Kuala Lumpur is one of the most popular cities in Southeast Asia and it’s not hard to see why!
It’s the capital city of Malaysia and is the largest city in the country, so naturally, you’ll find plenty of fantastic things to do here. But first, you need to find a base for your trip.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur then I’m here to help! This guide is going to break down the best neighborhoods to stay in Kuala Lumpur, and I’ve narrowed it down to six of the most popular areas.
You’ll get an overview of each neighborhood, the pros and cons of staying there, and three hotel choices for every budget. So, let’s take a look at the best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur!
*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*
No time to read now? Pin it for later!
Overview of Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur
As mentioned previously, Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s capital but it’s also one of the fastest-growing cities in Asia.
It’s actually home to the second largest building in the world after the Burj Khalifa; the Merdeka 118 Skyscraper which was only built in 2022.
However, Kuala Lumpur has so much more to offer than that. Famous for its authentic Malay cuisine, iconic landmarks, and diversity, this city needs to be on your travel bucket list.
Kuala Lumpur is also in a great location for day trips, with Merdeka, Kuala Selangor, and the famous Batu Caves all within reach.
If you’re wondering where to stay in KL then you won’t be short of options!
The city is split up into several districts, and in those districts, you’ll find a variety of neighborhoods. Before you decide on where to stay though, you’ll want to consider your budget, public transport links, and nearby attractions.
Although accommodation is much cheaper here than in other capital cities, the area you stay in will still impact the cost. Chinatown is one of the best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur for budget travelers, whereas KL Sentral is more suited for luxurious getaways.
However, even the most luxurious getaways here are reasonable compared to other cities throughout the world. So, if you’re looking to treat yourself – this may be the place to do it! You can start by taking a look at all the incredible hotels with infinity pools in Kuala Lumpur.
The great thing about Kuala Lumpur is that you won’t have any problems getting around the city. Boasting a fantastic metro system, cheap city buses, and budget-friendly taxi apps, KL is super easy to travel around!
The last thing to consider is the attractions that you’d prefer to be close to. If you’re looking to stay near the iconic Petronas Towers then it’s the KLCC neighborhood you’ll want.
If you don’t have time to read the full article right now, you can take a look at this summary table instead. It covers the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur and shows a quick breakdown of what each one has to offer.
|AREA||BEST FOR||RECOMMENDED HOTEL||MORE HOTELS|
|KLCC||First-timers, sightseeing, public transport links, food||Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur||More hotels in KLCC|
|Bukit Bintang||Food, nightlife, entertainment, budget-friendly||Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur||More hotels in Bukit Bintang|
|Chinatown||Budget-friendly, food, culture, central location||Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur||More hotels in Chinatown
|Bangsar||Food, atmosphere, shopping, nightlife||VE Hotel & Residence||More hotels in Bangsar|
|Chow Kit||Local experience, budget-friendly, culture, food||Sunway Putra Hotel Kuala Lumpur||More hotels in Chow Kit|
|KL Sentral||Luxury stays, first-time visitors, sightseeing, central location||Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral||More hotels in KL Sentral|
Best Areas to Stay in Kuala Lumpur
Here’s a more in-depth guide on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, so let’s dive straight in!
This section will go through the best neighborhoods to stay in Kuala Lumpur and show you what each one has to offer.
If you’ve not been to Malaysia’s capital before, it can often feel overwhelming when deciding where to stay! Whether you’re looking for a local experience or you’d prefer some nightlife, this city has endless options.
Based on my personal experiences and research, this guide will allow you to make an informed decision. So, let’s take a look at each area to see which one is the most suited to you.
1. KLCC – Best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first-time visitors
If it’s your first visit to the city then KLCC is one of the best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur! If you’d not already guessed, then KLCC refers to Kuala Lumpur City Center which is why it’s a great place to stay. It’s also the city’s business and commercial district.
One of the main reasons to stay in this area is the wide variety of attractions. For starters, you’ll find the iconic Petronas Towers in this neighborhood! KLCC Park is also located at the base of the towers, and here you’ll find jogging paths, a public swimming pool, and plenty of areas to relax.
Other popular attractions in KLCC include the Petronas Art Gallery, KL Forest Eco Park, and Aquaria KLCC. This area is also perfect for keen shoppers as there are plenty of malls in the area.
This neighborhood is the perfect spot for foodies too as there’s a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. This ranges from budget-friendly options to fine dining so there’s something for everyone.
Another great thing about KLCC is that the public transport links in this area are fantastic, so you’ll have no problems getting around the city.
This is generally the same for any neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur, but many of the tourist attractions only require short journeys by metro or city bus.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur then KLCC is one of the best options! As you can see this neighborhood has a lot to offer, so it’s no surprise to learn that this is where many first-time visitors to the city decide to base themselves.
Pros and cons of staying in KLCC
- Very central location and there are plenty of attractions nearby
- Great public transport links, so you’ll have no problem getting around
- You may find there to be fewer budget options available here
- As it’s the city center, traffic can be pretty crazy at times
The best places to stay in KLCC
LUXURY – Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur
This Four Seasons Hotel is located near the iconic Petronas Towers and KLCC Park. Not only does it have a great location, but the suites here are incredible!
MID-RANGE – Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur by Far East Hospitality
Boasting a rooftop pool, an on-site restaurant, and a 24-hour gym, Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur has a lot to offer. It’s also within walking distance of KL Tower!
BUDGET – Crown Regency Serviced Suites
This aparthotel offers a variety of self-contained suites and apartments and is in a great location. Guests will also benefit from a car rental service and an indoor swimming pool.
2. Bukit Bintang – Best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur for foodies
If you’re wondering where to stay in KL then make sure you consider Bukit Bintang. This area of the city is known for its incredible street art, foodie spots, and nightlife, so it’s got plenty to offer.
Bukit Bintang is one of the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur for young backpackers, as there’s so much going on. It’s also one of the most popular areas, so expect the area to be pretty crowded.
Like KLCC, Bukit Bintang is quite central so you’ll have no problems getting around the city!
However, it’s got a lot more options in terms of entertainment as there are endless bars, cafes, restaurants, and nightlife opportunities here. For this reason, it’s the place to stay if you’re looking to party.
If you’re a huge foodie like me then this is the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur. It’s home to the city’s biggest street food scene, and the infamous Jalan Alor market. Jalan Alor is a night market and you’ll find a wide variety of street food dishes here, some for as little as $1-2.
Another great thing about staying in Bukit Bintang is the quirky street art that can be found throughout the neighborhood.
Still not convinced? This area is also fantastic for shopping and there are plenty of attractions nearby that you can visit.
Bukit Bintang has so much to offer, and one of the best things about this area? There’s no shortage of budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels so you won’t need to break the bank.
Although this area is more suited to young travelers looking for a good time, you’ll also find plenty of trendy cafes and luxury hotels in this neighborhood.
Pros and cons of staying in Bukit Bintang
- The area is filled with countless of restaurants, bars, and nightlife, so you’ll never run out of things to do
- Great central location with plenty of attractions nearby
- Bukit Bintang can get crazy busy, especially during the evenings and at weekends
- The traffic can get crazy depending on which part you’re staying in
The best places to stay in Bukit Bintang
LUXURY – Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur
This is one of the most luxurious hotels in Bukit Bintang and it’s known for its gorgeous suites, fantastic facilities, and great location. There’s also a Club Lounge on-site that overlooks the Petronas Towers!
MID-RANGE – citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang
This hotel has so much to offer with a cozy shared lounge area, an on-site bar and restaurant, and a business center. The rooms at CitizenM are also incredibly modern and very reasonably priced.
BUDGET – Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur
With two on-site restaurants, a bar, and free parking, Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur is a great option! You’ll also be just a short walk from the monorail and the LRT Station.
3. Chinatown – Best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for budget travelers
If you’re wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur and you’re on a budget, then Chinatown is the perfect option.
This part of the city is home to a huge variety of budget-friendly accommodations including hostels, capsule hotels, and guesthouses.
However, Chinatown is also home to some fantastic 4-star hotels and they are very well-priced, especially considering the facilities that many of them have!
It’s actually one of the cheapest neighborhoods in the city, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp out on the location either. Chinatown is home to plenty of fantastic foodie destinations, street markets, and awesome bars.
Although it doesn’t have the same nightlife vibe as Bukit Bintang, there are lots of trendy bars and restaurants in this part of Kuala Lumpur. This makes it a good alternative for those not wanting to party hard!
However, one of the highlights of staying here is that you’ll get to experience the local culture. A large proportion of the population in Kuala Lumpur consists of Chinese Malayans, and this is due to the influence of Chinese miners.
For this reason, you’ll find plenty of historical buildings and temples here so be prepared for an authentic experience.
Chinatown is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Kuala Lumpur for so many reasons, and is a great way to save some cash.
It’s also relatively central still, as it’s just a short metro ride to the city center so you’ll still be able to easily visit all the popular tourist attractions.
Pros and cons of staying in Chinatown
- Plenty of fantastic budget-friendly accommodation options
- Endless food options
- Filled with many interesting temples
- Some of the more popular restaurants in the area can get very busy so expect queues
- You’ll find some unpleasant hotels and hotels in this area that are ‘dirt cheap’ so go through the reviews carefully before booking accommodation
The best places to stay in Chinatown
LUXURY – Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown
This hotel boasts a variety of excellent facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, a fitness center, and a bar. Many of the rooms also offer striking city views!
MID-RANGE – AnCasa Hotel Kuala Lumpur by Ancasa Hotels & Resorts
AnCasa Hotel offers gorgeous suites, fantastic facilities, and a great central location in Chinatown. There’s a buffet restaurant on-site, as well as a lounge area, and a fitness center.
BUDGET – Space Hotel @ Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
If you’re looking for quirky accommodation in the city then this is your place! The Space Hotel offers capsule-style rooms for a great price, and you’ll benefit from plenty of facilities too including a shared lounge area.
4. Bangsar – Best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur for a ‘hip’ atmosphere
If you’re not into the ‘club scene’ but still want to stay somewhere with a fantastic atmosphere, then Bangsar is one of the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur.
There are clubs here, but you’ll also find plenty of funky establishments offering live music rather than a ‘die-hard party’.
Bangsar is easily one of the ‘coolest’ neighborhoods in the city and is known for its trendy cafes, rooftop bars, fantastic restaurants, and unique boutique stores.
It’s also one of the top foodie destinations in Kuala Lumpur so you’ll have no shortage of street food options either. So, you’ll get the best of both worlds!
Not only that, but Bangsar has plenty to offer for keen shoppers with a variety of malls to choose from.
Located just a couple of minutes from Little India, and a short metro ride from KL Sentral, you’ll find plenty of things to do nearby! Whether this be shopping in boutique stores or admiring temples, you won’t be short of options.
Although Bangsar is easily one of the best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur, there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, Bangsar isn’t near the city center so you’ll need to make use of public transport to get around wherever you decide to visit. However, public transport is super easy to use in the city so that’s not a problem as such.
Secondly, the accommodation options in Bangsar are limited so you may struggle to find budget-friendly properties that have availability.
Pros and cons of staying in Bangsar
- Great for those looking for ‘lighter nightlife’ and to avoid the nightclubs
- Fantastic atmosphere
- You’ll be quite far out from the city center, so you’ll need to use a lot of public transport
- Limited amount of accommodation options compared to other areas of Kuala Lumpur
The best places to stay in Bangsar
LUXURY – Alila Bangsar Kuala Lumpur
This 5-star hotel has so much to offer with a rooftop bar, multiple dining options, a swimming pool, and a fitness center. The rooms here are also gorgeous and feature plenty of amenities.
MID-RANGE – VE Hotel & Residence
VE Hotel & Residence offers both hotel rooms and apartments, so you’ve got lots of choices. They have fantastic facilities too including an outdoor infinity pool, an on-site restaurant, a fitness center, and a free shuttle service.
BUDGET – Komune Living
Komune Living is an awesome option for budget travelers, especially considering the facilities on offer. You’ll benefit from an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, a fitness center, and a sun terrace.
5. Chow Kit – Best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur for an authentic experience
Chow Kit is another fantastic area to choose as your base. This is the place to stay if you’re looking for an authentic experience, as you’ll get to appreciate how the local people live.
Although Chow Kit is located in the city, it gives off a ‘small town’ atmosphere. This area of the city is known for its vendors and daily markets and is one of the least-visited areas of the city. This means you’ll get an ‘off the beaten path’ experience!
The main attraction in this area is Chow Kit Market (otherwise known as Bazaar Baru Chow Kit) which is the biggest wet market in Kuala Lumpur. You’ll also find the largest Sikh temple in Southeast Asia in this part of the city!
Chow Kit is actually located right next to the neighborhoods of Kampung Baru and Masjid India, so you can wander around all three if you wish.
However, the key thing to note about staying in Chow Kit is that there aren’t many other tourist attractions nearby for you to visit.
You can easily access them via public transport or the taxi app Grab, but you won’t be able to walk to any of them!
If you’re not bothered about that and you’re looking to stay with the locals, then Chow Kit is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Kuala Lumpur.
The other thing to mention is that Chow Kit has an extremely vibrant atmosphere so can get pretty noisy during peak times! This isn’t really an issue, but it may be if you’re traveling with small children.
Pros and cons of staying in Chow Kit
- You’ll get to encounter an authentic experience and see how the locals live
- There are plenty of budget-friendly options in Chow Kit
- There aren’t many tourist attractions nearby to visit
- Can be extremely noisy, especially during peak hours
The best places to stay in Chow Kit
LUXURY – Sunway Putra Hotel Kuala Lumpur
This 5-star hotel is one of the top (and most popular) luxury hotels in the city! It’s situated opposite the city’s World Trade Center and offers fantastic facilities, modern rooms, and incredible city views.
MID-RANGE – Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur
Hilton Garden Inn offers a variety of beautiful rooms, many of which feature views of KL Tower and the city skyline. Boasting an on-site restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a 24-hour front desk, this place is a great option.
BUDGET – MoMo’s Kuala Lumpur
Offering both private rooms and bunk beds, MoMo’s Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic budget option. The rooms are very cheap with a modern design and plenty of amenities, and there’s also a restaurant at the property.
6. KL Sentral – Best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur for a luxury getaway
If you’re wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur and you’re looking to splash the cash then KL Sentral may be your best option!
First of all, KL Sentral is considered to be the transport hub of the city so you’ll easily be able to get around. Not only that, but it offers access to railway lines all across Malaysia, so there are plenty of day trip options from KL Sentral!
The KLCC neighborhood is very close too, so you’re only a short metro ride from the Petronas Towers, the Golden Triangle, and KLCC Park.
You’ll find no shortage of awesome places to visit from here, but this neighborhood is also home to a huge selection of incredible restaurants. Whether you’re after fine dining or cheap local cuisine, there is something for everyone.
You’ll also find plenty of shopping opportunities in this area including the NU Sentral Shopping Mall which is connected to the train station itself.
If that’s not enough to convince you to stay here, then the neighborhood of Brickfield (or Little India) is nearby. This area is home to delicious Indian cuisine, Buddhist temples, and quirky stores.
KL Sentral is one of the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur, especially for first-timers who want a central location or those looking for a choice of 5-star hotels!
However, you’ll find budget-friendly hotels here too if you’re traveling on a tight budget. There are just fewer options available.
Pros and cons of staying in KL Sentral
- Great central location so you’ll easily be able to see all that Kuala Lumpur has to offer
- Plenty of fantastic attractions nearby
- Accommodation is more expensive here than in other areas of the city
- Traffic can get pretty busy in this area
The best places to stay in KL Sentral
LUXURY – Hilton Kuala Lumpur
Hilton Kuala Lumpur is located right by KL Sentral Train Station and offers beautiful suites, fantastic facilities, and incredible city views. You’ll also be in a great location for exploring the city center!
MID-RANGE – Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
This 4* hotel is one of the best options if you’re looking to stay in KL Sentral. Not only are the rooms modern and spacious, but many of them offer fantastic views of the city skyline.
BUDGET – Easy Hotel KL Sentral
Easy Hotel KL Sentral is one of the most budget-friendly options in this area and has a lot to offer! With an on-site restaurant, a fitness center, a 24-hour front desk, and an airport shuttle service, this place is a great option.
The Perfect 3 Day Kuala Lumpur Itinerary for First Timers
15 Best Hotels in Kuala Lumpur with Infinity Pools
How to See the Best of Kuala Lumpur in One Day
Want to read more about Malaysia?