Culture + Style

Surprise Yourself With 60 Minutes in Kuala Lumpur

You’ve seen all the big sights, but your flight doesn’t leave for a few hours. What to do? Here are a few surprising ideas in the heart of the city.

Klang River

Step out of Pasar Seni station and into a living canvas. Local artists have transformed a concrete pathway running along the Klang River into a bright graffiti gallery, with huge murals in a kaleidoscope of colors and images.

Your first glimpse is via a bridge that links to the train station but it’s possible to access the path for a private riverside tour.

Life Centre

things to do in kuala lumpur
Shopping awaits at the Life Centre. (Photo: Getty Images)

Any big music act in town is bound to be playing at KL Live, a massive new entertainment hub within the Life Centre complex. But even if a concert is not on your must-see list, it’s still worth checking out the glut of good food in the recently refurbished building.

Within its seven stories are great dim sum, cute cafes and Indian cuisine waiting to be devoured. Locals love La Boca’s Latin-inspired dishes, with chili con carne the hot favorite.

On Jalan Sultan Ismail in trendy Bukit Bintang you’ll find Life Centre next to the majestic Pavilion mall, making this an easy stop on any shopping tour.

Coliseum Cafe 1921

things to do in kuala lumpur
Tuck into a plate of Hainese chicken. (Photo: Getty Images)

The traditional decor at this cafe leaves guests charmed and dates, as you might guess, from 1921. The food marries colonial influences and Asian flavors, resulting in a cuisine that has come to be known as Western Hainanese.

How this translates on a plate is seen in such signatures as oxtail soup, Hainanese chicken, fried sambal rice and steaks served on sizzling platters.

Finish with banana fritters and steaming-hot Hainanese coffee and leave—like the illustrious writers, dignitaries and politicians before you—full and satisfied.

All these spots are within 15 minutes of the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel.