The Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market is a main attraction to shop for local specialties in Malaysia. It’s known by locals as Pasar Seni or Pasar Budaya.

The building was built on the early 1900s by British and it was used as wet market for Kuala Lumpur citizens and tin miners that time.

Central Market was planned for demolition during the construction of DayaBumi nearby in 1981, but the plan was scrapped following public protest.

In 1985 the market was renovated into a unique venue to attract both locals and tourists to visit, browse, shop, eat, rest and be entertained. In 1986 it was officially known as Pasar Budaya.

Apart form the interesting mix of tenants and shops, the unique feature of the Central Market is the provision of 120 monthly rented “Kiosks,” or refurbished old market stalls.

In no others shopping complex is there such a variety of stalls selling all kind of merchandise such as personalised T-shirts, handicrafts, portrait artists, souvenirs and an array of other interesting paraphernalia.

In order to retain the charm and uniqueness of Central Market, the privatized owner has converted part of the mezzanine floor area to house a “Kampung” (Malay Village). In this kampung area, they have created eight shop lots with the overall facade to reflect a Malay Village.

The atmosphere in this “Kampung Baru” is reminiscent of a traditional kampung and only traders specialising in traditional crafts like Tekad (gold embroidery) weaving, Wau Kelantan (giant kites), Songket (gold weaving) and Sutera (silk), Batik making, Kelantan silver and Malay antiques are allowed in this area.

Central Market has never looked back since. Locals and foreigners throng the Market daily with an average monthly turnout of 1.5 million visitors. In the ten years since it opened, Central Market has gained recognition not only locally but also internationally and is regarded as a “not to be missed destination ” in Kuala Lumpur.

Central Market has become one of the most requested places to visit by foreign dignitaries and VIPs. Its exciting mix of kiosks, shops, restaurants, cultural performance and recreational spaces provide a showcase of Malaysian Arts and Crafts and the richness and variety of Malaysian culture and cuisines.

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