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Denpasar Travel Guide, Indonesia

Denpasar, Indonesia: The Heart of Bali

Denpasar is the heart of the Indonesian island of Bali. Denpasar is home to over 500,000 people. This city is popular for its well-preserved traditions. This article provides an overview of Bali’s most popular city.


A hundred years ago, Denpasar was certainly not what it is today. The city rose to notability as a result of the introduction of trade and manufacturing. The princes of Denpasar became the most powerful leader in Bali at the end of the 19th century, when they defeated the Mengwi Kingdom. The most remarkable event, however, to establish a reputation for the city was the “puputan.” The puputan was a suicidal fight in attempt to overthrow the Dutch colonizers.

Even in the face of defeat, Denpasar’s geographical location ensured the city’s success. After constructing necessary roads, a harbor, and an airport, the Dutch turned Denpasar into their center of administration in the South.

Culture and Surroundings

Denpasar seems to be a fusion of tradition and modernity. The town’s villages showcase industrialization, but one will always be able to witness traditional temple festivals and cultural dances.

Denpasar’s architecture is evidence of the city being a mix of both old and new. Behind a façade of commercial shops and markets, one will find traditionally-styled structures with kori gates and temples that give the buildings a historical feel. In the middle of the city are sprawling rice-growing areas. 


With its 30% non-Balinese population, ethnic homogeneity is certainly not found in Denpasar. The city’s population is very mixed, with Javanese, Arab, and Chinese areas scattered all over. It is only in the traditional Denpasar villages that the population is solely Balinese. Most Denpasar residents are Muslim.

Denpasar is home to countless government workers. This is because it is in this city that almost all government administration offices are located.


Over 25,000 students live in Denpasar. The city has quite a number of universities and higher learning institutions. Additionally, Denpasar is popular for religious education. Balinese academics translate holy Indian books and teach or learn new prayers in this city.

Major Attractions

The historical architecture is a popular attraction among tourists. To see Denpasar’s beautiful structures, one should visit the villages of Tonja and Sumatra. Kesiman Village is gorgeous as well and features brick shrines and gates.

The temples and palaces of Denpasar are another must-see. Tourists should stop by the Penambangan Temple and the Satria Temple. There is a very interesting bird market near the Satria Temple. A monument to the more modern Balinese Hinduism is the Pura Jagatnatha.

Near the Pura Jagatnatha is the Bali Museum. All Denpasar tourists must have a trip to this museum for their visit to be complete. Beautiful Balinese antiquities are housed in this museum. Some pieces exemplifying Baroque style can also be viewed here.

Another attraction that showcases Balinese culture is the Taman Budaya, an art center found at the east of Denpasar. A large collection of Balinese painting and sculptures are displayed here.

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