Kuala Lumpur bars and pubs guide

Skybar at the Traders Hotels

Nightlife in Bukit Bintang is a colourful and glamorous affair. While the main street is home to many of the hotel bars and karaoke lounges, Changkat Bukit Bintang is where seasoned nightlife veterans relax in busy restaurants that become bustling drinking holes after dark.

And while bars in Kuala Lumpur come in all shapes and sizes, many visitors are surprised quite how plush some of the latest additions are. And the expat area of Bangsar has ever more chic premises opening up for the resident international crowd, while budget travellers may be more at home supping cheap beers in the brooding pubs around Chinatown.

Bukit Bintang bars in Kuala Lumpur

Qba Latin Grill & Bar: The bar and restaurant is found within the Westin Hotel and features an impressive range of cigars as well as a decent international wine list. The house speciality is grilled meat of a South American variety, and the accompanying live Latin bands set off the atmosphere nicely. website: www.spgrestaurantsandbars.com.

Red Box: Among the most popular karaoke bars in Kuala Lumpur, Red Box patrons have no problem with singing their hearts out until their throats desert them. The bright ambience, exhaustive song selection and choice of private rooms is accompanied with a decent buffet to resort the enegy of participants.

Singing is not complusory but the chic surroundings and impeccable sound quality may bring out the performer in you. website: www.redbox.com.my.

Clique Lounge Bar: Found next to the lobby of the Piccolo Hotel, this stylish and chilled bar features a inviting atmosphere and chic crimson design. The long bar divides the venue into a casual dining area with live sports screened and a formal half for romantic evenings and power supers for KL’s elite. website: www.thepiccolohotel.com.

Hemingway’s: Cuban-themed offerings such as ropa vieja, cuba libres and mojitos are served up with aplomb at this joint named in honour of cult US author Ernest Hemingway. Groovy Latin tunes sets off the sultry ambience.

Cloth & Clef: This fashion boutique, bar, performance venue and art gallery is perfect for groups who are not quite sure what they wish to do for the evening. Patrons are happy to browse stylish clothes during the day, check out the latest works by up-and-comming local artists and then have a few drinks later on. With some conceptual audio-visual dj sets and an eclectic selection of stage shows, there is always something different to check out.

Little Havana: This Latin-themed place does a mean mojito and great salsa nights every Friday. The cigar lounge can be a little pungent but the food is highly regarded and keeps people coming back. Check out the Thursday comedy night if you’re in need of a chuckle. 

Twenty.one: A restaurant and trendy bar in KL which is where the city’s hippest crowd meet to socialise and discuss the latest trends. After dinnertime the venue becomes a buzzing dance club with some experimental tunes and music genres.  website: www.drbar.asia.

Ceylon Bar: With a great range of local favourites and popular flavours from around the world, Celyon bar is a spicy venue with a chilled edge. Check it out for fabulous Sunday lunch. 

The Green Man: With a decent range of chilled European largers on tap and all the live sport you could wish for on the telly, this is the place to park yourself if your craving some good old fashioned British pub hospitality. website: www.greenmankl.wix.com.

Frangipani: The classy setting of Frangipani plays second fiddle to the delicious food served. With some of the best French cuisine of any Kuala Lumpur bar and restaurant, it is a pleasant place to relax while listening to chilled-out house and bass-heavy groovy beats. website: www.frangipani.com.my.

KLCC bars in Kuala Lumpur

Luna Bar: Rightly considered one of the trendiest Kuala Lumpur bars, this rooftop nightspot occupies the upper reaches of the Pacific Regency Hotel. Great cocktails only supassed by panoramic views of the city. website: www.pacific-regency.com.

Sky Bar: Found on the top of the Traders Hotel, this is probably the most famous of all the bars in Kuala Lumpur due to its unparalleled view of the Petronas Twin Towers across KLCC park. Great for a sunset cocktail. website: www.skybar.com.mywww.shangri-la.com.  

Passion: With a top-of-the-line music system this is one of the most stylish bars in Kuala Lumpur. Features large beds to relax on and a smart chill-out balcony.

7ateNine: Award-winning bar in KL with exceptional ambience and clean white décor. Perfect for watching the hip young things of the city strut their stuff.

Hard Rock Café: Malaysian version of the popular American brand does exactly what it says on the tin. Hardly the most extraordinary venue in town but good fun with live music. website: www.hardrock.com.   

Finnegan’s: Green and yellow Irish pub with decent pub grub favourites and extensive choice of draft beer. Favourite with locals, tourists and expats alike. website: www.finneganspubs.com.

Ruums: Tropical-themed bar with four contrasting rooms playing different music genres including trance, hip hop and classic rock. Open: 16:00-03:00; Bangunan Life Centre, 1st-2nd Floor, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, tel: +60 3 2162 8163, fax: +60 3 2162 8162.

Barfly and Atmosphere: Two venues housed withing TwelveSi that are equally popular with KL’s nightlife aficionados. Barfly has pool and fußball tables plus five wide-screen TVs with live sports.

The Cotton Club: Jazz bar and restaurant that combines seductive sounds of blues greats with delicious western food.