Denpasar means ‘by the market’ and is Bali’s only real city. Denpasar is home to Balinese people from all over the island who work in Kuta, so in the late afternoon the roads leading to Denpasar are choked with traffic. For a Javanese person Denpasar is home from home. I’ve been told that there is a real community feeling there and people look after each other. Around 500,000 people live in Denpasar, including Balinese, Javanese and others from around the country. Denpasar is ‘local friendly’ in that rent, food and almost anything else is cheap and you will find food vendors from many parts of Indonesia. Denpasar is not particularly ‘tourist friendly’, traffic system and the lack of obvious tourist facilities mean its is often overlooked by visitors.

Balinese history has been largely influenced by outsiders. One group of outsiders, who have a history of violence and destruction, wherever they went were the Europeans. One of the bloodiest events in Balinese history occurred in Denpasar on September 20th, 1906, when the raja of Badung (the southern regency in Bali), Gusti Gede Ngurah came to the conclusion, that his court could no longer suffer under Dutch rule and ordered a mass suicide, the ritual puputan.

How to get to Denpasar:
There are a couple of ways to get to Denpasar from people staying in Kuta. If you are going to Renon to visit a consulate, you would take the Bypass to Sanur, and turn off at Jl. Raya Puputan. If you want to a selection of Denpasar’s food, you would follow Jl. Imam Bonjol through to Jl. Tueku Umar. From Seminyak you might follow Jl. Raya Kerobokan around to Jl. Gatut Subroto, the busy street that crosses Denpasar in the north. Many other routes are also possible. Once inside Denpasar proper, you will have to be on your toes as the one-way traffic system can send you in directions not anticipated. Denpasar is quite large so take a map with you.

Adi Yasa

Jl. Nakula 23
Within minutes of the Bali Museum and a good option for budget tourists wanting to explore Denpasar as close quarters. The place is not in the greatest shape and all have fan & cold water bathrooms.

Inna Bali
Jl. Veteran 3
This is the oldest hotel in Central Denpasar. Has a colonial feel because of its connection to the cruise liner trade in the 1930’s. Situated close to the museum, this mid-range place offers a pool and restaurant, all rooms having a veranda, and AC.

Nakula Familiar Inn
Jl. Nakula 4
A great budget option a few minutes walk from the Bali Museum. Located across the street from the Adi Yasa, this place offers modern rooms in a family run place. Cold water & fan.

Taman Suci
Jl. Imam Bonjol 45
Located 50 meters south of Tegal bemo terminal, this mid-range place offers AC, TV in all rooms. Not as central located as some of the other places mentioned. Rooms are clean and decent.

Two Brothers
Jl. Imam Bonjol, Gang VII 5
Budget guest house with 3 clean rooms. Located 300 meters SE of Tegal bemo terminal, this place is family run. Cold water & fan rooms.

Eating Out:
Denpasar occupies a large geographic area with many small local warungs. The most famous area is Jl. Tueku Umar, which is lined with restaurants and warungs serving varieties of food from all over Indonesia.

Ramayana Shopping Mall has a large food court on the top floor serving fast food versions of Indonesian favourites.

Walking Tour of Denpasar:
Denpasar offers a different type of scene to that found in the Kuta area. Not a tourist center, or even a party center, Denpasar is home to locals, Balinese from other parts of the island, who work in Kuta, and other Indonesians who have moved here. It offers cheap accommodation, street food, cheap locally made goods and a nightmare traffic system. There are some highlights and my LP guide book points out a route that can be done on foot.

Denpasar bemo stops:
Tourists visiting are on a short time frame and use a variety of transport modes to get them around as quickly as possible including taxis, rented cars and motorbikes. One transport option most people don’t think of are bemos. Bemos are are the small mini vans that drive all over Bali ferrying locals from place to place at an affordable price. Denpasar has some big bemo terminals and understanding where the buses route to and from is important.

Denpasar has some great local markets, some which are open at night. Pasar Badung is open at night in part, and other markets which are known as ‘night markets’ are Kereneng Night Market, located off of Jl. Hayam Wuruk. Great place for a local night time snack. There is also a night market on Jl. Diponegoro, just north of the Ramayana mall.

Ramayana Shopping Mall is a place most westerners don’t visit. But a trip to Denpasar might take you past this past. If you head north on Jl. Tueku Umar and keep going, taking the compulsory left turn, onto Jl. Diponegoro, you will see the large orange-brick Ramayana Mall on the right hand side.

Bali Arts FestivalTaman Budaya Cultural Center
The Bali Arts Festival is an annual celebration of Balinese art and cultural traditions. The event last a month from mid-June- mid-July. Check your local Bali events calendar for the schedule. Performance events are in the morning and late afternoon / evenings, so if you go in the middle of the day there may not be dances on.

Wayang Kulit: Balinese shadow puppets at Bali Museum

Geringsing: Balinese weaving at the Bali Museum

The Bali Arts Festival is presented at the Taman Budaya Cultural Center, located on Jl. Nusa Indah in the same area as the Kereneng bemo station.

Citibank has one branch in Bali, located on Jl. Tueku Umar. This modern bank is based in the US and can handle large sums of money. Here is a selection of their charges.

Citibank Bali
Graha Mahkota
Jl. Teuku Umar 208–210
Denpasar 80113

Bali museum: Denpasar –

Bali Museum Denpasar

What is it?
A museum detailing the history of Balinese culture from megalithic times to the present.

3,000rp for adults, 1,000rp for kids, plus 1,000rp insurance for adults, 500rp.

Getting there from Kuta:
Your best bet is to take a taxi, as Denpasar is hard to navigate. If you want to drive / ride yourself, take Jl. Imam Bonjol towards Denpasar, take Jl. Teuku Umar , going straight through the roundabout. When the road forks after a kilometer or so, go right and follow signs for Bali Museum. When you come to Puputan Square, the big grassy area to your right, circle around it and park in front of the large Balinese temple. The museum entrance is next door. Travelling time from Kuta is 20 minutes.

When is it open?
Bali Museum is open from 8am-3pm Mon-Thurs & Sun, 8am-12.30pm Fri, Sat closed.

How long does it take to tour the museum?
You can do it in an hour, but if you want to check out all the exhibits and read all the descriptions, it will take 2 hours.

Toilet, drinks shop, gift shop.

Do you need a guide?
There are individuals hanging around offering their services as a guide. You’ll have to negotiate for a price. In my opinion, as long as you can read, you’ll be fine.

Best time to go?
Mornings and early afternoons, as the staff have been known to close early, then try to charge you a fee for the ’special service’ of opening the museum just for you.

Tips for visitors:
Eat something before you go, as there is no restaurant on site, or any food places in the area.

Map of Denpasar:

New Dewata

Sanglah Hospital:
Sanglah hospital is the best hospital in Bali. If you get in a serious accident you’ll end up there. Best way to get there from Kuta, is head for the Bypass to Sanur. At the junction of the Bypass and Benoa harbor, hang a left and its up that way.

Sanglah Hospital
Jl. Kesehaatan,
ph: 62 361 244 574, 62 361 244 575
fax: 62 361244 574

Foreign Consulates in Denpasar:
Denpasar is home to several foreign consulates, mostly in the Renon area of SE Denpasar. Foreign consulates in Denpasar include the Australian, Japanese, Mexican and US.

Australian Consulate
Jalan Hayam Wuruk No. 88B
Tanjung Bungkak, Denpasar 80324
Office hours: Monday to Friday
08.00-12.00 hours and 12.30-16.00 hours
Tel: 62-361-241 118
Fax: 62-361-241 120

Canadian Consulate
Contact Australian Consulate

Japanese Consulate
Consul: Mr. Noboru Nomura
Jalan Raya Puputan No. 170, Denpasar
Office hours: Monday to Friday
08.30-12.30 and 13.30-16.00 hours
Tel: 62-361-227 628
Fax: 62-361-265 066

Mexican Consulate
Honorary Consul: Mr. I Gusti Bagus Yudhara, MBA
Puri Astina Building, Jalan Prof. Moh. Yamin No. 1A, Denpasar
Office hours: Monday to Friday
08.30-16.30 hours
Tel: 62-361-223 266
Fax: 62-361-244 568

New Zealand Consulate
Contact Australian Consulate

US Consulate
Consular Agent: Mr. Joshua Finch
Jalan Hayam Wuruk 188 Denpasar
Office hours: Monday to Friday 08.00-16.30 hours
Tel: 62-361-233 605
Fax: 62-361-222 426
Emergency number: 0812-380-2540