Bali has been beloved by Australians (and others!) for many years now, popular with everyone from young families, party-hard backpackers to singles looking for a spiritual oasis. For such a small island, Bali really does seem to offer it all! The key is finding the right spot in Bali that fits what you’re looking for. So here is our guide to the key areas in Bali.
South of the Island
The most popular half of Bali, within easy commute of Denpasar Airport.
Probably the most famous location in Bali, this is the place to head if you’re looking for cheap beer and all-night parties. The streets here are lined with shops selling novelty souvenirs, and there’s plenty of great, cheap street food on offer. While some may say that it’s not the island’s most authentic experience, it is the place to go if you’re looking for a good time.
The second most popular area for visitors to Bali is Ubud. Nestled in the mountains, it’s no longer a small village as its popularity has increased hugely since a little book called Eat, Pray, Love was released. Nonetheless, it retains much of its charm, with endless massages, yoga schools and healthy eateries. The surrounding rice fields and temples are also beautiful.
Widely regarded as Bali’s most fashionable beach, Seminyak tends to cater to a more upscale crowd with many fancy resorts, cafes and bars. Despite being popular with an older crowd, Seminyak has great nightlife including posh cocktail bars and nightclubs.
This idyllic enclave caters mainly to all-inclusive tourists, and is particularly well regarded with families and honeymooners due to its picturesque, quieter location. If you’re looking for a pretty, quiet spot to enjoy the beach, this is the place to do it! Other things to do include visiting nearby temples, playing golf, or shopping at the large shopping complex.
North of the Island
The untouched side of the island – but with less infrastructure and a bit of a trek to get there.
Described as the ‘polar opposite of Kuta’, Lovina is a relaxed, sleepy town popular with those seeking tranquility and quiet. There’s not much to do here, except read a book, relax at your cheap hotel, or watch the fishing boats come in in the afternoon (but that’s half the appeal).
Pemuteran is busier than its sister Lovina, with more to do and a more energetic atmosphere, although still on the sleepier side than down south. It’s your quintessential beach getaway with some of the island’s best snorkelling and diving off the coast at Pulau Menjangan.
Another popular destination in Bali’s north is Singaraja, the former colonial capital. It is close to a number of impressive sights such as the Royal Palace of Singaraja, and by northern Bali’s standards, has a lively nightlife. The city also has a number of modern conveniences including ATMs, two shopping malls and many cafes and restaurants.
Clearly, there is a little bit for everyone in beautiful Bali, and it is easy to see why so many people keep returning every year to their favourite slice of it!