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One Day Itinerary to Kuala Lumpur: Where to Go in 24 hours

Ultimate Day Trip to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore

We found ourselves with some extra time when visiting Singapore so looked for new destinations nearby. It was $185 roundtrip for a flight to Kuala Lumpur the next morning and back to Singapore the same evening. If you plan in advance you can enjoy a day trip from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur with flights under $70 roundtrip. We might not have gotten the best price on tickets, but it was definitely cheaper than coming back to Asia.

Less than 12 hours later we were at Singapore Changi Airport boarding a flight to Kuala Lumpur for the ultimate day trip experience.

How to See the Best of Kuala Lumpur in One Day

We landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 8AM from Singapore, with our return flight leaving 9:30PM that same day. We had just one day to explore Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. It is important to remember that the airport is approximately an hour drive south of the city center. With that it is time to get started on the ultimate one day itinerary to Kuala Lumpur.

Bato Caves

Our first stop was one of the most Instagrammable spots in Kuala Lumpur, Bato Caves and its colorfully painted 272 steps leading up to the cave. Bato Caves is 70km north of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Using the Grab ride share app, the hour long car ride cost us 90 Malaysian Ringgit (about $20) including a tip and tolls.

Next to the iconic colorful steps is a 140 feet golden statue of Murugan, the Hindu god of war. At the top of the steps is the massive Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave, along with several smaller decorated caves to explore.

Come prepared for the climb as the bright sun and high humidity can turn the 272 step climb into a treacherous task. While there are some stores at the base of the complex, make sure you have plenty of drinking water when you head to the top.

We recommend visiting at sunrise as this popular attraction ranges from busy to jam packed throughout the day, especially if it is a holiday in Malaysia. Since we flew into Kuala Lumpur in the morning, we did not arrive until 9:30am and the complex was already teaming with tourists.

The Federal Territory Mosque

Heading back towards downtown Kuala Lumpur, our next stop is The Federal Territory Mosque. Again, using the Grab app to avoid the inflated taxi fees we were provided at the exit. The 15 minute drive from Bato Caves cost us 15RM($3.25). Our plan was to take a quick tour of the Mosque to enjoy its massive and beautiful architecture.

After being provided a long skirt and head covering for Jazmin our guided tour of the complex began. We learned about the history of the mosque, the religious aspects of the architecture, and watched a prayer service which happened in the middle of the tour. The friendly guide also gave us as much time as we wanted to take photos and even helped us find the best angles.

Our quick tour turned into a nearly 3 hour visit to the Federal Territory Mosque but expect the tour to last between 1-1.5 hours.

Thean Hou Temple

With it already early afternoon we made our way to the Thean Hou Temple, a 15 minute drive from the Mosque. This six-tiered temple to the Chinese sea goddess Mazu opened 1989.

While it is located right next to several apartment buildings, once you enter the temple complex it feels like a complete oasis from the city. Make sure you walk all the way up to the top outdoor terrace where you can get some breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building & Merdeka Square

We made a quick stop at Merdeka Square, where it was mostly locals just hanging out and enjoying the afternoon. The real reason we went is for the Sultan Abdul Samad Building on one side of the square with beautiful spiral towers on the front of the building, making for a perfect instagram spot in Kuala Lumpur.

Petronas Towers

You have probably seen a picture of the twin Petronas Towers without even knowing they are located in Malaysia. These identical 88 story skyscrapers are connected by a two-story skybridge on the 41st and 42nd floors.

There are photo points on both sides of the building to capture an epic selfie, either by the fountains in the front or from various points within KLCC Park, on the other side of the towers. You will encounter people offering to take your photo for a fee and send the digital photos to you immediately. While they do take nice photos make sure the price they offer is per photo or for a set of images, and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

You can also visit the top of the Petronas Towers to experience the Sky Bridge & Observation Deck on a 45 minute guided tour. It is best to reserve a timed ticket in advance online, otherwise there are only 1,000 tickets available day of on a first come first serve basis.

The tour starts with the Skybridge on the 41th Floor and continues at the Observation Deck on the 86th Floor with panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur. The tour continues with digital displays about the construction and engineering marvel of the twin towers before concluding at the PETRONAS Twin Towers’ Gift Shop.

At the base of the Petronas Towers is the Suria KLCC shopping mall with countless international brands, restaurants and fast food options. It is the perfect place to have dinner to end your one day itinerary in Kuala Lumpur.

Transfer to Kuala Lumpur International Airport

We had planned on watching the sunset at the Petronas Towers, but unfortunately an afternoon rainstorm put a damper on those plans. Rather than spend a few hours at the shopping mall, we grabbed a taxi back to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport where there is plenty of space to sit and relax, along with multiple lounges included with our Priority Pass.

With our flight leaving at 9:30PM from Kuala Lumpur, we arrived back in Singapore at 11PM.

How much does a day trip to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore cost?

For us, the entire day trip to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore was not expensive, given that we planned it one day in advance and we got to visit a new country.

Round trip flights cost us $185 per person, flying on Jetstar to Kuala Lumpur and Air Asia back to Singapore. This included a carry on bag, but we only brought a backpack as we had to carry it throughout the entire day.

Taxi transportation cost a total of $46 through the entire day in Kuala Lumpur including transfer from KL International Airport to the city. We exclusively used the Grab rideshare app as it provides a haggle free experience at a good price.

None of the attractions we visited during this one day itinerary in Kuala Lumpur. This includes the main attractions at the Batu Caves, which are free! Our only additional expenses were snacks and food during the day.

The total price per person for our day trip to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore was under $225 including flights, not bad!

What is the weather like in Kuala Lumpur?

Our one day trip to Kuala Lumpur started out sunny, hot, and humid which is the standard weather throughout the entire year. A hat with breathable long sleeves is a must to avoid a sunburn or overheating.

However you do need to be prepared for quick changes in the weather. By the time we arrived to the Petronas Towers the sky turned gray and there was an intense rain storm for about 30 minutes. While everyone ran inside to stay dry, it was actually the perfect opportunity for us to get photos without anyone else in them. There is always a silver lining to a bit of rain.

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