This post was last updated on July 8th, 2020 at 01:45 pm
Kuta is one of the most famous beach resorts in Bali. Here you can do everything you can think of. Sunbathing, shopping, diving, surfing, going out, you name it. Over the years, it has become one of the most important seaside resorts in Indonesia.
It is not loved by everyone because of the many tourists that flock here during the high season, so be warned!
Should you visit Kuta?
Today there is little evidence that Kuta used to be a small modest fishing village. Nowadays it is fully geared towards tourism. You’ve got to love it. There is absolutely no sign of the real Indonesia in Kuta.
Yet there are also positives. Kuta is close to the airport making it an ideal place for those passing through and wanting a place to stay overnight. It is also a good place to enjoy the nightlife.
Salou for Australians
We have been there several times and both times we were fed up after 1 night. If you compare it with Ubud or places in Sumatra or, for example, the Banda islands (recommended!), Kuta is certainly not special. It is best known as a party town; especially for Australians and the British.
You’ll find Irish Pubs one after the other, complete with rugby and football matches. But… if you rent a scooter and accelerate for 30 minutes, you will see the Bali that you expect when you book a trip.
11 Fun things to do in Kuta
There is a lot to do in and around Kuta. And if you rent a scooter, you will be at the most famous sights in Kuta in no time. You will have no trouble enjoying yourself in Kuta for a few days. Most travelers come here to score souvenirs, surf, or have a fun party.
We have made a list of 11 fun things to do.
1. Go to Kuta Beach
You cannot go to Kuta without visiting Kuta Beach. This is the “best” beach in the region, especially if you are looking for a beautiful sunset. This is also the beach where most of the magic happens. Do not expect a snow-white tropical beach here.
In addition to various free activities, you can also go horseback riding, surfing, or swimming here. Next to, or behind this beach, is the boulevard where everything happens in the evening. In the evening you will also find the best street food at the food stalls.
2. Have fun at Waterbom Bali
Waterbom Bali is one of the largest water parks in Asia and it is a very popular tourist attraction in Kuta. Especially for children, it is quite nice to spend a day or a few hours there. The park is suitable for all ages with several water slides and pools.
There’s also the Circus Waterpark. Just as nice as Waterbom Bali, but cheaper.
3. Go shopping
If there’s one thing popular in Kuta, it’s shopping. There are countless options for shopping. From trendy shopping centers to trendy markets. One thing is certain; no one goes home empty-handed.
From clothes to art and from souvenirs to toys, Kuta really has it all.
And they also sell a lot of things here that you won’t find anywhere else. Depending on where you shop, the prices seem to change so don’t be afraid to try and negotiate for a new price.
Good places to shop are the Discovery Shopping Mall and Kuta Beachwalk. The best market is the Kuta Art Market. In addition, Kuta Square is definitely worth a visit.
4. Book a surf lesson
When you are here it is a must to take a surf lesson or rent a board. If you can’t surf: Kuta, full of surf schools, is the place where beginners can learn to surf. There are many options. From individual lessons to families and couples.
The reason you can surf so well here is that the waves are not very big and the conditions are good. A good place for beginners is the Halfway Kuta Break, while experienced surfers prefer the waves of Legian.
A private lesson starts at US$55 for 2.5 hours. Group lessons are cheaper; US$32 for 2.5 hours.
5. Rent a scooter and explore Bali
Bali is not very big and many travelers use this city as a base to further explore the region from here. A scooter is a perfect option for this. With the scooter you can, for example, drive to the Uluwatu temple or the Pura Tanah Lot.
Bingin Beach (recommended!) is also nearby. Make sure you always wear a helmet. There is more than enough to see in the Kuta area. You can easily cruise around for a day or two.
Renting a scooter costs about US$10 to US$12 per day. Check out this article for more tips on renting a scooter in Bali.
6. Book a yoga class
After all the hustle and bustle on Kuta, you might be ready for a bit of relaxation. There are plenty of opportunities in Kuta to relax. You can relax on the beach, have a beer in one of the many bars, book accommodation with a swimming pool, or book a yoga class.
And the latter is definitely recommended. Yoga sounds a bit spiritual, but we recommend everyone to try it at least once.
7. Watch the sunset from the beach
The sunsets on the beach can be spectacular. Enjoy the sunset with a drink from one of the cafes or bars by the beach or just watch the sun disappear into the sea.
In combination with the sound of the waves, this is really a relaxing moment. Basically you can watch the sunset anywhere on the beach.
8. Explore the underwater world
In Kuta itself there is little to snorkel, the underwater world here is not very spectacular. However, many day trips are organized from Kuta to beautiful dive sites. The cost depends on where you go snorkeling, but the possibilities are endless.
The sea around Bali is clear and the water is nice and warm, making it a great place for snorkeling.
9. Party on Legian Street
Kuta is Bali’s number 1 party city. The party starts at the bars at sunset and spreads out to the clubs a few hours later. The highest concentration of bars and clubs can be found in Legian Street. Just follow the crowds and the bass – you can’t miss it.
10. Tanah Lot temple
From Kuta, you can make various trips to surrounding attractions. Noteworthy is a visit to the most important sea temple of Bali: the Tanah Lot temple. The iconic structure sits on top of a rock and protrudes meters above the sea, so you have a great view from a distance. Because of its beauty, it is one of the most famous places in Bali, so it is usually very busy. In Kuta, you can rent a scooter at various places and thus drive to the temple on your own.
TIP – Read more on temples in Bali.
11. Get a cup of coffee or fresh juices
If you are looking for a good coffee bar relatively close to the airport, Interconnection is a great place to visit. This artistic and cozy place belongs to the hostel of the same name which is next door.
And, do you want to taste the best juice ever? Seriously, head over to Gloria Jean’s Coffees on Jalan Pantai Kuta. We came here for coffee initially but were really completely surprised when we tasted their fresh beet juice. They make the juices with a slow juicer, which makes them taste extra good. Order the largest variant and you get a really huge glass. And besides the taste sensation, it is also a nice place to sit on the terrace and watch the people walking by.
Kuta is best known for the many (expensive) Western restaurants, fancy restaurants, and chains such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC. Fortunately, there are also great local eateries to be found. You hardly see them in the main commercial streets, by the way. But if you walk into a – often narrow – side street, you suddenly end up in the local life of the city with small warungs everywhere. You know, those warungs where those typical Indonesian women are cooking. We really like those smaller eateries.
What do we recommend?
If you want to eat a great “nasi campur” go to Warung Nikmat. Try the “rendang sapi” here, or rendang with beef. Really delicious.
For street food, we advise you to walk towards Jalan Kediri, in the direction of the Pepito Supermarket. You will pass all kinds of local eateries where you can try different Indonesian dishes. Do you like fried chicken with sambal and rice? Then try “lalapan”.
Traveling to Kuta – How to get there
Kuta is located in the south of Bali, just a few minutes’ drive from Denpasar Airport. The easiest way to get to Kuta is by taxi from the airport. It is only 4 kilometers away so you are there in no time. A taxi costs between 100,000 and 150,000 IDR (~ US$6.95 to US$10.40). Expensive, but negotiating is of little use here as all taxis charge the same amounts.
Once in Kuta, you never have to walk far to the beach, but the town itself is quite stretched and runs from the airport to Legian. If you want to go from one side to the other side in town, it is best to take a taxi or rent a scooter. For trips in the area, a scooter is also very useful, but you must follow the rules. Police here are strict and often check for violations by foreigners.
Places to stay in Kuta
Do you want to sleep close to the airport, on a lovely bed in a quiet guesthouse? Then OYO 393 Ara Inn Bed and Breakfast is highly recommended. You can walk there from the airport in 15 minutes. Closer are Wana Kubu and the Kuta Beach Stay, where you get really good rooms for little money. A super good hostel near the airport is the Lokal Bali Hostel, but also the Interconnection Hostel.
Jalan Pantai Kuta
Most hotels, hostels, guesthouses, etc. can be found on Jl. Pantai and its side streets. More remote places are often cheaper, but also less pleasant. You can already stay here for US$7 per night. For a private room in a normal ho(s)tel, you pay between US$10 and US$15 per night.
If you want to book in advance; at Booking.com you will find the cheapest rooms.