You may find yourself flying into Kuala Lumpur on a layover in South East Asia, or it may be your first stop to backpacking Malaysia.
This large city is full of fascinating things to see and do, and you’ll find something to suit every traveler. However, the sheer size of the city means deciding where to stay in Kuala Lumpur can be a huge challenge.
Every neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur offers something unique, and with the excellent public transportation system, it’s possible to check out multiple areas. That said, picking the best neighborhood to stay in will alter your experience!
Read on for a guide on exactly where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, no matter what your travel style and budget!
Not too fussed which area of Kuala Lumpur you stay in? Check out our top recommendations for accommodation in Kuala Lumpur.
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Best Airbnb in Kuala Lumpur: 2 Bedroom Apartment @ One Bukit Ceylon
Located in Bukit Bintang, this spacious apartment sleeps six guests and is ideal for families and groups visiting Kuala Lumpur. Furnishings are bright and modern, and there are plenty of on-site facilities to enjoy including an infinity pool and on-site restaurant.
Best Hostel in Kuala Lumpur: The Bed – Capsule Hotel
This hostel is the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur on a budget. It’s clean and modern, offering comfortable beds and quality furnishings. It’s pretty luxurious, but still offers all the backpacker essentials including free wifi, free breakfast, and a large communal kitchen. It’s close to the monorail and buses, making travelling around the city a breeze.
Best Hotel in Kuala Lumpur: Alila Bangsar Kuala Lumpur
This luxurious hotel in Bangsar provides fantastic accommodation in one of Kuala Lumpur’s coolest areas. Rooms are contemporary and feature large windows which boast amazing views. The hotel is also within easy walking distance to top attractions.
KLCC is a hive of activity, with modern landmarks, family-friendly activities, many restaurants, a wide choice of places to stay, and a lively nightlife.
A great place for those who love fancy malls and endless days of shopping, Bukit Bintang also has plenty of bars, street food, restaurants, and entertainment options to suit diverse tastes.
Bangsar is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur. Although it’s located a fair distance from the heart of KL it’s easy to connect with major areas by public transport.
The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur is large and spread out. Thankfully, an excellent public transportation system, including buses, light rail, monorails, and the metro, makes moving from place to place a breeze.
If it’s your first time visiting Kuala Lumpur, we recommend staying in Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC). This modern area is full of soaring skyscrapers, malls, parks, and museums, so you can easily get to know the city.
It’s also one of the best areas for families, due to the high number of family-friendly accommodation on offer.
If you’re backpacking Malaysia on a budget, check out Chinatown. This area offers plenty of cheaper accommodation options, as well as affordable restaurants and eateries.
Bukit Bintang has many glitzy malls, making it a shopaholic’s paradise. There’s a good selection of street food and restaurants, and evenings are lively with street entertainers and enticing bars.
Trendy and hip, Bangsar has many cool cafes and a hipster vibe. It’s also one of the city’s wealthiest areas and the coolest place to stay. Even if you don’t end up staying here, it’s well worth a visit.
Kuala Lumpur’s 4 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Now, let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail. We’ve included our top accommodation – from epic Airbnbs to luxe hotels and hostels – and activity picks in each, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
KLCC is a hive of activity, with modern landmarks, family-friendly activities, and world-class restaurants,. It also offers a wide variety of places to stay and lively nightlife.
It’s fairly unusual for a city’s main touristy area to also be its business and commercial heart, but that’s the case in Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Base yourself here for your first trip to Kuala Lumpur or for a fun family vacation.
Best Airbnb in KLCC: Cozy Home #24
This modern flat is situated just 5 minutes walk from KLCC, and provides a great base for exploring Kuala Lumpur’s top attractions on foot. The Airbnb sleeps up to four guests and comes with all the comforts of home, including a kitchen and laundry facilities. It’s full of natural light and provides a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city.
Best Hostel in KLCC: The Bed – Capsule Hotel
This hostel offers top quality furnishings for a very reasonable price. It’s modern throughout, and offers a free breakfast each morning to save you even more money! There’s a large communal kitchen, as well as peaceful common areas. It’s not the most sociable hostel in town, but it’s proximity to public transport makes it an ideal base for exploring Kuala Lumpur.
Best Hotel in KLCC: Impiana KLCC Hotel
This hotel provides a classy base for couples, families, and friends. It boasts an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a spa, and several onsite restaurants.
Rooms are comfortably furnished with everything you’ll need for a convenient stay.
Best Hotel in KLCC: Traders Hotel
A luxurious base for those wanting to go all-out on their stay in Kuala Lumpur, Traders Hotel has an indoor swimming pool, spa, and fitness centre.
Enjoy awesome city views from the Sky Bar and savour delicious meals in the onsite restaurant. The floor-to-ceiling windows in guest rooms provide incredible views of the city skyline.
All rooms are en-suite and have tea and coffee making facilities, a minibar, a TV, free Wi-Fi, and other conveniences for a comfortable stay.
Things to See and Do in KLCC
- Check out the gleaming Petronas Towers. Be sure to also visit at nighttime to enjoy the views of them illuminated against the inky sky.
- Watch the evening fountain show in front of the Petronas Towers.
- Browse in Suria KLCC shopping centre, the high-class mall that connects the two towers.
- Stroll through the large and leafy KLCC park, complete with pools, fountains, statues, and lots of places to sit and relax.
- Observe an array of aquatic creatures at Aquaria KLCC.
- Learn more about chemistry, biology, and general science at the interesting and informative Petrosains discovery centre.
- See a wide collection of works in the Petronas Art Gallery.
- Get more great city views from the top of the Kuala Lumpur Tower or with a drink in the swanky Sky Bar at Traders Hotel.
- Party hard in the clubs along Jalan P Ramlee.
- Saunter along the canopy walk at KLForest Eco Park.
- Take the kids to Dinosaurs Alive KL.
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Filled with backpacker accommodations and tourist-focused eateries, Chinatown is one of the cheapest neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur. If you’re trying to not go overboard with your travel budget in Malaysia, then we recommend staying here. The area hosts a number of historic and cultural attractions and is also home to a large street market and other places to shop for bargain goods.
It could also be a good base for first-time visitors to the city if you prefer to be immersed in a cultural enclave than surrounded by the modern marvels and hustle and bustle of KLCC.
Best Airbnb in Chinatown: Room in Boutique Hotel Dragon Inn
This boutique hotel offers comfortable rooms suitable for any type of traveler. There’s a desk and fast Wifi for digital nomads or business travelers, though it’s also popular among families. The hotel is modernly furnished and sits in the heart of Chinatown, providing an ideal base for exploring the area.
Room in Boutique Hotel Dragon Inn is one of our favourites in Kuala Lumpur but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hostel in Chinatown: Agosto Guesthouse
Agosto Guesthouse caters to every travel type and style, with a variety of room options available to suit any group. There’s no kitchen available, but there’s an onsite bar and cafe and the hostel is surrounded by eateries.
Agosto Guesthouse is one of our favourites in Kuala Lumpur but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hotel in Chinatown: Hotel Petaling
Hotel Petaling is a basic budget-friendly base in the heart of vibrant Chinatown. There are en-suite rooms for two or three, each with a TV, kettle, and phone. Free wifi is also available.
Hotel Petaling is one of our favourites in Kuala Lumpur but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Chinatown
- Admire the gopuram over the entrance of Sri Mahamariamman Temple and step inside to see beautiful statues and religious artwork. Remember to dress modestly and take your shoes off!
- Hunt for bargains along the bustling Petaling Street, a pedestrianised street market. Do be aware, however, that most goods are imitations.
- Peruse ornate handicrafts in Central Market.
- Step into the Annexe Gallery alongside Central Market to see a variety of modern art.
- Enjoy even more shopping along Kasturi Walk, a covered open-air market next to Central Market.
- Tour ornate Chinese temples. Favourites include Kuan Yin Temple, the large and elaborate Chan See Shu Yuen Temple, the revered Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, and the Taoist Kuan Ti Temple, dedicated to the God of Literature and War.
- Visit the sublime Jamek Sultan Abdul Samed Mosque.
- Take a picture of the towering Dayabumi Complex, which features traditional Islamic designs.
- Feast on street food galore.
- Visit 3D Illusion Art Museum.
Bukit Bintang is a great place for those who love fancy malls and endless days of shopping. It also has plenty of bars, street food, restaurants, and entertainment options to suit diverse tastes.
With such a youthful atmosphere, Bukit Bintang is easily the top Kuala Lumpur neighborhood for those looking to party hard.
Best Airbnb in Bukit Bintang: 2 Bedroom Apartment @ One Bukit Ceylon
This spacious two bedroom apartment sleeps up to six guests and features a kitchen, living space, and dining area. Furnishings are bright and modern, and visitors can enjoy city views from the rooms and balcony. On-site facilities include a fitness centre, infinity pool, and on-site bar and restaurant. The flat is centrally located walking distance from the Bintang Walk and provides easy access to the rest of the city.
Best Hostel in Bukit Bintang: Sunshine Bedz KL
This newly renovated hostel is ideally situated right by public transport connections.
A basic breakfast is provided each morning and the hostel offers free Wi-Fi, a book exchange, and luggage storage. There’s a common room where you can trade traveling tips with other guests.
Best Hotel in Bukit Bintang: Sungei Wang Hotel
This hotel offers stylish accommodation in the heart of Bukit Bintang. Rooms are clean and modern and come with ensuite bathrooms and free wifi. Family rooms are available, as well as free parking and a concierge service.
Things to See and Do in Bukit Bintang
- Indulge in some retail therapy at one of the malls in Bukit Bintang.
- Take kids to Cosmo’s World Theme Park, located inside Berjaya Times Square mall. Alternatively, the mall also has a fun laser quest and an escape room.
- Put your dancing shoes on and head to Changkat Bukit Bintang for a night of drinking, dancing, and fun.
- Upgrade your electronics at Plaza Low Yat, the biggest IT mall in Malaysia.
- Snap some pictures of the quaint St. Anthony’s Church.
- Pamper yourself in one of the area’s spas.
- Visit Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve to escape the concrete jungle and enjoy some time in nature.
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Bangsar is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Kuala Lumpur. Although it’s located a fair distance from the heart of KL it’s easy to connect with major areas by public transport.
Sitting in the Klang Valley, KL Sentral is a hop, skip, and a jump away. It’s also located close to Brickfields/Little India and is within easy reach of the popular KL Bird Park and Butterfly Park KL.
The trendy residential area has two very different sides, making for a rather unique stay. You can enjoy exciting street markets and visit diverse places of worship while also making the most of hip cafes, restaurants, and bars and shopping in funky and offbeat boutiques.
The area is constantly reinventing itself, going through stages of being one of Kuala Lumpur’s nightlife hubs, a café-lover’s paradise, and an arts haven. It’s definitely an interesting place!
Best Budget Hotel in Bangsar: Hotel Sentral KL
Offering some of the cheapest accommodation in Bangsar, Hotel Sentral is ideal for budget travelers looking to stay in this vibrant part of the city. Furnishings are simple and comfortable, and each room comes with a private bathroom. The hotel is right next to KL Sentral Station and Little India.
Best Hotel in Bangsar: Alila Bangsar Kuala Lumpur
Decked out with luxurious interiors and stylish contemporary design, this is one of the best hotels in Kuala Lumpur. The 5-star accommodation features an onsite pool, bar, and restaurant, and room service is available. Top attractions are within walking distance, including Little India, Bangsar Village, and the National Museum of Malaysia.
Best Airbnb in Bangsar: Modern Loft Suite
This modern Airbnb is suitable for couples or small groups. Featuring contemporary furnishings, the loft is bright and spacious and boasts plenty of natural light. There’s a balcony overlooking the city, and guests can enjoy on-site facilities including a sauna, gym, and restaurant.
Modern Loft Suite is one of our favourites in Kuala Lumpur but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Bangsar
- Go shopping at Mid Valley Megamall, An Viet the Gardens Mall, and Bangsar Village.
- Marvel at the striking temple of Tokong Thean Hou.
- Visit the nearby Perdana Botanical Garden, which is home to many beautiful flowers and scenic spots where you can relax in nature.
- Learn more about the nation’s heritage, history, culture, and people at the National Museum of Malaysia.
- Do something unique and try your hand at fencing at Z Fencing.
- Tuck into delicious ice cream at Inside Scoop.
- Join art sessions at Scrappingville Studio and release your inner creativity.
- Savour a great cup of coffee at places like Thirdwave, OJO Coffee, Pulp, and DR. Inc.
- Spend an evening or two hopping from one cool bar to another.
- See the colorful Sri Kondaswamy Kovil Hindu Temple.
- Appreciate art at the Islamic Arts Museum.
- Although there are no hostels listed in Bangsar, there are plenty of affordably priced hotels and Airbnbs that are suitable for couples, families, small groups of friends, and solo travelers who value privacy and peace and quiet.
- For the hostel vibe, there are some hotels and guest houses that have dorms as well as private rooms.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Kuala Lumpur
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Kuala Lumpur and where to stay.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur can be a chaotic city, or it could be an excellent introduction to Malaysia before visiting other areas. There’s so much to see and do here, it’s by far one of the best places to stay in Malaysia.
If you’re still not sure where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, we highly recommend Bangsar. This awesome neighborhood is so unique and full of fascinating places to explore, it’ll provide a great insight into this vibrant capital city.
If you’re traveling on a budget, then you can’t go wrong with The Bed KLCC. It provides all the amenities of a hostel, but feels as luxurious as a hotel. Best of all, the hostel offers a free breakfast each morning.
For something more upmarket, the Alila Bangsar Hotel offers 5-star accommodation close to all the top attractions. It’s situated in Kuala Lumpur’s coolest neighborhood and makes for a memorable stay.
Worried about safety in Kuala Lumpur? Think it’s a dangerous big city? Check out our insider guide for travel safety tips for Malaysia while you travel there.
Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below!
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