Travelling can be challenging when you don’t have much to spend. But visiting Kuala Lumpur doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Read this 5-Day Itinerary for Kuala Lumpur on a Budget, using public transport, free attractions and other cheap things to do.
Malaysia is a great country to visit. It has diverse attractions ranging from the Perhentian Islands to the Cameron Highlands. There are many famous tourist spots in Malaysia, but Kuala Lumpur tends to be the starting point for most travellers.
Getting to Kuala Lumpur
If you travel from anywhere in Asia, your best bet is to fly into Kuala Lumpur. It’s well connected by direct flights from major cities in Asia. If you are travelling from Australia, New Zealand or Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur is also well connected with Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and all Southeast Asian countries thanks to cheap Airasia that makes everyone fly.
Still, If you’re flying in from outside Asia, you may have a stopover before reaching Kuala Lumpur, but the city is a significant transit hub for travellers further afield. There is also a direct flight from London, Istanbul, Amsterdam and many more countries. Check trip.com for cheap flight availability.
Bus & Train
You have a few options if you are travelling from Thailand or Singapore. Firstly, the Bus and Train. Many companies operate on these routes; here is the12go Asia for tickets, availability and routes.
Airport to City centre
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is located 45 km southwest of the Kuala Lumpur city centre. The best way to get into the City is to take the KLIA Ekspres train service, which will connect you directly to KL Sentral station in about an hour. You can then connect to various MRT or LRT systems to your final destination.
Buses and taxis are also available at both terminals of KLIA, and they will take you directly into the city centre (and other areas). If you are not sure how to buy a ticket for KLIA Express or want to have your ticket in advance, KLIA Ekspres Airport Train Tickets (QR Code Direct Entry) can purchase from Klook
Officially Bahasa Malaysia ( Melayu), But English is widely spoken.
Currency & Moods of Payment
Malaysian official currency is Ringgit Malaysia (MYR). In short, RM. 1 U$D = RM 4.50 as of September 2022. Moods of payment: Most places, such as eateries, grocery stores or small vendors, accept cards and cash payments.
Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur
The best way to enjoy the city without breaking the bank is to stay at one of Kuala Lumpur’s budget hotels. The city has no shortage of hotels to choose from, so selecting one that suits your travel needs and preferences is the trick. Booking a hotel is very easy, as it can be done online or through a local agent that is available 24 hours.
Visiting the City on vacation means that you will need something very central, which will help you explore the sights and attractions with ease. The best areas in the city are the Bukit Bintang and Ampang Park area, where there are plenty of options for travellers on a budget.
If you plan to spend more than one night in the city, you will want to make sure that you are near public transportation hubs. A taxi ride can cost upwards of $25; therefore, it may be wise to look for accommodations near the LRT, MRT line or bus lines.
Our article Top 10 budget hotels in Kuala Lumpur to make your travel experience cost-effective. If you are looking for luxurious accommodation in Kuala Lumpur, here is the 10 Best Luxury Hotels in Kuala Lumpur, where you will find the 10 best luxury hotels located in and around Kuala Lumpur.
KL has plenty of budget accommodation options for travellers. Hostels in Kuala Lumpur are generally cheap, with decent facilities and services. If hostels are not your cup of tea, there are also cheap hotels in KL with affordable prices. Guesthouses are another affordable option for backpackers.
To save even more money on accommodation, Couchsurfing is another alternative that allows you to stay with locals at no cost at all! I have done Couchsurfing for almost three years now, and it really can save a lot with accommodation.
Where to eat
While Kuala Lumpur is an incredibly inexpensive city for a traveller on a budget, it’s still possible to eat the best foods on a budget. The first group of food available to a traveller is street food. These are the meals most tourists don’t want to miss with dishes such as Asam Laksa, Mee Goreng, Nasi Goreng or Nasi Lemak etc. And aslo don’t miss Roti Canai from Mamak stalls
Next is the hawker centre category of food, which provides easy access to many qualities’ food types, including satay and chicken rice and seafood laksa at affordable prices. Finally, some restaurants cater for all travellers – not just backpackers.
In terms of cost, Malaysia is a relatively cheap country to visit. Food is very reasonably priced; Kuala Lumpur is also a city with many unique regional cuisines to explore and various traditional food stalls such as Malay, Chinese, Thai and Indian foods.
Day 1 KLCC
Start with visiting Petronas Twin Towers
The iconic twin towers are the main attraction for many travellers. You can get great views of the city from the Skybridge connecting the two towers. If you are in Malaysia, you should not miss this place because it can be considered a must-visit destination if you want to take pictures of Kuala Lumpur. When you arrive at KLCC park, you will find many stores and restaurants where you can shop or eat before going up to the top of Petronas Twin Tower.
There are two ways to reach the top of the Petronas Twin Tower:
You can buy tickets to go up to the top of Petronas Twin Tower through ticketing counter; located within the tower or online Klook portal.
Bukit Bintang is one of the most popular spots and one of the most crowded in Kuala Lumpur. The area is famous for its shopping, entertainment and nightlife. It is an endless stretch of shopping and entertainment, from boutiques and malls to high-rise buildings and hotel towers.
The skyline resembles New York’s Times Square, with digital billboards flashing colourful advertisements and dazzling lights. Take a walk along Jalan Alor & Jalan Bukit Bintang. These streets will give you a great insight into daily life in Malaysia.
Expect lots of street food vendors, low-budget clothing stores, cheap electronics shops and more. It’s also home to some of the City’s best nightlife. If you’re looking for an easygoing night out on the town, check out the pubs around Jalan Sultan Ismail too.
Explore Chinatown in Petaling Street
Chinatown is a place located at Petaling Street near the Central Market. It is a small street filled with shops selling food, snacks, and other stuff. Petaling Street is well-known for its cheap clothing, accessories and footwear.
Today, however, shoppers can find a wide range of souvenir items at reasonable prices, including T-shirts, watches, key chains, bags, and even jewellery.
There are also many excellent restaurants in the area and a few hotels if you want to spend the night in Chinatown. A visit to Chinatown is a must if you’re going to experience Malaysia’s multi-cultural heritage.
Day 2 City tour and Genting Highland
Little India is one of my favourite parts of Kuala Lumpur. It’s a heavily touristed area, but it still manages to feel authentic and charming. The streets are packed with markets, shops, restaurants. It’s also just an exciting place to explore because the architecture in the area is so unique.
The most popular thing to do in Little India is wandered around the market areas. This is where you’ll find all the food stalls and shops selling traditional Indian clothing and trinkets in Kuala Lumpur. After visiting Little India, you can go to Genting highland by Bus or Taxi from KL Sentral station, which is close to Little India.
Genting Highland Half day tour
Genting Highland is an integrated resort in Pahang, Malaysia. The main attractions are the theme park, Genting Skyway cable car, Genting Highlands Resort World Casino, the performing arts theatre and cabaret, live music performances in Genting Arena, and several hotels.
There are many reasons you should visit Genting Highlands, one of them is that it’s a beautiful place. And if you’re travelling on a budget and want to take a trip to a place that’s not too far away from Kuala Lumpur and offers a fantastic view of the city and its surroundings, then this half-day tour to Genting Highlands is the perfect option for you!
Tourists travelling in Malaysia usually spend to Genting Highland, but what if you are on a tight budget? No worries! You can get it from KL central station by bus, and it will cost you only RM9 per person. Genting has a cable car that takes you to the top, and you can walk around and explore the place while having fun.
It is an enjoyable experience; it is a waste of money for others. You can stay overnight at Genting Highlands too, but I think, if you have limited time in Kuala Lumpur, a half-day trip to Genting highland is enough for you. On your way back, don’t forget to visit Batu Caves.
Batu Caves is among the most popular tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur. It is located in the Gombak district. The hill has several caves and natural formations with multi-tiered roofs. The main cave has a Hindu temple inside dedicated to Lord Murugan.
The caves contain shrines, statues, souvenir shops, and an assortment of food stalls that cater to the local inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhood and the numerous tourists who visit the cave daily.
The colourful rainbow stairs are the main attraction here. It is free to visit the ground temple and take pictures with the statue and the colourful rainbow stairs.
Day 3 Putrajaya and Shah Alam
Half-Day tour to Putrajaya
Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital, is popular with locals and travellers for its modern architecture, clean environment and abundance of recreational activities. For many tourists, Putrajaya is one of the main attractions in Kuala Lumpur.
It is the federal capital of Malaysia and is known to be a good place for nature lovers. There are several tourist spots and places to visit in Putrajaya that you can see. Here are the 15 Best Things to Do in Putrajaya; if you enjoy participating in activities such as flyboarding, paddling a boat, or even riding in a hot air balloon, Of course, seeing them all in one day is impossible, so choose which one you can. After spending the entire day in Putrajaya, make your way to i-city Shah Alam.
I-City Shah Alam
I-City Theme Park is a signature attraction of the City for its Digital Lights, where over one million eco-friendly LED lights transform the park into a colourful wonderland in the evenings, boasting five main themes:
Itsy Bitsy (for children)
The main attractions here are the LED lights. You can do other activities like taking a picture with Queen Elizabeth or walking on a snow-filled floor where the temperature is minus 8. The easiest way to get to i-city Shah Alam is by using public transportation (If you don’t have a car.
You can get there by bus, taxi, or train. I recommend using Grab car (Uber in Southeast Asia), which will cost you around RM 70 to 80 from Putrajaya. To get there from KL Sentral, take the KTM train to Padang Jawa station and a taxi for less than RM 10.
Day 4 KL City
KL Bird Park
The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park (KL Bird Park) is a place you should visit when you come to Kuala Lumpur. This bird park is top-rated among people who like to see birds and take pictures of them. There are many kinds of birds, and they are well taken care of. The KL Bird Park hosts over 200 bird species and many different reptiles and fish in their natural environment, which you will find fascinating.
You can enjoy feeding the birds by buying feeders for them in the KL Bird Park at reasonable rates. You can also provide them with your hands to get closer to these beautiful creatures. The KL Bird Park also has a section where birds can be released into the wild to return to their natural habitat.
The National Museum is one of the most popular attractions in this City. It was established in 1963 as a repository for all historical records of Malaysia and an educational centre for tourists worldwide. This museum has fine collections on history, archaeology, ethnography, natural history and visual arts.
The various sections of this museum have been divided into several galleries so that different areas can be visited independently or at one go depending upon your interest and time available. Visitors can see exhibits ranging from prehistoric persons to colonial times.
There are plenty of artefacts on display here like ceramics, metalware, glassware, textiles, and woodworks that beautifully depict the local culture and tradition. Some galleries like the mid-furniture gallery give you an idea of how people lived in villages before industrialisation came into play.
Menara KL is situated near the city centre of Kuala Lumpur. It’s one of the famous landmarks you can see when you’re in Kuala Lumpur. This tower is the tallest telecommunication tower in Malaysia, and it’s a great attraction for tourists who visit Kuala Lumpur.
Menara KL has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in KL primarily because it houses an observation deck on its top floor with a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.
Merdeka Square / Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Merdeka Square is the centre of Kuala Lumpur. The square was first used for coronation ceremonies of Malay Rulers but later became a venue for demonstrations, leading to Malaya’s independence on August 31st, 1957.
Several notable structures can be found in the vicinity of Independence Square, including the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Independence Arch, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Royal Selangor Club Building, National Theatre, National Library, Masjid Jamek, Bank Negara Malaysia, Stadium Merdeka, and the National Monument, amongst others.
Day 5 will not leave much for you as you have to return and pack your bag, but still, if you do have some time, visit Central Market Pasar Seni to buy some souvenirs. This 120-year-old market has all for tourists, from foods to souvenirs.
This itinerary is tested and proven with facts. What you find to be the most fun will be up to you. I hope that this is helpful for your upcoming travels to Kuala Lumpur if they are for leisure or even business.
Here is the sample Kuala Lumpur Itinerary best for 5 days
DAY 1 arrive in Kuala Lumpur & Twin tower Visit
3.00 pm check-in hotel
4:00 pm visiting KLCC and surrounding
7:00 pm Visiting Bukit Bintang Area
8:30 pm Visiting Chinatown
10:00 pm back to the hotel
DAY 2 City and Genting tour
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am Visiting Little India
10:30 am Going to Genting Highland
5:30 pm Back from Genting Highland
6:30 pm Visiting Batu Caves
7:30 pm Dinner and explore the area
10:00 pm Back to Hotel
Day 3 Putrajaya and i-city tour
(you can do any other day tour of your choice)
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am Putrajaya tour
4;30 pm i-city Golden Triangle tour
7:30 pm Dinner @i-city
8:30 pm shopping at Sogo mall
9:30 pm back to the hotel
Day 4 Explore KL
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am Visiting KL Bird Park
12:30 pm visiting National Museum
2:30 pm Merdeka Square
4:30 pm visiting KL tower
7: 30 Dinner
8:30 Exploring City
10:00 pm back to the hotel
Day 5 Departure
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am check out hotel
This article aims to inspire people who are visiting Kuala Lumpur for the first time. Although it is already a well-known destination, we believe that there is a lot to be explored and enjoyed in the city, but few people know where to start.
This itinerary will hopefully shed some light on this otherwise complicated City and give you some ideas on where to go and what to do so that you can make the most out of your precious tourist time.