The Petronas Twin Towers are no doubt the most famous icon in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city. Opened in 1999, and made famous by the film Entrapment with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones released the same year, they held the title of the world’s tallest buildings from 1999 until 2004 and remain the highest twin towers in the world.
To visit the towers, you will have to queue to buy a ticket in advance at the entrance beneath the KLCC shopping centre on the day you wish to visit, then come back at the appointed time. If you don’t want to have to queue or visit twice, you can get an appointment online up to 24 hours before your visit. Assuming you’re not expecting to get a ticket to visit immediately (unless you turn up as soon as they open at 8:30am), you should be able to get a time for the same day without any trouble.
Tickets for non-Malaysians cost 84.80RM for adults and 31.80RM for children. This includes a visit to the Skybridge on level 41 (170 meters above street level) and to the viewing platform on level 84 (450 meters above street level).
At the Skybridge level, there are interactive screens from which you can learn about the buildings and landmarks that can be seen out of the windows on both sides, which is especially useful if for orientation if visiting after sunset. On the viewing platform there are models, displays and information on the construction of the towers as well as information about the work that the construction company does.
Bear in mind that the towers were built and are owned by the Petronas oil and gas company, so your entrance fee goes straight to them. This state-owned company has been around since 1974 and is Malaysia’s largest single producer of income. Recently, they have come under criticism for cutting corners regarding safety and the environment, which is not something you want to hear about in an industry that is already killing the planet.
The views from both the Skybridge and the viewing platform are quite spectacular and they can be quite romantic spots, especially at night when the city is lit up.
However, before you visit consider whether you are happy giving your money to Petronas. Of course, when we travel we all rely on the oil and gas industry, and indeed that is no less so the case in our everyday lives too (unless we live completely off-grid and grow all our own food). That is to say, the irony of discussing the ethical quandary of paying a relatively small fee on top of what we already contribute to such a corporation on a travel blog is not lost on me. But it is something to consider.
So should you visit the Petronas Twin Towers? While it’s not the worst institution to support with an entrance fee, you have to make a decision you’re happy with.