Travel Guide: Kuta and Area

As a long term traveller, it’s a bit hard to see the appeal of this part of Bali.  With so many amazing places in the country, and within Bali, why such a massive group of people swarm to the often garbage-filled beaches of Kuta and Seminyak is a bit of a surprise.  That being said, I do understand.  The type of traveller who visits Kuta generally falls into the category of: party traveller, first time traveller, or resort traveller.  It makes sense.  Kuta is an easy destination, but it’s also perhaps the most cliche travel destination on the planet.  I spent a month here getting caught up on work, but if I were a tourist, I’d avoid this place like the plague.

Time Needed: 3-5 Days

Backpacker’s Budget: 30-40USD a Day

Kuta, Bali

Semniayak Beach

Things to Do and See in Kuta and Area

Honestly, in town there are fairly few things to do aside from lounge on the beach.  However, the one benefit to staying in Kuta is that you are fairly central to a lot of places so day trips are really a good option from here.

  • Beaches: The beaches in Seminyak and Kuta are both so-so.  The thing is that whenever there’s a storm, the people dump their trash into the rivers and it flows out into the sea and down onto the beaches.  Thus, it’s hit or miss.  The beach can be clean, or an absolute dump.  In general, Kuta is for the younger crowds, while Seminyak is more the lounge out on beach chairs type.
  • Day trip to Uluwatu: If you’re planning on staying in Kuta for a while, then it’s a good idea to rent a scooter.  It’ll open up so many doors to you.  Uluwatu is really cool.  You’ll want to check out both the temple and the beach they call the secret surfers beach.  My advice, though, is to get here early.  The secret beach seems to only stay a secret until about noon.
  • Day trip to Tanah Lot: Tanah Lot is another distance trip from Kuta, and it’s worth it.  The town can feel like a major tourist trap, but the temple is cool.  I preferred Uluwatu, but it’s worth the trip out here.
  • Day trip to Ubud: Heading north into the island will take you up to Ubud where you can see the sacred monkey forest, or head past Ubud to see some impressive rice terraces.
  • Bungee Jumping: Up in Seminyak they have a bungee jump set up.  I didn’t take it in, but it is legit.
  • Drinking: Obviously, one of the big draws to Kuta is the party scene.  Most of it revolves around Legian Street.  The biggest club is a place called Sky Garden.
Kuta, Bali

Tanah Lot

Where to Eat in Kuta and Area

The nice thing about Kuta is that there is some decent food options in the area, and you don’t need to spend a fortune.  Sure, there are plenty of international restaurants that greatly over-charge, but there are also lots of gems.

  • Patih Jelantik Food Stalls: Drive up this street and you wont miss the two food stalls in a parking lot.  There is a great Sate Ayam (chicken on a stick) place, as well as a Bakso (chicken meatball soup) stall run by the nicest woman.
  • Mie 88: A Chinese Noodle place also on Patih Jelantik serves really nice noodle dishes at a decent price.
  • Warung Sriwijaya: this small place has nice Nasi Campur, but they have fantastic juices for good prices.
  • Boardwalk Mall: I know, it doesn’t sound right.  However, if you go upstairs of the big fancy mall you’ll find an Asian food market which is pretty decent.
  • Take Sushi: Very good sushi, although it’s quite expensive.
  • Marzano Pizza: They have two locations, one in Kuta and the other in Seminyak, and the pizza is very good.  They deliver too, if you’re lazy.

Where to Stay in Kuta and Area

Staying in Kuta Area is fairly easy, as there are loads of options.  Value is fairly good as well.  My only recommendation is to get as far from Legian as you can, as it can get very loud until very late.  There is loads of cheap accommodation on Poppies II, if you’re on a spontaneous wander for a room, this is the best place to look.

  • Kayun Hostel: Near enough to the beach and Legian to be a good location, but still far enough from the noise.  They have a nice set up as well.
  • Gora Beach Inn: On Poppies two, this is halfway between the beach and Legian Street.  It draws a young crowd for it’s cheap rooms, and swimming pool.  Good place to meet people
  • Rent an Apartment: There are loads of good options from renting an apartment or villa in Bali, if you’re staying a long time, it’s worth having a look.

Getting Out of Town

Getting out of Kuta is less easy than it should be.  You’ll either need to go into Denpasar for transport, go with a private tour company, or hire a taxi.

  • Perama Tours: Good tour company that offers transport to Ubud, Lovina, the Gilli Islands, Lombok and Bromo.  They have a good service, but most of it seems quite over-priced.  Still, the advantage of being able to head directly from Legian street has its perks.  For simplicity sake, I would honestly just book everything through them
  • Taxis: Try to get yourself in taxis from Bluebird Group.  Also, never get in a taxi unless it is running its meter.  They’ll always double the price without a meter.
  • Airport: Getting from Kuta to the airport in taxi shouldn’t cost more than about 100,000 Rp.  Again, demand the meter to be running.

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1 Comment

  1. I feel the same way about Kuta – it’s a party town, similar to Phuket Thailand, but with a tad more culture. Before arriving I looked up the most popular beach in Bali, and had assumed that meant that it was the nicest beach. Bad assumption! Kuta still has it’s place, but you should know what you’re getting into. Thanks for the informative post.

    -Todd at Visit50

    PS – Tanah Lot looks awesome! I somehow never even knew it was there. Wow! I went to Uluwatu and liked it

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