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Why a backpacker SHOULDN’T visit Kuta | Bali

Why a backpacker shouldn’t visit Kuta

After visiting Indonesia’s finer places such as Nus Penida and the Gili islands, we decided to spend 3 days at the famous Kuta in Bali before flying to Cambodia. I had seen Kuta beach is a must visit by tripadvisor and other travel blogs. However, we quickly discovered Kuta is a world apart from previously visited destinations in Indonesia. Not for the better and it quickly come to light why a backpacker shouldn’t visit Kuta!

This post will give you an insight to a side of Kuta you should consider before your visit. 

Things to think about before your visit to Kuta

We decided to stay at Kuta to discover what the place has to offer, also it is a 10 minute drive from the centre of Kuta to the airport. Which was perfect for our early morning flight to Cambodia.

We arrived to Kuta by taxi and instantly noticed how busy the streets was with the amount of market stalls and the western fast food chains such as McDonald’s – this was the first one we had seen in Bali.

We checked into our home stay which was situated behind a busy street and then went out to explore. Kuta instantly reminded me of Benidorm, which is a party location in Spain that the English love to visit to eat full-English breakfasts before heading to the pubs to drink lager all day. There is a bar every few metres in Kuta and there is more happy-hour signs than people.

After 3 days there we made our minds up why a backpacker shouldn’t visit Kuta. Here is the list.

  • Drinking – We are not big drinkers so going getting wasted every day/night was not appealing in anyway. Also, we noticed the drink here is a lot more expensive than previous locations in Indonesia we had visited. However, the Oz’s seemed to love the place and I asked them why? They said it’s like there Benidorm, cheap flight and plenty of beer which is fair enough . Nevertheless, I can’t see a backpacker wanting to waste money on drink.
  • Shopping – There is a centre shopping mall in Kuta that has plenty of good westernised shops i.e. Ralph Lauren and Lacoste. However, these shops are great when your home visiting a shopping mall or you’re on a 2 week holiday. But we didn’t see the appeal of spending $80 dollars on a T-shirt and I can’t see why a backpacker would. There is a few bargains on the market stalls that sell fake goods, but you’ve just got to consider your budget.
  • Also, there is plenty of sweet shops and ice cream parlours and I have an epic sweet tooth that enjoys chocolate. However, these shops are expensive and are just a tease, as they will have a big impact on your budget. I remember going into one of the shops and slavering over Reece’s buttercups.
  • Hassle – There is not a street or any part of the beach you can walk down without someone hassling you to buy or rent something. I completely understand the locals are just trying to make some money, but I’m polite and can’t ignore them, so I am constantly repeating myself to say “NO Thank you”. 
  • Kuta beach – We wasn’t to impressed with the beach, it was crazy busy and saturated with locals trying to sell you something. It just didn’t feel as special watching the red sun go down, due to all the screaming from the crowds. 

Why a backpacker shouldn’t visit Kuta

If I was going on a party holiday Kuta would of been brill, but we are backpacking and this is a place for spending money on food, beer and clothes. We want to discover more than that.

Surfing – I won’t give Kuta to much discredit. The surfing is great and we had a brilliant few hours riding the waves and the surfboard rental is very cheap, $4 for 2 hours. 

Side note – If you like surfing and want to visit the United Kingdom, why don’t you Google Surf Snowdonia in Wales.

Why a backpacker shouldn’t visit Kuta

4 thoughts on “Why a backpacker SHOULDN’T visit Kuta | Bali”

  1. Definitely an interesting take. I’ve never been to the country at all but your title drew me to your page. I’ll keep this in mind if I ever visit Bali! Backpacking requires one to live minimally so I understand why Kuta wouldn’t be considered a good city to visit while doing so.

    1. I am very opened minded guy but I couldn’t get into the Kuta drinking spirit. Like you said backpacking is living minimally so it’s not very appealing. But there are some amazing places in Bali that are perfect for backpackers 🙂

  2. Thank you for showing a true, honest opinion about Bali. I never would have thought about it not being backpacker friendly but after reading your post I can see why it wouldn’t fit the lifestyle of someone backpacking through.

    1. Hey, Lena thanks for the feedback. I loved Bali but Kuta is not the greatest for a backpacker. Hope your travels are mega 🙂

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