Sun loungers, garden and pool at a private villa at Viceroy Resort, Ubud, Bali

Credit: Viceroy Bali

Whether you’re visiting Bali for the first time or returning and looking to explore accommodation in different neighbourhoods, we’ll help guide you on the best areas to stay in Bali.

There’s no one definitive best area to stay in Bali. Ubud, Canggu, Seminyak, Kuta and Legian, Sanur and Uluwatu are considered some of the most popular areas to visit in Bali. Each has its own advantages, drawbacks, features, atmosphere and most popular attractions. 

When choosing which area of Bali to stay in there are some key considerations. These include who you’re travelling with (or if you’re travelling solo), the activities you have planned, the length of your stay in Bali, and your budget for accommodation.  

When picking your accommodation and where to stay in Bali, we recommend you start by planning your Bali itinerary. This helps guide you to which area best suits your needs and preferences and maximises your time on the island.  

Here’s a brief overview of the best areas to stay in Bali and what makes each unique. Make sure to read our full guide below for more info on each area, including recommendations for accommodation and what to do there. 

The main areas of Bali are below.

  • Ubud: This is a traditional town located inland. Ubud is known for its lush rice fields, rich heritage, relaxing ambience and wellness culture.   
  • Canggu: Canggu is a trendy and laid-back coastal area famous for its bohemian atmosphere, surf beaches, and emerging food and nightlife scenes.  
  • Seminyak: A buzzing beach town renowned for luxury accommodation, vibrant beach clubs, massage parlours, upscale restaurants and boutiques. 
  • Kuta and Legian: These neighbouring beach areas are known for lively nightlife, busy streets, surf beaches, and variety of family-friendly activities. 
  • Sanur: Sanur is a peaceful and low-key coastal area. Known for its watersports and diving, many day trips leave from here. 
  • Uluwatu: A beach-side town known for its breathtaking clifftop views, white sand beaches, world-class surf breaks, and trendy beach clubs. 

In this guide, we share our personal recommendations for areas to stay in and around Bali for different types of travellers 

Here are the most popular areas for a stay in Bali:  

 

1. Ubud  

Lush rice fields and palm trees in Ubud

Credit: Mattia Zeny from stock.adobe.com

Ubud is one of the best and most popular areas to stay in Bali, because it offers traditional, cultural and scenic elements that make it the ultimate holiday destination. Located in the uplands of central Bali, Ubud is a traditional town with an authentic village feel, surrounded by vast green landscapes and rice fields. Considered Bali’s cultural and spiritual capital, Ubud offers visitors a haven for relaxation, spa and massage treatments, yoga and wellness retreats. As visitors explore its temples and witness traditional dance performers, they gain a deep insight into Bali's culture, customs and traditions. 

 

What is Ubud the best area to stay for? 

Ubud is the best place in Bali to stay for relaxation, spa and massage treatments, rice fields, arts and culture, local food, markets, temples. 

Who is Ubud most suit to as an area?

Ubud is an area that most visitors to Bali love to visit. That being said, Ubud is ideally suited to first-timer visitors to Bali, couples and honeymooners, solo explorers, families, yoga enthusiasts, spiritual practitioners, vegetarians and vegans. 

What is Ubud the worst area to stay for?

Ubud is not considered a great choice of area in Bali in terms of proximity to beaches, distance to the airport, nightlife and partying, or quality Western-style food. 

Top attractions in Ubud:  

There is so much to see and do in Ubud, which has some of the best activities and attractions in all of Bali. From weaving through the busy Ubud Art Market, to enjoying a luxurious massage at Ubud Traditional Spa, to hanging out for the day at the Dtukad River Club, you never run out of top Ubud activities.

Here are 3 of our favourite Ubud Attractions:

  • Tegallalang Rice Terraces: A stunning UNESCO-listed heritage site featuring sprawling rice fields carved into hill slopes to create a captivating landscape. Learn about the ancient Balinese Subak water system, and the important of rice to Indonesian culture.
  • Campuhan Ridge Walk: A relaxed 2km trail hike offering expansive views of Ubud's lush greenery, located just off the main streets of Bali.
  • Tegenungan Waterfall: A powerful 25 metre waterfall located within Ubud's rainforests, featuring swings and areas for perching over the sides of the cliffs. Home to the Dtukad River Club, an open-air bamboo club and restaurant featuring two pools and live DJ music. 

Best accommodation in Ubud: 

Best Ubud Accommodation Overall: Desa Visesa Ubud

Best Luxury (5 star) Accommodation in Ubud: Viceroy Bali

Best Ubud Accommodation For Families: The Udaya Resorts

Best Ubud Accommodation For Couples: Adiwana Bisma Ubud

Best Ubud Accommodation for Solo Travellers: Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel Ubud

 

2. Canggu

Aerial panorama of the Canggu beach, Bali, Indonesia

Credit: F8 on stock.adobe.com

Canggu is a hip beach town situated on the south coast of Bali. Once a quiet fishing and farming village, Canggu has fast become one of the trendiest and most bohemian areas to stay in Bali. A firm favourite with surfers and digital nomads, the easy-going town is a great place to stay for solo travellers and groups of friends looking for a relaxed vibe, cool cafés, bars and restaurants, great sunsets, and somewhere to learn how to surf. 

 

What is Canggu the best area to stay for? 

Surfing, beaches and beach clubs, organic and healthy food, trendy boutiques, vibrant nightlife. 

Who is Canggu most suit to as an area?

Surfers, solo travellers, groups of friends, creatives, foodies. 

What is Canggu the worst area to stay for?

Peace and quiet, cultural immersion, proximity to the airport. 

Top attractions in Canggu:  

  • Tanah Lot Temple
  • Batu Bolong Beach
  • Finns Beach Club 

Best accommodation in Canggu: 

Best Canggu Accommodation Overall: COMO Uma Canggu

Best Luxury (5 star) Accommodation in Canggu: The Anvaya

Best Canggu Accommodation For Families: Theanna Villa and Spa

Best Canggu Accommodation For Couples: Shore Amora

Best Canggu Accommodation for Solo Travellers: The Farm Hostel

 

3. Seminyak

Beach Umbrellas View Of Double Six Beach, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.

Credit: Koko on stock.adobe.com

Situated on the west coast of Bali, Seminyak is a vibrant and trendy coastal town, within walking distance of beautiful beaches, iconic beach clubs and upmarket boutiques and restaurants. The stylish area of Seminyak is a great place to stay for swimming and surfing, delicious and healthy food, boutique shopping, luxury spas, and cool bars. Seminyak is a good option for first-timers due to its accessibility, well-developed infrastructure and lively social scene, and families and couples benefit from being in close proximity to a diverse selection of restaurants, beaches, and shops.

 

What is Seminyak the best area to stay for? 

Beaches and beach clubs, luxury accommodation, boutique shopping, art galleries, yoga studios, trendy restaurants, proximity to the airport.

Who is Seminyak most suit to as an area?

First-timers, couples, families, beach lovers, partygoers, luxury accommodation, shoppers. 

What is Seminyak the worst area to stay for?

Quiet, cultural immersion, budget-conscious travellers. 

Top attractions in Seminyak:  

  • Seminyak Beach
  • Double Six Beach Club
  • Petitenget Temple. 

Best accommodation in Seminyak: 

Best Seminyak Accommodation Overall: The Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa

Best Luxury (5 star) Accommodation in Seminyak: Double Six Luxury Hotel

Best Seminyak Accommodation For Families: Hotel Indigo Bali 

Best Seminyak Accommodation For Couples: Blue Karma Dijiwa Seminyak

Best Seminyak Accommodation for Solo Travellers: Oberoi Beach Resort

 

4. Kuta and Legian

Busy streets of Kuta at night in Bali

Photo: Heiko der Urlauber on Adobe Stock

Kuta and Legian are Bali's main tourist areas located on the southwest coast of Bali. Both are coastal towns that offer visitors beautiful beaches for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, water sports, as well as water parks, shopping malls, bars and clubs. Kuta and Legian are slightly different in atmosphere - Kuta is lively with a party vibe for young adults and backpackers, while Legian is quieter, more laidback and appeals to families. 

 

What is Kuta and Legian the best area to stay for? 

Partying, easy access to beaches, restaurants and shops, proximity to the airport, close to attractions.

Who is Kuta and Legian most suit to as an area?

Backpackers, young adults, families, shopping enthusiasts. 

What is Kuta and Legian the worst area to stay for?

Peaceful environment, avoiding crowds, cultural immersion. 

Top attractions in Kuta and Legian:  

  • Waterbom Bali
  • Beachwalk Shopping Centre
  • Kuta Beach.

Best accommodation in Kuta and Legian: 

Best Kuta and Legian Accommodation Overall: Hard Rock Hotel Bali

Best Luxury (5 star) Accommodation in Kuta and Legian: Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort & Spa

Best Kuta and Legian Accommodation For Families: Truntum Kuta (formerly Grand Inna Kuta)

Best Kuta and Legian Accommodation For Couples: Amnaya Resort Kuta

Best Kuta and Legian Accommodation for Solo Travellers: Mamaka by Ovolo

 

5. Sanur

Beach umbrellas and sun loungers on Sanur Beach, Bali

Photo: Aleksandar Todorovic on Adobe Stock

Sanur is a peaceful coastal area situated on Bali's southeastern corner with sheltered beaches, a quiet atmosphere and a small village feel. Its slow pace appeals to those looking for a relaxing holiday and to escape the crowds of Seminyak and Kuta, while still enjoying the convenience of nearby restaurants, spas and shops. Sanur’s waterfront promenade is a popular spot for biking, walking and enjoying sunrise views. Beyond the solitude, Sanur is one of the best areas to stay for day trippers and diving and snorkelling enthusiasts wanting to catch the fast boat to popular dive sites at the Nusa and Gili islands.

 

What is Sanur the best area to stay for? 

Peace and quiet, beaches, water sports, access to Nusa and Gili Islands, family-friendly environment, traditional Balinese ambiance.

Who is Sanur most suit to as an area?

Families, couples, water sports enthusiasts, divers and snorkellers. 

What is Sanur the worst area to stay for?

Nightlife, bustling streets, partying, extreme water sports. 

Top attractions in Sanur:  

  • Sanur Beach
  • Sanur Boardwalk
  • Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (TCEC) 

Best accommodation in Sanur: 

Best Sanur Accommodation Overall: Hyatt Regency

Best Luxury (5 star) Accommodation in Sanur: Maya Sanur Resort & Spa

Best Sanur Accomodation For Families: Prama Sanur Beach Hotel Bali

Best Sanur Accommodation For Couples: InterContinental Bali Sanur Resort

Best Sanur Accommodation for Solo Travellers: Kejora Suites

 

6. Uluwatu

Aerial View of Uluwatu Temple at Sunrise

Photo: Rodrigo M. Nunes on Adobe Stock

Perched on the top of limestone cliff tops at Bali’s southern tip (Bukit Peninsula), Uluwatu is a coastal region that offers incredible panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. A bit more tranquil than Seminyak or Kuta, Uluwatu has a laid back and relaxed atmosphere, and is famous for its beautiful beaches, world-class surf breaks, trendy beach clubs and the sacred Uluwatu Temple. Offering a quiet escape from Bali’s main areas of Ubud, Seminyak and Kuta, Uluwatu is a great area to stay for rest and relaxation or a romantic getaway. 

 

What is Uluwatu the best area to stay for? 

Surfing, hidden beaches, yoga and wellness retreats, cultural immersion, breathtaking views, luxury accommodation. 

Who is Uluwatu most suit to as an area?

Surfers, beach goers, couples, honeymooners, yogis, nature lovers, photography enthusiasts. 

What is Uluwatu the worst area to stay for?

Exploring other areas of Bali, vibrant nightlife, bustling streets, extensive dining options, accessibility.  

Top attractions in Kuta and Legian:  

  • Uluwatu Temple
  • Bingin Beach
  • Padang Padang Beach 

Best accommodation in Uluwatu:

Best Uluwatu Accommodation Overall: Bingin Cliff House

Best Luxury (5 star) Accommodation in Uluwatu: Bulgari Resort Bali

Best Uluwatu Accomodation For Families: Alila Villas Uluwatu

Best Uluwatu Accommodation For Couples: The Ungasan Clifftop Resort

Best Uluwatu Accommodation for Solo Travellers: Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu