What to do on an 8 hour layover in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a major hub for traveling to various destinations across Asia, but what happens if you end up with a long layover? This has happened to me when connecting onwards to Indonesia and KLIA is not exactly the most luxurious or exciting airport to kill more than a couple of hours in.

My last layover was 8 hours long, which is what I’ve based this post on, but you can probably make a break for the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur with 6 hours or more to spare (or 5 if you like life on the edge…)

View from the Petronas towers at sunset

View from the Petronas towers at sunset

Getting into Kuala Lumpur from the airport

Thanks to the KLIA Ekspres you can make it into KL Sentral within 30 minutes, giving you plenty of time to explore if you have a long enough layover. During peak hours the train leaves every 15 minutes (starting on the hour) and every 20 minutes off peak. A return ticket is 100 Ringgit for an adult, so just under £20.

My favourite thing to do in KL is to eat so I tend to plan my layovers around eating. For more detail on what to eat in KL, you can check out my post here. Any of the chains with various mall locations will be easily reachable from the airport.

Mid Valley Mall

Just 6 mins from KL Sentral on the Kmuter train lies mid valley mall where you can stock up on some great eats including Ippuo, Din Tai Fung and Sushi Zanmai.

Mixed sashimi at Sushi Zanmai

Mixed sashimi at Sushi Zanmai

Pork belly friend rice at Din Tai Fung

Pork belly friend rice at Din Tai Fung

Other eats

If you want to head anywhere else then get a Grab car from KL Sentral (most 10 minute journeys come in at only 5 RM)

How to get to the Petronas Towers from the airport

The obvious layover choice is to visit the Petronas Twin Towers. If you’re planning to  during a layover then you’ll need to book ahead on the website. You can buy tickets here.

The towers are situated at KL City Centre so you need to change for the LRT at KL Sentral which takes around another 10 minutes to get you to KLCC.View of the Petronas Towers at night

When to go to the Petronas Towers and how to book

It’s wise to book a few weeks in advance to make sure the slot you need for your layover is available. I recommend trying to time your visit with sunset for the best views and a chance to see the view during both the day and night.

The towers are closed every Monday but open other days 9am – 9pm except on Fridays when they close between 1pm and 2:30pm.

Current ticket prices are 85 Ringgit (around £15) for an adult.

Rough itinerary for an 8 hour layover

  • KLIA Ekpres from the airport to KL Sentral and change for KLCC (1 hour)
  • Visit the Petronas Towers (1.5 hours)
  • Dinner in Pavilion Mall (I recommend Ippudo or Din Tai Fung) and a bit of shopping (2.5 hours)
  • Train back to the airport (1 hour)
  • Arrive 2 hours before your flight to check in and get through security
View of the Petronas Towers from the Menara KL Tower

View of the Petronas Towers from the Menara KL Tower

 

 

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