Denpasar, the largest city in South Bali is also the island’s capital city. It is an entirely different world than the picture perfect beach resort areas teeming with tourists. This is the place for you to genuinely experience the true meaning of local living. A bustling, modern, multi-cultural city that proudly retains its heritage and culture, Denpasar is great for a City Day Tour. Witness with your own eyes the growth of Denpasar as a business district while you immerse in the city’s cultural heritage with its Museums, Balinese Royal Palaces, Temples, Cultural Parks and Traditional Markets. While Denpasar is definitely off the beaten track for the typical tourist, its sights and sounds are a must-see for every first timer in Bali, so grab a good map and a pair of sneakers and explore the city the best way you can; on foot!
Denpasar’s main street is Teuku Umar Street. Take a stroll and enjoy the city’s main business district where you’ll find a wide selection of restaurants for both the tame and the adventurous – Warung Babi Guling Chandra is famous for its suckling pig, Bakwan Surabaya for its meatballs in flavoursome spiced soup and Mie Gang Jangkrik for all kinds of noodles, soup or fried as well as Chinese-style dishes. These are only some of the most popular haunts among locals and tourists alike. Continue your exploration and you’ll discover more places to satisfy the boldest and daring palate. After a hearty meal, continue down Teuku Umar where you will soon come upon one of the many stores selling the latest electronics and technological gadgets known to mankind. Don’t be surprised that this humble street is also a haven for tech enthusiasts, with rows upon rows of stores offering the latest tech offerings. Here is where you’ll most likely find the newest smartphones that aren’t available yet anywhere else in the world at competitive rates! So be sure to experience an exciting day of comparing prices here before taking home a new gadget or two.
Not only is Denpasar a place to satisfy food lovers and tech enthusiasts, Bali’s capital also the seat of the government of Bali and home to the provincial governor’s office as well as the administration of the Regency of Badung. As the centre of government and public services, most of their offices can be found in the Renon area, including the provincial governor’s office, consulates, and more public service offices. Also in Renon is a favourite public space for both locals and expatriates; the Bajra Sandhi Monument. Built to commemorate the heroic spirit of Balinese warriors, it is surrounded by a vast green park where people spend their leisure time jogging, doing sports, yoga, or even just to lay back and relax with a friend or a loved one. Another favourite park is the Puputan Park, along the northern edge of which you will find the provincial governor’s office and other government buildings. Also, a must visit is the traditional markets in Denpasar – join in the humming voices of people bargaining and selling their wares as you find the perfect Balinese souvenirs at great prices to take home to your family.
In the olden days, Denpasar was the capital of the Kingdom of Badung, where the Royal Families lived and ruled. Many palaces, built in the traditional Balinese structures can be found here that used to house the royal families. The Palaces (or Puri) were government, administration and cultural life centres. Today, the palaces are gathering points for the culturally creative, with cultural performances, ceremonial activities and traditional dance and music practice. Here is also where the primary patrons of art, music, dance and literature gather. Some palaces to visit are Pemecutan Palace, Satria Grand Place, Jero Kuta Palace, and Kesiman Palace.
A day exploring culture and heritage will not be complete without a visit to the museums. In Denpasar, there are three main museums that will give you the perfect overview of ancient Bali. In Museum Bali, you’ll find historical artefacts that reflect the ancient Balinese culture, with archaeological collections, historical relics, paintings and ethnographic, all of which are housed in three main buildings that were designed to showcase the different Balinese architecture from different districts of Bali including East Bali, Central Bali and North Bali. Take a visit to Museum Sidik Jari at Jl. Hayam Wuruk, and view the personal collection of I Gusti Ngurah Gede Pemecutan, a Balinese painter famous for his art that was applied on canvas using only his fingers. Next museum to visit is Museum Le Mayeur in Sanur.