At the heart of the city is Puputan Badung Square, which becomes busy in the afternoons when local families bring their children to play. At the east of the square is a magnificent Hindu temple called Pura Agung Jaganatha. Next to this is the Bali Museum, housing the island’s most comprehensive collection of artifacts. The beautifully maintained Palace of Satria and the Royal Temples is open to all residents of Denpasar for worship.
The remaining palaces of the Kingdom of Denpasar, including Puri Satria, north of the square, can be visited by dokar (traditional horse-drawn buggy). Virtually all of Bali can be easily accessed from Denpasar, and a trip from Kuta, Legian and Seminyak can take 20 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic. It is easy to get around the city centre on foot, and walking is recommended. However, taxis and bemos (small vans) are also widely available, and motorbikes can also be rented.
Denpasar means ‘by the market’ and the best shopping in Bali is inside the city. Shopping malls include Ramayana on Jalan Diponegoro, Matahari Duta Plaza on Jalan Dewi Sartika and Robinsons opposite Matahari. The Badung Central Market on Jalan Gajah Mada is best visited early in the morning before it gets crowded. The ground level is devoted to fresh and dried foods, with spices on the second level and handicrafts on the top. As a melting pot of different cultures from all over Indonesia, Denpasar is a unique place to eat with restaurants specializing in different regional and ethnic Indonesian cuisines.
Denpasar’s hotels are primarily aimed at domestic business travelers, and not tourists, and so are reasonably priced.