Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur First Time: Best Areas & Neighborhoods

Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur First Time? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpurt for first-time visitors and the best places to stay in each neighborhoods.

Kuala Lumpur, or more commonly known as ‘KL’,  is the capital city of Malaysia. The city is packed with skyscrapers, shopping malls, luxury 5 star hotels, and wonderful cuisines. Kuala Lumpur is also famous for its street foods, which is a vibrant mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and Arabi.

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first-time visitors?

The best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first-timers are KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Chinatown, and Bangsar. These areas the most popular neighborhoods in the city, offering plenty of things to do and see for tourists.

KLCC is the iconic heart of Kuala Lumpur and offers a great location for first-time visitors. It is home to the famous Petronas Twin Towers. It also has excellent transportation links and is centrally located, making it convenient for exploring the city.

Bukit Bintang is a popular area for tourists known for its shopping districts, including the upscale Pavilion and the bustling street markets of Jalan Alor. It is an excellent choice for those who want to be in the midst of the city’s action.

Kuala Lumpur Sentral is a transportation hub and is well-connected with various train lines, including the KLIA Express train to the airport. The area also has several hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants, making it a convenient base for exploring the city.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)
💎 Best luxury hotel:Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Perdana Kuala Lumpur City Centre
💰 Best budget hotel:The Bed KLCC

Map of areas and neighborhoods Kuala Lumpur:

Map of best areas to Stay in Kuala Lumpur
Map of best areas to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

6 Best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur for tourists:


where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first time tourists

Kuala Lumpur City Central, or just KLCC, is the best overall area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first-timers due to its central loation. It is packed with vibrant nightlife, good restaurants, bar, as well as upscale shopping malls, and close to the famous Bukit Bintang. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

There are lots of luxury hotels with the view of Petronas Towers, near Aquaria KLCC, Menara KL Tower and it is easy to travel to other attractions and shopping malls. 

It is a perfect place for you if you are just wanting a room to view the Twin Towers or you are a luxury shopper as there are a lot of branded goods in the shopping mall between towers.

How to go to KLCC: The station in KLCC is under Suria KLCC mall. From Kuala Lumpur International Airport, you can take transit at KL Sentral by express train or bus, and from KL Sentral you can catch the LRT train.

Things to do and see  in Kuala Lumpur City Center:

  • Petronas Twin Towers: Malaysia’s famous skyscraper. Don’t miss it!
  • Kuala Lumpur Tower: is a famous tourist place and easy to see. It is 421m high.
  • Aquaria KLCC is the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia, a great place for families with kids to explore marine life.
  • KLCC Park is a big green metropolitan park, overlooking  the Petronas Towers and the Suria shopping complex. Be sure to check out the man-made Lake Symphony, and As-Syakirin Mosque.
  • Visit the Malaysian science and technology museum, Petrosains, The Discovery Centre.
  • Check out a performance at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS (DFP), and PETRONAS Art Gallery
  • You can shop at Suria KLCC which is located right beside the Petronas Twin Towers with many luxury branches; Isetan; Avenue K
  • For the party, you can visit famous nightclubs, pubs, bars at Jalan P Ramlee.

Best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur City Center:

luxury ($$$): Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur This 5-star hotel is located between the Petronas Twin Towers and the lush gardens of Kuala Lumpur City Park, 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport,and 28 minutes from KLIA Express. Guests can enjoy food at the hotel’s 7 on-site restaurants including Mosaic Restaurant, Lai Po Heen Chinese Restaurant, and Mandarin Grill.

mid-range ($$): Perdana Kuala Lumpur City Centre Located in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, this 4-star accommodation is within walking distance of KLCC. Free shuttles are provided to the 1-Utama and Mid Valley shopping malls on request.

budget ($): The Bed KLCC This hostels is centrally located in Kuala Lumpur commercial district, within walking distance to a convenience store and dining outlets. Petronas Twin Towers is 750 m from The Bed KLCC, while KL Tower is 1.2 km away.


2. Bukit Bintang

Central Market Kuala Lumpur
Central Market Kuala Lumpur

Why should you stay in Bukit Bintang?

Along with KLCC, Bukit Bintang is the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur for the first time. It is well located in Central of Kuala Lumpur with lots of cheap, mid-range and top 5-star hotels. It is also within walking distance to Jalan Alor which is famous for street food, the perfect place for foodies.

You can easily get around with LRT Bukit Bintang station and KL Monorail Bukit Bintang station.

There are also a variety of restaurants, cinemas, busy nightlife and shopping malls for people who like shopping.

Best things to do and see in Bukit Bintang:

  • Menara Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur Tower): 276-meter high, and famous with a 360 view restaurant to see all sides of the city.
  • Sri Mahamariamman Temple: the main Hindu temple in KL
  • Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve: the place to reserve wild animal
  • Malaysia Heritage Walk, an open-air flea market along Jalan Kasturi
  • Chan See Shu Yuen Temple, one of the largest and oldest Buddhist temples in Malaysia in Jalan Petaling.
  • Shopping Malls in Bukit Bintang with famous Pavilion KL; Berjaya Times Square; Central Market
  • Nightlife in Bukit Bintang: There are many bars, pubs in Bukit Bintang with Latin style like Changkat Bukit Bintang, No Black Tie, Havana Bar & Grill, Pisco Bar.

How to travel from KL airport to Bukit Bintang? From the airport, you can take the KLIA Express, KLIA Transit or Skybus to KL Sentral then from KL Sentral, you can buy a Monorail ticket to go to Bukit Bintang.

Best places to stay in Bukit Bintang:

luxury ($$$): Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur This 5-star hotel is situate opposite Fahrenheit, along Bintang Walk beside Pavilion Shopping Mall. The Club Lounge features 3 separate levels with an internet hub overlooking the Petronas Twin Towers.

mid-range ($$): Capri by Fraser, Bukit Bintang This 4-star hotel is set 400 m from Starhill Gallery. it offers a restaurant, private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Attractions nearby are Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Berjaya Times Square and Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

budget ($): J-Hotel by Dorsett this 3-star hotel has 24-hour front desk and an on-site restaurant. The property is close to popular attractions like KLCC Park, Suria KLCC and Petrosains, The Discovery Centre


3. Kuala Lumpur Sentral

Little India Kuala Lumpur
Little India Kuala Lumpur

Why should you stay in Kuala Lumpur Sentral?:

This area is easy to access from airport with KLIA Express train direct to Kuala Lumpur Sentral station.

It is the transportation hub of Kuala Lumpur, you can travel to most parts of the city via the train system and even to most parts of Peninsular Malaysia. This is the best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for shopping and Little India in walking distance.

Shopping in KL Sentral:

  • Nu Sentral Mall: one of the big shopping center with many branches
  • Gardens Mall
  • Central Market
  • Mid Valley Megamall

What to see in Kuala Lumpur Sentral:

  • Little India: As the name as suggest, it is a small India which has a lot of Indians shops, restaurants…
  • Sri Mahamariamman Temple: It is an ancient Hindu temple
  • National Monument Park​: is located at a walking distance from the famous Lake Gardens
  • Hindu Sri Kandaswamy Kovil
  • National Museum
  • Holy Rosary Church
  • Kuala Lumpur National Planetarium

Best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur Sentral:

  • NU Hotel @ KL Sentral: the location is right next to KL Sentral, which is perfect. It is really just a few mins by car to the city center.
  • City Central Hotel: 5-minute walk from Sentral Station and the KLIA Airport express train. The modern shopping center opposite the property is super modern and abounds with excellent cafes and restaurants.
  • Ascott Sentral Kuala Lumpur: The location was near to central transport station and was very easy to access different parts of Kuala Lumpur and airport.

4. Chinatown

Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
Chinatown Kuala Lumpur

Why should you stay in Chinatown?:

Chinatown is the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur for budget backpacker and foodies with a variety of food options, cheap shopping, cheap accommodation and near LRT Pasar Seni station. But this place is limited nightlife and the street is not clean. This is a historic district with old fashioned restaurants and markets.

How to go to Chinatown:

There are many options on how to travel from KL international airport to Chinatown, depend on you. Taxi is expensive but maybe the quickest way, you can also catch a bus or train to KL Sentral, after that you can catch a bus or taxi to go to Chinatown.

Things to do and see in Chinatown:

  • Petaling Street
  • Central Market
  • Malaysia Heritage Walk
  • There are many temples in Chinatown, you can check in like Kuan Yin temple, Chan See Shu Yuen Temple.

Best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur in Chinatown:


5. Bangsar

Bangsar Kuala Lumpur
Bangsar Kuala Lumpur

Why should you stay in Bangsar: Bangsar is a laid-back residential place for both locals and ex-pat with lively nightlife. This is a perfect place for long-term travelers and ex-pat.

How to go to Bangsar:

From Kuala Lumpur International Airport, you can catch Express train or bus to Kuala Lumpur Sentral, then from KL Sentral can catch another train to Bangsar.

There are no popular attractions around but Bangsar is an accessible place to travel another part of the city with Bangsar LRT Station, Mid Valley KTM Station, and Bandar Sri Damansara MRT Station.

You can do shopping at Mid Valley Megamall, Bangsar Village and a lot of nightlife activities with pubs, bars, bistros, eateries…

Best places to stay in Bangsar Kuala Lumpur:


6. Kuala Lumpur Airport

There are two airports in Kuala Lumpur, the main international airport Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/KLIA) and  Subang Airport/ Skypark Terminal (SZB). KLIA is the busiest and main international airport in Malaysia serving Kuala Lumpur area and one of the busiest airports in Southeast Asia.

Best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/KLIA):

Best places to stay near Skypark Terminal Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB):

Where should I stay in Kuala Lumpur for the first time?

KLCC is the best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first-time travelers due to close proximity to the top tourist attractions. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of action, within walking distance to the top sights such as the Petronas Twin Towers, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur?

KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Chinatown, Bangsar are the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur for tourists because they are the most popular and safe neighborhoods that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.

See More:

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, one of the must-see destinations in South East Asia besides other popular countries like Thailand, Vietnam, SingaporeIndonesia

In conclusion, Kuala Lumpur offers a variety of vibrant areas for first-time visitors to stay. KLCC boasts iconic landmarks and luxurious amenities, while Bukit Bintang provides a bustling shopping and entertainment scene. Kuala Lumpur Sentral offers convenience and connectivity, while Chinatown immerses travelers in culture and street food.

Lastly, Bangsar offers a trendy and upscale neighborhood experience. No matter the preference, these five areas ensure an unforgettable stay in the dynamic city of Kuala Lumpur.

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Best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

2 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur First Time: Best Areas & Neighborhoods”

  1. Hi Huong, Nice to see you 🙂 your travel site has lots of interesting places now !! Best wishes and good luck with your writing.


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