Essential information when visiting Kuala Lumpur
Updated: May 3, 2020
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. Its modern skyline is dominated by the 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers and boasts gleaming sky scrapers and colonial architecture. The city is divided into various districts with its main hub being known as the Golden triangle and comprises of KLCC and china town and Bukit Bintang. KL is widely recognised for numerous landmarks, including the Petronas Twin Towers (the world’s tallest twin skyscrapers), KL tower and Batu Caves, which is over 400 million years old.
Best time to visit:
Kuala Lumpur is very hot and very humid all year around and you need to be prepared for spontaneous downpours at any point during the day. And night. We visited in August and it was hot and humid reaching around 35 degrees in the day time, and we also had a full four hours of torrential rain, so the weather was challenging but not completely unexpected.
Online research suggests the best time to visit is May to July as the entire country goes through a dry spell.
Kuala Lumpur is a very walkable city and had it not been a million degrees we would have walked more. But the truth is we struggled in the heat being from the UK so we opted for air conditioned cars when we could to preserve our energy and make best use of our time.
Metro and public transport
Kuala Lumpur has a great public transport system and its extremely cheap and easy to use. You can buy multi pass tickets or single ride tickets and all of the signs are in English and Malaysian so quite easy to navigate. Again, we didn’t use the public transport system as we were only there 3 nights and we really wanted to pack in as much as possible but if you are here longer it’s a great option to get around.
There are taxis all over the city, but we would not recommend using them. We had read before visiting that there was a risk of being ripped off (as there is in many cities around the world!) and that Grab (similar to Uber) was highly recommended. This point was proved when one evening we had no signal and couldn’t book a Grab so we took a taxi and got completely ripped off. It was our first night and we were not really aware of the prices but the fact the driver started laughing with his friends as soon as he quoted us gave us the distinct impression we were being over charged. Oh well. We stuck with Grab for the remainder of our stay.
Amazing. So easy. Just download the app and you are ready to go. All the drivers are super friendly, service is quick and its really cheap to use”
Airport transfer time:
Kuala Lumpur International airport is large and modern with lots of options to get yourself into the city centre. The first and most efficient method is traveling by taxi and this is what we opted for. Kuala Lumpur airport taxis operate on a fixed fare system, so will cost 15.60€ (RM74.30) and will take around 50 minutes to reach the centre in normal traffic, we got there in around 45 minutes and it was an easy journey.
Alternatively, the Express or Transit metro run from the airport, both taking you to the KL Sentral station in the centre of the city. The Express, being the better option, will take around 28 minutes with a cost of 7.40€ (RM35) per person/one way.
Finally, the "Airport Bus Coach Service" runs from the airport to KL Sentral station, taking around 1 hour to reach the centre, with a cost of 2.10€ (RM10).
The currency for Kuala Lumpur is the Malaysian Ringgit. Credit and debit cards are accepted widely including the Revolut card which you can load and avoid international payment charges.
In Malaysia the power plugs and sockets are of type G. The standard voltage is 240 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Luckily for us, this is the same plug sockets the UK use so no adapters needed for us!
It’s also worth mentioning that the 240 v is compatible with all UK appliances but if you are travelling from America then you may need a transformer to step down the voltage in order for your appliances to work!
It is always advisable to get travel insurance no matter where you are jetting off to!
We have an annual travel insurance policy with Journeys Travel Insurance who have been very fair with their pricing for us and also have some good coverage.
The link is below if you want to try them for a quote:
The official language is Malay but everyone we met spoke fluent English. All signposts were in English and in every restaurant and bar we went into, they were also in English, so it was a really easy city to navigate and spend time in.