A trip to the sprawling, growing metropolis of Denpasar may not be the top of your list when planning your trip to Bali. However, Bali’s capital city has a lot to offer. Home to more than a million Balinese, Denpasar is the centre of Bali’s wealth and progression. It is, therefore, at the core of Balinese life and as much a part of the island’s culture as its idyllic beaches and endless paddy fields. In Denpasar, you will discover evidence of Bali’s economic growth: chic malls, lush parks and exquisite restaurants, designed not for tourists, but for the growing middle class. So, don’t just pass through Denpasar on your way to the beach; stay a few days and enjoy the finer things in life, the Balinese way. Once you have had your fill of Denpasar, you are perfectly located to enjoy the delights of the beautiful island of Bali which, while small, is full of things to do and see.
Direct flights to Denpasar will bring you to Bali Ngurah Raj International Airport – DPS, 8 miles from Denpasar city centre in South Bali. From here, you can spend a few days in the city or easily access the rest of the island.
Bali enjoys a tropical climate, which means that it is hot all year around with two seasons: wet (November – March) and dry (April – October). Bali’s high season is during UK school holidays (July-August, Easter and mid-December – January) – the best time to find cheap flights to Denpasar and cheap holiday deals in Bali are during the months of April – June and September, when it is still dry but flights and accommodation is considerably cheaper. With November comes rainy season and if you are willing to risk the odd tropical torrent, you will be able to find cheap flights to Bali.
The island of Bali possesses a feel that is impossible to describe, but is simply Balinese. It is a unique mixture of friendliness, lush green, warmth, sunshine, optimism and spiritualism that is unique to this small island and which helps its capital, Denpasar, to retain its small-town feel despite its burgeoning size. Denpasar is made up of a stunning network of villages, precincts and communities, interlinked with majestic Hindu temples. As you walk or drive through the city you will witness a fascinating cross-section of life in Bali, from bustling markets, to huge department stores and everything in between. Unlike the rest of Bali, where the lush surroundings and laid-back atmosphere enable locals to gear everything (including the prices) to visitors, Denpasar caters to the Balinese. As a result, on your trip to Denpasar, you will find the lowest prices on Bali, for everything from food and drink to clothes and trinkets.
On your trip to Bali, a visit to the Bali Provincial Museum (Negeri Propinsi Bali) in Denpasar will help you to become better acquainted with the island’s past. The Bali Museum consists of four stunning traditional Balinese pavilions, each housing a different collection of Balinese artefacts from across the island, including weaponry and utensils, jewellery and textiles, religious artefacts and masks, artwork and costumes. Soaring over Renon Square in the centre of Denpasar, you will see the Bajra Sandhi Monument. Named for its shape, which resembles a priest’s praying bell (“bajra”), the incredible structure was completed in 1987 to “immortalise the soul of Balinese people” and mark their struggles over the years. The Bajra Sandho Monument consists of three storeys, a ground level where you can admire its classic Balinese architecture, a second floor, which features fascinating insights into historic and prehistoric Bali and the top floor, which will provide you with stunning views of the city. Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu) is considered to be one of Bali’s spiritual pillars. Perched 70 metres above sea level atop a steep cliff, Uluwatu is a classic example of Balinese architecture. The thousand-year-old temple is bordered by a small forest, inhabited by countless monkeys. It is believed that the monkeys are guardians to the temple, protecting it from bad influences. Be warned: the monkeys themselves aren’t terribly well behaved and are known to steal cameras and unguarded bags! Whilst the temple and grounds are simply beautiful all day, if you can visit Pura Luhur Uluwatu at sunset you will be rewarded with one of the most stunning sunsets in the world.
With its vast choices and rock-bottom prices, save your shopping in Bali for your trip to Denpasar! Badung Market is a perfect place to gauge the infinite array of goods on offer. Situated on the banks of the river, Badung Market is a gritty, hot, chaotic, utterly enticing mix of stalls and shops. Here, you can get a genuine insight into Balinese life: not the postcard impression presented to tourists, but the real feel of Bali. Most of the souvenirs and textiles sold elsewhere in Bali are sourced at Badung Market: grab it here first to get a good price. Whether you come to this sprawling, four-storey series of stalls to shop or to browse, Badung Market is an incredible experience. Aim to visit in the morning and feast your eyes!
It is not possible to consider a trip to Denpasar without picturing yourself sitting on a tropical beach. White sand and azure waters will undoubtedly feature in this image, and you will find some of Bali’s most exquisite beaches a short drive from Denpasar. A five-minute drive will bring you to Sanur beach, where you can watch the sun rise, explore temples and relax in a tropical dream. Five minutes in the opposite direction, you will find Kuta and Legian beaches, surfers’ hotspots which are hives of beach-orientated activity, with funky cafes, dancers and shops galore. Can you keep a secret? Check out Pandawa Beach (literally translated “Secret Beach”), tucked down a small road on the way to Uluwatu temple. To access the beach you pass through immense limestone cliffs, before emerging to be faced by the dazzling sight of turquoise waters and (hopefully) isolated white sands. This stunning secluded beach is seldom full, but does have a small café where you can sip a drink and enjoy being the luckiest person on earth.
Indonesia is a series of tiny islands, each with its own distinct culture. As a result, on your trip to Denpasar you will encounter a kaleidoscope of cooking traditions, honed and passed down for millennia. Why not get hands-on with your food? On a half-day or full-day cookery course, you will learn the basics, shop for fresh, authentic ingredients, and learn how to cook a couple of traditional recipes: a lasting souvenir that you can recreate at home. Many people visiting Bali may find the food a little lacking in flavour; sadly, many traditional dishes have been simplified to accommodate the Western palate. In Denpasar, however, you can eat as the Balinese do. Here, you will discover the unique blend of seeds and spices that are sometimes, subtle, sometimes fiery, always perfectly balanced. As one may expect from the region, there are plenty of fresh vegetables, exquisite seafood, meat satays and rice dishes, each with its own unique flavour. There is so much choice, but try anything you can: the more you try, the more you will discover the true taste of this delightful city. Are you planning a trip to Bali? Travangelo can you to find cheap flights to Denpasar.