Denpasar  is the largest city and capital of the island of Bali, Indonesia. It is located in South Bali.
Where's the airport?
Bali's airport may be coded DPS for Denpasar, but it's actually located 13 km away near Kuta and covered in the main Bali article.
Denpasar is centrally located and easily reached by car or taxi from the main tourist regions of Bali.
The bemo centre of Bali is here. Inconveniently, bemo terminals are scattered all around town, and transfers between them can be time-consuming. The major ones are:
- Batubulan, 6 km northeast, for points central and east: (Besakih, Candidasa, Kintamani, Klungkung, Padangbai, Ubud)
- Tegal, to the west, for southern Bali: (Kuta, Legian,Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Uluwatu)
- Ubung, to the north, for points north and west: (Gilimanuk, Negara, Singaraja, Tabanan)
Taxi fares should run to about Rp 5,000 for the first 2 km and Rp 2,000 per km afterward. If you have a group of people, you may want to negotiate a bemo (small van) for a set rate to your destination. Remember that pricing is negotiable. Indonesians are great people, however, they won't think twice about overcharging you if they can, as would happen anywhere else.
As elsewhere in Bali, motor bike rental places are everywhere.
Gajah Mada Street, Denpasar
Don't believe those travel guides saying that Denpasar has nothing to offer. The opposite is true, Denpasar is bristling with temples, palaces, mansions and its occupants are outstandingly friendly. You will be off the beaten tourist track, so bring lots of time for a chat with the locals and a decent map of town (available at the tourist office). You can see all the sights comfortably on foot.
- Puputan Square (Alun Alun Puputan) has the famous Catur Mukha Statue and is a key point of orientation of the whole city. If you get lost, find your way back here.
- Bali Museum (Museum Negeri Propinsi Bali) is on Jalan Mayor Wisnu adjacent to Alun ALun Puputan. A much under-patronised place by visitors which offers an informative introduction to all things Balinese, past and present. If this place was in Kuta or Nusa Dua it would be swamped with tourists. Closed on Fridays.
- Pasar Badung has a wide choice of foods, curios and artwork, on five floors.
- Pura Jagatnata Temple famous for its steel.
- Pura Maospahit Temple is an oasis of quietness.
- Palace of Pemekutan is an elaborate palace with many caged animals.
- Palace of Satria is the royal palace of the King of Denpasar.
- The Royal Temples, next to the palace of Satria, are Denpasar's most elaborate temples, made of bricks without mortar and wonderfully carved.
Visit the tourist office, Jalan Surapati 6, Denpasar. +62 361 234569. Source of information for current events in the city.
Be careful especially at night. Denpasar is by and large a very friendly and safe city but use your common sense as you would anywhere in the world.
Contrary to what you might read in many guide books, the best shopping in Bali is in Denpasar. This is after all where Indonesians do their shopping in Bali!
The Central Market is best visited in the early morning. The ground level is devoted to fresh foodstuffs, dried food and spices are on the second level and handicrafts can be found on the top level.
Duta Silk is a fabulous silk emporium: Block 1, Komplex Duta Permai, Denpasar (next to Matahari Department store).
Gold stores with globally competitive jewellry prices abound in Jalan Hasanuddin and Jalan Sulawesi.
The myriad of small stores selling fabrics and local works in Jalan Gajah Mada and Jalan Thamrin will keep happy even the most jaded of world shoppers.
Denpasar is a melting pot of different cultures from all over Indonesia. There are few places where the results of the government trans-migration policy are more evident than here.
For that reason it is a wonderful place to eat with restaurants specialising in different regional and ethnic Indonesian cuisines. Sometimes this can all seem a bit inaccessible and hard to find for visitors, so do not be shy to ask your driver or at your hotel.
- Atoom Baru, Jalan Gajah Mada, Denpasar. Chinese restaurant specialising in seafood. It appears unimpressive but the food is fantastic.
- Ayam Taliwang, Jalan Teuku Umar, Denpasar. A restaurant noted for the Lombok speciality of Ayam Taliwang (grilled or fried young chicken).
- Cianjur, Jl Cok Agung Tresna, Renon, Denpasar. Excellent Balinese seafood. A little out of the city centre in the suburb of Renon.
- Kak Man, Jalan Teuku Umar 135, Denpasar. Excellent Balinese food including Bebek Betutu (smoked duck).
The foodcourts on the upper levels of Denpasar's department stores all serve surprisingly good food at excellent value prices. Try Ramayana, Matahari and Tiara Dewata department stores.
There are bars and nightlife in Denpasar but these are best left alone by visitors who will feel much more at home in Seminyak, Legian and Kuta.
- Bhineka Jaya Kopi Bali (Kopi Bali), Jalan Gajah Madah 80, ☎ +62 361 720589, . An absolute must for coffee lovers. Indonesia produces some of the best coffee in the world and here you can order your favourite brew as well as buy the beans. Products include coffee from Central Java, Toraja from Sulawesi, Mandailing from Sumatra and of course the very best of Bali coffee. The outlet of the famous Butterfly Globe brand.
There are many hotels in Denpasar which are primarily aimed at domestic business travellers. Few foreign tourists stay in the city here. These business hotels are reasonably priced and comfortable enough.
- Adi Yasa Hotel, Jalan Nakula 23, Denpasar, ☎ +62 361 222679. Huge rooms with private bathrooms, friendly management, off the tourist traps. Near cheap eats and internet. from Rp 60,000.
- Aston Denpasar Hotel and Conference Centre, Jalan Gatot Subroto Barat No. 283, Denpasar, ☎ +62 361 225681, . A 3/4 star hotel from the Aston chain. Probably the best standard hotel in Denpasar but very much aimed at the conference and business travel market. from about Rp 800,000.
- Inna Bali Inn (Natour Bali Hotel), Jalan Veteren, Denpasar, ☎ +62 361 225681. A mid-market hotel owned by the government and designed principally for hosting conferences. Good city location though. Has an interesting colonial past and a few nice historical touches remain. Rp 400,000.
- Nakula Familiar Inn, Jalan Nakula 4, Denpasar, ☎ +62 361 226446, . Huge, modern rooms, each with a balcony and choice of fan or a/c, and a welcoming family-style. Close to the centre of Denpasar. From Rp 70,000.
- Taman Suci Hotel, Jalan Imam Bonjol No 45, Denpasar, ☎ +62 361 485254 ([email protected]). A 45 room hotel in a strategic city position. Popular with domestic travellers. from Rp 325,000.
- Genesis Hotel and Spa, Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai 888, ☎ +62 361 722071, . A four star hotel & spa that offers 76 rooms which comprise of 5 suites and 71 superior rooms, including 9 sets of interconnecting rooms for families. Strategically located with immediate access to the main bypass. Easy access to the airport, Sanur beaches and the major department stores of Denpasar. Rates start at US$ 85.00.
Virtually all of Bali can be accessed easily from Denpasar.
The main police station: 0361 228690
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