Hey Bali Lovers, I get loads of private messages every day asking for advice and information about holidays tips to which I have an automated response pointing people to my app for most queries ( apologies as for years I have tried to provide personalised responses and just couldn’t keep up with the queries any longer). However a reoccurring theme regarding which area of Bali to stay in is repeated of late. So my little run down of popular locations includes: Kuta – head to Kuta if you are keen for market shopping, enjoy partying and socialising which includes loads of alcohol consumption, have your wits and common sense about you regarding personal safety and crime, enjoy shopping for all the International Brands at larger Shopping malls, love to socialise with the locals at the beach bars and are looking for larger hotels with all the mod cons or also ‘old school’ smaller Bali home stays for budget travellers. A plus side to Kuta is the close proximity to Waterbom Park and the Baby Turtle Sanctuary.
Legian – Legian is not too far from the airport and is great again for market style shopping, some boutiques and nice casual dining options and is somewhat close to Waterbom Park. It is a softer option for the party crowd with several sports bars dotted around and is great if you enjoy casual sunset drinks on the beach. Legian is popular for budget and luxe travellers with a range of hotels to suit all travellers and sits beautifully in between Seminyak and Kuta. Families enjoy Legian due to having many popular beach side eateries great when travelling with kids.
Seminyak- Seminyak is a definitely more upmarket and has considerably more boutiques and only small pockets of Market style shopping. The cafes, dining options and Bars are definitely more upmarket and fashionable and the style of accommodation is also more mid priced to luxury with a large blend of resorts and luxury villas available.
Umalas/ Batu Belig / Berawa – are beautiful areas which are quickly becoming built up, yet have smaller style hotels with a blend of Villas as well. There are no market stalls or large shopping malls, however there are some excellent cafes and restaurants and some boutiques and they are much quieter than perhaps Seminyak, Legian and Kuta. These areas are great if your keen to explore both Seminyak and Canggu.
Canggu – Canggu has become incredibly popular in recent years and attracts a lot of families and younger people. There are some great, cafes and smaller bars which have popped up and a small amount of boutiques. There aren’t any market stalls, shopping malls etc but there is awesome surf. Splash water park + Bounce and Strike Bowling Alley are big draw cards for families.
Balian and Medewi- are fantastic little get away locations with no shopping, no sports bars, no night clubs. Casual budget accommodation and dining options are abundant and great surf and beautiful scenery is why people come here.
Candidasa – A beautiful village vibe with small casual dining options. No shopping, nor night clubs and there are a few larger exclusive resorts but mainly smaller home stays and budget resorts.
Sanur – still has that old school, quiet Bali vibe with budget and luxury accommodation, calmer beaches than other locations, so it’s good for those with small children. Sanur has some market shopping, yet no boutiques or large scale shopping malls and has some lovely casual eateries and is a very popular location for retirees.
Nusa Dua- Has some of the islands most beautiful beaches and is mostly large scale upmarket resorts. There is one large shopping Centre although it has manly local crafts for sale and a food Hall type of thing. So not an area for much shopping or dining out other than what the resorts have on offer. Popular for Golf enthusiasts, families which like resorts which offer everything and those with higher budgets.
Balangan – is a stunning beachside location and is mainly for surfers or those wanting to relax with very casual, local style eating options and boutique or very casual budget accommodation. It’s a favourite of mine as I enjoy the coastal tranquility.
Bingin/ Padang Padang / Uluwatu – again another favourite of mine and is mainly for surfers / beach lovers and again families wanting to coastal vibes to relax. With stunning beaches (however loads of stairs need to be navigated to access them not for those who are elderly, unfit or may have special needs). There are a couple of boutiques and great coffee spots and cafes however no markets, nightclubs, large shopping malls etc.
Ubud – remains a craft and yoga hub for those seeking beautiful scenery and a retreat perhaps. Ubud has some of the best markets on the Island for shopping and a range of boutiques and Tegallalang rice fields are a must for craft shopping and viewing. There is a huge variety of dining options as well.
Lembongan- is incredibly laid back and mainly for surfers, divers and snorkelers with a great variety of accomodation, yet no shopping or nightlife at all.
Gili’s – are stunning and for those who love to dive and snorkel and also those that love to party hard.
I haven’t been to Bedugal, Lovina or Amed as I get super car sick so can’t really comment until one day when I travel around the entire island to find new discoveries and will report back. I hope that helps a little xxx