Travel guide: Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur's best neighbourhoods, shops, restaurants and bars and more

Kuala Lumpur's got the best of both worlds – towering skyscrapers and alleyway vendors peddling delicious street food (nasi lemak!) coexist peacefully. If you're thinking about visiting, but don't know where to start, we've got the answer to your prayers.

We asked the team at Time Out Kuala Lumpur to share the best of their 'hood. Read on for the hottest neighbourhoods, the best shops, bars and restaurants, what to see and where to explore and much more.


Hottest neighbourhoods

Bangsar

This is where all cool things collide: independent boutiques, genre-bending restaurants and city-strutters.


Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI)

Home to the indie movement, TTDI has birthed some of the best artisanal cafés, neighbourhood bars and underground gigs.



Shop

Publika

In this mall, head to Malaysian-born, Paris-based Jonathan Liang’s Dude and the Duchess. It also shares a space with Shoes Shoes Shoes – clean, refrained silhouettes, and a party on your feet.

1 Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas (+60 3 6207 9426; visit the website for more information).


Nala

Nala designs (CREDIT; Ng Su Ann)

Image: Ng Su Ann


A cultural gifts and home décor brand inspired by Malaysian culture and customs. Everything is pretty: greeting cards, totes, pillow covers.

8 Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar (+60 3 2283 4698; visit the website for more information).



Eat

Imbi Market

Among various excellent stalls at this market, Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea’s toast is your best bet for breakfast.

8 Jalan Melati, Bukit Bintan.


Pudu Wai Sek Kai

Pudu Wai Sek Kai (CREDIT; Hizwan Hamid)

Image: Hizwan Hamid


Avoid the crowds at Jalan Alor and go here for great street food at half the price. It’s a raucous scene that looks straight out of an Anthony Bourdain food documentary – with most stalls starting from 5pm. Start with the hakka noodles.

Jalan Sayur, Pudu.



Drink

Heli Lounge Bar

Drink in your cocktail and the 360-degrees skyline view of KL at this Instagram-worthy watering hole that’s helipad by day, bar by night. You can’t miss the aviation theme here – the DJ console has been constructed from parts of an actual refurbished Boeing 747 and a reconstructed Boeing 737 cabin seat.

Level 34, Menara KH, Jalan Sultan Ismail (+60 3 2110 5034; visit the website for more information).


Omakase + Appreciate

A basement bar, speakeasy-style. Once you’ve locked down the location, reward yourself with cocktails created by the award-winning mixologists Shawn chong and Karl Too.

Bangunan Ming Annexe (+60 3 2022 2238; visit the website for more information).



See and explore

Kampung Baru

Join a walking tour around the only remaining Malay village smack dab in the city to have survived the onslaught of development.

Fnd the guided walk information at visitkl.gov.my.


Old KL

Get down and dirty with street eats, pre-war shophouses and colonial kopitiams (traditional Malaysian Chinese coffee shops). This is KL’s kilometre zero, if you will.

Fnd the guided walk information at badanwarisan.org.my.



Hidden gems

The Row

Limapulo restaurant on The Row (CREDIT; Hizwan  Hamid)

Photo: Hizwan Hamid


This spot on Jalan Doraisamy has it all – excellent Nyonya fare, coffee, art and a pop-up bar (if you can find it).


Jalan Mesui

If the pub-crawl scene at changkat gets too much, this street is your answer for a chilled night out.



Don’t miss

Brickfields

A cultural hub seething with superlative banana-leaf rice joints, temples, blind massage centres and an art gallery set in a pre-war shophouse.



Local’s tip

Go KL is a free public bus service within central KL; you’ll hit Bukit Bintang, KLcc, Pasar Seni and many more.


For more great ideas on where to go, check out Time Out Kuala Lumpur.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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