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Written by Nadia Crowe
Edited by Candice Neo

Despite actually having a job now, I still somehow find myself as broke as I was during my university days. Don’t ask me how, it just happens. Obviously, I don’t want to sit at home all weekend doing nothing, so finding things to do in Kuala Lumpur for free (or at least for under RM 15) has been my new favourite thing to do!

Of course, a lot of tourist attractions in KL are actually pretty affordable, but often they’re packed with people so I’d rather go somewhere a little more hidden and more unique!

And now, if anyone tells you there’s nothing fun and cheap to do in KL, you know what to show them! 😉

Read more:

Where to eat in Kuala Lumpur’s Petaling Street: 18 Hipster places with hidden cafes, authentic local food and secret bars in and around Chinatown

16 Affordable Airbnb stays in KL for big groups (6-12 pax) near shopping/dining hotspots (KL city centre, Bangsar, Bukit Bintang, PJ and more!)

Tapak Urban Street Dining: Hipster night market in KL with food trucks selling monster burgers, crazy milkshakes, jumbo Indomie and more!

Capture your IG-worthy shots in print!

Photobook prints are not just for holidays; who says you can’t take day trips around town taking cute pictures and printing them out to keep as memories?

We personally find Photobook an affordable option (cheaper than in photo-printing shops!) and we can customise our photobooks and prints as we like (such as adding stickers and text!).

So why not try it as you go around taking IG-worthy pictures in KL? Check out their special deals here!

1. Transport yourself to the land of vibrant colours: Astaka Morocco (RM 3)

It’s always been a dream of mine to visit the Moroccan Riads; I just think that they are so beautiful with their intricately designed tiles, vibrant colours, and the unique architecture. You can imagine my joy and surprise at finding out there’s a replica right here in KL!

Hidden in Putrajaya, next to the botanical gardens, Astaka Morocco transports you to the land of colourful tiles. It’s the perfect place to take some beautiful photos and is best paired with a trip to both the Putra Mosque (which is pink!) and also Taman Botani Putrajaya. You can’t actually take photos inside, but the courtyard is all you need!

Photo Via Abi
Photo Via My.linh_

You could spend a whole day just exploring Putrajaya, it has a seriously different vibe from the rest of KL, and Astaka Morocco brings it to a whole new level.

Photo Via Diary_of_a_jetsetter, Photoprofolio, Sophoebelous

Astaka Morocco

Entrance fee: Free for photo-taking in the courtyard. RM 3 (Approximately SGD $1) to enter the building.
Address: Presint 1, 62000 Putrajaya. Coordinates here.
Opening hours: Wed – Mon, 9am – 6pm; Tues, closed

2. Enjoy a nice homemade picnic and surround yourself with fresh nature: Perdana Botanical Gardens (Free)

Despite being a well-developed city, I’m always surprised by how many different patches of greenery there are around. Having grown up in both Bali and KL, I’m never satisfied with leading just a purely city life.

Perdana Botanical Gardens is where I go to indulge my nature-loving side just a little bit. On a nice (not-too-sunny day), it’s also the perfect place to come for a picnic! Pack some kuih, prepare some fresh nasi lemak and park yourself under a nice big tree with outstretched branches for maximum shade!

Photo Via Ayda_june, Abennoun, One2rekt, Aaron_lim
Photo Via Bruna_s_machado, Nikkyong, Izuddinhelmi, Rsvistel

Once you’re full, you can even take a little siesta, or if you’re the type of person who enjoys being a bit more active after a meal, rent some bicycles and roam around! Make sure to stop by the massive yellow beehive type structure and snap some shots of its gripping facade!

Perdana Botanical Gardens

Entrance fee: Free
Address: Jalan Kebun Bunga, Tasik Perdana, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2276 0432 / +603-2617 6404 (both numbers direct to the Landscape and Recreation Department @ KL City Hall)
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 7am – 8pm


3. Find yourself taken back in time to a traditional village: Kampung Baru (Free)

My family comes from a small kampung in Negeri Sembilan called Kuala Pilah. It’s full of those classic wooden houses on stilts that are super fun to run under and around (only when I was a kid, as I can’t fit under it now!).

In fact, KL used to be home to these traditional houses as well, and it seems almost a shame that they no longer exist across the masses, but there is one spot where you can still find them lovingly preserved – Kampung Baru!

Photo Via Dreamsinheels, Primulakat

Something that most people don’t know is that Kampung Baru is not only famous for its authentic village, but it’s also home to some delicious food! Several tours are available to take you to the best spots to find grilled mackerel or sweet fermented cassava, but personally I’d rather explore at my own pace.

This self-guided tour leads you to the yummiest food without making you feel like you have to try it, or like you have to rush your experience!

Photo Via Muminah_lagangka, Syasyamahmud, Masanabe

Stick around at night-time and head to the latest installation there, an LED bridge that will take you from Kampung Baru to KLCC in less than 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes! It’s super colourful and designed based off the traditional betel nut leaf. It’s absolutely gorgeous for photos, and is a lovely stroll to take you from one time period to another!

Photo Via Le-Apple-Boutique-Hotel-KLCC

Kampung Baru

Entrance fee: Free
Address of entrance: Jalan Raja Muda Musa, Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur. Coordinates here.
Discovery walk route:

4. Take a trip through colourful streets and marvel at art!: Street Art Jalan Alor (Free)

I’m a sucker for art, I genuinely have no talent in that department so I greatly admire people who can do it, and more so graffiti style! Changkat is famous for its endless rows of bars and cheap street food, but while there’s ample to do at night, during the day is also a great time to explore!

The Art Street in Changkat is a fairly new addition (as at 2018) which brings the whole area to a new level of vibrancy. It goes on for what seems like forever, and even the ground itself is painted bright shades of pink, blue, and green.

Photo Via Ndnmndz, Itaecraze

Take a moment out of exploring Bukit Bintang and let yourself be mesmerised by all the talent we have here in KL, and don’t forget to pose in front of some of them and fill your Instagram feed with life!

Photo Via Kellyslaffa, Travelleating
Photo Via Madinaussenova, Chloebrobro, Bungaanggun, Vhinmaddara

Street Art Jalan Alor

Entrance fee: Free
Address: 64, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur. Coordinates here.

5. Enjoy an affordable alternative to art therapy!: Batik Painting at Kompleks Kraf Jalan Conlay (From RM 15)

Batik is an artform that’s native to Java, and it made its way to Malaysia a while back. It surprises me how little people know that you can paint your own batik in a quaint wooden house just a couple hundred metres away from the majestic twin towers!

There are several different designs and sizes to choose from, or you could even design your own and ask if you could learn to draw on your own wax! You could easily spend hours there carefully mixing the paint to get it to the right shade, and blending it together delicately on the fabric, all so you can finally get a beautiful piece of art to hang on your wall. They don’t technically run workshops here, but they are super friendly and happy to help!

Photo Via Kaori

Just be careful that you don’t accidentally drip the wrong paint on your canvas or there’s no turning back! When you’re finished, make sure to check out the rest of the shops for unique finds!

Photo Via Taksukalah, Jimkeeclothing, Syedmohdbadrilhisham

Batik Painting at Kompleks Kraf Jalan Conlay

Price: Paint your own batik from RM 15 (Approximately SGD $5)
Address: Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex Seksyen 63, Jalan Conlay 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603-2161 1470 / +603-2161 1480 / +603 2162 7459
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 9am – 6pm


6. Hit away your stress and watch it soar into the sky: Aquatic Driving Range (From RM 14)

I was only introduced to this place a short while ago, but as someone who thoroughly enjoyed playing mini golf during my youth, I was super keen to try it! I can honestly tell you that hearing the sound of the golf club hitting the ball seamlessly is so incredibly satisfying. It’s even better if you see it hit the second lake!

That’s right, did I mention that here you hit the balls into two different lakes? It’s also situated near the jungle, so while you’re there it honestly feels like you’ve escaped society and are hidden somewhere away from the city.

Photo Via Nadia-Crowe, Impactgolf
Photo Via Zaiton_ghani, Nunula_la

The best time to go is when it rains, because then you get to watch as the drops hit the water, see the forest turn a little misty, and enjoy the cool wind as you play!

Aquatic Driving Range, Kelab Darul Ehsan

Price: For non-members, RM 7.50 for 50 balls (approximately SGD $2.48) and RM 14 (Approximately SGD $4.60) for 100 balls. For members, RM 6.50 for 50 balls (approximately SGD $2.15) and RM 12 (Approximately SGD $3.97) for 100 balls.
Address: Kelab Darul Ehsan, Taman Tun Abdul Razak, Ampang, 68000, Ampang, Selangor
Contact: +603-4252 0406
Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 7.30am – 10.30pm; Sat – Sun, 7am – 10pm


7. Nature’s very own natural fish spa: Kanching Waterfall (From RM 3)

Thanks to how close this is to KL, I actually visit this place so often. It’s one of those things that my boyfriend and I like to do when we just need some time away from the polluted city and want to feel closer to nature.

The best part about Kanching Waterfall is that there are actually 7 different levels! Not all of them are accessible of course, but I always try to get to the highest level possible so it’s less crowded!

Photo Via Dayswithkay, Mikajessie

I often find that I get to enjoy the cool waters all to myself, so if you’re feeling it’s a little crowded, go higher! I do have a slight warning though, for all the fish-phobic people out there, this waterfall may not be the right one for you. Do you remember those fish spas where you put your feet in and have all your dead skin removed? Kanching Falls is the proud owner of several of those naturally-occurring fish!

Photo Via Nolayolandaromana, Charissachong
Photo Via Demi_vdb, Mikajessie, Oanh_gau, Graciej_11

So if you’re feeling brave, dip your whole body in and let nature do its work. Don’t worry if you don’t though, I still haven’t!

Kanching Waterfall

Entrance fee: Free. Parking fee from RM 3 (Approximately SGD $1) per person
Address: Templer Park, 48000 Rawang, Selangor. Coordinates here.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 7am – 5.30pm

8. Enjoy the natural charisma of a gorgeous lake and park!: Titiwangsa Lake Park (Free)

In a city that’s teeming with malls, skyscrapers, and lots of cars, it can get really overwhelming and I often feel like I just want to sit amongst some greenery. But I also don’t always feel like hiking or doing something strenuous!

That’s why KL seriously needs more parks like Titiwangsa Lake Park, which just reopened in December 2019 with a major facelift.

A massive lake is encompassed by green grass and towering trees. In the middle, a water fountain sprays up into the air and across, leaving water droplets to drop across the lake, creating a soothing feeling as you relax by the side of it.

Photo Via Aizkristha, Lucky_river_kou, Nursyakirinzmn

For the kiddos (and adult kiddos), there’s a playground and mini water park to cool off and have fun in too! If you want to get a little more active, you can also rent a bicycle to go around the lake. You can also take a nice stroll along their Instagrammable treetop walk too.

Photo Via TripCanvas, M
Photo Via Elkaelza, Sitifathiyah

Titiwangsa Lake Park

Entrance fee: Free
Address: Tasik Titiwangsa, 53200 Kuala Lumpur. Coordinates here.
 Contact: +603 2617 6273
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 7am – 7pm


9. Walk along Instagrammable suspension bridges surrounded by greenery right in the city centre: KL Eco Forest Park (Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve) (Free)

The contrast that you experience when roaming through KL Eco Forest Park is spectacular.

In front of you and your immediate surroundings is endless greenery, but beyond that you’ll see towering office buildings and even the famous KL Tower! It’s a green oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle – a lovely experience escaping the hustle and bustle for a little bit.

There’s also a treetop canopy walk with very IG-worthy suspension bridges that you can walk along, and when some of us were there, we even spotted a few groups of monkeys sunning themselves on the bridge itself. We had to walk around them; they don’t seem to be afraid of people at all but do be careful!

Photo Via TripCanvas, Rarazulkhairi
Photo Via TripCanvas, Pinkyfootprint

KL Eco Forest Park

Entrance fee: Free
Address: Lot 240, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2020 1606
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 8am – 6pm


10. Visit religious sites and learn about Malaysia’s beautiful culture: Batu Caves, Thean Hou Temple, Wilayah Mosque (Free)

The one thing I love about KL is how multicultural it is, and no list of things to do would be complete without mentioning some of its most iconic religious sites.

Batu Caves is, of course, the most famous thanks to the gorgeous multi-coloured stairway it now owns. Would you believe me if I told you I’ve never actually been here? It’s on my to-do list for the next few months as so many people say it’s a must!

Photo Via Kandbtravelspree, Georgiahillis, Guimaraesiisa, Sab_march

Thean Hou Temple is also pretty well-known, home to bright red pillars, a plethora of bright lanterns hanging from each corner, and gorgeous paintings adorning each wall. What’s surprising is that it also doesn’t get that crowded, so you can spend as much time as you want roaming around or sitting on one of the benches and soaking in the wind!

Photo Via Jane_lung, Travelatearth, Denleysondre, Yuuqiaann

Wilayah Mosque has a gorgeous sky blue facade, which is a gorgeous contrast to its white walls. What’s best about this mosque is that they provide free tours to explain the culture and symbolism behind everything!

Photo Via Nomadlad, Wanderskyy

Note: Make sure you cover your knees at Batu Caves as it is a religious site. At Wilayah Mosque, they will provide you with a cover-up.

Batu Caves

Entrance fee: Free
 Address: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor. Coordinates here.
Contact: +603 6189 6284


Thean Hou Temple

Entrance fee: Free
Address: 65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 2274 7088
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 8am – 10pm


Wilayah Mosque 

Entrance fee: Free
Address: Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim, Kompleks Kerajaan, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact: +603 6201 8791 / +603 6201 8767 / +603 6201 8780


11. A mall with a hidden oasis: The Secret Garden, 1 Utama (Free)

More often than not, I find myself in a mall, and it tends to be 1 Utama. Thanks to its enormous premises, huge variety of shops, and endless food choices, it’s arguably one of the best malls to go to. What makes it even better is that it holds a little secret, a mini little escape…

On the rooftop, there’s actually a secret garden that you can go to when the bright lights, big crowds and expensive prices get a little bit too overwhelming. Though small, you can actually feel like you’re lost and away from civilization. Wander around the different plant species and maybe even chill for a little while on a bench under the shade of some hanging leaves.

Photo Via Inazeyy, Desmondkeoh, Another_wei
Photo Via Siewwwin, Qasehqasrinaafza, Quinn

So the next time you want the best of both worlds, a mall filled with shiny new things to buy, but also a place where you can feel disconnected… Head to 1 Utama!

The Secret Garden, 1 Utama

Entrance fee: Free
Address: Upper Roof (above Food Republic), 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
 Opening hours: Mon- Fri, closed; Sat – Sun and Public Holidays, 10am – 10pm


12. Marvel at the beauty of a thousand years of culture:  Islamic Arts Museum (From RM 14)

To me the arts are sacred – preserving it, practising it, and learning about it are all ways to keep them alive especially when it comes to art tied to culture! The Islamic Arts Museum is where you need to go if you’re ready to expose yourself to an ancient and ever-present art form.

Photo Via Rimstagram7a, Bturkarslan, Ccvilla_b

Islamic art has influenced thousands of civilisations, from AlHambra in Spain to the Riads of Morocco; there’s just something about Islamic art that people can’t seem to get enough of! Responsible for beautiful multi-coloured mosaics and intricate designs, spending a few hours exploring the origins and different varieties of is a valuable way to get some insight into the culture.

Photo Via Rimstagram7a, An9eun, Huayng22, Suhighmi

Located near the National Mosque of Malaysia, which is home to a stunning angular dome rather than a traditional round one, be sure to pay that a visit too!

Islamic Arts Museum

Entrance fee: Adults – RM 14 (Approximately SGD $5), Students (with ID) and Senior Citizens (Malaysians 60 years old and older) – RM 7 (Approximately SGD $2.50), Children (6 years old and under) – free.
Address: Jalan Lembah Perdana 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact: +603 2092 7070 / +603 2274 2020
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 9.30am – 6pm


13. Cycle around a beautiful garden and explore its sprawling land: Taman Botani Putrajaya (Free)

Another sprawling park makes the list because we could never get enough fresh air, the smell of grass and the sound of birds singing in the wind! Taman Botani Putrajaya is attached to Astaka Morocco, so don’t forget to drop by both together.

Spend your morning exploring a place with beautiful bright colours and your afternoon immersing yourself in calming tones of green. There are ample things to do here from renting a bicycle to wandering across canopy bridges.

Photo Via Hakeembahari, Fazyothman, Bobngoh, Syarlenervhim
Photo Via Abbie_irish, Kitanagu, Cutikatmana, Myyy_ra

When you get hungry, there’s even a seafood restaurant that serves delicious food and stunning views over the lake! Settle there for a nice wholesome meal after a day of exploring.

Taman Botani Putrajaya

Entrance fee: Free
Address: Lebuh Perdana Barat, Presint 1, 62000 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya
Contact: +603 8887 7770
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 9am – 7pm


Special Mention 1: Explore different workshops and pop-up markets every month: Riuh Monthly Events

Update: Physical Riuh events are currently temporarily put on hold.

Some of us are always on the hunt for art markets in KL – it’s so rare to find a market where all creatives gather and you can find handmade items that are not mass-produced pieces that every other person would have. There’s personality in art, don’t you agree? Sometimes it inspires us too!

Riuh is a platform which organises events such as pop-up art markets, workshops, performances and talks, and sometimes all of these happen altogether in the same market! We have been to some and they are often very vibrant, full of creative energy that is sometimes difficult to find in the commercialised malls in the city.

Photo Via Mycreativeventures

They tend to rotate performers and pop-up stores so you rarely find the same vendors or performances at each one (which means they’re super unique)!

While entrance to these events is usually free, you will enjoy it a lot more if you spend a little more on either food, buying products that are worthwhile or pick up a new skill while you’re there. Make sure to check their Instagram or Facebook page for details of their next event so you don’t miss it! Often they’re different themes as well, so you’ll always be in for a treat!

Photo Via Maryambayam, Poppylab, Chubbyfingersplay
Photo Via Atieraasri, Septemberbakes

Riuh Monthly Events

Price: Free entrance, but prices of food, items and workshops vary.
Address: Various locations (check their Facebook or Instagram for the location of the next event)
Contact: +603 7712 7312


Now who says you can’t skip the boring malls, get some fresh air, and do something both fun and affordable this weekend? Tag your bored and broke friends (because we all know a few 😉) to inspire them!

PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
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