The Ultimate Guide to Canggu Nightlife
It used to be that Kuta was the place where people went out to party in Bali but the Canggu Nightlife is now what it’s all about.
And, as with smaller locations all over the world, like Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka, there is a particular bar that people go to on each day of the week. If you go to any of the other bars around you’ll think it’s quiet and dead. But find the RIGHT bar and that’s where you’ll suddenly find everyone else who’s out (and by out I mean aaat aaaaat) too.
If you would like to go out and party every night of the week there is literally now a bar for every single day. So fear not, the party gods will look down favorably on you in Canggu. Your liver not so much.
Since the nights to go to each bar/club are the same each week, unless there’s a special event on, for the lazy of you who don’t want to read the words and advice I’ve agonized over lovingly crafting for you, there are links below you can click to just jump on ahead to the day of the week you’re wondering about right now.
If you’re that way inclined and only want to go to the biggest nights out, head straight Wednesday and Friday.
Canggu Nightlife – Where to go on…
Monday – Luigi’s
Ah Monday, that used to be the only day you couldn’t go out in Canggu. Not now a Pizza joint decided to take over the baton, however.
Any other night Luigi’s looks like an unassuming pizza restaurant on the corner as you come into Canggu. I’ve been on a date there; that’s how quiet it is on other nights of the week. And the pizza is one of the best in Bali.
But on a Monday at Luigi’s out the back, decks are set up and if you didn’t know better, you’d never have a clue it was a Monday night.
The music is house and the DJs are good. There can at times be some questionable DJ’ing in Bali and at a lot of the bars, you might find the same music played week after week (or even again and again on the same night if you’re lucky!). You won’t get that at Luigi’s.
If you’re into your music, make sure you go.
(and eat some Pizza first, it’s wonderful).
Tuesday – Pretty Poison
Pretty Poison is halfway along the famed shortcut in Canggu (which couldn’t be further from a short-cut nowadays with all the traffic that gets jammed up along it and the cars falling in the rice fields). It’s the epitome of hipster with concrete walls, funnily named cocktails and a massive skate bowl.
On their nights, Tuesday and Thursday, they have skaters there so the bowl is fun to watch but anyone is allowed to join in. And random drunk people decide to do so regularly.
Unfortunately Pretty Poison isn’t the best location if it rains, as it tends to for half the year in Bali for rainy season, and most of my friends who are in their 30s say it makes them feel old. Personally, I think if anywhere’s going to make you feel old in Bali it’s Old Man’s but see what you think as that takes us onto…
Wednesday – Old Man’s, Sand Bar, Techno Bar
Wednesday is one of the biggest party nights in Canggu so there are a few options. Old Man’s is where you’d start and then move onto one of the other two.
Old Man’s was one of the first proper bars in Canggu, along with Deus, before the area started getting popular. It’s just at the end of Jalan Batu Bolong and just before the most popular surf spot in Canggu.
It has one of the best happy hours in the area, with buy one get one free on their drinks, that are already very reasonably priced, from 5- 6pm i.e. perfect for sunset or post-surf drinks.
The happy hour is on every day but a thing on danger on a Wednesday as shortly after the happy hour they start setting up for beer pong and I don’t think I need to explain how your night’s going to go if you get into that.
When they have big DJs play they even set up a stage between the two areas and it’s actually like being in a club, despite it looking like a chilled beach bar earlier in the day.
In fact if you make it through happy hour until 10pm at Old Man’s, when it starts getting busy, your night is almost certainly going to end up at…
Sandbar is conveniently located right on Batu Bolong beach, just in front of Old Man’s. While during the day it may look like a quiet beach bar with it’s cute little beanbags out the front it’s one of the places open the latest in Canggu and its biggest nights are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
It’s also one of the messiest places you can go in Canggu. Well, apart from Xbar but I’ll get onto that in the pre-drinks bonus section below.
(Ummm yeah this was taken at Sandbar. Don’t think I really need to say much more. See my cool little flipflops/bumbag trick though? One of my faves that #SorryNotSorry)
If you’re not into pop/RnB music, and it’s not too late in the evening, before you hit Sandbar on the right is Island Beach Bar which will provide you with a nice reprieve from the cheesy music at the bars around. My friends and I affectionally refer to it as Techno Bar, since as far as we’re aware it’s the only bar in Canggu that plays techno music.
Thursday – Pretty Poison
The main place to go on a Thursday like Tuesday is Pretty Poison which is the bar with a skate bowl in it (see Tuesday above for full details).
Friday – The Lawn, La Brisa, Jungle, The Vault
Phew, Fridays’ have gotten a bit crowded now in the Gu.
Let’s take em’ one by one
The Lawn is the most established place to go out on a Friday nowadays. Also at the end of Batu Bolong, if you turn right as you hit Old Man’s and the restaurant Ji, it’s just along that side road on the left.
The Lawn has a happy hour every Friday from 8-10pm where it’s 2 for 1 on certain cocktails and beer but after that, fair warning, it isn’t too far off London prices. Old Man’s on Wednesday sell beers at the price you’ll find them at a beach bar and cocktails at not much more but don’t expect any of that at the Lawn.
Oh, and they’ve been known to be aggressive with their happy hour. Even if you queue for 20 minutes before it ends, if you get there with 5 minutes to go they might show you their clocks, set 10 to 5 minutes fast, after you’ve ordered to claim it’s no longer 2-4-1 (even if you can show them your phone which is hooked up to the internet showing the actual exact real-time). It’s a great happy hour but make full use of it near the start if you’re going to.
The DJ’s are reasonably good at the Lawn and they play fun to dance to RnB music on Fridays.
La Brisa, over on echo beach, is beautiful. It looks like a fancier version of the beach bars you find in India and Thailand with cool chill out spots for during the day. Although what upsets me about La Brisa is that whilst it looks like them it’s more like a beach club masquerading as a shabby chic beach bar.
It is great for a night out on a Friday though and especially if you like house music.
Before the Lawn existed there is where everyone went on a Friday. It’s a slightly older crowd than the Lawn and you’re more likely to find people who are living in Bali long term there.
They have guest DJs every Friday playing house music.
The most like a proper club of all the bars I’ve suggested so far. It’s underground and huge.
Plays a variety of music so check out what DJ they have playing that night before going.
The Vault also has a really cute cocktail bar underground too that you can pop into on your way to the club.
Saturday – Old Man’s, Black Cat
And round we go again with Old Man’s. There is another option if you’d prefer not to do that grubbiness twice in a week though.
We’re back on Old Man’s on Saturday, although really actually on any day if you don’t like the other options and want some mainstream music and people to be around in a bar, Old Man’s is the safest bet. But Saturday night is one of its biggest nights and again most people go to Sandbar afterwards too.
If you want to go a bit classier, just to the side of Pretty Poison is a mini-mart called Black Cat Mini Mart, and in true Canggu hipster fashion it has a bar through the freezer in the back. Just looks like a normal mini-mart when you walk in, head to the back and you’ll find yourself walking through to a bar with good cocktails, pool table, and good vibes.
Sunday – Deus Ex Machina
Deus is also one of the longest-standing bars in Canggu, located just at the start of Batu Mejan, and its been famed for its Sunday night parties for years. They happen in the back garden space of Deus which has a cover for when it’s raining so no worries there. There’s live music and then a DJ later. Some of the bands are incredible but fair warning some also aren’t, it’s a bit hit and miss.
Like Old Man’s it’s still one of the more reasonably priced bars around Canggu where if you decide to just drink Bintang, or even other standard beers for Bali, for your night out it won’t break even a backpackers budget.
As with Wednesday and Saturday, you can then move onto Sand Bar.
And if you’re anything like me head to Pit Stop afterwards for some cheesy chips because
Deus is also good to go to early on a Tuesday if you fancy getting yourself a free tattoo and a taco. For realzzzz.
XBar, to me, is one of the funniest bars in Canggu. Basically, there’s a mini-mart just before Old Man’s that people used to stop into for a few pre-drinks or halfway through the night to get a shop price drink rather than bar price. And in true Bali fashion, someone saw this happening and decided to make the most use of it and put a bar at the front of the mini-mart.
It’s a lively and friendly, chatty place. Don’t go there if you want a quiet pre-game. A lot of people end up in Xbar towards the end of their night too but I suggest it for pre-going out drinks as they even serve Vodka Joss shots. Joss is an energy powder you can buy in Bali, think sherbet with Red Bull in, and if you want to get on it that mixed with Vodka is certainly a strong way to start!
Oh ,Grass Terrace, I’m almost not sure if I should tell you guys about this one as it’s so nice and chilled and I love it just like that. But it is always happy hour there and they give you free popcorn so it would be mean of me not to share.
Great if there’s quite a few of you as it is usually not busy at all.
Over on Pantai Berawa side just along the beach from Finns is Naked Coconut. It’s a beach bar, with a little bit of decking and beanbags right on Berawa beach where you can watch the surfers just in front.
Perfect for a couple of sunset beers to get your night started although you will end up sandy. Also I’d strongly advise taking mosquito spray. They get a bit bitey there.
***Note: Booze in Bali comes with its risks. If you want to be safe stick to beer and wine (although the wine’s gross and expensive #winning). There is a risk when ordering spirits that its not the actual spirit that you ordered you’re getting. Instead you may be drinking methanol. A lot of people have been injured and died from dodgy booze in Bali. An Aussie guy has even set up a whole Facebook page imploring people not to touch spirits in Bali. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying the Canggu nightlife though. Beer will get you by just fine.***
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