Opening Hours in Bali
Updated May 2016
Even though more than 85% of the population of Indonesia is Muslim, Bali is mostly Hindu, and unlike in the Islamic religious culture, where Fridays are dedicated to prayers, in Hinduism every day of the week is devoted to a particular deity. In any case, Indonesia has for a long time adopted, like in the West, Saturday and Sunday, as the weekly period of rest, and the 8-hour working day, with minor variations, for most office workers.
There are a number of banks operating in Bali: Commonwealth Bank, Mandiri, Permata Bank, Danamon, BCA, CIMB Niaga, and BNI. They generally open from 8am to 3pm during weekdays, and BNI in Jl.Legian is also open on Saturdays from 8am to 2pm, but will only change foreign currency during the morning. The branches are usually very busy and you will spend a good hour before your turn comes up! They all have ATMs located throughout the area and available 24 hours a day.
The Bank Mandiri is the largest in Indonesia and has a few branches in the tourist areas of Kuta and Nusa Dua:
- Pertokoan Niaga Nusa Dua No.2-4, Jl. By Pass I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Nusa Dua
- Jl. Raya Kuta No. 456, Kuta
- Jl. Raya Legian No. 494 E, Legian
- Discovery Shopping Mall A-3A, Jl. Kartika Plaza, Kuta
- Jl. Raya Kerobokan No. 104, Banjar Taman Legian Kuta
They have numerous ATMs in the region, which are listed here: select Badung , the Regency, or sub-division of Bali.
Ideally, do not exchange your local currency into Indonesian Rupiah before leaving. You will get a much better rate after you arrive in Bali, particularly from the authorised money changers: you can recognise them by their green logo . They are in all tourist areas and in most department stores, and malls - the latter are usually open until 10pm. You should shop around before exchanging large amounts of money as rates differ between banks and money changers without a regular indication, of which offers are more advantageous. Go to officially recognised dealers, and make sure they do not deduct a commission. Small shops advertising incredibly good rates, are only trying to attract you to cheat you with some magical sleight of hand that will leave you many thousands short. Besides, refrain from using your credit card anywhere but in large hotels. There are many stories of scams whereby card details are read illegally and used to make fake copies. You'll only find out when you receive the next statement and see all your money gone!
Important: Use your the calculator that you may have in your own mobile phone. It is known that some shady money changers contrive to make theirs produce a lower result! And don't get distracted with a conversation with a second person behind thee counter. It is done to keep your eyes off the money!
Do not take notes smaller than $50 US dollars, or equivalent in other currencies, except for tipping. Small denomination bills are usually not accepted, neither are those that are not absolutely clean (no writing, or stains on them).
Many shopping malls remain open until 10 pm or later. Many street markets do not open until around 7 pm and remain as late as midnight. Many smaller shops close at dusk on Friday until Saturday night.
Beachwalk - Kuta - Jl. Pantai Kuta
This modern, stunning, air-conditioned mall is totally unexpected in the Kuta environment. The 3-storied building faces the beach at Kuta, surrounded by the typical alleys of Poppies2 and the bargaining stalls of the area. Hanging gardens and a large pond welcome you by the entrance. It is partly outdoors, and partly indoors where natural light bathes the expensive boutiques, in a concept that is not "Bali", but hopes for a residual taste of it with its imaginative design. The central part is quite beautiful with the running water and the feeling of tropical gardens making for a cool and relaxed atmosphere.
The usual international, and some national luxury brands are present: Victoria Secret, Body & Soul, Zara , Topshop, Bodyshop, Mango, Pull and Bear, Gap, Armani, Bershka, with H&M about to open. This is not a budget store and prices are as high as back in Australia, or Europe. Still, a shopping opportunity if you forget something behind, or fall in love with a particular item or design. However, sizes are usually quite small... At least, the prices are fixed and you can take a rest from haggling with street vendors. Some small open stalls sell a variety of goods and offer a chance to purchase souvenirs.
There is a wide range of Indonesian and international eating places in the food court and other restaurants and cafes. The roof offers great photo-opportunities of the beach and of the sun-sets while eating or sipping a drink.
If it rains you could spend a couple of hours watching the latest movies for as little as Rp. 5000; or buy some drinks and food in the affordable basement supermarket: or even have a decent haircut. There is also a playground, so that children do not get bored; and for the younger adults a disco beckons on the top-floor.
Security guards check your bags as you enter and add a sense of security during opening hours:
Sunday - Thursday: 10 am - 11 pm - Friday and Saturday: 10 am - 12 pm
Mal Bali Galeria - Kuta - Simpang Siur Interjunction, Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai
This is a large shopping centre with a garden in the middle, an oasis for tired shoppers, offering the usual range of fashion stores, shops of all kinds (Nike, Adidas, bookshop, jewelry, handicraft, SIM cards, hair salon, massage, and the Matahari department store), catering, and entertainment, all for fixed prices. Marks & Spencer is also there.
The top floor houses a massive hypermarket, known for good, affordable shopping: you can find everything, from groceries and other foodstuffs, to clothes, or gifts including interesting trinkets ideal for souvenirs from Bali.
There is a cinema in an adjacent building, and, at the back, a duty free store. On the 2nd floor you can find banks, money changer, and the highly recommended 911 Dental Surgery the first stop to solve an emergency with teeth problems. Starbucks shares the floor.
As expected, there is a food court and various cafes and restaurants, like Planet Hollywood (next door), and some specializing on Asian food; if you like Japanese udon, this is the place to come.
Occasionally, a live band gives the place some rhythm.
A word of warning: the taxis that wait outside to return people to the centre refuse to use the meters; often charge more than has been agreed; and can be rude and very aggressive. However, there other option: either call, or walk to the main road to get a BlueBird taxi: the taxi fare to the Kuta/legian area should be around US$2; or wait for the next Kura-Kura shuttle bus, which has its main terminal next door. Get ready to leave before the next departure (every 2 hours or so) and avoid the aggravation. Also, some hotels offer a free shuttle service to the Mall.
Discovery Mall - Kuta - Kartika Plaza St.
One of the original malls in Bali and the second biggest in Kuta. The multi-storey beach-front building offers an air-conditioned welcome as you walk in from the hot and humid street into the cool inside. It faces the beach and it is a nice walk-through from the main road to the sands of Kuta. It is within walking distance of most Kuta hotels, and has just about anything you may need, from fashion, to cosmetics, to electronics, supermarket, or department stores (Marks & Spencer, Sogo, and Centro) with a wide range of clothes. It has a mixture of the expensive international labels, and accessible local souvenirs. Most shops have fixed prices but you may bargain for local goods and, yes, for the faked, famous foreign brands too!
You can find Saphora, the French cosmetic chain, a chemist, and a large Batik shop. This is a good place to buy sarongs, carvings, and other Balinese items.
There are plenty of cafes (Starbucks is there), ice cream shops, and a variety of restaurants, Asian, International, and fast-food outlets. Sit outside and enjoy the views of the sea and, in particular, the beautiful sunsets. Moslem visitors can be reassured as the majority of the food court outlets exhibit the halal sign.
There is an Amusement Arcade for the little ones, with rides and games costing very little.
On the negative side, as usual in many malls, you will be pestered by street hawkers and taxi drivers outside, while inside Vacation Club representatives will harass you with invitations to see their properties. Be careful also with when considering buying fake goods; some will fall apart within minutes of handling them! And if they don't, make ridiculous low offers to counter their ridiculous high ones. The right price is somewhere in the middle.
Kuta Art Market - Kuta - Jalan Bakung Sari
The Art Market is at the beach end of the Jalan Bakung Sari. It is a series of shops and stalls all selling pretty much the same items, supposed to come from the cottage industries of other areas of the island: paintings, local handicrafts like place-mats, key chains, and all sorts of cheap souvenirs, along with T-shirts, sarongs, and other clothes. They are mostly of low quality, and you will be asked astronomical prices for them, on the understanding that you know that you must bargain. You should manage to bring the price down to between 20% and 40% of the original asking price.
Before 8am, instead of paintings and handicrafts you will find it being used for the sale of fresh produce from the surrounding countryside.
If you're planning on excursions to Ubud or Sakawati (see below) wait until you get there. You'll see the same goods in their art markets, some of better quality, and certainly cheaper.
Kuta Square - Kuta - Jalan Bakung Sari
Just round the corner from the Art Market there is a wide street, with the traffic lanes separated by an attractive row of palm trees. This is the hub of Kuta's high-end shopping with a department store, Matahari (a large shopping mall on its own) and a mixture of fashion (Armani, Versace, Gucci, etc) and sports shops with fixed prices, side by side with fast-food restaurants (Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, and more)
Bali Collection - Nusa Dua -
An expensive mall with a difference: more of a park with a large number of independent retail units, instead of the usual vertical multi-floor covered structures.
Spread around this open-air shopping centre you'll find shops, cafes and a variety of international restaurants, that specialize in cuisine from other Asian countries (China, Japan) as well as local Indonesian and European fare.
There are dozens of high-end fashion boutiques, jewelry and luxury accessories stores; a supermarket, a department store (Sogo) convenient for those staying in nearby hotels or self-catering apartments and villas, and many shops offering handicrafts, traditional decorative batik cloth used for clothing and home furnishings, and all sort of souvenirs.
Another form of enticement to bring the dollars rolling in, is the various shows that take place every day: live music, traditional dancers, or fashion shows are all part of the entertainment on offer.
A regular free shuttle bus picks up and returns shoppers to the various hotels in the Nusa Dua and the Benoa peninsula.
Poppies Lane - Kuta - Jl. Popies I (and II)
This is backpacker's territory, two alleyways (Poppies Lane 1 and Poppies Lane 2) right in the centre of town, a few steps away from the night-life of Kuta. Apart from the small houses letting rooms, there are lots of bars, and cheap restaurants serving local and western food, and inexpensive shops selling interesting souvenirs. A great place to barter and snap a few photographs of this picturesque part of Kuta.