FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Malaysia > Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Weather

33°C

Local time Kuala Lumpur

Currency

RM

Travel to Kuala Lumpur

Flying to Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a major hub for flights between EuropeAsia and Australia, and Malaysia Airlines (www.malaysiaairlines.com) offers an extensive network of domestic and international flights. 

For cheap fares to cities around South-East Asia, try budget carriers Air Asia (www.airasia.com), Jetstar (www.jetstar.com) and Firefly (www.fireflyz.com.my). Malindo Air (www.malindoair.com) offers flights within Malaysia as well as in Asia and Australia. 

Flight times

From London - 12 hours 50 minutes; New York - 21 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 20 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 21 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 8 hours 35 minutes.

Travel by road

Roads in Malaysia are some of the best maintained in Asia, and driving standards are also higher than you'll find in most neighbouring countries. Traffic drives on the left, and most drivers actually follow this rule. The speed limits are an optimistic 60kph (37mph) in the city, 80-90kph (50-56mph) on main country roads and 110kph (69mph) on highways and expressways. The minimum age for driving is 17 years (16 years for a motorcycle). A national driving licence is required and it is advisable to obtain an International Driving Permit.

The North-South Highway, which extends from Singapore to the Thai border via Kuala Lumpur, has made long-distance driving in Malaysia a relative breeze, although driving in Kuala Lumpur itself is best avoided. The centre of KL is a maze of tunnels and flyovers and the heavy traffic can turn even the shortest journey into a drawn-out ordeal.

Although driving standards around the county are generally good, Malaysia still has its share of drivers who take risks such as overtaking on blind corners, speeding in heavy rainfall and jumping red traffic lights.

The Automobile Association of Malaysia (tel: 1 300 226 226, in Malaysia only or +60 3 5511 1932; www.aam.org.my) is the country's main motoring organisation.

Emergency breakdown services

Automobile Association of Malaysia (tel: 1 300 226 226, in Malaysia only or +60 3 5511 1932). Plusronda (tel: 1 800 880 000, in Malaysia only; www.plus.com.my) provides 24-hour emergency telephones, situated every 2km (1.2 miles) on expressways and toll roads.

Routes

The North-South Expressway and Federal Route 1 run south from KL to Johor Baru, which is connected via causeway to Singapore. Heading north, the same routes connect KL with Butterworth/Penang and Bukit Kayu Hitam, on the Thai border near Hat Yai. Tolls apply on the North-South Expressway. To reach the west coast of the peninsula, Federal Route 2 runs from KL to Kuantan, and Federal Route 3 runs on to Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu.

Coaches

Numerous companies operate air-conditioned services across the peninsula, including the government-owned Transnasional Express (tel: +60 3 4045 8878), in Malaysia only; www.transnasional.com.my).

The main terminal for northbound buses is the revamped Pudu Sentral Station (formerly known as Puduraya) on Jalan Puda Raya, close to Chinatown. This is the place to come for services to Butterworth/Penang and the Thai border.

Most southbound buses, including services to Johor Bahru and Singapore, use the much more efficient Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS; tel: +60 3 9051 2000; www.tbsbts.com.my) on Jalan Terminal Selatan.

Services to the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia also leave from Putra Bus Station, opposite the Putra World Trade Centre, and Pekeliling Bus Station, next to the Titiwangsa Monorail and LRT station.

Time to city

From Melaka - 2 hours; Singapore - 4 hours; Butterworth/Penang - 4 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

Kuala Lumpur has fast and frequent train connections to other cities in peninsular Malaysia, as well as neighbouring Thailand and Singapore. The main railway station is KL Sentral Station (tel: +60 3 2730 2000; www.klsentral.com.my), located 1.5km (1 mile) southwest of the city centre. 

Operators

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad - KTMB (tel: +60 3 2267 1200; www.ktmb.com.my) operates most rail services in peninsular Malaysia. Trains to destinations on the west coast are generally reasonably fast and efficient, although landslides and technical problems can cause delays, particularly during the monsoon months. Services along the east coast are less frequent, and trains generally stop some distance from the towns that most travellers are trying to reach.

Heading south, there are daily trains from KL to Johor Bahru and on to Singapore. Heading north, regular services run to Butterworth (near Penang), and on to Hat Yai on the Thai border. To complete the same journey in style, the luxurious Eastern and Oriental Express (www.belmond.com/eastern-and-oriental-express) takes three to four days to complete the trip from Singapore to KL and on to Bangkok, with tours and detours along the way.

Journey times

From Johor Bahru - 6 hours; Singapore - 7 to 8 hours; Butterworth - 7 hours; Hat Yai - 13 hours.

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

Tune Hotel

Taking the budget airline concept and applying it to hotel rooms, the brightly-coloured Tune Hotel offers limited service at low cost. Its tidy and compact singles, doubles and twins are good value but add a surcharge for air-con, Internet access and other extras. The flagship hotel is located downtown, a short stroll from Medan Tuanku Monorail station, but a new sister establishment has opened in Jalan Putra.

Hotel Capitol

Regular promotions and online booking deals bring down prices at this towering business-type hotel set in the midst of the Golden Triangle. Rooms are neat and functional rather than opulent, but the staff are friendly and the location is excellent, with the Jalan Bukit Bintang shopping strip right on your doorstep. Guest have access to an upscale restaurant, a kitchen-bar and 24hr concierge service.

Sarang Mas

This homely bed and breakfast set in a 1920s brick-built house offers rooms with simple furnishings along with communal lounge areas, and suits both families and single travellers. There's relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that feels far-removed from the business hotels of KLC, and the owners also have various other options, including apartments and single rooms, in six other locations across the city.

Traders Hotel

Firmly targeting the business traveller, Traders Hotel offers a location and amenities associated with the top Kuala Lumpur hotels but its prices are easier on the pocket. Rooms are modern and smartly decorated, and service is friendly and efficient. A bonus of staying here is having immediate access to the rooftop Sky Bar, an in-demand address thanks to its epic views of the Twin Towers.

Metro 360

Located in a bustling part of the Golden Triangle, Metro 360 offers tasteful, air-conditioned rooms across 22 floors of a tower block. Guests can make use of all-day dining options, free Wi-Fi, a pool and a gym, as well as shuttle buses to KLCC and Sentral Station. Visitors hoping to explore KL's shopping scene will appreciate the hotel's location nearby the Pavilion, Starhill and Lot 10 shopping malls.

Villa Samadhi

Set behind bamboo-clad gates in the leafy embassy district, this intimate hideaway is one of the city's finest boutique offerings. The 21 rooms and suites are wonderfully spacious and decorated in exotic artefacts collected from across Asia. Guests can enjoy private hot tubs and romantic balconies that overlook a tear-shaped pool surrounded by cabanas and tropical foliage. The restaurant serves all-day dishes and an indulgent breakfast come daybreak.