Where to stay in Bali
I always say that there are two ways to travel in Bali. You can choose an area as a base and go to different parts of the island every day or change hotels every few days and thus have different bases during your stay in Bali. You can also do a combination of both.
In our case, we chose the first option. We booked a room in a guesthouse in Canggu for a month and, from there, we visited the rest of the island. To visit the north and east of Bali, being further away and having many places to see, we made excursions of two or three nights in each case.
Choosing one option or another depends on each one. My recommendation is that, whether you are going to be in Bali for only a few days or you don’t want to change your accommodation because it seems like a waste of time, stay in a central area. In this way, you will be able to reach almost all parts of the island in day trips. Another good option is to choose two areas as a base, so you only have to change hotels once.
Changing hotel location every few days can also be a good option, which is what I recommend in my 10 days in Bali itinerary, but keep in mind that you will take some time packing, checking out, checking in, going from one place to another, etc. Although you will also save time visiting the best places to see in Bali since you will be staying closer to them.
Whichever option you choose, I can already tell you that you will really enjoy your trip to Bali.
1. Seminyak, where to stay in Bali if you’re looking for nightlife
Seminyak is a great area to stay for those who are interested in sightseeing as well as nightlife, shopping and fine dining during their time in Bali. In Seminyak you will find several of the best places to eat in Bali, tons of clothing stores (don’t miss Jalan Kayu Aya) and many options for partying.
The beaches don’t have many waves or tide (perfect for learning to surf) and you can enjoy very beautiful sunsets. As for touristic places, Seminyak does not have many places to see. However, you will be fairly close to Canggu and the northern part of the Bukit Peninsula (referred to, by many, as Uluwatu).
Best hotels in Seminyak
- $: Gelatik Bed And Breakfast.
- $$: Amerta Seminyak.
- $$$: Aloft Seminyak.
- $$$$: The Buah Bali Villas.
2. Ubud, the best place to stay for sightseeing
Ubud tends to be one of my most recommended areas to stay in Bali, due to its central location and the fact that it is home to many of the most interesting places to visit on the island. Ubud has a more spiritual and cultural atmosphere. Plus, it hosts some of the best waterfalls in Bali. You can also find numerous shops and restaurants of all kinds where you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This small town in Bali is the perfect option for those who will be spending a short time on the island and want to be close to many tourist attractions. You will be able to take many day trips to other parts of the island from Ubud.
Some of the best things to do in Ubud are visiting the Monkey Forest, Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud Art Market, Tegalalang Rice Fields, Tirta Empul Temple, Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) and Saraswati. As you can see, you will be close to many temples of Bali.
Best hotels in Ubud
- $: Pangkung Sari, Buda Cottage Ubud.
- $$: Pondok Massas.
- $$$: The Udaya Resorts & Spa.
- $$$$: Komaneka at Bisma Ubud.
3. Canggu, the best area to stay if you are visiting long term
Canggu has been my home during my 3 trips to Bali and I have always had a very pleasant stay. This town is a very good option for those who, like me, are going to spend a long time in Bali. I also recommend it to those who want to stay in a fairly central area that is on the coast.
Something I love about Canggu is its surfing atmosphere and the amount of things to do in the area. It has many cool restaurants, clothing and accessory shops and markets, bars with live music, beaches from which to watch the sunset, beach clubs, etc. Really, you won’t get bored in Canggu. Again, in my opinion, it is the best place to book your hotel in Bali if you are going to stay on the island for a long time.
I recommend Canggu especially to digital nomads as here you will be able to meet many people who make a living online, apart from having many coworking spaces and cafes to work from.
Some of the best things to do in Canggu are watching the sunset from Echo Beach, visiting Tanah Lot Temple, surfing, going in search of rice paddies and going to as many cafes as possible.
Best hotels in Canggu
- $: Asung Guesthouse (my hotel), The Uma Guesthouse.
- $$: Maylie Bali Bungalows, Umah CinCin (my hotel).
- $$$: Kano Canggu.
- $$$$: Mayana Villas, Own Villa.
4. Uluwatu, for beach and surf enthusiasts
If you are visiting Bali in search of beaches or the best waves, I recommend Uluwatu. Uluwatu is located In the Bukit Peninsula, southern part of the island. Here you can find some of the best beaches in Bali, cliffs with amazing views and beach clubs. Plus, it is a paradise for surf lovers, especially for those who already have experience. If you are learning, it is better to go to the beaches in Kuta or Canggu.
I do not recommend Uluwatu as a base to visit the rest of Bali, as it is far from many tourist attractions. However, if you have more time and you are going to have several places as a base, I really recommend to spend a few days here to relax and explore everything that this area has to offer.
Some of the best things to do in Uluwatu are enjoying the view from Karang Boma Cliff, visiting Uluwatu Temple and spending the day at Sundays Beach Club. Do not miss the next beaches: Green Bowl, Melasti, Belangan, Padang Padang, Bingin, Thomas Beach, Nyang Nyang, etc.
Best hoteles in Uluwatu
- $: Willy Homestay.
- $$: Telaga Sari (my hotel).
- $$$: Hari Indah Boutique Hotel & Spa, Oceanna.
- $$$$: Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa.
5. Munduk, where to stay in Bali to visit the north
Northern Bali is an area that some people forget to visit. I understand that if you only have a week in the destination, you don’t have time to go. However, if you are going to spend more time in Bali, I highly recommend visiting the north, specifically Munduk. Munduk is a mountainous area full of waterfalls and a couple of lakes.
It is much quieter than other parts of Bali and has a more local atmosphere. I also warn you that the temperatures are cooler, so don’t forget to bring a jacket if you are going to visit the north. I recommend staying here for one or two nights.
Some of the best things to do in the north of Bali are visiting the Pura Ulun Danu Batur Temple, Handara Gate, Wanagiri Hidden Hill, Banyumala Waterfall, Gitgit Waterfall, Aling Aling Waterfull and Sekumpul Waterfall.
Best hotels in Munduk
- $: Adila Warung and Homestay.
- $$: Lesong Hotel and Restaurant.
- $$$: Sanak Retreat Bali.
- $$$$: Munduk Moding Plantation, Munduk Cabins.
6. Amed, best place to stay to visit the east
I found East Bali to be a real wonder and an essential place to visit. During our trip to the island of the gods, we spent 4 days visiting this area as there is a good variety of things to do, from temples to great places to dive. Removing the most touristic places, it is a very quiet area that is well worth a visit.
I recommend you do a day trip if you have little time. If you have more time, I advise you to go and spend a few nights.
If you are going to spend several nights in this area, I recommend staying at Amed Beach, a beach with impressive views of Mount Agung. Here you will find many accommodation options, restaurants and agencies with which you can dive. It is a very good option to stay in Bali if you are looking for a quieter place but without giving up good restaurants and things to do.
Some of the best things to do in Amed and its surroundings are visiting Lempuyang Temple and Tirta Gangga Temple, diving at Amed Beach, watching the sunset from Lahangan Sweet and watching the sunrise from Bukit Cinta.
Mejores hoteles en Amed
- $: Bubu Racok Homestay.
- $$: Amed Beach Villa, Bali Dive Resort Amed (my hotel).
- $$$: Nalini Resort.
Map of the best areas to stay in Bali
I have created this map to help you choose accommodation.
You will be able to see marked in red (icon of the house), the main areas to sleep in Bali; marked in orange, the different hotels that I recommend (with their respective links to Booking); marked in purple, affordable hotels; and, finally, marked in blue, places to visit.
You can click on each of the boxes in the drop-down menu on the map to see the areas, hotels or places to visit. This will make it much easier for you to plan your trip and find accommodation in Bali.
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Where to sleep in Bali: Summary
If you are visiting Bali for only a few days, my recommendation is that you choose Ubud as a base to stay for a good part of your trip.
I recommend Ubud because it is one of the main tourist centers in Bali, it is centrally located and both the town of Ubud and its surroundings are full of places to visit: waterfalls, rice fields, temples, etc. In addition, Ubud has a wide range of hotels and restaurants.
From Ubud you can go to other areas the island that I recommend visiting, such as Canggu or North Bali.
You won’t be too far from Uluwatu either, a place you can visit in just over an hour. However, I recommend booking one or two nights in Uluwatu as this area has the best beaches in Bali, the sunsets are insane, etc. It is a very good place to spend a few days relaxing.
If you are going to visit Eastern Bali, I also recommend spending the night in Amed. You could go by car/motorbike from Ubud but the journey is a bit long and, in my experience, spending a little more time in Amed is worth it.
Check my Indonesia travel guide to keep planning your trip to this dreamy destination.
I hope that this post about where to stay in Bali has been very useful when looking for hotels for your trip. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment or write me an email. Until next time, traveler!