Coworking in Sanur vs Canggu vs Ubud: Which location is best for you?

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One of the many reasons Bali has remained such a popular travel destination for decades is its diversity: from sleepy seaside villages and sacred volcanoes to epic beach clubs and vibrant culture, the island has something for almost every traveler. The same applies for remote workers seeking their ideal coworking destination.

Although coworking spaces have popped up in most of Bali’s major tourist destinations, three have emerged as the most popular and offer distinct coworking experiences: Ubud, Bali’s culture and yoga capital; Canggu, a surfer’s paradise turned digital nomad hotspot; and Sanur, a serene coastal village and home of the Livit Hub. For remote workers yet to determine which destination is the best fit for them, in this post we’ll walk through the unique elements of each and share a bit of local wisdom along the way.

Ubud: Coworking among the rice fields

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Once a collection of quiet villages with an eclectic creative scene that drew painters, writers and filmmakers from distant lands, Ubud in south-central Bali was established as a cultural center in the 1930s. Today, it’s a bustling town teeming with travelers seeking everything from yoga retreats and chic boutiques to traditional dance performances and rice field treks. It could also be considered the vegan capital of Indonesia, with dozens of cafes specializing in plant-based cuisine. 

Ubud has a wide range of both established and newer coworking spaces that are either centrally located or just a short scooter ride from the center. If you’re eager to balance work with yoga you’ll have plenty of studios to choose from, or perhaps you’d prefer to pick up a paintbrush or learn the basics of Balinese dance after shutting your laptop? Opportunities to explore both traditional and contemporary arts and connect with Balinese culture abound in the little town.  

As with most of Bali’s major tourist areas, however, the massive influx of domestic and international travelers Ubud receives—particularly during the end of year holiday—coupled with its narrow streets results in major traffic congestion. The local government has recently implemented new measures to try to counter it, but you should still expect the main streets to move at a crawling pace during weekends.

Best for: Combining coworking with yoga and cultural experiences

Canggu: Coconuts, coaches and crypto

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On Bali’s southwest coast, Canggu has emerged as the island’s most popular digital nomad destination, with over a dozen coworking spaces featuring perks such as poolside desks or close proximity to the beach. Pronounced “Chang-gu,” the long, narrow region comprises six villages, each with its own atmosphere. Batu Bolong and Berawa are bustling with beach clubs, cafes and retail outlets, while Echo Beach attracts surfers and Pererenan has a more relaxed vibe. 

Canggu has also surged in popularity among leisure travelers, resulting in daily gridlock traffic jams that frequently become the subject of international headlines, Instastories and YouTube videos. If you can handle the delays, the sun-soaked region’s entrepreneurial scene is burgeoning, and offers myriad opportunities to connect with startup founders, coaches and content creators. When you need to refuel, Canggu’s dining offerings cater for all, from sleek cafes to cheap and cheerful traditional eateries. 

Best for: Combining coworking with beach culture 

Sanur: Spectacular sunrises and a slower pace of life

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The southeastern coastal village of Sanur is one of Bali’s oldest tourism areas, and its gentle heritage charm attracts travelers who prefer a more relaxed pace. In contrast to the barreling surf in the west, Sanur’s coastline is an almost constantly calm tidal lagoon protected by reef breaks; when the wind is low at sunrise and sunset the water glows like a vast mirror, glassy and incandescent. The sunrises are breathtaking.

A paved path—the first beachfront walk in Bali—stretches across the sand from Sanur Beach in the north to Mertasari Beach seven kilometers south, and a second path was recently added for designated pedestrian and cycling lanes. The paths are fringed with cafes, restaurants, traditional eateries and boutiques, and on weekends the beaches fill with families frolicking in the tranquil sea. 

Although it doesn’t offer as many coworking options as Ubud and Canggu, Sanur is ideal for remote workers who thrive in a quiet and focused work environment, and are perhaps even looking to walk or cycle to their workplace. The Livit Hub is located on a quiet backstreet off Sanur’s only main road, Jalan Tamblingan, meaning you never have to battle traffic and are just minutes’ away from cafes and Sanur’s soothing coast. 

Best for: Combining coworking with relaxed seaside living

Julia Winterflood

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