Where to Stay in Bali

Last Updated on July 2, 2022 by Helen E. White

Choosing well where to stay in Bali is important since the different areas of the island show great diversity themselves. The center has nothing to do with the coastal areas and these with each other. So for example, Kuta and Legian in the south are the opposite of Lovina and Singaraja in the north.

Where to Stay in Bali

The Best Areas to Stay in Bali

The areas located in the south of the island are the favorites to stay in Bali for most tourists. It is the most developed tourist area and where the best beaches are found. Ubud, in the interior of the island, is also a very popular option for its natural and cultural appeal.

1. Kuta and Legian, Where to Stay in Kuta to Party

Kuta, located on the southeast coast of Bali 10 minutes from the airport and within walking distance of other southern beaches such as Jimbaran or Nusa Dua, is the most famous beach in Bali. It was one of the first beaches where surfing became popular on the island and where tourism developed.

Kuta and Legian are glued to each other and hardly differ from each other. It is the most developed area and the one that welcomes the most tourists. Like any mass tourist destination, you find everything. There are many restaurants of all kinds, bars, discos, shops and malls, spas, travel agencies, and everything that any tourist may need.

Besides being one of the most popular destinations for surfing, it is where there is more nightlife in Bali. It attracts very young backpacker tourist who wants to have a good time and go out. It is an area with a lot of bustle so for those looking for tranquility, this is not the best option to stay in Bali.

In this area, you will find a lot of cheap accommodation and a wide range of medium-priced accommodation. There are also luxury resorts but to a lesser extent than in other areas of the island such as Nusa Dua or Seminyak.

2. Seminyak, the Area That I Like the Most to Sleep in Bali

Seminyak a short distance from Kuta has a completely different profile than Kuta and Legian. It is a very elegant and exclusive area where good hotels and luxury resorts prevail. There are also a good number of private villas that can be rented easily.

The beaches in Seminyak are very nice, and clean and there are much less people than in Kuta and Legian. In this area are the best restaurants on the island, the most popular beach clubs, and boutique shops abound.

On the other hand, in Seminyak, there is also good nightlife, much more elegant than that of Kuta and Legian.

3. Canggu, Where to Stay in Bali in the Trendy Place

Canggu is an area just north of Seminyak. It has developed later than its neighbors Kuta and Seminyak and it still shows in the number of tourists that it is not as overwhelming.

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Of all the areas I mention, this is the one that has changed the most in recent years. Urbanization in recent years has been brutal.

The first time I went to Bali, in the 90s, it was an area that had its charm. There were surfers and people who spent long periods on the island or who lived permanently in Bali. It had a fairly modest development and a bohemian and relaxed atmosphere.

Today that environment has given way to a certain posture environment.

It is an area that has become very fashionable due to the number of digital nomads and influencers who choose it as their base camp when they visit the island. Most paint it as an idyllic place. It’s not bad, but it’s not nearly as idyllic as they make it out to be.

It welcomes a more laid-back type of tourist than Kuta and a lot of surfers. As in Kuta, here you will also get tired of seeing surfers with their scooters loading their boards on the sides of their motorcycles. However, there is a cooler and somewhat hipster vibe.

In this area, you will find the typical roll of small beach bars next to very posh beach clubs with people enjoying the sunset, good unpretentious restaurants and other recent ones of much more level, top-notch healthy food options, a huge number of cool cafes, and a growing nightlife.

Its beach is not one of the best in Bali by far, in fact, it is much uglier than those of Kuta and Seminyak. It is quite popular among surfers for its waves, but for someone who likes to spread out a towel on the beach and swim, it is better to opt for other beaches.

On the other hand, this area is highly appreciated as a residential area by expatriates who settle in Bali, and also by digital nomads who spend time on the island. Coupled with the fact that influencers do nothing but increase the hype in this area, its popularity has skyrocketed.

As a consequence, it is an area that is undergoing rapid development. The rice fields and the pleasant atmosphere of yesteryear have given way to wild urbanization (especially villas). Construction is still going on everywhere today.

Added to this is one of the worst traffic on the island.

Years ago it was an ideal place to disconnect and have cheap accommodation. Today finding cheap accommodation in this area is increasingly difficult. Every day more and more luxurious and more expensive hotels and villas are opening.

In short, if you want to be in the trendy place of Bali, surrounded by young and beautiful people, digital nomads, expatriates (the local atmosphere is almost non-existent), with a first-class gastronomic offer, and a great atmosphere both during the day and at night, Canggu is your place.

4. Nusa Lembongan, Excellent Beaches and Relaxation

Nusa Lembongan is a small paradise island, just 8 km2, located on the southeast coast. It is a quiet destination where you can enjoy its good beaches with few people and its crystal clear waters with lots of marine life, ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. Surfing is also a popular activity.

Finding paradisiacal beaches is not easy in Bali. Its beaches are magnificent for surfing, but for those looking for that postcard photo of white sand beaches, calm turquoise waters, and palm trees, it is better to look elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

It’s not that there aren’t fantastic beaches. There are. But you have to look for them and the waters in most of them are somewhat moved. Nusa Lembongan is an exception, offering you a fantastic experience for a laid-back beach vacation.

It is a highly recommended alternative to stay in Bali if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of other busier areas. If you visit it, rent a motorcycle and discover its spectacular coastal landscapes. If you can spend one or two nights in it I am sure you will like it.

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5. Amed and Tulamben, Where to Sleep in Bali to Go Scuba Diving

The Amed and Tulamben area are located on the wild north coast, in its easternmost part. It is one of the few points on this coast where there is some tourism development.

What you will find here is nature, tranquility, crystal clear waters, and a sunken US Navy ship, the USS Liberty Wreck… A true paradise for scuba divers.

Do you want to enjoy Bali which barely receives foreign tourists? A good option for this is to stay in Amed or Tulamben. In this part of the coast, there is a wide range of cheap accommodation and mid-range options, often in front of the beach.

These areas remain quiet, offering an incredible opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the tranquility of Bali.

6. Lovina, Where to Stay in Bali for the More Adventurous

Another recommended option to stay on the wild north coast of Bali is Lovina. It is a strip of several kilometers of coastline that brings together several villages. Its beaches, although they are dark sand, have super crystalline waters and are much calmer than those in the south.

Although it is an area far from the main tourist centers, it is very popular among backpackers and more adventurous travelers. Its remoteness is not synonymous with a boring place.

There are a good number of things to do such as dolphin watching, visiting the Brahma Vihara Arama temple and the Banjar Buddhist temple, the Banjar Hot Springs, and losing yourself on a motorcycle in the Lovina Hills, taking cooking classes, practicing yoga, diving and other water activities.

When it comes to accommodation there is a huge amount of cheap and mid-level accommodation. There are few luxury resorts, although this is changing. However, in the area, there are plenty of exclusive villas for tourist rental.

7. Ubud, History, Dreamlike Landscapes, and Spirituality

Ubud is one of the main tourist destinations in Bali. Located in the interior and surrounded by mountains, very green valleys, and rice fields, the environment of this small town is wonderful. In addition, Ubud is the cultural and artistic center of the island.

In it, you will find temples, museums, shops and craft workshops, art galleries, and traditional villages in its surroundings that will allow you to know the authentic Bali.

Ubud is a destination that attracts many people looking to go on a spiritual retreat, practice yoga, or just relax for a few days enjoying its beautiful landscapes.

It is one of the essential visits and an excellent option to sleep in Bali if you are looking for an alternative to the Balinese beaches. Many people combine stays in the beach areas with a night or two in Ubud.

At the hotel level, it offers all kinds of prices from the cheapest accommodations, it must be remembered that it is a destination highly appreciated by backpackers and long-term travelers to the most luxurious resorts located on its outskirts in the middle of nature.

8. Jimbaran, Good Beaches and Excellent Fish and Seafood Restaurants

Jimbaran is one of the best beaches in Bali. It is also a small fishing village that makes it one of the best places on the island to eat fresh fish and seafood. It is a quiet place with no nightlife and little to do other than enjoy the beach and eat well.

There are both luxury resorts and affordable accommodation options. In this link, you can find good hotels in the Jimbaran area:

9. Nusa Dua, Where to Sleep in Bali for a Vacation in a Luxury Resort

Nusa Dua, in the southern part of Bali, is where the largest and most luxurious resorts in Bali are concentrated. Accommodation is practically only reduced to this type of hotel offer. Its beaches are among the best on the island and are very well maintained.

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It is an area appreciated by families, couples on honeymoon, and people looking to enjoy the comforts of a good resort.

If your idea of ​​a vacation in Bali is not to leave the hotel and enjoy lying in a hammock in a luxury resort, Nusa Dua is the best area to stay in Bali. Outside of its resorts, there is hardly anything to do. To have some nightlife, you will have to travel to Kuta or Seminyak.

10. Sanur, Where to Stay in Bali With Your Family

Sanur was one of the first sites to be developed for tourism. However, it has not suffered the overcrowding of other areas such as Kuta and Legian. It remains a quiet and classy spot highly appreciated by both local and foreign tourists.

The main profiles that stay here are families, couples, elderly people, and repeaters from Bali who are looking for tranquility.

Located on the southeast coast, this is a good area to stay in Bali. It is ideal for enjoying a quiet holiday on white sand beaches and for practicing water sports.

Unlike Kuta, the sense of Balinese tradition is still implanted in this area, so it is possible to combine beach holidays with knowing the real Bali.

There are all kinds of accommodation. It should be noted that it is still possible to find good hotels on the seafront at affordable prices. Its value for money for medium and high price ranges is better than in other beach areas of the island.

11. Uluwatu, Where to Stay in Bali to Surf

The Uluwatu area, between Jimbaran and Nusa Dua, is where the best beaches are for surfing. The accommodation is eminently geared towards surfers. Uluwatu is the preferred place to stay in Bali among surfers.

Cheap guesthouses predominate. For those looking for something more comfortable in the area, the best option is to rent a villa. To have some life, you have to go to other parts of the island since apart from surfing there is little else to do

12. The North Coast

The north coast is practically virgin and very wild. In most of this area, you will only find the odd little cheap resort or secluded guesthouse. The points with some type of tourist infrastructure are: on the northeast coast of Tulamben and Amed, and in the north of Lovina and Singaraja.

Tulamben and Amed is an area that, despite the fact that it is developing little by little, is still really quiet. It is very popular for diving and snorkeling. If you are looking for nature, total relaxation, and very clear waters for diving, this area is a good option to stay in Bali.

Few foreign tourists choose Lovina and Singaraja to stay in Bali. It is a remote area very far from the main tourist areas of the island.

The vast majority of hotels are small and simple, however, more and more resorts of a certain quality are opening. For more luxurious options and at a good price in this area, a good option is the villas.

Accommodation in Bali

Bali is an island that receives a great variety of tourists. Its accommodation options are as diverse as the tourists who visit it. On the island, you can find the simplest and most basic rooms or bungalows to the typical super-luxury resorts that you can find in areas such as the Caribbean or the Riviera Maya.

In general, Bali is a destination with a good value for money. It is possible to find really cheap accommodation in small complexes with swimming pools and close to the beach. One of the most popular types of accommodation in Bali is its villas, many of them built in the traditional Balinese style.

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