Ultimate Bali Guide: Where to Shop on Your Bali Vacation
The Place To Be
Lush paradise, incredible sunsets, cliff-top venues and one of a kind shopping options. Sounds like a cliche? Call it Bali, or the place to be. Either way, the uniqueness of this tropical island presents itself in many forms. The local shopping options are definitely one of them. Indonesia is an inspiration by itself, where creativity meets passion for fashion, art and design. So ladies, if this is your vibe, let's talk [some serious shopping] business. Ready?
Over the past few years, Bali has been reaching sky-high when it comes to shopping options. Not just a beautiful piece of natural paradise, but also a vibrant mecca for shopaholics. The streets of Canggu and Seminyak offer a variety of local and international brands at trendy markets, boutiques and bazaars. And forget shopping malls!
Did you know that you can take shopping tours in Bali? Now hand on heart, what more could fashionistas and clothes-crazed individuals dream of?
No doubt Indonesians are very talented with a strong background of skilled craftsmanship. Now if you combine locally handcrafted products with affordable prices, it is truly every shopper's dream.
Markets feel like a cultural icon for Balinese people. It's a daily occasion where shopping meets socialising, gossiping and brings communities together. They are a symbol of everyday Balinese lifestyle.
And now the expat community has brought their own market traditions to the island. Bringing western and local style together creates a unique culture at weekend markets. You will be blown away by everything they offer! That’s why we love them oh-so-much.
Things To Know Beforehand
Before you decide to take part in this shopping adventure, read the following tips. Your closet and wallet will thank you.
The language barrier is something you don't have to stress about. The locals are very accommodating to travellers with basic knowledge of English. Otherwise simple hand signals and asking ‘how much?’ will get you through negotiation.
It's natural you will be looking for price tags when shopping around. Don't be surprised if you can't find any. You’re in for some bargaining! And don't be shy to negotiate. Ask for the ‘morning price’ if you get there early, ‘afternoon price’ if it’s later than 3 pm. If all else fails, ask for a price that locals get, by dropping the line 'Saya minta harga local'. The stallholders are used to it. You are more likely to cut the price down by 20% - 40%. Some are more aggressive sellers than others, and even an eye towards an item will get them trying to sell to you.
Where Should You Go Shopping?
The most sought after markets in Bali are located in Canggu, Seminyak and Ubud. However, they vary in products. In the area of Canggu, you will find trendy hipster style markets and upmarket boutiques. Seminyak offers bartering street stalls and cool boutique options. Markets in Ubud sell mostly artisan made products from locals living nearby.
While most things are quite cheap, apart from boutiques, keep in mind it takes time to create each product. This can sometimes make determining a fair price hard while bargaining. Even if you pay a few more dollars, you still got a good deal gal.
Love Anchor Market
Canggu, hipster district of Bali, offers an exciting selection of markets and bazaars. Monday to Sunday, 9 am to 9 pm, calls for Love Anchor, one of Canggu's most photogenic markets! This unique bazaar is a complex of shops, pop-up stalls, bars and restaurants attracting hipster crowds of Canggu streets. Their dreamy fairy light decor enhances its street tropical style and funky atmosphere.
Shop island fashion, accessories, jewellery, dreamcatchers, homeware, artwork, food and much more. After a long shopping session, you might feel like a drink, or two. Don't miss out on the daily cocktail happy hour, buy one get one free. Call it a real shopping paradise baby!
Old Man's Market
Keep the last Sunday of each month open to attend another hip market at Old Man's in Canggu. With up to 150 stalls, it might become your new monthly affair. Quirky Old Man's stalls sell literally everything. From boho style jewellery, fun beachwear, and artwork to baked goods and organic skincare.
This market gives you a feeling of community. Creating new connections with people or catching up with old friends. It is also a place where all the startups and small businesses hang out.
Samadi Organic Market
The most local Canggu market, Samadi, opens its gate every Sunday at 9 am and runs until 2 pm. The main focus is on organic produce from local farmers, fresh fruit and vegetables. And many more! Imagine hot homemade scones, fresh seafood, quirky accessories, Bali bikini or lifestyle products. Also spices, goat milk and the most delicious local Jamu, an Indonesian health tonic. It is a powerful liquid herbal medicine made from turmeric. So damn-licious! A real organic paradise!
Biasa+ Eccentric Art Space Market
Now it's time to appreciate some art. Oh, and good pies! You can't skip Seminyak's art space, Biasa+. Mark your calendar for every second Saturday. This famous art space transforms into a bazaar square in the gallery's yard. If you appreciate good art and tasty hot pies, you are in the right place. Did we mention the sushi corner and perfectly-brewed coffee? Overall, this is a different sort of market that showcases art in all forms.
Ubud Art Market
Ubud markets are a paradise for handcrafted products sourced from the surrounding local villages. Located opposite the Royal Ubud Palace, right in the heart of Ubud. It's a perfect place to stock up on artisan-quality gifts before you head back home. To snap up the best deals, get there in the morning.
Garage Sales And Flea Markets
Western-style garage sales are quite new to Bali and flea-style markets are starting to take over the island. .Unfortunately, there are no set locations. The best place to hear about them are through expat Facebook groups, like “The Bali Expats” and “Bali Unlimited”. The only event which runs on a regular schedule is set in cafe 'Drop. The Coffee Spot' in Seminyak area. This garage sale event happens on the last Sunday of the month. You can score clothes, shoes, books, jewellery or cool household items.
Did you know that you can sometimes negotiate with local boutiques? You can't expect market price drop, but they are often willing to go down in price. Even fancy shops in Seminyak's Petitenget and Oberoi streets. At least it's always worth a try. But don't try to haggle over a price in high-end and western branded boutiques or outlets.
If you are after unique shopping experience, 'Bali Boat Shed' will meet your needs. It is a concept store showcasing Bali's best brands. The unique range of apparel, jewellery, accessories and homeware products are their vibe. Our personal favourite!
Alongside local Bali brands, the store stocks over 40 independent designer labels. Sabia, a modern regional designer, is a label worth mentioning. Characteristically for its modern minimalistic design made of tie-dye or ikat fabric. A bit on the pricier side, but worth to have a look. Imagine wide-leg silk pants, silk dresses and underwear.
Market Shopping Vs. Boutique ShoppingThe question is, markets or boutiques? Markets are always a smart choice. Money-wise and eco-wise. Think of them as unicorns. You are likely to get rare and unique items for almost half the price of boutique shopping. On top of that, you advocate for sustainable design. So stay eco-conscious and don't throw away an opportunity for green bargain shopping.