Photo: Offerings for the gods in Denpasar.


Our rating:

So you want to see the “real Bali”? Spend a night in Bali’s sprawling capital, Denpasar. Really. Sure, it’s not paddy and gamelan, but amid the shopping malls, traffic congestion and challenging footpaths a wealth of riches awaits: temples, palaces, friendly locals, great food and even a bit of green space—plus hardly another tourist in sight.

Hotels, food, sights, transport quick links

Keep reading to learn more about Denpasar!

Positioned between Kuta to its south, Ubud to the north, and Sanur to the east, Denpasar spreads its grasp all but merging with the three. So where’s the airport? Well you may ask: Bali’s airport may be called Denpasar, but it’s closer to Kuta.

Get a taste of local life at Pasar Malam Kereneng, Denpasar's lively night market. Photo taken in or around Denpasar, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Get a taste of local life at Pasar Malam Kereneng, Denpasar's lively night market. Photo: Sally Arnold

Prior to colonial times, Denpasar was the seat of the Rajas of the Badung kingdom and an important trading centre—hence the word pasar, which means market, in its name. The palaces and indeed the markets are still part of the modern urban landscape. In 1906 the Dutch, who had already gained control of North Bali, invaded, but the royal courts refused to submit. Instead, they committed a ritual mass suicide, or puputan, which is today commemorated by both Puputan Square, and the Bajra Sandhi Monument, two of Denpasar’s landmarks.

After independence, the former Dutch administrative capital was moved from Singaraja, near Lovina in the north of Bali, to Denpasar, and in 1958 it officially became Bali’s ibukota or capital (literally ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)

Get the full story.
Create an account.

Becoming a Travelfish subscriber costs A$35 for a year. Benefits include:
1) Full access to the site
2) 250+ PDF guides
3) Discount coupons
4) 50% off our travel planning service
5) And of course, our gratitude and a warm fuzzy feeling for helping us stay in business!


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Denpasar.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Read up on where to eat on Denpasar.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Denpasar.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Denpasar? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

Onward travel

Denpasar is on the way to or near ...