UBUD or KUTA? If you are unsure between these two cities and you do not know which place to plan for your trip to Bali, here are the princiapl advantages of these two places in Bali.
So, you will have the opportunity to compare and, according to your expectations, you will choose the place that will suit you best or, why not, you may decide to visit both!
Why choose UBUD?
Located in the center of Bali, Ubud experienced a first big boom with the trade of medicinal plants. In fact, its name comes from the name UBAD which means medicine in Indonesian. And then, with the arrival of popular painters, Ubud bewitched artists around the world. And, in recent years, it is the globe-trotters who promote the growth of the economy of the agglomeration.
But what are tourists looking for in this famous city? Why choose this Ubud for a stay in Bali?
Choose Ubud for its geographical position
It takes around 1h30 by car to access the heart of Ubud from the airport of Bali capital.
Ubud is located in the heart of a very green nature (forests and rice fields).
The panoramas around Ubus will be able to fascinate lovers of lush panoramas. They have the opportunity to swim in the Tegenungan waterfall, kayak down the Ayung River, walk through pretty typical hamlets, temples, walk along Campuhan, take a trip to the heart of the famous rice terraces …
Its central location in Bali will allow you to settle there and flutter around to visit the other sites in a few days.
In addition, it is very easy to move to Ubud: on foot, by bike, scooter or taxis for more remote sites.
Choose Ubud for its tourist assets
The main tourist attractions:
- Temples and Rice Fields: The temples, in and around UBUD, are numerous and equally interesting (Pura Taman Saraswati, Ubud Palace, Ubud Water Palace, Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi Sebatu …).
- The forest of monkeys cf. my article: Ubud in 1 day
- You will be able to combine the visits by scheduling, for example, a day to visit the village of Penglipuran, the Kehen temple, the village of Rendang and walk in the rice terraces of Rendang …
- The rice fields above the small village of Tegallalang are also to be discovered;
- The Ubud market: cf. my article Ubud in 1 day
Choose Ubud for its cultural heritage
Balinese dance shows, yoga classes, meditation sessions, Indonesian cooking classes … you can not get bored in Ubud and there’s something for everyone! And if you like art galleries and painting, you will be spoiled !!!
Indeed, you can discover along the streets of small Balinese art galleries but especially beautiful museums like the Neka Art Museum, the Puri Lukisan Museum, Don Antonio Blanco Museum, the Museum of Art Agung Rai (ARMA ) …
Choose Ubud for its animation and its restaurants
Is it because of or thanks to tourism … but Ubud is alive, animated, noisy some say.
Ubud city center will suit all those who like places that move, bars, discotheques, etc … And for those who prefer the calm, hotels or guest-houses a little outside the city center will be perfect!
Finally Ubud will especially delight everyone who loves to eat! Indeed, there are restaurants on every street corner and the majority are very good (Ibu Rai, Melting wok warung …) and cheap. Note that Ubud is also a paradise for vegetarians and organic lovers (Wulan Vegetarian Warung, the elephant …).
Another nice and well known address to combine restaurant and dance show: Cafe Lotus.
Choose Ubud for shopping
Of course, you can shop at the local market but as it is very touristy, prices are higher than elsewhere.
Otherwise, on each side of the two main arteries of Ubud: Jalan Raya and Dewi Sita, you will find clothing shops, jewelry, souvenirs … for all budgets.
And, in the Jalan Monkey Forest street that leaves from the forest of monkeys and arrives until the art market, you will also find beautiful shops of paintings, sculptures, jewels, clothes …
Choose Ubud for its hotels
There is a great hotel offer for all tastes and all ranges, both in the city center and in the surrounding countryside. The prices range from 15 Euros to well over 100 Euros for the most luxurious accommodations.
Best cheap hotel in Ubud: Esty house
For my part, it’s a guest-house that I chose for its very small price: ESTY HOUSE.
I recommend this accommodation if you search like me:
- A location in the heart of UBUD, close to the market and good restaurants,
- A calm place;
- Spacious, clean, air-conditioned rooms with a small terrace equipped with a rattan lounge …
- A swimming pool in the middle of a small tropical garden IN THE CENTER OF UBUD!
- Free WIFI ;
- Good breakfasts included in the price: 20 Euros per night !!!
What can be blamed on UBUD?
- To be too noisy and crowded (inevitably because of tourism);
- To become more and more expensive even if prices are still low (necessarily because of tourism);
- To lose some of its authenticity (inevitably because of tourism)!
Why choose KUTA?
The well-known Kuta is on the coast of Southwest Bali. Since the 60s with the arrival of hippies (one of 3 K: Kuta Kathmandu and Kabul), it became very touristy. Let’s take a look at what attracts tourists and why?
Choose Kuta for its location
A few kilometers from Denpasar with its airport and facing a large and beautiful beach, the location of Kuta is ideal as a seaside resort or to get closer to the airport at the beginning or end of the circuit.
On the other hand, for tourism, Kuta is not too well situated.
Indeed, to visit the Southern part, you will have to take a taxi or rent a scooter to go inside the island of Bali to discover many beautiful temples and rice terraces.
But Kuta being located too South of Bali, its position is not central enough to be able to radiate all around as we can do Ubud …
Choosing Kuta in relation to its beautiful beach
Kuta Beach is certainly the best known in Bali. Very long, it leaves from Kuta Beach and arrives to Canggu.
Hotels, restaurants, shops, bars, beach clubs … infrastructure and entertainment of all kinds line this beach.
With its huge waves and the effects of the tide, the surf spots of Kuta Beach are famous and attract all surfers from around the world.
Choosing Kuta for its atmosphere
I say well for its atmosphere and not for its calm! Indeed, Kuta is not a city where you will rest … Tourism has transformed it into a concentration of shopping centers, western brands, fast food (MacDo, KFC …), bars, discos and entertainment in all kind.
So, if you want to find all the noises, the marketing, the commercials, the shops, in short the attributes of our European cities, then yes Kuta will suit you. You can have fun and party as much as you like!
Choose Kuta for shopping
With its many fashion shops and shopping centers, Kuta will satisfy all and all shopaholics. Small budget with ready-to-wear stores like H & M, Bershka, New Look, Zara … with larger budgets with luxury brands like Chanel, Rolex or Hugo Boss!
Of course, Kuta being the hot spot of surf, brands like Quiksilver, Billabong, Rip Curl, Hurley are also represented!
Choosing Kuta over its restaurants
Here too, there is something for everyone: from fast food, street food to local restaurants and great restaurants!
Here are some references:
- Kedin’s Cafe, Poppies Lane I (across from Kedin’s Inn): Good, typical, local cuisine.
- Mie88, Jl Patih Jelantik 1 (in front of the western end of Kuta Galleria): Indonesian noodles at very good prices.
- Nusa Indah, Poppies Lane I (about halfway along poppies I, opposite Masa Inn): Good, very cheap Indonesian food.
- Tree House Cafe, Poppies Lane I: A budget restaurant often crowded! Specialties: Dutch snacks, such as kroket and frikandel.
- 3 Warung 96 (right next to Poppies 2): This popular restaurant serves Western cuisine at reasonable prices.
Choose Kuta for its hotels
There are many luxury hotels in Kuta. Whatever your requirements, you will find the accommodation that will suit you (5-star hotel, Spring, paradise villa).
But you can also find very good housing much cheaper (15 to 50 Euros) including guest house.
Amongst the large selection of cheap Kuta hotels, you will find below my tip!
Best Cheap Hotel In Kuta: Kutabex Beachfront Hotel
Why choose this hotel in Kuta?
- For its location in front of Kuta Beach! And right next to the Beachwalk Mall and the Hard Rock Café. Denpasar International Airport is just a 20-minute drive away;
- For its very small price: room from 40 € per night with breakfast included;
- Because it has a beautiful infinity pool on the roof;
- For its beautiful and diverse services: air conditioning, cable TV, 24-hour reception with concierge service, luggage storage, currency exchange, car rental services, laundry facilities, relaxing massages and spa.
What can be blamed on Kuta?
I noticed a lot of comments on the Internet indicating a strong disappointment. Negative reviews mention the lack of authenticity of this Balinese city which is not Balinese! But when one inquires a little before (and if one does not like to make the fiesta), one avoids going to Kuta, no?
Perhaps it can be blamed for being a city more expensive than other cities in Bali … But again, it is the category of tourists that explains the prices charged (many Australian with a great power of purchase, young surfers …).
Need a route for your trip to Bali?