Seminyak is the most stylish corner of Bali, a far cry from the chaos of Kuta around the corner. This is where the great and the good come to be pampered in luxury spas, live the high life in top hotels, and dance the night away in fashionable clubs and bars. Here are a few suggestions of things to do in Seminyak.
5 Essential Things to do in Seminyak
1. Pick up Some One-of-a-Kind Fashion Pieces
As Seminyak’s reputation has grown, so too has its abundance of fashion boutiques. Many of them line Jl Laksmana, which is a great place to shop and pick up some unique items. Stores include the rock ‘n’ roll favourite Religion, longtime favourite Milo’s, and the high-end women’s clothing store, Bong’s.
2. Enjoy a Night Out on the Town
Seminyak is home to Bali’s most fashionable bars and nightclubs, the island’s premier places to see and be seen. Chief among them is Hu’u, a stylish club centred around a swimming pool. There’s also Baker Street Social, a speakeasy specialising in some very creative cocktails. The prices in this part of Bali tend to match the reputation – you can easily spend Rp 150,000 on a drink.
3. Splurge on a Luxury Hotel…
The luxury resorts which line the beachfront are Seminyak’s defining characteristic. This is the place to come for unashamed luxury, and it feels a million miles away from the brash atmosphere of neighbouring Kuta. If you’ve got the budget for it, a stay in one of the area’s luxury hotels is a great experience. The Oberoi is a Seminyak landmark which kickstarted Seminyak’s ascent to luxury status. The W Retrat and Spa meanwhile is one of my personal favourites.
4. Enjoy a traditional Balinese spa
Bali is famous the world over for its spa treatments. Balinese massage is an ancient art which combines techniques from China, India and Southeast Asia. Seminyak, with its world-class hotels and ever-increasing numbers of tourists, is a great place to try out traditional Balinese wellness treatments. Head to Lagoon Spa on Jl Baik-Baik for acupressure, aromatherapy, hot stone massages, and many more.
5. …Or Splash Out on Some Fine Dining
If you want to experience Seminyak’s jet set side but don’t have the budget to stay in one of the top hotels, try a fancy meal out instead. The Restaurant at The Legian is an acclaimed restaurant which will also afford you a taste of Seminyak’s luxury hotel lifestyle. It specialises in a fusion of French and Southeast Asian cookery styles, with creative dishes including olive oil sorbet. Another great choice is Settimo Cielo, a fantastic Italian on Jl Pangkung Sari.
10 Ideas for Things to do in Seminyak
6. Get Some Great Photos at the Dream Museum Zone
Bali’s fine art traditions are widely renowned. For a more modern artistic experience head to the Dream Museum Zone (DMZ). The pieces here play with perception and comprise one of the world’s finest collections of ‘trick art’. 2D paintings create the impression of depth with amazing realism, making for some great Instagram opportunities!
7. Indulge in Delicious Balinese Cuisine…
Indonesia is justly renowned for the diversity of its cuisine. Balinese cuisine may well be the best – though Indonesians could argue about this all day. The most famous Balinese dish is probably babi guling – roast suckling pig. This spicy, juicy treat is enjoyed across the island, but Seminyak is one of the best places to try it. Babi Guling Pak Malen is an authentic warung on the busy Sunset Road.
8. Marvel at the Centuries-old Petitenget Temple
Seminyak’s growth as a tourist resort does not mean it is renowned for its temples. Certainly it is not home to as many as spiritual centres like Ubud. However, a must-visit is the beautiful Petitenget Temple. This red-brick Hindu temple is a cultural landmark for the local community, and one of Bali’s famous sea temples.
9. …Then Learn to Cook the Balinese way at a Cookery Class!
Seminyak is a great place not just to try Balinese cuisine, but to learn how to cook it. There are numerous cookery classes in Seminyak, but one of the best is run by British chef Dean Fisher. You can learn how to whip up delicious specialities including bebek betutu (spicy duck), chicken satay, and kambing mekuah (spicy lamb and coconut stew).
10. Learn to Scuba Dive
Bali is home to some of the finest scuba diving in Indonesia, and, by extension, the world. Seminyak is a great place for divers, whether you’re a complete beginner looking to learn or a seasoned veteran. The former should check out Adventure Scuba Diving Bali, a reputable dive school and centre on Jl Dewi Saraswati.
11. Hit the Beach
Seminyak’s beautiful golden beach is quieter and somewhat more refined than Kuta’s. It’s a lovely place to swim or surf, although the currents are strong. Therefore, this area is recommended mainly for advanced surfers. For many, the main draw of Seminyak Beach is simply the chance to see and be seen. It’s a fashionable spot, and its beachfront bars and restaurants are great places to watch the beautiful people go by.
12. Check out an Art Gallery
Art lovers will find plenty to keep them occupied in Seminyak, with everything from traditional religious art to cutting-edge modern design. The latter can be found at Nyaman, an acclaimed contemporary gallery on Jl Raya Basangkasa. The art here spans jewellery, painting, photography and sculpture courtesy of artists from around the world.
13. Go Bungee Jumping
Bali is more associated with surfing than with extreme sports like bungee jumping. Daredevils can get their fix, though, at The Bungy Co, a huge tower just north of Sunset Road – unsurprisingly, it’s run by a New Zealander. Regular, tandem and harness jumps are all available. Real thrill seekers can make the jump on a BMX, a motorbike, or even in a ball of flame wearing a fire suit!
14. Take a Tour on Horseback
A horseback ride is a peaceful and unforgettable way to experience Seminyak. Options range from a gentle 2-hour ride on the beach to a whole day tour. If you choose the latter, you’ll take in beautiful rice terraces and explore mysterious caves, finishing up at Tanah Lot. This ancient water temple is one of Bali’s most famous landmarks.
15. Exercise your Body and Soul with some Yoga
Bali is a famous centre for yoga and meditation, and Seminyak is no exception. A particularly highly regarded centre is Seminyak Yoga Shala, which runs daily classes spanning Hatha, Ashtanga Mysore, and Led Ashtanga styles. Teachers Irena and Sara are very experienced and lead classes for those of all ability levels. A yoga class is a great way to redress the balance after indulging in one of Seminyak’s nightclubs the night before.
Seminyak is the glamorous face of Bali, and the place to go on the island for luxury hotels, fine dining and trendy beach bars. There’s a lot more to do besides, though, from gorging on babi guling to calming your mind with yoga and meditation.
Have you been to Seminyak? Do you have any suggestions for other things to do? Let us know in the comments below.