Tickets for the Petronas Towers
The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, once the tallest buildings in the world, are familiar to anyone who watched Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones dangle precariously from them in the movie Entrapment. Michael’s not much of a dangler but he really wanted to visit the observation deck at the top. Unfortunately, there was a problem.
The ticket office for the Petronas Towers opens at 8:30 AM and provides, on a first-come basis, a limited number of tickets for that day. Unfortunately they are as popular as front row seats for Lady Gaga. According to the guidebooks, visitors are advised to arrive as early as 6:30 AM to get a spot before they sell out. During our travels we met several people who skipped the tour because they didn’t want to get in line that early. A friend of ours who lives in Kuala Lumpur has never even gone to the top because of that supposed requirement.
Michael was torn. He is a self-proclaimed building geek, the Petronas Towers was one of the main reasons we came to Kuala Lumpur (or “KL,” as the locals call it). But he is not a crack-of-dawn kind of guy.
These students from Indonesia were thrilled to pose with Little Rocky.
Can you buy tickets for the Petronas Towers in advance?
However, we managed to sleep in and still get to the top. In the unofficial handbook of good travel planning, our visit to the Petronas Towers falls into the category of “Dumb Luck.” It turns out that, despite all evidence to the contrary, tickets are sold in advance: who knew?
Enter the Dumb Luck. We went over to the towers one afternoon to take photos from the ground. Afterward we sought out the ticket office to get some idea of the whole ticketing process. A computerized billboard told us tickets for that day and the following day were sold out. But there were tickets still available for select times two days from now. Hmm, what about having to get there early to buy tickets?
There were no lines at the ticket office. Why would there be? It was now 2:30 in the afternoon and everyone else was there before sunrise. Sure enough the ticket agent confirmed we could purchase tickets for two days from now so we did.
On the 42nd floor Skybridge the limited capacity keeps down the crowds.
First stop at the Petronas Towers: The Skybridge
As tours to the tops of tall buildings go, and we’ve been to most of them, this was by far the best. Since only a limited number of tickets are issued for each 15-minute time segment it doesn’t get crowded. Show up at the designated time and guides escort a small group of about fifteen to the distinctive 42nd story Skybridge connecting the two towers. Fifteen minutes are allowed, plenty of time to walk around, take photos, and marvel at the fact that you are suspended between the two towers.
After that the guide boarded us on the high-speed elevator that soared to the 88th floor observatory of the eastern tower. We were given another twenty minutes to roam around and see who could fill the memory card of their camera first. The building’s unique 8-pointed star shape provides plenty of nooks and crannies to find a private spot to take in the view of Kuala Lumpur and the hills in the distance. It was a gorgeous view and, best of all, we didn’t have to get up early to see it.
Visiting the Petronas Towers
Web site: http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my/ UPDATE: As of December, 2013 we learned you can now buy advance tickets at this site online.
Time to allow: About an hour for the visit from bottom to top and back again
Who should go? Lovers of tall buildings and long-range views
Is it worth it? Compared to tours of most skyscraper observation decks, the Petronas Towers escorted tour is well-organized. Knowledgeable guides are available to answer any questions about the building or the views. Touch-screen TVs on the Skybridge provide information about what the visitor is looking at. The limited tickets sold each day mean no waiting or jostling at the windows for a view.
If you can’t make it here are some Petronas Towers souvenirs.
Larissa and Michael are your typical middle-aged couple from Philadelphia who’ve been traveling the world full-time since 2011, seeking off-beat, historic and tasty sights. To receive monthly updates and valuable travel tips subscribe here.