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Bali for Families

Nusa Dua is perhaps the most secure and secluded beach resort complex in Bali, with its public spaces and infrastructure managed by the state-owned Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC). Therefore, it comes top when suggesting a place to stay with kids in Bali. Nusa Dua mostly comprises five-star luxury chain hotels, and each with direct beach access. Kids clubs, restaurants with kids' menus and fun activities in mind, as well as other supporting features for families naturally follow suit.

What’s Good:

  • Safe and secluded
  • Great beachfronts with direct access
  • Quality dining and supporting facilities

What's Not So Good:

  • Remote location makes exploring Bali’s more time consuming
  • Few cultural attractions

The iconic sunset bay of Jimbaran offers a relatively quieter, family-friendly stretch of sand when compared to the other highly popular beaches on Bali’s southwestern coastline. The area is also well known for its cluster of great seafood restaurants, one right on the bay, and another featuring a more refined atmosphere in the neighbouring fishing village of Kedonganan. It’s a great place to stay with family when you’re looking for a calmer seaside ambiance, but which is also close to the shopping and entertainment hub of Kuta. Ngurah Rai Airport is also just 10 minutes’ transfer next door.

What’s Good:

  • Quieter compared to other beaches on Bali’s southwest (Kuta and Legian)
  • Near to the airport and Kuta
  • Great sunset and seafood dining options
  • Calm bay with relatively safe and swimmable waves

What’s Not so Good:

  • Most of the beachfront hotels are high budget stays
  • Widely spaced local attractions (encompasses the western half of the remote and widely spaced Bukit Peninsula)

Kuta is the place to be if you’re looking for where most of the action and excitement is. It is where most of the island’s modern malls can be found, including the Discovery Shopping Mall, and the larger Kuta Beachwalk complex that the kids will love for its multitude of entertainment and dining options – and with Kuta Beach only across the street. One of Asia’s premier water parks, Waterbom Bali, is here too, as well as most surf schools with lessons for your budding ‘groms’.

What’s Good:

  • Action and entertainment, from surf schools to Waterbom Bali
  • Some of the best shopping in Bali, from art shops to modern malls
  • Close to airport in neighbouring Tuban
  • Many dining options

What's not so good:

  • Streets can be a bit too busy and chaotic at times
  • Waves can be a bit unsafe for small kids 

Although slightly outshined in popularity by its immediate neighbour, Kuta, Legian offers families a calmer beach scene. A typical day out on Legian includes hitting a rented parasol-shaded daybed and sit back with a cold drink at hand while watching the kids playing around on the sand or in the waves. While the northern strip of Kuta Beach has hotels separated by the usually very busy beach road, Legian hotels are only separated by a narrower and quieter boardwalk meant for pedestrians. Family rooms, fun kids clubs, pools with kiddie sections and dining options offering kids menus are part of the options. Staying in Legian also means you get easy access to Kuta for the fun, and Seminyak to the north for chicer options.

What’s Good:

  • Right between two contrasting beach resort areas: Kuta and Seminyak
  • Most Legian hotels offer easier beach access compared to Kuta
  • Fewer crowds than Kuta
  • Relatively close to the airport in Tuban (within 20 minutes’ transfer)

What’s Not so Good:

  • Maze-like network of streets and side streets
  • Traffic congestions increasingly common


Typically associated with Nusa Dua due to its quiet beaches and beautiful sunrises, Sanur offers a more affordable east coast experience for families. The beach resort area features quite a good mix of accommodation styles, from classic Balinese style villas to regular hotel rooms, and with family-friendly amenities, great dining choices, and an overall cultured and relaxed vibe. Sanur is a great location if you’re looking to explore Bali on family excursions to Bali’s eastern and central areas, due to the convenient access via the main highways. Most hotels you’ll find here are right on the beach, and although the beach itself is moderate, it’s great for kids for its mostly calm and shallow waters thanks to an outlying offshore reef.

What's Good:

  • Quiet beach scenes with calm waves, great for swimming
  • Boardwalk along most of the length of Sanur Beach
  • Mostly beachfront hotels
  • Easy access for family excursions thanks to connecting highways

What's not so good:

  • Some sections of the beach a bit busy with water craft
  • Not many shopping options

The small town of Ubud is the main destination in central Bali, where you’ll find a more artistic and cultured vibe against a backdrop of green valleys and rice terraces. Although Ubud fast evolved into a destination for yoga, spa and wellbeing, hotels and resorts in the area also cater well to families, with dedicated facilities and tailored activities for kids, and a range of adventure tours such as animal safaris and moderate white water rafting, which are great for families. Within town, great casual dining can be found alongside boutique shops and art galleries, heritage sites where traditional dances are shown nightly, and nature spots such as a nutmeg forest home to ancient temples and hordes of grey long-tailed macaques.

What's Good:

  • Cool highland alternative to the beach
  • Most of Ubud central has easy paved footpaths
  • Main highlights of town are within a kilometre radius
  • Kids will love the macaques at the Ubud Monkey Forest

What's not so good:

  • Hilly terrain in most parts of Ubud
  • Requires around two hours transfer to Ngurah Rai Airport
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