What to shop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia‘s premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers. Kuala Lumpur‘s premier shopping district, the Bukit Bintang area in the Golden Triangle, resembles Tokyo‘s Ginza, New York‘s Fifth Avenue and Singapore‘s Orchard Road and has the highest concentration of shopping outlets in Kuala Lumpur, which cater to varying budgets. Bukit Bintang, which is part of the Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, spans over 3 roads, namely Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Imbi and Jalan Sultan Ismail. It houses various cafes, alfresco (open air) dining outlets and shopping complexes such as Berjaya Plaza, Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Kuala Lumpur Plaza, Lot 10, Low Yat Plaza, Pavilion KL, Starhill Plaza and Sungei Wang Plaza.
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is a recent addition to the cluster of shopping malls in this area and houses a wide range of international retail brands in an ultra-modern complex. Both Suria KLCC and Pavilion malls are connected to each other through an elevated, air-conditioned pedestrian bridge. Fans of electronic gadgets would delight in the multitude of choices at Low Yat Plaza, whilst shoppers hunting for the latest in affordable Asian style should definitely check out Berjaya Times Square and Bukit Bintang / Sungei Wang Plaza. It is also the location of the largest single department store in Malaysia, SOGO Kuala Lumpur which is located at a landmark site on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, one of the best known shopping streets for locals in Kuala Lumpur.
Several popular malls lie outside the Golden Triangle. The Bangsar and Midvalley areas are home to some of the best shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, namely the MidValley Megamall and the adjacent upmarket The Gardens, the more cozy Bangsar Village and Bangsar Shopping Centre in Bangsar. The Damansara area north-west of Kuala Lumpur, though not in the city-proper, it is one of the high concentration of shopping outlets in Kuala Lumpur. It houses various shopping malls like The Curve, e@Curve, Ikano Power Centre, IKEA, Cathay Multi Screen Cinemas, Courts Megastore, NiuXehSui Ara Damansara and 1 Utama (one of the top shopping centers in Malaysia).
There are also many shopping malls in the neighboring cities of Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. Malls such as Sunway Pyramid in Petaling Jaya and Empire Subang in Subang Jaya are very nicely designed, and it is worth making the trip down to have a look even if you don’t plan to buy anything.
Despite the onslaught of malls, Kuala Lumpur still offers some Asian tradition with traditional shopping streets and markets. The best area for such shopping is Chinatown in the City Centre. This district is also the best place to hunt for souvenirs, especially in Central Market, a former produce market which has been converted into an art and craft market. It is also known as Pasar Seni in Malay.
The Little India near Jalan Masjid India offers various fabric for use. Most of the fabrics are imported from countries like Indonesia, India and China while some are locally produced. Indonesian traditional batik and songket are traditional fabric commonly found in Central Market. For greater satisfaction choose the hand made ones. You may be interested to buy readymade baju kurung or baju kebaya (the traditional Malay blouse). If you are looking for a high-quality, authentic Malaysian-made products, then the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex which is located in Jalan Conlay would be a perfect place.
Since 2000, the Ministry of Tourism of Malaysia has kick-started the mega sale event for all shopping in Malaysia. The mega sale event is held thrice in a year—in March, May and December—where all shopping malls are encouraged to participate to boost Kuala Lumpur as a leading shopping destination.
Berjaya Times Square – Its currently the 13th biggest shopping mall in the world boasting 12 levels of retail with a total of 320,000 m² (3,5 million ft²). Although initially aimed at the upper-echelon of society. It is currently positioned as a middle-class shopping mall offering youth fashion targeted at the younger crowds. For entertainment, it has the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia located on the 7th floor of the building. It also offers an exciting cinematic experience with its 3D-Imax theatre located on the top floor of the retail podium.
Starhill Gallery – Starhill Gallery is probably the ritziest and luxurious mall in the whole of Kuala Lumpur alongside KLCC. A Louis Vuitton flagship outlet flank the exterior facade of this grand structure. Renowned fashion houses whether Gucci, Fendi, Valentino you name it. It can all be found here. There is a Food Galore on the Lower Ground floor which renders an excellent culinary experience in a cozy setting that exudes grandeur.
Pavilion KL – Built in late 2007, it is targeted at the middle-upper segment of society. It offers a diverse tenant mix which makes it one of the most successful malls in Kuala Lumpur. Pavilion Kuala Lumpur contains over 450 retail shops that are spread across seven levels. Parkson Elite, Golden Screen Cinemas and Harvey Norman are the anchor tenants of this mammoth 7-storey retail podium. There are a number of double-storey flagship stores, of which some are street-front fashion boutiques which constitute the shopping mall, such as Burberry Prosum, Esprit (occupies four floors), Gucci, Hermès, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Prada, Versace and others. There are several fashion and luxury goods boutiques that encompass a large portion of the mall’s retail floor area. Labels such as Paul Frank, Juicy Couture, Kiehl’s, Thomas Pink, YSL, Jean Paul Gaultier, Zegna, Dianie Von Furstenburg, Bebe and Shanghai Tang opened their first stores in Malaysia within this shopping mall. Several eateries and cafés also exist in the shopping mall like fast food restaurants, coffeehouse chains and a Food Republic food court.
Fahrenheit 88 – Renamed and refurbished, now again open for business but as of October 2010 still many unopened stores, previously the deteriorating KL Plaza. Poised to be the new hub for the hip and trendy of Kuala Lumpur, consisting of 300,000 square feet of lettable space spread over 5 levels of zoned shopping space. There are designated zones for Japanese and Korean fashion consisting of an entire floor each. It is widely speculated that Swedish-fashion chain H&M and Japanese Uniql and Muji will make their Malaysian open here late in 2011.
Lot 10 – When opened in 1991, it was considered the Harrods-equivalent of Malaysia housing designer outlets like Aigner and Versace. Over the span of 2 decades, time has however taken a toll on this unique landmark mall which boasts a green facade. Nowadays it is widely-reckoned as a middle-class retail destination as most outlets have shifted as a result of competition and degradation. Since 2016, the anchor tenant is the world’s first Isetan The Japan Store, covering 6 floors with mainly higher-end Japanese brands. Its roof boasts a Garden in the City concept featuring concept restaurants and trendy bars, designer clubs and a Celebrity Fitness gym designed none-other than Yuhkichi Kawai of Super Potatoes. The lower ground floor plays host to Isetan the Japan Store’s Food Hall, as well as Lot 10 Hutong, a cornucopia of Malaysia’s best street food vendors in a comfortable air-conditioned food court.
Low Yat Plaza – Also another veteran on Bintang Walk it remains the ultimate one-stop centre when shopping for electronic gadgets. The ratio between IT outlets and F&B outlets are 70:30. Do not let its fading white-hues fool you as it has a wide range of electronic goods selling at bargain prices considering the ringgit’s sub-par value. Do not always be fooled by the pricing as some unscrupulous sellers may have switched original components of devices with fakes. Verify before purchasing.
Sungei Wang Plaza – Despite being 30 years old, it remains popular, although visitors more towards the younger crowd. It features trendy fashion at low prices. The focal point of youthful, to some, outlandish self-expression; this is the place where goths and cross-dressers roam without looking out of place.
Suria KLCC – Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia’s premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur City Centre. It is on 6 floors, with anchor tenants Isetan, Parkson, Kinokuniya, Tanjong Golden Village, Signatures Food Court, Marks & Spencer, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. Suria is the native Malaysian word for Sunshine. It was opened on August 31, 1999. It houses mostly luxury and fashionable shops, as well as cafes, restaurants, a 12 screen cinema, a concert hall, an art gallery, and a Science Discovery Centre, over 6 floors. It is located directly underneath the Petronas Twin Towers, the ninth tallest building in the world (and the tallest twin towers). It is one of Malaysia’s most popular tourist destinations. Suria KLCC is accessible via the KLCC LRT Station.
The Intermark – The Intermark is a fairly new integrated development with an upscale retail podium, two office towers (namely Vista Tower and Integra Tower) as well as a Doubletree by Hilton hotel. A covered elevated walkway connects The Intermark with nearby Ampang Park Mall and the Ampang Park LRT Station. Companies such as BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan and Michael Page International are tenants in office towers at the Intermark. You can also find The Embassy of Czech Republic and the Royal Norwegian Embassy at the Vista Tower here. A food court as well as an international grocer occupies the lowest floor of the retail podium.
Great Eastern Mall – Great Eastern Mall is located at Jalan Ampang which adjoined with the Menara Great Eastern. Great Eastern Mall Amidst the embassy community, Great Eastern Mall is primed to be the favorite neighborhood mall that offers a ‘fine lifestyle and relaxation’ shopping experience. Alexis, the popular eatery cum jazz bar also has an outlet here.
Avenue K – Avenue K is on Jalan Ampang, opposite Kuala Lumpur City Centre. With its bold tagline, “style has a new address”, the complex is a hip shopping haven complimented by a classy, city-living address, “K Residence”. Avenue K aims to create a “shopping culture, where lifestyle, aesthetic and social elements converge.” It boasts internationally acclaimed fashion brands. Long suffering from below average occupancy, Avenue K has completed a facelift in October 2013. Avenue K is accessible from the KLCC Station in the Kelana Jaya LRT Line.
Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof – Better known as BSC, this high end shopping centre is a favourite among expats and the locals staying around the Bangsar & Damansara Heights neighbourhood. Plenty of cafes & restaurants – a good spot to meet up with friends. BSC also features speciality stores plus the Cold Storage Supermarket. Visit Burlington Tailor shop in BSC.
Bangsar Village, Jalan Ara – This is another favourite with those staying around Bangsar & Damansara Heights neighborhood. Bangsar Village 2 is linked to the original Bangsar Village by a covered pedestrian bridge.