I put together this list about Bali four years ago now and always find myself emailing it to friends who are visiting the island so thought it was about time that I freshened it up and shared it with the world, cause sharing is caring right?
I lived in Bali a few years ago now and recently went back for a ten day trip that was incredibly refreshing and had me falling in love with this beautiful island all over again.
There’s so much to do, see, eat & places to laze by the poolside in Bali, so here’s my absolute favourites! This list isn’t hugely extensive but I can promise you that these places can be vouched for.
There’s really something for everyone in Bali, for every type of traveller and these are just my favourite parts of this beautiful place. Living in Bali, even though for a short time, taught me a lot and will always remain as a really special place to me.
This list started out as a Bali favourites list but has more so turned into a list of places I like to eat but that's what I mostly do in Bali, anyway!
Uluwatu & South Bali
The most southern area of Bali is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the island, as well as some of the biggest resorts. Like the rest of Bali, there’s also countless amounts of boutique hotels and guesthouses located in the South if you’re looking for a quieter side of Bali, this is a pretty stunning area to relax.
This is on of my favourite spots. A little walk down a cliffside and underneath a cave which is home to some local monkeys (be careful they don't throw things at you) will have you come out at this little hideaway beach.
It's located right below Single Fin restaurant where you can head for live tunes and to watch the sunset. In my opinion, the best sunsets in Bali are from the South- anywhere around Nusa Dua will have you seeing the brightest swirly sunsets. If you sit upstairs at Single Fin and get to watch the sun go down, you'll see countless amounts of fishing boats coming back into the harbour with fresh seafood amongst the wispy skies. It’s pretty darn dreamy to say the least.
Peacefully and privately located on Bali’s most southern tip, Pandawa is an escape from all the Bali bustle. There’s several luxury villas and beach hut cafes sprinkled along Pandawa’s white sandy beach and the water here is crystal clear. If you’re just spending the day, head down early and pull up residence at one of the cafes that offer day beds. There’s an entrance fee at this beach which is about 15,000 IDR (NZ$1.50) but it’s a small price to pay for this piece of paradise.
Another beautiful beach which isn’t as far as Uluwatu, Bingin is home to some great eats and stunning views. Try Kelly’s Warung, Mu and The Cashew Tree for some tasty eats.
Jl. Pantai Bingin No.9, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Seminyak is the most touristy area of Bali but has some really great places to eat and of course shop. If you’re looking to walk around, shop, eat & drink, Seminyak is the place.
For mezcal, tacos & a good dance.
For amazing curry.
My old local coffee spot, this one’s a must.
For amazing food and drool-worthy interiors.
Best for breakfast! Try the poached eggs- honestly I still rave about these eggs to everyone I know, they’re that good.
For healthy vegan eats in a cosy setting.
For breakfast and brunch that almost transports you all the way to New York City.
Ku De Ta
For a bougie dinner by the beach.
Potato Head Beach Club
The Straw Hut
A casual family owned restaurant where I’ve had some great boogies & nights out.
Dine with dreamy views of the rice paddies- great for both breakfast and dinner.
A bar and eatery that’s always a good time.
Spas I love:
Originally from NZ, there’s a few Spring Spa’s around Bali now and they’re the perfect spot to spoil yourself. Their spaces are beautiful and all of their treatments are top notch.
I used to come here every second day when I was living in Bali (no exaggeration, though I’m good at that) for super cheap but amazing massages & spa treatments.
Just north of Seminyak you’ll find Canggu which is an expat filled area with an overwhelming amount of cute cafes & restaurants.
This cafe will always remain as one of my favourites- they serve up fresh & healthy food and their treehouse style restaurant overlooks Canggu & the surrounding rice paddies (and villas on villas).
My favourite vegan restaurant in Bali. That’s a big call. Everything on this plant based menu is pretty delicious but the Vegan Grill Out bowl is a must-try.
Owned by the same guys who Nook in Seminyak, Milu is a beautifully designed space where you’re bound to want to take all of the decor home, which is perfect because there’s a store within the restaurant where they sell Balinese bags, home decor & accessories. With views of the rice paddies, Milu is stunning first thing in the morning but they also do an amazing dinner. It’s a pretty dreamy setting and feels a bit like a storybook at sundown.
Great for an evening sesh by the water.
The Lawn Canggu
The best place for sunset drinks.
Jl. Batu Mejan No.88, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bandung, Bali 80316, Indonesia
Two Trees Eatery
A cheery & spot for breakfast!
Shady Shack's smoothie bowls & nut butters are amazing (as well as everything else on the menu).
Yoga at Desa Seni
If you're in town for a full moon, make sure to go to their full moon chant!
Jl. Subak Sari No.13, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Sunset beach drinks
Park up at Echo Beach & find a beach front spot to grab a sundowner drink.
One for the digital nomads. Dojo is a great co-working space not too far from the ocean and has wicked cafe, meeting rooms and pool incase you want to take a working break.
Home to more vegan cafes than you can count! I absolutely love coming up to Ubud because it’s such a peaceful spot to relax & eat all the healthy foods.
Sayuri Healing Food Cafe
You must try the raw banoffee pie! But pretty much everything on this menu is guilt free, delicious and good for the soul.
You can’t go wrong at Clear Cafe! Their menu is filled with healthy eats and it’s a chilled out spot where you can soak up all the Ubud vibes.
Located right within the rice paddies, Sari Organik is a set on an organic farm with the most magical of views providing a lush dining experience. It’s a short 800 meter walk fro the main road til you reach the cafe and is stunning at golden hour.
A cosy spot to enjoy vegan & vegetarian dishes.
Tegallalang Rice Terrace
Try and go early morning or at golden hour! Find a little restaurant to sit & overlook these stunning rice paddies.
Sunrise trek to Mt. Batur
One of the most beautiful sunrises in Bali is from the summit of the Mount Batur standing at 1700 meters. The active volcano is the most popular trek in Bali and if you’re feeling adventurous, this hike is well worth the 3am wake up call.
Make sure to book with an authorised guide (don’t try going on your own!).
A super affordable spa located just outside of the centre of Ubud. Try the coffee scrub & massage!
Located about an hour from Ubud but worth the drive!
This waterfall’s a little closer to Ubud- about 30 minutes drive away and easily reached by scooter.
An indoor/outdoor workspace for entrepreneurs and creatives with it’s own raw foods café. This place is right up my alley. It doesn't get more digital nomad than this.
The Ubud Traditional Art Markets are a great place to shop but they can get super hectic. If you’re looking to shop though, this is a great place to do it. There’s an abundance of beautiful & locally made goods here- from straw bags to clothing, jewellery & homewares.
Nusa Lembongan Island
Three nights is the perfect amount of time to spend soaking up Nusa Lembongan. To get there- taxi down to Sanur and grab a ticket on the day for the boat trip over and once you're onboard go and sit up on the top deck for the ride over. Stay a few nights in a wooden beach front cabin and don't miss out on the snorkelling.
Close by there's also Nusa Cenigan and Nusa Penida which are all also worth the visit!
Photos by Gabi Mulder and I x