Malaysia,  Asia,  Destinations,  Trains, Planes & Rideshares

How to Get from KLIA to Kuala Lumpur City Center by Bus, Train, and Taxi

There’s a few ways to get from Kuala Lumpur’s airport (KLIA and KLIA2) to Kuala Lumpur city center (KLCC). The airport is pretty far out of town, so whatever you choose it’s going to take about an hour to get to the center of town. Even if Google Maps says it’s only a 45 minute drive, the traffic in KL will slow you right down.

The difference is in the price point and comfort level!

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KLIA Transport Quick Picks

  • Most expensive, most comfortable: Grab or private transfer
  • Comfortable, slightly less expensive: KLIA Express
  • Cheapest and least comfortable: Bus

Private Transfer

This is the easiest way to do it: book a private transfer ahead of time and have a driver pick you up and drop you off directly at your hotel.

There’s a few places you can find an airport transfer from KLIA. Depending on how many people are with you, and what kind of car you want, it should cost roughly $25-50 USD for a private transfer.

Grab from KLIA Airport to KLCC

Grab is like Uber or Lyft, a rideshare service used all over Asia and highly affordable (especially compared to the US or Western Europe). That said, because you’re coming from the airport, the price will still be fairly high compared to the other transit options.

Generally, Grab prices from the airport to the city is minimum RM65 ($13.81 USD) going up to RM110 and possible more during peak times. Still, if you’re traveling with someone else, splitting the fare will be cheaper than everything but the bus option.

I’ve used Grab all over the place in Asia and it’s great! Particularly in Malaysia, the drivers are very professional and friendly. You can share your ride details with family and friends for extra safety as well.

KLIA Express Train

The train is the fastest way to get to the city from the airport, as it’s a direct route! It’s only about a 30 minute ride from KLIA Terminal 1 to KL Sentral (the main train station). Assuming you don’t get lost trying to navigate around the station(s), you can get to your hotel in under an hour.

A standard fare from KLIA to KL Sentral is RM55 ($11.68 USD). The train runs about every 20 minutes starting at 5:00 am and ending at 12:05 am (5 minutes after midnight).

Tip: Book your KLIA Express ticket on Klook and save $1+!

The KLIA Express ONLY goes between the airport and KL Sentral. If you are staying somewhere outside of central KL, it might be cheaper to take the KLIA transit train to Bandar Tasik Selatan (TBS bus station) or one of the other stops, and then transfer to the metro or bus.

I’ve taken the KLIA Transit train into the airport and it was really nice. The trains are new, air conditioned, with nice seats and plenty of room for luggage. Highly recommend them!

Here’s a video I took of the KLIA Transit train pulling into Putrajaya Station to show what it looks like:

KLIA Bus to KLCC

These are not city buses. Instead, these are third party companies that specifically run these routes for tourists. There’s at least four companies that have airport buses, and they’re basically all the same for price and comfort level. Because there’s so much competition, you can always get a bus ticket and they’re never sold out.

Unfortunately, buses run the least often and take the longest amount of time to get to the city. It can take up to 2 hours to get from KLIA to KL Sentral, depending on the traffic. However, if you’re REALLY short on funds, then buses are also the cheapest way to get into the city.

Inside one of the airport buses.

Generally, it costs RM15 ($3.19 USD) to take a bus into KLCC. You can book a ticket ahead of time and save RM3, or buy in person at the airport the day of arrival.

Tip: Learn how to buy bus tickets in Southeast Asia!

I’ve taken this bus route before and it was fine. Not my favorite experience ever, as I had to wait almost an hour for my bus (in a hot waiting room) and then we crawled through a traffic jam, but I DID save a bunch of money.


Anastasia is a former librarian turned digital nomad. She's been traveling the world full time for two years and has visited 18 countries so far! Just Gone Wandering is a travel resource for solo female travelers on a backpacker's budget-- or slightly more-- and highlights amazing places to visit as well as providing tips and tricks for traveling smart and frugal. Read more...

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