Best Places To Visit In Malaysia In 3 Days – Twelve 3 Day Itineraries!

Published Categorized as Planning
This article may contain compensated links. Read the disclaimer for more info. We follow our review guidelines

Malaysia is a country of huge variety which you could travel for months without being bored. However, if you just have 3 days in Malaysia, don’t despair! You can still have a great introduction with a 3 day itinerary in Malaysia.

From gorgeous beaches to the picturesque highlands to the dynamic capital to mysterious Borneo, there are some fabulous options for what to do in Malaysia for 3 days 2 nights.

Below, I have all the best places to visit in Malaysia in 3 days. You simply need to read through and work out which Malaysia itinerary 3 days best suits your interests. In this article you’ll find several itineraries for 3 days 2 night trip in Malaysia options, so if you’re looking for the perfect Malaysia 3 days 2 nights itinerary, you’re bound to find it here!

If you are short on time, I highly recommend you book private taxis to get you between cities so you are enjoying your 3-day destination faster and in more comfort. You can book an affordable private taxi here.

Best Places To Visit In Malaysia In 3 Days - Twelve 3 Day Itineraries!

If you are looking for places to visit in Malaysia in 2 days or Malaysia itinerary 4 days, you can also use the list below. Simply remove your least preferred day of the itinerary Malaysia 3 days if you have less time or follow the suggestion for the fourth day if you have 4 days in Malaysia.

At the bottom, I also give what I recommend as the top options for a 2 days 1 night short trip in Malaysia where your time is quite limited.

Travelling to Malaysia? Click here to download your free Malaysia Trip Planning checklist. We’ll help you get ready for your trip! 

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

You can find some of our other ideas for your Malaysia short getaway here.

12 Best Places To Visit In Malaysia In 3 Days

Note that when thinking about what to see in Malaysia for 3 days, I don’t recommend that you change cities. It’s a short time period so to maximise your time, stick to just one place in Malaysia and explore from there.

For the best 3d2n trip Malaysia has to offer, I suggest picking one of the destinations below and then following my 3 days 2 nights in Malaysia itinerary and suggestions for that place.

This list of places to see in Malaysia in 3 days below also takes into account that time is limited so sticks to the more easily accessible locations.

1. Kuala Lumpur

best time to visit kl
Kuala Lumpur

If you haven’t been to Malaysia before, it’s hard to look past the capital, Kuala Lumpur. KL is perhaps the perfect place for your 3 days 2 nights Malaysia trip, especially if you haven’t been before. Given you will most likely be arriving at Kuala Lumpur airport for your 3 days trip in Malaysia, this is a great place to spend your time, particularly if it’s your first time in Malaysia.

If you love cities, culture, variety and great food, Kuala Lumpur is a top choice, and it’s hard to beat KL for where to go in Malaysia for short trip options.

Kuala Lumpur 3 Day Itinerary

I have the perfect Malaysia tour itinerary 3 days centred on Kuala Lumpur in detail here.

You can follow this 3 days in Kuala Lumpur guide exactly. If you are looking for places to visit in Malaysia in 4 days, there is also a fourth day itinerary in that article so that you can enjoy a little more time with 4 days in Kuala Lumpur. Click the link above to find out all of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days.

You can find all our Kuala Lumpur guides here.

Or click here to download a free, detailed itinerary for Kuala Lumpur. You can copy it exactly!

Top place to stay: Berjaya Times Square Hotel – Click here for the latest prices

2. Port Dickson

blue lagoon port Dickson
Blue Lagoon on a Monday morning!

If you want a quick and easy beach stop for your answer of where to go in Malaysia for 3 days, Port Dickson is a nice and easy choice. This is one of the best place to visit in Malaysia if you love beaches and want a beach break that’s located relatively close to KL and the airport.

Port Dickson (often referred to as PD for short) is a short taxi ride from the airport, this is also a good choice if you are flying into Kuala Lumpur airport and have been to Kuala Lumpur before.

We can book you a private taxi to Port Dickson from the airport, Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere here.

If you love the idea of staying in an over-water chalet, Port Dickson is also a fabulous choice. There are a few different options where you can do this in Port Dickson for a very affordable price. When you aren’t relaxing in your chalet, you can visit any of the many beaches on this coastline or some of the low key attractions in Port Dickson.

Port Dickson 3 Day Itinerary

Day 1: Check into your hotel and relax. Enjoy the surrounds and head to a beach. Our top pick is Blue Lagoon but you can find more choices here.

Day 2: Choose your preferred attractions from this list of things to do in Port Dickson and visit.

Day 3: Enjoy your hotel’s facilities or head to the beach

If you are looking for what to do in Malaysia for 4 days, spend your last day exploring Kuala Lumpur on a day trip.

Top place to stay: Lexis Hibiscus – Click here for the latest prices.

Find all our Port Dickson guides here.

3. Sunway Lagoon

Sunway Lagoon
Sunway Lagoon

If you want an easy and fun Malaysia stopover, particularly if you are travelling as a family, Sunway Lagoon is a great place to pick for your 3 days.

Located between KL Airport and Kuala Lumpur, this is a quick and easy place to get to and is like its own city with a huge theme park, big shopping centre with entertainment options and multiple hotels. We have very much enjoyed 3 day stopovers here as an alternative to Port Dickson or Kuala Lumpur.

Sunway Lagoon 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Check into the Sunway Resort. Enjoy the hotel facilities and the shopping centre. Find our full review of this 5 star hotel here.

Day 2: Visit Sunway Lagoon theme park.

Day 3: Either return to the theme park, enjoy your hotel facilities or do some activities at the shopping centre like ice skating and going to the cinema.

If you are looking for what to do in Malaysia in 4 days, spend your last day exploring Kuala Lumpur on a day trip. With a 2 days 1 night vacation in Malaysia, focus on visiting Sunway Lagoon.

Read our full review of Sunway Lagoon here.

4. Melaka


To learn more about the history of Malaysia and for some fun and interesting attractions, consider Melaka as a great option for your Malaysia 3 days 2 nights tour package. Melaka is perfect for history and culture lovers and there’s plenty to do here. This is also possible as a stopover option from Kuala Lumpur Airport, although it is further away than the options above.

We can book you a private transfer to Melaka from the airport, Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere here.

Melaka is a pretty city with numerous churches, temples and mosques. There are many heritage sites around the city and the centre is UNESCO World Heritage listed.

It’s also known for its lively Jonker Street area and night market on weekends. Definitely make sure you head there! The central area is great to explore on foot or by trishaw. There are also some great family friendly attractions nearby like the A’Famosa Resort and the Melaka Zoo.

Melaka 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Check into your hotel and relax. Head to Jonker Street in the evening. If it’s Friday or Saturday night, enjoy the night market. If it’s not then there are plenty of places to eat on this famous strip.

Day 2:

  • Start at the Sultanate Palace, take a photo of Porta de Santiago and explore the ruins of St Paul’s Church.
  • Walk downhill to Stradthuys. Trishaws congregate here so take a ride.
  • Walk over the river to Chinatown and head to 8 Heeren Street and the Baba and Nonya Heritage Centre.
  • Visit the three temples: Cheng Hoon Temple, Masjid Kampung Kling and Sri Poyatha Venayagar Moorthi Temple.
  • In the evening, head to Shore Sky Tower.

Day 3: Pick from your favourite attractions in Melaka in this article like Melaka Zoo or A’Famosa Water World.

Top place to stay:  Swiss-Garden Hotel Melaka – Click here for the latest prices.

If you are looking for what to see in Malaysia in 4 days, spend your last day visiting more attractions in our list linked to above.

Find all our Melaka guides here.

Want the Easiest (and BEST) Way to travel around Malaysia?

We can book a taxi for you between anywhere in peninsular Malaysia. Travel straight from one hotel to your next without any fuss or sweat.

You can pick your own departure time, relax and know everything will go to plan.

Click here for prices and online booking.

5. Johor Bahru

Legoland Malaysia
Legoland Malaysia

If you are entering Malaysia from Singapore then Johor Bahru is a great choice for your 3 day Malaysia stopover. It’s very easy to get here from Singapore (more details here) and there is plenty to do to fill your time. It’s even possible to make a day trip in Malaysia from Singapore to ‘JB’ – but having a few days is a much more relaxed option.

The easiest way to get here is by private taxi. These can pick you up anywhere in Singapore and drop you anywhere in Malaysia including Legoland or Johor Bahru. They make crossing the border so easy as, unlike buses, you can stay in the taxi the whole time and don’t need to walk through each border side with your luggage.

And, they only cost SG$90 between Singapore and Johor Bahru/Legoland.

Click here to book your taxi now.

This city offers visitors several attractions including a mix of museums, theme parks and natural landmarks like the Gunung Ledang National Park and Gunung Lambak, and there’s plenty to do during your 3 day 2 night trip to Malaysia. It’s also possible to visit the attractions in nearby Desaru Coast or to day trip to Singapore.

In this itinerary, I am assuming you have come from Singapore so do not include this option. Consider it if you haven’t been to Singapore though.

Johor Bahru 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Check into your hotel then head to central Johor Bahru near the causeway to Singapore. Do some shopping or explore the streets to the west of the main strip.

Day 2: Today is all about Legoland Malaysia. Buy discounted tickets here.

Day 3: Get back to nature with a day trip to Gunung Lambak. Climb the mountain here and cool down afterwards in the recreational water park.

For a Malaysia tour itinerary 4 days, take it easy exploring the fun attractions of the Desaru Coast.

Top place to stay: Hotel Jen – Click here for the latest prices

Find all our Johor Bahru guides here.

6. Taman Negara

The gorgeous scenery on the way to Lata Berkoh Taman Negara
The gorgeous scenery on the way to Lata Berkoh

If you’re based in KL and want to escape to the jungle for a few days, or have time for a 2 days trip in Malaysia from KL, then Taman Negara National Park holds the title as Malaysia’s largest national park and is easy to visit from Kuala Lumpur. It’s truly a nature lover’s paradise!

There are a huge amount of plants and animals in this 130 million year old rainforest and plenty of short and long hikes.

We can book you a private transfer to Taman Negara from the airport, Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere here.

This is a great choice for nature lovers with some great attractions to visit. There is the longest canopy walkway in the world from which you may spot some monkeys. Take a long boat ride into the interior. Explore and discover!

Taman Negara 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Taman Negara first thing. Take a bus to Jerantut and then another to the jetty at Kuala Tembling. Then take a boat to the main entrance of the park at Kuala Tahan. This boat ride is an attraction in itself. Check into your hotel (ideally in Kuala Tahan like the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort here) and relax. Eat dinner in a nearby floating restaurant.

Day 2: Visit the Canopy Walkway (if it has re-opened), walk up Teresek Hill and visit an Orang Asli village (indigenous people of this area)

Day 3: Have breakfast at a floating village before taking a boat back to Kuala Tembling and heading back to Kuala Lumpur or wherever your next stop is.

To make your visit smooth and easy, you can book a tour to complete this itinerary here for a great price.

7. Ipoh

Streets of Ipoh
Wandering around Ipoh

A few hours from Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh is a great balance of beautiful scenery + interesting Old Town + great food! The state capital of Perak is a fantastic destination for a short getaway with plenty of interesting things to do if you’re looking for a Malaysia 4 day tour package that has something a bit different to offer.

We can book you a private transfer to Ipoh from the airport, Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere here.

There’s the unfinished Kellie’s Castle to explore, Tempurung Cave, the popular Sunway Lost World Of Tambun (great for families) and much more. The Old Town area is filled with cute alley ways and Ipoh’s famous street art to find and enjoy.

Plus, there’s Ipoh’s famous white coffee and many amazing food dishes.

It’s perfect for anyone who wants an easy taste of Malaysia while feeling like they have got away from all the tourists.

Ipoh 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Ipoh (you can book a bus here). Check in to your hotel and relax before taking a walk around the Old Town in the evening and having dinner.

Day 2: Start the day with one of Ipoh’s famous white coffees and egg tarts. Walk around the Old Town following the Ipoh Heritage Trail (download here). Look out for street art!

In the afternoon, grab a taxi and visit a couple of Ipoh’s cave temples at Sam Poh Tong Temple and Kek Lok Ton Temple. Cover your shoulders and knees and wear sturdy footwear. Have dinner at the Tong Sui Kai Hawker Centre and try as many dishes as you can.

Day 3: If you have the time, spend the day at the fun Sunway Lost World of Tambun. Surely the prettiest location for a theme park in the world (full review here).

If you have a fourth day, take a day tour to the Cameron Highlands or go white water rafting. If you have 2 days in Malaysia in Ipoh, concentrate on day two of this itinerary.

Top place to stay: Regalodge – Click here for the latest prices

Read our full 3 day itinerary to Ipoh here or find all our Ipoh guides here.

8. Penang

best stay in Penang at Georgetown
Historic George Town, Penang

Penang is our personal favourite spot in Malaysia and a great location for a 3 day break or for a Malaysia 4 days 3 nights itinerary if you have an extra day. It has great variety and you can spend the morning exploring the UNESCO World Heritage listed centre of George Town and then relax for the afternoon on the beach.

There’s an interesting multicultural mix of influences, interesting architecture and affordable resort style accommodation. It’s also one of the best places in Malaysia (perhaps the world) to eat, offering some of the best food for great prices, so an all round great getaway whether its architecture, history, food, beaches or island life that appeals to you.

Penang is perfect for anyone looking for a variety of things to do in a beautiful setting while eating top class food!

Penang 3 Day itinerary

I have the perfect Penang 3 day itinerary here.

You can follow it exactly. If you are looking for an itinerary for two days one night trip in Malaysia for Penang or 4 days, they are also in this article.

Top place to stay: Shangri La Rasa Sayang – Click here for the latest prices

Find all our Penang guides here.

Want Help Having An Awesome Food Experience In Penang?

Join a Simply Enak (aka delicious) Food Tour!

There are two different options depending on whether you want to concentrate on street food or nightlife.

No matter what you pick, you’ll taste a range of fabulous local food and drinks while learning the history and culture of Penang.

There’s no better way to discover this great island.

Make sure you use the coupon code DIVE30 for RM30 off your tour.

Click here for all your options.

9. Langkawi

Pantai Cenang Beach Langkawi Island
Pantai Cenang, Langkawi

Langkawi is the place to go if you want some easy and luxurious beach time in your 3 days in Malaysia. It has some of the best beaches in the country as well as superb coastal scenery.

Langkawi is actually an archipelago but the main island offers a range of different locations to visit and stay and should be your focus on a 3 day trip. Pantai Cenang is the most popular beach destination and the place to stay to be surrounded by action. There are many more peaceful destinations around the island where you can be surrounded by nature.

There are many attractions in Langkawi beyond the beach like the Langkawi Cable Car which takes you to the peak of Gunung Machinchang where you’ll find restaurants, shops and other attractions.

Langkawi 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Take a taxi to your hotel or book a transfer here. Enjoy the afternoon at your hotel or at the beach in Pantai Cenang, Have sunset drinks and dinner here. This is also the place to party this evening.

Day 2: Head to Langkawi SkyCab and SkyBridge then spend the afternoon enjoying the beach at Pantai Tengah (or choose an activity from here). Finish the day with a stunning sunset cruise.

Day 3: Spend your final morning exploring the Langkawi archipelago on a half day Langkawi Island Hopping adventure. Do some shopping at the Cenang Mall and Zon Shopping Paradise in Pantai Cenang before leaving.

If you have a fourth day, chose some other attractions from our list here. With a 2 days one night trip Malaysia, prioritise the Langkawi SkyCab and the sunset cruise.

Find all our Langkawi guides here or click here to download a free, detailed itinerary for Langkawi. You can copy it exactly!

Top place to stay: Ritz-Carlton Langkawi – Click here for the latest prices

10. Tioman Island

Juara Beach Tioman Island
Gorgeous Juara Beach

From Singapore, Tioman Island makes an easy destination for a 3 day break in Malaysia. It was once named one of the most beautiful islands in the world and is a good choice for people coming from Singapore who want an island getaway.

We can book you a private transfer to Mersing, for your ferry to Tioman, from anywhere in Singapore.

This island is surrounded by coral reefs which make it the perfect destination for people who love scuba diving or snorkelling. It is also great for hiking.

Tioman Island is a good mixture of development so things are easy, while still being able to get away from it all very easily. The only problem is that after 3 days on Tioman island, you may not want to leave!

Tioman Island 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Make the journey to Tioman Island. Check into your hotel and relax and enjoy the surrounding beaches or hike to another beach.

Day 2: Take a half or full day snorkelling or diving trip around the island.

Day 3: Go for a hike.

If you are looking for what to see in Malaysia in 2 days then I would head straight on a snorkelling or diving trip on arrival.

Top place to stay: Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort – Click here to see the latest prices

Find all our Tioman Island guides here.

11. Kuching

Sarawak River, Kuching

Kuching, also known as Cat City, is a port city located on the island of Borneo. It is a nice city with a lovely riverfront area which is the best area to stay. If you’re looking to see more of Borneo, then Kuching is a great entry point and a nice place to stop over for a few days.

For people short on time, this is your best bet to get a taste of Borneo. There are many interesting day trips you can do from Kuching as well as exploring Kuching itself with museums like the Sarawak Museum and Cat Museum.

It’s easy to get out in the jungle and explore the wilder side of Borneo with some great national parks nearby.

Kuching 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Check into your hotel and take a walk around the downtown area of Kuching visiting the Sarawak Museum, Chinese History Museum, temples and anything else that takes your fancy. If you enjoy super tacky museums, also take a cab to the Cat Museum. It’s hilarious. In the late afternoon, take a walk along the riverfront.

Day 2: Take a day trip. Choose between Sarawak Cultural Village,  Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Bako National Park, Satang Islands or visit the Annah Rais Longhouse.

Top place to stay: Hilton Kuching – Click here to see the latest prices

Day 3: If you have time, chose another day trip option.

12. Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu

Another destination in Borneo, Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah state on the opposite side of the northern part of the island compared to Kuching. This is another good choice for people who want to get a taste of Borneo for their 3 days in Malaysia and want to see a different side to Malaysia.

There are many cultural activities as well as getting out in nature and going island hopping. It’s a very accessible way to explore this island.

Kota Kinabalu 3 Day itinerary

Day 1: Check into your hotel and take a half day tour around the main city sights.

Day 2: Get out of the city and explore Kinabalu Park and hot springs.

Day 3: Head to the nearby islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and enjoy snorkelling and a great lunch.

For where to go for 2 days 1 night in Malaysia in Kota Kinabalu, I would pick whatever appeals most to you from days 2 and 3.

Top place to stay: Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort – Click here to see the latest prices

Click here for our full Kota Kinabalu guides.

Want more ideas? Read our list of the best places to visit in Malaysia here. You can really pick any of them to be your base for your 3 days trip to Malaysia if you don’t mind adding some travel time.

Top Options For Places To Visit In Malaysia In 2 Days

Of the above, I recommend that you keep your Malaysia itinerary 2 days to places near where you arrive in the country.

If you arrive at Kuala Lumpur…

Follow the Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Lagoon or Port Dickson itineraries above, just remove one day.

If you arrive at Johor Bahru…

Follow the Johor Bahru itinerary above, just remove one day.

If you arrive at Penang…

Follow the Penang itinerary above, just remove one day.

Do the same thing for any other destination where you enter the country. If you aren’t sure what’s nearby, look at the map below to come up with your best option for what to do in Malaysia for 2 days. If you only have the opportunity for a 1 day trip in Malaysia, you’ll likely be exploring Kuala Lumpur on a stop over (follow Day 1 of the KL guide above) or coming from Singapore to Johor Bharu, in which case you can do day 1 of the Johor Bharu.

Map Of Locations For Malaysia Itinerary 3 Days

Best Places To Visit In Malaysia In 3 Days map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

Final Words

I hope you have found this list of places to visit in Malaysia in 3 days useful. I am sure anywhere you pick to go will be awesome!

To make sure you get the most out of your three days, consider booking a private taxi here to get you to your city/region of choice quickly and easily.

Looking for the ultimate Malaysia Itinerary Planner for your trip? Click here to get it now!

Have any questions? Ask them in our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here. We would love to help you!

Find more places to visit in Malaysia here and more Malaysia itineraries here. You can also find our best suggestions for weekend getaways here. All our Malaysia planning guides are here.

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.