Denpasar is the capital city of Bali and translates as 'by the market'. This being said it is a busy city with many of Bali's people choosing to live and work there. Around 500,000 people live in Denpasar, including Balinese, Javanese and others from around the country. Denpasar is 'local friendly' in that rent, food and almost anything else is cheap and you will find food vendors from many parts of Indonesia. Denpasar is not particularly 'tourist friendly'with a traffic system that can at times get very hectic. Be careful when attempting to cross the road here as most drivers won't slow down nor beep their horn. There is a lack of tourist facilities, however you can find some rather cultural trips to museums that house wonderful collections from Bali's past. Having said this most people that come to Bali for a holiday tend not to stop in Denpasar and is often overlooked by visitors.
If you do have the urge to venture to Bali's capital then it really isn't too far from the main tourist area of Kuta and Legian. With it being a 10 minute taxi ride away it certainly makes itself accessible. Denpasar can offer you an insight into local Balinese life with food vendors and local markets lining the streets. Sometimes it is enlightening to step back from the crowds of tourists and pull up a seat with the locals in a small warung.
Denpasar has some fantastic local markets most of which are held in the evening. Badung is the most popular night market and you can most definitely pick up local artifacts or just even have a snack amongst the hustle and bustle. The other night market is Kereneng Night Market and you can find this place near Jalan Hayam Waruk.
Once a year, Denpasar is the host of Bali's Arts Festival at Taman Budya Cultural Centre. It is basically an annual celebration of Balinese art and cultural traditions. It is most definitely worth a visit if culture interests you. The event itself lasts a month and runs from mid June through to mid July. Most of the dance performances are held in the evening.
For whatever reason you choose to visit Denpasar you are surely certain to experience true Balinese city life.