Asia, Baby, Itineraries, The Very Latest, Toddler, Travelling with Kids

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Kids

Kuala Lumpur has a huge range of fun, and relatively inexpensive, things to do with children. A few days in Kuala Lumpur is all you need to explore the main attractions before heading deeper into Malaysia. We were pleasantly surprised by the many child friendly activities, but there are definitely some important things to know before you go!

Where to stay

We stayed at the FACE suites. Well, sort of. The Platinum Residence apartments available in the same building are much cheaper (£40pn compared to £100pn). For £40pn we got a two bedroom apartment with a fully stocked kitchen which gave us all enough room to live, play and eat! There’s a rooftop infinity pool on the 51st floor with views of the Petronas Towers and a smaller shallow kids pool which Fin loved. Theres also a restaurant, bar and gym (if you like that kind of thing). We stayed at a few places in KL but this was by far our favourite!

At first, Kuala Lumpur seems an intimidating place to visit with kids but it is actually a great place to explore. So here’s our top five things to do and some top tips for visiting Kuala Lumpur with kids…

Top 5 things to do with kids

1. KLCC Park

As city parks go, this one is pretty impressive. The playground is absolutely enormous and has many climbing frames for all ages. Fin could have spent a whole day just in the playground! Right next to the playground there’s a free splash pool with a waterfall, water jets and stepping stones. The pool was clean and there are changing rooms and toilets nearby, although shade was limited around the pool itself. The park also has some great picnic spots, views of the Petronas Towers… and a running track (if you’re into that kind of thing!). There’s a whole day of fun for the kids here for free – perfect for when they need a chilled out fun day.

Getting around: The park is pushchair friendly and there are places to grab snacks in the shopping centres nearby.

Cost: Free once you’re there

2. Batu Caves

Hop in a taxi (35 ringgit each way) or get the train up to the Batu Caves to delve into some ecological and religious history. The steps of the Batu Caves have recently been repainted and are incredibly striking. The 272 “magical rainbow stairs”, as Fin named them, lead up to a huge cave which is home to Hindu {facts about the cave }. Before our trip we were warned about the monkeys but honestly they were not a problem. We saw a few from a distance but it’s nothing like the Bali Monkey Forest where they swing off your clothes and steal your stuff.

Top tip: Go early. As soon as it is light! This way, you avoid the crowds and the heat. We arrived at 8am and it was a little busy, it would have been good to go for 7.30am. Fin likes to stop every three steps to look at ants which is quite hazardous if it’s really busy! It also takes longer to climb the stairs with little ones. There’s a refreshment stand at the top of the stairs if you don’t fancy carrying lots of water all the way up. We spent around two hours there and left around 10.30am which is when the tour coaches were arriving.

Getting around: Of course, this is not a stroller-friendly activity unless you don’t want to actually climb the stairs! Bring a carrier for babies, some water and a camera.

Cost: It’s free to visit the caves, but of course they appreciate donations.

3. KLCC Aquaria

This Aquarium is great fun for kids and very similar to other big city aquariums such as the London Aquarium or Bangkok Sealife. There’s everything from jellyfish to sharks to otters spread across themed zones. The highlight for Fin was seeing a backlit shark egg where you could see the baby shark wriggling around inside the egg which was pretty amazing. The underwater tunnel is really long but has a moving walkway to avoid blockages!

We spent around three hours here, although I’m pretty sure one of those was spent in the gift shop at the end persuading Fin he didn’t need another dinosaur teddy. The entrance to the Aquarium is through the KLCC Convention Centre off the KLCC park.

Getting around: The aquarium is navigable with a stroller (we did it) but you have to veer off into side passages to use lifts every so often. It gets super busy at weekends so try to go during the week if you can!

Cost: Adult RM69 (£13) / Child 3-16 RM59 (£11)

4. PETRONAS Towers

The first time you see the Petronas Towers is pretty exciting. In fact, every time we saw them, we got quite excited. These iconic twin towers tower above Kuala Lumpur and house the Petronas head offices.

You can head up the towers for a short tour (around 45 mins). For that, you get to walk along the Skybridge that connects the two towers and head up to the observation deck for views of the city (weather permitting!) and information on the towers. It’s quite expensive for what you get but it’s interesting and fun for the kids. Although Fin declared his fear of heights after we got to the 86th floor!

There’s more fun to be had at the base of the towers with a fountain to the front and the lake to the back. Every evening (8pm when we visited) there’s a colourful, musical fountain display on the lake which Fin really enjoyed. Underneath the towers there’s a shopping centre with everything from Zara to Gucci and there are some lovely restaurants around the lake.

Getting around: The area is stroller friendly but you’re not allowed to take them up the tower so it’s handy to have a carrier with you too if you have a baby.

Cost: Free to visit or to go up the towers it’s Adult RM80 (£15) / Child 3-12 RM33 (£6)

5. Botanical Gardens

Around 3k from downtown KL are the Botanical Gardens. We had originally planned to walk there but with the heat and lack of decent pavements we took the train there (RM2.5 pp one way) and a taxi back (RM35 one way) to downtown KL.

The gardens are pleasant with a lake, fountain and lots of walkable paths. Some areas could do with a bit of attention but generally it’s a nice place to spend a day. There’s a deer park, butterfly garden (RM25/14) and bird park (RM 63/42)

We took the stroller which was fine, although there are some steep hills in the gardens depending on where you walk. The underground and train stations we used to get there mostly had lifts or escalators.

Other things to do / avoid

KL Eco Park: We had heard a lot about the Eco Park but it was sadly disappointing. Much of it needed repairing with broken walkways and piles of rubble everywhere. There were lots of empty buildings which made it feel a bit eerie. We got bitten by a LOT of mosquitos so if you are heading there be sure to apply some DEET first. Cost: Free

Upside Down house: This was on our list but we just didn’t have the time! So we can’t comment on if it’s any good but it did look like a lot of fun!

Getting around

Walking: Kuala Lumpur is most definitely not a pedestrian-friendly place to visit with kids. Pavements are poorly maintained and randomly end, crossings don’t work and even when they do, cars don’t always stop at red lights. We just about managed with a stroller but baby carriers for small children would make it a lot easier and much quicker to get around!

Taxis: Taxis are a relatively cheap way to get around, and probably the quickest was if you’re travelling more than a few kilometres. Download the Grab or MyTaxi apps to order taxis, or hop in a slightly more expensive blue metered taxi. Generally taxis are well regulated in Kuala Lumpur and often have set prices for journeys. We always asked for an approximate cost before hopping in, even for metered taxis just in case though.

Public Transport: Kuala Lumpur has a decent public transport system which includes a monorail and underground. It’s easy to navigate and accessible with a pushchair. It’s also much cheaper than getting a Taxi but can take a little longer!

MyDaytrip.com: We hadn’t used this service before, however it was absolutely fantastic! Head to the website, select a start and end point and you’ll be offered “add-ons” of places to stop en-route e.g ‘stop in malacca for 1hr for an extra €30’. All the drivers and cars are vetted by the company and car seats provided for kids. It cost the same as a taxi and we felt much safer on our 5 hour journey to Mersing. The drivers/ guides speak English

Escaping the city: Malaysia has a brilliant and well organised coach / bus network. From the TBS (bus terminal) you can hop on a coach to pretty much anywhere for a very reasonable price. We caught the bus to the Cameron Highlands, 4 hours away, for just RM25

Baby and toddler supplies

There are supermarkets on every corner which sell nappies, baby food, milk etc. We bought nappies with us but it was good to know we could get more if we ran out!

Eating

We mostly self-catered and there were loads of supermarkets around for essentials. We spent around RM500 on snacks, drinks and B/L/D meals for one week (2 adults, 1 child).

Eating out is more expensive and will set you back around RM40 (£8) per meal at a mid-range restaurant. We visited a handful of restaurants and there was rarely a kids menu and they never allowed half portions.

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