1. WHERE TO STAY:
If you are visiting Malaysia for the first time, you’re likely to land in the capital; Kuala Lumpur. There’s no better place to start! A beautiful city that gives you a preview of what Malaysia has to offer.
I recommend staying close to the KLCC Shopping Mall and Park, in central Kuala Lumpur. This is an area with good transport link, where there are an abundance of hotels and apartments in close proximity to shopping malls, restaurants, and of course; the iconic Petronas Towers.
We stayed in the lovely Mandarin Oriental, which neighbours KLCC Mall and Park. It is only a short walk to the popular Pavilion Shopping Mall and the bustling Bukit Bintang area via an elevated air-conditioned pedestrian walkway.
We were quite impressed with this! And trust me, you will be too when you realise how hot and muggy it can get!.
The hotel itself was beautiful, and probably the hotel we liked the most on our honeymoon. Rooms were stylish, the lobby and restaurants were grand, and the infinity pool was lovely, with a nice view of KL city centre. Although the side of the hotel where the pool was located didn’t look out onto the Petronas Towers themselves.
Speaking of which, we did in fact pay extra to have a view of the Petronas Towers from our room but were left disappointed. The hotel is too close to the towers to take them in, so you’re left with only being able to see a small fragment. The hotel did leave some sweet gifts for us in the room as we were honeymooners. There was a mini scuffle between my husband and I to see who could get to them first!
Of course, there are several other options for accommodation in this area;
The FACE suites are extremely popular (so book early!), with a stunning view of the towers from their fantastic swimming pool. Whilst Trader’s Hotel also springs to mind.
Regalia Suites, , which also has as beautiful infinity pool, is another option. It does lie a bit further away, but this makes it slightly cheaper to book.
2. WHERE TO EAT
The best thing about Malaysia is that everything is halal!
It makes it a lot easier in terms of food. Famous Malaysian dishes include Chicken Satay and Nasi Goreng. If you want an authentic experience, find the nearest Hawker place and dig in. Jalan Alor Street, Petaling Street and Tamann Connaught Area are renowned to be some of the best places to get street food in Malaysia. I personally also like to take the opportunity to dine in restaurants which normally don’t serve halal food in UK such as TGI Fridays. I just love their steak so much! You can find them in Bukit Bintang; Pavilion on level 6. In this area you also have Al-Amar restaurant (both inside and outside the Pavilion) and Al-Halabi Gourmet Restaurant (Pavilion Level 7). We ate at both of these places and were impressed by their food; especially the Tagine at Al-Halabis! My husband loved their Lamb Tagine whilst I opted for the chicken.
3. HOW TO GET AROUND
It’s very easy to get around with public transport in Kuala Lumpur using their trains and buses. However, if you’re short on time then downloading the app; Grab, is highly recommended. It basically works like Uber and is very economical. It was so refreshing seeing hijabi drivers working for Grab also.
4. WHAT TO DO
Go on, what we like to call; a Mosque-crawl. I’m fully serious about this and you will not be disappointed! There are 7 Grand Mosques in Kuala Lumpur: National Mosque (Masjid Negara), Masjid Jamek, Federal Territory Mosque, Blue Mosque Selangor, Putra Mosque, Iron Mosque (Masjid Besi) and Masjid Raja.
Each with their own unique architecture and style, but all beautiful. Check out my YouTube video showcasing some of these stunning mosques by clicking here (please like, subscribe and share!)
Visit the Botanical Gardens; a beautiful green space, near Masjid Negara and the Islamic arts museum.
Go to Batu Caves. Which is home to a Hindu Temple, with beautiful colourful steps and a massive statue guarding its entrance. You can also take in the colours in Little India, where you can find many more Hindu-temples, testifying to the diversity of Malaysia.
I’ve mentioned the Pavilion a couple of times already, but it is definitely worth the visit and alsl check out the shops and enjoy the vibe around the area at night time. Have a snack at Al-Halabi or Al-Amar, where you can also have a sheesha if you feel like it.
I recommend Menara KL Tower as you can see all of Kuala Lumpur including the Petronas Towers, which makes for a spectacular sight.
Go to KLCC shopping mall and visit the aquarium and park that is right outside and take your instagram-shot of the towers.
Traders hotel is well-known for having great views of Petronas towers from its roof top bar, but this can become very rowdy and ‘clubby’ at night time. Heading there during early evening, however, allows for a nice relaxed mocktail with a lovely view.
If you’re looking to buy some souvenirs, head down to Petaling street also known as China Town. They sell everything and anything here.
Finally, go to Putrajaya to visit the Putra Mosque and Iron Mosque. This place is strikingly beautiful, although it is quite empty of people.
HoT Tip: If your outgoing flight is later in the day, then visit this place before heading to the airport, as its between KL City Centre and International Airport. We made this our final pit stop, spending a good few hours here, before continuing to Singapore.
Have you been to Kuala Lumpur before? Let us know in the comments if you know of any other gems which should be added to the list!