Kuta is the best known tourist area on the island of Bali in Indonesia and offers a decent surfing beach, despite being chronically overdeveloped. Visitors who feel overwhelmed by aggressive hawkers, American fast food and traffic jams should base themselves further along the coast towards nearby Seminyak. Kuta is still a fun destination for a big night of bar and club-hopping along several dozen low-end nightclubs and 50+ dive bars within walking distance of the main strip. With a long broad Indian Ocean beach-front, Kuta was originally discovered by tourists as a surfing paradise.
It has long been a popular stop on the classic backpacking route in South East Asia. Back in the 1980s they used to talk about the three Ks: Katmandu in Nepal, Khao San Road in Bangkok and Kuta. Today Kuta still attracts some hardcore backpackers as well as families and tourists from all over the world, and is most notably a playground for young visitors from Australia. Due to the ever increasing popularity of Bali, Kuta is continually developing, and is not short of unsightly, poorly planned buildings. It can come across at times to be chaotic, overcrowded and congested. However, amongst all the mayhem this place somehow works, and hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy their time in Kuta every year.
Infrastructure has come a long way in Kuta, although it is still insufficient for the amount of visitors who stay in the area. Some side alleys still have significant potholes and road rules still don’t mean very much. Most roads are constantly busy with motor scooters, metered taxis and private cars. Instead of using signals, locals and the seasoned travellers honk their motor vehicles to signal overtaking or squeezing into a tight spot near you. Often cars fold in their side mirrors when negotiating narrow single lanes with parked vehicles. Now you can access free Wi-Fi in local convenience stores, restaurants, cafes and hotels. There are half a dozen prepaid mobile phone SIM cards available everywhere with competitive top up plans. Touts will persistently try to get you to buy something from them, whether you’re walking on the streets or seated in a restaurant.
The five km long sandy stretch of Kuta is arguably the best beach front in Bali. The beach is safe, partially clean, well-maintained, although the beach vendors remain annoying pushing massages, hair braiding, cigarettes and surf boards.
Access : By plane : Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport (DPS), is in fact directly south of Kuta, about 15 minutes away by taxi. More information about the airport is in the main Bali article.
By car : Kuta is reached by the main Jalan Ngurah Rai bypass from points north (Denpasar, Sanur and Ubud), and south (Jimbaran, Nusa Dua and Uluwatu. If you are coming in from Seminyak be sure to take the Jalan Sunset bypass and not the congested beach route along Jalan Raya Seminyak and Jalan Legian.
By bus : Kuta is connected by bus routes from all areas of Bali. There are various scheduled shuttle services including Perama . Perama shuttle buses to Kuta leave from Sanur, Ubud, Candidasa, Padang Bai and Lovina. By boat : Benoa Harbour — not to be confused with Tanjung Benoa — is around 20 min northeast of Kuta, and speedboats and cruises from the Gili Islands, Lombok and Nusa Lembongan arrive here. Most companies operating from Benoa offer free pick-up and drop-off in and around Kuta.
Attractions : Bali Bomb Memorial , Beach offerings , Hard Rock Hotel / Activities : Scuba Diving , Yoga and Meditation , Surfing , Spa/Massage /