Going out in Bali
Going out in Bali
To me going out in Bali is one of Bali’s greatest attractions. The spectrum of the available experiences to be had in Bali is as vast as the Balinese society is opaque!
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Firstly Bali is much larger and way more diverse in its variety of restaurants and nightlife than most people are aware of.
Different areas suit different people and so the possibilities of entertainment vary immensely.
Amed up on the northeast part of Bali is a relaxed, almost ‘old Bali’ kind of place with low prices and mostly simple fare, suited to those who like to dive as there is lots of coral remaining there. Some good snorkelling can be had there also along with yoga.
The Benoa/Tanjing area is more of an upmarket area that has some very nice restaurants with not much in the way of bars or clubs, with the tourists that come here generally being not the partying type.
Nusa Dua is largely about the big resorts which have their own in-house restaurants and bars which I have not included here.
Uluwatu is famous for its surf beaches and the Uluwatu temple complex, and is much more laid back than elsewhere in Bali, and is very popular amongst the 25-35 travellers, with good cheap restaurants and fun bars like Single Fin which is one of Bali’s most popular bars, certainly offering the best Sunday session in Bali.
Jimbaran is famous for its beach restaurants serving fresh seafood, which is very popular but way over-priced in my opinion.
In Jimbaran there are also some bit resorts like Ayana with their stunning cliff edge bar the Rock Bar and a whole bunch of restaurants.
See Going out in the Dhyanapura area of Seminyak, Dining out in the Oberoi area of Seminyak, Italian restaurants in Seminyak and Going out in the Oberoi area of Seminyak for more information on the entertainment dense Seminyak area.
Petitenget is right next to Seminyak and has grown immensely over the last years as restaurants have sought larger properties to expand into. There are some wonderful restaurants and clubs in Petitenget. Beach clubs like the iconic Ku De Ta and Potatohead are stunning sunset venues while Mirror and Mint are popular nightclubs.
Next to Petitenget is Batu Belig where a lot of funky and quality dining establishments like the famous Hog Wild in Bali, Slippery Stone, BOW and the stunning La Laguna are opening while Umalas is also growing as the relatively lower land values allow more diverse dining experiences.
Kuta is famous for its high population of Aussie tourists and Aussie expats, and the restaurants and bars here usually lack the sophistication of those in the Seminyak area, and oddly enough, are more expensive then their Seminyak counterparts.
Like many things in Bali, an address, or a street name, is flexible, and can vary from person to person. Legian is again mostly an Aussie area but with an increasing number of Europeans who like its cheaper accommodation.
There are a few interesting places in Denpasar also, but mostly Denpasar is full of local food places that are either too spicey or their kitchen hygeine is a bit dubious for those concerned about losing their vacation to a bout of Bali belly!
Ubud is an entirely different scene again with literally hundreds of dining options available all within walking distance from one another. See Dining out in central Ubud and Going out in central Ubud
Although the Gili Islands are part of Lombok and therefore not a part of Bali, many Bali people, expats and tourists, go to either Gili Air, Gili Trawangan or Gili Meno for a few days. The Gilis are more connected in many ways to Bali than the usually dour Lombok. See Dining out in Gili Air on this site.
There is much to be experienced in Bali, and I hope this makes it easier to figure out what you want to do.
This is by no means a definitive guide, but it will get there eventually.
By Mark O’Brien, April 2015, updated August 2016
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