Travel Guide Bali

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

Bali has a special place in our hearts. For me, Bali was the first place to visit in Asia and it made me fall in love with the continent. Now, having visited the island three times, it feels a bit like home. But we are not the only ones who like to visit Bali, tourism is enormous on this small island and is growing by the day. New hotels, restaurants and shops are opened almost daily. Since 2 years, a lot has changed. During our last visit in December, we have visited a lot of new restaurants and discovered new places. Below you can read our findings. The names with an asterisk behind them recently opened up (not older than 1-1.5 years).

Where to go on Bali? What should be on your Bali itinerary?

Last December we visited three different places: Uluwatu, Canggu and Jatiluwih.

Canggu. This is a surfing village close to Seminyak (a somewhat larger city). We have been here more often and this is our favourite spot in Bali. There is a nice surf vibe and it’s not too big. There are roughly three main streets where everything takes place. With a scooter, everything is close by. Canggu has changed a lot in the last two years. Before it was a really quiet town, all the bars and restaurants would close before 10 pm. However now, you can party until early in the morning. In addition, dozens of new hotels and restaurants have opened up. It remains a wonderful place, but it is not as quiet as it used to be.

Uluwatu. Uluwatu is the name of a small town in the southern tip of Bali. However don’t get confused, also the entire southern area is designated by this name. The landscape here is a lot rougher than the rest of Bali, with beautiful rocks and a hill every now and then. Uluwatu is known for surfing, mainly by professional surfers because the waves are dangerously high here.

Jatiluwih. Jatiluwih is located in the middle of Bali, close to two of the three volcanoes. It is an area with beautiful rice fields, amazing rainforest and cute water temples. It is the perfect place to escape the crowds and enjoy cooler temperatures.

Other places. During other visits to Bali, we also visited Ubud (spiritual region), Gili Air (island above Lombok), Nusa Lembongan (an island near Bali) and Seminyak (a larger city near Canggu). Ubud is a place you simply have to see. If you don’t visit Ubud, you haven’t really been to Bali. In addition, Nusa Lembongan is really a place you should go to!

The coolest hotels on Bali

Regarding accommodation, there is something for everyone in Bali. From beautiful five-star resorts to cosy homestays. Most places feel luxury, even if you pay no more than 20 euros per night. Almost every hostel has a swimming pool and a beautiful green garden. Here are our favourite hotels/homestays:

The best hotels in Canggu:

Echo Beach Villa* €€
Spacious villas for 4-6 people. This is the apartment where our friends S. and N. stayed. Wonderfully spacious and also suitable for a family and/or a longer stay. Prices from € 55.00 per night.

Bona Kubu
Here we slept twice. Lovely hotel with a small fruit breakfast and lovely people. The rooms are simple but beautiful. And the swimming pool is great! Prices from € 28.00 per night.

Temuku Homestay
Close by to Bona Kubu and a good alternative in case this is full. Brand new rooms and a nice swimming pool! Here you can also grab some fruit in the morning. Prices from € 21.00 per night.

Bali: Bona Kuba

My favourite hotel in Uluwatu

Uluwatu Breeze Village €€
Beautiful hotel that feels very luxurious. There is a great breakfast included in the price and the beds … ooo those beds … I still dream about them! Prices from € 40.00 per night.

The best accommodation in Jatiluwih

Sang Giri Mountain Glamping Camp €€
Glamping in the tents of Sang Giri was an unforgettable experience! The tents are very luxurious and are located on a hill. The view from the small balcony is great, everywhere you look you will see jungle and rice fields. Definitely, recommend to wake up early here to see the beautiful sunrise! Prices from € 48.00 per night.

Where to stay in Nusa Lembongan?

Amora Hut’s €
Fine cabins with a lovely outdoor bathroom. Near the beach. Prices from € 30.00 per night.

The tastiest hotspots of Bali: Where to eat on Bali!

The best restaurants in Canggu

Breakfast, lunch or brunch in Canggu!

  • Crate Cafe. Crate has a new location and is, therefore, bigger than ever! Breakfast is a whole experience here!
  • Monsieur Spoon*. Craving some croissants and French baguette? This is the place to be.
  • Cloud 9. A huge breakfast, located in the middle of the rice fields.
  • The Loft*. This must be the most Photogenic restaurant” ever. Pink walls, concrete floors and copper elements. More importantly, the food is also good!
  • Betelnut Cafe. Always full, but absolutely worth it. The portions are very big, so the next hours you won’t be hungry.
  • Gypsy*. Their Caramel Crepes are ‘to die for’!
  • Avocado Factory*. As the name says, dishes with avocado in it, tasty but not very special.
  • Mocca Cafe*. Tasty lunch, especially their Sushi bowl is good. The staff is unfortunately unexperienced but sweet.
  • Cafe Vida*. This was disappointing, the food had little taste, you had to wait a long time, things were missing and even after returning the poached eggs, which were almost over-cooked, we didn’t get new better eggs. Definitely no recommendation.
  • Café Organic*. This was a bit of a disappointment, the food was not good and the portions very small. Not worth it.

The coolest restaurants for dinner and drinks in Canngu!

  • The Slow*. Nice design restaurant. Great food and cool named drinks, like ‘Shit beer’. It’s also a hotel, so after dinner, you can immediately roll into your bed. Do take a well-filled wallet, these are Western prices.
  • The Shady Shack. Vegan food in a nice setting with nice service.
  • La Brisa*. Very nice beach club with a swimming pool and beautiful decor.
  • Peekaboo*. Brand new, great food with delicious cocktails. Good playlist and the service is sooo nice (or would that be the free shots we got?).
  • Deus Ex Machina. Hairdresser, clothing store, motor shop and restaurant all in one. You can’t visit Canggu and skip this place!
  • Old Man’s. Golden oldie. Old Mans stays cosy for a coconut after surfing or a Bintang.
  • Bu Mi Warung. Delicious Indonesian food for a very low price. Must visit if you are in Canggu!
  • The Lawn*. A little bit trashy, not cheap but a pool on the beach and nice music in the evening.

Where to eat in Seminyak?

  • Mrs Sippy*. Beautiful beach club with a large pool and a very high diving board. Tasty drinks and good pizzas.
  • Monsieur Spoon just like the one in Canggu, delicious French breakfasts.
  • Potato head beach club. Legendary beach club, with nice parties.

Cool hotspots in Uluwatu

  • Single Fin Bali. This restaurant has several floors and is the place to be in Uluwatu. It has a fairly high ‘see and be seen’ feeling, but that can be fun now and then as well.
  • Kelly’s Warung. Fine breakfasts, delicious falafel wrap. It sits on the Bingin Beach beach, perfect location!

My favourite places to eat in Jatiluwih

  • The Organic Farm. Cute restaurant with delicious Indonesian food. A bit more pricey than other places.
  • Gong Jatiluwhi Restaurant. A restaurant with a beautiful view of the rice fields. The Indonesian buffet was a bit disappointing, but a la carte was very tasty.

Where to have the best food in Ubud?

  • The Alchemy. Everything is Raw, Vegan but especially beautiful here. Great for a cup of coffee.
  • Earth Cafe sits above Earth Market. Everything you that you will find here is vegan and delicious!

Hotspots in Nusa Lembongan!

  • Healthy, responsible and delicious food at The Bali Eco Deli
  • Hai Bar and Grill is located on the beautiful Mushroom Bay. Fine cocktails and easy beach snacks while you lie down in a hammock.
  • Sandy Bay Beach Club. Do you want a more upscale dinner? Then book a table at Sandy Bay Beach Club. You will be picked up from your hotel with a golf cart and then enjoy a beautiful sunset with the rough waves hitting the rocks.

Fun activities on Bali

  • Yoga. Everywhere in Bali, you will find good yoga schools where you can relax in the downward-facing dog. Our favourite is Serenity Eco Yoga (prices from € 7.00 pp).
  • Surfing in the south of Bali for example in Canggu at Echo Beach. Never surfed? Grab a lesson and play with the waves for two hours (prices from € 25.00 pp).

  • Climb a volcano. At the time of writing, the Agung Volcano is erupting. But you can visit the other two volcanoes very well. You will leave in the middle of the night and reach the summit around sunrise. With a cup of coffee and a sandwich, you can see the sunrise and enjoy the view.
  • Massages and spa packages. We have enjoyed dozens of massages on this island! From luxurious massages including herbal baths to massages on dirty benches for 3 euros per hour. Love them!
  • Sports. It seems like everyone in Bali has a great body. There are many gyms, often quite expensive (like€ 20.00 per day), but I have a secret for you. At Victory Fitness in Canggu, you can do a complete work out for just € 1.30 per day.

Here you will find all my blogs about Bali

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