Being in a metropolis like Kuala Lumpur where there’s always a variety of options for anything and everything, it also means it is easy getting around. Due to the hot and humid climate over here, we generally don’t recommend walking from one place to another, unless you want a good suntan or you don’t mind the sweat (or maybe, your next destination is just a few minutes walk away). If you’re a traveller or tourist looking up blog posts or tips on the best mode of transport in KL, well, why not hear it from someone who was born and raised here?
If you’ve read our previous post about the best apps to download when you’re travelling in KL, you would’ve heard of our integrated railway system. To shed more light on this mode of transport, this railway network is made up of 5 railway lines, 1 feeder bus line and 1 KLIA transit line. Initially, the railway lines were operated independently by different companies. After the integration, the transition between different lines has been made easier as everything is now interconnected within one system. Generally, the 5 railway lines and its tourist-popular stations are:
- MRT: Connecting Kajang to Sungai Buloh
- Popular stations: Muzium Negara, Bukit Bintang, Pasar Seni, Merdeka
- LRT: Connecting Sentul Timur to Ampang and Sri Petaling/Putra Heights
- Popular stations: Masjid Jamek, Plaza Rakyat
- LRT Kelana Jaya Line: Connecting Gombak to Putra Heights
- Popular stations: KLCC, Pasar Seni, KL Sentral
- KTM: Consisting of the Port Klang Line, Seremban Line and the Skypark Link
- Popular stations: Bank Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Mid Valley
- Monorail: Connecting KL Sentral to Titiwangsa, covering mainly central areas
- Popular stations: KL Sentral, Bukit Bintang, Raja Chulan
Feeder buses known as the MRT Feeder Bus are available at every MRT station which allows passengers to travel from MRT stations to places nearby but too far to be accessible by foot. RapidKL buses are also available at some LRT stations for the same purpose. If you still find this confusing, don’t worry. When you see signs shown below, you know you’re at one of the integrated railway stations. Approach the ticketing counter staff and they’ll be happy to assist you. The trains operate from as early as 6 a.m to late night (between 11 p.m and 12 p.m), with only a few minutes interval between each trip.
Pro tip: You might have noticed repeating station names like KL Sentral, Pasar Seni and Bukit Bintang. These places are usually crowd-centred or tourist-popular destinations like the Golden Triangle area (Bukit Bintang). The reason why there are more than one railway station at a single destination is that prior to the integration, each railway operation built a stop at these places to cater to the public’s demand. After the integration, these stops then serve as a transit station for passengers to interchange between railway lines with just a single boarding token. So if your journey requires interchanging between different railway lines, make sure to keep this in mind! Pay attention to these railway stations as they are almost always transit stations.
There are a few e-hailing apps available in Kuala Lumpur, but the most popular and in-demand app is most certainly Grab. We’ve also covered about Grab in our previous post, and if you don’t mind paying a little more than taking the bus or train, or if you prefer travelling by car, Grab is the way to go. It is user-friendly and easy to navigate. For foreigners, you’re going to need mobile data or internet access in order to use this app. Bookings can be made all day round but fares will be slightly higher during peak hours or on public holidays.
Pro-tip: Make sure to book your ride at least 5 to 10 minutes earlier than your estimated time of departure as it takes time to find a driver nearby, especially during non-peak hours and if your point of departure is further away from town.
KL Hop On Hop Off
Although this isn’t really a mode of transport for you to get around KL, this sightseeing open-top double-decker bus is a great way for non-locals to visit tourist spots and popular landmarks in KL. There are even foreigners-exclusive rebates as well as family packages available. KL Hop On Hop Off passengers are also entitled to exclusive rebates at selected participating outlets located at some of the Hop On Hop Off stations. As the ticket is valid for either 24 or 48 hours (varies according to the type of ticket), passengers are given maximum flexibility to ride the bus at any time in a given day, with no additional charges incurred. This is a great option for those who want to see what KL has to offer but have no idea on where to go or what to see first.
It generally consists of 2 routes – City Route marked as the “Red Line” and the Garden Route marked as the “Green Line”. The route is well planned as both routes are connected with the main interchange stop at Bukit Bintang, with a few other interchanges stops along the route which allows passengers to interchange between City and Garden Route as desired. Check out their tour map below.
The buses run from 9 a.m to 6 p.m daily with a 20 to 30 minutes trip interval according to KL Hop On Hop Off.
Go KL City Bus
There are several bus operating companies in Malaysia, but the most tourist-friendly bus would be Go KL City Bus. Most importantly, it is FREE! It offers free rides to and from areas within the Central Business District of Kuala Lumpur, which also means the Golden Triangle area is accessible with this bus. The 2 main routes are the Purple Line and the Green Line, which take passengers between Bukit Bintang/Golden Triangle to Chinatown/Central Market, and KLCC to Bukit Bintang/Golden Triangle respectively.
GO KL buses run 7 days a week from 6 a.m on weekdays and 7 a.m on weekends to as late as 11 p.m daily. The bus frequency on weekdays and during peak hours is about every 5 minutes and 10 minutes during other timeframes, according to GO KL. Click here to preview the route map.
Fun fact: GO KL buses are called city buses for a reason. Each bus is equipped with free WiFi and designed to be disabled-friendly and eco-friendly. The buses are powered by Compressed Natural Gas which generates less carbon footprint. Rides are also available and accessible at several train stations which include LRT and Monorail, thus integrating it into other modes of public transport around Kuala Lumpur.
Before I end this post, here’s another pro tip for you: Make sure to start your trip earlier if you’re planning to go sightseeing via public transport to avoid traffic congestion and to spare more time in case of trip delays. Bringing a small portable handheld electric fan with you is a great idea too because I can guarantee that you WILL sweat as you walk from one place to another.
I hope you’ve found this post useful! If you would like us to write about any specific aspects of travelling around Kuala Lumpur or Malaysia, let us know in the comment section down below.