Top Picks: Choosing the Best Place to Live in Bali for Expats & Families

Bali’s not just a tropical paradise; it’s a place many call home. From the serene rice fields of Ubud to the bustling streets of Seminyak, there’s a spot for every lifestyle. I’ve explored the island’s nooks and crannies to find the best places to live.

Whether you’re after a laid-back beach town vibe or a cultural hub teeming with art and history, Bali’s got you covered. In this article, I’ll walk you through the top spots to set up your dream home in Bali, ensuring you find the perfect balance of comfort, beauty, and local charm.

Get ready to discover where your Bali adventure should begin. With my insights, you’ll be one step closer to living your best life on this enchanting island.

Bali rice paddy Best Place to Live in BaliThe Serene Rice Fields of Ubud

Escape into the tranquility of Ubud, where serene rice fields stretch out like a living emerald carpet beneath the sky. It’s no secret that I’ve fallen in love with this place, where expat neighborhoods blend seamlessly with traditional Balinese culture. The vibe here is peaceful yet vibrant; it’s the heart of Bali’s artistic soul.

Ubud is often what comes to mind for those imagining Bali living areas. Here, mornings are greeted with the sounds of nature and the spiritual ambiance that’s become synonymous with the locale. As I wander through the outskirts of Ubud, the terraced rice fields are not just a feast for the eyes—they’re an iconic part of life here. It’s a place where one feels instantly connected to the earth and the community.

Pros of Living in Ubud
Natural Beauty
Cultural Experiences
Expat Friendly
Peace and Quiet

This idyllic setting isn’t just for short-term getaways. Those looking for where to live in Bali often choose Ubud for its wellness-centric lifestyle. With a plethora of yoga studios, organic eateries, and art galleries, my days here are enriched by endless possibilities for self-growth and creative exploration.

Living amidst the rice paddies means waking up to cool, unpolluted air and indulging in the slow pace of rural life, yet with all the comforts essential for modern living close at hand. There are international schools, high-end supermarkets, and health care facilities ensuring that expats have everything they need.

Ubud might just be the personification of balance—a harmonious blend of nature, culture, and community. It’s a place that’s cultivated a warm, welcoming atmosphere for foreigners looking to set down roots in a new, inviting environment. Here, one can find both solitude and social connections, wrapped up in the mystical embrace of Bali. Whether you’re a digital nomad, retiree, or part of a family seeking a different pace of life, Ubud’s rice fields offer a sublime backdrop for your Bali adventure.

The Bustling Streets of Seminyak

While Ubud offers tranquility and a connection to traditional Balinese culture, Seminyak stands out with its vibrant lifestyle and contemporary luxuries. In my adventures around Bali, I’ve seen how Seminyak has become a hotspot for expats and tourists alike, pulling in those who love a more dynamic environment. It’s an area where upscale Bali living areas merge with the island’s characteristic charm.

The streets here are lined with high-end boutiques, trendy cafes, and some of the most renowned eateries on the island. Seminyak’s dining scene is unparalleled, with offerings ranging from local Indonesian dishes to international cuisine that could rival restaurants in world capitals. As an expat writing about Where to Live in Bali, I can’t help but boast about Seminyak’s nightlife – it’s the place to be for those who enjoy evenings filled with lively music and oceanfront sunset cocktails.

Not to be overlooked, Seminyak Beach is one of Bali’s most fashionable destinations, attracting a crowd that appreciates the finer things in life. Here, the golden sands are fringed by an array of beach clubs that offer an indulgent escape with plush loungers and designer cocktails, all accompanied by sweeping views of the Indian Ocean.

Within Seminyak, Expat Neighborhoods Bali style are filled with residential options. From luxurious villas to modern apartments, there is a diverse range of living spaces available that cater to different preferences and budgets. What’s more, the community in Seminyak is international and welcoming, making it easy for newcomers to find their niche and settle in.

The area’s connectivity is also a major plus for residents. Seminyak’s central location means easy access to other popular spots, including the bustling Kuta and the more laid-back Canggu. It’s the perfect balance for those who want to explore every facet of Balinese life while enjoying the comforts and amenities synonymous with an upscale lifestyle.

With all this in mind, it’s clear why Seminyak is often on the radar for those pondering the best place to live in Bali. Here, the blend of beach life, chic shopping, and social opportunities create an irresistible vibe that is hard to find elsewhere.

A Laid-Back Beach Town Vibe in Canggu

Transitioning from the upscale living in Seminyak, Canggu presents itself as the bohemian cousin, embodying a laid-back beach town vibe that’s hard to ignore. Here’s where the serene rice fields meet the sea, and surfers dot the horizon. It’s popular among expats and digital nomads, carving out a spot as one of the top Bali living areas.

Much like Seminyak and other expat neighborhoods in Bali, Canggu offers a unique blend of tranquility and activity. I’ve spent countless mornings strolling along the long stretches of beach, the smell of sea salt in the air and the sound of crashing waves creating a sensory symphony. The black sands of Batu Bolong and Echo Beach are iconic, not just for their beauty but as a haven for surfers.

  • Canggu offers a mix of traditional Balinese culture and modern amenities, making it incredibly attractive for those pondering where to live in Bali.
  • The area is rife with health-conscious cafes and organic eateries, where I’ve enjoyed some of the freshest meals that align with a wellness lifestyle.
  • Residential options vary from cozy guesthouses to luxurious villas, ensuring there’s a place for every taste and budget.

Community events are a staple here. The locals and expats alike revel in a variety of gatherings from yoga classes and workshops to market fairs brimming with local handicrafts. Canggu’s vibe is infectious; it encourages a lifestyle that’s both active and relaxed.

The area is not just about beach life; it’s a hub for creativity. Some streets are lined with art galleries and unique boutiques, selling everything from handcrafted jewelry to bespoke clothing. For me, the mix of leisure, culture, and the embrace of entrepreneurship makes Canggu stand out. Whether it’s watching sunset sessions at the beach or engaging with the vibrant community, Canggu has cemented its reputation as a place where laid-back living becomes an everyday luxury.

Cultural Hub: The Art and History of Sanur

In the radiant dawn of Bali living areas, Sanur is like the gentle light that awakens the island’s cultural spirit. Often overlooked in favor of its more boisterous neighbors, Sanur holds a treasure trove of Balinese heritage and artistry that’s unparalleled. I’ve found that it’s a haven for those seeking a quieter, more culturally enriched lifestyle.

Nestled comfortably on the east coast, Sanur’s alluring beachfront is lined with majestic jukung boats and paved pathways perfect for leisurely strolls. But what truly sets Sanur apart is its vibrant history woven into the very fabric of its community. Traditional Balinese festivals are a common sight, with colorful processions and the melodic gamelan echoing through the streets, offering a genuine glimpse into the island’s soul.

Art enthusiasts flock to Sanur for its unique offerings. Galleries and art spaces dot the region, each providing a platform for both traditional and contemporary Balinese artists. The renowned Le Mayeur Museum, once the home of Belgian painter Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur, showcases a mesmerizing collection of works and pays homage to the artistic legacy that continues to inspire.

One of the Expat Neighborhoods Bali is known for, Sanur’s community radiates a warm, welcoming atmosphere. There’s an array of international schools, making it an ideal setting for expatriate families. Also, its strategic position provides swift access to Bali’s central areas while keeping the hustle and bustle at arm’s length—perfect for a balance between convenience and tranquility.

Dining in Sanur is another reflection of its cultural harmony. Restaurants serve a delightful mix of international cuisine and authentic Balinese dishes, ensuring every palate finds satisfaction.

  • Traditional Balinese Festivals
  • Art Galleries and Spaces
  • Community and Living
  • Dining Options


Deciding on the perfect spot to call home in Bali boils down to personal preference and lifestyle desires. Whether you’re drawn to the serene ambience and cultural richness of Sanur or you prefer the bustling energy of other locales, Bali’s diverse neighborhoods offer something for everyone. I’ve explored the island’s various communities and can confidently say that each has its unique charm and advantages. Remember, the best place to live is where you find your own slice of paradise and a community that resonates with your way of life. Bali is more than just a destination; it’s a diverse, vibrant home waiting to welcome you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the highlighted features of living in Seminyak, Bali?

Seminyak is renowned for its upscale atmosphere, stylish boutiques, luxurious accommodations, and vibrant nightlife. It’s a favorite for those who enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle, with easy access to high-end shopping, fine dining, and beach clubs.

How does Canggu appeal to digital nomads and surfers?

Canggu offers a relaxed coastal living with modern amenities, making it ideal for digital nomads. The area is also home to excellent surf spots, attracting surf enthusiasts from all over the world.

What makes Ubud unique compared to other areas in Bali?

Ubud stands out for its serene, natural environment, cultural richness, and artistic community. Known as the cultural heart of Bali, it’s perfect for those seeking wellness retreats and an immersive experience in Balinese traditions and crafts.

What can expats expect in Sanur regarding community and culture?

Expats in Sanur can expect a warm and welcoming community along with a strong emphasis on cultural richness. The area is known for traditional Balinese festivals, art galleries, and a quieter, more culturally enriched lifestyle.

What kind of dining options does Sanur offer?

Sanur provides a variety of dining experiences, ranging from international cuisine to authentic Balinese dishes. This diversity caters to the tastes and preferences of both expats and local residents.

Is Sanur suitable for families looking for a place to live in Bali?

Yes, Sanur is an excellent place for families, offering a balance between convenience and tranquility. Its cultural activities and friendly community create an enriching environment for family life.