3 Easy & Cheap Way Getting from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre
1. Kuala Lumpur Airport Terminals
• Airport Shuttle Bus Service
2. 3 Ways to Go from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre
① By KL Airport Train
» KLIA Express Train
» KLIA Transit Train
② By KL Bus from KLIA to KL Sentral
» Express Coach
» Star Shuttle Express
③ By KL Airport Taxi
» KLIA Taxi
» klia2 Taxi
3. Other Cities from KL Airport by Bus
The cheapest way from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre is by bus, which will take 1 hour to reach KL Sentral and 1.5 hours to reach Puduraya, the Chinatown area. The fastest KL Airport transfer is taking a KLIA Express Train to reach KL Sentral Station in 30 minutes.
KL Sentral is the heart of the MRT Station in Kuala Lumpur where all the train lines connect. MRT stands for ‘Mass Rapid Transit’ and also known as subway or metro to others. The distance from KLIA to KL Sentral (city) is 57 km by car. Hence, the Airport Express Train is a preferred option for most people to overcome the traffic jam and to arrive at a shorter time to downtown.
That is even more critical when you need to catch a plane and be on time at KLIA. However, a one-way ticket express train ticket is more costly (RM55 / €11.50 / US$13.20) than a bus ticket (RM12 / €2.50 / US$3). Taking a cab is generally the most expensive of all for one traveller but yet, the most cost-effective for a family of four.
*The exchange rate is correct at the time of writing.
Singapore to Kuala Lumpur TIPS: If you are considering to go to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore by budget airlines or a travel coach, here are some tips on crossing the border between the two countries. Also, be prepared for nasty surprises when you take a bus from Singapore to KL although it will be cheaper than a low-cost airline.
There are two airport terminals in Kuala Lumpur International Airport – KLIA and klia2. Terminal M is the main terminal at KLIA (aka KLIA1). It serves most of the international airlines. klia2 terminal (fka LCCT) started its operation in 2014 to service low-cost airlines such as AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Scoot, Cebu Pacific Air. Thus, it will be easy to know which terminal you land without looking at your booking slip.
TIP: Do you know that you can order your Malaysia Prepaid SIM Card online and collect it at Kuala Lumpur Airport (KLIA) for as low as 4.50 Euro/USD?
Free airport shuttle bus service is available for passengers with inter-connecting flights between KLIA and klia2. The distance is about 1.8 km. The waiting time is every 10 minutes and is available 24/7.
Here are three ways to go downtown easily, stopping commonly at KL Sentral Station which is the principal connecting line of the metro. The train is the most convenient method whereas taking a bus is the cheapest way to go from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the City Centre.
Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) operates both the KLIA Ekspres and the KLIA Transit train services. Travellers can take these trains from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre, getting off at KL Sentral. The trains are said to be the fastest in Southeast Asia equipped with 4G WiFi.
You can purchase the KLIA Ekspres ticket at the KLIA Ekspres Ticket Counter, self-service kiosks at KLIA, KLIA2 and KL Sentral Station, online or via the KLIA Ekspres mobile app which you can download from their website. (The phone app does not include tickets from the KLIA Transit.)
The KLIA Ekspres train service is a non-stop airport transfer that took 28 minutes to reach KL Sentral from the KLIA terminal and 33 minutes from klia2 to KL Sentral.
I have converted the Malaysian Ringgits to Euro and US Dollars to make it more convenient for international travellers to know the conversion rate at one glance without reaching for their calculator.
|KLIA to KL Sentral||28 mins||RM55.00||RM25.00|
|klia2 to KL Sentral||33 mins||RM55.00||RM25.00|
|KLIA to klia2||3 mins||RM2.00||RM1.00|
The validity of a single trip ticket and round-trip tickets is 1 month. They have to be used within 30 days from your selected travel date.
|Departure Time||klia2||KLIA||KL Sentral|
|Departure Time||KL Sentral||KLIA||klia2|
For a more precise train timing from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City and vice versa, you can refer to the KLIA Express Schedule.
The KLIA Transit has the same ticket price as the KLIA Ekspres from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre. Check the rates above.
The total distance from klia2 to KL Sentral is 59 km which takes 39 minutes of travelling time. There are 3 more stops in between klia2/KLIA to KL Sentral that lengthen the overall journey. Hence, it is advisable to get tickets only from KLIA Ekspres to speed up the travelling time.
klia2 ⇔ KLIA⇔ Salak Tinggi ⇔ Putrajaya Cyberjaya ⇔ Bandar Tasik Selatan ⇔ KL Sentral
Here are two useful links for you to look at some photos of the ERL platform of the 2 terminals where you buy tickets and board the train. You will have a much better picture of the ERL train station.
The KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit share the same train station which their platform runs parallel to each other. They have a distinct colour contrast which cannot be missed even for the most tired pair of eyes.
Firstly, purchase the ticket at the ticketing booth on Level 2 at Gateway@klia2 mall, then go down to Level 1 to board the train.
i) KLIA Ekspres provides a non-stop journey from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre. The journey time is only 28 minutes. There will be additional stops for KLIA Transit before arrival at KL Sentral.
ii) KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit tickets are not interchangeable, as the train services use different ticketing systems.
iii) If you purchase a wrong ticket for selecting the wrong location or direction, you can still use the KLIA Ekspress ticket regardless as the price is the same. On the contrary, you cannot perform the same function for KLIA Transit ticket.
If you decide to take a bus from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City and want to cope with a presumable traffic jam, the good news is that you get to see more of KL centre which you will miss if you choose to take a train.
There are bus ticket counters in KLIA and klia2 terminals to go to Kuala Lumpur and other cities in Malaysia. It is important to note the departure airport terminal of the bus ticketing company that you want to buy as not all will operate at both locations to the same destination.
Bus ticket counters can be found at Level 1 bus bay of both terminals. At klia2, the location is at Transportation Hub of gateway@klia2 mall. Three bus companies go from Kuala Lumpur Airport to KL Sentral and the last one to Puduraya in Chinatown vicinity.
Express Coach leaves only from the KLIA terminal. Their two-way trip ticket fare is RM18.00 for adults and RM10.00 for children. A single fare ticket would cost adults RM10.00 and children RM6.00. The travel time from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre by bus is approximately 1 hour. The operation time is 24 hours and runs at a 30-minute interval from:
You can also buy the bus tickets from their counter at KLIA, Level G, Block C STCP (Annexed to Main Terminal Building – MTB) at the bus station area. From KL Sentral Bus Station, you can purchase tickets at the Ground Floor, Express Coach Counter A (between Aerobus Counter and Police booth).
|Time||KLIA (D)||KL Sentral (A)|
|Time||KL Sentral (D)||KLIA (A)|
Aerobus departs only from the klia2 terminal from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre. The one-way ticket from klia2 to KL Sentral is RM12.00 for adults and RM5.00 for children below 12 years old. However, the single trip ticket for children is RM6.00 from KL Sentral to klia2.
According to the table below reflecting Aerobus Schedules on their website, their buses run for 24 hours. When I make random checks on their booking site from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City, certain hours were not in operation between 03:00 – 07:59. You can see the actual bus timing when performing a search.
|Time||klia2 (D)||KL Sentral (A)|
|Time||KL Sentral (D)||klia2 (A)|
SkyBus operates daily from the klia2 terminal. Buses run at 15-minute intervals during peak hours and depart every 30 minutes at the off-peak timing at KL Sentral. The advantage is that you can ride on any bus on your selected date by looking at SkyBus Schedule. Free seating. Children below the age of 3 can travel for free.
From the international arrival hall of klia2, walk straight for about 3 minutes until you see an escalator. Once down on your left, you will see the SkyBus terminal. You can also purchase the Skybus tickets inside both International and Domestic Arrival Halls. Additionally, there is also a Skybus counter just in front of the Bus Terminal on Level 1.
|Time||klia2 (D)||KL Sentral (A)|
|Time||KL Sentral (D)||klia2 (A)|
Star Shuttle Express departs from both KLIA and klia2. Their online booking bus tickets range from RM10, RM12 to RM18 for adults and children after a random check to several destinations. You may not be able to see the departure schedule online if the selected date is too far away. You can check the location of Star Shuttle ticketing counters at both terminals.
One of the destinations in Kuala Lumpur departing from both airport terminals is Puduraya Bus Terminal (Pudu Sentral) which is 400 metres away and a 6-minute walk from Chinatown in Petaling Street Market. You skip the hassle of taking additional transport from KL Sentral if you are staying around the Chinatown area. Other drop-off points are KL Sentral, Classic Inn Hotel at Bukit Bintang and an unnamed hotel in KLCC.
Taking a taxi from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre is the most expensive option of all but is still considered cheap if you are coming from Europe and America as the cab fares there are even more costly. Quite a practical choice to take you directly to the hotel especially when there are small children around or when your flight lands late at night.
Here in KL Airport, the ride to downtown would take at least 45 minutes and approximately RM75 (€15.60 / US$18) for a small Budget Taxi and over RM100 (€20.80 / US$24) for an executive model. If you have a minimum of 2 people sharing a cab, the taxi fare might even be lower as compared to the total cost of all individuals taking a train (RM55/pax ≈ €11.50 / US$13.20).
When you return to Kuala Lumpur Airport from the city centre, do not expect to get the same metered rate as most taxi drivers will quote you an inflated price instead of running the fare on a meter. Count yourself lucky if you get one who is willing to turn on the meter. Some unscrupulous taxi drivers may also detour from the original route to make the distance longer when going by the meter.
They can earn more cab fares from innocent tourists knowing that they are unfamiliar with the roads. Either encounter that you chance upon should not deter your sparkling holiday mood as such shady culture has been going on for decades in KL that it becomes a norm. Furthermore, it is also a matter of luck if you would meet unethical taxi drivers like them. Alternatively, you can also get an inexpensive airport transfer by car or van that is equivalent to the price of taking a taxi (less than €30).
In KLIA, there are 4 types of taxis or limos to choose from – Budget Taxi, Premier Limo, Super Luxury and Family Service according to the car model for accommodating passenger capacity from 3 to 8. The taxi can be found in:
|Purchase coupon before boarding the taxi||RM2.00||€0.40||$0.50|
|First 1 km or first 3 minutes||RM3.00||€0.60||$0.70|
|Each consequent 115 metres or consequent 21 seconds||RM0.10||€0.02||$0.02|
|50% surcharge from 00:00 – 06:00|
|First 1 km or first 2 minutes||RM6.00||€1.25||$1.45|
|Each consequent 150 metres or consequent 45 seconds||RM0.20||€0.04||$0.05|
|50% surcharge from 00:00 – 06:00|
For klia2, There are 3 types of taxi available in Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre for 24 hours similar to the those discussed above. Coupon Taxi, Metered Taxi and Premier Taxi at the Transportation Hub located at Level 1 of the Gateway@klia2 building.
Get a coupon from the counter after informing them of your destination. After making the payment, go to Door 4 to queue and wait for a red Budget Taxi. Pass the coupon to the taxi driver to proceed with the journey to your destination.
Go to the metered taxi counter and get a coupon for RM2.00. Queue up for the Metered Taxi at Door 4. The taxi meter will start running after you hand it to the driver. You will pay the fare displayed at the meter plus other additional costs like toll charges if any.
The colour of the Premier Taxi is blue. They are more pricey and spacious than the Budget Taxis. Beware that you have to pay double the price for a more comfortable ride than the smaller ones. They are readily available at all time.
Other than restricting yourself to stay only in Kuala Lumpur, below are some ideas to hop on a bus to get to other cities in Malaysia. It can also be a good travel plan to discover other stunning parts of Malaysia without burning a hole in your pocket. You can go to Penang, Johor Bahru, Port Klang and Genting Highlands from Kuala Lumpur. Genting is the nearest to KL and takes approximately 1hr 10 mins to reach.
After giving you three choices above, you have to decide ‘time versus cost’, which is the most appropriate mode of transport for you from Kuala Lumpur Airport to City Centre. Next, follow me to take a look at our 4-star hotel room at Impiana KLCC Hotel and how my Belgian friend working in Singapore and I spent 2 days in Kuala Lumpur with 4 MRT Stations.
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