Getting around Malaysia: Trains, internal flights and taxis

Explore Malaysia from north to south in comfort with these handy transport options.

Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur is simple to get around with an easy transport system. The city is also very compact, making it extremely walkable.

Penang is a good city to rent a motorbike as the traffic is less chaotic than in Kuala Lumpur.

Between major tourist cities there are bus, train and plane routes that are commonly used.

Renting a car to drive is also common as roads in Malaysia are well maintained between cities.

Travelling between cities

Sleeper and overnight trains: Malaysia is well connected by train on the west coast and provides a comfortable ride between major cities. During the day you’ll find great views, especially on the Jungle Train which travels from Johor Bahru to Kota Bharu.

Internal flights: Domestic flights in Malaysia are common because prices are affordable due to the number of budget airlines such as AirAsia and Firefly operating in the country. You can not fly to some of the smaller islands such as Tenggol.

Buses: Major cities in Malaysia have their own bus terminals that offer a range of prices depending on how luxurious the bus is. The bus is the most budget-friendly option but also the slowest.

Malaysia public transport within major cities

Types of transport: MyRapid serves Kuala Lumpur with buses, LRT (light rapid transit), MRT (monorail rapid transit) and BRT (bus rapid transit).

Paying for transport: If travelling in Kuala Lumpur for an extended period of time and using public transport frequently it is best to get a MyRapid card. For single journeys a token must be bought which is used to tap on and then inserted into the exit gate when leaving. Tokens can be bought at any public transport station. Fares are based on the distance travelled.

Getting to and from the airport: The KILA Express train runs from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the central train station in 30 minutes for RM35. Airport buses bring you to KL Sentral and cost RM18.

Best apps for getting around: The Malaysia Transit app suggests the closest station to you, can be used offline and gives you detailed routes.

Malaysia car hire rental companies

Malaysia is fantastic for driving compared to other Asian countries. It is not recommended to drive in Kuala Lumpur as the driving is chaotic but Malaysia is great for road trips between destinations as the roads are well maintained.

Avis, Hertz, Kasina Baru, Pantas Rent a Car, Mayflower, Orix and Insas Pacific provide car hire services at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.



Taxis and Uber

Taxi: Taxis are not legally allowed to pull over in the city but some may. It is best to get a taxi from a taxi stand. Taxis can be booked in advance online.

Uber: Uber is available in Kuala Lumpur and costs RM79–160 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the city centre.

Airport transfers

Get directly to your accommodation with either a private or shared airport transfer.

Shared transfer from Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Shared transfer from Kuala Lumpur International Airport


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Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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