Sanur, I find, tends to be the underdog when it comes to people recommending towns in Bali. Often, even as i do, people will be quick to recommend the likes of Seminyak, Canggu and Ubud to passing travellers and backpackers.
Sure all of the above have their own appeal, but Sanur sure deserves to be a destination within Bali that you consider too for your trip.
Heading to Bali? See my guide to budgeting for Bali here
Sanur in a nutshell…
So where is Sanur? Sanur is a town in the south and on the east coast of Bali. A town known as the gateway to the likes of Komodo Islands and the Nusa Archipelago….
Sanur hosts a number of gorgeous hotels and resorts so is a great spot to choose if you want the all inclusive Balinese experience or if you’re a looking for a family holiday location…
Despite the numbers Sanur accommodates for, I find it still holds its Balinese charm. You may disagree, but to me, Sanur was a breath of fresh air after exploring the likes of Seminyak and Canggu.
Mollie’s recommendation: Last year I stayed at the Sudamala Resort (see above) which was STUNNING. Definitely a great recommendation for Sanur that is just off the main street. Bali at it’s finest. Read my blog post and see the photos from my stay here.
Local spas, warungs, markets and produce still fill the streets of Sanur and you can still very much enjoy Bali without masses of crowds.
Though I enjoyed Sanur, I would definitely say that the average age of tourists here is higher than other spots in Bali. Hence why it’s not usually a top choice for backpackers.
But honestly, I don’t see that as a negative at all. Barre one or two hotels, the hotels are tucked away and are self contained. So whilst Sanur hosts a lot of tourists – it doesn’t feel over whelming when you’re wandering the streets.
If you’re looking for a more laid back experience in Bali – Sanur is your one.
During my stay in Sanur I stayed at Rumah By The Sea – a little collection of private rooms right in the heart of the action yet tucked away in it’s own little paradise.
Things I love most about Sanur:
- Balinese locals are still left in the majority of owning the streets. Unlike other areas of Bali, you don’t feeling like you’re walking into fully westernised trap.
- You can access trips to Komodo Islands, Flores and Nusa archipelago from here. There are lots of travel agents on the streets that will sell you competitively priced tickets.
- It’s a great launch pad for scuba diving.
- Just a 15 minute moped ride to Serangan – an awesome surfing spot somewhere for a great ‘local’ experience!
- There are lots of gorgeous eateries on the waterfront.
My favourite places to eat in Sanur:
- Soul in a bowl – all around gorgeous healthy dishes!
- Genius – the best salads I think i’ve ever had!!!
- Warungs and seafood BBQ style dining along the waterfront
- The little fruit and coconuts trucks along the water front – 15,000IDR (86p for a fresh coconut!)
My favourite things to do in Sanur:
- Cycle the strip along the waterfront (there are a few gates where you’ll have to hope off your bike)
- Walk along the beach
- Get a fresh fruit smoothie from one of the little stalls along the sea front
- Have a cheap massage / pedicure / manicure at one of the spas
- Visit the night market and dine on some traditionally cooked Indonesian dishes
- Seafood on front
- Water sports on the beach – perfect for families or a bit of adrenalin in an otherwise chilled town
- Hire a moped and bike down to Serengan to surf / watch the surfers
- Get a boat over to Lembongan / Gili’s for the day or for the weekend!
- Get a treatment at The Nest Beachside Spa!
Mollie’s tips and tricks for visiting Sanur…
- Look out for the green vans with one door open. They are the Sanur taxis and will take you up and down the main streets for a couple thousand IDR each. Easy alternative if you don’t want to walk / hire a moped.
- Head to Utama spice for some gorgeous Balinese gifts that you can take home for your family / keep to remind you of this gorgeous island. The incense and body scrubs are beautiful.
- When booking boats over to the islands that surround Bali, check out a few of the agents before you buy a ticket. Some of them will go in at twice the price and so it’s a good idea to shop around so that you don’t get ripped off.
Check out my ‘Top tips and travel hacks for Bali’ here! MUST READ IF YOU’RE HEADING TO BALI.
I hope this has helped you plan your Bali adventure… you’re going to LOVE it!
Other posts you may like that will help you plan your trip to Bali:
- Diving with manta rays, Nusa Lembongan
- A guide to Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
- A guide to exploring Ubud, Bali
- Climbing Mt. Batur for sunrise, Bali
- A guide to The Gilis, Indonesia
- A guide to Seminyak, Bali
- 10 amazing things to do in Bali
- A slice of Tugu luxury in Canggu
- 10 ways to save money for travel
- 10 reasons I love hostels over hotels
- How to choose the best hostel to stay in
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Have you been to Bali?
What did you think? Where did you visit? I’d love to know! ?
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