Each spot in Bali is unique and special in its own way. Since Bali is quite a large island, every place is guaranteed to bring you different cultural experience and historical moments. If you are a family with kids, a young backpacker, or a couple on a honeymoon, Bali has a piece of something for everyone. All you need to know is simply where to look:
Probably the one place that most foreigners know in Bali is Kuta. It was once a small fishing village with locals living in huts and rather unkempt surrounding. However, just in a short few decades, Kuta has reached its height of being one of the most popular spots in all of Bali. Kuta is now currently very well-kept with modern infrastructures and entertainments. Everywhere you look, you will see rows of shopping area, cafes and night clubs. Despite its popularity, Kuta still offers some very affordable rooms for rent as low as US 15 and delicious meals from USD 3 suitable for most travellers.
The beaches in Kuta is packed with sunbeds, souvenir shops and beginner surfers. The nightlife is also one of the most lively in Bali. Mostly are located in the main street – Legian with open bars and restaurants along the way. The beach street is called Jalan Pantai Kuta while the small streets are named Poppies with lots of bookstores, homestays and places to eat.
For the high-end and lavish scene of Bali, Seminyak is the place to be. With rows of fancy restaurants, world-class cuisines, luxurious villas, and upscale nightclubs, Seminyak is filled with affluent type of people from all over the world. When you have enough of local food, Seminyak is ready to charm you with plenty of its different options. Famous chefs are known to stay in this area while managing something of their own here.
Needless to say, Seminyak is more expensive than Kuta. Dinner starts from USD 10 and can go as high as possible in the more expensive ones. While staying in the villas or hotels will set your back from USD 200-250/ night at least.
The beach is rather well-kept and not as packed with nightclubs speckled along it. The nightlife here is vibrant and rich with flows of cocktails and high-end menu. The main street is called DoubleSix and there are also others that are newer and more upscale such as Oberoi, Laksamana and Petitenget.
Canggu is most popular for expats who have chosen to settle down here. It is quite big with beautiful sceneries of rice fields, small villages and small roads with sandy beaches. Expats love it for the simple and easy natural lifestyle in this area. Although quite laidback and deemed as the simpler part of Bali, it still offers restaurants, small shops and everything you hope to find in a well-developed rural area. There are variety of hotels and eateries here that can cater to all levels and lifestyles of most. Surfers also love the beach breaks here.
Compared to Seminyak, Canggu is slightly more affordable but still is above Kuta price range. There are a lot of villas and private houses for longer stay with medium budget. There isn’t much nightlife in this area, so people still flood to Seminyak in the evening.
It is rather hard to travel in Canggu if you don’t have your own ride. The traffic can be quite bad at times with the main street packed as well as others. The main road is called Jalan Raya Kerobokan and Jalan Raya Canggu. There are also Umalas, Banjar Anyar, Batu Bolong etc that are quite popular too.
Ungasan (Bukit) is especially loved by professional surfer. It poses more challenging waves to surf, although there are not many restaurants such as Seminyak or Canggu. The scenery here is also not quite as favorable as other places. Prices for food here can be quite expensive, perhaps because of the lack of choices. Whereas, there isn’t any nightlife to enjoy here compared to Seminyak or Kuta.
People who are looking for peaceful time will enjoy Bukit because of its village setting. Surrounded by cliffs and white sand beaches, the tranquility in this area is very apparent. You must definitely get your own ride because this area is very spread out.
Some of the world’s best surf breaks can be found in Bukit such as Uluwatu and Padang Padang. There are also other breathtaking beaches such as Greenbowl and Balangan. The price range is almost similar to Kuta with lodging starting from USD 15 per night.
Sanur is considered as the oldest resort area of Bali. When Kuta was still at is starting point, Sanur was already well-established with its fancy hotels and high-end tourist crowds from all over the world. Sanur viba is mostly relaxing and very chilled out, but more suitable for family with kids or elderly tourists.
The beaches here are very serene too with few waves and a lot of sunbeds for doing lounging activity. It is still cheaper than Seminyak, but can be more expensive than Kuta. Accomodations here are mostly 3 to 5 stars hotel with prices starting from USD 90 per night.
There isn’t much night life here, but there are some restaurants that have live musics to entertain the guests. Walking or bicycling is common here, but motorbike and taxi are also easy to attain.
Nusa Dua (Benoa)
This is where the hotels with beach access and inclusive package options, which is why large group of tourists love it here. The beaches here are particularly beautiful with crystal clear water that are suitable for sun-tanning and swimming activity.The famous beaches here are the Geger Beach and Nikko.
Some may find Nusa Dua overpriced and rather boring, but the hotels here are definitely something worth trying here. If you are into cultural and traditional Bali, Nusa Dua is not really the place for that. However, if you are looking for international hotels then Nusa Dua is just where to be.
Jimbaran is not exactly a tourist area because a lot of local fishermen activities take place in the village. There is a good mix of locals and expats here, where visitors can stay in a few hotels in the Jimbaran Bay. Other than staying here and heading out to more popular spots, there isn’t much to do here.
Jimbaran can be quite cheap especially if you prefer local food. The beach here is a long stretch of beach that is suitable for swimming. The best thing about Jimbaran is the seafood restaurants that are lined along Jimbaran Bay. They are open around sunset and have the best grill and BBQ options among others.