Go for the Kuala Lumpur Heritage Trails! I know it’s fun because I’ve done it, a couple of years back. Unfortunately, my experience went undocumented because this KL City Guide didn’t exist at that time. But, I will not hesitate to do the KL heritage trails again!
You can ask about the heritage trails from any travel agency in KL. Most of the tour agent will offer KL Heritage Trails as a half-a-day tour. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can do it yourself!
It’s a good introduction to the famous historical buildings around Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur Historical Buildings
As a simple guide for your D.I.Y tour, here are the historical places normally visited as part of the Kuala Lumpur Heritage Trails. The places previous names are in parenthesis.
- Masjid Jamek
- Mahkamah Sesyen dan Majistret (Old Survey Department)
- Panggung Bandaraya (Old City Hall)
- Mahkamah Tinggi / High Court
- Sultan Abdul Samad Building (Public Works Dept)
- Mahkamah Perusahaan / Industrial Court
- Old Post Office
- Dataran Merdeka (Parade Ground / Selangor Club Padang)
- Textile Museum (Federated Malay States Railway)
- Dataran Merdeka Fountain
- National History Museum (Chartered Bank)
- Kuala Lumpur Memorial Library (Government Printing Office)
- Dataran Merdeka Flagpole
- Royal Selangor Club
- Cathedral of St Mary
- Masjid India
The real challenge would be your susceptibility to the hot and humid weather. I’d like to recommend that you do your Kuala Lumpur Heritage Trails in the morning. The temperature is a lot bearable and the weather is less humid. Furthermore, the morning sun is great for outdoor photography and there are a lot of things to capture on film.
On a leisurely pace, The KL heritage trails will take about 4 hours to finish, so…. 8 am is the best time to start!
Just arm yourself with the right clothing, gear, fluids and knowledge of heat sickness symptoms, you will be in good shape to follow the heritage trails! For more great tips on getting around KL by walking, click here.
Start The Walking Tour
This walking tour starts and ends at the Masjid Jamek LRT Station.
From the Masjid Jamek LRT Station, walk to the old Masjid Jamek. It’s located at the confluence of Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang. This is the place where the history of Kuala Lumpur began.
The mosque was build in 1907 and its architecture was based on the Islamic Mogul/Indian design. The name, Jamek is derived from an Arabic word meaning a meeting place.
You are allowed to enter the compound of the mosque, but must dress modestly. Jubah or traditional robes are available. To get a good shot of the mosque, you can walk to the opposite bank of Sungai Klang.
Sessions Court Building
With Masjid Jamek on the left, walk along Jalan Tun Perak. On your left, you can see the Mahkamah Session & Majistret (Sessions & Magistrates Courts).
Panggung Bandaraya Building
At the junction between Jalan Tun Perak and Jalan Raja, turn left. On your left is Panggung Bandaraya, the city theatre that was formerly the old City Hall of Kuala Lumpur.
Crossways in front of you, you can see the new Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur City Hall).
Old High Court Building
Flanking to Panggung Bandaraya is the Old High Court, now the Criminal High Court & Civil Sessions Court of Kuala Lumpur. This building is located along the banks of Sungai Gombak.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Cross the bridge over Sungai Gombak, and you can see the famous Sultan Abdul Samad Building. The building was completed in 1897 using a Mahometan style also known as ‘Neo-Saracenic’ which originated from India. The architect for this lovely building was AC Norman and the State Engineer CE Spooner. It was originally known as the new government Offices and housed the Public Works Department, the Survey Office, the Treasury, the Post and Telegraph Offices.
Industrial Court Building
At the junction of Jalan Mahkamah Persekutuan and Jalan Mahkamah Tinggi is the Mahkamah Perusahaan / Industrial Court. This building previously housed the Loh Chow Kit Emporium which opened in 1905, where cigars were sold. Next to the Industrial Court is the Loke Yew building, which architecture is of Art Deco design.
Old Post Office Building
Where Jalan Mahkamah Tinggi meets Jalan Raja, you will find the Old Post Office on your left, and Sultan Abdul Samad building on your right.
Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur
Notice the green turf accros the road? It’s the Dataran Merdeka or Merdeka Square.
Walk along Jalan Raja, with the Old Post Office on your left, until you reach the junction with Lebuh Pasar Besar. Right in front of you, on the left side of the road, is the Textile Museum, along Jalan Hishamuddin.
The Fountain of Merdeka Square
On one corner of Dataran Merdeka, in front of the flag pole, you can see the old Dataran Merdeka Fountain. It was said to be dismantled in England and assembled locally at Merdeka Square by Harpers as Kuala Lumpur’s first outdoor entertainment in 1897.
National History Museum
Standard Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China, the first bank to operate in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur Memorial Library
Next to the National History Museum along Jalan Pasar Besar is the Kuala Lumpur Memorial Library. After the new Government Offices were completed, it was decided to build the Government Printing Offices in 1899. A rare feature for this building is it has no columns, which allowed for a large open interior. This was necessary to house the large printing press machines.
Merdeka Square Flagpole
From the Kuala Lumpur Memorial Library, you will be able to see the Dataran Merdeka Flagpole.
Royal Selangor Club
From the Merdeka Square flagpole, walk along the edge of the Dataran Merdeka Field, which is on your right. Beyond it is Jalan Raja and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. You pass the Royal Selangor Club on your left.
This club began in 1884 as a meeting place for recreation and relaxation especially for expatriates, but from the start always had a mixture of Chinese, Indian and Malay members as well. Although this club has had a history of being very much male-oriented, it actually was also a place for ladies to gather after morning shopping or for afternoon tea.
Cathedral of St Mary
You cross Jalan Mahkamah Persekutuan to the Cathedral of St Mary, one of the oldest Anglican churches in Kuala Lumpur.
After leaving the Cathedral of St Mary, you return to Jalan Raja, past the High Court and the Panggung Bandaraya. You turn right to return to Jalan Tun Perak. At Jalan Melayu, turn left. Walk to Masjid India or Little India.
Look out for a building called Rasull Building with an Arabic numbering 786. Indian muslims and Pakistans use this number as a short form of Bismillah meaning In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
From Masjid India, retrace your steps back to Jalan Melayu, turn left and return to the station to end your Kuala Lumpur Heritage Trails.