We used Kuala Lumpur as a convenient break in-between flights from the UK to Australia. It makes a huge difference to the whole flying with kids experience if you can break up the journey. We’ve done both non-stop to Oz with over 24 hours of travelling, and this option… This is definitely the preference! However, it can be a fabulous destination in it’s own right too. There are just so many things in Kuala Lumpur for kids!
IS KUALA LUMPUR CHILD FRIENDLY?
Malaysia is a welcoming place for families and the city of Kuala Lumpur is no different. You will discover plenty of Kuala Lumpur attractions for families.
We chose KL this time as the night flights worked for us out of the UK, and we decided on flying with Malaysian airlines to KL and onwards to Australia with Emirates.
Arriving at Kuala International Airport KLIA
International flights arrive at KLIA’s Satellite Building. There is a which train brings you to Gate 5 of the Main Terminal; other flights arrive at the Domestic Terminal.
On arrival, go to level 1 at KLIA to pick up a red metered taxi and avoid taxi touts. There are plenty of ATM’s throughout the airport
Departing Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA
In departures, look out for family friendly check-in. There is also a children’s play area is available at the Viewing Deck Level 5 Departure KLIA and Satellite Building at KLIA 2.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR WITH KIDS
What are the best attractions for kids in Kuala Lumpur? You’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of great family activities in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur Outdoor Activities For Kids
Petrona Twin Towers
We spent a fair bit of the time relaxing, but did take the time to visit the Petrona Twin Towers. You can’t take strollers up to the top, so a baby carrier is needed if you are with a little one. However, you can store your stroller with any large bags . (Make sure you take babies changing bag with you!) There is an amazing view of KL from both the walkway level and at the top. The sky bridge is incredible, with an impressive view.
On the 4th floor there is the Petrosains Discovery Centre – an educational and fun place with lots of interactive science activities. As you enter there is a ride which brings you through a dark and tranquil environment featuring Malaysia’s rainforests, mountains and underwater sceneries. You can even experience what a cyclone feels like with the wind tunnel! In the space section, kids can ‘visit’ Jupiter and step into a hurricane! Expect to while away a couple if not more hours! This is a great place to visit in its own right but also perfect on a rainy day in KL or to escape the heat.
There is also an Aquarium at the KL Convention Centre KLCC, if you want to tie that in with a trip to the Petrona Twin Towers as they are next door.
And don’t forget about the children’s playground and paddling pools just in front of the towers. Remember to bring some spare dry clothes.
If you are visiting at night. At night you can watch the musical fountain with the park as the backdrop.
The Sunway Lagoon – which is about 15 minutes drive from KL and open from 10am-10pm. It has a little bit of something for everyone, with over 80 attractions including a water park, a beach, wildlife park and bigger rides for older children. You can even stay there at the resort hotel.
Farm In The City
For little ones, the Farm in the City in Selangor is very cute. They use ‘natural cages’, so the animals can roam as free as possible. It doubles up as a conservation centre as well as the zoo, themed around a traditional Malaysian Village.
Tour the City
Explore the city on the Hop on Hop off bus.
World’s Largest Butterfly Park
One of the loveliest things to do in Kuala Lumpur is a visit to the Butterfly Park – great for all ages and an interesting sensory experience. The Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park is the largest butterfly garden in the world, with over 5,000 live butterflies, exotic plants, butterfly-host plants and ferns. Other attractions are Japanese koi fish, freshwater turtles, live insects and a museum with a large collection of butterflies and insects from around the world.
Visit the Bird Park
Not to be outdone by the butterflies, there is a large bird park in KL too – the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. It is only 10 minutes drive away from the city centre and it is home to more than 3,000 local and foreign birds of approximately 200 different species.
National Zoo of Malaysia
Located on 110 acres of land in Selangor and only 5km from the city of Kuala Lumpur, Zoo Negara Malaysia houses a total of 5137 specimens from 476 species of mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and amphibians. Within the zoo, there is also the Tunku Abdul Rahman Aquarium, one of Malaysia’s oldest and most extensive public aquariums. Visitors will need at least three hours to explore the entirety of the zoo – and to make it easier for visitors to explore the zoo, tram rides are available for £1 to £2.
KL Forest Eco Park
Another popular tourist destination is the KL Forest Eco Park (formerly Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve), which is one of the oldest forest reserves in Malaysia and the only remaining tropical rainforest in the middle of the city centre. Guests can enjoy a variety of trees, bamboos and herbs while taking the well-maintained walking trails that are fairly suitable for children, or while enjoying the Canopy Walk – a 200 metre high wood-and-steel aerial bridge that towers above the forest reserve. Other facilities include a playground, a campsite and a wooden gazebo where guests can savour the view of the Menara KL Tower.
Explore the Gardens
Just a few minutes drive from the busy city, you will find a relaxing place to enjoy tropical blooms in landscaped gardens – the Kuala Lumpur Orchid and Hibiscus Garden. This centrally-located recreational park has thousands of orchid plants and dozens of different hibiscus species and visitors can even buy potted plants or orchids in a bottle from a few shops.
Kuala Lumpur Museum with Kids
Petrosains, The Discovery Centre
Petrosains, located on the fourth floor of the Petronas Twin Towers, is an interactive museum for kids that presents STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in a fun and entertaining way. The museum is divided into 11 main interactive showcases that are good for several hours of fun-filled and educational activities. Kids can also enjoy the iWerks theater and two IMAX 3D cinemas. Other facilities include a nursing room, a parent resting area and lockers.
Planetarium Negara KL
The National Planetarium in Kuala Lumpur (Planetarium Negara KL) is a fun and educational place for kids to learn all about science and astronomy. It is located in Kuala Lumpur’s Lake Gardens and you can easily spot it, just look for its famous blue dome top. The planetarium offers cool interactive exhibits like the Space Ball – a human-sized gyroscopic device that spins volunteers around; and the Galeri Pemandangan lift – a UV-lit lift that takes guests up a minaret-like tower to the Observation Gallery. There is also the Space Theater that plays space films and documentaries.
Indoor soft plays
There are numerous indoor soft play areas in KL – so if you really need the kids to blow off some steam, this guide as a current list of all the soft plays available.
Indoor theme park.
If an indoor soft play in KL, doesn’t fit the bill, how about an indoor theme park? Don’t expect the likes of Legoland, Disney etc but the theme park in Berjaya Times Square, is another place too while away a few hours.
Kidzania Kuala Lumpur.
Just like the ones dotted across the globe, KL hosts the mini kids’ city, Kidzania – where kids can role play lots of different jobs (over 60!). It is open daily too.
Around Kuala Lumpur
- Batu Caves – The Batu caves and temples are about an hour from Kuala Lumpur. Enjoy the most instagrammable colourful steps. There are lots and lots of steps, so definitely one for the energetic kids. Plus watch out for monkeys.
For a really comprehensive guide on things to do in KL with kids see here too.
Top tips and info for Kuala Lumpur.
- On arrival, go to level 1 at KLIA to pick up a red metered taxi and avoid taxi touts.
- Pack a light weight raincoat or buy/borrow an umbrella there.
- Plug sockets are like the UK square pin type.
- It’s a Muslim country so pork is not widely available.
- No visa is required for most countries, but your passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of entry.
- If you are pregnant and flying into Malaysia and not a national, then travel is restricted after 6 months.
Family Hotels and Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur
On our outbound journey, we opted for a Booking.com option and stayed at Lanson Place serviced apartments in Bukit Ceylon. The location is about a 20 minute walk from central Bukit Bintang but close to basic necessities from local small convenience stores. It is also very close ( 5 minute walk) to a fabulous Malay restaurant called Bijan, which has won several Time Out awards: They were child friendly, providing an IKEA highchair, crockery and cutlery.Just be wary of the pebbles at the entrance- either an off roading pram or lifting the stroller is needed.
The Lanson Place Service Apartments are well suited for families and having a 2 bedroomed apartment with a study meant that everyone had their own room – we put the cot into the study. The apartment had a well kitted out kitchen with microwave, electric hob, expresso machine, kettle, large fridge freezer, washing machine and separate dryer. The staff provided a Tripp Trapp highchair and a travel cot, which was waiting for us on arrival.
Complimentary water, plus tea and coffee was refreshed daily. The pool had a large adult pool and a low level toddler splash pool. The lounge upstairs provided a basic breakfast if you not want to bother rushing out buying a few supplies, and also fresh apples were available. The staff were very kind and attentive to our little ones and spoiled them with biscuits. There is a kiddie ‘play area’ but the facilities were non existent – basically just a room near the pool, with some seats and a play tent. Needless to say we didn’t visit it.
Best bit about the accommodation: Spacious, comfortable and the washing machine (a small packet of washing powder for 1 wash is supplied) Being able to clean clothes and pack less is such a bonus on a family holiday!
Worst bit about the accommodation: If I had to be really, and I mean really picky, then there was a slight clinical feel plus a bit of a longer walk to the city centre, which isn’t ideal if caught in a rain shower. The weather initially was quite rainy, so I recommend packing a lightweight raincoat and / or umbrella for the tropical weather.
For our outbound visit, we only stayed for two nights and used that to break the back on the jet lag and get our bearings for the return leg, where we had 3 nights. We visited the Pavilion Mall, which had Mercato supermarket located on level 1 -open from 10am to 10pm. The supermarket supplies a range of baby food and supplies including Australian brand Rafferty’s Garden, Organics Happy, Heinz, Huggies, Johnson & Johnson etc. There are lots of eateries, clothing shops, cinema etc but nowhere specifically to entertain young kids. There are plenty of well maintained toilets and baby changing facilities.
On the return trip, we stayed at the Ritz Carlton in central Bukit Bintang. We opted for the two bedroomed suite, which again included a separate study, lounge dining area, a kitchen with large fridge, cooker, hob, microwave, kettle, 2 bathrooms and 4 toilets in total! You also have your own personal butler! Unfortunately, at our time of stay the building was under going some maintenance, so the main spa pool was out of action, but we were able to use the small pool and also the pool facilities at the JW Marriott hotel which is connected to the hotel via a walkway.
The hotel is also connected to the Starhill Gallery, full of luxury brands and facilities and also opposite is the Pavilion Mall. There was so many options for restaurants, for all budgets. Room service was also vast, with a large selection for children and not just your fried affair, but healthy veggies included too. Children 3 and under, dine free.
At the Ritz Carlton, there isn’t a Kids’ Club as such, although there are daily activities put on between 3-4pm. Including; sushi making, smoothie making, pizza making, towel art etc. The staff are wonderful with the children, making them feel very welcome.The baby sitting service is also exceptional, and available for 20 ringgit per child. We used Halima twice and she was very kind, our eldest adored her straight away.
Best bit about the accommodation: Everything – the suite was gorgeous and well suited for a family. I’m looking forward to seeing the renovations for the pool, spa area though as some parts did look a little tired. It was so centrally located, and easy to walk through the Starhill Gallery to get to other facilities if it was raining heavily. ( I thoroughly recommend the Asianel Reflexology Spa where I had an hour treatment for head, shoulder, neck and feet for 98 RM (£15) – http://www.asianel.com located on the Pamper level of the Starhill Gallery.)
Worst bit about the accommodation: I can’t fault the accommodation, but it would have been lovely to have the option of a ‘proper kids’ club for a couple of hours.
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