Where to go & stay in Bali? All areas covered.
Posted on September 10 2020
Are you planning your vacation to Bali? Where to begin? How to decide on your travel route? Let’s start by showing you our favorite areas on the island for you to explore and stay.
An overview of the areas:
- Uluwatu (The Bukit)
- East Bali
- West Bali
- North Bali
- Nusa Lembonga, Ceningan & Penida
- The Gili Islands
The place for a few days, a few weeks or even where you will never leave. Because Canggu has it all. From your first surf lesson to sweaty yoga session, best barista coffee to delicious vegan lunch, from chilling in your pool villa to dancing during sunset, shopping at the coolest island boutiques to creating your remote office under the palm trees.
In this idyllic surfer town along the rice paddies on the west coast of Bali, just above Seminyak, you will find Bali's coolest cafes, beach bars, surf spots, yoga studios, gyms and amazing places to stay (from luxury to low budget). Canggu is a place where everyone comes together. From surfers, backpackers, solo travelers to young families, creatives and digital nomads.
Seminyak, perhaps best described as the place with the most city vibes on the island. Don’t expect tropical, peaceful, paradise (expect lots of traffic and tourists), but oh do we love it. In Seminyak you will find the nicest restaurants, bars, most beautiful boutiques, souvenir shops, interior shops, luxury spas, pool villas and resorts. And most importantly: its long stretched beach (you can do a beach walk all the way from Kuta to Seminyak to Canggu!) is perfect to spend the whole day chilling on your beach bed or where you learn how to surf by the locals. There is always something going on in this lively beach town.
Uluwatu (The Bukit)
Lovers of the ocean, surfing and tanning the day away... this is your place. Let's take you to one of our favorite parts of Bali, which we think you shouldn't miss: the Bukit. The southernmost tip of Bali, which literally means "hill" in Indonesian. If you arrive to Bali by plane during the day, you can already see the great rock formations of the south rising from the ocean. Here you will find the most beautiful beaches, world's most famous surf spots, tropical island stays (with ocean views), Balinese temples and most spectacular sunsets. Make sure to stay at least a few nights in this area to fully emerge into that salty life.
Or discover our 7 x favorite beaches in The Bukit.
"Om Swastiatu". Welcome to Ubud. Away from the coast, in the cultural heart of the island you’ll journey to Ubud. Green rice fields, Balinese culture, traditional arts, yoga, flower baths and incredible culinary (this place is heaven for vegans!) discoveries. Ubud is a popular destination for tourists, digital nomads, yogis and vegan food lovers. If you still want that serene nature vibe you can stay just outside of Ubud and still be able to explore this beautiful town, so magical and rich in culture.
Nature and culture lovers, make sure to have East Bali on your travel itinerary. This is what feels like ‘the real Bali’. It has that untouched and authentic Bali vibe. And although already popular with tourists, it never feels crowded or busy. Lush jungle, hidden waterfalls, magical Mount Agung (the view of this mountain will take your breath away!) and endless rice fields and coconut tree forests around the areas Karangasem and Sidemen are stretching all the way to the coast from surf Walhalla Keramas to the serene Candidasa with it’s beautiful beaches. Grab your bike and go for a road trip, get lost, stop over for nasi campur or durian at one of the roadside stalls and chat with the locals and sleep in a bamboo house with views over the valley.
Check out the 5 x dreamiest places to stay in East Bali
On the West coast of Bali, which stretches further up all the way North, you can surf all day, enjoy uncrowded (black sand) beaches, get lost in coconut plantations and escape into the jungle or National Park. And for the divers, Menjangan Island needs to be on your travel route. We often head over to Medewi for the weekend (when swell hits) for a good dose of surf, sun and nasi campur.
Adventurous, local and no crowds. North Bali is an incredible area to explore if you love nature. You might be tempted to cocoon your whole trip around the south of Bali where all the hotspots are (we know you’ll love this too), but if you’re ready to travel off the beaten path and explore Bali like an adventurer – make sure to head up North for the trip of a lifetime. Jungle, rice fields, waterfalls, mountains, beautiful villages, dolphins by sunrise and those always heartwarming smiles of the Balinese people. We must be honest that we haven’t visited this area often as we’re so addicted to surfing and stay close to the areas with good surf. But we’re planning to explore more of this area so stay tuned for lots of tips coming up!
Don’t forget to leave some space in your travel route to add one of the islands outside of Bali!
Head over to Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan or Penida for white sand beaches, clear blue waters and true tropical paradise.
Plan your trip to Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan or Penida with our travel guides.
Or take a boat ride to The Gili Islands, where you can fully soak up that slow life (no cars allowed here!) and spend your days with your feet in the sand, underneath the coconut trees.
Explore all our Gili Islands tips right here!
Dreaming of the real islandlife experience? Maldives, eat your heart out. Only 1 hour away by plane from Bali you’ll find the dreamiest islands of East Nusa Tenggara. You’ll arrive on the main island Flores and from there you can go island hopping to deserted beaches, sleep on a boat or on your private island and snorkel with manta rays.
Read here how to plan your dream islandlife escape to Flores
Missing something in our list or do you have any questions about the areas in Bali? Leave a note in the comments!