Things to do in Bali

Things to do in  Bali

Paradise found

With its lush rice terraces and ancient mysticism, Bali is an Indonesian island that emanates tranquillity. Nature lovers seek out the jagged cliffs and pristine beaches of Uluwatu, while travelers desiring solace flock to the Hindu temples and shamans of Ubud. And in Denpasar, Bali’s underappreciated capital, testaments to ancient culture reign supreme. Undisputed highlights come in the form of Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest, Tanah Lot Temple, and the sacred peak of Mt. Batur, all of which rank among Bali's most popular things to do; while local villages, deserted hiking routes, and roadside restaurants reveal a muted yet equally majestic charm.

Top 15 attractions in Bali

Ubud Monkey Forest (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary)

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A Balinese Hindu site, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is populated by some 700 long-tailed Balinese macaques that live in and around the forest. The monkeys are believed to protect the area and the three Hindu temples within—Pura Dalem Agung, Pura Beji, and Pura Prajapati—from evil spirits.More

Tegenungan Waterfall (Air Terjun Tegenungan)

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Not far from Ubud, Tegenungan Waterfall foams in a white cascade over black stone cliffs into a quiet pool. At around 66 feet (20 meters) high, it’s an impressive flow, and that’s not all the site has to offer. Besides climbable cliffs, a secret smaller waterfall, and simple food stalls, a charming grotto houses a sacred spring.More

Museum Pasifika

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Nusa Dua’s answer to Ubud’s art museums, Museum Pasifika, which opened in 2006, is dedicated to the art of Asia Pacific. Balinese artists and expatriates working on the island are well-represented, but galleries showcase art and sculptures from Papua, Vanuatu, Polynesia, historical Indo-China, and beyond.More

Tegalalang Rice Terrace (Sawah Terasering Tegalalang)

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The stunning Tegalalang Rice Terrace, part of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprises cascading emerald-green fields worked by local rice farmers. Just outside Ubud, it has become a destination for travelers making their way between Bali’s sandy beaches, towering mountains, and steaming volcanoes.More

Kuta Beach (Pantai Kuta)

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Bali’s first beach hotel opened back in the 1930s on Kuta’s epic sweep of golden sand and metronomic surf. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Australian surfers popularized the place, and today Kuta Beach is the epicenter of Kuta, Bali’s liveliest and most touristic district. If great waves and beach boys float your boat, Kuta won’t disappoint.More

Neka Art Museum

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In Bali’s cultural capital, Ubud, the Neka Art Museum is one of the town’s big three art galleries. Founded by Suteja Neka, its airy pavilions are home to a treasure trove of Balinese and Indonesian art, as well as a collection of wavy daggers known as “keris.” The Balinese Painting Hall is a good place to explore the work of local artists.More

Tirta Empul Temple (Pura Tirta Empul)

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Bali’s most popular sacred spring, Tirta Empul Temple dates back more than 1,000 years. Travelers from around the globe flock to its holy waters to bathe beside Balinese pilgrims; accept blessings from healers, priests, and shamans; or simply soak up the atmosphere. The temple is northeast of Ubud in Tampaksiring, not far from Gunung Kawi.More

Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah)

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With a history dating back more than 1,000 years, one of Bali’s holiest Hindu sites (and most popular attractions) is a grotto covered in carvings of mythological creatures. While Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) has uncertain origins, it's believed that Hindu priests dug it out by hand to use as a hermitage.More

Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Agung)

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Home of Ubud’s royal family since the late-19th century, Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Palace or Puri Saren Agung) sits in the heart of downtown Ubud near the traditional art market. Explore the pavilions and gardens. There are also traditional Balinese dance performances in the courtyard each evening, a must for any visitor to Indonesia.More

Upside Down World

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The Bali outpost of a popular Southeast Asian attraction, Upside Down World is tailor-made for the selfie generation. A series of rooms replicate typical houses, with the twist that furnishings and decorations, from stairs and sofas to light fittings and wallpaper, are placed upside down, enabling hilarious trick photography.More

Celuk Village (Desa Celuk)

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One of a cluster of craft villages in Bali’s Gianyar regency, Celuk is known as the “silver village” for its jewelry production. Artisans here create silver and gold jewelry and handicrafts in their homes and workshops as they have for centuries. A visit to Celuk gives travelers a chance to see the artisans in action and buy direct.More

Campuhan Ridge Walk

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The classically Balinese combo of rice fields and river gorges is what makes Ubud’s landscapes so beloved, and the Campuhan Ridge Walk, the best-known walk in Ubud, is the perfect way to appreciate them. Starting at Pura Gunung Lebah, choose between a 2-hour circular route around Campuhan and Sanggingan or a longer hike to Keliki and Taro.More

Tanah Lot Temple (Pura Tanah Lot)

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Tanah Lot Temple is one of Indonesia’s most popular religious attractions. Commonly referred to as the “temple of the rock,” this temple off the coast of Bali is set upon a black-stone peninsula that juts into rippling waters. Incredible ocean views, clear mountain air, and a deep spiritual connection draw visitors to this unique sight.More

Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu)

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Situated just outside Kuta on Bali’s southwestern tip sits an ancient temple perched atop towering seaside cliffs. At Uluwatu Temple, one of Bali’s most important directional temples, Ganesha statues welcome visitors who’ve come to enjoy spectacular views, observe wild monkeys, or watch a traditional Balinese dance at sunset.More

Mt. Batur (Gunung Batur)

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Bali is known for it beautiful beaches, but the interior has its own appeal. Here you’ll find one of the region’s most active volcanoes, Mt. Batur (Gunung Batur), rising 5,633 feet (1,717 meters) above sea level In the highlands of Kintamani.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Bali

️Nusa Penida by Private Boat - Snorkeling 4 spots, Swim with Mantas + Land Tour
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All-Inclusive Ubud Tour

All-Inclusive Ubud Tour

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Best of Ubud 1-Day Private Tour

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All about Bali

When to visit

The Balinese year is a game of two halves: wet season and dry season. The weather is less predictable as the climate changes, but the dry season runs roughly April to September, bringing clearer skies and taking the edge off the tropical humidity. Shoulder seasons (April–June and September) are the best times to visit. Bali’s limited infrastructure groans at the seams during the July-August summer peak and the December-January Christmas peak, when traffic is a recipe for road rage.

Getting around

Bali’s infrastructure doesn’t really extend to public transit. Buses cover a handful of routes; a boat service links Canggu and Uluwatu; and the Perama shuttle bus connects some popular destinations. However, for a typical day of touring, you’ll want your own wheels. Car rentals are a popular solution; Bluebird is a well-regarded meter taxi firm; and GoJek and Grab offer 4-wheel and 2-wheel rideshares. Don’t ride a motorbike without a helmet, travel insurance, and a locally valid license.

Traveler tips

Bali’s signature dish is babi guling, suckling pig spit-roasted and served with golden crackling, meaty sides, a coconut salad, cassava leaves, white rice, sambal, and a tangy pork bone soup. For a taste of the authentic Bali, head into the island’s bustling capital, Denpasar. The restaurant Babi Guling Chandra started in the 1980s as a tiny street stall and is one of few babi guling eateries to roast its own pigs.

Local Currency
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Time Zone
WITA (UTC +8)
Country Code
+62
Language(s)
Indonesian
Attractions
90
Tours
5,988
Reviews
125,886
EN
7a732580-51c8-4fe1-b2d5-81a8ef8fdd0f
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People Also Ask

What should you not miss in Bali?

Bali’s natural wonders include volcanoes, waterfalls, gorgeous beaches, and world-class surfing and diving. But it’s culture that makes the island unique. In between sexy beach clubs and decadent restaurants, hit temples like Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, and Monkey Forest, eat babi guling (suckling pig), and explore Ubud’s galleries and museums.

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What is the best month to go to Bali?

May is the best month to go to Bali. The rainy season has finished but the crowds escaping the Australian winter and European summer have not arrived. That means lower humidity, fewer crowds, and generally clear skies—not to mention great surf on the west and south coasts.

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How many days do you need in Bali?

Flying to Bali causes real damage to the environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint and see more of this fascinating island by staying for at least 10 days. That lets you experience bars, clubs, beaches, culture, nature, diving, surfing, temples, restaurants, museums, waterfalls, and offshore islands like Penida Island.

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Which part of Bali should I visit?

Bali has something for every traveler. Ubud is the island’s art and culture capital; Canggu and Seminyak offer shops, bars, spas, clubs, cafés, and restaurants; Uluwatu boasts world-class waves and cliff-top clubs. Try Amed, Padangbai, or Pemuteran for diving and snorkeling, Sidemen for a slice of rural life, or Sanur for kid-friendly beach.

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What should I see in Bali?

There’s so much to see in Bali. Instagrammers love Bali’s swings, cafés, beach clubs, and waterfalls. Active travelers can snorkel with mantas, learn to surf, or scale Mt. Batur volcano. Culture vultures can enjoy temples like Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, and Monkey Forest, galleries like ARMA, or the magical Tirta Gangga Water Garden.

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Is Bali expensive to visit?

No. Bali need not be expensive to visit. You can splurge thousands on vintage champagne, fine dining, and an ultra-luxury villa, or stay in a simple guesthouse for under US$20 and eat street food for under US$5. Transport costs can be significant unless you are licensed (and insured!) to drive.

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