Canggu is known for being the new kid on the block. It’s less touristy than Seminyak and has a really chilled out hipster feel to it. As soon as you wander just a couple of streets off the main road in Canggu, you will be surrounded by building works giving you a glimpse into how much this area is growing. I’m not usually into the hipster things, being the incredibly uncool person that I am, but it really doesn’t matter here. There are plenty of things to do in Canggu but it’s easy to slip into the laid back flow.
If like me, you only have a couple of days in Canggu during your time in Bali, you’re going to want to make sure you hit up all the must-dos. But don’t worry, there’s always time to relax in Canggu and plenty of places to do it. Here’s my 2-day guide to visiting Canggu.
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Where is Canggu?
Canggu is just 20km from Denpasar airport or 11km North of Seminyak so It could easily be your first stop in Bali with it being so close to the airport. The traffic in Bali can be a bit crazy though and when I got a taxi to Canggu from Seminyak, it took about an hour longer than expected. Be sure to leave plenty of time to get there!
Where to stay in Canggu
Canggu offers a great selection of places to stay to suit all budgets. From villas to homestays to retreats, there’s plenty to choose from to use as your base, depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a real treat in a hotel with a luxury feel, but without the price tag, then I would definitely recommend the Aston Canggu Beach Resort to you. It’s a beautiful hotel, just a year old and has all the sleek facilities to make your time in Canggu extra special. It’s quite literally a hop, skip and jump to Batu Bolong Beach and is the only hotel in Canggu with a rooftop- perfect for catching those Bali sunsets! You can read my full review here and find out why I think it’s the best place to stay in Canggu!
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10 Things to do in Canggu
1. Visit Old Mans
Old Mans has become a bit of an institution and definitely something you do in Canggu. It’s famous for its wall art along the side but it’s also a great place to eat, drink and dance the night away. Old Mans is actually huge and has an outdoor area with a massive screen showing sports games, an undercover area which is the main restaurant area in the day and a bar. During the day it’s super chilled and at night it’s a lively venue and the place to go if you want to party. It’s also right next to the beach just to add to it all!
2. Soak in the sun at the beaches
This beautiful beach is a surfers paradise with good waves and loads of places to rent a board. The 2 main beaches here are Echo Beach and Batu Bolong beach and with their black sand and awesome waves, they’re a unique place to both surf and relax on. If you go there in the evening why not grab a beer from one of the bars and watch the sunset.
3. Go shopping at Love Anchor
Love Anchor is a sort of undercover market, but one of the cutest markets I’ve been to. With its bamboo structure, it feels more like you’re shopping in a treehouse than a market. It’s packed full of beautiful clothes, bags, jewellery and trinkets to buy and after shopping hard, you can even cool off with a drink from its bar. You’ll find Love Anchor along Canggu’s main road, Pantai Batu Bolong and it’s open every Saturday and Sunday.
4. Search for street art
One thing that’s sure to make me love a place is street art, and Canggu has plenty of it! Aside from the famous piece at Old Mans, there’s plenty of other murals and designs dotted all over. Take a look down the side streets and you’re bound to find something bright and colourful. It certainly adds to Canggu’s hipster vibe and shows how creative the area is.
5. Eat at a Warung
A warung is a restaurant that serves up Indonesian food, and there are some great ones in Canggu. I can recommend making your way to Warung Bu Mi where you start with either rice or noodles and simply pick what you want from the rest of the dishes, or Warung Cucu with its rustic outdoor seating and awesome ice cream shop next door.
6. Eat yourself healthy
To go with the whole hipster thing, Canggu is the perfect place to find something super healthy to eat. There are loads of cafes serving up delicious salads, vegan dishes and smoothie bowls- perfect for a bit of a detox and a great way to stay healthy while travelling. The Raw Beach Cafe is a real hot spot and the food there is great. Don’t miss their wall art down the side of the restaurant while you’re there too.
7. Visit Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot Temple is an ancient Hindu temple sitting on top of a striking rock formation off the coast. It’s a pilgrimage site and a cultural icon in Bali. It’s located about 30 minutes drive from Canggu but definitely worth the trip. Entrance is 60,000 IDR to visit and you’ll see other beautiful Balinese buildings around it too. Tanah Lot is a really popular destination for sunset and lots of tours run for this time of day too. It’s one of the top things to do in Canggu which makes it busy, but even at peak times in the day, it’s not too crowded.
8. Hire a motorbike
Canggu is quite spread out so the best way to get around is to hire a motorbike and hit the road. You can usually get one for about 60,000 IDR for a whole day and it will give you so much freedom. We drove ourselves to Tanah Lot Temple rather than taking a tour and it was great. The roads here are a lot quieter than Seminyak as well so it’s a calmer place to drive around. Once you get away from the main streets you’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful rice fields and rural villages.
9. Enjoy a chilled night out
Compared to busy Seminyak just down the road, Canggu is way more chilled out at night. There are bars to head to if you like live music such as Old Mans and The Compass as well as bars on the beach playing relaxed tunes to drink the night away. Most are located all along the main road in Canggu or on the beahces so why not check a few out and make the most of their happy hours?
10. Delve into the boutiques
The main streets in Canggu are lined with some of the most beautiful boutique shops. If you’re looking for something a bit different to what you can find at home then here is the ideal place to look. I ducked into a few while I was in Canggu and pretty much had to have my bank card taken off me!