The Best Free Things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
If you're a budget traveler visiting Kuala Lumpur, you're in luck because most of the best things to do in the city are also free! From colorful temples to intricate mosques and gardens, there is so much beauty hidden in the cultural melting pot that is Kuala Lumpur. Here are some of our favorite free things to do! If you’d rather watch than read, check out our vlog exploring these sites below.
1. Batu Caves
This limestone hill is home to Malaysia's largest Hindu temple. Fun fact, the 272 rainbow-colored steps were only just painted in 2018 and have since gone viral on social media! Since this site is popular amongst both tourists and worshippers, it might just be the most crowded place you visit in all of Malaysia. To avoid the crowds, visit at sunrise and don't visit during the weekends.
Tip: As it's a religious site, both men and women are required to have their knees and shoulders covered to enter. You can rent a sarong on site for $1.25 USD.
Opening hours: 6am-9pm daily
2. Wilayah Mosque (aka Federal Territory Mosque)
There are several mosques to choose from in Kuala Lumpur, but we chose to visit this one since they offer a free 1-hour tour where your guide explains a little about the mosque's architecture and Islam. Free gowns and head scarves are provided and the staff will help dress you appropriately! Our guide was hilarious and talked us through the core pillars of Islam as well as all of the architectural influences that blended together to create this beautiful mosque. Aside from all of the beautiful details, the best part about this mosque is that there are almost no other tourists here somehow!
Tip: For non-muslims, avoid visiting during prayer times as you won't be able to go inside the prayer hall!
Opening hours: 10am-6pm daily (last tour leaves at 5pm)
3. Thean Hou Temple
This is easily one of the most beautiful temples we've ever seen, with hundreds of striking yellow and red lanterns hanging in the courtyard. It also happens to be one of the oldest and largest temples in Southeast Asia! We really couldn't believe that the entrance to this beautiful place was free! There are donation boxes located inside if you wish to donate. Allegedly, this place can get very crowded so I guess we got lucky with very few people there when we visited mid-day. This was one of our favorite things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Opening hours: 8am-10pm daily
Find Hotels in Kuala Lumpur
4. KL Eco-Forest Park
This forest is located smack dab in the center of the city. Walk through the trees on a series of hanging bridges all the while being surrounded by skyscrapers. The canopy walk is fairly short (shouldn't take more than an hour), but it's a good break from the city and offers many shaded spots to hide from the sun.
Tip: Don't forget bug spray, the mosquitoes are very hungry here.
Opening Hours: 7am-6pm daily
5. Perdana Botanical Gardens
These gardens are massive! So massive that they even offer shuttles to take you around the garden (entry is free but the shuttles will cost you 6 MYR). There are several themed gardens, a conservatory, and even some man-made waterfalls, but our favorite part was the futuristic looking pavilion.
Opening hours: 5:30am-8:30pm daily
6. Petronas Towers and KLCC Park
No trip to Kuala Lumpur would be complete without seeing the iconic Petronas Towers! These twin towers were actually the tallest buildings in the world until 2004. Today, they still hold the title for tallest twin buildings in the world and are definitely impressive. It's free to view the towers from KLCC Park, however, if you want to visit the sky bridge and observation deck, you'll have to fork over 80 MYR (about $19 USD at the time of writing).
Tip: Don't forget to also visit these towers at night! They look especially beautiful when lit up.
Opening Hours: KLCC Park is always open. Observation deck open 9am-9pm Tuesday through Sunday.
7. Jalan Alor
Okay, so depending on how much street food you consume, this activity might not actually be free. Jalan Alor is worth exploring by day, for the beautiful street art, as well as by night for the night market with tons of cheap food stalls!
Opening Hours: 24 hours