The Kuala Lumpur Central Market, one of the most prominent landmarks of Kuala Lumpur, is a must-visit for tourists. Founded in 1888, it was originally a wet market. In the 1970s, when Kuala Lumpur itself was going through a huge renovation, it was suggested that the Central Market should be demolished, but later it was declared as a Heritage site by the National Heritage Department.
Also known as Pasar Seni Market, Central Market is located at JalanTun Tan Cheng Lock, just around the corner from Kota Raya Shopping Centre, on the opposite bank of the Dayabumi Complex.
Best time to visit
Honestly, the best time to visit any market would be when the shopper inside you can’t wait to shed a little fortune, ha! Though, keeping the humor aside, May to July might be the right time, since during that period Kuala Lumpur goes through a dry spell, unlike otherwise.
How to reach
Well, being one of the must-visits in Kuala Lumpur, Central Market could never really be that hard to find. It has a very good connectivity with almost all the major Kuala Lumpur destinations. Strategically located near all the major public transport links, Central Market is merely a few meters away from the Pasar Seni Station.
Exploring Central Market
Central Market or Pasar Seni Market is actually a flea market famous for arts, handicrafts, and souvenirs. The current building which was finished in 1937 has an Art Deco Style. It’s a two-story building, divided into several multi-racial sections, showcasing the diversity of Malaysian Culture. Tourists can find several local made souvenirs as well as local traditional costumes like Cheongsam, BajuKurung, and Sari.
Central Market is one of the most crowded places in Kuala Lumpur with lots of activities going on throughout the day. Well, technically from 10 AM to half past nine in the evening.
Where to eat or where to eat
You name a cuisine, you get it served! All you really have to do is to hunt for the right side of this huge market. In fact, the top-most floor is full of restaurants along with a food court for Asian cuisines.
Did we mention that the market is best for budget shopping? Well actually, you could find things at their cheapest prices, given that you’ve mastered the art of shopping.
If you are a festive-lover, here’s a good news for you: being a multi-cultural place, it witnesses exciting annual festivals like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, and Deepavali. So, if you’re visiting this place during any of these festivals, be prepared to witness the cultural-blast and some goodies from that country filling the marketplace.
That’s not it! There is also a pedestrian walkway beside the Central market, known as Kasturi Walk, where you can find several hawkers and peddlers. It is easily identified with the large ‘Wau’, a traditional Malaysian kite. It’s an open-air walkway and you can enjoy several local foods, drinks, and really cheap but good clothes. So, if you’re looking for the ‘I heart KL’ tee, which you’d be by now, you know where to find it!
Things to keep in mind
Even though the official time for the market operations is from 10 AM to 9:30 PM, the shops start closing by 9 itself.
It might be a little hectic to go through the entire market at once, so know beforehand what you actually want to do there. If you’re just exploring, we’d suggest taking short breaks while enjoying different cuisines and local food served by the hawkers.