Where To Stay In Bali? The Ultimate Guide

published by Bren

Last updated: April 28, 2024

When trotting around Canggu, you might see a piece of wall art on the side of a restaurant that reads “Bali is never a bad idea.”

Bali is full of wonders and treasures and it’s no wonder it’s been a favourite holiday destination for decades.

Here’s one thing you may not know about Bali, though.

The island is huge.

For example, are you trying to decide between Ubud and Kuta?

Choose well, because I can promise you will not be spending a lot of time in both. Driving between the two is over an hour, and since traffic in Bali can be horrendous, it will be even longer during rush hour.

How do you know where’s the best place to stay for you?

This guide! Below I’ve mapped out the main areas of the island, and not only are they quite distant from each other they’re all very different as well.

By the end of this guide you should have a much better idea of what Bali has to offer, and which part of the island is going to give you the Bali experience you’re looking for .Of course, if you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments below. I’ll be here!

How to get to your destination

Your first challenge is getting to your accommodation in the first place.

Most likely you’ll arrive via Denpasar Airport.

Luckily, buying a tourist sim at the airport is extremely easy (they’ll all be hounding you as soon as you exit baggage collection). Once you have data on your phone you can simply use the Grab app (similar to Uber) to order a ride.

You can also pre-book your ride with Klook, but in my experience that’s not really necessary.

Expect to pay between $20-$40 to get from the airport out to the beaches, depending on which one you’re going to.

In this guide:

  • Map of Bali
  • Kuta – Tourist party area, good for younger people/backpackers
  • Seminyak – A quieter version of Kuta, good for couples
  • Canggu – Up-and-coming backpacker area, gyms, healthy food, good for young people
  • Ubud – More secluded – lots of yoga, vegan food, healthy restaurants, nature, hikes and activities
  • Jimbaran – More up-market and several popular surf beaches
  • Nusa Dua – Bali’s luxury corner
  • Sanur – Smaller beach area – quiet but not much happening, a few nice restaurants/hotels though.
  • Denpasar – Central area with less tourists, more local living

Map of Bali

This is a map of the most popular areas to stay in Bali.

As you can see, all the areas people typically stay are in the south of the island (where the airport is).

Of course, the north of the island can be visited too, but as a tourist you’re probably coming to Bali for nice restaurants, some shopping, live music on the beach, a comfy hotel, maybe a massage and a few fun activities, and the north isn’t really the place to find all that (it can make a great day trip, though!)

Click on each coloured tear drop to see the name of a place and a screenshot.

We’ll go through more details of each of them in the guide below.

Kuta

Kuta is probably the most common area for tourists in Bali.

Bali frequenters tend to hate the place, but I think it’s not a bad spot for first-timers or people who aren’t accustomed to travelling in Asia.

Things might be a little more expensive here but it’s basically an entire beach town set up for tourists, so everything is accessible and you will never have trouble finding a place to stay or something to eat.

Do be aware that it’s a favourite for backpackers and younger travellers and a lot of partying goes on here – that means drinking during the daytime and noisy nightclubs after dark.

However, it’s easy enough to stay away from those areas if you want – though if you’re trying to avoid that kind of thing my recommendation would be to simply stay in another area (discussed below!)

Points of interest around Kuta:

  • Waterbom Bali – A huge waterpark, great for kids
  • Discovery Mall – Huge mall with all your favourite brands
  • Kuta Beach – most popular beach in Kuta (maybe all of Bali?!)
  • Bombing Memorial – The Ground Zero Memorial in remembrance of the Bali bombings
  • Beachwalk Mall – Big, sprawling mall in Kuta

You should stay in Kuta if you are:

  • A backpacker looking for hostels/budget accom and trying to save money.
  • Looking for crowds, partying and nightlife.
  • Want to be in the centre of the action.
  • Want to be close to Kuta beach.
  • Shopping!

Where to stay in Kuta:

For the backpacker:

Stay at the Fora Capsule Hostel.

It’s about a 10 minute walk from the beach, and the facilities are super modern and clean. Capsule beds means you get to enjoy your privacy while still being able to socialise with other backpackers.

At ten bucks a night you can’t go wrong. Best rates here.

For the budget traveller:

Stay at De Dukuh Guest House. Private rooms, swimming pool, 7 minute walk to the ocean.

Enjoy your privacy while still being in the centre of Kuta. Private room shouldn’t run you much more than twenty bucks a night.

Best rates here.

For the luxurious type:

Stay at The Stones Resort.

Beachfront on the wonderful Legian Beach, the resort is fully equipped with an amazing pool, spa, gym, plus a kid’s club for you to leave the little ones while you go for a cocktail.

Three fantastic restaurants serving everything from local fare to steaks and seafood means you never have to leave!

Hands down one the best hotels in Kuta.

Best rates here.


Seminyak

I’m a fan of Seminyak.

You can think of Seminyak as the calmer baby brother of Kuta.

You can still find clubs, parties and cocktails on the beach here, but the vibe is much more mellow. Think beanbags on the sand, listening to live acoustic music, rather than raving and tequila shots.

It’s also very tourist-oriented so very suitable for first-timers and inexperienced travellers. A lot of the area around Seminyak is walkable, so it’s quite nice in the evenings to just walk around, maybe buy a few souvenirs and look for somewhere to eat.

If you love a more laid back beach where you can chill with a drink and some lunch, this is also the spot for you. Seminyak is home to a yuuuuuge stretch of beaches consisting of Petitenget Beach, Kayu Aya Beach, Seminyak Beach, Double Six Beach and Legian Beach. This stretch of white/golden sand beaches is lined with restaurants and beach clubs and is perfect for taking long walks, or having a drink and laying out on the sand for an evening. Yes, good for swimming too!

There’s also a diverse mix of accommodation so whether you want a 5-star hotel or a hostel dorm, you’ll find it here no problem.

Points of interest in Seminyak: 

  • Eat Street – Long street with lots of great restaurants! (mostly international food)
  • Seminyak Beach and others – a beautiful stretch of beaches with beautiful sunsets!
  • Shopping – many boutique stores for clothes/souvenirs
  • Nia Cooking School – Popular cooking classes in Bali
  • Seminyak Flea Market
  • Nyaman Gallery – Well-known local art gallery

You should stay in Seminyak if:

  • You want a beautiful beach!
  • You want a good selection of places to eat and drink, without the big crowds.
  • You want to be near Kuta, but not in the centre of the action.

Where to stay in Seminyak:

For the backpacker:

Stay at White Penny Hostel.

Modern hostel with both female and mixed dorms, shared kitchen and an on-site restaurant. Fantastic location makes it a 5-minute walk to the beach and surrounded by many great bars and restaurants to choose from.

Not the cheapest hostel, but great value for money for what you get.

Best rates here.

For the budget traveller:

Stay at De Puspa Residence.

A local guesthouse offering basic accommodation but they do all the basics right.

Private rooms with private bathroom, a beautiful garden setting, and well managed. Upgrading to a room with kitchen is possible. Five minutes walk to the beach makes it a perfect choice.

Best rates here.

For the luxury seeker:

Stay at the legendary Seminyak Beach Resort.

Hands down the best hotel in Seminyak, it features a beautiful infinity pool that opens right onto the sand. The rooms are equipped with huge TVs and beautiful bathrooms with rainshowers, and if you feel like splurging, you can upgrade to a villa with your own hot tub over ocean views.

A fully equipped spa and fitness centre, not to mention two fantastic restaurants to cater to your holiday cravings.

Best rates here.


Canggu

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly who the target market is for Canggu – people say it’s for backpackers, but I don’t think that’s accurate.

Here’s what Canggu has to offer:

  • The best gyms on the island
  • Many health-focused restaurants – on menus you’ll find things like “tropical smoothie bowls”, “pumpkin protein brownies” and “liver and marrow patties”
  • A few vegan restaurants
  • A pretty good surf beach
  • Lots of coffee
  • Many shirtless gym bros and girls working out in bikinis

I love the area, but I think it’s quite pricey and is aimed at a slightly higher budget than what a backpacker can afford. I usually spend about $100 a day in Canggu on food and accom, and that’s when staying in a budget guest house. Not to mention, I joined the most expensive gym of my life while I was there (about $110 USD per week).

Points of interest in Canggu:

  • Canggu Beach – Great for surfing lessons
  • La Brisa Farmers Market – Every Sunday!
  • The Lawn – Popular beach club in Canggu with huge parties every Friday
  • FINNS – Infamous party spot in Canggu – 11 bars/4 pools, nowhere else like it!
  • Pura Tanah Lot – Famous sea temple in the ocean
  • Bali Body Factory – Amazing gym for those looking to stay fit! Day passes available.
  • LOTS of great restaurants

You should stay in Canggu if you:

  • Want to party! (but – peace and quiet can also be enjoyed in Canggu)
  • Want surf lessons.
  • Looking to get healthy (many healthy restaurants and gyms)
  • Want a younger crowd.

Where to stay in Canggu:

For the backpacker:

Stay at Dip & Doze.

This small hostel does everything right – clean rooms, nightly social activities, many areas to mingle including the pool and lounge, and a short walk to the beach.

Best rates here.

For the budget traveller:

Stay at Eva Guest House!

This is where I stayed on my first trip to Canggu. It’s a very basic guesthouse but has an excellent location, right across from Bali Body Factory gym and surrounded by great restaurants.

It’s about a ten minute walk to the beach, and the management is wonderful.

Nothing flashy but if you’re on a budget, it’s everything you need!

Best rates here.

For the luxury seeker:

Easy choice – stay at Theanna Villa and Spa.

This heartbreakingly beautiful set of villas has everything you could ever need.

The top-end villas have everything from a private pool to a barbecue area and open seating areas where you can enjoy the Bali heat in luxury.

An on-site spa means you can be pampered daily, after exploring Canggu on one of their bicycles.

If you’re not in the mood to pedal, their free shuttle will escort you around the surrounding areas.

Nobody in Canggu does luxury better.

Best rates here.


Ubud

Ubud is famous for being Bali’s “hipster/yogi/vegan/spiritual” retreat where you can get away from the clubs and the parties and instead meditate yourself into a new you.

Up in the north of the island, where quiet roads among rice paddies is the norm, here you will find many vegan/whole foods/healthy restaurants, meditation and breathing classes, yoga schools, fasting and cleansing retreats and the like.

It is quite a distance from the beaches, but don’t worry – you will definitely be enveloped in enough greenery and nature to keep you happy!

Even if you don’t want to stay here, it’s a fantastic place to head for a day trip and enjoy a bike ride in the paddies or a stroll through Ubud town.

You should stay in Ubud if you are:

  • Wanting peace and quiet
  • Wanting to get healthy
  • Looking a spiritual/relaxing experience
  • Want to enjoy the “Eat Pray Love” type of Bali trip.

Points of interest in Ubud:

  • Sacred Monkey Sanctuary – Famous monkey conservation sanctuary
  • Campuhan Ridge Walk – The most popular walk in Ubud
  • Tegenungan Waterfall – Beautiful falls where you can swim a short drive from Ubud
  • Ubud Art Market – One of the best markets in Bali!
  • Tegalalang Rice Terraces – The most famous paddies in Ubud
  • Ubud Water Palace – Hindu water temple in the centre of Ubud
  • Mount Batur – Yes, you can climb it!

Where to stay in Ubud

For the backpacker

Stay at Alam Pracetha Hostel.

This boutique hostel is stylishly designed and sits within a a local Balinese housing compound. A few activities are put on during the week and free wifi is available throughout.

If you like small tasteful hostels, this is a great choice for your stay in Ubud.

Breakfast included!

Best rates here.

For the budget traveller:

Stay at Uma Taman House!

This is a small guesthouse that is perfectly located within walking distance (about 10 minutes) to Ubud Centre.

Each room has a private bathroom and a balcony for you to relax outside in the Bali sunshine.

Should cost you around $15 per night (maybe slightly higher in peak season). For what you get, it’s a bargain.

Best rates here.

For the luxury traveller:

Stay at the The Ridge!

If you’d like to indulge in daily fresh pastries, sweets, champagne, while relaxing in your own private pool in your private villa overlooking Ubud, this is the spot you’re looking for.

There is also an on-site spa a wellness centre where you can get a massage or take a yoga class to ensure you stay vibrant and healthy during your stay.

Whatever you need, the staff will attend to your every need.

Ubud luxury at its finest.

Best rates here.


Jimbaran

I have not spent much time in Jimbaran personally, but it’s a spot that is popular with surfers due to the many unique surf breaks, and has some beautiful beaches.

It’s also a popular honeymoon spot, as the area is more targeted towards luxury vacationers rather than backpackers and young people.

You will find many luxury resorts here, and some of the best beaches on the island.

It’s not far from Kuta but is significantly less touristy and crowded.

Points of interest in Jimbaran:

  • Kedonganan Fish Market
  • Jimbaran Beach – One of Bali’s best!
  • Dreamland Beach – Very popular!
  • Padang Padang Beach – Famous surf beach
  • Balangan Beach – Another famous surf beach
  • Pura Ulun Siwi – Black stone temple

You should stay in Jimbaran if:

  • You’re on a honeymoon and want a bit of liveliness, but nothing too crazy.
  • You love good beach.
  • You looking for upper-end accommodation.

Where to stay in Jimbaran:

For the backpacker:

Personally I don’t think Jimbaran is the greatest spot for a backpacker, but if you’d like to stay around here I’d go with the Bali Bobo Hostel.

It’s a little far from the beach, but as far as hostels go it does all the basic things well and is decent value for money.

Best rates here.

For the budget traveller:

Stay at Flower Bud!

This offers great value for money and is a short 5-minute walk to the beach.

Set in a tropical garden, the rooms are chic and private, plus an outdoor restaurant and pool are available for you to enjoy.

All for $30 a night – what’s not to love?

Best rates here.

For the luxury seeker:

You can never go wrong with the Four Seasons.

Set right on the sand of Jimbaran Bay, this beachfront resort has everything you could desire.

Your own Balinese villa set in a tropical garden, three on-site restaurants to cater to all your cravings, a gym to get your morning workout in, a spa to relax and rejuvenate in the afternoon, and a stroll on the beach outside to close out your evening.

Bali in luxury never looked better!

Best rates here.


Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua is Bali’s luxury corner, and widely considered the most flashy place on the island.

Home to countless luxury resorts and villas, and the island’s best golf course, this is the part of Bali designed for people who have money to spend.

A 7km beach walk that runs along the coastline which is beautiful to stroll along in the evenings.

The nightlife is very subdued, and most evenings you will simply see couples and families (of all ages) enjoying meals in up-market restaurants and strolling in the sand.

It is significantly more flash than Jimbaran and if you’re on a honeymoon, this would be my choice.

You should stay in Nusa Dua if you are:

  • Money is no issue.
  • You want a luxury vacation.
  • You want to be away from parties, noise, and nightclubs.
  • You’re on honeymoon and want to impress.

Where to stay in Nusa Dua:

For the budget traveller:

Nusa Dua isn’t really the place you want to be staying on a budget (try Seminyak, Kuta or Canggu instead).

However, if you need to stay around here for whatever reason, a good choice is Amaris Hotel.

It’s a no-frills hotel quite close to the beach that goes for around $25 a night.

Best rates here.

A great choice is the Surin Park Apartments. They’re fully serviced, beautiful, a short walk from the beach and very affordable. Check the latest rates here.

For the luxury seeker:

Stay at the Royal Santrian.

Where do I start with this beautiful property!? Located on your own private beach in Nusa Dua, the villas at The Royal Santrian will feel like a home you never want to leave.

Private pool, outdoor seating area, separate dining and sleeping/living areas, indoor and outdoor showers, bath tub, and once you step inside I’m sure you’ll agree – immaculately furnished and designed.

An on-site restaurant serves both western and local dishes, and a classy bar to ensure your champagne or cocktail glass is always full.

In my opinion, the best beachfront offering in Nusa Dua, perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway.

Best rates here.


Sanur

Sanur Beach is around 15 minutes from the centre of Denpasar by taxi and is a much quieter and smaller version of Kuta or Seminyak.

The crowd here is usually couples or families and you won’t find many nightclubs or bars, but rather lots of good restaurants, bakeries and boutique stores.

Sanur is not very popular, but personally I enjoy hanging out here and do so quite often when I’m in Bali. There are a few good restaurants on the beach where you can spend the evening enjoying good food and drink, reading a book and digging your feet into the sand. Luxury!

Points of interest around Sanur:

  • Blanjong Pillar – the oldest historical site in Bali
  • Sanur Beach – has a great promenade running along the coast perfect for walks
  • Sindu Night Market – street food!
  • Massimo Gelato – the line is always huge, but worth it

You should stay in Sanur if:

  • You want all the tourist comforts without the bustle.
  • You’re a couple wanting a quieter beach.

Where to stay in Sanur:

For the backpacker:

Stay at Suwardika Homestay.

A basic hostel that has everything you’d expect in a decent backpackers. 10 minute walk from the beach and one of the cheapest in the area. Great value for money.

Best rates here.

For the budget traveller:

Stay at Sekar Waru.

A very typical Balinese guesthouse with basic rooms with big beds and a small outdoor seating area (you see this a lot in Bali).

Close to the beach (about ten minutes) and all rooms come with a TV and private bathroom. Free wifi and bike rentals also available.

Best rates here.

For the luxury seeker:

Stay at Andaz Bali!

Andaz Bali is a luxury concept hotel by Hyatt situated in Sanur.

Situated on the beachfront, you’ll also have access to a fantastic swimming pool, spa and fitness centre, international restaurant and bike hire.

Both suites and private villas are available, with garden, pool or ocean views.

Hands down the best place to stay in Sanur!

Best rates here.


Denpasar

If it’s your first time in Bali – I probably wouldn’t bother with Denpasar.

It’s a very local area and the things people come to Bali for – beaches, shopping, food and fun – is not really abundant around Denpasar.

Last time I stayed in Denpasar, I found myself catching a Grab almost every night to Sanur Beach to eat and hang at the beach.

If you want to be near the airport – choose one of the places in Kuta. It’s only a short drive away.


There it is! Your ultimate Bali accommodation guide. Hopefully, this has given you all the info you need for your perfect Bali adventure. Any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Otherwise, have fun and travel safely 🙂

Bren

Loved this? Spread the word


You might also like:

Share your thoughts!

Your email address will not be published. 

  1. Hi, we are newly married couple and want to spend some time in Bali, Bali is a good place for honeymooners as per the information I got from your post, especially Kuta beach I liked it very well. The point has been put forward.

    Also thanks for sharing hotel details, you have shared good list of hotels of every category. We can choose the hotel according to our budget.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe.

My newsletter includes exclusive stories, updates, giveaways and more. 100% free. 

Zero spam. Unsubscribe anytime.