Downtown Kuta has been a thriving hub of energy since the 1980s when it established itself as a popular stop on the Southeast Asia backpacking trail. To the west lies Kuta’s beautiful surfing beaches, overlooked by an eclectic collection of beachside bars and restaurants. The long beach road is busy throughout the day, especially when sunset colours reflect off the water.
In the heart of Downtown Kuta is Jalan Legian, an atmospheric road lined with market stalls and designer brands. Linking the two are a maze of small alleyways, each hiding small bars and stores. There’s something open at every hour of the day and night, from tiny eateries to large nightclubs. It gets a little quieter in the south of Kuta, along Tuban Beach, or on the roads east of Jalan Legian.
Ngurah Rai International Airport is just a few kilometres from Downtown Kuta, and most visitors take one of the prepaid airport taxis. Visitors arrive from all over Bali to explore Downtown Kuta, and the narrow roads can get incredibly crowded. It’s often quicker to get out of the taxi on the outskirts of the district and explore on foot, where shops and market stalls line the many alleyways. Motorcycle rental agencies can be found throughout Downtown Kuta. Bus services are limited around Downtown Kuta, but for onwards travel through Bali it’s easy to take a taxi to nearby Denpasar and the island’s main bus station.
Downtown Kuta’s development has mostly been because of its beach. Almost five kilometres of golden sand and rolling waves line the edge of Kuta, providing iconic views over the colours of the Indian Ocean.