Kuta Travel Guide

Kuta seems to have an effect on people. You either love it or hate it, but either way I think you have to see it.


Located about 10 – 15 mins from Ngurah Rai International Airport, on Bali’s west coast.


Arguably Bali’s most known destination. It definitely attracts the tourists, but this spoils the Bali experience a little. Kuta is party central and popular with backpackers.

The area is full of markets and the local shops are quite pushy. Everyone you walk past tries to sell you something whether you look interested or not. So be prepared! It can get full on, but its something I personally needed to experience as we wanted to see all of Bali. There are lots of dining, accommodation and activity options.

The Ugly Truth

  • Kuta Beach is not the most beautiful and it’s difficult to relax with all the stalls and sales people
  • The only place in Bali we were offered drugs twice whilst walking down the street within 5 mins of each other (please note Bali has very strict drug laws and you should avoid drugs without exception)
  • People at the market stalls can get quite aggressive (one guy grabbed Chris to try and bring him back to buy $2 sunglasses)
  • Traffic can be congested

The Silver Lining

  • I think you have to experience it, just to get the whole picture of Bali
  • The markets may be hectic but they can be fun too, and everything is very cheap. Bargaining is half the fun

Tips From Mandy & Chris

If you want to see Kuta, I'd recommend a day trip over staying in the area unless you're looking for budget/back-packing style accommodation

What’s Nearby?

There are lots of markets, shops and a shopping mall (Discovery Mall). So if you do want to go shopping, you will probably find it in Kuta. Anything from dvds, to clothes to accessories, from the traditional to the more westernised. There are also many restaurants, from local cuisne, to western and lots in between. For a family’s, Waterbom Park is a good day out. At night, Kuta isn’t short of a place to have a drink, with many night clubs and bars. And in Bali, no matter where you are, your’e never too far away from a massage. And you might need one after a day here…

  • Legian and Seminyak are right next door, you can even walk (although walking to Seminyak might take and hour or more)
  • Ngurah Rai International Airport is 10 mins south
  • Jimbaran is 30 mins south (depending on traffic)
  • Uluwatu is 45 mins south (depending on traffic)
  • Ubud is about 1.5 hours away

Kuta Bali Map

A Day At Kuta

Morning:Β Walk along the beach just to have a look (I probably wouldn’t choose this beach to stop and swim)

During the Day:Β Shop. Take a break for lunch (You will need one). Or alternatively go to Legian or Seminyak.

Afternoon:Β Have a long massage

Night:Β If you want to have dinner and get a drink here there are plenty of options. Personally, I would prefer to go to Seminyak for the evening.

Things To Do

There is a lot to do here, but they may not necesarily be the things you want to do in Bali. Depends on the individual.

There are a lot of shops…shopping centre, street lined shops, markets.

There are activities for families…Surfing schools, Waterbom Park.

There are lot’s of bars and nightclubs…but for the more trendy bar scene I would got to Seminyak.

Lot’s of places to eat…local warungs, street food, restaurants.

And in general just lots of people (and Kuta is not short of a Tourist)

Best For…

  • Markets
  • Shopping
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • If you want to go to Bali to be with a bunch of people who aren’t from Bali
  • Local dining
  • Learning to surf
  • Waterbom Park
  • Discovery Mall
  • Experiencing what Kuta is like (even if you go for an hour or 2, I think it’s good to see what all the fuss is about)


  • Emma says:

    Ahhhhh thanks so much for this blog! Looking very good!
    Just booked a trip to Bali for the beginning of September, very excited but quite at a loss where exactly we should be going/staying…
    This blog has been so far by far the most informative, useful source of information. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much Emma! So happy to hear that πŸ™‚

      Depending how long you are going for, I would try and stay in at least 2 different areas. This will give you a better experience of the different sides of Bali.

      For a first time trip, Ubud is always good. Seminyak is very popular, with great restaurants and shops and Jimbaran is one of our faves. In terms of things to do, some of the prettiest beaches in Bali are in the south like Bingin and Padang Padang, and Pandawa Beach, along with beach clubs like Finns Beach Club. Lots of cultural activities and rice field walks near Ubud. I’m being pretty broad here so if you want any specific information let us know!

      Have an awesome time in Bali πŸ™‚

  • Ruma says:

    Thanks for sharing all this information!! It’s been very helpful!
    I am planning a vacation in Bali in Dec this year.
    You think it’s a good time??

    I was thinking of doing Ubud, Seminyak, Kuta, Bali and Borbudur if possible.
    I have about 10 days. I am more inclined towards cultural side of it.
    Any suggestions!

    • Hi Ruma, thanks so much! December is the wet season so be prepared for a few downpours, but we have been in the wet season a few times and it’s been great!

      We haven’t actually been to Borobudur before, so we can’t really advise on that, except that it’s on the island of Java, not Bali, so with 10 days you might be a little rushed taking travel time and airport waits into consideration.

      As for Ubud, Seminyak and Kuta, we can definitely help. For a 10 day trip, I would probably pick 2 areas to stay, or 3 at most (although this will be less relaxing). If you want to visit both Seminyak and Kuta, they are quite close to each other so you would only have to stay in one of these locations.
      Ubud is great for culture, Seminyak is great for lots of restaurants, shopping and beach. For a first time trip, the combination of the two would be great. Let us know if you have any other questions and have a great time in Bali πŸ™‚

  • Ira says:

    This is one of the best websites Ive seen so far. Its soooo helpful. I will be trekking to precious Bali from SA In March 2016, I will be staying in Ubud and Kuta. I just wanted to know the safety levels in Ubud and Kuta for women? Should I carry a can of pepperspray with me in Kuta?
    Also, how much money would I need to have with me for a week in Bali (3 nights in Ubud, 4 nights in Kuta)

    • Thanks so much Ira! I have always found Ubud to be fairly safe, although I have not done a solo trip before. Kuta has a lot more nightlife, drinking and incidents so I’d just make sure to get licensed taxi’s (bluebird), watch your drinks, don’t drink too much and I guess pepper spray can’t hurt? Nowhere is completely safe, but I haven’t experienced any issues in Bali.
      In Bali, there is a huge price range. You can find cheap and expensive food, accommodation and activities, so it depends on your accommodation and what sort of trip you want. Fancy restaurants are slightly cheaper than Australian prices, taxis are fairly cheap compared to Aus, warungs have really cheap local food and massages can range from $10 to quite expensive in luxury spas.
      Let us know if you have any other questions and have a great trip πŸ™‚

  • Elizabeth Nash says:

    WOW! What a blog! This is clearly a passion of yours, and it shows! This is put together so professionally and it is extremely clear and user-friendly.
    Thank you very much for leaving such personal, insightful tips on your trips. I am travelling to Bali and will plan the trip based on all your fabulous recommendations.
    I see you are travelling at the moment, so I wish you all the best. PS. I would highly recommend IRELAND for your next trip, not as warm but just as beautiful as Bali! πŸ˜‰

    • Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much, that means a lot πŸ™‚ We would absolutely love to go to Ireland it looks beautiful… maybe next year πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a fabulous time in Bali!

  • Jess says:

    Hi Guys,

    every time i search Bali into google your blog always comes up! its such a great blog filled with so much information! Me and my sister are travelling to Bali at the start of October this year for 3 weeks and we are so excited! there is so many places that we do want to go and from looking at your information on this page all the places are not a long drive! which waterfalls would you recommend to visit? i also noticed you said to stay in different areas? we are looking at travelling to Ubud, Kuta, Uluwatu and Gilli T – is this what you meant or to go from North to South! Would appreciate your help!


    • Hi Jess, haha glad google keeps pointing you back here πŸ˜‰ How exciting! Ok, many of the waterfalls are more North, but I love Tegenungan as it’s only 30 minutes from Ubud and pretty easy to get too (and you can also swim in it). If you get a private driver for the day, they can recommend some for you around the same area. We also loved the waterfalls near Munduk, but unless you are already going near there, Tegenungan would be my recommendation.

      I love staying in different areas in Bali as I don’t think you get the real feel of a place by doing a day trip. I think Ubud, Kuta, Uluwatu and Gili T are all far enough away from each other to warrant staying in each. There’s also so many other places to visit but I think this is a nice mix. From Kuta, you can also visit Legian and Seminyak, they are all close to each other, enough that you could stay in one of either Kuta, Legian or Seminyak and still explore all 3 areas.
      Have a great time in Bali and let us know if you have any other questions πŸ™‚

  • Sarmila says:

    Hi there,
    Thumbs up for your blog.
    Im planning for a trip in March end and took a 5days stay in Kuta. But I am planning for a day visit to Ubud but not sure if it is worth to travel there just for a day trip.
    Can you please help suggest me a few places in Ubuf that you would highly recommend for a visit ?
    Greatly appreciate your respond.

    • Hi Sarmila
      Thank you for your kind words and excited for your upcoming trip πŸ™‚
      I would say that even though a night in Ubud would be better than a day trip, a day trip is still worth it. A day will go so quick but a few of our favourite things within or walking distance to the main Ubud Village would be The traditional markets (best in the morning), The Campuhan Ridge walk or other nature/rice field walks accessible from town (Best in Morning/late afternoon when not as hot), The Ubud Monkey Forest (be careful of those cheeky monkeys!!). if you had a private driver for the day both Tegenungan Waterfall (you can swim here too), Tegalalang Rice terraces (touristy but still beautiful) are both close by. There are so many great places to eat too.
      If you have any more questions let us know πŸ™‚

      Happy travels
      Chris and Mandy

  • Sarmila says:

    Thank you very much Mandy and Chris.

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