8 Things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days

welcome to kuala lumpur

Founded in 1857, Kuala Lumpur (KL) is Malaysia’s capital and home to nearly 2 million people.

It is a culturally-rich, modern, ethnically-diverse city with plenty to do for solo travellers, couples, and families.

Two days is not a great deal of time to explore this great city, but if that’s all you’ve got and you’re looking for things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days, there’s plenty you can squeeze in in Kuala Lumpur 2 days itinerary.

We visited Kuala Lumpur as a family, but this guide to the best thing to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days is not a family guide specifically; it’s suitable for all ages, and we’ve included some additional kid- and adult-oriented activities which you can easily add in to your 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur.

kuala lumpur 2 days itinerary

day one

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petronas towers

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petaling street market

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chinatown

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jalan alor food market

day two

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batu caves

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KL bird park

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sultan abdul samad building

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downtown kl

things to do in kuala lumpur in 2 days: day 1

petronas towers

Kuala Lumpur’s pride and joy is it’s 451 metre-high, 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers. Architect Cesar Pelli designed this wonder which is the highest twin structure on Earth, and which symbolises Malaysia’s desire to be a global player. There’s a walkway from Pavilion Mall all the way to the Suria KLCC mall under the towers, and it’s about 1.1km long. I highly advise you get it. It’s wide and bright and AIR CONDITIONED. You can get off at various points along the route and all in all it’s very pleasant.
 
At the rear of the Petronas Towers is the best view, and a beautiful, lush park to walk round. For families, this is a great spot, especially as there is a huge playpark and also a small (free) water park. If you visit in the evening, you can enjoy the water and light displays at the fountains.
 
If you want to go up the tower, you can scale 170 metres in an elevator to the Skybridge for a super view of the city, or go one step further and go to level 86 for the ultimate view of the city. Tickets cost 80RM for adults, 30RM for children (3-12), and under 3s are free. NB: it’s closed on Mondays and 1300-1530 on Fridays.

petaling street market

Get the free Go KL bus to just outside the Petaling Street market, and enjoy a bargain-hunters delight. The purple bus will drop you off 50 yards or so from the start of the market, and as soon as you get off the bus you’ll see the crowds heading in that direction.
 
The market takes place on Petaling street and there is another street which bisects it. It’s all under cover, and nicely decorated with Chinese lanterns overhead.  The Petaling Street market Kuala Lumpur is famous for really does seem to sell everything. As you make your way down the street, you can purchase clothes, sunglasses and belts, bags, electronics, fruit, toys… really it’s all here.
 
You will be cajoled by friendly stallholders as you walk past but it’s all in good humour. And if you do make some purchases, don’t forget to barter a little.

This is also a great opportunity to sample a range of delicious local cuisine. There are Chinese and seafood restaurants throughout, and snacks can be bought cheaply from many stands. There is a pleasant smell in the air which will make your belly rumble. If you are staying in the area, you can come down here to eat late into the night.

chinatown

Petaling Street is at the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown (also known as Chee Cheong Kai (Starch Factory Street)), and as one of the most popular spots to visit in the city, should definitely be on any list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days. This is a hugely vibrant and colourful area which is alive with activity at all times of the day or night.
 
After you’ve visited Petaling Street, head out and explore the area. The Central Market is the place to go to see local artists’ work and craft stalls, and if you’re still hungry there are plenty of options for noodles and curry dishes.
 
At the back of Central Market is Kasturi Walk, a covered walkway bursting with stallholders selling fashion items, handcrafted items, food and drink, and souvenirs.

If you are a fan of beautiful temples, the Chan See Shu Yuen Temple will be right up your street. The Guan Di temple and the Sri Mahamariamman Temple are well worth a visit, and are great examples of ornate Hindu temples. Before you head back into the city, stop by Cafe Amo, and enjoy their signature dish; coffee where they shape the frothed milk into animal faces. Cute.

jalan alor food market

You’ve had a fun day out and about in Kuala Lumpur and now you need some things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days NIGHT TIME EDITION! Jalan Alor is a must-do. 

A ten minute walk from Bukit Bintang monorail station is Jalan Alor, a street which every night hosts the most incredible food market. As soon as you get near the top of the street you can smell and hear it. A long street with restaurants either side and in front of all them, food carts selling dim sum, a multitude of extremely fresh fish, meat, and vegetables, fresh mango, full coconuts cut open for juice, barbecued goodies cooked or prepared then cooked right in front of you, and much more. 

The restaurants behind the foodcarts were all out vying for business (read: hassling you every 3 steps) but it’s part of the culture here and a polite ‘no thanks’ and a smile generally does the trick. You can sit down at plastic tables and chairs inside or out at the restaurants for more of a full meal, or get something from a few different stalls.

things to do in kuala lumpur in 2 days: day 2

batu caves

You wake up, grab breakfast, and crack on with the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days, starting with the Batu Caves, a limestone hill with a series of caves and cave temples therein. It is one of the most famous Hindu shrines outside of India, and it’s a marvel inside as the cave roof towers hundreds of feet above your head

To get there, get the monorail to KL Sentral. When inside KL Sentral station, get the train north to the caves; it will cost only 3RM or so per person each way and takes about 45 minutes before arriving at Batu Caves (the terminus). Check the departure times at the ticket machine before you leave the station for the 200m or so walk to the start of the cave complex.

A walk along in front of some temples later and you’re facing the huge gold Murugan statue and the 272 steps up to the cave entrance. There are piles of bricks and buckets of sand laid out and it is politely requested that visitors carry something to the top cave to aid the volunteers in restoration work. The main cave is free to enter so it’s a small way to pay something back.

The caves are cool, and spectacular. The main cave is free, and you can pay to join a tour of the ‘Dark Cave’ where you will learn about the caves, the ecology, and the animals that live there. It’s extremely informative and costs 33RM for adults. We would advise doing the dark cave tour as well as visiting the main cave to make the most of the trip out.

KL Bird park

The KL bird park is west of Bukit Bintang and best reached by taxi (cheap if you use the Grab app) but can be walked too (it’s about 30 minutes walk from Brickfields if you get the monorail to KL Sentral). Home to over 3000 birds, this is billed as the largest aviary in the world.

Make sure you get there in time for the feeding sessions for your opportunity to see Hornbills being fed, and there are bird shows at 1230 and 1530 each day. The latter is more birds doing tricks than anything tremendously educational, so though it was a wasted opportunity in that regard, seeing the birds close up was special. There are informative displays about birds, the incubation process, and their lives throughout the park, and the opportunity to feed emus is too good to pass up.

The Hornbill Restaurant sells decent food and the prices are not cheap but nor are they ridiculous. The whole park is pushchair friendly.

While the birds all seem well-cared for, the promotion of this park as an enormous free-fly area for the birds is not totally true; some birds are in fairly small displays (the less exciting birds), which was a shame. It costs 63RM per adult and 42RM for children (3-12).

If you are planning on spending a full day in the area, there’s also the National Museum, National Mosque, Butterfly Park, Botanic Gardens, and Planetarium in the area.

sultan abdul samad building

In front of Independence Square (Dataran Merdeka) on Jalan Raja is the spectacular Sultan Abdul Samad building. It is one of the most well known and significant buildings in the city, and deserves a place on the list of best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days.

Originally the secretariat for the British colonial administration, it now houses the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Culture. Admire the brickwork, the arches, the colonnades, the copper roofing, and the high clock tower of this impressive building.

Nearby is the old KL Railway Station; another spectacular and architecturally-interesting building, and well worth a look as you pass on your way to or from the Bird Park.

downtown kl at night

In your final hours in KL, our final item on our Kuala Lumpur 2 days itinerary is to explore downtown Kuala Lumpur in the evening.

Walk the busy streets, explore the malls, grab a smoothie or a coffee, and just soak it all up. This is a lively city centre until late into the night and there are street performers, hawkers, and plenty besides to keep everyone interested.

For the adults, why not grab a drink in one of Kuala Lumpurs’ trendy bars. In Chinatown, head to PS150, where you can grab a cocktail in their open air courtyard, before heading to the city’s best kept secret bar, Berlin. Edgy and hip, you will be transported to Berlin’s past while you enjoy a drink. Look for the red door on Jalan Tun HS Lee. In Bukit Bintang, Pisco Bar offers a unique Peruvian-Spanish restaurant and bar, while Drift is a classy Australian bar serving quality food in a buzzing atmosphere.

things TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR IN 2 DAYS: SUMMARY

This Kuala Lumpur 2 days itinerary is designed to help you squeeze as much as possible into 48 hours in this vibrant and interesting city, and if you follow this guide, you can be confident you’ve seen some of the very best the city has to offer.