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Short Transit In Kuala Lumpur - What To Do

Malaysia Transit - What to do

For anyone having a short transit in Kuala Lumpur and wanting to know what to do, I have come up with some choices that you can choose from.

These places to visit are the main iconic destinations in Kuala Lumpur city for anyone who is on a short transit in KLIA or KLIA2. 

The list calculates the time taken from KLIA or KLIA2 to travel to the city, and by using the KLIA Express Train as this is the fastest route into the city with only 28 minutes travel one way. Also considered are the walking time to the train platforms and so on. 

If your bags are going all the way, you can just exit the airport and make a quick visit to Kuala Lumpur city. If you have to collect your baggage and re-check in, then there are luggage storage services available at KLIA and KLIA2 airports.

What To Do On A Short Transit in Kuala Lumpur?

What to do while transit Malaysia
KLIA2 is the budget terminal for Malaysia where airlines like AirAsia will land at

For those on a short transit, meaning from six to eight hours at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or KLIA2, I have come up with this super quick and almost flawless itinerary for you.

This includes visiting one iconic landmark in Kuala Lumpur and then head straight back to the airport to catch your flight.

Platform for KLIA Express
At KLIA, you need to find this elevator that takes you to the KLIA Express platform

KLIA2 Airport train platform
At KLIA2, the KLIA Express platform is located in the Gateway Mall

Please note that international flights require 2 hours check-in before your flight, but you can get by with 1 hour 45 minutes check-in if it is not peak hour.

Below are some of the major iconic places in Kuala Lumpur you can visit. Please note that the time does not include your 2-hour check-in at the airport, so you need to plan your timing well.

The times given are based on general timing for a common person, but you can actually cut the sightseeing time and save some time for your exploration.

IF you are planning to see multiple places in Kuala Lumpur due to a slightly longer transit, you may want to check out the KL Travel Pass, which includes all your train tickets.

Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers
The Petronas Twin Towers, seen from the KLCC Park area

A. See the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC
  • Take the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral (28 minutes travel time)
  • Exit the station and look for the LRT Train Platform (KJ15) in KL Sentral
  • Board LRT Train Magenta Line, heading to Gombak (20 minutes travel time)
  • Exit at KLCC Station (KJ10)
  • Walk towards the exit and you are outside the Petronas Twin Towers (10-20 minutes)
  • Visit Suria KLCC Mall and the Dancing Fountain - Simfoni Lake (50-60 minutes)
  • Return to KLIA/KLIA 2 the same way you came (50-60 minutes)
  • Total Time: 3 Hours 
Place to visit while transit in Kuala Lumpur
Chinatown KL or Petaling Street Kuala Lumpur in the day

B. Visit Petaling Street and Central Market KL
  • Take the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral (28 minutes travel time)
  • Exit the station and look for the LRT Train Platform (KJ15)
  • Board LRT Train Magenta Line, heading to Gombak (10 minutes travel time)
  • Exit at Pasar Seni Station (KJ14)
  • Walk towards Jalan Sultan, then along Jalan Petaling (7-10 minutes walk)
  • Arrive at the main Petaling Street shopping area (Spend about 1 hour here)
  • Walk to Central Market along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lok (5-minute walk)
  • Arrive at Central Market. (Spend about 30 to 60 minutes here)
  • Walk back to Pasar Seni Station (5 minutes)
  • Return to KLIA/KLIA 2 the same way you came (40 minutes)
  • Total Time: 3.5 Hours 
Kuala Lumpur at Night
Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur at night. Photo by Straits Times.

C. Visit Bukit Bintang Shopping and Jalan Alor Food Street Area
  • Take the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral (28 minutes travel time)
  • Exit KL Sentral Station and walk to the KL Sentral Monorail Station (MR1) (10 minutes)
  • Board Monorail Green Line, heading to Titiwangsa (20 minutes travel time)
  • Exit at Bukit Bintang - AirAsia Station (MR6)
  • Exit Station and you are in the middle of Bukit Bintang area
  • Explore the shopping malls around here and also Jalan Alor food street (2 hours)
  • Return to KLIA/KLIA 2 the same way you came (60-70 minutes)
  • Total Time: 4 Hours
Malaysia Batu Caves
The famous Batu Caves in Malaysia

D. Visit Batu Caves (Only One Location)
  • Take the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral (28 minutes travel time)
  • Exit the station and look for the KTM Komuter Platform (KA01)
  • Board Komuter Gold Line, heading to Batu Caves (35 minutes travel time)
  • Note that train frequency is every 40 minutes
  • Exit at Batu Caves Station (KC05)
  • Walk straight into Batu Caves (5 minutes walk)
  • Climb the 272 steps to the cave temple (2 hours)
  • Return to KLIA/KLIA 2 the same way you came (1.5 hours)
  • The allocation for train frequency is counted in the total time
  • Total Time: 5.5 Hours
*Optional Batu Caves - If you do not climb the 272 steps to the cave temple, you can minus 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on how fit you are.

Generally, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to walk up one way for a decently healthy person. This means you can just visit the foot of the entrance and explore the art cave area and the surrounding areas.

KL Central Transportation Hub
When you arrive at KL Sentral, look for the KJ15 train platform to move around Kuala Lumpur

KL Sentral is quite huge and is the main train hub for entire Malaysia. You can find the MRT, LRT, Monorail, ETS and all other trains here.

For buses, there is only the KLIA and KLIA2 airport bus terminal located at the lowest level.

When you take any train from the airports, they will all arrive here, and you can change to other train services from here. KL Sentral is also connected to Nu Sentral, which is a modern lifestyle shopping mall.

KLIA 2 Fast Food Restaurants
A lot of fast-food chains are available at KLIA2 and also KLIA airport

What to do around KLIA Airport? 

Some of you may not want to risk it and prefer to see what is there to do around KLIA or KLIA2 and let me be very honest as there is nothing much to do in terms of fun and excitement.

Fear not as I included what you can do around the airport for a short transit. Well, they are limited, but still, you can exit the airports and explore around here.

Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA. Photo from Mitsui Outlet Park.

E. Visit Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA

This is a factory outlet park, located some six kilometres away from both KLIA and KLIA2. There are shuttle buses to the outlet park, which are on a 20-minute interval from both airports.

 It also takes 10 minutes from KLIA and 20 minutes from KLIA 2 to travel to Mitsui Outlet Park.

At Mitsui, you can walk around the massive outlet park which offers over a hundred stores in an air-conditioned environment. There are also four zones at the outlet park, including a Japanese zone.

Cafes and restaurants that sell local and international food are available. This place is based on the concept of the common factory outlet mixed with a mall, and who knows that you could probably buy some items for a good deal here.

Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA
Opening Hours: 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM
Shuttle Service: 8.30 AM to 11.10 PM daily
Ticket: Free Service

KLIA2 Gateway Shopping Mall
Gateway @ KLIA2 Airport

F. Visit Gateway @ KLIA2

At KLIA2 airport, there is a lifestyle mall connected to the main terminal. KLIA2 is the budget airline airport for Malaysia, and several budget airlines like AirAsia are based here. If you are connecting on most budget airlines, you will transit here.

For those who connect on full serviced airlines like Malaysia Airlines, Garuda, KLM, Emirates and so on, you will transit in KLIA airport.

This means that you can take the free shuttle bus from KLIA to KLIA2. It takes less than 10 minutes transfer from airport to airport.

KLIA2 Shopping Mall

Gateway at KLIA2 Supermarket
Jaya Grocer Supermarket at KLIA2 Gateway Mall

Gateway @ KLIA2 was created to incorporate a lifestyle shopping mall concept, and this has worked extremely well with the passengers.

There are many fast-food joints, coffee cafes, restaurants, supermarket, general retail outlets and even a vegetarian restaurant available here.

While KLIA offers a choice of shops, cafes and restaurants, Gateway @ KLIA2 is way much better, in terms of window shopping and so on. The mall operates for 16, but some cafes and restaurants do operate much later hours.

Gateway @ KLIA2
Opening Hours: 8.00 AM to 12.00 AM (16 Hours)
Shuttle Service: Transportation Hub at both airports
Ticket: Free Service

KLIA2 Coffee Cafes
Many choices for coffee cafes at KLIA2 Airport

KLIA2 Starbucks Coffee
Starbucks offers a really huge outlet at KLIA2

While you are at KLIA or KLIA2, the area is known as Sepang, which is a district of Selangor. There is absolutely nothing else to do around here, apart from visiting the old town of Sepang, where several budget hotels are found along with the general small-town shops.

If you really want to explore, I would recommend you visit Mitsui Outlet or Gateway @ KLIA2 and this is for those with three or four-hour transits.

Otherwise, you can just chill out at your respective airport before catching your connecting flight. There are quite a lot of duty shops at KLIA worth exploring.

Some of the Premium Lounges at KLIA and KLIA2 are also worth checking out as they have quite good facilities. This, of course, caters to the premium lounge fans.

KL Sentral Shopping Mall
Nu Sentral Shopping Mall at KL Sentral

For anyone who is connecting to the local Malaysian FireFly Airlines that fly domestic, I have done a guide on how to go to Subang SkyPark airport, which is located in Petaling Jaya.


This article was created especially for anyone who wants to know what to do on a short transit in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

There are also business travellers or those in visiting Kuala Lumpur who may have an extra day to spare, and I have done an article for those who need to know what to do in Kuala Lumpur in one day.

If you are on a long transit in Malaysia, this would also come in handy for you. Any questions or comments, please leave them below and I hope this came in handy for you.

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