Kuala Lumpur, commonly known as KL, is the economic capital of Malaysia. It is also my adoptive hometown, having finished high school in this bustling metropolis.
One of my favourite things about KL is it’s vibrant nightlife. From rooftop restaurants, bars in five-star hotels, pubs, and bars which have a friendly ambience, a wide range of choices of alcoholic beverages, and talented DJs to bustling night markets that remain open until the morning, these are just some of the many attractions that KL offer. One must also try Jalan Alor’s bustling stalls and seafood restaurants and Changkat Bukit Bintang’s chic see-and-be-seen nightclubs with hip-hop and house tracks. Below I’ve compiled a beginners guide to KL’s nightlife.
Changkat Bukit Bintang
Known as the “it” party venue, this street is lined with various international two-storey restobars, classy nightclubs and cocktail lounges with international DJs and live band performances. There are also stand-up comedy, gay parties and foreign film screenings which you also find in this area which is one of the city’s most energetic places.
For people who love to party, rooftop bars are the most popular since they offer great ambience and breathtaking views of the city through their high-rise structures. A few of the many best rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur are Marini’s on 57, Sky Bar at KLCC and Lunar Bar.
Jalan Alor is one of the most well-knows roads in Kuala Lumpur when it comes to food because there are numerous seafood restaurants that close late. Jalan Alor is famous for the air-conditioned Chinese seafood restaurants which can be easily spotted through their signage lightings and Chinese lanterns.
Petaling street in Chinatown is a famous shopping district with a lively night market with stalls selling clothes, souvenirs, and accessories at very cheap prices. There are also a few nightlife spots in this area such as hostels and cocktail bars which are located in narrow alleyways.
Nightclubs in Kuala Lumpur vary from classy and chic rooftop bars with amazing views to underground venues. The most famous nightclub in Kuala Lumpur is Zouk KL. However, if you are finding a more affordable and less mainstream type of songs, Under9 KL is the place to be in Friday and Saturday nights.
Ampang is the place to be for high-end socialites since the five-star hotels and award-winning rooftop bars are here. This area connects straight to the Petronas Twin Towers with locals who love to dress up. Ampang’s most famous areas are Como Bar Kuala Lumpur, Zouk KL and Omakase + Appreciate lounge.
Bangsar is a place for nightlife since it has cool pubs, mini night clubs and unique cafes. This place is usually visited by college students, tourists, and the younger ones. The famous places in Bangsar are SIX Cocktail Lounge, Ril’s, The Social, and La Bodega.
If you are looking for a European ambience with unique ambience that offers local cuisine, The Row Kuala Lumpur is the perfect place. There are chic cafes, bistros and restaurants in this area.
Locally called “pasar malam”, night markets open as early as 18:00 which sells almost anything you can think of which allow both locals and tourists to shop for cheap goods.
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Jalan Bukit Bintang is one of Kuala Lumpur’s best nightlife places since there are a number of unique resto-bars, trendy nightclubs and Karaoke lounges which are open any day of the week starting at 21:00.
Do bear in mind though that alcohol in Malaysia can get quite pricey, as it’s heavily taxed. For house parties, I usually source my drinks from this Malaysian online liquor shop. I haven’t found another source that can beat its price for authentic drinks.