Best Day Trips from Kuala Lumpur & How to Get There

12 Best Day Trips From Kuala Lumpur & How to Get There

Escape the hustle and bustle of KL — even for just a day.

Contrary to popular belief, the wonders of Kuala Lumpur aren’t constrained to city limits. So, once you’re done taking in the Petronas Twin Towers, exploring Central Market, and taking pictures at Merdeka Square, how about broadening your horizons? There are plenty of incredible places near the city that are perfect for a spontaneous outing. Read on to discover all our favourite day trips from Kuala Lumpur!

With so much to see and do in Malaysia, we recommend booking your next getaway with WTS Travel & Tours (Winner of the Best for Malaysia category in the 2023 TripZilla Excellence Awards) so you don’t miss out on any of the must-see sights and experiences. Boasting a variety of travel packages to Malaysia’s top holiday destinations, including Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Genting Highlands, WTS Travel & Tours provides hassle-free trips and memorable tours to some of the best destinations in the country. Check out their packages today!

Also read: 18 Gorgeous Airbnbs in Kuala Lumpur You’ll Want to Live In

Day trips from Kuala Lumpur you don’t want to miss

1. Batu Caves, Selangor

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A sacred temple ensconced by majestic limestone caverns, a trip to Batu Caves has become synonymous with the Malaysian experience as a whole. It also helps that it’s one of the easiest day trips from Kuala Lumpur to venture on. This temple is visited by thousands of tourists and devotees every year during the Hindu festival of Thaipusam.

However, even on a regular day, Batu Caves is a sight to behold with its 272 multi-coloured steps that take you into the temple and the towering statue of Lord Murugan standing proudly at the main entrance. Sure, getting up those steps is a bit of a workout, but you’re free to stop and take as many pictures as you want on the way.

Once inside, you’ll be greeted by large caves filled with natural light that make up most, if not all, of the archaic temple complex.

How to get there: If you’ve got a car, you can drive and the trip to the Batu Caves only takes about 20 to 30 minutes with moderate traffic. Alternatively, you can take the KTM Komuter Train there by purchasing a ticket at the KL Sentral Station for the Komuter Line. This journey should also take about 30 minutes.

Also read: 12 Most Insta-Worthy Spots in Kuala Lumpur & Selangor

2. Melaka (Malacca)

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The legacy of Melaka stretches back all the way to pre-colonial times when it was a thriving kingdom that ruled over much of modern-day Peninsular Malaysia. Over the years, the shores of Malacca have seen the likes of the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British, which is why it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Today, Malacca has evolved into an amazing holiday destination for history buffs, foodies, and shopaholics. You can visit historical monuments like the ever-popular A’Famosa Fort, Dutch Square, and Stadthuys. Don’t forget to also check out the Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum and the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum as part of your historical odyssey.

You can go on a river cruise, or explore the famous Jonker Street and haggle your way through the different stores. Malacca also has a wealth of local cuisine to offer, including exciting variations on a beloved Malaysian dessert called cendol. Trust me, a trip to Malacca is definitely one of the more exciting day trips from Kuala Lumpur.

How to get there: Taking a bus to Melaka is probably the easiest and most relaxing way of getting there from Kuala Lumpur. You’ll be able to catch Malacca-bound buses at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), located at Bandar Tasik Selatan in the city centre, and it’s only a two-hour ride at most. And of course, you can always drive there.

3. Ipoh, Perak

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As the capital of Perak, some people might mistake Ipoh as just another urban jungle. Fortunately, this city and its surroundings have quite a bit of adventure to offer for those looking to take a day trip from KL! Ipoh’s famous for its white coffee and one of the best places to get it from is an old Chinese coffee house called Nam Heong

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After grabbing a cup of delicious coffee, make your way through the city and observe some stunning examples of colonial architecture at Ipoh Old Town, such as the Ipoh Railway Station, Ipoh High Court, and the Town Hall and Old Post Office. On top of that, you can also check out The Lost World of Tambun, which is a nearby water theme park, or visit the ruins of Kellie’s Castle, which are rumoured to be haunted. Spooky!

How to get there: Driving aside, you can get to Ipoh pretty easily by train or bus. The Electric Train Service (ETS) line from Kuala Lumpur is the best option, as the endpoint of its journey is the Ipoh Railway Station. The journey takes about three hours. For a cheaper option, take the bus from Puduraya Bus Terminal or TBS.

4. Cameron Highlands, Pahang

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This highland experience is a famous choice of retreat for many Malaysians eager for a day trip outside KL to escape the hustle and bustle. Here, you’ll be able to visit beautiful tea plantations, learn how the tea is produced, and then drink it. 

Also, remember to check out the strawberry farms, where you’ll be able to pick your own strawberries. There are also plenty of gorgeous gardens to admire, including lavender and rose orchards. Most of all, the cool climate of Cameron Highlands will work wonders to refresh your body and mind.

How to get there: You can take a bus to Cameron Highlands from TBS, but note that the journey will take between five and six hours when you consider the various bus stops along the way. The fastest way to get there is to either drive yourself or hire a private taxi, which cuts the travel time by half. 

5. Pulau Ketam, Selangor

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The name Pulau Ketam quite literally translates to Crab Island. A small fishing village located off the coast of Port Klang, it’s one of many interesting places to visit near Kuala Lumpur. For this day trip, however, you might want to leave your swimsuits at home. Pulau Ketam isn’t really the kind of place you’d go for fun in the sun. Instead, it’s the perfect place to get a little insight into traditional Malay fishing culture, with the entire fishing village built on stilts over mangrove swamps.

Think of Pulau Ketam as a village-sized time capsule. Visiting this place will take you right back to the 80s, with tiny shops and simple houses. During the low tide, you’ll even be able to see crabs scuttling through the mud. It’s these very same crabs that you’ll also be able to eat, thanks to seafood restaurants lining the village harbourside. 

How to get there: From Kuala Lumpur, you can drive to Port Klang in about 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the KTM train to Klang, and then once you arrive, book a taxi or use an e-hailing service to reach Port Klang. 

The ferries to Pulau Ketam depart from Port Klang’s passenger terminal. However, you’ll want to get off at the second jetty, because there’s really nothing much to see at the first besides mud.

6. Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan

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Port Dickson’s claim to fame is the fact that it’s the nearest beach retreat available for people planning day trips from Kuala Lumpur. As you enter the town, you’ll be able to immediately spot the coastline and the relatively calm waters beyond. Besides lounging beachside, other activities in Port Dickson include visiting the Cape Rachado Lighthouse and exploring the Lukut Museum and Fort.

How to get there: There’s no direct route to Port Dickson from Kuala Lumpur unless you’re driving or taking a private taxi, in which case you might even get there in under an hour. By bus, you’ll first have to take one to Seremban, and then another bus from there to Port Dickson. You could take a train, but since Port Dickson doesn’t have its own train station, the bus or car route is recommended.

7. Kuala Selangor, Selangor

Ready for another day trip from KL? Kuala Selangor sits roughly 50km away from the Kuala Lumpur city centre, where the estuary of the Selangor River lies. Basically, it’s the spot where the river pours itself out into the Straits of Malacca. While you’re here, make sure to visit the Sasaran Beach Sky Mirror, one of the best-kept secrets of Kuala Selangor. It’s also been dubbed the Salar de Uyuni of Malaysia and is a great spot for taking cool mirror-effect photos for the ’Gram.

Next, you can visit the historical Melawati Hill, home to several landmarks like the Altingsburg Lighthouse and the Royal Mausoleum. On top of that, Kuala Selangor is also famous for its fireflies. You can actually go on a boat cruise at night to spot them!

How to get there: Most people tend to just drive to Kuala Selangor, since it’s only an hour away by car. However, you can also take a bus there from TBS in Bandar Tasik Selatan and get down at the Bandar Baru Kuala Selangor Station. Only a select number of buses travel this route, though, so make sure to check with the friendly staff at TBS for the right one.

8. Sekinchan, Selangor

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There’s no doubt that Sekinchan is one of the most popular day trips from Kuala Lumpur. This little fishing village is surrounded by a vast swath of paddy fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. Depending on the season, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of green or gold, which makes for excellent pictures. Besides that, you can also check out the Bagan Fishing Village and Pantai Redang Beach.

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If you’re looking to learn a little more about the paddy process, you can also visit the Sekinchan Paddy Gallery, which is located within the Sekinchan Rice Mill Factory

You can also visit the Sekinchan Wishing Tree near Pantai Redang.  Make your way to the old tree weighed down by hundreds of red ribbons from numerous wishes over the years. If you want to, you can make a donation to the nearby temple for a red ribbon of your own and add it to the tree.

How to get there: You can take a bus to Sekinchan from the Pudu Sentral (Puduraya) bus station in Kuala Lumpur, or KL Sentral station. It’ll take you roughly four to five hours to get there, so it’s best to leave early. Of course, you could also drive there, in which case the trip would take under two hours.

Also read: 10 Hidden Gems in Kuala Lumpur That Are Worth Exploring

9. Taman Negara, Pahang

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Taman Negara, which translates to National Park, is Malaysia’s first and largest forest reserve in Malaysia. It was first established in 1925 and serves to protect the largest tract of ancient rainforest in the whole country. Be sure to check out the popular Canopy Walk. It was initially built for research purposes, but has evolved into the best place to enjoy spectacular vistas of the National Park.

There are also plenty of hiking opportunities, the most popular of which is the Teresek Hill hiking path. Besides that, you can also visit Orang Asli settlements here. These are the indigenous people of Malaysia, namely the Semokberis and Batek people. In the mood for something more adventurous? Explore nearby caves, or paddle along the forest rapids in a boat.

How to get there: A drive from Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara takes about three to four hours. You’ll be travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Jerantut, Pahang, and then to the park from there. 

For a bus ride, take a bus from the Pekeliling Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur to Jerantut, Pahang. From Jerantut, you’ll need to take another bus to the National Park. The total journey might take you between five to six hours.

10. Genting Highlands, Pahang

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Another location that’s worthy of making your list of day trips from Kuala Lumpur is Genting Highlands. Closer to the city than Cameron Highlands, Genting is famous for cable car rides, an amazing theme park, and a casino! That’s right, your day trip could include a visit to Malaysia’s one and only casino.

Most people tend to visit the casino for the sake of checking it off their bucket list, but if you’re feeling lucky, you can always try your hand at the tables. More than anything else, Genting is just a great place to hang out, making it perfect for a one-day trip outside KL.

How to get there: Take the express bus from KL Sentral to Awana Station, which will take approximately one hour. From there, take the Awana Skyway Cable Car, which is a ten-minute ride, and you’ll arrive at Genting!

11. Bentong, Pahang

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Here’s one of the places to visit near Kuala Lumpur that rarely makes it on anyone’s list. Frankly, that’s a shame, because the small town of Bentong is filled with exciting and underrated things to try out.

You can enjoy a picnic at the beautiful Chamang Waterfall, or go for a dip in the Bentong Hot Springs. Alternatively, you can visit the Bilut Extreme Park to go on an adventurous ATV ride, or try your hand at archery!

How to get there: The easiest way to get from Kuala Lumpur to Bentong for a day trip is to either drive or take the bus. In the case of buses, you should be able to easily get one at the Pekeliling Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur.

12. Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

A day trip from KL to splash about with friendly elephants — what’s there not to love? The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary was set up in 1989 with the purpose of taking in elephants orphaned from logging or poaching and taking care of them until they’re ready to be released into the wild. 

It’s important to take note that you won’t be allowed to ride the elephants here, as this isn’t a place that exploits them in any way. However, you can still get up close and personal with these gentle giants and splash about together in the river. You’re also allowed to participate in feeding the elephants and take pictures with them!

How to get there: There is no direct route between Kuala Lumpur and the elephant sanctuary unless you’re driving a car, which is roughly a two-hour trip. However, you can also take a bus to Bentong first, and then take a taxi to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary from there.

Also read: Top 12 Things to Do in Pahang and Terengganu, Malaysia’s Hidden Gems

Clearly, there’s no shortage of exciting day trips from Kuala Lumpur to embark on. So, the next time you’re sitting on your couch with the prospect of a boring day ahead, you can always shake things up by checking out these destinations.

About Author

Jeremiah Patrick
Jeremiah Patrick

A journeyman wordsmith wandering the creative lexicon, looking to craft a masterpiece. The only thing on par with Jerry’s love for a good story is the time he spends playing dauntingly difficult video games, reading works of fiction, and listening to horror podcasts. His mood shifts between dark brooding and cheery quips, depending on how much caffeine swirls in his system.