Kuta is the best known tourist resort area on the island of Bali in Indonesia and has a great surfing beach
With a long broad Indian Ocean beach-front, Kuta was originally discovered by tourists as a surfing paradise.
It has long been a popular stop on the classic backpacking route in South East Asia. Back in the 1980s they used to talk about the three Ks: Katmandu in Nepal, Khao San Road in Bangkok and Kuta. Today Kuta still attracts some hardcore backpackers as well as families and tourists from all over the world, and is most notably a playground for young visitors from Australia.
Due to the ever increasing popularity of Bali, Kuta is continually developing, and is not short of unsightly, poorly planned buildings. It can come across at times to be chaotic, overcrowded and congested. However, amongst all the mayhem this place somehow works, and hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy their time in Kuta every year.
Infrastructure has come a long way in Kuta, although it is still insufficient for the amount of visitors who stay in the area. Some side alleys still have significant potholes and road rules still don't mean very much. Most roads are constantly busy with motor scooters, metered taxis and private cars. Instead of using signals, locals and the seasoned travellers honk their motor vehicles to signal overtaking or squeezing into a tight spot near you. Often cars fold in their side mirrors when negotiating narrow single lanes with parked vehicles. Now you can access free Wi-Fi in local convenience stores, restaurants, cafes and hotels. There are half a dozen prepaid mobile phone SIM cards available everywhere with competitive top up plans. Touts will persistently try to get you to buy something from them, whether you're walking on the streets or seated in a restaurant.
The five km long sandy stretch of Kuta is arguably the best beach front in Bali. The beach is safe, partially clean, well-maintained, although the beach vendors remain annoying pushing massages, hair braiding, cigarettes and surf boards. The long wide stretch of sand is often full of sunbathers and although most of the serious surfers have moved on to newer pastures, there are still plenty of surf dudes around at most times of the year, and especially so during peak season. As you move north along the beach to first Legian and then Seminyak and Petitenget it becomes progressively quieter and less frenetic.
The area of south Kuta closest to the airport is more correctly known as Tuban, but this name is rarely used.
Once the sun goes down, Kuta is the rough and ready party zone of Bali, even after the tragic events of 2002. Even the most hardened of party animal will find something to please them on Jalan Legian at night.
Tourism Information Offices
JI Bakungsari, Tel: +62 361 751660 ext 145
Ground Floor, Century Plaza Building, JI Benesari No7, Tel: +62 361 754090
The prepaid fare from the airport to Kuta is Rp 50,000. If you don't have too much luggage, you can save some money by walking 200 metres out of the airport area, and take a metered taxi from a company that does not pay service fees to the airport authority and is therefore not allowed to enter the airport to pick up customers. For example, a metered taxi from Bali Taksi (+62 361 701111) will run to about Rp 20,000 for the same trip. Before putting yourself through all that though you might wish to ask yourself whether it is worth it to save just $3. You can also catch a bemo from outside the airport to Kuta for Rp 5,000-10,000.
How to find a prepaid taxi desk?
When you get out of departures you'll see stainless steel rails. Immediately you'll be propositioned by drivers demanding ridiculous money from you - ignore them, as they'll start negotiating at Rp 200000. Taxi booth is actually directly to the right of these steel handrails.
Kuta is reached by the main Jalan Ngurah Rai bypass from points north (Denpasar, Sanur and Ubud), and south (Jimbaran, Nusa Dua and Uluwatu. If you are coming in from Seminyak be sure to take the Jalan Sunset bypass and not the congested beach route along Jalan Raya Seminyak and Jalan Legian.
Kuta is connected by bus routes from all areas of Bali. There are various scheduled shuttle services including Perama . Perama shuttle buses to Kuta leave from Sanur, Ubud, Candidasa, Padang Bai and Lovina.
As elsewhere in Bali, bemos are rarer and far less important in Kuta than they used to be. This reflects both the increased number of Balinese who are wealthy enough to afford their own transport, and the huge upscaling of the very nature of tourism in Bali in the past 10 years. Bemo Corner, in the heart of Kuta at the junction of Jalan Legian and Jalan Raya Kuta, used to be an institution on the backpacker circuit. These days it is almost irrelevant, but the little blue buses are still there albeit in greatly reduced numbers, and they will still try to charge you five times the real rate.
Kuta is served with some regularity from Denpasar's Tegal bemo terminal.
Benoa Harbour — not to be confused with Tanjung Benoa — is around 20 min northeast of Kuta, and speedboats and cruises from the Gili Islands, Lombok and Nusa Lembongan arrive here. Most companies operating from Benoa offer free pick-up and drop-off in and around Kuta.
Kuta Beach front
Kuta stretches along the beach front all the way from the airport to Legian, and small lanes lead from the beaches into the densely populated accommodation zone. To avoid traffic-related frustrations, the best option is a combination of walking in small lanes and using metered taxis or a rented motorbike for longer excursions.
Traffic jams are a constant hassle here and especially so when it is raining. It is often best to park your car before you reach downtown Kuta, and walk in. The area downtown is only about one and a half kilometres in length and half a kilometre wide but when stuck in traffic you might easily spend 30 minutes or more to travel these short distances.
There are some designated parking areas in the middle of Kuta (usually Rp 5,000 for an unlimited stay) including a large one on Jalan Legian near the top of Poppies II. There are also public parking bays on Jalan Pantai Kuta right beside the beach, but these can get very busy.
Finding a rental car company is easy in Kuta, especially in Poppies I and Poppies II. A small rental car starts from Rp140,000 with third party insurance. Add another Rp100,000 or so for a comprehensive cover. Check your rental contract for specifics before signing. The rental car can be driven to your accommodation for pick up.
Metered taxis (taksi berargo) are ubiquitous on the streets of Kuta and are a relatively cheap and reliable way to get around, especially at night. Avoid any taxi where the driver refuses to put the meter on. This is increasingly rare but you will still find the odd taxi driver who is stuck in a 1990s time warp.
The largest and most reliable taxi operators are Bluebird and Bali Taksi. Sometimes these taxis are not available at night in the immediate vicinity of discos and bars as other smaller companies may have exclusive arrangements with these businesses. However, the more reputable and reliable taxis can be found easily by walking a little up the street. It would be in your interests to seek out a Bluebird taxi in this situation.
Be aware that, since Bluebird and Bali Taxi have the best reputations, a number of other drivers have started to try and make their taxis look very similar, using blue vehicles with names like Taxi Bali, or a logo that's similar to the Bluebird. Look very carefully, sometimes at first glance the imitators can be quite convincing.
If you wish to use a taxi ensure the destination is clear with the driver before you enter the taxi and that the driver will be using the meter. If the driver does not agree to use the meter seek an alternative taxi.
Having entered the taxi ensure the driver understands the destination requirement and turns on the meter (argo). At the end of the journey pay the amount showing on the meter. Do not accept any requests from the driver for extra payment or surcharges of any kind other than the payment of tolls or parking fees which are the responsibility of the passenger, not the driver.
The driver may not provide change if you only have large notes, ensure you obtain smaller notes prior to travel or stop on-route, otherwise you will most likely have to round-up the payment and not receive any change.
Those with a sense of adventure should try hopping on the back of a local scooter. They are always looking for a passenger, making negotiation easier and more successful. This type of informal transport is called an ojek and is fast and cheap.
You can choose to rent a scooter for your stay. There are literally thousands of scooters available for rent: these should cost no more than Rp 30,000 - 40,000 per day rental, and between Rp 20,000 - 25,000 per day for rental of a week or more. Insist on a helmet for the motorcycle, for both your own safety and because wearing a helmet is a legal requirement in Indonesia; you will be stopped by the police and fined for riding without a helmet. It should be understood that the streets can be chaotic and dangerous for inexperienced riders so consider carefully before renting a motorcycle. If you intend to surf, there are plenty of specially modified motorbikes with surfboard hangers.
In March 2012 in several Motorbike Rental Shops for 1 Day 50000 and for 1 Week 35000 per Day after bargaining.
Ground for Peace Love and Harmony
There are many events in Kuta and interesting attractions are very thin on the ground. The beach is of course very scenic here, if nearly always crowded.
Bali Bomb Memorial. This is a memorial to the 202 people murdered by the bombs on 12th October 2002, and is on Jl Legian opposite the corner of Poppies II. This is the former site of the old Paddy's Bar, and opposite the former site of the Sari Club, which is still an empty space, next to the Billabong shop. Every year on the anniversary date there is a ceremony mourning those killed or wounded by the bombs. Whilst viewing the memorial, please be calm and silent out of respect. The local Balinese will often be curious to learn if you knew or were related to any of the victims.
Beach offerings. In the mornings you regularly see Balinese people throwing offerings into the sea, especially when Nyepi is approaching. The best spot is the temple right next to the beach about 200-250m to the north of the Hard Rock Hotel.
Hard Rock Hotel is something of a tourist attraction and is definitely worth a look and the odd photo.
Yoga and Meditation
Anand Krishna Centre Kuta
You may find the best place to do some exercise of yoga and meditation in Kuta.
Anand Krishna Center Kuta is a centre for holistic Health and Meditation in Kuta. Offers several courses in yoga and meditation like Stress Management class and Neo Kundalini Yoga class. Equipped with spacious meditation hall, full air conditioning and experience facilitators. Located in Jl. Pura Mertasari No. 27, sunset road area, Kuta. +62 361 8947239, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secret Garden of The Divine Mother in Kuta - Bali, perhaps the smallest public garden in the world, is dedicated to a great task: that of Healing Mother Earth and All Her Children. The Secret Garden is expected to help us access our Secret Selves - the Sacred within each of us. Humankind and the Universe are interconnected. In essence we are all one. We firmly believed that global warming caused by climate change and other threats presently faced by humanity must only be responded compassionately. The Feminine within each of us must rise to save the Earth. Let us work together to realize our common dream of "One Earth One Sky One Humankind". Visit to this Garden is not a casual visit. It is a cleansing and beautifying experience for the Soul. The Garden open all day, but prior appointment is recommended. Located on Jalan Pura Mertasari No. 45, Sunset road area, Kuta, Bali. +62 361 - 8947239.
Kuta is a well known destination amongst surfing enthusiasts. A long sandy beach with a lack of dangerous rocks or coral, makes the area attractive for beginners.
Bali learn to surf is Bali's first professional surf school and they have an office at the Hard Rock Hotel, as well as a beach presence. Offers equipment in good condition and premises for a surfing introduction in calm water at the swimming-pool of the Hard Rock Hotel. An introductory lesson costs US$45, lasts 2.5 hours and students are offered hotel transfers and fresh water. A 3-day course costs US$120, and five day courses include a "surfari" to other surfing spots for US$200.
Some of the surf dudes in the shops also offer private lessons. They are considerably cheaper than the surf schools but just as good. Many of the dudes have been working for the schools or do it on the side. You cant find them on the web so you should look around. One good one is the "Sion Surf Shop" on Poppies I, around 400 m from the beach.
There are several surf shops on Poppies II which all seem to be much of a muchness. Friendly local surfer dudes will happily chat wth you about the waves, offer to fix a ding, rent you a board and sell you just about anything surf-related.
Be careful when you rent on a beach, some boards are in such a poor condition that you are very lucky if you don't break it. And that is what some guys who operate the rental business are looking for. If you break it, then they may demand that you pay for it. So choose only the boards that appear to be in good condition, otherwise you may get ripped off.
It is also possible to rent equipment from locals on the beach for between Rp 20,000-80,000 per half day, however prices asked are often closer to Rp 40,000-100,000 for one hour. If you rent from the same guys for a few consecutive days you will almost certainly get a better price. The equipment quality is lower than of the formal outlets. The surfers on the beach can also give you some basic lessons, and look after your stuff while you are in the water. If this is your first experience of surfing it is safer to use a surf school or private lessons before heading out on your own.
If you want to rent for a few days, rather use rentasurfboard.com, . Their price is Rp 100,000/day, the boards are usually in very good condition and the local guy who handles the business is really a good guy.
Bali Wave Hunter, ☎ +62 811 389507 (email@example.com), . Surfing charters and tours from Bali to Nusa Lembongan, Lombok & Sumbawa with a professional photograper. Visiting world class reef breaks, like Desert Point, Scar Reef, YoYo's and Super Sucks. Uses an 80 ft Indonesian jukung outrigger with 6 cylinder diesel engine, full size beds, shower and toilet, tv, video/DVD player and stereo , PlayStation 2 and wake boarding facilities. 240v power with international plugs, fully equipped kitchen with fridge/freezer, safety equipment, first aid kit, VHF/UHF radio. Smaller boat also available.
There are Spas by the dozen, and as Kuta is the most competitive place in Bali, prices are the lowest (as is the quality of experience). Shop around and ask for package discounts. Take a look at the place first and do not allow yourself be talked into something by touts. A well known spa is Villa de Daun on Jalan Legian. Many hotels have their own in-house spas or partner with a local operator. Reborn and Cozy are two excellent spas on the outskirts of Kuta, on Sunset Road just before the roundabout. The price is around rp120k for 2-hours, but have "happy hour" specials.
Carla Spa, Poppies ||, . very good full body oil massage for not too much money, ask for Alfa. Opposite side of Artawan, same side as "The Steps", a bit further towards JL Legianrp50000/1hour.
Beware of the women offering massages on the beach. They are seasoned at ripping off tourists: be sure you have agreed to a price and a duration, or you'll find yourself with a 10 minute massage.
Be very aware of any extras offered to you as these will be at a much higher rate. People have been lured in for a cheap massage for Rp 50,000 only to be hit with an extra Rp 200,000 when they're done. The girl may suggest doing your nails which takes all of an extra 10 minutes but will charge Rp 100,000 for fingers and another Rp 100,000 for toes.
Enjoy the sunset. In the evenings plenty of people head down to the beach or seaside cafes to watch the wonderful sunset. Be in place by about 5:30PM, for a sunset between 6:15 and 6:45. The area in front of McDonalds and the Hard Rock Cafe can be a bit hectic with touts selling spearguns, henna tattoos and massages. Going north, the hassle drops exponentially, with the Legian/Padma Beach area being a wonderfully relaxing place to watch sunset.
Paradiso Bowling Centre, Jl Kartika Plaza No8X, ☎ +62 361 758880 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 6PM-11PM daily. An 18 lane bowling centre. Large number of pool and snooker tables as well.Rp 27,000 per game.
Waterbom Park, Jl Kartika Plaza (opposite Discovery Shopping Mall), ☎ +62 361 755676, . 9AM-6PM daily. This is one of the biggest water theme parks in Asia and is within easy walking distance from Kuta beach. Your children will love you for spending some time here.Adults US$31, under-12s US$19, good value 2-day passes (valid within a one-week period) available.
Mega Dive Bali, Jl Elang No 5, Tuban, ☎ +623 361 754165, . A PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Resort. Arranges daily diving trips to Nusa Penida, Tulamben, Padang Bai and Amed.
Yoga is very popular and courses are always on offer.
Some hotels offer courses to learn Bahasa Indonesia.
There are lots of popular surfwear/sportswear stores inlcuding Volcom, Rip Curl, Rusty, Surfer Girl Billabong and Quiksilver. These well known brands can be purchased in Kuta at prices 30% to 50% lower than you will pay at home. Your best bet is to wander the length of Jalan Legian between bemo corner and Jalan Melsati where you will find an almost unbelievable number of outlets.
Kuta Square is a popular shopping area at the north end of Jl Kartika Plaza. There are a host of small shops on both sides of the street, and a big Matahari department store, with a cheap and utterly wacky collection of T-shirts on the 3rd floor.
Be aware that if you buy things from hawkers on the beach, you will attract dozens more and they will do their best to make you feel guilty for not buying from them. Be prepared for offers at "good luck prices" or "morning/sunset prices". The trick is to not look them in the eye and respond to their offers with a firm "no thank you", but to always stay polite!
Ticket to the Moon, Jl Raya Legian (right by the bomb memorial), ☎ +62 361 763579 (email@example.com), . Just in case you left yours at home, the flagship showroom of this famous Bali brand is here in Legian. Hammocks made from parachute fabric that fold up into the smallest, lightest package imaginable.
Balinesia Tattoo on Poppies Lane 2. You’ll find plenty of local free parking. The studio has a relaxed atmosphere with staff both friendly and helpful. Experienced artists.
Bali is particular renowned for its manufacturing, tailoring of leather and exotic skins. '2NDSKIN - Leather By Design', Jl Petitenget Seminyak 61, ☎ +62 361 212 0899 firstname.lastname@example.org,http://www.2ndskinonline.com OPEN:9AM-8PM. Tailored and prêt-à-porter men’s and women’s Jackets, handbags, travel bags, shoes, wallets, belts and a variety of fashion accessories using leather and exotic skins. 'Anika Tailor' is well reviewed online and located just south of Discovery Mall, Jl.Kartika Plaza, Gg.Melati No.7, ☎ +62 361 754 580, http://www.anikatailor.com/
Beachwalk Bali, Jalan Pantai Kuta (0.5 km after Hard Rock Hotel Bali), ☎ +62 361 8464 888, . 24-hours. Formerly the Sahid hotel, now completely build into a new shopping concept. Its architecture is unique and has not been seen before in Bali, it gives a sense of shopping in Bali, once fully operational the shopping mall with 200 retail outlets will operate 24-hours until midnight giving the first after 10pm shopping and dining in Bali. 30% are filled with restaurants and bars. The shopping mall is attached to Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort. The property is beach front, only separated steps from the beach and features unobstructed ocean view.(-8.716046,115.169334)
somewhere, JL Legian 33 (South of skygarden same side of the street). Cool threads some made in Bali, good quality fabrics, decent prices.
Large, western-style shopping malls are hardly a typical Bali shopping experience, but the best ones on the island are in the Kuta area.
Bali Mall Galleria is on Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai right beside the huge Simpang Siur roundabout. Galleria is home to number of well known brand stores, a food court, Planet Hollywood and the best cinema in Bali (tel:+62 361 767021). There is a large duty free shopping centre  here which is aimed primarily at Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese tourists. You buy your luxury items tax free which are collected upon departure at the airport.
Carrefour Plaza is on Jl Sunset, just north west of the Simpang Siur roundabout. As well as being anchored by an enormous Carrefour supermarket on the top floor, this is home to an excellent Periplus bookshop, numerous small designer stores and the best authorised Apple Mac retailer in Bali.
Discovery Shopping Mall (Centro) is located across from Waterbom Park on Jl Kartika Plaza in Tuban. A big western-style mall with plenty of international brand stores on the ground and sub-ground levels, including Guess, Marks and Spencers, Sogo and Top Shop. The second level is occupied fully by the Centro department store, and there are many cafes and a large electronics retailer on the 3rd level. The waterfront cafes on the ground level have excellent ocean views.
Great balls of fire Bakso ("BAH-soh", meatball) soup is cheap and tasty any time of the day. Vendors wander the streets with their steaming wooden food carts and are easily located by the 'tink-tink-tink' sound of a spoon hitting a soup bowl. The soup is a small-ish bowl of MSG-laden meaty broth with some thick yellow egg noodle, meatballs and the optional extras of fried wanton, fried tofu, hard-boiled egg and some vegetables. Add some mild chili sauce and sweet soy for a bit more flavor.
You can find any manner of international and local food here. Restaurants are usually either very cheap or in the mid-range. Exclusive restaurants are rare but there are some gems here. For true luxury dining head 15 minutes up the road to Seminyak.
Beach-stall food is delicious, filling and very cheap. These are dotted along Kuta and Legian beach beneath the trees or road-side awnings.
Amino Coffee, Poppies 2 (a short walk from JL Legian). Best Coffee in Kuta, a welcome relief from the espresso chains like Starbucks and Gloria Jeans. If you miss Sydney coffee this is the place where you can get a taste of home.
Bamboo Corner, Poppies I (Opposite Circle K, near the middle). Large Menu of Indonesian and some Western Food. Grilled snapper w/ salad and chips for 40 000 IDR 2nd most expensive only to Lobster which is 75 000 IDR, most items on the menu are under 20 000 IDR. Servings are large and tasty. Wifi can be obtained from Circle K hotspot (88888).
Hamburger Lady, Kuta Beach (on the side of the tourist police station). As food can no longer be made at the beach, this hamburger stall owner walks around the beach with a menu and takes orders. She makes the burgers on the side of the tourist police station next to the shopping mall on the beach.About Rp 20,000.
Kedai Nasi Uduk, Kuta Galleria, Jl Patih Jelantik, ☎ +62 361 769192. Small warung serving the Jakarta speciality Nasi Uduk (rice cooked in coconut water and various aromatic spices, served with chicken or beef and vegetables). Well prepared, authentic food.Rp 15,000-20,000.
Kedin's Cafe, Poppies Lane I (in front of Kedin's Inn), ☎ +62 361 756771. Good, typical local Indonesian food. They occasionally show Hollywood movies in the eveningsRp10,000-20,000.
Mie88, Jl Patih Jelantik 1 (opposite the western end of Kuta Galleria). Indonesian noodles in large portions at very good prices. Excellent budget option - spend Rp 15,000 for a delicious meal.
Nusa Indah, Poppies Lane I (About halfway along Poppies I, opposite Masa Inn). Good, very cheap Indonesian food and cold beer. Great staff and always fun. An old school backpacker type hangout, the like of which has rapidly disappeared from Bali.
Tree House Cafe, Poppies Lane I, ☎ +62 361 756771. A busy and crowded budget restaurant. Their specialties are Dutch snacks, such as kroket and frikandel.Rp 40,000.
Warung Indonesia, (Between Poppies I and II). Popular with locals and long-termers and is packed most nights, a good sign. The best food is not on the menu but laid out behind a glass display from where you can pick the food you want. Rp 1,000-2,000 per choice, eat very well for Rp 10,000-15,000.
Cafe Romano, 141 Jl Legian (10 meters south of the Junction of Jl benesari, Jl patimura and Jl legian), ☎ +6282145329692 (email@example.com). 9AM-12PM. Traditional authentic Italian using fine Italian imported ingredients. The Italian owner stands by his excellent pizza.
Blue Fin, Jl Kartika Plaza, ☎ +62 361 764100, . Good quality Japanese food at reasonable prices. Tempura is especially good as is the Salmon salad.
Havana Club Bali, Poppies I (150m down from Jl Legian). Restaurant on two floors and the upper level can be reserved for private parties. Good & tasty food.
Made's Warung, Jl Pantai Kuta (Near the intersection with Jl Legian), . This is the original Made's, the forerunner of the now very successful Seminyak restaurant. One of the very first restaurants in Kuta, now on two floors and still doing a roaring trade. The menu covers Indonesian, Balinese and western food. Try the pork ribs with green papaya.
Mojo's Flying Burritos. Mexican restaurant serving California-style Mexican food and juices. Open kitchen where you can watch the cooks making tortillas and salsas. Not recommended. Margaritas by the pitcher. Rp 35,000-70,000.
Kafe Batan Waru, Jl Kartika Plaza (Right by the entrance to Discovery Shopping Mall), ☎ + 62 361 766303 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Batan Waru has been an institution in Ubud for many years and their foray into Kuta has been no less successful. Great regional Indonesian cuisine, inventive cocktails and top class coffee.
Ketupat, Jl Legian 109, ☎ +62 361 754209 (email@example.com), . A truly superb Indonesian restaurant whuch is highly recommended for any visitor who wants to sample and understand real Indonesian food in a truly fabulous environment.
Kuta Plaza Restaurant, Jl Bakungsari 9 (At the Jl Raya Kuta end of Jl Singosari), ☎ +62 361 751833. Very popular restaurant serving Chinese Indonesian food. It is a typical Chinese restaurant - loud, bright and brash - but the food is excellent. Seafood is chosen live from tanks in the window. If that is not your thing, there are many other options including excellent pork ribs.
Maccaroni Club, Jl Legian 52 (almost opposite the bomb memorial), ☎ +62 361 754662 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Restaurant & lounge with good Italian food and some Asian fusion. Excellent service and luscious desserts.
Ma Joly, Jl Wana Segara, Tuban (At Kupu Kupu Barong Resort), ☎ +62 361 753780, . Alfresco dining in a great beachfront location in a quiet part of south Kuta/Tuban. Sunset is magnificent from here so cocktails before dinner are a great idea. Large international menu but fish is recommended.
Kuta is the low end party centre of Bali. It has recovered well from the bomb blasts in 2002 & 2005 and tourists still flock to the bars where alcohol is served freely and excessively. Many of the bars here have a house cocktail with a local Arak (rice spirit) base. These go by charming names like Jam Jar and Fish Bowl, pack a huge punch and make customers very ill!
Visiting Sky Garden, however, is not recommended. While it is a popular clubbing spot, it is very common for foreigners to be forcibly escorted from the premises without reason. The staff isn't particularly helpful when this occurs, and it is far too frequent for foreigners to be separated from their friends without explanation. Keep away if possible.
Jalan Legian bars
Jalan Legian between Poppies Gang I & II is the main party area and things tend to get going around midnight and go until 3-4AM. The biggest venues are:
The Bounty, Jl Legian (100 metres south from Mbargo), ☎ +62 361 75 4040. Looks from the inside like a torn ship with several different areas including pool tables. The party starts everyday from 10PM but really gets going at midnight. Go here to get 'Blasters'. Rough and ready and it gets very messy.
Eikon, Jl Legian 178, ☎ +62 361 750701, . Lounge bar which frequently has a decent cover band playing R&B fare.
The Engine Room, Jl Legian (opposite the Bounty), ☎ +62 361 75 5121. Small lounge bar and dance club. A little more sophisticated than some of the options on this street.
Mbargo, Jl Legian (adjacent to the bomb memorial). Large air-conditioned bar on two floors. Models are on tap to serve you drinks. Hosts regular fashion shows. A favourite with teenage Australian party kids of both sexes. Security is especially tight here.
Vi Ai Pi, Jl Legian (opposite corner of Poppies II), . Lounge style bar and restaurant with nice breezy open upper level.
61 Legian, Jl Legian (opposite corner of Poppies II), . until 3am. Big modern building in a metallic half open air architecture, with several atmospheres, each club has its own DJ. Shows all night, sexy dancers, fire shows. It seems they had some thief issues before but the security is now tight. If it's not obvious, they require an id to prove you're an international guest to gain access to the rooftop, where cocktails are given out for free between 9PM and 10PM. So basically, the place is already half full by 10PM. The open air rooftop lounge terrassy is awesome. Lots of hookers near closing hour. 25K for Bintang before midnight, 35K after.
Apache Reggae Bar, Jl Legian (a little south from the corner of Poppies II). until 3am. Live music every night, great reggae and rock cover bands in the bar right on the street, then djs. In the back there is another big reggae venue with another good cover band that plays basically Bob Marley covers non-stop from midnight. Awesome place for anyone into this kind of music.
Poppies Lane II bars
Closer to the hotels and eateries and having a more laid back sort of atmosphere, Poppies Lane II is where many of the younger crowd go to start their night off before hitting the dancefloors at the clubs on Jalan Legian. Gets busy from 9pm until midnight. The more popular places are:
Alleycats, Poppies II (80 metres west from legian st, behind twice bar). 9.30AM-midnight. The busiest pre-club bar. Go here for their "Double Doubles".
Bagus Pub, Poppies II (20 metres west from Jl Legian). 9AM-midnight. Favourite drinking den of the dedicated Aussie all day drinker. Great place to watch the world go by.
The Steps, Poppies II (50 metres west from Jl Legian). busy from 10PM-1AM. Not a bar as such, it's some steps in front of a mini market with a boom box for entertainment. A kuta institution favoured by the surf crowd that's often busier than a lot of the real bars.
Twice Bar, Poppies II (80 metres west from Jl Legian). 9am-late. A dark setting perfectly suited to the punk and heavy metal bands that play here several times a week, popular with many of the local Kuta scene.
Piggys Bar, Poppies II (80 metres west from Jl Legian). 24 hours. A smaller version of Bagus Pub but with live bands and open 24 hours a day.
Kuta waterfront bars
Along the waterfront on Jalan Pantai Kuta there are some slightly more sophisticated bar and lounge options. Most are lounges that offer food and entertainment afterwards. Definitely an option to explore and not so overrun by the Australian party groups.
Kama Sutra, Jl Pantai Kuta. Cavernous bar and club on the beachfront which is very popular with young Indonesians.
All Stars Surf Cafe, Jl Kartika Plaza No 8X. If non-stop surf videos, huge jugs of icy beer, sumo wrestling and limbo dancing are your thing, then look no further.
Stadium Sports Cafe, Complex Kuta Side Walk, Jl Kartika Plaza, ☎ +62 361 763100. 10AM to 1AM daily. Long stablished sports bar with two huge projection screens. Shows lots of EPL plus Australian and American sports.
what up doc
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Kuta has a huge range of accommodation mostly in the budget and mid-range markets. Private villas are few and far between as Kuta just lacks the space for expansive private properties. Prices are often negotiable especially outside of the peak seasons (July/August, Christmas, New Year and other obvious holidays). During peak seasons, always book ahead.
There are a lot of cheap guest houses in the Rp 70,000-250,000 range on Poppies II, but you can often find nicer places on the small lanes between Poppies I and II. Visitors should be aware that a lot of the budget accommodation in Kuta is very tired. Always see the room first & haggle. It is becoming difficult to find budget accommodation if you arrive late in the day. Budget places (under $10) may not take reservations, so trying to arrive around noon or 1pm as people check-out is a good strategy to try and find cheap accommodation.
Bali Duta Wisata, Poppies II, Bene Sari Street, ☎ +62 361 753534. Tired rooms but you get what you pay for. A good bet you if arrive late and have nowhere to go. Free wi-fi and attached bathrooms. Breakfast included: toast and coffee. Rp 70,000 for singles.
Bedbunkers Backpackers Hostels, Jl. Dewi Sri (15 minutes walk from the beach), ☎ +62 361 752 177 (email@example.com), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Each dorm includes built-in lockers to keep you valuables safe, Comfortable mattresses,Pillows and Blankets with 5 star hotel standards. Offering 24 hour hot water showers and toilets that are shared. Housekeeping everyday! 24 hour reception with free WiFi connections to stay in touch with home. From Rp 100,000. (-8.703797,115.176147)
Losmen Arthawan, Poppies II, ☎ +62 361 752 913. The budget singles include breakfast, cleaning every 3 days, a bathroom, and patio, fan in the room and cold water. The pricier rooms have hot water and A/C. The budget rooms, at least, seemed quite dirty. I doubt anything was cleaned between guests. No breakfast was offered or mentioned. Ideal location but better of going elsewhere for same price.From Rp 70,000.
Diana House, Poppies I, ☎ +62 361 751605. Decent value for money place. Fairly large rooms, clean attached bathrooms.Rp 150,000+.
Ayu Beach Inn, Poppies I. Decent budget accommodation, prices could be much lower outside peak season. Pretty nice pool, drinks on sale, friendly staff, includes a basic breakfast.Rp 200,000 for fan room (week of Christmas), higher for AC.
Ayu Lili Garden Resort, between Poppies II and Benesari, ☎ +62 361 754132. Decent budget accommodation, clean and quiet, in a small alley parallel to Poppies II, walking distance from the beach and the nightlife. Nice pool and garden, no Wi-Fi but they have a cheap internet cafe and a shop for drinks/snacks.Rp 180,000 for fan room (june), higher for AC.
Fat Yogis, Poppies I, ☎ 62 361 759451. Decent standard budget accommodation only 300 m from Kuta Beach.From Rp 200,000.
Sorga Cottages (Hotel Sorga), Sorga Lane, Poppies I, ☎ +62 361 751 897, . Balinese style hotel in 2 low rise buildings. Rooms are plain and simple with slightly tired furnishings. Suitable for budget travellers seeking economically priced, unfussy accommodation. Large, pretty garden and a pool. Staff are friendly and helpful. A/C and airport pick-ups. Computers, internet access, a small convenience store and car rental are available.From Rp 180,000 includes breakfast.
Taman Sari Bali Cottages, between Poppies I and II. Spacious rooms with double bed, a nice communal swimming pool and basic breakfast. Not the cleanest of places but you get what you pay for.From about Rp 120,000.
Komala Indah, Just east of Kuta Beach on Benesari. Prices continue to rise as budget places get squeezed out of Kuta, but they are still the cheapest you can find. There are three Komala's in the area, Komala Indah 1, Komala Indah 2, and Komala Indah Cottages, and they all have a different style and management. Komala 1 and Cottages are the nicer of the bunch but Komala 1 is almost always full. Includes breakfast. Great location just steps to the beach. Rooms are bungalow style, with a small patio in the front. Sociable places. Great budget digs.starting at Rp 65,000.
Dana Guesthouse Bali (Dana Guesthouse Bali), Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia, . Kuta Beach is a 15-minute drive. Canggu and Echo Beach (popular among surfers) are 5 to 7 minutes' drive respectively. Shuttle bus to Echo beach is available. Some facilities include free car (for minimum of 10 persons) and motor bike so you can easily explore the island. Free airport pickup. From USD 24.
Adhi Dharma Hotel and Cottages, Jl Benesari, ☎ +62 361 754280, . A long time favourite with budget-conscious families. Decent facilities and good value for money.From US$50.
Bakungsari Hotel, Jl Singosari, ☎ +62 361 751868, . Well-established 3 storey hotel with large communal pool and simple restaurant. All 107 rooms have their own terrace.From US$35.
Bali Sorgawi Hotel, Jl Legian Kelod, ☎ +62 361 755266 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Friendly, good value simple accommodation for families and single travellers. Located in the heart of Kuta. Kuta beach is 5 min walk. All 36 rooms are fully A/C. pool, mini gym, internet and safe facilities. Free pick-up from the airport.From US$30.
Budhas Guest House in Kuta (Homestay Near Kuta Beach), Kartika Plaza Street, Gg Pendawa no 4x, Kuta, Bali, ☎ +62 361 755806 (email@example.com), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Budhas Guest House is located at heart of Kuta, Guest house near Bali Airport only ten minutes drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. Guest House Near Kuta Beach, a short walk to the famed Kuta Beach, Shopping Centre, Restaurants, pubs and night clubs. It is ideal for surfers, backpackers or simply budget conscious travellers looking for a decent place to bed down for a night or two.From US$30.
Dewa Bharata Kuta Bungalows, Jl Legian Kuta Bali, ☎ +62-361-751764 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +62-361-751764), . Equipped with large swimming pool and restaurant with free wifi access.From US$35.
Dewi Sri Hotel, Gang Dewi Sri off Jl Legian, ☎ +62 361 752555 (email@example.com). A large, cheap and cheerful hotel which is very convenient to nightlife and shopping. Simple but clean and functional rooms, large pool and bar/restaurant. Staff very helpful - always smiling and friendlyFrom US$45.
Harris Hotel Tuban, Jl Dewi Sartika, Tuban, ☎ +62 361 765255 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Modern 68 room hotel close to the airport and Tuban beach. Nice pool, in-house spa. Free wifi and decent restaurant.From about Rp 550,000.
Hotel Miki, Jl Dewi Sri 78, ☎ +62 361 764187 (email@example.com), . A new and stylish hotel 300 m from Kuta Galleria shopping area. Design is a mixture of contemporary and traditional Indonesian influences. All rooms have A/C, private bathroom, fridge, and TV. Free airport pick-up.From Rp 300,000.
Ida Hotel, Jl Kahyangan Suci (off Jl Tegal Wangi), ☎ +62 361 751205 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 57 room hotel with a mix of regular rooms and individual cottages. Large communal pool set in nice gardens.From US$45.
Kuta Lagoon Resort, Jl Legian 363 (close to the junction with Jl Melasti), ☎ + 62 361 750888 (email@example.com), . Despite the name it is nowhere near a lagoon. It is though a well kept hotel with 83 rooms, 17 private cottages and good service. Has a basic spa, restaurant and bar.From US$70.
Loft Legian Hotel, Jl Melasti 99, Legian, ☎ +62 3617 60027, . All rooms have LCD TV, in-room safe, hot and cold shower. Free WiFi.IDR 375,000.00.
Masa Inn, Poppies I, ☎ +62 361 758507 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 3 storey hotel just 400m from Kuta Beach. Rooms are clean, quiet and the staff friendly. Two really nice pools. Small breakfast included in the rate.From Rp 350,000.
Poppies Bali, Poppies I, ☎ +62 361 751059 (email@example.com), . A Kuta institution. 20 traditionally styled bungalows set in tropical gardens. Excellent service and an absolute oasis in the relative chaos of Kuta.From US$80.
Rama Beach Resort, Jl Wana Segara, Tuban, ☎ +62 361 751557, . Pleasant mid-market resort just 100 m from Tuban beach. Have a range from double rooms in the main block to individual private villas. In-house spa and a good-sized pool with swim up bar. Airport pick-up US$5. From US$83.
Simpang Inn, Jl Legian 133, ☎ +62 361 8528521 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . On main street. A variety of rooms depending on budget: private bungalow, standard room and fan-cooled room.From US$27.
Sunset Hotel and Residence Condotel & Apartment, Jl Dewi Sri no.11 - Sunset Rd, ☎ hotel: +62 361 761910, apartments: +62 361 758574 (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +62 361 758548), . Serviced apartment suitable for family, business and long staying travellers. Hotel and apartments accommodation including; studio, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and penthouse units. All apartment units are fully equipped with kitchen utensils. Quiet and comfortable. Hotel and apartment style accommodation.Hotel rooms from US$75 nett on breakfast, apartments style accommodation from Rp 750,000 nett inc breakfast.
Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort (Starwood Hotels & Resorts), Jalan Pantai Kuta (Attached to Beachwalk shopping mall), ☎ +62 361 846-5555, . checkin: 12; checkout: 3. Newly build and the first Sheraton resort in Bali, the resort is attached to Beachwalk shopping mall and starts from level 2 so it enjoys elevated views of the Indian Ocean or Kuta Beach view. The rooms and suites are designed to face the Ocean view and have their own private balcony. The resort introduce 2 restaurants - Feast an interactive dining experience and Bene Italian trattoria.200. (-8.71717,115.169463)
Cliff Edge Villa Rental (luxury accomodation for groups), Kuta, . checkin: 2:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 noon. This 5 Bedroom Villa provides views up and down the limestone cliffs of Bali. It has gardens and lots of open spaces. Ideal for families or a group of friends. Facilities include library, media room, infinity pool, lounge and barbeque area.
Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, Jl Kartika Plaza, ☎ +62 361 751067, . Huge beachfront hotel in Tuban adjacent to the Discovery Shopping Mall. Vast range of services and different room standards.From about US$ 110.
Hard Rock Hotel (Jl Pantai Kuta), ☎ +62 361 761869, . Part of the global Hard Rock chain offering exactly what you would expect, right on Kuta Beach. Has the largest pool in Bali and an array of other facilities including a spa, fitness centre, kid's club and a rock-climbing wall. Several restaurants and bars and their very own radio station.From about US$130.
Kuta Paradiso Hotel, Jl Kartika Plaza, ☎ +62 361 761414 (email@example.com), . A large, glitzy and rather ostentatious Tuban hotel, but it is decent value for money. In-house spa and fitness centre, nice restaurant and a large pool.From US$100.
Mercure Kuta, Jl Pantai Kuta 100x, ☎ +62 361 767411 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Great location right on Kuta Beach close to the Hard Rock. Good quality in-house spa.From about US$ 100.
Villa de Daun, Jl Legian, ☎ +62 361 756276 (email@example.com), . An absolute hidden oasis in a small lane off Jl Legian. 12 stylish private villas located in a hectare of tropical gardens. In-house spa, accommodation bookings are often made with spa packages included. One, two and three bedroom villas available.From about US$300.
The Rishi Bali Villas, Jl Umalas Lestari No. 8 RK, Kerobokan, ☎ +62 361 8476707 (fax: +62 361 8476708), . 1 and 2 bedroom villas with A/C, balcony and internet. Pre-selected menu, DVD library, spa massage, tour and activities around Bali.
The safety advice given here applies more in Kuta than anywhere else in Bali. Take heed, have fun, but be sensible.
Swimming safety is extremely important in Kuta. It is prohibited to swim near the special flags, that are placed where currents are especially strong. Always swim between the red and yellow flags, where the lifeguards have deemed it safest. Do not swim out too far as the waves and currents here are stronger than you might expect and change very rapidly. The sea water in Kuta can be filthy and you should be aware of this potential problem and try not to swim in the obviously polluted areas.
Lifeguard Station (Bala Penyelamat Wisata Tirta), JI Pantai Kuta, tel: +62 361 755660
Watch your belongings at the beach, better yet do not bring your valuables to the beach if you intend to swim or surf.
Touts and scammers will constantly look for their chance. Be wary of deals. If its sounds too good to be true then it probably is. When walking alone (especially down Jl Pantai Kuta and Jl Legian) you will be hassled by touts offering transport on motorbikes. Generally this is harmless and can be used as a means of getting around, although the shear volume of touts offering transport can be an annoyance. Remember to stay calm and don't be pressured into buying anything you don't want.
At night, drunk driving & big potholes in the streets are a problem, so be very aware of road safety after dark.
Drugs should be avoided in Kuta (and all of Indonesia). Punishments for possession are harsh and there have been a number of arrests of tourists over the years. Beware of unsavoury touts offering drugs (often after initially offering transport). These "dealers" are often working with the police in order to get small payouts for arrests. Say "no" and walk away.
Pickpockets have been known to be a problem recently ouside bars, specifically on Jalan Legian (Sky Garden, et al). One common method used against drunk tourists leaving bars and clubs is for a large group of boys and teenagers to block the sidewalk. As the target attempts to squeeze through, the thieves attempt to reach into their pockets and/or bags and take whatever they can get. Be very aware of this.
Foreign Currency Scams are fairly common, especially down the Poppy roads. Make sure you count out the rupiah yourself before you leave the shop (even if they count it out in front of you) and you also calculate how much you are owed yourself. Some of the shop owners will make you count out the rupiah, and then with a sleight of hand will remove one of the large piles of cash. Double check you have the right amount of money as you leave the shop.
Mobile recharge scam: recharge shops can ask for Rp 10.000 extra if the sim card was bought in the other city;
Free Wi-Fi for customers has become very widespread in cafes, restaurants, hotels in Kuta - look for the signs.
You can easily buy a prepaid mobile SIM card at a local sundry shop for about Rp 25,000, which will come in handy when making hotel reservations or booking tours. They are also available at Circle-K and other convenience chains, but will cost more for the same deal. Get the seller to activate the SIM card for you unless you understand instructions in Bahasa Indonesia fairly well. There should be no need to top up the card, as text messaging and short local calls will cost you next to nothing. If required, top up plans are competitive and sold at the same type of outlets. The same places sell prepaid data packages if you want Internet on your phone, tablet or laptop, when you are not near a free Wi-Fi hotspot. The speed is generally good around the larger towns and it is fairly easy to set up.
There is a post office in a small lane off Poppies I which is also home to several 'wartels' (phone shops) which provide public IDD and fax facilities.
Bali Cyber Cafe, 9 Kompleks Sriwijaya, Jl Patih Jelantik, ☎ +62 361 761326, . About 08:00-22:00. Efficient internet cafe with a fairly reliable 256 kbps connection. Also has a decent food menu. One of the better specialist internet cafes in Bali.
Kuta is a major transport hub and is well connected to the rest of island via a bemo and shuttle bus network. Check the myriad of advertising boards on Poppies I, Poppies II and Jalan Legian for details.