Souvenir shopping and growing for holiday bargains is a great way to spend a day in Bali. When all the day trips are ticked off the bucket list it’s time to stock up on treats and trinkets from Bali’s best markets.
As a resort, Kuta has quietened down over the last few years. While destinations like Canggu and Uluwatu have boomed in popularity, Kuta has fallen a little from the public eye.
For decades Kuta was the go-to destination for sun, sea, and sand in Bali…and a hefty amount of partying too. Nowadays Kuta feels a little more laid back, and tourist funds certainly go a little further.
Kuta’s Art Market is one of the top spots in Bali to find epic bargains.
Boasting many of the same souvenirs, clothes, trinkets, arts and crafts as Ubud Art Market, and the markets in Seminyak and Canggu, Kuta Art Market has been overlooked.
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According to local stallholders, the new Kuta Art Market is too often mistaken for a government building or hospital, rather than the treasure trove of souvenirs and crafts that it is.
With visitor numbers dropping, stall owners have gathered together to create the new Weekend Art Market.
Over twenty stallholders now move their stalls to the very front of the Kuta Art Market building. This way tourists walking by know they are in the right place to explore the marketplace.
Vendors are running the Weekend Art Market on rotation, so every weekend a different set of stall holders move their wares to the front of the market to ensure it’s as fair of a system as can be.
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Speaking to reporters Kuta Art Market Manager Ni Wayan Sri Ika Yadnyasari, explained “This activity is carried out every Friday to Sunday, and one of the aims is as a means of our promotion.”
Yadnyasari added, “So the mindset of the guests of this building is an art market because from what the traders convey, the guests think that this building is a hospital or hotel, not like an art market.”
The new Weekend Art Market has been running since mid-November and is proving a successful way to bring more tourists into the space.
Yadnyasari continued “Visitors now have the opportunity to explore all floors of the art market and enjoy the creative products from each trader.”
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“This is a step we are taking to respond to changing visiting patterns and provide extra encouragement to traders.”
A long-term trader at Kuta Art Market, 63-year-old Nyoman Suwena, told reporters that the new market and rotation system is a great way to ensure tourists get to see more of the wonders and wares on offer.
Suwena explained “I’ve been trading since the beginning of November, only two months. We had the opportunity to sell at the Weekend Art Market, which was a proposal from the joint management of the Kuta Traditional Village.”
“We were helped because trading on the top floor was very quiet and visitors rarely went upstairs because they were lazy.”
Suwena hopes that the Kuta Art Market can help bring tourists back to Kuta. He’s seen the area boom in popularity and retreat to the edge of popularity.
He wants to see more tourists in Kuta since there is such a lot to enjoy about the resort.
Suwena said “The hope is that in the future it can continue like this…We don’t dare to force it, if it’s given we’re grateful, if it’s not given, we can’t say anything.”
Kuta Art Market is not the only shopping available in the coastal resort.
Bali Beachwalk is one of the top shopping centers on the island and has plenty of international brand stores to explore, including the newly opened LEGO Store.
In 2024 Kuta will welcome the opening of the new Kuta Square Kiosks.
The newly built wooden kiosks are just waiting for the final sign-off from the Badung Regency Government before vendors can move in.
The new kiosks will sell souvenirs and beach essentials to tourists.
The hope with the new kiosks is to help reduce the number of beach vendors selling their wares on the sand.
Instead, the government wants to create a dedicated space for beach vendors which will help them run more formal businesses and allow tourists to enjoy Kuta Beach in peace.
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