This popular tourist resort is known for its nightlife, beaches and theme parks with plenty of traditional Balinese culture and a relaxed island vibe.
Tourists flock to Kuta for its idyllic beaches, but the once-sleepy fishing village also offers shopping and culture in abundance. The busy city, often referred to as “downtown” by locals, lies in southern Bali. You’ll still find elements of Dutch culture from its time as a colony of the Netherlands, but the most notable influence on Kuta is the recent international investors who turned the resort into a thriving tourist attraction.
Kuta Beach is the most popular beach on the island and its sunsets are hard to beat. Come to soak up the sun and ride the waves on a surfboard. Other areas great for watersports are Tugan Beach and Legian Beach. Hire snorkels or sign up for a dive tour. The beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish, especially around Turtle Island, can also be explored in a glass-bottom boat.
Go to Kuta Square to buy cheap souvenirs and quick meals. Avoid American-style fast food outlets and try Balinese street food, such as rice cakes. The streets around the square offer traditional buildings and religious monuments worth exploring.
Families with children should check out the Kuta Theater, which shows a nightly one-hour comedy and cultural show. Visit theme parks such as Waterbom Bali, within walking distance of Kuta Square.
Many Australians were killed or injured in the terrorist attacks on bars in Kuta more than a decade ago and the tragic events are remembered at the Bali Bombing Memorial. The city has moved on, and the 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 is common if tourists aren’t careful. Also note that there are heavy penalties for drug use.
Fly into the international airport 15 minutes 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 helmets and drive with caution.
Kuta is a lively and overall friendly place. Many visitors who come here end up frequenting the city year after year thanks to its pristine beaches, Balinese culture and comfortable modern amenities.