Enjoy the best shopping experiences in Bali at these great places, where you can find a treasure trove of items ranging from fine art and handicrafts, unique homewares, antiques, delicately carved jewellery, wooden sculptures, and woven and dyed fabrics. Bali is where international and world-famous designer brands can be found right beside local and handmade curios. It offers a varied shopping scene, from fixed price to bargain, and from genuine to knock-off items. Art markets are favourites for souvenir and bargain hunters. If you’re not really into haggling and looking for a more modern shopping scene, head into any of Bali’s pleasantly air-conditioned malls, with dining and entertainment features onsite. Bali has become the base for world-class fashion designers, so why not drop into their flagship boutiques while you’re on the island? Whatever your shopping list calls for, here are the best shopping experiences to help you get started on your next shopping adventure in Bali.
Bali’s shopping scene has come a long way to include some of Indonesia’s most modern malls. There’s one (or more) in every major resort area. In Kuta for instance, there are over 3 notable malls, including Kuta Beachwalk, just across the road from the beach with an impressive freeform, airy and unique design that is a major departure from the typical mall. As a resort island destination, Bali may be lacking in high-rising metropolitan buildings and glitzy malls, however some of our favourites are quite large complexes with plenty in the way of dining and entertainment. Some house department stores and gift shops where you can hunt for souvenirs, especially if you’re tired of haggling at art markets
If you’re into putting your bargaining skills to the test, you might find your challenge at Bali’s art markets. They offer the most unique shopping experiences, where you can discover a treasure trove of artworks and handicrafts by talented local craftsmen, some with price tags, but most without. Even if they’re tagged, you can still try your luck (at least for a wholesale price). Most of the art markets in Bali comprise a sprawling scene of small kiosks arranged within a semi-open-air complex; others like the Kumbasari Art Market in Denpasar feature a neatly arranged layout within a dedicated building. Some others offer a combination, such as the famous Ubud Art Market, with a main building and more rows of art kiosks extending throughout its network of back streets
Your great shopping experience in Bali might as well be largely spent along these walking streets. They run through the island’s most popular resort areas, such as Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, as well as Ubud. They’re where you can enjoy a pleasurable stroll and discover most of the shopping hotspots and points of interest, from traditional art markets, fashion boutiques, modern malls and art galleries – all are well connected along the main lengths of these road. Besides the colourful array of shopping spots, some also feature a good mix of restaurants, roadside cafes, and lively bars that serve everything from local and international cuisine, to fresh juice or cold Bintang to help you cool off in between your ‘shopping walks’
When it comes to fashion, Bali is a haven for both designers and customers. The island’s home to some world-renowned designer labels, and most of their boutiques and showrooms are simply a short walk from your hotel or villa. Some have been around since the ‘flower power’ days of Woodstock, which can be seen through their floral inspired fashion designs, while others simply offer originality and a touch of their designer’s personality, much of which has subsequently been imitated and sold widely at ‘art’ markets at lower quality and prices. Inside these boutiques, you can find anything from groovy tropical resort wear, to those dedicated to bikinis and swimwear in colourful designs that look good on you at the beach or by the pool
Homeware and Furniture
Shops Arts and handicrafts are one thing, then there’s exquisite furniture and homeware which are much produced through similar sets of skills and craftsmanship. That’s why it’s no wonder that many head to Bali to hunt for chic designer items. These range from handmade ceramic crockeries that can add some colour to your kitchen and table back home, unique décor pieces that are personally sourced by passionate store owners that make up a big part of their curated collection, as well as rare handicrafts made in Bali by highly skilled artisans. Some outlets showcase an exclusive set of collections produced from their own factory, either specialising in ceramics, upholstery or furniture using certain materials. Themes also vary, from the colourfully ‘hippie chic’, to the modern and nature-inspired motifs such as batiks and tropical plants. Even of you don’t pick up an item, you might get a lot of inspiration for sprucing up your living spaces back home
After sunset, you can head to Bali’s collection of night markets for a local shopping scene that is pretty much food-related. Most are referred to locally as ‘pasar senggol’ or ‘pasar malam’, or night bazaars, and are where you can discover favourite local snacks that you can try for yourself, while deepening your insights on traditional household items and their different uses. Unlike the rambling night bazaars that you may find in most of Southeast Asia, the night markets in Bali mostly feature local and traditional cuisines on display, which come at very reasonable prices. There’s also Balinese arts and crafts, bric-a-bracs and children’s toys sold at separate kiosks, all offered at great bargains. Such night markets in Bali may seem a little chaotic, but it’s exciting and you should try at least once on your visit.
Bali is home to many large jewellery production centres and showrooms, some owned by Balinese families of silversmiths who in old times produced ceremonial and household items, and others owned by international designers who were inspired by the local artistry, and are able to produce their own designs through the skilled craftsmen ship of the local smiths. Some have showrooms alongside workshops that welcome you to observe the creation process, and some go further by handing you the silver beads, tweezers and wireworks to learn from the local artists in creating your own piece to take home
Tegallalang 'Handicrafts Village'
Tegallalang may well be famous for its gorgeous rice fields, but it’s also home to one of the island’s most renowned handicraft producing communities. The village is just several kilometres north of the main Ubud hub, and along its Jalan Raya Tegallalang main road, will find the various cottage industries with showrooms and workshops that you can drop into, to witness from up close woodcarving, painting and even mask making. Different local households deal with the manufacture and even worldwide exports of their assortment of handicrafts and furniture items. Pakudui, a hamlet in Tegallalang, is famous for its life-size woodcarvings of animals and the Garuda mythical bird. It is not an overstatement to say that perhaps the Tegallalang route may also have the longest row of art shops in the world, making a drive along the main route a colourful one indeed
Bali’s clans of goldsmiths have been creating intricate objects for temple heirlooms, rituals and fine jewelleries for centuries. The island’s gold and silver communities are mostly located in the villages of the Gianyar regency, particularly Celuk, Mas and Ubud. The village of Celuk alone, which is approximately 4km southwest of the Sukawati District, is also Bali’s major centre for gold and silver, with its main road lined with galleries and workshops. Visit any of Bali’s top jewellery crafting centres, and you can ask for a brief workshop and showroom tour, and you can even pick up the art of silver making (from granulation to soldering, and down to the final polish) as a highlight of your visit!
Local Fresh Markets
Bali’s fresh markets are where you can catch glimpses into the daily local lives of the Balinese. Besides letting you experience unique traditional vibes with hard bargaining and transactions underway, these early-morning markets are tours in themselves, where you can explore, discover and learn about anything from fresh tropical fruits that you might have never seen (or tasted) before, to interesting knick-knacks and utensils. Even though department stores and supermarkets abound, these traditional fresh markets still play an important role, where most rural community members interact at the start of each day, source basic daily necessities for cooking and housekeeping, and for most of the farmers and traditional vendors themselves, is a main source of income. For visitors, it’s simply an attack on the senses