Transportation: Right in the center of town, walk from your guesthouse/hostel
Suggested Time: Open between 6am and 6pm
Nearby Attractions: Spend a few hours meandering the stalls before or after visiting Goa Gajah
While you’re staying in Ubud it’s worth having a wander around the Ubud art market, locally referred to as Pasar Seni Ubud, which is bang in the center of town opposite the Ubud Royal Palace. Open between 6am and 6pm, the market sells everything and anything. Obviously as the name suggests that it’s an art market but there is a lot more on offer than just art.
Here you can find anything from silk scarves, handmade woven bags, miniature statues, baskets and a plethora of other hand crafted goods as well as spices, touristy souvenirs and much much more.
Ubud is the central point of a multitude of neighboring villages, so most of the crafts are made in those villages such as Tegallalang where you’ll find the famous rice terraces. The location is strategic for these villages as it is opposite the central point of Ubud, the Royal Palace. If you are looking for Balinese handicrafts and souvenirs this is a good place to try!
It’s not all about buying something, walking around observing the locals, watching people bartering for goods or just admiring the craftsmanship of the goods the local villages have created.
If you are there to buy something bartering is essential, it wouldn’t be Asia unless you bartered! If you are too polite to barter you can always say ‘Tawar’ which in essence means bargain and see if they come down on the price, they’ll likely budge a little bit but not as much as they could. It’s customary and expected to barter at the market, there are no prices so the vendors have as much fun as you do getting a good price for them and a good price for you.
If, like me, you enjoy a good bartering session (and are on a tight budget!) there are some general rules of thumb, firstly try to engage in a bit of lighthearted banter when they tell you the price, gasping and acting shocked acts as a ice-breaker. Then half the price, they say 200,000 IDR, immediately half it, maybe even third it if you think the price is too ridiculous. Set yourself a price you are willing to pay and if you don’t get there walk away, 75% of the time you won’t have walked 5 meters before they relent to the price you want!
Ubud art market produces much higher quality goods than the markets you find in Kuta and much of the south of the island, so if you are heading to Ubud save the souvenir shopping until you get here!