I spent over three years living in Kuala Lumpur and loved every minute of it. Our weekends were always busy eating at our favourite restaurants and exploring in and around this vibrant city. So I thought it was time to give you a sneak peek into my life as an expat in Malaysia by listing my favourite things to do in Kuala Lumpur on the weekend.
If you only have a day to spend in KL? You may like to read the best of Kuala Lumpur in 1 day.
Before you go to Kuala Lumpur for the weekend
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend
Splurge –Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur Managed by Banyan Tree
The location of the Pavilion Hotel is walking distance to The Pavillion Shopping centre and KLCC. It is an excellent location for those who are wanting to be in the city centre. It is an excellent location for some of KL’s best restaurants and bars. The rooms are spacious, with all the amenities you can expect from a 5-star hotel. The lounge is open all day, which allows you to sneak away to this cosy area for a quiet cup of tea during the day and a glass of wine at night.
Great Price –Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur
The Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur has always been one of my favourite hotels at a great price. This hotel is at 138 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50450, a short walk to KLCC. The rooms have a modern feel to them, and the pool is undercover so can be swum in even when there is torrential rain outside. The Hotel Maya is an excellent price for a great location.
Colonial Style – The Majestic Hotel
The Majestic Hotel has always been one of my favourite hotels for many reasons. The architecture makes me feel like I had gone back in time when Malaysia was colonized and sipping high tea in the afternoon was the norm. Although the rooms are a little tired, the grounds of this hotel are magnificent. Whether you choose to spend time in the cigar room, at the spa or truefitt and hill, you will have a marvellous time. There is so much to do at this hotel! So if you wanted to only spend time at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend, then that is okay too.
AIRPORTS IN KUALA LUMPUR
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is where most major airlines fly into, and this is important because the next airport is a train stop away and not walking distance. It is also approximately an hours drive to KL city centre (depending on traffic).
Kuala Lumpur International Aiport 2 is where Air Asia and other budget airlines fly in and out of, it also has limited facilities after immigration and no airport lounges. So I would highly recommend eating before entering the immigration area. KLIA 2 is also approximately 1-hour drive to the city centre.
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport *(Subang International Airport)
The Subang International Airport is approximately 30km west of the city centre. There are very few airlines that fly into this airport as it only has two gates; it is a no-frills terminal which has only one shop inside that sells instant noodles and coffee.
Transport in Kuala Lumpur
Getting from the KLIA 1 and 2 (airports)
Airport cars – These are the most expensive option, but they are reliable and hassle-free, book with your hotel before arriving.
KLIA Ekspres – This is by far the quickest and cheapest way to get into KL. However, you will need to get from KL Sentral to the city centre (either by taxi/grab or train).
Taxi – Cabs are a set price, and you can buy the ticket at the desk before leaving immigration. It is easy to find at both terminals if you have luggage, they will also charge you for each piece.
Grab – download the Grab app and book online, this is an easy option, and they will typically message you with a gate number to meet the driver.
Transport when you arrive in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend
Grab/Cab – Transport in Kuala Lumpur is affordable, but do not be caught out during peak hour where grab (uber equivalent) prices can double, and traffic can be horrendous. Try only to use the blue taxi service as they are more reliable; sure they are a little more expensive, but they are worth every cent.
Buses – I wouldn’t bother trying to catch a Bus outside of the CBD they are unreliable and dirty. However, the free bus system (Go KL) within the CBD is a great, free way to get around the city centre.
MRT – MTR is fast, affordable and dependable, and more importantly, it has air conditioning.
Weather in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend
Although the weather is hot and humid all-year-round, the Monsoon seasons does apply between April–May and Oct–Nov, but rain is possible at any time and can come when you least expect it.
10 OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR ON THE WEEKEND
Eat at one of my favourite restaurants
Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar is one of my favourite restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Okay, so you will not find local cuisine here, but you will find a fusion of Latin American and Asian with a little bit of a twist. You will also find delicious cocktails and a dramatic ambience located in a loft-style penthouse found at the WOLO boutique hotel, Bukit Bintang.
Sit amongst the prettiest room for High Tea
High tea is always one of my favourite things to do, but add a beautiful room, and it becomes a must-do! The gorgeous Orchard Conservatory at the Majestic Hotel is beautifully maintained, and the surroundings (and food) is an experience worth mentioning. Bookings are essential as this place is always busy. (Ensure you ask to sit in the Orchard Room when booking).
Shop your favourite boutiques
You can pretty much go to any neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur and find a shopping centre, market place or local boutiques. Shopping is what the Malaysian’s do best, and on any weekend the malls are pounding with people. So here are my favourite shopping malls:
- The Gardens Mall (and Midvalley Mega Mall right next to it), these two malls are always busy because they have everything there. From your favourite brands, high-end international brands and some local favourites. You can also find a movie theatre, some great restaurants, along with many spa locations.
- The Pavillion, this mall loves to decorate for all occasions. Here is where you will find almost all international and high-end stores you would find all over the world. There are some great restaurants, and bars found here also, so it a great option if you are only in Kuala Lumpur for the weekend.
- Suria KLCC, you could spend all day at this mall, with an aquarium, a movie theatre and an observation deck there is plenty of things to do outside of just shopping. Here you will also find some great restaurants and bars along with KLCC park where you can take some pictures of the Petronas Twin Towers.
- Berjaya Time Square – What makes this shopping mall different from all the rest has to be that you can find an amusement park inside the shopping mall. Yes, you read, right! This shopping mall situated in the heart of the city has an indoor amusement park with a roller coaster.
- Sunway Pyramid – Attached to this huge shopping mall is Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur’s largest waterpark. This shopping mall has everything you would expect to find at a mall around the world. On the ground floor, you will find loads of great international style bars and restaurants.
Spend an entire day at Kuala Lumpur’s largest water park
Sunway Lagoon has always been a favourite place of ours to visit. Even before moving to Kuala Lumpur, we visited KL hundreds of times, and Sunway Lagoon was always on our list of things to do. Not only does Sunway Lagoon have a waterpark, but it also has a complete park full of activities. These include things like an amusement park with loads of rides, a wildlife park with many animals and an extreme park and scream park (which is height and age-restricted, so check before arriving).
Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
Whether you book a tour or hire a car, you must visit Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. Hire a local guide when you arrive to show you around this elephant sanctuary, where you will hear about the history of the place, watch them eat and help bathe them in the river. No riding is permitted here for the safety and well being of the animals.
See a temple amongst a limestone hill
Batu Caves is set amongst a limestone Hill where you will find a temple in its caves. This Hindu temple and shrine is a short 20-minute drive from KL city centre (depending on traffic). Remember to wear long trousers or skirt or bring a sarong to wrap around you before entering. Don’t worry too much if you don’t have anything, for a small fee you can hire something when you get there.
Have a drink with a view
The Heli Lounge Bar is precisely as its name suggests! A bar that is now situated on the roof of a building of an old helipad. The view is impressive, the cocktails are good, and the atmosphere is fun and dynamic. Get in early so that you get a chair upstairs on the roof and you get to see the sunset.
Enjoy a night out at Changkat Bukit Bintang
Changkat Bukit Bintang is a street full of bars and restaurants. During the weekend it is busy, with people up and down the street bar hopping. There are many fun restaurants found here like Dining in the Dark and fun places to stop by for a drink like the Havana Bar and Grill.
Explore Kuala Lumpur’s into Chinatown
If you are anything like my family, we are always heading to Chinatown. We love the hustle and bustle that this Chinatown brings. During the day you will find that although stores are open, everything comes to life at night. Chinatown also is known as Petaling Street or Jalan Petaling, has many things that other Chinatowns have around the world, markets, massages and great little food eateries.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I/we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my/our full disclosure for further information.