This diverse capital city is a vibrant mix of old and new, boasting some of Malaysia's most treasured cultural and historical gems and remarkable architecture.
After Malaysia gained its independence in 1957, Kuala Lumpur continued the central role it had played under British rule, becoming the country's administrative and economic centre. Its five million inhabitants live in a city of incredible diversity, a sophisticated metropolis that is home to sites of great historical, cultural and religious importance. Merdeka Square sits at the heart of Kuala Lumpur geographically and historically. It is located among impressive colonial buildings, museums and the city gallery and it was here that Malaysia declared its independence.For a bird's eye view of the city's landmarks head up one of its famous skyscrapers. The viewing deck of the iconic Kuala Lumpur Tower (Menara Kuala Lumpur) offers a breathtaking 360 degree panorama of the city, including the famous Petronas Twin Towers. There are few buildings in the world taller than these downtown giants, which dominates the skyline. Head towards the towers themselves to catch the Lake Symphony water and light show at KLCC Park. Then pop up to the 86th floor, where the views are worth every penny of the ticket price.The Petronas towers may dominate the skyline, but the city boasts other great buildings. Foremost among these are city's stunning Moorish-influenced Jamek Mosque (Masjid Jamek), built at the turn of the 20th century, and the strikingly modern mid-60s National Mosque.From there, walk to the nearby Lake Gardens, where you can relax among formal gardens and a variety of flora and fauna. If wildlife is your thing, the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, with its beautiful peacocks and peckish parrots, is just next door. Larger creatures can be found at the National Zoo, and they don't come much bigger than the country's native tigers and elephants. The Zoo isn't just home to local wildlife though - its animals have come from as far away as Australia and South America.Get the best deals on watches and handbags in the Chinatown on Petaling Street before refuelling with some mouth-watering traditional food. Then it's just a short trip to the Batu Caves for a unique glimpse into the history and culture of the city's Hindu population. At its highest, this sacred network of caves reaches almost 100 metres, and contains a vast number of statues and temples.Mosques, temples, towering buildings, Chinese markets: Kuala Lumpur mixes ancient and modern, religious and secular, seamlessly. This multicultural metropolis, with its rich history and dynamic atmosphere, is unmissable.