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Flying to Kuala Lumpur airport (KLIA) soon? Malaysia is a marvellous mix of iconic cities like Ipoh or Melaka whilst Kuala Lumpur is a quality place to stay and explore.
But how best to get from KLIA / Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city and the hotels in downtown KL?
Luckily, there are numerous ways to get to Kuala Lumpur city from the airport – and some options cost as little as 10 MYR one-way (£1.70 / $2.15 USD / 2 Euros).
KLIA and KLIA2 airports are easy to navigate and both have easy and quick transport options to the city.
So from ‘Grab-bing’ a KL airport taxi to letting the airport train take the strain, here is our ultimate guide on how to get from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city with prices:
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Table of Contents
What is the cheapest way to get from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city?
The least expensive and cheapest way to get from KLIA / Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city is by airport coach / bus.
There are up to 3 airport coaches departing every hour from KLIA airport to Kuala Lumpur (various bus stations) starting from 10 MYR when there is a sale on (although most usually cost between 12 to 15 MYR).
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How long does it take to get from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the City?
It depends on mode of transport and traffic jams, but generally, the quickest way to get from KLIA to downtown Kuala Lumpur is via the Klia Ekspres / Express Train.
The train takes 36 minutes from KLIA and 39 minutes from KLIA2.
The other modes of transport from KLIA Airport are all road based and usually take an hour or more (especially during rush hour and peak traffic times).
Can I get from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city 24 hours a day?
Yes, you can get from KLIA to the city 24/7 by using a Grab taxi or pre-arranging a private transfer.
The free shuttle bus between KLIA and KLIA2 also operates 24 hours a day, departing every 15 minutes.
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How to get from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the City – 4 transport methods
Once you’ve arrived at Kuala Lumpur Airport, there are four main methods of transport to get from KLIA to the city / downtown area of Kuala Lumpur:
- Grab / taxi
- Airport coach (bus)
- KLIA Ekspres Train
- Private transfer
We’ll go into more detail below but if you are feeling tired after a long international flight to Malaysia, you could also stay the night in one of these Kuala Lumpur airport hotels before making the journey in the morning.
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Kuala Lumpur airport Grab taxis to the city
The fastest and most efficient way to get to downtown Kuala Lumpur from KLIA is to take a GRAB taxi / car which you can easily book via the Grab app.
If you don’t have a Malaysian SIM card before arriving at Kuala Lumpur airport, you can easily buy SIMs in the arrivals hall or by the luggage collection conveyor belts.
Alternatively (or if you are arriving at a time when all the SIM shops are likely to be shut), get your Malaysian SIM card in advance from Klook.
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Where is the Grab Taxi pick up point at KLIA / KLIA2?
There are clear Grab pick-up points at both KLIA and KLIA2 which are labelled as ‘ehailing’ plus have lots of green ‘Grab’ branding and banners.
The Grab taxi pick up point at KLIA:
Doors 3 and 4 on level 1 of the KLIA terminal
The Grab taxi pick up point at KLIA2:
Door 5 at level 1 of the transport hub at KLIA2 (next to a KK supermart)
Given how busy KLIA airport can be and how many people order Grab taxis, you may have to wait a little while until a GRAB driver picks up / accepts.
Note no waiting for taxi drivers is allowed so you must be at the KLIA / KLIA Grab taxi pick-up points when they arrive.
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How much is a GRAB Taxi from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the City?
Grab taxi fares from KLIA2 to downtown Kuala Lumpur usually cost between 60 to 70 MYR plus a few additional motorway toll fares (less than 10 MYR).
As an example, we booked a Grab taxi at KLIA2 to the Kuala Lumpur Dorsett Hotel (in Bukit Bintang near the Pavilion shopping centre) in December 2023 via the Grab app.
Our Grab taxi fare from Kuala Lumpur airport to Kuala Lumpur City Bukit Bintang was 65 MYR plus 9.50 MYR in motorway tolls.
Kuala Lumpur airport Grab taxi fares and prices correct as of December 2023.
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Airport Bus to Kuala Lumpur from KLIA / KLIA2
If you are on a tight budget or a lone-traveller, one of the best ways to get from Kuala Lumpur airport to the city is by airport coach / bus.
KL Airport bus to the city fares start from as low as 10 MYR one way (when on sale) and typically cost 12 to 15 MYR per person one way.
KL Airport buses can be booked via ticket counters at KLIA / KLIA2 or in advance online via Klook.
Usually, KL Airport coaches and buses from KLIA and KLIA2 drop off at three main coach stations in or near the city:
- KL Sentral Bus Station
- TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) bus station
- Pudu Sentral Bus Station (Puduraya)
Note that TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) bus station is the furthest away from KL city centre and you will likely need to take a Grab or train from there to your Kuala Lumpur accommodation.
KL Sentral is generally the most popular station to alight, as it has excellent public transport links to the rest of the city.
Buses run from the airport to KL Sentral station:
KLIA – start from 5:30am and finish around 12.30am
KLIA2 – start from 6:30am and finish around 12.30am
The bus journey from Kuala Lumpur airport to the city / downtown Kuala Lumpur takes around 1 hour (but may take longer in rush hour traffic).
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KLIA Train Service – KLIA Ekspres
There is also a regular train service – KLIA Ekspres / Express that runs from KLIA to KL Sentral.
The Kuala Lumpur Express Train Service / KLIA Ekspres starts at KLIA2 and calls at the following stations before terminating at KL Sentral station.
- Salak Tinggi
- Putrajaya & Cyberjaya
- Bandar Tasik Selatan
- KL Sentral
The first train and last trains for Kuala Lumpur city:
KLIA – First train starts at 5.22am and last train leaves at 00.34am
KLIA2 – First train starts at 5.18am and last train leaves at 00.30am
The KLIA Express / Ekspres Train costs 55 MYR from KLIA to KL Sentral, although there are sometimes discounts if you book KLIA Express in advance with Klook.
Whilst the train is the most expensive option on a per person basis, the benefits of travelling to the city on the Kuala Lumpur airport express train is that it takes less than 40 minutes door to door.
So the KLIA Ekspres / Express is the quickest way to get from Kuala Lumpur airport to the city.
It also isn’t impacted by traffic jams or accidents plus has free onboard Wifi and good air-conditioning.
Note – if there is more than one of you travelling to Kuala Lumpur city from KLIA, it is more cost effective to get a Grab Taxi which will also drop you right at your hotel.
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KL Airport Transfers
Finally, you can also book private transfers from Kuala Lumpur to downtown Kuala Lumpur at very reasonable prices.
Prices for a private transfer from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city start from around 135 MYR per group of 3 people when booked in advance via GetYourGuide for a pick-up between 7am – 9:55pm.
The main benefits of a private transfer pick-up from Kuala Lumpur is that the driver will wait for you and it overcomes any long waits you may have for getting a Grab driver during busy periods.
What is the difference Between KLIA1 and KLIA2?
Both KLIA and KLIA2 are located close to each other and are separate terminals.
KLIA is used more for full-service and international flights whilst KLIA2 is mainly for AirAsia and domestic flights.
You can travel for free between the two terminals on a free KLIA airport shuttle bus.
Nearest KLIA2 Airport hotel
If you are arriving or departing very early in the morning or very late at night, we would recommend staying at the KLIA2 Tune Hotel as it is literally a 1 minute flat walk from KLIA2.
We’ve stayed at KLIA2 Airport Hotel on over a dozen occasions and it is fine for a one night stay and quite inexpensive.
We recently upgraded to a garden view room at KLIA2 Tune Hotel and the extra cost was so worth it and the furnishings were nicer. Room rates include breakfast too.
Nearest KLIA1 Airport hotel
The hotel that is closest to the KLIA1 free shuttle bus pick up point is the Sama Sama Hotel KLIA, less than a 5 minute walk from the bus stop.
Kuala Lumpur Airport luggage services
Finally, if you don’t want to lug your heavy bags with you on the train, bus or taxi, there are several Kuala Lumpur Airport Luggage Services that you can book in advance to take your bags directly to (or from) your hotel.
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