Get up close and personal with the city on a photo walk with Prakash Daniel (fb.com/PrakashDanielPhotography), a notable street photographer and stand-up comic. Tours take around two hours, beginning at Central Market and ending at Dataran Merdeka.
Appam is a traditional Southern Indian pancake that’s been given a modern spin at Hoppers Kuala Lumpur (fb.com/hopperskl). Set in a breezy pre-war shophouse, the eatery serves up a delicious nasi lemak-inspired appam, alongside classic renditions. Around the corner is Ruang by Think City (2 Jln Hang Kasturi), a multipurpose community space in an Art Deco building hosting ongoing art exhibitions and talks.
A short cab ride away in Bangsar, Bobo (fb.com/BoboKualaLumpur) lets you feast on elevated local and European fare while admiring the owner’s contemporary Malaysian art collection. Head upstairs to the intimate piano bar, which showcases the city’s best jazz singers.
Where to stay
Stripes Hotel (stripeskl.com) is situated in what was formerly a tin mining settlement. The black-and-white photography adorning the rooms reflect the rich history and character of the neighbourhood.
Enjoy Portugese- and Dutch-inflected breakfast dishes at Dr.Inc (fb.com/drincbangsar), located on quiet Jalan Kemuja. Upstairs, you’ll find beautiful trinkets at Nala Concept Shop (fb.com/naladesigns). Down the road, Kedai Bikin (kedaibikin.com) sells locally designed furniture and accessories.
Instagram-worthy spots abound in the Taman Paramount suburbs. Dine at minimalist hot dog parlour Brats (11 Jln 20/13 Paramount Garden) or Awesome Canteen (fb.com/awesomecanteen), a retro-chic café with a lush vertical garden. Walk off lunch at Ilaika (fb.com/ilaikaselectstore), an airy space showcasing quirky merchandise from local artisans, or Awegallery (fb.com/awegallery), which houses regular flea markets and pop-up exhibitions.
Once a somewhat dodgy area, Petaling Street is undergoing a renaissance, thanks to new establishments like Chocha Food Store (fb.com/chocha.foodstore), a photogenic hotel-turned restaurant serving up Asian small plates made with local ingredients. Keep your eyes peeled for a hole-in-the-wall ostensibly selling old toys; it’s actually PS150 (ps150.my), a tiny speakeasy helmed by one of KL’s top mixologists.
Where to stay
The newest addition to renowned landscape architect Seksan Ng’s portfolio, the offbeat Sekeping Backlane (sekeping.com/backlane) offers just one double room, a rooftop garden, and great views of the neighbourhood.
Take the little ones on a fun canopy walk at KL Forest Eco Park (forestry.gov.my), a sprawling nature reserve in the heart of the city. Then refuel at Lepaq Lepaq (6 Jln Ceylon), known for its whimsical take on local food. The kids will be fascinated by its Rainy Day Coffee – a cloud of cotton candy suspended above a steaming cup of joe.
Delve into another dimension at VR Lab (vrlab.com.my) in Publika mall. The virtual reality games here span themes like travel, sports and art. Note that kids need to be five years old and above. Grab a bite at Benbino (fb.com/benbinobybig), a cheerful, light-filled café with stroller parking and an indoor playground.
Wind down at Pavilion Elite (pavilion-kl.com), the recently opened extension to Pavilion Mall. It’s home to the biggest Lego store in Malaysia, as well as Yashion Houze, which specialises in customised dollhouses. We’d recommend Acme Bar & Coffee for dinner, which offers comfort food for the whole family.
Where to stay
The recently opened five-star Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre (pullmanhotels.com) has a play zone equipped with an Xbox and a PlayStation – perfect for keeping the kids entertained.