5 Instagram Worthy Places to Visit in Kuala Lumpur

It seems like every place I fly to in Southeast Asia has a layover in Kuala Lumpur, and this was no exception for our recent trip to Thailand. Since we had never actually stepped outside of the airport during one of these layovers, we figured we would extend our trip a bit to see what KL was all about. I had very little knowledge about Malaysia, nor did I expect for this city to be home to some of my favorite landmarks that I've EVER visited. But to my surprise, this colorful city (or at least these 5 places) will always hold a special place in my heart. 

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As the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is best known for it's skyscraper skyline and mega-malls, but that's certainly not all that KL has to offer. If you look beyond the glistening Petronas Twin Towers, you'll find that there are numerous cultural and historical gems tucked into the corners of this concrete jungle. Home to a myriad of cultures, KL is made up of primarily Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian communities. These cultures are reflected in the food, architecture, and places of worship. The result is a beautiful and unique mix of things to do!

I've compiled a list of my 5 favorite places (which happen to be the most colorful and instagrammable) in Kuala Lumpur - from temples and mosques to other unusual landmarks listed below. If you're traveling through Malaysia, these incredible sights are definitely worth seeing, as they set this interesting city apart from other large cities in Asia.

 

Thean Hou Temple

 

One of the oldest and largest temples in Southeast Asia, the gorgeous Thean Hou Temple was built in 1894 by Kuala Lumpur's Hainanese community to worship the Chinese Sea Goddess. The Buddhist temple has 6-tiers and sits on top of a hill with incredible views of the city below. Strings of red lanterns drape over the courtyard, making for beautiful photos from any level of the temple. Though you might be accompanied by a few photographers, I highly recommend visiting around Sunset for a stunning glow during golden hour, and epic views of the sun setting over the city skyline below.

Address: 65 Persiaran Endah, Off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50460

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PUTRA MOSQUE (Masjid putra)

 

Facing the glistening Putrajaya Lake, the insanely beautiful pink-domed Putra Mosque was built in 1997 and is one of the most modern mosques in the world. Constructed entirely of rose-tinted granite, this massively beautiful structure can accommodate up to 15,000 worshippers at once. The Islamic architecture blends artistic details from Malaysian, Persian, and Arabic designs. It's one of the most stunning buildings I have ever been inside of, with tiny intricate details engraved into every corner. Driving 45 minutes south of Kuala Lumpur at sunrise was well worth it - I hadn't previously been inside of a mosque before, so this was a really inspiring experience.  Non-Muslim tourists are welcome to visit free every day, as long is it's not during prayer times. They'll also ask you to put on a burgundy cloak to respect the culture.

I'd recommend visiting the Putrajaya Boat Club (Kelab Tasik Putrajaya) across the lake for an amazing view afterwards as well!

Address: Persiaran Persekutuan, Presint 1, 62502 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya, Malaysia

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ASTAKA MOroccO (Moroccan Pavilion)

 

Perhaps KL's best-kept secret, Astaka Morocco (or the Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya) is tucked away into the Putrajaya Botanical Gardens along the lake. Though they're incredibly strict on photography at the pavilion, cameras are allowed in the outside courtyard. Resembling the intricate pavilions of Marrakech, this stunning building is a sight not to miss. Skilled Moroccan artists were brought in by the Malaysian government to construct the building, which is a symbol for the strong diplomatic ties between Malaysia and Morocco. We arrived at 9am just when it opened and were lucky enough to be the only ones there. It really felt like we were transported to Marrakech that day!

Address: Persiaran Sultan Sallahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Presint 1, Putrajaya 62000, Malaysia

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FEDERAL TERRITORY MOSQUE (MASJID WILAyah)

 

Kuala Lumpur's blue-domed Federal Territory Mosque is an absolutely stunning landmark that every visitor to KL should visit. This fairly new mosque is not only beautiful, but it can hold an impressive 17,000 worshippers at once! When we visited, we happened to arrive at a time of worship, so as Non-Muslims, we weren't allowed to enter just yet. Instead, we walked around the gardens that line the edges of the moat, which was the perfect place to get a great view of the building. The design is more simple than that of the Putra Mosque, but equally gorgeous in its own way. The architecture is a blend of traditional Ottoman and Malay styles, with gold and blue details that echo that of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Address: Jalan Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, Kompleks Kerajaan, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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PLANETARIUM NEGARA

 

The National Planetarium of Malaysia was certainly not the FIRST thing on our sightseeing list in Kuala Lumpur, but it was definitely a cool place to visit! The blue-domed structure sits atop a hill, which makes this off-the-beaten path landmark feel tucked away from the busy city. Apart from a group of local kids who were there for a school field-trip, we were the only people there! The exhibits and shows are definitely targeted at educating children, but the building itself had some of the coolest architecture that I've seen. Plus, getting out of the beating hot sun wasn't too bad. The cascading blue stairs at the entry were my favorite part - with geometric pops of yellow, this made for a great photo op.

Address: 53, Jalan Perdana, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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