Living As A Kuala Lumpur Expat in 2020

Internationally renowned as the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is a popular travel destination in the world. With towering skyscrapers, gleaming city life, vibrant nightlife, and enticing attractions, Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit place while traveling in Malaysia. Not just for tourists, the city also reckoned to be one of the top cities for nomads and expats. From delectable food to exciting entertainment and amazing accommodations, the city has everything to make you feel home-away-home in Kuala Lumpur. Here, I have meticulously crafted a guide, which includes all the information from moving in the city to living there to working, for a Kuala Lumpur expat. So, here we go!

Table of Contents

  • 1 Moving to Kuala Lumpur
  • 2 Living in Kuala Lumpur
  • 3 Working in Kuala Lumpur
  • 4 Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur
  • 5 Accommodation for Kuala Lumpur expat
  • 6 Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Moving to Kuala Lumpur

 Malaysia is a dream destination for many people and Kuala Lumpur has a perfect blend of the whole countries culture and food but the city has its own lifestyle that cannot be relished until you visit. The imposing Petronas Towers and the gleaming shopping centers altogether makes your stay in the Malaysian capital delightful. Moving to Kuala Lumpur means getting settled in the heart of the nation. The city is home to the official residence of the Malaysian King, as well as, it also houses Parliament of Malaysia. 

Kuala Lumpur Expat

Living in Kuala Lumpur

Life in Kuala Lumpur is quite exciting with vibrant culture, delectable food, and friendly people. Apart from the local residents, you will find a huge influx of foreign residents as well. In recent times, employment opportunities have tremendously increased in Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley for low-skilled labors. Hence, people from different countries like Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and people from all over the country come here in search of employment opportunities. For communication, English remains an important language in the business space as well as in the education sector. 

Kuala Lumpur Expat

Despite being a culturally blessed and well-developed city in Malaysia, there are a few things that one should be aware of while living in Kuala Lumpur. Snatch theft, motor vehicle theft, pickpocketing, and scams are the most common crimes in the city. Besides, you should keep this into consideration that Malaysia is a socially conservative country, so make sure you do not hurt anyone’s sentiments. The country not only has a strict anti-drug policy but it’s constitution also discriminates against the LGBT community. 

** If you have some spare time or would like to do some trips to the islands and backpack Malaysia, it’s a very affordable and diverse country for a weekend getaway.**

Working in Kuala Lumpur

The city of Kuala Lumpur holds a lot of work opportunities for people from abroad. The city is an important center for international business. However, if you wish to start your own business in Kuala Lumpur or anywhere in Malaysia, you need to have a work permit. Most of the expats in Kuala Lumpur are employed in the service sector. In addition, the highly-developed infrastructure of the city allows one to work comfortably and pleasantly. The tertiary is the main and biggest economic sector in Kuala Lumpur. It employs 83% of the total workforce in the city. 

Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur

The low cost of living and high quality of life in Malaysia makes foreign nationals to relocate here. If you are choosing to relocating in Kuala Lumpur or anywhere else in Malaysia, we have curated an estimated cost of living in Kuala Lumpur

1 Bedroom Flat in the Downtown (Monthly Rent) Lunch For 2 at a Mid-range Restaurant Transportation (Monthly Pass)
2390 MYR 70 MYR 125 MYR

Apart from this, the cost of basic amenities like cold medicine for 6 days is MYR 21, hair shampoo is MYR 16, toothpaste is MYR 7, movie tickets for 2 at MYR 38, and 1 month of gym subscription cost MYR 179. 

** Life in Kuala Lumpur can be affordable especially if you find out what you can do for $10 and under.**

Accommodation for Kuala Lumpur expat

Finding the best suitable accommodation in Malaysia is neither a difficult task nor a complicated one. The city has plenty of hotel options to choose from that fit under the budget range of every traveler and expat. For the luxury admirers, The Majestic Hotel, Grand Hyatt, The Westin, Grand Millennium, Mandarin Oriental, and The Ritz-Calton are some top recommendations of luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Expat

Those who wish to enjoy a cozy and comfortable stay can opt for the 3-star properties. Travelodge City Centre, Sunway Velocity Hotel, Holiday Inn Express, Parkview Suite, Inn B Park Hotel are some popular deluxe hotels in Kuala Lumpur.


The city leaves no room of disappointment for even budget travelers. There are plenty of budget properties in Kuala Lumpur like Illuminate Hostel, BackHome, Magnus Guesthouse, and Tree Tops Homestay. For expats, the best options to have a stay in Kuala Lumpur are homestays and apartments. Sinar Rasa Homestay, My Homestay, and Vista Alam Budget Apartment are some popular choices of accommodation in the city amongst expats. 

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Whenever it’s about shopping in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur always reckoned to be the top consideration. Pioneering the tourism scene of the city, shopping is one of the not-to-miss things while vacationing in Kuala Lumpur. The city is home to some internationally known malls like Pavillion KL Suria KLCC. From Louis Vuitton to H&M, these malls house the top brands’ stores. Not just this, if you are looking for some tech-related products, then Low Yat Plaza is in Kuala Lumpur. Street markets in Kuala Lumpur are equally compelling. From in-fashion clothes to handicrafts to delectable food, here you get a taste of almost everything. 

Kuala Lumpur Expat

Hope you have liked this Kuala Lumpur expat guide. If so, do let us know in the comment section below. Also, let us know if you feel we’ve missed out some important information. Your each and every feedback and suggestions are valuable to us! 

Besides, you can also check out our recommended travel essentials that you can also use while traveling to Malaysia. We have a bunch of amazing travel blogs lined up for you. So, keep following Divert Living to keep yourself updated with our intriguing write-ups.

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Kuala Lumpur Expat

Kuala Lumpur Expat




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