Tourists flock to Kuta for its idyllicbeaches, but the once-sleepy fishing village also offers shopping and culturein abundance. The busy city, often referred to as “downtown” by locals, lies insouthern Bali. You’ll still find elements of Dutch culture from its time as acolony of the Netherlands, but the most notable influence on Kuta is the recentinternational investors who turned the resort into a thriving tourist attraction.
Kuta Beach is the most popular beach on the islandand its sunsets are hard to beat. Come to soak up the sun and ride the waves ona surfboard. Other areas great for watersports are Tugan Beach and Legian Beach. Hire snorkels or sign upfor a dive tour. The beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish, especially aroundTurtle Island, can also be explored in a glass-bottom boat.
Go to Kuta Square to buy cheap souvenirsand quick meals. Avoid American-style fast food outlets and try Balinese streetfood, such as rice cakes. The streets around the square offer traditionalbuildings and religious monuments worth exploring.
Families with children should check outthe Kuta Theatre, which shows a nightly one-hour comedy and cultural show.Visit theme parks such as Waterbom Bali, within walking distance of KutaSquare.
Many Australians were killed or injuredin the terrorist attacks on bars in Kuta more than a decade ago and the tragicevents are remembered at the Bali Bombing Memorial. The city has moved on, andthe nightlife is still a huge drawcard for many tourists who come to party.Keep your belongings safe and watch your drinks, because crime in nightclubs iscommon if tourists aren’t careful. Also note that there are heavy penalties fordrug use.
Fly into the international airport 15minutes from Kuta. Once in the city you can safely walk or take taxis called“bemos”. Bike and scooter accidents are common among tourists so wear helmetsand drive with caution.
Kuta is a lively and overall friendlyplace. Many visitors who come here end up frequenting the city year after yearthanks to its pristine beaches, Balinese culture and comfortable modernamenities.