If you’re heading on holiday to Kuala Lumpur, prepare to find yourself spoiled for breathtaking city views, colonial architecture, lush greenery, quaint temples, towering skyscrapers as well as friendly locals going about their daily routines. Obviously, you want to capture these moments to share with your loved ones back home, and it seems everyone has a camera these days. If you are heading to KL, camera in hand, we are pretty sure you will take these snaps (no matter how cliché, it’s always someone’s first time, right?).
We’ve compiled a fun list of common photos everyone takes in Kuala Lumpur, though we highly recommend thinking out of the box while you’re at these highly-photographed spots so that you don’t end up with boring snapshots!
1. Petronas Twin Towers
The most photographed locale in Kuala Lumpur is undeniably, the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Also known as KLCC, this 88-storey building stands at an imposing height of 452 metres and is hailed as the world’s tallest twin structure. Complementing the Islamic-inspired architecture is the beautifully landscaped KLCC Park, complete with water fountains and spacious walking paths, which make for a great base for tourists to put their posing skills to the test. The double-decked Skybridge, situated on the 41st and 42nd floors of the Petronas Twin Towers, is also one of its major draws, where guests can photograph the breathtaking city landscape from a jaw-dropping height.
Photographers Top Tip: Shoot from KLCC Park as the swaying trees and water fountains make for more dynamic-looking shots.
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 19:00 (closed for Friday prayers 13:00 – 14:30)
- Address: Kuala Lumpur City Centre
2. Menara KL Tower
Jalan P. Ramlee
Menara KL Tower, currently the eighteenth-tallest freestanding structure in the world, is also one of Malaysia’s most recognisable and popular landmarks. The tower was constructed in 1994 and stands at 421 metres with a viewing deck at 276 metres, offering a marvellous view of the entire sparkling city centre. Situated atop the Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill) Forest Reserve, the tower’s architectural-style reflects Malaysia’s dominant Islamic heritage with Arabic scripts, Islamic tiles, and archetypal Islamic floral and abstract patterns. Along with the Petronas Twin Towers, it’s almost criminal to travel here without taking a snapshot or two of this iconic KL attraction.
Photographers Top Tip: For great pictures of the KL Tower looming over the city landscape during sunset, Heli Lounge Bar (situated on the 34th floor of Menara KH building) offers a breathtaking view (as well as great range of alcoholic beverages).
- Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 09:00 – 22:00, Saturday & Sunday 09:30 – 22:00
- Address: Jalan Punchak, Off Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 208 5448
3. The Chinese Red Gate of Petaling Street
A picturesque landmark in Kuala Lumpur and a world-wide signifier of Chinese heritage, The Chinese Red Gate of Petaling Street is an iconic archway in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown with the words ‘Jalan Petaling/Petaling Street’ spelled out in gold letters greets visitors at its main entrance. This ornate gate is an iconic structure and we guarantee when you find it, there will be people happily snapping away underneath it.
Petaling Street is Kuala Lumpur’s well-known shopping district, where the whole area transforms into a lively and vibrant night market after dark, with hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of stuff at dirt-cheap prices. Petaling Street is easily accessible with an efficient network of public transportation.
Photographers Top Tip: Highly popular for its night market, Petaling Street is best photographed after the sun sets in KL, where multi-coloured lights and red Chinese lanterns illuminate the stalls.
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 12:00 & 18:00 – Late
- Address: Jalan Hang Lekir, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2693 6661
4. Pavilion Water Fountain
Pavilion Shopping Centre, situated in the bustling Bukit Bintang district, is a luxurious upmarket shopping complex in Kuala Lumpur. Featuring an all-white marble architectural design, this shopping Mecca resembles an oversized Grecian temple with post modern pillars and houses over 450 international brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. At the main entrance of Pavilion KL is the tallest Liuli Crystal fountain in Malaysia, the Pavilion Crystal Fountain. Billed as a national landmark, it is one of the most commonly photographed structures in the city. Also, just like Rome’s Trevi Fountain you can toss in your loose change to make a wish (don’t tempt fate by wishing for that Gucci handbag you spotted in the window display).
Photographers Top Tip: As the Pavilion Water Fountain features colourful neon lights and gorgeous waterworks, it’s best to be there between 21:00 to 23:00. Also, frame your shot of the fountain in front of Pavilion KL Shopping Centre instead of congested traffic.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00
- Address: Pavilion Shopping Centre, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2118 8833
5. Sultan Abdul Samad Building at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square)
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building at Dataran Merdeka is one of the city’s most important tourist attractions and a historical landmark in Kuala Lumpur. Hailed as one of the city’s earliest Moorish-style buildings, it is situated to the east of Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) and the Royal Selangor Club, across from Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin. Constructed entirely of brick, the building features strong gothic, western and Moorish-style influences with an imposing porch, graceful arches, and curved colonnades topped with shiny copper cupolas and a striking 41.2 metre-high clock tower.
Photographers Top Tip: Best shot during midday, you can photograph details of the building’s Moorish architecture with the clear blue sky as the backdrop.
- Address: Jalan Tun Perak, Kuala Lumpur
6. Brickfields Little India
Little India in Brickfields, situated just a 10-minute walk from KL Sentral station, is a bustling street that’s decorated with colourful floral paintings, pastel-hued buildings, and Indian pop tunes blaring out of Indian stalls, stores and restaurants run by the country’s Indian community. Visitors can find traditional Indian goods such as colourful saris, flower garlands, spices and Bollywood music here. A place filled with interesting photo opportunities, Little India in Brickfields houses a 35-foot fountain at the junction between Jalan Travers and Jalan Tun Sambanthan, white street lamps and creamy-yellow arches with purple embellishments, as well as glittering Hindhu temples.
Photographers Top Tip: Little India is particularly spectacular during festive occasions such as Deepavali and Thaipusam, where colourful apparels and flower garlands are displayed in front of the pastel-coloured stores all the way from morning till night.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 21:00
- Address: Jalan Travers to Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields
7. Hawker Food Stalls at Jalan Alor
Jalan Alor, a bustling street in Bukit Bintang, is well-regarded for housing the most number of hawker stalls and seafood restaurants in Kuala Lumpur city centre. Open from 17:00 onwards, Jalan Alor stays loud and vibrant throughout the night with throngs of locals and tourists enjoying a variety of local and international delicacies on plastic tables and chairs. Jalan Alor is also a great place for taking photos as it exudes a traditional Oriental charm with atmospheric air-conditioned Chinese seafood restaurants, bright fluorescent restaurant signage lighting and mini red Chinese lanterns strung up in the trees.
Photographers Top Tip: Jalan Alor is best photographed between 21:00 and 00:00 when the street gets busy with hungry visitors while signage lighting and red lanterns brighten up the entire vicinity.
- Address: Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur (behind Jalan Bukit Bintang)
8. Central Market
Central Market, also known as Pasar Seni, is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most familiar landmarks, a shopping paradise, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Located along Jalan Hang Kasturi (a few minutes away from Petaling Street), the art-deco style building is easily recognised thanks to its baby blue-hued exterior and local ‘Baroque’ trimmings. Home to several art galleries, boutiques, kitsch handicrafts and souvenir stalls with traders selling local merchandise, Central Market serves as a focal point for the Kuala Lumpur’s artistic community. Central Market also hosts a variety of vendors that bring out their best wares during the country’s colourful and exciting annual festivals such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Deepavali.
Photographers Top Tip: To capture a clear shot of Central Market’s light blue walls and baroque trimmings with little distractions in the background, head there before midday as traffic is very congested with buses and taxis.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00
- Address: 10, Jalan Hang Kasturi
- Tel: +603 2031 0399 or +603 2031 5399 or +603 2031 7399
9. The Monorail
All Around KL
The monorail in Kuala Lumpur is just one of several public transport options in the city, but it is by far the cutest. It moves along at a sedentary pace and the miniature size of it has a cute look that just cries out to be photographed. They are often decorated in loud patterns with bright hues, some even resembling the iconic London bus. Kuala Lumpur’s monorail line connects the KL Sentral transport hub with the bustling Golden Triangle area, with a total of 11 stops in between.
Photographers Top Tip: If you are looking to capture photos of the colourful monorail trains cruising along the tracks, make sure you are in the city centre during early morning until afternoon.
- Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 00:00
10. ‘I Love KL’ sign at KL City Gallery
The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, situated just beside Dataran Merdeka, is a visual tourist information centre that houses a collection of paintings and photos of Kuala Lumpur’s history, as well as miniature displays of famous city landmarks. Set in a 114-year old, colonial-style building, this free museum is great if you want to find out a little bit more as it features a massive wall with a detailed timeline chronicling its humble origins in the 1850s to its current status as a metropolitan city. The most memorable aspect of KL City Gallery is its four-metre high “I Love KL” sculpture located right beside the entrance – it’s a very popular photo-op for tourists and locals alike.
Photographers Top Tip: Best shot during the blue hour just after dusk, angle your shot so that the KL City Gallery’s colonial-style building is in the background. After that, just do as many silly poses as you can!
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 18:00
- Address: 27, Jalan Raja, Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2698 3333