A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat

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Welcome to Canggu or ‘the gu’ as locals call it.

When I visited Canggu 4 years ago, tourism was only just getting started. I’ve returned now in January 2020 and well, I hardly recognise it. It seems word has caught on about the beach front, surf haven that it is and international guests have flown in from all over with many choosing to settle here too.

Though it’s busy and changing rapidly here in Canggu, there are so many beautiful things to be said about this location. For me, there’s a real sense of community at the heart of Canggu. There’s a beautiful bustle to it and there’s high energy of ocean lovers, sunset cocktail chasers, yogi spirits and more than a few digital nomads roaming around in the gorgeous cafes here.

A Complete Guide to Bali, Indonesia | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog

Top tip: Things in Bali change quickly, so I would always recommend reading the most up-to-date guide for Bali you can find before you go.

By day in Canggu, you’ll find many surfers take to the waves and onlookers head towards the Black Sand Beach to bask in the sun and dip in the warm ocean. By evening, there’s an abundance of sunset view cocktail bars and the choice of dinner tables, pools and bean bags to watch from too.

Wake up and repeat. That’s the life here in Canggu.

Canggu is a pretty cool town to hang out in if you’re young or looking for a fun, laid back taste of life. Expect lots of your eco, veggie and organic cafes and restaurants. They are undeniably good.

If you’re heading to Bali soon, then Canggu is definitely an awesome place to check out and my time was definitely more than well spent there.

See my guide to budgeting for Bali here, my travel tips and hacks you must know before visiting Bali here and my complete guide to Bali here.

A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat

Where to stay in Canggu…

Looking for a hostel?

HostelWorld here and have a browse at the gorgeous locations on offer.

Looking for a hotel or a villa?

See Trip Advisor’s top 10 Canggu hotels here.

I stayed at Hotel Tugu in Canggu which was a once in a lifetime experience of not only accommodation but authentic Bali. I’m not one to usually splash out on hotels, but this hotel was worth every penny, trust me. See my review of Hotel Tugu Canggu here.

Looking for an AirBnb?

As always, unless you are a solo traveller or particularly fancy hostel life, I recommend starting your search on AirBnb. In Bali you get incredible value for money and can really bag yourself some unique experiences via AirBnb. I use it all the time!

Get £30 off your first AirBnb booking here.

My personal Airbnb recommendations in Canggu:

The Spare Room, Canggu (pictured below)

Desaku Bungalows

  • A guide toA guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure lifestyle blog exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure lifestyle blog
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure lifestyle blog
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure lifestyle blog
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure lifestyle blog
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure lifestyle blog
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure lifestyle blog
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Adventure lifestyle blog

Getting To Canggu…

From Denpasar airport, Canggu is about a 45-minute drive and it’s approximately 20km. You are pretty much guaranteed to be met by eager taxi drivers fighting for your custom as you come through arrivals. Although you may feel flattered at this point, if you’re looking for a bargain, download the Uber app using the airport’s free WIFI and order a car via them. A taxi will only cost around 200-300,000IDR {£11-17}, but for all you backpackers out there… you can get it a lot cheaper with Uber.

Getting around Canggu…

The best way to get around Canggu, just like most of Bali is by scooter (moped) or car.

If you’re staying for a little while or just want the cheapest and most convenient option, I’d say rent a scooter. Unless you’re staying in accommodation close to the centre and don’t plan to explore much beyond it – you’ll want some transport of your own.

Most companies in Bali will deliver the bikes to your door and you’ll pay them in cash. Some will want you to pay upfront, I usually pay half at the start and the rest at the end, just to be safe.

Price guide for renting a scooter in Canggu: 60-75,000IDR a day

The longer you rent the scooter for, the more of a bargain you’ll be able to arrange. Of course new / larger scooters may cost a little more.

Pop Gena Bike Rental Canggu a whatsapp to organise your scooter rental in Uluwatu: +62 853-3760-4804

How much should I budget for Canggu?

See my guide to budgeting for Bali here and have a look at how much meals and activities will cost you!

Restaurants I loved in Canggu…

In between these dreamy cafes you will find an abundance of Warungs (snack huts), where you can indulge in the finest Indonesian cuisine too. A combination of nasi gorengs and dragonfruit açai bowls is what I call heaven.

Some of my favourites in Canggu for lunch or dinner:

  • Betelnut Cafe (particularly the beetroot and feta patties)
  • Crate Cafe
  • Penny Lane (the most beautiful interior ever, great smoothies, juice and all around food)
  • Cafe Organic
  • In the Raw
  • Essential (my favourite place to work too)
  • Milu by nook (get the prawn and scallop pasta. unreal)
  • Moana (unreal fish)
  • Vida Cafe (acai bowls and general brunching, they also have a delicious raw dessert fridge!)

Coffee spots I love in Canggu:

  • BGS (best coffee there is!)
  • Crate Cafe
  • Vida Cafe
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali: The best things to do, see and eat

Things to do and explore whilst in Canggu…

As well as incredible food, landscapes and culture, Canggu is a hub of activity and adventure that will keep you occupied for days.

During your time in Canggu consider…

  • Dine at one of the many incredible raw food eateries and Balinese Warungs that line the streets and ocean fronts.

  • Kick back for the afternoon on the black sandy beach

  • Dine at one of the many incredible raw food eateries and Balinese Warungs that line the streets and ocean fronts.

  • Take a surf lesson and get in the ocean!

There’s a surf school / surf hire at the front of Old Mans or there’s Mojo surf.

  • Rent a bed and relax in the sunshine on Batu Bolong beach.

Be sure to grab a BBQ’d sweetcorn on your way down from the street food stand.

A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog
A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog
  • Catch some live music / djs at The Lawn

The seafood is insane here, as are the cocktails, the ocean view and the vibe. It’s definitely a ‘western’ establishment but it’s casual and there’s no minimum spends on the beds (yet). Winner. I recommend the Mahi mahi and chips and the squid starter!

  • Head to Hotel Tugu and book on to one of their authentic Balinese evenings.

See my full review of Hotel Tugu and my amazing dinner experience with their traditional Balinese dance show

  • Get pampered for pennies at one of the high street Balinese spas.

  • Take a yoga class at The Practice

  • Explore Seminyak and the bars on the waterfront as you head south.

See my guide to Seminyak here

  • Grab a taxi to Ubud or Uluwatu for the day; both are about an hour’s drive.

See my guide to exploring Ubud here

  • Rent a scooter and explore for the day

Be careful, the main roads get pretty crazy and unruly in Bali. Try and stick to the quieter, less busy routes and ALWAYS wear a helmet. See the number for the scooter hire I used earlier in this post.

See scooter prices and how to budget for travelling Bali in my blog post here

  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog
  • A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali | Where's Mollie? A Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog

Canggu by night…

By the time the evening rolls around, you are absolutely SPOILT with the most gorgeous sunset views on the island, if not some of the best in the world. The moment you get a glimpse of the rainbow coloured skies glowing through your hotel room you’ll be running down to the beach without a second thought. It’s truly breathtaking. There are a fair few beach front cafes and restaurants that have taken advantage of this sensation and so you won’t be stuck for choice and can toast the sunsets with a cocktail.

Here are a few evening options:

  • The Lawn
  • Echo Beach Dinner
  • Echo Beach Club
  • Mandira BBQ
  • Old Mans {Dirty Ol’ Wednesdays party!}
  • Head south of Canggu towards Seminyak to one of these amazing sea front dreamlands: La Laguna, Finns Beach Club, W Hotel
  • Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple

It’s seriously over crowded these days, but for good reason. If you don’t mind the crowds it’s half an hour north of Canggu!

Have you been to Canggu?

What were your favourite spots? I’d love to know!

Love as always and happy adventuring,

Mollie.

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A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali
A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali
A guide to exploring Canggu, Bali

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