The city is served by the main airport in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur International airport (KLIA). It’s situated 50km south of the city center in Sepang in district of Selangor. The airport successfully handled 48 million passengers in 2015.
Principal operators are Malaysia Airlines, MASkargo, AirAsia, AirAsia X, Malindo Air, UPS Airlines and Gading Sari.
There are 2 terminals: KLIA1 showed as terminal M on tickets, for all major international carriers including Malaysia Airlines and KLIA2 for low-cost carriers also named LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) including AirAsia, Lion Air, Malindo air, Tigerair.
To not be confused, KLIA1 is divided to 2 buildings:
- The main building where narrow bodied planes like 737 transporting domestic and short-haul international flights arrive at Gates A, B, G and H.
- The satellite building where wide bodied planes such as 747, A380, 777 arrive from international destinations at Gates C. If you arrive at the satellite building, take the aerotrain to the main building for baggage collection, check in counters and ground transport.
You can easily find various facilities in the airport: cafes, restaurants, duty-free shops.
If you want to stay in the airport, KLIA2 holds the Air Asia Tune hotel while in KLIA1 includes the Concorde Inn KLIA1 and the 5 stars Sama Sama.
For visitor from most countries, flying to KL is the best and most convenient way of travel. If you’re coming from Singapore or Thailand however, there are cheaper options to consider.
The trip by train is very easy. A runway connects Singapore, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth (Penang), southern Thailand and Bangkok.
- The entire trip is a 2 days adventure and costs about $80.
- You must buy a ticket for each train you take which can be purchased at train stations.
- From Singapore to KL, you can pass by Johor Bahru then take the train 40 or 42 to Gemas after wait for ETS fast train to take you to KL. The journey takes about 7 – 9 hours
- If you’re coming from Bangkok, take train 36 International Express to Butterworth than ETS to KL.
- The journey from Singapore to KL takes from 5 to 7 hours and costs about $18.
- Major bus companies are Golden Coach Express Service, Konsortium, Transnasional, Sri Maju, Nice and Starmart Express.
- Buses depart from important points in Singapore such as Golden Mile Complex, Kovan Hub, and Boon Lay Shopping Centre.
- Arriving at Bersepadu Selatan, Berjaya Times Square and Puduraya you can easily find transportation for your destination.
- From Bangkok to KL by bus is a great experience, all you have to do is to take a bus from Bangkok to Hat Yai. The trip will take about 12 hours. Then make a second trip from Hat Yai to KL that longs about 7 hours.
How to go from the airport to the city?
You can choose the most common way and take a taxi. At the taxi counter in the arrival terminals, buy a coupon for your destination then show it to the taxi driver. Metered taxis are red and white or red and blue and available all day long. The trip takes about 50 minutes and costs about 100 MR.
Cheap, fast and available every 15 minutes, trains make a great get away of the airport. All you have to do is head to the train station in the first floor of the Main Terminal Building then buy a ticket for KLIA Express or KLIA Transit for 35 MR from a ticket machine. KLIA Express takes 28 minutes for a one way non stop trip to KL Sentral (KL train station) whereas KLIA Transit takes 35 minutes and stops in several stations.
- You can go to city center for much cheaper fare about 20MR using a bus.
- The journey takes from 60 to 75 minutes. Buses come and go about every 10 minutes.
- Main bus companies are Express coach and KL city.
- You can buy your tickets in the bus stations or through Ticket machines.
- If you’re at LCCT you can wait for Sky buses which come and go every half hour with tickets bought on the bus for 9 MR.
- Touch n’go or TnG card: Touch n’go card is an electronic smart card used as a pass board to all public transportations in Klang Valley. It also provides parking services at some retail outlet. It can be purchased at KL Sentral, the central LRT stations KLCC, Masjid Jamek and Dang Wangi for 20 RM with 10 RM deposit value and can be reloaded with an amount from 20RM to 500RM.
- Myrapid card: Myrapid card is a public transport portal for LRT, Monorail and Rapid Bus lines only. The card can be purchased at all RapidKL LRT and monorail stations for a price of 20RM which comes with an initial value of 10RM.
By taxi :
You need to know that there are two types of taxis:
- Budget taxis in white and red or red and blue which start the meter at 3RM and cost you 1RM for each km.
- Bright blue or yellow taxis that start the meter at 6RM then cost 2RM for each km.
Most drivers will refuse to use the meter and negotiate with you for a price especially taxis waiting in the airport main terminal.
Tips and precautions:
- To avoid paying extra fares, it’s recommended to wait for a metered taxi.
- You can use coupon system in airport, KL Sentral, Menara KL,Sunway Pyramid, shopping malls and some hotels, however they cost more than metered taxis
- A good way to find a taxi is by using reputable taxi apps such as Uber and Grabtaxi.
- Avoid giving a paper with your destination as it signifies you don’t know the location and can lead you to pay over charges.
- The fare increases by 50% from midnight to 6:00.
- Be careful of riding unlicensed taxis. The registration number and SPAD (Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission) driver card should be displayed in the front of the vehicle.
- If the cab stops to take another passenger you must quit quickly.
The LRT and monorail:
Taking a train is a wonderful and economic way to discover the city on your own.
The famous MyRapid Light Railway Transit (LRT) operates from 6:00am until midnight with a frequency of a train every 3-10 minutes. The train serves three lines:
- MyRapid Monrail Line taking to the Bukit Bintang shopping and entertainment area in midtown Kuala Lumpur.
- Kelena Jaya Line that you will be using the most passing from KLCC.
- Bangsar and Ampang line that connects Ampang, Sri Petaling and Sentul Timur.
The train gives great view of the city while it’s elevated through the Golden Triangle.
Tokens can be for a single or a round trip and can be purchased at machines or at LRT stations. Another option is to pay using a monthly MyRapid Season Pass or Touch n’ Go card. Costs are very low and varies from 1RM to 5RM depending on distance.
Visiting the Batu caves or Midvalley Mega Mall becomes easy with the KTM railway. Trains depart from KL Sentral heading to these directions however expect a wait of 20 to 30 minutes. From KL to Batu caves, an adult fare is 2RM.
Tickets can be bought online, purchased at the KTM counter in KL Sentral or simply use your Touch n’Go card. Prices varies depending on distance and seats from.
The Hop-on Hop-off Bus:
The Hop-on Hop-off Bus is a double-decker that gives city tours and passes through all major touristic spots. It’s your choice to stay inside or enjoy a magnificent view of the city from the open top.
- The bus is equipped with air conditioning, free WI-FI and different language maps of the city.
- You can buy a 24 hours ticket for 45RM for adults and 24RM for children or 48 hour ticket for 79RM for adults and 43RM for children
- Buses are available from 9am to 8pm and come and go frequently about every 30 minutes.
- Tickets can be bought on internet or purchased at ticket machines.
The free bus Go KL:
The free bus Go KL offers free rides daily from 6:00am to 11:00pm during weekdays and from 7:00 during weekends and holidays with a frequency of a bus every 10 minutes. The bus passes by important touristic sights within the Central Business District (CBD). There are four routes identified by colors: Red, blue, purple and green.
This bus operates daily from 6:00am to 11:00pm but not very available and don’t visit much touristic sights. For all RapidKL routes, you can buy zone-based single tickets (1 RM for Zone 1, up to 3 RM for Zone 4) on board, or use a Touch ‘n Go card (not sold on board).
- Due to the traffic jams, driving in KL can be chaotic for newcomers especially during rush hours.
- Signs are in local language so it’s better to be equipped with a GPS or a map application.
- Cars drive on the left hand side of the road.
- Traffic lights are not always respected and driver’s acts are unpredictable.
- Note also that you need to make a demand for a probationary driving license.
- You can choose to hire a car with or without a driver. Most known car rental are Aviz, Hertz, Europcar, National and sixt. Fares start from 150RM daily and 55RM for a day monthly. You can book through the company’s web site or visit their desks in the city or at the airport.