Bali is a colourful place where two worlds collide: the world of temples, spirits and ancient traditions versus the world of boutique resorts, designer shops and hip night clubs.
The Island of Gods has been on top of traveller’s lists for many years – whether it’s the backpacker who enjoys the fantastic value he gets for food and accommodation, the adventures one who likes adrenalin-pumping activities like white water rafting or the sophisticated traveller who likes exploring thousand-year-old temples.
Bali’s unparalleled diverse landscapes making it hard to decide where to stay, therefore the best way to overcome this “obstacle” is by circling around the island and spending a few nights at each place.
Here are the 5 top places to stay at in Bali:
Seminyak is located in southern Bali and considered to be the hippest town on the island. Despite the close proximity to Kuta, Seminyak is a stark contrast to the infamous party and backpacker town (although you can find some great clubs around, too). Go for shopping at one of the countless fashion and design boutiques or just stroll around the small roads and alleys and stop somewhere for a coffee. For a post-shopping experience, just chill out and sip a cocktail at Ku de Ta which offers a unique concept blend of beach club, restaurant and night club. Need a massage? Spoil yourself with a traditional Balinese massage at one of the many spas in Seminyak.
Where located: South Bali, about 30 minutes from the airport.
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When talking about Ubud, many people still remember the blockbuster Eat, Pray & Love, starring Julia Roberts pedalling along the magnificent rice paddies.
Ubud is located in the heart of Bali and not only famous for its stunning natural scenery but also as the cultural capital of the island. Unlike many places in the south, Ubud offers fantastic options to explore the surrounding by bicycle. Head over to the ‘Sacred Monkey Forest’ where hundreds of cheeky macaques awaiting your attention followed by a visit to the Ubud Art-Market on Jalan Raya Ubud. If you’re more into action, why not trying white water rafting and navigate through different rapid levels? And if you should feel hungry by the end of the day, pay a visit to ‘Ibu Oka’ who is considered to offer the best Babi Guling (suckling pig and Bali’s signature dish) on the island.
Where located: Central Bali, 45-60 minutes from the airport.
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Lovina sounds not only lovely, but actually really is! This laid back town is one of the few places in Bali that was able to keep its charming and traditional atmosphere without getting too much affected by tourism. Sink your toes into the famous black volcanic sand or just lie on the beach and soak up the sun! Wake up before sunrise and take a trip with a traditional fisher boat to watch dolphins just off the shore. Not enough yet? Go for snorkelling! The calm water offers great visibility and perfect conditions to watch tons of colourful fishes and corals. If you want to take a break from the ocean, head over to the city of Singaraja which was once the capital of Bali.
Where located: Northern Bali, approx. 2-2.5 hours from the airport.
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Just about two decades ago, Jimbaran was a small fisher village with nothing more than a few guest houses and restaurants. Fast forward, it has transformed into a bustling town with lots of exclusive seafront hotels and offers an abundance of fantastic seafood restaurants. Visit the vibrant fish market in the morning and watch vendors buying and selling their goods. Love temples? Uluwatu is one of the most important temples in Bali, situated on a cliff 70 metres above the sea-level with breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean (tipp: watch the sunset here). Uluwatu is also one of the few places where Kecak Dance is performed, a form of music drama. Round up your day with a mesmerizing candle light dinner right on the beach at one of the various seafood restaurants.
Where located: southern Bali, just 10-15 minutes from the airport
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Although it takes a bit of time to reach Amed, you will be rewarded with one of Bali’s most picturesque locations: with the spectacular backdrop of Mount Agung, this former fisher village is surrounded by crystal clear water and is the perfect place for those in need of relaxation. Amed offers the best scuba and snorkelling sites in Bali with the wreck of the USS Liberty being one of the most popular sites. Don’t miss out a trip to the aforementioned Mount Agung, at 3031 metres Bali’s highest and most sacred volcano which offers excellent trekking opportunities. Located at the foot of Mount Agung is the stunning Besakih Temple, the largest and holiest temple in Bali, a complex of 18 separate temples.
Where located: Eastern Bali, approx. 2-2.5 hours from the airport.
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