What to do in Kuala Lumpur on a business trip?

What to do in Kuala Lumpur on a business trip?

Sat, 13/06/2020 - 05:15
What to do in Kuala Lumpur on a business trip?

What to do in Kuala Lumpur on a business trip?

I have traveled for business and lived in Kuala Lumpur for two years. Whenever I go back for a week-end, I tend of course to visit the places I used to know first. But sometimes on a short business trip I have to find new places to hang out or chill after work!

If you have read this article about how to survive a regional role, then I will be sharing some short activities, a couple of nice places to relax and also good restaurants around the starting point!

Point of departure: Sofitel Damansara

What to do in Kuala Lumpur on a business trip?I have stayed in this hotel now probably close to ten times. The standard rooms are big and very comfortable, they have accommodated some of my weird storage request (mainly storing food for me in their kitchen fridges/freezer) and do take care of returning guests well. 

I do particularly like their buffet breakfast; they prioritized the quality over quantity and you can taste this, making it one of the better breakfasts. I particularly enjoy the selection of French cheeses and local fares in this hotel. On the executive lounge side, the choice is smaller on the buffet but it’s actually because you are supposed to order a la carte. The offering is good, the presentation of the dishes as well. It does feel more qualitative (real difference between standard and executive breakfast). Time wise it can be a little long, so if you are in a hurry, it’s best to aim for the main breakfast area behind the lobby.

This hotel is adjacent to the DC Mall and 10min walk uphill from the Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT station. Once the development will be done, there will probably be a bridge linking the up of the hill to the station so the laziest of us will not have to sweat to get there! 

What are you looking for?

Activities to do afterwork in Kuala Lumpur within walking distance from the hotel

Eating & Drinking


Birch restaurant DC MallGround floor. On the opposite of the mall from the hotel, it’s a nice casual dining restaurant with some inventive fusion cuisine. Some vegetarian options as well. A solid middle range option. 
You can bring the boss and colleagues there if you are looking for casual.

Lot G10-11, Ground Floor, DC Mall, Jalan Damanlela, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2011-5966
Monday to Thursday: 9am-1am; Friday to Saturday: 9am-2am; Sunday: 9am-5pm. 


Soleil restaurant in DC MallOn the 1st floor of the mall. It’s a French fine dining restaurant. It’s absolutely delicious and a perfect place to invite customers and the boss.  Excellent wine selection.

Lot 7 & 8, DC Mall Plaza DC, Damansara City 6, Jalan Damanlela 50490 Kuala Lumpur. Website.

Fish Bowl:

Fish Bowl in DC MallIf you have over-indulged in too many business diners, that’s where I go. It’s poke bowls and they also sell some simple cleansing juices. It’s the life saver when you don’t want too fancy food, yet tasty and that doesn’t break the bank ( or your business claim ).

L-1-15, First Floor, 6, Jalan Damanlela, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. Website. 


The Irish bar next to the hotel ( on the right ): simple place for after-work beers with colleagues. They have a karaoke set up too. Never had the food though.

BIG : Ben’s Independent grocer on the lower ground floor provides some sort of small foodcourt for additional affordable variety.

Personal Care

My personal ritual to relax before going to bed in this hotel to deconnect from work is a single use mask that I purchase at the Watson’s in DC Mall. Sofitel has a giant bathtub that is very comfortable. So, call it a cliché, but at the end of a business day of meetings that’s just grand.

Activities to do afterwork in Kuala Lumpur within 10 min taxi ride from the hotel

Close to DC Mall is the upper scale district of Bangsar. In Bangsar Shopping Center (BSC) you can find all sorts of restaurants as well as nail parlors, hairdressers or imported food supermarket. Some clothing as well, but it’s more of a (fancy) neighborhood mall.

I usually like to hang out at Bangsar Village (two connected malls) and their surroundings. What is often referred as the “Telawi’s” because there are 3 parallel streets with each name starting with “Telawi”. Inside there, I have my habits as well.


Alexis bistro: 

Alexis bistrot bangsarGood value for money food and western fusion. It’s often full.

29 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur - T 603 2284 2880 - Website

Google maps


Yeast bistrot in BangsarThe French in me just love that place. Very traditional French bistro style. Good place for the colleagues and the boss too. Their pastry, bread and Danish are really good and authentic. Amazing for brunch (would you be there on the week-end ). Not too expensive.

Yeast Bistronomy Bangsar, 24G Jalan Telawi 2 Bangsar 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603 2282 0118 - Website

Google maps

Nirwana Maju:

Nirwana Maju BangsarIn the evening it’s always full, and everyone orders the banana leaf set. It’s composed of rice, curry and 3 veggies and some condiments. You have to order the meat separately. It’s cheap, really good Indian food. There is always a crowd but the rotation is high so don’t be intimidated.

Google maps

Devi's corner:

Devi's cornerIt’s another Banana leaf set place in a nicer setting. If you wish for Banana leaf, head to the 1st floor (the stairs are narrow and behind the cashier). They close early, around 8 pm. It’s also a very tasty option and it’s A/C. Works the same as Nirvana for ordering. The ground floor is 24h/7.

Google maps

Daily grind:

The daily grindA good selection of innovative premium burgers. If you are looking for some comfort food but not fast food. It's been around for a long time and quality/taste has been consistent. A safe choice.

LG8, lower ground floor, Bangsar village I, jalan telawi, Bangsar baru, 59100 Kuala lumpur, Tel: +603 2287 6708, Website

Inside Scoop:

Inside scoop in BangsarSimple and great ice-cream parlour. Now it’s a franchise in Malaysia but the very first shop is on Telawi. Their Durian ice-cream (in season) is amazing!

No. 9, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur. Website

Google maps

Jake’s Original Charbroil Steak:

Jake's charbroil restaurantNot exactly in Bangsar Area but oh so close from the hotel. A steakhouse institution, who doesn’t look like much from the outside but has been around for a decade. Very good quality meat in a casual setting.

21, Jalan Setiapuspa, Medan Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia - Reservations Tel: 03-2094 5677 - Website

Google maps


Irish pubs & Bars: many options along the Bangsar village II. Just pick one! Some have quizz nights.

Mantra Bar:

Mantra barSky lounge with great view of the Petronas and good cocktails on top of the Bangsar Village II. The elevator to the rooftop is on the top floor in a corner. If you go early the club music is not yet at its full and you actually enjoy a great view, a nice drink outside before all the hype starts.

Bangsar Village II, Jalan Telawi 1, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Opens at 4.30pm. Website

Artisan Roast:

Artisan RoastGood coffee place inside the mall. Loads of coffee brewing method options and comfortable seatings.

UG, Bangsar Village 2, 2 Jalan Telawi Satu, Bangsar Baru, Website



Bangsar has super fancy outlets in these malls ( BSC and Bangsar village). For clothe, it’s designers and honestly, I have never been able to afford anything in there.

Christmas shopping for babies and up to 8 years old +. On the first floor of Bangsar village I, there are 2-3 shops for children with an amazing selection of high quality, non-mainstream toys and activities for kids. If I have to buy something for my nieces which are within these ages and I have time during a business trip, I’ll check them out.

From Bandar Utama MRT station – a mere 3 stations away towards Sungai Buloh, is 1Utama shopping mall (the station is connected to it by a pedestrian link). It held the record for biggest shopping mall in Asia for a while. It’s huge – I always get lost in it but if it’s a place you can find anything – it’s there.

Personal care


Hammam bangsarYes ! A real Hamman in Asia ! There is one, and you need to book in advance to make sure you have a slot. 1 hour invigorating scrub following by some massages. Closes at 10:30pm.

Hammam Bangsar, 3F7 & 3F8, Bangsar Village 2, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel : +60322822180. Website


Glitters BangsarIt’s that bright Barbie pink nail parlor next to the hamman in Bangsar village II on the top floor. You don’t go there for the nails but for the waxing. Efficient and clean, they were my place for the years I lived there, I go back if I need to during a business trip. Booking is advised.

3F-9A, Bangsar Village II (Opposite Celebrity Fitness), 2, Jln Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Website
Tel: 603-2287 8813 / 603-2201 4626 - 10 am to 10pm.

Nail parlor:

There are few inside Bangsar village II. There are at least 3-4 nail parlors, one is bound to have some space for you if you walk in on weekdays.

Short cultural walks to do afterwork in Kuala Lumpur on a business trip

Since you would be doing these walks after working hours which should prime rush hour time, I think it’s best that to get there you stick with public transport and could come back by using the Grab app.

Walk around Bukit Bintang, KLCC and the Petronas towers

A good full evening – 6/7pm until 9 pm.

A quick walk to brush up on the main spots of the city center.
Start-up time around 6:00pm (or earlier) – go down the hill to the MRT Pusat Bandar Damansara and take a ticket to Bukit Bintang Pavilion station.  

Once down the station, get out at exit A towards Jalan Alor. Jalan Alor is a pedestrian street lined with cheap eatery of seafoods and mainly Chinese fairs. It’s quite touristy, but it’s a nice place to see at least once and there are so many options to choose from. It’s great for a beer and Asian street food evening with colleagues too.  If you want to stay longer in this area and are looking for some gadgets, Low Yat Plaza is less than a few minutes’ walk away from Jalan alor and is the temple of electronics (computers, gadgets, cables, spare parts and repair centers) – for party 50meter away is Changkat Bukit Bintang which is lined up with bars.

Jalan Alor
Jalan Alor street restaurants

Is your belly full? And you have walked this street up and down? Back track towards the main crossroad of Bukit Bintang. On your right you would have Lot 10 shopping mall and the monorail station. (Lot 10 has some amazing Japanese ramen restaurants on the higher floor !)Cross the street towards the Pavilion Mall. (good mall for shopping if you need to) and continue through the pedestrian alley on the left once you are in front of the fountain. This alley has loads of great restaurants if you don’t want to eat local. I have a soft spot for the Argentinian restaurant called La Boca on the right almost towards the end.

Pavilion Mall
Pavilion Mall - take a left when you see the fountain into the covered alley.

At the very end of this outdoor pedestrian alley, there is a series of pedestrian bridges that connect Pavilion to KLCC and then continue to Suria KLCC Mall (the one just under the petronas towers). This takes about 15 min walk. Walk to the KLCC part – once at the entrance of KLCC (Kuala lumpur convention center), you can go down another set of escalators to a food court. On the left you could continue underground to the mall under the Petronas towers. Don’t take this one, instead there are stairs at the back of the food court along the fountain that will lead you to the KLCC park. Climb them up and then stroll around the park until you find that perfect spot for a photo of the Petronas towers! Once you have had you share of outdoor – just get back to either the LRT train station (KLCC) under the Suria Mall which would have you change once in Pasar Seni to catch the MRT back to Pusat Bandar Damansara and climb back up to the Sofitel. Avoid taking taxis around the KLCC area, it’s full of touts or use grab for a hassle-free experience.

Petronas tower
View from the KLCC Park of the Petronas tower

To get the view of the Petronas tower, there is the Marini’s on 57 – also right in front on the opposite side of the park is Traders hotel with the famous bar (but I believe some minimum orders are required to have a drink and there is a dress code & beware of the selfie sticks) – I have heard from other business travelers that the best view of the Petronas towers is, in fact, in the Gym of Trader’s hotel.

The Chinatown walk (2 hours)

Pasar Seni souvenir market
Pasar Seni Souvenir market

Take the MRT to Pasar Seni station. Until 8pm there is the souvenir and nice looking indoor market – it’s open until 8 pm. Then you can continue towards jalan sri petaling and the knock off market. It’s in the heart of Chinatown but now I think most stalls are operated by Bengladeshi. Still if you like gadgets and the general atmosphere of an overcrowded night market that is for you. A couple of good Chinese street food are around, so just pick one!

Jalan petaling - the beginning of the market street
Petaling street entrance

Easy Evening activities to do afterwork while on a business trip in Kuala Lumpur

Enjoying Comedy !

On some Thursdays (and more), there are the comedy nights and impro theater. It’s great and usually held close to a train station. Since they are done in English, anyone can go and have a good laugh. Check out their website to find out when is the next one and spend a great evening out and relax!
Ticket at the entrance are slightly more expensive but usually there is a seat for everyone.

Visit their website to see the next shows

Going to the movie

Bring something to stay warm, it’s 16 degree Celsius in any Malaysian cinema!

  • Midvalley Mega Mall & The garden: GSC cinema, 10 min taxi. Midvalley has the standard and The garden is the gold class premiere.
  • 1Utama Mall: GSC Cinema, 15 min with MRT Bandar Utama
  • Nu Sentral: GSC Cinema, 10 min with MRT. Stop at KL Sentral the mall is connected.

Half day visits: the batu caves and/or canopy walk

If you end up with half day on your hands and need some easy activities before taking your flight home, here you go !

Batu caves can be done within 3h. FRIM is more difficult of access - so It's more like a 4 hours kind of window that you need to be safe. It's perfect if you have a flight late in the evening and can do a late check-out to take a shower after the whole visits. Combining both - I would dedicate 5h.

batu caves
Batu caves


The batu caves have their own bespoke station inside the Hindu complex and you would need to take the MRT and change at KL Sentral station to take the KTM train. It’s an easy visit and a quick one. Once you are done you can use a Grab taxi to go into the FRIM ( Forest Research Institute Malaysia ) which is almost next door, it’s a very traffic road so don’t tempt it on foot ! Get the taxi to drive all the way at the back of FRIM to the very end (it’s a straight and unique road) you will see some pic nic tables.

There is a marked path there which if you walk it, brings you to a free canopy walkway. It’s a short one but it’s a nice quick 30/40min activity. Then you can either choose to make another Grab taxi into FRIM to pick you up OR you can walk to the entrance following the road ( a good 40min ). It’s quiet and shaded. From the main road, you can catch a taxi or book a Grab.

If you are a runner, FRIM complex is no traffic and nice to do some outside activities – but get there early to avoid the heat. For a run, you can also head to botanical garden in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, it’s about 15 min drive away from the hotel.

FRIM - Forest Research Institute Malaysia
FRIM - Forest Research Institute Malaysia


I think these are quite nice activities to do in Kuala Lumpur in the evening on a business trip or even on a half day while killing time before the flight. Some adresses are also pretty cool to try with your colleagues. I hope this will help you get out of that hotel room while in Kuala Lumpur !

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