Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Historic Architecture Tour (Self Guided), Kuala Lumpur

The architecture of Kuala Lumpur is well known among tourists. A stunning mixture of the old and the new, the architecture of the metropolis is luxurious and magnificent. The city's skyline reveals an excellent combination of Asian, Malay, Islamic and modern architecture. Take the tour below and don't miss the chance to visit some of the most popular architectural sights in Kuala Lumpur.
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Historic Architecture Tour Map

Guide Name: Historic Architecture Tour
Guide Location: Malaysia » Kuala Lumpur (See other walking tours in Kuala Lumpur)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Author: valery
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Royal Selangor Club
  • Coliseum Theater
  • Sultan Abdul Samad Building
  • Central Market
  • St John's Institution
Royal Selangor Club

1) Royal Selangor Club

Another heritage venue located around the Dataran Merdeka or the Independence Square is the Royal Selangor Club (RSC). Occupying the northern fringe of the square, this social & sports club opposing the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is another monumental structure that is a reflection of the city’s opulence, culture and history.

Founded in 1884, the RSC was initially a tiny wooden building that was strictly used as a social club, where high ranked officials and the elite of the society gathered for an evening of rendezvous, drink and merry. It was in 1890 that the humble edifice of the building underwent an extreme makeover. Taking inspiration from the Tudor style of architecture, the renovated building had more space and an extra floor. The building underwent reconstruction again in 1910 under the leadership of Arthur Benison Hubback, the man behind the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

Since its inception, the RSC has been organizing sports activities and other field and track events. It is currently a 'members only' club so you have to be signed in by a member to gain access.
Coliseum Theater

2) Coliseum Theater

Watching a movie in a regular cinema hall is something one can do anywhere, but what if you have the opportunity to watch your favorite movie in the first theatre that was built in the country? Such an experience would be truly exciting, and it awaits you at the Coliseum Theatre in Kuala Lumpur. Built in 1921, the Theatre, like many of the city’s other heritage sites, was the pioneer in the country.

The Coliseum Theatre may not look like the coliseum from the outside, but definitely has the amphitheater vibe on the insides. Launched by a rich and hardworking Chinese immigrant, Chua Cheng Bok, who earned his riches by working in the tin mines of Kuala Lumpur, the Coliseum is still a proud property of the family. Till today, the Theatre is run by the same family.

Although the Coliseum Theatre has been labeled as a heritage site, you can watch your favorite movies at the Coliseum. Functioning ever since the early 20th century, the Theatre has been showing movies nonstop for almost a century, except when the Japanese invaded Malaysia during the Second World War.

All in all a must visit site on your heritage tour of the city.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building

3) Sultan Abdul Samad Building (must see)

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is undoubtedly one of the grandest structures in the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. Standing proudly at the Jalan Raja, the building emanates authority, heritage and elegance. Strategically located opposite the Dataran Merdeka of the Independence Square, and the Royal Selangor Club, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is one of the city's most treasured landmarks.

Built during the British occupation, the structure took shape in 1897. The chief architect responsible for its regal construction was A.C Norman along with chief engineer C.E Spooner. The building was named after the fourth Sultan of Selangor under whose reign the building was constructed, and boasts an excellent blend of architecture, which is a concoction of Indo-Islamic and Neo-Gothic styles. History has it that Norman, in fact, visited India and from the visit drew inspiration for many of his designs.

One of the oldest structures in Kuala Lumpur, the Sultan Abdul Building has ever since its inception been used by the government and presently houses the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture of Malaysia. The structure is truly spectacular and definitely worth the visit.

Why You Should Visit:
As majestic as it is in the morning, when it is lit up at night, the building looks simply magical.
You can walk around it to take photos and also to take a break on one of the benches on the riverside.

This and the neighboring row of buildings house a couple of free small cultural spaces which are worth the few minutes/hours required to visit them. Make sure you visit this area of KL, and if it is raining use the little galleries and museums to shelter in for an introduction to various aspect of Malaysian culture.
Don't miss the recently renovated backyard of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, either. Facing the river, it forms a peaceful garden with tiled fountains and wrought iron benches to relax on. White marble, yellow tiles, and the freshly planted greenery create a harmonious background for the Abdul Samad mosque.
Central Market

4) Central Market (must see)

Founded in 1888, by the British, the Central Market is one of the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Not only is it one of the prime locations to shop in the city, it is also the best place to enjoy the fruits of a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment. Because Kuala Lumpur has a rich blend of diverse cultures and people hailing from different parts of the globe, each have their unique set of handicrafts along with a unique blend that is very Malaysian. The market is one of the most visited sights in the city and quite a popular destination for buying souvenirs and mementoes from your vacation.

With the addition of the cemented structure in 1937, the market got the status of a Heritage site. With constant renovations and refurbishment, the market soon had distinct stalls and zones for different races to display and promote their items. In the earlier days the Central market was nick named the “wet market” because the floors were constantly wet. The market was visited mainly by tin miners of the region and sold meat, vegetables and the catch of the day! The market is easily accessible and conveniently located close to multiple public transport facilities.
St John's Institution

5) St John's Institution

Another pit stop on the architectural trek around the city of Kuala Lumpur is the St. John’s Institution located in Jalan Bukit Nanas. A secondary school for boys, the St. John’s Institute is one of the oldest schools in Kuala Lumpur, where heritage, education and architecture meet.

Serving the city with its top class education, the St. John’s Institution has a history of providing knowledge and wisdom for over a century. Not only does it have a reputation of being one of the best schools around in the Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia, it was also declared a heritage site in 2010. Representing the Institute is an overshadowing building in brick red and white that has personified education in Kuala Lumpur since 1906. The excellent Grecian-Spanish architecture not only makes a bold and tough statement but also makes the building worthy of notice. Located in the heart of the city, just adjacent to the Bukit Nanas forest reserve, the school is surrounded by lush greenery and nature giving it a perfect ambiance. Just a stone throw away from another breath taking landmark and one of the oldest buildings in the Kuala Lumpur, the St. John’s Cathedral, this institute is a must visit.

Walking Tours in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Create Your Own Walk in Kuala Lumpur

Create Your Own Walk in Kuala Lumpur

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kuala Lumpur is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Top Religious Sites

Top Religious Sites

Kuala Lumpur is a very religious city where people flock to their places of worship in great numbers. Also, Kuala Lumpur has many religious communities of diverse religious convictions living in it. This makes for a great variety of places of worship. Take the tour below to visit some of the most significant places of worship in Kuala Lumpur.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Museums and Galleries

Museums and Galleries

Kuala Lumpur is an impressive town famous for its museums and galleries. These museums and galleries manifest both the rich cultural heritage of the nation and its spirit of innovation. Find below a list of museums that you must visit when in Kuala Lumpur.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Top Shopping Places

Top Shopping Places

Kuala Lumpur is a city with a lot of famous shopping centers and street markets. For those with a moderate shopping budget, Petaling Street or Bukit Bintang is the right place to go to. KLCC is an upmarket shopping spot, famous for the Petronas Twin Towers. This is an exciting shopping center of Kuala Lumpur. Check out the top shopping places that you might like to visit on the tour below.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Lake Gardens Park Walk

Lake Gardens Park Walk

The finest thing about Kuala Lumpur is that it has preserved a balance between exhilarating urban architecture and its natural environment. Indeed, there is an abundance of greenery in Kuala Lumpur. Lake Gardens, known officially as Perdana Botanical Gardens, is Kuala Lumpur's first large-scale recreational park. It contains large manicured gardens and a host of attractions. Take this walk to...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Kuala Lumpur Introduction Walk

Kuala Lumpur Introduction Walk

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city in Malaysia, and also its cultural and economic center. The city represents a mix of different architectural styles making it both interesting and beautiful. Kuala Lumpur has created a range of extraordinary and exclusive attractions that combine Eastern and Western elements and also showcase local handicrafts. Chief among these are Sultan Abdul...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Malaysian Things to Buy as Souvenirs in Kuala Lumpur

16 Malaysian Things to Buy as Souvenirs in Kuala Lumpur

"Malaysia, Truly Asia" is what you hear en route to Malaysia. Indeed, there's practically every bit of Asia to be found here, as the country's population is made up primarily of three groups: Malay, Chinese and Indians. Quite expectedly, the diversity of Malaysian handcrafts is...