Some more information
The Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli was given the honor to design a tower complex with which Kuala Lumpur could enter the 21st century. His first sketch was rejected by the Prime Minister because it was not ‘Malaysian’ enough. After some reflection he was inspired by the Islam (the national religion of Malaysia) and this is reflected in the steel and glass façade. This is constructed to resemble the motives from Islamic art.
Another Islamic influence is the cross-section of the towers based on a Rub el Hizb, a Muslim symbol that consists of two squares that overlap. Thus they form an octagon together with a circle in the middle. Although the architect added some circular sectors, so that more office space became available.
On 1 March 1993 the work was started and exactly three years later the construction was complete. In total, the national symbol cost 1.8 billion dollars.
On 1 August 1996 the Petronas Twin Towers were officially inaugurated. During the opening, the towers, with their height of 451.9 meters or 1482 feet, were the highest building in the world. This would remain so until 2004 when Taipei 101 took the first place from the twin towers. Today, the Petronas Towers are the twelfth tallest construction in the world. As for identical buildings, the towers are still number one.
Since the buildings are called the Petronas Towers, you can already guess who they are named after. Petronas is the abbreviation of Petroliam Nasional Berhad and this is the largest oil company in Malaysia which is also owned by the state. It’s no wonder that the headquarters are located in the Twin Towers. In the second tower there are offices of, among others, Huawei, Boeing, IBM, Reuters and Microsoft.
What is there to see in the Petronas Twin Towers?
The Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur are more than just towers. In the building you will find the following points of interest:
At the foot of the Petronas Towers lies Suria KLCC, a shopping center with an area of no less than 140,000 square meters. This makes it one of the largest shopping centers in the country. It consists not only of luxury shops but also of an art gallery, the national philharmonic theater, a science center and an aquarium. Especially the latter is very nice to visit. Adults pay just under fourteen euros for a ticket, children up to twelve years pay twelve euros.
The surrounding area is a very cool park where you can jog and walk. But the absolute attraction here is the fountain. Every evening a special light and water show takes place here, accompanied by appropriate music. Sit down on one of the benches and enjoy the spectacle!
This is the absolute top attraction and the only thing you have to pay for when you visit the Petronas Towers. On the 41st and 42nd floor there is a double decker air bridge that connects the two towers. This makes it the highest bridge in the world consisting of two floors. In order to ensure that the bridge wouldn’t break, it was designed to slide in and out of the towers instead of directly attaching them. This also provides extra support for the Petronas Twin Towers.
The air bridge is hanging 170 meters (558 ft) above the ground and is 58.4 meters (192 ft) long. In total it weighs 750 tons.
Petronas Towers tickets
Until 2010, this national symbol could be visited for free, but now a visit to the Petronas Towers isn’t free anymore. Only 1000 people per day can enter so if you’re going to visit the Petronas Towers you should try to reserve your tickets in advance.
Adults pay $20 / £15 / €17 for a ticket, children up to twelve years $8 / £6 / €7 and seniors (from 60 years) $11 / £8 / €9 euros. Children up to three years old can enter for free.
Would you rather not wait in the queue for a long time? Then buy a skip-the-line e-ticket for about $6 / £4 / €5 more.
What to expect during your visit?
You start your tour with interactive screens that tell the whole story from abstract idea to concrete construction. You then step into a futuristic elevator that brings you to the skybridge. To finish the visit you go even further to the 86th floor, where you can enjoy a truly breathtaking view from the observation platform.
Opening hours Petronas Towers
These towers are open from Tuesday to Sunday from nine o’clock in the morning until nine o’clock in the evening. They are closed during Hari Raya Aidilfitri (the Sugar Festival) and Aidiladha (the Festival of Sacrifice). On Friday they are closed from 1 pm to 2:30 pm. At half past eight in the evening, the last visitors may enter.
Ten fun facts about the Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur
- In the twin towers there are 29 double-decker elevators for regular passengers, six elevators for heavy duty services and four elevators for board members.
- In total there are 88 floors, 10 escalators, 1765 stairs and 32,000 windows in each tower. It takes two months to clean them all.
- Each tower weighs 300,000 tons, which equals the weight of 43,857 elephants.
- The Petronas Towers symbolize the culture, courage and progress of the Malaysian people.
- Originally, the towers would be “only” 427 meters (1401 ft) high, until the Prime Minister understood that with a few adjustments they could become the tallest building in the world. They added a small dome with an integrated spire and the Sears Tower was no longer the tallest building in the world.
- Normally, eight years would have been necessary to build the Petronas Twin Towers, but there was only a budget for six years. That is why two construction companies were commissioned that wanted to complete the building in the shortest time. Eventually the second tower would be finished only a few hours after the other one.
- Where the towers are now standing, there used to be a horse racing track earlier.
- On April 15, 1999, Felix Baumgartner broke the world record base jumping by jumping from the Petronas Towers. In the meantime the record has already been broken, but this crazy German didn’t care too much because he broke the world record skydiving by jumping from a helium balloon in the stratosphere.
- On 1 September 2009, the French urban climber Alain “Spiderman” Robert climbed de Petronas Twin Towers with only his bare hands and feet. He needed just two hours to reach the top, and that without a safety harness! He had previously tried twice to do the same thing, but was always arrested by the police. He definitely has perseverance!
- The Petronas Towers appeared in several well-known films such as Entrapment and Independence Day Resurgence and also in many Bollywood films. In addition, different levels of the video game Hitman 2 are played in the towers.
The Petronas Twin Towers are an absolute landmark of Malaysia and have put the country on the map. You don’t necessarily have to buy a ticket for the sky bridge, because walking in the shopping center and in the surrounding park is just as nice. The nicest selfies or photos are taken at the back entrance of the building (not on the side of the park).
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.