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.