As the capital of Bali, Denpasar is a home for most local residents. There are a lot of exciting and local things to do in Denpasar Bali that you might not find in other touristy destinations in Bali. Here are some ideas you can try during your visit to Bali.
Visiting Bajra Sandhi Monument in the City Center
Located in the square named Lapangan Niti Mandala Renon, Bajra Sandhi Monument has a diorama gallery showing Balinese historical stories, which is very interesting to learn, and from the 3rd floor, you can view the Denpasar cityscape during the clear days. Surrounded by stunning Balinese architecture exteriors, this landmark is located in the park, where most locals do some sports and other recreational activities.
Sip a cup of coffee in Bhineka Jaya, popular local coffee shop
This popular coffee shop sells locally-grown, high-quality coffee beans that you can sip there or pack away. Located in the heritage area of Denpasar, this small vintage coffee shop is claimed to serve one of the best coffees in Bali, and customers can sit down around some tiny tables while watching the bustle of Denpasar old town.
Stroll around the old town around Jalan Gajah Mada and visit alun-alun
This is the heritage area of Denpasar, where you can walk around to enjoy seeing the old buildings dominating along the street of Jalan Gajah Mada, also where Badung Market, Kumbasari Art Market, and Bhineka Jaya coffee shop are located. It is definitely one of the unique things to do in Denpasar Bali you shouldn't miss.
Shop for souvenir in Kumbasari Art Market
Located right across Badung traditional market, Kumbasari Art Market is one of the oldest markets since the late 70's, where you can shop for arts and handicrafts in over 200 kiosks. They sell various Balinese souvenirs, such as Balinese batik, traditional Balinese clothes, fabrics, beach sarong, silverware, Balinese ikat weaving, mini sculptures, paintings, etc. Some vendors apply fixed prices, but you can bargain in most shops.
Buy groceries in Badung traditional market
Badung market is the biggest traditional market in Denpasar where most locals buy all the fresh grocery needs. If you go there in the morning or afternoon, you can shop inside the building which has just been renovated. If you go there in the evening to the dawn, most sellers sell outside all over the market complex, which can be one of the most interesting things to do in Denpasar Bali. Please note that most sellers cannot speak English.
Visit Sanur Beach
Sanur beach, a more quiet beach area other than Kuta, Legian, Seminyak or Canggu, is where most locals go on the weekends. It has some beaches you can choose to visit, such as Mertasari Beach with the wide-field where International Kite Festivals is usually held, Karang Beach where you can sometimes do free yoga on the beach in the morning, or Sindhu Beach where most locals swim during the weekends. It also has promenade and pathway by the beach, restaurants, and cafes, where you can do jogging or riding the bicycle along the way.
Visit Shindu Night Market in Sanur
Shindu Night Market is located in Sanur, starts to open from the late evening. During the day, inside the building is a traditional market selling fresh groceries; during the night, outside the building is a vibrant night market with some mouthwatering food stalls selling Indonesian foods with affordable prices, such as chicken skewers (sate ayam), lamb skewers (sate kambing), lamb curry (gulai kambing), Javanese mixed rice (nasi campur), fried rice (nasi goreng), fried noodle (mie goreng), vegetables served with peanut sauce (gado-gado), beef or chicken meatballs soup (bakso), Balinese dessert (jaje Bali), etc. If you are a food lover, this is definitely one of the things to do in Denpasar Bali.
Relaxing walk in the mangrove forest
Mangrove forests in Denpasar can be an alternative to do something fun. Strolling along the 3 km-long (1.86 miles) wooden bridge among the lush with a gentle breeze is very suitable for a relaxing walk. Stop by in a tower in the middle of the forest before you reach the end of the bridge, where you can sit under the big gazebo facing the best view of the Benoa sea bay where you can see small cars driving through the Bali toll road.
Eat seafood in Serangan Island
Jimbaran seafood might be well-known for tourists, but Serangan Island in Denpasar is where most locals go to eat seafood. Many small restaurants available in that area can cook the fresh seafood with you preferred dishes. Besides seafood, it also has secluded white sandy beach where locals go fishing, surfing, or just simply relaxing.
Taste some local foods
Bali has more than suckling pig as its authentic food. Try some favorite local foods, such as sate plecing (pork satay) arjuna, balung babi (pork ribs soup) in warung makan sederhana Sanur, nasi campur (mixed rice) Men Weti, sop ikan (spicy fish soup) and ikan goreng (deep fried fish) warung bambu lulu Sanur, ayam betutu (the Balinese chicken dish), nasi campur (mixed rice) warung wardani, nasi ayam kedewatan (chicken rice) Bu Mangku, and the list goes on. Please note that some of these foods might be spicy. If you are into night market, you can visit some of the best night markets in Bali to try local delicacies.