My recommendations on where to stay in Bali, and how to get to where you want to go!
Transportation: get an Uber from the airport, avoid the men in Blue shirts they charge far too much for a taxi!
Costs: an Uber from the airport to Kuta / Seminyak is around 50,000 IDR
When you arrive in Bali you’ll be greeted by a magnificent looking airport, Ngurah Rai, with dominating statues and a stunning mix of architecture and nature, as airports go it really is one of the more beautiful ones. Once you arrive my advice would be to jump on the free airport wifi and order an Uber, (use code stephenp2527ue for a free ride!) you’ll be accosted left, right and centre by taxi drivers dressed in blue shirts charging you way to costly prices to drive you 20 minutes down the road to what are the most popular destinations of Kuta and/or Seminyak. When a taxi may cost you 200,000 IDR, Uber will cost less than a quarter of this, an easy way to save yourself some money. Now the Wifi runs out at the front door once you leave the airport so the easiest solution to this is to add your driver to Whatsapp and drop him a message with an exact place to meet, mine actually came and found me based on my picture so make sure Uber has a photo of yourself so they can recognise you!
Kuta and Seminyak are only about a 10 minute drive apart but for me they were worlds away from each other. I found Kuta to be overcrowded, the beaches dirty and the general vibe of the place was relentless, being hassled all the time for a massage, a taxi or to buy a T-shirt. To give an example of how ridiculous it can be: while waiting at a set of traffic lights driving a motorbike I was offered Taxi’s by 2 separate people, what were they thinking that I’d abandon the bike I’d rented to jump in their taxi’s?!
One place in Kuta I can recommend is Nau Here Hostel which is a nicely run hostel, the dorms are between 6 and 12 people with your own charging point, light and a privacy curtain. The beds are comfortable the showers clean and a fairly decent breakfast of toast, jam, tea/coffee and fresh fruit is provided in the morning, all for $6 a night. Location wise it’s about 10 minutes away from the beach and right around the corner is a large food market where you can eat for as little as 15,000 IDR for a decent sized meal.
Seminyak on the other hand retains a quaint charm about it, there’s a mix of affordable hostels and hotels, the shops are a kitchy mix of hippy independent shops and surfer places. Mixed in with amazing cafes, restaurants and healthy eating establishments it has it all. Compare this to the mass of fast food restaurants you find in Kuta and it feels like you are in a completely different country.
Debating between Kuta and Seminyak then hands down go to Seminyak!!
You can read my individual guides to both of them to find out more!