MalaysiaKuala Lumpur Free All Year Indoor
Market

Central Market

Escape Kuala Lumpur’s many shopping malls and find locally made handicrafts, clothing, art, and souvenirs under the iconic, art-deco structure. Central Market has been running since the 1940s in the Pasar Seni building, originally constructed in 1888 to serve as a wet market during the British colonial period. Stalls are split into 3 sections representing the main cultures in Malaysia: Malay, Indian, and Chinese. 

Don’t miss the food court to sample authentic Malay food like nasi lemak at bargain prices. Continue onto the Central Market Annexe to see local art galleries, and art studios or visit the Illusion 3D Art Museum. You’ll soon see why Central Market is a favourite shopping destination for locals and tourists alike. 

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Price

Free

Time Spent

1-3hours

Fitness level: Easy

Hours

10am-9:30pm7 days

Look Around

Kasturi Walk (Jalan Hang Kasturi) on the eastern side of the marketKasturi Walk (Jalan Hang Kasturi) on the eastern side of the market
Souvenirs in Kasturi WalkSouvenirs in Kasturi Walk
Central Market interiorCentral Market interior
Wandering through shopsWandering through shops
Shops on 2nd floorShops on 2nd floor
Around Central Market
Front of Central MarketFront of Central Market
Large sign at frontLarge sign at front
Just inside the front entranceJust inside the front entrance
Portable fans for sale (good idea!)Portable fans for sale (good idea!)
Isle with shops on ground floorIsle with shops on ground floor
Chinese-orientated sectionChinese-orientated section
Walking through Central Market
Plastic Malaysian flagsPlastic Malaysian flags
Handmade scented soapsHandmade scented soaps
Wooden decorations and keyringsWooden decorations and keyrings
Watches galore!Watches galore!
Market AnnexeMarket Annexe
Painting in AnnexePainting in Annexe
Items for sale & Annexe

Who Will Like Central Market

Retail Therapist

Stock up your wardrobe with bargain fashion stores around every corner. Pick up souvenirs and gifts like batik sarongs or placemats, paintings, scented soaps and candles, stone jewelry, wood carvings, or musical instruments. 

Food Connoisseur

Taste the bold flavors of Malaysia in the large food court, or buy some local curry mix, candies, or snacks to take home. 

Culture Buff

Admire handicrafts from 3 different cultures: Malay, Indian, and Chinese, and mingle with locals in this historic market. If you’re lucky, you may see a cultural show like a traditional Malay dance performance.

Bucketlist Bandit

Wander through the crowded alleys and discover why the market is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur.

Insider Tips For Central Market

  • Bring cash as credit cards aren't accepted at most stalls.
  • ATMs are a bit tricky to find as there is little signage pointing to them. 2 can be found on the eastern side of the complex on the ground floor.
  • Be prepared to bargain as most prices are negotiable. You'll usually get a better price for buying multiple products from one stall.
ATMs hidden in an obscure corner

Video

Where Is It

Pasar Seni, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Open map...

How To Get There

Car

RM3 (USD$0.72) 1st hour, then RM2/hr (USD$0.48 / hr) • Central Market Car Park

Driving directions... Walking directions from car...

Taxi

Drop off and pick up at taxi stand outside the main (southern) entrance.

Train (Kelana Jaya LinePasar Seni station)

Walk 4 minutes north from metro station.

Walking directions from train...

Train (Ampang LineMasjid Jamek station)

Walk 15 minutes south from LRT station.

Walking directions from train...

Train (KTM CommuterKuala Lumpur station)

Walk 8 minutes north from station and cross the river.

Walking directions from train...

Bus (Go KL purple line)

Free bus stops opposite main (southern) entrance.

Walking directions from bus...

Bus (KL Hop-on Hop-off green lineStop 13)

Bus stop is opposite main (southern) entrance.

Walking directions from bus... More details...

Bus (Rapid KLPasar Seni 7)

The following public bus numbers regularly run past the Central Market: 821, 822, 851, 180, 640, 650, 651, 652, 772, 780, 781, 782, 750, 751, 752, 770, 771, BET1, BET3, or BET4.

Walking directions from bus... More details...

What To Bring

Do:
  • Cash as most vendors don’t accept card payments.
  • Bargaining skills to get the best price.
Don't:
  • Valuable belongings like precious jewelry or large sums of cash.

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Yes

Tripod allowed: Not encouraged

Selfie sticks allowed: Yes

Best time to shoot: Anytime

Drones

Drones allowed: No

Bags

Backpacks allowed: Yes

Secured bag lockers available: No

Food & Drink

Upper floor food court operates a self-service system with a variety of local dishes. Try roti canai (traditional breakfast), mua chi (snack), chicken rice or pie tee (main course) or putu bamboo (dessert).

Several food and drink stalls selling snacks, coffee & tea, and fresh juice are located on the ground floor.
 

Backstory

Originally constructed in 1888 as a wet market during the British colonial period, the current art-deco style building was constructed in 1947 and renovated in 1985. The Central Market Annexe, housing art galleries and studios, was constructed at the north end of the complex in 2006. 
 
For over 100 years, Central Market has been a cultural and heritage landmark in Kuala Lumpur.

Etiquette

Do:
  • Bargain and ask for discounts when buying multiple items from 1 store. 
  • Dress modestly to respect local customs.
Don't:
  • Get pressured into buying items you don’t want by pushy store owners. 
  • Bargain too aggressively. Be respectful when store owners won’t go any lower. 

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Air conditioning for much-needed respite from KL's heat.
  • Different market areas for Malay, Indian, and Chinese.
  • Wide variety of souvenirs, artwork and clothing.
  • Availability of food and drink. Several snack stands and juice bars in addition to the upper food court.
Could Be Better:
  • Higher prices compared to nearby Chinatown.
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