The Top 10 Sights of Malaysia

Lively metropolises, rich culture, picture-book beaches and tropical jungles - Malaysia is an exotic paradise that has something to offer for every travel taste. 

Malaysia, the divided state between mainland and island, is definitely high on the list of the most multicultural countries in the world! In the once British colony, the European remnants have now been joined by diverse Malay, Chinese and Indian influences. The result is a colorful melting pot of numerous peoples full of joie de vivre, which is reflected in chic restaurants, hip shopping districts and modern skyscrapers.


In addition to the lively city centers, Malaysia also offers plenty of space for rest and relaxation. Away from the metropolises, dreamlike beach paradises, endless tea plantations, lush rainforests and a fascinating exotic animal world are just waiting to be discovered.

Capital Kuala Lumpur

Due to their enormous weight of 300,000 tons per tower, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur are among the most earthquake-resistant buildings in the world, Malaysia - © ezk / franks-travelbox
© ezk / franks-travelbox

Malaysia is now one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia. This is already visible upon arrival in the modern capital Kuala Lumpur. Luxurious hotels, gigantic skyscrapers, diverse cultures and delicious cuisine characterize the metropolis.

Among the most important sights of Kuala Lumpur are:

  • The New Istana Negara (New National Palace), seat of the Malaysian government and one of the most impressive buildings of Kuala Lumpur, but unfortunately can only be visited from the outside
  • The Old Istana Negara with the Royal Museum with the original furnished rooms of the royal couple
  • Merdeka Square where Malaysian independence was declared with the beautiful Sultan Abdul Samad Palace
  • The KL Tower with an observation deck at a height of 276m and a revolving restaurant
  • And of course the world famous Petronas Towers!

Article: Top 10 sights of Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

The Petronas Towers are the landmark of Kuala Lumpur and were the tallest building in the world from 1996 to 2004, Malaysia - © ezk / franks-travelbox
© ezk / franks-travelbox

They are part of the capital of Malaysia, but definitely worth their own entry in our Top 10 list! Once upon a time, the imposing Petronas Towers were considered the (controversial) tallest building in the world. Today, the distinctive twin towers are still the tallest tower in Malaysia and the landmark of Kuala Lumpur. From the 170m high skybridge a breathtaking (and not quite cheap) view over the city opens up.

Article: Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur
Photo gallery: Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Batu caves

The gigantic Batu Caves in Malaysia about 15km north of the capital Kuala Lumpur are used as Hindu temples and shrines, Malaysia - © shaun robinson / Fotolia
© shaun robinson / Fotolia

Just 15km north of Kuala Lumpur are the famous Batu Caves, one of the most famous Hindu temples outside India. The 400 million year old limestone caves are decorated with numerous Hindu statues and shrines and can be visited free of charge. Condition provided, because behind the world's largest statue of the Hindu god Murugan there are 272 stone steps to climb to the cave entrance.


Article: Batu Caves
Photo gallery: Batu Caves

Georgetown on Penang

Georgetown is also a capital, but on the island of Penang. The colorful colonial old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts visitors with its colorful residential buildings, street art, street food and the imposing Kek Lok Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia.

The best view of Penang is from the hill of the same name, which is reached by a cable car. From forested Penang Hill, the view extends not only over the roofs of the former British colonial city, but also across the Strait of Malacca to the mainland.

Pulau Penang National Park on Penang

Pentai Kerachut beach in the national park on Pulau Penang island is used by turtles to lay eggs, Malaysia - © Ng Yin Chern / Shutterstock
© Ng Yin Chern / Shutterstock

Pulau Penang National Park on the northwestern tip of the tourist island of Penang is the smallest national park in the world. Its swamps and mangrove forests form fascinating hiking areas and its dreamlike beaches serve not only turtles to lay their eggs, but also tourists as a little paradise.

Article: Pulau Penang National Park

Malacca coastal city

On the eponymous sea route to Indonesia 2 hours' drive southeast of Kuala Lumpur, the coastal city of Malacca is another fascinating destination with rich history and cultural diversity. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city features well-preserved colonial buildings, including the famous St. Paul's Hill and A Famosa Fort, remnants of Portuguese and Dutch rule.

Malacca's Old Town delights with colorful streets lined with stores, cafes and street food. Visitors can also explore the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum to learn more about the unique Baba Nyonya culture.

The Malacca River Cruise offers a scenic boat ride through the city, while the Jonker Street Night Market is a haven for souvenirs and delicious street food dishes.


Langkawi Island

The Malaysian island of Langkawi in the Indian Ocean offers beaches, resorts, pristine rainforest, waterfalls and fantastic viewpoints amidst breathtaking nature, Malaysia - © Andrea Seemann / Fotolia
© Andrea Seemann / Fotolia

Langkawi is one of the most popular vacation islands of Malaysia. In the year-round humid and hot climate thrives dense jungle, which covers almost the entire island. On the coast, gorgeous beaches await sun worshippers and bathing mermaids, and in the island's interior, canopy tours and the Langkawi Sky Bridge take vacationers to the roof of the rainforest.

Article: Langkawi Island
Photo gallery: Langkawi Island

Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo

River in Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysia - © Kim Briers / Shutterstock
© Kim Briers / Shutterstock

On the island of Borneo lies the Gunung Mulu National Park, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the mountain of the same name lies one of the largest cave systems in the world. The limestone formations of the unique karst landscape are also visible above ground in many places and provide unforgettable vacation impressions.

Article: Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo

Kinabulu Park on Borneo

A tourist on his way to Mount Kinabulu, which is one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia at an altitude of nearly 4,100 meters, Malaysia - © Krajomfire / Shutterstock
© Krajomfire / Shutterstock

Kinabulu Park is also located on Borneo. At over 4,000 meters, it is one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The path up Kinabulu leads through a breathtaking plant world and is mastered once a year by extreme athletes in a few hours during the "Climbathon".

Article: Kinabulu Park in Borneo

Pulau Payar Marine Park

Fish in Pulau Payar Marine Park, Malaysia - © seanlean / Shutterstock
© seanlean / Shutterstock

Langkawi Island is known for its picture-perfect beaches, but the diving paradises are found elsewhere - about an hour's boat ride away in the coral-covered Pulau Payar Marine Park. Excellent conditions for swimming, diving and snorkeling make for the perfect tropical day by the sea here.


Article: Pulau Payar Marine Park