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Petronas Towers vs Kuala Lumpur Tower - Which One is Worth Visiting?

The Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Tower stand tall as defining landmarks in Kuala Lumpur, captivating visitors with their impressive architecture and panoramic views. These iconic skyscrapers offer an unparalleled experience for those exploring the city. Both structures provide the opportunity for visitors to ascend to their summits, offering breathtaking vistas of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.

However, if circumstances dictate that you can only visit one of these landmarks due to constraints like budget or time limitations, making a choice becomes crucial. This comparison aims to shed light on the factors that might influence your decision: accessibility, entrance fees, overall value for money, and the attractions in their vicinity.

1. Overview

Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Towers. Credit: Dudva / Wikimedia Commons

Standing at a height of 451.9m (1,483ft), these towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, until they were surpassed by Taipei 101. Today, the Petronas Towers remain the world’s tallest twin towers.

These 88-floored towers were designed by an Argentinian architect, featuring postmodern Islamic architecture, and are made of reinforced concrete, steel, and glass. Tower 1 is now occupied by the country’s national oil company (Petronas) and its subsidiaries, while Tower 2 is leased out to other companies.

The towers have appeared in a number of local and international movies, the most famous one being Entrapment (1999), featuring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

KL Tower

KL Tower. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0
The KL Tower is a communication tower with a height of 421m (1,381ft), including its antenna. It is the seventh tallest telecommunication tower in the world, after Tokyo Skytree in Japan, the Canton Tower in China, CN Tower in Canada, the Ostankino Tower in Russia, the Oriental Pearl Tower in China, and the Milad Tower in Iran.
The KL Tower was the first pit stop in The Amazing Race Asia 1.

2. Getting There

Both the Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Tower are located in the city center, and are easily accessible using public transports and Grab Car (click here to read my note on why you shouldn’t take taxis in Kuala Lumpur). If you love walking, it’s also possible to walk between these two buildings.

Petronas Twin Towers

  • LRT (Red Line) — KLCC station
  • Free GoKL bus (Green Route)
  • RapidKL buses
  • Hop On Hop Off bus (City Route)

It’s also within walking distance from these stations:

  • MRT (Green/Yellow Line) — Ampang Park station
  • MRT (Yellow Line) — Persiaran KLCC station
  • KL Monorail — Bukit Nanas station

KL Tower

  • KL Monorail — Bukit Nanas station**
  • LRT (Red Line) — Dang Wangi station**
  • Free GoKL bus (Purple Line)**
  • Hop On Hop Off bus (City Route)
** These options require some uphill walking to get you to the main entrance of the building.

3. Entrance Fees

The tickets can be bought at the entrance or through booking apps such as Klook. Advance reservation is recommended during peak seasons.

Petronas Twin Towers

The park surrounding the towers and the shopping mall at the base are free to visit. However, if you wish to go to the Skybridge and top of the towers, you need to buy tickets:
  • International: RM98 (Adult 13-60 y.o.) / RM50 (Child 3-12 y.o. & Senior Citizen above 60 y.o)
  • Malaysian*: RM35 (Adult) / RM17 (Child & Senior Citizen)

KL Tower

There are two options for KL Tower. The cheaper option gives you access to the observation deck only, while the more expensive one will take you to the Sky Deck and the Sky Box as well.

Observation Deck only

  • International: RM60 (Adult) / RM40 (Child 4 -12 y.o.)
  • Malaysian*: RM30 (Adult) / RM20 (Child)
Observation Deck + Sky Deck + Sky Box
  • International: RM110 (Adult) / RM65 (Child)
  • Malaysian*: RM71 (Adult) / RM37 (Child)
*Malaysians must produce MyKad / MyKid to get the discounted rate.

4. Things to Do

Petronas Towers

KLCC Park. Credit: Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons
  • KLCC Park – This 50-acre garden at the base of the Twin Towers features a 10,000sqm man-made lake with water fountains that can shoot water up to 42m, a 1.3km-long jogging track, a 2-acre children’s playground, a children’s wading pool, and close to 2,000 indigenous trees of 74 species. There is a dancing fountain show every night with colorful lights and music. (No entrance fee.)
Suria KLCC. Credit: Jorge Lascar / Wikimedia Commons
  • Suria KLCC – Located at the foot of the towers, this six-story shopping mall boasts world-class restaurants, haute couture brands as well as some mid-range ones, a movie theater, salons, and the biggest bookstore in Malaysia. (No entrance fee.)
Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Credit: Whjayg / Wikimedia Commons
  • The Philharmonic Orchestra – the country’s first dedicated classical music concert hall. Housing 885 seats, it has hosted world-renowned orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and more. Its most unique feature is a concealed movable ceiling to control the acoustics of the room. Click here to check out their upcoming shows. (Ticket prices vary. Closed on Mondays.)
Petrosains. Credit: Simon_sees / Wikimedia Commons
  • Petrosains – a 7,000sqm interactive science-discovery center located on the 4th floor of Suria KLCC. Good for a few hours of fun-filled activity, the complex is largely dedicated to petroleum science, but is also a great place to learn about other scientific fields. (International: RM35 (Adult) / RM20 (Child & Senior), Malaysian: RM22 (Adult) / RM10 (Child & Senior). Fees are slightly higher on weekends. Closed on Mondays.) Click here to buy ticket.
Aquaria KLCC. Credit: Phalinn Ooi / Wikimedia Commons
  • Aquaria – Home to over 5,000 freshwater and marine creatures of 150 different species, including tiger sharks, blue rays, seahorses, sea snakes, and more. One of the major highlights include a 90m walk-through tunnel with a travelator. Thrill seekers can dive with sharks or join the Cage Rage where you will be submerged in the aquarium within the confines of a cage. (International: RM75 (Adult) / RM65 (Child & Senior), Malaysian: RM52 (Adult) / RM42 (Child & Senior). Click here to buy tickets.

KL Tower

KL Tower Observation Deck. Credit: Danilo Mistroni / Wikimedia Commons
  • Observation Deck – A 360-degree indoor viewing deck with coin-operated binoculars. You’ll be able to see the iconic Petronas Towers, the sprawling cityscape, lush greenery, and if the weather is clear, even the distant hills.
KL Tower Sky Deck
  • Sky Deck – Almost similar to the Observation Deck, but this one is in an open-air space, thus giving you an unobstructed view of the city.
KL Tower Sky Box
  • Sky Box – At 300 meters up, the Sky Box, with its glass floor and walls, extends out from the Sky Deck ledge, making you feel suspended in thin air. Impress your friends with a daring pose here.
Face your fear at Tower Walk 100.
  • Tower Walk 100 – A walkway made of glass and steel mesh that circumnavigates the tower 100 ft above the ground. It’s a real test of courage.
  • Upside Down House – Inspired by the one in Penang, this is the first of its kind in Kuala Lumpur. It was built with the concept of a cottage house, where not only the house, but all the furniture inside are upside down. (Adults: RM24, Child: RM15)
KL Forest Eco Park. Credit: Riviera Barnes / Wikimedia Commons
  • KL Forest Eco-Park – A micro-sized rain forest (approx. 11,000sqm) with well laid-out nature trails. It has been gazetted as a forest reserve since 1906 and now features a new 200m canopy walk. (No entrance fee for the park, RM40 for the canopy walk (international visitors) / RM10 (Malaysian)).
  • Blue Coral Aquarium – Features various exotic sea creatures, such as Spotted Cardinal Fish, Skunk Clownfish, Fire Clownfish, White-Tip Reef Sharks, Sand Anemones, and Pufferfish. (Adults: RM18, Child: RM15)
  • Atmosphere 360 Revolving Restaurant** – Located above the Observation Deck, this restaurant is the perfect venue for a romantic date night, with an accompaniment of classical music. As the name suggests, the restaurant revolves to give you a 360 degrees view of the city. It completes a full circle in just a little over an hour. (Prices vary.) **Temporarily closed.

5. View from the Top

Petronas Twin Towers

The downside of going up the Petronas Twin Towers is that you won’t be able to see them both in their full grandeur. The twin towers are the ones that make KL skyline distinguishable from that of any other cities, so if you can’t see them, it kind of defeats the purpose, I think.

However, you can see one of the towers when you stand in the other.

View from the top.

KL Tower

If you only go to the Observation Deck, it won’t look as amazing in pictures, as it is obstructed by glass, but you can still enjoy a decent view of the city, For the best view of KL, make sure you go to the Sky Deck.

View from KL Tower. Credit: Sławomir Gajowniczek / Wikimedia Commons

The Verdict

The Petronas Twin Towers, known for their striking design and symbolic significance to the city’s skyline, are a popular choice for many visitors. They boast a more accessible location within the city center and often attract a significant number of tourists.

On the other hand, the KL Tower offers a slightly different experience. While it may not be as instantly recognizable as the Petronas Twin Towers, it provides equally stunning views of Kuala Lumpur.

Beyond the structures themselves, both locations offer distinct experiences. The area around the Petronas Twin Towers boasts upscale shopping malls and lush park spaces, making it an attractive destination for leisurely strolls and shopping sprees.

I was one of the crazy people.

Meanwhile, the KL Tower area offers a mix of attractions, including physical activities such as the Tower Walk 100 and hiking in the nearby forest reserve.

If you time your visit well, you can even join the International Towerthon, where crazy people race up the stairs to the top of the tower.

Price-wise, the KL Tower is definitely cheaper if you only want to go to the observation deck, but if you want to include the Sky Deck, it becomes slightly more expensive than Petronas.

Ultimately, the decision between the Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Tower hinges on personal preferences, budget considerations, and the kind of experience you seek.

Both landmarks promise unforgettable vistas and a glimpse into Kuala Lumpur’s captivating skyline, ensuring a memorable visit regardless of the choice made.

Additional Tips for Visiting Petronas Twin Towers & KL Tower

  • If you can, try to avoid weekends and public holidays. Otherwise, you’d be stuck in a massive queue just to enter the building. Entrance fees are also higher at some attractions.  Beware — Malaysia has a lot of public holidays. Check here before you go.
  • To get on the Skybridge and the top of the Petronas Twin Towers, you will need to book a specific time slot and stick to it, as they only allow a certain number of people to be on the bridge at any one time. So, be punctual!
  • It’s not so fun when it rains. KL weather is unpredictable and the weather forecast isn’t very helpful, but if it rains, it’s usually in the evening or late afternoon. So, try to go in the morning if possible.

Have you been to any or both of these two landmarks? Which one did you prefer and why? Share your experience in the comments below.

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Posted in Kuala Lumpur

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