Seminyak is by far the most popular and well-known destination in Bali. It was the first place we visited when we travelled to Indonesia. Logistically, it makes sense that Seminyak is first on everyone's itinerary because it is about 20 minutes away from the airport. But more than that, this is the most commercial part of Bali. It is where the hippest beach clubs and restaurants are. It is also in Seminyak where you will find popular chain hotels such as Best Western or the W hotel.
They say when you go to Bali you'll live like a millionaire. That couldn't be more true. Literally, because their currency's smallest bill is 100,000. It's in Seminyak where you will really get the most for your money if you're looking for a fun and luxurious getaway.
Whether you're staying in an Airbnb or Hotel, your accommodation will usually take care of transport from the Airport. They'll send a driver and car to fetch you. You can then talk to the driver and ask for his rates for the day. It can range from anywhere from 30 to 50USD for the entire day. Within Seminyak though, there are plenty of taxis available and they're pretty safe. People recommend that you only hail the taxis that say Blue Bird because they have the best rates.
They even have an app so you book more conveniently. To avoid any trouble make sure you double-check that the meter is turned on at the beginning of the ride. The popular ride-sharing app, Grab or Gojek is also available there but locals will warn you to be discreet when using it.
Locals and taxi drivers will try to tell you that Grab is banned but it's actually not true and the prices are a lot more competitive than taxis. It probably goes without saying but if you're staying in Bali for more than 3 days it would be worth your while to buy a prepaid SIM card with data. Just so that you can navigate or book a car when you're on the go.
Where To Stay
The most popular accommodations in Bali are villas. You will find plenty of choices on Airbnb. If you haven't used Airbnb yet, you have to get on board. Hosts are verified and you can read reviews from previous visitors. There are plenty of villas to choose from. Although the streets are quite narrow, I promise that the moment you step through the doors you will have your own little piece of paradise. All the villas have a minimalist yet thoughtful interior design. The best part? Most come with their own private pool. Everything in Seminyak is within walking distance or a short cab ride away from each other.
If you're not up for renting a place you can also check out the many hostels there. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more upscale and serviced option, Seminyak has its very own W Retreat Hotel. The price tag makes it a more exclusive destination. You may even want to drop by their beach club for the day if you want to get away from the younger and rowdier crowd.
Where To Eat & Drink
Seminyak has some of the most popular restaurants in Bali. If you just search through the “Seminyak” geotag on Instagram you'll start to see a lot of familiar places. If there is one thing I can vouch for, it's the restaurants. They have some of the most well-branded restaurants that I've seen. If you're thinking that it's all just a facade you best believe that the food lives up to the hype.
If there is anything Bali knows how to do well, it's brunch. Two of my favourite places are Sea Circus and Sisterfields, they're two restaurants that are just around the corner from each other. Sea Circus is a lot smaller and the food is more affordable. There are also a lot of places that specialize in vegan and organic food. If you're plant-based and looking for the best acai bowls in town then Kynd Community is the place to be.
For a night out, my favourite place to go to is Mexicola. Mexicola is a name that everyone in Seminyak recognizes. And once you go looking for it, you won't be able to miss it. Picture all the Mexican decorations and restaurants you know, now imagine them on steroids and in neon lights. That's Mexicola. Their tacos are quite good (this coming from a Mexican) but the servings are small so be careful when ordering. The bill can quickly pile up.
If you want to get really nice photos I suggest you stop by in the daytime. Preferably when it's not peak hour so that you get a chance to explore the many Instagrammable corners of Mexicola. But the real-time to be there is in the evening. It will fill up quickly so if you intend on having a sit-down dinner then I suggest you reserve a table. But it's after dinner that it really starts to come alive. In the centre of Mexicola, there is a dance floor.
The music selection there varies from Grease to Kylie Minogue to early 2000s RnB. And the crowd loves it. It really is so incredible to see everyone dance together. People sitting at the table near the dance floor will get onto their tables and start dancing. If you're lucky, you'll come in on a night when servers are going around giving guests free shots. I really enjoyed partying there because it's in an accessible part of town and isn't a fussy club. People go there in their beach clothes and really let loose.
What To Do
If you're going to Seminyak for the beach, I have to set you straight right now. Their beaches aren't the best and the waters can be quite rough sometimes. But what makes up for that is the really nice beach clubs. Potato Head Beach Club is a go-to for most tourists. There is no entrance fee or daily charge. It's the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Claim a day bed, order some drinks, and enjoy the view. If you want to really be on the beach another great option is La Plancha. It's right on the sand, and they have plenty of bean bags under colourful umbrellas to choose from.
My personal favourite thing to do in Seminyak is to shop! The streets are lined with tons of little shops, mostly swimwear and summer styles for women. It was a haven for my friends and me because a lot of Australian brands have shopped there such as Gooseberry Intimates, Auguste The Label, and Uma & Leopold.
If after reading this you're left thinking, “All of these things seem to involve a lot of energy and money.
” Well, don't worry I have just the thing for you.
Seminyak has some of the best massage parlours and spas I've ever gone to. Some places offer entire spa packages for less than 100USD. The parlours are open until pretty late so you can go in whenever you like. It's so relaxing that I wouldn't be surprised if you dozed off in the middle of your massage.
If it's your first time in Bali and you're really after all those #aesthetic places then Seminyak is really the place to be. What most people do is that they spend their first few days in Seminyak and then later move to another part of Bali. If you're interested to learn more about the different areas you can check out the first part of this series, “What's the Bali Destination for you? Guide to Canggu.”
Bali Digital Nomad Paradise
Seminyak is on our list of best places for digital nomads in Bali, find out what other places in Bali feature.