3 Days in Kuala Lumpur: My Malaysia Itinerary

In Southeast Asia, Marie and I spent about 3 days in Kuala Lumpur (KL). If we had more time, I would have liked to explore the rest of Malaysia and take a few day trips around the country. I know there are plenty of beautiful nature sites outside of the city we missed. I suspect I might have enjoyed them even more than KL as I don’t consider myself a “city girl”. That being said, I really enjoyed our itinerary and would recommend most of the sites we visited. Here’s what we did during our 3 days in Kuala Lumpur.

Read about the mistakes I made on this trip, so you can avoid them and have a better time than I did. 

Day 1 – March 4:

Check in to the hostel  

We stayed at Back Home Hostel in KL and loved it. It was one of the cleanest places I’ve stayed and I loved the bright, open rooms that had plenty of shelf and storage space. There’s a great café attached that serves breakfast and lunch, and as Marie and I were feeling a little frazzled this leg of the trip and really enjoyed their food, we ate there every morning for ease.

Brunch @ LOKL café

If you end up staying at the Back Home Hostel, you have to check out this adorable cafe located next door.


After nearly a week of travel from mid-west USA to Southeast Asia, we were pretty tired! No shame in the nap game to get you rested for the next day of adventure.

Heli Lounge Rooftop bar  

After a nice afternoon nap, we did a little research into rooftop bars in the city hearing from other hostel-dwellers that they were a KL highlight. We ended up at the rooftop bar and had an amazing time, getting lucky with perfect seats on the edge of the roof.

Day 2 – March 5:

Brunch @ LOKL

I woke up with a headache from the red wine we had at the Heli Lounge and was in dire need of food when I woke up, so we decided to stay close to the hostel and get something quick at the LOKL café (again).

KL Butterfly Park  

After freshening up post-breakfast, we consulted our maps and set off for the KL Butterfly Park. Marie is a longtime butterfly fan and photographer, so we allotted plenty of time to enjoy the park and take plenty of photos of these fragile, winged beauties.

a black butterfly with bright green triangles on his wings, stretched out wings wide over a leaf.

a teeny bug perched upon a pink flower

Islamic Arts Museum  

We walked from the Butterfly Park to the museum next and got caught in a rain storm, so we sat underneath a highway overpass for a bit with a few Malaysian families riding their motorcycles until it passed. We also witness a car hit and kill a bird on the street right next to us, so it was an intense journey! After arriving, we made a B-line to the museum lunch buffet, hungry from chasing the butterflies and running from the rain storms in the heat. I’m so glad we did because this felt like a very authentic Malaysian meal and was delicious, even though I didn’t have much of an appetite at this point.

a white dome on the ceiling of a museum with gold detailing

National Mosque  

Across the street from the art museum was the National Mosque, which Marie was particularly excited to visit after having taken a world religions class in college and having some context for the religious sites we were seeing throughout Asia. It was a beautiful and intricately designed building, with interesting effects from the natural light and cutouts on the walls. I’ll admit, though, I was caught a bit off guard by the fact you could buy all sorts of trinkets and souvenirs right outside the main prayer hall.

the geometric designed walls of the national mosque in Malaysia

Marie wearing a purple robe to cover up in the national mosque

Dinner @ Food Court in Mall  

I was exhausted by the end of this day and hardly wanted to get out of bed but Marie fortunately convinced me to leave the hostel for dinner. We took the receptionist’s recommendation to Uber to a nearby mall which had a food court with lots of authentic Malaysian food. Marie and I ordered a few things which I struggled through eating, my headache still taking its toll. I can’t remark on the food as I was distracted by the pain, but it seemed like a place I would have enjoyed in other circumstances.

Day 3 – March 6:


Another day, another LOKL breakfast.

Batu Caves

After brunch, we caught the metro to the Batu Caves, which was a much easier and efficient trip than I would have imagined. Malaysia’s subway system was more confusing to me than Singapore’s. However, in comparison to our navigation in Thailand in the upcoming days, this was relatively simple to maneuver.

A giant gold statue in front of the Batu Caves, of a Hindu god.

The caves were well worth the visit. Between the impressive statue of Hindu Lord Muguran, the beautiful views at the top of the stairs, and the cave opening inside, it was quite a place to visit. With monkeys running freely around everywhere, it was an animal lover’s paradise too. If you don’t have an appropriate outfit to visit the temples inside, no worries!  There are attendants with inexpensive skirts for rent at the entrance of the 272 stairs.

Stairs leading up to the cave opening in Batu Cave

There are a lot of shops around the area, and we stayed for lunch and souvenir shopping on our visit. We also stopped at a stall to get henna. After Marie and I finished, we realized we accidentally got matching designs despite each looking through a book of nearly 100 options. We woke up at a decent hour to visit the caves, before it became to hot to enjoy the steep climb up. Still, we were finished with all this by midday with plenty of time for sight-seeing left in the afternoon.

a cave opening lets in light and a view of the clear blue sky

KWC Fashion Mall  

The KWC is a huge 7-story, some 800 store mega-mall that is easy to get lost in, especially if you’re not sure what you’re there to buy. If you forgot something on your trip, this is a great place to buy clothes or pretty much anything else.

We stopped here after the Batu Caves for lunch and ended up having dinner here too. There are several food court areas with plenty of options. (Not to mention we got caught in another rainstorm and waited until it passed to leave).

Day 4 – March 8:

Brunch @ LOKL  

We weren’t kidding about eating here every day…(I accidentally deleted/lost some of my Malaysia photos, or this would be primarily a food post!)

Flight to Krabi, Thailand

From Kuala Lumpur, we flew in to Krabi on the west cost of Thailand for more adventures. There is so much more we didn’t get to see in Kuala Lumpur and I’d love to go back to explore again. I’d love to hear your favorite things in Kuala Lumpur so I can build my itinerary for my next visit!

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3 Days in Kuala Lumpur: My Malaysia Itinerary