Do you know where to stay in Bali in 2020 and is this question worth asking? Yes, I think it’s worth asking if you have your flight ticket booked. By the way, if you want ideas on how to book a flight in 2020 just follow this link.
Bali is an island
Did you know that Bali is an island? Yes, I am not joking. Most virtual travellers see photos of Bali on the internet and think of it as a city. But if we look at an actual map of Bali then we notice it is quite a large island. That mean many locations, villages and attractions spread across. Add distance and traffic and you’ll spend a day on the road from one major tourist attraction to the other. Hence the need to choose a location to stay.
Main areas in Bali
Saying “I am staying in Bali” does not disclose the location. It could be near the airport or it could be 60 miles away on the North side. There are different ways to dissect the areas but most would agree that Denpasar and Ubud are the two main “cities” if you wish. Denpasar would the only place that could substitute the word Bali. Though Denpasar does not ring a bell when it comes to tourism. Most tourists don’t even know of it. Kuta is probably the most known place as it is closest to the airport and lots of tourists just stop there.
Here is a simple breakdown of most-known touristic areas in Bali:
- Kuta is nearest to the Bali Airport (Ngurah Airport) and is part of Denpasar. Kuta is probably the most popular and well-known area. Kuta Beach (also Legian, Seminyak and Canggu) is good for beginner surfers.
- Legian is right next to Kuta and is quite small.
- Seminyak is located on the left of Legian.
- Canggu continues left from Seminyak and is quite popular to long-term expats.
- Jimbaran is on the right of the airport, on the map. It is famous for their seafood restaurants on the beach.
- On the right of Jimbaran is the huge and isolated Uluwatu. Uluwatu has splendid views but hotels are spread out and one certainly needs a scooter to go places. Uluwatu and Jimbaran have some high waves beaches for hardcore surfers.
- On the East you’ll find Sanur which is a more quiet and relaxed area. The beach is usually not as crowded, water shallow and waves are calm.
- Going north about 25 kilometres (roughly 2 hours from airport in good traffic) is Ubud. Ubud is a more natural type of place. You’ll find music, ethnic dances, cultural places and crafts centers here. Also a plethora of temples and palaces. Plus you get to stay in hotels or guesthouses that look like Balinese palaces. And all the houses have small (or larger) temples inside their courtyards. There are rice paddies, forests and waterfalls nearby in Ubud but there is no beach.
So where to stay in Bali in 2020?
I think it would matter if the tourists will be coming back. I do think that this is going to happen but slowly. And it will take a while to receive the same numbers as before. Otherwise this article would be pointless. Without the beaches, tourist attractions and most hotels being open, there are not enough benefits to come to Bali. But if tourism is back in full swing here is where we think that you should stay. And I mean tourism that includes water-sports, museums, clubs, Bali massage, shopping malls and ferry boats to the Nusa Penida and the other islands. Actually we’ll just point out the major reasons and the major inconveniences for each location.
Why stay in Kuta when in Bali
- Kuta is close to the airport.
- Kuta is close to the beach.
- The beach is quite nice especially for surfing and sunsets.
- Many bars and clubs are located in Kuta.
Major inconveniences while staying in Kuta
- Kuta can be noisy especially at night.
- Accommodation generally is expensive for what it offers (value for money is better in other areas).
- Traffic is heavy especially in the afternoons and evenings
Why stay in Sanur when in Bali
- Sanur is generally more quiet.
- Calm beach and plenty of seafood restaurants.
- The beach is not as crowded and there are no waves.
Why stay in Ubud when in Bali
- Natural setting and calm area.
- Wide range of affordable accommodation.
- Plenty of tourist attractions to visit.
- Discover the Balinese culture and vibe.
Major inconveniences while staying in Ubud
- Far from the airport and the beach (at least 2 hours in good traffic).
- Some of the cheaper accommodation (eg homestays, guesthouses) offers only basic facilities.
The other areas in Bali
The other areas also could be mentioned. However they are not so far or different from Kuta or Denpasar. Except Uluwatu which, in my opinion, is worth visiting for the day for the views at the Uluwatu Temple. Or with a scooter and staying at one of the resorts on the South side – amazing sunset scenery.
Other seaside destinations around the world
Beach and massage go hand in hand. That is why we want to make a category for the sun and the spa. Apart from Bali in Indonesia we will be covering destinations in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Turkey and a few others. Have you heard about Hammam or the Turkish Bath and Massage? Find out about it in our article about whether you should visit Antalya or Alanya on the Turkish South Coast.