Sanur is known for being one of the most quiet and family friendly parts of Bali, but there are also plenty of good things to do in Sanur.
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 east coast of Bali was one of the original birth places of Bali’s tourism, 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 Sanur travel guide, with some of our top recommendations of what to do in Sanur!
Where To Stay
Best Things To Do In Sanur Bali
1. Sanur Beach Sunrise
Sanur Beach may not rank up there with Bali’s top beaches, but it does shine (no pun intended) as one of the best sunrise spots on the island.
The combination of a cool morning breeze, fishermen wading out on the reef, the Mount Agung volcano in the distance, and the spectacular sunrise display here is just plain magic.
Sunrise on the beach is definitely one of the best things to do in Sanur!
More info: Sanur Beach Sunrise
2. Sanur Boardwalk
Sanur beach has a very long coastline (around 7 km) 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.
The whole public beach area is free to enter, and sunbeds or bicycles can usually be rented for 25k Rupiah (~$2) per day.
If you’re into yoga, 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!
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 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 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).
4. Bali Kite Festival
Sanur is home to the yearly Bali Kite Festival, when hundreds of unique looking kites fly the skies in a fun sort of competition.
During the dry season (May through August), Bali gets nice strong winds from the east, so Sanur has perfect weather for kite flying.
You can see all kinds of gigantic and creative kites, sometimes up to 100 meters long!
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 one at Kuta.
Olive ridley sea turtles still like to lay their eggs at Sanur Beach sometimes, and when the babies hatch you can release them to the ocean for free (or with a small donation).
Releases are more common during the mid summer months (June through August), so your best bet is to ask around on the beachfront and hope you’re present when they do the next release.
6. Sanur Beach Clubs
Sanur isn’t really known for beach clubs, but a few good ones have started to pop up, and some of the nice beachfront hotels also offer day passes to walk in visitors.
The two top beach clubs in Sanur right now are Artotel Beach Club and Byrdhouse Beach Club.
After you pay the entrance fee, you get a food and beverage credit along with access to a pool, playground, and beachfront lounge with WiFi and sunbeds.
7. 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 is bad 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.
8. 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.
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!
More info: Sanur Rice Fields
9. Sindhu Night Market
This is a small night market in north 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 and fruit juices (including durian)!
The night market is open from 6 PM until 11 PM, but sometimes can go as late as 1 AM if it’s a busy night.
10. Sanur Watersports
Sanur beach is one of the most popular places to do watersports in Bali.
The surfing and snorkeling in this area aren’t worth your time, but it’s a great place to do parasailing, jet skiing, banana boats, etc.
If you want a unique experience, hire one of the local fishermen to take you around on a traditional ‘jukung’ boat.
11. Sanur Massage
Practically every third building in Sanur is a massage shop.
Balinese massage is fantastic and the prices can be very affordable, at 150k Rupiah ($10 USD) or less for a 1 hour body massage.
Two of the highest rated places in Sanur are KOA Boutique and The Nest, but honestly you can go to just about any spa and get a good massage. 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.
12. Sanur Restaurants
Sanur is loaded with great cafes and restaurants, especially for breakfast.
This is far from a complete list, but these are just a few recommendations:
- Breakfast — Luhtu’s Coffee Shop, The Glass House, Canvas Cafe, Bread Basket, Square One, Soul On The Beach, The Owl, Cafe Smorgas, and Kopi Kiosk
- Dinner — Seagrass By The Beach, Arena Pub & Restaurant, Three Monkeys Sanur, Kayu Manis, Le Patio, Sand Beach Bar & Restaurant, Apa Kabar, and Tandjung Sari
- Ethnic — Taqisa (Mexican), Kokoya (Japanese), Thailicious (Thai), Massimo (Italian), Trattoria (Italian), Bella Italia (Italian), The Lebanesian Warung (Middle Eastern), Curry In Bali (Indian), Warung Kecil (Indonesian), and Gong Restaurant (Balinese)
You can also find plenty of cheap and authentic Indonesian warungs in Sanur if you look in the side alleys.
We plan to cover food and restaurants in more detail with another Sanur travel guide later on, so keep an eye out for that!
13. 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.
Some people go to Artasedana (formerly Hardy’s), which has fixed prices, but you can 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.
More Things To Do Near Sanur
14. 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.
15. 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. The $100 million park originally featured a fake volcano and a pit full of crocodiles, but now it’s being consumed by jungle.
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!
16. 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 a lot of local couples like to do prewedding photos here, and it has a big courtyard area with some nice walking paths.
17. Nusa Dua Camel Safari
You can do camel rides on the beach in Nusa Dua, just 30-40 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.
18. 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.
More info: Bali Zoo Review
19. 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 reptile center has crocodiles and Komodo dragons too, and you can hold iguanas or turtles.
The Bali Bird Park is just a 30 minute drive north from Sanur.
20. Nusa Penida & Lembongan
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.
Nusa Penida Island has some of the most amazing scenery anywhere in the Bali province, and you could easily spend a week exploring this island and its smaller twin, Nusa Lembongan.
There are a bunch of speedboat companies making this trip daily from Matahari Beach 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 Sanur Bali in the same day if you’re so inclined, although I think it’s worth staying longer!
More info: Nusa Penida Travel Guide
When To Visit Sanur 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 90-95 F (32-35 C), but it’s less crowded during this time, and the rain is mostly 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 Bali Kite Festival (which only happens during the windy season), you can experience any of the other sights in this Sanur travel guide all year round!
More Bali Travel Tips
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 check back later.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my complete Bali Travel Guide for more tips, info, and photos!
Bali Private Driver & Motorbike Rental
If you want to explore Bali in the comfort and safety of a private car with a driver, my top recommendation would be Klook.
Their price is 450k IDR ($30 USD) for a full day of driving and sightseeing in Bali (up to 10 hours) for 1-5 passengers. That’s the total price for the whole car + driver + petrol! It’s a steal.
If you’d rather travel by motorbike, they have that too. Their scooter rentals start at 85k IDR (~$6) and include a helmet, rain coat, and pickup in the south Bali area.
We’ve used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great! Highly recommended.
Book Now: Bali Private Driver / Scooter Rental