Photo: Contemplating life.


Our rating:

Wedged between the brashness of Kuta and sassy Seminyak, Legian takes up the middle ground both physically and in its spirit. It’s more mature, less frenzied and slightly more cultured than Kuta, and not as haughty and hedonistic as Seminyak.

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The three areas began as separate developments but nowadays one blends seamlessly into the other; you could say that southern Legian is more Kuta-like, and northern Legian, a little classier. Like its siblings, this beachside resort offers surf, sand and shopping with a relaxed vibe. There’s no hurry and most visitors come to “do” as little as possible. The sit-and-sip crowd are well catered for with a succession of beachfront all-in, feel-no-pain resorts, and as well as an abundance of other accommodation options there are plenty of decent restaurants, massage and manicure joints and a continuation of the relentless shopping opportunities.

Legian at day. Photo taken in or around Legian, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Legian at day. Photo: Sally Arnold

Legian Beach takes up a slice of the curve of sand that begins at the airport, passing Kuta and continuing through to Seminyak. The beachside road is closed to traffic, and less parking means fewer bods on the sand than the chaotic parking lot that Kuta brings. At its worst, the beach is hard to distinguish from a rubbish tip, and at other times, more tolerably clean. Unfortunately this has more to do with ocean currents than anything else and, of course, the endless use of excessive single-use plastic across Indonesia.

The surf rolls in as even barrels, ideal for novices through to surfers of an intermediate level. A bevy of surf schools offer lessons, should you want to give it a go. The sea is generally safe for swimming and lifesavers patrol the beach—swim between the flags. A red flag means no swimming, although many foolishly take the risk and drownings do occur. Trinket sellers and other hawkers are also on patrol with (slightly) less hassle than Kuta. A string of beach shacks offer tasty snacks and icy cold Bintang and as the shadows lengthen, you could do worse than pull up a beanbag and with your toes in the sand, enjoy a quiet sundowner.

Plenty of seating on hand for the daily sunset show. Photo taken in or around Legian, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Plenty of seating on hand for the daily sunset show. Photo: Sally Arnold

Legian Art Market, a run of stalls selling cheap clothes and souvenirs, lines the north side of the street along Jalan Melasti and within the labyrinth of lanes there’s a gazillion smaller clothes and knick-knack stores, plus spas. The main consumer artery of Jalan Legian becomes more boutique-y the closer you come to Seminyak. The party scene in Legian melds with Kuta, so if it’s pumping clubs you desire, head south; for more chilled joints, towards Seminyak. Legian is a decent median choice if you like the scene at both neighbouring Kuta and Seminyak and a convenient walk to both. For our money it can sometimes feel a little too close to the former.

For our purposes we consider Legian to stretch from Jalan Melasti in the south to Jalan Double Six (Jalan Ajuna) in the north (though many would deem the northern part of this to be Seminyak), with the name changing Jalan Werkudera/Padma Utara/Sahadewa running north-south between Jalan Legian and the beach. Much of the cheaper accommodation in Legian runs off this north-south road and the absolute rat’s nest of gangs that run from it. If you’re coming from the Double Six end of the beach, the perimeter beach road is blocked to traffic half way and doesn’t connect to Jalan Padma, so don’t bother trying!

Far prettier left in the ocean. Photo taken in or around Legian, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Far prettier left in the ocean. Photo: Stuart McDonald

As with Kuta, ATMs and moneychangers are ubiquitous and it’s wise to be aware of scams. Cover your PIN and count your money.

International medical clinics, BIMC and SOS, both located in nearby Kuta, have reasonable reputations and English-speaking staff. Sanglah Hospital, Denpasar’s main public hospital, can treat more serious problems.

BIMC Hospital Kuta: 100X Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai, Kuta; T: (0361) 761 263; (0361) 300 3911;;
Rumah Sakit Umum Pusat Sanglah: Jalan Diponegoro, Denpasar; T: (0361) 227 911, (0361) 227 915;
SOS Medika Klinik: 505X Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai, Kuta; T: (0361) 720 100;;


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Legian.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Legian.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Legian.
 Read up on how to get to Legian.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Legian? Please read this.
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