Top 10 Things to Do in Sanur, Bali

Finding things to do in Sanur, this charming seaside town of Bali, may seem not possible as it is on the quieter side. Backing onto a long strip of sandy beach, it lacks the pounding waves of other areas of Bali which makes it a good pick for relaxed swimming and a safe spot for a beach holiday with children. There is a good range of accommodation options in Sanur * as well as a plethora of eateries where you can truly enjoy and dine freshly caught seafood as you take in the beachside views close by.

Sanur does not have many attractions as such, like temples or galleries, but there are still several spots of interest here. One of its charms is its laid back atmosphere without the crowds and throbbing nightlife of areas like Kuta. If you are travelling with a family or simply want to spend some time in a calmer corner of Bali, then Sanur has everything you need.

Here are some of the things you can do in Sanur, yourself or with your family, besides chilling around:

Boat at Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Boat at Sanur Beach. Photo by Exaudi Ebennezer

View the Blanjong Pillar

The Blanjong Pillar has the claim to fame of being the oldest historical relic in Bali as it dates from 914 AD. If you enjoy uncovering hidden archaeological finds then the pillar is well with a stop when you are in Sanur. The pillar is an inscription related to the first king of Bali named Sri Kesari Waemadewa although it has still not been fully translated due to the ancient Sanskrit and Balinese scripts engraved on the stone. The pillar is located down an unmarked lane off Jalan Danau Poso. Walk down the street until you are facing Pura Belanjong and it is the alleyway directly on the left of the pura.

Belanjong Pillar of Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Belanjong Pillar of Sanur, Bali. Photo by PHGCOM, via Wikimedia Commons

Try out kitesurfing

Sanur doesn’t have any waves which mean that it is often overlooked by those who want to surf in favour of other spots like Kuta and Uluwatu. Many people don’t realise however that Sanur is well known for its water sports and its strong winds make it the perfect place to try your hand at kite surfing. Many of the beaches in Sanur offer kitesurfing activities where you can glide through the water while strapped to a billowing kite.

Kitesurfing / Windsurfing at Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Kitesurfing / Windsurfing at Sanur

Visit Museum Le Mayeur

Museum Le Mayeur used to be the home of a Belgian expatriate who moved to Bali to make impressionist art. Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres lived in Bali until 1958 and his home has now been turned into a showcase of his work. Many of his pieces are portraits of his wife, a famous Balinese dancer name Ni Wayan Polok Tjoeglik. After the death of Le Mayeur, the house became a museum. You can also enjoy the garden and the traditional Balinese compound that the collection is set in.

Eat good local food at Jalan Danau Poso

The centre of Sanur is surprisingly small and there are basically two main roads in the form of Jalan Danau Tamblingan and Jalan Danau Poso. It is on Jalan Danau Poso that you will find some of the best restaurants in Sanur, and many of these focus on local bites rather than Western fare. Look out for Warung Dapur Sanur and Warung Jawa which offer up cheap but delicious Indonesian nasi campur, mixed rice with curries and side dishes.

-> Check out our Top 6 Local Restaurants (Warung) to eat in Sanur

Warung Dapur at Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Warung Dapur at Sanur, Bali. Photo by Balikutours

Shop on Jalan Danau Tamblingan

The centre of Sanur is quite compact and much of the action takes place on the main artery of Jalan Danau Tamblingan. Here you will find a huge range of arts and crafts shops selling gifts and souvenirs including traditional Balinese trinkets like colourful kites, masks, and wood carvings.

-> Find places to stay in Sanur at Booking.com. Free cancellation. *

Visit the Griya Santrian Gallery

The Griya Santrian Gallery is part of the Griya Santrian Boutique Hotel and is the only real gallery space that you will find in Sanur. The gallery has a range of rotating exhibitions that feature the work of local artists as well as events such as book launches and other arts related showcases. In the past, collections have included paintings, sculpture, photography and even Balinese textiles.

Enjoy the beachfront promenade

One of the signature features of Sanur is the paved path that runs along its coastline. Unlike other parts of Bali which are tricky to walk around, Sanur is the ideal place to go for a stroll. If you are travelling with children then the promenade makes walking around easy even with a stroller. You can hike pretty much the entire length of Sanur along the path. The best times of the day to visit are early morning before the sun gets too fierce and at night under the stars.

A nice walk at Sanur's beachfront promenade, Bali, Indonesia

A nice walk at Sanur’s beachfront promenade. Photo by Matt Croxson, via Wikimedia Commons

Sign up for a dive class

You can’t dive in Sanur exactly but there are a few good dive sites that are just a short boat ride away. If you want to learn to dive, there are a wide range of dive shops and classes to choose from here. The waters close to Sanur are known for teeming with underwater life like puffer fish, lion fish, moray eels, and pygmy seahorses.

Diving at Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Diving at Sanur, Bali. Photo by Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten

Visit the Turtle Conservation and Education Centre

The Turtle Conservation and Education Centre is nestled on Serangan Island, close to Sanur and is the place to come if you love turtles. The centre is on a mission to educate visitors of the dangers facing turtles in Bali. They also rescue sick or injured turtles before releasing them back into the wild. This is a great stop especially if you are travelling with young children, who will enjoy seeing the cute baby turtles which are born at the centre. You can also spend the rest of your time of Serangan Island exploring a quieter and less visited part of Bali.

A turtle in a sanctuary at Bali, Indonesia

A turtle in a sanctuary at Bali. Photo by Steve Deeves

Soak up the sun at Pantai Indah

Sanur has a long stretch of coastline but the sands here are actually separated into different beaches. It is not clear here where the one beach ends and another begins. As a rule of thumb, one of the best beaches in Sanur is Pantai Indah which is located half way along the main road of Jalan Danau Tamblingan. The best way to get here is the access point in front of Bali Deli which will also take you to Warung Pantai Indah, a beachside cafe. In this cafe, you can also get a range of dishes like tasty satay, curries, and fresh juices or a cold bottle of beer.

Sunrise at Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Sunrise at Sanur Beach

Bonus – take a boat trip out to Nusa Penida

Speedboats zip across daily from Sanur, Bali but mostly designed for people to go over and stay the night. This is all the better as this rugged and beautiful island has a lot of beautiful places to be explored.

-> Read Top 10 Things to Do on Nusa Penida

Beside relaxing and spending your time on the beach in Sanur, you find that there are also quite a number of other activities to choose from. If you are thinking whether to stay in Sanur * during your holiday in Bali, whether you’re on a couple trip or a family trip with kids, you can see that Sanur may be just the place to be.

-> Check out Top 10 Best Area to Stay in South & Central Bali

Related articles:
Top 5 Things to Do in Canggu, Bali
Top 10 Things to Do in Kuta, Bali
Top 10 Things to Do in Bali
Top 10 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Bali

Aisyah Llewellyn

Author: Aisyah Llewellyn

Aisyah Llewellyn lives in Sumatra in beautiful Indonesia and writes widely about food and travel in Southeast Asia. Fluent in Indonesian, she also runs food tours educating travellers about Indonesian food and ingredients. She has travelled all over Indonesia but fell in love with North Sumatra when she first visited over 10 years ago. You can follow her on Twitter @BRITgrlINDOfood

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