How to get to Kuala Lumpur? This question might popped out in you head after you find Kuala Lumpur an interesting city to visit or to work in. Well….depends on where on earth you are right now, the choices of transportation to get to KL may be restricted only to airplanes.
If you are from North Asia, Britain, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Africa, you can get to Kuala Lumpur by major airlines operating in your respective country.
But if you’re from South East Asia especially from Thailand and Singapore, you will have more choices of transportation to get to KL.
A visit to Kuala Lumpur is just like any visit to other cities that you must plan well. This includes finding some facts about Kuala Lumpur, preparing your own itinerary of places to explore, making reservation at a hotel of your choice and finally getting a flight ticket to Kuala Lumpur.
I hope this page will help you get started on finding how to get to Kuala Lumpur as I will list out major airlines operating in your country and what tranportation modes are available once you reach Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Get to Kuala Lumpur by Plane
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is the main gateway to all international routes for Malaysia and the major hub for domestic flights. All scheduled air flights (domestic and international) will arrive at the KLIA (IATA: KUL ICAO: WMKK) located about 50km to the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, in the Sepang district of Selangor.
The new Kuala Lumpur International Airport was opened in June 1998 and is a huge complex with business centres, dining facilities, a fitness center, medical services, shopping, post offices and an airport hotel operated by Pan Pacific.
KLIA is a US$2.5bil modern structure of glass and steel that has been ranked as one of the top airports of the world. It replaced the former Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah International Airport in Subang, which is now used only for chartered and turboprop flights.
Besides KLIA, there is also a new Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCC) which was opened in March 2006 and is currently used by AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. The LCCT is located about 20km away by road from KLIA but frequent shuttle buses connect the two terminals, costing RM1.50 per trip.
If you want to go to the LCCT from the Main Terminal Building, you can catch the shuttles at the Bus Terminal on the Ground Floor of the Car Park C building. The shuttles will drop you at the bus bays right in front of the LCC terminal.
After arriving in KLIA and clearing the immigration processes, you can proceed to the baggage claim area in the airport and then proceed to the KLIA Customs area where you present your Customs Declaration to the customs officer.
Getting Into Kuala Lumpur from the Airport
You can choose to get into the KL city by using taxis/limousines, express trains or airport coach buses.
Just before you exit the Main Terminal Building through the glass doors to the public arrival area, you will see the transportation counters. You can purchase your ticket for airport taxis, coaches or the Kuala Lumpur Express Train at the counters.
A point to note is that normal city taxis are not allowed to pick up passengers from the airport but you will notice many illegal taxis touts around. They will personally approach you at the arrival hall and will persistently try to get you into their taxis and later charge whatever they think they deserve from you. So, please avoid them!
There are 2 types of taxis available:
- Budget Taxis
- Premier Taxis
After purchasing your ticket, head towards the exit door number indicated on your ticket and present it to the driver waiting there. Journey time to the Kuala Lumpur city centre is approximately 50-55 minutes.
The latest popular way to get to Kuala Lumpur city from the airport is by using the high-speed KLIA Ekspres. The rail service links the airport directly with the KL Sentral transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur in approximately 28 minutes. From KL Sentral, taxis are really easy to find and use a coupon system, or you can also catch one of the city’s commuter trains to a station near your hotel.
KLIA Express trains run between KLIA and KL Sentral train station from 5am to 12 midnight daily. The train departs every 15 minutes between 5am and 9am, and between 4pm and 10pm. Outside those hours, the trains run every 20 minutes. Tickets cost RM35 for adults and RM15 for children.
There is another train service known as KLIA Transit which also links the Kuala Lumpur International airport with KL Sentral. The only different is that it stops at three intermediate stations – Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya, and Bandar Tasik Selatan. The journey takes 36mins.
The KLIA Transit fare from end to end is the same as for the KLIA Ekspres. Different fares apply for journeys to the intermediate stations. From KLIA, transit trains run every half hour from 5.52am to 1am.
Please note that there is no direct train connections to the LCCT as yet. However, you can take either train from KL Sentral to the Main Terminal, then catch the shuttle bus to the LCCT. You can use either SkyBus or Aerobus that run direct services every half hour or so from KL Sentral to the LCCT. The cost is just RM9 per one-way.
Taking a bus is the most economical way to get to Kuala Lumpur city from KLIA. You can use the Aiport Coach buses that connect KLIA to most of the city’s major hotels.
These buses leave every 30-35 minutes departing from the Arrival Concourse (Level 3) from 5:30am to 10:15pm daily. The trip takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.
If you’re from Singapore, you will have more alternatives to get to Kuala Lumpur. In addition to air flight, you can also take a train or a bus. If you’re arriving on the executive bus from Singapore, you’ll be dropped at the MTC (Malaysia Tourism Centre) on Jalan Ampang in the center of town.