Kuta seems to have an effect on people. You either love it or hate it. One of Bali’s most popular tourist destinations, It’s definitely a busy area but lacks the culture you might be expecting when coming to Bali.
If you want to see Kuta, I’d recommend a day trip over staying in the area unless you’re looking for budget style accommodation or you’re looking for nice accommodation that still provides value for money. If you stay in Kuta, I think it would really add to your Bali experience to combine it with a stay in another area, like Ubud or Uluwatu.
The area is full of markets and 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 a lot of things to do in Kuta, but they may not necessarily be the things you want to do in Bali. It really depends on what you want out of your trip to Bali.
There are lots of markets, shops and shopping centres (Discovery Mall, Beachwalk). There are also many affordable restaurants. Waterbom Park (waterpark) is a good day out. At night, Kuta isn’t short of a place to have a drink, with many clubs and bars (but personally, we prefer Seminyak bars and beach clubs). And in Bali, no matter where you are, you’re never too far away from a massage. Kuta is also a good area to learn to surf.
Depending on traffic… Legian is walkable or a short taxi. Seminyak is a short taxi ride. Ngurah Rai International Airport is 15 minutes south. Jimbaran is 30 minutes south. Uluwatu is 45 minutes south. Ubud is about 1.5 hrs away.
Seminyak is close by for more boutique shopping, cafes and fine dining. From Kuta you could consider visiting Tanah Lot, a Balinese Temple on the coast. And then there is always a tasty seafood dinner on the beach in Jimbaran and the beaches of Uluwatu.
FEEL // Busy, touristy, intense at times.
BEST FOR // Markets, budget to mid-range eats, bars and clubs, shopping, learning to surf.
LOCATION // About 15 mins from Ngurah Rai International Airport, on Bali’s west coast. Just South of Legian.
GET THERE // Kuta is about 15 minutes from the airport, depending on traffic. You can get a taxi from the official airport stand at the airport when you arrive, or arrange a transfer with your hotel. If you’re coming from another area in Bali, you can take a taxi or a private driver if you want to stop off along the way.
GET AROUND // The best way to get around Kuta is walking. Otherwise, Bluebird taxi’s are the way to go to get a little further.
THE UGLY TRUTH // Kuta Beach is not the most beautiful and it’s difficult to relax with all the stalls and people selling things. People at the market stalls can get quite intense. Busy with plenty of tourists. Traffic can be congested. Lacks culture. A common area in Bali to be offered drugs (please note Bali has very strict drug laws and you should avoid drugs without exception).
THE SILVER LINING // I think it’s interesting to experience Kuta, just to get the whole picture of Bali. The markets may be hectic but they can be fun too, and everything is very affordable. Bargaining is half the experience, but it’s important to be respectful. If you stay at a nice hotel near the beach, and know where to go, you can still have an enjoyable experience. You can see a pretty nice sunset on the beach.
ACCOMMODATION // Predominantly budget to mid-range hotels and villas, with some nice hotel options. Read More.
TYPE OF HOLIDAY // Fun, Friends, Family, Couples.
READ MORE // Find all of our Kuta Blog Posts here.
A Day In Kuta
Morning: Walk along the beach to the south, here you will find a beach boardwalk which will take you to a nice stretch of beach (towards Tuban).
During the Day: Shop. Take a break for lunch. Or alternatively go to Legian or Seminyak.
Afternoon: Have a long massage
Night: Take your pick of dinner in Kuta, Legian or Seminyak.
I am planning to go for a 5 day honeymoon trip to bali and was planning to stay at ubud for 2 days and uluwatu for 3 days. We are visiting bali for the first time. Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks for your comment :) You have picked two amazing parts of Bali! If you need some hotel recommendations our favourites in Ubud are: https://almostlanding-bali.com/ubud-accommodation-guide-where-to-stay-in-ubud/
and in Uluwatu are: https://almostlanding-bali.com/where-to-stay-in-uluwatu/
Some other articles that are full of our favourite suggestions are:
And from Uluwatu there are some amazing beaches you can visit, some are in this article:
Hope this helps and wishing you an amazing honeymoon :)
We will be in Bali for 6 days in January 2018. In Ubud we have booked Padma resort, can you suggest a good property close to all major attractions and beach.
Ubud to Seminyak does not seem that much of a distance .. why does it take so much time cover such short distance?
Hi Avi, Padma is a great choice for Ubud, a beautiful resort we loved our stay there. A few of our favourites to be on the beach in Seminyak are
Anantara Seminyak, https://almostlanding-bali.com/anantara-seminyak-sa
and Alila Seminyak. https://almostlanding-bali.com/alila-seminyak-sa
You should take a look at our Seminyak Accommodation Guide,
all our favourites are in there if you need more picks. In terms of the time between Ubud and Seminyak, it is to do with the roads and traffic, but it will go quick ;). Wishing you an incredible Bali trip!
What a very nice blog you have. This is very detailed and helpful. I am going on a solo tri to Bali in January. I am so excited. How far is Kuta to Ubud?
Hi Mae, thanks so much :) Kuta to Ubud by taxi will take about 1.5 – 2 hours depending on traffic. Have a great time in Bali!
Thank you very much Mandy and Chris.
Hi Sarmila, thanks for your kind words :)
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.
Thank you for your kind words and excited for your upcoming trip :)
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 :)
Chris and Mandy
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 ;) 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 :)
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! ;)
Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much, that means a lot :) We would absolutely love to go to Ireland it looks beautiful… maybe next year ;) Hope you have a fabulous time in Bali!
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 :)
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.
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 :)
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 :)
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 :)