Love it or hate it, a trip to Kuta is almost inevitable when visiting Bali. Whether you're driving through on your way from the airport to your hotel or villa in Seminyak, taking a surf lesson at Kuta Beach or heading out for a wild night at one of the many night clubs, you're sure to get a taste of Bali's famous tourist center.
The road that runs down to Kuta Beach from Jl. Legian and then parallel to the beach itself is called Jl. Pantai Kuta (Kuta Beach Street). Frustratingly it's a one-way road like many other streets in Bali, making it a bit of a hassle if you want to go back somewhere as you will have to take the long way round.
Walking of course is the easiest option and there's a paved pedestrian walkway that runs all along the beachfront next to Jl. Pantai Kuta.
Jl. Pantai Kuta begins at the Bemo Corner at the end of Jl. Legian. Heading down towards the beach, there's not anything too special to write home about. The usual local clothing and art stalls, tattoo shops, cheap day spas and "100% genuine fake" watch outlets line either side of the road. Made's Warung is perhaps the biggest attraction along this strip of Jl. Pantai Kuta.
The last road to the left before the beach will bring you to Kuta Square where you can buy almost all of your holiday essentials in one location. Billabong, Quiksilver, Rip Curl and Nike are just some of the stores squeezed alongside each other, as well as the large multi-storey Matahari department store which is a welcome relief when you couldn't be bothered bargaining at local stalls.
With 191 locations in 59 countries, there are not many people who aren't familiar with the Hard Rock brand. The cafe on Jl. Pantai Kuta is where you can find the Rock Shop and have your photo taken in front of a giant electric guitar (domestic tourists love this one), and just a few meters further along you will find the Hard Rock Hotel.
Kuta Beach is a popular family beach and as most parents will know, when the kids get hungry the beach starts being less fun. Luckily there's a Pizza Hut directly opposite the beach where the little ones can rest and enjoy some of their favorite food.
Or if it's a caffeine fix that mom and dad are after, it's just a few steps from Starbucks Coffee. Why not grab a take away coffee to go and head back to the beach and make most of your holiday.
You'll also notice pony carts operating along Jl. Pantai Kuta. While many tourists think this is a fun photo opportunity, we prefer to carry our own weight and walk.
Of course any popular tourist hot spot can't be without McDonalds and Kuta Beach is no different. Grab a seat outside and you can watch all the surfers catch waves while you bite into your Big Mac.
If you're after something a little more swanky than McD's, then Rosso Vivo is the place to be. The trendy venue features both outdoor and indoor lounge areas and has a DJ spinning sunset tunes every evening. There's also a swimming pool to cool off in if you don't fancy walking across the road to the beach.
Most backpackers and budget travelers choose to stay in the narrow lanes that run up from Kuta Beach as it's within walking distance both to the nightlife on Jl. Legian and to the beach.
You can reach Poppies 1 and Poppies 2 from Jl. Pantai Kuta by turning right, away from the beach. If you're at all unsure where exactly to turn, just ask any local who will be sure to point you in the right direction.
There are several hotels along Jl. Pantai Kuta that offer beachfront accommodation. The Sheraton Bali has a lovely rooftop pool with endless ocean views, while the Mercure hotel is great for families and within walking distance to all of the surrounding attractions.
Beachwalk is Bali's newest lifestyle shopping mall. Ideally located across the road from Kuta Beach, international brands like Mango, Zara, Victoria's Secret and Gap are all housed within one airy, open design. Another bonus are the air-conditioned cinemas located on the 2nd Floor - perfect for those rainy days during the wet season.
If you want to stay somewhere near both the shopping AND the beach, then you can't beat the Harris Resort. Located just steps away from Beachwalk, it really is the best of both worlds!
All along Jl. Pantai Kuta are breaks in the wall with entrances to the beach. This easy access means you can hit the white sand from almost anywhere along the 5km stretch of road.
Another shortcut to the bustling Poppies lanes is via Jl. Benesari. Turn right of Jl. Pantai Kuta at the "Un's Hotel / Balcony" sign and join the surfers, backpackers and budget travellers who all come to Kuta for a good time.
Located towards the end of Jl. Pantai Kuta is the sprawling The Stones complex. This luxury hotel includes contemporary accommodation, several restaurants, a pool with cabanas and a large entertainment and event area.
The Pullman is the last hotel on Jl. Pantai Kuta before it turns onto Jl. Melasti. The beachfront resort's infinity pool is the perfect place from which to enjoy Kuta's famous sunsets.
As at the beginning of Kuta Beach there's also a Balinese gateway at the end of the beach, where the road becomes Jl. Melasti. This marks the beginning of Legian Beach, another popular and family-friendly stretch of sand.
So there you have it, Jl. Legian from one end to the other! Take a leisurely walk along one of Bali's most famous streets and see what you find.
Alternatively, Kura-Kura Bus have several stops along Jl. Pantai Kuta. Beat the heat and take an air-conditioned ride on one the colorful turtle buses. Kura-Kura has dedicated bus stops at the following locations on Jl. Pantai Kuta: