Seminyak is the cosmopolitan heart of Bali with a vibrant energy attracting travellers from far and wide. Framed by a long stretch of soft sand, this stylish neighbourhood caters to foodies, shopaholics and sunset seekers alike. If you’re looking to stay in the heart of all the action, Seminyak is the place to be.
Seminyak has certainly come a long way. What was once a sleepy seaside village dotted with rice fields has in recent years skyrocketed into one of the most popular holiday destinations in Asia. Today, Seminyak attracts visitors from all over the globe with its iconic beach clubs, vibrant restaurant scene, eclectic shopping and five-star accommodation options.
Seminyak has an air of sophistication about it, which is something that neighbouring areas like Legian and Kuta might be seen as lacking. Seminyak attracts a more refined traveller – think sunset cocktails on a rooftop rather than all-night benders at a surf bar. This also means prices in Seminyak tend to be a bit higher than those in more casual neighbourhoods.
If you’re looking to eat, drink and be merry, nowhere does it quite like Seminyak. There are more great restaurants than you’ll know what to do with and more seem to be opening up on a daily basis. Due to its huge popularity, the area has become very densely built, though you might still spot a sliver of rice fields when speeding down the narrow lanes. To truly immerse yourself in the Balinese culture, it’s best to look beyond Seminyak – which also works as a great home base for exploring the rest of the island.
Planning Your Trip to Seminyak
Planning a trip to Seminyak is all about setting priorities – there are so many restaurants, beach clubs, spas and shops to choose from! Seminyak is a popular destination all year round, though you do see in uptick in visitors in July-August and around the end of the year festivities. Our Seminyak travel guide aims to give you the essential information, list the most popular things to do in Seminyak, 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 Seminyak
Whether you’re heading to Bali to laze about the pool or to get out and about, one thing’s for sure – you’ll never feel bored in Seminyak. This sizzling neighbourhood offers round the clock entertainment from early morning when the first offerings are laid out on the sidewalks until well after a stunning tropical sunset has painted the sky and sea a flaming shade of red and gold.
One of the best reasons to head to Seminyak? The spas! You can have a massage on the beach for next to nothing or opt for an extravagant treatment package in a world-class luxury spa – the choice is yours. A Balinese full-body massage is a must – after all, when in Rome! If you’re really looking to be pampered, you can also have massages and other spa treatments arranged in the privacy of your own villa.
Seminyak offers a fabulous mix of international boutiques, local brand stores and homely souvenir shops. You’ll find an array of shops lining Jalan Kayu Aya (a.k.a. Eat Street), Jalan Raya Seminyak and Jalan Petitenget, ranging from fashion boutiques to surf shops and from swimwear brands to jewellery stores. Besides fashion and accessories, you can also pick up beautiful homewares and spa products in Seminyak. All established boutiques and shops have fixed prices which makes shopping hassle free. Bargain hunters can practice their negotiation skills at the local stalls which sell everything from T-shirts to flip flops and from sarongs to jewellery.
Tours & Activities
While Seminyak is by no means the centre of surf culture in Bali (for that, it’s better to head to Uluwatu or Canggu), it is a popular place for beginners to get their feet wet. Internationally known surf schools like Rip Curl and Quiksilver tend to focus more on the Legian area and you can reach them in an easy stroll down the beach. If you feel confident heading out on your own, you can also rent a board directly on the beach in Seminyak.
To balance out all that epic dining, Seminyak offers a variety of yoga studios and fitness centres. Just as you would expect from trendy Seminyak, you can find yoga studios specialising in hot yoga and gyms catering to the CrossFit crowd. Besides pumping iron, the gyms offer instructed group classes at reasonable drop in rates. If you don’t like sharing, you can also have a yoga instructor or a personal trainer visit your villa for a private session.
The one thing Seminyak might be lacking is culture. Petitenget Temple is often mentioned as something of a cultural landmark in Seminyak. But while the temple does offer a glimpse of local Balinese culture, the structure is very modest compared to larger temples found in other parts of the island. So rather than trying to squeeze culture from Seminyak, why not plan for a day trip to Ubud, Tanah Lot or Uluwatu? Ministry of Villas can arrange a private car and driver so you can explore further afield. Heading inland there are a range of tours and activities within driving distance of Seminyak.
Eating & Drinking in Seminyak
Incredible restaurants are popping up everywhere in Seminyak, serving Asian favourites, International cuisine, fresh salads and exotic juices. At sunset, the famous beach bars that line Seminyak’s beachfront become packed night after night.
If you’re a foodie, landing in Seminyak might just feel like opening the pearly gates of heaven. The area offers an incredibly varied and sophisticated mix of restaurants and cafes for travellers to choose from. Not surprisingly, the main concentration of restaurants sits along Eat Street (Jalan Kayu Aya) but you really shouldn’t limit yourself to this one street alone – there are literally hundreds of great restaurants dotted throughout Seminyak.
Though the restaurant scene in Seminyak is constantly evolving, there are some well-established restaurants which have been around for years and keep drawing in the crowds year after year. Happily mingling with the tried and tested favourites, new and innovative hotspots seem to be popping up on the daily, serving everything from modern Peruvian cuisine to zero-waste seafood and photogenic plant based dishes.
Seminyak’s beach comes alive in the early evening. Visitors find their slice of heaven for cocktail hour while local kids play soccer on the beach (which you are always welcomed to join) and vendors fill the sky with brightly-coloured kites. You’ll never get sick of Seminyak’s stunning sunsets when the sky changes colour from blue to light shades of pink and purple to deep oranges and reds.
Besides stunning sunsets, Seminyak is famed for its swanky beach clubs. Ku De Ta and Potato Head are arguably the most famous options. Both offer fabulous sunset views and yummy cuisine (which admittedly is on the pricey side on Bali standards) – and both get very busy. When it comes to having a big night out, the choice is yours: you can settle for an ice cold Bintang beer on the beach, sip a custom cocktail in a boutique speakeasy or dance the night away at iconic nightclubs.
It is hard to imagine that only ten years ago Seminyak was something of a backwater. Development has occurred at an astonishing pace, and as well as absorbing all green space which formerly separated Seminyak from Legian, it is now almost impossible to determine where Seminyak ends and the nearby villages of Petitenget, Batubelig, Umalas and Kerobokan begin.
Life in Seminyak revolves around Jalan Kayu Aya, often referred to as Jalan Oberoi or simply as Eat Street. As you might have guessed, this is where you’ll find all the most buzzed about restaurants and cafes in Bali, ranging from golden oldies to edgy newcomers. When people say they’re looking to stay in the heart of the action, they’re usually referring to the immediate area surrounding Eat Street. Another local landmark, the Seminyak Square shopping and dining complex is also located along Eat Street and if you follow the street down to the beach, you’ll reach Ku De Ta – arguably the most iconic beach club on the island.
Looking for something a bit more casual? The main street of Jalan Raya Seminyak is a lively strip leading towards Legian and all the way down to Kuta. The street is lined with boutiques and local souvenir shops, restaurants and the tried and tested Bintang Supermarket. Jalan Raya Seminyak is sandwiched between Seminyak Beach and Sunset Road, the main highway connecting Seminyak to the rest of Bali. Jalan Dhyana Pura is one of the main streets in this area, offering casual restaurants and lively nightlife before leading down to Gado Gado Beach.
Double Six Beach sits on the border between chic Seminyak and the more casual Legian and straddles these two worlds perfectly. Double Six Street offers a colourful mix of souvenir shops, relaxed restaurants and local warungs. On the beachside boulevard, you’ll find more sophisticated beach clubs and the iconic La Plancha beach bar famed for its rainbow hued beanbags dotted on the sand.
Seminyak & Surrounds
Just north of Eat Street, Petitenget is another fashionable locale in the greater Seminyak area. This district is home to some of the most popular beach clubs in Bali, including Potato Head and the W. The main street of Jalan Petitenget is also lined with stylish restaurants and sophisticated boutiques. Petitenget blends in with the more relaxed Batubelig which is a great option if you’re looking to stay close to Seminyak and trendy Canggu without breaking the bank. Legian sits just south of Seminyak – in fact, it might be hard to tell where one neighbourhood ends and the other one begins. Legian has a more laidback feel to it but it’s not quite as rowdy as Kuta, the next neighbourhood over. For more off-the-radar options, travellers should look to the rice paddy dotted neighbourhoods of Umalas and Kerobokan which still provide easy access to all the action waiting in Seminyak.
Ministry of Villas offers over 200 hand-picked villas in Seminyak. Though the area is known for its beaches, due to the area’s infrastructure there is only one private beachfront villa in Seminyak while most properties tend to be tucked inland inside private gardens. Seminyak is the most popular location in Bali and villa prices tend to be higher than other parts of Bali.
Prices start at around USD $175 per night for a one-bedroom villa and range to over USD $2,500 per night for a six-bedroom luxury 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 (a.k.a. Denpasar Airport), serves over 20 million passengers a year. Located in Tuban in South Bali, the airport is connected to several major cities across Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Direct flights to Bali are available from Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Doha, Dubai and more, from carriers including Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Air Asia and Jetstar. A new airport is set to be built in North Bali though the plans are still in early stages.
By boat, Bali is connected to the neighbouring islands of Java and Lombok which also have their own international airports. Ferries from Java to Bali arrive in Gilimanuk (about 3.5 hours from Seminyak) and boats from Lombok to Bali arrive in Benoa, Sanur, Serangan, Padang Bai and Amed.
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.
Alternatively, there is a taxi stand located next to the information desk at the international arrival’s hall, after you exit the small duty free shop. This desk offers fixed price and metered fares across the island. The listed fares are updated frequently, making it very challenging to find reliable, up to date pricing before arriving. Besides the official taxi stand, there are countless independent taxi drivers floating around the arrivals hall, offering rides at varying rates. It’s always easier to have a car arranged beforehand than trying to navigate the taxi jungle at the airport.
There are plenty of options for getting around Seminyak, so we’ve ranked them according to our recommendations for first-time travellers.
One of the best things about staying in Seminyak is that you can make your way around on foot. Most of the streets are lined with (narrow) sidewalks and depending on where in the area you’re staying, you can reach plenty of restaurants, shops and even the beach on foot. As the traffic in Seminyak can get congested, walking is often the most hassle free way of getting around. If you’re travelling with young kids, a stroller might not be the best option as the sidewalks are often uneven and routinely dotted with potholes – consider bringing a carrier instead.
It’s very easy to get a taxi in Seminyak – you literally can’t walk down the street without spotting blue taxis cruising by, honking their horns to attract potential customers. Most taxis look alike, but it’s always good to go for the Blue Bird taxis which are the most trustworthy operators on the road. To spot an authentic Blue Bird taxi, look 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’s rates start from IDR 7,000 (USD $0.50) and using a meter should never be a problem. Other taxis might claim that the meter is broken or one is simply non-existent. If the driver refuses to use a meter and you really need the ride, always agree on the price before getting in. You can hail down a Blue Bird taxi in Seminyak or order one using the My Blue Bird mobile app. You can also order a taxi over the phone or to avoid anything getting lost in translation, have your villa staff do this for you: +62 (0) 361 701 111. Ordering a taxi over the phone or through the app will incur a minimum charge of IDR 30,000 (USD $2).
A private car is usually not needed if you’re staying locally in Seminyak as taxis are readily available and distances are often walkable. If, however, you’re planning to explore further, say to neighbouring Canggu or to the spiritual hub of Ubud, hiring a private car and driver is the way to go. 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.
Another popular way to make your way around Seminyak is by hiring a scooter. This is the fastest and easiest way to make your way around the area. Daily rentals usually start at around IDR 50,000 (USD $4). Though cost efficient and easy, it’s always good to consider your personal safety before hopping on a bike. If you do decide to rent a scooter, always wear a helmet which complies with Indonesian National Standard (SNI) and carry a valid international driving license. Driving without either will result in a fine if you get pulled over by the police.
In recent years, Uber-style ride hailing apps have made their way to Bali. Mobile apps like Go-Jek and Grab have made getting a ride easy and affordable… at least in theory. Due to fierce competition between traditional taxis, local transport providers and the new ride hailing apps, local banjars (village communities) have banned the use of online taxi services throughout Seminyak. You’ll see large posters enforcing the ban throughout the area. To avoid any unwanted drama, we recommend sticking to normal taxis.
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
Shopping in Seminyak is exciting and varied, with trendy boutiques contrasted by lively local markets and stalls hawking souvenirs. Whether it’s at a market and or a local stall, bargaining can be an enjoyable part of shopping in Bali… 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.
Many of Bali’s beaches, including Seminyak, are subject to heavy surf and strong currents – always swim between the yellow flags. Trained lifeguards are on duty in Seminyak. 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.
There’s always something going on in Seminyak. Our team is constantly on the lookout for the hottest new restaurants, coolest new beach clubs, need-to-know openings and events and the latest trends taking over Seminyak by storm. Check out our latest Seminyak blog posts written by experienced Ministry of Villas travel writers.