Kuala Lumpur, the central hub of South East Asia is an incredible city, well worth discovering. Initially, I wasn’t particularly fussed as to how long we spent there, but after almost seven weeks in this super kid friendly place, I discovered it is well worth the time! I also found that seven weeks wasn’t nearly enough to truly get to know Kuala Lumpur with kids!
- 1 Kuala Lumpur with Kids
- 2 Things You Should Know About Kuala Lumpur
- 3 Things to do with Kids – Kuala Lumpur Activities
- 3.1 Kidzania Kuala Lumpur
- 3.2 The Escape Room
- 3.3 KL Bird Park
- 3.4 Jungle Gym KL
- 3.5 Sunway Lagoon Water Park
- 3.6 Aquaria Kuala Lumpur
- 3.7 Petrosains Discovery Centre
- 3.8 Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
- 3.9 Royal Selangor Visitor Centre
- 3.10 Berjaya Times Square Theme Park
- 3.11 Petronas Towers
- 3.12 KL Tower
- 3.13 China Town
- 3.14 Little India
- 3.15 Kuala Lumpur Planetarium Negara
- 3.16 Kuala Lumpur Cinemas
- 3.17 Explore the Central Market
- 3.18 Enjoy a Fish Pedicure
- 3.19 Batik Painting Class
- 4 Food in Kuala Lumpur
- 5 Malls in Kuala Lumpur
- 6 Summary
Kuala Lumpur with Kids
Our Guide to Travel in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is an easy place to visit. Locals primarily speak English (which was a surprise to us), getting around couldn’t be easier, the food is to die for, and the cost of living… well, it just doesn’t get any better.
And when it comes to traveling with kids, Kuala Lumpur is the perfect destination. There is so much to see and do – your kids will be thoroughly entertained, and it won’t put a huge dent in your wallet!
During our time we tried to pace ourselves – we went out one day and had a rest day the next. With so much on offer, it is imperative to have down time. There is so much to see and do that it can quite literally lead to sensory overload, so to get the most out of a visit, pace yourself!
Things You Should Know About Kuala Lumpur
Getting to Kuala Lumpur
As a major hub in South East Asia, Kuala Lumpur is incredibly easy to get to, with many flights using Kuala Lumpur as a layover destination. Flying to and from KL is very affordable and to keep costs down we fly SE Asia almost exclusively with Air Asia. Their prices are hard to beat, and we’ve found their service to be fantastic!
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport, otherwise know as KLIA or KLIA 2 (two different terminals) is located 45min – 1-hour drive south of the city. There are lots of different methods of getting yourself to the city, including the KLIA Ekspres, Uber, Metered Taxi or Grab Taxi.
Accommodation – Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur
There are many options for accommodation in Kuala Lumpur, and it is incredibly affordable. Whether you choose AirBnB, Hotels or Hostels, Kuala Lumpur has options for all tastes.
Our experience for Kuala Lumpur Accommodation included house sitting and staying with Airbnb. Naturally, there are many, many Airbnb listings, and costs are very reasonable. For a family of four, the average price is only $USD65/$AUD85. Stay more than a week and prices go down further! Our accommodation was lovely and only cost $USD25/$AUD35 a night!
Hotel near KLIA
If you are only stopping in Kuala Lumpur for a short stop over you may be looking for a hotel near KLIA. Many airlines use Kuala Lumpur for layovers, and with the city itself being a 45min-1hour away from KLIA a hotel near KLIA is a smart way to go.
We’ve done many short stopovers in KL now, traveling through to get to our next destination, and we’ve discovered that finding a hotel near KLIA is relatively simple. Any google search will reveal some Transit Hotels within KLIA itself. However, if you are a budget traveler there are better ways. Transit Hotels, for a family, can be super expensive, but finding a hotel near KLIA needn’t be!
Getting around in Kuala Lumpur
Transport around Kuala Lumpur depends entirely on where you are staying. Within the main metro area, the train system is exceptional and very cheap. A huge part of Kuala Lumpur however, is not serviced by trains, so our preferred method of transport was Uber or Grab Taxi. Regular taxis are certainly available, however, costs are considerably higher.
Uber is very popular in KL. However, you should be aware that since the introduction of the service, taxi drivers are rather upset. As a result, it is critical that when calling for an Uber you do so away from taxi ranks. We learned this the hard way when a Uber driver got very upset with us, yelling at us to hurry up and get in. He told us later that there have been cases of taxi drivers getting VERY upset, however providing you order one away from a taxi rank, you shouldn’t face any issues.
Please be aware that although Uber was our preference, at the time of our visit driving to or from KLIA airport was substantially cheaper via the Grab Taxi Service (65MYR/$USD14.50/$AUD19 v’s 90MYR/$USD21/$AUD$26 with Uber)
Kuala Lumpur Weather
Hot hot hot!!! Well, that was our experience, and a major reason why air conditioning is so popular in KL!
Generally speaking, Kuala Lumpur’s weather is good throughout the year, so there is never really a bad time to visit this vibrant city. Temperatures remain relatively consistent thoughtout the year, hovering around 28-30 degrees celsius or 82-86 degrees farenheit andvery humid! You are guaranteed warm temperatures, and the balmy evenings mean you never have cause for a jacket.
For further details on Kuala Lumpur weather, please click here.
The Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is one of our all time favorite destinations as budget travelers. We spent only 2/3rds of our regular budget while in KL, including eating out every day, visiting local attractions nearly every other day, Uber rides all over town, a visit to a theme park and 5 or 6 visits to the cinema!
KL is an easy place to visit and a great option for budget travelers. We were able to relax and enjoy ourselves, splurge on some luxuries and be comfortable that we were very unlikely to blow the budget!
For full details about the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur we highly recommend this link.
Things to do with Kids – Kuala Lumpur Activities
Kidzania Kuala Lumpur
I don’t know how I’d never heard about Kidzania before we started traveling, because it is simply amazing, and a must do activity for kids in Kuala Lumpur. During our time we visited twice – and the kids enjoyed it equally as much both times.
KidZania is an indoor play city where kids can have fun exploring the adult world! KidZania is one of the fastest growing educational entertainment brands, with 20 facilities all over the world from Mexico to Dubai to Tokyo.
The Escape Room
If you are looking for something a little different, full of excitement and suspense, then the Escape Room may be right up your alley. It isn’t entirely a Malaysian cultural experience, but given how popular they are (with numerous different brands open throughout Kuala Lumpur), we had a go… and we had a blast!
An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. We didn’t escape on our first try, but did so with time to spare on our second!
For more information about The Escape Room, please visit their website here.
KL Bird Park
Kids of all ages love the KL Bird Park. With so many beautiful birds on display, the KL Bird Park gives a unique insight into an incredible range of birds, including some we’d never seen before.
Located in the serene and scenic famous Lake Gardens, the KL Bird Park is well known for the World’s Largest Free-flight Walk-in Aviary and has over 20.9 acres of terrain to explore.
After wandering through the park, enjoy a lovely lunch at the Hornbill Restaurant, where prices were quite reasonable, and the food was delicious. If you’ve never tried a fish pedicure before (read our full review here), you can even relax and enjoy a few minutes of pampering in their beautiful spa.
For full information on the KL Bird Park, please visit their website here.
Jungle Gym KL
Kids needing to burn some energy? Sit back and relax with a free cup of coffee at the Jungle Gym Playland at the Atria Shopping Centre. As far as playlands go, this one has it all. We spent hours and hours at Jungle Gym with another traveling family, and the kids had a ball.
By mid afternoon we were all a little tired, so we relaxed and watched a movie on their big screen, complete with comfy beanbags and popcorn.
Jungle Gym Playland has a onsite cafe with a great range of food, and weekday prices are just 30MYR/$USD6.70/$AUD8.75 per child 2-12 years.
For more information on Jungle Gym Playland, click here.
Sunway Lagoon Water Park
If you want a full day out with the family, Sunway Lagoon is the park for you. Whether you are 8 or 80, Sunway Lagoon Water Park is fun for all the family and features over 80 attractions on 88 acres of land!
Sunway Lagoon Water Park is more than just a waterpark though; it is a world of adventure featuring six distinct worlds of fun and games including the Water Park, Amusement Park, Wildlife Park, Extreme Park, Scream Park & Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon. There is something for everyone, and it is a must do activity with kids while visiting Kuala Lumpur!
We had an absolute blast, and it is a highlight of the time we spent in Kuala Lumpur. Ticket prices were 170MYR/$USD38/$AUD50 for adults and 130MYR/$USD29/$AUD38 and were worth every cent. Locker hire is available for all of your bags at 22MYR/$USD5/$AUD6.50 for the day. Get there early, don’t forget the sunscreen and enjoy an incredible day out.
For more information on Sunway Lagoon Water Park, visit their website here.
Aquaria Kuala Lumpur
The Aquaria Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful aquarium located at the KLCC Mall. They have a wonderful range of exhibits, topped off by their incredible moving platform through an aquarium tunnel. The aquarium follows an easy to navigate map and includes feeding sessions at various times of the day.
Aquaria Kuala Lumpur is a place where you can easily spend hours getting up close to all sorts of animals, watching various sessions and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Be aware, however, that there are no pass outs. You cannot leave and come back for later sessions, so I would advise you to pack your lunch.
For more information on Aquaria Kuala Lumpur, visit their website here.
Petrosains Discovery Centre
I cannot stress enough how incredible Petrosains Discovery Centre is – you absolutely must go if visiting Kuala Lumpur with Kids.
The first visit, we spent three hours exploring, learning and playing, and we completely ran out of time. The second time we spent another 2 hours and enjoyed it just as much. There is just so much to do that Petrosains Discovery Centre is a full day activity.
Not only will your kids have an absolute ball, you will too, and so will your wallet. While there is lots for kids to explore, I found myself just as occupied as the kids, and parents are more than welcome to get involved.
Ticket prices were fantastic – for one adult and two children, I spent only $USD15! Furthermore, Petrosains is a member of the ASTC Travel Passport Program, so members of a science center or museum participating in the program are eligible for free entry!
For more information about Petrosains Discovery Centre, please visit their website.
Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor. They are a super popular tourist destination, with around 5,000 visitors each day making their way up the 272 stairs.
The caves are said to be 400 million years old and served as a shelter for indigenous people. They are now one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
Just eight short miles north of the city, the Batu Caves house an 113-year-old temple, along with an interesting array of Hindu artwork and shrines.
We traveled to Batu Caves by Uber and stopped at Royal Selangor on the way home.
For more information on visiting the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, please visit their website here.
Royal Selangor Visitor Centre
Lovers of pewter will enjoy a visit to Royal Selangor, home to Malaysia’s pewter industry.
Home to one of the worlds foremost names in quality pewter, the Visitor Centre is located in Setapak Jaya, just 20 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur city center.
The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre gives an interesting look into the history of pewter, and the popular industry in Malaysia. Guided tours through the factory allow you to see first hand, how their incredible pieces of art are created and must be seen to be believed. Our kids were fascinated during their visit and wanted to stay longer.
The center offers kids the opportunity to create a piece of art of their own through their kids class. The class takes about 45 minutes, and you can inquire at the service desk at the end of the tour.
For more information on visiting the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, please visit the tourist website here.
Berjaya Times Square Theme Park
Berjaya Times Square Theme Park is Malaysia’s largest indoor theme park. It is super bright and colorful and a place that is sure to put a smile on any child’s face.
Full of fun amusement rides, including some bigger, scarier ones for older kids and adults, Berjaya Times Square Theme Park is well worth a visit. Even if you decide not to go into the theme park, Berjaya Times Square itself is a super popular mall, and home to a wide range of attractions, including bowling, a cinema, an Escape Room, Laser Battle and Archery!
We were super excited to visit Petronas Towers. While visiting KLCC Mall, we stopped outside to admire the Towers on many occasions and looked forward to our visit. Booking tickets was simple via their website, however being so popular, I needed to book 12 days in advance to get the late afternoon time that I was after, hoping that we would be up there at sunset and stay to see the night lights.
Unfortunately, I was bitterly disappointed with our visit. The cost was quite high by Malaysian standards (85MYR/$USD20/AUD$25 for adults and 35MYR/$USD8/$AUD10 for children 2-12), and in reality, you get no more than around 50 minutes in the towers.
The views were lovely, and the towers themselves were incredible. To be fair, I think it was my expectations that caused issues. All of the reading I had done beforehand suggested that you are guided up and then have as much time as you like to admire the views. In reality, you are given very limited time, and your color coded group is quickly ushered onto the next section, whether you like it or not.
Would I recommend the Towers? I certainly wouldn’t go again, and after purchasing tickets, I learned that views from the KL Tower are just as good. It’s a personal decision. If it is the views you are after, try the KL Tower. If it’s to admire the Petronas Towers themselves, then it is certainly worth a visit!
To find out more about Petronas Towers, visit their website here.
After visiting the Petronas Towers, we didn’t have the opportunity to visit the KL Tower. However, I still wanted to include it here, as it may well be a better option for your family.
KL Tower is the seventh tallest telecommunication tower in the world and the tallest in Southeast Asia. Standing at 421m and located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the KL Tower offers a unique blend of Cultural, Adventure and Nature experience not found anywhere else in the world.
Tickets to visit the tower are 51MYR/$USD11.50/$AUD15 per adult and 32MYR/$USD7/$AUD9 per child.
The tower offers much more than just views. Clearly the views from the Observation Deck are a highlight, as they are at Petronas Towers, however, they also offer the outdoor Sky Deck, Sky Box Experience and a number of other activities.
I’m told that the tower is showing it’s age a little, however, if you want to see views of Kuala Lumpur at a budget-friendly price, the KL Tower is sure to be your best bet!
For more information on the KL Tower, visit their website here.
China Town Kuala Lumpur is a major tourist attraction and is well worth a visit. In the heart of the city, China Town never sleeps, and as you stroll through the busy street, you can’t help but feel you’ve been whisked away to another city. The atmosphere in China Town is electric – so much to see and do, and if you like shopping, you are in for a treat; China Town is a bargain hunter’s paradise with a massive range, from Chinese Herbs to imitation goods. It is a shoppers paradise!
We didn’t get to spend nearly as much time in Little India as we would have liked – who’d have thought seven weeks in Kuala Lumpur wouldn’t be enough!
As you enter Little India, you can’t help but feel that you’ve been swept into another world. The suburb of Brickfields is Malaysia’s official “Little India” and what was once a simple residential neighborhood, has been transformed into a wide street with Indian stores and restaurants, run by the local Indian community.
Kuala Lumpur Planetarium Negara
The Kuala Lumpur Planetarium is not often listed in Top 10 Must See lists. However, it was a hidden gem that we were very happy to discover!
Located near the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, the Planetarium has an incredible display that helps children (and adults too) learn about science and astronomy. It’s a fun and educational outing, and for the brave hearted, includes a super exciting virtual rollercoaster ride! Watch our ride here!
For more information about Planetarium Negara visits their website here.
Kuala Lumpur Cinemas
For a relaxing, cheap afternoon activity, Kuala Lumpur Cinemas are a must do! In Australia, cinema ticket prices are completely outrageous at over $USD75/$AUD100 a visit. As a result, as much as we love to go, we don’t get to go too often. In Kuala Lumpur however, ticket prices are CRAZY cheap. We visited many times, splurged on popcorn and drinks, and still spent less than $USD20/$AUD30 – the biggest problem we had was that we ran out of movies to see!
For more information on going to the movies in Kuala Lumpur, visit their website here.
Explore the Central Market
A visit to the Central Market Kuala Lumpur is a wonderful way to experience Malaysian culture, arts, and crafts. Only minutes from the heart of the city, it is a great place to spend an afternoon, with plenty for all to see and do!
The Central Market is a hub for Malaysian culture, steeped in history. Home to over 300 stalls, the Central Market was built in 1888 and initially used as a traditional wet market. After substantial renovations, Central Market is now a must-see tourist attraction.
We visited the Central Market regularly while we were in KL and enjoyed a range of activities.
For our full review of the Central Market, please click here.
Enjoy a Fish Pedicure
If you’ve ever wondered if fish pedicures really work, Kuala Lumpur is the place to give it a go. We discovered a wonderful little store at the Central Market that offers fish pedicures for only 10 MYR/$USD2.45/$AUD3.30. We all had a go and it was absolutely hilarious. Whether you like it or not, it is certainly fun for the whole family, although to be fair Sienna was very unsure. The staff were more than happy for her to have a little go before we paid – a good idea given that she was ultimately completely freaked out by the fish nibbling on her feet.
For our full review of our Fish Pedicures, please click here.
Batik Painting Class
No sooner do I think I’ve finished this guide, I find something else to write about. Kuala Lumpur really is a city for kids, and a Batik Painting Class is a wonderful way for the to experience a local craft.
These beautiful creations are made using a very specific technique that children can learn at the Central Market. For only a few dollars they can spend as long as they like painting their masterpiece, which is dried and packaged for them to take home when completed.
For our full review of our Batik Painting Classes, please click here.
Food in Kuala Lumpur
Dip N Dip
Chocolate lovers, pay attention. Kuala Lumpur is home to THE most incredible chocolate restaurant. If you’ve heard the saying “death by chocolate”, just wait until you visit Dip N Dip!
The entire menu is chocolate, from chocolate covered waffles, pancakes, cake and more! We celebrated my 40th birthday at Dip N Dip and it was certainly an experience I’ll never forget!
The food was absolutely delicious and whatever you order, you are given a choice of your favorite chocolate, which is then drizzled over your food at the table in front of you.
To say this was a favorite with the kids is a complete understatement. Sienna’s eyes lit up when she discovered she was having chocolate for dinner… but hey, why not. You only live once!
To find out more about Dip N Dip Restaurant, visit their website here.
Dolly Dim Sum
If you love dim sum and want a great meal at an affordable price, Dolly Dim Sum is well worth a visit. Somewhat surprisingly, Dolly Dim Sum was a massive hit with the kids. Sienna, in particular, is a very fussy 6-year-old and we struggle to get her to try new things at the best of times. However at Dolly Dim Sum, seeing lots of little pieces served on numerous little plates, must have caught her attention! We haven’t seen her eat so much in a long time!
To find our more about Dolly Dim Sum, visit their website here.
Jalan Alor Street Food Market
Bustling with activity the Jalan Alor Street Food Market is a unique food destination in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The whole character of the city changes when you step onto the street. Gone are the modern shopping malls that align the city, replaced with something special. During the day, there is not much activity but when the sun goes down, the street comes alive with the hustle and bustle of activity.
The food at the market is absolutely delicious and there is a huge range on offer. To top it off, the food is really cheap and you can feed the whole family on just a few dollars.
During our time in Kuala Lumpur, Sushi King was our go-to restaurant. Before leaving Australia, Brody desperately wanted to visit a sushi train restaurant, however, we never had the opportunity. Upon arriving in KL however, we stumbled across Sushi King and both of the kids LOVED it. It’s easy, found all over KL and is super affordable with the 4 of us eating a full meal for about $USD25/$AUD35!
Watching the food ride around on the train is highly entertaining for kids, and this interaction must be the key to them enjoying it so much.
Word of advice: if you are going to visit Sushi King more than once, join their loyalty club. It costs 20MYR, however, you get a 20MYR voucher back AND you get 10% off your future meal costs!
Shabu Shabu was a new experience for our family and one the kids loved. Shabu shabu is a Japanese hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water.
A buffet style display allows you to choose your favorite vegetables, and you choose from a selection of thinly sliced meats. In the center of your table, a bowl of boiling soup or stock sits on an element and you cook the food at the table in front of you.
Lots of fun, well priced and a wonderful experience, Shabu Shabu was a regular occurrence for our family while in KL.
ABC or Ais Kacang is a crazy, messy looking Malaysian Dessert made from ice, that combines a range of different elements to create a wonderful local dessert. I wasn’t 100% sure when I ordered my ABC, however, I was pleasantly surprised and ordered it regularly. The different elements just shouldn’t work together, but magically, they do.
Give it a go when you visit Malaysia!
Shangri La Buffet
We are budget travelers, so ordinarily, the Shangri-La Buffet (which is anything but budget friendly), would be well out of our budget. However, if you have a special occasion or just want to splurge a little, Shangri-La Buffet is a wonderful way to do it.
We celebrated my 40th birthday at Shangri-La Buffet KL, and it was an exceptional night – the food was incredible and the range of dishes made my jaw drop!
To find out more about the Shangri-La Buffet, visit their website here.
Malls in Kuala Lumpur
Shopping Malls are a favorite Malaysian past time – hanging out with friends in a mall, is, according to a local, “what we do”. And with good reason. Often it is too hot to be outside, so the cool of the air conditioning is sure to be a huge draw card.
And when it comes to malls – Kuala Lumpur know how to do it – they have some of the biggest and best malls we’ve ever seen.
Whilst our visit to Kuala Lumpur wasn’t meant to be all about malls, when they are such a big part of everyday life in KL, you can’t really avoid them. Plus, especially for the kids, it was something that felt familiar which at times, can be super important.
Some of the major malls include:
- Suria KLCC
- Pavillion Kuala Lumpur Shopping Mall
- Midvalley Megamall Kuala Lumpur
- Berjaya Times Square
- Sunway Pyramid
- Sungei Wang Plaza
- IOI City Mall
After 7 busy weeks in Kuala Lumpur, I can say with confidence that it is an incredible city, and perfect for visiting with kids. With so much on offer for kids of all ages, it is a wonderful city to visit and a fantastic hub to use for travel through other parts of SE Asia.
Kuala Lumpur felt like home. It was a lovely mix of new experiences, cultural differences and affordable living which made KL a place we were drawn to and hope to spend a lot more time in some time in the future.