There are a lot of different areas to stay in while visiting Bali, each with their pros and cons. If you're planning a trip to Bali, it is important to first have an idea of what places you'd like to visit and what activities you'd like to do. Then you can decide what would be the best areas to stay depending on your program. This way you don't lose a lot of time traveling around.
Many first time visitors underestimate the time that is needed to travel (don't trust Google Maps!) from one place to the next, that's why finding a trustworthy driver/guide can make your holiday so much more enjoyable.
Once you have an idea what places you want to visit, it's time to book accommodations! Bali is known for its amazing offer of homestays, hotels, AirBNB's, unique villa's and luxury resorts. From a budget of 5 USD a night up until 5.000... it's all here!
Here's our list of best places & areas to stay in Bali:
Ubud: centrally located and easy to make day tours to anywhere in Bali. Beautiful accommodations on walking distance of the center and ideal for: shopping, spa visit, yoga and meditation, great food and a nice atmosphere.
Sanur: a nice coastal town with relaxed vibes. Just a 20-min. drive from the airport and easily accessible. Good location for exploring the island. Rent a bike an take a ride all along the coast line on the new beach walk. From Sanur harbor there are daily speedboats to the Gili and Nusa Islands.
Seminyak: for many travelers their favorite area because of the fine restaurants, good hotels, sunsets on the beach, lots of shops and close location to the airport.
Canggu: this area north of Seminyak has been booming the past years. Expect nice AirBNB's, hostels and hotels all in walking distance of the beach and the center. Beautiful shops and amazing restaurants and cafés! Fancy a party in the night? This is your place to go. The only con is the busy traffic to get in and out of the center.
Sidemen: stay in the middle of a rice fields valley and enjoy calming down in nature. Beautiful views, jungle houses next to the river, local markets, yoga and many nice walks in the area.
Uluwatu: if you like bohemian style accommodations on cliff tops with amazing views on the ocean, this is the place to be for you! Known for its surf-scene, there's always things happening here. Many nice beaches reachable by stairs down from the cliffs. Not ideally located for day trips to other parts of the island.
Amed: located on the East side of Bali it has different vibes and is a lot less busy. Enjoy amazing spots for snorkeling, right in front of the beach, sunset views on Mount Agung and sunrise on the ocean. Ideal location to make a day trip to the famous Lempuyang temple or watch sunrise from Lahangan Sweet.
Let's take a closer look - Areas to Stay in Bali
Now, let's take a closer look on these different areas and their pros and cons. These are the locations preferred by my guests over the past 15 years.
Ubud is known as the cultural heart of Bali. However, culture and unique traditions can be found all over Bali. What is very special about Ubud is the many art masters in this area. If you make a small trip just
outside of Ubud, you'll pass by many stalls of local craftsmanship.
Here's why you should stay in Ubud:
Ubud is located in the center of Bali so it's easy to make nice day tours
Many nice places to visit closeby
Visit Ubud center by foot: Ubud palace, Monkey Forest, the nice little shops on Jl. Hanoman and Jl. Monkey Forest, many great restaurants
Do the Campuan Ridge Walk in the morning
Need a spa day? There's plenty of choices in Ubud. Guests love Golden Hands in Jalan Kajeng.
Known for it's many yoga and meditation classes
Sanur was a fisherman's village and has now become one of the favorite places to stay in Bali if you like to stay on the beach with easy access to the rest of Bali.
Here's why you should stay in Sanur:
Close to the airport (20 min)
Easy access to the rest of Bali thanks to its location
Brand new harbor for speedboats to Gili Island, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida
New paved beachfront cycle-path is ideal for a nice bike ride
Nice clean beach where you can swim
Great variety of restaurants and cafés along the coastline
Seminyak is located on the west coast of Bali, just above Kuta, and close to the airport. It offers world-class restaurants, high end spas, designer boutiques, international surf shops and a nice beach.
Here's why you should stay in Seminyak:
Amazing sunsets from the beach
Lots of shops and restaurants
Nice beach for relaxing
One Bali's most popular locations at the moment. It's booming and bustling and has so much to offer: a wide stretch of black sand beach that is world-famous for its magnificent surf on one side and lush green rice paddies on the other side. Combined with fantastic accommodations (from hostels to luxury resorts) and amazing food, it's no wonder why this is a favorite among lots of travelers.
However it needs to be said: there's only one road in and out of Canggu and it's busy. Traffic can be insane so if you like to do day tours and visit other places in Bali, we suggest to spend a few days in Canggu to enjoy it's unique atmosphere and then move on to another location to explore the island.
A normally 30 min. drive can quickly turn into a 2,5h drive.
Here's why you should stay in Canggu:
If you like surfing (also for beginners)
Famous beach clubs: Finns Beach Club, The Lawn or La Laguna
Heaven for vegans & smoothie lovers
Sunsets on the beach can be surreal
Hotspot for young travelers, backpackers and party animals
Experience another Bali in the lush green valley of Sidemen, far away from the busy and crowded South of Bali. It's one of Bali's hidden gems and it's so quiet and peaceful. Loved by many for it's amazing views and yoga.
Here's why you should stay in Sidemen:
Ideal for nature lovers with it's lush green rice terraces and wild rivers
See the traditional weavers at work
Perfect location to explore East Bali (Besakih, Lempuyang, Tirtagangga,..) or go rafting on the Telaga Waja river
Nice yoga shala's
Beautiful accommodations with views on Mount Agung
Charming village where you can see daily local life
Located in the South and one of the most exclusive places to stay. In Uluwatu you can find Bali's most famous waves and one of Bali's most important temples idyllically located on high cliffs. We usually recommend to stay here for a few nights at the end of your trip to enjoy and relax during your last days, as it's a good place but a little bit isolated. It's a 45-60 min. drive to the airport.
Here's why you should stay in Uluwatu:
Cultural experience at Uluwatu temple: the famous Kecak dance at sunset
Beautiful accommodations on cliff tops
Some of Bali's best beaches in the area (Suluban cave, Padang Padang, Bingin beach, Balangan beach,...)
A beautiful village off the beaten track, located on the far east coast of Bali. It's a good place to stay if you want some peace and relaxation.
Here's why you should stay in Amed:
It's not as busy as other parts of Bali
Watch the sun set behind Mount Agung from a boat or from Sunset Point
Amazing snorkling spots, just walk into the ocean! (Jemeluk Bay, Lipah Beach, Japanese shipwreck,...)
A different vibe and stone beaches
Good location to make day tours in East Bali
These are just some suggestions and if you have any questions, just contact us !
We're happy to work out a program for you based on your wishes and needs.