Denpasar

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Denpasar is the largest city and capital of the island of Bali, Indonesia. It is located in South Bali.

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Points of Interest in Denpasar

When visiting any of the temples in Denpasar, remember to bring a sarong and sash with you. These temples receive relatively few foreign visitors and are unlikely to have temple dress available for hire or loan.

  • Alun-Alun Puputan (Puputan Square), Jl Gajah Mada/Jl Suprati. The huge four-faced, eight-armed Catur Mukha statue is situated here at the centre point of the city. Representing the Lord Brahma and it serves as a guardian of each cardinal point. The square is a key point of orientation for the whole city. If you get lost, find your way back here and all will be clear.
  • Bali Museum (Museum Negeri Propinsi Bali), Jl Mayor Wisnu (eastern side of the Alun-Alun Puputan),  +62 361 222680. Sa-Th 8AM-3:30PM, F 8AM-11AM. A much under-patronised place by visitors which offers an informative introduction to all things Balinese, both historical and modern-day. Originally opened in 1910, the building was brought down in the 1917 earthquake and languished until 1932 when resident German artist Walter Spies sparked a major revival. The grounds and architecture are quite charming, and the museum is housed in four separate pavilions. The main pavilion has a great collection including anicent stone, bronze and wooden artifact. The southern pavilion houses many textiles, the northern pavilion concetrates on the history of Baliense performance art, and the central pavilion is devoted to Balinese Hinduism and ritual. If this place was in Kuta or Nusa Dua it would be swamped with tourists. Rp 11,000.
  • Lapangan Puputan Margarana (Puputan Park), Jl Raya Puputan. This rather grandiose park is home to the huge Bajra Sandhi monument (literally Balinese Peoples Struggle). The design of the grey stone monument symbolises the date of Indonesian independence, August 17th 1945. There are eight entrances, 17 corners and the height is precisely 45 m. The monument is most significant though for its commemoration of the various puputans (suicidal fight to the death) of the Balinese in the struggle against the Dutch in the early 20th century. At the nortern edge of the park you will find the governor's office and other government buildings.
  • Palace of Satria and the Royal Temples, Jl Veteren (about 300 metres north of Alun-Alun Puputan). 8AM-4PM daily. The palace and temple of the royal family of Denpasar which is beautifully kept and admirably, open to all residents of Denpasar for worship. Some wonderfully ornate carvings here, even by Balinese standards. Donation.
  • Pura Agung Jagatnata (Jagatnata Temple) (Adjacent to the northern boudnary of the Bali Museum). A state temple which was built in 1953. Dedicated to the supreme being Sanghyang Widi Wasa, this temple is open to all worshipers without any restriction as it is a government building and not a village temple. There are large ceremonies here twice a month at full moon and dark moon. Ask at the tourist office for a detailed schedule.
  • Pura Maospahit (Maospahit Temple), Jl Sutomo. An ancient temple with a long and glorious history thought to originate in the 14th century. This is a temple typical of the peak of the Majapahit period being constructed largely from red brick. Sadly, much of it was destroyed in the early 20th century earthquake but there are some original remnants including the guardian statues in the inner courtyard. This is a charming temple and one which is seldom patronised by tourists. Every chance you will have it to yourself.
  • Sidik Jari Museum, Jl Hayam Wuruk 175,  +62 361 23511. 9AM-5PM daily. Small, private fine art museum established and owned by I Gusti Ngurah Gede Pemecutan and which exhibits his own work as well as that of other artists. Also has facilities for public dance and other peformances.
  • Taman Wedhi Budaya Cultural Centre, Jl Nusa Indah,. 8AM-3:30PM daily. A museum that covers the history and essence of Balinese art. The classical schools are well represented by both paintings and sculpture and there is a large section featuring contemporary Balinese art. Gamelan orchestra performances are also held here. Rp 3,000.

Pura Segara Temple

Sanur Beach

Denpasar Market

Bali Beach Golf Course

Bali Museum

Catur Muka Statue

Le Mayeur Museum

Bajra Sandhi Monument

Puputan Badung Square

Renon Square

Prima Medika Hospital

Matahari Terbit Beach

Danes Art Veranda

Museum Sidik Jari

Bali Art Centre

Taman Werdhi Budaya Art Center

Mangrove Information Center

Kesiman Palace

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Popular events in Denpasar in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Denpasar

Background

Denpasar is a bustling, multi-cultural city and although it can seem a little intimidating the first time you visit, just do not believe those travel guides which say it has nothing to offer.

Denpasar is bristling with temples, palaces and museums and its occupants are outstandingly friendly. You will be off the beaten tourist track here, so bring lots of time for a chat with the locals and a decent map of town. You can see many of the main sights comfortably on foot.

This is also a notable shopping city with options to please even the most jaded of world shoppers.

Denpasar is the seat of government in Bali and is therefore home to the provincial governor's office as well as the administration of the Regency of Badung.

Tourist Information Office

Jalan Surapati 6, Denpasar. ☎ +62 361 234569. 8AM-4PM. A source of information for current events in the city and for picking up a free map.

Activities

It is very much worth finding information from the official tourism office about scheduled cultural events in Denpasar. These are many and varied and include, dance, puppet theatre and art exhibitions.

Otherwise, apart from the numerous sights and excellent shopping, there are not really any specific activities to recommend in Denpasar.

Food

Denpasar is a melting pot of different cultures from all over Indonesia. There are few places where the results of the government trans-migration policy are more evident than here. For that reason it is a wonderful place to eat with restaurants specialising in different regional and ethnic Indonesian cuisines. Sometimes this can all seem a bit inaccessible and hard to find for visitors, so do not be shy to ask your driver or at your hotel.

  • Atoom Bara, Jl Gajah Mada 106-108,  +62 361 222788. Chinese restaurant specialising in seafood. It appears unimpressive but the food is fantastic.
  • Ayam Goreng Nyonya Suharti, Jl Gatot Subroto 109, Ubung,  +62 361 234815. Famous fried chicken cooked with an old family recipe from Java. A bit out of the way but definitely worth the effort in getting there.
  • Ayam Taliwang, Jl Teuku Umar,  +62 361 228789. A restaurant noted for the Lombok speciality of Ayam Taliwang (grilled or fried young chicken). Spicy and delicious.
  • Bali Bakery, Jl Hayam Wuruk 181, Tanjung Bungkak,  +62 361 243147, e-mail: info@balibakery.com. 8AM to 9.30PM. Long established bakery and bistro/cafe. Very good quality bread, pastries and cakes produced fresh every day. Large lunch and dinner menu which includes local favourites and some well chosen international dishes.
  • Cianjur, Jl Cok Agung Tresna, Renon,  +62 361 230015. Named after a town in West Java, its dishes are influenced by Sundanese cuisine. A little out of the city centre in the suburb of Renon. The grilled and sour-sweet Ikan Gurame is especially recommended.
  • Kak Man, Jl Teuku Umar 135,  +62 361 227188. This place is an absolute institution. Truly excellent Balinese food including bebek betutu (smoked duck).
  • Kereneng Night Market (Pasar Malam Kereneng), Jl Hayam Wuruk/Jl Kamboja. This market starts up at sunset eveyday and is open until dawn. All manner of Indonesian food served from dozens of stalls. It is rough and ready, but the food is excellent and 100% authentic.
  • Warung Nasi Bali, Jl Hayam Wuruk 69A,  +62 361 223889. Excellent local food at very good prices. Highly recommended for a real tate of Indonesia in a very authentic environment.
  • Warung Wardani, Jl Yudistira 2,  +62 361 224398. Excellent Indonesian cuisine. Look no further than the Nasi Campur (rice with various spicy side dishes) which is what everyone comes here to eat.

The foodcourts on the upper levels of Denpasar's department stores all serve surprisingly good food at excellent value prices. Try Ramayana, Matahari and Tiara Dewata department stores.

  • Ramayana (Jalan Diponegoro, Matahari Duta Plaza). Ramayana on Jalan Diponegoro, Matahari Duta Plaza on Jalan Dewi Sartika and Robinsons opposite Matahari. These malls have a huge range of stores selling everything from clothing to arts and crafts as well as more everyday shops such as pharmacies.

Drinks

There are bars and nightlife in Denpasar but these are best left alone by visitors who will feel much more at home in Seminyak, Legian and Kuta.

  • Bali Bakery, Jl Hayam Wuruk 181, Tanjung Bungkak. Long established bakery and bistro/cafe. Very good quality bread, pastries and cakes produced fresh every day. Large lunch and dinner menu which includes local favourites and some well chosen international dishes.
  • Kereneng Night Market (Pasar Malam Kereneng), Jl Hayam Wuruk/Jl Kamboja. This market starts up at sunset eveyday and is open until dawn. All manner of Indonesian food served from dozens of stalls. It is rough and ready, but the food is excellent and 100% authentic.
  • Warung Nasi Bali, Jl Hayam Wuruk 69A. Excellent local food at very good prices. Highly recommended for a real tate of Indonesia in a very authentic environment.
  • Bhineka Jaya Kopi Bali, Jl Gajah Madah 80,  +62 361 720589. An absolute must for coffee lovers. Indonesia produces some of the best coffee in the world and here you can order your favourite brew as well as buy the beans. Products include coffee from Central Java, Toraja from Sulawesi, Mandailing from Sumatra and of course the very best of Bali coffee. The outlet of the famous Butterfly Globe brand.

Shopping

Contrary to what you might read in many guide books, the best shopping in Bali is in Denpasar.

  • Badung Central Market, Jl Gajah Mada is best visited in the early morning. The ground level is devoted to fresh foodstuffs, dried food and spices are on the second level and handicrafts can be found on the top level.
  • Duta Silk, fabulous silk emporium located at Block 1, Komplex Duta Permai (next to Matahari Department store) on Jalan Dewi Sartika.
  • Gold, competitive jewellery prices abound in Jl Hasanuddin and Jl Sulawesi.
  • The myriad of small stores selling fabrics and local works in Jl Gajah Mada and Jl Thamrin will keep happy even the most jaded of world shoppers.
  • There are several shopping malls in Denpasar, the most notable being Ramayana on Jl Diponegoro, Matahari Duta Plaza on Jl Dewi Sartika and Robinsons opposite Matahari. These malls have a huge range of stores selling everything from clothing to arts and crafts as well as more everyday shops such as pharmacies.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Denpasar on Wikivoyage.

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