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Why Canggu is so popular right now!

Hip, happening and vibrant Canggu place is booming with cool cafes, amazing day spas, many boutique shops and fabulous markets.

For those regular travellers to Bali who stay in the Canggu or Seminyak area, you will probably have noticed a massive shift in the ‘gentrification’ for want of a better word in Canggu.

It’s now becoming extremely hip, cool, trendy, whatever you want to call it, the place is now super cool with lots to see, do and of course, great places to hang out with the family or your mates and enjoy the cafes, beach life and party scene.

Open rice fields have now been replaced with trendy cafes, bars, restaurants, day spas, yoga retreats, health food shops, fashion boutiques and luxury Bali villas. Canggu is now evolving very quickly into another Seminyak. I guess this had to happen, given the popularity of the Canggu area and its proximity to Seminyak and the beach.

With tourist numbers increasing and the overcrowding of the Seminyak / Petitenget area, Canggu has been handling not only the overflow of tourists but also those holidaymakers looking for a quieter holiday experience whilst still being within a 15-20 minute drive from all the action.

Seminyak is still the hot spot for nightlife and shopping in Bali, but a recent drive to Canggu has shown that the place is becoming extremely ‘hip’ with local ex-pats and tourists from all over the world preferring to dine, stay and play in Canggu.

The evolution of the Canggu area started with the opening of the Potato Head Club in the Petitenget area as well as the opening of the Finns Recreation Club in Berawa. These two cool icons brought the focus of attention away from Seminyak and further north, and this has not stopped with the opening of Cafe Del Mar in Batu Belig and Atlas Beach Fest in Berawa. Visitors who make Canggu their holiday destination find they have everything they need and rarely venture out of the area.

In terms of being hip, trending, happening and very popular among all kinds of travellers, Canggu is catching up quickly, but is Canggu the new Seminyak? Not really, the 2 have different souls, but both are truly wonderful places to rent a villa and spend an unforgettable Bali holiday.

Also read: The Ultimate Travel Guide To Canggu, Bali

Where is Canggu?

It’s on the west coast of Bali, approximately 45 45-minute taxi ride from the airport and 20 min from Seminyak. It starts where Berawa finishes, and Seseh Beach commences. Look at the map below to get a clearer idea of where it is and how close it is to the traditional tourist areas.

Is Canggu the new Seminyak?

Canggu is where it’s at!

While Seminyak remains ever-changing and fashionable with the buzzing Eat Street,  the iconic beach clubs and shopping districts, Canggu is undeniably cool and trendsetting, with boutique shops, yoga studios, beach clubs and bars opening up their doors every month. Canggu is growing so fast that it’s hard to keep track of it. Hipster cafes, new family hang-outs, party places, and spas, many of them with fabulous rice field views; Canggu has a certain kind of magic with busy and quiet areas to explore. From laid-back Berawa to the epi-centre of tourism on Batu Bolong Street and just a tiny bit up north to peaceful Pererenan, you could say Canggu has something for everyone, making it an extraordinary place here on the island of Bali.

Canggu crowds

Canggu attracts a more eclectic crowd compared to Seminyak. It’s more like a mixture of what you’d find in Ubud and Seminyak. There are surfers, yogis, backpackers and health food lovers, as well as families, romantic couples and youngsters looking for nightlife and beach fun. Not to forget the many ex-pats living in Canggu and the digital nomads looking for ways to make Canggu their new home.

canggu is the new seminyak

Canggu has an eclectic crowd looking for fun in the sun. Photo Credit: @ sandbar_official – Instagram

The best of Seminyak & Canggu in one Bali holiday

What’s even better, Seminyak is just a short drive away so you won’t even have to choose – you can see both beach towns in one holiday (although you’ll never have enough time to try out all of the cafes and restaurants – there are just too many!). If you rent a scooter and familiarize yourself with the shortcuts, you can drive from Batu Bolong Street in Canggu to Petitenget in Seminyak in just 15 minutes. You’ll be driving through rice fields and fabulous cafe streets, and who doesn’t love to be on the road, exploring new places?

Canggu vs Seminyak… we all know Seminyak so well, but what do we love about Canggu?

Canggu is great for surfing!

Seminyak and Canggu have good surfing waves and schools, but if you came to Bali to surf (not just for 1 or 2 lessons for fun), you’d want to stay in Canggu. The waves are more challenging, and there are many more surf beaches to explore than in Seminyak. Canggu has always been a surf hot spot, even before all the cafes and restaurants started popping up in the rice fields. The beaches have black volcanic sand, and the sunsets are just stunning. Surfers are in the water from sunrise to sunset; it is a surf beach town with a laid-back vibe, as to where Seminyak is more sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

Canggu could be seen as a young and wild sister of Seminyak or Ubud by the beach.

Ubud always was the spiritual yoga centre of Bali, but many of those yogis have packed up and moved to Canggu, where they can not only practise yoga from the view of rice fields and eat organic food straight from the farm, but they can also learn how to surf. Canggu has great yoga studios, including Samadi Bali, Joga Yoga, The Practice and many more. There are also many yoga wear shops and health food restaurants with organic, raw and vegan options. At the same time, the nightlife is ON with beach parties at The SandBar, ecstatic dance, nightclubs ( Lost City at Echo Beach, Vault in Berawa, Pretty Poison at the top of the Canggu shortcut, The Lawn on Batu Bolong Beach and  La Brisa at Echo beach ), underground grunge punk rock houses like Black Cat  ( which is inside a mini-mart) – whatever you are looking for, you’ll find it in Canggu.

Co-working spaces

Canggu is a refuge for digital nomads, and many co-working cafes serve great coffee. Places with fast wifi, nice views, chill-out music, friendly staff and good vibes. Great places to meet fellow travellers and catch up on some work. Dojo Bali, E space, Crate Cafe, Outpost, Matra Co-Working and more.

Health Food Shops

There are many health food shops in Canggu where you can stock up on all your nuts, dates, oats, granola mixes, cold-pressed oils, vegan and gluten-free foods, jams, honey – etc. – the list goes on and on. Head to Samadi, Bali Buddha, The Canggu Shop and even  Frestive or Pepito Supermarkets for some decent food.

Day Spas

If there’s something Canggu has, then it’s day spas. Not quite at the level of Seminyak, but the race is on. Canggu is certainly producing some fabulous day spas such as Goldust ( where the girls can have facials with real 24K gold), Spring Day Spa ( they have one in Seminyak ), AMO in Batu Bolong, Flow in Berawa & MYNX on Jalan Nelayan, Therapy at Echo Beach. So gals, if it’s day spas you want, Canggu can deliver!

Related post: 9 best day spas in Canggu for the girls

goldust breauty lounge canggu

Enjoy a 24K gold facial at Goldust in Canggu. Photo Credit: @ goldustbali – Instagram

Fabulous cafes

What can we say except that Canggu is cafe heaven? From Parachute and Milk and Madu in Berawa to Mason and The Common in Batu Bolong to Copenhagen & Give in Jalan Batu Mejan, there are more cafes here than in any part of the island. Most of them are child-friendly, but you’ll soon discover that the ‘digital nomads’ have discovered these cafes and spend the day here sipping their lattes while working. Cafes are popping up all the time to cater for the huge demand. So, if you love your coffee and hanging in cafes with your mates, you’ll love Canggu.

Related post: Top Cafes in Canggu – sip lattes with the hipsters

copenhagen cafe canggu

You’ll love the cafe culture in Canggu. Photo credit: @ copenhagencanggu – Instagram

Weekend markets and shopping

Canggu is bursting with them! From the artisan, the organic farmers market at Samadi every Sunday, the daily trendy market at Love Anchor on Batu Bolong Street, and the weekly events at Tamora Gallery. There are many colourful markets to explore where you can buy beautiful things such as natural cosmetics, jewellery, clothing, homeware items and more directly from the maker or artist.

Villas for everyone

It is true; there is a villa for everyone, every budget and every holiday wish in Canggu. They’re all over the place, from beachfront and extremely luxurious to traditional, cozy, and affordable. We have many villas for rent in Canggu that represent real value for money. Talk to our villa experts and reservation team to find out more and track down the perfect Canggu island home for you.


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About the author

Steven is a die-hard Bali island addict and committed surfie. When he's not writing or taking videos of the latest restaurants or cool places, he's at Echo Beach surfing or riding his scooter around Seminyak, Berawa or Canggu. Steve is part of the Bali Villa Escapes marketing team and has been living in and out of Bali for the last 15 years.