15 Best JB Shopping Malls: European-Aesthetic Mall, Retail Park With Mega Bookstore, And More

Images: Paradigm Mall, The Mall Mid Valley South Key, Eco Galleria, Sutera Mall, BookXcess/Sunway Big Box

Regardless of race, language or religion, Singaporeans love to do our festive shopping across the border in Johor Bahru (JB). Whether you’re buying Chinese New Year goodies, Hari Raya baju, Deepavali snacks or Christmas gifts, JB shopping malls do not discriminate. The best part? These things will almost definitely be cheaper in JB than in Singapore.

The question is, which of JB’s shopping malls should you hit up first? After all, some shopping malls in JB are more like giant air-conditioned food courts and aren’t exactly great for a shop-a-thon.

Plus, there have been so many new shopping malls in JB in the past couple of years, it’s hard to keep track of what each mall has. To help you out, here’s a list of the best shopping malls in JB for actual shopping (not eating, getting a massage, or other cheap things to do in JB).


10 best JB shopping malls (+ 5 more that might be worth a visit)

Without further ado, I present the 10 best shopping malls in JB. Some of these are conveniently located close to each other, so if you visit one, might as well visit them all. In total there are 7 shopping clusters. Click on the links in the table below to jump to each section.

JB shopping malls (clustered by location) What’s there? Distance from JB customs
City Square JB + Komtar JBCC Basic shopping, beauty stores Right there
KSL Mall + Holiday Plaza JB Lots of barang barang shops 10 min drive
Paradigm Mall Home and furnishing 20 min drive
The Mall Mid Valley Southkey Sogo Malaysia, high-end brands 20 min drive
IKEA + Toppen JB (NEW) + Aeon Tebrau City Home & furnishing, mid-to-high end brands 30 min drive
Aeon Bukit Indah Basic shopping (convenient for Westies) (Tuas Link) 20 min drive
Johor Premium Outlets Branded factory outlet stores 40 min drive

Apart from the top 10, here are 5 more that seasoned JB day-trippers may want to visit for special reasons.

JB shopping malls What’s there? Distance from JB customs
Sunway Big Box Retail Park BookXcess, the biggest bookstore in Southern Malaysia 25 min drive
Plaza Pelangi Electronics and IT stores 10 min drive
Sutera Mall Nostalgia, memories, and heartland feels 20 min drive
Angsana Mall Plenty of stores selling baju kurung and Muslimah fashion 20 min drive
Eco Galleria Biggest Jaya Grocer supermarket in Malaysia 20 min drive


Area 1: City Square JB + Komtar JBCC

City Square is basic but ultra-convenient. Literally the very first shopping mall you see right after you clear immigration at JB customs, and it’s still the best-known and most popular of the JB shopping malls.

It’s not really great for shopping; most Singaporeans come here to eat and watch movies. That said, you can sometimes snag cheap and legit festive goodies if there’s a fair going on at the atrium.

Just next door, the more atas Komtar JBCC has way better shops, especially for beauty & skincare. This is a great pit stop if you’re shopping for girly Christmas gifts; there’s a big Sephora, M.A.C, Chanel, Laniege, L’Occitane, Bath & Body Works, etc. 

You can also find familiar boutiques scattered about the mall, such as Charles & Keith, Tumi, Timberland and Adidas. Check out the Komtar JBCC store directory for the full list!


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A post shared by KOMTAR JBCC (@komtarjbcc)

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Area 2: KSL City Mall + Holiday Plaza JB

Like City Square JB, KSL City Mall is another JB shopping mall that should at least sound familiar to most Singaporeans. It’s about a 10-minute Grab ride or drive away from customs.

KSL City Mall is massive compared to both City Square and Komtar JBCC, and it has a very eclectic mix of tenants including lots of Miniso-type barang barang shops. If you’re looking for random stocking-fillers, this is the kind of place you’d go to pick up RM3 phone cases and the like. Plus, expect good deals if there’s an atrium sale like this one:


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A post shared by KSL City Official Page (@kslcity)

Before you leave KSL City Mall, you might also want to try the huge Tesco hypermart at KSL City Mall for Christmas goodies or for just looking around since we don’t have a Tesco in Singapore. View the KSL City Mall directory.

While you’re in the area, you could also swing by Holiday Plaza JB, which is an 8-minute walk away according to Google Maps. It’s an older shopping mall (one reviewer described it as having 1980s vibes) with not much going on shopping-wise. But on the plus side, it’s more peaceful too. I’ve also heard that you can get really cheap haircuts, manicures and massages, plus some good deals on electronics like chargers and other mobile phone accessories.

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Area 3: Paradigm Mall JB

Meet JB’s largest mall, with about 500 retail stores: Paradigm Mall. Definitely one of the more modern and successful shopping malls in JB, Paradigm Mall is now heavily frequented by Singaporean day-trippers. But you’d never know it. Paradigm Mall is so huge that it never feels crowded.

The main draws here are the activities (indoor rock climbing and ice skating, both way cheaper than in Singapore) but the shopping is decent, too.

Personally I like Paradigm Mall for home and furnishing stuff. There’s a big Harvey Norman for appliances, HomePro (Malaysia’s Home Depot) for DIY things, Akemiuchi for bedding, and Kaison and Romantika for stuffed toys and home decor.

But because it’s so huge, there’s also a little bit of everything here, from H&M to Toys-R-Us to Pet Lovers Centre. See the Paradigm Mall directory here.

If you want to pamper yourself, Hyatt Place Johor Bahru Paradigm Mall just opened in Nov 2023. The hotel is attached to Paradigm Mall, so you can pretty much walk into your shopping spree from your hotel room. It’s like how Hotel Jen (Orchard) in Singapore sits directly above Orchardgateway.

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Area 4: The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey

The Mall Mid Valley Southkey is probably the best new shopping mall in JB that opened in 2019. Like Paradigm Mall, Mid Valley Southkey is HUGE, and it’ll take you the entire day to finish walking through it. On the plus side, The Mall Mid Valley Southkey pulls out all the stops when it comes to decking out their expansive space for festive occasions. Just look at their Christmas 2023 set-up across the entire ground floor!

Singaporeans of a certain age will love the mall’s flagship tenant, Japanese department store Sogo. Its got the feels of Tangs, but at about a third of the price.

The rest of the shops here are on the higher end of the SES scale, and wouldn’t look out of place in Ion Orchard. Think Muji, Coach, Kate Spade and JD Sports. 

There are 2 more novelties at Mid Valley Southkey to get excited about: DIN by Din Tai Fung (the no-pork version of DTF, for our Muslim friends!) and classic Japanese combini Family Mart (also missing from SG). I love the food at Family Mart; it’s so much better than 7-Eleven in my Japanese food-lover opinion, and I could totally make a meal out of their hot oden, bento boxes, and soft serve matcha ice cream.

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Area 5: IKEA + Toppen JB + Aeon Tebrau City

So you might’ve decided that buying furniture at IKEA Malaysia isn’t worth the trouble, since prices are not necessarily cheaper than in Singapore. But does our IKEA have an entire mega shopping mall attached to it? I think not.

IKEA Malaysia’s massive Tebrau outlet is connected to a shopping mall attachment called Toppen JB. It’s a 4-storey mall that’s said to be nice and spacious, with a value-for-money food court and indoor playgrounds for the young ones, and even a free water play park on the rooftop. A very family-friendly mall! 

Of course, what’s a shopping mall without shops? Toppen is home to various retailers across fashion, home, games, and food categories for all your shopping needs (view its store directory). One of their newest tenants is Remode Hub, a Singapore-based company that specialises in automated laundry rack systems. They also sell medical-grade air purifiers, in case you want to be extra safe and guard against COVID-19. If you’re thinking of purchasing something from Remode Hub, you may want to visit their outlet in Toppen to see if prices are cheaper. Just make sure you have a way to lug your purchase safely back across the border back home to Singapore.


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A post shared by Toppen Shopping Centre (@toppenmy)

If Toppen doesn’t satiate your thirst to shop, you can pop over to Aeon Tebrau City just across the road. This Aeon Mall is pretty high-end for JB and has a bit of that MBS / Jewel vibe.

There are a few high-profile shopping destinations at Aeon including a Muji outlet and the flagship Aeon hypermart, plus stores like Uniqlo, Owndays, M.A.C, Sephora, Under Armour and JD Sports. I also just want to shoutout Auntie Anne’s at Aeon, home to my favourite cinnamon sugar pretzels at a third of the price thanks to our favourable SG/RM exchange rate.

View the Aeon store directory online.

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Area 6: Aeon Bukit Indah

Another major Aeon shopping mall in JB—seems like Aeon is the CapitaLand Mall of Johor?—that would be of interest to westies is Aeon Bukit Indah, which is only 20 minutes’ drive away from Tuas Link.

This allows you to sidestep the horrible traffic around Woodlands checkpoint, on both sides (Singapore and JB). Plus, Bukit Indah is just a lot less… messy.


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A post shared by AEON MALL (@aeonmallmalaysia)

Shopping-wise, Aeon Bukit Indah is pretty basic, similar to City Square JB. It certainly doesn’t have the superstar appeal of Aeon Tebrau City or The Mall, Mid Valley Southkey. But if you’re not fussed you can get basic items at the hypermart here (or the Tesco just down the street). You can also find a Brands Outlet, Thai Odyssey massage parlour, and Dunlopillo in the mall.

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Area 7: Johor Premium Outlets

Okay, this is quite far away from the JB city centre and requires quite a bit of travelling (at least 40 minutes by car). 

But if you love designer clothes, Johor Premium Outlets is a must-visit factory outlet. It’s the closest thing we have to one of those American-style factory outlet villages. 

It feels like a perpetual Club 21 sale here. In fact, there’s a Club 21 Outlet store here, alongside a ton of “masstige” brands like Coach, Jimmy Choo and Kate Spade. Lots of athleisure brands too, like Lululemon, Under Armour and Adidas. The line-up of brands keeps growing too—as of 15 Dec 2023, Christian Louboutin is now open at Johor Premium Outlets.

Enough name-dropping—you can see the full Johor Premium Outlets store directory. There’s lots of amenities and F&B options here so you actually can spend the entire day here quite comfortably.

You can also check out their Instagram page because they seem to treat it like a big e-noticeboard for all the Christmas deals offered by different brands; each post is a different advertorial poster showcasing that brand’s festive promo.

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Bonus: 5 unique JB shopping malls worth a visit

So I’ve covered the 10 best JB shopping malls for overall shopping, but if you’re looking for special items or just sheer novelty, here are 5 more standouts.

1. Sunway Big Box Retail Park—Biggest bookstore in Southern Malaysia

Sunway Big Box Retail Park is a 20-minute drive from City Square Mall (the mall you basically walk into from the customs) and has one main claim to fame: A giant bookstore. In fact, the biggest in Southern Malaysia.

Nothing beats holding a book physically in your hands, and if you want to browse physical books in a bookstore, it doesn’t get much more indulgent than the IG-worthy bookworm’s dream that is BookXcess.

Image: BoocXcess / Sunway Big Box

We do have a BookXcess in Singapore tucked away in Wisma Artria. But it isn’t this massive, and it going to be more expensive here than in JB (as most things are!).

Need to entertain the kids at Sunway Big Box? Give their EnergX Park trampoline park a go, where your kids can try their hand at a Ninja Obstacle Course, Zip Line and of course trampolines. The entrance fee gets you free access for the whole day.

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2. Plaza Pelangi—Best for electronics

Located quite close to KSL City Mall (a 10-15 minute walk), Plaza Pelangi is a quiet, nondescript (but comfortable) shopping mall with shops selling mainly electronics

To me, Plaza Pelangi is something like the Sim Lim Square or pre-renovation Funan Mall of JB. If you’re looking for a cheap Oppo or Vivo phone or a second hand laptop, this could be a good place to visit.

It’s also got a supermarket and some other retailers, but unlike Toppen JB, this definitely isn’t a mall that would excite the kids.

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3. Sutera Mall—For those nostalgic, old school vibes

sutera mall jb johor bahru
Image: Sutera Mall

Sutera Mall is one of those old-school shopping malls that only JB lao jiaos would know about. That, or you heard about it on social media earlier this year for being that JB mall that held a “Fat Cat Competition”, which drew flak for encouraging overfeeding.

However you know of it (or don’t), Sutera Mall been around forever. And somehow it’s still standing, even with the arrival of big, shiny malls like KSL City Mall, Aeon Tebrau City and Paradigm Mall. It’s pretty much a Malaysian heartland mall, complete with a library and an Aeon Big supermarket. Not much to buy here, but probably worth visiting at least once for fun or for the memories, for you old-timey folks.

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4. Angsana Mall—Best for Hari Raya shopping

According to reviews, Angsana Mall is a great place to shop for Hari Raya preparations and is a mall that serves mainly the Malay community. There are lots of stores selling baju kurung, Muslimah fashion and other festive items. You can shop till you want to drop, at which point the mall’s 2 food courts will give you sustenance to continue. There’s also a bowling alley for entertainment, should you get bored while your companions continue their shop-a-thons.

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5. Eco Galleria—European aesthetic and the biggest Jaya Grocer in Malaysia

Image: Eco Galleria

Eco Galleria looks stunning. The 4-storey mall is full of pristine white columns and walls beneath a high ceiling, with corridors lined with quaint European-looking railings. You can probably guess that its stores are going to match its high-end aesthetic—luxury stores in this mall include the likes of Louis Vuitton and Prada.

Aesthetics and atas-ness aside, Eco Galleria debuted the largest Jaya Grocer in Malaysia in Sep 2023—that’s a Malaysian supermarket chain. Its Eco Galleria outlet is a sprawling 3,250 square metre space that is said to house more than 400,000 units of products.

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Before you start on that JB shopping frenzy…

Here are a few things you should remember.

GST-free import limits: Whatever you buy from JB and dapao back to Singapore is considered an “import”, and is therefore subject to GST. You can bring in up to $100 per person of goods without paying GST if you’ve been out of the country for less than 48 hours. If bringing home more, you need to declare it at SG customs and pay the 7% extra.

JB travel insurance: JB may be so close to Singapore that you don’t feel the need to get travel insurance, but you might want to grab a cheap travel insurance policy, just in case anything happens. You never know.

Changing money: JB is pretty much a cash-based sort of place, so it’s a must to change some ringgit and bring it along. If you’re planning to spend a lot and don’t want to carry a big wad of cash around, consider using one of these credit cards for overseas spending or a multi-currency card like TransferWise or YouTrip (to save on forex transaction fees).

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