Where to Go (and Not to Go) in Bali

On my Bali trip I spent 11 days travelling around all the famous places, and as so many of you asked me for tips on where to go, I decided I’d share my thoughts on the various destinations with you. Some of them I loved a lot – some of them not so much. Even my opinion on the whole island of Bali is still a mixed one. You get to see beautiful beaches and lots of culture such as temples – but there are a lot of tourists and the locals seem to mainly exist just to serve the tourists. But to be fair, the beaches, rice fields, beautiful smoothie bowls and temples are definitely worth seeing, and if you’re looking for those Bali is definitely your place to visit!

And now here are my tips on where to go (and where to stay away from!) and my favourite healthy restaurants in every city! Bali’s food culture is strongly influenced by the Australian tourists, but if you love pretty smoothie bowls, healthy salads and iced almond milk cappuccinos as much as I do, Bali will be paradise for you!

bali blogpost bali food Canggu:
Canggu and Seminyak are maybe the most popular places to go, and that means you will be served well. Canggu, about 30 mins from the Denpasar Airport, is a city on the countryside. It has quite some nice western restaurants (read: SMOOTHIE BOWLS!!!) and was the perfect place to arrive to. We stayed in Canggu for two nights, which we basically spent in our pool and the nice restaurants. There’s not that much to do in Canggu, so make sure to continue on after a few days! Favourite Restaurants: Peloton Supershop (that’s where the photo was taken!) and The Shady Shack. I didn’t manage to go to Cafe Organic, but after checking out it’s Instagram feed, I’m quite sure you should go there too.

Seminyak:
Seminyak is very touristy, but I enjoyed our time there. Touristy doesn’t always mean bad – thanks to its popularity there is quite a lot to do and see! Seminyak has a busy shopping street where you can get a lot of nice clothing, souvenirs, and yet again, amazing food. There’s a beach too, and the Potato Head Beach Club is the place to go if you want to meet people! My favourite smoothie places in Seminyak were Cafe Organic and Nalu Bowls, and make sure to check out the Shelter Cafe upstairs as well!

uluwatuUluwatu:
My absolute favourite place in Bali, thanks to the breathtaking nature! We stayed in a villa up on a cliff, with direct view down to the ocean. There’s not much life in Uluwatu but I loved the few restaurants looking down on the ocean and it’s surfers. Amazing place to relax – or spend the day in cool cafes working. My top recommendations: Coco & Poké for amazing salads and Nalu Bowls for smoothies.

Ubud:
We took scooters from Seminyak to Ubud for one day and I must say, I wish we had stayed here longer. I am even considering to go back very very soon, that’s how much I enjoyed it. A city in the middle of rainforests and rice terraces, with heaps cool restaurants, a massive (and very cheap, if you know how to bargain! Never pay more than a third of what they ask for!) market with fruit, clothing, art, jewellery… Then there are the beautiful rice terraces and waterfalls, which I saw when I last came to Bali in 2008. And I want to go back and see them again! One day is definitely not enough for Ubud and I hope I’ll be back soon. Preferably in one of those fancy resorts with infinity pools in the middle of the rainforest…

ubudNusa Dua:
DON’T GO. This place consists of a few fancy resorts, a tiny overpriced street for tourists and NOTHING ELSE. Oh, there is the water blow. But believe me. You don’t want to end up in Nusa Dua. We actually just stayed here one night because it was close enough to the airport.

Kuta:
We did not go to Kuta but I heard so much about it that I thought I should warn you. Apparently it consists of bars, parties and tourists. I didn’t go and I’m glad! 😅

Padangbai:
I ended up in Padangbai for one night before leaving to the Gili Islands (this is where the best harbour is). I came here early in the morning so I could explore…. the nothingness there is. Oh my god. This is a dead city. So if you ever want to go to the Gili Islands, make sure you only come to Padangbai an hour before your ferry or speedboat leaves.

0G4A5984Transportation:
In order to get from A to B I have some great tips for you. NEVER take a taxi. And if you do, agree on the price before. But Uber and Go-Jek are my Bali-lifesavers, as they will tell you the value of the journey beforehand. Go-Jek is a local app for scooter taxis and they are so cheap it should be forbidden (or better not). 5000 rupiah (0,35€) for 4km. It doesn’t get any better than this!

For my speed boat from Padangbai to Gili Meno they asked for 450 000 IDR (30€), I offered 200 000 and they accepted (I probably still paid way too much). Remember to bargain, always and everywhere.

P.S.: I hope you guys have subscribed to my YouTube channel, as I’m currently daily vlogging from my trip! There you can see everything I did in Bali in much more detail!

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3 Comments

  1. Karina
    13/03/2017 / 09:50

    Lottie, what an uplifting post. When I come to your blog I always feel better after reading it!
    Just wanted to say thanks
    -Katina

  2. 10/03/2017 / 02:17

    I wish I could go to Bali! Those bowls… 😍 And the period info on temples hahaha 😂 I strongly advice everyone that hasn’t seen her Bali vlogs to go see it because they are awesome!
    Kisses, Sara 😘 #lottiesquad