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Cinema

Best free activities in KL

There are still fun things to do in the city if you’re running low on cash

Written by
Grace Yap
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It's a familiar issue – the end of the month comes, the next paycheck hasn't come in, and planning a day out becomes tough. So, here are some fun things to do, no money necessary.

Appreciate art in cool galleries
Photo: Junyu Teoh

Appreciate art in cool galleries

Immerse yourself in art at the various art galleries we have scattered about the city. ILHAM Gallery, Petronas Art Gallery and Balai Seni Negara offers free admission. These galleries act as platforms for and support the development of local talents, while maintaining a regular roster of exhibitions by both local and international artists. Keep an eye on their social media pages for updates on exhibitions and art programmes and workshops.

Volunteer at community gardens

Volunteer at community gardens

Now here’s a fun way to spend a few hours outdoors and do good at the same time. Community gardens like Free Tree Society, TTDI Edible Community Garden and Kebun-Kebun Bangsar are always on the lookout for committed volunteers who will help maintain and care for the gardens; sessions often have a fun and lively community vibe. These gardens grow their own vegetables, and there are workshops organised to educate and raise public awareness about the importance of sustainability and caring for Mother Nature.

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Visit a museum
Photo: Celestine Foo

Visit a museum

Take a trip down memory lane and discover our country’s storied history the next time you’re looking for something to do. The Royal Malaysian Police Museum showcases the role of our country’s royal police force through the ages with exhibits like uniforms, equipment and weapons; while the National Textile Museum illustrates the rich cultural history and evolution of textiles in Malaysia, and there are displays of traditional costumes and jewellery collections.

The Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery offers visitors a chance to discover the history of finance, money and currency in Malaysia, as well as the economic progress of the country with interactive displays and themed exhibitions. There are also free guided tours and a special gallery just for the kids.

Hike through urban forest parks
Photo: Amir Rashid

Hike through urban forest parks

You don’t need to venture far away from the city to go for a hike. For a relaxing weekend hike, Taman Tugu is the city’s newest urban forest park and offers well-maintained forest trails (some are easy enough for kids, so make a family day out of it), clear checkpoints and signboards, and the occasional wildlife.

The KL Forest Eco Park is one of the oldest forest reserves in Malaysia. There are three access points into the park – Jalan Ampang, Jalan Raja Chulan, the base of the KL Tower – and visitors can choose to walk among the treetops on the canopy walk or along the trails, where you’ll feel as if you’re in the middle of a forest instead of the city.

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Take a spiritual tour
Photo: Loh Lee Wen, Chang David

Take a spiritual tour

Whether you are religious or not, the magnificent architecture of these sites are worth taking a drive to and exploring. Thean Hou Temple is one of the largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia, and has beautiful ornate carvings and sculptures; Batu Caves need no introduction, with the grand statue of Lord Murugan and the 272 colourful steps sights to behold; and Masjid Negara’s impressive dome and lush landscaped gardens are an oasis in the city.

If you walk along Petaling Street, you can also check out Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, Chan See Shu Yuen Temple, Guan Ti Temple and Guan Yin Temple. Always remember to dress appropriately and be respectful when visiting these places of worship.

Catch a free movie outside the cinema

Catch a free movie outside the cinema

Veer away from the blockbusters at cinemas and check out the free film screenings around the city. Catch French films at Cinem’Alliance at Pisco Bar, a regular collaboration between the bar and Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur making French films more accessible for Malaysian audiences. Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia (KSFM) is Malaysia’s oldest running film club, and hosts regular screenings of both local and international films that don’t make it to the cinemas here. With KSFM, past screenings have included independent films from Iran, Kazakhstan, Germany and more.

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