Airport guide

Airports in Kuala Lumpur

While the rest of Malaysia lives quietly and simply, the city of Kuala Lumpur keeps up with contemporary culture and modern evolution. Glass high-rises, glitzy hotels, and hundreds of restaurants offering five-star international cuisine line the city. Despite its modernization, however, Kuala Lumpur holds its history sacred.

Whether you’re vacationing in Kuala Lumpur or your flight to Kuala Lumpur is a stopping point before further Malaysia travel, take some time and explore the city. Start in Merdeka Square (translated to “Independence Square”), and visit the Sultan Abdul Building, where the city’s government branches sit; the Royal Selangor Club, a high-ranking social club; and the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. The area of Jalan Petaling hosts outdoor markets and shops influenced mainly by the Chinese community. A jaunt across the river will land you in Lake Gardens where travelers can explore Kuala Lumpur's bird park, butterfly park, and other gardens.

Need something to show your friends and family? How about a picture of the tallest twin buildings in the world? The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are located in downtown Kuala Lumpur and until someone builds something taller, these two towers hold the record. Take a window seat on your Kuala Lumpur flight and see the towers from 35,000 feet up in the air – it’s an awe-inspiring moment that few travelers to Southeast Asia experience.

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Kuala Lumpur climate

When planning your cheap flight to Kuala Lumpur, take rain into consideration, or you’ll be wishing you brought your galoshes. Malaysia’s placement near the equator generates hot and humid weather all year round, with heaps of driving rainfall. Daytime temperatures soar into the 90’s, and nights fall only to the 70’s, with regular humidity reaching 90 percent on a daily basis. Rain comes in all forms, spanning from quick and refreshing showers to drowning monsoons in the months between November and February. Torrential downpours and strong winds in the winter are supplemented by the bone-dry months of June and July.

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Best Time to Fly to Kuala Lumpur

To experience the city at its fullest, book your flight to Kuala Lumpur when the crowds roll in, so you’re sure to see the town at its ultimate capacity. Join the swarm around holidays and school vacations.

Peak Season: School vacations in early April, early August, mid November, and in early January are the most popular times for people to book flights to Kuala Lumpur, so make sure to book yours in advance to lock in a spot in the madness. Since June and July are the driest months, they also provide the perfect opportunity to walk around the city.

Off-peak Season: Since rain falls almost year round, an off-season here doesn’t really exist. To be as discerning as possible, book cheap flights to Kuala Lumpur before or after autumn, when the wettest months make for crowded, clammy public transportation. While some Muslim countries might note Ramadan as an off-season, Kuala Lumpur is rather liberal, so most businesses will still be open and ready for customers.

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Getting downtown Kuala Lumpur

The Express Rail Link train provides fast transportation to the city center. The KLIA Express and the KLIA Transit links the airport to Kuala Lumpur (KL Sentral - City Air Terminal) and vice-versa. At the City Air Terminal departing passengers have the option of checking-in their luggage, receiving their boarding passes and proceeding to board the train for the airport. Immigration clearance will be completed there. Travel time between KL Sentral to the airport is 28 minutes on the KLIA Express and 37 minutes on the KLIA Transit. Taxis are also available; they should be paid for in advance at the ticket counter in the arrivals hall. Many hotels can arrange for a car to pick up guests, though this is generally more expensive than taking a taxi.

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Getting around Kuala Lumpur

Public transportation and taxis are the way to go in Kuala Lumpur. The monorail and light rails are both fast and easy to figure out. Take the KL Monorail to get to the main shopping and hotel districts or the Putra LRT to get to Chinatown. Taxis can be hailed or picked up at stands. Note that calling for a taxi will cost you a surcharge. There is also a surcharge for late-night and early-morning trips. Don’t worry about finding a taxi; there are tons, unless it’s rush hour or raining. It’s smart to make sure your driver is clear on your destination, that he knows how to get there and that the meter is turned on. Driving in Kuala Lumpur is not recommended. It’s amazing how much farther away your destination will seem after walking in Kuala Lumpur’s heat and humidity – consider distance before taking a stroll. Traffic will make your trip even slower and crossing the street can scare years off your life. Follow a group of pedestrians and cross with them if you can. Traffic is so congested that renting a car is a waste of time. There isn’t any space on the road and traffic jams slow rush hour to a crawl.

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Kuala Lumpur Travel Information

Bazaar Baru Market: If you’re sick of standing in line, buying tickets, and seeing the same sights as every other camera-toting tourist, shake the droves of day-trippers and shop like a local. The Bazaar Baru Market sells everything you need for a truly unique consumer encounter. Take the money you saved on a cheap flight to Kuala Lumpur and buy clothes, stationary, spices, meats, and fruits like the natives do. It’s easy to make the experience a sensory one – sounds, smells and sights will overwhelm your perception in the best way possible as you meander through tiny aisles and around stray animals looking for a treat. Bring a bag, because there’s no way you’ll leave empty handed, and think ahead to allow baggage room for your return Kuala Lumpur flight.

Butterfly Reserve: In a hidden spot near the Lake Gardens, you’ll find a place where the little things matter most. Little things, like bugs. Though you might not want these creepy crawlers inching around on your flight to Kuala Lumpur, you’ll be wowed when you walk into the Butterfly Reserve and encounter exciting brushes with tiny, buzzing, flying creatures. Colossal butterflies with massive wingspans and dazzling colors flutter around in a protected environment. Nearby, the Bug Gallery showcases giant centipedes and crawly spiders in containers. Dead bugs are mounted and sold, but use your discretion: some species are endangered, and purchasing them encourages their elimination.

Chan She (*Also spelled “See”) Shu Yuen Temple: Situated in historic Chinatown, one of the largest and oldest surviving temples in Malaysia remains a center of the Chinese community. This Petaling Street place of worship is decked with a tiled roof, celestial paintings, wooden carvings, and a Buddhist shrine. Built in 1906, its architecture is influenced by the ancient Chinese methods of roofing and coloring, and the terracotta depicts scenes from important events in Chinese history. When you’re done wandering through the sacred scenery, head to the back of the temple, where a library houses more than 4,000 Chinese books.

Bangsar: Just outside the city limits, there’s a section of town that every taxi driver knows. Sometimes called “Kweiloh Lumpur,” meaning “Foreigner Lumpur,” a nook of 2-3 blocks filled with bars, cafes, and restaurants has been drawing expatriates for years. It’s a bit quieter on weekdays, but revs up again each weekend. For the visitor missing home and aching for a return Kuala Lumpur flight, hop in a cab for a small fare and join the other outsiders in a round of drinks.

Petronas Twin Towers: Eighty-eight stories and 1482 feet soaring into the air, what once were the tallest buildings in the world still tower in all their glory. The pair of buildings, called Petronas win towers was erected with geometric Islamic architecture, and visitors are allowed to view the city from the 41st and 42nd floors, where a glass bridge connects the two structures. With free admission in the city’s center, you can’t beat this convenient and once-in a lifetime sight Not even a window-seat view on your flight to Kuala Lumpur can compare.

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Kuala Lumpur airports

Your cheap flight to Kuala Lumpur will arrive at Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL). The airport is located in Sepang, 31 miles south of Kuala Lumpur.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    New York (JFK) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL)
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    New York (JFK) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL)
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    New York (JFK) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL)
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    New York (JFK) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL)
    from$864RTwith Smartfares.com
    New York (JFK) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL)
    from$864RTwith Smartfares.com
    New York (JFK) to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL)
    from$864RTwith Smartfares.com
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    Approx flight times

    Newark International to Kuala Lumpur:
    20 hr 45 mins

    In-flight reading

    The Consumption of Kuala Lumpur

    Ziauddin SardarA biography of the city that covers its emergence as a metropolis over the last decade.

    The Consul’s File

    Paul TherouxA collection of short stories about a British consul posted in Ayer Hitman, near KL, in the 1970s.

    Petronas Towers

    Janet Halfmann and Catherine M. PetriniIllustrated book about KL’s most famous landmark.

    Travel Tips