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The Petronas Towers
Getting Petronas Towers tickets requires a bit of strategy. Tickets are limited, so if you want to go to the observation deck—at the best time to visit for great photos, or simply a time that works for your travel schedule—it’s best to book ahead. The dual skyscrapers, which were once the tallest buildings in the world, are one of the most popular Kuala Lumpur tourist attractions. We’re glad we went; read on for our review and tips on visiting.
Impatient? Book ahead with Petronas Towers Skip the Line
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Anyone who watched Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones dangle precariously from two tall buildings in the movie Entrapment will recognize these twin towers, Malaysia’s contemporary architectural jewel. Michael’s not much of a dangler, but he really wanted to visit the observation deck at the top. Unfortunately, there was a problem.
Getting tickets on site: wake up EARLY!
You can purchase Petronas Towers tickets on a first-come, first-served basis, which is challenging because there are a limited number of tickets available for each day. The ticket office opens at 8:30 AM. Unfortunately tickets–which are for timed departure throughout the day–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–YIKES! During our travels we met several people who skipped the tour because they didn’t want to wake up early to stand in line (like us). A friend of ours who lives in Kuala Lumpur (or “KL,” as the locals call it) has never even gone to the top because of that supposed requirement.
Uh oh . . . Michael is not a crack-of-dawn kind of guy. He was torn: as a self-proclaimed building geek, visiting the the Kuala Lumpur towers was one of the main reasons we came to Malaysia. (Like visiting the Burj Kalifa was a big draw for visiting Dubai.) Maybe he could send Larissa in the early morning for tickets? [….Um, that would be a “NO!” ] We had to find another way.
These students from Indonesia were thrilled to pose with Little Rocky in front of the Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur
Can you buy tickets for the Petronas Towers in advance?
The short answer is yes. We managed to sleep in and still get to the top.
Ticket alternative: A Petronas Twin Towers “tour”
Fortunately, you can secure a ticket in advance by purchasing it through Viator. The twin tower ticket for Petronas Tickets Skip the Line is reasonable (approximately $30). The purchase process is easy–a few simple clicks online–and tickets are delivered right to your hotel. [NOTE: we recommend bringing your passport along, in case they need to see it upon checking in.]
If you only have limited time in KL, you might want to consider this Airport Transfer/Petronas Tower option, which will pick you up at the airport (not a bad idea–it’s a looong way from downtown), take you to the towers, then drop you off at your hotel.
On the 42nd floor Skybridge the limited capacity keeps down the crowds. A visit to the Skybridge is included in the KL tower entrance fee.
Petronas Towers Tickets: The Skybridge & Observation Deck
As tours to the tops of tall buildings go–and we’ve been to most of them–this was by far the best. The ticket office issues a limited number of tickets for each 15-minute time segment, which means 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. We had about fifteen minutes, which was 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. There, we spent another twenty minutes roaming around, filling up the memory card of our cameras. The building’s unique 8-pointed star shape provides plenty of nooks and crannies, therefore it was easy to find a private spot to take in the view. A Kuala Lumpur tourist map was laid at our feet, with 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.
Even allegedly grown men get as excited as little kids on the top of tall buildings. The Petronas Towers is one of the top tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur.
Visiting the Petronas Towers: Practical Matters
To us, the Petronas Towers is a must on a list of Kuala Lumpur places to visit. Here is a synopsis of the practical tips:
Order tickets ahead:
(If you only have a short time in KL, consider the Airport Transfer/Petronas Towers combo.)
Time to allow:
About an hour for the visit from bottom to top and back again
Best time to visit the Petronas Towers:
With tickets limited, there are never crowds. If you’re a serious photographer, schedule a late afternoon visit for the “golden hour.”
Who should go?
Lovers of tall buildings and long-range views
Where to stay?
We stayed at the ParkRoyal Serviced Apartments. Nice, large studio in a central location, with kitchenette (perfect for enjoying takeaway meals), and a terrific rooftop pool. A good value. You can also use this handy tool to check KL hotel prices.
Is it worth it to get Petronas Towers tickets?
When you visit Kuala Lumpur, YES! Compared to tours of most skyscraper observation decks, the Petronas Towers tour was 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 are are limited tickets sold each day, as a result there’s plenty of room for everyone; no waiting or jostling at the windows for a view.
If you can’t make it to the Kuala Lumpur towers, here are some Petronas Towers souvenirs.
Some other things to do in Kuala Lumpur
- Check out our experience at Batu Caves, where we witnessed an infant getting his head shaved in a sacred Hindu ceremony.
- Get the inside scoop on Malaysian food: take a Malaysian Cooking Class
- For a bit of fun, read about my water-logged experience with a toilet on a Malaysian train. (It seems funny . . . NOW!
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Disclaimer: We purchased our own tickets to visit the Petronas towers. We are now a member of Viator’s affiliate program, which means if you purchase a tour through our links we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep things humming here at Changes in Longitude, while providing free travel guidance to our readers. 😊
We’re Larissa and Michael, 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 updates and valuable travel tips subscribe to our travel newsletter here.