A trip or a stopover in Malaysia? Discover the best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital!
The industrial, financial, commercial, and cultural centre of peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur has a population of 1,627,172 inhabitants spread over 243 square kilometres, while its urban area has more than 7.3 million inhabitants. Despite the high population density, accommodation is affordable in Kuala Lumpur and it’s fairly easy to find a place to stay in the city. Disconcerting, dynamic, suffocating, effervescent, disproportionate, overheated, welcoming… These words point to the different facets this sprawling megalopolis boasting unbridled economic growth.
The city of Kuala Lumpur originally started as a mining settlement in the middle of the equatorial jungle at the confluence of the Klang River and the Gombak River. As a Buddhist enclave in a predominantly Muslim country, it is a very cosmopolitan capital. Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur? Here is non-exhaustive presentation to help you decide where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, often called “KL”.
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Photo credit: Flickr – Daniel Hoherd
Also known as KLCC, the city centre is home to the historical and emblematic monuments of Peninsular Malaysia such as the Menara Tower, or the Petronas Towers, so high (452 meters) that contemplating them from below could almost hurt one’s neck. It is a dynamic, bustling, and often hectic district day and night. The area boasts the largest density of shops and boutiques in the city: it’s THE place to be for shopping aficionados.
You will find many food courts serving cheap food as well as restaurants offering more refined cuisine. Kuala Lumpur feels like a Western destination apart from the fact that temperatures oscillate between 28°C and 35°C all year round. One of the advantages of this city is that most of the locals are fluent in English, making it easier for visitors to make themselves understood. Centrally located, it is a good area to stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Photo credit: Flickr – Sham Hardy
A shopping and entertainment district packed with innumerable cafes, bars, pubs, hotels, youth hostels, restaurants, and shopping malls, Bukit Bintang is a popular area for young Malays and tourists. Located between Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Pugu, and Jalan Sultan Ismail avenues, the atmosphere is rather casual and affordable.
Choose to stay in this neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur if you want to discover Asian cuisine – including Chinese, Indian, Malay, Thai, and Indonesian delicacies – though the area also features great Western names. Thanks to Bukit Bintang’s vibrant nightlife, the area is a favorite haunt for night owls and party-goers, so be aware that your street will probably be busy at nighttime.
Photo credit: Flickr – Jack Skipworth
Nestled in Petaling Street, Chinatown is located west of Bukit Bintang and is, as you would expect, a bustling, glittering, and colourful neighbourhood. The area is home to the famous flea market where you can treasure hunt through a myriad of ex-brand clothing (beware, these products are often counterfeit). This is a good area to stay in Kuala Lumpur, especially if you want to indulge Chinese cuisine and if you’re looking for inexpensive accommodation options. At the edge of Chinatown, don’t miss the Sri Maha Mariamman, the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur. Not far away, stroll in the Perdana Botanical Garden or in the Kuala Lumpur Orchid Park, a lush green space in the heart of the city featuring a vast body of water.
Photo credit: Flickr – Bruno Vanbesien
As its name suggests, Little India is the Indian neighbourhood of Kuala Lumpur. Exotic and brightly coloured, Little India – or Brickfields – is home to tens of thousands of Indians and Sri Lankans. A rather busy area to stay in Kuala Lumpur, Little India is often crowded and music is often played all day in the area. To savour cheap South Indian specialties – the cheese naan is king -, visit the flower market, or go shopping, this is where you should stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Main photo credit : Flickr – Dani Oliver