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Petronas Towers vs KL Tower

The Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Tower are both iconic skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur. They are two of the places that you must visit if you ever find yourself in this Southeast Asian city. And they both allow visitors to go up to the top.

But if you had to choose only one, due to a limited budget or a time constraint, which one should you choose? This article will compare the two buildings, based on their accessibility, entrance fees, value for money, and things to do around the area.

Overview

Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower - which one to visit
Source: ExpatGO

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

Menara KL Tower vs Petronas Twin Towers - which one to choose
 
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.

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 (KLCC station on the Putra Heights Line)
  • Free GoKL bus (Green Line)
  • RapidKL buses
  • Hop On Hop Off bus (City Route)

KL Tower

  • KL Monorail* (Bukit Nanas station)
  • LRT* (Dang Wangi station on the Putra Heights Line)
  • 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.

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

  • International: RM80 (Adult 13-60 y.o.) / RM33 (Child 3-12 y.o.) / RM42 (Senior Citizen 61 & above)
  • Malaysian*: RM28 (Adult) / RM14 (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: RM49 (Adult) / RM29 (Child 4 -12 y.o.)
  • Malaysian*: RM30 (Adult) / RM20 (Child)
Observation Deck + Sky Deck + Sky Box
  • International: RM99 (Adult) / RM52 (Child)
  • Malaysian*: RM71 (Adult) / RM37 (Child)
*Malaysians must produce MyKad/MyKid to get the discounted rate.

Things to Do

Petronas Twin Towers

  • 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.)
KLCC Park (Petronas Towers vs KL Tower - which one to visit)
Source: Travel Daily Media
  • 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.)
Suria KLCC (Petronas Towers vs KL Tower - which one to visit)
Credit: Travelvui
  • 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.)
Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (Petronas Towers vs KL Tower - which one to visit)
Credit: The City List
  • 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: RM28 (Adult) / RM16.50 (Child) / RM14 (Senior), Malaysian: RM18.50 (Adult) / RM7.50 (Child) / RM9 (Senior). Closed on Mondays.) Click here to buy ticket.
Petrosains (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower - which one to visit)
Credit: JomJalan
  • Petronas Art Gallery – This not-for-profit art gallery is located on the 3rd floor of Suria KLCC and has over 1,000 local and international, traditional and contemporary works of art, ranging from paintings and photographs, to costumes and crafts. The art installations change every few months. (No entrance fee. Closed on Mondays.)
PETRONAS Art Gallery (Petronas Towers vs KL Tower
Credit: MBT
  • 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), Disabled (any age and nationality): RM17) Click here to buy tickets.
Aquaria KLCC (Petronas Towers vs KL Tower - which one to visit)
Credit: Classique Plastics

KL Tower

  • Sky Deck – The open-air concept makes Sky Deck the main attraction at KL Tower as it offers you an unobstructed view of the city.
Sky Deck (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower - which one to choose)
Credit: Menara KL
  • Sky Box – At 300 meters up, the Sky Box, with its glass floor and glass walls, extends out from the Sky Deck ledge. Impress your friends with a daring pose in there.
Sky Box KL Tower (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower)
Credit: Ardusat
  • Mini Zoo – A small enclosure that houses a range of exotic creatures, ranging from albino pythons and squirrel monkeys to parrots and rabbits. You can even pet some of them. (Adult: RM32, Child/Senior: RM27)
KL Tower Mini Zoo (Petronas Towers vs KL Tower)
Credit: GoTicket
  • 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: RM20, Child: RM15)
KL Upside Down House (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower)
Credit: GoTicket
  • 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.)
KL Forest Eco Park (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower)
Credit: Hasyemi Rafsanjani Asyari
  • 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)
BLUE CORAL AQUARIUM (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower)
Credit: Menara KL
  • 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.)
Atmosphere 360 Restaurant (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower)
Credit: ZeoTrip

The Views From Above

Petronas Twin Towers

The downside of going up the Petronas Twin Towers is that you won’t be able to see them in their full grandeur. What make KL skyline distinguishable from that of any other cities are the twin towers, 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. 

Petronas Twin Towers from Top
I took this when it was about to rain. No filter!
Petronas Twin Towers from Top
Pretty cool view!

KL Tower

The Sky Deck offers the best view of KL, hands down. If you only go to the Observation Deck, you can still enjoy a decent view of the city, but it won’t look amazing in pictures, as it is obstructed by glass. Compare the two below:

KL Tower Observation Deck (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower)
 KL Tower Observation Deck. Credit: Nerd Nomads
KL Tower Sky Deck (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower)
 Sky Deck. Credit: Jom Jalan

 

Additional Tips

  • If you can, try to avoid weekends and public holidays. Otherwise, you’d be stuck in a massive queue just to enter the building. 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!
  • The SkyCafe at the top of KL Tower is ridiculously overpriced. It’s understandable that tourist attractions typically charge more for everything, but we’re talking about RM35 for a cup of coffee and RM60 for a slice of brownie!
  • 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.

The Verdict

Both the Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Tower are easily accessible and have a lot of activities to offer within the buildings and nearby. If you like shopping, the Twin Towers are the obvious choice, as you can combine your visit with a shopping spree. They also have more food options than the KL Tower.

The KL Tower is probably better suited for kids or those who like some physical activities, as you can go hiking in the forest reserve close by. 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.

KL International Towerthon (Petronas Twin Towers vs KL Tower)
I was one of those crazy people.

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.

So, the verdict? I may be biased because I have been working in the Twin Towers for almost a decade, but they really are my personal favorite. I feel that they are much more convenient to visit and have more things to offer that don’t cost money, e.g. window shopping, a stroll in the park, the art gallery, and the fountain show. 

Top of Petronas Twin Towers

Although you won’t get to see both towers at the same time while you’re in there, seeing one of them up close is still pretty cool. And you get to tell people that you’ve been at the top of the world’s tallest twin towers in the world!

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.

Posted in Malaysia

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