Welcome to Denpasar!
A jewel in Indonesia’s vast network of islands, the island of Bali is one of the world’s favorite destinations. From breathtaking natural views to the fascinating culture and traditions, Bali is out of this world. Denpasar, Bali, is the country’s capital and the gateway to the island with a hectic and bustling atmosphere, teaming with a Balinese vibe. This is a worldwide local guide to help you find spots, in Denpasar, that reflect the local life on the island.
Markets: A Way of Life
As soon as you exit Denpasar Airport, you’ll see that markets are a huge cultural part of Bali; there are several all over the island. Away from the excessively tourist-oriented markets is the Kereneng night market, a busy and almost chaotic market, filled with stalls selling traditional clothes, delicious local food, and handcrafted souvenirs. Meander through tight walkways, past little stalls, while smelling the aroma of freshly made Nasi Goreng, and feel the heat of the open satay grill. Make sure to politely barter to grab the best deal!
Worldwide Local Tip: Experience Nyepi, the Balinese New Year, for a close look at the local traditions on the island. During March, the celebrations begin with locals parading huge, ugly creatures on the streets called “ogoh-ogoh”. A dazzling display and a party atmosphere, on the streets, followed by a day of silence and reflection the following day. The whole island shuts down, lights aren’t allowed to be switched on during the night, and no one is allowed to roam the streets. Its tranquil moment to an otherwise chaotic city.
Relax in a Beautiful City Park
Right in the middle of Denpasar’s buzzing streets, is a scenic urban park where the locals come to take a serene getaway from the city. The Lapangan Puputan Renon has expansive spaces for gentle strolls, where you can enjoy the Denpasar weather by meandering or simply sitting down to people watch. In the center of the park is the Hindu style Bajra Sandhi Monument, which displays the struggles of the Balinese people throughout its colorful yet tumultuous history. Scale up the steep spiral stairs to gain a panoramic view of the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: Take a tour of the mangrove forest for an off-the-beaten-path attraction in Denpasar. Narrow wooden bridges take you through a lagoon overgrown with mangroves forming a natural barrier to the island.
Here in Denpasar, Time Stands Still
For an authentic and timeless cultural experience, make your way to the Kertalangu Cultural Village. A village created by the community, Kertalangu shows Denpasar’s visitors the authentic local way of living. Ask the manager of your Denpasar hotel to help you navigate there. Located in the midst of a vast area of rice paddies, it offers a complete insight into the simple life of the locals and gives you the chance to live just like the locals. You can also see traditional shows like the Kecak and Barong dance at its open-air stage.
Worldwide Local Tip: Grab one of Bali’s tastiest street foods from one of the many stalls in Denpasar. Roti Bakar is a light bread filled with either a savory layer of cheese or a sweet, decadent filling like chocolate. This is a cheap treat that the locals absolutely love!
Enjoy Your Stay!
Bali’s undeniable allure brings people from all over the world to Denpasar. Explore the island as a worldwide local to discover its fascinating culture and natural wonders. A trip to the island will surely be an unforgettable one.