If you’re a spendthrift Malaysian resident, or a tourist looking for an affordable holiday destination, look no further than Kuala Lumpur. Vacations on a budget can be fun too, especially as they allow you to see hidden gems which others might ignore; and the metropolitan capital of Malaysia is teeming with affordable and available holiday options. Check out our list of free things to do in Kuala Lumpur and experience the pinnacle of Malaysian urbanity yourself.
Free things to do in Kuala Lumpur
1. Explore the iconic Petronas Twin Towers
If you’ve ever seen Malaysia represented in international media, you’ve definitely seen the Twin Towers. Although going up to the sky bridge which connects the two towers isn’t free, you can roam the park surrounding the towers and take pictures of the amazingly constructed towers. They look even better when they are lit up glistening at night.
Bonus: Inside the towers is the Petronas Gallery, which contains a melange of visual art by local artists. There are fixed and rotating exhibits, and admission is free!
2. Revel in the lap of nature at KL Forest Eco Park
KL Forest Eco Park is located right in the heart of the city and provides a great opportunity for a getaway if you are looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Entry is completely free, so enjoy yourself while hiking the multitude of trails, including a high treetop walk. Or alternatively, sit and observe nature unfold around you; see a variety of flora and fauna which are both endemic (native) and imported.
3. See a landmark at Batu Caves
Batu Caves are not just a religious icon of the local Hindu community but also are a key part of the holiday of Thaipusam. Entry to the temple is free; climb huge flights of colorful stairs, behold the majesty of the massive golden statue of Lord Murugan, and if you’re lucky, you might be able to catch a glimpse of a monkey or two. Batu Caves play an integral role in the culture and heritage of Kuala Lumpur, and is a must-see if you are in the city. Admission to the main cave temple, which is the equivalent of a pilgrimage site for many, is completely free. However, be sure to treat the temple with respect.
4. Step into the past at Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square, a former colonial center in Malaysia, is also the place where Malaysia established its independence from Britain. Thus, it is an extremely significant location in Malaysian history. To observe the landmark city block for yourself, KL City Hall has arranged a free walking tour. Take in the surrounding buildings, which range from commercial stores to art galleries to workshops, and see for yourself the grandeur of Malaysia – feel the heart of the nation beneath the surface.
5. See what makes the world go round at Bank Negara Museum
Money, of course, is the aforementioned item which “makes the world go round”. At Bank Negara Malaysia Museum, you can walk through a variety of exhibits and interactive displays which teach you about the contemporary and historical economy of Malaysia. Although it sounds boring, it is definitely not so, as the museum also features a variety of original and exclusive art pieces. The museum is usually ignored in favour of more flashy and conventionally high-speed tourist attractions, but if you like history, or just want to take it easy, chill out and have fun at a humble museum.
6. Delight in dessert at the Chocolate Museum
This is a relatively new attraction, but it is intriguing nonetheless. The Chocolate Museum is a one-of-a-kind interactive experience in Southeast Asia. It features displays, exhibits, and even live demonstrations to teach you things you didn’t know about chocolate.
The gift shop offers affordable prices on all sorts of international and domestically made confectionery, but if you want the truly frugal experience, you can sample fresh kinds of chocolate made in-house. Chocolate making is a huge industry which involves a lot of different kinds of people, and climate change is threatening chocolate’s very existence, so have a look at the industry in its heyday.
Spendthrifts and careful budgeters alike can find something to do in this list of 6 free things to do in KL. If this list doesn’t satisfy you, explore the city – in a place as large and cosmopolitan as KL, you never know what you might find.
There’s a lot of free things to do in Kuala Lumpur. If you’re a couple, read on about things to do in KL for couples.