The modern and vibrant capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is the place to be if you love delicious food, incredible shopping experiences, incredible nightlife, and pristine beaches.
But, it is also a great base for some amazing KL weekend getaways! This guide contains the best short getaways from KL and we have come up with a rather diverse list!
Kuala Lumpur’s city skyline is best known for the Petronas Twin Towers and modern architecture. But aside from all the modernity, you can also experience thousands of years of history in this amazing city.
What else is there to see? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out our top picks of the best weekend getaways from Kuala Lumpur.
Best KL Weekend Getaways
In the south of Kuala Lumpur, you’ll find the administrative and judicial capital of Malaysia, Putrajaya.
The city’s lake has a variety of cruises from private, traditional perahu boats to busy, modern, yachts.
Immerse yourself in the nature of the city’s most popular park, the Botanical Garden; the Garden Loop is perhaps the most popular trail that is about an hour long and it provides an essential view of the beauty of the park.
There is more nature to see in the Wetlands Park, Malaysia’s first man-made freshwater wetland created as a wildlife sanctuary for its various animal kingdoms and species in the region.
As for cultural sites, the Putra Mosque is perhaps the emblem of the city, with pastel-pink granite-colored architecture, on the banks of the lake.
There are specifically Islamic Walking Tours available for visitors eager to learn and see the cultural heritage of the city!
2. Fraser’s Hill
Fraser’s Hill is a resort destination burrowed among the highlands and mountains of Pahang, which is about two hours north of Kuala Lumpur.
As one of the last hill stations of Malaysia left by the British colonial era, it has become a popular region due to its cooler climate and abundance of natural activities for holidays.
Go horse-riding and try archery in the resort’s seemingly untouched, green landscape, which is offered at the Paddock.
Afterward, go paddle boating at Alan’s Water before heading over to the Sports Complex and occupying yourself with a plethora of indoor games and the bird interpretive center.
While you’re there, check with the reception counter about booking a session at the town center’s 9-hole golf course.
For a more immersive experience with the nature of the destination, the Jeriau Waterfall is perhaps the best attraction located at the foot of the hill, with a river cascading down into a large pool.
Singapore has a reputation for preserving its marshlands in its futuristic cityscape. And, if you fill out an arrival card for Singapore, you can easily travel there as a weekend getaway from KL!
In Singapore’s new downtown, Marina Bay, there are over one hundred hectares of plants from all around the world presented in the Gardens by the Bay, showcasing horticulture and garden artistry.
There are even more domed gardens to see, like the Botanic Gardens, which has lakes in addition to the tropical gardens, the National Orchid Garden, with varieties of orchids you didn’t even know existed, the Flower Dome, and the Cloud Forest, hosting unique themes of plant life per floor with a massive man-made waterfall in its center.
Outside of the domed gardens, you can find cable cars, which offer a 360-degree aerial view of the entire Sentosa-Harbour Front skyline and the resort island of Sentosa.
The iconic Supertree Grove gives a music and light show every night and illuminates throughout the night with the Marina Bay Sands hotel in the background.
Spending two days in Singapore is the perfect amount of time if you’re looking for a solid introduction to the place!
In central Pahang, Malaysia, in the center of peninsular Malaysia sits Temerloh.
This municipality sits on the convergence of the Pahang and Semantan Rivers, which explains the regional cuisine’s emphasis on freshwater fish.
The region also offers a range of jungle and natural activities and experiences.
There is the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Center and Seladang Breeding Center, which can both be found in the Kuala Krau Wildlife Reserve, an untouched and protected habitation of indigenous wildlife.
About 20 kilometers away from there, you can find the Gunung Senyum Recreational Forest, which is an excellent place for those looking to immerse themselves in nature, hike atop mountains and go on adventures through its many caves.
The jungle-trekking trails leading to the mountaintops take over two hours to just reach the top; as for the caves, the Elephant Cave and Merlap Cave are some of the more popular trips taken by eager visitors.
5. Pulau Carey
Off the west coast of Malaysia’s peninsula in the Kuala Langat district of Selangor state, is the large and flat Carey Island.
The island is named after the colonial British businessman Valentine Carey, who cleared the natural vegetation of the island for his oil palm plantations.
The dominant subsidiary, Sime Darby, has replanted some endangered trees and plants and has announced plans to regenerate the island’s indigenous crops, especially along the island’s shores, to restore the island’s health and beauty.
The island hosts one of Malaysia’s eighteen aboriginal communities, called the Mah Meri, who are famous for their unique wooden masks and statues carved from Nyireh Batu, a rare red swamp hardwood belonging to the mahogany family of wood.
There are over two dozen craftsmen that produce hundreds of different designs, all holding cultural and spiritual significance.
They sell their woodwork and may even take requests if you ask!
6. Janda Baik
For an escapade to a more secluded destination with cool weather lodged within natural surroundings and highlands, Janda Baik may be the place to go.
It is located about 30km away from Kuala Lumpur and hosts numerous hotels and resorts in its landscape, providing not only budget-friendly accommodation but also luxurious getaways for those looking for it.
The jungle terrain alone is worth the visit, with waterfalls and natural springs available to you between every trail; the Lata Tampit and the Chemperoh Waterfalls are two of the most popular.
Visitors can also picnic near the rivers and cool themselves off before heading back to one of the many resorts and spas, like D’Villa, Harmony Valley Retreat, Peppaville Resort, and Cherengin Hills– some of which are in the highlands overlooking the valleys.
There are also camping resorts, like the Kanopi Villa, which offers a comfortable, luxurious camping experience on an 8-acre campsite.
7. Cameron Highlands
One of Malaysia’s most popular tourist destinations is the Cameron Highlands in Pahang. This region holds a collection of townships built 1,500 meters high in the bed of the mountains.
It is the largest tea-growing region in Malaysia and thus has smooth valleys and hillslopes of just tea plantations all throughout its landscape, like Boh Tea, the largest producer of tea in Malaysia.
Strawberries are cultivated all throughout the year on farms due to the ideal cold climate of the highlands and are thus the center of strawberry production in Malaysia.
You can find many farms and other tourist attractions in the major townships of Brinchang and Tanah Rata, which also have many resorts, restaurants, and shops.
In Brinchang, the Sam Poh Temple’s stunning oriental architecture is a gem amongst the highlands’ natural beauty, and in Tanah Rata, the MARDI Agro Park has 42 hectares of colorful gardens of flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Seremban is about an hour’s drive south of Kuala Lumpur, and is the capital of the state of Negeri Sembilan.
The Palm Mall is one of the largest shopping complexes in the city, with 5 stories, and has stores ranging from clothing, to lifestyle, to a whole section dedicated to film in the GSC Cinema.
The city also features a range of religious buildings, such as the Church of Visitation, a French missionary school inspired by neo-Catholic architecture, its mosaics and stained glass windows in the main hall often attract visitors.
The Centipede Temple is another sight to behold, lodged on the Wu Gong Hill, above 264 steps to reach its gates.
The main attractions of the statues of the God of Marriage and the Centipede stone are housed inside the temple.
By Seremban’s two lakes, one can find a beautiful garden attraction, often hosting picnics and other outing events.
9. Kuala Khubu Baru
Located about 60 km to the north of Kuala Lumpur is Kuala Khubu Baru, which is a great getaway for thrill and adventure seekers who enjoy nature, and for those that admire traditional temples.
In the middle of its rainforest, the unspoiled and several-tiered Lata Medang waterfall, Lata Jelebus, and Lubuk Mecu are great checkpoints for a hiking trail going at about 7 kilometers.
At Pierose Swiftwater, take a group of people and go water rafting! The local community goes swimming, and also camps and picnics at the beaches of the Ampang Pecah dam.
There is parasailing, paragliding, river rafting, and tubing at the Rentas Adventure Park and Projek Outdoor, the perfect place for ‘extreme’ tours into the nature of Malaysia.
For a more peaceful time, the Guan Yi Gu See and Yueshan Gu Miao temples are beautiful ornate traditional temples in the oriental style that can be toured and explored.
10. Taman Negara National Park
Go jungle trekking in a 130-million-year-old untouched rainforest called Taman Negara. Labeled as a national park in Malaysia, it is protected and conserved by the government as a proud heritage marker of Malaysia.
Trek one of the best trails in Malaysia, the Gunung Tahan Trail, which is 11 kilometers, taking you under the rainforest canopy from Kuala Juram to Lata Luis.
Then when you finish, relax and take a swim in the Luis waterfall’s crystal clear water. Try to catch a fish with your bare hands, and then set up your tent and cook your dinner!
The park holds the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia and has an aborigine village that you can perhaps encounter during your tours.
The many various inner jungle and cave trekking tours are available all throughout the park and are organized from 4 departure points – Taman Negara, Jerantut, Kuala Lumpur, and Sungai Relau.
11. Redang Island
One of the largest Malaysian islands and one of the most beautiful islands in the world is off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters attract nearby visitors.
You can come to the island by boat at Merang Jetty or Kuala Jetty, however, foreigners may find it best to use public transport through Kuala Terengganu Jetty to reach Redang Island.
As for getting there, well– if you’re a fan of vacationing on your private beach with all the amazing amenities and views of any other island beach resort, then this would be the ideal place to go.
Albeit popular with Malaysians, it’s not as developed and occupied with buildings as other island resorts, thus seeming more private.
Now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t luxury resorts and hotels on the island, however, the price range may be limited or standard across the island.
North of Kuala Lumpur, bordering the Cameron Highlands is the city of Ipoh.
It is home to the Lenggong Valley, which is considered to be one of Malaysia’s most important and valuable archaeological sites, showing evidence of some of the oldest known human activity, drawings, and technological developments in its caves.
In Ipoh, you can also find a variety of lakes, waterfalls, and caves dispersed throughout the region, including the Geothermal Lake and the Qing Xin Ling Leisure Lake, which is elegantly built and decorated on its coasts with beautiful homes and gardens.
There are surreal caves in the limestone mountains with heritage tours that will show unexpected sites, like the Sam Poh Tong, a Buddhist Temple, built into one of the caves.
Take it to the next level by fine dining inside some of these caves at Jeff’s Cellar, or experience the tropical jungle beauty of the Haven All Suite Resort.
13. Batu Pahat
The famous Chong Long Gong Temple sits near the sea’s coast in the fishing village of Segenting, known for its lucky fish, the Lucky Araipama.
Legend has it, if you touch these fish, you will be rewarded with good luck and fortune!
Two other temples to check out are the Pantai Minyak Beku, also along the coast, and the Tian Pao Kong Chinese Temple, known for its 68-foot-tall bronze statue of Ji Gong and other statues of religious figures and symbols organized throughout its park.
For an even more grand statue, the Fortune Dragon Statue in Batu Pahat’s Yong Peng is wrapped around the garden made in its honor where visitors are able to enter through its mouth and exit near its tail as a tunnel.
The landscaping of the garden is done elegantly and looks even more elegant when it is illuminated in the evening.
Bentong is known for its untouched forests, nature, and retreats for those looking to plunge themselves into the sanctity of mother nature.
Many get away from the city and head towards Chamang Waterfall for a picnic and mind refreshers.
On the way to the waterfall, you will find the Kechara Forest Retreat, which has the largest Dorje Shugden statue, with gardens in its Tibetan Buddhist complex as a home for rescued birds.
At Colmar Tropicale Retreat, there is a small Japanese Village with beautiful gardens and traditional tea houses.
Every Saturday in Jalan Chui Yin, the locals and especially its youth, a weekly event called the Benton Walk allows its community who have left the town, to return and advance its economy.
It has brought a whole new light to the heritage of the local community, contributing to the combination of arts, culture and food on the historical street of Bentong.
15. Malacca (Melaka)
On the coastal state of Malacca sits Malacca City, the unofficial historical capital of Malaysia with a rich heritage of blended culture.
The Fortress of A Famosa, originally constructed in the early 16th century, was a massive complex that used to sprawl across a whole hillside with hospitals, stockades, 5 churches, and 4 key towers, but now reduced to only the entrance gate of Porta de Santiago.
About 600 meters away are the ruins of St. Paul’s Church, which was built on the site of the palace of the last Malaccan sultan in 1521 in honor of the Virgin Mary saving his life at sea.
On St. Paul’s Hill, sits the wooden replica of the 15th-century palace of Sultan Mansur Shah.
Other important sites to see would be The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum, the landmark of Christ Church Melaka, and the Jonker Walk, which features the city’s food and nightlife.
16. Sekeping Serendah
Less than an hour away from Kuala Lumpur is the private forest retreat of Sekeping Serendah.
The retreat’s facilities include ten well-made, yet humble transparent, open sheds nestled within 5 acres of the tropical rainforest and serene jungle experience.
The various design options and layouts to choose from for your stay are the Glass Shed, Glass Box, Timber Shed, Mud Shed, and Warehouse.
The amenities within the rooms provide all necessities, including showers, beds, mosquito nettings and coils, various kitchen and barbeque accessories and tools, as well as WIFI.
Inside the retreat, there are two swimming pools and trails paved for jungle trekking.
Outside of the retreat, about 30 minutes by foot you’ll find the cascading waterfalls that plunge into pools, fishing at the nearby lakes, and the Orang Asli villages of the tribal people, which would require permission to visit.
Overall, the retreat is somewhat of a glorified treehouse escapade.
Off the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia sits the island-state of Penang, also known as the “food paradise” of Malaysia.
The capital of Penang Island is George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its colorful houses and shophouses from before the Second World War in addition to religious sites and colonial buildings prior to the 19th century.
The island and especially George Town, has Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences which are reflected in the cuisine and architecture of daily life.
Some of the most prominent places to visit are the Khoo Kongsi clan temple, a highly elaborate and ornate clan house of a wealthy Chinese family, and the Kek Lok Si Temple, an important pilgrimage center for Buddhists.
The tropical Monkey Beach, the illuminated and otherworldly Secret Garden, and the Hindu Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Waterfall Temple are other noteworthy places to visit on the island.
A street food tour is also a must!
18. Kuala Selangor
Kuala Selangor has natural phenomena that will blow you away, and Sasaran Beach Sky Mirror is one of them.
During a low tide a few days every month, and for a few hours at a time, a massive sand flat is revealed with a seabed which appears above the water, creating a mirror-like reflection of the sky.
At the Selangor River, the “blue tears phenomenon” of what seems to be glowing water is actually microscopic aquatic creatures in the river releasing a blue-green light during the night.
This phenomenon can be seen up close and even touched during a river cruise, and the neighboring firefly park hosting thousands of fireflies can also be seen along the banks of the river.
Other than natural phenomena, there is the man-made, architectural marvel of the 5-tiered tower and sculpted Hindu temple made of sandstone, ornate with 51 statues of all manifestations of the Goddess Shakti.
19. Port Dickson
Just 90 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur is the stunning 10-mile coastline and beaches of Port Dickson, which ends at a forest reserve on a historical cape.
The nature of the city has lots of adventure ready for you on its sandy beaches, tropical forests, its hiking opportunities up in the hills and mountains, waterfront walks, and wildlife sightings in the water and land.
There are indoor theme parks and amusement centers within the city, like the Wild West Cowboy, in addition to the ninja obstacle courses with varying levels of difficulty at the Segar Recreation Eco Park.
The Alive 3D Art Gallery is another popular stop for visitors known for its optical illusions and display as a trick art museum showcasing distorted photographs and artwork.
Toward the south of Port Dickson is the Wan Loong Temple, a Chinese temple dedicated to a few deities, with impressive fortress walls and grandiose, colorful architecture.
20. Ulu Yam
Not too far from the Genting Highlands, known for its amusement parks and entertainment facilities, is the small town of Ulu Yam.
This town has built a reputation for itself as a culinary hotspot– primarily for its signature homemade noodle dish of thick yellow noodles braised in a starchy, thick gravy with a vinegar flavor profile– called Loh Mee.
In the older part of the town, where it is mostly shophouses and small restaurants, this dish along with Yee Peng, a traditional fish cake, Hokkien Mee, thick yellow noodles fried in lard are other important staples of the town’s food heritage.
As for things to see, the Sungai Tua reserve park is an excellent start, which is famous for its cool and overflowing rivers.
The Sendat Waterfalls, a shallow waterfall, is popular for swimming and picnicking, and the World of Phalaenopsis, is the second largest specialized orchid farm in Malaysia.
Sekinchan is famous for its beautiful landscapes of rice paddies that extend for miles.
You can learn how the rice is cultivated and harvested at the Paddy Gallery, which is a museum and active rice-processing facility.
In Pantai Redang Beach, check out the calm beaches and soothing sands before heading over to the legendary Sekinchan Wishing Tree, known for its decoration of red ribbons.
According to local legends, after writing your wish on the ribbon, you toss it up as high as possible onto the tree so that your wish is more likely to come true!
You can make a donation for your own ribbon at the red and gold Nan Tian Temple nearby.
Sekinchan is also known to be a famous fishing village in addition to its rice field paddies, and thus the seafood restaurants and street food vendors are essential checkpoints to understanding the heritage of the town.
22. Hulu Langat
Enjoy a 12-acre water slide fun with your family at the Bangi Wonderland Theme Park & Resort. It is a fairly new theme park to the town and showcases a total of 15 water rides.
The Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest is also full of picturesque places for family fun, barbequing, or picnicking in the relaxing shade of the tropical plants.
There is an easy, but perhaps long trail up toward the Lepoh Waterfalls, a great place to cool off, especially since it has a natural slide!
The Ah Pek Hill and Gunung Hitam are other natural locations in Hulu Langat with a handful of hiking trails throughout its abundant natural sites.
For more thrilling and adventurous outdoor activities, the Skytrex Adventure Sg Congkak offers ziplining in the heart of the jungle!
For a calming close to the day, the Tin Hong Si Temple located beside the Langat river is a great finale.
The limestone cave of Gua Tempurung has numerous tours with various highlights within each; however, for an unforgettable experience, take the full tour in order to see the different levels of the caves and its various entrances and exits– some of which take you through water streams and falls!
Gopeng itself has many streams, rivers, and waterfalls and thus is a bed of numerous whitewater rafting and jungle trekking activities and resorts.
My Gopeng Resort is one of many and is known for its jungle village camp.
Others include Nomad Adventure, Radak Adventure, River Explorer White Water Rafting, Gua Tempurung Outdoor Camp, and Sg Kampar White Water Rafting Malaysia.
There are options for offroading tours as well as offroading yourself personally with ATV Gopeng.
Hiking Bukit Batu Putih will also give you a panoramic view of Gopeng in a reasonable amount of time, averaging half an hour to an hour.
Taiping was once known for its mines, but those mines were turned into artificial lakes to accompany the gardens and beautiful misty mountain ranges of its landscapes.
There are other places to explore Taiping’s nature, such as the Bukit Larut, in which you can hike to the top of, or the Burmese Pool, which is a natural pool near the center of the town, in which a light trail near the Batu Teguh River will lead to in the jungle.
There is colonial architecture spread throughout the city revealing its history, such as the Taiping Clock Tower.
The Chinese Pagoda and the Hosian Temple are some of the most well-known Buddhist temples in the city, due to their ornate and colorful architecture.
Malaysia’s first museum, Perak Museum, gives you a chance to learn about not only the history and cultural heritage of the city and its inhabitants but all of Malaysia.
25. Kuala Sepetang
Kuala Sepetang’s famous coastal mangrove system stretches northward until it reaches the bordering fishing village, and is open to the public to view with supplementary boardwalks built around the thick groves to protect your legs and feet.
Another unique attribute of the city is its charcoal production.
These mangroves provide the ideal wood necessary to be produced into charcoal, and the Khay Hor Holdings charcoal factory allows visitors to enter for free to tour the giant kilns and see firsthand, the various processes of charcoal production.
The Sepetang River, which the city’s life revolved around historically, is an important landmark to tour for an insight into Kuala Sepetang’s cultural heritage, and even the most standard tours will take visitors to the main parts of the city, like the Port Weld Bridge.
The seafood cuisine of Kuala Sepetang primarily uses prawns and is famously prepared in Curry Mee all throughout the city.
Did we miss any of the best KL weekend getaways? Let us know your favorite short getaways from KL in the comments. Thanks!
More Southeast Asia Travel Guides
- Singapore itinerary
- Siem Reap itinerary
- Best things to do in Siem Reap
- Things to do in Saigon
- Chiang Mai itinerary
- Best places to visit in Thailand
Pin this Short Getaways from KL Guide
Megan is a travel blogger and writer with a background in digital marketing. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now splits her time between Frankfurt, Germany and Arctic Finland after also living in Norway, Armenia, and Kazakhstan. She has a passion for winter travel, as well as the Nordic countries, but you can also find her eating her way through Italy, perusing perfume stores in Paris, or taking road trips through the USA. Megan has written for or been featured by National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, the New York Times, and more. She co-authored Fodor’s Travel ‘Essential Norway’ and has visited 45 US states and 100+ countries.