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Going out in Bali

Potatohead chill night

Lounging by the beach has never been so good

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 beach cliff restaurant Surya Cafe tables

The Uluwatu cliff bars offer stunning sunset views

The area south of Jimbaran is called The Bukit (meaning hill) and is host to many exotic places, including El Kabron and the Uluwatu cliff bars and restaurants.

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.

The busiest area in Bali is the Kuta to Canggu strip and here is where you will find a seemingly never-ending array of Bali restaurants and the party vibe.

Seminyak has become the centre of food and fun in Bali, with many restaurants and clubs seemingly opening and closing each week.

See Going out in the Dhyanapura area of SeminyakDining out in the Oberoi area of SeminyakItalian restaurants in Seminyak and Going out in the Oberoi area of Seminyak for more information on the entertainment dense Seminyak area.

See also Japanese restaurants in Bali, Vegetarian restaurants in Bali, Mexican restaurants in BaliHealth food stores in Bali, Playing Pool in Bali, Cheap eats in Bali, and Clubbing in Bali

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 StoneBOW and the stunning La Laguna are opening while Umalas is also growing as the relatively lower land values allow more diverse dining experiences.

Canggu is the upmarket residential area of this part of Bali, and includes the iconic BerawaEcho Beach and Batu Bolong.

Seminyak beachclub and restaurant Ku de Ta sunset

Bali beachclubs offer a beach fantasy

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.

Legian, which is between Kuta and Seminyak, seems to be shrinking as many places previously in ‘Legian’ have now decided they are in the more hip address of Seminyak.

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.

Gili Air dusk torwards Mount Agung wide

Bali’s Mt Agung as seen from Gili Air at sunset

Also see on this website The Gili Islands; they paved paradise and The Gili Islands off Lombok.

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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