Denpasar is the largest city on the Indonesian island of Bali, and it is the gateway for exploring this popular tourist island and its beautiful beaches. It is a bustling, multicultural city teeming with hidden treasures worth checking out even if you came here primarily for those beaches.
With a population just under half a million people, Denpasar is no small town. First time visitors might even feel a little intimidated by its energy and pace. Many are surprised by just how much there is to see and do in the city. Don’t just come through here on your way to experience the rest of Bali. Stay a while, you won’t regret it!
Of course, Bali is a haven for shoppers of all varieties, and Denpasar is no exception. All kinds of beautiful Balinese handicrafts are represented in local shops, including the famous batik cloth which are as beautiful as they are cheap. The jewelry district is in a town called Celuk. Here you will find rows and rows of silversmiths’ and goldsmiths’ shops selling jewelery at very low prices too.
Of course, not far from Denpasar are Bali’s many beaches and resorts. White sandy beaches are famous all over the island, with some of the famous surfing beaches being Kuta Beach, Legian Beach and Canggu Beach. Sanur beach, meanwhile, has calmer waters and is excellent for sunbathing.
The city is easily accessible via the Ngurah Rai International Airport, which is also just 10 minutes from the town of Kuta, which is where most of the hotels, restaurants, malls, cafes, marketplaces, and spas that cater to tourists are located.
Denpasar itself is off the beaten tourist track, so you can get a far better idea of the local culture by being here. You’ll want to scope out all of the local temples and museums, which are all within short distance of one another. Despite being a Mecca for tourists, many of Denpasar’s temples are extremely authentic and are not used to having foreign visitors. So when you visit, you might want to bring your own sarong and sash, just to be safe and fit in with the locals. After all, it’s the best way to have a genuine experience of the place and the culture.
It is worth finding information from the official Tourism Office about scheduled cultural events in Denpasar. These are many and varied and include, dance, puppet theater and art exhibitions.
On top of it all, people in Denpasar are friendly and helpful, and in spite the initial intimidation you might feel upon arriving, it is sure to subside in no time. It’s the perfect place to balance out the international flavors of Bali’s tourism industry with a local, authentic experience of the local people and another way of life. Perfect for the expat!