Malaysia travel guide

Malaysia Tourism | Malaysia Guide

You're Going to Love Malaysia

From bustling cities to lush nature, a trip to Malaysia is a mix of delicious food, rainforests and wildlife, as well as islands that will take your breath away.

What to do in Malaysia

1. Visit Kuala Lumpur

From trying Malaysia street food at Jalan Alor to visiting the famous Petronas Towers and the Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur will fascinate you with its cultural mix.

2. Visit Georgetown

Georgetown is a multicultural hub located in Penang. Visit Buddhist and Chinese temples, relax in the Penang Botanic Gardens, or head to the Penang Hill for a special view.

3. Marvel at Tea Plantations

Head to the Cameron Highlands where you can admire tea plantations and visit tea factories to learn the making process.

4. Hike in Mount Kinabalu National Park

Active travelers will love discovering this national park, which offers panoramic views. If you want to take it easy, visit the Botanical Garden instead.

5. Go Diving and Snorkeling at the Perhentian Islands

A trip to the Perhentian archipelago is a must for any deep-sea lovers. Go snorkeling or swim with giant turtles. Relax at the beaches.

1. Visit Kuala Lumpur

From trying Malaysia street food at Jalan Alor to visiting the famous Petronas Towers and the Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur will fascinate you with its cultural mix.

2. Visit Georgetown

Georgetown is a multicultural hub located in Penang. Visit Buddhist and Chinese temples, relax in the Penang Botanic Gardens, or head to the Penang Hill for a special view.

3. Marvel at Tea Plantations

Head to the Cameron Highlands where you can admire tea plantations and visit tea factories to learn the making process.

4. Hike in Mount Kinabalu National Park

Active travelers will love discovering this national park, which offers panoramic views. If you want to take it easy, visit the Botanical Garden instead.

5. Go Diving and Snorkeling at the Perhentian Islands

A trip to the Perhentian archipelago is a must for any deep-sea lovers. Go snorkeling or swim with giant turtles. Relax at the beaches.

When to visit Malaysia

Malaysia in November
Estimated hotel price
$82
1 night at 3-star hotel
Malaysia in November
Estimated hotel price
$82
1 night at 3-star hotel

Malaysia is hit by two monsoons throughout the year. In the south, this happens from May to September, and October to March in the north. Keep this in mind when booking your trip to Malaysia and avoid monsoon season.

How to Get to Malaysia

Entry Requirements

Nationals of most countries can enter Malaysia with an entry permit stamp given on arrival for stays ranging from 14-90 days. Israeli citizens need to hold a letter of approval from the Malaysian Ministry for admission.

Plane

Malaysia is well-connected through flights and its national airline, Malaysian Airlines, flies to 150 countries. Low-cost airline AirAsia offers cheaper flights to and from a range of countries throughout Asia and Oceania.

Train

International Express trains are available from Thailand, connecting Bangkok with Padang Besar, and operated by Thai rail company State Railway of Thailand. It is also possible to arrive by train from Singapore with the Shuttle Tebrau line.

Car

It is possible to drive into Malaysia from all 4 bordering countries, with crossings available from Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia.

Bus

Direct bus connections are available from Singapore with a large number of services available, as well as Thailand and Indonesia. There are no direct connections to Brunei, but trips from the border are possible.

Boat

Ferries are available daily from various points in Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, and a more limited amount of ferries are available from the Philippines, linking the Zamboanga Peninsula to Sandakan.

Entry Requirements

Nationals of most countries can enter Malaysia with an entry permit stamp given on arrival for stays ranging from 14-90 days. Israeli citizens need to hold a letter of approval from the Malaysian Ministry for admission.

Plane

Malaysia is well-connected through flights and its national airline, Malaysian Airlines, flies to 150 countries. Low-cost airline AirAsia offers cheaper flights to and from a range of countries throughout Asia and Oceania.

Train

International Express trains are available from Thailand, connecting Bangkok with Padang Besar, and operated by Thai rail company State Railway of Thailand. It is also possible to arrive by train from Singapore with the Shuttle Tebrau line.

Car

It is possible to drive into Malaysia from all 4 bordering countries, with crossings available from Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia.

Bus

Direct bus connections are available from Singapore with a large number of services available, as well as Thailand and Indonesia. There are no direct connections to Brunei, but trips from the border are possible.

Boat

Ferries are available daily from various points in Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, and a more limited amount of ferries are available from the Philippines, linking the Zamboanga Peninsula to Sandakan.

Popular airlines serving Malaysia

Lufthansa
Good (4,694 reviews)
KLM
Good (848 reviews)
SWISS
Good (944 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,555 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,615 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,296 reviews)
Air France
Good (980 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (488 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,595 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,959 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,122 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,455 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (5,888 reviews)
Finnair
Good (869 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (925 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (1,181 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (820 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (5,687 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (830 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (406 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Malaysia

Mid-range hotels are available throughout the country and are one of the most popular options for accommodation. If you are on a budget, hostels and apartment rentals are available in all touristy areas. For a bit of a splurge, you will find 5-star hotels in all the big cities.

Where to stay in popular areas of Malaysia

Most booked hotels in Malaysia

Hilton Kota Kinabalu
5 stars
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
$132+
Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu
5 stars
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
$296+
The Pacific Sutera Hotel
5 stars
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
$160+
Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
5 stars
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
$153+
The Magellan Sutera Resort
5 stars
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
$203+
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
5 stars
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$127+

How to Get Around Malaysia

Public Transportation

A small metro system and 3 lines of monorail are available in Kuala Lumpur, but for the most part, the country functions on trains and buses, the latter being the cheapest travel option.

Trains

KTMB operates long distance trains throughout the country except for the areas of Sabah in Borneo. Electric trains service the northern part of the country, while the south still runs on diesel trains for the most part.

Bus

Buses are the most popular mode of transport as they can get you anywhere around the country. The two main bus companies are Transnasional and NICE/Plusliner.

Car

Malaysia has an excellent network of roads and highways, which makes driving easier than in other Asian countries. If you are planning to rent a car, please note that you will be driving on the left side of the road.

Plane

A large number of flights connect the country through AirAsia, Malaysian Airlines and Firefly. Some regional airlines offer flights on specific routes, such as Berjaya Air, which flies to resort islands.

Public Transportation

A small metro system and 3 lines of monorail are available in Kuala Lumpur, but for the most part, the country functions on trains and buses, the latter being the cheapest travel option.

Trains

KTMB operates long distance trains throughout the country except for the areas of Sabah in Borneo. Electric trains service the northern part of the country, while the south still runs on diesel trains for the most part.

Bus

Buses are the most popular mode of transport as they can get you anywhere around the country. The two main bus companies are Transnasional and NICE/Plusliner.

Car

Malaysia has an excellent network of roads and highways, which makes driving easier than in other Asian countries. If you are planning to rent a car, please note that you will be driving on the left side of the road.

Plane

A large number of flights connect the country through AirAsia, Malaysian Airlines and Firefly. Some regional airlines offer flights on specific routes, such as Berjaya Air, which flies to resort islands.

The Cost of Living in Malaysia

The cost of everyday living in Malaysia is relatively inexpensive, with a cheap meal costing as little as 10 MYR (2.50 USD), a sit down meal for 2 costing around 60 MYR (15 USD), transportation starting at 3 MYR (0.75 USD) for a one-way trip, and groceries costing around 150 MYR (35 USD) per week. Major hotels and restaurants accept credit cards, but cash is best for small transactions.