Kuta is a tourist-friendly city near the southernmost point of Bali. The Balinese often call it “downtown,” because this is one of the busiest hubs on the island. The once sleepy fishing village, and former Dutch colony, turned into a vacationers’ dream when international investors discovered it in the 20th century. The beaches are the highlight in Kuta, but there is plenty of retail and culture to be found too.
For surfing and sunbathing, visit Kuta Beach, which has safe swimming between the flags and is great for sunsets too. Also popular are Legian Beach and Tuban Beach. Rent snorkel or dive gear to explore the reefs, or hop on a glass bottom boat to stay dry while seeing tropical fish around Turtle Island.
Kuta Square has cheap shopping and is surrounded by religious monuments and traditional Balinese buildings. Even though you can get American-style fast food here, the delicious Indonesian rice dishes and snacks are too good to resist.
Take the kids to the various theme parks, such as Waterbom Bali, or stop in for a one-hour comedy and illusion show about Balinese culture at the Kuta Theater.
The Bali Bombing Memorial is a grim reminder of the terrorist attacks on tourists bars, but more than a decade later Kuta has moved on and the nightlife is as good as ever. Crimes are frequent though, so watch your belongings and drinks. You may get offers for drugs, but those are strictly prohibited. Despite this, Kuta is a friendly place and most people have a hassle-free vacation.
An international airport is just a 15-minute drive from Kuta. Walking or “bemo” taxis are the best ways to get around town. If you rent a bike or scooter wear protective gear, because accidents are common.
In lively Kuta, traditional and modern attractions provide a nice break after a morning on the beach and many people return here year after year to enjoy a relaxing vacation surrounded by comfort.