Are you currently planning a Bali trip? And now you’re searching for the best things to do in Bali? Then you have found yourself in the right place. Because that’s exactly what we are talking about in this article. About some of the coolest things you can do in Bali and about the best day trips you can go on from this paradise island.
To make this list of – 25 best things to do in Bali – even better we contacted a few travel bloggers, who have been to Bali and know the island well, and asked about their favorite things to do in Bali. So it’s not just our opinon and you have a wider variety of different activities to choose from whenever you’ll be traveling to Bali.
What is the best time to visit Bali? April and September. Right before the beginning of the peak tourist season in Bali and at the end of the season.
What to Do in Bali
Best Things to Do in Bali
Now let’s take a look at the list. Here are 25 best things to do in Bali, Indonesia.
Activities are listed in no particular order.
1. Book a Private Villa With Pool in Bali
Or book a nice hotel with pool. So you can start your day like this.
There are lots of nice and affordable villas available for rent in Bali. For example this one in Tanah Lot, this one next to Ubud and this one close to the beach. Some are smaller, some – bigger. There is something for every budget. And if we speak about hotels many of the hotels in Bali have pool. Yep, even the ones starting at something like 15 – 20 EUR per night.
There are a lot of beautiful villas and guest houses in Bali.
2. Relax at Jungle Fish Bali
This luxury resort is located amidst the dense forest in the breathtaking landscape of the Ubud area. For an entrance fee, visitors can also enjoy the facilities: pool, bar, shower, bathroom, lounging area, etc. Reservations are highly recommended, and drinks and dishes are reasonably priced.
Swimming in the Jungle Fish’s infinity pool in the middle of the lush vegetation, admiring the view and sipping a glass of champagne in the company of good friends is definitely one of the best things to do in Bali. Jungle Fish is one of those places where once you’ve arrived, you never want to leave.
If you would like to book a room there, you can check the prices here.
Recommended by Péricles Rosa, 7continents1passport.com.
3. Pay a Visit to The Tirta Empul Temple
The Tirta Empul Temple is one of the holy water temples on Bali and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a must add on any Bali day trip because it’s a unique place and dates to the 10th century.
At the entrance, which is just around 2 EUR, it’s recommend taking a guide. You’ll learn much more about Tirta Empul Temple this way. Hindu people use the temple to purify the body by bathing under 11 out of the 13 streams. If you go bathing yourself make sure to not use the last two as those are for burial ceremonies. A visit takes between 1-2 hours depending if you go bathing or not.
Recommended by Chris, christravelblog.com.
4. Visit Banjar Hot Springs in North Bali
If you’re looking to spend a relaxing afternoon in warm spring waters amidst lush greenery away from the crowds, Banjar Hot Springs in North Bali is the place for you.
At this slightly off the beaten path attraction, enjoy the gentle flow of therapeutic spring water from the mouths of carved stone dragons in outdoor pools. Landscaped gardens surround the pools, located in the middle of the jungle. Be it unwinding after a hectic travel or work schedule, Banjar Hot Springs is sure to wash your aches and stress away.
Entrance fee: 20,000 IDR.
Toilets: 3,000 IDR.
Lockers: 5,000 IDR.
Recommended by Aaron, aaronteoh.com.
5. Go Surfing in Uluwatu
Bali is all about the sea, the culture, and nature; but also, tourists and locals love the island because of its waves; Bali it’s a perfect place for enjoying sports like surfing, bodyboard and kitesurf.
One of the most knows surf sports in the island and in the world is Uluwatu, in the south of Bali. Here you can find five breaks, perfect for all levels and abilities; except for first timers because of the coral reef on the bottom, which makes it dangerous. Also, for the non-surfers, there is a beautiful temple in the top of the cliff and the beach of Uluwatu is really nice for spending the day relaxing.
Recommended by Alejandra, universoviajero.com.
6. Make Some Nice Instagram Shots at Uluwatu
The coastline there is BEAUTIFUL.
These cliffs. And the waves. Beware of monkeys though. There are lots of them and they can be very nasty. The good thing is that there are special man there to protect visitors of Uluwatu from these wild monkeys. In January 2018, when I was visiting Uluwatu temple, a monkey stole my glasses. And a guard helped me to get them back.
7. Visit Ubud… or Book a Hotel in Ubud and Stay There
Ubud is a brilliant destination for any trip to Bali as the surrounding areas are home to some breath-taking nature.
It’s easy to arrange a day trip to these incredible spots, as you can rent a scooter for just 60,000 IDR or negotiate a price of around 500,000 IDR for a day trip with a driver. The Tegalalang rice terraces are simply a must see as the lush green fields stretch on as far as the eye can see. There are also plenty of beautiful waterfalls to discover, in particular Tegenungan, Kanto Lampo and Tukad Cepung.
Ubud town itself is home to countless Warungs serving up delicious Indonesian dishes to restore your energy after a long day of adventure! Find out more with this Ubud guide.
Recommended by Sam, somethingoffreedom.com.
8. Visit the Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot on the west coast of Bali is one of those temples located right on the ocean and is a picture perfect spot to visit and capture.
The Tanah Lot was built in the 15th century from a Hindu priest named Dang Hyang Nirartha – a high priest from East Java. Tanah meaning “In the Sea”, acknowledges the spiritual powers of the high priest who resisted the local chieftan who eventually pledged allegiance to priest and the sacred temple. Constant erosion of the rock feature the temple sits on has spurred major retrofitting and creating an artificial rock base to save the temple from falling into the sea.
At low tide, you can actually cross over into the rock base to view the legendary sea snakes that guard the temple base. Also on the temple is a natural spout that is the source of holy water for all the temples in the nearby locations.
Recommended by Noel, travelphotodiscovery.com.
9. Eat a Smoothie Bowl
You cannot leave Bali without trying one of the famous smoothie bowls.
I am sure you have seen tons of pictures on Instagram with those tasty fruit bowls creatively decorated but where can you find the best smoothie bowl in Bali? I definitely recommend going to KYND, Seminyak. They put extra effort in making those bowls look fabulous and taste heavenly in the same time. The price is a bit more expensive comparing to other similar venues but it is well worth it. – a smoothie bowl costs 5 EUR. Enjoy!
Recommended by Aurelia, dailytravelpill.com.
10. Go to the famous Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud
You can’t go to Bali and not visit the famous Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud.
This natural reserve is full of beautiful architecture and greenery. It’s also an important spiritual, educational, economic, and conservation center for the village. But of course the real stars here are the monkeys!
The forest is home to over 700 wild, sneaky monkeys (including adorable babies). When you walk through the sanctuary you can purchase bananas to feed the monkey. The cost to enter the forest is IDR 50,000 (about 3 EUR) and you can stay as long as you want. But make sure to leave the jewelry and sunglasses at home! The monkeys are attracted to anything and everything shiny.
Recommended by Michelle, mapsandmuses.com.
11. Take a Cooking Class in Ubud (or Somewhere Else in Bali)
Traveling teaches my kids and me all about different foods, so when we went to Bali we signed up for a cooking class with Casa Luna Cooking School in Ubud.
Set in an open-air covered building, I love how this place offers daily themes instead of running the same classes day in and day out. You can focus on seafood and fish, beginner skills, vegan dishes, or foods made with what’s fresh at the market for about 25 – 40 EUR. Our instructor was the perfect balance of chef, teacher, and cultural expert introducing the ingredients and history. Incredibly well organized! Now I can take the food of Bali with me no matter where we go next!
Recommended by Cerise, enchantedvagabond.com.
12. Experience Eat Pray Love Palm Reading in Bali
Love it or hate it, Eat Pray Love put Ubud on the map for countless people, who flock to this beautiful artistic town to walk in Elizabeth Gilbert’s footsteps. But what a lot of people don’t know is that you can actually visit the family home of Ketut Liyer, the medicine man who famously turned Elizabeth Gilbert’s life around and told her she would be returning to Bali.
Sadly, Ketut Liyer died in 2016, but you can still visit his beautiful family compound (which has its own temple and is hung with mobiles and bird cages) and have a palm reading with his son. When I visited, we literally walked to the house using google maps, went inside and were told we could have a palm reading straight away. It was a really unique experience that added so much to our trip to Bali!
Location: Google Maps.
If you would like to stay there, know that it’s possible. Check the prices here!
Recommended by Maire, templesandtreehouses.com.
13. Watch a Kecak Performance
A kecak performance in Bali is touristy, the plot is complicated, and the performers might seem just a little bit jaded.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch it. It’d be a huge mistake to miss it. It’s one of the most riveting performances you’ll ever see. The kecak depicts a fragment of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, but that won’t matter too much to you, and you won’t be able to follow the story line anyway. Not to worry though. The swaying sea of sweaty, shirtless men, the hypnotic chanting sound of “cak” by a mass of voices and the intricate movements of the dancers in traditional costumes will be enough.
Seeing the kecak is one of the best things to do in Ubud, but the most famous place to see this spectacle is near Uluwatu Temple on Bali’s South Coast. The venue is a cliff-side amphitheatre, made all the more dramatic by the show’s start time around sunset.
Just be ready for the sound of the kecak to live on in your auditory memory long after the performance is done.
Recommended by Shelley, travel-stained.com.
14. Visit at Least A Couple of Rice Terraces in Bali
And you don’t even need to look for one, because when traveling around Bali you’ll definitely be passing by one at some point. If you want to know which ones are the most famous rice terraces in Bali, then that’s Tegalalang Rice Terraces, visited by hundreds of tourists every day.
At the same time places like the one in my photo above are there as well. And no one visits them, apart from the people working on these fields. This place is near mount Agung by the way.
15. Take a Closer Look at Mount Agung
There are many places from where you can take a look at Agung. The most popular one is Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang temple. Just climb the first stairs (it takes about 5 minutes from the parking) and turn around. If it’s not cloudy, mount Agung will be there in all its majestic beauty. Another option is to simply drive and search for a good spot.
But go early as then chances of a great visibility are the highest. The best time – sunrise.
16. Explore Bali on a Scooter
Because it’s clearly the best way to see Bali. And one of the best things to do in Bali all at the same time.
You can go where you want. When you want. You can stop whenever you want. You can stop to have luch when you are hungy or you can stop to take that awesome photo. Or simply to enjoy the views.
Read our guide to riding a scooter in Bali for tips, rental shop recommendation and prices.
17. Go Swimming in Bali
What a Bali trip it would be without a swim in the ocean?
Where to go? Well, the most crowded beach could be Kuta beach. Which isn’t a surprise since it’s that close to the capital of Bali and also the airport. And this beach most probably you’ll want to avoid. For a more relaxed day at the beach you can go to Melasti beach, about an hour ride away from the Bali airport. Or – to more secluded Green Bowl beach or Bias Tugel beach.
I, personally, love and would recommend the Bias Tugel beach because of how peaceful it’s there and because of the waves you have there, especially when the tide is coming in. There is a small parking fee of 10 000 IDR per person, but it’s worth it.
Green Bowl beach is very nice, too, but check the Bali tide chart online before going there, because you may not get to the beach when the water is high. Otherwise it’s a lovely beach, one of the best beaches in Bali. Note that there is only one small shop before the stairs to the beach and that’s all. And, yes, stairs. You’ll have to go down the stairs (around 350 steps) to get there. If, however, you’ll want to change your location, know that Melasti beach is only a short ride away.
18. Do Not Miss Nusa Dua Island
If you are traveling to Bali, you should visit Nusa Dua.
We loved Nusa Dua because it was so quiet. Geger Beach was beautiful with clear water and it was almost not crowded. Our favorite activities there were swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Pay a visit to the Water Blow, a beautiful rock formation in Nusa Dua.It’s something I would definitely put among the most interesting things to do in Nusa Dusa. And don’t miss the Puja Mandala, the most popular temple in Nusa Dua.
Prices in Nusa Dua are quite high, if we compare it to affordable areas of Bali like Canggu and Ubud. At the same time it’s a perfect honeymoon destination for couples if you want to have luxury time in a villa in Bali, and you enjoy Balinese massages!
Recommended by Ruben, gamintraveler.com.
19. Go and Try Out Different Water Sports at Nusa Dua
Water skiing, jet skiing, underwater scooter, sea walking, parasailing, …
These are just few examples of the things you can do in Nusa Dua, Bali.
20. Try Delicious Nasi Goreng at Tino Warung in Ubud
I’ve eaten a lot of Nasi Goreng in Indonesia. And in Malaysia, where I’ve spent over 6 months.
But this one is the best Nasi Goreng (fried rice) of all of them. And in 2018 it cost under 30 000 IDR (2 EUR). And so we came to Tino Warung again and again. But, sorry, no photos of the actual dish… So you’ll have to trust me or go and check it out yourself, but this Nasi Goreng is also one of the prettiest ones not only the tastiest.
Location: Google Maps.
21. Go for an Easy and Beautiful Walk in Ubud
Go and walk the Campuhan Ridge Walk.
It’s in Ubud. So it’s easily accessible. And it’s a beautiful place to be.
Location: Google Maps.
22. Head for the Mountains
To see a different side of Bali, check out the mountains north of Ubud.
If you are riding a scooter take the Jl. Raya Wanagiri road and drive all the way to Munduk. Some of the most interesting sights in the area and on the way – Ulun Danu Beratan temple, Banyumala waterfall (best waterfall in Bali for swimming) and the Munduk itself. It’s a mountain willage and a couple of hiking trails start from there.
23. Go On a Day Trip to Nusa Penida
One of the best things to do in Bali is to take a day trip to Nusa Penida, a quick speed boat ride from Bali.
Of course, you are also welcome to stay even a week in Nusa islands. There are many sightseeing spots and activities to do such as snorkelling and diving. If you’re on Instagram, you won’t be unfamiliar to the sights of Billabong Beach (Angel’s Billabong), Broken Beach (Pasih Uug Beach) and Kelingking Beach. What won me over by Nusa Pendia is the beautiful cliffs and crystal clear turquoise waters!
Recommended by Isabel, belaroundtheworld.com.
24. Visit the Bird Sanctuary, National Park on Nusa Penida Island
The Bird Sanctuary is currently home to over 100 Bali Starlings and they’ve successfully increased the wild population from less than 10 in 2006.
Local communities are fully involved in the running of the eco-tours. It is a non-commercial operation so all proceeds from guests are 100% ‘donations’ invested back into conservation. I was lucky enough to spend 2 nights in the accommodation in the national park and was taken on local tours around the entire island. We visited small weaving villages, enjoyed amazing street food and sleeping inside the national park is one of my fondest memories of Bali.
Nusa Penida is far away from the mass-tourism of Kuta and by going there you will experience authentic Bali.
Read more about the eco-tours.
Recommended by Jessy, planetpilgrims.com.
25. Go On a Day Trip to Ijen Volcano (in Java)
This place is surreal. Should you go there at night as most people do? In my opinon that’s not necessary. Blue flames everyone wants to see are… OK. But I would highly recommend you to go for the sunrise there.
You can easily buy a tour to Ijen while in Bali.
Or you can do in on your own. Here is a good DIY guide from fellow Latvian travelers, who went there in 2018. While you don’t have to be a mountainer or have any special equipment, be prepared that it’s steep walk to get to the top. Not very long and on a decent quality track, but steep.
To make a round-trip (including the climb itself) you’ll need around 24 hours.
Where to Stay in Bali – Our Recommendations
If you want to see a little bit of everything then one of the best places to stay in Bali is Ubud. As already mentioned in this article, it’s a small town located in inland Bali, about an hour scooter ride away from the nearest beach. And here are 3 very nice hotels in Ubud, some of the best value hotels in Ubud you can find.
1. Cheap – Gora House Bali
A small and very nice hotel close to the heart of Ubud.
The hotel features a small pool, similar one like other hotels and guest houses in Ubud. Being only a very short walk away from a busy street with restaurants and bars the location of the Gora House Bali makes you feel like you are staying somewhere in a small village. And sicne there are only 6 rooms you will feel almost like you are in your own villa.
Double room starts at 21 EUR. Check the latest price!
2. Mid-range – Ubud Heaven Sayan
What about a private villa? Here you can have one for about 70 EUR. The property is outside of Ubud, about 10-minute drive away from the city center. One, two and three-bedroom villas are available. A good local restaurant is only a short walk away from the place.
Double room starts at 69 EUR. Check the latest price!
3. Luxury – Visesa Ubud Resort
Stay in your own private villa, next to a picturesque rice field and only a 5-minute ride away from the Ubud city center. The resort features an outdoor pool, gym and SPA. One and two-bedroom villas and luxury suites are available.
Double room starts at 216 EUR. Check the latest price!
Have you been to Bali? Is there something else you would add? Some more interesting places to visit in Bali? Or cool things to do in Bali?
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.