Bali is likely one of the most talked-about journey locations on this planet, and for good purpose. 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.
Whereas 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 rather a lot happening right here.
A fast journey can carry you from a bustling vacationer scorching spot to a tranquil Hindu temple within the rice fields. Or maybe you’d somewhat cool off with a swim in a dashing 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 educating English in China. That journey was the impetus to stop my high-paying job and go away my soft 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 check the language and tradition of Indonesia.
You could 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.
Right here’s my record of the 15 most superb locations to go to in Bali.
One of many prime locations to go to in Bali is the fashionable and trendy seashore city of Seminyak. It’s simply north of the chaos of Kuta-Legian, nevertheless it feels worlds aside. Right here you’ll discover boutique motels and swanky villas in addition to some glorious eating, buying, and nightlife.
Whereas the city itself is good, the spotlight of Seminyak is certainly Double 6 Seashore. The waves are delicate right here, so it’s a great place for swimming, boogie-boarding, and browsing. It’s the proper place for freshmen and there are many surf colleges round that will help you begin carving up waves. In spite of everything, browsing is large right here in Bali.
This west-facing seashore is a main spot to look at sundown. Locals and vacationers alike collect right here each night time to look at the solar dip under the horizon. One among my favourite issues to do in Bali is plopping my sarong down within 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 absorb the sundown in Seminyak. My private favourite is La Plancha, the place they’ve a mess of coloured bean baggage and lights on the seashore, tasty cocktails, and a few improbable meals decisions. Different enjoyable spots embrace 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 to your Bali journey. Be sure you take a look at our information on the place to remain in Seminyak to search out the proper spot.
Our subsequent cease is the cultural and non secular coronary heart of Bali – Ubud. Positioned about an hour north of the capital, that is truly a cluster of various villages which can be every run by their very own native committee (often called banjar in Indonesian). For the aim of journey, although, it’s simpler to only discuss with the entire space as Ubud.
Within 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 need to dig somewhat deeper in Ubud!
Fortunately it’s not that tough to get your zen on on this city. One of the vital in style 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 all the time simply go for a stroll alongside the scenic Campuhan Ridge Stroll out into the rice fields.
Ubud can also be residence to some superb museums, such because the Blanco Renaissance Museum and the Agung Rai Museum of Artwork. It’s a significant heart of Balinese dance as effectively, 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.
Talking of meals, you possibly can attempt the Balinese specialty babi guling (roast suckling pig) on the well-known Ibu Oka restaurant right here. There are additionally some unimaginable vegetarian eating places to select from. Ubud is certainly among the best locations to go to in Bali and must be included in your itinerary.
three. Mt. Batur and Mt. Agung
Indonesia is positioned within the Ring of Hearth, and Bali alone is residence to 2 lively volcanoes. If you happen to’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 better hike. It’s 1,717 meters tall and could be climbed in only a few hours. Despite the fact that it’s comparatively simple, you actually can’t hike Mt. Batur by yourself. That is due to the “firm” (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 advocate visiting Mt. Batur with Bali Eco Biking. They’ve quite a lot of choices for excursions, together with their summit, swim, and spa tour that features a soak within the scorching springs and a therapeutic massage. What higher solution to calm down after climbing an lively volcano? Verify their web site to discover the choices.
These looking for a bit extra of a problem could head to Mt. Agung, Bali’s tallest and holiest mountain. Actually, Bali’s Mom Temple (Pura Besakih) is positioned on the slopes of the volcano. Towering at three,031 meters, reaching the height isn’t any joke! You must begin the trek in the midst of the night time to get to the summit for dawn.
Be aware: Mt. Agung has truly been fairly lively today, having erupted as lately as Could, 2019. You could wish to examine on the exercise there earlier than getting your hopes up about happening a trek. Regardless of having 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 once I make my triumphant return.
Subsequent up on our record of one of the best locations to go to in Bali is Canggu. This city has lengthy been in style with surfers however is beginning to entice extra guests and digital nomads.
For the reason that seashores listed here are gray or black sand and the waves could be a bit tough, you received’t discover large crowds of vacationers or touts right here. It’s good having the ability to sit back in a seashore chair and crack an ice-cold Bintang with out being swarmed by individuals attempting to promote you sarongs. The breaks in Canggu are nice for extra superior surfers or for a bit of maximum 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 residence to loads of motels, villas, eating places, and bars catering to a brand new wave of holiday makers. Fashionable hangouts right here embrace Outdated Man’s and Finns.
Canggu has grow to be a digital nomad scorching spot in Bali, with a number of co-working areas and cafes to select from to your productiveness wants. If you happen to’re serious about working remotely from right here, be sure you learn this information to digital nomad life in Canggu. I all the time loved visiting Canggu, and subsequent time I head to the island I’m hoping to make use of it as a nomad base.
One among my absolute favourite locations to go to in Bali is the tranquil city of Sidemen. Simply so you realize, 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 standard Balinese village filled with terraced rice fields and Hindu temples. You received’t discover any McDonald’s or Starbucks out right here! That being mentioned, the city has developed into fairly the vacationer vacation spot lately. It’s residence to a number of glorious motels, spas, and eating places, making it an excellent spot for some good quaint R&R.
If you happen to’re thinking about studying about Balinese tradition, Sidemen is a superb alternative. You possibly can head to a workshop to be taught in regards to the village’s beautiful songket fashion of weaving or join a cooking class to make Balinese classics like pepes ikan.
Maybe among the best issues to do in Bali is just leaping in your bike and going for a journey. Sidemen is the proper base for exploring probably the most lovely areas of Bali. Simply don’t be shocked in the event you get caught in a little bit of a site visitors jam when a standard funeral procession comes by means of the streets! Moderately than get pissed off, simply sit again and take all of it in and luxuriate in this eye-opening cultural expertise.
If you happen to’re hoping to spend the vast majority of your journey to Bali underwater, then Amed is the place to be. Very similar to Ubud, that is truly a cluster of villages that get grouped collectively for simplicity’s sake. Amed is positioned on the northeast coast of Bali, which accurately looks like a distinct planet in comparison 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 somewhat than hustling vacationers. I’ve been everywhere in the island, and I can definitively say that Amed is likely one of the greatest locations to go to in Bali.
Because it’s very close to the very lively 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 largely to the wonderful snorkeling and diving alternatives simply offshore. There are many dive outlets in Amed and quite a lot of choices for exploration beneath the ocean. The preferred dive website in all of Bali is Tulamben, and it’s positioned only a quick drive away.
For extra on diving in Indonesia, be sure you take a look at these posts:
A Information to Scuba Diving in Alor
Diving in Komodo
Diving in Raja Ampat
You don’t need to be a diver to get pleasure from Amed, although. There’s some nice snorkeling available simply offshore from lots of the seashores. You possibly can merely swim out for a couple of minutes and look across the superb Japanese shipwreck. There’s additionally a simple hike that takes you to a pleasant viewpoint of the realm and loads of decisions with regards to visitor homes and eating places.
7. Bukit Peninsula
Subsequent up in our grand tour of Bali is the Bukit Peninsula. This rugged and rocky mass of land within the south is simply barely related to Bali. It positively looks like a complete completely different island down right here.
Despite the fact that Bukit is residence to among the greatest seashores in all of Bali, it’s typically freed from the crowds. That’s on account of the truth that lots of the seashores can solely be reached by strolling down just a few hundred stairs, which suggests you’ll want to stroll again up while you go away!
If you happen to’re keen to sweat a bit and work your leg muscle groups, you’re spoiled for decisions with regards to seashores. Among the greatest embrace Balangan, Inexperienced 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 many prime issues to do in Bali is to go to the realm in Bukit often called Uluwatu. Right here you’ll discover the cliff-side Uluwatu temple, which is residence to some naughty monkeys and a nightly kecak efficiency that’s completely mind-blowing. I extremely advocate including it to your Bali itinerary.
If you happen to’re questioning the place to go in Bali for browsing, Uluwatu is likely one of the greatest spots. If you happen to’re like me and might’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 under. Single Fin is the go-to bar/restaurant within the space, particularly for his or her rowdy Sunday night time shindigs.
Take a tour of Bali in only one minute on this video!
For individuals who favor a extra laid-back vibe on trip, the city of Candidasa on Bali’s east coast is a strong choice. Regardless of being probably the most lovely locations to go to in Bali, it manages to fly beneath the radar of most guests.
One purpose 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 with the intention to get supplies for development, and this precipitated the seashore to be washed away. Don’t freak out, although — you possibly can simply entry the Virgin Seashore from right here, which simply is perhaps one of the best seashore in Bali.
The perfect half 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 plenty of pictures right here, as a result of these are among the most Insagram-able locations on the island!
One other in style exercise on this space is visiting the unique Balinese village of Tenganan. The individuals right here have maintained their conventional lifestyle regardless of the wave of improvement on the island. Though organized excursions listed here are admittedly a bit contrived, it’s nonetheless an fascinating place to see.
See additionally: 15 Superior Issues to do in Lombok
Whereas lounging on the seashore is nice and all, there are additionally some superior locations to go to in Bali which can be up within 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 have got a number of choices for what to see and do. For starters, you possibly can go mountaineering across the Tamblingan and Buyan lakes to get pleasure from some superb views and funky mountain air.
After a pleasant hike, head to the close by Banjar scorching springs. Right 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 an excellent therapeutic massage as effectively!
The following day you possibly can head downhill a bit to go to Lake Beratan, which is residence to one in all Bali’s most essential temples. Due to its location, Ulun Danu Beratan seems to be floating within the lake! Be sure you carry your digicam 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 cushty keep. If it’s buying and nightlife you’re on the lookout for, although, you’ll be upset. This can be a place 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 the direction of the following vacation spot, because it’s the place I spent most of my time dwelling on the island. That being mentioned, I firmly consider Sanur is likely one of the greatest locations to go to in Bali.
This quiet seashore city is positioned on the southeast coast of Bali and is only a quick journey from the airport. I’m not joking once I say it’s a sleepy place. Actually, many individuals discuss with it as “Snore” for that very purpose!
Regardless of being residence to a large expat inhabitants and having a vacationer strip filled with motels, spas, and eating places, Sanur stays a standard Balinese fishing village at coronary heart. This can be a excellent place to expertise the native lifestyle, particularly throughout main holidays such because the Balinese New Yr (Day of Silence) or the annual kite pageant.
Among the finest methods to expertise all that the city has to supply is by becoming a member of one of many Sanur Cycle Excursions. They’ve acquired plenty of superior choices for exploring Sanur on two wheels, together with their in style Jurassic Park Tour. You received’t see any dinosaurs on this one, however you’re going to get to wander round an deserted theme park.
Because it’s on the east coast, you received’t discover huge waves right here. It is perhaps one of the best seashore in Bali for simply chilling within the ocean, and you may get pleasure from some SUPing right here in the event you’re into that. Sanur additionally makes an excellent base to discover the following few spots on our record of one of the best 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. Despite the fact that it’s only a stone’s throw from the over-developed vacationer zones of the south, Serangan stays a standard slice of rural life in Bali.
The island is filled with grime roads and farmland, so the one site visitors you’ll have to fret about listed here 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 heart. It’s free to go to, in order that they fund the place by placing turtles up for “adoption.” Together with your donation, they allow you to identify a turtle and launch it again into the wild.
One factor I really like about Serangan Island is simply hanging out on the seashore. That is very a lot a neighborhood seashore with no frills. It’s the form of place the place you lay your towel on the sand, order up some ikan bakar (grilled fish), and perhaps sip on some arak (the native spirit). They don’t see many vacationers over right here, so that you received’t discover the pushy touts that you just 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. Though 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 happen to can squeeze it in your itinerary, I extremely advocate spending an evening or two over right here. All three islands are price taking the time to discover and are residence to some beautiful seashores. Right here you’ll discover some strong breaks for browsing in addition to among the greatest snorkeling and diving alternatives in Bali.
The preferred island for vacationers is Nusa Lembongan, the place you’ll discover a wide selection of motels 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.
Within the center is Nusa Ceningan, which is the smallest of the three. It’s residence to the scenic Blue Lagoon and a “Secret Seashore” that basically isn’t that secret.
The most important 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. Once we did that, we have been truly allowed to enter this large temple in a cave throughout a ceremony since we have been with locals.
See additionally: 10 Superior Issues to Expertise on the Gili Islands
13. West Bali Nationwide Park
It takes fairly a little bit of effort to achieve, however West Bali Nationwide Park is effectively price it. That is positioned within the far northwest nook of the island and is definitely very near the ferry crossing over to Java. If you happen to’re touring to or from Java, you must positively be sure you embrace a cease right here.
There are two completely different park places of work the place you possibly can go to purchase your allow and prepare for a information. The doorway price for the park prices about $15 per particular person and also you’ll want to rent a information if you wish to do some mountaineering right here.
The preferred choice for mountaineering right here is the Tegal Bunder Path, which is fairly simple and solely takes round two hours. For extra of a problem, you possibly can embark on the Gunung Klatakan Path, which takes as much as eight hours to finish.
Along with mountaineering, West Bali Nationwide Park is likely one of the greatest locations to go snorkeling or diving. Join a tour to go to Menjangan Island, which is known as after the various deer who name it residence. I’ve completed snorkeling and diving excursions of Menjangan and had a improbable time on each.
14. Pemuteran and Lovina
Despite the fact that 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 a complete lot happening right here, however that is the proper base for exploring West Bali Nationwide Park because it’s simply up the street.
Along with mountaineering or diving within the park, you can too discover just a few temples close to city. Pura Pulaki is residence to a bunch of monkeys, who’re believed to be the guardians of the temple. Simply throughout the road, Pura Pabean boasts some unimaginable ocean views. Each 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 definitely’ll positively wish to embrace a cease right here. You possibly can spot the lumba-lumba (Indonesian for dolphin) early within the morning and it’s tremendous simple to rearrange a ship tour. There’s even a statue of dolphins proper on the seashore!
Each Pemuteran and Lovina have an honest collection of motels, eating places, and bars. They’re additionally each devoid of the crowds that plague the southern seashore cities, making them among the most peaceable locations to go to in Bali.
Final however not least, we head to the capital metropolis of Bali — Denpasar. Whereas most guests skip out on Denpasar fully, I believe it’s effectively price a go to. There’s loads to see and do right here and it’s simply visited on a half-day journey from any of the southern seashore cities.
Begin your go to to Denpasar off in Puputan Park. This huge inexperienced area is residence to the spectacular Bajra Sandhi, which is a monument to the Balinese individuals. It’s price it to move inside to see the detailed dioramas that depict the historical past of Bali and its individuals. Plus, you get some nice views of the park from the third ground.
One other must-see in Denpasar is the Bali Museum. Whereas it’s not essentially the most spectacular museum on this planet, it’s well worth the $1.50 entrance price to take a look at the normal structure and the distinctive Balinese artifacts.
Subsequent door, you’ll discover probably the most essential temples within the metropolis. Pura Agung Jagatnatha is devoted to the supreme god Sanghyang Widi and is a fantastic place to take a look at. If you happen to 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.
Within the capital metropolis, it ought to come as no shock that there are additionally loads of locations to buy and eat. Discover a native 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 many Finest Locations to Go to in Bali
You’ll word that I didn’t embrace the favored Kuta-Legian space of Bali. It’s because it’s by far the busiest vacationer space of Bali and due to this fact (for my part), it’s additionally the worst. It’s filled with chain motels, 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.
After I consider Kuta, I consider individuals rushing 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. At any time when individuals ask me the place to go in Bali, my first response is “Positively NOT Kuta!”
There are far too many higher locations to go to in Bali. As a vacationer, Kuta is enjoyable for one night time 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 resolve the place to go in Bali to benefit from the pristine nature — away from the crowds.
Prepared For Your Journey to Bali?!
If you happen to’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 within the mountains or rice fields for a change of tempo. Add in a facet journey to the Nusa Islands in the event you can, or simply cruise as much as the north to discover a quieter facet of Bali.
No matter you do, you’re going to like it and can inevitably begin planning your return journey earlier than you permit! After touring there twice and dwelling there for a yr, I’m nonetheless not even completed with Bali. There’s simply a lot to see and do on this lovely island which you could maintain coming again and all the time uncover one thing new.
Have you ever been to Bali and have an superior suggestion? Go away a remark under and tell us!
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