Bali is an absolute mecca for shopaholics, and it’s not unusual to see visitors arrive with empty suitcases just so they can load up with bargain clothes, jewellery, handicrafts and other Balinese goodies. Even if shopping isn’t your thing, you will struggle to resist the temptation as you wander past Bali’s countless street stalls and beach vendors, and even the most souvenir-resistant travellers will return home with a handicraft or t-shirt, or ten.
The best place to shop in Bali depends on what you’re looking for. Seminyak is the hot spot for designer clothing and boutique items, while Ubud is the place to be for wooden handicrafts, unique art and textiles. If giant shopping malls are more to your tastes, head to Kuta for a seemingly endless selection of shopping complexes packed with souvenirs, clothing, jewellery, international brands and accessories.
To scratch all your shopping itches, here are some of the best shopping destinations to visit in Bali.
Ubud Art Market
Situated opposite the Royal Ubud Palace, Ubud’s Art Market (known by locals as Pasar Seni Ubud) is a famous market that’s open daily. Half open-air and half undercover, this vibrant market offers an eclectic array of colourful stalls selling silk kimonos, handwoven baskets, wooden picture frames, bamboo wind chimes, lightweight dresses, paintings, statues, handmade soaps and a whole lot of other hand-crafted souvenirs. The markets spill into neighbouring alleyways, and there are plenty of casual dining options when you need a break from the hustle and bustle. The Ubud Art Market gained worldwide popularity when it appeared in the movie Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts.
Opening its doors in 2012, Kuta Beachwalk is the largest shopping mall in Bali, featuring a unique design that’ll impress even those travellers who typically aim to avoid shopping malls. This is not your standard shopping mall – Kuta Beachwalk is an entertainment and leisure complex occupying 3.7 hectares, with plants, ponds and water features making you feel more like you’re in a garden than a shopping centre. Dedicated shopaholics can easily waste a couple of days in here, with designer labels and major international brands on offer, including Zara, Gap, Versace Jeans, Armani, Mango, Top Shop, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret, The Body Shop, La Senza and many others. There’s a large selection of dining options, with a rooftop bar providing the perfect place to sip a cocktail while enjoying the sunset after a big day of retail therapy. Families will love Kuta Beachwalk, as it offers a dedicated kids centre called Minneapolis Bali which features a Play Zone, Amazing Walk, Water Play and a day-care facility.
Discovery Shopping Mall
Discovery is the only shopping mall in Bali with complete beachfront access, and while it’s certainly not the most serene beach location, the amphitheatre on the sands of Kuta Beach can be a fun place to sit and rest when you’re all shopped out. Discovery Shopping Mall is spread across three stories, housing major international brands like Billabong, Guess, Quicksilver, Surfer Girl, Puma, Adidas, Nike, Esprit and Hurley. Prices aren’t exactly cheap, but you’re likely to find some bargains here compared to at home. Those looking for a taste of familiarity will be happy to find a bunch of Western franchise restaurants, including Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Cold Stone Ice-cream and many others.
Seminyak Square is the only commercial shopping centre in the upmarket area of Seminyak, with two floors housing a range of stores, restaurants, bakeries and a hotel. You’ll find brands here like Quicksilver, Periplus Books, Lilla Lane, Mega Batik and many others, while an open-air market featuring local stalls is set up in the parking area out front for a more authentic Balinese shopping experience. A short stroll from Seminyak Square will find you on Seminyak’s main tourist strip which is bursting with boutique clothing stores, high-end homewares and uber-hip restaurants.
Monkey Forest Road
For those seeking a shopping experience away from the air-conditioned malls, Monkey Forest Road in Ubud is a fun way to spend the day strolling through rows of shops selling everything from local handicrafts to boutique clothing. You’ll find a few major brands like Polo Ralph Lauren and Volcom, but it’s the smaller Balinese shops that make this shopping stretch something special. Utama Spice sells organic beauty products and essential oils made with local Balinese herbs and spices, while Uluwatu offers clothing, accessories, table linen and bedding intricately crafted using Balinese lace. A venture down Monkey Forest Road can get exhausting, especially when the temperatures soar, but this is also a hot-spot for affordable day spas, so you can treat yourself to a massage to cool down after you literally shop til you drop.