Everything you need to know about Canggu
What’s all the fuss about Canggu?
You might have heard a lot about Canggu – or maybe not. No matter the answer, one thing is sure. There is a lot going on in Canggu and you shouldn’t miss out. So, what is all this fuss about Canggu? Canggu is the most up and coming hipster area in Bali, strongly competing against the posher Seminyak. In the last two years a lot of trendy cafés, gourmet restaurants and beach bars have popped up. This has attracted a growing crowd of hipsters, surfers, yogis and backpackers but also honeymooners and families that don’t want to miss out on the Canggu magic.
Where Canggu is located on the map?
Roughly, Canggu is positioned between upscale Seminyak and the world famous temple of Tanah Lot. It is part of Kuta Utara, meaning North Kuta. If you look it up on the map it is north of Seminyak, so it’s still part of the tourist area. It is a 40 minute ride to Kuta and a 20 minute ride to Seminyak, depending on traffic. It is also one hour away from the Bukit area and the famous Uluwatu temple. This means that it’s in a handy location and not far from the other areas popular with tourists.
Where to stay when in Canggu?
Canggu is defined by its four main roads. Batu Bolong road is the heart of Canggu. It is also the most developed road and the place you will find the most cafés, restaurants and boutiques. Batu Bolong road leads to Batu Bolong Beach. Here there are many hostels and villas that come in at good value for money.
Pantai Berawa road has a more elite air with many fancy boutique hotels and private villas. This road leads to Berawa Beach and Finns Beach Club. Pantai Berawa road is full of life. It has a wide range of nice organic restaurants and sweet little cafés.
Padand Linjong street on the other side of Batu Bolong leads to the surfers’ favourite, Echo Beach. There you will find a lot of more upscale villas but also some nice hotels near the beach. Pura Batu Mejan street between Batu Bolong and Echo Beach has recently developed a lot. It also offers many interesting places to stay.
Last but not least, Pererenan road is the furthest away of the main streets of Canggu. It is the perfect place if you are looking for some peace and quiet. There are fewer restaurants here but villas and hotels tend to be much larger in size. If you don’t mind a bit of commuting, it can be an interesting place to stay and often comes with handy deals. (Find out the best villas in Canggu here.)
Where to call it a beach day in Canggu?
Canggu has plenty of sandy beaches to offer, all the way from Berawa to Pererenan. You can go upscale and order your beach bed at Finns Beach Club on Berawa Beach or choose the more popular Batu Bolong Beach. Lie down on your towel, order a coconut from one of the many beach warungs and you are all set for the day. Make sure you put on a strong sun cream as the sun in Bali is quite intense even on a cloudy day. Remember Bali is next to the equator. La Brisa – Canggu’s boho spot– at Echo Beach is also an interesting option. Choose a bean bag, order your morning latte and suntan all day. If you feel a bit too hot, take a dip in the pool overlooking the beach.
Best places to eat in Canggu
Let’s admit it, Batu Bolong street is a health food heaven – and more besides – when it comes to eating. It offers a variety of places from warungs (local buffet style eatery) to more Western type restaurants.
An all-round restaurant that you should visit at least once is Betelnut. It has an Indo-Western mixed menu and offers anything from a burger to a healthy salad. It is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Nalu Bowls at Canggu Beach (also known as Echo Beach) has also earned its name, in all fairness. It offers the most yummy and filling breakfast bowls inspired by famous waves all over the world.
If you want to experiment a bit with Indo cuisine without getting burnt – be careful it’s spicy! – go to Warung Bumi. This is a buffet style restaurant perfect for a cheap lunch after suntanning at the beach. Make sure you go there early as it tends to get full.
Echo Beach Club with its fresh fish barbecue right on the beach is the best way to end your day. And since you are there, do not forget to try Gaya local ice cream – it has some very interesting flavours using local fruits amongst others. Warung Dandelion with its Javanese style ambience is the place for an Indonesian dinner. Now if you prefer to stick to your Western roots, then go to Deus Ex Machina (More on Deus here.) and try its burger to die for. And if you happen to go there on a Sunday, you can stay for the Sunday live music. (To find out the top 15 cafés in Canggu click here.)
Are there places to go shopping in Canggu?
We get asked this question a lot. And we are happy to tell you that yes, yes and yes, there are plenty of places to go shopping in Canggu. And best of all you don’t have to go all the way to Seminyak to shop.
You can start by paying a visit to Love Anchor which has a variety of hipster boutiques and surf shops as well as places to buy handmade bags and sarongs. Do not miss out on Old Man’s (every last Sunday of the month), La Laguna’s and Samadi’s markets. You will find a lot of interesting products from expats and entrepreneurs all over the world.
Batu Bolong’s trendy boutiques extend all the way from Betelnut to the beach. Park your motorbike at the huge parking space at Batu Bolong and go window shopping. Echo Beach also has some interesting boutiques and street stalls just next to the beach. You can find chic dresses, local sarongs and comfy summer clothes. And let’s not forget the chic bikinis. For the surf fanatics, Boardriders shop at Echo Beach offers anything from boards to wax to fins to boardshorts and bikinis. Last but not least, you should also check out the little boutiques that have recently opened at Pura Batu Mejan street as well as the trendy shops of Berawa street. (More information on shopping in Bali here.)