Sanur Bali Travel Guide: 24 Best Things To Do

by David & Intan

Sanur is known for being one of the most quiet and family friendly areas of Bali Indonesia, but there are also plenty of good things to do there.

Families will love the laid back atmosphere and chill restaurants at Sanur Beach, and the sunrise views here are some of the best you can find anywhere in Bali.

This sleepy seaside town on the southeast coast of Bali was one of the original birthplaces of tourism on the island, and it’s still popular for its nice hotels, shopping, breakfast, massages, and easy access to the Nusa islands.

Without further ado, here is our complete travel guide for what to do in Sanur!

Where To Stay In Sanur


Where Is Sanur?

First things first — where is Sanur located?

Sanur (pronounced sah-noor) is located in the southeast corner of Bali island, across from Denpasar and the main city center.

The Sanur area primarily includes the beach and the main street (Jalan Danau Tamblingan), as well as the Ngurah Rai Bypass and a chunk of land west of the Bypass.

The main tourist area is concentrated east of the Bypass. This is where most tourists stay, and it has most (but not all) of the hotels, restaurants, attractions, and activities in Sanur.

Most tourists here don’t venture into the area west of the Bypass at all, although it does have some hidden gems, including a few nice restaurants and rice paddies. I’m sure this area will become more important as tourism continues to expand.

Sanur Beach Bali Drone

Drone picture of Sanur Beach from above


How To Get Around Sanur

If you’re staying on Sanur Beach or Danau Tamblingan street, the whole area is pretty walkable and most things are close enough to be reached on foot.

Bluebird taxis are always available for short rides around Sanur, but the prices are a bit inflated for tourists. It’s cheaper to use ride-hailing apps like Grab and Go-Jek, and the local taxis in Sanur don’t seem to fight this at all (unlike in Ubud where the local taxi mafia may be more protective of their turf).

If you want to do some exploring outside of town, you’ll need to rent a scooter or hire a private car and driver (both of these can be booked online). Airport transfers to Sanur from the Bali airport can also be arranged with your hotel or booked online.

Sanur Beach Sunrise

Sunrise may be the best time to get pictures of Sanur


Best Things To Do In Sanur Bali


1. Sanur Beach Sunrise

Sanur Beach may not rank up there with some of the best beaches in Bali, but it certainly shines (no pun intended) as one of the best sunrise spots on the island.

The combination of a cool morning breeze, birds chirping, fishermen wading out on the reef, the Mount Agung volcano in the distance, and the overall sunrise display here is just plain magic. Sometimes you can even see the distant outline of Mount Rinjani in Lombok.

Sunrise on the beach is definitely one of the best things to do in Sanur! It’s a great way to start the day.

Read More: Sanur Beach Sunrise

Sanur Beach Sunrise reflection in Bali

Sunrise at Sanur Beach is always special


2. Sanur Boardwalk

Sanur Beach has a very long coastline (around 7 kilometers) and there’s a paved foot path all the way, so it’s perfect for a morning walk, jog, or bicycle ride.

It’s a nice scenic path lined with fishing boats, hotel gardens, and beach restaurants, and you can occasionally get views of the Mount Agung volcano in the distance.

If you’re looking for what to do in Sanur, the boardwalk is a great place to start! The whole public beach area is free to enter, and sunbeds or bicycles can usually be rented for around 25k Rupiah per day.

The best place to rent bicycles is at Warung Sports in Jalan Pantai Sindhu, otherwise you can find other places to rent them along the Sanur boardwalk.

For yoga lovers, there’s also a free morning yoga class every day at Pantai Karang. It starts at 7:30 AM and everyone is welcome, just join in with a mat or towel.

Since 2023, the whole walking path at the beach has been renovated to make it wider. This is welcome news because the boardwalk can get pretty busy in the mornings.

Sanur Bali Beach Tandjung Sari

Beachfront at the Tandjung Sari Hotel. One of our favorite pictures of Sanur Bali.


3. Sanur Beach

To be honest, Sanur beach can’t compete with the nicest beaches in Bali, because there’s just too much seaweed along the shore and the sand is not really white or special.

There are a few exceptions, but most parts of the beach are just average. However, Sanur is great for families, and that’s why so many expats and Balinese locals like to come to the beach here.

Calm sea waves and shallow water make it an ideal place for kids to swim, and there’s a fantastic breeze in the summer months (May through August).

Sanur Beach Bali

Sanur Beach Bali       Sanur Beach Bali

4. Sanur Festivals

The Sanur area is home to a number of fun seasonal festivals in Bali. These are free to visit and it can be a great activity for families and anyone wanting to see Balinese arts and culture.

Here are the main festivals in Sanur you should check out:

  • Bali Kite Festival (July/August). This is a yearly festival held in Sanur where hundreds of creative kites fly the skies in a fun sort of competition. During the dry season in Indonesia (May through September), Bali gets nice strong winds from the east, so Sanur has perfect weather for kite flying. The main event of the festival is usually held in July or August, and you can see all kinds of gigantic and quirky kites, sometimes up to 100 meters long!
  • Sanur Village Festival (July/August). This is another yearly festival celebrated in Sanur Beach since 2006, featuring Balinese arts, food, and culture. There’s even a traditional boat show and competition with the colorful ‘jukung’ fishing boats.
  • Bali Arts Festival (June/July). Also known as PKB or Pesta Kesenian Bali, this is Indonesia’s longest-running arts festival, which started in 1979. It’s celebrated yearly, and the festival lasts for an entire month in Denpasar city, just a 10 minute drive from Sanur. The highlight of this festival is the big parade on the opening day of the festival, which features all kinds of amazing Balinese costumes and music.

Bali Arts Festival Pesta Kesenian PKB

Bali Arts Festival (PKB) parade in 2022


5. Sea Turtle Release

If you’re lucky, you can sometimes join a sea turtle release at Sanur Beach, although it’s not as common as the turtle release at Kuta Beach.

Olive ridley sea turtles still like to lay their eggs at Sanur and the other Bali beaches from time to time, so they have to be picked up to keep them safe from predators and people walking on the beach.

When the babies hatch, you can release them to the ocean with a donation. It’s a fun activity for families, and it benefits sea turtle conservation, which is important in Bali.

This activity comes from the Turtle Conservation and Education Center (TCEC) on nearby Serangan island, which is supported by the WWF and has been working on sea turtle repopulation and education in Bali since 2006.

There are usually batches of baby sea turtles released somewhere on Sanur Beach at least once or twice a month. Turtle releases are more common during the mid summer months (June through August), but they can happen at any time of year.

If you want to join, your best bet is to ask around with Genius Cafe or Byrdhouse, and they can probably tell you when the next turtle release is happening in Sanur.

Read More: Bali Sea Turtle Release


6. ICON Mall

The ICON Mall just opened in northern Sanur and it’s the biggest mall in Bali, with dozens of shops and restaurants, cultural shows, and plans for a butterfly park and beach club.

A lot of people have been upset about this mall coming to Sanur, which is understandable because this has always been known as one of the quiet sides of Bali, and it seems inevitable that the mall is going to bring more traffic, noise, and tourists to this area.

I have mixed feelings about the mall. I like it, but I wish it wasn’t in Sanur. It belongs in Kuta or Denpasar. But it’s here to stay, so we might as well make the most of it. It looks like a nice mall, and it should be great for families with kids. Once the novelty wears off, I’m hoping it doesn’t have a huge impact on traffic either. I guess we’ll see.

The ICON Mall had a soft opening on June 7, 2024, and some things are still a work in progress. More info and pictures will be coming soon.

Icon Mall

© Icon Mall — the new mall at Sanur Beach


7. Sanur Beach Clubs

The Sanur area isn’t really known for beach clubs (yet), but a few good ones have started to pop up, such as Byrdhouse.

There was also the Artotel Beach Club, but it closed down during Covid, and it remains to be seen if it’ll be renovated and reopened.

The way a beach club works is you pay an entrance fee, and then you get a food and beverage credit along with access to a pool, playground, and beachfront lounge with WiFi and sunbeds.

Artotel Beach Club Sanur Bali

The late Artotel Beach Club (© ABC)

Byrdhouse Beach Club

Byrdhouse Beach Club (© Byrdhouse)


8. Le Mayeur Museum

This is a small museum dedicated to a 1930s Belgian painter and his Balinese wife. It’s set up in their former house in north Sanur Beach (GPS here).

Reviews are mixed, because the paintings are nice, but the upkeep has been poor and there’s no air conditioning. Entrance fee is 50k Rupiah for foreigners.

The main reason to visit this place is to get a small peek into what the real Bali was like in the old days before mass tourism, malls, and the internet.

9. Sanur Rice Fields

These are some rice fields near Sanur that are virtually unknown to tourists, but they’re just as green as any of the others in Bali Indonesia.

There’s a new walking path in good condition, and you can take your bicycle or scooter on it for a nice scenic ride.

With the high speed of development in Bali and especially the Sanur/Denpasar area, sadly these rice paddies may not be around for much longer before they’re replaced by buildings. So enjoy them while you can!

Read More: Sanur Rice Fields

Drone view of green rice fields at Sanur, Denpasar in Bali

A drone view of the rice fields near Sanur


10. Sindhu Night Market

This is a small night market in northern Sanur where you can buy local cooked foods like Nasi Campur, Satay, and Nasi Goreng at very reasonable prices.

It’s popular with locals and tourists alike, and you can also find fresh veggies, fruits, and fruit juices (including durian)!

The night market is officially open from 6 PM until 11 PM, but it usually starts earlier, and sometimes it can go as late as 1 AM if it’s a busy night.

11. Sanur Water Sports

Sanur beach is one of the most popular places to do water sports in Bali.

There isn’t worthwhile surfing or snorkeling in this area (in spite of the many dive shops in Sanur), but the beach is a great place to do parasailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, jet skiing, banana boats, etc.

If you want a unique experience, you can also hire one of the local fishermen to take you around on a traditional ‘jukung’ fishing boat. I’ve seen some great fish caught in the waters here.

Sanur watersports

Sanur water sports


12. Sanur Massage & Spa

Practically every third building in Sanur is a massage shop.

Balinese massage is fantastic and the prices can be very affordable, at 100k Rupiah ($7 USD) or less for a 1 hour body massage or foot massage.

A few of the highest rated massage places in Sanur are The Nest, KOA Boutique, and Leha Leha Spa. These places are terrific and you may need reservations, but honestly you can go to just about any spa and get a good experience.

Many of the high end resorts in Sanur also have their own spa and massage centers, which are usually pricey but top notch.

We’ve never had a bad massage anywhere in Bali. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a full day of hiking or touring.

Bali massage

Sanur massage is some of the best (© Klook)


13. Sanur Restaurants

Sanur is loaded with great cafes and restaurants, especially for breakfast.

You can sip a coffee by the beach with your toes in the sand, or enjoy one of the many restaurants lining Jalan Danau Tamblingan (the main street).

This is far from a complete list, but these are just a few recommendations:

You can also find plenty of cheap and authentic Indonesian ‘warungs’ (little family owned restaurants) if you look in the side alleys of Sanur or across the Ngurah Rai Bypass.

We plan to cover food and restaurants in more detail with another travel guide later on, so keep an eye out for that!

Sanur fruit smoothie bowl

Sanur beach restaurant

14. Souvenir Shopping

Shopping is one of the most popular things to do in Sanur, so it’s a great place to pick up your Bali souvenirs before leaving Indonesia.

Some people go to Artasedana (formerly Hardy’s), which has fixed prices, but if you have time to look around you might get better deals from the small shops on Tamblingan street or Sanur Beach, where haggling is expected.

You can find the usual souvenirs like keychains and fridge magnets, or a wide variety of nice handmade crafts like wood carvings, paintings, and rattan bags.

Bali is also known for coffee beans, spices, oils, lace, ceramics, and silverworks, and you can find all of these things in Sanur too.

Souvenir beach seller

Friendly beach seller. This guy paints wooden eggs with amazing detail.

Sanur Bali paintings

Paintings for sale in Sanur Bali


15. Pura Blanjong Temple

Pura Blanjong is an ancient Balinese Hindu temple located in south Sanur, on the main street of Jalan Danau Poso.

Even though it’s not nearly as beautiful or photogenic as the best temples in Bali, some might find the history here interesting.

There’s a stone pillar at Pura Blanjong that is one of the oldest artifacts in Bali, and it has inscriptions telling about the first recorded Balinese king (Sri Kesari Warmadewa) and his military victories.

Read More: Best Temples In Bali

16. Pool Day Passes

Some of the hotels in Sanur sell day passes for their pool, so you can swim and enjoy the sunbeds and other nice facilities without staying overnight.

If you’re visiting Bali on a budget, a day pass like this can be a great way to get your ‘pool fix’ once or twice without breaking the bank. At various times, pool day passes have been offered by Prama, Swiss-Belresort, Gazebo Beach Hotel, Puri Santrian, InterContinental, Taksu, and other hotels in Sanur.

A normal price for this is about 50k to 100k Rupiah per person for the day, although it may be higher if there’s food and beverages included. You can inquire with the hotels directly to confirm pricing and availability.

Swiss Belresort Sanur Pool Day Pass

Some hotels in Sanur sell pool day passes (© Swiss-Belresort)


17. Pod Chocolate Shop

Pod Chocolate is famous in Bali, and they have a nice shop in north Sanur where you can stock up on their amazing chocolate bars and spreads.

You’ve probably seen their chocolate for sale in the Bali airport before, but this local shop near Sanur has a bigger selection and better prices. It’s also easier to visit than their main chocolate factory, which is in north/central Bali (Mengwi area).

Pod Bali has free chocolate tasting here (so you can try before you buy), which is great because they have more than 20 flavors for sale now!

Pod Chocolate Junglegold

Pod Chocolate Junglegold

The Pod Chocolate shop (now called ‘Junglegold’)


More Things To Do Near Sanur


18. Plaza Renon Mall

This is a small shopping mall in the Renon area of Denpasar city, just 15 minutes from Sanur.

It has lots of good restaurants and coffee shops, as well as a supermarket, pharmacy, and multi-screen cinema.

Plaza Renon is a good place to hang out, but it can be a bit crowded on the weekends since a lot of locals like to come here.

Plaza Renon Mall Denpasar

Plaza Renon is a small mall in Denpasar


19. Taman Festival

This is a spooky abandoned theme park just outside of Sanur that’s turned into a bit of a dark tourism object over the years.

Taman Festival closed in 1997 during the Asian financial crisis and an overall slump in interest from tourists at the time. The $100 million USD park originally featured a fake volcano and a pit full of crocodiles, but now it’s covered with graffiti and consumed by jungle. Even bats are starting to take up residence here.

Obviously exploring a haunted park like this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I thought it was fascinating to see the giant banyan trees starting to swallow up the buildings. It’s like the Angkor Wat of theme parks!

There’s a small entrance fee to visit Taman Festival (we paid 20k Rupiah), and you can explore the area for as long as you like, but be sure to bring mosquito spray!

Taman Festival Ruins

Taman Festival Ruins

The spooky Taman Festival ruins


20. Bajra Sandhi Monument

This is an imposing monument in Bali’s capital city of Denpasar, just a 10 minute drive from Sanur.

It’s dedicated to the struggles of the Balinese people over the centuries, and the inside has an air conditioned museum that was opened in 2003.

Personally I think it looks like the creepy castle of some movie villain, but it’s still an interesting design.

A lot of local couples like to do prewedding photos here, and it has a big courtyard area with some nice walking paths.

Bajra Sandhi Monument Renon Denpasar

Bajra Sandhi Monument in Denpasar


21. Nusa Dua Camel Safari

You can do camel rides on the beach in Nusa Dua, just 30 or 40 minutes from Sanur.

The rides start at the Hilton Bali Resort in Nusa Dua, but they’re run by a different company called Bali Camel Safaris (you can book with them via WhatsApp at ☎ +62 812-3615-8243).

The camel ride is nothing spectacular, just a short walk on the beach for 30-60 minutes, but if you’ve never rode a camel before it can be a fun experience for the first time.

22. Bali Zoo

The Bali Zoo has a lot of great wildlife, including some species that are local to Indonesia.

You can get your picture taken with tropical birds here, and the park facilities and animal care seem good too. I think it’s one of the best things to do near Sanur.

The zoo is just a 30 minute drive north from Sanur.

Read More: Bali Zoo Review

Scary looking alligator statue at the Bali Zoo

Bali Zoo Baby Wallaby

A baby wallaby at the Bali Zoo


23. Bali Bird Park

If you’ve been to the Bali Zoo and you’re wanting to see more tropical birds, there’s a bird and reptile park just a short distance away that has over 1,000 exotic bird species.

The Bali Bird Park also has a reptile center with crocodiles and Komodo dragons, and you can hold iguanas or turtles.

The park is just a 30 minute drive north from Sanur.

Red parrot and green parrot at the Bali Zoo

The colorful face of a blue and yellow parrot at the Bali Zoo

A colorful parrot at the bird park


24. Nusa Islands

Sanur happens to be the main jump off point for visiting the Nusa islands, a group of three small islands near the east coast of Bali Indonesia.

Nusa Penida Island has some of the most amazing scenery anywhere in the Bali province, so you could easily spend a week exploring this island and its smaller twins, Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan.

There are a bunch of speedboat companies making this trip daily from the comfy new harbor in north Sanur, and the journey to the Nusa islands only takes about 45 minutes.

You can even visit the Nusa islands on a day trip and return to Bali in the same day if you’re so inclined, although I think it’s worth staying longer!

Read More: Nusa Penida Travel Guide

Book Now: Nusa Penida Day Tour

The T-Rex shaped cliff point at Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali

One of the most famous views in Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida tree house view at Rumah Pohon Molenteng in Bali

Treehouse in Nusa Penida


Best Beach In Sanur

I think the best beach in Sanur might be the sandy little section in front of Tandjung Sari Hotel, which is part of Segara Beach. This spot has soft white sand, palm trees, and sunbeds, and the staff rake and clean the beach regularly, keeping it looking really immaculate.

Another nice beach in Sanur is the long stretch in front of Hyatt Regency, which is lined with colorful jukung boats, and has great views of the Mount Agung volcano in the distance.

Sanur Beach Sellers

Like most of the popular beaches in Bali, Sanur has sellers who walk around and try to make money by peddling their wares to you: paper fans, knives, kites, bracelets, and other handmade trinkets. They’re just trying to feed themselves and pay the bills.

The beach sellers in Sanur are not nearly as aggressive as the ones in Kuta, but some of them are still pushy at times, which can be a bit annoying if you’re just wanting to enjoy your meal or relax on the beach.

On the main street of Jalan Danau Tamblingan, you get the same thing from taxi drivers and local transport trying to offer you tours around Bali. I find the taxi touts more annoying as they’ll even yell to you from the other side of the street when you’re clearly preoccupied.

Unless you’re genuinely interested in something they’re selling, it’s best to avoid engaging in any conversation or eye contact with them as this will only encourage them to keep pestering you. Don’t say ‘maybe later’ either, as they’ll hold you to your word!

For me, the best solution is to smile, shake my head no, and keep walking. Otherwise, if they catch you while you’re sitting at the beach, usually a simple ‘no’ or ‘tidak’ (tee-dah) will do the job. If you give them money just to leave you alone, then you’re likely to be surrounded by other beach sellers wanting the same thing!

Sanur Beach Seller Bali

A friendly beach seller


What To Do In Sanur At Night

Even though Sanur isn’t known for nightlife, there are some things to do if you look around.

The Sindhu market in north Sanur gets lively at night, and it usually goes until at least 11 PM. You can find cheap local food there, plus fresh fruit and veggies.

For bars, you have lots of choices in every area of Sanur, like Casablanca, Arena Pub, Bamboo Bar, and Sand Beach Bar. There are too many to list.

Sanur isn’t a sunset watching spot since it faces east. Probably the only way to catch a good sunset in Sanur is a romantic dinner on the rooftop of the Maya Resort.

Maya has a nice elevated rooftop for fancy dinners, and you can get some great panoramic views of the sunset from there. You can book this dinner with them directly here.

Is Sanur Safe?

Yes, Sanur is very safe. It’s generally known as one of the safest areas in Bali. Just take normal precautions and you shouldn’t have any issues.

I’ve brought my camera gear to the beach in the dark many times for sunrise, and there are usually plenty of other photographers there taking sunrise pics.

Even before sunrise, lots of people start jogging the path at Sanur Beach. Violent crime is rare in Bali, and Indonesia in general.

The main thing to watch out for is drive-by phone snatchings, which do happen in some parts of Bali from time to time, so just remember to put away your phone when you’re by a busy road with passing motorbikes.

Swimming at Sanur Beach

Kids can swim too at Sanur Beach


Snorkeling In Sanur

If you’re expecting great snorkeling spots in Sanur, you’ll be disappointed. You may get lucky and see some fish and coral, but in general the visibility is not great and there really isn’t much to see underwater in Sanur.

The good news is that it’s easy to do a day trip from Sanur to Nusa Penida island, where you can snorkel with some fantastic fish and coral. In fact, Nusa Penida is one of the best places in the world to swim with manta rays and giant mola mola fish.

You can go to Nusa Penida and arrange a snorkeling tour yourself at Toyapakeh boat harbor, or it’s also possible to book this online as a day tour departing from Bali, complete with hotel pickup and speed boat transfer.

Book Now: Nusa Penida Snorkeling / Manta Ray Tour


When To Visit Bali

The best time to visit Sanur depends on what you’re looking for:

☁ Bali’s rainy season runs from November to April. The weather during the day can be hot and humid, at 32 to 35 °C (90 to 95 °F), but it’s less crowded during this time, and the rain is normally in the evening or at night.

☀ From May to August, the temps are cooler, and it’s more breezy and sunny. This is the windy season and it’s the nicest weather. It’s also the high season for tourists, so it’s generally more crowded.

With the exception of the Sanur festivals (which only happen during the windy season), you can experience any of the other sights in this Sanur travel guide all year round!

Sanur Beach Jukung Boats

Traditional ‘jukung’ boats on the sand

Sanur Bali Drone

Drone picture of the iconic floating gazebos at Pantai Karang


More Bali Travel Tips

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this list of the best things to do in Sanur Bali!

We plan to add more tips to this Sanur travel guide in the future, so please check back again later.

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my complete Bali Travel Guide for more tips, info, and photos!

Sanur Hotels


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