of heights!
- Entry fee: Sky Bridge: MYR 6 | Cable car: Prices start at MYR 55
- Opening times: Sky Bridge: 9:30 am – 7 pm | Cable car: 10 am – 5 pm
- Address: 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
The Melaka Straits Mosque
Explored by Claire from Claire Pins Travel.
The Melaka Straits Mosque is a beautiful white building situated on an artificial island in the waters of the Straits of Melaka, which is an important shipping channel.
The mosque was officially completed in 2006 and features a golden dome, colorful stained glass work on the archways, and a thirty-meter high minaret that doubles as a lighthouse.
The mosque almost appears to be floating, and sunset is a great time for photographers to visit when the light reflects from the water, and the structure is lit up as darkness falls.
You can typically visit inside the mosque outside of prayer times by respecting the dress code of having legs, arms, and head covered, including the use of a headscarf for women.
The mosque can be reached from the center of Melaka either by taxi in about ten minutes, cycling in twenty minutes, or a one-hour walk. The city of Melaka can be easily visited as a day trip from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
- Entrance fee: Free
- Opening hours: 5 am – 12 pm daily for prayers.
- Address: Jalan Pulau Melaka 8, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia.
Recommended by Sharon from Dive into Malaysia.
Tioman Island is a must-visit Malaysian landmark for nature lovers and people who want to get away from it all. This tropical Asian island is located in the South China Sea, a 1.5-2 hour ferry ride from Mersing or Tanjung Gemok in the southeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The approach to the island is reminiscent of Jurassic Park, with wild jungles snaking up mountains. It’s a beautiful sight! Sixty percent of the island is a wildlife reserve with just a small string of villages around the beautiful beaches. There are not many roads here with most exploration by foot or boat.
It’s not just the mountainous interior that’s beautiful either. A Marine Park surrounds the island with many adventures and sights waiting under the water. At Juara Beach, you can also visit (or volunteer) at a turtle conservation center.
There are some great accommodation options on Tioman, and it’s worth staying at least a few days to enjoy and explore it.
- Entrance fees: RM 30 (Marine Park Conservation Fee)
- Opening hours: You can visit Tioman Island year-round, but avoid visiting during the Monsoon season (November to March), where rough seas can lead to many ferry cancellations.
- Address: Most ferries leave from Mersing Jetty
Kek Lok Si Temple
Recommended by Marco from Penang Insider.
Built on a flank of 830m high Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si Temple is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia.
The entire complex of buildings, including a five-story pagoda and a 36.7m tall statue of Goddess Guanyin, was built between 1890 and 1930. Most of the pavilions and temples are accessible today, starting with the main prayer hall and the Avalokiteshvara Hall, where one can see many golden statues of Buddhist deities. An inclined lift costing RM16 brings visitors to the base of the Guanyin statue, but it’s much more interesting to walk up, stopping at the various gardens, turtle ponds, and open courtyards filled with Buddha statues and tropical plants en route.
The place comes to life during the Chinese New Year when it’s lit up with thousands of lanterns for the whole month. The lit-up celebration, with plenty of fireworks, is a spectacle in itself.
It’s quite easy to get to Kek Lok Si Temple from George Town or the bus terminal at KOMTAR. You can take a Grab taxi, or if using public transportation, the Rapid Penang buses 203 and 204 go directly to Air Itam market, next to Kek Lok Si Temple’s base.
- Entrance fees: free
- Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm
- Address: 1000L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, 11500 Air Hitam, Pulau Pinang
Dutch Square and Christ Church
Recommended by Kenny from Knycx Journeying.
Melaka is the first Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site in Malaysia and the oldest city in the country. It was once colonized by several countries in the 17th century and is strongly influenced by Indonesian, Chinese, and Hindu culture to this day.
Among the most famous sights in Melaka’s old town is The Dutch Square – an iconic Malaysian landmark that you can easily explore on foot. The square is also known as the “Red Square” since all the buildings are painted in vibrant red, accentuated by nearby market stalls’ colorful trishaws and umbrellas. This is the place that marks the Dutch colonization of Melaka, and the Christ Church at the front of the square is a landmark that tourists can hardly miss.
The church was completed in 1753, and the Dutch built it with bricks that shipped all the way from Holland. While at the square, also check out the Museum of History and Ethnography (Stadthuys) and Queen’s Victoria Fountain.
Melaka is a great city to explore independently, but if you’d like to learn more about its past, this historical tour offers invaluable insight.
- Entrance fees: free
- Opening hours: Mon – Sat 9 am – 4:30 pm | Sun 8:30 am – 1 pm
- Address: Gereja Christ, Jalan Gereja, Bandar Hilir, Melaka, Malaysia
Recommended by Helen from Differentville.
Concubine Lane is a small alleyway in the middle of Ipoh Old Town. Why it’s so named isn’t exactly known, but not surprisingly, rumors of men and their mistresses abound, and, as you wander along the thin alley, you can see it might have been a good place for illicit liaisons in the past.
Today, however, you wouldn’t be able to hide anything, as the narrow laneway is one of the most popular Ipoh landmarks. It teems with people visiting the stylish cafes, small shops, and fun stalls, offering unusual foods like rainbow cheese sandwiches that line it. Just off the lane, Kong Heng Square is also a good place to try a knife massage, which is definitely one of the more unusual things to do in Ipoh.
If you want to see the best of Concubine Lane, though, stay overnight in Ipoh. That way, you can also visit early in the morning or later in the day when it’s free of crowds. Only then will you also be able to appreciate the other side of the lane – trees that grow into the buildings, faded, moss-covered walls, derelict shops overtaken by nature, and that famous street art.
- Opening hours: n/a
- Address: Concubine Ln, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Perak Cave Temple
Recommended by Sean from Living Out Lau.
On the outskirts of Ipoh are some of the coolest natural landmarks in Malaysia – cave temples. There are approximately 30 cave temples near Ipoh, but none is as spectacular as the Perak Cave Temple, sometimes referred to as just Perak Temple.
Upon entering the temple, visitors will immediately notice the massive 15-meter tall Buddha statue. Surrounding the figure are beautiful paintings of Buddhist deities and mythical creatures such as dragons and phoenixes. However, that isn’t the only thing that makes the Perak Cave Temple a must-visit in Ipoh. Visitors can climb to the top of the temple and indulge in the sweeping panoramic views of the region.
Perak Cave Temple was founded by a Chinese couple from the Jiao Ling Province in 1926. After around 50 years of hard work, the Perak Cave Temple has been one of the most beautiful and famous cave temples in Malaysia.
Perak Cave Temple is located a 9-minute drive or a 1.5-hour walk from the center of Ipoh. The most convenient and affordable way to get here is to take an Uber or a taxi.
- Entrance Fee: None
- Opening Hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily
- Address: Jln. Kuala Kangsar, Kawasan Perindustrian Tasek, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Recommended by Brodi from Our Offbeat Life.
The Genting Highlands is located just 32 miles (51.5 kilometers) northeast of Kuala Lumpur’s city center. While there are several tourist attractions here, the best activity is taking the Genting Skyway to the top of Mount Uli Kali.
This 2.8 kilometer-long cable car ride allows riders to ride 620 meters within 10 minutes, making it a cheap and fast way to reach the top. Riders can choose from either a standard or glass-bottom gondola. The glass bottom is twice the price but an exciting way to experience the ride!
Visitors can also get off just over halfway along the route at Chin Swee Station. There they can explore the famous Chin Swee Cave Temple and soak up the scenic beauty through panoramic views of the hills. Resorts World Genting sits at the top of the Skyway, a sprawling complex containing a hotel, convention center, casino, and indoor and outdoor theme parks. The complex can take an entire day, or even several, to fully explore!
Pro Tip: Ride the Genting Skyway up the mountain early in the morning before the almost daily fog rolls in for the best views. Ride it down in the afternoon to enjoy moving in and out of the clouds.
- Entry Fee: Standard Gondolas 9 RM -16 RM | Glass Bottom Gondolas 21 RM – 35 RM
- Opening hours: 7 am to midnight daily
- Address: Genting Skyway, 48200 Genting Highlands, Selangor, Malaysia
Recommended by Campbell and Alya from Stingy Nomads.
Sipadan island in Borneo, Malaysia, is famous for the amazing marine life surrounding the island. This underwater wonder was described by famous ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau as one of the most beautiful reefs to dive in the world.
The Malaysian government decided to protect Sipadan for future generations in an unprecedented step forcing all resorts to leave the island. Today, only a limited number of divers can visit this natural wonder of Malaysia each day.
Only 300 meters from the shore, a massive coral wall drops 300 meters deep. The strong currents flowing here create an amazing wall dive. During a typical dive at Sipadan, huge green turtles, big schools of massive bumphead parrotfish, thousands of trevallies, and reef sharks are seen exploring this biodiverse reef.
The most famous dive site is Barracuda point, where divers can swim among massive schools of barracuda. Most dive trips to Sipadan start from the nearby islands of Mabul and Kapalai. Less than 200 divers a day get permits to dive here. Since these are strictly regulated, book a spot ahead to avoid disappointment.
- Opening hours: 9 am to 4 pm
- Location: Sipandan Island. Sabah, Malaysia
Recommended by Shireen from The Happy Days Travels.
One of the best Malaysian landmarks to visit is Penang Hill, a popular day trip when visiting the island of Penang in North Malaysia. Penang Hill is a mountain peak resort at an elevation of 2723 feet, so it is a popular destination for hiking and has many circular walks while there. Along the way, you’ll find loads of scenic lookouts over Penang, special temples to visit, and excursions like zip-lining. Don’t miss the Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk! The walkway sits 800 meters above sea level and offers unparalleled views over Penang’s rainforests.
The best way to get there is to get a Grab or taxi to the Air Itam neighborhood of Georgetown in Penang. From there, you can choose to hike from Lower Hill Station or ride the funicular railway. It is the only funicular in Malaysia and the steepest in Southeast Asia.
- Entrance fee: Free (13 MYR for funicular rail pass)
- Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 6:15 am to 8:45 pm | Fri – Sun 6:15 am to 9:45 pm
- Address: Penang Hill, Bukit Bendera, 11300 Penang, Malaysia.
Islamic Civilisation Park
Recommended by Jub from Chur New Zealand.
The Islamic Civilisation Park (also called Taman Tamadun Islam) is one of the lesser-known landmarks in Malaysia. It features mini versions of 22 famous mosques from all around the world. While they might be small, they’re large enough for you to see the details of each, and you can even walk inside some of them.
The park is a chance to explore the world and expand your bucket list if you’re not familiar with all the mosques. They come from 21 countries worldwide, and you can visit the park regardless of your religion.
The mosques are scattered around a large area of land. While you can easily walk around the place, you may like to rent a buggy on a hot day. Since there’s not a whole lot of shade here, it’s a good idea to avoid the heat of the day.
From the middle of Kuala Terengganu, you can get a Grab taxi for about 10 RM. Alternatively, catch a public bus from the main bus terminal in town.
- Entry Fee: 20 RM (tram and buggy use is extra)
- Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Thur: 10 am – 7 pm | Fri – Sat: 9 am – 7 pm | Closed on Tuesdays
- Address: Pulau Wan Man, Losong Panglima Perang, 21000 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia
Famous Landmarks of Malaysia in Conclusion
From its world-class scenery to its vibrant culture and fascinating monuments, Malaysia is one Southeast Asian destination well worth exploring. Whether you decide to tackle everything on this list or just the most famous tourist spots, you’ll have an amazing time exploring Malaysia’s landmarks!
There you have it – a whole host of incredible landmarks in Malaysia! Have you been to any of them? Share your favorite Malaysia landmarks, top tips, and anything in between in the comments below!
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* Cover photo © laughingmango via Canva.com | Pin 1 photo © rchphoto (top) & didoi (bottom) via Canva.com | Pin 2 photo © mazzzur (top) & PocholoCalapre (bottom) via Canva.com
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