Yes, it’s crowded and persistent hawkers stalk the beach, but this famous stretch of sand, along with neighboring Legian and Seminyak Beaches just to the north, is still a fun day out, especially if you’re a beginner surfer or you just want to soak up the scene. You can book surf lessons and rent surfboards, boogie boards, sun loungers, and umbrellas directly from vendors set up on the sand, and plenty of cafes and restaurants border the beach. Beach vendors are easily dissuaded with a polite “no thank you,” but an icy cold coconut sloshing with juice served directly to your sunlounger can be a blessing on a sultry day.
For a more peaceful slice of coast on the island, head to the soft sands of Sanur, Jimbaran Beach, or Nusa Dua (Geger Beach here has public access). Surfers should check out Dreamland, Canggu, Balangan, Bingin, Padang-Padang, or the cliff-fringed hidden coves of Uluwatu.