Central Market, or Pasar Seni in Malay, used to be the largest wet market in central KL, but was converted to an air-conditioned shopping mall in the late 1980s, specialising in local (and Asian) products, mainly handicrafts. These days, mostly tourists visit the place to pick up souvenirs. It's a pleasant enough place, with options for eating/drinks, and a short walk to Chinatown.
Previously, the Central Market was the largest wet market in the city. Built in 1928, it is also a very old building that has won awards for its architectural design. Because of its strategic location, the rapid development of the surrounding area (which led to a decline in its viability as a wet market location) and the need to cater to tourists, the building was later converted into a large arts and crafts centre.
Now, the building is home to many arts and crafts shops showcasing the work of local artists and craftsmen. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs and T-shirts in addition to more elaborate handicraft and artwork. Cultural performances are also regularly hosted here. A wide variety of Malaysian food can be sampled in and around the Central Market.
The full address is Jalan Hang Tuah Kasturi, (Junction of Jalan Benteng & Lebuh Pasar Besar), 50050 Kuala Lumpur.
Opening hours: 10am-10pm (Mon - Sunday)
Come look see look see at what local crafts generally is like, or buy some things as gifts, souvenir, or for some food.
Portrait painting, local music instruments demonstrations (interesting when he played Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever", Shakira should listen to it and probably consider a remix with the instruments), jewelry, pewter, etc.
Central Market is ok for the tourists who want to buy traditional type products. Like traditional Malaysia, or Chinese artifacts and sculptures, or clothing.
They do not sell normal (every day) items of clothing, or shoes, or anything like that.... so don't expect it to be like the market on Petaling Street (Chinatown), although it's practically across the road.
It's not my personal taste, as I prefer clothes shopping..... but this would be a good place to visit for people who want to buy souvenirs and that type of stuff!!
Finally!!!, we found a real market... after going to chinesse an indian market and some other old fashionable shoping malls, we were dissapointing, we thought the only handicrafts that we were going to take home were pewter form Selangor, but affortunately we went to Central Market.
The booths are much more organized and clean, so the things looks better. We found not only pewter, but also things related with the petronas, and little orchids and roses with some different uses, and many many things from Thailand like inciens and ornaments.
We took the LRT to the Masjid Jamek station and walked.
Yes, KL is one of the city of merchants in South East Asia, where you can find spots to satisfy your shopping lust. But, if you are in KL, spare your time to visit Central Market. This is still touristic spot though, but unlike the new and modern shopping malls, with your fave brands, the Central Market offers something ¡¥arty¡¦. There is ¡¥street performance¡¦, handmade collection of fashion and souvenirs, portrait painters and fortune teller (the famous fortune teller was (unfortunately) unavailable when me and many tourists waiting for him patiently for reading our palms, cards or whatever for us to anticipate the goods and bads in our future ƒº.
The Central Market building is built since 1888 and it used to be vegetables and fish market. No fishy smells left, just art and enjoyable of window shopping that are there now.
The Central Market is hosted in a huge art deco building surrounded by a pedestrian area in the very heart of the city. Most of the stalls are currently selling art and crafts, but it was anyway interesting to visit it early in the morning when the stalls were opening.
This is a great place to visit for the day. I've included pix inside so you get an idea of what to expect. This market is great place to get out of the heat for a while since its airconditioned. There are many stands with food options, small restaurants upstairs, lots of clothes stalls, souvenirs, toys, even a tropical fish store.
In the central markets you can find a wide selection of goods from expensive pottery to secondhand goods. We brought a few nice nick nacks here, although we saw them in Australian shops when we got home, however it is still nice to buy it on holiday as a remembrance. My husband picked up a great rucksack here at a cheap price. We then lugged it around Sabah and it proved a good investment. If you have been to Thailand you may find KL expensive. We saw a silk table we had brought in Phuket for $30 with a price tag $200 in KL. Its a good idea to do the rounds first as many shops sell the same item with different prices. You can haggle but we did not find it as well received as in other Asian areas. Up stairs you will find a food mall where we got a good meal very cheap. If you haven't tried the frozen ice dessert that is very popular with the locals, then you can do that here.
It's not only the cheap Chinese imports, there's also many examples of local crafts and art.
You can buy a didgeridoo if you're not heading for Australia or a Malaysian made (beware of the Chinese made) miniature Twin Towers made from Penang pewter (not the more famous and expensive Royal Selangor Pewter).
The Government has recently made substantial renovations to the lovely old building that houses this 2 story collection of local (when most of them are) arts and crafts and it's a great place to browse on your way to or from Chinatown.
A lot of souvenirs and local handicrafts are sold here. You can haggle your way until your desired price, if you're lucky. You can also take a break (cold coffee or fruit drinks) at My Friend Cafe located at a colored building at the back entrance of Central Market.
Do u know that it use to be a WET market...
But now its a must visit place for the tourist to get souviniers and also any other stuffs...
periodically there are prformances demonstration around and also fortune telling (but my advise : think twice)...
Many stores at Central Market sell clothing and other goods made from the colorful, traditional Malaysian batik - beautiful and, in most cases, hand-drawn and hand-printed fabrics.
Riverside amphitheatre located outside of the building is the venue for regular performances of traditional and contemporary dances and musical concerts.
Folks wishing to shop in comfort, this is the place to be. There are plenty of stalls selling stuff from ethnic clothings, arts and crafts, souvenirs, ethnic food, to furnitures etc all under one roof. There is even a food court within the light-blue coloured building.
Come during Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, and there will be plenty of food stalls outside the Central Market, selling food items for Muslims to break fast after a whole day of fasting. It will be more noisy and crowded then, and there will be decorations put up in preparation of the festival of Hari Raya Puasa, the Islamic New Year.
This is one of my favourite place to visit while in KL. I love to watch the artist draw potrait as well as look at the various arts and crafts on offer.
About fifty years ago this was a wet market but today, the art-deco structure of the Central Market is a centre for the display for Malaysian culture, arts and crafts.
There are also some food outlets here where you can get a bite.
China Town or Petaling Street as it is properly known offers a very different character. It is a colourful street with plenty of shops, restaurants and street hawkers. Regional Chinese cuisine can be found here in the blend of shops from Chinese Medicine to “Rolex” watches.