From the jungles of arty Ubud and sleek beach bars of Seminyak, to destinations off-the-beaten-track, here’s how to choose the best Bali region for you.
With everything from spiritual, art and yoga escapes to big resort glamour and foodie retreats on offer, you'll find a corner of Bali for you. Hopping around is easy to do too. With exciting new experiences popping up all over this sun-soaked paradise, there is always something new to explore. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a regular Bali-goer, our guide on where to stay and play in Bali uncovers everything from vibey hotspots to off-the-beaten-track hideaways.
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Seminyak – for foodies
Seminyak is Bali’s vibe capital. Home to the island's highest concentration of swanky bars, world-class restaurants, uber-cool beach clubs and opulent five-star resorts, it’s where the well-heeled come to see and be seen – and first-time visitors to the island enjoy their initiation to the Bali beach club lifestyle. With a main strip bustling with boutiques, laid-back pubs, acai bowl cafes and glamorous bars, there’s something to fill every minute of every day: should you choose. It’s practically a rite of passage to sip cocktails beachfront at the likes of KU DE TA and Potato Head, while a fun-filled night is guaranteed at the legendary Motel Mexicola, where margaritas and tacos fuel late-night dancing.
Our tip? Spend your days lazing on pristine sandy shores before dining at the famed Plantation Grill within Double-Six Seminyak, then hit the streets to barhop after the spectacular sunset.
For more foodie inspiration read the Top 10 Restaurants in Bali for 2023.
Ubud – for nature lovers
Ubud, located amid lush rainforest and mysterious mountains, is known as Bali’s arts capital. Considered a must-visit destination for culture vultures, this serene escape that gained notoriety from ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ offers much more than just meditation and yoga retreats. Take in picture-perfect vistas of rice paddies and jungle vegetation, find your Zen at a mountainous resort, visit the Sacred Monkey Forest and support local artists at the weekly craft markets.
For nature lovers seeking the best resorts to disconnect at, we recommend an escape amid the undulating hills of Ubud, where you’ll find sumptuous serenity at Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana. Head for the hillside infinity swimming pool of Nandini Jungle Resort & Spa or a little further north for the serene jungle views of Buahan, A Banyan Tree Escape. For more nature-inspired Bali escapes, check out Seven of the Best Bali Resorts for Nature Lovers.
Planning a trip? Discover our roundup of Ubud’s Best Wellness Retreats.
Jimbaran Bay – for sunset cocktails
What could be better than sipping a tropical, handcrafted cocktail while looking out across spectacular Indian Ocean views? How about enjoying it at sunset from an epic clifftop location? Aside from its glamorous resorts, sensational seafood and calm waters, coastal Jimbaran is famed for its sunset cocktail scene. Enjoy a tipple or two at the ultra-luxe clifftop AYANA Villas Bali, which is home to the exclusive Rock Bar. This world-famous bar is renowned for its unique location, carved into the rock face above the crashing waves.
If rooftop bars and sandy beach clubs are your scene, then you’re in luck. Enjoy a Bintang or two at the upscale UNIQUE Rooftop Bar, where 360-degree views of the green forested hills can be admired from day beds or the 25-metre infinity pool. For a chilled-out evening in one of Bali’s best sunset locations, enjoy drinks on plush couches with the sounds of waves crashing in the background at Sundara in Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay.
Need more convincing? Here’s Why Rock Bar in Bali Should Be at the Top of Your List.
Nusa Dua – for lovers of luxury
For lovers of luxury, Nusa Dua, nestled within an enclave on the southeast coast, is the place to stay in Bali. This region is home to some of the biggest and most luxurious resorts, such as The Apurva Kempinski Bali, Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa and the opulent Mulia Resort. Relax knowing the kids are entertained at immersive kids' clubs, indulge with world-class dining, plunge into a never-ending stream of glittering pools or get your heart pumping with adrenaline-fuelled watersports. When it’s time to explore beyond your luxe resort, you’ll find elegant eateries, world-class restaurants and incredible bars offering jaw-dropping ocean vistas.
Thinking of booking a Mulia escape? Check out Mulia Bali: Everything You Need to Know About This Iconic Resort.
Uluwatu – for surfers
Escape to the picture-perfect peninsula of Uluwatu for legendary surf breaks, stunning cliffs and laidback local luxury. Known as an off-the-beaten-path destination, this hideaway on the southern tip of Bali offers world-class breaks that make it a must-visit for surfers, with a wave for every ability, from beginner to expert. Travel from May to September to catch the world-famous breaks at Bingin, Balangan and Padang Padang beaches, which draw large crowds. If the surf isn’t for you, you’ll still be charmed by some of the island's most beautiful beaches, with glittering sapphire water that crashes into limestone cliffs and porcelain-fine sands. After days by the sea, return to shore where laidback beach shacks, buzzing local eateries and pumping cliff clubs await.
Visit Uluwatu and stay at Six Senses Uluwatu, a cliffside sanctuary.
Make your stay un-Bali-vable with our guide to 7 Things to do in Bali to Make Your Escape Unforgettable.
Canggu – for the on-trend traveller
Canggu is one of the hottest spots in Bali right now and with its hip vibe, casual beachside eateries and unusual black sand beaches, it's easy to see the appeal. Once reserved for those 'in-the-know', this south-coast village is quickly gaining broader appeal, notching up a number of achingly cool beach clubs such as Finns, Atlas and The Lawn. For a sustainable, boutique retreat, stay at Nirjhara jungle villas, set amid rice paddies, or go five-star at The Santai. Spend your days beach-hopping from Berawa, right up to Seseh Beach. Expect emerging hotspots, a tranquil spa scene and elegant villas fringed by endless rice paddies, all set to the sounds of gently crashing waves.
Need more inspiration? Read 5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Bali Pool Villa.
Nusa Islands – For adventure seekers
Just a 30 to 40-minute speed boat from Bali’s east coast is the stunning island paradise of Nusa Lembongan. Find luxury on this picturesque gem in the ocean, home to quaint beach bars, relaxing spas, plenty of sun-soaked golden beaches and the Greek Island-inspired Batu Karang Lembongan Resort & Spa. Looking for extreme thrills? Venture to sister island Nusa Penida. Home to towering cliffs and wild swirls, the landscape lends itself to adrenaline-packed outdoor sports, with days full of cliff jumping, surfing and paddleboarding. For a lower-impact adventure, snorkel the iridescent waters off Nusa Ceningan before retreating to your blissful accommodation.
Ready to take a Bali escape? Check out our selection of offers here.