Denpasar

Bajra Sandhi monument in Puputan Park, Denpasar

Denpasar is the largest city and capital of the island of Bali, Indonesia. It is located in South Bali.

Understand

Denpasar is a bustling, multi-cultural city and although it can seem a little intimidating the first time you visit, just do not believe those travel guides which say it has nothing to offer.

Denpasar is bristling with temples, palaces and museums and its occupants are outstandingly friendly. You will be off the beaten tourist track here, so bring lots of time for a chat with the locals and a decent map of town. You can see many of the main sights comfortably on foot.

This is also a notable shopping city with options to please even the most jaded of world shoppers.

Where's the airport?

Bali's airport may be coded DPS for Denpasar, but it's actually located 13 km away near Kuta and covered in the main Bali article.

Denpasar is the seat of government in Bali and is therefore home to the provincial governor's office as well as the administration of the Regency of Badung.

Tourist Information Office

Jalan Surapati 6, Denpasar. ☎ +62 361 234569. 8AM-4PM. A source of information for current events in the city and for picking up a free map.

Get in

Map of Denpasar

By road

Denpasar is centrally located and easily reached by car or taxi from the main tourist regions of south Bali. A trip from Kuta, Legian and Seminyak will take 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic. Sanur is just 15 minutes to the east and Ubud about 30 minutes to the north. [2012: Due to traffic, allow 1.5-2 hr to reach the airport from Ubud.] Tabanan is about 40 minutes to the northwest.

A pre-paid taxi from the airport will cost between Rp 70,000-100,000, depending on exactly where in Denpasar you are heading to.

By bus

The main bus terminal of Denpasar is Ubung, which is also a bemo terminal.

Most buses to and from Java depart from here.

By bemo

The bemo centre of Bali is here. Inconveniently, bemo terminals are scattered all around town, and transfers between them can be time and money consuming. The major ones are:

Always ask a local for the normal price before getting in or expect to be charged a price up to ten times what it should be.

Don't forget that a bemo departs when it wants (usually when it is "full enough"), which can sometimes require a lengthy wait, except in the early morning, where they are rather frequent. In any case, you won't find any bemo after 4PM.

By train

There is no train station in Denpasar, since there are actually no trains in Bali. But a travel agency in the Ubung bus terminal has an agreement with Kerata Api, the Indonesian train company.

You can buy so-called "train tickets" to and from Surabaya, including a bus (air-conditioned) to Banyuwangi, and the ferry between Gilimanuk and Ketapang, and then a train from Banyuwangi to Surabaya. Price: Rp 154,000 (weekend), Rp 139,000 (weekday) in bisnis (no air-con in the train), or Rp 169,000 in eksekutif (with air-con). Those prices include a commission to the travel agency. There are two services in each direction, each day:

Get around

Denpasar can be a bit steamy and the traffic pollution a worry, but the centre of this city does lend itself to getting around on foot and walking is recommended.

By taxi

Taxis are widely available for hailing. If you have a group of people, you may want to negotiate a bemo (small van) for a set rate to your destination. Remember that pricing is negotiable. Indonesians are great people, however, they won't think twice about overcharging you if they can.

By bemo

Bemo routes in Denpasar are extremely complicated. In addition to the three terminals described in the section above which operate longer distance bemos, there are three more which handle the local routes (as do the long distance terminals!) - Gunung Agung, Sanglah and Kereneng. Unless you are very patient and somewhat adventurous, bemo transport within Denpasar is best left to the locals to figure out. As a rule of thumb though most routes in the city seem to come through Kereneng Terminal on Jalan Kamboja at some stage.

To go from one bemo terminal to another within the city, the fixed price is Rp 7,000 although non-Indonesians may be asked to pay much more. A taxi can work out cheaper, is certainly faster and is indescribably more comfortable.

By motorbike

As elsewhere in Bali, motorbikes can be rented, although it is more normal for a visitor to arrive with a bike rather than rent one here.

See

When visiting any of the temples in Denpasar, remember to bring a sarong and sash with you. These temples receive relatively few foreign visitors and are unlikely to have temple dress available for hire or loan.

Pura Maospahit
Taman Budaya Cultural Centre

Do

It is very much worth finding information from the official tourism office about scheduled cultural events in Denpasar. These are many and varied and include, dance, puppet theatre and art exhibitions.

Otherwise, apart from the numerous sights and excellent shopping, there are not really any specific activities to recommend in Denpasar.

Buy

Contrary to what you might read in many guide books, the best shopping in Bali is in Denpasar.

Jalan Gajah Mada, Denpasar

Eat

Denpasar is a melting pot of different cultures from all over Indonesia. There are few places where the results of the government trans-migration policy are more evident than here. For that reason it is a wonderful place to eat with restaurants specialising in different regional and ethnic Indonesian cuisines. Sometimes this can all seem a bit inaccessible and hard to find for visitors, so do not be shy to ask your driver or at your hotel.

The foodcourts on the upper levels of Denpasar's department stores all serve surprisingly good food at excellent value prices. Try Ramayana, Matahari and Tiara Dewata department stores.

Drink

There are bars and nightlife in Denpasar but these are best left alone by visitors who will feel much more at home in Seminyak, Legian and Kuta.

Sleep

There are many small budget hotels in Denpasar which are primarily aimed at domestic business travellers as few foreign tourists stay in the city here. These are reasonably priced and comfortable enough. Within a 500 m walk of the Alul-Alun Puputan there are many options which will nearly always have availability. Shop around.

Cope

Several nations have a consulate in Denpasar:

If you don't see the consulate you're looking for in this section, check to see if it's actually in Sanur, Kuta, Jimbaran or Legian, or see the "Cope" section of the Bali article for reference.

Go next

Virtually all of Bali can be accessed easily from Denpasar.


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, May 21, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.