Bali's breathtakingly beautiful scenery makes it easy to just settle for the cliche imaginary of the island as a tropical paradise and nothing more. But behind the luxury resorts, picture-perfect rice fields and idyllic beaches lies a rich culture, steeped in tradition and spirituality, and one of the friendliest and most welcoming places you're likely to find anywhere. Dare to go beyond the comforts of the resort areas to truly explore all the island has to offer, and let yourself be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.
Denpasar is the capital city of Bali and the commercial and administrative center. Unlike other island or hinterland in Indonesia, this cosmopolitan city’s style contrasts with the calm Hindu temples, lush terrace, and beautiful beaches, makes Denpasar is worth a visit.
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
IDR10,000 ~ US$0,69
Fire Department: 113
The Bali Times
Banks, businesses and government offices are generally open Monday to Friday 08:00-16:00 or 09:00-17:00. Many shopping malls remain open until 22:00 or later. Street markets generally do not open until around 19:00 and remain open as late as midnight. Many smaller shops stay closed from dusk on Friday and Saturday night.
Bali Tourism Board
Jl. Raya Puputan 41, Renon, Denpasar
+62 361 235 600
Bali Government Tourist Information Centre
Jl. Bana Sari No.7, Legian Kuta, Denpasar
+62 361 754 092
Most first time visitors will be drawn to the south of the island, where most of the famous beaches and resort areas are located, in areas like Kuta, Nusa Dua and Seminyak, home to golden beaches, upscale hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. The buzzing regional capital of Denpasar is also located in the south of Bali. It is a large metropolis, but not much of a tourist destination.
Venturing further north and deeper inland will take visitors to stunning natural beauty of another kind, green, lush mountains and hilly rice terraces. The town of Ubud can be found here, the island's hub for the arts, with museums and lots of arts and craft shops.
Elsewhere on the island you can find the West Bali National Park (west Bali), quiet and secluded beaches (north Bali), small coastal villages and volcanoes (east Bali) and fantastic diving spots (southeastern islands).
Bali is quite simply a tropical paradise with a unique mixture of modern tourist facilities and breathtaking natural wonder, combined with great shopping, beautiful beaches and a rich cultural heritage. Besides spending your day lazing on the unreal beaches, you can also enjoy exceptional diving, snorkeling and wonderful day trips to nearby attractions, like the inland rice fields and cultural expeditions to Ubud.
Water Sport Activities in Bali
Bali Safari & Marine Park
Traditional Music and Dance
Taman Werdhi Budaya Art Center
Denpasar has its share of functional warungs (basic Indonesian eateries). For the best of Balinese and international cuisine however, take a taxi to Seminyak or Kuta. Some of the best western, Asian and international food is to be found in the restaurants of the major resort hotels, which offer a wide choice of alternatives.
Bali is one of the exclusive list of islands which produce Kopi Luwak, coffee made from beans that have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet, a small animal native to the area. Once the beans have passed through the animal, they are roasted like ordinary coffee beans. Try a cup if you're feeling brave, or stick to more traditional coffee or some of the fresh fruit juices available at the numerous cafes on the island.
The most exciting nightlife in Bali – from throbbing dance clubs to hot karaoke bars and cool jazz cafés – is in Kuta. If you're happy to just sip a cocktail and watch the sunset, there are also several options in the many tourist resorts around the island.
Shopping in Bali is rich in artwork and handicrafts. Markets and stalls throughout the island showcase long-held traditions of wood carving, silver and gold craft, embroidery and more, particularly in Ubud, the island's cultural hub. Urban areas also have modern shopping centres that cater to all your shopping and entertainment needs, the most prominent being the pleasant Kuta Beachwalk.
Among Pasar Badung, you can find shops and stalls selling all kinds of goods, from fresh fish, fruits, vegetables to Bali and Java crafts and textiles. On the other side of the river, Kumbasari Complex, there are a lot of small traders selling cheap batik garments, jewels, silverware and antique.
As for the international style retail space, there are also a number of air-conditioned shopping centres in Denpasar, like New Dewata Ayu and Matahari, which are located facing Jalan Dewi Sartika. Moving out from the city, Sanggraha Kriya Handicrafts in the eastern suburb of Topathi (8 km from the city center) sells a wide variety of Balinese handicrafts at a fixed price.
Yet, Bali's best shopping destination is not in Denpasar, but in the vicinity of Kuta and Sanur beach resort, or in the Ubud mountain resort, that are less than an hour's drive from the city. Kuta is a good place to buy cheap beachwear and trendy jewelry. You can go to Ubud to buy the best traditions and modern Balinese wood carvings, ready to bargain with the seller to get a satisfactory price.
Tegallalang Handicraft Centre
Ubud Traditional Art Market
L'Atelier Parfums et Creations
Beachwalk Shopping Center
Ngurah Rai International Airport
Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is about 13 km from the centre of Denpasar.
Facilities include shops, bars and restaurants, currency exchange offices, post office, internet access, tourist information office, tour agencies, car hire companies, duty-free shops and VIP lounges.
Public buses service are provided by Trans-Sarbagita and Damri. A better option to get to your hotel from the airport is by taxi. You can also get a taxi for a fixed price at the taxi service centre before entering the duty-free shops. Many resort hotels often offer complimentary minivan or limousine transfers. Other taxis, deluxe taxis and bemos (mini-vans) are also available and you find them outside the terminal on the right hand side. Traffic congestion is common on the way to Ubud and Kuta.
Address: Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali
Phone: +62 361 9351 011
Numerous bemos (minibuses) operate on fixed routes around the city and the rest of the island, leaving when full and stopping anywhere on their route on request. Most foreigners find the system confusing and find haggling over fares challenging. There are also buses connecting the bigger cities around the island, operating mostly during daytime. Both buses and bemos can be stopped anywhere along their routes.
Blue and yellow city taxis can be hailed on the street, at numerous taxi ranks, or called from your hotel or restaurant. They are cheap by international standards and are much more convenient than bemos. However, be prepared to haggle over fares as taxi meters have failed to keep pace with inflation. Many drivers speak a little English.
There are five taxi types: Bali Taxi/Blue Bird Group (Light blue taxi), Panwirthi Taxi (Green), Praja Taxi (Orange), Ngurah Rai Taxi (White), and Airport Taxi (Black). The Bluebird Taxis has gain a good reputation in the recent years. For the white taxi, you need to get a quotation before the ride.
Phone: +62 361 701 111
Stamps and envelopes can be bought at the concierge desks of all hotels, and this is a much more convenient option than using public post offices. The main post office on the island is located in Denpasar, but there are also smaller outlets in most of the bigger towns around the island.
Address: Jl. Raya Puputan Renon, Denpasar, Bali
Phone: +62 361 223565
You can find several different pharmacies in all the different tourist destinations and bigger cities on Bali. The Balinese call them "apoteks" and the biggest chain is Kimia Farma. Before you buy any products take a look at the expiry date since they can be out of date.
Address: Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai no.232, Bali
Phone: +62 361 283 395
110V and 220V, 50Hz
Country code: +62
Area code: 361