This post was last updated on July 8th, 2020 at 01:48 pm
Seminyak is a trendy seaside resort near Kuta where you can relax on the beach, get a massage in one of the many spas or have a drink in a nice beach club. Furthermore, there are great options for shopping and it’s possible to surf here.
Where Kuta and Canggu are mainly visited by backpackers, you will find a more mixed crowd in Seminyak. For example, except for backpackers, it is a popular destination for couples and families on holiday, and you will also find a lot of expats there.
Because Seminyak focuses largely on the higher segment, prices are on average a bit higher than in places like Canggu and Kuta.
Are you looking for something similar to Kuta, only a bit more friendly and trendy? Then Seminyak is a perfect place to visit. There aren’t many real sights, for that you have to be in Ubud, for example. You will also have to travel to the north of Bali for beautiful nature.
Are you going to Seminyak soon? In this article, we tell you everything about this beach town that can be found right next to Canggu. It is a nice destination to start or end your trip in Bali.
Seminyak Versus Canggu
Since it can be quite difficult to choose between Seminyak and Canggu, we will compare them with a small list:
- The beaches are about the same in both places. Expect relatively dark sand, for whiter beaches, you better go to Uluwatu.
- You will find more backpackers and digital nomads in Canggu than in Seminyak.
- Both Canggu and Seminyak are great surf spots. Yet there is more surf culture in Canggu.
- Canggu is pretty much the brunch spot in Bali. Smoothie bowls, vegan shops, and hipster coffee shops are clearly more present here than in Seminyak. In general, you could call Seminyak a bit more formal in terms of restaurants.
- Seminyak, on the other hand, is more suitable if you are looking for bars, clubs and going out in general. In Canggu, the nightlife scene is simply a lot more relaxed.
- Furthermore, Seminyak clearly wins when it comes to shopping.
- In terms of yoga and fitness, you have pretty much the same options in both places.
If you cannot make a choice, you can, of course, visit both places. When you walk on the beach in Seminyak, you can get to Canggu in about 40 minutes.
17 Best Things to Do in Seminyak
Seminyak is often the first stop for many people when they arrive on the Indonesian island of Bali. Highly recommended, if you ask us. For Balinese standards, Seminyak is a fairly large city that seems to become more western every year, but fortunately, you’ll also be surrounded by warung (small eateries in Indonesia).
Seminyak is a good base for various day trips, a day of relaxation or just going out. Check out our best tips for Seminyak in Bali below! At the end, we share some practical tips that make your holiday in Seminyak just a little bit easier.
1. Visit the Beaches of Seminyak
Seminyak is blessed with a particularly beautiful elongated beach, where it is noticeably less crowded than in nearby Kuta. You can roll out your towel on the warm sand or take a seat on one of the many sunbeds. Along the beach, you will find beautiful resorts with infinity pools and trendy beach bars, recognizable by the attractive Balinese umbrellas and brightly colored beanbags. There is a relaxed atmosphere and you can enjoy the beautiful sunset with a Bintang beer in hand and live music in the background. In the evening you can dine with your feet in the sand at one of the many romantic restaurants along the waterline, and then end the day in style in a cozy beach bar.
If you continue to the south, you will automatically arrive at Double Six Beach. This beach is similar to Seminyak Beach in that it is clearly aimed at tourists. At the end of the afternoon, you can sit down on a bean bag and watch the sunset with a cocktail, beer, or coconut.
If you feel like eating something cheap and delicious, take a walk to Warung Murah. This restaurant can be found near Double Six Beach. You can try delicious “nasi campur”: rice with all kinds of side dishes of your choice. Nasi campur is, without a doubt, one of our favorites in Indonesia.
The more quiet beaches can be found in the north of Seminyak. In this case, take a look at Petitenget Beach and the even more northerly located Batu Belig Beach. Around Petitenget Beach you can also find the temple of the same name: Pura Petitenget.
2. Pura Petitenget
Seminyak doesn’t have many great sights, but if you want to exchange the beach for a moment of serenity in a beautiful temple, then you should look for Pura Petitenget. This beautiful Balinese temple is located by the sea and plays a rather important ceremonial role in this part of Bali. The temple has been here since the 16th century and is intended to protect Bali from evil spirits from the sea.
3. Beach Clubs
One of the beach clubs in Bali that you often hear people talking about is the Potato Head Beach Club, located on the aforementioned Petitenget Beach. It’s the ultimate spot to spend an afternoon relaxing by the pool with a sea view. However, the sunbeds are quite close together and it is quite expensive. Be there on time, because it often happens that no beds are available after 10:00 a.m.
Another cool beach club is the Cocoon Beach Club which is located on Double Six Beach. They too have a lovely swimming pool and nice beds to chill out on.
A little further south, on Legian Beach, the Azul Beach Club is a great spot to settle down. Cool off in the infinity pool, enjoy good food with a glass of Australian wine and then enjoy the sunset.
All in all, we advise you to walk along the beach and see which beach club appeals to you the most. In any case, you have enough choice. Seminyak is the place to be in Bali when it comes to beach clubs.
Potato Head is one of the most famous and most popular beach clubs in Bali. The unique design of the building is a great sight, but inside the scene is even better. A beautiful swimming pool, fancy sunbeds, and good music are the main attractions of Potato Head. Spending an afternoon here doesn’t really fit within the typical backpacker’s budget – especially if you order the tasty cocktails – but you do get the ultimate Seminyak feeling in return. It is also fun here late in the evening when nice parties are regularly held here.
4. Experience Seminyak’s Vibrant Nightlife
In Seminyak, the day effortlessly turns into night, thanks in part to the presence of many cafes, beach clubs, and rooftop bars. You can hang out on the beach with a beer until late in the evening or listen to live music in a cozy bar in the center of the village. Seminyak has some great bars where they serve nice cocktails and you can make it as late as you want. Also good to know: Seminyak also has a lively gay scene, with some clubs along the Jalan Abimanyu.
As far as we are concerned, La Favela is a must-visit. It has cool vintage decor and the theme nights they organize there are great.
Or look a little further north at the atmospheric El Nacional bar.
5. Day Trip to the Village of Canggu
The village of Canggu lies slightly above Seminyak and it is a lot quieter. It is known as a surfing village and unlike Uluwatu (which is located in the south of Bali), this is very suitable for the novice surfer. So if you want to try out a surf lesson, you can do so here for a very reasonable price.
It is also teeming with breakfast and lunch spots, you will perish in smoothie bowls and smashed avocado. If you’d rather see some of the “real” Bali, they offer many cycling tours through the rice fields. We really recommended this activity. You can also ride on horseback through the rice fields, or watch the sunset on the beach of Canggu.
6. Horseback Riding
Whether you have experience or not, the best way to get to know the Seminyak area is from the back of a horse. There are several stables where you can borrow a horse and then take a trip through the area alone or together with a professional guide. Follow the coastline until the crowds have disappeared and take a side road for unspoiled natural paradises and small Balinese villages. While you’re riding on a horse you discover a completely different side of Bali.
7. Enjoy the Sunset at Tanah Lot
The Tanah Lot temple is a popular attraction, an hour’s drive from Seminyak. Many people go here for the sunset and admittedly, it is very beautiful. During the day, the view is great, so if you can’t be there for the sunset, this is still a fun place to visit.
The temple lies in the sea, on top of a small rocky island. Depending on whether the tide is high or low, you can reach the temple, up to about 5 meters away. You are not allowed to climb on the rock itself, but you do have access to a well that the locals believe is magical. If you want to catch the sunset here, make sure you get there on time. There is often a traffic jam and it would be a shame if you have to view the sunset from your car.
TIP – Take a look at our Bali temple mini-guide.
8. Visit the Many Hotspots of Seminyak
Seminyak seems to be getting more western every year, but a nice side effect is that many new nice hotspots have been added. From breakfast to dinner, a drink or lunch: they really have all kinds of kitchens you can think of here.
For dinner, we like Mama San (Asian with very tasty cocktails), for lunch Sisterfields (which is near the shopping center of Seminyak – for when the middle of the day is too hot to sit in the sun), the extravagant brunch on Sunday at the W Hotel is fun if you really want to go over the top.
Made’s Warung is where you want to be for delicious Indonesian food (just like Biku). And if you still feel like dancing, you definitely want to do that at La Favela.
9. Visit Ubud for a Day (and night)
Do you want to do something outside of Seminyak? Ubud is about an hour and a half’s drive from Seminyak, so staying overnight is also an option. In any case, it is absolutely worth going. Ubud is known for its beautiful rice fields, the Mount Batur volcano, and Monkey Forest.
Be careful in Monkey Forest: the monkeys are now very cunning and know how to open the zipper of your bag. Getting pickpocketed by a monkey in Bali is probably not very high on your bucket list… So be careful! You can buy some bananas in the park and before you know it you have three monkeys on your shoulder.
10. Snorkel or Dive in Seminyak
From Seminyak, there are many options for snorkeling or diving (you can also get your PADI if you want). The water at Seminyak itself is not known as a great snorkeling or diving spot, but you are taken by boat to the middle of the sea and there it is teeming with fish. Big, small, and in all kinds of colors (even if you don’t want/dare to dive; with snorkeling you can see enough).
Travel can be exhausting, even on an island as laid-back as Bali. Fortunately, there is something that can provide relief with the help of a few healing hands. From a relaxing Balinese massage to a fresh pedicure. For a beauty treatment, Seminyak is the right place for you. The local spas and wellness centers are among the best in Bali and are known for their ultimate sense of luxury and comfort.
In Seminyak, you will find dozens of spas, each with their specialty, but in the more luxurious hotels you often don’t even have to leave the door: they simply have their own wellness area. Opt for a traditional Balinese massage or simply enjoy the quiet areas, Jacuzzis and saunas for that much-needed relaxation.
In Bali, we always really look forward to the massages. It is very affordable, and those Balinese massages also make you very relaxed.
You will find several more luxurious spas in Seminyak (which are still very affordable by our standards), but the smaller spas are just as good in our opinion. Often you can get a one-hour Balinese massage for about 200,000 IDR (~ US$14.20). A very good deal!
12. Follow a Cooking Class in Seminyak
Another fun activity in Seminyak is following a cooking class. This is a great way to discover local life and learn to cook some delicious Indonesian dishes. Of course, you can also eat the food you make. At Cookly you can find different cooking courses offered in Seminyak and you can also book them right away.
You can also book a cooking course a bit outside of Seminyak; this gives you a beautiful view of the rice fields while you’re creating a tasty dish.
13. Go Surfing
As in most beach resorts in Bali, you can also surf in Seminyak. The waves here are fine but not as great as in nearby Canggu. Therefore, if you want to surf for several days, we recommend going to Canggu. If you are staying in Seminyak and want to spend a day on your surfboard, this is a fine place.
14. Walk on Cozy Eat Street
You can enjoy good food in Seminyak on Eat Street, to be precise in the lively Jalan Laksmana. It is packed with restaurants with Western options, but fortunately, you will also find a number of local restaurants nearby to taste traditional Indonesian cuisine. In addition, there are quite a few trendy boutique shops and cafes to have a drink.
A must for Indian food is Warung Nia, which is close to Eat Street. If you want to eat Western food in a cozy setting, Cafe Bali is a great place to visit.
15. Coffee Shops
In need of coffee? It will not surprise you that you can go to Starbucks. But if you’re a foodie, Revolver Espresso is a spot you shouldn’t miss. Another must-visit to drink a nice cup of coffee is the Sisterfields Cafe.
Bali is great for shopping, and Seminyak in particular is seen as the shopping mecca of the island. People come to Seminyak from all over the world to discover hip Balinese clothing brands and antiques for friends and family. From women’s clothing to atmospheric home accessories, in the dozens of small designer boutiques, art shops, and stalls with antiques, you will always find something that suits your style.
The most famous shopping streets are Jalan Raya Seminyak and Jalan Laksmana, but you should occasionally dive into a side street. Whether you stay in Seminyak for a few days or spend the night elsewhere on the island, come here for a day of shopping for original souvenirs and beautiful keepsakes to remind you of that beautiful time you spent in Bali.
Another street where you can go as a shopping enthusiast is Jalan Raya Basangkasa, where you will find the impressive Nyaman Gallery. And there are many more galleries and artistic shops because just like Ubud, Seminyak is known for its many art shops.
17. Wake Up With a Yoga Class
Bali is now also known as a yoga island, with many retreats and a yoga school on every corner. Honestly, we did yoga once at home, but we still thought we should try it in Bali. And we were not disappointed. The view of a rice field or the beach was also very helpful. If you are already a yoga enthusiast, you will in your element here.
Where to Stay in Seminyak
Although Seminyak mainly focuses on tourists with a slightly larger budget, there are plenty of affordable options to stay at. Accommodations come in all forms from homestays & hostels to hotels.
Looking for luxury? Then you are in the right place in Seminyak. Cicada Luxury Townhouses is a wonderful place to stay at.
Hostel Tip: Capsule Hotel
You’ve probably heard about the capsule hotels in Tokyo before, but Seminyak has its own; Stellar Capsules. Most dorms have bunk beds, but here you sleep in a large version of an IKEA bookcase. Curtains have been placed between the beds so that you have your own mini-room. So a kind of capsule.
That gives a little extra privacy which we love. Astrid is one of the kindest caretakers in all the hostels in Bali. From the second you enter the hostel she will start taking care of everything you need and that doesn’t stop after. Astrid and the hostel’s staff members can help you with anything in Seminyak, from booking Grab transport and day trips to showing you the best places to dance the night away. We’ve made some great friends in this hostel and when we’re back in Bali, we will definitely stay there again!
Transport in Seminyak
Take special care with taxis. There is an official taxi company, BlueBird, but there are just as many taxis driving around with the same logo but without the name – so this is not an official company and you are very likely to be transported for a much more expensive price. So after you hail a taxi on the street, always tell them you want to drive with the meter on.
If you don’t like hailing taxis on the street, download the Go Jek app. We’ve used this app all over Bali and really: it is so handy. You can order a taxi (and pay cash in the taxi, the price is indicated in the app in advance so you will never be ripped off), a scooter taxi, or even order food.
Are you not in the mood for all the hassle with taxis? Rent a scooter. Usually, it costs around US$3 per day and it is the easiest (and fastest) way to get around Bali. A helmet is not mandatory, but of course, it is sensible to wear one. Note, they drive on the left side of the road in Bali, and often the way of taking priority is honking as loud as possible.
TIP – Check our tips on renting a scooter in Bali.
Traveling to Seminyak
Seminyak is located in the south of Bali, about 8 kilometers from Ngurah Rai International Airport or Denpasar International Airport (DPS).
If Seminyak is your first stop during your holiday in Bali, it is advisable to book a taxi in advance from the airport. This is because no Go Jek or Grab cars can come here and the taxis never want to drive with the meter on. Pre-ordering a taxi online will cost you around US$10 and the driver will drop you off at your hotel.