Sukawati Art Market, referred to locally as 'Pasar Seni Sukawati', is Bali’s most distinguished and long-standing art market. It is where visitors can seek and purchase distinctively Balinese art items such as paintings and sculpted wooden figures, curios, handicrafts and traditional handmade products. The two-storey Sukawati Art Market was established in the 80s and is located on the Jalan Raya Sukawati main road in Gianyar, approximately 20km northeast from 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 is an alternative, inexpensive and complete shopping destination conveniently situated along most tour itineraries to the central and northern regions of the island.
Items that visitors encounter at Sukawati Art Market range from framed paintings, figurines, traditional woven textiles, traditional kites, handmade bags, women’s accessories, shirts, sarongs, to Balinese ceremonial items and daily local household items – all at reasonable ‘bargain’ prices.
This art market is normally included on tour itineraries to Bali’s central region, usually after watching the Barong and Kris dance performances in the village of Batubulan, which is located approximately 4km southwest from Sukawati. The village of Sukawati forms up the four main shopping itineraries that Gianyar is best known for; the other three are Celuk, Mas and Ubud.
Prices for Bali holiday cotton shirts for adults and children differ, each depending on 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 Blanco, Arie Smit, Bonet and Han Snel. However there are also some Bali ‘Kamasan-style’ paintings. Some small-scale A4-size paintings, some framed and some not, make for convenient souvenirs to pack and take home.
At groundlevel, 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 various piles. As turnovers are relatively high, produced motifs are never the same from time to time.
Aromatic and aromatherapy items such as sandalwood oil-infused fans, incense sticks and colourful jelly candles can be found at the back areas of the art market.
Bedcovers in abstract and splashes of colours as well as in creative forms of artistry, depicting birds and wildlife to portraits of famous figures such as Gandhi and Lennon are eye-catching features at the front stalls of the art market. Here items are stacked, rolled, hanged and displayed fully open.
Good to Know about Sukawati Art Market
A rule of thumb on bargaining is to start at half the offered price, which is possibly the actual production cost of the item itself. On your first visit, better spend some time browsing through the whole market premises for similar items of interest and compare to get the general idea of the prices.
Besides the stalls, there are peddlers who actively offer their ware to visitors. Patience is needed, as it is easy to find yourself getting overwhelmed by their constant hassle.
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 the locals to be cheaper.
With the rampant openings of similar ‘souvenir centers’ referred to locally as ‘Pusat Oleh-Oleh’, the fate of traditional art markets such as Sukawati and others have been in the spotlight for quite some time. However, the public continues to favour shopping at these traditional markets as they are much more fun with bargaining and do not make commission deals with tour bus drivers as the new souvenir centres normally do.
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 07:00 to 11:00, also sells handicrafts similar to Sukawati Art Market.
Sukawati Art Market
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 19:00
- Location: Jalan Raya Sukawati, Gianyar
- How to get there: Sukawati Art Market is located along the Jalan Raya Sukawati main road 20km northeast of Denpasar; 4km north from Batubulan’s performing art centres, and 10km south of Ubud.