You’ve already done your research of which places you would like to see during your trip to Bali. You have a list of restaurants you want to try, beaches you want to relax on and landscapes you would like to witness, but where should you stay in Bali?
Each traveller is lured to the island by something different – calm yoga spots, amazing surfing, buzzing parties, a spiritual journey. Every part of Bali offers something a little different.
Lucky for you, I have done the work so you don’t have to.
Here is a breakdown of the most popular areas in Bali with our fave places to stay and activities.
Get ready to find your island paradise!
Coolest Places to Stay in Bali
Everyone is searching for their perfect getaway – whether it be right in the heart of the action or secluded in the jungle.
Bali can cater to it all with its diverse landscape and tourist hubs.
Here are some of the coolest places to stay in Bali;
Canggu – Best Area for Backpackers and Beach-goers
I am 100% certain you will have come across Canggu in your Bali research. Thriving with hostels, backpackers and surfers, in recent years it has climbed to the top as one of the most popular places to stay in Bali.
Canggu is less than an hour from the airport. The town is filled with restaurants, bars, yoga studios and everything you could need for a getaway.
If you are looking to meet new people, laze on the beach, take calming yoga lessons and party the night’s away – Canggu is the spot for you. The perfect combination of surfing, yoga, eating and parties, it is a hub for young travellers and backpackers.
As someone who loves beaches, I can tell you that Canggu is the best all-rounder. With trendy beach clubs like Finns Beach Club and La Brisa – you can enjoy the salty sea air from a lounging day-bed with vast menus of snacks delivered to your bedside.
Or, if you prefer getting down and dirty on the sand, you can choose any beach, lay out your sarong, and spend a day soaking in the sun.
Canggu has some of the best private villas, hotels and resorts that sit right on the beachfront, or are just a few minutes walk away.
Here are some of my favourites –
- La Château Berawa – a cosy private bungalow bedroom within a resort just a few minutes walk from Berawa beach and a wide range of restaurants.
- Chic 2BR Villa – this beautiful and bright 2 bedroom villa is located just a moment’s walk from Finn’s VIP Club and the beach.
- La Sari Village – a relaxed and homey private bedroom within a shared resort, La Sari Village is close by to Old Man’s, The Lawn, Ji Restaurant and all that Batu Bolong has to offer.
- Bali Tropical Villa – closeby to La Brisa and Echo Beach, Bali Tropical Villa is a 1 bedroom paradise for a romantic Canggu getaway.
For the backpackers, there are hundreds of hostels around Canggu that are walking distance to the heart of the town and a safe, affordable accommodation for your trip.
Here are some of my recommendations –
- Tribal Hostel – an incredible digital nomad inspired hostel with a HUGE coworking space.
- Dip and Doze – a dormitory bed within a boutique hotel, Dip and Doze is a beautiful spot to base an island backpacking adventure.
- Sunrise Surf Hostel – Sunrise Surf Hostel is a boho-chic haven located in the heart of Berawa with spacious dormitory bedrooms.
- Surf Motel – a boutique resort-cum-hostel, Surf Motel is filled with private bedrooms just a moment’s walk from Echo Beach and La Brisa.
- Castaway Hostel – just a street over from Batu Bolong Castaway Hostel is a great place to enjoy all that Canggu has to offer with a quiet place to return to.
Must-do things to do in Canggu –
- Catch a sunset at Old Man’s sipping on 2-4-1 beers
- Spend a morning taking surf lessons from one of the reputable surf schools
- Stretch it out in a yoga session at The Practice
- Watch a live band in the chilled Deus Backyard setting
- Grab a slice at Luigi’s Pizza
- Party til the morning at Sand Bar
Ubud – Best Area for Healing and Honeymooning
When you see Julia Roberts cycling through luscious rice paddies to meet with her medicine man in Eat, Pray, Love, you get the beautiful calm sense of Ubud.
Away from the main street, you can find those same stunning landscapes and a serene atmosphere unlike anything else you have experienced.
If you are traveling to Bali to have a spiritual healing journey, Ubud is the perfect place for you.
Known to be an energy vortex, it is a paradise where you can come to cleanse, heal, realign and reconnect. Filled with therapists, healers, medicine men and traditional Balinese temples, you can take part in cleansing rituals and healing sessions that will bring a new energy to your life.
There are a number of healing retreats in Ubud that create a healing plan specifically for you.
Here are a few to take a look at –
Put your healing experience into the hands of the professionals who have incredible healers, therapists and medicine men available.
As well as the home for everything healing, Ubud is also the best place to stay for a honeymoon, or a couples romantic getaway.
Hosting some of the most famous resorts on the island, you can spend undisturbed time with your loved one with unlimited services on hand.
Have long pamper sessions in one of the luxurious spas, bask around a refreshing infinity pool overlooking the jungle, dine over romantic meals for 2 above the Ayung river in the moonlight, take a cooking class, and explore the rice paddy terraces on long walks and hikes. Ubud is packed with fun activities you can do with your partner for a trip of a lifetime.
From resorts to private villas there is an accommodation to suit everyone. Here are some of my recommendations of where to stay in Bali for couples –
- Villa Megananda – looking out over stunning rice paddy views this private villa is the height of serene tranquil relaxation.
- Milu Villa – a beautiful and comfortable private bedroom within a resort, Milu Villa is surrounded by Ubud’s famous luscious greenery.
- Puri Landu Villa – a private villa within a small resort, Puri Landu Villa is quiet, peaceful and secluded.
- Cahaya Skai Joglo – perched on the hillside surrounded by vast jungles, this modern contemporary home is away from the crowds for a romantic getaway.
Some of my favourite must-see spots in Ubud are –
- Campuhan Ridge
- Monkey Forest
- Tegallalang Rice Terrace
- Ayung River
- Sayan Terrace
- Tegenungan Waterfall
Seminyak – Best Place to Stay for a Little of Everything
Seminyak is the biggest of the tourist hubs in Bali – slowly taking over from Kuta which has become a lot quieter in the past few years.
Thanks to its vast range of beaches, shops, activities and nightlife there is a little bit of everything to entertain every type of traveller.
Holding a high ranking in the best areas to stay in the South of Bali, Seminyak has a close proximity to the airport and all kinds of accommodations.
Whether you are hoping for a long beach getaway, or quick weekend enjoying the shops and restaurants, Seminyak has it all.
For the foodie travellers, I would like to introduce you to Eat Street, aka Kayu Aya. In the heart of Seminyak, the whole street is packed full of amazing restaurants covering all cuisines to satisfy every craving. Head straight from sunset on the beach into some of the best restaurants on the island.
Here are a few of my personal favourites –
- Corner House
- The Bistrot
- La Favela
- Char Char Grill
- Hank’s Pizza
- Wah Wah Gourmet Burger
- Sea Circus
But Eat Street isn’t only for the culinary inclined, it is also home to beautiful independent boutiques, cute stores and Seminyak Square Shopping Mall.
Shopping in Seminyak is amazing. You can shop till you drop collecting unique homewares, souvenirs for your loved ones back home, and exceptionally made clothing.
Kayu Aya will then lead you on to the beach with KU DE TA Beach Club. Take the time to spend a whole day exploring in the heart of Seminyak’s tourist action.
The bustling town features resorts, private villas, hotels and hostels for every budget. Soak in everything that Seminyak has to offer with a peaceful and comfortable island home to return to. It is a great area to stay for a first time trip.
Here are some great options of where to stay in Seminyak –
- Villa Made East – close to the beach and the heart of town, Villa Made East is the ideal 2 bedroom retreat for a small family or group of friends.
- Villa Versus – a Versace inspired private villa with bright colours and luxurious furnishings, this 2 bedroom space is just a short walk from Kayu Aya.
- Baby Melon Villas – a spacious and tropical private bedroom within a grand luscious resort. Perfect for a couples retreat.
- Bali Haven Stay – a simple and comfortable room in a spacious bright hotel with a shared swimming pool on Batu Belig.
- Socialista Lifestyle Hostel – a modern and safe hostel in the heart of Seminyak with cosy dorm bedrooms and a sunny swimming pool.
- Stellar Capsules – Stellar Capsules is a clean and comfortable hostel just a short walk from Kayu Aya.
Uluwatu – Best Beaches for Surfing
Forget the tame waves of Seminyak and Kuta, for the real pros Uluwatu is where it’s at.
Surfers around the world consider The Bukit – another name for the Uluwatu area – to be the holy grail of amazing waves, intense barrels and white sand beaches. Escape the learners, and head to the South of Bali for the ultimate surfing getaway.
I’m not going to claim to be a surfer, but I certainly love Bali beaches. And Uluwatu has some of the best.
Bingin is one of my personal favourites, and is one of the most popular for surfers and surf schools.
Descending the steps down the cliffside, you pass by hostels and homestays offering surfing classes and camps. Newbies will be able to learn from the experts of the town how to pop up on their board and tackle the waves.
Or, you can be like me, and take a perch in one of the cliffside restaurants watching the surfers battle the ocean while you tuck into a fresh banana pancake.
Some of the best beaches for surfers in the Bukit are –
- Bingin Beach – Level: beginner (during high tide), intermediate and advanced
- Padang Padang – Level: expert
- Impossible Beach – Level: intermediate and advanced
- Balangan – Level: beginner and intermediate
- Dreamland beach – Level: beginner and intermediate
Make sure to check the daily tide reports and warnings before heading out into the water. These rocky waters can also be some of the most dangerous.
Now, Uluwatu isn’t just for surfers. Here come the foodies!
Stacked with restaurants serving up cliffside fine dining, authentic hearty Italian and tasty fresh smoothie bowls, you don’t want to miss out on the incredible restaurants in the area.
Uluwatu has some of the most beautiful accommodation on the island with seafront rooms, cliffside villas and surfing hostels.
Here are some of the best places to stay in Uluwatu –
- Nunggalan Hut – a romantic, rustic 1 bedroom hut on the cliffside overlooking endless ocean views
- Villa V Uluwatu – a private bedroom within a luxurious, modern, beachfront resort. Villa V Uluwatu is the height of beautiful accommodation in Bukit.
- Bamboo Bungalow – just a short walk from the famous beaches, this Bamboo Bungalow is a unique and picturesque spot to relax
- Little Santorini Loft – a tropical and bright resort just 10 minutes walk from Padang Padang beach, this private bedroom is ideal for a surfing or foodie getaway
- Bali Beats Guesthouse – meet new people, relax around the pool, explore Uluwatu and cosy up in a comfortable bunk bed.
- Lala Homestay Bingin – a luscious, homey and spacious hostel filled with private bedrooms for a relaxing Uluwatu stay.
Sanur – Best Place for Families
With its quiet streets, calm beaches and grand resorts, Sanur is one of the most family-friendly places in Bali.
You can easily walk – or cycle – around the town to find local market stalls selling homemade wares, tasty restaurants and supermarkets. The kids will love the water sports available on the beach such as sea-walking, banana boats and paddle boarding.
Here are some of the best things to do in Sanur –
- Spend a day on the beach enjoying the clean sand and refreshing ocean
- Take part in water sports with the children including underwater sea walking and paragliding
- Tuck into authentic Italian cuisine at Massimo’s
- Explore the deserted theme park at Taman Festival
- Take the kids for a fun-filled day at Peek-a-Boo Kid’s Play Cafe
- Discover the beautiful Serangan Island
- Take a cooking class
Sanur is full of family-sized villas and spacious resort rooms to suit every type of family.
Resorts are easy and comfortable, with lots of on-site amenities to entertain the children, and restaurants to make mealtimes simple.
These are a few of the most popular resorts in Sanur –
However, if you have a bit more money to spend, and would like some more privacy, I highly recommend these private villas –
- Cozy Tropical Villa – surrounded by luscious greenery, the large pool and spacious living areas makes this the perfect family getaway
- Exclusive 3BR Villa – with a traditional Balinese style this 3 bedroom villa is located right at the heart of Sanur for easy access to the town.
- Villa Coklat – the huge pool makes this the ideal spot for the kids to play while the parents supervise from the shade.
Lovina – Best Area Away from the Crowds
If you want to spend some time away from the bustles of tourists in one of the untouched areas of Bali, Lovina is a beautiful place to go.
In the far North of Bali, Lovina is filled with traditional Balinese villages, incredible landscapes and black sand beaches. The area is well-known for its dolphin watching trips.
Wake up before the sunrise and head out onto the water to search the ocean for dolphins. Even if you are not lucky enough to spot the majestic animals, you will get a front row seat to a stunning sunrise and an early start to a day of exploring.
These are some of the best accommodations in Lovina –
- Villa Lata Lama – a stunning tropical 2 bedroom private villa with a swimming pool and luscious gardens just 1 minute from the beach.
- Frangipani Lovina – this beachfront resort is ideal for a quiet getaway from the crowds with your loved ones.
- Pondok Wisata Sartaya 2 Bungalow – a private bedroom within a large tropical resort just a moment’s walk from the beach and town centre.
- WELJA Villa – a modern and comfortable family villa just steps from the beach.
Tabanan – Perfect for a Peaceful Retreat
On the outskirts of Canggu – around an hour and a half drive from Batu Bolong – Tabanan sits in peaceful serene glory.
Ideal for an escape from the crowds, you can head into the traditional natural area for a tranquil stay. Featuring endless greenery, rolling rice paddies and black sand beaches, it is an ultra-stunning place to unwind.
These are a few of the best things to do in Tabanan –
- Explore the Jatiluwih Greenlands including the rice terraces with a delicious restaurant residing at the top overlooking the whole landscape
- Visit Tanah Lot Temple on Lake Bratan
- Discover the Bali Botanic Gardens
- Spend time at the Bali Butterfly Park
- Relax and surf on the Balian black sand beach
A time for relaxing, meditating, disconnecting and spending quality time with your loved ones, Tabanan gives you a glimpse at a more natural and local Bali. With minimal tourism, enjoy the road less travelled.
Here are a few beautiful accommodations in Tabanan –
- Villa Kawan – a secluded and spacious tropical 3 bedroom private villa with hillside views over the landscape.
- Kontiki Villa – a unique modern concept private villa with 2 bedrooms and a swimming pool overlooking rice paddy views.
- The Urban Escape – a beautiful 2 bedroom modern private villa surrounded by luscious rice paddies.
Amed – Best Spot for Diving
Perched at the top of the East side of Bali, Amed is the best spot on the island for diving and snorkeling. Ideal for professional and beginner divers alike, the town is filled with instructors, tours and excursions to get you in the water.
The easy local town isn’t brimming with tourists, but sees its fair share throughout the high season.
If you are hoping for a peaceful getaway, head here in the quieter months for great accommodation deals and empty beaches.
Not only for divers, Amed is also home to the famous Mount Agung. Hiking to the summit for sunrise has become a popular activity among tourists.
With the help of a local tour guide, you will begin your hike up the volcano in the early hours of the morning, allowing the cool temperatures to keep you motivated on your climb, reaching the top just in time to watch a magical sunrise over Lombok.
Travellers looking to find a piece of the ‘real’ Bali, will be able to enjoy the simple local accommodations available in Amed.
Here are some Amed hostels worth considering –
- Ocean Prana – right on the beach, Ocean Prana Hostel is part of the Ocean Prana dive school with the choice of private and dormitory bedrooms.
- Pacha Hostel – a locally run hostel, you can immerse yourself into local life in this basic and comfortable accommodation.
However, if you are searching for something a bit more luxurious, these private villas are beautiful options –
- Villa Agung – a stunning spacious and luscious villa right on the black sand beach of Amed. Villa Agung has 3 bedrooms and unbeatable views.
- Villa Damai – this simple 3 bedroom villa features incredible ocean views from the bedrooms and private swimming pool.
- Lodge 5* – situated in the hills of Amed, Lodge 5* is a boho-chic paradise resort with a shared infinity pool looking out over the jungles to the ocean.
I hope my breakdown of the best places to stay in Bali has helped to narrow down your travels. For the shopper, relaxer, eater and diver, there is a place for everyone to feel at home in Bali.
Whether you plan to explore each inch of the island, or settle down in one spot for a calm retreat, each and every part of the island is a beautiful paradise waiting to be discovered.
Get ready to explore!