Bali is a fabulous travel destination that suits a diverse range of people and their travel needs. With its vast array of beaches, lush green rice fields, historical temples, amazing food, adventure activities and that innate spirituality (think Eat, Pray, Love!), it’s easy to see why it is such a popular place to visit for so many.
Bali is a large island and there is lots to see. For that reason I would recommend at least 2 weeks. I was there for 8 days and definitely felt that I was missing out!
Where to stay
Seminyak – Seminyak is a great place for its exciting nightlife, good food, high-end shopping, surfing and lots of beach time. You will find an array of hotels to choose from. Check out Jalan Petitenget and Jalan Kayu Aya as well as the popular Eat Street areas. I stayed at IZE Seminyak which was a mid-range hotel but was very comfortable. The hotel also had a pool and the breakfast was great.
Ubud – Ubud is in central Bali and is totally different to the coastal areas, with it’s green rice terraces, waterfalls, temples and jungle vibes. If you’re looking for zen, this is the place to be. There are many health focussed activities on offer including yoga (a must when in Bali) as well as lots of relaxing massage options. It’s a great place for the more health conscious eaters with lots of healthy food options. Ubud market is also a great place for some shopping! Check out Ubud Village Hotel, great location, nice pool, fab breakfast and comfortable, spacious rooms.
Canggu – Canggu is a hip area suited for solo travellers and digital nomads. Very close to Seminyak and easy to walk around. Explore all the colourful street art while you’re there. There are lots of great beach-side cafés and bars and, if you’re into surfing, the main road in town, Batu Bolong, is the place to be.
Nusa Dua – Nusa Dua is a more secluded part of the island with lots of luxury hotel resorts on offer. It is great for families and for those looking for a relaxing, luxury experience. I would recommend staying here for a couple of nights towards the end of your trip in Bali, to recuperate after all your fun explorations of the island!
Where to eat
Try the trendy Sisterfields Café (Seminyak) for a great brunch/lunch/dinner. For brunch, a snack or coffee, head to Revolver Café (Seminyak) and Kynd (Seminyak). For sweet treats, try Dough Darlings (Seminyak), Nalu Bowls (Seminyak) and Mad Pop’s (Seminyak). Junction House (Seminyak) is also a good option for lunch/dinner.
In Ubud, you can’t not visit the very popular Clear Café. I visited this place more than once and found the food and smoothies amazing (they also do massages!). Hippie Fish is another great option in Ubud.
For a stylish and uber trendy experience, head to Potato Head Beach Club. This is literally the place to be in Seminyak! You can hire beds and lounge by the pool.
Another beach club that’s worth a visit is The Lawn (Canggu) and The Loft (Canggu). You can hire day beds and just relax for the day.
Where to Shop
Bali has a diverse range of shopping options. Ubud market was one of my favourite places to shop – you can find the most amazing basket bags here! Also check out BaliZen (home wear), My Cup of Love (accessories), Pina Colada (clothing and accessories) and Blink by Kapal-Laut (great jewellery!). Although I didn’t shop in Seminyak, it also had a great selection of boutiques.
When to visit
Bali has a tropical climate and is warm/hot throughout the year as with most tropical destinations. The best time to visit is between May and August when the weather is most settled. I however visited in April and the weather was great in general. To note, the wettest months are usually in December and January.
What to pack
Bring light clothes, made of natural fibres like cotton and muslin. Jeans are not the best option as it can get very hot and humid. Light, floaty dresses and trousers will serve you well. A large brimmed hat is also a must as well as sunscreen and insect repellent.
Keep an eye out for my next post on what to do and see in Bali! NB: I visited Bali pre-pandemic so some of the shops and restaurants may no longer be open. Please do check before you visit.