15 Things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days

welcome to kuala lumpur

So you’re coming to KL and you want to know the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days? You’re in the right place! Our three day Kuala Lumpur itinerary is here to help you plan your 3 day tour, whether you want to hit the shopping malls, the KLCC park, the Islamic Arts Museum, or just mill around Little India or Kuala Lumpur city centre. If you’re travelling on further (not around the country) this is your guide to what to see in Malaysia for 3 days stay. We also have a guide to things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days if your itinerary in Kuala Lumpur is more restricted.

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. Three days is a nice amount of time to get a good feel for this great city, but you need a plan! Let our list of 15 things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days be your plan for your 3 day trip

We visited Kuala Lumpur as a family, but this guide to the best thing to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days is not a family guide specifically; it’s suitable for all ages, and we’ve included some additional kid- and adult-oriented activities.

kuala lumpur 3 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

day three

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kl tower & forest eco park

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vegetarian indian lunch

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national museum & mosque

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petronas at night/berjaya

things to do in kuala lumpur in 3 days: day 1

petronas towers

Kuala Lumpur’s pride and joy is it’s 451 metre-high, 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, and it is first up on our list of places to visit in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days. Indeed, no 3 days in Kuala Lumpur would be complete without a trip here. 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

Next on your Kuala Lumpur tour itinerary is the 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 3 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 3 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, and a must-visit on our suggested itinerary for Kuala Lumpur. 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 3 days: day 2

batu caves

You wake up, grab breakfast, and crack on with the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 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 3 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

You’ve had two busy days so why not just chill and wander around 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 3 days: day 3

KL TOWER & FOREST ECO PARK

The canopy walk was one of our favourite things from our first visit to Kuala Lumpur. Easily-reachable from anywhere in the city, if can be combined with a trip up the KL Tower for great views of the city.

Enter from the entrance on Jalan Raja Chulan, not the entrance at the KL Tower itself. There is a visitor centre there which is well worth visiting, with informative displays throughout the two stories, and a kids play area upstairs. When we visited, we were the only visitors.

One of the oldest permanent forest reserves in Malaysia, the 200m walkway will take you up through the trees, where you can watch the monkeys play above your head.

Finish at the KL Tower, which sits proudly upon Bukit Nanas and whichis the tallest telecommunication tower in SE Asia. To get all the way to the top is not cheap (around 100RM per person) but the observation deck is slightly cheaper. On a good day, the views are incredible, and worth the fee. It can get very busy though, so try to get there early.

vegetarian indian lunch

For lunch, it’s a vegetarian, Indian restaurant around a 15 minute walk away, just beyond the Telecom Museum.

The area in which Sangeetha restaurant sits is very different to where you will have been so far, and you will be surrounded by a noisy, Indian-influenced area with boutiques filled with saris, delis stocking different displays, and hindus going about their business.

The restaurant does a brisk trade and the menu can be confusing but the staff are very helpful and the food is incredible. Make sure you have a mango lassi to cool off from the heat.

national museum/national mosque

This afternoon, A CHOICE! First option is the National Museum (Muzium Negara). Four exhibition galleries house displays on Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage and history. It’s open from 0900-1800 and costs less than 10RM per person to enter. There are free guided tours at 1000 and there is no need to book, just be at the front desk by 0950. The second option is near the museum, and is the National Mosque (Masjid Negara). Free to enter, this is not as embellished as some other mosques, but nonetheless it is impressive from the outside and in, and is nearby many other attractions so worth stopping by.

Ensure you are wearing ‘appropriate’ clothes for entering a place of worship. If you’re not, don’t stress; robes will be provided.

And if you can’t decide which to do, they are close by each other so just do both!

petronas at night/berjaya times square

Again, two options for your evening activity in your final hours of doing the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days.

First option is to stop by the Petronas Towers to see the light and music shows. There are light-only, and lights-and-music shows every half hour from 1930-2200.

The light-only shows are at half past the hour and the light-and-music shows are on the hour.

The second option (for shopper and/or thrillseekers) is to visit the Berjaya Times Square mall and the theme park inside the mall. Yes, INSIDE.

This is an utterly enormous high-end mall with a theme park on the upper levels, complete with a bowling alley and a rollercoaster that carries screaming passengers over your head every 10 minutes. Tickets are 57RM for adults and 47RM for children.

things TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR IN 3 DAYS: SUMMARY

This Kuala Lumpur 3 days itinerary is designed to help you squeeze as much as possible into 72 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 things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days.