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Must-See Attractions and Activities in Malaysia (2024)

Malaysia is a vibrant country known for its diverse lifestyles, beautiful scenery, and bustling cities. People from all walks of life find Malaysia attractive, whether they come for the beautiful beaches of Langkawi or the busy city of Kuala Lumpur.

Join us as we uncover the best things to do in Malaysia, including top attractions, hidden gems, and family-friendly activities, so your trip to this country will be memorable.

Petronas Twin Towers

In this article:

  • Discover Malaysia: A Land of Diversity and Beauty
  • Explore Malaysia’s Cultural Heritage
  • Natural Wonders and Outdoor Adventures in Malaysia
  • Top Things to Do in Malaysia: Explore Must-Visit Attractions
  • Family-Friendly Activities in Malaysia
  • Top Cities to Visit in Malaysia
  • Hidden Gems: Lesser-Known Things to Do in Malaysia
  • Essential Travel Tips for Visiting Malaysia


Discover Malaysia: A Land of Diversity and Beauty

Malaysia is rich in culture and nature. For instance, you can see the famous Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur or explore the old streets of Penang. There’s always something to see and do. Malaysia is also very friendly to tourists, with all kinds of activities for solo travelers, families, and adventurers alike.

Kuala Lumpur

The capital city, Kuala Lumpur, reflects the modern side of Malaysia. There, you can explore traditional markets, fancy malls, and important places all day. Don’t miss the Batu Caves, limestone hills with cave temples just a short drive from the city center.


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Explore Malaysia’s Cultural Heritage

Step back in time in Melaka, where centuries-old buildings and street art tell the story of its diverse heritage. Wander through streets and discover colonial landmarks. In Georgetown, Penang, explore a unique mix of British colonial buildings, Chinese shophouses, and modern street art. Dive into the world of Peranakan culture, a blend of Chinese and Malay traditions. Visit restored mansions, savor delicious Nyonya cuisine, and enjoy the colorful customs that make this culture special.

Explore Malaysia's Cultural Heritage


Natural Wonders and Outdoor Adventures in Malaysia

For nature fans, Malaysia has some of Southeast Asia’s most delightful islands and beaches. For example, Langkawi is a group of 99 islands with clear waters and sandy beaches that offer an excellent welcome. Plus, the Cameron Highlands offer cool weather, tea farms, and pretty trails.

For nature fans, Malaysia has some of Southeast Asia's most delightful islands and beaches.

For an awesome experience, head to Borneo. Hike through the wild jungles of Sabah and Sarawak, including the dense Mulu National Park, a very thick rainforest, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There, you can see diverse wildlife, including some of the last pygmy elephants and the area’s famed orangutans.

Terengganu, on the other hand, is a state with some of the most beautiful islands, including Perhentian and Redang. Snorkeling and diving around these islands are among the best available anywhere, with refreshing views of calm blue waters.


Top Things to Do in Malaysia: Explore Must-Visit Attractions

Exploring Malaysia feels like diving into a world of diverse experiences. The country offers a wide array of attractions and unique things to do. First stop: park your bags in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. The Petronas Twin Towers gives an amazing view of the city, while Chinatown’s loud markets have much to offer, giving a taste of the local culture. The city’s many museums, such as the Islamic Arts Museum, offer insights into its history.

Exploring Malaysia feels like diving into a world of diverse experiences.

Going north from the capital, Penang is a must-visit place. Known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” Penang is home to historic George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk around its narrow streets to see colonial architecture and taste some of the best street foods in the world.

Another good option is Langkawi, with a more calm vibe. There, you can unwind at some of the best beaches, ride a cable car up to Gunung Mat Cincang, or explore the island’s many natural attractions, such as the Langkawi Sky Bridge and Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls.


Family-Friendly Activities in Malaysia

Malaysia is a family-friendly destination, offering a wide array of activities for people of all ages. Among the best things to do in Malaysia with family are theme parks. For instance, Legoland Malaysia in Johor Bahru is very popular with kids and adults who are kids at heart. Featuring many rides and shows, as well as a Lego-themed water park, it is sure to be a hit with all family members.

Another popular spot in Selangor is Sunway Lagoon, with water rides, a wildlife park, and even a surf beach. It’s an all-in-one stop where the whole family can enjoy a variety of attractions.

An attraction not to be missed is the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, with over 3,000 birds. It is one of the world’s largest free-flight aviaries, allowing visitors to walk among birds in their natural surroundings.

Families who love nature should not miss the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah. Here, visitors can learn about conservation and see these big animals up close in a protected area.


Top Cities to Visit in Malaysia

As you plan your visit, be sure to add some of the top cities to visit in Malaysia to your travel plan. Each city has unique features and attractions, helping you appreciate the country’s variety better.

Malaysia what to see: Kek Lok Si Temple

  • Kuala Lumpur: Known for its great mix of modern skyscrapers, historic sites, and busy nightlife. Do not forget to visit the KL Tower, which offers wide views, and the busy Bukit Bintang area for shopping and dining.
  • Penang: is famous for its historical and food traditions, home to George Town and the oldest temple, Kek Lok Si. Walk through the color-splashed streets full of wall paintings and old shophouses. Discover the top things to do in Penang, Malaysia, from exploring heritage sites to enjoying the local cuisine.
  • Langkawi: promises peaceful views with beautiful beaches. There, you can rest at Pantai Cenang, go on a boat tour of the mangroves, and visit the underwater world in Langkawi. Enjoy attractions like the Sky Bridge and natural sites.
  • Ipoh: with its colonial architecture and vibrant food scene. Enjoy a few cups of the region’s famous white coffee at nearby cafes while admiring the Birch Memorial Clock Tower or the Ipoh Railway Station.
  • Johor Bahru: on the border with Singapore, it has many theme parks, shops, and cultural sites. Visit the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, the Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple, and the famous artificial Danga Bay. Explore the many things to do in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, for a memorable visit.


Hidden Gems: Lesser-Known Things to Do in Malaysia

While visiting the major cities and popular attractions, don’t forget to explore some of Malaysia’s hidden gems. They offer unique experiences and a chance to get off the beaten path.

Malaysia offers unique experiences and a chance to get off the beaten path.

  • Cool retreats in the Cameron Highlands: Enjoy a cool getaway with tea farms, strawberry farms, and hiking trails in the Cameron Highlands. Be prepared to tour and taste the BOH Tea Plantation while standing on a hilltop looking at beautiful sights.
  • Wildlife safari along the Kinabatangan River: For a more exciting trip, head to the Kinabatangan River in Sabah. The river is home to long-nosed monkeys, crocodiles, and pygmy elephants. The best way to see all these creatures in the wild is by taking a boat cruise along this river.


Essential Travel Tips for Visiting Malaysia

Local Customs and Traditions:

  • Dress Modestly: When visiting religious sites, cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Shoes Off: Remove shoes when entering homes and certain places of worship.
  • Hand Gestures: Use your right hand for eating and handing over items, as the left hand is considered unclean.


Health and Safety Essentials:

  • Check with your doctor about recommended vaccinations before traveling.
  • Drink bottled or boiled water to avoid waterborne illnesses.
  • Ensure you have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.


Money-related Tips for Travelers:

  • The Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) is the local currency; have some cash on hand for small purchases.
  • Widely available in cities, but carry cash in rural areas where card acceptance may be limited.
  • Not obligatory, but rounding up the bill or leaving small change is appreciated.


Transportation Tips:

  • Use Malaysia’s efficient public transport system, including trains and buses, for cheap travel.
  • Use apps like Grab for fast and reliable transport within cities.
  • If renting a car, be aware that Malaysians drive on the left side of the road.


What are the Best Times to Travel to Malaysia?

What are the Best times to visit Peninsular Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka)? 

  • Dry Season (December to February): Ideal for city exploration and beach visits due to cooler and drier weather.
  • Shoulder Season (March to early October): Favorable weather with occasional rain, fewer tourists, and potentially lower prices.

Best time to visit the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia (Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang)?

  • Dry Season (March to September): Best for beach holidays and island-hopping, avoiding the monsoon season.

Best times to visit East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo)?

  • Dry Season (May to September): Perfect for exploring national parks and wildlife sanctuaries with less rain and lower humidity.
  • Wet Season (November to January): Still possible to travel, but outdoor activities may be limited due to heavy rainfall.


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