Even though it was my second time to Bali, it was my first time visiting the hip, Canggu area. The time before, we stayed in Seminyak and explored a bit from there. This time, I wanted to put together a first-timer’s guide to Canggu where you can get a real taste for the difference between the two. So many people ask, do I stay in Canggu or in Seminyak? I really love the chic hotel scene and elevated dining in Seminyak, but with it, comes the traffic and commercial feel. Whereas in Canggu, it didn’t feel overrun by businesses (yet) and had a more boutique, laid-back feeling to it. It’s a tough call and I would recommend perhaps doing both.
Canggu was charming with small cafes, long stretches of beaches, and a lively night scene. Each day was spent exploring the streets, popping in and out of boutiques and stopping frequently for some hydration. The days can get hot, so having a pool to go jump into was a game changer. It’s also a major expat area, so it was fun getting to connect with other locals. My friend Michelle from Live Like It’s the Weekend had been there before, so she showed me some of her favorite spots to hideout in. Spending four nights in Canggu was the perfect amount of time to soak in the slow days and the night scene, with time at the beach and a day trip to surf.
Take a peak at the first-timer’s guide to Canggu.
Helpful Tips Before Visiting Bali:
- I always recommend travel insurance in Bali.
- You’ll need cash for almost everything, the local currency is Rupiah. Use accredited bank ATM’s and beware that Canggu has limited machines.
- Watch your step! You’ll find offerings on every corner, holes from broken down cement, and more.
- Transportation is controlled by an association, so if you find a driver, I’d recommend getting his Whatsapp number to contact directly.
- Sunscreen and mosquito spray is a must.
- English is widely spoken in main areas.
- Bottled water only for drinking and even brushing teeth.
- Don’t expect the fastest WiFi.
Where to Stay in Canggu
While I was in Canggu, I split my time between Hotel Kalapa and an Airbnb in town. I’d recommend renting an Airbnb in town as it’s the most convenient and often the cheapest option for accommodations. The one hotel I would have loved to stay at and after passing by, would be the Slow. Incredibly chic, great location, and design-forward.
(P.S get $40 on your first Airbnb adventure by using this link to sign up!)
Where to Eat in Canggu
- Gypsy Kitchen & Bar: Come here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the menu has a variety of options that are based on the Chef’s culture from Montreal, Canada.
- Betelnut Cafe: A healthy cafe, with Indonesian dishes.
- The Shady Shack: One of my favorite meals from the time, this vegetarian cafe has plenty of fun options for food, and their bowls are delicious!
- La Baracca: Good option for Italian food.
- Cafe Organic: I like to come here for a bowl and juice in the afternoon.
- The Slow: I had a bowl here, I can’t say it was the best but the other options on the menu did look good. More upscale for the area.
- The Loft Bali: A really cozy restaurant for breakfast with plenty of choices.
- Motion Cafe: Another option for breakfast or lunch, known for their waffles!
- Moana Fish Eatery: All things fish to be found here, with fresh seafood served daily.
- Crate Cafe: The current hip cafe for breakfast. The space is beautiful and loved the open-air look.
- La Pan Nam Warung: Our friends took us to this spot, and by far one of the cheapest meals we had in Bali. A wide range of food, from pasta to Indonesian dishes.
- La Brisa: A good spot to catch the sunset with drinks. Note that they have a minimum spend most nights.
- Old Man’s: For those looking for good nightlife, this spot is usually packed each night.
What to do in Canggu
- Explore town by foot and pop into local boutiques.
- Take a day trip to Tanah Lot for sunset.
- Take a yoga class at the Practice.
- Head to the beach and enjoy endless space to walk. Batu Balong or Echo Beach are the best.
- Get a spa treatment at Spring.
- Spend a day exploring Ubud. Checkout this guide here.