For the best view of the Petronas Towers…

What if I told you it’s a waste of time – and money – to go up the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers?

Bear with me (even better, beer with me) while I explain my theory, which was reinforced by a recent trip to the Malaysian capital; a trip that, perhaps unsurprisingly, involved me knocking back a couple of beers in an exotic bar with a view.

For the best view of the Petronas Towers...

Just as you can’t have your cake and eat it too, when you’re up an iconic building like the Petronas Towers you can’t photograph it at the same time. Well, not in any real sense that captures how it features on the skyline anyway.

And what’s the Paris skyline if not for the Eiffel Tower? Or the iconic New York skyline without the equally iconic Empire State Building?

That’s why, for the best views, you need to go up a really tall building near these buildings. It’s not exactly rocket science – but it works.

In New York you go up the Rockefeller Centre; in Paris you climb the Arc di Triomphe. In Kuala Lumpur you visit the Sky Bar.

The pool inside Sky Bar, Kuala Lumpur

How’s that for the longest build up ever to a blog post about a bar or pub?

But it’s not just any bar. Found on the 33rd floor of the Traders Hotel, Sky Bar is the place to go for the best view of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur bar none (see what I did there?).

Swimming pool by day and chilled-out bar by night, Sky Bar boasts sensational views of Malaysia’s most iconic structure, as all the photos on this page will attest. However, only one side of the bar has a view – which means you’ll need to be early, lucky or extremely patient if you want the best seats in the house.

The early bird gets the worm or, in my case, the seats with a view. My girlfriend and I visited Sky Bar at 3:30pm; not too early to be drinking, thank you very much, but early enough to get a seat.

We had no problems; decked out in the finest – clean – clothes we could muster from our backpacks after three months backpacking around South East Asia we settled into prime viewing position with a couple of beers and margaritas.

Nearly two hours later we were in the same seats, nursing the same drinks and still posing like idiots.

I have a beer at Sky Bar, ovelooking the Petronas Towers

Normally you need to put your name on a waiting list for the best seats at Sky Bar but we didn’t have to worry about that – there were at least two spots by the window where we could have sat.

However, if drinking at 3:30 in the afternoon isn’t you thing then you will inevitably have to put your name on the list and wait your turn in the “cheap seats”.  How long you’ll have to wait is anyone’s guess but at least you will be rewarded with a view of the towers lit up at night.

For the best view of the Petronas Towers...

Flashy, elegant and surprisingly affordable, Sky Bar is free to visit – catch the free shuttle from the Suria KLCC mall at the base of the towers – but once you’re up there you will, of course, have to buy at least one drink. It is a business after all and not a public viewing platform.

Drinks start from 15 ringgit for a Coca-cola or 32 ringgit for a cocktail. Happy hour goes until 9pm, during which time you can grab two cocktails for 37 or two beers for 26, and there are week day specials (Monday has two-for-one Mojitos at 42 ringgit and Tuesday two-for-one Daiquiris at 37 ringgit).

I think you’ll agree with me that, while they’re far from the cheap prices backpackers find in places like Vietnam or even Thailand, it’s a very reasonable price for a drink in a flashy bar with a view.

And, best of all, it’ll cost you less to have two drinks at Sky Bar during happy hour then it will to go up the bloody Petonas Towers.

Seriously, the days of free access to the Petronas Towers’ sky bridge are long gone; now it costs 50 ringgit to get up to the bridge at the 42nd floor.

And you certainly don’t have the same view of the towers as you do at Sky Bar.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out these top 10 facts about the Petronas Towers. Because knowing about these magnificent towers will only add to the enjoyment you get from visiting them.

About Simon Petersen 319 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.

14 Comments

  1. I did exactly the same thing when I went to Kuala Lumpur to see the towers. I felt a bit of a numpty going up with all the smartly dressed staff showing me the way and everyone seemed to be wearing their big boy pants (long trousers) and there was me in a scruffy pair of pants and T-shirt.

    Well worth it. Wish I had known about the pool before I had gone up I would of worn my speedo’s . The park out front is pretty decent to and well worth a visit.

  2. Nice tip. I’m living in KL now and I can’t help but smile every time I walk by the Petronas Towers. They were my favorite skyscrapers growing up… the value of travel, and especially perpetual travel, is experiencing the things that sometimes make you pinch yourself.

  3. Thanks for the tip on where to go for the best view of Petronas Towers. Will definitely go to Sky Bar of the Traders Hotel next time when I visit KL with my LX5 and a beer.

    Another place that I’ve got a good view of Twin Towers was I stayed at the highest floor (14 Flr) of Impiana KLCC Hotel & Spa. It was really beautiful when it lit up.

  4. So glad you enjoyed it and that my post inspired you! I totally agree that to make the most of iconic buildings you have to be somewhere else looking at them as opposed to inside them looking out!

  5. I was totally bummed to find out that there is now a hefty admission fee to go up the Petronas towers. I went to KL a few years ago and didn’t go up. I was staying in Traders and did exactly what you did (it was only 40 quid a night back then!). A much better view.

    We’re in KL in a few weeks. Can’t wait.

    • Yeah, I just find it ridiculous that it costs more to go up them then it does to go to Sky Bar for a few beers with a view! Have fun in KL

      • Thanks for the tip. That’s similar to Marina Bay Sands in Singpore. S$20 to visit the SkyPark or free to go to the Ku De Ta lounge right next to it and order a S$18 Stella. I’ll take the Stella.

        • Great tip, Ethan! Sounds like you and me are on the same page – great minds think alike and all that 😉

  6. Wow, they really charge to go up there now? To be fair I went way back in 2005 and the tickets were free on first come-first served basis…

    But I want to go back and take pictures from the Sky Bar, mainly because, 7 years on, I can legally drink!

    Thanks for the great pics and reminding me of a great trip all those years ago!

    • Yep, and I must have an old Lonely Planet because we rocked on up there expecting free tickets and they tried to charge us! Also, the Petronas Towers are closed on Mondays for some reason but I bet Sky Bar isn’t.

  7. I’m with you on the Twin Towers visit being a waste of money–and I’ve been in them. The visit costs 50 MYR now but they just announced that it’s going up to 80 MYR soon. It’s not at all worth it. As you said, there’s always the Sky Bar which has a much better atmosphere, and the KL Tower, whose rotating restaurant is actually higher than the Twin Tower’s 82nd floor observation deck–and both of these places serve booze, so the experience is a lot more than going up, walking around in a circle, and coming back down.

    • Good call! Cheers Katie. I didn’t know the price to go up the Petronas was about to go up! They must be having a laugh

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