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Kuta VS Seminyak VS Canggu: Which Bali Beach Town Is Right For You?

Kuta VS Seminyak VS Canggu: Which Bali Beach Town Is Right For You?

The west coast of Bali is home to a long, built-up area of beach towns which all mix together to form the island’s most popular tourist spot. More city suburbs than actual beach towns, they all offer similar things in slightly different ways. I’ll be comparing the big three in this post — Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu but will also talk about some of the other parts (Jimbaran, Legian etc.).

What’s the West Coast of Bali Like?

Denpasar is the main city in Bali and the beach towns mentioned in this post are all part of the urban sprawl. City streets packed with traffic and commerce and touts and everything else big city living entails.  Unless you’re right by the beach these places don’t feel much like beach towns!

 

What Are the Beaches Like?

Beach quality isn’t what drives tourists to visit Kuta, Senggigi and Canggu in massive numbers. It’s mostly one long stretch of coastline broken up by the occasional headland. The beaches are mostly dark sand and the water isn’t anywhere near as clear as you’d hope from a tropical island.

I’m not really selling these beaches am I! If beach quality isn’t a concern and you don’t mind crowds there’s a lot to enjoy in Bali’s built-up west coast. One good thing about the beaches on Bali’s west coast is the sunsets — always a good way to end the day!

Things to do in Seminyak, Bali

So, What’s the Appeal?

The appeal of these places mostly lies in the atmosphere. Bars, restaurants and cafés to suit any kind of traveller, a seemingly endless supply of shops to explore and dozens of day trip options that’ll see you back at your favourite drinking spot before nightfall (if you don’t get caught in the truly awful traffic).

Kuta VS Seminyak VS Canggu

In this section I’ll give you an overview of each of the three Bali beach towns mentioned and then give my final advice on how to choose which one to stay in.

Kuta

Kuta is the working class option and is by far the best one if on a budget. There are some cheap places to stay scattered around Kuta and the eating and drinking options are varied. It’s a little rough around the edges and the touts are out of control, but for a slightly tasteless (and in many places, ugly) holiday spot you could do a lot worse! Kuta attracts a slightly older crowd than Seminyak and Canggu. Definitely less of an Instagram influence in these parts.

I’ve stayed in Kuta a few times over the years, mostly as somewhere cheap to stay before or after a flight as it’s the closest of the three to the airport. I’m not sure if I’d spend my whole trip in Kuta but if you’re just coming for a few days and are mostly looking to party on the cheap I’m sure you’d have a fun trip.

READ MORE: 10 of the Best Things to Do in Kuta, Bali

Seminyak

Seminyak is just up the road from Kuta and is a bit classier than its neighbour. The restaurants get a bit better (and more expensive), the shops a bit more boutique and the accommodation options are wider.

Gia and I stayed in Seminyak for the first two nights of our honeymoon a few years back and it was a good choice. We ate some nice meals, enjoyed walking around the streets (still so much traffic though) and spent plenty of time at our hotel recovering from the flight. We enjoyed the sunsets and the beach bars and Gia enjoyed the range of shops. We wouldn’t have wanted to stay in Seminyak for our whole trip but I reckon it’s a great option for two or three nights before heading elsewhere (maybe Gili Islands, Ubud or Uluwatu).

READ MORE: 5 of the Best Things to Do in Seminyak, Bali

Canggu

Canggu is a few kilometres north of Seminyak and it seems to be the trendiest with young people. Unfortunately, I’m not a young person anymore but I did spend a day there on my last trip. I was there to explore the beaches (which are decent but similar to the others on the west coast) and have a look at the town.

There isn’t a lot to do there that you can’t in Seminyak and Kuta, but the cafés are a little trendier, the shops a little less tacky and the touts a little less desperate. It’s quieter and less built up too — you’ll even see the occasional rice field amidst the concrete.

READ MORE: Where Are the Best Beaches in Canggu?

So, Which One Should You Choose?

If you’ve read this far you’ve probably already decided which of these three Bali beach towns is best for you. If you’re still on the fence I’d go for Seminyak  — there’s a good variety of hotels and places to eat and drink and also has the most diverse crowd. They all have good and bad points and they’re all close to each other so even if you make a bad choice it won’t ruin your trip.

Other Beach Towns Nearby

The three I’ve mentioned are the most popular beach towns on the West Coast of Bali, but there are others. Legian is right by Kuta (feels like the same place to me) and has some cheap accommodation. Jimbaran is to the south of Kuta and seems to attract an older crowd. I quite liked it but again it’s all very similar (and Jimbaran is a little further from the action than the others).

Are you planning a trip to Bali? Which beach town will you choose? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.