Kuala Lumpur is one of those cities you can't help but fall in love with from the very first time you visit. With a bustling street life, breathtaking city views, beautiful architecture, mouth-watering food that's to die for, and a perfect mixing pot of cultures, Kuala Lumpur has it all!
Now, if you're thinking this city sounds great and you would love to visit, I have even better news for you! There is a way to see much of what this beautiful city has to offer completely free!
Kuala Lumpur has a city bus service called 'GOKL City Bus' that operates on four different lines and covers the city centre, taking you to the city's most popular districts, train stations, landmarks and shopping malls in airconditioned comfort with free wifi and completely free of charge (who else wishes all major cities offered a free service like this?!).
I was in Kuala Lumpur a total of four times, and each time I would see many tourists using the hop-on-hop-off paid bus service, which you can see doing very similar routes to the GOKL City Bus. However, this service costs RM55 (20AUD) PER DAY! So don't fall for this tourist trap and use the free local service instead.
These are the busses to keep an eye out for. They're pretty hard to miss!
So, don't be intimidated by the confusing looking route map. Once you get your bearings it's quite easy to follow. And the beauty of it is that each line will end up back where you started. So if you're unsure where you've ended up or you just want to see more of the city from the comfort of the bus, just stay on for its full route!
To make it even easier for you I have planned out the perfect day in KL city centre using GOKL city bus service.
This is a route suggestion for a day exploring the city starting from KL Sentral, which in my opinion is a convenient and affordable place to stay when in KL.
Starting from KL Sentral you will be starting on the Red Line of GOKL bus service. Ride the bus for three stops and get down at Masjid Negara (National Mosque). Non-Muslims are more than welcome and encouraged to visit. If you're not dressed appropriately for entering the mosque, robes and headwear will be provided. Spend some time here seeing and learning about this beautiful mosque then make your way back to the bus stop.
Stay on the Red line for another 10 stops and enjoy the sights of everyday life in the city, then get down at Pasar Chow Kit (Chow Kit Market). Chow Kit is Malaysia's largest wet market and is the epicentre for fresh produce in KL. I personally believe this market shouldn't be missed! Just be prepared for the sensory overload of sights, sounds, and smells. This Market is open from 6 am-5 pm.
After exploring the Chow Kit market, continue riding the Red Line for another seven stops and get down at KTM Kuala Lumpur station. From here it's a nice seven-minute walk to Central Market. Take some time exploring Central Market and then continue by foot to check out Petaling Street and Chinatown area. This is a great place to enjoy some lunch and try out some of the local street foods.
After you've enjoyed some time exploring Chinatown, make your way to the Purple Line stop at Pasar Seni, it's not a far walk. From here you can ride this line for seven stops and get down at Pavilion. Pavilion is a huge shopping centre that boasts some beautiful modern architecture and features. Spend as little or as long as you'd like here.
Once you're ready to leave Pavilion, head back to the same stop but this time get on the Green Line bus. Ride this line for nine stops until you reach KLCC and the beautiful and iconic Petronas Towers. There is so much to see here so take your time. Beautiful parklands and fountains are surrounding the towers, as well as a shopping mall inside of the towers. If you would like to go up the towers tickets are RM80 (30AUD).
I suggest going to the food court located inside the shopping mall and enjoying some nice afternoon tea with a beautiful view of the park and fountains.
Try and time your visit so that you're still around at 7:30 pm for the Lake Symphony water fountain light show. Shows run every half hour from 7:30 pm to 10 pm daily.
Once the show is over, make your way back to the bus stop and hop back onto the Green Line bus. Ride for five stops back to Pavilion. Enjoy the sights of this area lit up at night and take a walk through Bukit Bintang and see this area of the city come to life at night.
I suggest making your way to the famous Jalan Alor, a night food market for dinner. It is approximately a 10-minute walk from Pavilion through one of the most popular night areas of the city. Jalan Alor has an abundance of affordable food options and some of the best in the city! Good luck picking where and what to eat, I know I had a hard time choosing!
Depending on what time you finish up exploring Bukit Bintang in the evening there are a few options to get back to KL Sentral.
If you finish up early enough you can take the Blue Line from Bukit Bintang to Medan Mara where you can change to the Red Line and stay on until KL Sentral. Bear in mind that this route will take a while and busses stop running at 11 pm.
Why not try the Monorail? You can catch the monorail from Bukit Bintang to KL Sentral for RM2.5 (0.90AUD). The Monorail runs until midnight and there is one approximately every 12 minutes.
If you decided to stay out later and enjoy the night scene of Bukit Bintang I suggest getting a Grab. These services work out much cheaper than a local taxi and it is convenient to know exactly how much the trip will cost to avoid getting ripped off. This service will cost you approximately RM20 (7.50AUD) from Bukit Bintang to KL Sentral.
I hope this itinerary taking advantage of GOKL City Bus is useful for your visit to beautiful Kuala Lumpur!
(Red Line) KL Sentral - Masjid Negara: 3 STOPS
(Red Line) Masjid Negara - Pasar Chow Kit: 10 STOPS
(Red Line) Pasar Chow Kit - KTM Kuala Lumpur: 7 STOPS
(Walk) KTM Kuala Lumpur - Central Market: Approx. 7 minutes
(Walk) Chinatown- Pasar Seni: Approx. 3 minutes
(Purple Line) Pasar Seni - Pavilion: 7 STOPS
(Green Line) Pavilion - KLCC: 9 STOPS
(Green Line) KLCC - Pavilion: 5 STOPS
(Walk) Pavilion - Jalan Alor: Approx 10 minutes