Kuala Lumpur (KL) is a fun city to roam around and explore, and there are so many things to do in Kuala Lumpur for every budget. It’s already quite a cheap city to discover, but what’s even better is that there are also many things to do in Kuala Lumpur that are free.
The city of Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful melting pot of cultures, which can be seen throughout the city, such as through their many heritage buildings. Kuala Lumpur has also maintained much greenery around the city, so that if you need to escape the concrete jungle, you don’t have to go too far. If you are planning your next trip to Malaysia, here’s a complete guide to helping you plan your trip.
In addition to all the things to do in Kuala Lumpur, here are 10 that are absolutely free to do…
10 Free Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
1. Visit the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers (KLCC)
No visit to KL is complete without a visit to its famous Twin Towers, also known as KLCC (which stands for Kuala Lumpur City Centre). The best news is that you don’t have to spend money to see the twin towers in all its glory.
The KLCC area is made up of the Twin Towers, the Suria KLCC shopping centre and a free park adjacent to the towers. So if you just want to see the towers, it’s completely free to see from the outside. The adjacent park is also a great spot to walk around and see the twin towers from different angles.
Should you want to head up the towers to the Sky Bridge, you will have to pay for this. I personally have not done this, but I have been told that it is best to book your tickets in advance to save on the fare and ensure entrance.
The area around KLCC is also fantastic to explore at night when the towers are both lit up. In the evenings, the fountain in front of Suria KLCC runs the KLCC Lake Symphony Show. It is a musical water show filled with colour, and it is worth stopping by and enjoying. The show starts around 7pm.
Of all the things to do in Kuala Lumpur, visiting KLCC is my favorite.
2. Explore Malaysian history at Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square is another important icon in KL that is well worth a visit. The name literally translates to “Independence Square,” because it was here that the British flag was lowered and the Malaysian flag raised to mark Malaysia’s independence on 31st August 1957.
Merdeka Square is made up of beautiful heritage buildings that were built in the late 1800’s when Malaysia was a British colony. The greenery that these buildings surround used to be a sports ground, but today is mainly used for celebrations and festivals.
The main building in this area, which you will famously see in photos is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which today houses government offices for the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture. This is actually my favourite building in KL city, because of the beautiful copper colour dome roofs, spiral style staircases and central clock tower.
There are several museums in this area, including the free Music Museum and National Textile Museum, which I talk about later in this post. Plus it is only a short 10-15 minutes walk to Chinatown and Central Market.
3. Escape to nature at the Lake Gardens
The Lake Gardens is located in the city, not far from KL Sentral, and is made up of 200 acres of greenery. It houses many attractions, including payable ones such as the Bird Park and Butterfly Park.
For the most part, the Lake Gardens is completely free to roam around and explore. It is clean, the walking paths are well built and it is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The local Government has organised several attractions to be built throughout the park to keep visitors busy, but also to educate them about the local ecosystem in Malaysia.
The Botanical Gardens is worth exploring and includes free attractions such as the Topiary collection, bamboo playhouse, and lake area. If you are looking for a clean café to take a break, check out Kia Klemenz. It is located not far from the Amphitheatre and is definitely the cleanest café in the area, and serves up good quality pastries and coffee.
4. Get musical at the Music Museum
The Music Museum is located in the vicinity of Merdeka Square, next to the KL City Gallery. Admission to the museum is completely free.
The Music Muesum is a great way to explore the evolution of music throughout the history of Malaysia. It displays many historical instruments, and explores the importance of these instruments in Malaysian history and culture today. It’s a great way to learn more about the Malaysian culture.
5. Go on a Walking Tour to Kampung Bharu
Kampung Baru is a traditional Malay style village in the heart of KL. The local government created a walking tour called “Jalan Jalan @ Kampung Bharu”. It is completely free to join, but you just need to book at least 48 hours in advance.
The walk itself provides great insight into the history and culture of this village. Plus the area of Kampung Baru is home to some delicious traditional Malay food. The tour covers key sights including Masjid Jamek (mosque) and traditional wooden style Malay homes, plus takes you to areas serving up great food, and explains more about Malay customs. Word of advice, when you go on this tour, I highly recommend to dress moderately, and carry an umbrella with you.
6. Grab a photo with the ‘I Heart KL’ sign
If you are going to be in the Merdeka Square area, you better pop on over to the Kuala Lumpur (KL) City Gallery. You will have to pay to enter the KL City Gallery, but right in front of it is the ‘I Heart KL’ sign, which is always a great souvenir snap to mark you holiday in KL.
7. Check out textiles at the National Textile Museum
The National Textile Museum is located not far from Merdeka Square and admission is also free. The museum is housed in a heritage building that was built in the early 1900’s and originally was the headquarters of the Federated Malay States Railways.
Today it has been converted into a museum displaying an array of textiles from around Malaysia. This museum is a fantastic way to learn more about the history of textile production in Malaysia and it incorporation into the culture. There is also a lovely display of jewellery and accessories that are worn for different occasions.
Looking for more things to do in Kuala Lumpur? Try a Malaysian Cooking Class, or experience an Afternoon Tea in a room filled with orchids.
8. Hike through the KL Forest Eco Park
The KL Forest Eco Park is most commonly know as the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve or Taman Eko Rimba KL and makes up over 9 hectares of greenery. I find it is best accessed from behind the Menara Tower entrance, because that is the easiest way to get onto the canopy walkway. From the canopy walkway, you’ll get excellent glimpses of the city and a fantastic view of the Menara Tower. Also a great way to keep fit & healthy while traveling!
9. Explore the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery
The Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery is an educational and colourful way to learn more about the history of Malaysia’s economy and currency. It might sound a bit dull, but it is probably one of the better museums to visit, plus admission is free. The museum has a lovely display of the the different coins used in Malaysian history. You’ll also get to see a showcase of art work from Malaysia and around South East Asia.
10. Get around town on the Go KL Bus
You will recognise the Go KL bus by its distinct purple colour. The Go KL bus is free to ride and is a great way to get around town. There are 4 routes to choose from, which provides access to over 60 different stops.
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