Are confused with where to stay in Kuala Lumpur? The best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur are in the center. However, these have very different profiles. So, for example, KLCC, where are the Petronas, is an exquisite but somewhat bland, and Bukit Bintang, is very commercial, with a lot of atmosphere and nightlife. Know in detail the different options offered by this city.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur?
The best districts to stay in Kuala Lumpur are KLCC, where are the Petronas Towers, and Bukit Bintang, a very central and fun area that is my favorite song. There are also other exciting options such as Chinatown, Chow Kit, KL Sentral, or Little India. Each one has its own.
1. KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre)
KLCC is one of the two most popular areas to sleep in Kuala Lumpur. It is the district where the famous Petronas Towers and the Menara KL Tower are located, two of the most famous icons of the city. Officially it is considered as the center of the town of great avenues and skyscrapers, and it is a very modern, elegant, safe and clean area.
It is characterized by its spectacular shopping centers, its shops with the very first international brands, and excellent restaurants and cafes. It is a charming area to walk if you do not suffer from the heat, and your communications are excellent.
It also has an exciting nightlife about which you have to find out a little earlier if you want to find it since its premises are scattered around the area. KLCC’s nightlife is more exclusive and aimed at an older audience than other parts of the city. Here you will find designer bars and rooftop bars on top of the skyscrapers with fantastic views.
I have practically nothing wrong to say about this area, only maybe that it lacks that typical window of domains a little more boisterous characteristics of Southeast Asia and that I love.
Another not so good thing is that the accommodation is mostly made up of expensive first-class hotels. It is difficult to find cheap accommodation in this area. Otherwise, if you can afford it, KLCC is excellent to stay in Kuala Lumpur.
2. Bukit Bintang
Bukit Bintang is for me the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur above the rest by far. It has everything I look for when I travel: an excellent location, good communications, shopping centers, fresh and authentic places to eat, atmosphere, and places to go out for drinks.
This district is located right in the middle of KLCC and Chinatown, which makes it perfect as a base camp to explore the city. From here you can walk to all the points of interest in the town. And if you do not want to walk in the sun, your communications are unbeatable. You have the KL Monorail, the subway, and the GO KL buses, which take you for free through the tourist sites of the city.
The district takes the name of its main street, Jalan Bukit Bintang, where there are several large shopping centers such as the Lot 10, the Starhill Gallery, the Fahrenheit 88, the Low Yat Plaza, with several electronics plants, or the Pavillion, one of the most spectacular in Southeast Asia.
A level of gastronomy is an unbeatable area where you find restaurants of all kinds, in addition to the excellent food courts of the shopping centers. And if it was not parallel to Jl Bukit Bintang is Jalan Alor and his Street Food Night Market.
This street is full of street food stalls and restaurants with open-air terraces of Malay, Chinese, Thai, and other food. To be able to go to lunch or dinner on this street is already worth staying in this area.
Another of its strengths is its nightlife. Spread throughout the neighborhood, there are several new bars and clubs in addition to what Changkat Bukit Bintang offers you. This is a street that at night becomes pedestrian, and that is composed of bars and clubs side by side. It is next to the TREC the most crucial party area of KL.
As for accommodation, it is also a very convenient district for everyone. It has a right mix of luxury hotels, mid-range hotels, and cheap housing. It is not the area with the best value for money, but you will surely find something interesting that fits your budget.
3. Chinatown / Petaling Street
If you are looking for cheap accommodation in Kuala Lumpur, you want to be in a central area, with historical and touristic sites to visit Chinatown is an option to consider. It is one of the most popular areas among backpackers and low budget travelers.
Personally, it is an area that I do not like too much about Petaling Street and its surrounding streets. The area, in general, is a bit dirty, its buildings are quite dilapidated, there is too much clutter of people and tourists walking and pushing through its market, and safety levels, without having to worry too much about it, are worse than other neighborhoods.
To give you an idea on Petaling Street and its perpendicular streets, a market is set up selling souvenirs, textiles, copies of electronic products, and trinkets of all kinds that become very popular. It is to go to see it and not return more on your visit to the city.
That area is especially noisy and the restaurants that are out there are dirty and mostly undesirable. Another disadvantage is that there is little nightlife and their booths, with some exceptions, leave much to be desired.
Choosing this area would avoid Petaling Street, and opt for more by the streets near the Central Market once you cross Jl Pudu. Also, the whole area of Merdeka Square, with its colonial buildings, since it is a much more pleasant and well-kept area.
4. KL Sentral
The main advantage of staying in Kuala Lumpur at KL Sentral is that it is your main transport hub. It is the Central Railway Station of KL and has metro, monorail, and a large number of bus lines, including Go KL. It is perfectly well connected with all points of the city and the airport.
It is a functional area if you want to be close to a transport hub and it is safe, but it has zero charm. You will not lack shopping centers and places to eat, however, the area has no personality, there is no nightlife, and part of it is a 10-minute walk from Little India there is little more to emphasize.
5. Chow Kit
Chow Kit is an alternative to stay in Kuala Lumpur if you do not find what you are looking for in other areas. It is a neighborhood very well connected to the rest of the city that is located right next to KLCC. It is famous for housing the red-light district of the town and its vast market.
During the day, it is worth going over to walk around the market. At night it is better not to step on it. The red-light district has nothing to do with those in Bangkok. Shabby and dirty environment. With everything, the area is popular among travelers with tight budgets.
It is an area with a wide range of cheap accommodation and with excellent value for money in other market segments.
6. Brickfields (Little India)
Brickfields is another area that is relatively well located and decently well connected. One of its advantages is that it is right next to KL Sentral. This neighborhood is the Little India of KL so you can expect interesting shops and Indian restaurants, and some Hindu temples. Little more. It is another area where it is possible to find cheap accommodation in Kuala Lumpur.
7. KLIA Kuala Lumpur International Airport
In the same airport and its vicinity, there are several hotels. If you have a flight to which hours you can be more comfortable sleeping in KLIA or its surroundings to avoid the transfer and the early morning.
The accommodation in Kuala Lumpur has excellent value for money. Although there are other capitals in the area that surpass it in this aspect, like Bangkok, I would say that it is one of the best in Asia.
There are no problems in finding accommodation of all kinds in the center, and that includes the most expensive options for the most crappy and cheap for just a few dollars. What you get is excellent quality for what you pay.
To give you an idea for a budget of around 40 dollars you can get excellent accommodation in 3 or 4-star hotels without too many problems. You can also get in low season (in advance and luck even in high season) offers in 5 star downtown hotels for just over 60 dollars.
Reasonable accommodation is something that is not lacking in this city. As in Bangkok, the price limit is set by the cutrez you are capable of supporting. There are real holes for a handful of euros. For something like 20 ringgits (the equivalent of 3 or 4 dollars), you can get a bed in a shared dormitory. For 25 ringgits, the qualities of the hostels improve a lot.