Kuta art market is a small beach side bazaar-like complex where Bali souvenirs, arts and handicraft items are sold. The compact marketplace is easily located at the end of the Jalan Bakungsari one-way thoroughfare, adjacent to the Kuta Sidewalk and just before Jalan Kartika Plaza Street. Here, visitors who stroll along the street as well as from the sands of Kuta Beach will come across the market. Referred to locally as ‘Pasar Seni Desa Adat Kuta’ or the ‘Art Market of Kuta’, the place comprises six main shop-houses and a long building with many different stalls.
The shops sell a wide range of items and Bali curios, such as Bali surfboard and guitar-shaped fridge magnets, key chains, beer holders, place mats, faux leather shoes and sandals, Bali print T-shirts and colourful sarongs and fabrics. The market is easily accessible from the Kuta Paradiso Hotel. From Kuta Beach, you can reach the market from another hotel nearby, namely the Grand Inna Kuta. From the art market’s street side north, rows of modern shops and various international brands (mostly surf clothing and sports apparel) the likes of Quiksilver, Billabong and Rip Curl as well as other fashion labels line up through Kuta Square.
When bargaining at the Kuta Art Market, rule of thumb is to act polite and friendly with shopkeepers as it is sort of a game, and you can actually make new friends from these ‘soft battles’. Make sure you check the quantity and quality of each of your items before paying the negotiated price. The art market is surrounded by various beach side food stalls selling cold drinks and restaurants selling cuisines at various price ranges. Most of the restaurants are located across the Jalan Kartika Plaza, along the Kuta sidewalk, southward from the art market.
Always try to have small Rupiah change on hand. There are several money changers around the Kuta Art Market, however using them can be a tricky, if not daunting, affair. Use only authorised money changers or a bank. You can also change your money at your hotel, although at normally higher rates. The small, unauthorised street booths, despite being labelled as ‘authorised’ should be last resort. If you must, always re-count your money twice in front of the dealer and ask for any missing banknotes.