Visiting the world famous twin towers in Kuala Lumpur was likely one of my dreams since they were the world tallest building from 1998 to 2004. In May 2019, I visited the Petronas Towers and the KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center) area nearby. Here is my review of the early morning visit.
Petronas Towers – Location & Admission
KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center), in which the Petronas Towers are based, is located slightly Northeast of most tourist sights in the heart of the economic and financial district. The easiest way to reach the Towers is by LRT (Light Rail Transit). The Kuala Lumpur public transport is a bit intransparent for foreigners at the beginning, so you may favor a Grab car (similar to Uber). If you exit the LRT at the KLCC station, you are more or less right in front of the Towers. However, they stand in line from that so that you just see one of them. This may be confusing.
Adult admission for tourists is currently 80 MYR, roughly 17 Euro. If you are a local, however, the price reduces to 28 MYR. The tickets are timed and very popular, so you have to book in advance (the picture on the left show availability at the day I was visiting, before opening times). This is of course a bit risky as you do not know the weather conditions at that day. Daily opening times are 9:00 to 21:00hrs. As Malaysia is a Muslim state, there is a period of closing around noon on Fridays.
Petronas Towers – The Tour
The tour starts in the basement of Petronas Towers, which you either access through the front gate or the Suria KLCC shopping mall (see below). Only one of the towers is open to public. The tours are strictly timed. By a colored visitor badge, you are assigned to one group, which stays together all the visit. Times at each stage are fixed. The total capacity is roughly 1,600 visitors per day. No backbags, suitcases or tripods are allowed. You may leave these before entering the elevator for free.
The first stage of your visit is the Skybridge, which connects the two towers. Its main mission is, of course, to reduce the transfer times between the two wings. The Skybridge connects the 41st and 42nd floor. The 41st floor part is used for visitor groups, while the upper level for regular business needs. There are also some screens which introduce you to the buildings around. The total length of the Skybridge is roughly 58 meters.
After a short visit at Level 83, you are transferred to Level 86, which is the highest point of your visit. Level 86 is two levels lower than the roof height of the building, which is roughly 378 meters high. This is significantly lower than the highest usable floors in the Willis Tower / Sears Tower in Chicago or the former World Trade Center in New York. The world-record height of 452 meters includes the quite significantly long masts. Apart from some nice views, there is also a lot of information about the building and the Petronas company on this floor.
Level 83 & Gift Shops
Your final stop on your tour is just three floors down. Level 83 shows some sort of Hall of Fame of the World tallest buildings. Apart from that, you may buy some souvenirs in a smaller gift shop. This includes pictures taken of you before. As you roughly have the same time on this level than on the Skybridge and on the top level, this part of the tour may be rather bothering.
Finally, you end up on ground floor, where you may grab your potentially left belongings and spent some money in the gift shop.
Petronas Towers – Other KLCC Attractions
Kuala Lumpur City Center offers a couple of additional attractions. Two are right next to the Twin Towers.
Suria KLCC is a shopping center right next to Petronas Towers. It offers 350 stores on six floors. There are a couple of really posh brands, but overall, it is rather moderate and there are stores for everyone. There is also the typical food court and Petrosains, a science amusement park majorly focussing on kids.
Already from the Skybridge, you have a lovely view of KLCC Park, which is called Taman KLCC in Malay. It’s is a lovely park to relax. It features fountains, a public pool and playgrounds for children and even has a touch of a Botanic Garden as some plants are named and explained. I absolutely loved to stroll around and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Petronas Towers from there. Next to the park, there is also the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, which hosts the Aquaria KLCC aquarium.
Petronas Towers & KLCC Park – My View
It has been a dream to me to visit the Petronas Towers. One of these places you just want to visit one day in your life. Thus, the tour just has been a wonderful experience. Without being too emotional, though, the Towers just perform average compared to other comparable towers and skyscrapers. Especially being forced to stay in a gift shop level for 15 minutes was strenuous to me. The view from the Tower is also not as good as you feel it to be, due to its architecture. Travel guides state that you should rather opt for the cheaper Menara Tower.
KLCC Park, though, gave me a great time. Overall, if you visit Kuala Lumpur, you have to come to the Twin Towers – your visit would just not be complete without it. If there is bad weather / bad sight, it may be useless to go to 86th floor – maybe the Skybridge can become an even better place to watch the city from above.
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