Planning to visit Malaysia soon? Want to know what the best places to visit in Malaysia are? You are in the right place!
Malaysia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
From its beautiful beaches to it bustling capital to its interesting cultural mix and some of the best food in the world, it’s easy to see why so many people want to go to Malaysia.
However, what is not as well known is how fabulous a Malaysia family holiday can be. This country in Southeast Asia is just perfect for families.
Not only are the locals incredibly welcoming to kids, but there are so many amazing things to do in Malaysia with family. In fact, it is my top pick of all the destinations in the world for a family vacation.
Malaysia is an easy place to travel with English widely spoken and a great bus system.
There are also many cheap domestic flights and it’s affordable to hire drivers or you can drive yourself.
For families who want to take it easy, head to one of the many beautiful beaches.
For families who love culture, learn more about Malaysia’s history and the three dominant cultural groups in Malaysia (Malay, Chinese and Indian).
There are many opportunities to do all of this and more. The best part is that this all comes at a very affordable price tag.
Malaysia is great for all ages and we have travelled here with our three kids from 3 month old. We also called it home for a year when we lived in Penang.
I really can’t recommend a family getaway Malaysia enough!
Below, you will find my top places to visit in Malaysia with family to help you plan your best family trip in Malaysia.
Best Places To Visit In Malaysia For Family Fun
The capital, Kuala Lumpur, should definitely make it to your list of best places to visit in Malaysia with family.
It’s the largest city in this country and full of Malaysia attractions for family. You could just spend your vacation time here and do so many varied things.
My favourite attraction is the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park.
This isn’t just one of the biggest bird aviaries in the world, but also has some of the most beautiful gardens I have seen anywhere. Walking around here is truly a pleasure for everyone and reminds you that you are in the tropics.
Kids will also love visiting KLCC Park.
This huge park is next to the iconic Petronas Towers with a huge playground and water play areas.
On the edges of the park are Aquaria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur’s aquarium, and Petrosain’s Discovery Centre, a fun science museum.
Another great family attraction is KidZania. This international chain is my kids favourite place to go anywhere (even above the Disneyland theme park) and allows them to try out many different professions while making money in a little KidZania world – it’s so much fun!
In addition to these more family-focused attractions, it’s worth visiting the 86th deck of the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world.
It’s essential to buy tickets in advance as they sell out. You can buy them here.
I also think it’s worth visiting the National Museum of Malaysia, the National Mosque, KL Forest Eco Park and spending an evening in Chinatown to both eat dinner and do some souvenir shopping.
The best family vacation in Malaysia definitely should involve visiting Kuala Lumpur for at least a few days.
Places to stay in Kuala Lumpur for families
Berjaya Times Square Hotel
This hotel is one of our favourite places to stay in the world thanks to a variety of room types including two bedroom apartments, the biggest city hotel pool I’ve ever seen and its location.
The hotel is connected to Berjaya Times Square, one of the biggest shopping centres in Malaysia, with tons of shopping, eating and entertainment options including an indoor theme park. It’s the easiest place to stay with kids.
While you can visit Sunway Lagoon on a day trip from Kuala Lumpur, it’s also one of best places to visit in Malaysia with kids as a separate destination.
Located between KL Airport and Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Lagoon is a huge theme park, shopping centre and hotel complex which is like its own town.
It’s a really fun and easy place for a holiday in Malaysia with family.
The theme park itself is big with six different zones including dry thrill rides, a water park, animal park and a fun Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon area perfect for little ones.
There are a range of hotels with varying standards connected as well as the big shopping centre with many food options and entertainment like ice skating and a cinema.
Where to stay near Sunway Lagoon for families
Sunway Clio Hotel
This is a newer hotel option on this site which connects to the shopping centre and is just moments to the entrance of Sunway Lagoon.
The hotel has a great infinity pool and connecting rooms for families.
Port Dickson is maybe the least known of these best family holiday destinations in Malaysia, but it’s one of the easiest and nicest to visit if you are looking for some quality family downtime.
Port Dickson refers to a stretch of coast close to Kuala Lumpur and a short drive from its airport.
There are many beautiful beaches here and some low key attractions for families like an emu farm, an army museum (with old equipment kids will love) and a small indoor theme park.
Our favourite part of Port Dickson, however, is the fabulous and affordable accommodation on offer.
If you have ever wanted to stay in an over-water villa with your own private infinity pool, this must be the cheapest place in the world to do so!
There are some great family-focused resorts in this area with over-water villas including:
While Port Dickson is not the best place for family trip in Malaysia for people wanting lots of action, it is a winner for fun, quality relaxation perfect for families with toddlers like us!
Places to stay in Port Dickson for families
This iconic hotel actually has the Guinness World Record for the most number of pools in a resort!
It has many room types including over-water villas situated so they form a hibiscus shape from the air (look out for it when you are flying into Kuala Lumpur!).
We love the over-water pool villas which are large enough for our family of five and have their own infinity pools and saunas on an outdoor deck.
There are an amazing array of facilities here including an indoor play centre, games arcade, water park, archery and so much more.
This best place to visit in Malaysia with family is perfect with rides, attractions and many lego-building projects! There is also a 4D cinema showing many different lego movies as well as a Legoland water park next door.
It’s particularly good for younger kids but older kids (including parents!) will enjoy it as well.
The best part is that it rarely seems to be busy and all three times we have been, we have been able to go on every ride as many times as we want!
Try to avoid weekends and Malaysian and Singaporean school holidays to also have this great experience.
Places to stay near Legoland for families
You will all absolutely love this lego-themed hotel.
Located adjacent to the theme park, coming here is like entering a whole lego universe with lego-themed rooms, lego activities and events throughout the day and puzzle activities to unlock secret treasure in your room!
Most rooms are built with families in mind with two separate sleeping areas accommodating families of up to five. They come in one of four themes – pirate, kingdom, ninjago or adventure.
Ipoh is located a couple of hours north of Kuala Lumpur and is a fun and interesting choice for the best place for family vacation in Malaysia.
Ipoh is the capital of the state of Perak and is home to about 650,000 people.
It has a gorgeous downtown area which is fun to wander. There is the Old Town with some majestic government and other buildings and many cute, smaller streets.
The most fun part of exploring Ipoh, however, is definitely finding the street art in the central area. It makes for great family outing in Malaysia as you all try to find the next piece of street art first!
The street art mostly shows images of activities past Ipoh residents may have taken part in during normal daily life. Looking for this art and exploring Ipoh’s laneways is a fun activity.
Sunway Lost World of Tambun
Ipoh is also known for their cave temples and a visit to one or two of these should definitely be on your agenda.
However, the best place for family day in Malaysia is at Sunway Lost World of Tambun.
This theme park on the outskirts of Ipoh must be in the most gorgeous setting of any theme park in the world. It’s surrounded by limestone hills and greenery. It really does feel like you are in a lost world!
Here you can go on rides, visit the water park, learn about tin mining and visit a petting zoo.
We especially enjoyed the afternoon pool party where we could bob around while watching live shows surrounded by the beautiful hills.
Places to stay in Ipoh for families
Lost World Hotel
Located at the Sunway Lost World of Tambun theme park, this hotel is in a beautiful location which makes visiting the park extra easy.
It’s also a great choice if you would like to visit their hot springs and spa in the evening which has special kid areas.
There are a range of room types including family suites and a glamping option at the theme park.
The Cameron Highlands is located about two hours east from Ipoh in the cool highlands in Malaysia making this best place in Malaysia for family holiday perfect for families who would like some cooler weather!
It’s also a gorgeous and fun place to explore with rolling hills and jungles.
The Cameron Highlands is best known for its tea plantations and you will find many here. You must visit at least one! There are also strawberry, bee and butterfly farms.
It’s the perfect place to enjoy some low key attractions together while learning more about how the world works at each of the outdoor attractions.
There’s also good hiking and the chance to learn more about the Orang Asli, Malaysia’s indigenous people.
Places to stay in Cameron Highlands for families
Nova Highlands Resort and Residence
This well located hotel has some of the Cameron Highlands attractions on-site or very close by with bee and strawberry farms and a butterfly park being just a short walk.
There is also a cinema, arcade games and restaurants in the shopping centre below the hotel.
There are many room types. We loved the affordable and spacious three-bedroom apartments.
Penang is our top pick for the best place for kids in Malaysia, although I admit that I am biased after living there.
Penang island is located off the western coast of peninsular Malaysia. It is a short flight from Kuala Lumpur or a four hour drive.
The capital city, George Town, is the second largest city in Malaysia and home to a UNESCO heritage listed town centre.
Beyond exploring and learning about Penang’s past in the town centre, there is much more to do in Penang.
You can enjoy the beaches in Batu Ferringhi, visit the award-winning ESCAPE park where you can zip line, rock climb, climb around in trees, enjoy the water park and much more or get lost in the jungle at Penang National Park.
Penang has some of the best food in the world so this is also where you should encourage the kids to be more adventurous. Visit as many hawker centre night markets as possible and try as much food as possible.
Failing this, the hawker centres do tend to have some western options so everyone should be happy.
Taking a funicular ride up Penang Hill is another fun activity and our kids loved Youth Park where you can swim in free pools surrounded by nature.
If you are looking for some adult time, many resorts in Penang offer kids clubs.
Places to stay in Penang for families
Hard Rock Hotel Penang
This well presented hotel right by Batu Ferringhi beach is home to a fantastic pool and water playground area that you will all love.
There are also kids clubs for all ages from infants to teens.
There are a range of room types with some great features for families. The Roxity Kids Suites come with separate sleeping area for the kids complete with their own minibar, playstation, books and toys!
They also have a courtyard option which gives you a private outdoor play area for your kids.
Langkawi is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in Malaysia and rightfully so.
This is probably the Malaysia you picture when you shut your eyes. Gorgeous beaches, aqua water and breathtaking scenery are in abundance here.
You will also find many attractions that are great for kids including a wildlife park, fruit farm, aquarium and Langkawi Sky Bridge.
There are many water activities including sunset cruises and island hopping and also other natural attractions as well. You can kayak through mangroves or zip line over the jungle before relaxing in hot springs.
Langkawi is well set up for tourists and there are many great resorts where you and your kids will be well taken care of.
This is a very easy best place for family holiday in Malaysia and you are all sure to love it.
Places to stay in Langkawi for families
The Andaman Langkawi
This gorgeous hotel is wedged between the rainforest and its own private (and fantastic) beach.
There are a range of room types including suites with their own private pools right by the beach.
There are a ton of facilities at this resort including a huge pool area with water slide and a coral nursery where the resort is helping to grow and replace coral lost in the Boxing Day Tsunami. Kids can go on special snorkelling tours of it.
There is also one of the better kids clubs we have experienced and a range of restaurants and bars.
Located off the east coast of the northern part of peninsular Malaysia, these islands are just a short boat trip from the mainland.
Best visited from April to October, you will find pristine beaches, clear water and some fantastic snorkelling and diving.
There is some great snorkelling right off the beach in places so this is the perfect time for the kids to learn if they haven’t yet.
There is jungle trekking and kayaking, although not much else to do so this good place for family vacation in Malaysia is for people wanting to be surrounded by nature.
Two islands make up the Perhentians – Besar and Kecil (big and small). Perhentian Besar is best for families.
It’s quieter than backpacker Kecil with a bigger range or resorts which are a better price. It’s easy to move between the two in boat taxis.
Places to stay in Perhentian Islands for families
Perhentian Island Resort
This resort is in the best position on the islands with its own beach (pictured above) that is one of the most beautiful and calm as there are rules about where boats can go.
The bay is home to turtles and it’s a great place to snorkel.
It’s also one of the few resorts with a pool on the islands along with having tennis courts, beach volleyball and more.
Cherating Beach is arguably the best beach area on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia.
There are some gorgeous beaches here as well as some top resorts, but it’s still relatively undeveloped and makes for a good stop when exploring this part of Malaysia.
Attractions and activities are low key, but if you like turtles, you will love the nearby Turtle Island. At this one of the places to visit with family in Malaysia, you will find conservation efforts to save endangered turtles.
Otherwise, Cherating is about the beach and relaxing.
Places to stay in Cherating for families
Club Med Cherating Beach
This resort is one of the best in Malaysia with its own beaches and jungle to explore.
It has a huge range of facilities from one of the best kids clubs anywhere for all ages to a stunning adults-only pool to tennis courts and a trapeze.
This is an all-inclusive-resort with all meals, most alcohol and activities included.
There are nightly shows and themed dinners and there is a lot to love about this resort which caters incredibly well to families.
It’s our kids’ #1 pick of what to do in Malaysia with family.
Don’t forget Borneo when planning places to go in Malaysia with family!
The island of Malaysian Borneo does feel quite different to peninsular Malaysia and there is a lot on offer here too.
Kuching (meaning cat in Malay) is a relaxed, pretty city and the capital of the state of Sarawak. Its picturesque location on the Sarawak River leads to it having one of the nicest places to explore in all of Malaysia with beautiful riverfront walks that have a great atmosphere in the evenings.
Cat lovers will also love the cat statues that are sprinkled across the city and the tacky (in a good way) Cat Museum.
There are other interesting museums and temples in Kuching too but what you are most likely to love are all the day trip opportunities to explore Borneo.
Kuching is a great base from which to explore more of the jungle, culture and wildlife in this region.
Day trips can range from visiting the Sarawak Cultural Village to learn more about the cultural groups that make up Sarawak to visiting a real longhouse in use today to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre where you can see orangutans in the wild to visiting national parks and seeing turtles in the wild.
There is so much to do here!
For families who want some jungle adventures in their places to visit with family in Malaysia, Kuching is perfect.
Places to stay in Kuching for families
This hotel is in a beautiful spot by the Sarawak River in the centre of town. It’s the best location. Make sure you book a room with river views.
There are a range of facilities including pool, gym and many restaurants. The best part is that it may be one of the most affordable Hilton hotels in the world as well!
Another Borneo option for where to bring kids for holiday in Malaysia is Sandakan.
Located on the opposite side of Borneo, in Sabah state, this small city is the gateway to one of the most famous attractions in Borneo, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
The centre is set up to help orphaned orangutans that need to learn how to care for themselves and cope in the wild.
There is an area with baby orangutans and then the older orangutans are in the wild as they learn to become less dependent on the twice daily feedings that occur here.
Visitors can attend the feedings where you are likely to see many orangutans swing in. It’s an amazing experience!
Also in Sandakan is a moving World War II memorial and museum dedicated to the prisoners of war from the Borneo Death Marches.
The city itself is nice enough to use as a base with some lively markets and some good places to eat.
Places to stay in Sandakan for families
The Hotel Sandakan is the best option for families who want a hotel in a central spot in downtown Sandakan.
It is simple but good value with family rooms available and two restaurants.
Planning a Trip To Visit Malaysia
Booking Hotels in Malaysia
- Check out the properties available on booking.com in Malaysia. You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.
Stay with Airbnb
- If you like having a home and living like a local, or have a large family or group, consider Airbnb. They can be a better option than booking several hotel rooms and there are some great properties in the popular areas like Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Flights to Malaysia
- Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights on many airlines including budget choices. Once you find your deal, book directly through the airline with no extra fees.
Getting Around Malaysia
- Rental Cars.om is the world’s biggest car rental booking service that compares all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo and Europcar.
- If you would prefer not to drive, you can use the great bus system available in Malaysia. You can book tickets online through BusOnlineTicket.com.
Tours and Attractions in Malaysia
- Our partner, the Get Your Guide tour company offers many Malaysia tours and discounted ticket prices. They have lowest prices, guaranteed — no booking fees or hidden charges. You can pre-book tickets and skip the line at top attractions and cancel up to 24 hours before.
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