The Best Things To Do In Bali
Bali, also called the Land of the Gods, is a beautiful island destined to make your dream holiday come true! Its wonderful landscape combines flowing waterfalls, forested mountains, active volcanoes and lush terraced rice fields, making it one of Indonesia’s most popular travel destinations!
Apart from its natural beauty, Bali boasts numerous attractions and cultural experiences: visit its majestic Hindu temples, which are not only tourist attractions but actual places of worship, and witness one of the colorful ceremonies. Or see one of the dramatic traditional dance performances and soak in Bali’s artistic traditions and music.
Ubud is the country’s creative center, a lovely town with lots of artisan markets and shops offering local arts and crafts. From here visit the Monkey Forest, a natural forest sanctuary, home to a horde of monkeys living among beautiful ancient temples! Make sure to also take a walk through the rice terraces, where you can experience natural peace and serenity as the sun sets behind the hills.
Bali’s location in the Indian Ocean makes it perfect for beach and sun enthusiasts: from luxurious beach resorts to mass tourism hubs like Kuta, it offers something for everyone, making Bali an ultimate leisure retreat. Visit one of its numerous Spas and enjoy a traditional Balinese massage that will leave you more than relaxed!
The city of Seminyak offers lots of shopping opportunities and fine dining. Spend the day in one of the luxurious beach clubs like Potato Head and later head into its exciting nightlife and party all night long!
Visit the island of Nusa Lembongan featuring great surfing spots and a truly beautiful underwater world for divers and snorkelers. Don’t miss the breathtaking sunset at Pura Tanah Lot, a temple built on a rock formation in the ocean – one of Bali’s most famous tourist attractions.
To get around on short trips, it is best to take a taxi. However, if you’re planning on taking a daytrip going from site to site, hiring a driver for the day might end up being more economical; traffic can be pretty ridiculous in Bali, and this can get expensive in a taxi.
Make sure to try the traditional cuisine which is not only delicious but beautifully arranged, making it an adventure for the senses! At the end of the day, if you’re looking for beautiful waters and pretty scenery, world-class surfing and diving and rich cultural experience Bali is the place to go to!
HERE ARE OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN BALI…
After a two-hour drive from Denpasar, you will find the picturesque area of the Kintamani Volcano – a very popular trekking destination. There are several villages – 1500 metres above sea level – which have terrific views of the Volcano, Mount Batur, and the Crater Lake (Lake Batur). But if you want to get a little bit closer, there are two options – an easy walk to the crater, or a more strenuous walk to the peak of Mount Batur. The longer trek takes around three hours, and local guides are strongly recommended!
Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah)
Six kilometres from Ubud is the Elephant Cave, Goa Gajah – a holy Hindu site with a history going back over 1000 years. As you descend the stairs from the road, you will find the grotto, with the entrance to the cave in the form of a gaping mouth from a mythical creature. Take in the detail of the rock carvings and enter the small cave which was used by Hindu priests to meditate. There is plenty more to see though, as you meander through the outside courtyards where bathing pools and carvings have been excavated.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Just a short drive from Ubud is the very popular Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – home to hundreds, if not thousands, of monkeys! You can purchase food for the monkeys, but remember they are cheeky and innovative in their search for a meal – so be careful! For something more spiritual, there are three temples to visit while you stroll through the 12 hectares of parklands and enjoy the forest; Pura Dalem (Death Temple), the Holy Bathing Temple, and Pura Prajapati (Cremation Temple).
On the road from Denpasar to Ubud, the Hindu Batuan Temple is located in the namesake village of Batuan. This thousand-year-old temple is must see for any visitor to Bali. Comprising of magical courtyards, ornate architecture, elaborate carvings, and a complex of decorative shrines, the temple is just spectacular. Once you have left the Temple, take time to visit the village as well – it is famous for its art and craftsmanship, including batiks, paintings and statuettes.
Sekumpul Waterfall – located in Buleleng – is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali. And while it involves steep steps and a walk (or scooter) to get to it, it is well worth the effort! As you walk to the base you will enjoy a fantastic pristine forest environment, and the falls are spectacular as they tower over you with cascading water. Go for a swim in the fresh, cool waters, and then continue on to your next destination. Oh, and the views are to die for!
Tirta Gangga Water Palace
Built by the Royal Family in 1946, Tirta Ganga Water Palace was nearly destroyed in 1963 by a volcanic eruption. Restored over time, this three-acre complex of reflecting ponds, fountains and statues, is now a beautiful and fascinating display of Indonesian culture and architecture. Wander over the three tiers of grounds, and explore the many statues and fountains – including the eleven tiered Nawa Sanga fountain – which adorn the gardens and surround the ponds.
Take some time out from a hectic sightseeing schedule to spend a day relaxing at Waterbom Bali. Located in Kuta, and comprising of seventeen slides, there really is fun for everyone here! From the sedated Lazy River to the adrenalin thrills of the Twin Racers or the Double Twist, you just can’t go wrong! Waterbom Bali also has an extensive variety of dining options, and if you don’t want to get wet, why not try the health and wellness centre!
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Located just outside of Ubud, the World Heritage Site of Tegalalang Rice Terrace is the perfect place to visit and soak up the beauty of a traditional Balinese village. Take a stroll and explore the tiers of rice fields cascading down the hillside, while learning about the age old agricultural practices of the rice industry. Have a drink and a meal, and enjoy the views, or go hiking nearby! Don’t pass on this magical wonderland!
Located in the highlands of Kintamani, Mount Batur is a beautiful active volcano that offers picturesque hiking and spectacular sunrises – take a day tour from Ubud, starting at around 2:00am. With a two hour trek to the 1717 metre summit, you will see a truly spectacular sunrise, with magnificent views as far as the eye can see. Since you are in active volcano territory, your breakfast eggs are boiled on lava heated rocks, and at the end of the day you can freshen up with a dip in the hot springs of Lake Batur before you head home.
Tanah Lot Temple
One of Bali’s most precious landmarks is the Tanah Lot Temple, just 20 kilometres from Kuta. This is a truly magical place – with its unique off-shore site and spectacular sunset backdrops, it is as breathtaking as it is picture perfect. Onshore, enjoy smaller shrines and dance performances, shops, and restaurants. While entry to the temple is not allowed, at low tide you can cross and view the rock base which has gone through major restoration to protect against erosion.
Ulawatu Temple is perched seventy metres above the ocean, on the edge of an amazing cliff face. Located in Pacatu Village – a sub-district of Kuta – this beautiful temple has ornate sculptures and carvings, and decorative statues to explore. Complemented by magnificent views, stay until sunset and enjoy the traditional Kecat dance. But don’t encourage the monkeys – They are mischievous!
Seminyak is a Balinese resort town which likes to think of itself as just a little bit better than everyone else – and it is. Keeping true to the chaotic Balinese style many have come accustomed to; Seminyak carries a little more style, a little more luxury, and a little more class than other parts of the the island.
If you’re looking to escape the all-night party scene of the coastal towns and find culture, spirituality and beautiful Balinese landscapes, then Ubud is for you! The streets are lined with trendy artistic cafes and the countryside is full of rich culture and traditional rice terraces – Ubud is a truly beautiful destination!
Kuta is Bali’s most well-known travel destination; popular among travellers for its all day and all night party scene. Many people steer well clear of Kuta for the same reason thousands arrive on its doorstep – its chaotic atmosphere and anything-goes-attitude is something that has to be seen to be believed!
The Balinese town of Sanur is located on the islands eastern coast and is its original and oldest beach resort destination. Many describe Sanur as being the perfect balance of traditional Balinese culture and luxury hotels; with its laid back atmosphere this location is the perfect way to escape the hordes.
Once nothing more than a “day trip” from neighbouring Kuta Beach, Jimbaran Bay has come into its own, and rightfully so! This tourist hot-spot is known for its amazing seafood, pleasant golden beaches, and just enough nightlife to keep you going through the night without the overbearing crowds.
Once a hidden getaway known only to surfers, Nusa Lembongan has exploded onto the scene with its picturesque beaches, amazing sunsets and relaxed, chilled out vibe. The island accommodates both budget and luxury travellers and is the perfect way to escape the “real world”, if only for a moment.
Canggu is a Balinese coastal town which is fast on the rise to become one of the most popular destinations on the island. Popular among surfers and ex-pats for its clean beaches, clean living and relaxed lifestyle; this destination is all about chilling out and letting your troubles drift away.
Bali’s sprawling and chaotic capital of Denpasar is far from the tropical paradise of its coastal counterparts and as the main entry and exit point to country, it can’t be escaped. The city can seem quite daunting on arrival, but it also offers one of the most authentic Balinese experiences you will find!
Cities & Towns