The 10 best places to live in Kuala Lumpur

By Derek Uittenbroek | Buying Property

Living in a metropolis like Kuala Lumpur is no easy feat! 

From wondering about crime rates to traffic problems, the quality of local hospitals and schools, it's never easy finding a place to live.

Kuala Lumpur is a diverse city in many aspects; the variety of areas on offer are really astonishing; it's certainly one of the best places to live in Malaysia.

The following list should help you narrow down a few places that each have its own traits!

1. KL Sentral

KL Sentral. Source: wikipedia.com

Dubbed the transportation hub of Kuala Lumpur, if getting around the city is one of your major concerns, then KL Sentral is the place for you.

Connecting a multitude of transportation modes, staying in this area means you’re just a ‘hop, skip and jump’ away from exploring the country (source).

Situated atop a small ‘hill’, this area is home to many commercial buildings and hotels due to its connectivity.

In recent years, there have been high rise condos sprouting up as well.

Suasana Sentral Condominium and Suasana Sentral Loft are such buildings that house a mix of expats and locals, alike.

In fact, the swanky new development that’s in the works - Sentral Suites - offers great living standards for city-dwellers.

Coupled with the Nu Sentral Mall right next door to the Sentral station, this area is as urban as it gets.

2. Bangsar

A view of the city from Bangsar. Source: wikipedia.com

Like living in a city, but want the feel of a suburb?

Bangsar is a neighbourhood that offers peace and quiet, yet is home to the city’s best restaurants, bars and eateries.

Rows of bungalows and terraced houses line the streets of this neighbourhood, housing a blend of cultures from local Malays to foreign expats.

Property prices are on a higher-end here as the area boasts numerous shopping malls, a thriving night-market and even has the famous Pantai Hospital in the vicinity.

However, Bangsar doesn’t have many schools, local or international, close by (source).

As Bangsar is quite an old area of Kuala Lumpur, new property launches are limited.

However, it does have a few high-rise apartment complexes and multiple landed properties. A few of these include Suasana Bangsar, Bangsar Aman and The Nomad Residences.

3. Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas

10 Mont Kiara. Source: mk10.com.my

Mont Kiara is an affluent township that houses most of the expats in Kuala Lumpur.

Home to a number of international schools such as Mont Kiara International School and Garden International School, expat and local families mostly seek after this area.

It’s the perfect ‘suburban bubble’ with quiet streets, a few small malls and loads of greenery.

Housing is not a problem at all in this area, with large property developments in abundance.

From high-rise condos to gated communities, you can find semi detached houses, serviced apartments and stand-alone properties to name a few (source).

Properties in Mont Kiara do cater to a more upscale audience, but due to the sheer number of buildings in the area (supply), you can always grab a good deal or two.

You’ll find that the most popular buildings around the zone include Icon Residence, Verve Suites, Kinrara Residence and Seni Mont Kiara.

If you’re looking for a gated community, then Dusa Nusantara on the outskirts of Mont Kiara offers great amenities.

It’s good to bear in mind though, that Mont Kiara is around 20 minutes away from the city centre, and traffic during peak hours is quite the headache...

Currently the area is not connected by public transport, and having a car is a must.

However, RapidKL is fast building train lines that should soon connect the township to the rest of KL (source).

4. Subang Jaya

Subang Jaya commercial centre. Source: wikipedia.com

Subang Jaya is quite a big area in Kuala Lumpur, and you can find pretty much anything here. From hipster cafes to boutiques, Subang Jaya offers a compact living experience for many.

SS15 acts as the town central for the area, and here you can find commercial banks and international F&B outlets as well.

Further along, USJ and the Sunway development caters to the young crowd with loads of attractions such as malls (Sunway Pyramid, One City, The Summit) and even a waterpark called Sunway Lagoon (source).

Housing in this area is quite affordable, and there are various types of properties you can choose from.

Landed properties and high-rise buildings around USJ are easy to find. If you’re looking for a serviced apartment, USJ One offers all the amenities you would require and more.

Other properties include USJ One Park and One City (a ‘city’ within a city offering parks, recreation centres and retail outlets as well!).

A mere 18 kilometres away from the city centre, Subang Jaya has a great network of public transport that takes you around the area and even to Kuala Lumpur.

What’s more, Subang Jaya is termed an ‘education village’ with top universities such as Monash University, Sunway University, Taylor’s University and a number of schools around the vicinity.

5. Damansara Perdana and Taman Tun Dr Ismail

Empire Damansara Perdana. Source: empiredamansaraperdana.wordpress.com

Damansara Perdana - an area originally occupied by the Orang Asli (source), this township has fast become a haven for investors and property developers.

A relatively newer area (things started kicking up during the 1990s), there’s a great variety of residential and commercial properties around the area catering to a wide range of home-dwellers.

In recent years, this area, also known as being situated in the Golden triangle of Petaling Jaya, has been the most sought after address in the city.

From business ventures to residential properties, Damansara Perdana is quite popular amongst investors who see great potential in the district.

While the majority of homes here are low-rise bungalows, some high-rise buildings include the prestigious Armenee Terrace 2, Perdana Exclusive and Ritze Perdana.

Here you’ll find the popular malls such as The Curve, Ikea, and many other entertainment centres.

People also flock to the nearby Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) and Mutiara Damansara for the local hawker joints that grace the area.

A five-minute drive and you reach Mont Kiara, and various highway lines such as the NKVE, LDP and Sprint service you to the rest of the Klang Valley (source).

6. Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)

Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). Source: wikipedia.com

Whenever someone thinks of Kuala Lumpur, chances are they’re also thinking about the well-known Petronas Twin Towers.

Well, if you’d fancy living smack dab in the middle of the city with the towers as your everyday view, then the City Centre is the right place for you.

Turning a deaf ear to the construction and traffic noises in the area, this concrete jungle boasts affluent condominiums, shopping centres, five star hotels, a charming public park and multiple office addresses.

While you will be paying a hefty sum for the address, you’ll be happy with the luxury the buildings here offer.

In fact, the residential towers of Binjai On the Park are known to be one of the most expensive properties in Malaysia (one penthouse was sold for a whooping RM 50 million! (source).

Other great residences around the area include Binjai 8 and Idaman Residence just to name a few.

While traffic can be a bit of a hassle in the centre, living and working in KLCC ensures your commute may not be so troublesome after all.

7. Ampang

View from Ampang Road. Source: wikipedia.com

This elite neighbourhood accommodates most of the foreign embassies along the ‘Embassy Row’.

Due to the diplomat crowd, there are also various international schools in the area such as Sayfol International School and International School of Kuala Lumpur.

A bare ten minutes away from KLCC, the streets of Ampang are relatively safe and peaceful with many expats and wealthy locals opting for high security gated communities such as UKay Heights and Kampung Warisan (an older development modelled after a resort-style living with lush greenery all around).

Popular condominiums include G Residences and The Elements among others (source).

The National Zoo is a fifteen-minute drive away, with many shopping malls scattered around the zone.

The many private hospitals it has to offer also means that finding a healthcare provider will not be a major issue.

Ampang is a great locale for many families as it has entertainment options, a safe environment and clean surroundings.

8. Seputeh and Taman Desa

The Gardens, Mid Valley City. Source: midvalleyhotel.com

Seputeh - home of the ever-famous Mid Valley City. This area is an established residential district that’s been around on the block for quite some time.

While it’s very easy to reach the city centre in a matter of minutes, the area offers the feel of community living with a common public park.

This centrally located area is home to a good balance of locals and expats, with many schools, a waterpark and places of worship within the area.

Some of the schooling options include SMJK Kuen Cheng, SMK Taman Desa, Vikas International School, Methodist College and Brickfields College.

The well-known Chinese Temple known as Thean Hou Temple is also easily accessible to residents.

There are a number of local Chinese and Malaysian restaurants around the area as well.

In addition, Seputeh is geographically close to KL Sentral as well, making public transport a non-issue.

Accommodating your guests would also not be a problem with hotels such as The Gardens Hotel and Cititel MidValley in the area, along with shopping malls such as The Gardens Mall and Plaza OUG.

9. Desa Park City

Park City Town Center, Desa ParkCity, KL. Source: desaparkcity.com

When this development was in the works, the developers envisioned a suburban area that mixes the country feel with that of a city life.

And indeed, Desa Park City caters to those who want to unwind and enjoy their life on the outskirts of the city, yet have all the amenities they could want at the touch of their fingertips.

This self sufficient ‘city’ contains shops, restaurants, jogging tracks all at the edge of a huge man-made lake called The Waterfront.

Blocks of condominiums line the rest of the area, with gated communities of bungalows and semi Ds as well.

The idea of walking or cycling to school is unheard of in KL, yet in Desa Park City due to the excellent infrastructure kids can do just that!

Having an international school, clubhouse for residents, hospitals and a lot more, this development certainly tops the cake!

Better yet, it’s easily accessible via the major highways within the city (source).

10. Setapak and Wangsa Maju

Wangsa Maju. Source: wikipedia.com

Setapak, an area rich with Chinese history, is situated just outside the suburb of Kuala Lumpur city centre and is rapidly becoming an urban landscape worth taking note of.

With Chinese temples, and the historically famous Loke Yew Hill, this area houses high rise buildings as well as low-rise flats and apartments.

Genting Court, Villa Wangsamas and Riana Green East are worth taking a look at if you're interested in the area.

The National Zoo and the Titiwangsa Recreational Park is great for exploring on a lazy Sunday afternoon since traffic during offices hours is a little congested in the area.

This area is well served by railway lines and highways as well.

That’s it!

Hope this guide was useful for you. Do you live in one of these areas or have we missed an area you love?

Let me know your thoughts below!

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About the Author

I'm a Dutch-born property enthusiast who spent a good part of my youth in Penang, Malaysia. Besides being a founder @ PropertyLife, I have experience in financial services both at start-up and corporate level. I founded and sold FundTheGap and I'm ex-Accenture, where I worked for some of the world's biggest banks. Besides property, my main interests include technology, entrepreneurship, internet marketing, travelling and generally all things 'disruptive innovation'.