Denpasar is probably one of the least - visited capitals of a major tourist destination, but this is partly because the hedonistic allure of Kuta is too strong to compete with and Denpasar has busied itself evolving into a working city in its own right. It has only been called Denpasar since 1949, when newly independent Bali asserted itself by shifting the capital from Singaraja in the north, where the Dutch had based themselves, to Badung in the south, which was renamed Denpasar.
Denpasar translates as 'north of the market', and the market itself is worth experiencing, even if you buy nothing. The more sedate Museum Bali, which is nearby, also merits a visit for an introduction to Balinese culture. The best way to enjoy Denpasar is by devoting a morning to walking around it, because this provides an opportunity to see a rare urban aspect to Bali. The city population is fast exceeding 400.000 and the Balinese share their city with an increasing number of Muslims from java and Lombok, while Chinese immigrants run many of the shops and small businesses. There are plenty of non - tourist shops to browse through.
Public transport connects Denpasar with most corners of Bali but if you are based further south in Kuta, Sanur or Nusa Dua it may be worth traveling to and from Denpasar by taxi as many of the bemo stations are spread out around the city perimeter and away from the places of interest. There is little reason to stay overnight I Denpasar and the choice of restaurants is poor, so a morning visit is best (Museum Bali is not open in the afternoons).