Kuala Lumpur Landmarks, your mad if you don't see them!

Kuala Lumpur Landmarks

For centuries, Peninsular Malaysia was an important crossroad for trade between China and India. Its strategic location north of the equator as the middle ground between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea represents a historic meeting point for the Orientals and the Western World.

This fusion of cultures is reflected also in the architecture of the buildings in Kuala Lumpur. You can easily see Moorish influences from Africa through the design of the domes and minarets that adorn the mosques and buildings of the 1800s.

Colonial and Tudor influences from England can also be found in the architecture of the Administrative buildings of the then British Colonial masters. Chinese influences are evident in the Buddhist temples and Pagodas that dot the landscape of Kuala Lumpur city.

The landscape of Kuala Lumpur is constantly evolving. Especially during the last three decades, Kuala Lumpur or KL as it is called by the locals, has seen a furious pace of development. Traditional Malay houses and Chinese shop houses from the early 20th century are being displaced to make way for the ultra modern skyscrapers that line the skyline of modern KL.

Despite the frantic pace of development engulfing the city, the authorities are trying to strike a balance between modernization and preserving the identity and heritage of the various architectural treasures which Malaysia has been blessed with.

Of the numerous outstanding Kuala Lumpur Landmarks to see, some of the more exceptional ones that should not be missed are:

  • Dataran Square
    The literal meaning of “Dataran Merderka” is Independence Square. This landmark made history as it was the site where on the 30th of August 1957 at midnight, the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra declared Malaysia independent from the British. The 100 metre flagpole at the square is the very same flagpole from which the Union Jack was lowered and the new Malaysian Flag raised.
  • Sultan Abdul Samad Building
    Directly opposite Dataran Merdeka is the Moorish theme Sultan Abdul Samad building. The building has long been identified as an identity icon of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. It was designed by the British architect A.C Norman and was the forerunner in establishing the Moghal style of architecture in Malaysia. Today, the building houses the Textile Museum at one end and the High Court and Supreme Court at the other end.
  • Masjid Jamek
    The Mosque is uniquely styled with a North Indian influence. Located at the site where Kuala Lumpur first came into being as a mining town, Majid Jamek is the oldest mosque in Kuala Lumpur. It was designed by the same British architect who designed the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. Non-Muslims are permitted to enter the grounds of the mosque but not inside the mosque.
  • Central Market
    This market, also known as “Pasar Seni” (Cultural Market) was built in 1888 by the British as a one-stop venue for food and culture. Today, it has been turned into a handicraft centre, showcasing the craftsmanship of the local talent. Adjacent to the market is the Annexe Gallery which often hold exhibitions depicting works of art by local artists.
  • Kuala Lumpur Tower
    Perched on top of Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill) is the 421 meters KL Tower. The tower was built as a communication tower but also doubles as a tourist attraction due to its beautiful architectural design. Located within the “Golden Triangle” and Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, this is one of the “must visit” Kuala Lumpur landmarks.
  • Petronas Twin Towers
    Branded as the tallest twin towers in the world, this particular Kuala Lumpur landmark doesn’t need much of an introduction. The 88 storey twin office towers have been featured in several Hollywood movies and are one of the most identifiable landmarks of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia.
  • KLCC Park & Suria KLCC
    Located just beneath the majestic Petronas Twin Towers is the swanky Suria KLCC shopping mall. The Suria KLCC is regarded by many as one of the best shopping malls not just in the country but also in South East Asia. One visit to Suria KLCC and you will know it’s the wrong place to be if you are trying to fight off shopping addiction! What is really exclusive about Suria KLCC is the fact that it is surrounded by the opulent and beautifully landscaped KLCC Park. After a hectic day of sight seeing and shopping, the KLCC Park is the ideal place to relax and catch your breath.
  • Kuala Lumpur Train Station
    The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was designed by British Architect A.B Hubbock. He was also the same architect who designed Masjid Jamek. Completed in 1910, the railway station features arches and tall minarets typical of Moorish architectural influence. Although no longer the main hub for rail travel in Peninsular Malaysia, the railway station still attract hordes of visitors fascinated by its architectural uniqueness.
  • National Art Gallery
    The building which houses the National Art Gallery was designed by a Dutch architect in 1932 and was KL’s last major colonial hotel. The detailed cornices, roman columns and arched driveway are testiment of the former grandeur of this building. It formerly served as a gathering place for the plantation owners and politicians of the time.Today, the hotel has been converted into an art gallery showcasing the work of Malaysian artists.
  • Royal Selangor Club (RSC)
    Adjacent to Dataran Merdeka is the Royal Selangor Club. The RSC was founded in 1884 and is housed in a Tudor styled building. It used to be the club of the expatriate community and now is the premier sports club in Malaysia. The facilities of the club are for members only. The club used to be known as “The Dog” and only God knows why!
  • Kuala Lumpur National Museum
    Located along Jalan Damansara, the Kuala Lumpur National Museum was built based on the architectural style of the Malays from the State of Negri Sembilan known as the “Minangkabau”. What identifies the “Minangkabau” from other Malay tribes is the design of the roof of their houses. Like the design of the roof of the Kuala Lumpur National Museum, the roofs have two hornlike peaks like the horns of the buffalo. Apart from the uniqueness of the building design, the cultural artefacts housed by the museum are also quite impressive. Outside the building on the grounds, you get a second world war II plane on display as well providing a glaring contrast to the traditional displays in the museum.
Kuala Lumpur Landmarks are hard to miss, the above is just a sample of the Kuala Lumpur Landmarks that I have thought as the most memorable.

There are plenty of other Kuala Lumpur Landmarks that I have not mentioned, let me know via the form below of any Kuala Lumpur Landmarks that I have missed and I will do a review for you, or you can do a review yourself and post it below!

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