Bali is the perfect destination to visit for temples, delicious food, interesting cafes and serene paddy fields. Bali sometimes referred to as the Island of Gods, is known for its lush tropical nature, postcard beaches and deeply spiritual culture.
Flight ticket to Bali sorted? Now it's time to find where to stay in Bali. It's very confusing to understand where to find the best accommodation as Bali is an entire island with an area of 5,700 km². That's why we did deep research for you, to highlight the best areas to stay in, especially for tourists and first-time visitors.
In this article, we go into great details about the areas to stay in Bali based on your interests. We also carefully curated handpicked hotels for your needs and budgets.
Where to stay in Bali - Best Areas & Hotels - Contents
Tips for finding the best place to stay in Bali
Bali is a compact island but it never feels cramped, so visiting Bali will truly feel like stepping on a paradise island. Thanks to its size, it's possible to take several day-trips to visit almost all tourist locations on the island from your chosen base.
If day trips are your aim, consider that traffic in and south of Ubud can slow down your trip by hours. Public transport in tourist areas is always very crowded so we recommend taxis, private shuttle buses or charter cars with dedicated local drivers. Not only cars with drivers are very cheap (less than $40/day) but you will get an experienced driver who truly understand the local roads and traffic conditions.
While you might want to enjoy a road trip at your own pace, we don't recommend that you rent a car and drive by yourself as it can be quite dangerous, especially on mountainous roads.
Bali is split into several parts each with its own unique attractions. First-time visitors might be tempted to stay in Ubud thanks to its quiet and spiritual offerings. After all, the area is most prevalent on social media with its endless paddy fields and calming landscapes. But traffic in Ubud can be a deterrent for those who want to take day trips, as the roads are mountainous and traffic can be very slow.
Nusa Dua is the ideal place to stay for luxury seekers and honeymooners. You will find plenty of honeymoon suites and hotel rooms with private pools and fantastic views. From your Nuda Dua hotel, you can take a day trip to Pantai Gunung Payung, a secluded white beach perfect for snorkelling. Venture to Jimbaran Beach where you can relax on the white sand and listen to the sound of calming waves. Here you can also indulge in many fresh seafood restaurants scattered along the beach.
Seminyak is great for outdoors lovers and nightlight whereas Ubud is the spiritual capital of the island. Kuta is perfect for surfers who have an interest in meditation and cultural, whereas Nusa Dua is ideal for luxury travellers and honeymooners.
As you can already tell, the island offers plenty of choices for all type of travellers and interests. The area to stay in Bali comes down to what kind of a traveller you are: The deeper into the mountains you stay, the more beautiful landscape and calm spiritually you will find, but the further you’ll be from nightlife, beaches and day to day cultural activities.
If you are an explorer at heart, worry not, because there are heaps of great hotel options close to pristine hiking trails in Bali.
In recent times, Bali has become known as a digital nomad and backpackers paradise. It’s worth noting that you should book your accommodation as early as possible if you’re heading to Bali since it books up incredibly quickly.
In a hurry? Here's our personalised recommendation for the best areas to pick in Bali based on your interests.
- Where To Stay In Bali for restaurants & cafes - Seminyak
- Where to stay in Bali for culture & spirituality - Ubud
- Where to stay in Bali for surfing & beaches - Kuta
- Where to stay in Bali for parties & nightlife - Legian Beach
- Where to stay in Bali for luxury - Jimbaran
- Where to stay in Bali for honeymoon - Nusa Dua
- Where to stay in Bali for families & first-timers - Sanur
- Where to stay in Bali for families with kids - Tanjung Benoa
- Where to stay in Bali for Balinese culture - Candidasa
- Where to stay in Bali for a bustling holiday - Denpasar
- Where to stay in Bali for relaxation - Kerobokan
Seminyak - Where To Stay In Bali For Restaurants & Cafes
Often considered the most premium location in Bali, and often hailed as the place to be, Seminyak used to be a small fishing village. Many tourists pick Seminyak as an amazing location to stay in Bali thanks to the proximity to boutiques, health spas and a long stretch of white sandy beach.
Seminyak became an extraordinary tourist location thanks to a big investment in order to elevate the area. If you stay here, expect quick access to various parties and nightlife, myriad alleyways dotted with trendy cafes and fantastic restaurants. Seminyak is in a sense a great introductory location to first-time visitors to Bali who want to enjoy the pristine beach, but have access to an array of options for nightlife, boutiques and restaurants.
Seminyak is suited for those looking for mid-range accommodation option although you can also find up-market and resort-style stays on offer.
One thing to note is that Seminyak is a thriving area to stay in Bali. If you are the type of traveller who wants a more isolated holiday on the island, it's best to perhaps pick a different location.
Seminyak is very modern and ideal for travellers who want a typical tropical island holiday but there’s little in the way of local culture that feels unique and genuine, at least compared to other parts of the island.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Seminyak.
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Ubud - Where to stay in Bali for culture & spirituality
Meditation, spirituality, and culture are the main draws of Ubud. Stay in Ubud if you are looking for a yoga retreat or want to understand more about Bali's spiritual roots.
Bali is a place of breathtaking nature, thanks to its lush forests that surround the valley. You can never be bored with the beauty that surrounds you in this area. Ubus is also the right place to stay if you have an interested in local temples such as Tirta Empul, Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi, Gunung Kawi Sebatu and Pura Taman Saraswati.
Ubud as a whole feels like it’s locked in time, which is downright the best place to stay for tourists that want to explore the culture and surroundings. The locals are warm and welcoming, and they greet many of the tourists as they go about their day. There are ceremonies and traditions happening in the temples constantly, so you will be sure to never miss an event. Your accommodation in Ubud is almost always just walking distance from yoga and meditation spots.
Stay in Ubud if you want a very cultural place with museums and peaceful restaurants. Apart from temple ceremonies nightlife events are not common here and there are no beaches around Ubud as the town is located in the heart of the island.
As it’s a very peaceful place it’s not a location that’s made for party tourists. It’s not recommended for tourists who seek excitement and opportunities for adventure. Stay in Ubud if you are looking for the ultimate wellness destination in Bali.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Ubud.
Kuta - Where to stay in Bali for surfing & beaches
If you are a surfer who loves waves and beaches, then Kuta is the right location in Bali for you. Kuta is a little town whose beaches offer a little glimpse into heaven. Perfect waters and soft sand, it’s the surfer's dream come true. Stay in Kuta if you want to enjoy affordable accommodation and decent restaurants.
When you stay in Kuta, you will also be a stone-throw away from some of the best nightlife in the whole of Bali. Often bustling with life, it’s a great place to stay for tourists who want to experience that magic that happens around Kuta.
For tourists who want to enjoy the great waves of Bali, Kuta is the place to be. Surfing is definitely the biggest draw of Kuta, as the waves can get pretty menacing at times. However, you can also find great diving and snorkelling spots nearby as well as pristine beaches. For sea lovers, we recommend staying in Kuta.
Looking for a bit of nightlife? Don't worry as Kuta can cater for tourists interested in good parties at night. There's always something happening around your accommodation you will never be too far from the surfing waves or the cool nightlife after dark.
Accommodation and restaurants in Kuta are great for budget tourists but they do lack in local culture and are replaced with a more global feel. Kuta is a bustling area ideal for tourists and backpackers interested in making new friends while on holiday.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Kuta.
Legian Beach - Where to stay in Bali for parties & nightlife
Unique and refreshing, stay at the Legian beach in Bali if you are after beach bars all vying for your attention. This is ideal for the tourist who wants to enjoy a place with nonstop parties and activities.
One of the best party-focused places you can stay in Bali, it’s chockfull with people all partying and enjoying their time. Despite all the hustle of Legian, it has a very relaxing feel and is a great social hub where people from all around the world gather to have fun.
Stay here if you want to surf during the day, and party at night. It's the ideal location to meet like-minded travellers.
Legian beach is also great for new digital nomads looking to meet new people and have a party before they dive back into work. You might not get a lot of local culture here on the Legian beach but it's great for thriving nightlife.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Legian beach.
Jimbaran - Where to stay in Bali for luxury
What was once a modest fishing village now has transformed into what many call the Beverly Hills of Bali. With its unique blend of calm and active, this is the ideal location for luxury tourists. Think stunning beaches, colourful sunsets but also access to bars and restaurants to enjoy your evenings in style.
Being perfect for luxury tourists, Jimbaran is also an ideal place to stay for honeymooners looking to splurge. Jimbaran is a place filled with restaurants that offer freshly caught fish, and bars and clubs with high-octane parties. It’s a luxurious town with plenty of spas and chic boutiques, so shopping is a big part of the appeal for tourists who stay here.
Accommodation in Jimbaran caters for the upmarket tourist who wants to relax in pure luxury and enjoy a truly tropical holiday in Bali.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Jimbaran.
Nusa Dua - Where to stay in Bali for honeymoon
Stay in Nusa Dua and enjoy the east-facing complex, a lavish retreat whose main appeal is its five-star rating. A place where local meets international, Nusa Dua is the ideal place to stay for those that want to experience Bali without haggling with the locals for the prices or accommodations. With superb restaurants with nightly shows, live music and tropical gardens ideal for sipping cocktails, Nusa Dua is the perfect place to stay for honeymooners.
Nusa Dua is a complex with its own accommodation, shopping boutiques and mall and smaller local markets. This means is the right place to stay for couples and honeymooners who don't wish to travel from Nusa Dua. Everything is at your doorstep.
The atmosphere is very calm and relaxing, and because it’s facing east, Nusa Dua is quite comfortable and calm when it comes to the climate.
Stay here for lavish cocktail parties and nightly shows. Nusa Dua is meant to be a five-star retreat with everything included.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Nusa Dua.
Sanur -Where to stay in Bali for families
Tranquil and perfect to stay for tourists travelling with families, Sanur is a little town whose quality is highly curated. Sanur offers a superb atmosphere and ambience so you will want to position yourself here if you want a laid back holiday. Stay in this town for walks and views, as there are plenty of vistas, and is one of the best spots for a calm, relaxing vacation. Sanur is very accommodating to tourists as all accommodations are close to plenty of shops and restaurants, with some unique choices among them.
If you want to stay in a calm place with wonderful seaside resorts, Sanus is the right location. The beaches in Sanur are pristine and perfect,, sometimes great for surfing too. Wherever you stay in Sanur, you are walking distances from pretty much everything.
For the chilled tourist who wants to enjoy a relaxing holiday with the family, Sanur is a fantastic place to stay in. New to Bali? It's a good idea to position yourself in Sanur and explore Bali from here.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Sanur.
Tanjung Benoa - Where to stay in Bali for families with kids
This resort area and little town are like a more affordable version of Nusa Dua, making it the ideal place to stay for tourists travelling with their kids. Stay in Tanjung Benoa if you want access to an interesting mix of relaxation and adventure with the main focus being on excellent cuisine and watersports.
Not quite as expensive as Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa is the right place to stay for tourists who want to experience as much of Bali as possible. This is because your accommodation will never be too far from temples, bars and local experiencing. The town is home to some of the best cooking schools in Bali so when you stay here, you and your family can always book a private lesson with the locals.
Much like Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa can get pretty busy during the holiday season so we recommend booking your accommodation well in advance.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Tanjung Benoa.
Candidasa - Where to stay in Bali for Balinese culture
Stay in Candidasa if you are looking for a gorgeous little pocket of Balinese culture. It’s not a place with a busy nightlife, but rather a place where culture and history play a large part in its appeal for tourists. See surrounding nature which is absolutely breathtaking, with lotus lagoons and winding pathways. Interact with the locals who are more than welcoming, and shop from little independent shops with unique items for sale. This is the right place to get souvenirs from Bali.
If you want to experience the history of the Balinese culture then staying in Candidasa is by far the ideal place for you. Bathe in the royal pools of the ancient water palace, or experience the geography of the land by exploring the volcano.
Your accommodation will never be too far from interesting local experiences. You will have access to quaint little cafes and small restaurants. Candidasa is aimed at history and culture lovers, rather than nightlife seeking tourists.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Candidasa.
Denpasar - Where to stay in Bali for a bustling holiday
The capital of Bali is a busy, bustling, multi-cultural place, and it’s only natural that things get a little hectic. Staying in Denpasar means experiencing as much of the real Bali as possible.
It’s a beautiful city, with lots of history and plenty of attractions. Explore the city's street and get to see a bustling Bali.
Stay in Denpasar if you are after cultural events but do note that Denpasar can become daunting really fast. Unlike the relaxing rest of Bali, the capital is very fast-paced. For the untrained traveller, Denpasar might seem too daunting.
Stay in Denpasar if you want access to authentic local restaurants, shopping malls and cultural events. Denpasar is a chaotic location and one you might experience either way since you will be very likely, landing here.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Denpasar.
Kerobokan - Where to stay in Bali for relaxation
One of the most charming and relaxing places to stay in Bali, Keroborak feels like a slice of heaven for the tourist who seeks calm.
Stay in Kerobokan and get access to tranquil rice terraces, coconut trees, and luxurious villas. Kerobokan is both a place for relaxation and a social hub. Due to its proximity to Seminyak, there’s no shortage of activities. The beaches are also quite stunning and offer both high-octane parties and some solitude when needed.
While there are plenty of activities, there’s also ample space to relax and get away from the bright nightlife of the rest of Bali. It’s a great place to stay for tourists who want a quiet time. Want to dive into the nightlife? You are in luck because Kerobokan is close to Seminyak and its busy bars and parties.
For the ultimate Bali seclusion, seek an accommodation option in a luxury villa in Kerobokan.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Kerobokan.
Now that you know where to stay in Bali, we look forward to hearing about your holiday. Bali is a fantastic island perfect for tourists all ages and budgets. Nightlife, partying, or a calm vacation – it has it all. To top it all off, the scenery is gorgeous so you will be guaranteed to take some of the best holiday photos. It’s great for a visit at any time of year, so once you’ve picked your ideal spot, make sure to visit it as soon as possible.
Don't forget to tell us what location you picked to stay by leaving a comment below. Safe travels!