Sukawati Art Market in Bali

Traditional Arts and Handicrafts Market in Ubud

    Sukawati Art Market is Bali’s most distinguished and long-standing art market. Known as 'Pasar Seni Sukawati' to locals, it’s where you can find and buy distinctively Balinese art items such as paintings and sculpted wooden figures, curios, handicrafts and traditional handmade products. The 2-storey Sukawati Art Market was established in the 1980s and is located on the Jalan Raya Sukawati main road in Gianyar, approximately 20 km northeast of the main tourism hubs of Kuta and Denpasar.

    The art market’s main building is often packed with shopping holidaymakers and locals sourcing household and daily necessities. It’s an alternative, inexpensive and complete shopping destination conveniently situated along most tour itineraries to the central and northern regions of the island.

    photo by phuongkim1981 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    What to buy at Sukawati Art Market

    Items that you'll often encounter at Sukawati Art Market range from framed paintings, figurines, traditional woven textiles, traditional kites, handmade bags, women’s accessories, shirts and sarongs to Balinese ceremonial items and daily local household items – all at reasonable prices.

    Prices for Bali holiday cotton shirts vary depending on the motif, weave and overall quality. Most of the fine paintings on sale here are generally imitations of the signature styles of various maestros, such as Antonio Blanco, Arie Smit, Bonet and Han Snel. Even so, there are also some Kamasan style paintings worth looking. Some small-scale A4-size paintings, some framed and some not, make for great easy-to-carry souvenirs.

    At ground level, there are many stalls offering clothes, sarongs and fabrics of different sizes, colours and patterns. These can be seen hanging from the ceilings and stacked neatly in piles. As turnover is relatively high, produced motifs are rarely the same from one time to the next.

    Aromatic and aromatherapy items such as sandalwood oil-infused fans, incense sticks and colourful jelly candles can be found in the back areas of the art market. Bedcovers are available in abstract designs and splashes of colours as well as in creative forms of artistry, depicting birds and wildlife or portraits of famous figures such as Gandhi and Lennon. Such eye-catching bedding is usually found on the front stalls of the art market.

    photo by phuongkim1981 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Good to know about Sukawati Art Market

    A rule of thumb on bargaining is to start at half the offered price, which is probably a lot closer to the actual production cost of the item itself. On your first visit, it’s better to spend some time browsing through the whole market for similar items of interest and compare to get the general idea of the prices.

    Compared to other art markets in the island’s main tourism areas in the south such as Kuta and Nusa Dua, the prices offered at the Sukawati Art Market are widely considered by locals to be cheaper.

    Besides the stalls, there are peddlers who actively offer their wares to visitors. Patience is needed, as it is easy to find yourself getting overwhelmed by their constant hassle.

    To get a wholesale price and enjoy the fixed prices for each item, visit Pasar Pagi Sukawati (Sukawati Morning Market), a short distance west from the Sukawati Art Market. Open from 7am to 11pm, it also sells handicrafts similar to Sukawati Art Market.

    Sukawati Art Market in Bali

    Location: Jalan Raya Sukawati, Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia

    Open: Daily from 6am to 6pm

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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