Central Festival Pattaya allows you to avoid the heat while having access to awesome shops and restaurants
If you are spending longer than a day or two in Pattaya, Thailand, chances are you will eventually want to do some shopping followed by a relaxing lunch or a dinner.
When you do, you may not be up for the heat of local markets or the discomfort of eating in a non-air-conditioned open-air restaurant.
After all, Pattaya is incredibly hot for most of the year and shopping and eating while dripping with sweat is never particularly pleasant.
That is one reason why both locals and knowledgeable tourists flock to Central Festival Pattaya — the city’s largest and best shopping mall — and a perfect spot for both shopping and dining, as well as an entertainment destination for many.
With its seven floors of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, Central Festival Pattaya has something for everyone, and at a price that can be extremely affordable.
The location of Central Festival Pattaya
Upon arrival at Central Festival Pattaya, one of the things you will immediately notice is the location — from Beach Road to Second Street, the mall and its attached hotel — The Hilton — takes up the whole block.
Along with that the mall is one of the few in the world where you can have a panoramic view of the ocean and beach from a number of the restaurants and shops in it.
On a sunny day, which is most days in Pattaya, you really cannot beat it.
Shopping at Central Festival Pattaya
No matter what you are looking for, Central Festival Pattaya’s 370 shops have it as the mall has stores selling clothing, shoes, household items, furniture, jewelry, make-up, electronics, cameras, books and gifts.
You will also find everything from high-end brand names like Armani and Calvin Klein to much more affordable labels like Marks & Spencer, H&M and AIIZ, and both western and Thai brands.
There is an Apple iStudio if you are looking for a computer or a new phone and, if you love cheap Japanese products, don’t miss the excellent Daiso branch where most things are 100 baht.
Most Thai banks have a branch in the mall and, if you need medication, make-up or toiletries, both Boots and Watsons have branches.
Be sure to also check out the ground floor as there are always sale stalls set up or special offers on things like running shoes, suitcases, washing machines and clothing.
Dining at Central Festival Pattaya
If you want a venue featuring a slew of dining options, this upscale mall is the place to be. Especially when it is raining or too hot to want to eat in an open air restaurant or at a street stall.
Sit down restaurants at Central Festival Pattaya include MK Restaurant, Hajime, Sizzler, Oishi Ramen, Pepper Lunch, KFC, The Pizza Company, Trattoria, Fuji, S&P, Hachiban, Bar B Q Plaza, Black Canyon, Yum Saap and Yayoi to mention just a few.
The mall also has two excellent food courts — with the newest one, Beach Eats, opening late last year.
Beach Eats is a little more expensive than Food Park, the older food court, but features stalls serving Thai, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Arabic, Russian and Japanese food.
And, of course, ‘expensive’ means dishes at 140-160 baht ($4.50 to $5.50) are the norm, rather than the typical meals under 100 baht ($3.20) you will find at Food Park.
If you are with several people, and all want to eat something different, then both food courts are a good option. If you want access to mainly non-Thai food, Beach Eats is the better choice.
To check out both food courts, watch the video from Bangkok69 below.
Entertainment at Central Festival Pattaya
One of the big reasons the mall is so popular in both the heat of the summer and in rainy season is it offers shopping and dining opportunities first, but also features a number of excellent entertainment options.
There is an SFX movie theater, an outdoor movie theater, a bowling alley and even a couple of options for the kids — Kiddy Land and Mario Land games arcade.
That means you can head there for lunch and a spot of shopping, and then watch a movie followed by an evening of bowling and beers.
There is even a First Class Cinema, which is pricier than the regular SFX movie theater but comes with a smaller and much more cozy screening room, comfy chairs, blankets and the option to order food and drinks via to consume while watching the latest movie release via waiter service.
Just be careful you choose the movie with the English subtitles if you don’t speak Thai.
And don’t leave the mall without checking out the outside area either as there will often be live music playing up to well past midnight in one area along with a superb night market in another.
Do some last minute shopping, grab a beer from one of the surrounding bars and a snack from a food stall, find somewhere to sit and finish up your fun day relaxing to some superb local music.
Central Festival Pattaya is Between Beach Road and Second Road on Pattayasaisong Road. Check out the map below for directions, but any taxi can take you there.