The Kuta / Legian area is the undisputed champion of Bali tourism. It features beautiful beaches, a lively set of entertainment options and an undeniably exciting night scene. Hotels in Kuta / Legian once catered mainly for backpackers, but today Kuta and Legian have room to suit every brand of traveler.
Stretching five kilometers, Kuta Beach saw its first hint of tourism over 50 years ago. Before the 1960s, this was predominately a fishing village, but it has grown into a leading budget travel destination in Asia that has been especially successful with young Australians.
These days, Kuta is highly commercialized, thanks to Bali Kuta Galleria, two branches of Carrefour shopping complex (at Imam Bonjol and Sunset Road) and its own Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Café (featuring live music at Centerstage). Kuta’s practical facilities are just as thorough, including the Legian Clinic, Padma Hospital, Klinik SOS Medika (near the Dewa Ruci Statue) and the honorary consulates of Malaysia and Spain.
As soon as Kuta landed on the backpacker circuit, surfers started taking notice. Surf shops now line the beach, and beginners can sign up for cheap lessons. But the party scene is Kuta’s real attraction, with beach bars packed to the rafters at the height of the summer (July and August) and winter (December and January). Favorite places to stop for a few drinks include Kama Sutra, Musro Bali and Apache Bar.
Kuta also has a quieter side. Made’s Warung Kuta and Mama’s German Restaurant favor good food over party atmosphere, and there are plenty of high-end venues on hand. Maccaroni and Ma Joly are just a couple of these. The same goes for hotels in Kuta / Legian. Head up north from Kuta Beach toward Legian proper, and a quiet, more exclusive atmosphere sets in.