- For other places with the same name, see Kuta (disambiguation).
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 Banana Pancake Trail backpacking route in South East Asia. Back in the 1980s they used to talk about the three Ks: Kathmandu 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. Cars often 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
Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport (DPS), is in fact directly south of Kuta, about 15 minutes away by taxi. More information about the airport is in the main Bali article.
The prepaid fare from the airport to Kuta is around Rp 120,000. 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 (taksi berargo) 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 a few dollars. You could book a fixed price taxi via a smart phone app such as GrabTaxi or Go-Jek. You can also catch a bemo from outside the airport to Kuta for Rp 5,000-10,000. If you can find one.
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 Harbor — 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 stretches along the beachfront 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 metred 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 central Kuta, and then walk in. The centre 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.
By shuttle bus
South Bali now has a new public local shuttle bus service called Kura Kura Bus. The bus service connects popular tourist areas daily from 8:30 until 22:00 (depending on the line). Flat fare rates for a single journey. Rates vary for each line. Kuta, Legia, Seminyak are all Rp 20,000. Jimabaran and Sanur are Rp 40,000. Nusa Dua and South Nusa Dua is Rp 50,000. Ubud is Rp 80,000.
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 timewarp. It's still a common problem at night time along the main bar and club stretch of Jalan Legian.
The largest, most reputable 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, these 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.
To avoid paying too much or to avoid the haggling, try using a smart app booking service such as GrabTaxi. You are more likely to find a driver if you position yourself at an easy and convenient location for pick up on a major road and by a well known place such as outside a KFC or mini mart and not down a narrow alleyway.
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. It is now possible to download booking apps for finding ojek drivers at fixed rates, including insurance. For example Go-Jek.
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 35,000-50,000 per day rental, and between Rp 30,000-45,000 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.
You could hire a bicycle to get around on, it would save on too much walking or needing to pay for taxis. Sadly there are not many places to rent bicycles in Bali anymore except in Sanur. If you want a good quality bicycle to rent the try Bali Bike hire. They can deliver bicycles to you if needed.
Surfing, shopping & partying are the three main 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 victims who lost their lives when bombs were detonated on 12 October 2002. It can be found 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 200-250 m 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.
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. Has 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 can't 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 them. And that is what some 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, or 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 company 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 consider rentasurfboard.com. Their price is Rp 100,000/day, the boards are usually in good condition.
- Bali Wave Hunter, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Surfing charters and tours from Bali to Nusa Lembongan, Lombok & Sumbawa. Uses an 80 ft Indonesian jukung outrigger with full size beds, shower and toilet, tv, video/DVD player and stereo and wake boarding facilities. 240 v power with, kitchen with fridge/freezer. 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 Rp 120,000 for 2-hours, but have "happy hour" specials.
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.
- 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 Legian. rp50000/1hour.
- The Natural, Jl Legian #199. 9AM-11.45PM. This massage and day spa is of good quality unlike some of the ones found in Kuta along the small side alleys. There is a cluster of such good places near here on the edge of the main club and bar scene on Jalan Legian. Rp 70,000 for one hour.
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 17:30, for a sunset between 18:15 and 18:45. The area in front of McDonald's 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, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 18:00-23:00 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), ☎ . 09:00-18:00 daily. This is one of the biggest water theme parks in Asia and is within easy walking distance from Kuta beach. Adults US$31, under-12s US$19, good value 2 and 3 day passes available.
- Mega Dive Bali, Jl Elang No 5, Tuban, ☎ . 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 including Volcom, Rip Curl, Rusty, Surfer Girl Billabong and Quiksilver. These well known brands can be purchased in Kuta at prices 30-50% 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), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- Laundry. There are plenty of places that do laundry for about 7,000Rp/kg, but their scales are often rigged. A 1.5 kg bag could be charged as being 2.5 kg. Take your own scales and receive some unfriendly response.
- Wina Optic. 11AM to 4PM. If you need a new pair of glasses or new lenses, this is a great value optician. Transition lenses cost Rp 400,000 for a pair and can be fitted in 4 days. Frames from about Rp 200,000. Varifocal lenses cost Rp 700,000.
- Money Changer. A money changer offering good rates with no nonsense in an air-conditioned office. See map link for location at end of Jalan Legian.
- Bali Mode visa office, just off Poppies Lane 1 (next to Secret Garden Inn), ☎ . They can extend a 30-day tourist visa by a further 30 days for Rp 750,000? Takes about 4 working days.
- Bicycle & Surf rental (Saifudin / Dr Ding) (behind Bali Dynasty Resort), ☎ . Rp 30,000/day.
- Indo Ink Bali Tattoo, no: 522 Kaja Jl. Werkudara Kuta, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Great tattoo studio with very knowledgeable artists. Very understanding and good service.
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, ☎ . Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai, (beside the huge Simpang Siur roundabout). Galleria is home to number of well-known brand stores, a food court, Planet Hollywood and a great cinema. There is a large duty free shopping centre which is aimed primarily at Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese tourists. You can buy luxury items tax free, and they are collected upon departure at the airport.
- Beachwalk shopping centre, Beach Road at bottom of Popies 2. Opened in 2013, pleasant environment overlooking the sea with lots of greenery.
- Carrefour Plaza, Jl Sunset (north west of the Simpang Siur roundabout). Has a Carrefour supermarket on the top floor, an excellent Periplus bookshop, numerous small designer stores and the best authorised Apple Mac retailer in Bali.
- Discovery Shopping Mall, Jl Kartika Plaza in Tuban, across from Waterbom Park. 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.
- Lippo Mall. Two-story shopping centre with hypermart and Cinemaxx Theatre on basement level.
Great balls of fire
Bakso (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 flavour.
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. For 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.
- Aromas Cafe, Jl Legian (near the Rip Curl shop), ☎ . Superb vegetarian food. About Rp 20,000.
- 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, ☎ . 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), ☎ . Good, typical local Indonesian food. They occasionally show Hollywood movies in the evenings. Rp10,000-20,000.
- 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, ☎ . 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-stayers and is packed most nights. Some of best food is not on the menu but laid out behind a glass display from where you can pick the food you want. Fresh fruit juices are all good and cheap, from Rp 9,000. There are several other good cheap eating places along this narrow lane between Poppies I and II such as Fajar Resto next door that does a great Nasi Campur Special for just Rp 10,000? Rp 1,000-5,000 per choice, eat very well for Rp 10,000-25,000.
- Warung 96 (just off Poppies 2). This popular restaurant that serves western food at reasonably low prices but not as cheap as some of the places found between Poppies 1 and 2, has been open since 1996, hence its name. The manager and staff are very friendly.
- Bamboo Corner. Popular with backpackers, very cheap Indonesian food from Rp 15,000. Fresh fruit juices are good and cheap, from Rp 8,000
- Blue Fin, Jl Kartika Plaza, ☎ . Good quality Japanese food at reasonable prices. Tempura is especially good as is the salmon salad.
- Havana Club Bali, Poppies I (150 m down from Jl Legian). Restaurant on two floors and the upper level can be reserved for private parties. 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 includes 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. In recent years prices have gone up while quantity has gone down. Margaritas by the pitcher. Rp 35,000-70,000.
- Kafe Batan Waru, Jl Kartika Plaza (Right by the entrance to Discovery Shopping Mall), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An institution in Ubud for many years. Great regional Indonesian cuisine, cocktails and coffee.
- Kuta Plaza Restaurant, Jl Bakungsari 9 (At the Jl Raya Kuta end of Jl Singosari), ☎ . 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.
- TJ's Mexican Restaurant, Poppies 1. Great Mexican food. For best value try one of their daily lunch combo specials, starter, main, desert and drink 13:00-15:00. Rp75,000.
- Maccaroni Club, Jl Legian 52 (almost opposite the bomb memorial), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Restaurant & lounge with good Italian food and some Asian fusion. Excellent service and desserts.
- Ma Joly, Jl Wana Segara, Tuban (At Kupu Kupu Barong Resort), ☎ . 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 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.
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 03:00-04:00. The biggest venues are:
- The Bounty, Jl Legian (100 m south from Mbargo), ☎ . Looks from the inside like a torn ship with several different areas including pool tables. The party starts every day from 22:00 but really gets going at midnight. Go here to get 'Blasters'. Rough and ready and it gets very messy.
- Eikon, Jl Legian 178, ☎ . Lounge bar which frequently has a decent cover band playing R&B.
- The Engine Room, Jl Legian (opposite the Bounty), ☎ . 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 Australian teenagers. Security is especially tight.
- Vi Ai Pi, Jl Legian (opposite corner of Poppies II). Lounge style bar and restaurant with nice breezy open upper level.
- 61 Legian - Sky Garden, Jl Legian (opposite corner of Poppies II). until 03:00. 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. They have a lot of security, probably due to the 2002 bombing nearby. They sometimes require ID to prove you are an international guest to gain access to the rooftop, where cocktails are given out for free between 21:00-22:00, by when it's half full. The open air rooftop lounge terrassy is awesome. Lots of hookers near closing hour. Rp 25,000 for Bintang before midnight, Rp 40,000 after, plus 5k for San Miguel.
- Apache Reggae Bar, Jl Legian (a little south from the corner of Poppies II). until 03:00. 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 Bob Marley covers non-stop from midnight.
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 21:00 until midnight. The more popular places are:
- Alleycats, Poppies II (80 m west from legian st, behind twice bar). 09:30-midnight. The busiest pre-club bar. Go here for their "Double Doubles".
- Bagus Pub, Poppies II (20 m west from Jl Legian). 09:00-midnight. Favourite drinking den of Aussie all-day drinkers. Great place to watch the world go by.
- The Steps, Poppies II (50 m west from Jl Legian). busy from 22:00-01:00. 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 m west from Jl Legian). 00:00-late. A dark setting perfectly suited to the heavy metal bands that play here several times a week, popular with many of the local Kuta scene.
- Piggys Bar, Poppies II (80 m west from Jl Legian). 24 hr. 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. Non-stop surf videos, huge jugs of icy beer, sumo wrestling and limbo dancing.
- Stadium Sports Cafe, Complex Kuta Side Walk, Jl Kartika Plaza, ☎ . 10:00 to 01:00 daily. Long established sports bar with two huge projection screens. Shows lots of the Premier League, plus Australian and American sports.
|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 120,000-250,000 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 US$10) may not take reservations, so trying to arrive around noon or 13:00 as people check-out is a good strategy to try and find cheap accommodation.
- Pondok Sari Kuta Hotel, Jl. Nyangnyang Sari No. 7B, ☎ , fax: +62 361 766280, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Decent budget accommodation, clean and quiet, in a small alley next to Bank Mandiri Kuta, walking distance from the Joger & Krisna Souvenir Shop. Nice pool and garden, Free Wi-Fi. IDR 240,000.
- Ayu Beach Inn, Poppies I. Decent budget accommodation; prices may be much lower outside peak season. Nice pool, drinks on sale, friendly staff, includes a basic breakfast. Rp 200,000 for fan room (week of Christmas), higher for air-com.
- Ayu Lili Garden Resort, between Poppies II and Benesari, ☎ . 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 air-con.
- Bamboo Inn, Jalan Singosari / Bakungsari, Gang Kresek No. 1, ☎ . A beautiful and welcoming homestay in a relatively quiet place in Kuta. Rooms are clean and have a ventilator. Rp 200,000.
- Bedbunkers Backpackers Hostels, Jl. Dewi Sri (15 minutes walk from the beach), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Each dorm includes built-in lockers, comfortable mattresses, pillows and blankets. 24-hr hot water showers and toilets that are shared. Housekeeping every day. 24 hr-reception with free Wi-Fi. From Rp 100,000.
- Diana House, Poppies I, ☎ . Decent value for money. Fairly large rooms, clean attached bathrooms. Rp 150,000+.
- Fat Yogis, Poppies I, ☎ 62 361 759451. Decent standard budget accommodation 300 m from Kuta Beach. From Rp 260,000.
- 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 Komalas 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 very close to the beach. Rooms are bungalow style, with a small patio in the front. starting at Rp 65,000.
- Losmen Arthawan, Poppies II, ☎ . 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 air-con. From Rp 120,000.
- Puri Agung Homestay, off poppies gang 1., ☎ 750054. Fan single and double rooms all with own bathrooms. Has a nice garden. 120,000.
- Sorga Cottages (Hotel Sorga), Sorga Lane, Poppies I, ☎ . 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. Air-con and airport pick-ups. Computers, paid internet access - 12,000Rp/half hr, 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. From about Rp 120,000.
- Adhi Dharma Hotel and Cottages, Jl Benesari, ☎ . Decent facilities and good value for money. From US$50.
- Bakungsari Hotel, Jl Singosari, ☎ . 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, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Friendly, good value simple accommodation. Kuta beach is 5-min walk. All 36 rooms have air-con. Pool, mini gym, internet and safe facilities. Free airport pick-up. From US$30.
- Dewa Bharata Kuta Bungalows, Jl Legian Kuta Bali, ☎ , fax: +62-361-751764, e-mail: email@example.com. Large swimming pool and restaurant with free Wi-Fi. From US$35.
- Dewi Sri Hotel, Gang Dewi Sri off Jl Legian, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A large, cheap and cheerful hotel. Simple but clean and functional rooms, large pool and bar/restaurant. From US$45.
- Harris Hotel Tuban, Jl Dewi Sartika, Tuban, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Modern 68-room hotel close to the airport and Tuban beach. Nice pool, in-house spa. Free Wi-Fi and decent restaurant. From about Rp 550,000.
- Hotel Miki, Jl Dewi Sri 78, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 air-con, private bathroom, fridge and TV. Free airport pick-up. From Rp 300,000.
- Ida Hotel, Jl Kahyangan Suci (off Jl Tegal Wangi), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- Masa Inn, Poppies I, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 3-storey hotel 400 m from Kuta Beach. Rooms are clean, quiet and the staff friendly. Two really nice pools. Inclusive of breakfast. From Rp 350,000.
- Poppies Bali, Poppies I, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 20 traditionally-styled bungalows set in tropical gardens. Excellent service and an oasis in the relative chaos of Kuta. From US$80.
- Simpang Inn, Jl Legian 133, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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), (apartments)fax: +62 361 758548, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Serviced apartment suitable for family, business and long staying travellers. 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and penthouse units. All apartment units are fully equipped with kitchen utensils. Quiet and comfortable. Hotel rooms from US$75 with breakfast. Apartment style accommodation from Rp 750,000 inc breakfast.
- Ramayana Resort & Spa, Jl. Bakung Sari Kuta, ☎ , fax: +62 361 751866, e-mail: email@example.com. A family-friendly resort in the centre of Kuta with 214 rooms and suites. From US$100.
- Kuta Seaview Boutique Resort & Spa, Jl Pantai Kuta, ☎ , fax: +62 361 751962, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A tranquil boutique resort in front of Kuta Beach with 88 rooms and cottages. From US$105.
- Rama Beach Resort & Villas, Jl. Jenggala Tuban, South Kuta, ☎ , fax: +62 361 751768, e-mail: email@example.com. A relaxing boutique-style resort and villa-type accommodation in South Kuta. 101 well-designed rooms, cottages and villas. From US$99.
- Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, Jl Kartika Plaza, ☎ . Huge beachfront hotel in Tuban adjacent to the Discovery Shopping Mall. A range of services available, different rooms to different standards. From about US$110.
- Grand Istana Rama, Jl Pantai Kuta, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-star hotel on Kuta beach. From about US$100.
- Hard Rock Hotel (Jl Pantai Kuta), ☎ . Part of the global Hard Rock chain offering exactly what you would expect, on Kuta Beach. Has the largest pool in Bali and other facilities including a spa, fitness centre, children's club and a rock-climbing wall. Several restaurants and bars, and their own radio station. From about US$130.
- Kuta Paradiso Hotel, Jl Kartika Plaza, ☎ , e-mail: 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, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. On Kuta Beach close to the Hard Rock. Good quality in-house spa. From about US$100.
- The Rishi Bali Villas, Jl Umalas Lestari No. 8 RK, Kerobokan, ☎ , fax: +62 361 8476708. 1 and 2 bedroom villas with air-con, balcony and internet. Pre-selected menu, DVD library, spa massage, tour and activities around Bali.
- Villa de Daun, Jl Legian, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A 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. From about US$300.
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, ☎+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.
- Drunken Australians are mostly friendly, but occasionally you might the odd dickhead looking to start a fight.
- At night, drunk driving & big potholes in the streets are a problem, so be very aware of road safety after dark, and don't do foolish things with motorbikes.
- 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.
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.
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, ☎ . About 8AM-10PM. 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.
- Telkomsel shop. There is a Telkomsel mobile network outlet on the 2nd level at the Bali Galeria shopping mall. They can sell you a simpati SIM card for Rp53,000 including Rp50,000 credit and set it up for you. Rp77,500 buys you 2Gb of 3G internet for one month.
The following nations have honorary consulates in Kuta, though the names of the consulates confusingly include the words "in Denpasar":
- Honorary Consulate of The Republic of Hungary in Denpasar, Bali, c/o Marintur, Jl Raya Kuta 88, ☎ .
- Royal Dutch Honorary Consulate in Denpasar, Bali, Jl Raya Kuta 127, ☎ .
- 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.
- Legian and Seminyak are both within walking distance from Kuta.
- A car journey to the cultural heart of Bali in Ubud will take about 45 minutes.