Kuta Area travel guide

The History of Kuta

The History of Kuta - Important things that happened in Kuta – 18th century till now


Important Things happened in Kuta in the 18th century

In the year 1817, after ignoring Bali for centuries, the first trading points in Kuta were opened by the Dutch. Singaraja and Kuta, both became important ports.

As other major Indonesian Islands, such as Java, had by far more to offer than Bali, therefore Bali and obviously also Kuta were ignored for a long time by the Dutch empire. However, in about 1825 a Dutch merchant permanently settled in southern Kuta which in the end proved to be the seed for Kuta’s tourism industry. The first traded goods, sad but true, were opium and slaves from Kuta and the rest of Bali.

The Balinese law at that time allowed shipwreck plundering which in 1841 caused the first problems with the Dutch Army as the Balinese from Kuta plundered the Dutch frigate “Overijsset”, which wrecked itself on Kuta Beach.

In 1846 the first Dutch fleet landed in Kuta, carrying about 3000 soldiers with the aim of defeating Gusti Ketut Jelantik, a great hero of the mid-nineteenth century in Bali and the first Dutch-Bali war started in Kuta. A Danish trader named Mads, who ran a trading point from Kuta, acted as an intermediary.

The History of Kuta – Important things that happened in Kuta – 20th century

Kuta was now the most important area on the island of the Gods. Plenty of artists starting to arrive in Kuta in the 1920s, such as Walter Spiess and Rudolph Bonnet. Over the years they settled down in different areas on the island.

In the 1930s the foundations of Kuta’s tourism industry were laid. The first Hotel in Kuta was opened, named the “The Kuta Beach Hotel” and isnowadays known as “The Kuta Beach Heritage Hotel” which pays great homage to the original. Furthermore, with the opening of Ngurah Rai International Airport in the 1970s, based in Tuban–Kuta, the traffic light for tourism in Bali turned to green, which therefore allowed Kuta’s and Sanur’s tourism industry to grow rapidly.

The History of Kuta - Kuta Nowadays – What does Kuta look like now?

Nothing is left from the original Kuta. Restaurants, Spas, Hotels and Resorts have taken over this old fishermen’s village within a decade and it is already very hard to experience the traditional Balinese charm outside of the hotels or resorts in this area.

Kuta became Bali’s biggest nightlife and party area by far as it’s very popular with younger people and many Australians. Legian Street is covered with nightclubs, offering the young exactly what they are looking for. Happy Hours, Free Flows, Rooftop Pool Bars and Eventsmake it the perfect hotbed for party seekers. It has to be mentioned that Prostitution is illegal in Bali but it belongs to Kuta as water does to the ocean. Sex for money is a big issue in Kuta and it is highly recommended that this business is not supported.

Kuta virtually offers an unlimited amount of shopping opportunities in every price category. It’s possible to purchase a new Cartier at the Duty-Free area in front of the Mall Bali Galleria for those who have the money to spend on one. Others discover scarves, sunglasses, clothes or handicrafts at a variety of malls or local markets. Sellers outside regular malls tend to be very pushy, Why? Many market shares have been taken over by modern malls and therefore the prices have risen. This makes a seller’s life dramatically harder.

If any tourists are interested in Kuta’s target group, then they will enjoy Kuta beach for sure. 


Bali Guide  City Guide – Kuta Guide

General Things to do in Kuta – Enjoy Kuta Beach and sunsets at Jalan Pantai Kuta (Kuta Beach road).

Jalan Pantai Kuta, the sunset strip of Kuta, offers plenty of nice dining opportunities, located directly on thebeach, guaranties great opportunities for watching sunsets. Go to Beachwalk Shopping Mall and enjoy sunset cocktails from the 3rd floor. Alcohol makes everyone hungry! After the cocktails enjoy one of the dozens of restaurants on Jalan Pantai Kuta! Paps Restaurant, an Italian restaurant at Jalan Pantai Kuta offers a very unique dish, the volcano Pizza. After a lovely Dinner there is a potentialto enjoy one or more of the cocktail Bars also located in this area. Jalan Pantai Kuta is a place for everybody. Locals meet Westerners, old meet the youngand families meet single people. Generally spoken: "Visitors can't go wrong by visiting this area and it is the nicest public area on the beach Bali has to offer”. 

Bali Guide  City Guide – Kuta Guide

General Things to do in Kuta – Learn how to surf

The roughly 6 kilometer long coastline with white sandy beaches is the perfect place to relax. Also, if someone was looking for people to party with in the evening, making contacts at Kuta Beach is very easy. Last but not least it is the perfect place to learn how to surf, as local professional surfers along the coastline who offer to share their knowledge for a small fee are easily stumbled upon. Compared to Nusa Dua the waves are moderate and exactly the right height for beginners to intermediates. Plenty of surfing schools stretch along Kuta Beach and also local instructors offer their service.

Bali Guide  City Guide – Kuta Guide

General Things to do in Kuta – Horse-drawn carriages.

Taxis are found and used everywhere in Kuta but what about a Tour through Kuta in a horse-drawn carriage? It is obviously not as romantic as it would be in a traffic limited area, but it is something special and unique which probably isn’t available at home.

Bali Guide  City Guide – Kuta Guide

General Things to do in Kuta – Release a Sea Turtle.

This family friendly beach activity is highly recommended as it helps to protect the sea turtles. To be a part of the project, please contact Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation.

Bali Travel Guide  City Guide – Kuta Guide

General Things to do in Kuta – Get Pampered at a Spa. 

Bali is simply a Spa Heaven. Spas in every price category are found in Bali and the next Spa, if travellers stay in Kuta, is just a stone’s throw away from most accommodation. Spas regularly offer Happy Hours and Discounts. Some of them may be found on this website in the category “Discounts, Reductions and Rebates” subcategory Spa Discounts. It is highly recommended that everybody rechecks the preferred Spa on the web as plenty of them offer in addition to the Happy Hours regular direct booking discounts. Some of those Spa discounts are able to becombined and cheap Spas simply offer value for money. 4 hour treatments may be found for around 600k Rupiah and this price already includes a Ginger Tea, coffee and snack as well as a free pick up and drop off service from the guest’s hotel, villa or resort.

As parts of Kuta belong to Bali’s red light district, some Spas in Kuta offer a special service, mostly offered to men and the locals call it the “++ - service”. So please be aware some Taxi driversmight try to take single male travellersto the wrong one because for ++ Spas the commission is higher by far. To make sure nobody ends up at a spa in the red light districts, the following selection of Spas deliver a clean and proper business. travelling BALI’s Spa TOP TIP is available in the above category ‘Cheap things to do in Kuta’. Everyday Spa is simply value for money and is also recommended to travellers staying outside of Kuta as the Taxi fare from other places in Bali, such as Sanur, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua or Seminyak isn’t higher then 100k Rupiah.


In addition to regular Spas, more and more Medical Spas are coming to Bali, as the importance of health and beauty increase. Medical Spas are specialized in treatments such as Fat reduction and Botox injections. The following list will also contain the two most popular Medical Spas in Bali and both are based in Kuta. Both contain a Men’s clinic as well and offer treatments such as Stem Cell Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction.Finally some spas have added an additional service with Salons that have been integrated into regular Spas offering hair treatments, pedicures and manicures, facial treatments, Nail Art, bikini zone waxing and many more other beauty treatments.

General Things to do in Kuta – Go shopping in Kuta - Shopping Areas and Shopping Malls in Kuta

Kuta is a shopping paradise that offers so many opportunities, from small family businesses with low costs at Kuta Market to high-end shopping at the luxurious Beachwalk Shopping Mall or Discovery Kartika Plaza Shopping Mall. The high-end Jewelleryis available at the DFS (Duty Free Store) at Mall Bali Galeria in Kuta. Obviously, the products bought on the street in Kuta are fakes and bargaining is a part of the game. In shopping malls it’s beneficial to ask for a license if there are any uncertainties about the quality of the product.

Where to shop in Bali - Discovery Shopping Mall Kuta

Discovery Shopping Mall was the number one shopping mall in Kuta for a long time until the development of Jl. Panati Kuta, a couple of hundred meters to the north, begun. Discovery Shopping Mall still has the advantage of it stretching directly to Kuta Beach and some very nice Restaurants are located at the beachfront of the Discovery Shopping Mall. This guarantees amazing Kuta sunset dinners. Those who are looking for fast food and the fanatics of American brands are able to go to Burger King and Starbucks directly in front of the Malls entrance. Also located in front of the entrance to the Discovery Shopping Mall, is Bali’s only 5D cinema, a nice family attraction to put in the schedule. Those who are looking for a nice Medical Spa, Soleil Medi Spa, an Australian Medical Spa is located at the southwest entrance. Last but not least, Discovery Shopping Mall has a very nice promenade which is located in the west, at the backentrance, right in front of this shopping centre which encourages visitors to go for a stroll before or after sunset.

Where to shop in Bali - Kuta Square

Kuta Square is a shopping area located between Discovery Shopping Mall and Beachwalk Shopping Mall. Most of the shops there sell popular surfer bands such as Quicksilver, Oakley, Billabong or Rip Curl. With the development in the neighbourhood over the last year Kuta Square has lost its importance. Mc Donald’s at Kuta Square is busiest on the weekend around 2-4 am when plenty of party people experience alcohol making them ravenous.

Where to shop in Bali - Kuta Mall Bali Galeria

Mall Bali Galeria is located in Kuta, on Jl. Sunset Road directly next to the new underpass and the main roundabout “Simpang Siur”. It is the shopping mall for richer locals and a place to see and be seen. On Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons Mall Bali Galeria gets very busy. This shopping mall is a 2 floor building and contains everything that visitors might be looking for: Shoes, handbags, watches, glasses, clothing, food and much more. In the middle of this 2 storey shopping mall is a food corner. The Sushi there is highly recommended as its real value for money. Due to it being mostly local people that go there, the prices are a little lower than those at Discovery Kartika Plaza. Finally two special places in there have to be mentioned. The Hypermart is the Indonesian equivalent to the French Carrefour and offers everything for everybody’s daily needs. From toiletries to fresh fish is on offer at Hypermart. In addition to this, ACE Hardware offers everything from electronic products such as amplifiers, speakers, vacuum cleaners and electronic razors to household items. 

Where to shop in Bali - DFS at Kuta Mall Bali Galleria

DFS or Duty Free Shopping at Mall Bali Galleria is for sure Bali's Number 1 and most exclusive shopping area. Chinese, Russians and Japanese people are mostly seen here. Brands such as Cartier, Ro lex, Mangoo, Lancome, Coach or Burberry are just to mention a few, that are on sale at the Duty Free Area at Mall Bali Galleria. 

Where to shop in Bali - Carrefour Kuta

Carrefour is a very popular French supermarket brand and is located on the same street as Mall Bali Galleria, just a 5 minute drive away. Carrefour is very often visited by expats as they know theywillsee many international food brands and western standard items there. From fresh fish to electronic products such as microwaves and televisions, Carrefour offers everything. The food corner has basic but delicious local food and as in every good supermarket in Indonesia, a kid’s games zone is also available.

Where to shop in Bali - Kuta Beachwalk

Kuta Beachwalk is a very stylish shopping and food arcade which also has a nice bar and nightclub on the 3rd floor. Plenty of Western brands are found at Beachwalk and it is indeed a nice place for (window) shopping. The young and stylish go there for shopping or meet for a drink or dinner in one of the great restaurants. It is a great place to see Kuta’s lovely sunset. Girls may also come to Beachwalk to shop for sexy underwear and Lingerie from La Senza. 

Bali Travel Guide  City Guide – Kuta Guide

General Things to do in Kuta – Food and Cocktails - Restaurants and Bars in Kuta

Bali is not an all-inclusive destination and due to the massive tourist flow in Kuta, this mass tourism area is paved with restaurants. Italian restaurants offer great Pizza and Pasta dishes, Australian restaurants take care of fries and burgers, German restaurants have sausages, Kraut and Schnitzel on the menu, Greek Restaurants offer Gyros with Tatziki, Moussaka and Souvlaki, Spanish restaurants have tapas, Japanese restaurants Sushi and Teppanyaki, Indian restaurants take care of  the curry, Chinese restaurants the Dim Sum, Mexican Restaurants the Tacos and Enchiladas and obviously Mc Donald's and Burger King represent the classic American food. Obviously vegan and vegetarian food is also is easy to discover in Kuta. As Kuta is aiming on a special target group, the prices for main dishes are more or less the same. Regular meals start around 5 USD and may go up to 12 USD. Surprisingly, in-hotel dining isn’t more expensive but the view in a beachfront hotel is by far better! Lobster or other specialities are obviously more expensive. Daily Specials, Happy Hours or All You Can Eat Buffets are also available at selected restaurants in Kuta. 

Tag : Bali Holiday Kuta 

  1. Mason
    Ashok THOTE says:

    Dear Travelling Bali Thank you very much for so useful information. Fantastic

Please Login to Leave a Comment