There’s no denying it: Kuala Lumpur is an expensive place to drink. With Malaysia being a Muslim country, and KL being the capital of said country, it is no big surprise that it is damn expensive to consume alcohol in KL, and for this reason, many backpackers avoid it.
However, avoiding a night out completely while you’re in KL would be a great shame, as the city’s skyscraper bars are something to behold, and so I’ve put together this guide on drinking on a budget in Kuala Lumpur.*
So, it’s a Wednesday and it’s 7pm.
Start your night at KL’s best kept secret, Heli Lounge Bar. Located on the 34th floor of the Menara KH building, Heli Lounge is a functioning helipad by day and a bar for tourists and business people alike by night.
To get to the helipad itself, you must first buy a drink at the bar downstairs first. All drinks are the same price at 30RM, meaning that a cocktail or large glass of wine is reasonable but a beer is extortionate.
Once you have your drink, head upstairs and grab a table on the helipad to take in the beautiful 360° views of the city, including the KL tower and the famous Petronus twin towers. Sunset in KL is at 7.25pm, and so you’re at the perfect time to sip a cocktail as the sky darkens and the city lights up.
Next stop is Luna Bar, another skyscraper bar situated on the 34th floor of Pacific Recency Suites. With more wonderful views of the city, a pool and comfortable private booths, Luna Bar is a perfect place for female travellers to enjoy the free Tequila Sunrises, because yep, Wednesday is Ladies’ Night! While these cocktails are pretty weak, they are free, and so you are free to enjoy as many as you like!
At around 10:30, move onto Healy Mac‘s Irish Pub, voted the best Irish Pub outside of Ireland! It’s also Ladies’ Night here, so girls, grab a vodka and orange and sit down to enjoy a good night! Healy Mac’s is a down to earth venue where you’re free to watch live sport, dance like an idiot and drink all the free drinks you can!
When you’re done at Healy Mac’s, move next door to Sutraa, where it‘s also Ladies’ Night! The best thing about this venue, aside from the dim lighting and the live music that is often played there, is the fact that you can choose which free drink you enjoy, from a selection of 3, that change weekly. I opted for Mango Daiquiris and Vodka Cranberries, mmm.
Finally, end your night at late night hiphop joint, 808 bar at The Zion Club. It’s free entry for girls on Wednesdays, and once inside you’ll feel like you’re at the centre of a rap video. Drinks here are expensive, but hopefully all the free cocktails will have you drunk enough by this point, and so you can enjoy the world class DJs without breaking the bank.