If you’ve ever been to Bali, just hearing the word “Seminyak” is enough to flood your mind with glossy images of high-end villas, exclusive resorts and trendy nightclubs. Surrounded by all that glamour, you might feel that unless you’re an heiress, there are few things to do in Seminyak besides window shopping and maybe getting the odd spa treatment.
We’re here to let you in on a little secret: you can actually enjoy this luxe neighbourhood without spending a cent. Here are our picks for seven fun things to do in Seminyak – absolutely free!
1. Pray with the Locals at Pura Petitenget
Pura Petitenget, or Petitenget Temple, is the most famous temple in Seminyak, located just off the beach bearing the same name. This quiet Hindu house of worship offers a soothing refuge amidst the hectic bustle of Seminyak.
A dramatic temple gate welcomes you in to explore a stunning display of local Balinese architecture. Red bricks walls nestle shrines covered with checkered fabric and ladened with delicate offerings. If you’re lucky, you might just catch a colourful ceremony procession descending the temple steps.
Though you might be visiting Petitenget Temple just to check it off your Bali bucket list, remember that this is a holy site and visitors should act accordingly. Proper temple decorum includes never walking in front of people who are praying and never sitting higher than a priest.
Location: Jalan Petitenget, just behind Petitenget Beach
2. Enjoy Contemporary Art at Biasa ArtSpace
From ancient temples to modern art, Seminyak really does have it all. The name of Biasa ArtSpace might translate as “ordinary“, but this creative space is anything but.
The gallery hosts exhibitions displaying paintings, sculptures and other creative projects from some of the most ambitious new talents in Indonesia. Biasa ArtSpace strives to support and exhibit Indonesian and international contemporary art and you can enjoy the creativity absolutely free of charge!
The gallery is located just a few steps from the renowned Biasa fashion outlet, so you can easily incorporate a bit of gallery hopping into your shopping trip.
Location: Jalan Raya Seminyak 34, Level 2 BIASA+
3. Stage a Photoshoot at the Forest Entrance of the W Hotel
The bamboo trail leading up to the high-end W Bali hotel on Jalan Petitenget is one of the most Instagrammed spots in Seminyak and it’s easy to see why. Lined by bamboo trees, the path creates a stunning green arch which works as a gorgeous backdrop for some envy-inducing holiday snaps.
You can get snap-happy with no cost at all – provided that you can resist the divine spa treatments waiting at the end of the trail, courtesy of the W Retreat and Spa. If you do want to indulge in a spa visit, the area also offers great affordable spas.
W Retreat & Spa Bali
Location: Jalan Petitenget, next to Potato Head Beach Club
4. Catch a Fabulous Show on Jalan Camplung Tanduk
If you’re looking to mix things up and don’t mind a bit of flamboyant dazzle, the party hub of Jalan Camplung Tanduk has you covered. Bali Joe and Mixwell are two of the most popular gay bars in Bali, located side by side. The bars offer fabulous live entertainment with drag queens and go-go dancers taking the stage every night of the week.
Prepare to be dazzled by the likes of Madonna and Britney lip-syncing to evergreen classics. Even on a regular old Tuesday night, a fabulous time is had by the colourful clientele ranging from curious tourists to giggling hen parties and beyond. Despite the elaborate shows, there’s no cover charge to either bar and you only need to pay for the drinks you order.
Mixwell & Bali Joe
Location: Jalan Camplung Tanduk
5. Get Uplifted at Santo Mikael Church
Bali is often referred to as the island of a thousand temples, so finding a pristine white church in the middle of Seminyak might come as a surprise. The gothic architecture of the Santo Mikael Church, or St. Michael Church, makes this beautiful building stand out among the colourful local buildings. In fact, the grand architecture might leave you feeling like you’ve been transported into Europe.
Walk through the wooden pews and absorb the soothing ambiance of this sacred space. The best time to visit Santo Mikael Church is after sunset when beautifully positioned uplighting illuminates the pale facade of the building.
Santo Mikael Church
Location: Jalan Abimanyu
6. Strike a Pose at the Potato Head Beach Club Entrance
Potato Head Beach Club is one of the most iconic landmarks of Seminyak. Even if you’re not heading to the club’s epic pool or catching one of their world-class live shows, you can still make the most of the venue’s unique design, which attracts Instagram-happy photo-hunters from all over.
An entire wall of Potato Head Beach Club is covered with hundreds of colourful window shutters, which make for a stunning backdrop. So strike a pose, frame your shot and become immortalised in one of the most famous spots in Bali.
Potato Head Beach Club
Location: Jalan Petitenget No. 51B
7. Watch an Epic Sunset on Seminyak Beach
There are some things that money just can’t buy and an epic Bali sunset is definitely one of them. The golden sands of Seminyak Beach are among the best spots on the island for catching mother nature’s greatest show. Sit back and relax as the sun sinks into the Indian Ocean, painting the sky a flaming shad of red, pink and gold.
As sunset gazing is a favourite pastime of locals and visitors alike, sunsets on Seminyak Beach are also a great time for people watching. You can spot honeymooners snuggling on the beach, local kids frolicking in the waves and a motley crew of Bali beach dogs having the time of their lives on the sand.
And there you have it! Though you could easily spend a small fortune while exploring this luxurious neighbourhood, there’s also plenty of things to do in Seminyak that cost no money at all – you just have to know where to look!
Now, we’d love to hear from you: what are some of your favourite things to do in Seminyak? Let us know in the comments below!