Last Updated on May 13, 2022 by queenie mak
Many first-time visitors to Bali will visit places like Seminyak or Ubud. But you might want to check out Canggu as there are many things to do for a solo traveller.
Canggu is a laidback coastal village located in the North Kuta District on the southwest coast of Bali, Indonesia. It is known for its wonderful beaches, amazing surf spots, and one of the best digital nomad hubs in the world.
When I was on my first solo trip to Bali a few years ago, I accidentally discovered the little piece of gem full of rice paddies, beaches, and excellent cafes. And I continue to come back to Canggu every trip because I love the vibe and everything it has to offer.
In this post, I’ll show you all the best things to do in Canggu so you can experience this wonderful village too.
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What you need to know before visiting Canggu in Bali
Before you visit Canggu, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Bali. I included a lot of information, including how to get around Bali, how to get a prepaid SIM card and other essential Bali travel tips.
Here are a few additional tips for exploring Canggu:
- The best way to get around Canggu is by a scooter
- But if you don’t know how to ride a scooter, you can order a GoJek bike or car via the GoJek app
- Make sure you have cash with you. Many places take cash only
- There are ATMs all over Canggu
- Many solo traveller stay in Canggu. It is pretty easy to meet other solo travellers while you are hanging out at a cafe or watching sunset at the beach.
Where is Canggu in Bali?
Located on the west coast of Bali, Canggu is a coastal town just north of Seminyak and south of Tanah Lot Temple. It is a quaint little coastal village hugely popular with surfers because of all the beaches lining Canggu.
Over time, remote workers discovered the little piece of paradise and Canggu became one of the best digital nomad cities in the world. Today, Canggu has a big community of ex-pats, surfers and remote workers.
You won’t find hotel chains here. And you won’t find many touristy spots or hangouts. Canggu isn’t about that at all. It is about taking your time and enjoying the moment. And there are plenty of things to do in Canggu so you will never get bored.
Where to stay in Canggu
The best area to stay in Canggu is anywhere along Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong and Jalan Padang Linjong. All the best things to do in Canggu can be easily accessed if you stay along the main roads.
And if you like something quieter, stay somewhere along Jalan Pantai Pererenan.
Here are my top recommendations for Canggu accommodations for solo travellers:
- Shore Amora Canggu – get a spacious room at this modern hotel near Pererenan Beach
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
- The Kirana Canggu Hotel – best location in Canggu where you don’t need a scooter
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
- Theanna Eco Villa and Spa – book an affordable private 1-bedroom villa in this centrally located hotel
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
What to do in Canggu alone
As a first time solo traveller to Bali, you must be wondering what to do in Canggu and why so many people are going to this costal town. Keep reading and you will learn all about it.
I put together an interactive map of all the best things to do in Canggu alone. You can click on the individual pin to read more information and also follow the description below.
1. Visit all the beaches in Canggu
Canggu has some of the best beaches in Bali. They are not crowded and not polluted like other beaches on the east coast. It is more laidback and chill.
And my favourite thing to do in Canggu is to walk on the beach. I know, it sounds simple but for someone who has never lived near a beach, this is quite a big deal. The mornings are great for a quick stroll and watch people surf in the ocean. And the evenings are amazing because of the sunset and beachfront bars.
And it is possible to walk to Seminyak to the south and Seseh to the north by walking on the beach. But if you do, make sure you put sunscreen on.
Here are some beaches you must visit while you are in Canggu:
- Echo Beach – most beachfront restaurants and bars are in Echo Beach
- Batu Bolong Beach – learn surfing from one of the surf schools on Batu Bolong Beach
- Berawa Beach – near several beach clubs in Canggu
- Pererenan Beach – a black sand beach that stretches over to Seseh Beach
2. Take surf lessons in Canggu
And speaking of surfing, Canggu is one of the best spots for surfing. After all, Canggu is known for its strong surf and many surfing access points. I always see surfers at Echo Beach and Pererenan Beach during the morning and late afternoons.
And if you are a beginner, there are many surf camps along Batu Bolong Beach and Echo Beach. They all offer similar packages where they give you surf lessons and may or may not include a photography package. This means they can take photos of you surfing. That’s a pretty good service especially if you are travelling solo.
3. Spend an afternoon at a beach club
The best part about going to a beach club is the fun atmosphere and sipping cocktails by a gorgeous pool while listening to awesome music.
And Bali has some of the best beach clubs and some are in Canggu. They are not cheap, though, but you can live like a queen even if it’s just for the day.
- Finns Beach Club – swim up to the pool bar and get a cocktail while working on your tan
- Cafe del Mar Bali – the beach club has a 1,000 square meter infinity pool and ocean views in the neighbourhood of Berawa Beach
4. Visit the seaside Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot Temple is a famous temple in Tabanan, which is only 20 minutes away from Canggu. The Hindu shrine was built as a holy place to worship the Balinese sea god, Bhatara Segara. And it was one of the seven temples in Bali built along the shore. It looks like the temple is sitting on a large rock and floating in the middle of the sea.
While you are at Tanah Lot, you can walk around the temple ground but you cannot go in the temple as foreigners are forbidden to enter. But it is still worth going there to see everything else.
Tanah Lot Temple is easily one of the best Canggu attractions and the best time to go is late afternoon so you can watch the sunset. But if you don’t like crowds, you might want to go first thing in the morning.
5. See rice fields and mountains at Uma Desa Canggu
Uma Desa Canggu is located in the north part of Canggu where there are many rice fields between the two main roads: Jalan Raya Batu Mejan and Jalan Babakan Kubu.
These narrow roads were probably built for farmers working in the rice fields. But other people like local residents and visitors will either jog, cycle or simply have a leisurely stroll.
The best time to visit Uma Desa Canggu is during the golden hour where you can enjoy the sunset at one of the gazebos along Jalan Raya Batu Mejan (the paved road).
And there is a cafe at the north end where the two roads converge. You can climb up to the third level of the cafe and see the amazing view of all the rice fields and the mountains in the distance.
6. Workout at a local gym, yoga studio or CrossFit gym
Working out and staying healthy is a big thing in Canggu. And there are many gyms, yoga retreats and CrossFit studios that can help with your fitness goals.
Here are some of the popular ones:
- Samadi Bali – attend one of many yoga classes including Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Sound Healing, and Yoga Therapy.
- Nirvana Strength Bali – they have many gymnastic strength training classes and hot and ice baths, a dry sauna and dipping pool
- Body Factory Bali – a high-performance gym with many fitness classes like yoga, pilates and a class just to work on your booty
- Crossfit Wanderlust – challenge yourself and attend one of many sessions at this CrossFit studio
7. Get a massage, manicure and pedicure at a day spa
One of the best activities for a solo traveller is to go to the spa and get treatments like massages, manicures, pedicures, facials and more.
I highly recommend trying the Balinese massage, a deep tissue massage that is excellent for aching muscles. First of all, you can’t get that anywhere else. Plus, the massage treatment is relaxing and great for getting rid of all your sore spots.
And if you are travelling to Canggu, then you are in luck because there are many affordable spas around Canggu. Here are some of my all-time favourites:
- Spring Spa Canggu – a tranquil day spa where you can get massages, hair treatments, manicures and pedicures
- Mariá Curau – treat your hands and feet by trying their signature coconut nail treatment
- Colors Nail Bar Bali – inexpensive manicures and pedicures especially on promotional days
- Muka Concepts – they only use their handmade and organic products for facials and massages
- Lotus Massage Therapy – a cheaper spa but the quality of the Balinese massage is quite good
8. Go shopping in Canggu
Shopping is quite good in Canggu even for someone like me, who isn’t into shopping at all. I still like to look around.
Most shops are along the main roads in Canggu, and many of them are either boutique clothing stores, or shops selling homeware, natural and sustainable and eco-conscious products.
Here are some of the ones I really like to visit while I am in Canggu:
- Ratuh Plastik – they focus on sustainability and sell eco-conscious products and organic food
- Alive Wholefoods Store Canggu – get organic fruits and vegetables and other natural products
- Bungalow Living Bali – an excellent store selling Balinese-inspired homeware
- Tropis Canggu – a natural good store selling home and personal goods
- Uma and Leopold – a trendy women clothing store on Jalan Batu Bolong
9. Support local businesses by visiting local markets in Canggu
Besides browsing all the boutique shops in Canggu, I really enjoy visiting the local markets because I like to see what the markets are selling and support local businesses at the same time.
If possible, try to time your trip to Canggu so you can be there on the weekends because some markets are open only on Sundays.
- La Brisa Farmers Day Sunday Market (Sunday 10-4) – buy organic produce, baked goods, natural products and other goods and support small local farmers and businesses
- Samadi Bali Sunday Market (Sunday 8-2) – get excellent food and locally sourced produce at this vibrant community market
- Love Anchor Market (Daily 9-7) – you can find clothing, jewellery, and everything else at this eclectic market
- Bali Niki Natural Art Market Canggu (Daily 10-5) – buy all your souvenirs here – choose the best local handicrafts like wooden bowls, rattan bags, and other handmade items at this large market near Echo Beach
10. Get inked at a tattoo parlour
When I was researching tattoo places in Bali, I found many tattoo parlours in Seminyak and Canggu. And that was a few years ago and many more shops have popped up all over Canggu.
Even though I don’t have the urge to get a tattoo (yet), and when I do, I will go to either Babayga or Koloni. They have been in Canggu for several years and have excellent tattoo artists, and the prices are quite reasonable.
- Babayaga Tattoo Bali – they use hypoallergenic vegan ink and have international guest tattoo artists regularly
- Koloni Tattoo Bali – they do tattoos and piercings at their modern studio
11. Work and be productive in a coworking space
Canggu is known to be one of the best spots for digital nomads because there are many excellent coworking spaces and wifi speed on the island is quite good
But most of all, the best benefit of working at a coworking space is the community. You can meet many like-minded digital nomads who want to work hard and play hard.
These are some of the top coworking spaces in Canggu:
- Dojo Bali Coworking – the coworking space runs many workshops and has a coliving space
- B Work Bali – work at the Bwork Cafe if you don’t have a daily or monthly pass
- Tropical Nomad Coworking Space – get a trial pass at this coworking space with a beach-house vibe
- Outpost Canggu Coworking – join a community of global remote workers at this fun coworking and coliving space
- Kinship Studio Bali – work at the communal workspace and join many creative events run by Kinship Studio
12. Find smoothie bowls and healthy food options at a cafe in Canggu
One of the best things about travelling to Canggu is food. There are many food options especially if you want to eat healthily. And best of all, they are not expensive at all!
There are endless options when it comes to Canggu cafes. Many of them have vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free options. And they use locally sourced ingredients since using organic ingredients is a priority.
I have an entire post dedicated to all my favourite cafes in Canggu, but here is a quick summary of some of my favs:
- Crate Cafe – a popular cafe with Instagrammable chia seed drinks and smoothie bowls
- Copenhagen – choose 3 or 5 items off the Nordic-inspired breakfast menu
- The Common Cafe – a wholesome cafe serving all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options
- Cinta Cafe – try the salmon scrambled eggs or Syrniki pancakes while overlooking a rice field in Berawa
- Honey, – excellent Mediterranean-inspired brunch menu
13. Try Balinese cuisine at a local warung
A big part of travelling is to try local food. And Indonesian food in Bali includes rice, noodle, vegetables, meat and seafood prepared with flavours influenced by other regional areas of Indonesia and also from Chinese and Indian cuisine.
If this is your first time trying Indonesian food, try nasi campur (“mixed rice”), a dish with rice and small portions of sides including vegetables, eggs and peanuts.
And in Canggu, there are a few excellent “warungs” (family-owned restaurants) that you must try.
- Give Cafe – a vegan cafe serving 100% plant-based traditional Indonesia food
- Warung Local – order a “made” special where you get rice, chicken, side and vegetables
- Warung Heboh – pick and choose what you want and pay for exactly what you ordered
- Warung Dandelion – a well-decorated and charming Balinese restaurant with good local food
- Pali – good Indonesian food at a local restaurant overlooking a rice field
14. Sample the best international food in Canggu
Besides all the cafes and local restaurants, there are many options for international cuisine in Canggu. Whether you are craving Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and other cuisines, you can find almost every type of international food in Canggu.
These are some of my favourite go-to places in Canggu:
- Arte Canggu – new Italian restaurant serving the best pizza in Pererenan
- Bangkok Hustle – best Thai food in Berawa
- Lola’s Cantina Mexicana – authentic Mexican food near the shortcut
- Xich Lo Canggu – an affordable Vietnamese restaurant in the rice fields on Jalan Padang Lingjong
- Restaurant Naga – a modern Vietnamese and Japanese restaurant serving beautifully plated sushi
15. Drive on the infamous Canggu Shortcut
The infamous Canggu Shortcut is a narrow interlock brick road between Canggu and Berawa. The road is actually called Jalan Anggrek and it is wide enough for a car and a scooter.
The shortcut saves a bit of time if you are travelling from Canggu to Seminyak since you don’t want to drive up to the main road. But during “rush hour”, the shortcut has a lot of traffic.
And before 2022, Canggu Shortcut had many potholes and the interlocking bricks were falling apart. Many scooters have fallen into the rice fields, and even cars too!
But since early 2022, the infamous shortcut is now a paved road! I saw photos online and it is a much smoother ride. Take a ride on the shortcut and let me know what you think.
16. Enjoy Canggu nightlife
One of the best things to do in Canggu is to enjoy the vibrant nightlife. There are several popular spots along the beaches where you can listen to music, have a cocktail or two and enjoy the sea breeze.
As a solo traveller, I am not really keen on going out all night. But I have been to these places mentioned below and quite liked them.
- Old Man’s – one of the most popular beachfront bars in Canggu
- The Lawn Canggu – enjoy live music and performances at this beachfront bar
- La Brisa Bali – sip a cocktail at one of the little huts or under the palm trees
17. Watch beautiful sunsets in Canggu
Watching the sunset is one of the best things to do in Canggu. The colour of the sky is exceptionally colourful during sunsets. I don’t think I have ever seen a pink sky during the golden hour. I was scootering on the shortcut at the time and had to pull over. Many people did the same thing. We all stopped to look at the bright pink sky.
The Canggu Shortcut is an unusual place to watch the sunset. Most people either walk along the beaches of Canggu or grab one of the beanbag chairs on Echo Beach. And if you are staying somewhere with a rooftop facing the west, you might just be lucky enough to catch the beautiful glow from your roof.
18. Spend the day in Seminyak
Seminyak is an upscale tourist town just south of Canggu. Many first-time visitors will stay in Seminyak as it is an excellent introductory city to Bali.
Some of the best things to do in Seminyak include visiting beaches like Double Six Beach and Petitenget Beach. You can learn to surf or enjoy a beautiful sunset.
And similar to Canggu, there are many boutique shops along the main roads. Look for boutique shops along Jalan Kaya Aya and Jalan Petitenget. And when you are hungry, eat at one of the many Seminyak cafes like Sisterfields Cafe or Kynd Community.
And if you do plan to go to Seminyak, make sure to book a spa treatment at one of the best spas in Seminyak called Bodyworks Spa. Their new location is like a modern Moroccan Riad.
19. Take a day trip to Ubud
No trip to Bali is complete without a visit to Ubud, a traditional Balinese town with an abundance of culture, rice fields, and waterfalls.
When you are in Ubud, check out Campuhan Ridge Walk, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Saraswati Temple, and Tegalalang Rice Terrace.
And walk around the town of Ubud where you can find many local arts and crafts like handmade wood carvings, textiles and antiques. Make sure to get some souvenirs before you leave Ubud.
And if you have an extra day in Ubud, see some of the best attractions outside of Ubud town including Pura Tirta Empul, Tibumana Waterfall, Pengibul Waterfall and Blangsinga Waterfall. Follow my Ubud itinerary and you can see all of these attractions in 2 days.
20. Take a day excursion to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan
From Canggu, you can take a day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
The day trip starts with a quick 30-minute speedboat ride from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan.
Once you are there, rent a scooter for the day and visit Mushroom Bay Beach, Devil’s Tear, Dream Beach on Nusa Lembongan Island. Then cross the famous Yellow Bridge to Nusa Ceningan and see blue waters of Blue Lagoon, and Secret Point Beach.
Then finish the day by having a coconut at one of the bars along Jungutbatu Beach on Nusa Lembongan while waiting for the next speedboat back to Sanur.
It is possible to see all of these attractions in one day. But if you have more time, definitely stay overnight at either Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan so you can spend more time on the small islands.
Want to join a tour in Canggu? Check out some of these ideas:
Things to do in Canggu: what are you going to do in Canggu?
I hope this list can help you plan your first trip to Canggu. I keep coming back to Canggu year after year and always end up spending most of my time in Canggu. I love the area, all the food options, affordable day spas, proximity to the beaches, and it has all the best things to do for a solo traveller.
I hope you enjoyed this post and inspired your next trip to Canggu in Bali, Indonesia. If you have any more questions about Canggu, leave a comment below.