As a travelling mum I love Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Why? Well the shopping is OK, the culture is vibrant and the food is great, but that’s not the reason. It’s a completely underrated travel destination for families for three reasons:
- The public rail network that services the inner city is easy and covers almost everywhere you want to go.
- Kuala Lumpur is big but most of the attractions that you’ll want to see are located in a relatively compact area. Unlike Bangkok you won’t be spending an hour in a taxi to get to where you want to go in Kuala Lumpur (well unless you are heading to the airport).
- The museums, science centres, theme parks and playgrounds are either free or really really cheap. Petrosains Science Centre is less is only $2US per child. In so many other cities we’ve visited we’ve had to limit the attractions we want to see in order to stick to our budget. Not so in KL. You might pay a little more for food and accommodation in KL than some other Asian capitals but your children are going to have some unforgettable, educational memories there.
Regardless of how long you plan to spend in KL, here’s three days you should definitely add to your list.
Highlights: Petrosains Science Centre, Suria KLCC shopping centre, Aquarium, Playground and Wading Pool.
The real highlight of a day trip to the Petronas Towers isn’t going up the towers. It’s the other attractions all compactly located nearby.
As far as science centres go, Petrosains is one of the best. Lego, dinosaurs, space, earthquakes, physics, science experiments and more. All of it’s hands on, with activities for all ages. If your children are at all scientifically minded or like hands on activities plan on spending minumum 4 hours there. We’ve easily spent 6 hours inside and could have gone back again the next day.
Petrosains is located on Level 4 of the Suria KLCC shopping centre that is attached to the Petronas Towers. Entry to Petronsains is Adult – RM12.00, Youth (13 – 17 Years) – RM7.00, Children (5 – 12 Years) – RM4.00 and children below 5 Years are free. 20% discount entry vouchers can usually be found in the lobbies of large hotels.
Just outside Suria KLCC and the towers is a large parkland. The parklands contain a well maintained children’s wading pool and one of the largest playgrounds in the world. Both are free and can be located by exiting Suria KLCC and walking around the left hand side of the lake towards the large whale sculptures.
On the right hand side of the lake is the Aquaria, KL’s world class aquarium. There are bigger and better in Asia, but this one offers lots of opportunities for children to touch sealife, including bamboo sharks, starfish and sea urchins.
Suria KLCC shopping centre has a number of department stores with large toy departments, as well as a cinema, Toys R Us and a giant bookstore. The food courts are also cheap and surprisingly good, offering a wide range of kid friendly options.
Highlights: Planetarium, Fairytale Playgrounds, Bird Park, Butterfly Park, Deer Park and the nearby National Museum located just outside the gardens
Lake Gardens are one of the only places that aren’t easily reached by public transport in KL. A taxi is your best option.
The wonderful thing about Lake Gardens is many of the attractions are either free or cost next to nothing.
Eating out on Jalan Alor