The Backpackers Guide to Nightlife in Kuala Lumpur


Kuala Lumpur is a bustling and eventful place full of exciting nightlife. There’s something for everyone with its swanky restaurants and bars lining the Golden Triangle district, right through to nightclubs and karaoke clubs in the Chinatown district, Bangsar and Hartamas.

If you’re looking for a quiet night, you can always stop at traditional coffee shop, or ‘kopitiam’, which locals frequent at night for Chinese food, coffee and tea. There is something very relaxing about sitting on the side streets, watching the nightlife pass you by.

However, despite its majority Muslim population, Kuala Lumpur offers plenty of watering holes targeted at those for whom a mocktail just doesn’t cut it. What is refreshing about Kuala Lumpur is the ease with which strangers become great drinking buddies in one of the city’s many hotspots.

Most bars and restaurants will have a dress code (predominantly aimed at men) which includes no singlets, shorts or thongs/flip flops. Admission is usually free, but the price will sometimes be paid on the drinks within.

Alcohol may be expensive on the whole, but there’s always a bargain to be had if you look in the right places – and at the right times. A lot of bars will start their ‘Happy Hours’ in the early evening, usually around 6PM.

There are quite a few bars and nightclubs to choose from, but here are a few of our top choices that are a must to visit.

Pisco Bar

Pisco Bar is an eclectic, modern and chic bar and restaurant. If you’re looking for a Spanish and Peruvian tapas fix, then head to Pisco Bar. Open daily (except Mondays) from 5pm, you can spend the night here enjoying the live music performances and DJ’s spinning tunes while you eat. Built over two floors, there’s certainly room to move and dance. This little treasure is located in the trendy area of Jalan Mesui Street.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot

If you enjoy a fine wine, a neat whisky, a good quality cigar, or just a play-on-words, then you should head straight to Whisky Tango Foxtrot. Cigar and whisky aficionados will love the range on the menu. This sophisticated drinkery is accessible to anyone, but to take your experience just that bit further, there’s always the option of becoming a member so that you can gain access to your own personal humidor to house your preferred cigars until your next visit.

The Roof

Image via Timeout

Image via Timeout

There are five different areas to suit your needs and wants across 50,000 square feet of space at The Roof. Parts of The Roof open from 11:30am till late and you have no need to worry if you’re not sure what kind of night you’re looking for when you head out the door. You might decide to start your night drinking award-winning signature cocktails at Signature By the Hill, but by the time 10pm rocks around, you might be ready to party and listen to premium dance music through the night. But the area that will take your breath away is Stratosphere; Asia’s first grassed rooftop champagne bar. From here, you’ll find an astounding 360-degree view of the city as you sip on champagne. You’ll find The Roof within the township of Bandar Utama.

Whipped Into Place

Image via Tripadvisor

Image via Tripadvisor

Maybe the classy, partying, crazy nightlife isn’t really your scene and maybe you just want to find somewhere to relax, chillout, but still enjoy a great night out. Here’s where Whipped Into Place comes in. WIP is a bar and restaurant with a coastal resort ambience. The high service standard, coupled with a large selection of champagnes, wines, spirits and mojito’s will make WIP your next favourite destination in Kuala Lumpur. Located in Bangsar Shopping Centre, there are both indoor and outdoor areas for you to sit down and relax with one of WIP’s cocktails and signature dishes.

Reggae Bar

Reggae Bar on Jalan Tun H S Lee in Chinatown is quite a popular choice of destination amongst backpackers. It is a well-known day/night bar with a relaxed and easygoing atmosphere during the day, but turns into party central come nightfall. They serve both Malay and Western foods and Happy Hours usually run between 6pm and 10pm. Drinks start from 8 RM which is perfect to accompany your game of pool or shisha.

Zouk Club


Image supplied

Whether you’re into EDM, rock, hip hop or house music, Zouk Club has everything you need. This club has been designed to accommodate a range of tastes and styles. This super club features 7 unique rooms, all of which are playing different styles of music and have different atmospheres. Located only 5 min walk from the emblematic Twin Towers in Jalan Ampang, Zouk is the only Club in Malaysia with a 5am licence and with a diverse Asia/Western food menu available Tuesday to Sunday from 7pm to 4:30am at the Zouk Cafe Bar if you get peckish.

Beach Club Cafe

Image via Stan Gee

Image via Stan Gee

This establishment is heavily frequented and highly popular with tourists and locals of all ages. There is a wide variety of music that plays here, from pop tunes to reggae and deep house. There are VIP areas available if you wish to make a bit of a splash whilst you’re out on the town. There is also great food with alfresco dining – oh, and did we mention their iconic shark aquarium?

There are many more bars and restaurants to be discovered in Kuala Lumpur, so a night out can never be dull in this beautiful and alluring city.

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