Sanur has a special place in the hearts of many visitors of Bali. When it comes to things to do around Sanur, for many people hanging on the beach and have a coconut is the obvious answer. But there is much more to this amazing area at the east coast of Bali. In this guide, we invite you to venture off the beaten path around Sanur, a coastal town in Bali, where hidden gems and authentic experiences await.
Le Mayeur Museum – A Glimpse into an Artist’s World
Tucked away in Sanur, the Le Mayeur Museum offers a unique and often overlooked experience. This quaint museum was once the home of Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur, a Belgian painter who fell in love with Bali’s beauty and culture. His life’s work is on display here, providing a glimpse into his world and his passion for Balinese life.
As you step into the museum, you’ll be surrounded by Le Mayeur’s exquisite paintings, which beautifully capture Bali’s landscapes and people. The lush garden, tranquil pond, and the artist’s studio, preserved just as he left it, create an intimate and authentic atmosphere. Visiting Le Mayeur Museum is like stepping into a time capsule, where art and culture blend seamlessly. Definitely something else!
12 min. drive by scooter from sanur, 15 min. drive by car from sanur
Abandoned Theme Park Taman Festival
Taman Festival, an abandoned theme park in Bali, offers an eerie yet captivating exploration experience. It is maybe the most chilling and exciting things to do around Sanur. Once envisioned as a grand entertainment hub, today its crumbling structures, overtaken by nature, paint a hauntingly beautiful landscape. Located in Sanur, its desolate ambiance provides a stark contrast to Bali’s bustling tourist spots. Adventurous souls find it a treasure trove for photography, with its dilapidated buildings, overgrown flora, and graffiti murals telling tales of a bygone era. Beyond the thrill of urban exploration, Taman Festival stands as a testament to the impermanence of human endeavors, making it a unique and contemplative destination in Bali.
There is also a huge beautiful tree on the middle of this area, right at a strangely quiet square. Feels like a parallel universe, very special atmosphere. It could also be the set of a balinese vampire horror movie.
16 min. drive by scooter from sanur, 19 min. drive by car from sanur
Taman Bali, Padang Galak on Maps
Serangan Island – Bali’s Turtle Conservation Hub
What a gorgeous pace! An absolute must-visit for animal lovers. Serangan Island, a short boat ride from Sanur, is a hidden treasure for nature lovers and conservation enthusiasts. It is a lesser-known destination that plays a pivotal role in Bali’s sea turtle conservation efforts. The island is home to turtle hatcheries that protect and nurture these endangered creatures.
Visitors to Serangan Island have the opportunity to witness baby turtles being released into the ocean, contributing to the island’s ongoing conservation initiatives. Additionally, you can participate in beach clean-ups to help protect the turtles’ habitat. Serangan Island offers a unique chance to connect with Bali’s natural beauty while supporting vital conservation work.
It is possible to get very close to these beautiful sea turtles. An experience to remember for the whole family.
Bajra Sandhi Monument – A Symbol of Balinese Independence
The Bajra Sandhi Monument, located in downtown Denpasar near Sanur, is a symbol of Bali’s resilience and fight for independence. This monument stands as a tribute to the island’s struggle against colonial rule and its determination to preserve its unique culture.
The monument’s architecture is a marvel in itself, featuring a majestic structure and beautifully landscaped gardens. Inside, a museum provides historical insights into Bali’s struggle for independence. The Bajra Sandhi Monument serves as a reminder of the island’s rich history and the enduring spirit of its people.
15 min. drive by scooter from sanur, 17 min. drive by car from sanur
Bajra Sandhi Monument on Maps
Sanur Night Market – A Gastronomic Adventure
While Sanur boasts a range of dining options, the Sanur Night Market is a hidden culinary gem that shouldn’t be missed. for food lovers, one of the top things to do around Sanur. Unlike its more famous counterparts, this market is a hub of authentic Balinese and Indonesian flavors.
As the sun sets, the Sanur Night Market comes alive with the aroma of freshly grilled satay, sizzling noodles, and an array of delicious street food. Locals and travelers alike gather here to savor traditional dishes and embrace the vibrant atmosphere. For an authentic culinary adventure, make sure to explore the Sanur Night Market’s food stalls.
7 min. drive by scooter from sanur, 10 min. drive by car from sanur
Sanur Night Market on Maps
Visit Keramas Surf Spot – Things to do Around Sanur
Keramas, located on Bali’s eastern coastline, is celebrated among surf aficionados for its powerful right-hand reef breaks and consistent waves. when you are experieced, you can go yourself, but also it is a great sport to watch the pros. This world-class surf spot is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and black volcanic sand, offering a dramatic backdrop for early morning surf sessions under the gleaming sunrise. Apart from its natural beauty, Keramas stands out for its fast, challenging barrels that are particularly enticing for advanced surfers.
The spot has garnered international attention, hosting prestigious surfing competitions and drawing surfers from around the globe. While it’s a paradise for wave riders, onshore facilities and beach clubs offer spectators a comfortable vantage point to marvel at the surfers’ prowess against the majestic Balinese seascape.
Beji Guwang Canyoning
Beji Guwang, tucked away in Sukawati, Bali, is an enchanting locale famed for its Hidden Canyon. This secluded spot is not just a testament to Bali’s mesmerizing natural beauty but also resonates with spiritual significance. The canyons, sculpted by the ceaseless flow of the Beji River, create a dramatic landscape of towering cliffs and narrow pathways, with each twist revealing a new breathtaking vista. The serene ambiance is amplified by the gentle murmur of flowing waters and the whisper of the surrounding flora. Adjacent to the canyon, the sacred Beji temple stands as a spiritual anchor, drawing both pilgrims and travelers. Visiting Beji Guwang offers a dual experience: the thrill of nature’s majesty and a touch of Balinese spirituality. It’s a haven for those seeking tranquility away from Bali’s bustling tourist hubs.
Turtle Island (Pulau Penyu) – A Natural Oasis
Turtle Island, also known as Pulau Penyu, is anpther secluded haven near Sanur. This hidden gem boasts a rich ecosystem, including pristine beaches, lush mangrove forests, and vibrant marine life. It’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil escape.
The crystal-clear waters surrounding Turtle Island are perfect for snorkeling, allowing you to witness Bali’s underwater wonders up close. Additionally, the island is home to a variety of bird species, making it a great spot for birdwatching. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the island’s mangrove forests on a boat tour, where you can immerse yourself in the serene beauty of nature.
52 min. drive by scooter from sanur, 39 min. drive by car from sanur
Turtle Island on Maps
Sindhu Market – Things to do Around Sanur
For a genuine Balinese shopping experience, head to Sindhu Market in Sanur. This local market offers a wide array of handicrafts, textiles, and fresh produce. Unlike the more touristy markets, Sindhu Market retains its authenticity and charm.
As you browse through the market’s stalls, you’ll find unique souvenirs, handmade crafts, and traditional Batik fabrics. Interact with the friendly local vendors, and you’ll gain insights into Balinese culture and craftsmanship. Sindhu Market is the ideal place to pick up authentic Balinese souvenirs and immerse yourself in the local shopping scene.
6 min. drive by scooter from sanur, 7 min. drive by car from sanur
Sindhu Market on Maps
Sukawati Art Market
Sukawati Art Market, locally known as ‘Pasar Seni Sukawati,’ stands as a cornerstone of Bali’s artistic heritage. Located in the Gianyar regency, this bustling market is a haven for art lovers and bargain hunters alike. Shoppers can find a diverse array of handcrafted items ranging from traditional Balinese paintings, sculptures, and textiles to intricately designed jewelry and handmade bags. The vibrant atmosphere, complemented by the aroma of incense and local delicacies, offers an authentic Balinese shopping experience. For those keen on acquiring a piece of Bali’s rich artistry, Sukawati Art Market presents a plethora of choices at affordable prices. Together with Ubud Art market, this is the largest and most recommended art market.
33 min. drive by scooter from sanur, 39 min. drive by car from sanur
Sukawati Art Market on Maps
More animals? Nestled amidst the lush tropical landscapes of Gianyar, the Bali Zoo is a sanctuary for diverse Indonesian wildlife and exotic species from around the world. This well-maintained zoological park aims to educate visitors about animal conservation while offering intimate encounters with creatures like orangutans, elephants, and tropical birds. With dedicated areas like the ‘Kampung Sumatra’ and ‘African Savannah,’ visitors can embark on a journey across different habitats. The zoo also hosts interactive experiences, such as elephant rides, nocturnal animal tours, and bird shows, making it a family-friendly destination that melds entertainment with environmental awareness.
Blanjong Temple – A Historical Relic
Blanjong Temple, also known as Pura Blanjong, is a historical and cultural gem tucked away in Sanur. This ancient temple is home to inscriptions that date back to the 10th century, making it one of Bali’s oldest relics.
As you explore the temple grounds, you’ll encounter these ancient stone inscriptions, known as Prasasti Blanjong. They provide valuable insights into Bali’s history and the influence of ancient Javanese culture on the island. Blanjong Temple serves as a testament to Bali’s rich and diverse heritage.
If you are interested in the magnificent temples of Bali – here we introduce 11 spectacular ones.
3 min. drive by scooter from sanur, 4 min. drive by car from sanur
Blanjong Temple on Maps
Explore the Amazing Beaches of Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua, situated on Bali’s southeastern coast, epitomizes the island’s luxurious side with its world-class resorts, manicured landscapes, and pristine beaches. This upscale enclave is a stark contrast to the bustling areas of Kuta and Seminyak, exuding a serene and sophisticated charm. The beaches here are undoubtedly some of Bali’s finest. Geger Beach is a golden stretch of sand where visitors can bask under the sun, swim in calm waters, or simply revel in the panoramic ocean views. Mengiat Beach offers a tranquil escape, with its clear waters protected by an offshore reef, making it ideal for families. Pandawa Beach, once a hidden gem and now increasingly popular, is flanked by towering limestone cliffs, revealing statues carved into the rock. Nusa Dua’s beaches, each with its unique allure, coupled with the region’s high-end amenities, make it a haven for those seeking both relaxation and luxury on Bali’s shores.
10 lesser-known facts about Sanur
- Le Mayeur’s Love Story: Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur, the Belgian painter who resided in Sanur, fell in love with a Balinese dancer named Ni Pollok. Their love story and his art are preserved in the Le Mayeur Museum, showcasing the romance between the artist and his muse.
- Serangan Island’s Eco-Friendly Transportation: On Serangan Island, you’ll find “ecoscooters” available for rent. These electric scooters are a sustainable mode of transportation, allowing visitors to explore the island while minimizing environmental impact.
- Bajra Sandhi’s Time Capsule: The Bajra Sandhi Monument houses a time capsule, buried deep within its foundation. It contains historical documents and items from Bali’s struggle for independence, set to be opened in the distant future.
- Turtle Island’s Artistic Flair: Turtle Island, besides its conservation efforts, is also known for its artistic side. You can find intricately designed turtle sculptures painted by local artists, each telling a unique story.
- Sindhu Market’s Early Start: Sindhu Market comes to life in the early hours of the morning. Local vendors begin setting up their stalls well before sunrise, making it a fantastic place to enjoy breakfast while watching the market awaken.
- Danau Tamblingan’s Secrets: The ancient temples around Danau Tamblingan are steeped in mystery. Local folklore suggests that hidden chambers and treasures lie beneath some of these temples, waiting to be discovered.
- Sanur Beach Boardwalk’s Cat Statue: Keep an eye out for the adorable cat statue along the Sanur Beach Boardwalk. It has become a popular spot for taking photos, especially among cat lovers.
- Blanjong Temple’s Guardian: Blanjong Temple has a unique guardian deity—a large banyan tree. This tree is believed to be sacred and serves as the protector of the temple and its historical inscriptions.
- Bali’s Own “Museum Hotel”: If you’re a fan of Le Mayeur Museum, you might want to stay at the Tandjung Sari Hotel in Sanur. This historic boutique hotel was once the residence of Le Mayeur and Ni Pollok, and it offers a museum-like atmosphere.
While Sanur may be a gateway to some of Bali’s most popular attractions, it also harbors a wealth of hidden gems and authentic experiences waiting to be discovered. From exploring the artistry of Le Mayeur to supporting turtle conservation efforts on Serangan Island, and from savoring local flavors at the Sanur Night Market to immersing yourself in the tranquility of Danau Tamblingan, these off-the-beaten-path destinations offer a unique and enriching journey through Bali’s lesser-known treasures.
Where is Sanur located in Bali, and why is it worth exploring?
Sanur is a coastal town located in the southeastern part of Bali, Indonesia. It’s worth exploring because it offers a more tranquil and authentic experience compared to some of the busier tourist destinations on the island.
Are these off-the-beaten-path destinations suitable for solo travelers or families?
Yes, these destinations are suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families. Many of them offer a range of activities and experiences suitable for all types of travelers.
Are there any entrance fees or permits required for these places?
Some destinations may have small entrance fees or donation requests, which are usually quite affordable. It’s advisable to carry some cash for these purposes.
Are these destinations crowded with tourists like some of Bali’s more popular attractions?
No, one of the advantages of visiting these off-the-beaten-path destinations is that they are generally less crowded, allowing for a more peaceful and intimate experience.
Are these destinations safe to visit, especially for solo travelers?
Yes, these destinations are generally safe for travelers. However, it’s essential to exercise common safety precautions, be aware of your surroundings, and follow any safety guidelines provided by local authorities.
How can I support local communities when visiting these off-the-beaten-path places?
Supporting local businesses, artisans, and vendors is a great way to contribute to the local economy. Additionally, practicing responsible and respectful tourism helps ensure a positive impact on the community and environment.