Home to Bali’s most stunning sunrises, best water sports activities, and gateway to the famous Nusa islands, is the one and only Sanur.

This seaside haven is notoriously overlooked but is the best place to stay for the perfect blend of tourism and a local community feel.

Over the years it has maintained its special fisherman’s town charm while offering an affordable variety of accommodation options for travellers.

Is it better to stay in Sanur: Northern, Central, or Southern End

Sanur is a relatively small beach town, but when you're thinking of where to stay in Sanur it’s best divided into 3 separate areas because they all cater to different things.

Deciding where to stay between northern, central, or southern Sanur is simply based on what you're looking for on your holiday!

Northern Sanur

This is where you'll want to stay if you're choosing Sanur because of its convenient port location!

I'd only recommend staying in this area if you're just basing yourself in Sanur to explore the nearby Nusa Islands or to kitesurf at Padang Galak Beach.

Otherwise, it's a bit further away from the main strip of Sanur and doesn't have the same appeal as the other areas.

Central Sanur

Central Sanur is the place to be if you want to be amidst all the boutique shops and dining experiences. This is where the main street Jalan Danau Tamblingan is, and where you’ll likely spend most of your time.

I find this to be a very favourable area, as you’re right in the middle of things, but still close enough to the ferry terminal and the best beaches Sanur has to offer.

Southern Sanur

And then you have the southern end of Sanur, a bit more upscale where you’ll find the most picturesque beaches, including Mertasari Beach and Cemara Beach.

This area has plenty of restaurants as well, along with the more luxurious Sanur accommodation options. If you’re looking for a more high-end stay, I would go with staying along this stretch of beaches.

Where to Stay In Sanur

When it comes to deciding where to stay in Sanur, there is a great range of options for everyone.

There are Sanur resorts that cater to families, private villas for couples, or budget-friendly options for long-term stays!

Best Luxury Hotels in Sanur

Andaz Bali

Located right on the beach of Sanur, you will find the little oasis of Andaz Bali. This luxury hotel is beautiful and tranquil, as well as kid friendly.

There are plenty of spacious sand areas with toys for children to play with, and the resort offers bikes to hire onsite as well.

The staff’s level of service, large rooms, and convenient location here are sure to exceed your expectations!

Andaz Bali

Expect welcome drinks and frozen towels to cool down from Bali’s heat upon arriving at this 5-star hotel in Sanur.

It’s spotlessly clean with unique architecture, and has some of the most comfortable beds on the island!

Bikes here are free to use, but you’ll only be just a 5-minute walk away from the nearby beaches, bars, and restaurants.

Klumpu Bali Resort

The Hyatt Regency is one of Sanur’s hotels on the beachfront and is the perfect place for couples to have a romantic getaway.

It’s private and quiet, and even offers extensive wellness facilities including a spa, gym, and sauna.

This beautiful resort even has 3 outdoor pools and 3 dining options, including drinks and live entertainment at the Piano Lounge.

Hyatt Regency Bali

Another one of Sanur’s beach hotels is the beautiful Tandjung Sari Hotel.

If you’re looking for a simple, boutique experience, with amazing sunrise views, where you can enjoy breakfast on the beach, then this is the place to stay.

Between the charming bungalows, private beach, and incredible cuisines, you will be in heaven staying here!

Tandjung Sari Hotel

Best Villa in Sanur

Villa Campung Kecil

These traditionally designed, 200-year-old villas come with beautiful interiors, giving you the most authentic Balinese feel for your stay.

The grounds they are kept on are in meticulous conditions with a large lap pool to enjoy. This place is a true hidden gem for visitors, where you will feel safe, comfortable, and like you're in your own secret oasis.

Villa Kampung Kecil

Mid-Range Sanur Accommodation

The Pavilions Bali

These villas are located right on the main street of Sanur, but the resort is so peaceful you would almost never even notice!

Within just a few minutes walk you'll be amongst all the restaurants, bars, and shops Sanur has to offer.

The Pavilions also offers a poolside cafe and bar, a spa onsite, along with a well-equipped fitness centre for you to enjoy during your stay!

The Pavilions Bali

The Griya Santrian is one of the best hotels in Sanur, located right along the cycling/walking path that stretches along the coastline.

The resort has a beautiful pool with a swim-up bar that guests love!

You can expect naturally lit, spacious rooms, an onsite restaurant with beach views, and on certain nights live entertainment.

Griya Santrian

Upon arriving at The Alantara Sanur you will be greeted with a plate of fresh fruit and treated to a 10 min. neck and shoulder massage, setting the tone for your perfect holiday.

The staff here is sure to make you feel like family from the minute you arrive, taking the time to get to know you, and making sure all your needs are met.

The resort is set just a bit back from the beach, but they also offer car and bike rentals right on the property, along with a free shuttle service upon request!

The Alantara Sanur

Maya Sanur Resort and Spa is one of the nicer, more luxurious accommodation options in the area.

There is everything you could need here for a relaxing stay including four on-site restaurants and bars, a beautiful spa, a yoga studio, and a tour desk to plan any desired adventures.

The resort also offers activities at the property like canoeing, snorkelling, and cooking classes!

Maya Sanur Resort & Spa Bali

Best Budget Hotels in Sanur

Bebek Cottages Sanur

These cottages are known as one of the best-kept secrets of Sanur!

The architecture is mesmerising, with beautiful lush gardens, and the property is only a 5-10 minute walk away from the beach.

If you’re looking for the feel of a more boutique, homestay in Sanur then Bebek Cottages are the perfect place!

The 101 Bali Oasis

This is a great accommodation option in Sanur if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, but still good value for money.

They offer 24-hour room service, private balconies, and in-house spa services.

There is also the Cafe de Dapoer onsite serving Asian and international cuisines, with a bar overlooking the hotel’s beautiful lagoon pool!


Artotel is one of the more unique places to stay in Sanur because unlike the other accommodation listed, this one has a stunning rooftop pool!

Just a 2 minutes stroll from the beach, this hotel has a much more modern spacious design, with rooms filled with different pieces of artwork.

They also offer a plentiful breakfast buffet every morning which guests love!

Is Sanur Worth Visiting?

Sanur is definitely one of the most underrated places to stay in Bali!

It is the perfect base for exploring the island, and with less traffic, you’ll find it’s much more laid back than the bustling areas of Canggu or Kuta.

People on the island often refer to it as “sleepy Sanur ” for a reason! Because of this, this area typically attracts families, or travellers looking for something a bit more low-key.

But don’t let that mislead you, Sanur has its own buzz, with incredible restaurants, and bars with live music when you’re looking for a fun night out!

There’s a great balance here for everyone, which is why I find it to be one of the most attractive places to base yourself on a trip to Bali.

It’s easy to get around everywhere, and you’re able to enjoy a more traditional Bali experience, intertwined with all the luxuries and comforts of tourism.

How to Get To and Around Sanur

Sanur is just a 30 minutes drive from the airport, where transport services should cost you around IDR 200,000-250,000 (USD 12-16).

I always book ahead as that gives me the peace of mind that someone is there waiting for me. Booking ahead could also get you a cheaper rate.

Book your Bali airport transport here.

A lot of times your accommodation will also be helpful in organising a driver for you. Otherwise, it's easy to get a taxi or Gojek (the equivalent of an Uber) at the airport as well.

Once you’re in Sanur, getting around is easy! If you’re staying along the beach or on Jalan Danau Tamblingan street, you’ll be able to conveniently walk wherever you need to go.

But if you’re looking to explore further outside this quaint seaside town, you’ll want to hire a scooter, or use Gojek.

If you don’t feel comfortable driving a scooter, I highly recommend using Gojek! It’s super cheap and easy, and these drivers know their way around crazy, high trafficked areas.

How Many Days to Stay in Sanur

How much time you spend in Sanur really is a personal choice! For me, it was easy to spend a month there, as it felt like home and was the perfect place to base myself to go on other adventures.

But you could also spend 3 days in Sanur and leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. I wouldn’t necessarily do a day trip to Sanur, as I think to get a good feel for its laid-back vibe, you should at least try to stay for a couple of days.

If you are planning to stay long-term in Bali, maybe for 2 weeks or more, then Sanur is a great place to call home!

It’s an easy spot to settle in because things do move at a slower pace, and it’s much less westernised than the other tourist destinations.

It’s also still a very central place to explore other areas of Bali like Uluwatu, Ubud, or Canggu, and then of course the Nusa islands!

Best Things to Do in Sanur

There are plenty of activities to keep you busy in Sanur including the typical things you should do in Bali like souvenir shopping or getting a massage.

However, here are some activities unique to Sanur that you should check out during your stay!


The beaches of Sanur are some of the most popular places in Bali to do watersports.

The conditions here are great for kitesurfing, parasailing, jet skiing, banana boats, etc. You can also ask one of the local fishermen to take you out for a catch!


Sanur isn’t necessarily known for having the most stunning beaches in Bali, however, it is known for having the most incredible sunrise.

If you’re looking to witness pure magic to start your morning, head to the beach early for an amazing sunrise!

The Promenade

Not many other spots in Bali have such a scenic, well-paved promenade along the beach.

Whether you’re looking to go for a long stroll, jog, or cycle, this is a great feature for those looking to stay active on their beach holiday!

Sea Turtle Release

This was one of the best things I did in Bali, and it was organised by the Genius Cafe in Sanur.

This typically happens between June and August, but stop by the cafe and they will be able to tell you when the next one is happening! It is a great activity for everyone to do, including families with young children.

Kite Festival

The Bali Kites Festival is an exciting event that usually takes place between July and August, where hundreds of kites of all different shapes and sizes will fill the sky!

But even if you’re not there during the kites festival, don’t worry, you will see plenty of beautiful kites flying throughout your stay in Sanur.

Sindhu Night Market

This is Sanur’s night market, and a great activity to do if you’re looking to experience how the locals live.

It opens around 5pm every night of the week, and is where you’ll find the cheapest, most delicious Bali food!

Pod Chocolate (now Junglegold Bali)

Pod Chocolate is all over Bali and is very well known! They’ve recently rebranded to become Junglegold Bali, however, you’ll still hear it referred to as both brands.

Sanur has its own local shop which offers a big selection with great prices, and you can even do a free chocolate tasting!

Can You Swim at Sanur Beach?

You can, and should, swim at Sanur beach! You’ll just have to take into consideration the tides, where low tide isn’t good for swimming but at high tide, you're able to.

The waves aren't breaking onshore but at an outer reef, so it’s always very calm conditions and great for relaxing on the water.

Should You Choose Sanur, Nusa Dua, or Seminyak?

Each of these 3 locations are great places to spend your time in Bali, but they are all quite different from one another!

Out of the 3, Sanur is the best place to go if you’re looking for a more authentic Balinese experience at a great price point. It has all the conveniences of the other locations but at a slower pace, with more cultural aspects.

Nusa Dua is known for its grand, luxurious resorts, and to be a bit more expensive than Sanur or Seminyak.

Here you won’t have many interactions with locals, and it feels like a more exclusive experience. If you’re looking for a beautiful resort to spend your days relaxing poolside, then this may be a good fit.

Seminyak typically attracts younger backpackers with lower budgets and is a bit busier than the other 2 areas.

The beaches here are very popular for surfing, more lively, and a great place to be social. Here you’ll find plenty of spots to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand, and dance the night away!

Sanur vs Seminyak

If island hopping, fun activities, and delicious restaurants are what you’re looking for, then Sanur is where you want to go.

It has all the comforts of tourism without losing what makes Bali so special, and without all the crazy traffic!

Families, couples, and young backpackers will all benefit from choosing Sanur as their next holiday destination.

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