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Welcome to my Sanur travel guide. Inside you’ll find everything you need to know about Sanur, like where to stay, how to get around, things to do in Sanur, where to eat and answers to FAQs.
Sanur is undoubtedly one of my favourite places to visit in Bali. Sitting on Bali’s eastern coast, it’s a lot more chill than its western counterparts like Kuta and Canggu. The beach is also calm compared to the western surf beaches. Some people may be turned off by the chill vibes, but I personally love them.
Recently, I stayed in Sanur for a month, so I feel like I know the area well enough to compile this comprehensive Sanur travel guide. I answer all your burning questions so you can plan the best trip to Sanur in Bali. Let’s go!
When to visit Sanur?
The best time to visit Sanur is during the dry season – April to October. June to August is when you’ll find the least amount of humidity and rainfall and this is when I visited.
Where to stay in Sanur
I have an entire Sanur accommodation guide that features the best Sanur hotels and homestays. But here are my top recommendations:
- Budget: You can rent a room at Ari Putri for under $50 AUD per night, which includes a buffet breakfast. There are also two onsite pools and room service.
- Mid-range: I really liked my time at Sari Villa Sanur Beach. It’s a short walk from both the main street and beach, has a pool and I loved that my room had a spacious private courtyard.
- Luxurious: Maya Sanur is my top pick. Every time I walked past it I got jealous!
How do you get around Sanur Bali?
Sanur is a very walkable area. There’s one main street – Jalan Danau Tamblingan, which runs parallel to the beach. But if you’re not walking, here are some suggestions:
- You can rent a scooter for about $7 AUD a day. Ask at your hotel and I’m sure they’ll either organise it for you or point you in the right direction.
- Rent a bike. We’ve found that scooters and cars on the main street will happily go around you when riding on the main street. Once again, ask about bike rental at your hotel.
- Get a taxi. You’ll quickly get used to taxis honking at you in Sanur. I recommend looking out for Bluebird taxis with metres. If you hop in a different taxi, make sure they turn the metre on. If they don’t, I pretend to get out and they usually change their tune.
- Download Grab and Gojek. My trip in 2023 was my first time using Grab and Gojek and I used them all the time for both transport and food. It’s such an easy and affordable way to get around Bali. You can also choose between cars and scooters.
- Hop in the Bemo. While in Sanur, if you see an open green van driving up and down the main street honking at you, that’s actually another transport option. Barter with the driver and then hop into the mini-bus and he’ll take you where you want to go. I wouldn’t pay more than 10 to 20k per person if you’re just going up or down the main street.
- Private transfer. Locals will call out to you as you walk down the main street asking if you want transport. You can go with one of their offers or rent private transport.
Sanur travel guide – general travel tips
Let’s start this Sanur travel guide with these general Sanur travel tips to make your trip even better:
Getting from the airport to Sanur
You can either ask your hotel to organise transport for you (most will offer this as an additional charge) or you can book an airport taxi through Booking.com. Family friends did this on a recent trip and recommended the service. I’ve never gotten a taxi from the airport – I’ve always organised transport in advance to save the hassle. I wouldn’t pay more than 250k IDR.
If you’re in Sanur for an extended amount of time or think you’ll use Grab/Gojek to visit other places, I definitely recommend getting a local SIM card. Several local shops sell them (I went to the kiosk outside Arta Sedena) and it should cost between $10 and $15 AUD. While most hotels and restaurants have WiFi, I did like having this SIM card as a backup. You’ll just need to take your passport (or a photograph of it) with you.
I’ve also used Klook before. You can get a Bali SIM card delivered to your hotel or meet them at the airport and they do everything for you. It’s very affordable and I highly recommend checking out Klook while in Bali.
Drinking tap water in Bali is not recommended. Lots of shops sell big bottles of water (like five to 20L) depending on how long you’re staying. The ice in Bali is now government-regulated, so you can comfortably enjoy your ice-cold drink.
Bargaining and I are not friends. I am a people pleaser who hates confrontation, so bartering is basically my worst nightmare. One trick I will tell you though is to have an amount in mind. You can even go to Arta Sedana and check out the prices to get an idea. Start below and then pretend to walk away if they won’t meet you at your set amount. If they want the sale, they won’t let you leave. Otherwise, you can just do what I do and visit a fixed-price shop. Jenny at Sindhu Beach Market is our go-to.
Tipping in Balli and Sanur is always appreciated. However, most places now include a service charge on your bill.
Once upon a time, cash was king in Bali. Now, cash is still great for taxis, mini-marts and shops. But most restaurants also have card facilities. I predominantly used my card during my 2023 trip.
Things to do in Sanur Bali
Wondering what to do in Sanur? Now, you could easily spend your entire trip just relaxing by the pool and eating delicious food. But seeing as this is a comprehensive Sanur travel guide… if you want to get out and about, here are my suggestions for the best things to do in Sanur.
Visit Sanur beaches
The beach in Sanur is one of the best in Bali. While it’s one long strip of coastline, beaches in Sanur do have different names, depending on where you are. This includes Sanur Beach (Pantai Sanur Bali), Cemara Beach and Sindhu Beach. While at the beach, you can swim, enjoy water sports, dine at one of Sanur’s best restaurants, get a massage or relax. You’ll find several locals renting chairs for lounging if you’re not staying at one of Sanur’s beachfront hotels.
See the sunrise
Sanur is on Bali’s east coast, so you can watch the sunrise over the ocean if you like. This is Sanur Beach in Bali at sunset, which I think is still pretty.
Walk along the beach
I became obsessed with the new beachfront walking path along Sanur Beach Bali. Clocking it at around five kilometres, it stretches from one end to the bottom. Local businesses keep it clean and there are several areas where cyclists and pedestrians are separated. Don’t miss out!
Visit Sindhu Beach Market
If you want to do some local shopping in Sanur, head to Sindhu Beach Market. The shopowners can be a little much at times, but I recommend visiting Jenny’s store because it’s fixed price but very reasonable.
Some other Sanur shopping stops I recommend include Filthy Gorgeous Accessories for very affordable but high-quality silver jewellery. Arta Sedana also has everything you could want: shoes, toys, souvenirs and clothing included.
Now, there are a few places you can do yoga classes in Sanur. But Sanur Beach hosts what I assume is a free morning yoga class that both locals and visitors attend. I walked past it numerous times and while the instructor spoke through a microphone in Indonesian, everyone seemed to be following along.
Do a day trip
Here are some of the best Sanur day trips to the Nusa islands and beyond:
- This is the Nusa Penida day trip I’ve personally done with GetYour Guide. I’m assuming Nusa Penida looks a little different these days, but this was a great way to see the top sights, including Angel’s Billabong and Kelingking Beach.
- Swim with manta rays around Nusa Penida.
- Do a snorkelling trip around Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan.
- Rent a private driver and make your own day trip to Ubud, Canggu, Uluwatu or Nusa Dua – you name it!
- Enjoy an East Bali day tour that includes snorkelling, canyoning and waterfall-ing.
Do a cooking class
Want to learn how to cook traditional Indonesian food? Visit Sanur Cooking Class.
Get a day pass
Check out these hotels in Sanur that offer a day pass, so you can use their pool and have a little holiday within your holiday!
- Prama Sanur Beach has a day package that includes a room, food and pool access.
- Akana Sanur also has a day pass package that includes room use.
Attend the Bali Kite Festival
The renowned Bali Kite Festival is held annually on Sanur’s beachfront every July. I’ve visited once and when I say giant kites, I mean giant! We’re talking four metres in width and 10 metres in length. Villages from around Denpasar make the traditional kites and fly them in competitions. It’s truly a sight to see.
Relax at a spa
The Nest Beachside Spa is undoubtedly Sanur’s most popular spa. If you want something a little bit more affordable but luxurious, I personally recommend The Beach Spa & Cafe. Plus, after your treatment, you can relax beside the onsite swimming pool. Another option is to get a private massage.
Visit Sindhu Night Market
If you want to try different Bali and Indonesian food, head to Sindhu Night Market. It’s open every night and there are lots of locals (like up to 350 sellers) selling traditional cuisine at bargain prices. Plus, the local government has recently renovated the market and ensures that health and safety are a top priority, making both sellers and visitors feel comfortable. They want the market to remain a top Sanur tourist attraction.
What to do in Sanur at night
Sanur nightlife isn’t as electric as the beach clubs in Canggu. But here are some options:
- Enjoy live music at Casablanca or The Wicked Parrot.
- Have a romantic date night at the Tree Bar.
- Have a night out at the Sanur Beer Garden.
- Enjoy happy hour at Byrdhouse Beach Club, which is a little bit more expensive than my typical Bali budget. But if you’re looking for a place to watch the sunset on Sanur Beach, it’s a top choice. Personally, I recommend the happy hour at Sand Beach Bar & Restaurant. It’s buy one get one free cocktails for about $10 AUD. My mum loves the mango daiquiri, while I’m team vodka sunrise.
Where to eat and drink in Sanur
Check out my Sanur foodie guide for 30 Sanur restaurants, bars and cafes. But here are my top picks:
- Mona Lisa has affordable Indonesian food and the friendliest staff.
- The Hive does delicious kebabs. Like so delicious I still think about them!
- Over the Moon was a really cool space with lots of different items on the menu. This includes Oreo waffles for breakfast and nasi goreng for lunch.
- Yes, the gelato at Massimo is worth the wait. Plus it’s super cheap ($2 AUD for two scoops).
Sanur Travel Guide – Frequently Asked Questions
The final piece of my Sanur travel guide puzzle. Let me answer all your burning questions!
Is Sanur in Bali worth visiting?
Yes, I think Sanur is definitely worth visiting. It’s got a beautiful beach (complete with a walking path) and great bars and restaurants.
Which is better: Ubud or Sanur?
Ubud and Sanur have very different vibes. Sanur is a beachside area while Ubud is in central Bali, surrounded by rice terraces, temples and rainforest. While I personally prefer Sanur because I like the beach and think it’s a lot less hectic than Ubud, I’ll let you decide which is better.
Is it better to stay in Kuta or Sanur?
I wholeheartedly believe it’s better to stay in Sanur over Kuta. I visited Kuta this year and I didn’t like the vibe. The shopowners were very pushy, it was as full of Aussies as it always has been and there were also a lot of closed businesses. The only reason I’d go to Kuta is to do some shopping or go to the movies at Beachwalk Mall.
Is Sanur better than Nusa Dua?
I haven’t been to Nusa Dua in years, but when I previously visited it I found it to be very resort-heavy. So personally, I think Sanur is better than Nusa Dua.
How many days do you need in Sanur?
This is a hard question to answer. While you could just do a Sanur day trip from another area in Bali and spend your day walking along the beach and perusing the shops on the main street, you could also spend a week soaking up the best of Sanur.
Which part of Sanur is best?
I think the best part of Sanur is around Arta Sedana Sanur. This will put you right in the heart of the action. While I’ve stayed at Ari Putri Hotel, I think that end of Sanur is a bit too far away from the best restaurants in Sanur. I also don’t recommend staying along the highway, as you miss out on the beach (the best part).
Can you walk around Sanur?
You absolutely can walk around Sanur. I spent weeks only walking around Sanur. The footpaths are okay along the main street and there’s a spacious walking path stretching from one end of the beach to the other.
How long does it take from Sanur to Seminyak?
Depending on traffic, it can take between 30 and 40 minutes to get from Sanur to Seminyak. They are located on opposite coasts of Bali.
What is the main street in Sanur?
Sanur’s main street is called Jalan Danau Tamblingan. It runs parallel to the beach and stretches for 2.5 kilometres. It’s lined on both sides with shops, spas, bars, restaurants and hotels.
Can we swim in Sanur Beach?
Yes, you can definitely swim in Sanur Beach. The water is beautiful clear and calm, so it’s perfect for swimming compared to Bali’s surf beaches.
Is Sanur a nice area?
Yes, I think Sanur is a nice area. The main street has everything you could need, there are beautiful hotels and the beach is well-maintained.
Is Sanur good for families?
On my recent trip to Sanur, I spent time with family friends with a toddler and I think they’d agree that Sanur is a great place in Bali for families. They stayed at the Prama Hotel, which had two pools (one equipped with waterslides) and onsite restaurants. Maya Sanur Resort is another option with a kids’ club. Every time we dined out, the restaurants were very accommodating with high chairs and kid menus.
How safe is Sanur in Bali?
As a solo traveller, I felt very safe in Sanur. I wouldn’t walk along the beach in the dark (did that once, do not recommend it), but I felt very comfortable walking along the main street at night by myself. There are so many restaurants and people milling about. But as always, be aware of your surroundings and your personal belongings (I always use a crossbody bag in Bali).
Ultimate Sanur travel guide
I hope my ultimate Sanur travel guide helps you plan your trip to Sanur. Have an amazing time! Click here for my Bali travel guide, Bali packing list and my Bali solo travel tips. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave a comment or DM me on Facebook or Instagram.