The Best Bars in Bali
There are two distinct drinking scenes in Bali. Kuta is the hedonistic party town that goes all night every night, and just next door is the more refined and fashionable Seminyak. Whether you’re looking for a cold beer paired with a sunset view or a happy hour deal at a perfect dive bar, Bali has you covered. From high-end cocktails (and a stellar view) at the Rock Bar to the signature cocktail featuring exotic fruit (and, yes, another stellar view) at the Potato Head Bar to wham-bam-get-on-the-dance-floor-again-man shots (no view but loads of international DJs) at Eikon and beyond, there are so many new-to-you places to enjoy.
I know when you go on holiday to Bali Mexico is probably the last place you’re thinking you’ll want to be, but Motel Mexicola is an awesomely kitsch Mexican cantina and bar not to be missed. Go early for dinner because even though this place is enormous, it gets packed on the weekends. The feel good factor is fueled by the bright decor, awesome margaritas, beers served super cold and food that is as close to real Mexican as you’ll get in Bali.
Poppies 2, Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali 80361, Indonesia
If you like your bars a little rough and ready, completely casual, and seriously boozy, don’t miss Alleycats on Poppies II in Kuta. Day and night there are people hanging out, tucking into excellent hangover food and playing pool. To really become an Alley Cat you have to get their logo tattooed somewhere on your body (yes, quite a few people have done this) and have a picture of your tattoo pinned to their wall of fame. You can also do food and drinking challenges to earn your place on the wall. I’m not necessarily recommending you do any of this, but you’re sure to meet some fun people and have a great night out at Alleycats.
No.51 B Jalan Petipenget
Though it has a silly name, the Potato Head Beach Club on Seminyak beach is a cool spot to spend the day. A collage of antique 18th-century veranda shades surrounds an amphitheater-like space that contains a beach bar, a grassy lawn, and an infinity pool. Three additional restaurants (one homey, one Southeast Asian, one high-end) and a stellar concert lineup make Potato Head a destination, morning ‘til night. A soon-to-open boutique hotel will extend the party even further. Jln. Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia, 62/(0) 361 473 7979.
Jl. Raya Legian No.88, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Vi Ai Pi is a mix of everything really. Located right on the Legian party strip, it boasts a nightclub, underground bar, restaurant and live music venue. Most people I know skip the rest and head straight for the party and cocktails, but that might just be the people I know...
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.117X, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia
Set smack bang on the beach at Canggu’s Batu Bolong surf spot, Old Man’s is where surfers rinse off the salt and head in for a beer and a bite to eat. The beer garden’s open and airy atmosphere is enhanced by strings of lights and awesome murals by Australian artist Lucas Grogan. You really can’t go wrong at Old Man’s: Prices are affordable, it’s family- and dog-friendly, and the sunset is spectacular. Drop by and see what the hype is about.
Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80364, Indonesia
The Rock Bar at the Ayana Resort & Spa has become an icon of Bali‘s new wave of luxurious resorts that incorporate modern architecture with the natural beauty of the island. The bar teeters over the edge of the precipitous cliffs facing out into Jimbaran Bay, which is one of the best places in Bali to watch the sun sink into the Indian Ocean. The Rock Bar is by no means cheap, but it is worth going once for the experience and to make your friends back home really jealous. Smart dress is required at the Rock Bar, so don’t turn up in board shorts or you’ll be turned away from the inclinator which carries guests down the cliffs to the bar. The line for the inclinator can get busy before sunset, so arrive early to get to the bar in time.