10 FREE Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur for Travellers on A Budget

10 FREE Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur for Travellers on A Budget

No need to spend a single cent at these attractions in KL which are absolutely free for visitors. Add these spots to your sightseeing itinerary!

Cultural diversity, a great selection of food, warm and welcoming locals and tropical weather come together in a frisson of adventure in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Here, you’ll get to sample away in the midst of a bustling metropolis teeming with life and activity. This list compiles absolutely free activities you can enjoy with friends and family if you’re travelling on a budget.

Recreational Parks

1. Visit Kuala Lumpur City Center Park (KLCC Park)

free things to do in kuala lumpur

Image credit: Robert Lowe

You’ve probably heard of the PETRONAS Twin Towers, but what about this beautifully cultivated garden right below? Enjoy 50-acres of land designed by the late Roberto Burle Marx (a Brazilian master of gardens). There’s plenty of places to sit and rest, a 1.3km jogging track, as well as a swimming pool and playground for children. During the evening, the fountains at Symphony Lake put on a musical water performance.  

To get here, you can always take a taxi or utilise the Kelana Jaya LRT line that stops right below the Twin Towers (KLCC). If you’re coming from inside the mall, take an escalator up to Ground (G) Floor and make your way to the bubble lifts in the centre. The entrance to the park is just opposite the lifts. If you prefer to walk, you can also use the elevated, air-conditioned KLCC to Bukit Bintang Pedestrian Walkway if you’re near to the Bukit Bintang area or Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 10pm
Location: Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur
Phone Number: +603 2380 9032 / 2

2. Stroll in the Perdana Botanical Gardens (formerly known as Taman Tasik Perdana or Lake Gardens)

Image credit: Phalinn Ooi

This popular destination is situated within the Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park and presents visitors with tropical flora, soothing waterfalls, well-maintained landscaped gardens and many other attractions. Established in the 1880s, it is deemed the oldest recreational park in Kuala Lumpur. Here, you’ll have access to a massive children’s play area, numerous outdoor exercise equipment, walking or jogging paths and also a cafe which opens from 9am to 6pm.

There are plenty of well-established themed gardens to explore (e.g. the Orchid and Hibiscus Garden). If you wish to avoid the crowd, you can always visit the park during the weekdays instead of the weekend. Free guided walks are also available on Sundays from 8am to 10am and visitors are treated to an interesting and informative walk around the gardens by an experienced guide.

To get here, you can hop on the RapidKL Bus No.B112 from the Pasar Seni LRT Station. Alternatively, you can also take the KL Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus that disembarks at Station No. 14 in front of the KL Bird Park.

Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 8pm
Location: Jalan Kebun Bunga, Tasik Perdana 55200 Kuala Lumpur
Phone Number: +603 2617 6404

Arts and Craft

3. Tour the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre

free things to do in kuala lumpur

Image credit: dilettantiquity

Established in 1885, Royal Selangor is deemed the maker of the world’s finest pewter. Guests are welcomed with complimentary guided tours of the Visitor Centre which houses museum exhibits and even a chance to watch pewter crafting in real time. For those up to the challenge, you can try hammering a pewter sheet to get a feel of the process. The guided tour is available in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese. The entire viewing is also wheelchair accessible.

Free shuttle van services are available at selected hotels to the Visitor’s Centre. There’s also the option of a five-minute taxi ride from the Wangsa Maju stop on the Kelana Jaya LRT line.

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
Location: Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, 4, Jalan Usahawan 6, Setapak Jaya 53300 Kuala Lumpur
Phone Number: +603 4145 6122

4. Enjoy the National Art Gallery

Image credit: Bentley Smith

This four-storey gallery is home to several of Malaysia’s leading artists and designers. Depending on when you visit, you’ll also get the chance to appreciate any number of touring exhibitions as well as experimental works. Since it’s located in the vicinity of Titiwangsa, you can also visit Titiwangsa Lake Gardens for a peaceful stroll.

It’s not the most accessible location to get to and the easiest transportation option would be taking a taxi. You could also take the RapidKL Bus No.B103 that runs from Bukit Bintang to Titiwangsa via the KLCC route.

Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 6pm
Location: 2, Jalan Temerloh, Off Jalan Tun Razak, 53200 Kuala Lumpur
Phone Number: +603 4025 4990

5. Drop by the PETRONAS Art Gallery

Image credit: chinnian

Established in 1993, this non-profit visual art gallery is open to the public in KLCC to promote the continuity and development of Malaysian art. You can also participate in free art classes promoting local techniques. To view the current and past list of exhibitions, do visit their website.  

To get here, you can always take a taxi or utilise the Kelana Jaya LRT line that stops right below the Twin Towers (KLCC). If you’re coming from inside the mall, take the escalator or lift up to the 3rd Floor. If you prefer to walk, you can also use the elevated, air-conditioned KLCC to Bukit Bintang Pedestrian Walkway if you’re near to the Bukit Bintang area or Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm (closed on Mondays)
Location: Lot 341-343, 3rd Floor, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur
Phone Number: +603 2051 7770

6. Pay a visit to the Kuala Lumpur Cultural Craft Complex

Image credit: Eugene

Malaysia houses a diverse selection of cultural crafts and many of it can be viewed in the open-concept building of the Cultural Craft Complex situated at Jalan Conlay. The building is divided into several sections; mainly the museum, artists’ colony and craft village, the batik gallery and the souvenir shop. Here, you’ll get a first-hand opportunity to view the handiwork and process of master craftsmen and craftswomen for traditional basket weaving, batik making, pottery and so much more. For a token fee, you’ll also get to try your hand at various crafts.

You can get there by hailing a taxi but you can also choose to go on foot as it is a few minutes walk from KLCC and Aquaria.  

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5.30pm
Location: Level 8, Bangunan Sri Anjung, Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex, Section 63, Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Phone Number: +603 2164 9907 / 08

Activities

7. Explore Batu Caves

Image credit: WIL

Drive a little more than 10km from Kuala Lumpur’s city centre, and you’ll end up at this famous limestone hill made up of several caves and indoor temples. Devotees of the Hindu God, Lord Murugan, regularly visit the temples to pray and give offerings. If you’re not particularly fond of crowds, you’ll want to avoid coming during Thaipusam as it packed full of devotees and visitors. During this festival, the Silver Chariot procession will make its way from Kuala Lumpur the night before to Batu Caves the following day.

Visitors to this popular destination will have the chance to climb 272 steep rock stairs before reaching the first cave. If you’ve just started rock climbing, this is a good spot to practise and test out your climbing skills. It’s better to arrive earlier to pick out a good climbing spot, but there are also plenty of routes available. Just remember to bring your own climbing gear.

Taxis are always available to this destination. Otherwise, you can also take the Intrakota Bus No.11D from Central Market (Pasar Seni) or the Cityliner Bus No.69 from Jalan Pudu.

Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 9pm
Location: Batu Caves, Sri Subramaniam Temple, Kuala Lumpur
Phone Number: +603 2287 9422

8. Walk in KL Forest Eco Park (formerly known as Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve)

Image credit: [email protected]

This hidden treasure proudly holds a place as one of the oldest forest reserves in Malaysia. A popular hiking destination for locals as well as tourists, this millions of years old rainforest is clearly marked and regularly maintained. With its newest attraction of a 200m canopy walk, visitors are provided with an excellent aerial view of the surrounding forest and city skyline. This is definitely an experience not to be missed.

Guided tours by the Malaysian Forest Department are available at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm There’s also a cooling visitor’s centre with attractive displays. If you’ll like to do a spot of camping, you can always inquire ahead for permission.

To get to the park entrance at Jalan Raja Chulan, you can take a 10-minute walk from Chinatown or the Puduraya Bus Station. The Dang Wangi LRT station is also a short walk from the entrance behind the Malaysian Timber Product Gallery. Lastly, there are also steps near the foot of KL Tower which you can access.

Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 6pm
Location: KL Lot 240, Bukit Nanas, Jalan Raja Chulan 70300 Kuala Lumpur
Phone Number: +603 2070 6342

9. Join a guided tour of Dataran Merdeka

Image credit: Phalinn Ooi

You could take in the sights of Malaysia’s British colonial buildings on your own, but to truly get a sense of its history, there’s also a free guided tour offered by KL City Hall that starts from the City Gallery at Dataran Merdeka. The tour consists of 11 historical sites and will take about 2.5 hours from start to finish. If you’ve been itching to try out some local Malaysian snacks, there’s also free tastings available. To register, simply call the number provided or email [email protected].

You can get here via the KL Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus or take a taxi straight to KL City Gallery. Alternatively, you can alight at the Masjid Jamek LRT Station or Pasar Seni Station and take a 5-7 minutes walk to Dataran Merdeka.

Tour Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday starting from 9am to 11.30am
Location: 27, Jalan Raja, Dataran Merdeka, 50050 Dataran Merdeka
Phone Number: +603 269 80332

Places of Worship

10. View Masjid Negara (National Mosque)

free things to do in kuala lumpur

Image credit: Wojtek Gurak

As the largest preeminent place of worship for Muslims in Malaysia, the National Mosque can be found at the edge of the Perdana Botanical Gardens in Kuala Lumpur. The sacred halls are open to visitors during specific hours of the day. Before entering the mosque, you will be given a floor length robe to put on by an attendant before you will be allowed to enter. You will also be required to take off your shoes to promote silence and to avoid damaging the interior.

The easiest mode of transportation would be a taxi. Another way is to stop at the Pasar Seni LRT Station and cross the bridge that links to the Kuala Lumpur Station (KTM). Do not pass the ticket counters; instead, walk further along until you come across a parking lot in front of the POS Malaysia building. You’ll see the entrance to an underpass that will take you across Jalan Kinabalu. From there, you’ll arrive at the mosque at the end of the tunnel

Opening Hours for non-Muslim visitors: Daily from 9am to 12pm, 3pm to 4pm and 5.30pm to 6.30pm On Fridays, the mosque will not be open to visitors in the morning due to prayers.
Location: Jalan Perdana, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

About Author

Alestra
Alestra

Curious to the point of no return, Alestra enjoys investigating nooks and crannies in various places. Getting dirty is definitely on her list (although she tries not to) and she enjoys trying out different types of cuisines. A cat lover at heart, she yearns to have her own cat someday; preferably a black one with white socks, or maybe a ginger one, or how about one with blue eyes, a nice striped one is good too, and well….the list goes on.

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