Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Which Destination in Bali is Better?

Nusa Dua or Seminyak

Nusa Dua or Seminyak? Which of these two gorgeous tourist-attracting locations should you spend your holiday in? Both locations have gorgeous sandy beaches and impressive cultural temples. Each have streets full of shops and restaurants serving mouth-watering food.

There are a few main differences that can allow you to compare and pick one over the other. Nusa Dua, for example, has more beautiful whiter sandy beaches, has more cultural day trips, and numerous luxury 4-5 star hotels. On the other hand, Seminyak has lower prices, a wider range of affordable accommodation such as hostels, and no shortage of beaches full of beanbags to drink cocktails and watch the outstandingly beautiful sunsets. Seminyak is more suitable for younger backpackers with lower budgets. However, Nusa Dua attracts holidaymakers with higher budgets, who enjoy luxury hotels, high-end restaurants, and pristine beaches.

This comparison guide will determine whether Nusa Dua or Seminyak is the place you should visit this year. We will go through specific differences such as price, food, things to do, and accommodation. At the end of this guide, you will be able to decide which location you will want to visit on your next holiday in Bali.

Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Getting there

Couple on a scooter
Photo by Envato Elements

Both Nusa Dua and Seminyak are close to the airport. Bali has only one airport known as Denpasar and is located in the South of the island. Nusa Dua is the small section of Bali furthest South, therefore it is easily accessible from the airport, around a 30-minutes car journey.

Slightly North of the airport is Seminyak, located on the coast between Kuta and Canggu. Seminyak is also only a 30-minute car ride from the airport, meaning it is cheap and easy to reach. Therefore getting to Nusa Dua and Seminyak is very similar and simple, one North of the airport and one South, at equal distances.

During the high season, Bali experiences huge amounts of traffic. Getting around Bali on a bike is more convenient than a car, to avoid most of the congestion. Therefore, when taking the car from the airport to your hotel, expect some delay!

As Seminyak and some locations further North are extremely popular, Nusa Dua is easier to get to due to less traffic. However, they are equal distances from the airport.

Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Prices

Rice field in Bali
Photo by Envato Elements

The prices in Nusa Dua are much higher than in Seminyak. This is because there are many 4-5 star hotels in Nusa Dua, meaning the restaurants in the area are catering for this demand.

There is a shopping mall in Nusa Dua called The Bali Collection, which has a food hall with many delicacies from all over the world to choose from. This place is slightly overpriced, but you can get the main meal for anything between $5-$20, which is not too unreasonable. These prices are still a lot cheaper than western prices, however more expensive than those found in Seminyak. 

Seminyak is famous for being cheap to eat and stay. Walking down the street, you’ll pass numerous Warungs, which serve delicious selections of local food. A plateful of local food and a beer is around $3! 

Although both locations will have a variety, where you can find higher and lower prices, Nusa Dua is more expensive as it caters for family/couple holidays with higher budgets. Seminyak is generally a lot cheaper, and has better prices, attracting more backpackers with a lower budget.

Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Nightlife

People dancing in a club
Photo by Envato Elements

When deciding which location is better for nightlife, it clearly will depend on what kind of evening activities you like. Nusa Dua has many places to hang out with friends until dawn, such as theatres, restaurants and garden bars. 

However, lots of these popular fancy restaurants and bars are expensive and located in resorts, rather than independent bars. This can be perfect for family and couple holidays who wish to relax in their hotel and spend their evenings enjoying the hotel bars and entertainment.

Seminyak is most famous for its mind-blowing sunsets, experienced while lounging on a bean bag while drinking a cocktail. This is one of the most popular places to enjoy your evening, however, the night does not end there! Seminyak has numerous clubs and bars to dance into the night. 

La Favela is located in central Seminyak and is extremely popular for their parties. The bar has multiple levels, different rooms and an extremely unique atmosphere. Attracting a younger crowd, this bar is full of travelers and young ex-pats, dancing the night away!

If you are traveling to Bali and want to drink cocktails on bean bags while enjoying the sunset, then head off to the clubs to dance until morning, then Seminyak is definitely better than Nusa Dua. In contrast, if you are a family, group of adults or a couple looking to spend your evenings drinking in a more sophisticated environment, Nusa Dua resorts may be more suitable.

Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Things to do

Man surfing big wave
Photo by Envato Elements

Both Nusa Dua and Seminyak have a lot of things to do while visiting Bali. Nusa Dua, located furthest south, has a water park where you can spend the day. There is also a famous museum for those who like to absorb culture and history. There are of course some pretty beaches, allowing a place to relax and sunbathe. Being in the South, Nusa Dua is closer to Uluwatu, a famous surfing location and home to the Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple which makes a perfect day trip.

In Nusa Dua, there is a water blow, where you can stand and watch an explosion of water from the sea into the sky above and around you! One of Nusa Dua’s most famous tourist attractions is the Pura Gegar temple. 

There are many things to do in Seminyak, such as visiting a collection of beautiful art galleries. Seminyak streets are full of popular surfing shops such as Billabong and Ripcurl. There is a famous flea market where you can shop for souvenirs, interesting items, clothes, jewelry and more!

Seminyak is also close to Kuta, which you can visit for the day and spend time in the huge shopping malls. The beaches in Seminyak are very popular, mostly for surfing. You can visit Double Six Beach for some awesome surfing, and there are lessons available for those of you who are beginners! Canggu, which is home to some of the most famous surfing beaches, is also close to Seminyak.

Potato head beach club in Seminyak is very famous for its great food, delicious cocktails and beach club ambiance. This place is perfect to spend the afternoon on the sunbeds, in the pool and by the bar.

Nusa Dua may be best if you are looking to enjoy your day absorbing the Bali culture and history and sunbathe at the calm beaches. However, Seminyak is better if you want to surf, shop and enjoy drinks at the famous beach bars.

Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Beaches

Beach in Bali with white sands
Photo by Envato Elements

If you are looking for beautiful white sand and light blue water, Nusa Dua has beautiful beaches to offer. Nusa Dua beach and Geger beach are popular with tourists who want to spend the day sunbathing, enjoying the sand and sea. Weddings often happen at this beach as the scenery is spectacular. 

Seminyak is very popular for its beaches. Typical photos of Bali beaches will include the Double Six beach in Seminyak, where tourists are relaxing on bean bags enjoying the sunset. The best thing about Seminyak is that there are different types of beaches perfect for different activities. The Double Six beach is perfect for sunbathing and relaxing, but also offers some surfing. Petitenget beach is great for surfing and horseback riding!  

Nusa Dua is better than Seminyak if you are looking for more relaxing beaches, with calmer water and whiter sand. The beaches here are safer to swim in between enjoying the sun loungers. However, Seminyak has a wide range of beaches, more commonly known for surfing. The conditions here are rougher and are less safe for unconfident swimmers. The currents are strong and the waves are big, which are good conditions for surfing, but not swimming.

Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Food

Local Balinese food
Photo by Envato Elements

Balinese food is delicious and Bali is famous for its pork. This is unusual as pork is forbidden in the majority of this Muslim country. In Nusa Dua, a restaurant called Warung Dobie is very popular, where you can try a large number of pork dishes, for example, pork soup, and even jackfruit curry. 

There are many places to eat in Nusa Dua, however, their prices are slightly higher to cater to the more affluent visitors attracted by the 4-5 star hotels in the area. In some places, this makes the local food overpriced, however, there are many restaurants that are slightly more expensive, but the quality is high and the food tastes great!

Nusa Dua has a higher density of Westernised places to eat, with some really amazing high-end restaurants. Some fancy places are quite expensive, but the average price is still cheaper than most UK high-end restaurant prices. One very popular place to eat is the Nusa Dua beach grill, located on Gegar beach, perfect for avoiding the high prices in the area. 

As mentioned earlier, The Bai Collection in Nusa Dua is known to be ‘overpriced’. However, you can still have a main meal for $5-$20 which is much cheaper than in Europe!

Seminyak however, is known for its amazing food, cheap beer and comfy beach bars. There are rows and rows of places to eat in Seminyak, ranging from local to western food. Prices here are slightly cheaper, especially for local food and main meals can range from $3-$15. There are even some really amazing local restaurants where you can have dishes for $1.50! Double six beach is full of beach bars where you can eat for $4-$8 which is more expensive than local Warungs, but good beach bar prices.

In both locations, there are always expensive restaurants and some cheap local places, but Seminyak is generally cheaper than Nusa Dua and has a wider range of cheap options for delicious food. Therefore Seminyak is better than Nusa Dua for food, as there is a wider range, therefore you can enjoy local food in addition to Western food. 

Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Accommodation

Private villa in Bali
Photo by Travel Snippet

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Nusa Dua is home to many 4-5 star hotels. The accommodation here is incredible, with a range of beautiful resorts, outstanding hotels and stunning private villas. Prices of accommodation in Nusa Dua range from $60-$250 a night. It is possible to find some cheaper hotels and hostels for those who are backpacking on a lower budget, however, the majority of accommodation here is more expensive than in Seminyak.

Seminyak is very popular with backpacking tourists, attracting a younger crowd with lower budgets. There are many smaller private villas, in addition to private rooms and hostels. Accommodation in Seminyak ranges from $8-$120 a night, therefore much cheaper than Nusa Dua. There is a huge variety of private villas in Seminyak, ranging in price. 

If you are looking for cheap accommodation, Seminyak is definitely better than Nusa Dua. It has many more hostels available for around $8 a night, cheap private rooms and villas. Seminyak is also better, as it even offers many options for more expensive luxury villas for those coming to Bali for a special holiday or a couple’s vacation. Nusa Dua would be better for 5-star hotels and luxury complexes. There are villas and cheaper hotels available in the area, but Seminyak is more popular for accommodation due to the wider range of options available and the huge number of places it has to offer.

Nusa Dua vs Seminyak: Conclusion

To summarise what we have discussed in this guide, Nusa Dua and Seminyak are clearly two very different places in Bali. Both have lots of different things to offer. They are both beautiful, have great food and are easy to access from the airport. Nusa Dua is good for luxury hotel holidays, white sandy beaches and cultural day tours. Whereas Seminyak has a wider range of accommodation, food, cheaper prices and things to do!

Seminyak is better than Nusa Dua as it can accommodate a huge range of activities and places to stay. It is a better location for surfing, has streets full of popular shops, cheap but delicious food and popular beach bars. Seminyak is also much better for nightlife and a variety of accommodation. Hostels, private rooms and private villas are all available with a huge range of prices.


For more than 11 years, Joe has worked as a freelance travel writer. His writing and explorations have brought him to various locations, including the colonial towns of Mexico, the bustling chowks of Mumbai, and the majestic Southern Alps of New Zealand. When he's not crafting his next epic blog post on the top Greek islands or French ski resorts, he can often be found engaging in his top two hobbies of surfing and hiking.

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