Information before you go
Bali shopping is a popular activity as many travelers to this island take full advantage of products sold much cheaper here than at home. So not surprisingly there are thousands of shops which you can find literally everywhere.
The streets of Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur and Ubud are covered with all kinds of shops selling everything you can think of. If shopping is your thing than you will feel totally at home in these places.
Thousands of shops in Kuta Beach Area selling everything you can think of
If you prefer to avoid shopping then we highly recommend leaving the main tourist villages behind and head for the rural areas where the only shop is a local owner selling household goods ;-)
But that said, even a non-shop alcoholic will shamefully catch themselves looking at shops selling beautiful local products such as baskets, jewelry, statues, paintings and house accessories ranging from candle holders, tableware to ceramics.
And that is the great thing about shopping in Bali. The local products are classy and even souvenirs don't look tacky once at home.
Beautiful souvenirs from Bali
The best place to go shopping is of course at the market. The most popular markets are Ubud Market at Jalan Monkey Forest road and Sukawati Market. Here you can find all kinds of Balinese items that you can take home with you.
If you really want something unique and hand made buy your souvenirs when traveling around the island. Some villages are known for a special type of craft, such as weaving or creating beautiful things from coconut shells. Not only will you think back of that specific place every time you look at it but you will be helping Balinese business women (sellers are usually women) as well.
Surf shops in abundance
Thinking more in terms of a shopping frenzy and picturing yourself heading home with suitcases full of new things?
Then you will soon find yourself at one of the big shopping streets of Bali...
The most popular and longest shopping street starts at Kuta and is called Jalan Legian. It runs all the way through Legian and ends in Seminyak as Jalan Raya Seminyak and Jalan Raya Kerobokan. From the very beginning to the final end you will find shops, spas, an occasional hotel and restaurants.
In Kuta and Legian you can find cheap local shops selling clothing, bags, lamps, handicrafts, jewelry, sarongs, painting etc but right next to these stores you will also find little designer boutiques and famous international brands such as Quicksilver, Replay and Vans.
The new modern mall at Kuta Beach, very much out of place
Generally these shops are catered to surfers and the mass tourist who doesn't want to spend too much and who turns a blind eye to counterfeit products.
As if there isn't enough choice already Kuta has also built a new mall called the Kuta Beach Walk. Here and at the 2 other malls (Discovery and Galleria) you can find international brands and designer stores. You can basically shop for the same clothes and things as you would do at home.
The boutique shops on Jalan Raya Seminyak, Jalan Raya Kerobokan and Jalan Petitenget are catered to those who are seeking something exclusive and have more to spend.
Prices at boutiques and international brand stores are pretty expensive despite being in Indonesia. But there is still a lot of stuff which is somewhat cheaper than at home.
In Seminyak boutiques are found at Jalan Seminyak and Jalan Petitenget
In Sanur and Ubud you have a similar situation as in the Kuta area. There is one main road in Sanur called Jalan Danau Tamblingan where you can do some shopping. The majority of these shops are cheap local shops with every now and then a boutique. Sanur also has a small mall called Hardy's. It is more a local supermarket that also has a floor with Balinese handicrafts and clothing.
As for Ubud, you can almost say that this little village is bursting with shops. Jalan Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Hanoman are the biggest streets for shopping while the side streets have many boutiques, handicrafts and antique shops too.
Ubud has many shops for art and handicrafts
For bigger stuff such as furniture, big Balinese statues made out of wood or stone or other ware you need to look a bit out of town.
Drive along the big main streets connecting major villages such as Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Jalan Sunset Road, Jalan Raya Uluwatu at Jimbaran area, Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai between Kuta and Sanur or the bigger streets leading to Ubud. Make sure you have a car or a driver to take you around.
Along the by passes and bigger roads you can find furniture and whole sale products
When you are shopping in Bali the general rule is that if there is a price tag on it you don't need to bargain. This is definitely the case in stores selling international brands, in malls and shops like Hardy's.
But if you are in a small boutique and are buying more then one item it is worth the try...
If there is no price tag to be found then it is up to your bargaining skills to determine how much you are going to pay.
What I always do is start with half the price they offer and from there on I go up. Sometimes the game of bargaining can take pretty long and there are moments of playful acting with sad faces and dramatic gestures.
Enough Balinese sarongs to choose from...
When you are playing along don't forget that you are on a holiday and that at the end you are there to enjoy yourself. Make sure that the game doesn't turn into an argument and remember that the shop owner will never go under the actual price.
Once you and the shop owner agree on a price then go for it. It is rude to decide not to buy the item once the shop owner gives in to the price you have bargained for.
Shop keepers place offerings near the products for prosperous sales...
At the end the shop owner might have made a nice profit and you have probably paid a tiny bit more than necessary. But just remember you have a beautiful souvenir plus you have made another Balinese happy who will immediately start slapping the money you have given him/her on all the remaining items in the shop for more fortune in the future.
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Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.