A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kuala Lumpur vs. Hong Kong for Attractions, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a friendly, diverse, and colorful city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a dense, cosmopolitan, and glamorous city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Petronas Twin Towers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Hong Kong than Kuala Lumpur. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Hong Kong is very popular for its beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Kuala Lumpur attracts visitors for its museums. Kuala Lumpur is famous for its blend of cultures and cuisines, its mix of modern and colonial, and its bustling neighborhoods with markets and restaurants. Hong Kong is famous for its modern skyscrapers, colorful waterfront, lush parks, and amazing dim sum. It is also well known for Victoria Peak.

How is Kuala Lumpur different from Hong Kong?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Kuala Lumpur is an unbeatable place for its museums and history. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

The museums and tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur are world-renowned. The most notable landmark in the city is the famed Petronas Twin Towers, but other popular sights include Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur Tower, and the National Museum.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Hong Kong. The city's skyline is one of the most famous "landmarks", but you'll also want to visit Victoria Peak, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, Wong Tai Sin Temple, and Avenue of Stars.


Is the Food Better in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Foodies will find both Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong both to be world-class destinations.

Eat your way through Kuala Lumpur, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The food is influenced by the populations that live here and you'll find a lot of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavors. Spicy curries and noodle dishes are very common. Street food is also a mainstay in this city and it's an experience to wander the market streets and sample dishes from the different vendors.

For foodies, Hong Kong is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city's population is famous for its frequency of dining out, and the prolific diversity of restaurants is obvious from the moment you arrive. There are street food stalls and night markets, as well as luxury award winning restaurants. The city holds tight to its culinary traditions, but fusion restaurants are creeping in as well. Some of the most famous Hong Kong foods include dim sum, sweet and sour pork, and roast goose.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Better for Nightlife?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

The great nightlife scene is relatively similar in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

Kuala Lumpur has a large number of nightlife venues. Rooftop bars and lounges are popular hangout spots after the sun sets. For classy pubs and clubs head to the Golden Triangle district, but if drinking and partying isn't your thing, the city's night markets are not to be missed.

Hong Kong is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The city lights up after the sun sets. You'll find a diverse range of activities in the evening with everything from night markets to concerts and parties. There's a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary activities, particularly around Lan Kwai Fong. Many of the most popular venues are found around Central and, like everything else in Hong Kong, the venues are full of energy.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Better for Beaches?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a very popular place for its beaches. However, Kuala Lumpur is not a beach destination.

Many people visit Hong Kong for it's beautiful beaches. You actually don't have to travel far from the city center to find a relatively quiet, sandy beach. The different beaches on Hong Kong Island are relatively close to each other, and each has its own atmosphere. If you need a break from the heat and the crowds, then a beach day is a fun option. Hong Kong's natural coastline give way to popular beaches including Repulse Bay Beach and Shek O Beach. Each offers a number of amenities and dining options.

Kuala Lumpur is not a beach destination.


Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Better for Hiking?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Kuala Lumpur is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Hong Kong. The city is surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful viewpoints, making it easy to enjoy a day in nature. The hikes will offer impressive views and dramatic rock formations. Popular hikes in the area include The Peak, Dragon's Back, and the Violet Hill and Twin Peak hike.

Kuala Lumpur is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Shoppers can find a variety of world-class stores in both Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Kuala Lumpur. The city is filled with shopping malls, and a big appeal of shopping in this city is the very affordable prices. Some of the most popular shopping malls are Suria KLCC at the base of the Petronas Towers as well as the malls in the Bukit Bintang/Jalan Imbi areas.

The abundance of shops in Hong Kong make it a world-class shopping destination. There is a high concentration of shopping malls in the city, and you'll likely find yourself cutting through malls to access different parts of town. The city is arguably one of the best shopping cities in the world. Popular items to purchase in the city include designer clothes, handbags, electronics, jewelry, watches, and tailor-made suits.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Better for Families?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Kuala Lumpur is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Hong Kong is very family-friendly. In addition to its many fascinating cultural experiences like visiting the markets and historical landmarks, this city also has a diversity of kid-friendly entertainment options. The most obvious is Disneyland, but there are also other amusement parks and aquariums like Ocean Park. Make sure you check out the Symphony of Lights in the evening and head to The Peak Tower during the day.

Kuala Lumpur is a very kid-friendly city. This family-friendly city includes a surprising number of opportunities to experience wildlife. There's an aquarium, petting zoos, and places to see the wild monkeys. There are also large playgrounds including one by the Petronas Towers. Kids will also enjoy exploring the Botanical Gardens, Butterfly Park, and the Forest Eco Park.


Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Better for Couples?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for romance. Also, Kuala Lumpur is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Hong Kong is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. This city is filled with luxury hotels, beautiful parks, and impressive restaurants. For a romantic evening, check out the Symphony of Lights over Victoria Harbour after the sun sets.

Couples visit Kuala Lumpur frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. This city has diverse restaurants and a number of luxury hotels at affordable prices. For couples who enjoy romance on a budget, this is a good city.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Kuala Lumpur is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Hong Kong is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Kuala Lumpur. This is a popular stop for backpackers on the Southeast Asia circuit. It's modern and comfortable but also affordable and diverse. The city has a number of affordable hostels, but it also has a more laid back and authentic vibe than you'll find in many other Southeast Asian cities. The city also isn't as touristy as some other cities, so the people are down to Earth and helpful without being jaded by all of the vacationers.

Hong Kong is a good city to visit for backpackers. The city is more expensive than many places, but cheap eateries and free activities are abundant. Many backpackers stay in the Tsim Sha Shui area of Kowloon. This is where you'll find the frequently talked about Chungking Mansions. Times are changing though, and you'll find more hostels on Hong Kong Island these days as well.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Better for Students?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Kuala Lumpur is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. However, Hong Kong is not popular with students.

Kuala Lumpur is a great destination for students. It's affordability, diversity, and dynamic atmosphere make this a great city for international students.

Hong Kong is not popular with students.


Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Visitors will find world-class public transit in both Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

With a huge network, the transit system in Kuala Lumpur can get you around easily. The system is relatively easy to navigate with most signs in English. There are buses, a monorail, light rail transit and commuter trains.

Visitors in Hong Kong can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. Land transportation includes the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, minibuses, and tramways. There are also ferries that connect the different parts of the city.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong a more walkable city?

Kuala Lumpur
Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a world-class destination for its walkability. Also, Kuala Lumpur is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Hong Kong. The city has many parks and walking paths that connect different areas.

Kuala Lumpur is a very walkable city. Traffic can be congested, but there are many wide sidewalks and pedestrian areas around town. The River of Life waterfront area offers nice paths that connect many tourist areas.

For even more information, also check out Is Kuala Lumpur Worth Visiting? and Is Hong Kong Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur?

How long in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

Both Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Hong Kong than in Kuala Lumpur. Usually, 1-5 days is a good amount of time for Kuala Lumpur, and 3-7 days is enough time in Hong Kong.

Families should spend more time in Hong Kong than Kuala Lumpur. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Hong Kong, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Hong Kong than Kuala Lumpur. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Hong Kong that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Kuala Lumpur than Hong Kong if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Kuala Lumpur.


  • How many days in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kuala Lumpur 1-5 
    Hong Kong 3-7

One day in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

People visit Kuala Lumpur because there is so much to do. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kuala Lumpur has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Hong Kong, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this glamorous city offers. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.


A weekend in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

People visit Kuala Lumpur because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Hong Kong is a fun place to experience. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Five days in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

People visit Kuala Lumpur because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

In Hong Kong, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this cosmopolitan big city offers. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

A week in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

Kuala Lumpur is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Hong Kong is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to Malaysia, and The Best G Adventures Tours to Malaysia.


Which place is cheaper, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kuala Lumpur is $63, while the average daily cost in Hong Kong is $160. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kuala Lumpur $36
    Hong Kong $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $72
    Hong Kong $150
Compare Hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong

Looking for a hotel in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Kuala Lumpur


Hotels in Hong Kong


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Kuala Lumpur Hotel Prices and Hong Kong Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $6.49
    Hong Kong $8.73
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.18
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.68
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.18
  • Taxi From Airport
    $19
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.70
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

Also for Kuala Lumpur, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • ~Chauffeur: Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan Transfer [MPV]: $257
  • ~Chauffeur: KLIA Airport to Kuala Lumpur City Centre Transfer : $137
  • VIP Transfer by Mercedes Benz : Airport to Kuala Lumpur Hotel: $75
  • VIP Arrival Transfer : Kuala Lumpur Airport: $196
  • VIP Airport Transfer - Departure: $183
  • Transfer To Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort : $30
  • Sunway Lagoon: Ticket with Transfer from Kuala Lumpur: $88
  • Sunway Lagoon: Admission Ticket & 2-Way Transfer: $72
  • Sunway Lagoon Theme Park with Round-Trip Transfer: $84
  • Sunway Lagoon Theme Park Ticket and 1 WAY Transfer (SIC – shared transfer): $55
  • Sunway Lagoon Theme Park 2-Way Transfer: $20
  • Sunway Lagoon One-Day Admission (With & Without Transfer): $77

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Hong Kong

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Hong Kong:


  • MTR (for 2)
    $2.82
  • Local Bus
    $2.82
  • Ferry Ticket
    $0.26
  • Hong Kong Airport Express Train Ticket
    $15

Is it cheaper to fly into Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

Prices for flights to both Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $15
    Hong Kong $33
Typical Food Prices in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner at Ding Tai Fung
    $8.49
  • Roti Bread
    $0.21
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.06
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $4.56

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • ARAS Restaurant at KL Tower Buffet Dinner: $29
  • Nightlife Street Food Tour with 6 Tastings: $43
  • Malaysian Culture and Street Food Tour : $44
  • Sambal Streets Kuala Lumpur Food Tour with 15+ Tastings: $49
  • Street Food Tour with 15+ Tastings: $50
  • From Kuala Selangor Fireflies Tour with Dinner: $54
  • Cultural Night Tour with Dinner: $55
  • Best Local Food Tour by Night at Kuala Lumpur : $55
  • Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $59
  • Malaysia Cooking Classes: $60
  • Kuala Lumpur by Night and Malaysian Food Tour: $62
  • Petaling Street Heritage Food Tour: $63

Typical Food Prices in Hong Kong

For Hong Kong, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner for 2
    $12

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $14
    Hong Kong $95
Typical Entertainment Prices in Kuala Lumpur

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Kuala Lumpur's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • KL Tower Admission (for Two)
    $9.55
  • Canopy Walk at FRIM Forest Reserve
    $1.06

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Batu Caves And Countryside Tour: $24
  • Full Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour with Petronas Twin Tower Tickets: $95
  • Half-day Kuala Lumpur City Tour: $19
  • Historic And Heritage Melaka Tour: $55
  • History, Heritage & Culture Of Malaysia Tour: $62
  • Ipoh "The Land Of Grace" + Orang Utan Island +Lunch(Guided Tour): $243
  • KL Tour with Petronas Twin Towers Observation Deck & Batu Cave: $145
  • Kuala Lumpur (Genting Highlands 7.5 hours Private Tour): $70
  • Kuala Lumpur Full Day City & Shopping Tour with Lunch (PRIVATE TOUR): $77
  • Kuala Lumpur Morning Food Experience Tour: $88
  • Shah Alam Islamic Arts and Culture Tours : $31
  • *10 Hrs Kuala Lumpur Flexible Van Tour w' Tour Guide: $91

Typical Entertainment Prices in Hong Kong

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Hong Kong's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Peak Tram
    $7.68
  • Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
    $24

Tours and Activities in Hong Kong

For Hong Kong, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Ma On Shan Climbing Adventure: $115
  • Plover Cove Bicycling and Hiking Adventure: $110

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $6.29
    Hong Kong $21
Typical Alcohol Prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $9.55


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, we can see that Hong Kong is more expensive. And not only is Kuala Lumpur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Kuala Lumpur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kuala Lumpur and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Hong Kong would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Hong Kong than you might in Kuala Lumpur.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Kuala Lumpur Expensive? and Is Hong Kong Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Kuala Lumpur. When comparing the sizes of Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.