Make sure there’s plenty of room in your suitcase, Bali is a shopper’s dream come true! Who could resist spending a day (or two) winding through the myriad of Balinese markets and shopping centres, hunting untold treasures, all without spending a fortune?
Whether you’re looking for value-for-money clothing, DVDs, souvenirs or even furniture, shopping in Bali is divided into two distinct categories: markets and shopping centres. Savvy shoppers need to know the difference between the two to make the most of their time on this exciting island.
Bali’s street markets and vendors open early (around 8 AM), and generally remain open until some time after 10 PM if there are crowds to keep business flowing.
What Can You Find in the Markets?
If it’s hidden treasures and rare finds you’re looking for, then Balinese markets are the place to be. Amongst discount t-shirts and wooden carvings, shoppers never quite know what they’re going to find, which just adds excitement to the shopping adventure!
It’s customary for tourists to bargain with vendors in the markets. For first-time hagglers, it’s a good benchmark to start at half the asking price and go up from there based on what you’re comfortable to pay. It’s expected that you take part in this ‘game’, and the Balinese admire good manners and a sense of humour when bargaining for a deal. Losing your temper in the bargaining process is probably going to see you walking away empty handed.
Make sure you bring cash rather than credit cards and take your time to look around for the best deals rather than going for whatever catches your eye first.
Malls and Department Stores
Unlike the markets, shops in resorts and malls generally open at around 10 AM and stay open quite late. In the city centres, some shops will also close for a siesta between 1 PM and 5 PM, so perhaps avoid shopping during those times if you can.
What Can You Find in Shopping Centres?
Shopping malls are the place to find everything and more, without the hard bargaining. Clothing, furniture, footwear, artwork and everything in between – they also include lots of places to sit down for food and drink. Many department stores are also air-conditioned, so they’re a good place to go to get out of that tropical Balinese heat.
It’s also important to note that while many stores do accept credit cards, it’s generally a good idea to keep cash on you to use when you can.
Shopping in Bali by Card
- Most hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, department stores and souvenir shops accept certain foreign currencies and credit cards.
- Diner’s Club, American Express, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted.
- According to the Indonesian banking regulations, payment by credit cards is charged in local currency.
- Some merchants apply a 3-5 per cent surcharge for credit card transactions.
- ATMs are everywhere. Many connect to international banking networks so you can withdraw cash in Rupiah from your home account. Look for those affiliated with your own ATM network, noted by signage on your card.
Our Favourite Shopping Destinations
Seminyak Village is a new shopping centre with a mix of stores and small markets, as well as a great spot to go if you’re looking for food and drink. Head to Eat Street (Oberoi Street) and spend hours walking around the gorgeous boutiques.
Seminyak is also home to the flea market, where you can pick up some great one-off items.
Kuta and Legian
Kuta Beachwalk is a fairly new mall and includes international brands like Zara, Victoria’s Secret and many more. It’s also got its own variety of good dining options too.
Kuta Square is home to many little shops and markets that are a lot of fun to get lost in, as well as the Matahari department store.
Tuban is home to Discovery Mall, as well as many other branded shops. Here you’ll also find Sogo (a Japanese department store) where you can grab some great bargains on clothing, footwear and much more.
In Nusa Dua, you can find Bali Collection, one of the largest open air shopping centres, as well as a Sogo and a variety of other smaller markets around the place.
To plan your perfect shopping holiday, get in touch with us today for information on the best times and places to do your shopping in Bali!