Kuta is a tourist-friendly city near the southernmost point of Bali. The Balinese often call the area “downtown,” because it’s one of the busiest hubs on the island. The once sleepy fishing village, and former Dutch colony, turned into a vacationers’ dream when international investors discovered it in the 20th century. The beaches are the highlight in Kuta, but there is plenty of retail and culture to be found too.
To surf, swim and sunbathe, visit Kuta Beach, which is also a great spot to watch the famous Bali sunsets. Take a short trip south of Kuta to secluded Jimbaran Beach where you can relax in a peaceful atmosphere and watch local fishermen bring in their catch. Also great for an excursion outside of central Kuta is the Bajra Sandhi Monument. This attraction tells of some of the major events in the country’s history.
Back in downtown Kuta, go shopping in Kuta Square, which is surrounded by religious monuments and traditional Balinese buildings. Even though you can get American-style fast food here, the delicious Indonesian rice dishes and snacks are too good to resist.
Take the kids to the various theme parks, including Waterbom Bali, or stop in for a one-hour comedy and illusion show about Balinese culture at the Kuta Theater.
Kuta’s Bali Bombing Memorial is a grim reminder of the terrorist attacks on the tourists bars. More than a decade later, however, Kuta has moved on and the nightlife is as good as ever. Crimes are frequent though, so watch your belongings and drinks. Despite this, Kuta is a friendly place and most people have a hassle-free vacation.
An international airport is just a 15-minute drive from Kuta. Get around town on foot or by “bemo” taxi. If you rent a bike or scooter wear protective gear, because accidents are common.
In lively Kuta, traditional and modern attractions provide a nice break after a morning on the beach. Many people return to this part of Bali year after year to enjoy a relaxing vacation surrounded by comfort.