A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kuala Lumpur vs. New York City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kuala Lumpur or New York City?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Kuala Lumpur and New York City. 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. So, let's dig into it.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, often referred to as KL, is the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia. It is also the largest city in the country, having grown out of a small Chinese mining village. Today Kuala Lumpur is a microcosm of the country of Malaysia. The population is split between the Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures which you can see reflected in the city's neighborhoods, cuisine, and entertainment. It's also an incredibly affordable city, even if you're looking for the comforts of a five star hotel or a luxury restaurant. Prices are almost always a fraction of what you would pay in Europe or the United States.

New York City

The most populated city in the United States, New York City, sits at the mouth of the Hudson River and encompasses both the island of Manhattan as well as the surrounding land on Long Island, most of which is known as Brooklyn. It's a cultural, culinary, theatrical, and art center that has much to offer domestic and international travelers alike. The city covers an area of 305 square miles and has a population of about 8.2 million people in the city proper with 18.7 million in the metropolitan area.

Which city is cheaper, New York City or Kuala Lumpur?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kuala Lumpur is $53, while the average daily cost in New York City is $238. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Kuala Lumpur and New York City in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Kuala Lumpur, $64 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Kuala Lumpur, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $32, such as in a hostel.

For a normal double-occupancy room in New York City, $274 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in New York City, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $137, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kuala Lumpur $32
    New York City $137
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $64
    New York City $274

Food

The average traveler spends about $11 per day in Kuala Lumpur for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

New York City food costs typically run travelers around $37 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $11
    New York City $37
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
    $9.67
  • Roti Bread
    $0.24
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.48
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $5.20

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:

  • Bachelor's Pizza Co. at EPiC Food Hall: $1.75
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • US PIZZA in Malaysia: $3.70
  • Pizza Mansion in Klang Valley: $19
  • Amazing Local Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $29
  • Cooking Class With Garden Tours in Penang: $38
  • Discover the Best Local Food Tour by Night in Kuala Lumpur: $39
  • Local Evening Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $40
  • Malaysian Ramadhan Buffet Dinner Cultural Show - nearby KLCC: $40
  • Bayu Balau Beach Resort 2D1N Stay at Standard Room with Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: $41
  • Kota Kinabalu City Night Tour with Seafood Dinner: $43

Typical Food prices in New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

For New York City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Greenwich Village History, Culture, and Food Tour with Local Expert: $129
  • JAPANESE guided tour! Bateaux Dinner Cruise tour with hotel transportation. The best way to enjoy the Manhattan night view from the river & sea. Full course French dinner, live band music included.: $333
  • Limo trip Hotel to Dinner round trip in NEW MKT Limousine: $481

Local Transportation

To get around in Kuala Lumpur, the average visitor spends $5.50 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

To get around in New York City, the average visitor spends $39 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $5.50
    New York City $39
Typical Local Transportation prices in Kuala Lumpur

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.63
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.77
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.63
  • Taxi From Airport
    $22
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.93
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.90

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • i-City Shah Alam Theme Park Adventure with Return Transfer: $60
  • [Exclusive Sale] Private Langkawi International Airport Transfers (LGK) for Langkawi: $12
  • [6% Flash Sales] Private City Transfers for Ipoh and Surrounding Cities: $134
  • [23% Flash Sales] Private Transfers between Desaru and Kuala Lumpur : $194
  • VIP Departure Transfer : Kuala Lumpur Airport: $196
  • Upside Down House Gallery and Busquarium Tickets with Transfers in Langkawi: $11
  • Tanjung Rhu Mangrove Tour with Lunch and Transfers in Langkawi: $24
  • Sunway Lagoon Theme Park Ticket With Return Transfer: $144
  • Sunway Lagoon One-Day Admission Tickets Including Transfer: $91
  • Sunway Lagoon Admission Ticket with Return Transfer from Kuala Lumpur: $68
  • Sunset Mangrove Cruise Experience with Transfers and Meal in Langkawi: $35
  • Sungai Lebam River Cruise Tour with Transfer within Desaru: $36

Typical Local Transportation prices in New York City

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New York City are as follows:


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

Also for New York City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Very affordable Car and Luxury Airports Transfer located in New York City: $140
  • Transfer Aeroporto-Hotel NYC até 4 pessoas: $160
  • Shared Transfer from Hotel to JFK Airport: $137
  • Round Trip John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) Transfer to New York City Center: $147
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in New York (hotel OR airport pick-up): $142
  • Private Transfer from New York City to LaGuardia Airport: $85
  • Private Transfer from Manhattan to John F Kennedy Airport JFK by Luxury Car: $111
  • Private Sedan New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $115
  • Private SUV New York City Airport Departure Transfer: $190
  • Private New York airport transfer: New York airport to Manhattan and Brooklyn: $83
  • Private New York City Transfer: New York City Hotel to LGA Airport: $128
  • Private New York City Transfer: New York City Hotel to JFK Airport: $144

Is it cheaper to fly into Kuala Lumpur or New York City?

Prices for flights to both New York City 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.





Entertainment

In Kuala Lumpur, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $12 per person, per day.

In New York City, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $77 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $12
    New York City $77
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)
    $11
  • Canopy Walk at FRIM Forest Reserve
    $1.21

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

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

  • Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast Ticket in Johor: $12
  • Binsuluk River Cruise Tour: $40
  • Dinawan Island Experience from Kota Kinabalu: $46
  • Heritage Staycation at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion with Breakfast & Guided House Tour: $100
  • Historical Klang & Orchard City of Selangor Walking Tour: $64
  • Ice Skating Experience with Blue Ice Skating Rink in Johor: $4.85
  • Langkawi Private Guided Mangrove River Cruise Tour: $116
  • Little India & Mah Meri Cultural Village Tour: $126
  • Private Island Adventure at Paradise 101 in Langkawi: $49
  • Putrajaya Islamic Walking Tour from Kuala Lumpur: $64
  • Sepanggar Island Diving Experience: $67
  • The Sheep Sanctuary Admission Ticket at Cameron Highland: $1.95

Typical Entertainment prices in New York City

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New York City's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

For New York City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 24-Hour NYC Downtown Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Statue of Liberty Cruise: $35
  • 4-Day Tour of America from New York City: $713
  • 9/11 Memorial & Ground Zero Tour with Optional Skip-the-Line 9/11 Museum Ticket: $35
  • 9/11 Memorial Museum Admission Ticket: $28
  • 9/11 Tribute Museum Admission Ticket: $12
  • American Museum of Natural History Admission Ticket: $23
  • American Museum of Natural History Tickets: $23
  • Amish Country Private Tour from New York plus Outlet Shopping: $999
  • Art Studio Tour of New York City: $140
  • Attraction entrance tickets: $200
  • Best NYC VIP Luxury Photography Sightseeing Leisure Tour ( Up to 4 People ): $5,500
  • Best of NYC Private Half-Day Lower Manhattan Limousine Tour: $775

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Kuala Lumpur spend on average $5.73 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting New York City spend on average $23 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $5.73
    New York City $23
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
    $11


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kuala Lumpur and New York City, we can see that New York City is more expensive. And not only is Kuala Lumpur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Kuala Lumpur is in Asia and New York City is in North America, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. 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 New York City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in New York City than you might in Kuala Lumpur.

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Kuala Lumpur vs. New York City Travel Comparison

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