Kerobokan is a relaxed neighbourhood ideally positioned next to Seminyak, offering easy access to this popular neighbourhood minus the hectic buzz. Kerobokan offers a quirky mix of cool restaurants, a whirl of motorbikes and serene rice fields. The area is a favourite among expats but it’s a great option for visitors, too – not least because Kerobokan offers fabulous villas (at terrific value!) with large gardens and stupendous rice paddy views.
A study in contrasts, Kerobokan blends in seamlessly with the popular Seminyak district. Depending on where you’re staying in the area, a taxi ride from Kerobokan to Seminyak will take just around 5-15 minutes. Due to their close proximity, parts of Kerobokan feel very similar to Seminyak while other parts have a more local feel to them. To add to the mix, the area still boast verdant rice paddies. In Kerobokan, cutting edge cool is effortlessly woven together with relaxed village life. The area offers some great hidden gem restaurants where the prices are often much lower than those in central Seminyak and the waiting time for a table is practically non-existent.
Kerobokan is a popular area among long time Bali expats who enjoy staying close to all the best restaurants and beaches, all the while avoiding the most hectic crowds. The area is also a great option for travellers craving easy access to neighbouring Seminyak and nearby Canggu, but who also want some peace and quiet – and often a more affordable price tag.
Planning Your Trip to Kerobokan
Being on the doorstep of vibrant Seminyak, Kerobokan remains an attractive destination throughout the year. Our Kerobokan travel guide aims to give you the essential information, list the most popular things to do in Kerobokan, provide more information on locations you want to visit, and finish with some inspiration from our travel writers. For more information on events and festivals taking place throughout the year, check out our comprehensive Bali guide.
Bali is pleasant all year round! May through September has the best weather (drier, less humid) and is the best time for many activities including diving and surfing. November though March is rainy season – though rainfall is never excessive so you can do most activities except volcano treks.
The temperature ranges from 24 degrees to 31 degrees all year round.
Rainfall ranges from 0cm to 140cm during the wet season.
Things to See & Do in Kerobokan
The rolling rice fields of Kerobokan offer the perfect setting for turning on the auto response and simply relaxing for a change. As Kerobokan is not as densely built as Seminyak, many villas in the area offer spacious gardens and some even offer scenic rice paddy views right from your private pool. You could easily spend days on end without leaving your villa, simply soaking in that famous Bali bliss.
One of the best pastimes in Kerobokan is to explore the long and winding street of Jalan Mertanadi. This stretch offers a vibrant selection of restaurants, cafes and shops. There are a few great shops selling beautiful homeware and art on Jalan Mertandi. You can also pick up beautiful furniture and interesting design pieces from the workshops dotting the rice fields along Jalan Raya Kedampang.
Tours & Activities
One of the best things about Kerobokan is its close proximity to some of the most popular areas in Bali. Kerobokan offers the perfect home base for exploring the neighbouring areas of Seminyak and Canggu, without having to stay in the more crowded (and often more expensive) areas. Depending on where you’re staying in the area, a taxi ride from Kerobokan to Seminyak’s famous Eat Street will only take between 5-15 minutes. Staying in Kerobokan will provide you with a more authentic Balinese experience whereas Seminyak (while fabulous) might get a little too commercial at times. You’re also just a quick drive from the beach – Batubelig Beach and Ku De Ta beach club are both about 10 minutes away, depending on where in Kerobokan you’re staying. If you’re planning to explore further a field, Kerobokan also offers convenient access to Sunset Road, the main road connecting you towards other parts of the island where beautiful Hindu temples and inspiring activities ranging from mountain biking to cooking classes are simply waiting to be explored.
Eating & Drinking in Kerobokan
Kerobokan’s dining scene is a cool mix of trendy global cuisine and more laid-back local options. The border between Kerobokan, Seminyak and Petitenget is hazy, so you might just find your favourite restaurant is actually located in Kerobokan, not Seminyak!
In recent years, Kerobokan has sprouted its own unofficial “Eat Street.” Jalan Mertanadi is a winding street lined with an increasing selection of restaurants and coffee shops, most notably the perpetually packed Naughty Nuris, an Ubud institution known for their pork ribs. As an example of just how seamlessly Kerobokan blends in with its more famous neighbour, Nuris has repeatedly been ranked as one of the best restaurants in Seminyak, not Kerobokan. Besides these well-established venues, new quirky venues have also sprouted up along Jalan Mertanadi, offering fantastic coffee, gelato and local cuisine.
You’ll also find a high concentration of restaurants lining the long and winding Jalan Raya Semer. Here, the restaurants are on the casual side (think warungs rather than haute cuisine) and offer great value for money. Beyond Jalan Mertanadi and Jalan Raya Semer, you’ll find a few cool restaurants and plenty of local warungs dotted across the area. Restaurants and warungs around Jalan Raya Kedampang and Jalan Mertasari will often have scenic rice paddy views. If you’re looking for more options, the endless restaurants of Seminyak are only a short taxi ride away.
Nights in Kerobokan are relaxed affairs spent over a long dinner at your favourite restaurants – or perhaps enjoying a custom prepared feast in the privacy of your villa. If you’re looking for a more lively night out, it’s best to hop in a taxi and head to one of the countless bars, clubs and beachfront venues waiting close by in Seminyak.
Kerobokan is well spread out and offers a fascination study in contrasts. If you stay around the main streets of Jalan Mertanadi or Jalan Raya Semer, you’ll be surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city, though with a down to earth Balinese twist. If, on the other hand, you stay around Jalan Raya Kedampang, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful rice fields – and all of this just moments away from the trendy dining and beach clubs of Seminyak. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!
Kerobokan & Surrounds
Kerobokan is a landlocked neighbourhood ideally positioned just inland from popular Seminyak. The area blend is seamlessly with chic Petitenget; home to exquisite restaurants and iconic beach clubs. Driving up the coast from Petitenget, you will pass by the relaxed Batubelig neighbourhood, followed by the cool surfer district of Canggu and rice paddy dotted Pererenan. One of Kerobokan’s closest neighbours is Umalas, which shares the same rice paddy views and houses hidden gem villas and restaurants favoured by those in the know.
There are over 10 Ministry Approved villas in Kerobokan and almost 300 in the greater Seminyak area. Kerobokan is getting more popular but as it still sits outside the most popular epicentre of Seminyak, you can find villas offering amazing value, large gardens and serene rise paddy views.
Kerobokan villas range from around USD $170 per night for a three-bedroom villa to around USD $1,000 per night for an eight-bedroom villa. All of our villas come with professionally trained staff. Many villas offer personalised services including: butlers, chefs, nannies, 24-hour security personnel, drivers and other services you won’t find in a hotel.
Bali’s only airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport, works as the first entry point for most travellers visiting Bali. Located in Tuban in South Bali, the busy airport serves around 20 million passengers a year and is widely connected to international destinations. Direct flights to Bali are offered from Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Melbourne, Sydney and beyond. Airlines offering direct flights include Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Catchay Pacific, Air Asia, Jetstar and more. A second airport is set to be built in North Bali but these plans are still in the early stages.
While a vast majority of travellers choose to fly in, it’s also possible to reach Bali by boat. This usually means landing at an international airport on one of the neighbouring islands – Java or Lombok – and then crossing over to Bali by boat or ferry. From Java, ferries arrive in Gilimanuk (about three hours from Kerobokan) and from Lombok, boats arrive in Benoa, Sanur, Serangan, Padang Bai and Amed (Benoa, Serangan and Sanur are all located about 30-40 minutes from Kerobokan).
Nationalities from over 160 countries are eligible for visa free entry into Indonesia. This means your passport will be stamped on arrival at the airport, allowing you to stay in the country for 30 days. For stays longer than 30 days, you will need to obtain a visa which will require further arrangements. Please note your passport must be valid for six months after your date of arrival in Indonesia.
There is no public transport to get you from the airport to your accommodation, so the only option is to use a private driver or a taxi. Ministry of Villas can arrange a chauffeur to greet you upon arrival and escort you to your villa. This service is included for most villas when booking more than four nights. To avoid queuing at the immigration counter, we can also arrange a VIP airport service for guests. This service includes lounge access, allowing you to relax while waiting for your luggage.
If you haven’t organised your arrival transfers beforehand, you can also get a taxi directly at the airport. There is an official taxi stand at the arrivals hall, next to the information desk. This stand offers transfers across Bali at fixed rates or with metered fares. The rates change frequently, making it very challenging to find up to date pricing before arriving in Bali. Besides the taxi stand, you’ll also find the arrivals hall filled with freelance drivers offering their services at varying rates. To save yourself the hassle, we strongly recommend arranging your airport transfers prior to landing in Bali.
There are plenty of options for getting around Kerobokan, so we’ve ranked them according to our recommendations for first-time travellers.
Taxis are an easy and affordable way of getting around Kerobokan and popping over to neighbouring Seminyak. The best taxi company to use is Blue Bird which offers trusty metered fares (other operators might refuse to use a meter altogether). It has become increasingly hard to spot an authentic Blue Bird taxi with more and more copycat taxis cruising down the streets. Try to look out for the Blue Bird logo on the taxi heading, the taxi’s number on the rear of the car, corporate logos on the windscreen and on the side of the car and the driver’s blue uniform. Blue Bird taxis start their meter at IDR 7,000 (USD $0.5). You might be able to hail a taxi along Jalan Mertanadi and if not, you can also order a Blue Bird taxi through their app or by calling +62 (0) 361 701 111 (a minimum charge of IDR 30,000 (USD $2) will incur). If you are getting a ride from a taxi with no meter, always agree on the price before getting in.
Kerobokan is a well spread out area so whether or not you can make your way around on foot will depend on where you’re staying and how far out you plan to explore. If you’re staying on or around Jalan Mertanadi (which is lined by a narrow walkway), you can usually reach the nearest shops and restaurants on foot. If, on the other hand, you’re staying further out, walking along the busy streets might not be the best option.
As an alternative to traditional taxis, at the time of writing you can also use ride hailing apps in Kerobokan. The two local Uber-like apps are Gojek and Grab. Both offer motorbike and car rides which you can order using their mobile apps. The apps are convenient and easy to use and save you the hassle of haggling for the price as fixed prices are determined through the app. Though these services operate in Kerobokan, it’s good to remember that ride hailing apps are banned in many tourist areas, including Seminyak and Canggu. This means that while you can get a Grab or a Gojek from Kerobokan to these areas, you will need a plan B for getting back to your accommodation in Kerobokan.
Kerobokan is a well spread out area so having a car and driver at your disposal will make life that much easier. Having a personal chauffeur will also make accessing Seminyak and Canggu a breeze. Located close to the main highway of Sunset Road, Kerobokan is well connected to other parts of the island, making day trips a very attractive option. Ministry of Villas can arrange a private car and chauffeur for you. This little luxury is remarkably affordable and we can also help you arrange an itinerary, instructing your driver in advance.
A scooter can be a great way to explore your surroundings. Scooters are a very popular mode of transport in Bali and many travellers also opt for two wheels. Scooter rentals usually start at around IDR 50,000 (USD $4) per day and petrol is also inexpensive. The traffic in Bali is notoriously chaotic so only hop on a scooter if you’re an experienced driver. If you do decide to drive, always wear a helmet and carry a valid international driver’s licence. Driving without either will result in a fine if you get pulled over by the police.
The Balinese are among the friendliest and most welcoming people on the planet. This is all the more reason to return the favour and be respectful towards the local culture. Like anywhere else in the world, common sense and basic human decency goes a long way. For more detailed information about local culture, language and safety in Bali, check out our comprehensive Bali guide.
SHOPPING & BARGAINING
Kerobokan offers a vibrant mix of established boutiques and down to earth local establishments. When shopping at markets and local stalls, bargaining can be an enjoyable part of the experience… or it can be frustrating! To ensure a smooth exchange first decide what the item is worth to you, then ask the seller for their price – your first offer can be from one-third to two-thirds of that price. They are likely to respond with a counteroffer, which you can either accept or negotiate further. If you don’t like the price and you walk away there is a good chance the vendor will call out to you with a better (usually final) price. Keep in mind, if an agreement is reached, you’re committed – you should buy if your offer is accepted.
In late 2018, Bali’s governor banned single use plastic on the island, meaning shops, boutiques and supermarkets no longer give out plastic bags. When out and about, it’s best to carry a reusable bag with you.
Most restaurants and villas include a service component already so tipping is not expected, but if service is good, an additional cash tip is appreciated.
Indonesia’s country code is +62. Data speeds of 3G and faster is the norm across Bali. Local prepaid SIM cards are sold everywhere; any modern mobile phone will work. As of 2018, all prepaid SIM cards need to be registered which you can usually do with a copy of your passport directly at the shop where you purchase your SIM card. Prepaid SIM cards come loaded with pulsa (credit) or mobile data which you can later easily top up at other outlets. Most if not all minimarts and local phone shops can top off your SIM card when needed. Most villas provide broadband Internet and free Wi-Fi is common in cafes, restaurants, hotels and shopping malls.
Health & Safety
It’s important to note that compared to many places in the world, Bali is fairly safe. There have been some high-profile cases of visitors being injured or killed on Bali, but in many cases these tragedies have been inflamed by media sensationalism.
While Kerobokan itself is landlocked, it’s only a short drive to the closest beaches in Seminyak, Batubelig and Canggu. Many of Bali’s beaches are subject to heavy surf and strong currents – always swim between the yellow flags. Be careful when swimming over coral and never walk on it. It can be very sharp and coral cuts are easily infected. In addition, you are damaging a fragile environment. Lastly, water pollution is a problem in busy neighbourhoods. Avoid swimming near open streams flowing into the sea as they are often contaminated by run-off from built-up areas.
Violent crime is uncommon in Bali, however bag-snatching from motorbikes and petty theft does occur. Take extra care with your phone if riding pillion on a motorbike as phones regularly get snatched from unsuspecting tourists using a navigation app. Otherwise, take the same precautions you would in any urban area and secure your money before leaving an ATM (and don’t forget your card!), don’t leave valuables on a beach while swimming, and use in-villa safes to store your valuables.
Tap water in Bali is not safe to drink. Bottled water is widely available and cheap, however Ministry of Villas encourages visitors to keep a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic consumption.
Travel insurance is absolutely essential for every traveller. A typical travel insurance policy will have coverage for a traveller’s main concerns, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and lost luggage. Most policies are built to be comprehensive to protect travellers from a variety of events that may cause financial loss before or during their trip. Some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’ which can include scuba diving, renting a local motorcycle and even trekking.
Worldwide travel insurance is available at World Nomads and you can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.
Kerobokan is a vibrant area offering a unique mix of serene rise fields, buzzing motorbikes and hidden gem villas and eateries. Our team is always on the lookout for what’s hip and happening in Kerobokan and beyond. Check out our latest Kerobokan blog posts written by experienced Ministry of Villas travel writers.