best places to visit in bali that you cannot miss

60 Best Things to do in Bali (Indonesia) in 2020

If you're traveling in 2020, check which travel insurance covers for coronavirus (test and treatment abroad).

There are so many places to visit in Bali that you could spend months traveling across the most popular island in Indonesia and still miss things. In addition, the things to do in Bali are so diverse that any type of traveler can find places of interest on the island.

Bali is the perfect location not only for couples planning their honeymoons and seeking luxury vacations, but also for backpackers and solo travelers. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Bali is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia. Regardless of your budget and expectations, Bali will offer you whatever you’re looking for.  

However, if you don’t have enough time to explore the island in depth, preparing your trip can be chaotic because of the overwhelming number of sights to see in Bali.

To help you plan a trip to Bali, we’ve created a list with the 60 best things to do in Bali (Indonesia) that’ll make your trip unforgettable. To do this, we have curated the best of Bali after our experience traveling to the island on two different occasions: a 10-day Bali trip in November, and a week Bali itinerary in June.

In addition, at the end of the article, you’ll find a map with all the places to visit in Bali.  It’s the best tool for not missing anything.

Let’s get started! These are the 60 best must-do things in Bali:

1. Ubud, the best place to visit in Bali

Ubud, the best city to visit in Bali. balinese mask art market ubud

1. Ubud, the best place to visit in Bali

Ubud, the cultural capital city of Bali, is located in the center of the island, and it’s a strategic point for any traveler, besides the fact that it’s an essential place to visit in Bali.

Two of the most important must-visit in Ubud are the Traditional Art Market, where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs and works of art, and the Pura Taman Saraswati temple, which stands out for its pond full of lotus flowers. Additonally, there are many other attractions in and around Ubud that you should visit in Bali, as you’ll find throughout this list. 

Given the central location of Ubud, this town is one of the best places to stay in Bali. From here you can reach any part of the island in a couple of hours.

Book the Airport transfer to Ubud

2. surfing in Kuta, the best thing to do in Bali

things to do at bali indonesia surf in kuta

2. Kuta, one of the best beaches in Bali

Kuta Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Bali for surfing. If you’ve never caught waves

Right in front of the beach is the Beach Walk shopping center, where you’ll find a food court where you can buy both local and international food.

Sunsets from Kuta Beach are spectacular. However, Kuta isn’t a totally perfect spot.

In recent years, it has become the nightlife hotspot in Bali, so, at certain times, you’ll only see drunk people on the street, and the atmosphere can feel a little sketchy.

Even so, it’s still one of the most touristy spots in Bali, so we could not leave it off our list of things to do in Bali.

3. Nusa Dua, the heart of luxury travel in Bali (Indonesia)

luxury hotels in Nusa Dua best places to visit in Bali

3. Nusa Dua, the heart of  luxury travel in Bali (Indonesia)

Visiting Nusa Dua is a must-do in Bali if you want to enjoy a luxurious experience on the island.

Here are the best resorts and villas in Bali, where you can enjoy such luxuries as private beaches and top-notch spa treatments.

If you’re planning a honeymoon in Bali or want to treat yourself, spending an unforgettable day in Nusa Dua is one of the best things to do in Bali.

4. Denpasar, a city you must visit in Bali

spending a day in denpasar is something to do in Bali

4. Denpasar, a city you must visit in Bali

Bali International Airport is located in Denpasar, so it’s very likely that you’ll need to spend a night in the capital of Bali.

Within Denpasar, I recommend visiting the Bali Museum to learn about the history and culture of the island. If you’d like to take a tour with a local guide, you can book your tour here.

Visiting Badung Pass is another interesting thing to do in Denpasar. This market of fresh local products is on the banks of the Badung River. Around it, you’ll also find some interesting temples to visit in Bali, such as Puri Tanjung Sari Pemecutan Badung Palace, the Besakih Gerenceng Temple, or the Pura Maospahit. Denpasar is a must-see sight in Bali!

5. Uluwatu, a great idea for Bali at sunset

uluwatu temple the best thing to do in Bali at sunset

5. Uluwatu, a great idea for Bali at sunset

The Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of the most important temples in BaliIt’s located on a 250-foot high cliff on the west of the Bukit Badung peninsula in the south of Bali.

The best time to visit this temple is at sunset, when you can see how the sun sets under the sea.

Then, late in the afternoon, the temple hosts Kecak Fire & Trance performances. Attending one of these traditional dance exhibitions is a great thing to do in Bali. At this event, a group of men sings together while dancers dressed in colorful traditional clothes tell the story of Ramayana.

If you visit this temple, be careful with the monkeys that live there, since they’re used to tourists and can try to steal something from you in exchange for food. Entrance to the temple costs IDR 40,000 ($ 3).

6. Partying in Seminyak, something you have to do in Bali

seminyak is one of the best beaches to visit in Bali

6. Partying in Seminyak, something you have to do in Bali

Seminyak is the best place in Bali if you’re looking for a beach and a party. Although this coastal town is increasingly touristy, it still has the magic of the classic surfing areas in Bali, with a young and fun atmosphere. Besides, if you compare Seminyak and Kuta, the former has a healthier environment.

Here, you’ll find everything from beach bars where you can have a bintang beer while you enjoy the sunset, to clubs with international music where you can dance all night.

La Plancha restaurant is the best place to relax while watching the sunset and lying on a colorful puff in the sand.

If you want to party in Bali,  you’ll also find very good places in Seminyak. I don’t usually go out when I travel, but I have to admit that I had a great time in Favela, so I can recommend this place.

7. Sacred Monkey Forest Sactuary, a must visit in Bali

monekey in ubud a places to visit in Bali

7. Sacred Monkey Forest Sactuary, a must visit in Bali

The Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bali. Located on the outskirts of Ubud, it’s a must-do in Bali.

This forest, full of terrifying-looking sculptures, is home to a gigantic macaque colony. It’s a funny and interesting place, but you must be careful; the monkeys are so used to being with tourists that they won’t hesitate to get close, play, ask for food, steal or even bite you.

Don’t even think about feeding them. Although they may seem friendly, they can be very aggressive, too. In fact, after visiting this location, I had to use our travel insurance to Indonesia, when three monkeys climbed on me and bit me.

The entrance to the Monkey Forest costs 20k IDR ($ 2.30), although I recommend checking on the official website for any changes.

8. Batur Volcano, the best excursion to do in Bali

best activities in bali hike to mount batur

8. Batur Volcano, the best excursion to do in Bali

Bali is a volcanic island that still has a lot of activity. Additionally, the volcanoes of Bali are not just part of the landscape. The religion, customs, and traditions of the Balinese are closely linked to the volcanoes of the island.

There are three volcanoes in Bali, with Mount Batur being the most active in terms of eruptions. It is currently dormant, so you can visit the crater, although it still has dozens of fumaroles and hot springs in the surroundings.

Even though the ascent hike is not especially difficult, taking approximately two hours, to make the trek that leads to the summit, you’ll need to book a tour like this one.

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel and go with you to the top of the volcano, where he’ll prepare banana pancakes and eggs in a volcanic steam vent for breakfast.

For me, seeing the sunrise above the sea next to Mount Agung (the highest volcano in Bali) from the top of Mount Batur was one of the best tours in Bali and certainly one of the essential activities in Bali that I’ll never forget.

9. Jimbaran, the seafood platter you can’t miss

best places to eat in Bali and restaurants

9. Jimbaran, the seafood platter you can’t miss

Jimbaran is a traditional fishing town in the south of Kuta, well known for its terrific fresh seafood restaurants. If you feel like enjoying a fish barbecue on the beach in Jimbaran, I recommend this bay. The chill atmosphere and friendly locals will make you feel like you’re at home. 

In addition, Jimbaran Beach, with its fine white sand and spectacular turquoise waters, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali, so don’t miss a visit to this town by the sea.

10. Pantai Lovina, Whre you can see dolphins in Bali (Indonesia)

see dolphins in bali a thing not to do

10. Pantai Lovina, the best place to see dolphins in Bali (Indonesia)

Watching dolphins in Pantai Lovina is one of the most popular activities to do in Bali, so I had to include it on this list. However, I would ask you to think twice before taking this excursion.

Before my trip, I checked if these tours respected the safety distances they needed to in order to be considered responsible tourism in Bali. Unfortunately, this is not the case, so I decided not to encourage or support these companies that are harmful to the local wildlife.

As many travelers who signed up for this activity without really knowing how harmful it would be to wildlife have said, dolphins are chased by dozens of boats that depart each day from Lovina. When they find them, they pursue them until they’re exhausted, with some reports stating that dolphins are sometimes hit by the boats. Please don’t participate in this activity. Don’t encourage tourism with animals in Bali. There are other things that are much more interesting to do in Bali.

11. Canggu, a lovely town to visit in Bali

canggu a place to visit in Bali

11. Canggu, a lovely town to visit in Bali

Canggu is another coastal village in Bali worth visiting. Like Kuta, its beach is also popular for surfers and nightlife, although it’s usually visited mostly by locals and tourists who want to flee from the crowded areas.

If you fancy a more relaxed atmosphere and enjoy hipster cafes and beach clubs, we recommend visiting Canggu. There are lots of gluten-free, vegan, and healthy options in their restaurants.

Also, if you feel like learning to catch waves, I recommend that you hire classes with a local.

12. Bedugul, the mountainous area to visit in Bali

one of the most remote temples in Bali Pura Ulun Danu Tamblingan

12. Bedugul, the mountainous area to visit in Bali

Bedugul is the best inland place to relax in Bali. It’s located in a mountainous area that is difficult to access, and it’s surrounded by waterfalls and three beautiful lakes (Bratan, Buyan and Tamblingan) formed in volcanic craters. This area stands out as the main tourist spot for nature lovers who visit Bali.

In addition, in Bedugul, you can find one of the most photographed temples on the island, the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, incredible waterfalls such as the GitGit, and, in short, a haven of peace for those travelers who really want to disconnect. If you’re a long-term traveler, plan at least a week to discover this wonderful Balinese area.

Keep in mind that Bedugul is cooler than the rest of the island. You need to bring some warm clothes, since Bedugul is located above 2,300 feet, and the highest mountain is over  6,500 feet.

13. Tegallalang, the most popular rice paddies in Bali

best rice terraces in bali tegalalang

13. Tegallalang, the most popular rice paddies in Bali

The rice paddies of Tegallalang are the most popular rice fields in Bali, since they’re accessible from Ubud by bike. If you visit the island during the best time to travel to Bali, (from October to March) coinciding with the rainy season, the rice terraces will look intensely green.

The entrance to the rice fields is free. However, the farmers you’ll find there will expect you to leave a tip if you take pictures. Today, these farmers make a living out of tourism rather than from the rice harvest, and, as you will see, the Tegallalang terraces are fully prepared for tourists. There, you’ll find souvenir shops, coffee shops, swings, and the typical I LOVE BALI sign that you have probably seen more than once

14. Besakih, the essential Mother Temple to visit in Bali

Besakih is one of the temple most important to do in bali

14. Besakih, the essential Mother Temple to visit in Bali

Besakih, also known as the Mother Temple, is the largest and most sacred temple in Bali and one of the most touristy temples on the island. Besakih really consists of 22 temples, with Pura Penataran Agung (the Great State Temple) being the most important.

It was built on the southwest slopes of Mount Agung in a unique location surrounded by rice fields, hills, and streams. However, it’s not the most visited, since being located in the northeast area of the island, it’s not the most accessible. The most convenient option to visit Besakih is to hire a tour to get there.

Entrance to the temple costs IDR 60,000 ($ 4).

15. GitGit, one of the best waterfalls in Bali

gitgit waterfall what to do in bali

15. GitGit, one of the best waterfalls in Bali. Photo taken by: Heikki Pulkkinen

The GitGit waterfall is one of the most popular in Bali. If you’re planning to visit the Bedugul area, this is one of the waterfalls worth visiting.

It’s also quite accessible. You’ll simply have to follow the paved road from the parking lot through the rice paddies for 15 minutes. The ticket price is 20,000 IDR.

Once at the waterfall, there is an area where you can change your clothes. You can have a bath under the 115-foot waterfall, or relax in one of the natural pools that have formed in the rock.

16. Tanah Lot, the best sunset to see in Bali

visiting tanah lot is one of the most important things to do in bali

16. Tanah Lot, the best sunset to see in Bali

The Tanah Lot temple is located on an islet that is only possible to access at low tide. It’s a popular pilgrimage location for locals, although today it is also one of the most touristy temples in Bali.

The best time to visit it is at sunset, where you can see how the sun sets behind the temple into the sea.

Only monks are allowed to enter the temple, which is accessed by a staircase. However, in the afternoon, they usually give blessings in exchange for a donation in a small cave that is formed during the low tide.

In the same location as Tanah Lot is Batu Bolong temple, another essential to visit in Bali. The entrance fee to see these two temples is 60,000IDR ($ 4).

We got there by aking this one-day tour.

17. Sanur, another city to visit in Bali

sanur luxury travel in bali and diving

17. Sanur, another city to visit in Bali

Sanur is a coastal town located in the east of Denpasar and one of the most popular cities in Bali.

In Sanur, you’ll find five-star resorts and hotels, many of them with direct access to the beach.

In addition, many tours for diving in Bali depart from here, as well as tours to visit the nearby Nusa Islands and Gili Islands.

Although it’s an area with shops and restaurants, it’s rather quiet and, with the exception of the Sindhu night market, there isn’t much nightlife.

18. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, an essential temple to visit in Bali

best temples to see in Bali Ulun Danu Bratan

18. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, an essential temple to visit in Bali

Located on the shores of Lake Bratan (Bedugul), Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is one of the most photogenic temples on the island (apart from being a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The temple was built to venerate the water goddess Dewi Danu and it’s one of the most important pilgrimage locations in Bali.

Since it’s close to the mountains and away from other places of interest, it’s widely overlooked by many tourists, despite being a must-see place to visit in Bali. However, you can get there by motorcycle, or with this tour of northern Bali. The entrance fee is IDR 30,000 ($ 2).

19. Balangan Beach, the best beach in Bali

best things to do in bali visit the balangan beach

19. Balangan Beach, the best beach in Bali

The turquoise-blue-water beach of Balangan Beach is one of the best beaches in the Uluwatu area, on the Bukit Badung peninsula.

This otherworldly golden sand beach is hidden under a cliff, and to get there, you must go down a steep staircase.

However, to get the best views of this beach, I recommend going to the north end viewpoint. From there, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Indian Ocean, as it’s one of the best places to watch the sunset in Bali.

20. Goa Gajah, visit the elephant cave

goa gajah the elephant cave, something you have to visit in Bali

20. Goa Gajah, visit the elephant cave

Take a bike ride from Ubud and you can get to the Goa Gajah temple, famous for a cave whose entrance is the mouth of an evil monster. This small cave is also known as The Elephant Cave, because of the animal-shaped figure of the Goddess Ganesha that is inside.

Outside the cave, you’ll also find a pool where sculptures in the form of deities drain sacred water. In addition, I recommend walking around the temple since it’s surrounded by vegetation. In particular, I suggest looking for a tree with bare roots, which was planted the same year the construction of the temple started, in the eleventh century. Admission fee is IDR 15,000 ($ 1.20 approx.), and the use of sarongs is mandatory. Without a doubt, this is one of the best temples to visit in Bali.

21. Mount Agung, the most beautiful volcano you must see in Bali

mount agung a place to visit in Bali best viewpoints

21. Mount Agung, the most beautiful volcano you must see in Bali

The Agung volcano is the highest volcano in Bali and the most recent one to erupt, back in 2017.

Although there are tours to reach to the top, you need at least 5 hours to climb the volcano and 5 hours to descend. Therefore, many people prefer to see it from a distance from one of the popular overlooks, such as the “Bukit Cinta viewpoint” (Abyandauh), Amed beach, or the “Gates of Heaven” of the Lempuyang Temple.

22. Tirta Empul Temple, the best of Bali

tourist spots to visit in Bali

22. Tirta Empul Temple, the best of Bali

Tirta Empul is the most sacred temple in Bali. The locals go there to purify themselves in the waters of a spring that has healing properties. The water comes out from 12 pipes, but just 10 are allowed for bathing, while the other 2 are reserved for the dead and their families.   

Although at first glance it may not seem that different from the other temples to visit in Bali, Tirta Empul is unique. Seeing the religious rituals and purification ceremonies that are performed in this temple is one of the most important things to do in Bali.

The entrance fee is 15,000 IDR ($ 1.20).

23. Snorkeling and diving in Padangbai and the Blue Lagoon of Bali

turtles and other animals to see in bali diving and snorkeling

23. Snorkeling and diving in Padangbai and the Blue Lagoon of Bali

Padangbai is located on the east of the island, not far from Ubud, and it’s a popular place for diving in Bali.

There are 7 diving points in total that can be reached by traditional boat (Jukung) a short distance from the shore. Here, the most popular diving form is “muck diving”, one of the best ways to see all kinds of sea creatures, such as toadfish, seahorses, lemon sharks, and turtles.

Five minutes by boat from Padangbai is the Blue Lagoon, where you can feel like you’re in paradise among turquoise waters and white sand. However, the true paradise is under the sea. The vividly colorful corals and marine life make this area the best place to dive in Bali.

If you’re interested in taking a snorkeling excursion in Padangbai and to the Blue Lagoon, this tour may be good for you. If you prefer to dive, I recommend this tour. In addition, it counts as credit towards completing your PADI Open Water Diver course.

24. Tirta Gangga, another of the best destinations in Bali

Tirta Gangga Bali best places to see in bali

24. Tirta Gangga, another of the best destinations in Bali

The Water Palace gardens, Tirta Gangga, are one of the most amazing places to visit in Bali. They stand out for the lush stone statues, fountains, and swimming pools. The most impressive thing is a pond full of carp and lotus flowers where you can walk on small platforms that will make you feel like you’re walking on water.

The entrance to this temple costs IDR 20,000 ($ 1.50), although if you want to bathe in the sacred water pools, you will have to pay 10,000 IDR ($ 1) extra. For us, it’s an essential place to visit in Bali, but almost nobody goes there because it’s somewhat far from other places of interest.

If you don’t have a scooter, I recommend you book this tour, which will also take you to other Bali attractions, such as the Lempuyang temple.

25. Pura Gunung Kawi, where the souls of the kings are buried

temple where the kings are buried Bali Gunung Kawi

25. Pura Gunung Kawi, where the souls of the kings are buried

Gunung Kawi, the Temple of the Kings, is very different from the rest of the temples. It stands out for its Candi, which are sculptures carved into the rock that represent the tombs of the royal family’s souls.

The surroundings of the temple are also worth seeing. To get there, you’ll go across lush rice paddies and wild vegetation. Near the last grave, you can also visit a beautiful small waterfall, another of the secret places to visit in Bali.

26. Nungnung Waterfall, an essential waterfall in Bali

best waterfalls to visit in bali nungnung waterfall

26. Nungnung Waterfall, an essential waterfall in Bali

Visiting Nungnung waterfall is the best thing to do in Bali if you don’t like crowds; almost no one goes there. You may think that it’s because it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s just an hour from Ubud towards Bedugul. However, what makes this waterfall a true hidden gem is how difficult it is to access. You’ll have to go down more than 500 stairs to its base.

The waterfall is 230 feet high and pumps out a lot of water throughout the year. Despite the waterfall’s big size and loud sound, you can also have a bath in the base pool. It’s without a doubt one of the best waterfalls to visit in Bali. Admission is 10,000 IDR. ($ 0.70)

27. Garuda Wisnu Kencana, the tallest statue in Indonesia

best places to visit in bali garuda wisnu kencana

27. Garuda Wisnu Kencana, the tallest statue in Indonesia

One of the most recently built tourist attractions is Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park (GWK), built in 2018 near Jimbaran.

This park was designed in honor of the Hindu god Vishnu and has a large area of ​​60 hectares. It’s renowned for the huge statue of Vishnu mounted on Garuda, the mythological bird that goes with him.

The imposing statue has a height of nearly 400 feet, making it the tallest statue in Indonesia and one of the tallest in the world, even taller than the Statue of Liberty.

28. West Bali National Park and Menjangan Island

best things to do in bali Menjangan island

28. West Bali National Park and Menjangan Island

95% of tourists who arrive in Bali just visit the eastern half of the island, but if you want to learn about authentic Balinese culture, there is nothing like traveling to the westernmost point of Bali, the Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park). This park includes both land and marine spaces based on reefs and islets.

In this park, you can find everything from deer to clouded leopards, in addition to different varieties of monkeys and birds that are on the verge of extinction, such as the Bali myna. If you like watching and photographing wildlife, I strongly recommend taking the Tegal Bunder trail.

Within the islets, Menjangan Island is the largest and most spectacular. Many agree that it is one of the best places in Indonesia for snorkeling and diving.

Here, some of the most common animals are the butterfly fish and the angelfish, although the real highlights are the green turtles. The island also has a small temple, the Pura Gili Kancana, one of the oldest temples in Bali, so you can’t miss this place.

29. Waterbom Bali Indonesia, the most extreme water park in Asia

waterbom the best water park in bali and asia

29. Waterbom Bali Indonesia, the most extreme water park in Asia

Since Bali’s full of paradisiacal beaches, nobody goes there with the idea of ​​spending a day in a water park. However, if we’re talking about Waterbom Bali, the most extreme water park in Asia and the third best waterpark in the world, it might make sense for adrenaline lovers.

Located very close to Kuta, its star attraction, CLIMAX, only lasts 7 seconds. However, it is one of the most daunting slides in the world.

The other 17 slides found in Waterbom are also terrifying, but don’t worry – there are also water attractions for children and families, so it may be a good idea to visit this water park during your stay in Bali.

30. Lempuyang Temple, the photo you have to take in Bali

best temples to see in bali lempuyang temple

30. Lempuyang Temple, the photo you have to take in Bali

Lempuyang Temple is one of the most photographed temples in Bali. Dedicated to the God of Peace, it is located over 3,000 feet above sea level, so to reach it, you must be in  good physical shape, since you will need to climb some steep stairs.  

Without a doubt, the “Gates of Heaven” of this temple are one of the most popular Balinese postcards. In the iconic photo, you will see Mt. Agung reflected in what looks like a pond. In reality, it’s a trick using a mirror that was created by the locals to increase the popularity of the place.

As the temple is in the northeast of the island and far from the rest of the tourist areas of Bali, you can take this tour that will take you to this temple and other popular places in Bali.

31. Jatiluwih, other rice terraces to visit in Bali

best rice fields to visit in Ubud bali indonesia

31. Jatiluwih, other rice terraces to visit in Bali

The Jatiluwih rice paddies are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beauty of these rice fields is overwhelming but, since they’re further away from the tourist areas of Bali, surprisingly they aren’t the most visited rice fields in Bali. If you want to visit Jatiluwih and don’t have a private car, you can book this one-day tour to see, in addition to these terraces, other major Bali attractions.

32. Taman Ayun Temple, another place to visit in Bali

important things to see in bali Taman Ayun temple

32. Taman Ayun Temple, another place to visit in Bali

The Taman Ayun temple, known as the Temple of the Beautiful Garden, is popular for its merus (stepped pagodas). Additionally, it’s surrounded by a moat and vegetation.

The sacred area of ​​the temple is not open to visitors, so to see the temple, you’ll have to look through a low wall from which you can see the interior. Of course, it’s a must see in Bali. Admission is 20,000IDR ($ 1.50).

33. Penglipuran, a traditional village to visit in Bali

women harving rice in bali fields things to do

33. Penglipuran, a traditional village to visit in Bali

Penglipuran is a traditional village located in the center of the island that has gained popularity for preserving the traditions of Bali.

In this Balinese village, even bikes and scooters are banned. The houses are made with bamboo, and in addition, all waste is recycled as fertilizer for crops, which are tilled in the traditional way.

The entrance fee to the village is 30,000 IDR ($2), although if you want to spend a day learning the local traditions, I recommend that you book this tour. In this cultural immersion tour, you’ll see the Balinese traditional lifestyle in depth, with their customs and rituals. In addition, they’ll show you how to prepare the offerings that they give to the gods.

34. Nusa Islands, a visit you can’t miss in Bali

nusa penida what to do in Bali

34. Nusa Islands, a visit you can’t miss in Bali

The Nusa Islands are three small islands that are located quite close to Sanur, on the east of the island. If you like nature, the Nusa Islands are one of the essential places to visit in Bali.  

For some time, they weren’t a popular tourist destination, so on these islands, nature is much better preserved than on the main island of Bali. Some of the landmarks are beaches such as Kelingking Beach, in Nusa Penida, cliffs such as the Ceningan Cliffs, in Nusa Ceningan, or mangroves like the Mangrove Forest in Nusa Lembongan.

In addition, these islands are very popular for their seabed where you can, among other things, swim with manta rays. In the channel that separates Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan there’s also the Underwater Buddha Temple, where you can see a big underwater Buddha statue surrounded by stupas.

The fastest and cheapest way to get to the Nusa Islands is to take this ferry to Lembongan. It includes hotel pick-up and, once there, you can do island hopping.

Ferry from Bali to Nusa Lembongan with pick-up

35. Pasut Beach, the black sand beach of Bali

pasut beach black sand beach and sunset in bali

35. Pasut Beach, the black sand beach of Bali

Pasut Beach is the only black sand beach in Bali, and it’s only half an hour north of Canggu. It also has the most famous crooked palm tree in Bali, so it’s easy to understand why it has become so popular in recent years.

The best time to visit this beach is at sunset, when you can see how the sun sets under the sea. In addition, it is one of the few beaches in Bali that you can travel to by motorcycle.

36. Tukad Cepung, a secret place to visit in Bali

tukad cepung secret waterfall in bali

36. Tukad Cepung, a secret place to visit in Bali

Tukad Cepung is a waterfall located a short distance from Ubud, but not everyone knows about it yet. This waterfall is undoubtedly one of the most special to visit in Bali, as it is hidden in a cave. The highlights of Tukad Cepung are the sunrays that create halos on sunny days, turning this fall into a magical place.

The surroundings, completely full of vegetation, make this one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali. The entrance fee is 10,000 IDR. ($0.70)

37. Handara Gate, the most beautiful gate in Bali

One of the best things to visit in Bali is Handara Gate

37. Handara Gate, the most beautiful gate in Bali

The door of the Handara Club Golf Course is surprisingly one of the most popular places to visit in Bali. Due to its success on social media, today, the simple door of a golf course has become a must to photograph in Bali.

It’s true that the landscape is beautiful around here, since the golf course is surrounded by mountains and coffee plantations, so it’s not surprising that the Handara Gate is so frequently visited.

This type of door, known as a Candi Bentar, is a very common type of construction in Java, Bali and Lombok, and is usually used in temples, cemeteries, and palaces. The construction stands out for being a door split into symmetrical two parts. Another of the most popular Candi Bentar is the “Gates of Heaven” of Lempuyang Temple.

The price for taking a picture at this door is IDR 30,000 ($2) per person. Whether Handara Gate is worth it or not is the question. In my opinion, unless you pass by or take a tour that takes you to nearby Lake Bratan, it isn’t worth it.

38. Visiting the Gili Islands, something incredible to do in Bali

best travel ideas to do in bali gili trawangan

38. Visiting the Gili Islands, something incredible to do in Bali

The Gili Islands are three tiny islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air) that belong to Lombok, but since visiting them is something that’s indispensable to do in Bali, we couldn’t leave them off this list.

On these islands, you’ll find beaches with crystal clear water full of turtles, where you can snorkel and also enjoy the best nightlife of Indonesia. We decided to visit Gili Trawangan in two days, but if you don’t know which Gili Island to choose, check out our article to find out which one is best for you.

Book your transfer Bali – Gili Islands with hotel pick-up

39. Goa Lawah, the bat cave

bat cave in goa lawah a great thing to do in bali goa lawah

39. Goa Lawah, the bat cave

The Goa Lawah temple cave is known for being full of bats that you’ll see hanging from the ceiling. It’s not a very touristy place, since it’s not usually included on most Bali itineraries, since it’s mainly visited by locals. Even so, if you find yourself on the eastern part of the island, near Pedangbai, it is a place worth visiting in Bali.

The entrance fee is 15,000 IDR ($1) and the best time to go depends on your fear of bats. If you want to see them asleep and hanging from the ceiling, go anytime in the morning. To see them flying out of the cave, I recommend you go late in the afternoon.

40. Wanagiri Hidden Hill, an interesting place to visit in Bali

wanagiri hidden hill a different place to visit in bali

40. Wanagiri Hidden Hill, an interesting place to visit in Bali

Wanagiri Hidden Hill is a totally different place from what you will see in the rest of Bali. On the shores of Lake Buyan (Bedugul), it’s currently one of the most popular attractions in the area.

This complex was created by and for the tourist, and comprises a series of stations where you can find swings, baskets, bamboo viewpoints, and all kinds of scenarios to take the most popular kind of Bali photographs.

I honestly don’t think the price of 150,000 IDR ($10) is worth it. But if your goal is to take the same photo as Instagram influencers, there is no better place.

41. Karang Boma Cliff, the best cliffs in Bali

Karang Boma Cliff a thing to do in Bali

41. Karang Boma Cliff, the best cliffs in Bali

The cliffs of Karang Boma are the most impressive in Bali. To get there, you must follow a path, which is not fully marked, from the parking lot (you can find it marked on the map below).

Only 10 minutes from there, you reach the main cliff that has a 3,000-foot drop, from which you can see the entire Uluwatu coast, including the incredible Uluwatu temple.

Please be very careful; the cliff has no protection to prevent people from falling if you get too close to the edge.

Although until recently the visit was free, locals have started charging 10,000 IDR ($0.80) due to the increasing popularity. The best time to visit it is at sunset.

42. Banyumala Twin Waterfall, the best thing to see in Northern Bali

banyumala twin waterfall best waterfall in bali

42. Banyumala Twin Waterfall, the best thing to see in Northern Bali

Banyumala is an incredible twin waterfall in northern Bali (Bedugul), between the Buyan and Tamblingan lakes. Photographs don’t accurately show the true size of the waterfall, since it’s actually much taller than it seems.

To reach the waterfall, you must descend some stairs (be careful with the stairs in the last section). It will take you about 15 minutes to go down and 20 to get back. However, it is worth visiting.

The entrance to this waterfall costs 15,000 IDR ($1), and at the base of the fall, you can take a dip.

43. Amed, a not very touristy area to visit in Bali

amed beach with mount agung at the background

43. Amed, a not very touristy area to visit in Bali

Amed is a set of coastal villages located in the east of Bali. Although it’s gaining popularity on the island for its incredible seabed, there are still few tourists who visit this area, as it’s not very well connected.

If you have time and want to enjoy a quiet Balinese village, I recommend spending a few days here.

In addition to finding much cheaper diving lessons than in other parts of Bali, you can relax by observing the majesty of Mount Agung while you swim at Amed Beach. The best time of day to do it is at sunset.

44. The abandoned plane, something curious to visit in Bali

the abandoned plane, something curious to see in Bali

44. The abandoned plane, something curious to visit in Bali

Something curious to visit in Bali is the abandoned Boeing 737 that is in Nusa Dua. Not even the locals know how it landed there. The owner of the plane is also unknown. A great thing to do in Bali is to explore this curiosity on your own.

45. Enjoy a massage, something mandatory to do in Bali

massage spa villa ayana resort bali

45. Enjoy a massage, something mandatory to do in Bali

Treating yourself with a good massage is an indispensable thing to do in Bali. Where else in the world can you find professional massages that last one hour for less than $ 15? (160,000 IDR).

Over 6 days, we got 3 different massages and found the best was in Tjampuhan Spa (Ubud).

​​46. Rent a scooter in Bali

things to do in bali for a first time visit rent a scooter

46. Rent a scooter in Bali

If you want to explore the island at your own pace, I recommend you take a scooter trip to Bali. This is the best way to see the entire island on your own without having to book almost any tour (some, such as Mount Batur, are still mandatory).

If you want to rent a scooter in Baliremember to bring an international driving license. Also, keep in mind that you have to drive on the left, and locals usually drive quite aggressively, so it’s highly recommended to purchase good travel insurance to Bali.

Cheap motorcycle rental in Bali with hotel delivery

47. Tegenungan, the most accessible waterfall in Bali

tegenungan a waterfall tourist spots in bali

47. Tegenungan, the most accessible waterfall in Bali

To be honest, Tegenungan is not the prettiest waterfall in Bali. In fact, I would say that it’s dead last on the list of waterfalls that I’ve included in this list of places to visit in Bali. Beyond that, it’s one of the most touristy, since it’s only 20 minutes from Ubud, and you don’t have to walk to get to the base. However, it needs to be included on this list since it might be a good option if you travel to Bali with very little time to spend.

The waterfall has a good area to swim, although it’s usually crowded during the main hours of the day if you visit Bali in the high season. In addition, it’s surrounded by shops and warungs, so it’s a good option for family trips and people who don’t expect to discover a secret waterfall in Bali. It’s undoubtedly the most accessible waterfall in Bali.

48. Rafting in Ayung River, something fun to do in Bali

rafting in ayung river, something fun to do in Bali

48. Rafting in Ayung River, something fun to do in Bali

Rafting is one of the best activities in Bali if you want to get an adrenaline rush. The best place to do it is in the Ayung River, where, during the monsoon season, you can cross sections up to level IV. You can book a tour with a discount here.

49. Diving in the USAT Liberty shipwreck (Tulamben)

usat liberty tulamben shipwreck bali

49. Diving in the USAT Liberty shipwreck (Tulamben)

Tulamben is considered one of the best places to dive in Bali. Here, you can see blue spotted ribbontail ray, octopus, and scorpion fish among others. Additionally, you can dive around the USAT Liberty, a ship that sunk in 1942.

If you haven’t dived before, I recommend checking out this tour , which counts as credit towards a PADI Open Water Diver course. If you’re already a certified diver, then this is your tour.

50. Eat in the best Balinese Warungs

best places to eat in bali warungs

50. Eat in the best Balinese Warungs

Warung are small family restaurants where you can try traditional homemade Balinese cuisine.

You will see them everywhere, from the most remote waterfall to the noisiest city center. In the best warungs, you can eat like a king for less than $5.

There are thousands of warungs, so it’s difficult to recommend warungs in each place. However, when you visit Ubud, I strongly recommend the Dewa Warung and the Igalenca Warung. Those are two of my favorites warungs in Bali.

51. Getting married in Bali, the most romantic thing to do in Bali

getting married in bali. something cool to do in bali

51. Getting married in Bali, the most romantic thing to do in Bali

Witnessing a Balinese wedding is amazing. However, it’s even more exciting to dress up in the typical bridal costumes, “Agung Clowns”, and get married in a traditional Balinese ceremony.

If you’re traveling as a couple and want to make your experience memorable, getting married is the most romantic thing to do in Bali.

52. Bali swing, the famous swing in Bali

swing in bali the best thing to do in ubud

52. Bali swing, the famous swing in Bali

Visiting the Bali Swing is one of the most popular things to do in Bali.

The price of the Bali Swing, the best-known swing in Bali, is IDR 385,000 ($ 25).

However, there is a slightly cheaper option, the Zen Hideaway, located near the previous swing. This swing is really in an Airbnb, but for 250,000 IDR ($ 18) you can enjoy half an hour on this swing in the common area of ​​this accommodation.  

53. Campuhan Ridge Walk, a hike to do in Bali

campuhan ridge walk, a hike to do in ubud bali

53. Campuhan Ridge Walk, a hike to do in Bali

Campuhan Ridge Walk is a 1.5-mile trail near Ubud where you can walk across rice fields and see giant palm trees.

The route takes between 2 and 3 hours depending on how many stops you make to enjoy the views. Almost all of the path is flat and there is no way to get lost.

If you decide to do this excursion, I recommend you do it in the morning, since it can get very hot during the day.

54. Ubud Palace, another essential place to visit in Ubud

best villages to visit in bali ubud palace

54. Ubud Palace, another essential place to visit in Ubud

The “Puri Saren Agung”, the Royal Palace of Ubud, is another place that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Bali. The palace is open from 8 am to 7 pm and admission is free. It’s located right in front of the Ubud Art Market and the visit won’t take more than thirty minutes.

However, keep in mind that part of the Balinese royal family still lives in this palace, so you can only visit an interior courtyard decorated in a traditional style; you can also enjoy traditional dance exhibitions there at night.

To get more information about the types of dance and the performance schedules, it’s best to check the sign on the palace door.

55. Brahma Vihara Arama, the largest Buddhist temple in Bali

brahma vihara arama buddhist temple in bali

55. Brahma Vihara Arama, the largest Buddhist temple in Bali

In Bali, unlike the rest of Indonesia, the majority religion is Hinduism. That is why the Brahma Vihara Arama temple stands out as something different in Bali: a Buddhist monastery that is worth visiting.

In this monastery you’ll find meditation rooms, a library full of sacred books, and gorgeous gardens. In addition, there is a replica of the largest Buddhist building in the world, the Borobudur temple.

This temple is located in Northern Bali, past Lovina and very close to the Air Panas Hot Springs, better known as Banjar Hot Springs.

56. Take a Balinese cooking class

cooking class. one of the main things to do in bali

56. Take a Balinese cooking class

One of the most original activities to do in Bali is to take a traditional cooking class. These types of class are offered throughout the island and usually include a visit to a local market and the preparation of an appetizer, two main courses, and a dessert.

All courses include the option of preparing vegetarian dishes. If you are in Ubud, this is the best cooking course, whereas if you are in Seminyak or Kuta, I recommend this one or this one.

57. Attend a Kecak dance show

Kecak Dance and Fire best thing to do in Bali

57. Attend a Kecak dance show

The “Kecak Fire & Trance dance” is one of the most popular activities in Bali. During this performance, a group of men sings while they hypnotically move their arms forming a set. At the same time, dancers dressed in bright colors represent the story of Ramayana. Fire is also an important part of the show.

This type of dance can be seen in many places on the island, with the Ubud Palace and the Uluwatu temple hosting the most popular ones. Keep in mind that, despite what most travelers think, it’s not a type of traditional dance, but was invented in the 1930s to attract tourists. Even so, I think it is something interesting to do in Bali if it’s your first time on the island.

58. Best museums in Bali. Something to do in Bali if it rains

ARMA museum in ubud, something to do in Bali if rains

58. Best museums in Bali. Something to do in Bali if it rains

Rain is common in Bali, so it’s always a good idea to have a plan B for something to do in Bali if it rains. Museums will be your salvation.

If you are in the Ubud area, the ARMA museum (Agung Rai Museum of Art) contains a wonderful collection of traditional art. The gallery is located in the Arma Museum & Resort , a 4-star resort, you can enter the museum for free.

Another museum in Ubud that’s totally different from the previous one is the Museum of Don Antonio Blanco, an eccentric Spanish artist who became very popular in Bali for his works of art. They even considered him the “Dali of Bali”. The entrance to the museum also costs 80k IDR.

The Bali Museum, as we have already said, is the best museum if you are in Denpasar and want to learn more about the culture and history of the island. The ticket price is 50,000 IDR. ($ 3.50)

59. Yoga studios in Bali (Indonesia)

practice yoga in bali gili trawangan

59. Yoga studios in Bali (Indonesia)

Bali is known for being an island where you can relax and feel good vibes. Over the last few years, it has become a popular destination for yoga retreats. The most popular places where you can take yoga classes in Bali are Ubud, Uluwatu and Canggu.

Of all the yoga studios in Bali, the most popular is The Yoga Barn, in Ubud. This complex combines yoga classes, accommodation, natural treatments, retreats, healthy cooking, and much more.

The price if you book only one yoga session is IDR 130,000 ($ 9 approx). However, they offer discounts if you take more sessions, with a price of $ 6 per class if you book several sessions.

60. Turtle Sanctuary in Bali

swim with turtle bali sanctuary

60. Turtle Sanctuary in Bali

There is only one turtle rescue center in Bali where the protection of these animals is more important than tourists’money. It’s called the “Turtle Conservation And Education Center (TCEC)” and it’s located in Serangan, in the east of Kuta.

This center operates exclusively through donations, and volunteers are responsible for protecting the turtles’eggs, releasing the turtles when they turn one month old, and rehabilitating injured turtles. They also raise awareness in the local population, showing them the damage produced by the illegal trade of these animals and their eggs.

If you’re asking your driver or guide to take you there, just tell them the address: Jalan Tukad Punggawa Lingkungan Ponjok, Serangan. From Kuta, it only takes 15 minutes.

If you tell them that you want to go to the Turtle Sanctuary, they will try to take you to Turtle Island, since all the drivers and guides that take travelers to that place receive  commission.

Of course, on Turtle Island, you have to buy a ticket to see the turtles, but the reason I don’t recommend this place is because it’s a place where turtles are abused. In this false turtle sanctuary, animals are crammed into dirty pools. The guides will allow you to take turtles out of the water to take photos and of course, the turtles that breed are not released, but instead sold on the black market. That’s why I beg you not to go to this place. Make sure that the center you visit is the TCEC, the only place in Bali where the most important thing is the welfare of the turtles.

Map with everything you have to do in Bali

What do you think of our selection of the best things to do in Bali? Below you can find all the places that we mention in the article on a map, so you can organize your trip to the Island of the Gods. In addition, you can download our Bali Map here.

Before you go, here are the essentials for your trip to Bali:

ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR TRIP TO BALI

Find accommodation in Bali AT THE BEST PRICE or get a $50 DISCOUNT on your first Airbnb reservation.

Book the best tours in Bali at the lowest price HERE and HERE.

CHEAP FERRIES from Bali (without hotel pick-up).

SIM cards for Bali with UNLIMITED DATA.

Check the best BALI FLIGHT DEALS.

If you discover a new tourist spot that deserves to be on our list of the best places to visit in Bali, leave us a comment and we will add it. Have a safe trip!

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