Kuta Art Market is a small beachside bazaar-like compound where Bali souvenirs and handcraft items can be bought. 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 by its local, official designation as ‘Pasar Seni Desa Adat Kuta’ or the ‘Art Market of the Kuta Traditional Village’, the shopping 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, placemats, faux leather shoes and sandals, Bali print T-shirts and colourful sarongs and fabrics
Those staying at the adjacent hotels will find the location extremely convenient. Kuta Art Market’s shops also offer leather goods and furniture. And as with any open-air art market, where no fixed price tags are apparent, bargaining skills here are useful.
Kuta Art Market also serves as a shopping oasis as it is located out of sight from the passing traffic and sidelined by the many modern shops in the adjacent boulevards. It’s perfect for visitors who do not have much time to find items similar to those found in the island’s other established art markets.
Just like its Ubud counterpart, the Kuta Art Market is a place for groceries and fresh goods during the early mornings, as would a traditional Balinese village market. It then transforms into the art market by day selling various art items and curios, usually from 08:00 onwards. Nearly all of the items sold here are similar to the goods that dominate the art markets of Ubud and Sukawati. The items are mostly sourced from the same cottage industries and suppliers in Gianyar, as well as local craftsmen in Kuta and the surrounding areas. In terms of pricing, expect higher prices here compared to Sukawati. But then again, bargaining skills play an important role.
Kuta Art Market is a traditional market with souvenirs and local crafted goods. When bargaining, the rule of thumb would be to act polite and friendly with the shopkeeper as it is sort of a game and new friends are even created from the ‘soft battles’. Most of the time, an interesting side of this ‘journey’ is getting to know a bit of the culture and language but make sure you check the quantity and quality of each of your selected items before paying the negotiated sum.
Dining places and refreshments are not hard to find, as the art market, an oasis in itself, is surrounded by various beachside food stalls selling drinks in ice boxes and restaurants selling various cuisines at various price ranges. Most of the restaurants are located across the Jalan Kartika Plaza, along the Kuta sidewalk and down to the Kuta Centre 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. It’s better to use only authorized money changers or a bank. Some bank branches are available at some hotels. Money can also be changed at hotel cashiers, albeit at a higher rate than authorized money changers. The small, unauthorized street booths, despite being labelled as ‘authorized’ should be your last resort. If you must, don’t let yourself be distracted, concentrate and re-count your money twice in front of the dealer and ask for any missing banknotes.