Best Places to stay in Bali [And Where Not to Stay in Bali]

Choosing the best places to stay in Bali is no easy task.

The island has so much to offer, and deciding where to stay in Bali can make or break your holiday.

If you’re looking for surf, sea, and sun, then the coastal areas of Uluwatu, Seminyak, and Nusa Dua are just for you.

For a change of scenery, lush jungles, and culture, head inland to Ubud, Munduk, or Sidemen.

In search of authentic Island life? There’s the Gili Islands and Nusa Lembongan.

But you can’t stay in all these areas in Bali (and you are probably feeling overwhelmed by the choice).

That’s where I come in.

I’ve visited them all and crafted this comprehensive guide on the best places to stay in Bali. It’s for all travelers and highlights the pros and cons so you can easily plan your vacation.

Best places to stay in Bali
The landscapes in Bali are vastly different

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The best areas to stay in Bali

Bali may look like a compact island, but the distances are deceiving.

With the chaotic streets and congested traffic, it can take hours to get from one destination to the next.

Are you planning on staying in one area for your entire holiday and using that as a base for day trips to other locations?

Do not do this!

You’ll spend more time in your car than actually enjoying the island.

To avoid unnecessary travel time, stay in at least three areas of Bali for a minimum of two full days each.

Map of where to stay in Bali

Where to stay in Bali map
Map of where to stay in Bali

Where to stay in Bali overview

  • Uluwatu: Where to stay in Bali for surfers and beach lovers
  • Seminyak: Stay here for nightlife and shopping
  • Canggu: Best area to stay in Bali for a boho vibe
  • Ubud: Best place in Bali for first-time visitors
  • Munduk: Where to stay in Bali for couples
  • Sidemen: Quietest area in Bali
  • Nusa Dua: Best area in Bali for families
  • Nusa Lembongan: Most chilled place to stay in Bali

The best places to stay in Bali for first-timers

Best places to stay in Bali first time
Rice fields in Ubud

Truth be told, where to stay in Bali comes down to personal preferences.

Are you planning a romantic holiday? Or a getaway with your family? Perhaps you’re a backpacker or celebrating a milestone.

Not everyone wants beach clubs and vibrant nightlife.

You may want a yoga retreat and a tranquil escape. And your budget may be very different from the next person.

The main point: Bali has something for everyone! So let’s get into it.

Uluwatu: Best for surfers and beach lovers

Bali accommodation for beaches
Uluwatu has some of the best beaches in Bali

Perfect for: Surfers or couples wanting a more relaxed getaway
Pros: The stunning beaches
Cons: Uluwatu is further from the other areas of Bali

Ahhh – Uluwatu. If you ask me, what’s the best place to stay in Bali? It’s here!

Nestled on the island’s southern tip in the Bukit Peninsula, it boasts some of the best beaches and surf spots.

Uluwatu is huge, and everything is spread out, so you will need transport to get around.

There are many places to stay in Uluwatu, but my personal favorites are Bingin Beach and Balangan Beach.

Uluwatu has a dramatic coastline with towering cliffs overlooking the ocean. It’s also one of the more chilled areas in Bali, attracting a crowd looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Kuta and Seminyak.

Although there’s been quite a bit of development in Uluwatu over the past few years, it hasn’t reached the peak of tourism as you’ll find elsewhere.

Things to do in Uluwatu

  • Go beach hopping at these epic beaches in Uluwatu
  • Watch the surfers at Uluwatu surf break
  • Check out the Kecak Fire Show at Uluwatu Temple
  • Devour a seafood BBQ on Bingin Beach
  • Visit Sundays Beach Club


I love Uluwatu. I lived here for 6 months, and it will always feel like home.

It’s entirely different from the other areas of Bali, so I recommend visiting, even if you only have 2 days.

Uluwatu attractions
The tides in Uluwatu are extreme. At low tide, you’ll find all these natural swimming pools

Where to stay in Uluwatu

Luxury: Bulgari Resort boasts luxury private villas and sweeping views from its picture-perfect cliffside location. Each exquisite villa comes with traditional Balinese decor and has been thoughtfully styled. And what’s more, you’ll have direct access to the beach through the resort’s inclined elevator. There’s no denying this beach resort is one of the best places in Bali. Check availability here.

Mid Range: Pink Coco is a charming boutique hotel just a stone’s throw away from Padang Padang Beach. It’s the perfect place to stay in Bali if you’re looking for a fun atmosphere, holiday vibes, and a great location in Uluwatu. Check availability here.

Budget: The location of Medori Putih Homestay makes this property shine. It is only 5 minutes from Padang Padang Beach and is a prime location for exploring Uluwatu. The private rooms are air-conditioned, and there’s even a swimming pool. At this price, it’s a winner for backpackers or budget travelers! Check availability here.

Seminyak: Best place to stay in Bali for nightlife

places to stay in Bali for backpackers
La Plancha in Seminyak

Perfect for: People celebrating bachelorettes or birthdays
Pros: The lively atmosphere and vibrant nightlife
Cons: Overcrowded and the shopping and restaurant culture doesn’t suit everyone

Seminyak is an upmarket area of Bali featuring fancy restaurants, boutique shopping, and a range of beach clubs.

It’s great for food lovers and even better for those who like to keep busy on holiday. And while you may think Seminyak only draws a wealthy crowd, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Backpackers, families, and groups of friends all choose Seminyak as a place to stay in Bali. There is also a wide range of accommodation available to suit all budgets.

The colorful bean bags at La Plancha attract tourists in their droves. It’s the best place to visit for sunset while enjoying a few cocktails and taking in the festive atmosphere.

But Seminyak is not the place to go if you want to escape the tourists! The streets are busy, and footpaths are clogged with people.

Things to do in Seminyak

  • Sunset at La Plancha
  • Hit a beach club – Finns, Potato Head Beach Club, or Ku De Ta
  • Shop til you drop
  • Dinner at Motel Mexicola
  • Day trip to Canggu


Even if you’re not here for the party, every Bali itinerary should include a night in Seminyak to experience the electric atmosphere.

And yes, you only need one night (unless you’re keen on parties and shopping)

Finns Seminyak Bali
Finns Beach Club in Seminyak

Where to stay in Seminyak

Luxury: Enjoy beachfront views and 5* service at W Bali Seminyak. This hotel is hard to beat, and the location could not be better. If you’re planning your honeymoon or romantic getaway, this should be in your Bali itinerary! Check availability here.

Mid-range: If you want personal space in your own private villa, look no further than Mayaloka Villas. Set amidst a lush tropical garden on the quieter side of Seminyak, you’ll have your own pool and luxury open-plan living. Check availability here.

Budget: Sleepwell Seminyak is a great place to stay if you’re traveling on a budget. With large private rooms, air-conditioning, and breakfast included you get a lot of bang for your buck when staying here. Check availability here.

Canggu: Best area to stay in Bali for an expat vibe

Where to stay in Canggu Bali
Canggu is a popular place to learn to surf in Bali

Perfect for: Backpackers and digital nomads
Pros: The cafe culture and you’re close to rice fields
Cons: It’s super busy and traffic jams are common

Canggu is a digital nomad hub. It’s the best place to stay in Bali if you’re looking for a mix of trendy cafes, good nightlife, and coworking places.

Oh, and influencers!

This hipster neighborhood has grown in popularity over the years. What was once the more chilled area of Bali is now one of the busiest.

It’s popular with expats living in Bali, entrepreneurs, and content creators and has an impressive selection of cafes.

The beachfront boasts scores of restaurants and beach clubs. La Brisa, Como Beach Club, and the Lawn are some of the most popular.

If you want to experience Canggu but prefer to stay somewhere among the lush rice paddies, I highly recommend Pererenan. It’s right next to Canggu but less chaotic.

Things to do in Canggu

  • Learn to surf
  • Explore the rice fields
  • Hang out on the black sand beaches. Berawa, Batu Bolong, and Echo Beach
  • End your day at The Lawn or Old Mans


I enjoyed my time in Canggu. But I didn’t love it as much as other places in Bali.

It’s also important to note that the beaches here and in Seminyak are all black sand. So if it’s the beaches you’re after, go to the Uluwatu or Nusa Dua instead.

Things to do in Canggu
You won’t struggle to find picturesque cafes in Canggu

Where to stay in Canggu

Luxury: One look at Como Uma Canggu, and you won’t want to stay elsewhere! This gorgeous property offers the most magnificent experience for guests looking to soak up the Canggu lifestyle. Its beachfront location provides jaw-dropping views. Overall, this Bali accommodation ticks all the boxes. Check availability here.

Mid Range: Shore Amora Canggu is a three-minute walk to the beach and includes stylish rooms with large living spaces. The facilities are excellent, and the restaurant serves up delish local cuisine. Check availability here.

Budget: Salty Shakas Bamboo is one of the best places to stay in Bali on a budget. While the private huts are basic, they’re filled with character and offer a romantic experience at a great price. The hosts are super friendly, and the property even offers a pool. It is located further from the beach and closer inland to the rice fields. Check availability here.

Ubud: The best area to stay in Bali for nature and culture

Where to stay in Ubud Bali
Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud, Bali

Perfect for: Everyone – Families, backpackers, couples, digital nomads
Pros: The nature and rice fields
Cons: None. If you’re visiting for the first time, Ubud is one of the best places to stay in Bali!

Lush jungles. Cascading waterfalls. Rice fields for as far as the eye can see.

You will welcome a trip to Ubud after spending time along the coast.

The town is located in the central highlands of Bali. It is a melting pot of rich history, cultural experiences, spiritual encounters, and natural attractions.

It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Bali, and for a good reason.

Ubud attracts tourists seeking wellness retreats, meditation, yoga, and spiritual healing. But it’s also an outdoor lover’s playground.

There are spectacular walking trails, waterfalls, and rice fields. It’s the place to go white water rafting in Bali and makes for an excellent base for exploring the north of the island.

The town itself is well-developed and appeals to all travelers. There are many local and western restaurants, bars with live music, and craft markets.

When it comes to accommodation, I recommend booking something outside town. This is where you’ll find gorgeous villas amongst the rice fields, all at an affordable price.

Ubud is one of my favorite areas to stay in Bali (after Uluwatu, of course). It should be on every first-timer’s itinerary.

Things to do in Ubud

  • Morning stroll along Campuhan Ridge Walk
  • Mount Batur sunrise hike. Read all about it here.
  • Do yoga overlooking the rice fields
  • Visit Tegalalang Rice Terraces and Tirta Empul Temple
  • Go chasing waterfalls


No trip to Bali is complete without a visit to Ubud. This is one of the best areas to stay in Bali.

Tegenungan Waterfall in Ubud
Tegenungan Waterfall near Ubud

Where to stay in Ubud

Luxury: The Kayon Jungle Resort sure lives up to its name! The infinity pools, which overlook the jungle, paired with spacious Balinese-inspired rooms, make this the best place to stay in Ubud if you’re looking to live in luxury. Check availability here.

Mid-range: Byasa Ubud is surrounded by rice paddies and is the perfect place to spend time in Ubud. Situated in a quieter neighborhood, you’re guaranteed a remote escape if you stay here. Check availability here.

Budget: Jepun Bali Ubud Homestay is ideally located near the center of Ubud and is all you need if you’re traveling on a budget. The private room comes with a complimentary breakfast, and the friendly owners will ensure you have a memorable stay in Ubud. Check availability here.

Munduk: The best place to stay in Bali for couples

Where to stay in Bali for couples
Munduk is one of the most picturesque areas to stay in Bali

Perfect for: Couples and travelers wanting a more remote escape
Pros: The natural beauty and lack of development
Cons: Far away from other Bali areas and too quiet for some people

Munduk is located in North Bali, about an hour from Ubud. It’s how I imagined Ubud to be before the influx of tourists.

Munduk has recently been put on the map thanks to the Instagrammable locations and waterfalls that surround it.

It’s still considered a hidden gem of Bali. But I’m not sure for how much longer it will hold this impressive title!

Many people choose to visit Munduk on a day tour from other areas of Bali! If you’re searching for a festive atmosphere and a place to meet people, I recommend you do the same.

But in my eyes, Munduk’s biggest drawcard is its sleepy streets and tranquil atmosphere.

The climate here is notably colder than the rest of the island, making it an ideal place to unwind.

Things to do

  • Visit the Ulun Danu Temple
  • Catch a glimpse of the Twin Lakes and Bali Swing
  • Explore Munduk Waterfalls
  • Go off the beaten track and explore these Munduk attractions


If you’re backpacking and looking for a lively atmosphere, give Munduk a skip.

It’s better suited for travelers wanting to experience a quieter side of Bali.

Ulun danu temple in Munduk
Ulun Danu Temple is one of the leading attractions near Munduk

Where to stay in Munduk

Luxury: Munduk Moding Plantation is set up in the mountains with gorgeous views from its famous infinity pool. The service is impeccable and the perfect place to enjoy some time away from the crowds. Check availability here.

Mid-range: Munduk Heaven Luxury Villas offer spectacular accommodation in Munduk with sprawling views of the lush forests. The facilities are next-level, and it’s the perfect place to come home to after a busy day of exploring. Check availability here.

Budget: Lesong Hotel‘s location couldn’t be better. If you’re looking to stay in the rice paddies, this is the best place to stay! It’s great value for money, but the friendly staff and kind hosts make this place truly shine. Check availability here.

Sidemen: Best Places to stay in Bali for Honeymoon

where to stay in Bali for rice fields
Sidemen is an untouched area of Bali

Perfect for: Honeymoon destination
Pros: The untouched beauty
Cons: Too remote for some people

Sidemen was unknown to me until my fourth visit to Bali.

The small, hillside village is relatively undiscovered, making it authentic with a local and genuine feel.

With its lush green forests, wild rivers, and gorgeous mountains, Sidemen offers a breath of fresh air and a quiet escape from the chaotic streets of Seminyak, Canggu, and Ubud.

Sidemen is also one of the most picturesque areas in Bali, most likely because of the lack of development. The streets are quiet, and it’s a soulful place to visit.

I spent 3 days in Sidemen, and here’s everything you need to know.

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track experience with your significant other, I recommend visiting Sidemen. I stayed at a gorgeous cabin perched on a hill overlooking rice fields. Absolute bliss!

But Sidemen is also where to stay in Bali if you’re looking for luxury hotels and villas. Within a 20-minute drive from the village, you’ll find the most gorgeous tree houses, bamboo villas, and lavish accommodation options.

Things to do in Sidemen

  • Join a cooking class
  • Explore Tukad Cepung Waterfall
  • Take in the views from Bukit Cinta
  • Go white water rafting


If you’re searching for a place to stay in Bali that offers a peaceful oasis, views, and a romantic escape, you’ll find it in Sidemen.

But if you’re traveling with friends or family, you may want to choose somewhere that has a bit more going on.

Accommodation in Bali
No matter your budget, you’ll find something secluded and romantic in Sidemen

Where to stay in Sidemen

Luxury: Wapa Di Ume is luxury at its best! This hotel is for you if you enjoy the finer things in life – like a private plunge pool, a hot tub, large stylish rooms, and next-level service. The breathtaking views, friendly service, and delicious food make Wapa Di Ume the best place to stay in Bali if your budget allows for it. Check availability here.

Mid-range: Sawah Indah Villa is surrounded by rolling hills. But the biggest attraction here is undoubtedly the gorgeous infinity pool that overlooks the rice fields. The rooms are tastefully decorated, and overall, it is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a luxurious hotel at an affordable price. Check availability here.

Budget: Dika Homestay is the best option for budget travelers. It’s ideally located just off the main road, and you’ll receive a warm welcome from the kind family who owns the place. The rooms are basic yet clean and comfortable and offer the perfect place to rest your head after exploring. Check availability here.

Gili Trawangan: Where to stay in Bali for backpackers

Bali accommodation
Gili Trawangan is famous for its epic sunsets

Perfect for: Backpackers and solo travelers
Pros: Sunset bars on the beach
Cons: The 4 hour ferry to get here

The Gili Islands are a trio of islands located off the coast of Lombok.

It’s a 3 to 4 hour ferry to get there from Bali. But the ultimate island paradise is waiting for you on the other side.

There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the Gilis. But they’re really small islands, and you only need 2 hours to walk around each one.

Of the 3 Gili Islands, I recommend staying at Gili Trawangan.

Why? Because it has the best mix of bars & restaurants, magical marine life, and pristine beaches.

While Gili Trawangan attracts a backpacker crowd, you don’t have to go very far to find a secluded part of the island that’s off the beaten track.

The ferry departs from Padang Bai, which is a small port town on the east of Bali, and you will need to purchase tickets ahead of time from here.

Things to do in Gili Trawangan

  • Go scuba diving or snorkeling with turtles
  • Enjoy the sunset on the west of the island
  • Day trip to Gili Meno or Gili Air


The Gili Islands ooze tropical vibes and is where to stay in Bali if you want to laze on the beach, snorkel with turtles and take in the magical sunset.

This is totally my vibe! But I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have at least 3 full days to spend here.

Watching the sunset on Gili Trawangan island in Bali
Front row spot to watch the sunset in Gili Trawangan

Where to stay in Gili Trawangan

Luxury: Kuno Villas offer a variety of luxury accommodation in Gili Trawangan. My favorite is Tenda Villa which boasts a stunning private pool and outdoor bath. Its traditional design and wooden interiors make it perfect for a romantic escape. Check availability here.

Mid-range: Trawangan Dive Resort is incredible for its prime location, swim-up bar, and simplistic room designs. I stayed here and loved the chilled atmosphere. It’s on the east of the island, and so it’s close enough to all the attractions, yet not in the thick of it. Check availability here.

Budget: If you’re looking for an affordable place to stay (that’s not a hostel), check out Absolute Villa. Their private rooms have air conditioning and a terrace, and there’s even an outdoor pool on the property. The location is also great! Check availability here.

Nusa Penida: Where to stay in Bali on honeymoon

Diamond Beach Nusa Penida
Diamond Beach in Nusa Penida

Best for: Couples and those that want to explore the entire island
Pros: You’ll get to all the iconic spots before the day tourists
Cons: The distances are far, and the island becomes clogged with day tourists

Nusa Penida has made a name for itself thanks to the iconic locations on the island.

Considered a famous Indonesia landmark, it’s an Instagrammers playground and attracts hordes of day trippers from Bali.

It’s the biggest of the Nusa Islands, and you’ll need more than a day to see it all.

If you want to explore all corners of Nusa Penida, stay here for a night or two.

The island boasts spectacular accommodation with bamboo treehouses and panoramic views. These are better suited for couples, and you won’t find many backpackers or families staying here.

The main roads on Nusa Penida Island are all in good condition. However, if you’re staying in accommodation or exploring attractions off these main roads, you may need to drive along bumpy gravel sections.

Despite the significant number of day tourists, Nusa Penida is still worth a visit. But if you’re choosing where to stay, I recommend Nusa Lembongan instead (which I’ll get to next).

Things to do in Nusa Penida

  • Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, and Angel’s Billabong are the most popular attractions
  • Snorkeling at Crystal Bay and Tembeling Springs


Of all the best areas to stay in Bali, I wouldn’t rank Nusa Penida at the top.

Yes, it’s a stunning island. But better to visit on a day trip and not use it as a base.

But don’t go too far; its neighbor, Nusa Lembongan, is a winner.

Breakfast amongst the jungle
Breakfast amongst the jungle

Where to stay in Nusa Penida

Luxury: If you’re in search of a romantic getaway, look no further than Penida Bambu Green Suites. These bamboo suites are perfect for a honeymoon! The views are spectacular, and it’s a boho paradise in the middle of the jungle. Check availablility here.

Mid-range: Take a look at the Akusara Jungle Resort and Spa infinity pool, and you’ll want to stay here. The magnificent huts are tastefully decorated with stunning furnishings and large, comfy beds. Check availablility here.

Budget: Nusa Penida Pudak Nature Bungalows offers picturesque cottages amongst the trees at a budget price. Breakfast is also included in the price, and it’s a great place to stay for travelers who enjoy a more secluded getaway. Check availablility here.

Nusa Lembongan: The most underrated place to stay in Bali

Most beautiful places to stay in Bali
The bluest of blue water at Nusa Lembongan

Perfect for: Couples, friends, and families looking for island vibes
Pros: The chilled atmosphere and epic diving
Cons: You won’t want to leave

Enter my new favorite area to stay in Bali: Nusa Lembongan.

It’s just a stone’s throw away from Nusa Penida. It attracts a mix of all types of travelers, from backpackers in Bali, families, divers, couples, and solo travelers.

Nusa Lembongan offers the same island vibes I loved so much about the Gili Islands but with more activities and attractions.

It’s also closer to Bali, so you’ll spend less time on the ferry.

There aren’t many shops or sophisticated restaurants on the island. The main streets are lined with local bars and warungs, and while it has a lively atmosphere, it’s not a clubbing vibe.

The attractions on Nusa Lembongan are hard to beat.

You can go diving with manta rays, kayaking amongst mangroves, or simply take in the sunset at one of the many rustic beach bars.

Things to do in Nusa Lembongan

  • Go diving or snorkeling with Manta Rays
  • Visit Agung Beach Club and Cloud Land Bar Lembongan for sunset
  • Go surfing
  • Day trip to Nusa Penida
  • Beach day, every day


Nusa Lembongan is an island paradise with an array of local warungs and things to do.

It doesn’t get as busy with day trippers as Nusa Penida and has more adventure things to do than the Gili’s.

Nusa Lembongan attractions
Just one of the many beach front restaurants in Nusa Lembongan

Where to stay in Nusa Lembongan

Luxury: Ombak Bay Lembongan boasts an incredible outdoor space with a bar and swimming pool perched on a cliff overlooking the crashing waves. The cottages are tastefully decorated and come with air-conditioning and a private deck. Check availability here.

Mid-range: At Bukit Taman Cottages, you get your own private cottage with an outdoor shower, perfect for couples or those looking for a quieter getaway. The infinity pool offers unspoiled views of the lush Lembongan Island and Bali in the distance. Check availability here.

Budget: Just 500 m from Mushroom Bay Beach, Gatri Hut provides affordable accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool. For $30, you’ll get a large comfortable room with breakfast. One of the many things that makes this place special is the friendly staff. Check availability here.

Nusa Dua: Best resort place to stay in Bali

Best places to stay in Bali for families
Nusa Dua is popular amongst families and is known for its beautiful beaches and calm waters

Perfect for: Families and honeymooners
Pros: All-inclusive luxury resorts
Cons: Doesn’t feel like authentic Bali

Nusa Dua is the exclusive resort area of Bali, with some of the best hotels lining the seashore.

I’m talking swim-up bars, day beds, lavish spas, and romantic dinners under the stars.

The white sandy beaches in Nusa Dua are some of the best in Bali (After Uluwatu, of course). But they’re more accessible than those in Uluwatu as you don’t need to walk down cliffs to reach them.

Nusa Dua’s soft golden sand and calm waters attract families and is ideal for those looking for a relaxing holiday by the sea. Many resorts also offer kids’ clubs, and various water sports are available, including boat trips, kayaking, and snorkeling.

Best things to do at Nusa Dua

  • Water activities for everyone
  • Go surfing (but you’ll need to take a local boat to get there)
  • Indulge in a brunch at St Regis
  • Relax on the beach


I really enjoyed visiting Nusa Dua on a day trip. The beaches are gorgeous! If you’re wondering where to stay in Bali with kids, it’s here.

If you’re backpacking or looking for a more local experience, rather give Nusa Dua a skip.

Places in Bali
I spent my 30th birthday at the St Regis Hotel in Nusa Dua and I dressed up for the occasion

Where to stay at Nusa Dua

Luxury: The Laguna is a magnificent place to stay in Bali. The 5* property features 7 large lagoon swimming pools and perfectly landscaped tropical gardens. There’s direct access to the beach, where you can relax on one of the many cabanas available to guests. And I haven’t even mentioned the rooms – they’re stunning! Check availability here.

Mid-range: La Berceuse Resort and Villa is a short drive from the beach, but it offers luxury at a mid-range price point. The white-washed bungalows offer a retreat to come home to, and you can enjoy a beer or some bubbles on your private terrace. Check availability here.

Budget: Kubu Dimel Homestay is a great accommodation option if you’re traveling to Bali on a budget. The air-conditioned rooms are spacious and comfortable, and each has its own private bathroom. The property also boasts a swimming pool and restaurant. Check availability here.

Sanur: Best area to stay in Bali with Family

Where to stay in bali on a budget
The waters at Sanur beach are quiet and calm when compared to other areas in Bali

Perfect for: Families or older couples
Pros: Lots of budget accommodation options
Cons: Not the most beautiful place to stay in Bali

Sanur is a port town and the gateway to the Nusa Islands. Because of this, most people have heard of Sanur, but not many choose to stay here.

It’s also close to the airport, so it’s an ideal place to stay in Bali if you’re flying out early the next day (or arriving late).

I really like the vibe of Sanur.

It’s laid back and not pretentious. It’s not crowded nor noisy, and there’s less traffic than in other areas of Bali.

Sanur boasts many local spas, amazing warungs, and craft markets. There are also a handful of beach resorts, but they have an old Balinese feel.

It’s a great place to stay for families if Nusa Dua isn’t your vibe. The beach is stunning, and the waters offer ideal conditions for children.

Things to do in Sanur

  • Relax on the beach
  • Explore the Sanur night markets
  • Day trip to Nusa islands
  • Do a cooking class


If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation on the beach and you don’t want the glitz and glam of Nusa Dua or the crowds of Seminyak, I highly recommend staying in Sanur.

Streets of Bali
The streets leading to Sanur

Where to stay in Sanur

Luxury: If you’re searching for luxury, look no further than Andaz Bali in Sanur. This beachfront resort is impeccable. From the glamorous rooms to beautiful gardens and seaside pool, it’s a great place to stay in Bali. Check availability here.

Mid-range: The Alantara features a picturesque pool and swim-up bar in a jungle setting. It might not be on the beachfront, but you won’t even think about that when lounging by the hotel’s grand relaxation zones. Check availability here.

Budget: For the price, Kamboj Homestay is hard to beat. It has an authentic local feel and is only a short walk from Sanur Beach. The large rooms boast their own terrace that looks onto a large swimming pool. Check availability here.

Amed: The quietest area in Bali

amed fishing village bali
Amed is a small fishing village famous for its dive sites

Perfect for: Divers looking for a quiet vacation
Pros: One of the quiet places to stay in Bali
Cons: Some travelers may not enjoy the lack of nightlife

Amed is a small fishing village located northeast of Bali. It’s a black sand beach famous for its snorkeling and diving.

It’s considered off the beaten track and doesn’t attract as many tourists as the other places in Bali.

It’s a far cry from the dazzling beach clubs of Seminyak and is perfect for a relaxing beach getaway.

Amed is also known for its diving as there is an impressive Japanese Wreck that attracts many underwater enthusiasts.

Things to do in Amed

  • Go scuba diving
  • Relax on the black sand beach
  • Watch the sunset at Sunset point
  • Visit Pura Lempuyang Temple
  • Rent a scooter and explore this less-visited part of Bali


Amed is one of the most authentic locations in Bali and remains off the radar of your typical tourist.

Don’t stay here if you’re looking for nightclubs, boutique shops, and upmarket restaurants.

But if a fishing village vibe away from the crowds is what you’re after, you’ll love it.

Where to stay in Bali Indonesia
Bali offers beautiful private villas at an affordable price

Where to stay in Amed

Luxury: Villa Bukit Segara is a seaside retreat offering incredible ocean views. A stunning infinity pool is perched on the cliff and is one of the best sunset spots in Amed! Check availability here.

Mid-range: Salt Resort and Spa is on the beach in Amed, with a picture-perfect location. The gorgeous white-washed rooms are tastefully decorated, offering a retreat for guests to come home to. Check availability here.

Budget: D’uma Amed Homestay is just a stone’s throw from the beach yet offers the most spectacular views of rice fields. It’s an affordable place to stay, complete with air conditioning and a private terrace. Check availability here.

Where to stay in Bali for a week

If you only have a week in Bali, I recommend spending 2 nights in Seminyak, 2 nights in Ubud, and 2 nights in Uluwatu.

But if you don’t want to party or shop, skip Seminyak and spend 3 nights in Uluwatu and 3 in Ubud.

Where to stay in Bali for two weeks

With two weeks in Bali, you can spend 2 nights in Seminyak, 3 nights in Ubud and 2 nights in Uluwatu, and 3 nights in Nusa Lembongan.

The Best Places to stay in Uluwatu, Bali
Views from the Anantara Resort in Uluwatu, Bali

Where to stay in Bali FAQS

Which is better Ubud or Seminyak?

I love Ubud. If you have to choose between Ubud or Seminyak, I’d recommend Ubud. But they are two very different areas of Bali. Ubud has a jungle and culture vibe, whereas Seminyak is all about partying, shopping, and beaching.

Where is the best place in Bali for relaxation?

If you’re looking for where to stay in Bali for a relaxed beach holiday, head straight to Uluwatu or Nusa Lembongan. Both these areas are less developed than the likes of Seminyak and Kuta. Sidemen is also a great option, but it’s inland.

Which part of Bali is most popular?

Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, and Ubud are the most popular areas of Bali. You can expect it to be crowded with lots of traffic.


Is it better to stay in Seminyak or Canggu?

Canggu is further from the main areas of Bali than Seminyak. If you’re looking for a boho beach vibe, stay in Canggu. If you prefer beach clubs and shopping, stay in Seminyak. But both are considered tourist areas of Bali, so expect crowds.

Uluwatu vs Nusa Dua?

Both Uluwatu and Nusa Dua offer pristine beaches. But the areas are completely different. Personally, I prefer Uluwatu, but here are some of the key differences between Nusa Dua vs Uluwatu.

Nusa Dua has amazing white, sandy beaches that don’t require walking down a cliff. The ocean is a lot calmer here than in Uluwatu. It also attracts an older crowd of tourists and more families with children. There are lots of resort options to choose from, but the area lacks that Bali charm.

Uluwatu is more trendy and attracts a backpacker and surfer crowd. Most beaches are only accessible via a steep walkway down a cliff. There are lots of boutique hotels in Uluwatu, and it’s best to have your own transport to get around.

Which part of Bali is the most beautiful

Uluwatu is the most beautiful part of Bali to visit. North Bali also has picturesque landscapes and lush jungle vibes.

Where is the safest place to stay in Bali

Bali is extremely safe. There is petty crime, so be aware of your surroundings. Regarding water safety, Nusa Dua and Sanur offer calm waters that are safe for kids or people who are not comfortable in the water.


Final thoughts on the best places to stay in Bali, Indonesia

Deciding the best places to stay in Bali can be overwhelming, as there are so many incredible places to choose from, each as good as the next.

This is the ultimate Bali accommodation guide that I wish I had before my first trip, and I hope it helps with your travel planning!

Like it? Pin it!

Where to stay in Bali Indonesia

Are you planning your Bali trip? Have any questions on the best areas to stay in Bali? Drop me a message in the comment section below!

Looking for more Bali travel inspiration? Check out my other posts!

About Carryn

Hi, I'm Carryn. I’m an adventure travel blogger trying to figure out my way through life by traveling and exploring. Join me as I share my travel guides and tips for life abroad. Find out more about me here.

15 thoughts on “Best Places to stay in Bali [And Where Not to Stay in Bali]”

  1. Hi there

    I came across your information by accident as I am planning a beach holiday for my husband and I. We are in our late 50s and are looking for a PURE beach holiday. Upon starting my research I panicked and there are so many places to choose from. Your information really helped and now I have a better idea of where we want to go and for how long. THANK YOU – This has been a very informative and interesting read. PS: We are also from Sout Africa

  2. Hi Carryn,
    Thank you for your great information on Bali – we are first time travellers to Bali – going for 15 nights. We were hoping to visit Ubud, Munduk, Balian Beach and Nusa Lembongan. The accomodation we want to stay at in Ubud is only available the last 4 nights. What order do you think we should visit the other 3 places? Also I am humming and harring between Munduk and Tirtagangga? Any thoughts please?
    Look forward to your comments if its not too much trouble.

    • Hi Maree, happy to help!

      I haven’t been to Tirta Gangga so I can’t say whether you should go there or Munduk. But I loved Munduk! It’s similar to Ubud in that it’s surrounded by lush forests and waterfalls. So, what you could do is visit Sidemen instead of Munduk, and then visit Tirta Gangga on a day trip from Sidemen. Here’s my guide to Sidemen – if you’re wanting to go off the beaten track, you’ll love it here!

      In terms of a travel route, here are my two recommendations based on Ubud being your last destination.
      1) Balian Beach – Munduk – Nusa Lembongan – Ubud OR Sidemen – Nusa Lembongan – Balian Beach – Ubud

      Happy travels!

  3. Hello, travelling to Bali with my partner for 2 weeks. Your post was well written and very informative to get a better clarity for our trip. Thank You!

    Can you recommend the order of trip for us as we are visiting for the first time? Starting from places around Bali airport and then travel further please?

    Thanks again.

    • Hi Dhaval, depending on where you’re staying in Bali, I recommend spending your first night/s along the coast closest to Seminyak, then going inland to Munduk/Ubud/Sidemen. After that, you can go to one of the islands (Nusa Lembongan/Penida/Gili) and end your trip in Uluwatu/Nusa Dua. This route alternates between coast and inland, and also ensures you don’t end with the islands nearby (there may be delays with the ferries which can cause problems if you have a flight to catch). Enjoy.

  4. Great article Carryn. I am thinking of retiring to Bali. Sideman sound great as does Uluwatu. Hard decision to make. What area would you suggest? Thanks 😊

    • Hi Mary, Sidemen and Uluwatu are so different from each other. If you have time, I recommend spending a few days in Uluwatu soaking up the sun. And then heading inland to Sidemen for a few days. If you can only choose one area to stay in Bali, you would need to base your decision on what type of holiday you want. If it’s a beach break with great restaurant options, then choose Uluwatu. If you want something relaxing among the rice fields (and away from tourists), then choose Sidemen. Good luck with your decision!

  5. Hi Carryn,

    First of all I completely LOVE your blog, your information has helped a lot to plan my honeymoon which will be in October/23. I’m slightly unsure about our picked bases: 3 days in Canggu or Seminyak, 5 days in Ubud, 2 days in Gili Islands, 2 days in Nusas and 3 days in Uluwatu. Do you think I should change anything? More or less days somewhere? I am also in doubt between Seminyak x Canggu, as they seem to be very busy areas and we are looking for something more chill, more relaxed. I would love to include Munduk, but also think it would be too much?! Any suggestions or comments are well accepted! 🙂

    • Hi Amanda, I’m glad you’ve found my blog helpful.

      When you say 2 days Nusas and 2 days Gili, do you mean you’ll spend 1 night/2 days in each of these locations? If so, I recommend you spend 2 nights/3 days as these islands are a bit further to get to and you don’t want to be rushed. If you plan on visiting both Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, then I recommend 3 nights/4 days in the Nusas.

      You can do 3 nights/4 days in Ubud (depending on what you’re wanting to do).

      Then regarding Canggu and Seminyak, both are busy, both have great restaurants and beach clubs. I recommend 2 nights in Seminyak if you’re looking to get a feel for the hustle and bustle. But overall, if you’re limited on time, Canggu/Seminyak are the areas I’d skip.

      Considering you’re doing quite a bit of beaches (Gili’s, Nusa, Uluwatu) and you’re on honeymoon, you may want to add a night or 2 in the Sidemen area. This is where you’ll find gorgeous treehouses and stunning accommodation with zero crowds.

      Traffic in Bali is horrendous and it can take hours to cover a short distance. This is why I recommend at least 2 nights/3 days in each area.

      Happy planning and congrats on your wedding and honeymoon.

      All the best, Carryn

  6. Hi Carryn,

    What a great blog, so helpful!

    I guess my question is similar to others but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.

    Our plan so far is this:
    Ubud – 4 nights (only 3 days as we get there late evening and leave on the last day at 6am)
    Gili Air – 2 nights
    Nusa Lembongan – 2 nights
    Nusa Dua or Uluwatu – 3 nights

    My dilema is whether to stay in Nusa Dua or Uluwatu. We are interested in being near a fantastic beach, enjoying a nice hotel, but being able to get to a selection of nearby restaurants and bars outside of the hotel, rather than stay in the resort the whole time.

    Many thanks,

    • Hi Steve, you’ve got a great itinerary here!

      Both Nusa Dua and Uluwatu have what you’re looking for but, I think Uluwatu would be a better option. Are you specifically looking to stay in a resort? If not, there are some incredible private villas in Uluwatu. Have a look in the Bingin neighborhood (Uluwatu). It’s close to everything and has a great vibe. Regardless of where you stay, renting a scooter will make life a lot easier for you.

      Here are some things to take into consideration when deciding where to stay between the two.

      Nusa Dua
      – Amazing white, sandy beaches that don’t require walking down a cliff. The ocean is also calmer here than in Uluwatu
      – An older crowd of tourists and more families with children
      – plenty of resort options to choose from
      – the area can be very resorty and lacks that Bali charm

      – more trendy cafes and restaurants. Some of the best food in Bali!
      – a great place to go for cocktails and a night out
      – a backpacker and surfer crowd (but nothing like Seminyak or Canggu – which is a good thing)
      – more private villas
      – most beaches are only accessible via a steep walkway from the top of a cliff

      Hope that helps. Enjoy Bali!

  7. Hi Carryn,
    Thanks a lot for your Bali insights! My husband and I are looking for a holiday destination that has a similar vibe to Koh Phangan in Thailand. Do you know that place and if so, can you recommend an area in (or outside) Bali that we could go to?
    Thanks in advance!
    Best regards, Brigitte

    • Hey Brigitte,

      That’s a tough one! Unfortunately, you’re not going to find islands in Indonesia that are similar to Thailand – they are very different! If it’s the party vibe that you enjoyed at Koh Phangan, then you’ll enjoy Gili Trawangan which is just off the coast of Bali. It’s a tiny island and doesn’t feel overly commercialized like the rest of Bali. Seminyak also has a big party scene but it’s on the mainland, gets super busy and doesn’t have an island feel to it.

      Nusa Lembongan is also a good option for natural beauty, scuba diving and beaches – but there’s no party vibe here!



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