Bali is fairly big! Think about an island with an area approximately 100 times bigger than Manhattan and that offers a wide range of attractions – beaches, volcanoes, forests, and temples – all scattered around different parts. With that being said, setting up a base in different parts of the island is the best way to enjoy everything it has. However, when the time comes to choose where to stay in Bali, there’s always the question: What part of Bali is the right one for me? Don’t worry, I am here to help you choose the best place for you to stay on the island.
Where to stay in Bali – Ubud
Ubud is the soul of Bali. If you are not into big waves and surfing, when you think of Bali you probably think of Ubud: vegetarian restaurants, yoga, forest, temples, and spirituality. Choosing Ubud as a place to stay in Bali will give you a true experience of what Bali is about.
Your days in Ubud will be filled with matcha lattes, colorful smoothie bowls, and organic food. There are also plenty of activities to do, including visiting rice terraces, waterfalls, lots of yoga classes, and exploring temples.
Make sure to check my Guide to visit Ubud.
Where to stay in Bali – Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is where families with kids usually stay. Why? Because the white sand beaches with blue waters are calm and a lot of big hotels and resorts are located here. By choosing Nusa Dua to stay in Bali, there is also not a lot of need to be traveling around as you can just go to the hotel and enjoy their restaurants, pool, and – most of the time – their private beach.
All things considered, Nusa Dua will provide all the infrastructure required when you are traveling with children or as a family.
Where to stay in Bali – Seminyak
Seminyak used to be the low-key part of Bali, but the area has slowly changed to accommodate new developments. Now you can find big hotels and even a shopping mall here. You should stay in Seminyak if you want to go to the beach clubs located in the area, do some shopping, and have lots of restaurants to choose from.
Since the beach in Seminyak has a darker color, you can spend the day sipping drinks at the many beach clubs, such as the famous Potato Head, or enjoying the many charming cafés in the area.
Where to stay in Bali – Canggu
Canggu is laid-back, how Seminyak used to be a while ago. Today, the options of where to stay are basically villas and a dozen or so hotels. And that’s why in Canggu you will find a relaxed and good vibes atmosphere, and yet with plenty of cafes, vegetarian restaurants, and beach clubs.
As a comparison, I would say Canggu is the beach version of Ubud. Activities here include surfing, yoga classes in cute studios, beach club hopping (The Lawn, Finns, and La Brisa are located here), and checking out cafes and restaurants with plenty of colorful food and picture-perfect setting to post on social media.
Where to stay in Bali – Jimbaran
Jimbaran is a fishing village and where you can find the best seafood restaurants in Bali. Despite being close to Kuta, Jimbaran couldn’t be more different: staying here you’ll be very close to the beaches of the area, and yet still have access to some luxury hotels and resorts.
From Jimbaran, you can visit the beaches around, like Dreamland Beach and Bingin Beach.
Jimbaran is a good in-between option if you don’t want to stay in Uluwatu, but still want to stay close to the pristine beaches of Bali.
Where to stay in Bali – Uluwatu
Worldwide known as the perfect place for surfing, Uluwatu offers plenty of big waves and stunning clifftop ocean views. Even if you are not a surfer, you can still enjoy the calm beaches and beach clubs, like Karma Beach Club and Sundays Beach Club, and visit Uluwatu Temple.
The range of accommodation is also another major point in Uluwatu – perfect for honeymooners – with hotels offering private pool villas, floating breakfasts in the pool, and other luxury perks.
Where to stay in Bali – North/ Northwest Bali (Munduk/Menjangan)
If you are keen to visit an off the beaten path part of Bali, you should definitely plan on spending some days in the North/Northwest Bali, either in Munduk or Menjangan (or both!).
In Munduk you will be surrounded by waterfalls, swings overlooking the mountains, and be able to escape from the crowds, whereas in Menjangan you will be in one of the best diving spots in Bali. Here the clear waters are home to psychedelic colored corals, providing plenty of diving and water activities.
Where to stay in Munduk: Munduk Plantation.
Where to stay in Bali – Kuta
I don’t recommend staying in Kuta at all! If you are a tourist and want to visit Bali by only staying in Kuta, you will definitely be disappointed. Here you will find dirty beaches and party people that have nothing to do with the Balinese vibes.
You will hear people say that Kuta can be a good place if you are on a budget, but you can certainly enjoy Bali with limited resources anywhere you choose to be – regardless of the number of luxury hotels in Bali these days – as there will always be homestays around the island.
As I said, I really don’t recommend staying in Kuta, but if you really want to see for yourself, here are some options:
Now that you know the different parts of Bali, which one would you stay? Tell me, what’s your Bali?