Where should I stay in Bali?

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Whether you’ve been to Bali a bunch of times or are a first-time visitor, choosing the best place to stay for you and your travel companions will set your vacay vibe.


Travellers are being welcomed back with open arms in Kuta, Bali’s happening tourist hub. It’s party central here day and night, as scooters zip by t-shirt shops, incense wafts through the air, and music pumps out of open-sided bars and restaurants. At 2.5km long, beautiful Kuta Beach attracts travellers from around the world and has been a popular surfing spot since the 1970s. Get there early to snag a good spot on the sand and beware the pushy hawkers selling everything from pineapples to jewellery.

Every watersport you can imagine can be found in Kuta, along with several waterparks, but squeeze in a day trip or two to really get the most out of your time in Bali. Get your adrenalin pumping on a whitewater rafting adventure, get back to nature on a guided hike, or sign up for an Instagram tour that takes you to the best photo-ops on the island!


If your backpacking days are behind you, or the hectic pace of Kuta is a bit much, stylish Seminyak may be the answer. Seminyak is quieter and a little more upmarket than nearby Kuta, but just as big on fun. Five-star hotels with all the trimmings line the beach, and the streets are awash with designer boutiques and galleries, sophisticated bars and restaurants.

A 90-minute drive from Seminyak will have you in the temples and rice fields of Ubud, or why not escape the crowds completely and head to nearby Lembongan Island for a full day of snorkelling and seeing the sights? At day’s end, be sure to watch the sun go down from Double Six Beach back in Seminyak with an icy cold beverage in hand – the sunsets from here are magical.


Those seeking a peaceful place to lay their hat will find it in the highlands of Ubud, about an hour inland from Kuta. Yoga studios, vegetarian cafes and craft markets sit alongside t-shirt shops and roadside restaurants, and accommodation ranges from jungle glamping to exclusive luxury resorts – all budgets are catered for. Ubud is also where Bali shows its spiritual side, and travellers are welcome to join in.

Be sure to visit Tirta Empul Holy Spring, a temple where locals and tourists alike can bathe in holy water. More than 1000 long-tailed macaques live in another spiritual spot worth visiting, the 25-acre sanctuary known as the Monkey Forest. There are three temples to explore in the jungle, and monkeys wherever you turn – swinging in the trees overhead, running along the ground and going about their monkey business. If you don’t mind one of them climbing up onto your shoulder or grabbing at your belongings, buy some bananas to feed them at the entrance.

Be sure also to take the 20-minute drive to Tegallalang Rice Terrace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These lush, tiered rice fields offer a picturesque place for wandering about and winding down. Get there in the cool of the morning to avoid the crowds, and enjoy a tasty lunch in one of the humble restaurants overlooking the rice fields.

Travel Insurance for Bali

Travel Insurance Direct can cover you for various things you may encounter on your trip to Bali. But what does that mean? Have a look at exactly what we cover and what we don’t to check if the policy offers protection for the things you feel are important, but some specific things we offer cover for are:

This is a brief summary of cover only and does not include the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. Read the PDS before purchasing.


I grew up in the US, Germany and Australia, so it feels more foreign for me to stay in one place than to move around. Since then, I’ve called Boston, London, Seattle, Brisbane, Madison and Sydney home for study and work as a journalist, travel writer and photographer. I specialize in adventure travel, social issues and interiors/architecture. Home is now an 1890s cottage in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. I traveled to my seventh continent last year – an action-packed expedition to Antarctica – and have memories galore of my travels. Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies, galloping with gauchos in Chilean Patagonia, trekking through Japan, and camel riding in Jordan are among the most memorable. My least favourite travel hiccup was being stranded in Cameroon when I should have been winging my way to Paris for a little me-time. You win some, you lose some.


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