Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for the first time? The best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first-timers are KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Chinatown, and Bangsar. These are popular and safe neighborhoods for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.
Kuala Lumpur, or more commonly known as ‘KL’, is the capital city of the multicultural country, 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.
Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first time travelers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle action, within easy reach to the famous Petronas Twin Towers and the attractions in the Old City center such as Merdeka Square, Jamek Mosque, and the Chinatown. KLCC also offers a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shops.
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
|💖 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|
🎬 To get an overall idea of where to stay in Kuala Lumpur first time, check out this video:
- Best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur for tourists
- KLCC, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first timers
- Bukit Bintang, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for nightlife
- Kuala Lumpur Sentral: Best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for shopping
- Chinatown, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur on budget
- Bangsar, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for long-term traveller and expat
- Kuala Lumpur Airport, where to stay in KL to cacth flights
6 Best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur for tourists
1. KLCC, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first timers
Kuala Lumpur City Central, or just KLCC, is the best 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.MORE HOTEL DEALS IN KLCC
2. Bukit Bintang, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for nightlife
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 CentreMORE HOTEL DEALS IN BUKIT BINTANG
3. Kuala Lumpur Sentral: Best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for shopping
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, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur on budget
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:
- Space Hotel @ Chinatown Kuala Lumpur: The location of this hotel is quite near to the local transport and food restaurants
- Mingle @Chinatown Kuala Lumpur: Here you could just walk half a block to Chinatown, and a couple of blocks from the Centre of the city.
- The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection: a 5-star hotel, which has very good location with shuttle bus for major places that is another advantage to stay there
5. Bangsar, where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for long-term traveller and expat
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:
- Cititel Mid Valley: Convenient location, next to the hotel is two big shopping malls.
- Capri by Fraser, Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia: Great location near Near Kerinchi LRT Station
6. Kuala Lumpur Airport, where to stay in KL to cacth flights
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):
- luxury: Sama Sama Hotel KLIA
- mid-range: Movenpick Hotel & Convention Centre KLIA
- budget: Sama Sama Express KLIA (Airside Transit Hotel)
Best places to stay near Skypark Terminal Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB):
- luxury: Glenmarie Hotel and Golf Resort
- mid-range: Acappella Suite Hotel, Shah Alam
- budget: U3 HOTEL
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.
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.
Overall, KLCC is the best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first timers due to its close proximity to the top attractions such as Petronas Twin Towers, Merdeka Square, Jamek Mosque, and Chinatown. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to major sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.
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