Less than 200 year ago, Kuala Lumpur was just a quiet tin-mining town in West Malaysia. Today, this same sleepy village has flourished into the country’s federal capital and largest metropolis. Commonly called KL by locals, this vibrant city is a cultural melting pot, noted for its impressive skyscrapers and buzzing scenes of shopping, dining and nightlife. When compared to other major world cities, KL is one of the more affordable travel destinations.
Like many large cities, Kuala Lumpur suffers from heavy traffic, so getting around is best by monorail. From sightseeing historic landmarks and British colonial buildings in the Old City to viewing the iconic Petronas Twin Towers in the modern district, and browsing the colorful street stalls in Chinatown, there is no shortage of things to see and do in KL.
Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia. It is also home to the Parliament of Malaysia and the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Istana Negara. The city was once the seat of the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but these were relocated to Putrajaya in early 1999. However, some sections of the political bodies still remain in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur has a comprehensive road system supported by an extensive range of public transport networks, known as the Klang Valley Integrated Transit System. It was ranked as being the 6th most-visited city in the world in 2019 by Mastercard. The city houses three of the world’s 10 largest shopping malls. In 2020, Kuala Lumpur was named as the World Book Capital by UNESCO.