Kuala Lumpur ranks as one of the top shopping destinations in Asia. As all budgets are catered for, you will be enticed to shop till you drop! You can also expect both a fantastic variety of products as well as value for money. From designer labels to home-grown brands, even the discerning shopper will be spoiled for choice. But you may like to bring home something typically Malaysian, in which case, spare some time to shop for ethnic crafts. A wide range can be found at the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex and the Central Market.
Among the recommended items are batik (hand-painted or in block motifs available in traditional and contemporary designs, available as pareos, sarongs, scarves, shirts or dresses); songket (cloth intricately handwoven with silver or gold thread); silver items (jewellery, tableware and other home adornments); pewterware (various decorative and functional items); woodcarvings (aboriginal); pottery and ceramic (the choice is mind-boggling, but look out for Sarawak pottery or the Perak labu sayong); and weaved products (from practical bags to trinket boxes).
Places to shop include countless spick-and-span shopping complexes, duty-free shops, department stores, hypermarkets and handicraft centres to make-shift stalls and open-air night markets. Almost all shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur open for business from 10am till 10pm daily, public holidays included.
While the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival which runs from July to September and the Malaysia Savings Sale in December draw hordes of shoppers from around the region with offers of up to 70% discount on store products, you can still find bargains and sales at independent retailers outside scheduled sale carnivals.
Besides larger malls such as Berjaya Times Square, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Suria KLCC and those at the Bukit Bintang and Imbi area, many shopping complexes and departmental stores also offer economical buys such as Pertama Complex, Sogo Departmental Store, Kota Raya and Campbell Complex.
Then there are the numerous shops, flea markets, bazaars and side street stalls, notably dotting Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Masjid India (Little India), Brickfields (another Little India), Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Petaling (Chinatown), Plaza Mont Kiara and even the Sunday Night Market on Jalan Telawi in Bangsar.
On Saturday nights, Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman is closed to vehicles and transformed into a bright and bustling night market with hundreds of stalls selling a gamut of products from foodstuff to leather goods.
Jalan Petaling Night Market in Chinatown sizzles every night while on Sundays, the Pasar Minggu Kampung Baru (Kampung Baru Sunday Market) turns into a treasure trove of shopping delights with local colours, sights and sounds. Below are the major shopping malls in the city:
Jalan Memanda 3, Ampang
Ampang Park is the oldest mall in Kuala Lumpur, and also happens to be the grand dame of bargain buys, especially for electronics and electrical products as well as ethnic clothes. The bazaar-like atmosphere of its shops and stalls that line its corridors make for an interesting visit.
156 Jalan Ampang
Avenue K is a top-end lifestyle mall with eight levels, designed for retail and leisurely pursuits. It’s the place to shop for international brands and local labels.
BANGSAR SHOPPING CENTRE
285 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar
Located in the heart of one of Kuala Lumpur’s posh suburbs, BSC is the place to shop, dine and most importantly, to be seen. The Cold Storage supermarket here stocks a fair amount of foreign foodstuff which is often hard to come by at your regular supermarket. The mall is also home to the Actors’ Studio, one of the country’s most definitive stage performance companies. You can catch seasoned and budding actors performing regularly at the studio.
BANGSAR VILLAGE I & II
Jalan Ara, Bangsar
The complex is spacious and its anchor tenant The Village Grocer attracts many shoppers with reasonably priced fresh fruit and vegetables and other supermarket items. F&B outlets there are cool places to hang out. Shops sell varied items, making the complex vastly popular in vibrant Bangsar.
BERJAYA TIMES SQUARE
1 Jalan Imbi
Berjaya Times Square offers over 500 retail shops. Foodies will be pampered by over 100 choices of cafes, restaurants, bistros and fast-food outlets. Its major attraction, Cosmo’s World, the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia, is a stand alone theme park with an abundant variety of entertainment and thrilling rides catering to all ages. Cosmo’s World also houses one of the longest indoor roller coasters in the world.
111 Jalan Bukit Bintang
Located adjacent and connected at all floors to Sungei Wang Plaza, BB Plaza houses some of the more notable tenants which are shoppers’ favourites. These include the Metrojaya departmental store and several jewellers lined at its entrance. Al fresco cafes at its entrance offer shoppers a welcome respite from the busier pursuits of shopping.
A compact spot that’s great for watches and men’s shoes at affordable prices.
Jalan Hang Kasturi
Once the city’s busiest wet market, Central Market was dramatically transformed in the late 70s to become one of the topmost destinations to hunt for souvenirs and local arts and crafts. Here, tourists will get to soak in the artistic and cultural aspects of Malaysian life as artists ply their skills. Batik and craft shops provide a great shopping experience.
GREAT EASTERN MALL
Located along the prime “Embassy Row” of Jalan Ampang, the mall is home to many specialty stores, including British India and Guess as well as designer cafes like Starbucks. Cold Storage Supermarket is its anchor tenant.
Jalan Bukit Bintang
For up-market buys, head for KL Plaza, home to luxury watch shops, jewelers and beauty salons. The famed Planet Hollywood is located here. Several al fresco eateries along the Bintang Walk belt offer great food and entertainment.
KOTA RAYA COMPLEX
Jalan Cheng Lock
A bargain hunters’ haven, Kota Raya Complex, located across from KL’s Chinatown, has a wonderful selection of gifts and trinket shops that are just as colourful as they are varied. This is also a favouriete hang-out spot for Filipinas on Sundays.
KUALA LUMPUR CRAFT COMPLEX
The complex showcases quality Malaysian handicrafts in both contemporary and traditional designs. There is a large collection of locally produced batik, songket, wood carvings, rattan trinkets and pewter products. There is a Do-It-Yourself Batik-making corner with resident batik makers on hand to assist tourists. At the Artists Colony, tourists get to mingle with local artists and learn about their craft.
50 Jalan Sultan Ismail
Boasting an eye-catching green facede, Lot 10 is a popular haunt for both local and foreign shoppers with Isetan as anchor tenant. It caters for the average income as well as the wealthy. As part of the Bintang Walk area, it also has several al fresco eateries and cafes along its immediate surroundings.
LOW YAT PLAZA
Off Jalan Bukit Bintang
Fronting BB Park, Low Yat Plaza is dedicated to IT products such as computers, laptops and peripherals. It also has a good measure of camera shops, fashion and leather goods stores.
MAJU JUNCTION MALL
1001 Jalan Sultan Ismail
Strategically located at the busy junction of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Sultan Ismail, the mall attracts discerning shoppers with its specialty fashion stores such as Wh by British India and Nichi Fashion City. Besides a food court, it also has an indoor archery centre.
MID VALLEY MEGAMALL
Lingkaran Syed Putra
Mid Valley Megamall offers 5km of shopping, leisure and dining outlets. With more than 430 shops, the mall is also home to three retailing giants, namely, Carrefour, Jaya Jusco and Metrojaya. It also houses a Cineplex, state-of-the-art bowling centre and a one-stop IT centre. If you need to refuel after all that glorious shopping, there’s a whole world of culinary delights just waiting for you. From chic-bistros to fast-food outlets and food courts, they are all teeming to satisfy any tastebud.
Jalan Bukit Bintang
A medium-sized shopping galleria sandwiched between Lot 10 and KL Plaza, Picollo Galleria adopts Italian shopping ambience with specialty stores offering lifestyle fashion products and art pieces. Ristorante L’Opera, a restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine located on the ground floor, is one of the most popular places at Bintang Walk.
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
Though Pertama Complex is one of the oldest shopping complexes in KL, it still has a faithful following of shoppers due to its reasonably priced products, ranging from telecommunication devices to leatherwear such as Cowboy boots and jackets.
SOGO DEPARTMENTAL STORE
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
Located on busy Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Sogo offers a wide range of merchandise with prices ranging from high-end to mid-range. The centre has a well-stocked department store, supermarket, bookshop, restaurants, food court and offices.
PAVILION KUALA LUMPUR
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Consisting of seven levels, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur boats of more than 450 stores offering some of the world’s renown brand names. Shoppers are spoiled for choice in terms of fashion, food and urban leisure.
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Undoubtedly one of the classiest malls in the city, Starhill offers a great selection of top-end designer labels and luxury watches. There is also a great selection of spa and beauty treatments on its Pamper Floor.
SUNGEI WANG PLAZA
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Having the biggest concentration of hair and beauty saloons among the city’s malls, Sungei Wang Plaza offers almost 500 stores offering almost everything under the sun at affordable prices. The complex is anchored by Parkson Grand. Its main entrance is lined with several interesting eateries. It’s the kind of place that shoppers keep returning to.
Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)
Suria KLCC is an up-market shopping destination with hundreds of shops offering a wide range of goods and services that pamper the needs of shoppers – from fashion, entertainment, arts and culture, to local delicacies and international cuisines. The mall is surrounded by hotels, office buildings, a scenic park and dancing fountains. Its anchor tenants include Isetan, Parkson Grand and Tanjong Golden Village.
Located across from the Putra World Trade Centre, The Mall is a relatively large mall with a penchant for leather shops and boutiques. The Parkson department store is its anchor tenant. It also has a Malaccan-themed food court on its top floor.
76 Jalan Raja Chulan
A pleasant medium-sized mall, The Weld has an assortment of shops from bookstores to watch shops, a pharmacy and also a ladies’ wellness centre. Several eateries are located at its concourse area.
Flea markets are great places for browsing or to shop for exotic jewellery, household items, second-hand books, ceramics and other bric-a-brac. The main flea markets in Kuala Lumpur are listed below:
Bangsar Utama Flea Market
Kompleks Niaga Utama
Jalan Timor, Petaling Jaya
Carnival Flea Market, BB Park
Jalan Bukit Bintang
Central Market, Jalan Kasturi
KL Arts Market (Laman Seni)
National Art Gallery
Jalan Tun Razak
First Saturday of the Month: 8am-5pm
Little India, Jalan Masjid India
Mont’ Kiara Craft Mart
Plaza Mont’ Kiara
Sogo Flea Market, Ground Floor
Sogo Shopping Centre
First Sunday of the Month: 11am-7pm
Souk Al-Tar, Maju Junction Mall