Malaysia is known for its handmade crafts like batik, songket and pewter items. Take a piece of Malaysia home with you to commemorate memories and adventures enjoyed in this tropical country. Here are some places to buy unique souvenirs in Kuala Lumpur.
A famous landmark founded in 1888, Central Market is now an important culture and heritage hub in the city. What used to be a wet market has now turned into a souvenir shopping haven for tourists to find many Malaysian gifts. You will find a large variety of traditional crafts and souvenirs from all over Malaysia, including batik, songket, wau and pewter goods. If you need a pick me up after all the shopping, head over to the second floor to enjoy delicious Malaysian food.
Head to Sasana Kijang to learn about Malaysian art and its economy. The building houses several galleries including art, numismatics, islamic finance, Bank Negara Malaysia, economics and a children’s gallery. Pop over to the gift shop and you will find a large selection of unique specialty gifts including jewellery, publications and exclusive commemorative items.
Gain an insight to Malaysia’s arts and crafts at the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex where locals and travellers can learn how these handmade items are created. Head over to Karyaneka Souvenir Shop for a diverse selection of gifts. Day-to-day items like bags and wallets are presented with traditional elements (such as batik and weaving), making them perfect gifts to bring home. You can also showcase your creativity and join the various handicraft workshops to create personalised gifts through batik painting, wood carving, pottery and weaving.
Explore the culture and heritage of Malaysia at the National Museum. Visitors can learn everything about the country’s rich history, from prehistoric times and the Malay Kingdom era to the colonization period and where it is today. You will find souvenirs with historical and cultural significance at the museum shop.
Gabriel Orozco, "La DS Cornaline", modified Citroën, 2013 | Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
The National Visual Arts Gallery is the place for art enthusiasts and collectors. Take a stroll through the gallery and enjoy works by local and foreign contemporary artists. The ground floor houses temporary exhibitions by Malaysian and southeast Asian artists while the second and third floor showcases the museum’s permanent collection of over 2,000 works of art. Drop by the gift shop and you will find local artwork, souvenirs and publications.
Get your hands on unique Islamic crafts and artefacts at the Islamic Arts museum shop. Here, visitors can find bold southeast Asian woodwork, home decoration items, and delicate Middle Eastern jewellery. If you are interested in learning more about art and the Islamic world, the shop also offers a good selection of books.
For a beautiful, unique and eye-catching piece to decorate your home with, head over to Royal Selangor Visitor Centre. The museum exhibit is where visitors can experience the rich pewter history and craftsmanship during colonial Malaya. There are also short craft workshops where you can personalise and shape pewter into your very own souvenir to take home. Head over to the gift shop and you will find quality pewterware and one-of-a-kind fine pewter jewellery pieces.
The Malaysian batik, known for its geometrical designs, is a popular souvenir for many tourists. Located in Desa Sri Hartamas, Batik Boutique is an award-winning social enterprise that offers gifts and fashion accessories made from batik. You will find clutches, bangles, card holders, women’s and men’s clothing, scarves and many home accessories made by women from low-income backgrounds. Batik Boutique helps more than 150 artisans gain a fair and sustainable income as well marketable skills.
Having started out as an online retailer that sells products from local designers, Naiise’s brick and mortar store is located in Kampung Attap, a quaint neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur. As a strong supporter of local design, many products chosen by Naiise celebrate the culture and heritage in Malaysia. You will find quirky items like curry puff cushion, siew yoke earrings, pineapple tart cushion, nasi lemak cufflinks and more.
A collector of happy things, Snackfood stocks products from local and international artists that will put a smile on your face. Patrons will find all sorts of items, from household goods to trendy fashion clothing and locally made fine jewellery, in this unique concept store located in Bangsar. Snackfood is the place to go to for the eye-catching souvenir to bring home from Malaysia.
Drop by any supermarket near you in the city – Giant, Tesco, Cold Storage, Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer and Mercato – and you will find snacks that are unique to Malaysia. Popular food and beverage items among tourists include coconut dodol (a toffee-like sugar palm-based dessert), durian dodol, durian candy and Old Town White Coffee packets.
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These recommendations were updated on July 18, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.