Written by Beverley Lennon
Co-written by Abigail Chang and Afina Najib
Edited by Denise Tan
Think Kuta is just all about the parties? Think again.
While you might think about chugging alcohol and the nightlife in Kuta, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the area with your friends and family with its often-overlooked hidden gems!
With scenic beach views, fabulous shopping spots, and exquisite local food, Kuta is not only a playground for active travellers looking for some fun, but also a charming, laid-back destination!
Want to find out more? Read through our list of the top things to do here!
1. Cycle around Kuta on a mobile bar: Bali Beer Cycle
Nope, at Kuta, the parties don’t just stop at clubs and bars – they can happen on the go too! Originating from Amsterdam, beer bikes have found their place right here in Kuta! With Bali Beer Cycle, you can pedal around Kuta and Legian while sipping on ice cold beers, enjoying the best of times with your squad!
With the capacity to sit up to 10 pax, the Bali Beer Cycle package is fully equipped with free flow beer on tap, music, Wifi, a driver, and a host! All you need to do is gather your friends and get ready for some exciting adventures!
Not ready to sweat through the ride? Don’t worry. The motor-assisted beer bike won’t require much effort to power through the roads so you have time to drink leisurely as well. You might even find the ride to be slightly stimulating, pumping up your party a little, as compared to the usual, stuffy, indoor bars.
If you’re planning a special occasion for a friend, like bachelor’s night, this will be the perfect activity to add on to the itinerary!
Indulge in traditional authentic cuisine like a local!2. Hidden paradise to savour delicious heritage dishes: Wanaku Bali
Settling down for a meal at Wanaku Bali may be just the perfect city escape for those who want to enjoy their meal quietly while admiring the scenery!
Newly opened in November, Wanaku Bali is unlike other local restaurants. Here, you will be surrounded by ponds, waterfalls, and lush gardens that can make you feel peaceful and calm throughout your meal!
As you indulge in authentic Indonesian delicacies, your dining experience can get even better with contemporary performances and traditional activities to accompany your food!
For the short period of time they have been open, their Es Pisang Ijo has already made quite a name for itself, so don’t miss this exquisite sweet treat from Makassar South Sulawesi!
3. Divine local pork skewers: Sate Babi Bawah Pohon
What’s Indonesia without some legendary ‘sate’ (grilled skewered meat)? At Sate Babi Bawah Pohon, their sate is so good that it usually attracts crowds of locals and foodies!
The once-small stall has since expanded and grew from its early days, with an increasingly good reputation amongst locals for its great food!
Tender and juicy pork marinated with flavourful spices, expertly grilled to perfection, and finally dipped in a sweet and savoury sauce with a tinge of spiciness…This is definitely a one-of-a-kind street food experience you wouldn’t want to miss in Bali!
Don’t expect the sate to be tweaked to foreigners’ tastes – it’s seasoned to the usual level of spiciness that most locals relish (and that’s really spicy)! However, it was just right for us when we had it, so do give it a try! You might even end up taking on a few extra chillies on the side to up the spicy kick!
You could always pair the sate with some rice or rice cakes for a more fulfilling meal! While every portion consists of 8 skewers, the skewers are so addictive that they might just end up piling up stick after stick!
4. Feast like a king: Gabah Restaurant & Bar
We mean it literally. We may not all be royals, but at Gabah’s, you can definitely feast like one.
While Gabah also serves up other yummy Indonesian dishes in both modern and traditional styles, their Royal Kingdom menu is the real highlight of their offerings.
Featuring the best of traditional specialties around Bali, you’ll get to feast on 22 signature dishes that the royal family eats on the first day of harvest season, including traditional Balinese soup, grilled chicken, and fish satay!
And it doesn’t just stop there – you’ll also be given the royal treatment to experience being king/queen for a day. Your meal will be accompanied with traditional live music and dances to whet your appetite while you could sit back, relax, and enjoy the food served up on a giant platter 🙂
You may have tried almost all of Bali’s local fare, but we bet you haven’t had the Balinese royal feast.
5. The roasted suckling pig you can’t miss: Warung Babi Guling & Kuah Balung Bu Dayu
Head on over for the signature Babi Guling (suckling pig) here! You’ll be greeted with snaking queues upon arrival, an indicator of how good the food is! This local eatery is really popular but totally worth the wait!
Things to bring: water bottles and cartons of milk! This is where you can test your spice tolerance, dear friends!
The pork is roasted to perfection over the fire and served to you on a plate, all tender, juicy, and imbued with spices.
While the decor may look plain and simple, the food is definitely beyond what you would expect of a small eatery! Feel free to stay for another round of Babi Guling (if your stomach can handle the generous portions…) or to simply bask in the lively atmosphere!
6. Experience the fun local food court ambience: Dewi Sri Food Centre
If you enjoy foodie adventures at food courts, you’ll love this lively eatery set right in Kuta! We really loved the menu variety and the immersive ambience here since it was a golden opportunity to get to know more locals while enjoying some good food!
At Dewi Sri Food Centre, you will find loads of multicultural dishes on it’s menu, be it Indonesian, Thai, or Western food! Psst, we strongly recommend their special pork noodle!
On some days, the small restaurant may even provide live band music to hype up the atmosphere!
The best part? Prices are super pocket-friendly so you can continue your gastronomic affairs even when you’re on a budget!
If you’re craving for some snacks after your meal, you might also want to consider having some of that spicy grilled corn-on-the-cob from the seller at the entrance!
7. Level up your Balinese cooking skills: Warung Chef Bagus
Warung Chef Bagus makes the best ribs – glistening, smoky, slow-cooked – making it one of the most heavenly foods in existence, especially when paired with an icy cold beer!
Can’t get enough of those ribs? The restaurant offers cooking classes so you can go back home and make more for yourself!
It’s a fun way to make some enjoyable memories, and who knows, with a bit of practice, you might even be able to reproduce their to-die-for ribs platter!
To give you an immersive local experience, the cooking class starts off with a local market tour to prepare the ingredients while giving you a glimpse of the locals’ daily lives.
Following that, you will be brought to the restaurant where you’ll get to whip up some delicious meals! Don’t worry if you’re afraid you can’t catch up! You will be given a recipe book of the 10 dishes that you will be taught so you could always refer to it later 🙂
Of course, at the end of the day, you’ll get to savour all the dishes you have made to mark the end of the fun and unique experience!
Note: Cooking classes are only available on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
8. Go on a hunt to find this abandoned plane!
You can find the most random things in Bali, and yes, that can mean stumbling upon an abandoned plane in the middle of Kuta, just like that.
One of the most queer attractions of Kuta (and there’s always more to be discovered), is this Boeing 737 that used to fly across the horizons, now laid to rest at this spot near Dunkin Donuts. Check it out on Google Maps!
No one knows for sure why it’s here. Some say the owner originally wanted to turn it into a home, while others say that it was supposedly a tourist attraction project that got abandoned halfway from a lack of funding.
Well…regardless of its past, don’t forget to head on over if you’re in the area to explore and take a few pictures! Who knows, you might even uncover a few more clues behind it’s mysterious existence!
Best beach clubs to sip cocktails by the sea!
9. Take a seat in the pool: Ocean 360
Located right beside the sea, you can lounge by the pool and gaze at the endless sea view while enjoying sensational seafood dishes at Ocean 360.
With a laid-back vibe and wicker furniture, the entire place looks like a mini Santorini. If you drop by at sunset, be prepared to be wowed by the beautiful view and atmosphere!