Some people love it, some people hate it (and that is quite alright!) but for us, Bali still has a special place in our hearts. Whether you are traveling with kids, plan an Eat Pray Love kinda holiday or want to explore the underwater world – Bali has something for everyone.

I will admit that I have a soft spot for Bali, so much so that I stayed there 2 years ago for a few months to write my book. I traveled between Canggu and Ubud, two of my favorite places. That was until my good friend and yoga teacher deluxe, Sy, moved to a studio in Seminyak and I knew I had to check it out if only to get my daily Bikram yoga fix.

To be honest, I always considered Seminyak too hip, too happening, too chichi for my liking but after staying there now three times I have changed my opinion. While pretty or quaint are probably not the best words to describe it, you will find that great stretches of beach, awesome sunsets, and some of the best restaurants the island has to offer make more than up for it.

With that said, I am sharing my favorites on where to eat, stay, and play in Seminyak.

How to get to Seminyak & around

Taxi drivers are notoriously annoying at the airport and unless you organize a private pick-up there is just no way around it. Head to the blue taxi counter to get an official taxi (Bluebird and Grab are not allowed here). The price to Seminyak should not be more than 200k. Depending on traffic it will take you anything between 30 to 60 minutes to get there, rather allocate for more time if you are heading back to the airport.
Once you have arrived you have the choice of renting a motorbike, walk or take taxis. Keep in mind that many travel insurances won’t cover bike-related accidents and if you do get on a bike make sure you know what you are doing – traffic is crazy here.

I prefer to walk or take a Grab or Go Jek. These apps allow you to order a taxi or motorbike taxi and you can even pay with your credit card. Keep in mind though that this service is not allowed in all areas. A good alternative are Bluebird taxis that operate by the meter.

Where to stay in Seminyak

Seminyak has a wide array of accommodation options from cheap and cheerful to seriously fancy. I was recently invited to stay at the Alila Seminyak, a beautiful modern hotel right on the beach. It is tucked away in a little side street of Jalan Petingenet so you are right in the middle of the action yet still far enough to have some peace and quiet.

Needless to say, you will want an ocean view room if only to fall asleep or take a bath to the sound of crashing waves. You are not allowed to swim in the ocean here or rather there is no lifeguard on duty but the views are still worth checking out, especially during sunset. As if the hotel wants to make up for it, there are three pools – two for families and one for adults only. Perfect for all ages and tastes, whether you want to do some serious swimming, splash around with a floatie or get your Instagram game on.

Another highlight of the hotel is its very own temple that the property was built around from the 15th century. This temple was originally for the fishermen of the area as it is right by the ocean. While a visit at Uluwatu or Tanah Lot is a must for any Bali newbie this temple is a great place to learn more about Balinese culture and Hindu religion.

Ask for an Inspirational Bali experience to learn how to make the offerings you can see everywhere in Bali and observe the Melukat, a Balinese ritual in the temple. Except to get wet as you will not only be showered with blessings but also with coconut water.

Best spots for sunset in Seminyak

We at Travelettes think there are few places that do sunsets as well as Bali does. Choose any of the beach restaurants or bars and just make sure to bring your camera.

The most popular spot for some people watching after the sun sets is the famous Potato Head Beach Club. You don’t need to pay cover but naturally, drinks are a bit more pricey. Still worth it though for a spot in their huge pool and front row sunloungers that come with a side of beautiful people and great tunes.
Another great option for dinner and dancing with a view is the ultra chic Ku De Ta. Dress to impress here and don’t worry if your suitcase only comes with beachwear – Seminyak has some beautiful stores and boutiques that have you covered!

Potato Head Beach Club – Jl. Petitenget No.51B
Ku De Ta – Jl. Kayu Aya No.9

Where to eat in Seminyak

Gourmet Cafe – Jl. Petitenget No.77

Easily my favorite place in Seminyak is Gourmet Cafe. Unlike many other places, it is incredibly chilled and usually not very busy (pity for them, great for me) which makes it an ideal workspace – good wifi, comfortable benches, and you can keep your table for hours. In addition, their food is great and offers some amazing healthy choices as well as comfort food.

SeaSalt – Jalan Taman Ganesha No. 9 Petitenget

The restaurant at the Alila is at the name implies right by the ocean and features Japanese inspired seafood. If you want to find a great spot for a date, this is the place to be as it doesn’t get any more romantic – perfect even if you are not staying here.

Merah Putih – Jl. Petitenget No.100X

Fancy a night out? Start at Merah Putih, where you can eat some modern Indonesian dishes with a twist. I especially liked their moderately priced tapas selection to get a little taste of everything and their cocktail & dessert choices.
They do have a dress code and tend to get quite busy, so make sure to leave the flipflops at home and make a reservation beforehand.

Kynd – Jl. Petitenget No.12X

Hip, happy, and vegan – that is Kynd in a nutshell. This place is seriously cool and ideal for fans of bowls and healthy fare. Make sure to come early because this place is small and always full. This is always the ideal spot for a great Instagram shot thanks to their outside terrace and their picturesque fruit bowls spelling HAPPY in melon pieces.

Dough Darlings – Jl. Petitenget No.22

After so much goodness at Kynd, it is time for a treat and Dough Darlings down the road is just right for it. Artisanal donuts like red velvet cheesecake or matcha glaze are perfect for any sweet tooth. Even better that they also offer a good variety of gluten-free donuts.

Bottega Italiana – Jl. Petitenget No.777

I am a total pastaholic and sometimes there is nothing better than a good bowl of homemade pasta. Unfortunately, that can be hard to find in Bali until I stumbled upon Bottega Italiana. All their pasta is homemade and you can check out the different shapes before matching it with your favorite sauce. In addition, they have some great inexpensive options for wine and also serve real Italian cheeses and prosciutto.

Street Boi – Jl. Petitenget No.18AA

“Sun’s Out Buns Out” is the motto of this little roadside eatery that serves delicious baos, popcorn chicken, and beer. A definite must eat is the twice cooked pork belly bao but also vegetarians can find some cheap and cheerful grub here.

Wellness in Seminyak

Jiwa Yoga – Jalan Petitenget No.78

The place that started my love affair with Seminyak was Jiwa Yoga, the best studio for hot yoga on the island. Bikram, Ashtanga, and Sumit (a mix of both) are on the schedule and while I might be biased, Sy is one of the best teachers there is.
Especially great for visitors is the weekly pass you can buy and of course, towels and mats are available for rent as well as free filtered water.

Spring – Jl. Kayu Jati No.8

The coolest spa in town is without a doubt Spring. Here you can get your inner flower child on and get pampered in the process. Their offers range from massages to facials, mani/padis and everything in between. You can either make an appointment online or try your luck with a walk in – they have a lot of therapists so your chances are good.

Alila Spa – Jl. Taman Ganesha No.9

For some serious pampering head to the Alila Spa. It is earthy and cozy and you will feel all cocoony and cozy once inside – the perfect place to forget that you are in busy Bali. I especially liked their signature massage with lemongrass oil. Something I really appreciated – the therapist tested the oil on my arm first to make sure I had no allergic reaction.
If you want to take the heavenly smell back with you, they offer their own skin care line that you can purchase there.

Have you been to Seminyak before – what are your favorite spots?

Thank you to the Alila Seminyak for having me!

This post was written by Annika Ziehen who was a Travelette until 2019. Originally from Germany, Annika has lived in New York and Cape Town and now travels the world full time. She considers herself a very hungry mermaid and writes about her adventures, scuba diving and food on her blog The Midnight Blue Elephant. You can also find her on Instagram here!