Canggu Or Seminyak: Where Should You Stay?
Bali is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Seminyak is one of the most popular choices for travellers to Bali, and has been on bucket lists for decades. Canggu is an up-and-coming surfer paradise that digital nomads and expats have started to flock to. Whether you’re looking for dazzling nightlife, waves made for surfing or days spend on a sun lounger on the beach, we’ll help you choose between two of Bali’s best spots.
Canggu vs Seminyak: The Vibe
Canggu is what Seminyak was a few decades ago. Open rice fields are making way for hip surfer hang-outs and the digital nomad community has started to set up shop here. Those looking for a quieter beach escape, but with easy access to restaurants, yoga retreats and health food cafés, should stay at Canggu.
Social butterflies looking to party up a storm at night and sleep off the hangover on pristine beaches during the day should choose Seminyak. Where Canggu’s beaches are lined with slate-grey sand, Seminyak has golden bays with shady palms, more like a postcard image.
Canggu vs Seminyak: Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Bali in general is April, May, June and September, when the weather is dry, and you avoid the crowds of July and August.
Surfing is possible all year-round at Canggu, but you can catch the best waves from April to early October. July and August are becoming high season for Canggu, when accommodation is more expensive and beaches more crowded.
Seminyak gets very crowded during Christmas and New Year celebrations, and over the high season in July and August. The water is clear for snorkelling and diving from April to September. The ultimate time to visit Seminyak is April, May and September, when the weather is dry, water is clear and the crowds are smaller.
Canggu vs Seminyak: Ease Of Access
Budget and major airlines fly to Denpasar International Airport. From here it’s an easy taxi ride to both Canggu and Seminyak.
The roads to some of the beaches and resorts of Canggu are unpaved and winding in places. It takes around 45 minutes to get to most hotels and guesthouses from Denpasar Airport. Once you’re in Canggu it can be quite difficult to catch taxis for onward or return travel to the airport, but most accommodation can help you organise a private transfer.
The road to Seminyak is in better condition and the town itself is closer to Denpasar Airport. It takes 25 minutes to drive to most major hotels here from the airport.
Canggu vs Seminyak: Nightlife
After a day of catching waves or diving the reefs off Canggu’s beaches, grab a cold Bintang as the sun sets at any of the little beach bars. Nightlife here is quieter, and more laid-back. The atmosphere is more about chatting with fellow travellers through the night rather than dancing up a storm.
After the sun goes down over Seminyak’s beaches, a huge choice of bars, restaurants and swanky clubs come to life. It is the best place on Bali to go for nightlife, featuring rooftop bars perfect for viewing the best sunsets on the island, pool bars and clubs that stay open until dawn.
Canggu vs Seminyak: Resorts & Hotels
If you like your accommodation intimate and boutique, then Canggu is the place for you. Five-star villas, small hotels and eco resorts have all started opening up in the area, and there is a huge number of them to choose from. Most accommodation is not directly on the beach, but is set back in rice fields or the small resort village of Canggu itself.
Craving all-inclusive or uncompromising luxury? Stay in one of the endless 5-star resorts in Seminyak with world-class restaurants, kids’ events and organised day trips. Seminyak’s resorts tend to sit right on the sand, and most have a section of private beach. Those on a budget can stay at one of the many cheap hostels and socialise with fellow travellers. A lot of hostels in the area have a swimming pool.
Canggu vs Seminyak: Eating Out
Canggu is known for its laid-back beach bars serving cheap, street-food style eats and cold beer. But, as the area becomes more popular, upscale fusion restaurants blending traditional Balinese dishes with international cuisines have started to appear. Canggu’s food scene is developing in line with its hip reputation. Raw food bars, vegan-friendly cafés, and health food-themed Warungs have become the norm.
The choice for eating out in Seminyak is almost overwhelming. There is something for every taste and budget along the stretches of caster-sugar sand. Restaurants serving Balinese fare come with live, traditional dance shows. Steakhouses serve ribs with a spicy twist. There’s always a street food stall open for late-night burgers or grilled chicken at the end of a night out.
Canggu vs Seminyak: Activities
Surfers flock to the black-sand beaches of Canggu to catch waves year round. Some of Bali’s best surfing, windsurfing and kite-surfing can be found on Batu Bolong Beach and Echo Beach. The waves are perfect for intermediate and experienced surfers, but beginners should look elsewhere. The area is also home to an array of relaxing Balinese spas or peaceful yoga retreats for those looking for the quieter life.
Seminyak is famous for its lively nightlife and exceptional food and drink scene. By day there is plenty to do apart from kicking back on a sun-lounger. Get an adrenaline hit with a day on a jet ski, or learn to scuba dive at one of the many PADI-certified centres.
Canggu vs Seminyak: Things To Do/Places To See
One of the most attractive temples of Bali can be found just north of Canggu. Tanah Lot rises from a rock out at sea as wild waves batter its edges making a dramatic picture. Families with kids can choose to spend the day at nearby Taman Segara Madu Waterpark or Splash Park.
There are a number of galleries in Seminyak full of colourful Balinese paintings and cutting-edge modern installations. Visit the ancient Masceti Hindu temple for a taste of serenity. Spend the day at the famous Potato Head Beach Club for a quintessential Bali beach experience, where cocktails are served at your sun-lounger and anyone tired of swimming in the sea can opt for one of the many swimming pools.