Information before you go
Sanur Bali is a very relaxed place, it lacks the hustle and bustle of Kuta beach and is not so uptight as the strip of hotels in Nusa Dua. It has one of the biggest and finest stretches of beach on Bali and has a nice palm-fringed pathway along the beach for jogging, cycling or strolling for miles on end.
Post card picture beaches of Sanur
While big Sanur hotels have been built along the beach they are mostly owned by local Balinese families through a cooperation resulting is a small scale character and relaxed atmosphere. If you look beyond the beach you will soon see areas where local people live making Sanur very different to other villages in South Bali.
We like staying in Sanur for a couple of days especially on our first or last days in Bali as it is only a 20 minutes (if traffic is normal) to the airport.
Sanur is one of Bali's the first tourist villages and today it is still very popular, mostly popular among Europeans who have outgrown the party scene.
Breakwaters at Sanur and Gunung Agung in the distance
In 1966 ex-president Sukarno built the Miami-styled hotel Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel with repatriation money from the Japanese government. This ugly building has 9 stories, a bowling alley, nine-hole golf course and a huge swimming pool.
Sukarno even trucked in golden coral sand to cover the black sand, which had formed from the volcanic shores over centuries. To keep the sand in place a breakwater was built with a helicopter-pad at the end.
Lady selling snacks along Sanur beach ...
Now Sanur beach has several breakwaters to trap the sand and here you have a good view on the waterfront activity with a fleet of colorful fishermen boats, snorkellers, parasailers and surfers.
On the other side of the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel you can find the Pura Dalem Kedewatan temple. Here colorful ceremonies and offerings take place throughout the year.
It’s very easy to find your way around Sanur. The only two main streets to remember are Jalan Danau Tamblingan which runs into Jalan Mertasari after the crossroad and the perfect walk path along the beach which is wheelchair friendly too.
That is all you need to know when you are in Sanur, so no struggle with maps or asking directions.
Sanur stretches itself out along the 5km beach and faces a stunning sunrise every morning on the east-coast with a view on Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and the majestic volcano Gunung Agung. If you are an early riser and like to do some jogging or cycling, the walk path along the beach provides the ideal way to get to know the area.
When you’re on the walk path along the beaches of Sanur you’ll notice the souvenir shops, the “hey mister-you-want-massage” ladies and lots of restaurants and beach front hotels.
The Sanur beach path ideal for jogging, cycling and for
those with a disability riding electrical carts
The only high rise hotel on Bali, the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel is situated at the northern end of this walk path together. Not far from this hotel you have the small harbor at Jalan HangTuah where fishermen come ashore every morning after a night out fishing.
Parallel to the beach front hotels in Sanur runs Jalan Danau Tamblingan with on one side the hotel entrances with restaurants and across the street more souvenir shops, boutiques, travel guides and bars with live music.
Hardy's supermarket at Jalan Tamblingan
There are plenty of cash machines along Jalan Danau Tamblingan and you can also find them at the entrance of Hardy’s supermarket on the same street.
If you don’t feel like walking through the village there’s a choice of bemos, bicycles, taxis, private drivers and motor scooters. Driving is pretty easy as traffic is surprisingly still very quiet in Sanur.
The bemos are mini-buses that can take you through town from one end to the other for Rp2000/3000. It’s the favorite mode of transport for the locals so you might make some new friends too.
Bicycles are cheap too and renting one costs around to Rp30.000 a day but with some bargaining you can rent one for Rp15.000 around the corner of the hotel or on the main street.
Rent a bicycle to get around, or a motorbike to get around faster...
No need to look for a taxi driver, he will find you with the sound of his horn, even when you are just looking at the many souvenir shops beside the road.
Sanur is so small that you don’t really need a taxi but for trips to Denpasar or Ngurah Rai International Airport they come in handy, just make sure its a metered taxi and that it is switched on.
If you like to make a day tour around the island or watch a dance performance in Ubud your best option is a private driver that will take you wherever you want to go for up to Rp350.000 per day including petrol.
this Toyota Avanza is a popular car for day trips around Bali
Lots of places in Sanur Beach also rent out motor scooters and these cost up to Rp60.000 per day including insurance and helmet. If you like renting one for a couple of days you can get one for Rp40.000 per day.
If you like to send a package or postcard to your family and friends you can find the Post Office on Jalan Danau Buyan. Open from Monday-Thursday 8am-3pm, Friday and Saturday till 11.30am, closed on Sunday.
If something happens to you and you need a doctor head over to the Hyatt Bali hotel. This grand hotel has a medical clinic (tel 0361-288271).
The other Medical Clinic (tel 0361-282678) can also be found not far away on Jalan Danau Tamblingan and runs a 24-hour medical service.
The Police Station (0361-288597) is located on Jalan Ngurah Rai Bypass Ngurah near the Golf Course.
There isn't a Governmental Tourist Office in Sanur beach but there is a Tourist Office (0361-7915251) with brochures and tours across the street Circle K mini-mart on Jalan Tamblingan no. 54. Here you can also rent electrical and standard wheelchairs.
Sanur beach and the calm ocean water is the main attraction and is this village is ideal for those who come to recharge during a beach vacation. Sanur welcomes many return visitors every year who mainly stay at one of the many beach resorts in town but one day visitors can enjoy Sanur beach too.
Besides swimming conditions an other great thing to do is head to the blue lagoon which is protected by a reef against the high waves. It’s ideal for snorkeling and windsurfing or for taking a tour with a ‘jukung’, a traditional fishing boat.
On the walk path along the beach you’ll run into the jukung boat men who love to sail you around on their colorful boats to the reef, around the lagoon or to Benoa harbour.
Colorful jukung ready to take you for a trip
Here you can laze on board in the sun and shoot some fantastic pictures of Bali’s coast line and go all the way up to the turtle island of Serangan.
On Sanur beach you can also arrange other water activities such as water skiing, deep sea fishing, para sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, jet ski or diving. Surfing is also possible during the rainy season when the winds are offshore.
The best way to reach the best surf breaks is to arrange a boatman from the Jalan Hang Tuah harbor to take you to the reef.
Cruising along the coast
If you want to go snorkeling then you have to head to Nusa Lembongan Island or the former prisoner island of Nusa Penida. Fast boats such as the Scoot II boat, (+62 361-285522) or Lembongan Fast Cruises (return US$50 +62 3618012324) can take you there. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
Besides water activities you can also do other great things in Sanur such as visiting the Le Mayeur museum, going shopping or enjoying a relaxing spa treatment. And if you happen to be in Bali between July and September then try to go to Sanur to witness the amazing International Kite Festival where the Balinese compete with giant kites against each other.
painting of Ni Polok by Le Mayeur
Another great way to spend some time is to head to the Mangrove Information center. It is just 10 minutes from Sanur and you can walk through the mangrove forest while learning more about the importance of this eco system. Kids will have fun too.
Feel like exploring? Sanur is also an excellent starting point for some great Bali beach hopping at the beaches around Uluwatu. You can also head to Tanah Lot or spend a day in Ubud.
You can find Sanur restaurants and cafes everywhere in town mainly along Jalan Danau Tamblingan and at the resorts along the beach. Somehow the restaurants in Sanur aren't that exciting and revolutionary as in other villages. There are many that serve Western and Indonesian dishes but there isn't really one that stands out for its extraordinary menu or atmosphere.
A fruit juice stand that sells all types of juice mixes...
But while the restaurants in Sanur might lack in popularity there are many that serve the real thing when it comes to local food in a Balinese styled restaurant.
And since Sanur gives you the feeling of slowing things down and not doing that much it is the perfect place to sit at a cafe, enjoy some coffee with a nice piece of cake and at the same time reflect back on the wonderful holiday in Bali.
Local or Organic Food
Feeling like something organic? At Jalan Tamblingan you can find Manik Organik hidden under a bush of trees.
Their salads are really good, just as their juices. There is a shop were you can buy organic products and refill your water bottle.
If you are looking for organized gatherings such as workshops, yoga classes etc. then you can find info here too.
If you love 'nasi campur' then this is the place to be. Without a doubt the best nasi campur we have tasted on Bali.
Located in the south of Sanur on Jalan Danau Poso they also serve Western and Indonesian food. We will definitely be back for more. If you want to join a cooking class, then you can arrange that here too.
Warung Pregina Cafe:
It is a must to taste real traditional Balinese food when you visit Bali. A good place to start is Warung Pregina located right on Jalan Tamblingan as this is one of the few Sanur restaurants that serve really tasty local food.
Pregina is great for just a drink too!
Warung Coconut Tree:
Being one of the most popular Sanur restaurants along Jln. Danau Tamblingan this tiny, colorful warung attracts a bigger crowd then it can handle. So be prepared to sit close together.
Cheap tasty food and drinks are served here while you can browse the internet for free or listen to some good live music on several nights in the week. Travellers on a budget will feel at home here ;-)
Mak Beng is a very famous place among the locals. It's only open for lunch and serves just one dish. When we were there they served super tasty fish soup with rice...
The place is packed every day, so to find a seat you just have to join the others on one of the tables. A little bit of basic Indonesian conversation skills might come in handy when ordering. If you are on a budget this is one of the cheap places to eat which is also very good...
This Indonesian Warung is located on Jln. Bumi Ayu, a side street of Jln. Danau Tamblingan. Despite being located away from Sanur hotspots it can get pretty full for dinner here.
The good local dishes with an optional additional of western touches plus their cheap prices are the main reason why it attracts a crowd. But the owner has added nice touches to the restaurant too making it a nice place to go back more then once.
Made's Bar & Restaurant:
After many years this Balinese restaurant is still a favorite among travellers who are staying in Sanur.
Compared to other Sanur restaurants Made's has remained low key serving typical local dishes such as Nasi Goreng, Nasi Campur, Satay and Pepes Ikan at a reasonable price. So if you just feel like eating good Bali food head over to Made's on Jalan Danau Tamblingan.
Places to enjoy a coffee, fresh juice or a piece of cake
Cafe Smorgas Sandwich Lounge:
This little sandwich cafe is perfectly located under two huge trees at Jalan Tamblingan. Their tree shaded terrace is an ideal spot to start the day or just to relax from the afternoon heat.
Try their fresh juices, coffee and not to forget there delicious snacks...
I can honestly say that this is probably one of the nicest decorated Sanur restaurants in town. The whole structure and interior seems to come straight from a designer magazine. It is welcoming with its colorful tiles, white washed furniture and homey counter.
We somehow always end up only having cake and coffee here. Especially the green tea cake is good. So definitely a good pit stop half way the afternoon. (Location: Jalan Karang Sari, next side street south of Bali Hyatt)
Gardenia Coffee shop:
We were so disappointed when our favorite 'Spirit' cafe at the beach was suddenly gone. But when we were munching away at Gardenia we realized it has the same owner as the 'Spirit' cafe.
We immediately ordered our favorite: iced chocolate. Their menu lists a great choice of food, especially there breakfast is a good start of the day.
Luhtus Coffee Shop:
This is a wonderful place for a delicious cake with your cup of coffee. Their terrace is located right at the beachfront under a huge tree. Don't be surprised if you've been sitting here for a while without realizing.
Over the years the coffee shop has expanded and offers seating inside as well. (Location: Jalan Pantai Sindhu)
In Sanur, you will find a whole string of luxury resorts along the beach and Jalan Tamblingan road. Some are bigger than the other but luckily enough the majority have maintained to keep the 'Balinese feel' in design and atmosphere.
The nice thing about the hotels in Sanur is that many are locally owned and managed. Such as the following options we recommend if you are planning to stay in this famous beach village.
Hotel La Taverna
Looking for a small scale, traditional Balinese styled hotel located right at a clean beach? This is the one. This traditionally styled beach resort is one of the oldest Balinese owned hotels in Sanur. It has nicely kept gardens and is ideally located in the center of town, near the shops and restaurants.
Their 38 rooms are found in thatched bungalows or in a two story building, and all have their own style and layout. If the resort is not fully booked ask if you can check a few rooms as some can be nicer than others. (around USD82-USD196 p.n.)
Even though this place is not that close to the action, it's one of our favorite accommodation in Sanur. It's a small Balinese complex with a pool, restaurant where breakfast is served, very friendly staff and great value of money.. The whole setting reminds you of Bali. The beach is about 15 minutes away on foot.
The rooms are spacious, and all have a large bathroom. (around US$38-US$50 per night)
This popular hotel has 10 Superior Rooms, 6 Bungalow Rooms, a Family Room and a Suite. It is located along Jalan Danau Tamblingan and so a great place to stay if you want to get the most out of this little beach village.
It is owned by a Belgium couple who fell in love with Bali and like many created their own paradise. But the nice twist to this story is their generous support to the Balinese. Over the years, they have helped many children by giving them an opportunity to a better life.
Home > Sanur Bali Ins and Outs
Jump on a motorbike or rent a car with a driver and head to the southern most beaches in Bali. Do some beach hopping and discover the another beach in different bays.Read more
If you want a change of scenery for just one day head to the nearby Nusa Lembongan island where you can find beautiful tropical beaches. Just a boat ride away from Sanur.Read more
Staying at Sanur beach? Visit Tanah Lot temple at the end of the afternoon. The drive becomes nice towards the temple and the sunset is worth staying.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
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