Kuala Lumpur

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Moving to Kuala Lumpur

Selamat Datang to Kuala Lumpur! Moving to Kuala Lumpur is the dream of many expats, who enjoy staying in this lively city in the Klang River Valley. InterNations shows you how to secure the right visa, how to find your way around in the Malaysian metropolis, and much more.
The old railway station in Kuala Lumpur is still a significant architectural landmark.

Your relocation to Kuala Lumpur will take you to Malaysia’s political and economic center. Kuala Lumpur is not only the capital, but also the largest city of this dynamic Southeast Asian nation.

In 1857, Chinese tin miners established shanty towns in the area between the Klang and Gombak rivers. They called this place “muddy confluence”, “Kuala Lumpur”. These modest settlements laid the cornerstone for the city’s future, as more and more people subsequently started moving to there.

The city has come a long way since then. Moving to Kuala Lumpur means settling right in the heart of the country. Here you’ll find the Parliament of Malaysia and can even visit the official residence of the Malaysian King.

The Klang Valley and Humidity

Kuala Lumpur is located a mere 35 km from Malaysia’s west coast. Together with Selangor, the city stretches throughout the Klang Valley. Kuala Lumpur is framed by the Titiwanga Mountains in the east and the Strait of Malacca in the west.

Expats moving to Kuala Lumpur often take a while to adjust to the tropical climate in the city. Due to the combination of high temperatures and abundant rain, be prepared for high humidity all year round. This is particularly the case during Monsoon season. You may experience flooding in the city center between October and March.

Exploring Kuala Lumpur by Rail or Bus

Many expats moving to Kuala Lumpur seem to prefer exploring the city by car. However, the city also has a public transportation system, even though it is not as well connected and well developed as the networks in some other Asian cities. For people moving to Kuala Lumpur, there are three major railway networks operating throughout Kuala Lumpur:

  • The LRT (Light Rail Transit) runs on two different lines, between Putra and Kelana Jaya and between Ampang, Sri Petaling, and Sentul Timur. These lines cover up to 24 stations. Their trains operate between 06:00 and 23:10-23:40 with three-minute to five-minute intervals during peak hours.
  • The KL Monorail connects KL Sentral to Titiwangsa. The line operates between 06:00 and midnight, running every five minutes during rush hour.
  • The two lines of KTM Komuter connect Batu Caves with Port Klang and Rawang with Sungai Gadut. Its services are available from 05:00-05:45 to midnight on a daily basis. During peak hours, trains run in 15-minute intervals.

In addition, you can travel by bus. These buses connect various train stations with designated areas throughout the city. You can find an overview of the bus routes in KL on Myrapid.

Where to Go in Kuala Lumpur

Shopping and nightlife dominate many districts of Kuala Lumpur, offering visitors and expats moving to Kuala Lumpur a multitude of opportunities to experience Malaysia’s metropolis.

  • Bukit Bintang is the city’s entertainment district and very popular among local youth, visitors, and expats moving to Kuala Lumpur.
  • KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) functions as the city’s commercial focal point and is home to the Petronas Towers, the capital’s most popular landmark.
  • In Tuanka Abdul Rahman, you will find the traditional shopping district, located north of Kuala Lumpur’s city center. This area is sometimes referred to as Little India.
  • Chee Cheong Kay (Petaling Street) a.k.a. KL’s “Chinatown” is where traces of the city’s ethnic Chinese culture, heritage, and history prevail.
  • Most foreign embassies are based in Ampang, an eastern suburb partially located in the state of Selangor, making it particularly important for expats moving to Kuala Lumpur.
  • Subang Jaya, a major suburban city, is the educational center of the Klang Valley, featuring a higher education hub and several international schools. It is therefore a popular residential district for expatriates moving to Kuala Lumpur.



We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Adam Malewski

"With all the great information on this site, getting settled in Kuala Lumpur was a piece of cake."

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