June to September is peak season in Denpasar with events such as the Bali Arts Festival in mid-June adding to the high number of travellers visiting the area. Although it may be busier than usual, it is a great time to book flights to Denpasar and experience a sense of the diversity and variety that the traditional Balinese culture has to offer through entertainment such as music, dance and crafts. Highlights of the festival include productions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata ballets, the parade and opening ceremony. Most visitors take their flights to Denpasar during this time and the schools are out too. The New Year is also a peak time.
The wet season (October to March) is, in general, the low season. However, you’ll find some intrepid travellers, who snap up the cheap flights to Denpasar and discounted accommodation rates. December and January are the wettest months.
Every year in May, hundreds of pilgrims from various different villages in southern Denpasar flock to the Sakenan Temple to enjoy anniversary celebrations, which happen to coincide with the nation’s holy day of Kunigang. During this cultural celebration towns and shops may be closed and deserted.
Bali’s capital city often goes unexplored in favour of spending more time on the island’s beaches, but it’s definitely worth a look. It’s home to thousands of Balinese from other parts of the island, has a rich history with some good museums, a lively events calendar and great markets. Pasar Badung is the largest market, selling food and clothing to locals, Pasar Burung is the noisy and colourful bird and small animals market and Pasar Malam Pekambingan and Pasar Kereneng are night markets.
As far as beaches go, there are several within easy reach. Kuta, Legian and Canggu are best for surfing, whereas Sanur is great for sunbathing.
Bali has a tropical monsoon climate. There are two seasons – dry (May to September/October) and wet (October/November to April). The Monsoon brings heavy showers and high humidity during the wet season. The months of June to September are the driest months and humidity is not a factor.
The centre of Denpasar is easily covered on foot. Taxis are cheap and readily available and it’s best to settle on a fare before you set off, to avoid any nasty shocks later on. Bemos are small vans with set routes that set off when they are full. It may take a while for bemos to fill up so taking a taxi may be a quicker – and more comfortable – option. Understanding the routes that bemos take may be something best left to locals too.
Once you arrive on your flight to Denpasar, there are several ways of getting to the city from Denpasar International Airport (DPS). These include buses, taxis, shuttles, courtesy shuttles (provided by hotels) and limousines. There are also several car-rental companies with desks at the airport.