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Canggu is the new Seminyak, here’s why

Hip, happening and vibrant Canggu; the place is booming with cool cafes, amazing day spas, lots of 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 it’s close proximity to Seminyak and the beach.

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

Seminyak is still by far the hot spot when it comes to nightlife and shopping in Bali but a recent drive to Canggu has shown that the place is becoming extremely ‘hip’ with local expats and tourist 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. For those visitors that make Canggu their holiday destination, they find that they have everything there they need and rarely venture out of the area.

In terms of being hip, trending, happening and very popular among all kinds of travellers, yes, Canggu is catching up quickly but is Canggu the new Seminyak? Not really, the 2 have a different soul 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 min taxi ride from the airport and 20 min from Seminyak. It starts where Berawa finishes and Seseh Beach commences. Have a look at the map below to get a clearer idea of where it is and how close it really is to the traditional tourist areas.

Is Canggu the new Seminyak?

Canggu is where it’s at!

While Seminyak remains ever changing 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, it’s hard to keep track of it. Hipster cafes, new family hang-outs, party places, spas and 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 and that makes it a very special 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 expats living in Canggu and the digital nomads who are 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 you 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!

Both Seminyak and Canggu have good surfing waves and surf schools but if you came to Bali to surf (not just for 1 or 2 lessons for the fun of it), you’ll definitely want to be staying in Canggu. The waves are more challenging and there are many more surf beaches to explore compared to Seminyak. Canggu has always been a surf hot spots, even before all of 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 really 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 to 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, daily events at Old Mans, ecstatic dance, night clubs ( Lost City at Echo Beach, Vault in Berawa, Pretty Poison at the top of the Canggu short cut, 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 there are many co-working cafes serving 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.

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 and 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 & 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 Betelnut 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

Canggu is bursting with them! From the artisan, organic farmers market at Samadi every Sunday to the daily trendy market at Love Anchor on Batu Bolong Street, the weekly events at Tamora Gallery and the monthly market at Old Mans. There are many colourful markets to explore where you can buy beautiful things such as natural cosmetics, jewellery, clothing, homeware items and more direct 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. From beachfront and extremely luxurious to traditional, cozy, affordable and they’re all over the place. 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.

steven waldberg founder of Bali villa escapes

This post was updated on 20th March 2020 by Steven Waldberg one of the marketing team of Bali Villa escapes who has a love affair with both Canggu and Seminyak. Having spent most of his days between the two areas he’s very qualified to speak on the subject of Canggu v’s Seminyak. He can be found surfing at Echo Beach in Canggu in the morning or updating this website at the Corner House cafe in Seminyak. Guess you could say he’s torn between the two hot spots.