Bali is likely one of the most talked-about journey locations in the world, and for good motive. With hip seashore cities, conventional villages, a few volcanoes, and even just a few smaller islands off the coast, there are many locations to go to in Bali.
While Bali could look a bit unassuming on the map subsequent to gargantuan Java – essentially the most populous island of Indonesia and residential to the capital of Jakarta – there’s loads happening right here.
A fast experience can carry you from a bustling vacationer scorching spot to a tranquil Hindu temple in the rice fields. Or maybe you’d moderately cool off with a swim in a speeding waterfall. There are numerous issues to do in Bali to maintain you busy!
I first visited on a brief trip whereas I used to be teaching English in China. That journey was the impetus to stop my high-paying job and go away my comfortable life to go on a niche yr. A second, barely longer journey to Bali nonetheless wasn’t sufficient, so I utilized for the Darmasiswa program and moved there for a yr to review the language and tradition of Indonesia.
You could also be tempted to only plop down in your seashore chair, however I’m right here to encourage you to get on the market and discover all that this idyllic island has to supply. Having made many loops across the island, I do know the place to go in Bali and am excited to share my record with you.
Here’s my record of the 15 most wonderful locations to go to in Bali.
One of the highest locations to go to in Bali is the fashionable and classy seashore city of Seminyak. It’s simply north of the chaos of Kuta-Legian, but it surely feels worlds aside. Here you’ll discover boutique accommodations and swanky villas in addition to some glorious eating, procuring, and nightlife.
While the city itself is good, the spotlight of Seminyak is certainly Double 6 Beach. The waves are delicate right here, so it’s a great spot for swimming, boogie-boarding, and browsing. It’s the proper place for rookies and there are many surf faculties round that can assist you begin carving up waves. After all, browsing is big right here in Bali.
This west-facing seashore is a main spot to look at sundown. Locals and vacationers alike collect right here each evening to look at the solar dip beneath the horizon. One of my favourite issues to do in Bali is plopping my sarong down in the sand at Double 6, dumping some rum right into a contemporary younger coconut (I name it a coco-rum-onut) and watching the sundown.
There are additionally loads of superior bars to take in the sundown in Seminyak. My private favourite is La Plancha, the place they’ve a large number of coloured bean baggage and lights on the seashore, tasty cocktails, and a few improbable meals selections. Other enjoyable spots embody the upscale Ku De Ta and the Double Six Rooftop Bar.
With so many facilities and a way more laid-back vibe than its southern neighbors, Seminyak is the proper beachfront base on your Bali journey. Be positive to take a look at our information on where to stay in Seminyak to search out the proper spot.
Our subsequent cease is the cultural and religious coronary heart of Bali – Ubud. Located about an hour north of the capital, that is really a cluster of various villages which can be every run by their very own native committee (often known as banjar in Indonesian). For the aim of journey, although, it’s simpler to only seek advice from the entire space as Ubud.
In the central a part of city, you’ll discover the Ubud Palace and the market. This nook is usually clogged with day-trippers and a seemingly unending stream of taxi drivers and touts. If it’s a little bit of peace and quiet you search, you’ll must dig a bit deeper in Ubud!
Thankfully it’s not that onerous to get your zen on in this city. One of the most well-liked issues to do in Ubud is taking a yoga or meditation class, and there are many glorious studios to select from. If that’s not your factor, you possibly can at all times simply go for a stroll alongside the scenic Campuhan Ridge Walk out into the rice fields.
Ubud can also be dwelling to a couple wonderful museums, such because the Blanco Renaissance Museum and the Agung Rai Museum of Art. It’s a significant middle of Balinese dance as properly, and there are nightly performances at venues throughout city. I like to recommend grabbing dinner on the Lotus Cafe so you possibly can see a present on the lovely Water Palace.
Speaking of meals, you possibly can strive the Balinese specialty babi guling (roast suckling pig) on the well-known Ibu Oka restaurant right here. There are additionally some unbelievable vegetarian eating places to select from. Ubud is certainly among the finest locations to go to in Bali and needs to be included in your itinerary.
3. Mt. Batur and Mt. Agung
Indonesia is positioned in the Ring of Fire, and Bali alone is dwelling to 2 energetic volcanoes. If you’re attempting to determine what to do in Bali and are up for a difficult journey, you possibly can attempt to attain the height of 1 or each of them!
Mt. Batur is the extra accessible of the 2 and is a neater hike. It’s 1,717 meters tall and may be climbed in only a few hours. Even although it’s comparatively straightforward, you actually can’t hike Mt. Batur by yourself. This is due to the “company” (i.e. native mafia) that controls the path and entry to it. Don’t trouble attempting to cope with them and simply guide a tour with a good firm.
I can personally suggest visiting Mt. Batur with Bali Eco Cycling. They have quite a lot of choices for excursions, together with their summit, swim, and spa tour that features a soak in the new springs and a therapeutic massage. What higher technique to loosen up after climbing an energetic volcano? Check their website to discover the choices.
Those looking for a bit extra of a problem could head to Mt. Agung, Bali’s tallest and holiest mountain. In reality, Bali’s Mother Temple (Pura Besakih) is positioned on the slopes of the volcano. Towering at 3,031 meters, reaching the height is not any joke! You have to start out the trek in the nighttime to get to the summit for dawn.
Note: Mt. Agung has really been fairly energetic as of late, having erupted as not too long ago as May, 2019. You could wish to examine on the exercise there earlier than getting your hopes up about happening a trek. Despite with the ability to see the volcano from my home on a transparent day, I by no means made it to the summit of Mt. Agung. It’s excessive on my record of issues to do in Bali after I make my triumphant return.
Next up on our record of the most effective locations to go to in Bali is Canggu. This city has lengthy been widespread with surfers however is beginning to entice extra guests and digital nomads.
Since the seashores listed below are gray or black sand and the waves generally is a bit tough, you gained’t discover large crowds of vacationers or touts right here. It’s good with the ability to chill in a seashore chair and crack an ice-cold Bintang with out being swarmed by folks attempting to promote you sarongs. The breaks in Canggu are nice for extra superior surfers or for a bit of utmost boogie-boarding.
Not too way back, the realm was nothing however rice paddies. As with a lot of Bali, change has been fast right here. Canggu is now dwelling to loads of accommodations, villas, eating places, and bars catering to a brand new wave of holiday makers. Popular hangouts right here embody Old Man’s and Finns.
Canggu has change into a digital nomad scorching spot in Bali, with a number of co-working areas and cafes to select from on your productiveness wants. If you’re interested by working remotely from right here, be sure you learn this information to digital nomad life in Canggu. I at all times loved visiting Canggu, and subsequent time I head to the island I’m hoping to make use of it as a nomad base.
One of my absolute favourite locations to go to in Bali is the tranquil city of Sidemen. Just so you understand, it’s pronounced “see-da-men” and never “side-men.” If the crowds of the seashore cities and Ubud get to be an excessive amount of for you, that is the proper place to flee to.
Sidemen is a conventional Balinese village filled with terraced rice fields and Hindu temples. You gained’t discover any McDonald’s or Starbucks out right here! That being stated, the city has developed into fairly the vacationer vacation spot in current years. It’s dwelling to a number of glorious accommodations, spas, and eating places, making it a fantastic spot for some good quaint R&R.
If you’re in studying about Balinese tradition, Sidemen is a superb selection. You can head to a workshop to study concerning the village’s beautiful songket fashion of weaving or join a cooking class to make Balinese classics like pepes ikan.
Perhaps among the finest issues to do in Bali is solely leaping in your bike and going for a experience. Sidemen is the proper base for exploring probably the most lovely areas of Bali. Just don’t be stunned when you get caught in a little bit of a site visitors jam when a conventional funeral procession comes via the streets! Rather than get pissed off, simply sit again and take all of it in and revel in this eye-opening cultural expertise.
If you’re hoping to spend the vast majority of your journey to Bali underwater, then Amed is the place to be. Much like Ubud, that is really a cluster of villages that get grouped collectively for simplicity’s sake. Amed is positioned on the northeast coast of Bali, which accurately appears like a unique planet when put next with the crowded seashore cities of the south.
It’s a quiet place the place most individuals make a dwelling off of fishing and salt manufacturing moderately than hustling vacationers. I’ve been all around the island, and I can definitively say that Amed is likely one of the finest locations to go to in Bali.
As it’s very close to the very energetic Mt. Agung, the seashores of Amed are black volcanic sand. This deters the throngs of sun-seekers who crowd the seashores of Kuta and makes for a way more relaxed vibe.
A small vacationer business exists right here, thanks in giant half to the wonderful snorkeling and diving alternatives simply offshore. There are loads of dive outlets in Amed and quite a lot of choices for exploration below the ocean. The hottest dive website in all of Bali is Tulamben, and it’s positioned only a brief drive away.
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You don’t must be a diver to get pleasure from Amed, although. There’s some nice snorkeling available simply offshore from most of the seashores. You can merely swim out for a couple of minutes and look across the wonderful Japanese shipwreck. There’s additionally a straightforward hike that takes you to a pleasant viewpoint of the realm and loads of selections in relation to visitor homes and eating places.
7. Bukit Peninsula
Next up in our grand tour of Bali is the Bukit Peninsula. This rugged and rocky mass of land in the south is simply barely related to Bali. It positively appears like an entire totally different island down right here.
Even although Bukit is dwelling to a number of the finest seashores in all of Bali, it’s typically freed from the crowds. That’s resulting from the truth that most of the seashores can solely be reached by strolling down just a few hundred stairs, which suggests you could stroll again up if you go away!
If you’re keen to sweat a bit and work your leg muscle groups, you’re spoiled for selections in relation to seashores. Some of the most effective embody Balangan, Green Bowl, and Padang-Padang. With a rented scooter and some days, you possibly can attempt to hit all of the seashores of Bukit.
One of the highest issues to do in Bali is to go to the realm in Bukit often known as Uluwatu. Here you’ll discover the cliff-side Uluwatu temple, which is dwelling to some naughty monkeys and a nightly kecak efficiency that’s completely mind-blowing. I extremely suggest including it to your Bali itinerary.
If you’re questioning the place to go in Bali for browsing, Uluwatu is likely one of the finest spots. If you’re like me and may’t stand on a board to save lots of your life, simply pull up a chair at one of many bars on the cliff and watch the specialists carve up the waves beneath. Single Fin is the go-to bar/restaurant in the realm, particularly for his or her rowdy Sunday evening shindigs.
Take a tour of Bali in only one minute in this video!
For those that desire a extra laid-back vibe on trip, the city of Candidasa on Bali’s east coast is a strong possibility. Despite being probably the most lovely locations to go to in Bali, it manages to fly below the radar of most guests.
One motive Candidasa is freed from crowds is that there aren’t actually any seashores right here. They mined the coral reef right here just a few a long time in the past in order to get supplies for building, and this triggered the seashore to be washed away. Don’t freak out, although — you possibly can simply entry the Virgin Beach from right here, which simply may be the most effective seashore in Bali.
The better part about staying in Candidasa is its proximity to Bali’s water palaces. Tirta Ganggaa and Taman Ujung space are each simply visited and are completely beautiful locations to discover. Snap a number of photographs right here, as a result of these are a number of the most Insagram-able locations on the island!
Another widespread exercise in this space is visiting the unique Balinese village of Tenganan. The folks right here have maintained their conventional lifestyle regardless of the wave of growth on the island. Although organized excursions listed below are admittedly a bit contrived, it’s nonetheless an fascinating place to see.
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While lounging on the seashore is nice and all, there are additionally some superior locations to go to in Bali which can be up in the mountains. One such spot is the small city of Munduk. It’s positioned in northern Bali close to the three lakes and the proper base for exploring the realm.
With a day or two in Munduk, you could have numerous choices for what to see and do. For starters, you possibly can go climbing across the Tamblingan and Buyan lakes to get pleasure from some wonderful views and funky mountain air.
After a pleasant hike, head to the close by Banjar scorching springs. Here you’ll discover a number of swimming pools filled with therapeutic spring water surrounded by tropical gardens. There are just a few dragon fountains spitting water out that make for a fantastic therapeutic massage as properly!
The subsequent day you possibly can head downhill a bit to go to Lake Beratan, which is dwelling to one in all Bali’s most essential temples. Thanks to its location, Ulun Danu Beratan seems to be floating in the lake! Be positive to carry your digital camera for this one because it’s probably the most photogenic spots in Bali.
There are a handful of native visitor homes and eating places in Munduk to make sure a snug keep. If it’s procuring and nightlife you’re searching for, although, you’ll be disillusioned. This is a spot to go for some peace and quiet out in nature and it’s one in all my all-time favourite spots in Bali.
I could also be a bit biased in direction of the following vacation spot, because it’s the place I spent most of my time dwelling on the island. That being stated, I firmly imagine Sanur is likely one of the finest locations to go to in Bali.
This quiet seashore city is positioned on the southeast coast of Bali and is only a brief experience from the airport. I’m not joking after I say it’s a sleepy place. In reality, many individuals seek advice from it as “Snore” for that very motive!
Despite being dwelling to a large expat inhabitants and having a vacationer strip filled with accommodations, spas, and eating places, Sanur stays a conventional Balinese fishing village at coronary heart. This is a superb place to expertise the native lifestyle, particularly throughout main holidays such because the Balinese New Year (Day of Silence) or the annual kite pageant.
One of the most effective methods to expertise all that the city has to supply is by becoming a member of one of many Sanur Cycle Tours. They’ve acquired a number of superior choices for exploring Sanur on two wheels, together with their widespread Jurassic Park Tour. You gained’t see any dinosaurs on this one, however you’re going to get to wander round an deserted theme park.
Since it’s on the east coast, you gained’t discover large waves right here. It may be the most effective seashore in Bali for simply chilling in the ocean, and you may get pleasure from some SUPing right here when you’re into that. Sanur additionally makes a fantastic base to discover the following few spots on our record of the most effective locations to go to in Bali.
11. Serangan Island
In all my time on the Island of the Gods, I discovered probably the most fascinating locations to go to in Bali to be Serangan Island. It’s positioned simply south of Sanur and is related to the primary island by a bridge. Even although it’s only a stone’s throw from the over-developed vacationer zones of the south, Serangan stays a conventional slice of rural life in Bali.
The island is stuffed with filth roads and farmland, so the one site visitors you’ll have to fret about listed below are the cows! There are additionally just a few temples you possibly can take a look at right here in addition to a turtle conservation middle. It’s free to go to, in order that they fund the place by placing turtles up for “adoption.” With your donation, they allow you to identify a turtle and launch it again into the wild.
One factor I like about Serangan Island is simply hanging out on the seashore. This could be very a lot a neighborhood seashore with no frills. It’s the type of place the place you lay your towel on the sand, order up some ikan bakar (grilled fish), and possibly sip on some arak (the native spirit). They don’t see many vacationers over right here, so that you gained’t discover the pushy touts that you simply get on the west coast seashores.
12. Nusa Islands
From Sanur, you possibly can simply catch a ship to go to the close by Nusa Islands. Although they’re three separate islands, these are literally part of Bali. It solely takes about half an hour to achieve them from Sanur, so you possibly can even pop over only for a day journey.
If you possibly can squeeze it in your itinerary, I extremely suggest spending an evening or two over right here. All three islands are value taking the time to discover and are dwelling to some beautiful seashores. Here you’ll discover some strong breaks for browsing in addition to a number of the finest snorkeling and diving alternatives in Bali.
The hottest island for vacationers is Nusa Lembongan, the place you’ll discover a wide variety of accommodations and eating places. We spent just a few days on Lembongan on the finish of our first go to to Bali and it was a significant spotlight of the journey.
In the center is Nusa Ceningan, which is the smallest of the three. It’s dwelling to the scenic Blue Lagoon and a “Secret Beach” that basically isn’t that secret.
The greatest of the islands is Nusa Penida — a rugged, hilly, comparatively undeveloped island. I like to recommend hiring a information for the day to discover Nusa Penida so that you get essentially the most of your go to. When we did that, we have been really allowed to enter this large temple in a cave throughout a ceremony since we have been with locals.
- See additionally: 10 Awesome Things to Experience on the Gili Islands
13. West Bali National Park
It takes fairly a little bit of effort to achieve, however West Bali National Park is properly value it. This is positioned in the far northwest nook of the island and is definitely very near the ferry crossing over to Java. If you’re touring to or from Java, it is best to positively be sure you embody a cease right here.
There are two totally different park workplaces the place you possibly can go to purchase your allow and organize for a information. The entrance charge for the park prices about $15 per individual and also you’ll want to rent a information if you wish to do some climbing right here.
The hottest possibility for climbing right here is the Tegal Bunder Trail, which is fairly straightforward and solely takes round two hours. For extra of a problem, you possibly can embark on the Gunung Klatakan Trail, which takes as much as eight hours to finish.
In addition to climbing, West Bali National Park is likely one of the finest locations to go snorkeling or diving. Sign up for a tour to go to Menjangan Island, which is called after the numerous deer who name it dwelling. I’ve executed snorkeling and diving excursions of Menjangan and had a improbable time on each.
14. Pemuteran and Lovina
Even although they’re two separate cities, I’m grouping just a few locations in north Bali collectively. First up, there’s the small city of Pemuteran. There’s not an entire lot happening right here, however that is the proper base for exploring West Bali National Park because it’s simply up the street.
In addition to climbing or diving in the park, you can even discover just a few temples close to city. Pura Pulaki is dwelling to a bunch of monkeys, who’re believed to be the guardians of the temple. Just throughout the road, Pura Pabean boasts some unbelievable ocean views. Both are simply visited on a half-day journey from Pemuteran.
About an hour or so up the street, you’ll discover the sleepy seashore city of Lovina. If seeing dolphins is in your record of issues to do in Bali, then you definately’ll positively wish to embody a cease right here. You can spot the lumba-lumba (Indonesian for dolphin) early in the morning and it’s tremendous straightforward to rearrange a ship tour. There’s even a statue of dolphins proper on the seashore!
Both Pemuteran and Lovina have an honest number of accommodations, eating places, and bars. They’re additionally each devoid of the crowds that plague the southern seashore cities, making them a number of the most peaceable locations to go to in Bali.
Last however not least, we head to the capital metropolis of Bali — Denpasar. While most guests skip out on Denpasar totally, I believe it’s properly value a go to. There’s a lot to see and do right here and it’s simply visited on a half-day journey from any of the southern seashore cities.
Start your go to to Denpasar off in Puputan Park. This giant inexperienced area is dwelling to the spectacular Bajra Sandhi, which is a monument to the Balinese folks. It’s value it to move inside to see the detailed dioramas that depict the historical past of Bali and its folks. Plus, you get some nice views of the park from the third flooring.
Another must-see in Denpasar is the Bali Museum. While it’s not essentially the most spectacular museum in the world, it’s well worth the $1.50 entrance charge to take a look at the standard structure and the distinctive Balinese artifacts.
Next door, you’ll discover probably the most essential temples in town. Pura Agung Jagatnatha is devoted to the supreme god Sanghyang Widi and is a gorgeous place to take a look at. If you come under-dressed as I did, they’ll allow you to borrow a sarong to put on so you possibly can go inside and take a look.
In the capital metropolis, it ought to come as no shock that there are additionally loads of locations to buy and eat. Find a neighborhood restaurant and sit right down to a plate of nasi campur (blended rice) for a basic Indonesian eating expertise.
Why Kuta is Not One of the Best Places to Visit in Bali
You’ll word that I didn’t embody the favored Kuta-Legian space of Bali. This is as a result of it’s by far the busiest vacationer space of Bali and due to this fact (in my opinion), it’s additionally the worst. It’s filled with chain accommodations, American fast-food eating places, and obnoxiously loud golf equipment. It’s additionally a scorching spot for con artists and thieves who prey on clueless, drunk vacationers.
When I consider Kuta, I consider folks dashing down the road on a motorcycle. I additionally consider the crooked cash changers that rip you off and the opportunistic thieves who snatch baggage as they drive by. Whenever folks ask me the place to go in Bali, my first response is “Definitely NOT Kuta!”
There are far too many higher locations to go to in Bali. As a vacationer, Kuta is enjoyable for one evening out I suppose, however past that, you’re much better off spending your treasured time on the Island of the Gods elsewhere and I hope my record helped you determine the place to go in Bali to benefit from the pristine nature — away from the crowds.
Ready For Your Trip to Bali?!
If you’re planning a visit to Bali, I like to recommend attempting to combine up your itinerary a bit. Spend just a few days in a seashore city, then head up in the mountains or rice fields for a change of tempo. Add in a aspect journey to the Nusa Islands when you can, or simply cruise as much as the north to discover a quieter aspect of Bali.
Whatever you do, you’re going to like it and can inevitably begin planning your return journey earlier than you allow! After touring there twice and dwelling there for a yr, I’m nonetheless not even executed with Bali. There’s simply a lot to see and do on this lovely island that you would be able to maintain coming again and at all times uncover one thing new.
Have you been to Bali and have an superior suggestion? Leave a remark beneath and tell us!
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