Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur: Best Areas (for first-time Tourists)

If you are planning to travel to Kuala Lumpur very soon and wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, then I will help you choose the best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur whether it is the first time visit the city or just wanting to find the best spot for your visit. By the end of this article, you will have a much better idea of the best places for first-time tourists, nightlife, shopping, families, budget, and the best hotels near the airport.

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

Each neighborhood offers something special for its visitors and the transport is fast and effective. Picking the best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur will cut down the amount of communication you need to do, giving you more time to enjoy the good stuff.

To find accommodation while traveling, you should:

  • Set your budget: How much do you want to spend for a 1-night stay
  • Think about the location: stay in central, close to public transport will save you time and money on travel.
  • Your travel style: solo traveler or couple or family.

Before we begin with the details of the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur, I want to give you some quick tips and info to help you come to your conclusion as quickly and easily as possible.

For example, if you are looking for the best area where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for the first time, I would recommend staying in  KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre). It’s in a central location, within walking distance to the popular tourist attractions and easy access with good public transport.

KLCC is also the best area where stay in KL for a family. It offers many family-friendly accommodations and plenty family-friendly activities for your kids to enjoy.

If you want a lot of parties and great nightlife during your holiday, you should consider staying in Bukit Bintang.  Bukit Bintang is the best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur  for nightlife with a youthful atmosphere, and plenty of bars, restaurants, street foods, and entertainment options.

If you are looking for the best place to stay in KL on a budget, Chinatown is your best bet. Not only does it have plenty of cheap backpacker accommodations, but it also houses a large street market  and several historic and cultural attractions

Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur: 6 Best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur

I have organized the best areas where I would recommend you to find a place to stay in Kuala Lumpur: Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur City Central, Bangsar.

These areas are centrally-located with public transport, as well as plenty of hotels to choose from and a wide variety of attractions.

1. Kuala Lumpur City Central, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first time tourists

where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first time tourists

Why should you stay in Kuala Lumpur City Central (KLCC)?

If you are visiting KL for the first time, KLCC is the best area to stay in. Not only is it in a central location with a vibrant nightlife, many upscale shopping malls, but it is also close to the famous Bukit Bintang.

You will find a lot 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 hotel to stay in Kuala Lumpur City Center:

  • The ZON All Suites Residences on the Park: Very convenient place to stay as it’s located in the heart of the Golden Triangle.
  • Le Apple Boutique Hotel @ KLCC: Location — Perfect! Conveniently a stone throw away from the train station, making it easy to get around the city, and Avenue K Mall, which has a 7-11 and a supermarket. Also located just opposite Suria KLCC with plenty of dining and shopping outlets.

2. Bukit Bintang, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for nightlife

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 hotel to stay in Bukit Bintang for Backpackers:

  • Sunshine Bedz Kuala Lumpur: Good location with shops, restaurants and touristic places around.
  • Paper Plane Hostel: Walking distance to Jalan Alor and the train station. Also, a bus timetable schedule is posted for reference
  • BackHome Kuala Lumpur: The hostel is located in a good location, from where we can access other areas easily. The LRT station is just 250 meters away.

Best hotel to stay in Bukit Bintang for the mid-level traveler:

  • Le Apple Boutique Hotel Bukit Bintang: The location is perfect. Right in the middle of the bustling city, close to the Twin Towers
  • Robertson Premier Suites by Subhome: A modern concept apartment. The room is so spacious, clean and the bed is super comfy. Lots of eateries near the place to choose from. Security level is excellent
  • Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur: A good hotel, clean just 2 min walk away from an MRT station and the monorail. Also close to the shopping area of Jl Bukit Bintang. Price and quality ratio is okay.

Best luxury hotel to stay in Bukit Bintang:

3. Kuala Lumpur Sentral: Best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for shopping

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 hotels 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, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur on budget

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, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for long-term traveller and expat

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 hotel to stay in Bangsar Kuala Lumpur:

6. Staying near the airport

There are two airports in Kuala Lumpur, the main international airport Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/KLIA) and  Subang Airport/ Skypark Terminal (SZB).

Best hotels to stay near Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL/KLIA):

Best hotels to stay near Subang Airport/ Skypark Terminal (SZB):

See More:

Final Thoughts best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a big city, so it is important to find yourself in the right spot. We are very successful in covering the topic of best areas to stay in Bangkok, and in this article, we hope the list above should have given you an idea about the best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur based on what you want to do.

As a backpacker will find many hostels, especially in Chinatown, Bukit Bintang; for a luxury traveler, you can choose Kuala Lumpur City Central with hotels to have a view to Twin Tower; for an ex-pat and long-term travelers, you can consider Bangsar; for people who love shopping, why not try Kuala Lumpur Sentral.

Finding your best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur will help you enjoy your traveling and I hope my information will help make your decision easier. Please share and comment if you like this article.

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Best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur

2 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur: Best Areas (for first-time Tourists)”

  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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