Kuta, Bali : Surfing and Nightlife

Famous for its spectacular white sandy beach, entertaining nightlife, restaurants, bars, pubs, and shopping centers, Kuta is the biggest and most energetic beach in Bali. The five kilometre long stretch of clean, sparkling sand with big ocean waves makes Kuta the most popular and exciting beachfront in Bali, attracting thousands of surfers and sunbathers from different parts of the world every year.

Legian is the northern extension of Kuta and serves as the commercial center with lots of restaurants and night clubs. Further, north lies another popular place called Seminyak. The area extending towards the south, from Matahari to airport is known as Tuban. Just a few decades back, Kuta and Legian were readily identifiable as separate areas, but now, after all, the tourism development in the region, it has become almost impossible to discern the two beaches. Today, Kuta and Legian are considered as sections of a long stretch of a continuous shoreline.

Map of Kuta in South Bali

Map of Kuta in South Bali

Where is it

Kuta is located about 10 km southwest of Denpasar in South Bali.

Why go

Two reasons to go to Kuta – surfing and nightlife. You can enjoy surfing the great waves of Bali and the magnificent view of the long, clean, sandy Kuta beach. Also if you like to party and enjoy lively nightlife, then Kuta is surely the perfect destination for you.

Kuta beach, Bali

Kuta beach, Bali

When is the best time to go

Bali is known for its tropical climate year round, with average temperature hovering around 86°F (30°C) all the year. May to August is the best time to visit Kuta because the weather remains cool during this period and there is minimum rainfall. October to March is the rainy period and should be avoided if you don’t like traveling in rainy season.

What to see

Bali Bomb Memorial. It is constructed in memory of 202 people killed in Kuta on 12th October 2002 due to a bomb explosions done by the terrorists. The memorial is located on Jalan Legian. A ceremony is held at this memorial every year in commemoration of them.

Sunset in Kuta, Bali

Sunset in Kuta, Bali

Sunset at the beach. Every evening, you’ll find hundreds of locals and tourists moving to beach to enjoy the spectacular view of the sunset. It is better to reach there by 5.30pm and then enjoy the whole evening.

Watch people performing the ritual of beach offering. Every morning, Balinese people throw some offering into the sea, and it is a pleasing experience to see local people performing this ritual.

What to do

Surfing of course. The long sandy beach at Kuta is the perfect place to enjoy surfing. The absence of corals and rocks makes it an ideal location for the beginners. If you do not know how to surf you may approach any of the many professional schools in Kuta that provide equipment as well as practical lessons on surfing. A beginner surfing lesson * may cost between USD 40-60 and usually lasts for 2 to 3 hours.

Surfing in Kuta, Bali

Surfing in Kuta, Bali

Enjoy the nightlife. Kuta is a great place to enjoy the nightlife in Bali. Most of the bars and clubs remain open till 1 am, and offer a lively atmosphere to enjoy dance or wine with your friends or even for solo visitors.

Shopping. Kuta is one of the best shopping place in Bali, where you can find almost everything from traditional items to modern everyday things. Main shopping area in Kuta is Ngurah Rai street at Simpang Siur Kuta, Kuta Square and Kuta Art market.

Shopping in Kuta area, Bali

Shopping in Kuta area, Bali

What and where to eat

You can find hundreds of eateries in Kuta, ranging from street side warung (food stalls) to restaurants of international standard. Jalan Melasti and Jalan Sahadewa restaurants are famous for serving buffet breakfasts. Exclusive and luxury restaurants can be found in Seminyak area, further north of Kuta in Bali. Hard Rock Cafe, The Old Bounty, Deejay Cafe, and Tubes are some of the well known spots to enjoy drinks in Kuta. Check out Top 10 Best Restaurants in Bali.

Where to stay

Kuta offers a wide range of accommodation options from budget guesthouses to mid-range and luxury hotels. The most inexpensive guesthouses are located along Poppies 1, Poppies 2, and Jalan Benesari. Good mid-range rooms are available in the Legian area. Bali Sandy Cottages, Bounty Hotel, and Old Poppies are some of the nice moderately priced options in Kuta. You can find most of the luxurious hotels can in Tuban and northern Seminyak area.

-> Find the best hotel deals in Kuta *

How to get there

Surfboards at Kuta Beach, Bali

Surfboards at Kuta Beach, Bali

Fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. This airport, popularly known as Denpasar International Airport, is served by many international and domestic airlines such as Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines, Thai International, Korean Air, etc. From the airport, you can either opt for a prepaid taxi or a metered taxi. Metered taxis are cheaper but you’ll have to walk out of airport area to get this option.

Kuta is also well connected to other areas of Bali through excellent road network. Shuttle buses are available from Candidasa, Sanur, Lovina, Ubud and other cities/towns in Bali. If coming from Gili Islands or Lombok, speedboats are an option, which arrive at Benoa Harbou that is nearby Kuta.

How to get around

Traffic jams are common in Kuta especially during the rainy season. Hence, walking is the best option when exploring the narrow lanes or the downtown area. For long trips, you can use a metered taxi or a rented motorbike. Hopping on a local scooter is the cheapest option (excluding walking) to get around.

Where to go nearby

Denpasar, the administrative capital of Bali

Nusa Dua Beach, located a few miles away from Kuta. The waves are gentle at this beach, thus encouraging water sports like swimming, surfing, snorkelling, and diving.

Seminyak, just north of Kuta, is an upper-class area with fine restaurants and luxurious resorts.

Ubud, further north in central Bali, it is also the heart of arts and culture in Bali. Escape the beach to experience beautiful rice terraces in Tegalalang.

Sunset at Kuta beach, Bali

Sunset at Kuta beach, Bali

Travel Tips

Follow safety measures while swimming at Kuta beach. Avoid swimming near the red flags, placed at the spots where water currents are strong. Always keep yourself in the area between the yellow and the red flags.

Photo credits from top: Burmesedays, Marko Mikkonen, eguide travel, Egor Pasko, momo, Marko Mikkonen and Purnawan Hadi

Related articles:
Top 10 Things to Do in Kuta
Shopping in Kuta
Nusa Dua: The Luxury Beach Resort of Bali

Author: Devender

A traveler at heart, Devender is a freelance travel writer from India who loves reading, writing, playing, singing and much more. He is an admirer of the great diversity and natural beauty that Indonesia offers to its visitors. Enthralled by the rich history and culture of Indonesia, Devender attempts to provide valuable and interesting information on some of the most fascinating and remote destinations in Indonesia.

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