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Central Market Kuala Lumpur

Central Market Kuala Lumpur (pasar seni) is a cultural landmark every tourist should visit.

Central Market is barely five minutes from Chinatown at Petaling Street, making it conveniently accessible to tourists who plan to visit both places on the same trip. 

The original building of Central Market was built in 1988 by the British as a wet market in 1937. The present Art Deco-style building was rebuilt in 1937 and has been listed as a heritage site by the National Heritage Department. Since then, it has emerged as the landmark of Malaysian culture and heritage melting pot

Central Market Drop Pin, next to the entrance of the iconic blue facade
Central Market Drop Pin. Next to the entrance of the iconic blue facade building.

A shopping haven for the tourists 

A warren of kiosks inside the building sells clothing, appeals, handicrafts, collectibles, and souvenirs. Most of them are traditional handicrafts from various ethnic groups in Malaysia.

The building has three stories, which houses more than 300 shops. It is a haven for tourists to shop

Local handcrafts

There are three parallel side lanes at the west wing of the ground floor, which are called Malay street, Straits Chinese, and Little India, respectively. Here is the best place to look for handicrafts by the major ethnic groups in Malaysia.

Malay Street
Malay Street
Straits Chinese
Straits Chinese
Little India
Little India

Chinese Calligraphy

You will find diversified cultures and arts at Central Market. This uncle is the familiar face on the ground floor of Central Market.  He is an expert in Chinese calligraphy 书法, the artistic writing for Chinese characters. You can request him to write your name or a couplet for the Chinese New Year.

Chinese calligraphy at Central Market

Batik and boutiques

You are spoiled with options for traditional dresses, especially batiks.

Malaysian batik at Central Market

Food courts and restaurants 

A food court on the second floor housing the Asian l food stores. Besides that, many local and western restaurants and cafes are on the ground floor.

Asian soup noodles store at the entrance of the food court
Asian soup noodles store at the entrance of the food court

Try the unique Malaysian white coffee.

OldTown White Coffee is a homegrown coffee shop franchise specializing in the unique local ‘white ‘ coffee. It is a sweetened coffee that tastes distinctly different from any espresso-based coffee.

The Central Market Annexe Gallery in Kuala Lumpur

At the back of the main building of Central Market is the Annexe Gallery, which is the place for the exhibition of contemporary art. 

It was formerly a cineplex which has been transformed into an art gallery since 2006. Over here. It holds various exhibitions regularly. Check it out if you like the local art and crafts.

The Central Market Annexe Gallery in Kuala Lumpur

Kasturi walk

Kasturi walk takes center stage!

Kasturi walk is part of the Jalan Hang Kasturi, which has been pedestrianized under a huge wau arch located next to Central Market, opened in 2011. 

Kasturi Walk is the 150-meter short sidewalk of the Central Market.  It is a shopping haven for visitors with alfresco styles kiosks selling a wide range of items, from local delicacies like putu bamboo to exquisite souvenirs.

Kasturi Walk at Central Market

Test your bartering skills

The Kasturi Walk sells practically the same stuff as in the building. However, you can find knockoff items and perhaps some original ones. You can find watches, shoes, dresses, T-shirts, etc.

Vendors usually quote a high price. Remember to haggle with the seller.

Kasturi Walk

Address: No. 10, 1st-3rd floor, Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Geographic coordinates:  3.145571, 101.695291
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
Go by MRT: 5 minutes walk from MRT Pasar Seni
Distance from city center: At the city center, few minutes walk to Petaling Street
Best time to visit: Arrive before 10 AM to avoid crowds.
Dress code: No specific dress code
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
Entrance fee: Free
Telephone: +603 2031 0399 or +603 2031 5399 or +603 2031 7399

The location of Central Market