Shopping in Bali is a shoppers paradise! Designer products, genuine fake designer products, clothing, surf boards, silver, batiks, wooden furniture, objet d'art of stone, wood and glass, dvd's and video games, it is all here!
It is compulsory to barter, even in a lot of shops! In markets, start offering at below half the price and don't be afraid to walk away if negotiations are not going as well as you would like! The shopkeeper won't want to lose your custom but if they let you walk away, then your expectations are too high! Their favourite phrase is you make me bankrupt!
Don't be tempted to haggle too much over a trivial amount. A few thousand rupiah could be loose change to you, but maybe as much as a days income to a local! The first sale of the day is always appreciated and the shopkeeper will usually tap the money you hand over to thank the Gods.
Always check the quality of what you are buying before you purchase it and don't barter if you have no intention of buying. Check out our Do's and Don'ts page for tips.
Outside of the main shopping streets, there are certain areas that are renown for certain crafts which are exported the world over. The road from Seminyak to Canggu is renowned for teak furniture and some amazing glassware galleries. Between the galleries there is an abundance of shipping companies that will deliver your purchases worldwide.
On the way to Ubud, the centre of arts of crafts in Bali, you will travel along the road through Celuk, Mas and Tegallalang, each of these villages specialise in various manufacturing of crafts such as stone, art, batik, silver, brass and wood. Your driver will stop if you ask him or sometimes he will automatically do so, but either way, don't feel pressured into buying anything if you don't want to.
If you are looking for a particular item, these are certainly the places to buy. You also get the opportunity to watch the artisans creating their designs.
Bring little with you and take back lots!
KUTA TO LEGIAN
Kuta to Legian is a shopaholics dream for shopping in Bali. In Kuta, Matahari is the department store in Kuta Square and is very popular with locals and tourists. On the ground floor is a food hall, book shop and a reputable money exchange.
At Kuta Square and the Poppies Lanes, you can find the art markets selling, cheap clothing, surf boards, leather, handicrafts and dvd shops. Along Legian all the way to Seminyak, the handicraft shops start to become more upmarket and sit side by side with surf shops such as Ripcurl and Quicksilver.
The Discovery Mall in Kuta has all the usual designer shops, bookshops, opticians, jewellery shops etc that you would expect to see and then when you are shopped out have a drink or lunch at one of its many cafes.
Other international brands like Oakley, Camper, Nike, Adidas, Animale, Paul Smith, Reebok and Ralph Lauren are just a few of the designer goods that you can buy at discounted prices. Uluwatu located in Kuta and Sanur are Balinese lace makers and sell beautiful bed linen and select clothing and are definitely worth a visit (and a purchase!).
Like the new upmarket hotels and luxury villas in Seminyak that are sprouting up, high quality shops and boutiques are opening and are scattered about the area sitting comfortably alongside handicraft shops, cafes and restaurants.
Sanur has increasingly more shops opening and are really spread out along one road set back from the beach.
There is also a beachfront art market with a very good community operated restaurant on the beach.
On the main road between Kuta and Sanur, you will find the plush DFS Galleria. High end international labels priced in US dollars, converted into rupiah at the point of sale.
Behind the Galleria is the Mal Bali, a large attractive shopping centre including an enormous Matahari, the large supermarket and department store chain and plus plenty of other shops and eateries.
Apart from the usual tourist shops, there are 1 or 2 original shops here in Jimbaran Bay, worth a look at as their products are aimed at the export market and are of high quality. One of these is 'Jenggala' originally opened in 1976 and was co owned by New Zealand born Bret Hesselyn and Indonesian Wija Waronruntu, both now deceased. The business continues and thrives. They invite you to browse their showrooms to view their beautiful designer ceramics and glassware and also watch demonstrations of them being made.
Ubud is the heart of arts and crafts in Bali including all roads leading to it ! You will be spoilt for choice if you want to buy stone, silver, wood, brass, glass, basket ware or art amongst many other things.
The art market in the town is a maze of stalls selling everything, all of which is made locally. On one of our visits, Julia Roberts had been filming Eat, Pray, Love. In one of her scenes, she was walking through the market and if it hadn't have been for the yellow tape on the floor directing her, she would still be there! Pity they didn't leave it down for every one else to follow!
They are many, many individual shops where craftsmen sell their products around the little villages that surround Ubud. If you go to the Monkey Forest for example, you will find some little shops in Padangtegal, quite good as you can just wander along without having to go on any main roads.
If you buy basket ware, there are two grades, one from Bali and one from Lombok. The one from Lombok is much finer and thus more expensive. If you particularly want the finer basket ware, make sure you end up with all of the items the same when buying and not one from Lombok and all the others from Bali!
SHOPPING AROUND THE ISLAND
Of course, where ever you go, there will be someone wishing to sell something and there are artisans all over the Bali. Don't be afraid to stop, and even if you just say hello, look and not buy anything, that's ok, they will still appreciate your visit!