Denpasar is the political and administrative capital of Bali and by far the largest city on the island. Located close to the beach resorts of Kuta, Legian and Sanur, if feels much less hectic and has a pleasant small town atmosphere.
Away from the commercial centre, traditional life continues much the same way as it has for generations and the city can boast lots of accessible culture with museums, arts venues and historic temples.
Denpasar is a functional city with few tourist-orientated amenities. There is no beach, little nightlife and limited dining for western tastes. What it can boast in abundance however in addition to its culture, is the best range of shopping on the island. If you revel in the energy and chaos of Asian street markets this is the place to be.
Denpasar guide – leave the beach resorts for real life Bali
There are many intriguing monuments and temples to explore in Denpasar, some dating back over 300 years. Staying in Denpasar can really save a packet with the island’s keenest accommodation prices that generally stay low even during the busy peak tourist season.
There are also many fine department stores, a whole street devoted to colourful jewelry shops and plenty of family run craft workshops to browse. Few travellers linger long in Denpasar due to its limited facilities for holidaymakers, but it makes for a welcome change of scenery from south Bali’s busy beach resorts. There is more than enough distractions to easily fill a rewarding day trip to Denpasar.
Denpasar is the major hub of all public transport in Bali with frequent mini bus services around town and island wide starting from here. Dining is one of Denpasar’s real pleasures with prices much cheaper than you will find in any of the tourist resorts. Although Western restaurants are in short supply, it has the very finest Balinese food, delicious street snacks and numerous quality Indo-Chinese eateries.