Hello fellow wanderers! Explore the enchanting allure of Bali with our blog on must-visit places on this Indonesian paradise. The Indonesian archipelago has more than 17,000 islands, and Bali is the undisputed favourite among them. Famed as the Island Of Gods, Bali is located just over two kilometres from the eastern tip of the island of Java and west of the island of Lombok. The island has gained its reputation as the quintessential tropical paradise and not without reason. It offers rich natural beauty with beaches, forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, and coral reefs to explore, along with a fascinating culture that is a unique mix of Hindu-Buddhist religion and Balinese customs. There are a lot of wonderful places to visit in Bali.
The island also allows you to take part in various colourful ceremonies, with magnificent temples welcoming those interested in history and spirituality. It’s also known for being home to many gifted artists who produce beautiful artwork in paint, stone, wood, silver, and whatever can be shaped. With so many things to do, you might get a bit confused on your first visit there. Don’t worry! We have compiled a list of places to visit in Bali!
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The Best Tourist Places To Visit In Bali
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Ubud, where lush rice terraces and ancient temples await. Here you can also explore the pristine beaches of Seminyak and Kuta, perfect for sun-soaked relaxation or thrilling water sports. Discover the spiritual ambiance of Uluwatu’s top temple and witness mesmerizing traditional dance performances. Additionally, to have some tranquility soaked moments, venture to the scenic waterfalls of Munduk. From the cultural heart of Bali to its serene natural wonders, this guide explores the diverse tapestry of experiences awaiting you on this tropical island.
1. Luxe Spa Capital Of Bali: Seminyak
Located in the west coast of Bali, Seminyak is the centre of life for hordes of the island’s expats. This beach town is a mix of tourist and residential areas and is very popular for scores of restaurants and clubs, and a wealth of creative and designer shops and galleries. Enjoy idyllic beaches such as Seminyak Beach and Petitenget Beach, luxury spas such as Prana Spa or Seminyak Royal Spa, designer boutiques such as Auguste The Label or SOUQ, lively restaurants like Lacalaca Cantina Mexicana and Sarong, bars such as La Favela and KU DE TA, villas, and interesting crafts and furniture shops that stay open until late.
2. Largest And Holiest Hindu Temple In Bali: Pura Besakih
Also known as the Mother Temple of Bali, Besakih Temple is the largest of all temple complexes in Bali. It is the holiest Hindu temple in Bali and is perched at an altitude of about 1,000 metres above sea level, on the southwestern slopes of Mount Agung, Bali’s highest mountain. This unique temple complex consists of 18 separate sanctuaries, each belonging to different caste groups, which are then surrounded by a central complex with three main temples. The main temples are dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. Pura Besakih is considered the most important of the kahyangan jagat (the nine directional temples built to protect the island from evil). One of the best places to visit in Bali, this temple hosts more than 70 religious ceremonies or celebrations every year which are attended by devotees from all over the island.
3. Most Active Volcano Of Bali: Mount Batur
Mount Batur is actually a volcano inside an older, larger, volcano. Most importantly, it is located at the centre of two concentric calderas northwest of Mount Agung. Sitting at 1,717 metres (5,633 feet) above sea level, this active volcano offers breathtaking views of Lake Batur, black lava from the last explosion, and the surrounding mountains. Also called Gunung Batur, Mount Batur last erupted in 2000 and is one of the best places to visit in Bali. Furthermore, you can hike up this mountain to watch the sun rise above the lush mosaic of mist-shrouded mountains and the caldera far below.
Additionally, lying in the Kintamani district in Bali’s central highlands, about an hour’s drive from Ubud, the two-hour trek to the summit will bring you to one of the island’s most dramatic landscapes. A lot of people also combine their trip here with one of Bali’s most important temples, Pura Ulun Danu Batur, which is located on the lake’s northwest shore.
4. Cultural Icon For Photography: Pura Tanah Lot
Set offshore, Pura Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s directional temples (kahyangan jagat) and one of the most famous Hindu temples in Bali. As the temple is built on a large coral rock on the coast of Beraban village in the Tabanan regency, it looks spectacular against the backdrop of a dramatic sunset and the sea. Also, I ts location has turned it into a religious and cultural landmark, cherished for its natural beauty. Soak in the enchanting beauty of this Hindu pilgrimage site which dates back to the 15th century, and was built by a priest named Nirartha. Set on top of an outcrop in the midst of large waves, Tanah Lot is also believed to be a part of Balinese mythology.
5. Natural Habitat Of The Balinese Long-tailed Monkey: Ubud Monkey Forest
Also known as Mandala Suci Wenara Wana, the Ubud Monkey Forest is located at Padangtegal Ubud, Bali. It is a natural forest sanctuary that is home to over 700 grey long-tailed macaques. This complex is a lush forest, home to a temple, and is the natural habitat of the Balinese long-tailed monkey (scientific name macaca fascicularis). Also, the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal or Ubud Monkey Forest is spread over 27 acres of land and is a popular tourist attraction in Ubud. Often visited by over 10,000 tourists a month, it also contains at least 115 different species of trees.
Visit the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal temple as well as a Holy Spring bathing temple and another temple used for cremation ceremonies here at Ubud Monkey Forest. Additionally, you can take cool walks along paved pathways through the leafy nutmeg forest or watch the playful monkeys in their natural habitat, swinging through canopies, lazing along pathways, or feeding on bananas. You can also explore the beautiful ancient temples with eerie guardian statues covered in moss.
6. Rice Terraces Of Bali: Jatiluwih
Enjoy nature at the Jatiluwih rice terraces that are located in the namesake upland village in West Bali. These Balinese sculptured rice terraces comprise over 600 hectares of rice fields that follow the flowing topography of the Batukaru mountain range and offer some of the most dramatic and exotic landscapes in Bali. Once a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site candidate, the Jatiluwih rice terraces are maintained by a traditional water management cooperative known as subak, which dates back to the 9th century. Furthermore, sitting under the gaze of Bratan (a nearby volcano), the terraces offer tourists a chance to enjoy nature and can be a soothing retreat away from the crowds of the island’s southern beach resort areas.
7. One Of The Sad Kahyangan: Uluwatu Temple
Also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Uluwatu Temple is a Balinese Hindu sea temple which is located in Uluwatu in South Kuta, Badung. Built on the tip of a rock, this temple is one of the nine main directional Hindu temples in Bali. It is perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above the waves and was founded in the 11th century. Due to its magnificent location, this unique piece of architecture is well known for its splendid sunset backdrops, as dramatic as that at Tanah Lot Temple. While visiting this tourist place in Bali, you can take some memorable pictures during the golden sunset hours as the higher altitude of the temple provides broader seascapes. Also, don’t miss the statues of Ganesha that flank the entrance to the temple complex, and the traditional dance drama performances which take place every evening at sunset.
8. Home To Many Unique And Authentic Pieces: Ubud Art Market
Referred to as Pasar Seni Ubud by locals, Ubud local Market is located directly in the centre of Ubud town. It’s also known as the Ubud Art Market. The market is the most popular tourist market in Bali and is considered the cultural hub of the island. Standing at the junction of Jalan Raya Ubud and Jalan Monkey Forest, the market is also home to many traditional artists producing unique and authentic products that represent the island. What’s more? Visit the countless small shops here that offer a wide range of items such as beautiful silk scarves, lightweight shirts, handmade woven bags, baskets and hats, statues, and kites.
As one of the best places to visit in Bali, this market brings you the unique art culture of Bali. Most of the goods are made in the neighbouring villages of Pengosekan, Tegallalang, Payangan, and Peliatan. The market was also featured in the Hollywood movie ‘Eat Pray Love’, in a scene with Julia Roberts strolling through its stalls.
In the rhythmic dance of its traditions and the soothing lull of its waves, Bali allures travelers to embrace its charm fully. Furthermore, beyond the bustling markets and verdant jungles, this island exudes a spiritual aura that lingers, inviting introspection and connection with nature.
Whether you find solace amidst the emerald terraces of Ubud, revel in the lively energy of Seminyak’s beaches, or contemplate the ancient mystique of Uluwatu, each destination will leave an indelible mark on your soul. Bali is not just a destination; it’s an odyssey of the senses.
Activities to do in Bali
1. Explore Ubud’s Cultural Tapestry:
Bali’s cultural heart, Ubud, has a rich tapestry of arts, dance, and spirituality that are bound to leave you enchanted. From the iconic Monkey Forest to traditional dance performances at the Ubud Palace, Ubud has a lot for you if you live exploring culture. In Ubud, you can quench your thirst for culture and immerse yourself in traditions.
2. Witness Sunset at Tanah Lot:
What good is your visit to Bali if you don’t witness the sunset at Tanah Lot? Immerse yourself in the magic of Bali’s coastline at Tanah Lot, a dramatic sea temple perched on a rocky outcrop. The juxtaposition of the temple against the backdrop of the setting sun creates a magical scene, and is therefore worth witnessing.
3. Beach Bliss in Seminyak:
Seminyak boasts its long stretches of golden sand, vibrant beach clubs, and upscale resorts. Indulge in sun-soaked relaxation, try exhilarating water sports, or enjoy the energetic nightlife. Moreover, Seminyak amazingly blends tranquility with excitement for an amazing beach experience.
4. Rice Terraces of Tegallalang:
Tegallalang has some of Bali’s most picturesque rice terraces, a testament to the island’s agrarian roots. Explore the emerald-green landscapes, witness traditional farming methods, and absorb the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site that exhibits Bali’s harmonious relationship with nature.
5. Diving in Amed’s Underwater Wonderland:
Present on Bali’s eastern coast, Amed is a heaven for underwater enthusiasts. Dive into its vibrant coral gardens and WWII shipwrecks, where an abundance of marine life awaits. Amed offers an exciting escape for both novice and experienced divers seeking to explore Bali’s diverse underwater ecosystem.
6. Witness Traditional Kecak Dance Performances:
Present on towering cliffs, Uluwatu has the iconic Uluwatu Temple. Experience a spiritual journey as you witness traditional Kecak dance performances against the backdrop of the Indian Ocean. Furthermore, the mesmerising views and cultural resonance make Uluwatu a soul-satisfying destination.
7. Waterfall Retreat in Munduk:
Enjoy the serenity amid Bali’s lush interior at Munduk, popular for its captivating waterfalls. Trek through emerald forests to discover hidden gems like Munduk and Melanting waterfalls. Also, the cool mountain air and pristine cascades offer a refreshing escape from the island’s bustling coastal areas.
8. Artistic Marvels in Gianyar:
Gianyar, home to the Bali Safari and Marine Park, is a heaven for animal lovers. Witness the park’s conservation efforts and engage with wildlife. Furthermore, visit the ARMA Museum to witness Bali’s contemporary and traditional art scenes, providing an all-round cultural experience.
9. Culinary Odyssey in Denpasar’s Night Market:
Denpasar’s night market is a feast for the senses, offering a wide variety of local delicacies. Immerse into the world of Balinese flavours with dishes like Babi Guling (suckling pig). Also, explore the vibrant market stalls for an authentic taste of Bali’s culinary heritage.
10. Healing and Wellness in Ubud’s Spas:
Ubud isn’t just a cultural hub. It’s also a sanctuary for wellness. Rejuvenate your body and mind at Ubud’s world-renowned spas, offering traditional Balinese massages, holistic therapies, and also yoga retreats amidst the tranquil landscapes. These activities provide a holistic and revitalising experience.
Above all, these activities have the diverse facets of Bali, ensuring that every traveler finds their own unique slice of heaven on this alluring island.
These Bali Attractions Should Be On Your Must-Visit List!
As we conclude this journey through Bali’s captivating landscapes, one thing is clear. This island surpasses the ordinary, weaving together a tapestry of cultural richness and natural splendour. Rich in natural beauty, art, culture, and history, Bali has something for every kind of traveller. While some areas in Bali have suffered from over-commercialism and over-tourism in recent years, there are still places to visit in Bali that appear untouched by time. Skip the usual clamour and chaos of the main tourist areas and add these hidden gems to your list of the top attractions for sightseeing in Bali.
As you bid farewell to the sun-drenched shores and verdant landscapes, you’ll carry with you the memories of a place where time slows down, and peace lingers in the air. Bali is more than just a tourist spot; it’s an immersion into a realm where beauty, culture, and tranquility come together, creating an unforgettable chapter in your travel narrative. Until we meet again in this tropical haven, may the essence of Bali continue to linger in your heart and inspire your wanderlust.
If you’ve been to Indonesia’s most evocative and popular tourist islands, tell us all about your experiences in the comments below.
Bali has thrilling adventure sports like surfing in Kuta, white-water rafting in Ayung River, and cliff jumping at Blue Lagoon. Scuba diving in Amed and snorkeling in Menjangan Island are also great choices.
For shopping, explore Ubud Market for handmade crafts, Seminyak for designer boutiques, and Sukawati Art Market for traditional Balinese items. Beachwalk Shopping Center in Kuta is another trendy spot for shopaholics.
In Bali, you can visit Tanah Lot Temple for stunning sunsets, Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, and the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. You can also explore Uluwatu Temple and the cultural richness of Goa Gajah.
Bali has various transportation options. You can rent a scooter for flexibility, use ride-hailing services, or hire a local driver. Bemos or minivans and taxis are also available, and some areas are walkable.
Bali has vibrant nightlife in areas like Seminyak and Kuta. Enjoy beach clubs, bars, and live music. The nightlife is suitable for diverse tastes, from laid-back beach vibes to lively club scenes.
The best part depends on your personal likes. Seminyak and Canggu offer trendy vibes, Ubud is popular for its culture, and Uluwatu provides breathtaking cliffs. Each region has its own unique charm.
The budget for Bali trip depends on your personal preferences. While luxury resorts and upscale dining can be pricey, there are several budget-friendly options available. Street food, local markets, and mid-range accommodations make it accessible for different travelers.
The months of May, June, and September are generally considered the cheapest times to visit Bali, with lower accommodation and flight prices.
An average budget for a Bali trip could be around $50-70 per day, covering accommodation, meals, transportation, and some activities.
April to October is the best time to visit Bali. These months offer dry and pleasant weather, ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the beaches.
Indians who are visiting Bali for less than 30 days do not require a visa. They can enter Indonesia with a free visa on arrival.
Seminyak is a popular choice for its vibrant nightlife, upscale resorts, and finest dining options, making it one of the best islands to stay in Bali.
South Bali is generally more popular for its lively atmosphere, beaches, and nightlife, while North Bali is famous for its serene landscapes and less crowded, authentic experience.
Light and breathable clothing like shorts, dresses, and swimsuits are apt for a destination like Bali. Carry sunscreen and hat for sun protection especially during the sunny months.
Bali can be an affordable destination with a range of options for different budgets. Accommodation, food, and activities vary, allowing travelers to find reasonable choices that suit their preferences.
The ideal duration for a Bali trip depends on personal preferences. Many people recommend spending at least a week to explore various regions, beaches, temples, and immerse oneself in the local culture.
Bali’s iconic rice terraces, like those in Tegallalang, are among its most famous features. These stunning rice terraces showcase the island’s agricultural ingenuity and natural beauty.
Ubud’s famous street is Monkey Forest Road, a bustling thoroughfare lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. It’s a hub for unique cultural experiences and a gateway to the renowned Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
Yes, Ubud has a vibrant night market offering local delicacies, crafts, and a lively atmosphere. It’s a must-visit for those wanting to experience Balinese culture and cuisine after sunset.
The preference between Kuta and Ubud depends on personal likes and choices. Kuta is famous for its vibrant nightlife and surfing scene, while Ubud offers a tranquil cultural environment surrounded by lush landscapes. It’s a matter of choice between seeking nightlife or cultural immersion.
No, Ubud doesn’t have beaches. It is a landlocked area located in the uplands of Bali. But, it compensates the absence of beaches with lush rice terraces, ancient temples, and a rich cultural scene. Beach enthusiasts might prefer visiting coastal areas like Kuta or Seminyak on the island.