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The Secret to Visiting the Petronas Towers

by Larissa

The Petronas Towers

Visiting the Petronas Towers requires a bit of strategy. The dual skyscrapers, which were once the tallest buildings in the world, are one of the most popular Kuala Lumpur tourist attractions.  Tickets are limited, so if you want to go to the observation deck–at a time that works for your travel schedule–it’s best to book ahead. We’re glad we did; read on for our review and tips on visiting.

Impatient? Book ahead with Petronas Towers Skip the Line

Looking for a Hotel in KL? CHECK PRICES HERE

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.

Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers|Places to visit Kuala Lumpur

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.

Petronas Towers Skybridge|visit Petronas Towers

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.

Petronas Towers observation deck|Twin towers malaysia|attractions Kuala Lumpur

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: Skip the Line Petronas Towers. (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, you might want to 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 check prices of other KL HOTELS here.

Is it worth it? 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.

If you’re looking to visit other Kuala Lumpur attractions, check out our experience at Batu Caves, where we witnessed an infant getting his head shaved in a sacred Hindu ceremony.

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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. 😊

Larissa and Michael at the Arctic CircleWe’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 monthly updates and valuable travel tips subscribe here.

Richard Needham March 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm

The Taipei 101 tower is maybe third or fourth tallest and worth a trip up if you are in Taiwan. Because Taipei is in a basin, you can look over the tops of surrounding mountains to the next set beyond from up there. And, I was lucky enough to see the great Robert Parrish there last summer when visiting (didn’t know it was him until I read it in the Taipei newspapers). He is awfully tall, but not like Taipei 101…

Us March 15, 2012 at 3:12 am

What was Robert Parrish doing in Taiwan?

Barbara March 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

Thanks for the presentation. What a great place for a photo shoot…
All the best to you both.

Us March 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm

We did avoid doing a Margeret Bourke-White and climbing out the building for some shots.

Richard Needham March 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm

He was there on an NBA promtional tour. Taiwanese love basketball (as attested by the Jeremy Lin craze). When I saw him waiting for the elevator to the observation deck I thought it might be him. We lived in Boston during that golden era of Bird, Parrish, Maxwell, McHale , etc. and I was in the old Boston Gardens once for a Bruins game (I worked nearby on Commercial Street).

Doz & Amanda March 19, 2012 at 7:19 am

We needed some of that dumb luck 🙂 The towers were the main reason for our visit too but when we arrived in the afternoon we we given the wake up early advice. No chance that was going to happen! Thanks for the photos to show us what we missed 🙂

Us March 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

Maybe you guys would have been better off just staying out late and strolling over at 6 when the bars closed.

Gusto March 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

My experience in the Petronas Towers was on a business trip, where the presentation I was suffering through on the 104th floor had frequent sound disruptions due to the nasty electrical storm passing through. I started getting concerned when I saw lightning bolts contacting the windows and cascading down, along with the torrential rains. Not to worry, we were told — the building is designed as a lightning rod. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but I was happy when it was over….

Us March 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Maybe the lightning was drawn to your magentic personality.

Jesse April 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

By chance did you ride the rails to the night market?

Us April 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I don’t think so.

MC June 13, 2012 at 2:44 am

May I know how much you paid for the ticket to Petronas Towers? I will be visiting KL next week. This will help in my planning.

Michael June 13, 2012 at 4:04 am

We don’t remember exactly, it may have been about $20 USD. There is a link in the story to the Petronas Towers web site that will have that information.

T Gould February 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm

We were in KL for a full day twice – both times on a Monday, when the Petronas Tower is closed to public tours.

We went for a drink to the Traders hotel opposite instead. They have a bar on the 33rd floor with fantastic views of Petronas and the surrounding city side. It was lovely having a couple of cocktails and watching day turn into night, and seeing the lights come on all over the city, including the towers. You may want to try it next time to see the towers from a different viewpoint.

Michael February 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm

That’s a great idea. Quite often the best views in cities can be had for free or by buying a drink at a bar on a high level. Thanks for the tip.

TIA International October 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Thank you for this article. I plan to visit KL in two months’ time and your article describing your experiences was immensely helpful. I realize I will have to be very proactive in order to plan my visit to the Towers. I am looking forward to it.

Mel December 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm

you can now buy tix online! do a google search for the offical petronas site!

here –

Michael December 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Thanks! What a great tip.

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