Kuala Lumpur is a diverse, cosmopolitan city waiting to be explored. As it features an abundance of designer boutiques and international chains, some might be quick to write off this destination for budget travellers. However, this city is full of surprises! There are many shopping venues, watering holes, live music events and clubs for all types of travellers.
Here are five of the best spots to shop (no matter what's the budget) and to discover the Kuala Lumpur's pulsing nightlife.
Five of the best spots to shop
1. Low Yat Plaza
Looking to upgrade your tech for cheap while in Malaysia? Head to Low Yat Plaza. It is the country's largest IT mall with just over 500 shops sprawled across seven floors. But the best part about shopping here is that the prices are negotiable. So start polishing your bargaining skills, and you may return home with that new iPhone or laptop for a fraction of the price.
2. Taman Connaught Night Market
If you are a fan of visiting markets while being abroad, Taman Connaught Night Market will not disappoint you. Stretching for around 2 km, it is the longest night market in Malaysia with tonnes of opportunities for finding the perfect souvenir or fashion item to take home. What makes this market famous is its street food. Taman offers hungry shoppers a variety of cuisines to choose from. They can be local delights, Taiwanese, Thai, Korean and Japanese dishes that won't break the bank.
3. Berjaya Times Square
One of the most popular places to shop on a budget in Kuala Lumpur is Berjaya Times Square. Situated in the heart of the city, it is famous for providing an affordable selection of clothes and accessories. Shop in well-known international brands like Nike or go local and pick up pieces from the Malaysian brands such as Seed and Soda.
4. The Pavilion
For shoppers looking to splurge, The Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit. It is home to 450 retail shops, spread across seven levels featuring international and local designers. It is considered the mecca of haute couture in the city, with high-end brands like Marc by Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors occupying double storey lots. The Pavilion also has an entire floor dedicated to local designers like The Mod House and Flow, making it a fantastic high-end shopping experience for fashion lovers.
5. Starhill Gallery
Starhill Gallery is not for the faint-hearted! If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind decadent shopping experience that is home to the world's most luxurious and prestigious brands, Starhill is all that and more.
This seven-storey luxury retail mall boasts 100 renowned luxury timepiece and jewellery brands, and an entire 50,000 square foot spa and relaxation centre. If you are in the mood of some fine dining after spending top dollar on the latest must-haves, head to the Feast Village for an ultra-posh experience at award winning gourmet restaurants.
Five of the best nightlife hotspots
There is something magical about watching the sun go down while sipping cocktails with a bird's eye view of the bustling metropolis below.
Located on the 33rd level of Traders Hotel, Skybar is one of Kuala Lumpur's most popular rooftop bars. With an ultra-sleek modern design, the venue attracts city dwellers looking to let loose with the nightly DJ's and breathtaking views of Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin buildings in the world.
It's not every day that you can say you have partied in a club that cost RM38 million to build. Kuala Lumpur's superclub Zouk boasts eleven different rooms, a VIP lounge, private lifts, VIP concierge and even a dedicated lane for tourists. Despite being around for 13 years, Zouk is still considered one of the most popular clubs in the town with locals and travellers flocking in droves despite its hefty price tag.
No Black Tie
If loud electro dance music isn't your scene, try No Black Tie. It is one of Kuala Lumpur's leading jazz bars where the country's most talented musicians come to entertain guests. Currently, in its 14th year of running, this ambient live jazz bar is an institution in the city and a must-visit for anyone in the mood of delicious Japanese food and sophisticated music.
It may not be as close to the city centre, as some of the other venues on this list, but the trip to Play Club in Petaling Jaya is worth it. With an industrial themed interiors, neon lighting, giant cages, impressive audio and visuals, and a space that can accommodate 700 people at a time, it is no wonder that Play Club is one of Kuala Lumpur's top clubbing experiences.
A steady stream of local celebrities and international live acts have made Play Club the place to see and be seen. If you are a fan of EDM, trance or electro house - add this club to your Kuala Lumpur bucket list.
Dewan Filharmonik Petronas
For the fans of classical music, Kuala Lumpur's nightlife scene will not leave you disappointed. The Dewan Filharmonik Petronas is an 865-seat venue dedicated to promoting classical music.
It is home to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra but also hosts classical concerts throughout the year. Its magnificent architecture, lovely acoustics and unique events - like the "A Musical Journey in Anime" - make it to one of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur once the Sun has gone down.
Whether you are on a budget or looking to splurge - hit up a shopping mall and savour a drink at a local watering hole. It's a fun way to embrace two of the city's favourite past times, that is to meet locals and take in the modern ambience of Kuala Lumpur.