Bali is an incredible destination to travel to and you may think that it doesn’t really matter which area you stay in when you visit.
After all, as long as you have access to the shimmering sand, stunning rice fields, beach bars, dreamy yoga retreats, and incredible dining options, you will be celebrating life in paradise!
However, there are a few areas in Bali that are more suitable than others for your vacation.
Two of the best destinations are Canggu and Seminyak but the question is, which one is better?
This travel guide will help you decide which one has the ambiance and atmosphere you desire for your vacation.
Canggu might be one of the most popular hubs for digital nomads in Southeast Asia, but that doesn’t mean the locals don’t know how to have fun.
This area of Bali has a chill vibe with many laid-back cafés and trendy health-conscious eateries. You’ll also find plenty of local beaches to soak up the sun.
Located 20-30 minutes from Denpasar International Airport, Seminyak is more lively than Canggu.
This is perfect if you are looking to be in the center of the action during your entire vacation.
This area is also pricier with street-lined designer shops, villas and world-class resorts with private swimming pools, and an incredible restaurant scene.
Within walking distance is Seminyak Square – you’ll find everything from shops to bars and a wealth of dining options.
This area is generally full of tourists, so if you’re looking to mingle this is your spot!
Canggu to Seminyak distance is about 10 km (6 mi) or a 20-minute ride south and it is easy to get between the two by taking a taxi, riding a scooter, or even walking.
This small coastal village sits on the southern part of Bali and offers so much for you to do – you’ll always find yourself wandering around.
There are three main roads in Canggu: Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Jalan Pantai Berawa, and Jalan Padang Linjong. If you can keep those three roads straight, you should never find yourself lost in Canggu.
If you’re taking a taxi, here’s a list of approximate fares you can expect to pay:
Canggu to Seminyak taxi fare – 82000 IDR or $5.50 USD
Canggu to Ubud taxi fare – 235,000 IDR or $16.00 USD
Canggu to Kuta taxi fare – 128,000 IDR or $9.00 USD
Seminyak is an excellent location on the western side of Bali and it is best to spend your days walking when you are there.
If you do not want to walk, you can easily use a taxi or a tuk-tuk during your visit. It’s even possible to hire a private car or catch a shuttle from many of the resorts and hotels.
Approximate taxi fare you could expect to pay:
Seminyak to Canggu taxi fare – 82000 IDR or $5.50 USD
Seminyak to Ubud taxi fare – 195,000 IDR or $13.00 USD
Seminyak to Kuta taxi fare – 45,000 IDR or $3.00 USD
There are quite a few restaurants and cafés in both Canggu and Seminyak, so you’ll never need to worry about going hungry.
Some places to eat in Canggu are Café Organic, The Loft, The Mocca, and Koloni. The last one is a little pricier than the others, but the ambiance and tables in the gardens are worth the extra cost. Try Nalu Bowls Dojo for a sweet and refreshing Balinese treat.
If you’re in Seminyak, try hitting up Lacalaca Cantina Mexicana, Starfish Bloo, Sisterfields, and Sarong. These restaurants are highly rated and will guarantee to fill up your bellies. In need of a pick-me-up after that decadent meal? Grab your cuppa joe at Coffee Cartel.
Being an island, it’s no surprise that Bali is dotted with countless sandy beaches (black-sand beaches included!) and dozens of beach bars.
The perfect spot to work on your tan and have a relaxing beach day.
Whether you’re in Canggu or Seminyak, here are the best pristine beaches in each area:
Over in Canggu, there are three main beaches: Echo Beach, Berawa Beach, and Batu Bolong Beach.
If you’re into the beach life, Canggu is the perfect spot.
Berawa Beach is the most popular of the three and is always crowded with locals and tourists. You’ll find this beach in front of Finn’s Beach Club and it is the best beach for surfing.
Regardless of the time of day or night, Batu Bolong Beach is always an exciting place. Tourists generally gather at Batu Bolong to watch sunsets, drink at beach bars, and visit the markets.
Echo Beach is popular for surfing, stunning sunsets, and mouth-watering seafood eateries. It’s a great spot whether you’re relaxing or enjoying the beach parties at Echo Beach Club.
There are four incredible beaches in Seminyak.
Double Six Beach is a 500 m stretch of golden sand and soft crashing waves, making it the perfect spot for beginner surfers. This beach also makes up a part of Seminyak Beach.
If relaxing is more your style, then Batu Belig Beach should be at the top of your list.
Petitenget Beach is also a great choice if you want to get away from the crowds and is perfect for watching the sunset.
If you’re feeling adventurous you can do a Canggu to Seminyak beach walk.
It’ll take you about 45 minutes and is a great option during rush hour, allowing you to really enjoy the beach to the fullest.
If you don’t mind venturing a bit further, Nusa Dua is an excellent beach to hit up.
There are a few resorts and hotels down by the beach in Canggu, but the rest of them are all further inland.
For all of you that want to feel the sand between your toes within minutes from your vacay home, it goes without saying that you should pick a place close to the beach.
If there’s a place in Bali that’s known for luxury private pool villas and overindulgence in style, you’ll find it in Seminyak.
Many of the accommodations are within minutes of the beach, while a few will have you on the sand within seconds of leaving your room.
Seminyak is the name of the game when it comes to shopping. It’s a fashion lover’s paradise and this especially rings true if you like designer labels.
You could spend hours shopping and still not wander through every store in this town.
Auguste the Label is a good place to start. Some other shops you should check out are Bali Boat Shed, Paulina Katarina, and Mrs. Sippy Bazaar.
Seminyak is literally the place to go for shopping. So shop ’til you drop…or until you run out of money.
Seminyak sounds awesome for shopping, so what about Canggu?
There are a slew of trendy local boutiques in this beachside town and with new shops poppin’ up all the time, you definitely shouldn’t skip out.
A lot of the shops are off the grid and tucked away, so don’t be shy and ask the locals!
Canggu beaches may be quiet during the early hours of the day, but the volume turns up later in the day when the beach clubs open.
Finns Beach Club is always at the top of the list and is located right on Berawa Beach. They also have a VIP club if you don’t mind paying a little extra for a few extra perks.
A few other great beach clubs in Canggu are Echo Beach Club, Vue Beach Club, or COMO Beach Club.
There are many more beach clubs in Seminyak and if this is a high priority for you, then look no further.
Arguably, the best beach club in Seminyak is KU DE TA. Excellent vibes, delicious eats, and a great place to catch the sunset.
If you’re beach club hoppin’, make sure you check out: Potato Head Beach Club, Mano Beach House, Woo Bar @ W Bali, and Café Del Mar.
Nightlife in Canggu and Seminyak is wildly different and would really depend on what you’re in the mood for. Canggu has a slightly chilled-out vibe, while Seminyak is lively and more crowded.
Here are a few places you should check out if you’re in the area:
Pretty Poison – Without a doubt one of the best places to grab a drink in Canggu. You’ve never seen a bar quite like this one and that makes it instantly Instagrammable. If you’re feeling daring (or you’ve hammered back too many drinks) you can even get inked!
Old Man’s – Don’t let the name fool you, this venue can get quite rowdy as it becomes a beach club at night. During the day it’s a great place to hang out, munch on food and have drinks by the beach. Did somebody say happy hour!? This place has one of the best happy hour deals with 2-for-1 beer from 5 PM to 6 PM.
KU DE TA – Great vibes, amazing atmosphere, and the soothing sound of crashing waves welcomes you to KU DE TA. It’s known as one of the finest bars, not just in Seminyak but in Bali. Great for having drinks with friends or even as a lively date night spot. They have an extensive menu with drinks and even cigars.
Potato Head Beach Club – If you’re here to party, Potato Head is the spot you need to visit. Featuring multiple restaurants, bars, and even an infinity pool, it’s easy to spend a whole day here.
Choosing between Canggu or Seminyak will have you wondering, well, what’s there to do?
Canggu is perfect for surfing, relaxing spa treatments, enjoying one of their many yoga studios and Insta-worthy sunset views. This is also where you can visit the Tanah Lot Temple, hike Mount Batur, and check out wild street art creations.
Most of your time in Seminyak will be spent on the beaches or having a drink at one of the many beach clubs. Or if you insist on returning home with an empty wallet, Seminyak is the place to go for endless shopping options.
Choosing whether to stay in Canggu or Seminyak can be tough. Both are excellent options but there really isn’t a ‘perfect’ choice since it depends on what kind of vibe you’re looking for.
Canggu is more laid-back and boho; it’s a great place to stay if the idea of hanging your hat at a trendy café for the day sounds good to you.
Seminyak is a 5-star resort town that’s full of life and lots to offer. You’ll find yourself spending the day shopping at luxury boutiques, relaxing on sandy shores, or kickin’ it up at top-rated beach clubs.
Which town are you planning to stay in, Canggu or Seminyak?