Seminyak makes up part of the biggest, brashest resort in Bali, the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak conurbation. Expanding relentlessly out from its core on the southwest coast, 10km southwest of Denpasar, this area is packed with thousands of hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, spas and tour agencies. Given the excesses of Kuta and growing development in Legian, expats and style-conscious tourists began to travel north to Seminyak (and Petitenget) to escape the masses. Today, Seminyak is a pretty mainstream resort area with a slew of mid- to high-end hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants and shops.
The best travel tips for visiting SeminyakSeminyak has plenty of appeal, particularly for those in need of a good night out or a meal: there’s a glut of restaurants along Jalan Kayu Aya (aka Jalan Laksmana) and at the northern end of Jalan Petitenget. Top international chefs plus moneyed tourism has made this ‘hood one of Asia’s most dynamic dining destinations.
Visitors can also choose from style-magazine chic, hipster cool or beach shack-style bars in Seminyak and lose a day with sounds, sustenance and sand all in one place. The clubs also provide a venue for rich Jakartans and the like to lounge around over food and cocktails while DJs spin beats.
Here and there you’ll also find less swanky beach shacks, for the simpler pleasures of a cool Bintang and local grub. Seminyak’s Jalan Camplung Tanduk is the area’s centre for gay nightlife.
Much of the area is largely low-rise, and coconut palms and splashes of colour from frangipani trees and bougainvillea help soften the urban scene.
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Top attractions and things to do in SeminyakFrom beach time to spa treatments and plenty of decent shopping, Seminyak has a surprising amount of things to do.
#1 Get a varied art fix at the Nyaman GalleryThis contemporary art space showcases work from local and international artists across a variety of media, including painting, photography and sculpture. The gallery promotes emerging talent and holds a number of artist talks and workshops.
#2 Experience Seminyak beach lifeSeminyak Beach and the connecting beaches make up one of Bali's most buzzy strips of coastline. Crowds gather for stunning sunsets, long stretches of white sand, clear blue waters and impressive surf breaks.
The shoreline is studded with luxury resorts, restaurants, cafes, and bars, and is home to some well-established beach clubs, where revellers enjoy live music and refreshment beside the waves.
#3 Relax with a spa treatmentSeminyak has numerous spas that are an excellent way to unwind, especially in the higher-end resorts. For a well-regarded, excellent-value treatment head to Murano Spa – it’s tucked away a bit, so take advantage of the free pick-up service. Massages, reflexology and packages are available.
#4 Shop for intricate ata-grass giftsSeminyak is a good place to find authentic, locally-made souvenirs like the intricate ata-grass goods crafted in the Bali Aga village Tenganan in east Bali. Fashioned into everything from place mats and bowls to baskets and clutches, browse and buy at shops like Ashitaba, which sells its wares at fixed prices.
#5 Discover emerging Balinese artists at Purpa Fine ArtPurpa Fine Art gallery displays contemporary and traditional Balinese art, showcasing the works of emerging and established artists from Bali and around Indonesia. The gallery also puts on a selection of art workshops and art-related events.
Best areas to stay in SeminyakYou’re spoilt for choice for accommodation in Seminyak where hotels tend to be more expensive and chicer than Kuta.
On the beachUnsurprisingly, eye-wateringly expensive uber-hotels, five-star resorts and spas take up the primate real estate on Seminyak and Double Six Beach. Bargains are few and far between.
InlandAway from the shoreline, there are bargains to be had. The north-south Jl. Pangkung Sari has lots of good mid-range options, whilst the budget villas and guesthouses are sprinkled in and around the smaller streets.
Best restaurants and bars in SeminyakThis part of Bali is bursting with restaurants: from tiny warung to cutting-edge “dining experiences”. The most sophisticated (and expensive) are in Seminyak. If rupiah are precious, head to Kuta’s main night market (pasar senggol), on Jl Blambangan at the southern edge of Kuta, which offers affordable mains and snacks.
- Biku Tasty breakfasts and great lunches, high tea and dinners, taking in Indonesian food, posh burgers, salads featuring the likes of rocket, pumpkin, pear and feta and homemade pies. Dining in the old joglo provides a wonderful atmosphere, too. Reservations recommended.
- Café Bali With its mildly distressed furniture, pretty lampshades and lace tablecloths, this place has more charm than its cooler neighbours. The long, eclectic menu includes sweets and sushi rolls, pasta and grills, Indian and Indo faves.
- Corner House Stunning café-restaurant in an a/c loft-like space that’s great for brunch, grilled meats and salads.
How to get around SeminyakAlthough bicycles are arguably the best way to get around Canggu, they are not for the faint-hearted. Such is the traffic that a car is more hassle than it’s worth within the resort area. Note that road closures for religious events are common, adding to the congestion. The same goes for heavy rain.
By Kura-Kura BusPublic bemos have been replaced by the efficient Kura-Kura Bus, a public shutter bus stopping at fix places in and around Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Nusa dua, Jimbaran and Canggu.
By taxiThe most reliable taxis are the light-blue Blue Bird-owned Bali Taxi which you can order online or via their app. Gojek, GoCar, GoRide and Grab app-taxis also operate in this part of Bali.
By car, bike or motorbikeFor motorcycle taxis, download the Gojek Bali app to order online. The nearest driver will respond with a price, which you can accept or reject. They are equipped with helmets and rain gear. Countless tour agents offer car, motorbike and bicycle rental. Where it is legal to park beside the road, attendants charge a small fee to wave you in and out and look after your vehicle for you.
There’s no shortage of international and domestic flights to Bali’s only airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport – officially referred to as Denpasar (DPS) – 3km south of Kuta.
How many days do you need in Seminyak?If you're after a beach holiday, you could easily spend a week in Seminyak, using the town as a base for further exploration around the region. There are enough bars, restaurants, clubs and beaches to keep most occupied for seven days, but independent travellers will tend to spend three-to-five days here, and then move onto Kuta, Sanur or Ubud.
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Best time to visit SeminyakThe best time to visit Seminyak, Bali is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, with low humidity and minimal rainfall. The months of July and August are particularly popular, as they coincide with school holidays in many countries, which means that Seminyak can be crowded and prices for accommodations and activities may be higher.
If you're looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting Seminyak during the shoulder season, which is from April to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is still pleasant, and prices for accommodations and activities are generally lower than during the peak season.
It's worth noting that Bali's weather can be unpredictable, and even during the dry season, you may experience some rainfall. However, these showers are usually brief and don't last long, so they're unlikely to impact your plans too much.
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How to get to SeminyakGetting to Seminyak in Bali is easy enough. There’s no shortage of international and domestic flights to Bali’s only airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport – officially referred to as Denpasar (DPS) – 9.5km south of Seminyak.
By prepaid taxisThe easiest way of getting away from the airport to Seminyak is by pre-paid taxi. The counter is outside International Arrivals to the left, or in the domestic terminal across a pick-up lane at the end of a row of shops.
By metered/app taxisMetered taxis are around twenty percent cheaper than prepaid. They’re not licensed to pick up inside the compound, so wait on the road outside the airport gates (turn right outside International and walk about 500m).
Blue Bird's Bali Taxi is recommended. Gojek/ GoCar/GoRide and Grab app-taxis operate to some areas of southern Bali; rates are about half those charged by airport cabs. However, it can be difficult to get one to pick you up from the airport due to opposition by local drivers.
By bemoDark-blue public bemos often wait for customers on Jl Airport Ngurah Rai outside the airport gates during daylight hours, then run to Kuta where you cab get a connection to Seminyak. However, given that schedules are random and there can be extra charges for bags very few travellers bother with them.
Hotel pick-upsMany hotels offer pick-up from (and travel to) the airport for prices just above those charged by taxis.
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Plan your trip to Bali with the Rough Guide to Bali and Lombok.