Over the past few years, Bali has become quite synonymous with ‘dream destination’.
It’s a small, but mighty island, and caters to many different types of tourism. Naturally, not everyone will love every part of it.
Before my first trip to Bali, I found myself trying to suss out where to stay during my initial few months in Indonesia.
So many people recommended Canggu and Seminyak, but, as I quickly realised, they’re close in distance and fairly similar. It’s easy to drive from one to the other for a meal or activity. In fact, you can walk from the beaches in Seminyak to the beaches in Canggu in only 30-40 minutes.
The biggest difference between the two?
Canggu is laid-back surf culture, and Seminyak is more upmarket.
I ended up falling in love with Ubud, and spending most of my time there.
However, on each trip to Bali, I did spend a few days in Canggu to meet with clients, see friends, suss out the cafe scene, and visit some of the island’s best (and most reasonably priced) spas.
While in Canggu, I drove over to Seminyak a couple of times, but usually tried to avoid it.
It depends on what you’re looking for in a holiday, but in my opinion, Seminyak is overhyped.
It’s one of the most touristy bites in Bali.
Things are overpriced, from hotels to restaurants.
Being there feels a bit stressful- so many people, cars, bikes.
Less scenery/Bali beauty, more so buildings crammed together concrete jungle style.
One thing Seminyak does really well?
Beach spots for watching sunset.
Some of the best day clubs or spots to hit-up for sunset: Mrs. Sippy, Potato Head Beach Club, and La Plancha Beach Bar.
All three differ in vibe, but think beautiful pools, menus with Western eats, delicious cocktails and colourful bean bags aplenty for lounging.
And, if you’re into air-conditioned, stylish cafes, Seminyak is the place to be. Instagrammable spots are endless.
At first glance, I thought some of these spots looked cool, but I quickly realised how cookie cutter most of them are. And, worse yet, many are foreign run, which means beyond providing local employment, the Balinese don’t really benefit from their existence.
In Canggu, I hit up plenty of trendy cafes, but tried to frequent ones that were run a bit more ethically- vis a vie giving back to the community directly, or locally owned.
Usually, if I was in this part of Bali, and someone wanted to meet-up in Seminyak, I tried to convince them to come to Canggu instead. On occasion though, I agreed to drive to Seminyak, but only if it meant we could go to one of my favourite places there.
I’m sure I’m missing a few great places since I didn’t spend much time in Seminyak, but if you find yourself in this part of Bali and looking for top recommendations on where to eat or have coffee, these are my top picks.
5 Spots Worth Trekking to Seminyak For
KYND Community & Creamery
I skipped KYND on my first few visits to Seminyak. Based on how often I saw their pink wall and smoothie bowls on Instagram, I assumed it was just like any other cafe in Seminyak.
Was I ever wrong.
Most importantly, KYND is a cafe with a mission. They give back through operating GIVE, a not-for-profit warung, and in other ways. The cafe itself is a beautiful, airy space with positive vibes- actual gratitude for Bali poetically written on one of the cafes walls.
And, less important to the masses but meaningful to me, they’re the only cafe I’ve found in Bali with completely nut-free granola. Enjoying a smoothie bowl without modification may not be a huge deal, but it certainly helps in my enjoyment of a place.
Don’t miss their vegan ice cream next to the cafe in KYND Creamery- it’s the best vegan ice cream I’ve ever had.
Given its name, there’s no surprise this coffee shop means serious business. It’s the kind of place I’d be wary of if I didn’t know they roast their own blends, using local beans.
Don’t miss the special ripple machine, it allows you to print messages on top of that trendy latte.
Although I prefer KYND Creamery’s vegan ice cream, I can’t deny the flavours here are great as well. And, as the name implies, they have popsicles, too – ace for a hot, humid Bali day.
For weeks, people recommended La Baracca to me for a pizza fix while in Indo.
And for weeks, I ignored them.
Excellent pizza in Indonesia just didn’t seem like a possibility, and I’d had enough terrible pizza throughout SE Asia at this point to be wary of ordering it.
One lunch here was all it took to change my mind.
The pizza crust was cripst, the sauce seasoned perfectly, and just the right amount of cheese was sprinkled on my margarita pie.
This place, with a location in Canggu as well, is a must for anyone craving pizza while in Bali.
Brightly decorated and with a bangin’ Mexican-inspired menu, it’s no surprise this place is allllll over the gram.
Don’t miss a tequila shot or two, or one of their great margaritas. Mexicola is the perfect place for a night of catching up with friends over fun, good food.
Motel Mexicola photo credit: link
The above are by no means an exhaustive selection of the top spots in Seminyak. As noted earlier, I actively tried to avoid this part of Bali- only heading there a handful of times during the three months I lived on the island.
And while I may have not loved Seminyak, there were elements of these five spots that I did enjoy anytime I found myself in this trendy, upscale hood.
Have you ever been to Seminyak? Which places did you enjoy going to?
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