The symbol of modern KL
Completed in 1996, the Petronas Twin Towers are arguably Kuala Lumpur’s most recognisable landmark and a visit to the viewing deck is a highlight for many first-time visitors to the city.
Visible from around KL, there is no one vantage point from where the view towards the towers is the best. Look upon them from the near equally tall KL Tower, from the village roads in Kampung Baru, from a swish bar in Traders Hotel, or by just randomly looking up, especially in the evening, and you’ll most likely catch a glimpse. The best views however are perhaps from the inside looking out, and a heavily managed visit to both the sky bridge and the viewing level is worthwhile for all but the most skyscraper unimpressed.
When we say a visit is heavily managed we mean it. Unlike KL Tower where visitors are pumped into the lift shaft and largely left to their own devices, at Petronas Towers, guests are admitted in limited groups according to a set timetable. This is one site where booking your admission in advance can be smart as if you just show up (like we did) it can throw a spanner into the works when you are told they’ll let you in in three hours time!
Once in, you’re given a simple security briefing and screening (no selfie sticks allowed), then whizzed up to the skybridge where you are allowed to enjoy the view. Then, up again to the viewing deck, where you get another 20 minutes, then you’re taken back down a few levels for ten minutes spent waiting in the souvenir shop before you’re finally allowed to get the lift back down and leave.
The skybridge is on the 41st floor, some 170 metres off the ground and actually has two levels—above you is a second level of the walkway for employees. It offers terrific views and also in places allows views into some of the office space within the tower. The ten minutes allowed here should be more than sufficient for photos and peering around.
The observation deck is on the 86th floor and offers some pretty spectacular views of the entire city. The entire level is glass-enclosed, so you won’t be feeling the wind in your hair, but the views are pretty amazing. There is also a scale model of Kuala Lumpur and another of the tower along with some video explainers and so on. Be sure to walk all the way around to enjoy all the vantage points.
Not surprisingly, sunset and the early evening is the most popular time to visit and if that is when you want to go, booking your tickets well in advance is a very good idea as these slots sell out very early.
As with KL Tower, admission is not cheap, coming in at 85 ringgit for foreign adults and 35 ringgit for kids between 3 and 12 (under 3 are free). This makes it slightly cheaper than the combination ticket at KL Tower.
So, if you want to enjoy the views over the city but don’t want to pay to summit both KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers, which should you do? If you want to get into the open air, then KL Tower is the one you want as that isn’t possible at the twin towers. We found the heavily managed aspect of the visit to Petronas Towers a bit annoying—especially the mandatory ten minute forced spell in the gift shop—but this was a minor thing. How do the views stand up? We preferred those at Petronas Towers as you’re really in the centre of the city, and the close proximity to the Four Seasons made for a more interesting view than at KL Tower. So overall we’d lean towards Petronas Towers, but both are solid—or, just do as we did, and see both!
Address: Jalan Ampang, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2331 8080; F: (03) 2331 1723;
Coordinates (for GPS): 101º42'40.21" E, 3º9'28.04" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: 85 ringgit for adults, 35 ringgit for kids, under 3 free.
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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