Seminyak, just along the coast from Kuta, is a good alternative for those who prefer a more refined party atmosphere.
Seminyak is known for its beaches that rival those in Kuta, and with fewer crowds, it is perfect for surfing and lounging in the sun and sand. Generally, the surf scene is not quite as popular here as the waves are smaller and offer a tamer experience.
For those who want a beach holiday with some exciting nightlife, then this is definitely the place to come. Aside from its beach, Seminyak is popular for its variety of restaurants and dining options – offering different cuisines and boasting of foreign chefs in residence. Seminyak does not have a huge number of attractions aside from the beach and this part of Bali usually attracts more of a mid-range crowd compared to the backpacker crowd seen in Kuta. If you are looking for cultural experiences, then you are unlikely to find them in Seminyak aside from a few temples and galleries.
Seminyak does not have a huge range of attractions aside from the Double Six Beach, which is the main beach in the area. People mostly come here for the nightlife, shopping, and restaurants. That said, a few art galleries can be found within the neighbourhood, as well as the famous Pura Petitenget, which is one of the six important sea temples in Bali.
Most people will arrive in Bali by flying in to the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. From here it is easy to take an airport taxi to Seminyak, which takes about 30 minutes.
If you are traveling to Seminyak from neighbouring Kuta, then it takes about 20 minutes on foot along the coastline or about a 10 minute drive.
You can find international access ATMs and money changers all over Seminyak. One thing to keep in mind is that it is better to exchange money at a bank as you will get better rates. When it comes to ATMs, you may want to note that some of the ones located in local businesses can be unreliable and may be programmed to steal your credit card details.
Seminyak enjoys a pleasant coastal climate that is also monsoonal. As with the rest of Bali, you can expect to find two seasons here, namely the wet and dry seasons. Peak season in Seminyak falls coincides with Western holidays and it gets particularly busy during July and August. Seminyak is also a prime destination over Christmas and New Year in December and January and most of the accommodations get fully booked in advance. The rainy season lasts from approximately October to April and it can rain every single day, although this usually comes in the form of short, sharp showers. The shoulder season occurs in May, June, and September, and if you travel then, you can expect dry weather and less crowds.
Much of Seminyak is located within walking distance of each other, depending on where you are staying. Most of the roads have pavements, so it is easier to walk here than many other parts in Bali. For trips away from the centre, the best bet is to hire a motorbike to get around, or a taxi to take you short distances.
Seminyak has arguably the most diverse food scene in Bali and you will find all kinds of cuisine here from all over the world. Seminyak has a wealth of fine dining and many foreign chefs gravitate to the area to work. You can also find local Indonesian food, as some small stalls in Double Six Beach sell simple dishes such as fried noodles and rice. Alcohol is easily available in Seminyak and you can find a huge number of bars scattered along the beach. Expect prices however to be higher than in other areas, even neighbouring Kuta.
Seminyak can be considered a more relaxed and slightly more upscale area than Kuta. Where the latter has a backpacker crowd and strong nightlife scene, Seminyak caters to the slightly older clientele with a mid range budget. The area still has a huge range of clubs and bars, but it is generally less frenzied than Kuta. The beaches here also feel less crowded and the shopping options are more diverse and refined than other parts of the island with lots of boutiques and handicraft outlets.