You don’t know where to go for your next Bali trip? One thing is for sure – there can be really big differences concerning the individual locations. Beautiful beaches, jungle flair, surfers scene, spirituality and insane restaurants are just one side of Bali. But you’ll also find crazy parties, crowded beaches and polluted nature. Of course, it always depends on what intention you get there. But personally I would definitely not go to Kuta and Denpasar, for example. Why? Because these places are full of tourists and drunken party people. One hotel complex follows another and you will find clogged roads, trashed beaches and lost culture of the locals. So i highly recommend you to rather check out another much more chilled spot on Bali:
Within this article I will show you my personal island highlights of my favorite place on Bali – Canggu, which is the ultimate hotspot for surfers and digital nomads (people working location independent / online from their laptops from everywhere in the world). Find out now which restaurants, cafes, accommodations, clubs and sightseeing highlights you should definitely check out, if you come to Bali not just for vacation.
Canggu, with its long black sand beaches, is about 20 km north of Denpasar and offers something for almost everyone. This is not only the place to be for digital nomads, but also perfect for all surfers, party people and influencers! I spent a month in Canggu during my time in Bali and had an awesome stay there!
Where to stay?
At the beginning of my trip I stayed a couple of days in “Moon Bamboo Villas”, right in between wonderful green rice fields in cute little bamboo huts. This place is a a bit further away from Canggus centre, but you will definitely experience the real life of Bali and get a rest! You will also get the pure nature feeling here, because the bamboo huts have neither doors, nor windows – just curtains, that’s it! So it can happen that you’ll get a sweet roommate during the night if a little lizard strays into your room. It was definitely a super cool experience, but in the long run I needed a bit more luxury, at least a lockable door and air conditioning!
So after some research i have found a brand new coliving and coworking space – the Matra Bali co-living & co-working, where i just checked in there then. You know what was best there? The beds! Kingsize with a huge bedcover and such a comfy mattress! And the view from the third floor was absolutely stunning! There is a little cafe, from where you can work in a chilled and quiet atmosphere. This accommodation is perfect for digital nomads, such as Freelancers and online Entrepreneurs who can do their work anywhere.
If you plan to stay for long term in Bali and would like to save some travel money then book your room directly for a total month, because then the rooms are often only half expensive as normal! For example, in Matra, a double room costs IDR 6 million for one month, which is equivalent to around € 360, and this is actually one of the more expensive accommodations here in Canggu. In your accommodation, you can mostly book also directly a scooter,, which is usually cheaper than if you rent any scooter on the street.
During my time in Bali, the DNX camp (co-living & co-working camp for digital nomads) took place – so cool! All camp participants shared their knowledge through various workshops, made trips and worked on their own projects. Here we had 3 villas for 30 DNXies, which were super comfortable and I can recommend them all because of their location, their comfort and the price-performance ratio: The Daun, The Nest and Lemongrass.
In general you will always find some affordable rooms on Agoda. They usually have the best prices and a great overview. Also via Airbnb you will find many budget accommodation in Bali. Personally i made the experience, that the location of your accommodation is actually second-rate. You will go everywhere by scooter anyway.
My favourite restaurants & cafes
Canggu is THE place for great (healthy) food, homemade cakes and refreshing drinks. For vegans and vegetarians is Bali a dream. But I also find my burger and meat here! I can not eat rabbit food all day long; even if my vegan friends would like to see that …
The prices are relatively expensive for Bali standards, but compared to Germany, the quality & offer is extremely good!
My favourite places:
- Shady Shack – really delicious food in a beautiful open environment with lots of green plants. Especially the breakfast with its various Bali Bowls is an absolute dream!
- Avocado Factory – for all avocado lovers a must-visit place!
- Serenity – pure vegan, gluten free and sugar free. Perfect for all health freaks. Here, they also offer a lot of energizing yoga classes for different levels and ages.
- Peloton – very popular vegan restaurant
- Cloud 9 – I had my absolute best burger here! (Cloud Burger)
- Crate Café – The hotspot for a great breakfast. One bowl is better than the other one, with lots of fresh fruits, nuts, granola etc.
- La Baracca – Italian restaurant with Mediterranean dishes and really good pasta!
- Gelato Secrets – great ice cream when you get cravings for sweets!
- Echo Beach Club – Freshly prepared barbecue directly at the beach. Perfect place to finish the day with a delicious dinner to a purple sunset.
- Cassava Bali – great breakfast, extremely nice staff and with a pool that you can use.
If you fancy local food, then go to Warungs! This is the name of all the restaurants that offer typical Balinese food.
- Yess & Ithaka – have really tasty traditional food at great prices! The absolute favorites are Gado Gado and Nasi Goreng.
If you want it real cheap, watch out for local warungs. These are usually open at the front and have a counter with some dishes and bowls. Here you usually get Nasi Campur – rice with various side dishes such as vegetables, tempé, tofu or chicken. One portion costs between 8,000 – 15,000 IDR, that is a maximum of € 1.00! Unbelievable, hah? And so delicious!
Canggu’s beach clubs & bars
Canggu has such wonderful beach clubs that really blew me away. Ibiza flair in Indonesia! This is a real must-do when visiting the island!
- La Brisa is my absolute favorite one! The venue is completely made of rustic woods and integrated palm trees that fit perfectly into the room concept. Here you can relax on loungers or bean bags, refresh yourself in the pool or just enjoy the magical sunset at direct beachfront. Mediterranean food and cool summer drinks such as smoothies and cocktails you will get here too. It is a bit more expensive there, but definitely worth a visit! The whole atmosphere has fascinated me so much that I have mutated into a regular and recurrent customer.
- Finns Beach Club is also by the sea, has a huge pool and all day long cool house and electronic music. That spot really made my Ibiza heart beat faster. Perfect place for a cool sunset Bintang (traditional Bali beer).
In Canggu you can even find really cool clubs where you can celebrate great parties. There you will meet a lot of backpackers and digital nomads too, so actually every night there is somewhere party. What you should try:
- Oldmans – this is probably the most famous bar. Instead of the usual Friday or Saturday, Wednesdays are the busiest but funniest days here.
- Sand Bar – after Oldmans you can go to one of the sand bars, which are only 100m further. Sandbars are simple bars right on the beach. Sometimes the music was not really mine (mix of EDM and Hip Hop), but here you will get the pure holiday and party feeling! Dancing barefoot in the sand – Always amazing!
- Pretty Poison – An absolute must-seen place, because it is super unique! Looks unimpressive from the front, but behind the building there is a big halfpipe, where locals and tourists meet up for some skating. Wonderful vibe here! Sometimes with a DJ or even live music. In the end of the evening, shortly before midnight, the associated dance floor is often quite full with people.
- The Black Cat – directly to the right side of Pretty Poison is a tattoo studio and a kiosk. Go to the kiosk, enter the shop and open its left fridge – go through the door and you will find yourself standing in the middle of a club! I could not believe it, when i came here for the first time! An absolute awesome experience, a chilled place to hang out and you can even play a solid round pool there. On busy days, people like to move from Pretty Poison to Black Cat. Then the Party don’t stop!
If you are working online then be sure to check out one of the co-working spaces on Bali. Here you can connect really well with other like-minded people. Canggu and Ubud are the absolute hotspot for digital nomads.
- Dojo – is the best-known co-working space in Bali. There are also regular workshops on exciting topics and community meet-ups, where you can build up your network.
- District – cool coworking space with an epic view over a huge rice field; also a bit cheaper than at Dojo.
In addission to that, you can also find wonderful cafes with good internet, delicious food and mostly with air conditioning, from where you can work:
- Machinery – a bit small, but super cute and air conditioned.
- Nüde & Kembali – from the same owner, but in different places. The Nüde is right next to District and the Kembali is a bit further away but really nice and quiet! Both are air conditioned.
- Starbucks – there are always many digital nomads and a great internet connection!
- Matra co-living and co-working – this is the accommodation I stayed in. On the top floor is Satu Satu Café, which is also open for the public. On the third floor you have a great view over Canggu and an ingenious co-working atmosphere with super interesting people from all over the world.
You should not miss this!
Exploring the island without a strict plan e.g. by scooter is perfect to discover different places and to see a lot from the island. Let yourself get inspired! Especially around Canggu they are building up so many new venues these days, that there will be always something new to check out.
I really like the famous Batu Bolong Beach, where every day countless surfers from all over the world try to catch the best waves. Also cool and a bit more quiet is the neighboring Berawa Beach, where also Finns Beach Club is located at. But my absolute favorite is the beach section around Echo Beach with the amazing beachclubs La Brisa and Echo Beach Club. Be aware that here you will not find white sandy beaches like you have it in the Caribbean for example! But for surfing and sunsets they are great.
Sunsets are just magical in Bali! I have never seen such colours in the sky before. Purple, Orange, Yellow … You can just grab a take-away package in one of the Warungs and enjoy your sunset dinner at the beach or get a cold Bintang or Prost beer. Fits perfectly!
There are many spiritual and health-conscious people in Bali. No wonder, because you can visit really good yoga classes here. The Balinese are incredibly good at it and know how to teach it also to foreigners! I can recommend you the yoga studios Pravana Yoga, Serenity or The Practice for some engergizing yoga and meditation.
If you go to the beach you will soon realize that Canggu is very popular for surfers! Although the beach is not white and has crystal clear water, there are perfect waves. On the beach are various huts where you can rent a surfboard (about 50,000 IDR for 2 hours = 3€) or you can take a surf instructor. If you are looking for a gorgeous beach day in Bali, then you should definitely go to Uluwatu! The waves are amazing and the beaches are just perfect for taking photos!
Awesome day trips
So if you are looking for really clear blue water and a white sandy beach, then head off to Uluwatu for a day! With the scooter you are there in about 1-1.5 h, which is why it is fitting so well for a day trip. Uluwatu is famous for surfers but actually the beaches aren’t even that crowded. So it’s really worth going there! Uluwatu is famous for its huge rocks and cliffs with epic views over the sea.
The best beaches that I can recommend you to check out are the Dreambeach, Nyang Nyang Beach and the beach below the Sunday Beach Club.
Would you also like to check out one of Uluwatus most beautiful beach clubs? Then drive to Omnia or Ulu Cliffhouse. In Ulu Cliffhouse, there are sometimes really good electronic events such as the party RUMORS with Guy Gerber. Really impressive location right on the cliffs with a stunning view, especially during sunsets!
Going to Ubud takes about 1 hour from Canggu. On the way there you can drive to the Tegenungan waterfall, which is a very nice motive for a photo shoot. In Ubud there are the Monkey Forest and the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. The latter is an absolute must-do when you are in Bali! You should not miss this view.
Near Ubud there is also the Holy Water Temple. I was not there by myself, but my friends told me that this must be also a great highlight! If you want to eat delicious food in Ubud after your sightseeing tour, I can definitely recommend you the locations Acai Queen, Clean or Seeds of Life (Raw-vegan).
As part of the 14 days DNX camp (Coworking & Coliving Camp), we did a rice field walk with “Nadis Herbal Shop & Jamu Class” – that was sooo cool! On our way the guides told us a lot about Herbal Medicine and the Balinese culture and they showed us different plant species and explained their effect on the human body. Later we stopped by the associated Herbal Factory. There we made various products ourselves: a Jamu Jamu drink, body scrub, mask and oil. Everything made from the plants growing there and without additives! Almost like a cooking class, we sat at a big table making our own toiletries. This was so much fun! And the highlight – we got a massage with this products! This day will definitely stay in my memory for a long time.
A wonderful 1 or 2 day trip to Bali´s neighbour island Nusa Penida is an absolute must if you want to get really impressed. The nature there is unreal, totally picturesque and so so beautiful! Especially a tour to the famous Kelinking Beach, which is an absolute highlight of my travels so far, should be on your bucket list. I will never forget that moment on top of the rocks, from where i had an insane view down to the hidden beach with its impressive water colours. The way down to the beach is more like a climbing or hiking tour, that took us about an hour one-way. It is super tough and i really recommend you to take some water and appropriate shoes with you. This way down and especially the way up was the hardest tour i have ever did (so definitely nothing for older people or children), but it was so much worth the sweat! I think i have never seen such a paradisiacal place than this. It really left me standing there with wide-eyes and i could hardly believe it. Please, check that out when you have the chance, it is just breathtaking.
Soo, I hope my tips will help you for an unforgettable next Bali trip around Canggu! Be sure to also check out my other Bali article “12 mega hacks for your next Bali trip“. Here you will find really valuable insider tips for your next Bali trip and loads of information about how to save some travel money along your journey through this magical Indonesian island!