Travellers love Bali for its luxury accommodation deals, great beaches, magical sights and exotic culture. The incredible Bali shopping is a delectable bonus that keeps them going back. Shoppers head to the markets and workshops selling colourful handicrafts, art and textiles. Others love to browse for fashion, furniture and homewares at higher end shops.
In the shops
Bamboo Blonde in Seminyak sells relaxed and colourful fashion for enjoying Bali’s resort and party life. Otherwise, find the perfect swimsuit in the amazing range at Blue Glue. The Kerobokan store also sells gorgeous resort wear and accessories. Biasa is an elegant resort wear label by an Italian designer and has boutiques in Seminyak and Sanur. Mums and kids can find fab fashions in the same store at Indigo and Rose in Kuta and Seminyak.
The Kuta Beach area also has plush, air-conditioned shopping malls, stocking all the big brands.
The Bali shopping holiday experience
Some of the island’s retailers provide an experience that goes beyond shopping. Australian brand Deus Ex Machina’s store in Canggu (north of Seminyak) is part workshop, skateboard mecca, art gallery, shop, bar and café. Custom surfboards, skateboards and bicycles are made onsite. Ogle the custom built motorcycles or order one for yourself.
Drifter Surf Shop and café in Seminyak stocks the big surf labels for men and women, plus some smaller edgier brands. Stay for lunch or a snack and check out the books, surfboards and memorabilia.
Hitting the markets and workshops
It’s worth travelling out of the Kuta, Seminyak area to Bali’s renowned art markets in Ubud, Guwang or Sukawati. Shoppers can also visit the many artisan workshops located around those centres. Specialties include wood and stone carvings, crafted batik, and hand woven ikat fabrics. Carved Buddhas, toys, clothes, souvenirs and trinkets are popular buys. The shops in and around Kuta have many of the same goods, but prices tend to be higher. Serious shoppers hire a car or van with driver to make the trip. Some operators offer market or arts and crafts tours to make it all easier.
Handmade silver jewellery is another Bali speciality. Some silver workshops, like Studio Perak in Ubud, welcome visitors and offer classes.
What you need to know about Bali shopping
Can I bring it back to Australia? Check the Australian Customs website for restricted items. For example, wooden and woven items have to be presented to Customs to make sure they don’t contain bark or insects.
Bartering is the customary way of doing business at markets and local shops, however, prices tend to be fixed at retailers in shopping malls, boutiques etc. It’s best to ask if you’re not sure. The vendor’s first price is often up to twice what you end up paying (three times is rare but not unheard of), but there is no rule. Keep the exchange rate in mind. The price you settle for is bound to be a bargain compared to what you might get at home.
You may need to ship some larger or heavier items home or to their intended destination, so factor in the price of shipping and transit time.