The Coolest Neighborhoods in Bali
Seminyak, Bali | © Andreia / Flickr
Even though the whole island of Bali offers endless attractions and destinations for tourists, there are some neighborhoods more developed and famous than others. To get the best of culture, cuisine, accommodation, and attractions, explore the coolest neighborhoods in Bali as we share below.
Being the most mainstream destination in Bali for decades, this neighborhood has evolved into a bustling tourism scene, with restaurants and shops lining up virtually every street. From the road directly opposite the beach extending a few kilometers inland, tourists can find almost everything in Kuta —hotels, high-end restaurants, humble warung (small family-run restaurants), shopping malls, traditional markets, surf schools, and of course, the famous Kuta Beach.
Often dubbed as Kuta’s more upscale sister, Seminyak has everything Kuta has, only a more high-end version. Lavish hotels and resorts, fine dining restaurants and designer boutiques are usually proud to have ‘Seminyak’ in their address line. The neighborhood also has its share of stunning coastline, occupied by cozy beanbag chairs from hip cafés and bars, most of which stay alive until late into the night. Seminyak also stands out as a shopping destination, where tourists can find handmade products from all over the island as well as international designer boutiques.
Serving as Bali’s cultural and educational hub, Ubud is one of the most famous and well-developed areas on the island. It’s high on international tourists’ lists to go for cultural experiences as many attractions —temples, museums, restaurants, workshops, galleries —are nestled on Ubud’s busy little streets, lush green spaces, or by the sacred Ayung River. Also Bali’s lifestyle and spiritual center, it won’t be hard to find wellness retreats, yoga shala, and healthy food restaurants in this neighborhood.
For years, Canggu has managed to keep the balance between being a famous tourists destination and staying a semi-rural coastal town with green rice fields and humble buildings. Street and contemporary arts are cherished here more than anywhere else on the island, something evident from awesome murals seen at every turn. Also a major surfing destination, the youthful Canggu streets and coastlines are embellished with beach-inspired restaurants, hip cafés, accommodations, and more.
Probably the most well-developed area in Bali, Nusa Dua is the exact neighborhood to enjoy resort living by the glorious beach of Nusa Dua. Many lavish and famous resorts share the grounds of Nusa Dua, adding to its luxurious buildings with the perfect tropical touch —playful swimming pools, stunning infinity pools, palm trees, cozy daybeds, and countless activities to do. Even non-staying tourists visit the neighborhood to have fun, try some water sports, or enjoy the resorts on a day pass.
This laid-back beach town in Bali offers numerous family-friendly activities to enjoy, from cycling to water sports, trekking to surfing. Graced with the tranquil east-facing coastline of Bali, Sanur Beach’s calm waves match the town’s personality — a safe beach for families with kids. Beyond the beach, Sanur also attracts crowd with its beach resorts, ocean-front restaurants, galleries, and overall calming ambiance.
The Uluwatu neighborhood is home to the finest temples, beaches, and waves. The famous Uluwatu Temple, Suluban Beach, and Padang Padang Beach are all located in this neighborhood, each contributing to its reputation as one of Bali’s coolest neighborhoods. Being a culture-rich spot and a surfer’s paradise, Uluwatu is also a popular place to find the best tourist destinations —restaurants, resorts, cafés, and more.
Uluwatu | © dom christie / Flickr