If you’ve ever seen influencers taking pictures with woven round bags, and with tons of hanging bags in the back, they are probably at the Sukawati Market.
It is a legendary Bali art market, which is almost half a century old, on Jalan Raya Sukawati.
The market has sold a variety of Balinese handicrafts since the 1980s. Back then, many sculpture craftsmen from Sukawati were under the control of local officials. They wanted the freedom to be able to sell their work. The local government agreed to lend them a spot in Banjar Tebuana and Banjar Takluk – Sukawati Village, but it was temporary.
In mid-1983, the Gianyar local government acquired some land, and the Sukawati Market was built. That’s when the art market began to be visited by many people, and gained its notoriety.
Considering the struggles of Balinese artists, the making of the Sukawati Bali art market is a piece of historical evidence that must be preserved.
At the end of 2019, the Sukawati market revitalization was carried out.
The market now has three blocks for tourists and locals to explore! In March 2021, Sukawati officially returned to full operation.
Each block of the Bali art market has tens to hundreds of stalls and kiosks. Not only selling souvenirs for tourists, but it also has household and daily necessities for locals.
For tourists, the Bali marketplace sells Balinese artsy souvenirs such as sculptures, carvings, paintings by local artists, wooden dolls, clothes, woven bags, beach sarongs and Kamen – traditional Balinese cloth. For locals, they have Balinese Hindu ceremonial accessories.
Shopping Tips for Sukawati Market
Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you pick up all that you want at the best price!
Sukawati Market is one of the best shopping spots in Bali and can’t be missed.
- Come early in the morning
The market opens from 6.00am – the earlier you can come, the better! The quiet atmosphere will make it easier for you to choose things freely, without jostling with other tourists. You will also have a longer time to shop. Psst, some sellers like to give discounts from 6am to 10am.
- Ask prices from several sellers
Everything looks good at first glance, but you don’t have to buy it right away. Take some time to see prices from several sellers, then compare. That way you can find the best price that suits your wallet.
- Shopping in bulk
The more you buy, the more the discount you get! Bring your friends and buy together. Or, buy in bulk to take back home as gifts for family and friends.
- Be nice
It doesn’t take much to be friendly to the sellers. Friendly buyers will be welcomed by friendly sellers, leading to better discounts. Always say hello and smile when entering the shops in the art market.
- Bargain fairly
It’s okay to bargain, but do it fairly. You can try bidding up to a quarter of the price, or simply trying to get along with the seller so you can get a discount. Either way, don’t bargain too low, be polite and patient. Remember that it’s how these locals make a living.
Must-See Tourist Spots Near Sukawati Market
Killing two birds with one stone. As well as shopping in Sukawati market, you can find some interesting tourist spots nearby.
- Batuan Art Museum
1,7 km away or 5 minutes drive. It presents a variety of collections of different works of art, especially painting. The museum is privately owned by Philip Koller and Puri Sare.
- Tegenungan Waterfall
3,2 km away or 15 minutes drive. One of the best tourist spots in Gianyar. The water is clean and fresh. The entrance fee is affordable, around $1.30 per person.
- Bali Bird Park
6,7 km away or 20 minutes drive. Enjoy walking around and seeing thousands of birds in their natural habitat. It’s the home to the largest and finest collection of birds around the world.
- Saba Beach
6,9km away or 20 minutes drive. Visit this long black sand Bali beach with stunning sea glass. It’s easy to find local seafood stalls around the beach. It’s a great spot to escape the crowds of Bali.
Where to Stay Near Sukawati Market
Extend your stay in Gianyar with these beautiful accommodations near the Sukawati Market. You can be the first there for the best deals!
Best AirBnb near Sukawati Market
What if you can have Bali’s charm without crowds and traffic? That’s what you get if you stay at Villa Purnama. It’s five-star living with features of modern Balinese architecture. It’s a beachfront villa near Purnama beach, complete with massage room, cinema and gym. Sunrise beach walks are highly recommended!
Best Hotel near Sukawati Market
Sanctoo Suites & Villas is designed with traditional features. Every villa has a terrace, dining area ,kitchenette, and outdoor private pool. Feel tired after shopping? Relax in the sauna and spa center while looking over valleys and rice fields.
The Sukawati Market is a must-go spot for anyone who wants to get some souvenirs and mementos of their Bali trip.
Wander the markets, get in among the locals and enjoy haggling with stall owners. It’s an all-round fun experience!