Canggu has quickly become a popular destination in Bali for surfers, backpackers and digital nomads. Beach clubs, rice fields, long stretches of beaches with the most perfect waves and of course an endless amount of cafes for your daily caffeine fix, to many Canggu is a dream come true it sure is too us. After spending two weeks in Canggu last year we realised we just had to come back here, because after all, with this many cafe and co-working hubs it is a great destination for bloggers like us. So, instead of two weeks, we decided to spent two months here and to discover all that Canggu has to offer. And while we haven’t managed to try out every single cafe and restaurant here (we really did try) we explored Canggu and the beautiful surroundings and learned that Canggu has so much to offer, even if you are not a surfer or digital nomad. So without further ado, let’s continue with some of our Canggu travel tips, must pack items for your trip and of course 12 unforgettable things to do in Canggu!
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Canggu Travel Tips
Canggu or Seminyak?
While you of course could visit both Canggu and Seminyak many people decide to pick either or due to the many similarities the two towns have. Both towns are filled with beaches, cafes, beach clubs, an endless amount of shops and of course many many restaurants. However, there are some major difference between the two that might help you decide where to go. Canggu is a very laid back atmosphere kind of place that draws mainly draws surfers to their beaches, digital nomads to their co-working spaces and many young travellers to their cafes and restaurants. While neither of us are surfers, we fell in love with Canggu for the laid back vibe, and it is the reason we keep on coming back here. Seminyak, on the other hand, seems to be more catered towards tourists seeking luxury in our opinion which translates into the facilities you find here. Seminyak is known for the large amount of upscale restaurants and spectacular resorts that are available, and not to forget about the amazing party scene that can be found in Seminyak. These are the main differences we found when it comes to Canggu vs. Seminyak, and we hope they can help you decide whichever one suits you best!
How do I get to Canggu?
Canggu is located in the more Southern part of Bali and can easily be reached from various other destinations in Bali. If you are coming by the airport it might be easier to arrange a private transfer to your accommodation as there is no public transport available from the airport to Canggu. Private transport can often easily be arranged through either your accommodation, or can simply be booked online through services like Klook which is the service we normally use! And to make it even better, if you sign up for Klook via this link you will actually get €5 of your first booking, making your airport transfer even more affordable! From the airport it takes roughly 1 to 1.5 hours to reach Canggu. If you are coming from, or planning on traveling to any other destinations this is how long you can roughly expect it to take by car, depending on the traffic that day of course:
- Ubud – 1.5 to 2 hours
- Amed – 3 to 4 hours
- Lovina – 2 to 3 hours
- Seminyak – half an hour
- Sanur – 1 to 1.5 hours
What is the best time of the year to visit Canggu?
The best time to visit Bali would be in the dry season, which lasts from roughly the beginning of April till the end of September. During these months you will have the best chance of not only good weather, but the water is also a lot clearer if you are planning on diving or snorkeling. However, we would personally try to avoid the months of July and August as it tends to get very busy in Bali during these months because of the summer holidays in Europe and North America.
But don’t let the wet season scare you away from a trip to Bali. We have travelled to Bali multiple times during the wet season, and while we had some tropical afternoon showers we have always still very much enjoyed our time here. The only main downside about the wet season was that we weren’t able to stick to our planning as much due to the heavy rainfall interrupting our schedule and often our planned sunsets.
How expensive is Canggu?
No matter what budget you are on, Canggu is as expensive or inexpensive as you make it. You can easily do Canggu on a budget, stick to guesthouses, eat at the warungs and cheap eats in Canggu and skip the expensive beach clubs, this is how we managed to stick to a budget of $20 in Bali per person, per day. However, if you are looking to get a private villa, go for drinks every night and hang out at beach clubs you will probably have to set your budget a lot higher. Canggu, just like the rest of Bali, doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you do a bit of research and you stick to your budget. But to give you a bit of a better idea here are some of the prices you can expect:
- Flat white at a cafe – IDR 30,000 ($2.15)
- Smoothie bowl – IDR 55,000 ($3.94)
- Daily scooter rental – IDR 50,000 ($3.60)
- Meal at a warung – IDR 40,000 ($2.85)
- An average guesthouse – IDR 250,000 ($18)
- Litre of petrol – IDR 10,000 ($0.70)
- 1.5L Bottle of water at the supermarket – IDR 7,000 ($0.50)
- One month gym membership – IDR 1,200,000 ($86)
- Yoga class – IDR 120,000 ($8.60)
Now, these are just some example prices we came across, sometimes the prices were a lot higher at restaurants or other shops, but after spending over two months in Canggu these are roughly the average prices we came across during our travels!
Where to stay in Canggu
With Canggu quickly becoming one of Bali’s most popular destinations you will find plenty of accommodation options available here, no matter what time of the year you are visiting. From budget hostels and homestays to the most dreamy luxury hotels and private villas, no matter how high or low your budget is, there is truly something for everyone here. When we were living in Canggu we opted to stay in guesthouses and homestays, and while we have stayed at a handful of different accommodations, there is only one we would recommend: Lila Loka Homestay. Located only a short walk from Jalan Batu Bolong, Canggu’s main street, Lila Loka Homestay is conveniently centrally located with plenty of restaurants and cafes within walking distance. The homestay itself has a refreshing pool and a stunning view over the rice fields, especially from the rooms on the upper floor. We absolutely loved staying here, a perfect place to relax after a day of exploring all that Canggu has to offer!
Bali Packing Tips
The island of Bali is incredibly diverse, from beaches to cultural sights, in Bali you can truly experience it all. However, packing for every occasion can be quite difficult. So while we don’t want to list our complete packing list here, we’ll leave that for a separate post, here are some essentials we recommend to put on your Bali packing list:
Travel adaptor – The last thing you want to happen is to arrive in Bali and come to the realisation that your chargers don’t fit the plugs here. For that reason we always travel with a travel adaptor, so no matter where we go we will be able to charge our phone, laptop and camera! The best thing about this travel adaptor is that it has two USB ports build in, so you will only need 1 plug to charge 3 devices at the same time!
Reusable water bottle – While you cannot drink the tap water in Bali, Bali actually does have plenty of refill stations for your water bottle. Hotels, restaurants, gyms, they simply seem to be everywhere in Bali, and most of the times completely free of charge. So not only will you save money, you will also produce a lot less plastic waste during your trip!
Sandals or water shoes – Bali is an island that is filled with adventurous activities, which sometimes does mean walking through small creeks (filled with rocks) and climbing paths near waterfalls, which can be quite painful if you are trying to do it barefoot. If you have the space in your backpack, opt to bring some water shoes to make sure you can enjoy your travels in Bali completely foot pain free, something we forgot to pack on our first visit which resulted in entering waterfalls wearing sneakers (see the photo below). As we had a lack of space with all our camera gear we brought some Teva sandals along instead that we can also wear during the day which does the job, but with the velcro perhaps not the best long term solution.
Powerbank – A power bank has become an absolute necessity for us to make sure our phone and camera batteries are always charged. This guarantees that we always have access to Google Maps to find our next waterfall, but also have plenty of battery to take photos and videos on the road!
VPN – Internet safety is one of the things many people forget about, but with traveling and connecting to multiple different wifi sources every single day this has become a simple necessity to us. Not only does a VPN allow you to browse the internet a whole lot safer, it will also give you access to websites (such as Netflix) that sometimes might be blocked. No matter where we are in the world, even in our home countries we make sure we access the internet solely through a VPN, for both our laptops and our phones.
Quick dry towel – Hotels and guesthouses will often provide towels, however, we would highly recommend taking a quick dry towel with as well. Quick dry towels are great when you plan on relaxing on the beach or swimming in waterfalls as they not only dry quick, they also take up barely any space in your backpack!
Money Belt – Don’t let your vacation get spoiled because you lost your credit cards or your passport! We always keep our documents safe in a money belt, which you can easily slip underneath your clothing so it doesn’t get any unwanted attention. Be sure to bring some extra cash as well, just in case of an emergency such as either ATMs not working or your being blocked by your bank.
Extra space in your backpack – Last, but definitely not least, and perhaps one of the most important things, be sure to actually leave some space in your backpack or suitcase to go shopping in Bali! They make the most beautiful jewellery, clothing and sarongs here and not to forget about bags, woodcarvings and coconut bowls of course! It would be a shame if your suitcase or backpack is so full that you couldn’t bring anything home from here, we honestly could fill 5 suitcases if we had the space!
Things to do in Canggu
1. Go Surfing in Canggu
You might not be a surfer just yet, but if you have any interest in surfing at all, perhaps just giving it a try, then Canggu is the perfect place. The beaches are filled with surf schools where you can learn how to catch your first wave. Or perhaps you don’t need any lessons? Don’t worry, there are plenty of board rentals as well. No matter what beach you will visit in Canggu at what time of the day, you will spot some surfers in the water. Bali is filled with beaches that are great for surfing, but the following beaches in Canggu are known as some of the best spots to go surfing in Bali:
- Batu Bolong Beach – one of the most popular spots for beginners and surf lessons.
- Old Man’s – very close to Batu Bolong but more suitable for intermediate surfers due to the lower tide.
- Berawa Beach – also considered more suitable for intermediate surfers.
- Echo Beach – the original surf spot in Canggu, again more suitable for intermediate surfers.
2. Get your caffeine fix at one of the many Cafes in Canggu
It is no secret that Canggu is home to some of the most instagram-worthy cafes in Bali, however, that is not all that these cafes have to offer. Beyond the picture perfect interiors you will find the most delicious flat whites, smoothie bowls, avocado toast, stacks of pancakes and so much more. There are so many cafes and restaurants in Canggu that I think you would need to visit a new one every single day for months just to make sure you have covered them all, and by that time probably a dozen or more have been opened! We tried to visit as many as possible during our two months here, and these are by far our favourite cafes in Canggu:
- Cinta Cafe – Perfect if you are looking for a great breakfast deal where you can order a coffee, a juice and one of their six breakfast options for only IDR 70,000. However, the main reason we keep coming back here is the lovely staff and the amazing atmosphere.
- Hungry Bird Coffee Roaster – A popular choice for the coffee lovers! But Hungry Bird does not only serve delicious coffee, they have a wide range of breakfast and lunch items available as well. From sweet pancakes to savoury eggs, this cafe has it all!
- Rise & Shine – Rise and Shine has some of the most delicious breakfast options you will find in Canggu! Our personal favourites are the Nutella barrel rolls and the eggs benedict. If our budget allowed we would have had breakfast here every single morning.
- Magcel Cafe – Magcel Cafe has only been recently opened, but quickly became one of our to go to cafes in Canggu. We personally love their chicken burger and the magcel breakfast, but it is the kind staff that had us keep on coming back here.
- Copenhagen – Copenhagen is a cafe that works slightly different when it comes to breakfast. Instead of ordering one item you get the option to choose 3 or 5 smaller items from a specific list, with a set price. Smoothie bowls, cinnamon rolls, smashed avocado, toast, this Scandinavian inspired cafe has something for everyone’s liking. This way you don’t just have to pick, you can simply try them all!
- Manas Cafe – While not as centrally located as the other cafes, Manas Cafe must by far be the most affordable option on this list! There is a great selection from breakfast items such as smoothie bowls, eggs and more!
- SatuSatu Coffee Company – One of the busiest places on this list, and we sure know why! SatuSatu has not only great service, but excellent coffee and is definitely on the more affordable side of this list. One of our favourite items here must be the avocado toast with poached eggs.
However, some of these cafes can be a bit on the pricy side, especially if you are on tight budget like we are! Be sure to check out our article about our favourite cheap eats in Canggu, which includes some of the cafes above with a bit more details and even some example prices to get a better idea of where to eat in Canggu.
3. Get fit in Canggu!
You might have realised by now that a part of Canggu’s vibe is the healthy lifestyle that many people love here. Besides the many restaurants and cafes that focus on healthy food and living there are also plenty of gyms to get you into shape. Yoga studios, traditional gyms and cross fit, Canggu has something for everyone! You’ll find budget gyms and luxury gyms, you can get in shape here no matter what your budget is. We tried out a couple of gyms and our personal favourite (although a bit on the pricier side) must be Avenue Fitness. This gym has great facilities, friendly staff, is clean and opens at 6am, perfect for early risers like us! If you are on a tight budget you might want to have a look at Surya Gym. While this gym might be a bit more basic, the prices are hard to beat with day passes as affordable as IDR 30,000.
4. Explore Canggu’s Rice Fields
In Canggu’s surrounding you can find some of the most beautiful and lush rice fields, something that is often forgotten by those who visit Canggu. And while the rice fields in Canggu might not be as beautiful as the Tegalalang Rice Terraces near Ubud, they are sure worth checking out if you have a scooter or motorbike. You will find the most beautiful and lush rice terraces around the area of Jalan Babadan with rice fields as far as the eyes can see. However, if you simply hop on a scooter and explore Canggu you will find many more beautiful rice fields hidden between the busy streets of Canggu. Read all about where to find the best rice fields in Canggu here!
5. Rent a Scooter in Canggu
While there are plenty of taxis available in Canggu, if you feel comfortable and confident riding a scooter we definitely recommend getting one as this is the way to get around here! Explore the different streets of Canggu, perhaps even ride the shortcut, head to the beach, or maybe venture a bit further and see what the surroundings of Canggu, or even the rest of Bali, have to offer. Renting a scooter will cost you anywhere from IDR 40,000 to IDR 70,000 per day ($2.85 – $5), and will allow you to go wherever and whenever you like it. However, stay safe, be careful, and be sure to wear a helmet at all times!
6. Ride the Canggu Shortcut
The infamous Canggu Shortcut is a road that connects some of Canggu’s most popular roads without having to go over the main road. And while this might sound very convenient, especially since the main road is always traffic jammed, the Canggu shortcut is infamous for a specific reason. You see, the road is rather narrow and aligned with rice fields on both sides, there is actually barely enough space for a motorbike and a car to pass each other, which has caused for some accidents over the years. A quick Google search and you will be able to see some photos of the accidents that happened here, from cars falling off the road and into the rice paddies to motorbikes ending up next to the road! Riding the Canggu shortcut is an experience itself, but be sure you feel confident and comfortable enough on a motorbike before riding it, in the end you don’t want to end up in the rice paddies!
7. Go on a Day Trip
While we absolutely love Canggu, be sure to plan in some day trips as well, especially if you don’t have any other destinations on your Bali itinerary! Bali truly has so much to offer, from snorkelling, visiting temples to exploring the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali, Bali kept us busy for months and we are already planning our next visit. Not sure where to go? Here are a couple of ideas:
- Go on a day trip to the Nusa islands!
- Head East to see the Gates of Heaven at the Lempuyang Temple and the Tirta Gangga Water Palace.
- Explore Ubud’s surroundings to see the Tirta Empul Temple and the beautiful Telalagang Rice Terraces.
- Get up early and climb mount Batur for sunrise.
- Head all the way to the North of Bali to see Sekumpul Waterfall and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan!
We normally prefer to go by motorbike and head out on on our own, but if you prefer to go by car then many of these day trips can be arranged through either your accommodation or the tourist offices you will find spread around Canggu. Another option is to check out Klook where you will find many day trips and tours offered, including the prices and the reviews of people who booked these tours before you so you can decide which tour will work best for you!
8. Visit nearby Seminyak
Feel like there is nothing left to see in Canggu? Don’t worry, Seminyak is just around the corner and could provide you with days more of entertainment. Rent a scooter and explore Seminyak for a day, go shopping, bar hopping, enjoy the beaches in Seminyak or relax at one of the beach clubs of Seminyak. While Seminyak and Canggu have very similar things to offer, we find the vibe in Seminyak actually completely different. So while we personally prefer to stay in Canggu we love heading out to Seminyak once in a while and explore all that it has to offer. Have you been to Canggu and Seminyak before? Which one do you prefer? Tell us in the comment section down below!
9. Watch the sun set at the beach in Canggu
What better way to end your day of exploring Canggu by watching a sunset at the beach in Canggu? You will find sunsets to be one of the busiest times in Canggu, and we know exactly why. Find a nice restaurant at the beach or simply sit in the sand while you watch the sky turn from blue to orange, sunset truly is one of the most beautiful moments of the day. Batu Bolong Beach, Echo Beach and Berawa Beach are some of the most popular spots to go and see the sun set. Simply grab yourself a fresh coconut, or a beer, and sit back and relax!
10. Relax at a Beach club in Canggu
Looking for a bit more down time and something different then the beach? Try a beach club instead! Canggu has some of Bali’s most famous beach clubs, perfect for a day of simply sitting back, relaxing and getting a tan. However, going to a beach club for a day might not be the most budget worthy activity on this list, so pick wisely where you want to go. These are some of the most popular beach clubs in Canggu:
However, there are many more beach clubs in the area and with a bit of research you will find exactly the beach club, or beach bar, that suits your style and budget.
11. Go Shopping in Canggu
With the rise of travellers and expats to Canggu the last couple of years shops have simply started opening up everywhere. From markets, boutique shops to roadside shops selling clothes and accessories, there is no lack of shopping available in Canggu. Spent an afternoon browsing through the shops for the perfect outfit, or go souvenir shopping, with the amount of shops available in Canggu you could easily be busy for days! Be sure to keep your eye out for weekend markets, where you will sometimes find over a hundred stalls filled with clothing, food and many other items to stock up on before hopping on your flight home!
12. Eat at a Warung
Even though Canggu is filled with an endless amount of cafes, the delicious local cuisine should also not be forgotten and what better place to find some good food then at a warung? Go for the classic nasi or mie goreng or perhaps go for a buffet style lunch or dinner where you simply pick and choose whatever you would like to have on your plate. There are many warungs in Canggu that have a buffet style menu where you can “build your own plate” consisting of choices between large amount of veggie options, meat options and vegetarian/vegan protein options, accompanied with some rice or noodles of course. After trying out many warungs, we must say these are some of our personal favourites:
- Varuna Warung – One of the most popular warungs in Canggu, you will rarely find this place empty. Order from one of the many delicious items of the buffet (meat and veggie options), or opt for a nasi or mie goreng from the menu instead!
- Warung Local – Another buffet style warung that has many meat, fish, and plenty of veggie options. We personally love coming here for the crisp and fresh vegetables, and just like Varuna Warung it will be a rare occasion to find this warung completely empty!
- Warung Ambara – The main reason we love coming here is for the delicious lime juice and the incredibly fluffy pancakes topped with banana and syrup, what better way to start your day right? Besides breakfast Warung Ambara also serves lunch and dinner and plenty of savoury breakfast options!
Warungs, especially the ones mentioned above, are often a lot more affordable then the cafes, great if you are traveling Bali on a budget. A dinner at one of the above mentioned warungs for two, including softdrinks, often cost us around IDR 100,000 ($7.16). Another restaurant definitely worth mentioning, especially if you are vegan is Oma Jamu. Not only do they serve some of the most amazing burgers, but from lunch to dinner they serve an amazing vegan buffet with some of the tastiest vegetables I’ve ever had!
And there you have it, everything you need to make your visit to Canggu a guaranteed success! From relaxing at the beach, sipping coffee at one of the many cafes or getting up for sun rise at the rice fields, Canggu will keep you busy for sure! We are already planning our next visit to Canggu, so if you have any recommendations for this list, be sure to tell us in the comment section down below. And just in case you are looking for some more tips and tricks, or perhaps some Bali travel inspiration be sure to check out one of our many other articles:
- Bali for first timers: 21 Things to know before you go!
- The ultimate Bali bucket list: 80+ things to do in Bali
- Bali visa extension – Everything you need to know
- 11 Amazing things to do in Ubud