Seminyak is Bali’s expat hub, home to a beautiful beach, quirky boutiques, delicious restaurants and the coolest nightlife in Bali. There are also a lot of things to do in Seminyak. Hundreds flock there to see and be seen, thanks to its Instagram-friendly charm, but there are secret spots for those who prefer to keep a low profile.
Seminyak is often dismissed as being a mere tourist attraction, with beachfront bars and Aussie-ran restaurants making it a far cry from the ‘real’ Bali. There’s actually a lot more to this vibrant city than meets the eye, with plenty of little local eateries tucked down side-streets, a great surf scene and a whole host of friendly locals who’ll let you hop on their moped for a guided tour of this Balinese gem.
Where is it
Seminyak is located on the west coast of Bali in Indonesia. It is situated just north of Kuta and Legian.
Seminyak is a place where you can experience the fine life of Bali. With the best beaches in Bali, Seminyak has great tourist facilities, a great and enjoyable nightlife, world class hotels, restaurants with international and local cuisines, bars and many more. It is one of Bali’s most popular towns and if you are around the area, a visit to Seminyak should be on your to-do list – if you truly want to see what paradise looks like!
What to Do
Seminyak is home to some amazing little boutiques, stocking everything from hand-crafted jewelry to locally-made fabrics and clothes. Load up on delicious herbs and spices, as well as Balinese delicacies as you wander the streets. If you’re craving a bit of class, don’t worry – there are streets lined with popular brands, such as Gooseberry Intimates, as well as a Seminyak Village shopping mall that is home to international stores like Bamboo Blonde. There are always fun market stalls just outside the mall that offer dinky souvenirs and fun, bright jewelry and sarongs.
Bali is one of the most chilled out places in the world, but Seminyak can feel a bit hectic and busy at times. Head to one of their world-class spas to escape and unwind. Spa at The Samaya is the best of the bunch, with a huge range of relaxing, holistic treatments. Head to The Spa at The Amala for tropical vibes centred on healing elixirs, aqua-pilates and feel-good vibes.
Did you even go to Bali if you didn’t get a yoga session in? Luckily, there are loads of places to practice, so get your kit on and get bendy. Jiwa Yoga is a calm oasis tucked in the centre of Seminyak, so is really easy to get to from most hotels and hostels. Seminyak Yoga Shala is another fantastic choice for those looking to wind down.
Seminyak has a few beaches, the best surfing one being Double Six beach. Head to surf school Bali here for surf lessons or rent a board and get stuck in. The waves depend on the season, so speak to a professional if you’re not 100% sure what you’re doing!
Some of Seminyak’s beaches aren’t great for swimming, sadly, so we’d suggest heading to world-famous Potato Head Beach Club if you fancy a dip. Get here early if you want to grab a sunbed or lounger as it gets very busy! It’s attached to the hotel so you can only imagine how many people flock poolside… There’s normally a DJ or live music later on in the evenings, but try and get down for sunset if you can – their infinity pool is lined with palm trees and gives you an amazing view of the sun setting into the ocean in front of you.
Get stuck in with the local culture and learn some life-skills at Nia Cooking Class! This is a wonderful place to meet new people and have fun getting experimental in the kitchen. Go with an empty stomach and an open mind… You’ll be taken a foodie’s tour of Seminyak (expect spice-filled markets) before enjoying a jam-packed cooking class.
Where to Stay
Villas are particularly popular in Seminyak but besides that, there are a lot of options of places to stay here. Booking.com is a good place to plan your accommodation in Bali because most of the bookings can be cancelled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to stay in Seminyak:
The Legian Bali, Seminyak
For those who wants a well located beachfront villa with modern and high-class style. This hotel comes with pool that seems to run into the ocean, the feeling of tucked in an oasis all by yourself, and a well-designed garden with goldfish pond. There’s also yoga every morning and customized breakfast.
The Oberoi, Seminyak
For those who are looking for privacy and to splurge for a honeymoon or special occasions. With quick access to Seminyak beach, this Balinese inspired accommodation is built on 15 acres of tropical gardens. The Frangipani Cafe inside here is famed for its cuisine. Notables are their open-air massage pavilions and outdoor pool overlooking the ocean.
This hotel is hands down one of my favorite places I’ve stayed while in Seminyak – the pool is glorious, the rooms are huge and very clean and the breakfast buffet is full of a delicious mix of Western and Balinese food.
If you’re on a budget, book a bed at Capsule Hotel New Seminyak – the friendly staff make it feel like home, and the beds are arranged into little pods to give you privacy. It’s very cheap, with the option of private rooms, too.
Those after a night out have a lot of choice, too, but these are our two top picks. There are some super classy wine bars (head to Vin+ for a huge wine menu and stunning surroundings) or La Favela for old-school fun and great music. The club is covered in plants and cool bits and bobs, as well as interesting people from all walks of life.
What to Eat
Any foodies will be totally spoilt for choice in Seminyak, as there are many good restaurants in Seminyak. If you’re a brunch-fiend, get your body down to Café Organic and indulge in great coffee, vegan delights and interior-inspo! Café Moonlight Bali is definitely on my hot list of food spots in Seminyak and is full of healthy juices, amazing pancake stacks and really friendly staff.
Sea Circus is famous for its food as much as its colorful wall – just head to their Instagram page to see what we mean. Motel Mexicola is one of the most fun restaurants in Seminyak and is a haven of avocados, tequila and positive vibes!
Restaurants, Bars and Nightclubs in Seminyak
Ku De Ta is a popular chain of high-end beach front establishments, which is also very popular here in Seminyak. If you are looking for food delivery, try Hallo restaurants. There’s the famous steakhouse and grill restaurant, Tokyo Skipjack. For more western cuisine like sandwiches and burgers, there’s Mano Beach Side Café. For local cuisine, there’s Baku Dapa and Café Tahu. Kolega too is popular for its Indonesian cuisine, but in a more authentic way. For vegetarian cuisine, there’s the Little Green Café on Jln Mertanadi.
When is the best time to go
June, July, August, September and October are the best times to visit Seminyak as these months have the perfect temperature to be at/by the beachside. Avoid visiting during national holidays as most shops would be closed, but it is a good time to check out how festivals are celebrated in Seminyak.
How to Get There
Seminyak is close to Bali’s main tourist airport, Denpasar International. A taxi ride will take around 30 minutes, depending on traffic, and there are set prices so you know you’re being charged a fair amount – expect to pay around IDR175,000 (around $12). Uber does exist in Seminyak, but there are ongoing disagreements between Uber and taxi drivers so it’s up to you what you feel comfortable doing.
If you’re already in Bali and fancy heading to Seminyak, it’s a pretty easy destination to reach. It’ll take around an hour or so to get here from Ubud, another popular place in Bali, and around an hour to drive up from Uluwatu. You can easily come from Lombok if you fancy flying, or you can get a boat-taxi shuttle service from Lombok and the Gili islands.
How to get around
While in Seminyak itself, walking is probably the easiest way to get around. If you want to escape the heat, hop in a cab – make sure it’s an Uber or a BlueBird car though! There are some taxi services around Bali that take advantage of tourists and newbies, but this company use a meter and are reliable and safe. There are some copycat taxis in town with similar names and logos, but look out for light blue taxis with clear ‘BlueBird’ branding and you’ll be fine!
There are many ways you can travel in Seminyak. You can travel by car, take a taxi or the local bus though avoid travelling on the road from 3pm to 6pm due to the heavy traffic.
If you are in Seminyak to take a break from the rush of life in your city, then there’s always the option of renting a motorcycle or a bicycle to travel around Seminyak. With a motorcycle, there’s the added price of petrol that you have invest in while for a bicycle, you can count on losing a few pounds before heading back home.
Where to go nearby
Places nearby that you can visit are Kuta, which is just 15 minutes away, Canggu, which is 25 minutes away, and Tanah Lot, which is 40 minutes away. There’s also Jimbaran and Uluwatu, which boast of luxury hotels and beautiful beaches. Not forgetting one of Bali’s oldest tourist destinations, Sanur, which has a mixture of popular tourist attractions.
The drug laws in Indonesia is quite strict so avoid doing anything illegal during your stay in Seminyak and these include buying and taking ecstasy and cocaine. Be respectful when visiting temples, wear the right and proper attire. Be careful when choosing your place of stay on the internet, always choose trustful places to avoid any unforeseen unpleasantness.
One of the best ways to travel is to find your own paths as you wander. Seminyak is full of fun, tourist attractions but is also home to pop-up food stalls and great street food, beautiful (unofficial) shops on the side of the road and stunning temples nestled in backstreets. The joy of Bali is exploring, so take time to go off-track and discover Seminyak’s hidden gems.