HomeAsiaSoutheast AsiaMalaysia8 Best Places to Visit in Malaysia for First-Timers By Marcos Detourista. Updated on December 30, 2017.Where to go in Malaysia? Check out these top tourist spots, best places to visit, must-see attractions, beautiful sights & more.Malaysia sits between Singapore and Thailand, literally and on the scale of how easy it is to travel.The country is divided into two main regions, Peninsular Malaysia on the west, composed of Kuala Lumpur & nearby states.And, East Malaysia, composed of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo Island.You can enjoy many of Southeast Asia’s best heritage cities, natural spots, food havens and urban experiences in Peninsular Malaysia.Kuala Lumpur offers direct connections from major cities in Asia & beyond. It’s the primary hub of AirAsia, so finding cheap flights shouldn’t be hard to come by. There’s also the option to a bus or train and cross the border from/to Singapore easily within a day. Once you’ve arrived, getting to main tourist spots is convenient by land or air.Venture to East Malaysia for the best beaches, diving & trekking. It is home to Mount Kinabalu, the tallest peak in archipelagic Southeast Asia (outside of Papua) as well as many beautiful off-shore islands.Is Malaysia on your bucketlist? Inspire your trip with these must-visit places and top things to do for first-time travelers.1. Georgetown & Penang Kek Lok Si (Buddhist temple) near Georgetown in Penang, Malaysia Georgetown City Hall in Penang, MalaysiaGeorgetown City HallMasjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh Mosque in Georgetown, Penang, MalaysiaMelayu Lebuh Acheh Mosque Why go — Food in Georgetown, Penang is widely known as the best throughout the country and is reason enough to visit. It’s definitely my favorite place to visit in Malaysia. There is no place in Southeast Asia that can match its satisfying mix of old-world cosmopolitan heritage, relaxed feel, exotic allure, and lush natural landscapes. How to goShow moreGeorgetown & Penang Island is one hour north of Kuala Lumpur by flight. Penang International Airport (PEN) serves frequent direct flights KL, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Taipei & many domestic destinations in Malaysia including Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Langkawi, and Kota Bharu. Popular airlines include AirAsia, Malindo Air, Malaysia Airlines, Tigerair, Jetstar & Cathay Dragon. You can also reach Georgetown by bus/train/car, after a 4 to 6-hour land trip from Kuala Lumpur. Tours & packages — Enjoy cashless convenience by pre-booking your tickets online.See discounts7% OFF Penang Hill and Temple Sightseeing. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee morePenang travel tips2. Langkawi Sky Bridge overlooking the forest and the Andaman Sea in Langkawi, Malaysia Cenang Beach in Langkawi, MalaysiaCenang BeachEagle swooping down to the sea surface on a boat tour in Langkawi, Malaysia.Langkawi Eagle Tour Why go — If you’ve been to the best beaches in the Philippines and Thailand, Langkawi’s natural scenery is probably not going to blow you away. That said, it still is a stunning place to visit with worthwhile things to keep you busy for a day or two. What I like about Langkawi the most is that is easy to travel yet remains approachable and largely underdeveloped. It’s also one of the few tax-free islands in Malaysia where you can enjoy duty-free shopping. How to goShow moreLangkawi is one hour north of Kuala Lumpur by flight. Langkawi International Airport (LGK) serves flights from KL, Singapore, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Penang, Guangzhou & Shenzhen, operated by AirAsia, Tigerair, SilkAir, Malindo Air & Malaysia Airlines. If you want to go by land & ferry, ride a bus or train from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis (6 to 8 hours travel time). Then, ride a ferry to Kuah in Langkawi Island. The sea journey takes around 1 to 2 hours. You can also arrive in Langkawi on a direct ferry from Penang or Satun in Thailand. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreLangkawi travel tips3. Melaka Christ Church at night in the Portuguese-colonial district of Melaka, Malaysia Galleon Replica along the riverside in Melaka, MalaysiaMelaka Galleon ReplicaA Famosa (Fortress) in Melaka, MalaysiaA Famosa (fortress) Why go — Melaka (Malacca) is a former Portuguese-colonial trading port conveniently located between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. If you’re traveling to both cities by land, this heritage and food destination is worth a stopover. How to goShow moreMelaka is easy to reach by land from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The bus ride from Kuala Lumpur usually takes 2 to 3 hours. If you’re coming from Singapore, travel may take between 3.5 to 5 hours, depending on the queue at the Singapore-Malaysia immigration checkpoints. Tours & packages — Enjoy cashless convenience by pre-booking your tickets online.See discountsKuala Lumpur-Historical Malacca Tour with Lunch. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreMelaka travel tipsSee also Philippines Beaches Hong Kong Itinerary Vietnam Tourist Spots Nepal Tourist Spots4. Kuala Lumpur Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaWhy go — Kuala Lumpur is definitely worth exploring if ever you’re visiting Malaysia. The capital city’s urban landscape, dominated by iconic KL Tower and Petronas Towers, is dotted with grand heritage buildings, worthwhile museums, well-maintained parks, revered temples, and mosques. How to goShow moreArrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), the main flight gateway to Malaysia. It’s one of the busiest and most well-connected airports in the world with direct flights to tourist hubs in Southeast Asia, East Asia, Australia, South Asia and major cities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Major airlines include Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Lion Air, Malindo Air & Firefly. The airport is 30 minutes to 1 hour south of the city center by land. You can take the train, bus or private car.From the Philippines, go on a flight to Kuala Lumpur on AirAsia, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Malaysia Airlines. Travel time takes nearly 4 hours. Flights to KL are also available from Clark, Cebu & Kalibo. Tours & packages — Enjoy cashless convenience by pre-booking your tickets online.See discounts8% OFF Malaysia 4G Unli Internet/Data Pocket Wifi. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreKuala Lumpur travel tips5. Kota Kinabalu & East Malaysia Mamutik Island in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia View from Signal Hill overlooking Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, MalaysiaOverlooking Kota Kinabalu Why go — Kota Kinabalu is a bustling yet laid-back city in Sabah, East Malaysia known as a gateway to Borneo’s amazing natural sites including Mount Kinabalu, Mulu Caves National Park, diving spots, and pristine jungles. How to goShow moreKota Kinabalu is 2 hours and 30 minutes easy of Kuala Lumpur by plane. Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) serves flights from KL, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tokyo and many domestic destinations in Malaysia. Major airlines include AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines & Malindo Air.From the Philippines, you can fly direct to Kota Kinabalu from Manila on Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. Flight duration is 2 hours. Tours & packages — Enjoy cashless convenience by pre-booking your tickets online.See discounts4% OFF Sapi and Manukan Islands Adventure. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreKota Kinabalu travel tipsSabah6. Taman Negara National Park Hanging Bridge in Pahang Taman Negara (National Park), Malaysia Wooden Boat Ride in Pahang Taman Negara, MalaysiaPahang River Cruise Why go — The Taman Negara National Park is one of the world’s oldest rainforests. If you’re in the mood to explore nature, this place is very pristine with many interesting things to do like walk on the world’s longest tree hanging suspension bridge, enjoy a relaxing river cruise, or go trekking deep into the jungle. How to goShow moreThe land trip from Kuala Lumpur takes around half a day. The first leg is the 3.5-hour land trip from KL to the jetty at Kuala Tembling. If you are going by bus or train, you may need to transit via Jerantut. From Kuala Tembling, ride the scenic ferry to Kuala Tahan, the jump-off point to Taman Negara National Park. There’s also the cheaper option of taking the public bus from Jerantut to Kuala Tembling, but you don’t get to enjoy the slow cruise along the Tembeling river. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee morePahang travel tipsSee also Myanmar Tourist Spots Brunei Tourist Spots Singapore Travel Guide India Tourist Spots7. Putrajaya Putra “Pink” Mosque under the sunset light in Putrajaya, MalaysiaWhy go — Putrajaya is home to many of Malaysia’s most impressive monuments. Here, you’ll find grand mosques, government buildings, and iconic bridges surrounded by manicured parks and a 600-hectare lake. It can be reached on an easy day trip from Kuala Lumpur or on a drive-by to the airport. How to goShow morePutrajaya is easy to visit from Kuala Lumpur. It is located between KL city centre and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. You can go by train on the KLIA Transit or by bus. Travel time may take as quick as 30 minutes or up to 1 hour depending on the traffic. Tours & packages — Enjoy cashless convenience by pre-booking your tickets online.See discounts6% OFF Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya and Agriculture Heritage Park Tour. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee morePutrajaya travel tips8. Legoland Malaysia & Johor Bahru Legoland in Johor Bahru, MalaysiaWhy go — Legoland Malaysia is one reason to visit Johor Bahru, located just across the causeway from Singapore. It is the first Legoland theme park in Asia and features many cool attractions including a Lego-themed water park, Lego-themed hotel, and impressive miniature recreations of many of Asia’s best-known landmarks. How to goShow moreMost travelers visit Legoland & Johor Bahru on a day trip from Singapore. Travel time usually takes 1.5 hours to 3 hours depending on the queue at the Singapore-Malaysia immigration checkpoint. If you’re traveling from abroad, Johor Bahru-Senai International Airport (JHB) serves direct flights from Bangkok, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Surabaya & Shenzen. Fly with AirAsia, Firefly, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, Sichuan Airlines or Spring Airlines. You can also reach Johor Bahru by bus or train from Kuala Lumpur. The travel time is 4 to 6 hours. Tours & packages — Enjoy cashless convenience by pre-booking your tickets online.See discounts20% OFF Legoland Malaysia Admission Ticket. Where to stay — Click below to see room rates & discounts.Check rates & reviewsSee moreJohor Bahru travel tipsNote: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.Don’t stop hereDid you find this travel guide helpful? Share your trips & tag #detourista. Follow updates on:Instagram @detouristaHQFacebook [email protected]PinterestCheck out these pages for more inspiration on places to go in Asia: Singapore Itinerary Asian Countries To Visit Indonesia Tourist SpotsDon’t leave yet. There’s more!26 Most Beautiful Islands & Beaches in the PhilippinesSingapore Itinerary – 3-4 Days SG Legoland TourIndochina Itinerary – Thailand, Cambodia…13 Best Places to Visit in Indonesia for First-TimersDiscover more blogs and travel tips in:Kuala LumpurMelakaKota KinabaluPahangLangkawiJohor BahruPenangPutrajayaSabahSoutheast AsiaAsia See all placesFind more posts about:Best PlacesBest TravelBest Things To DoLeave a Reply Cancel reply Comments jack saysDecember 11, 2015 at 4:09 amHow much po ba dpat ang show money sa airport for them to allow u to leave? Im gona stay in malaysia for 3 weeksReply Marcos Detourist saysDecember 11, 2015 at 1:48 pmThere’s no set amount that’s required to be shown at the airport. You just have to justify that you have enough money to spend on your whole trip, depending on your budget. If your budget is P1,500 per day, for example, you simply need to have at least P31,500 on your bank account. It also helps to have extra, to show them you are able to pay for unforeseen expenses, like emergencies or last-minute flights.ReplyStart A TripSee travel guides and blogs about the Philippines and beyond.