Bali, Indonesia’s most famous island, is renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and lush landscapes. For those pondering things to do in Bali, exploring the sacred Tanah Lot Temple, perched on a rock formation along the coast, and visiting the lush terraced rice fields of Tegallalang, are top activities.
The island’s Ubud Monkey Forest offers a unique experience with its resident monkeys and ancient temple ruins. Nearby, the Besakih Temple, known as Bali’s Mother Temple, sits majestically on the slopes of Mount Agung, providing a spiritual and scenic experience.
Beyond its natural and cultural attractions, Bali is also celebrated for its wellness and yoga retreats, offering a perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. For those seeking the best places to visit in Indonesia, Bali’s blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and serene atmosphere makes it a compelling destination.
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Attractions & Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia
1. Uluwatu Temple
Perched on a magnificent clifftop at Bali’s southern tip, Uluwatu Temple is a stunning sea temple that offers breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. Visitors can also enjoy the famous Kecak dance performance held during sunset hours, creating a truly magical experience.
Travel Tip: Be mindful of the monkeys in the area; while they can be entertaining, they are also known to snatch visitors’ belongings.
2. Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Located just north of Ubud, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces are a beautiful example of Bali’s iconic terraced rice fields. Visitors can take in the lush green scenery, explore the fields, and capture stunning photographs.
Travel Tip: Visit early in the morning to enjoy cooler temperatures and fewer crowds.
3. Besakih Temple
Besakih Temple, also known as Bali’s Mother Temple, is the largest and holiest temple complex on the island, located on the slopes of Mount Agung. Visitors can explore the extensive complex, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, and take in the panoramic views.
Travel Tip: Dress modestly and be prepared for a bit of walking, as the complex is quite large.
4. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Located in Ubud, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a popular attraction where visitors can interact with hundreds of long-tailed macaques in their natural habitat. The forest also contains ancient temples and lush greenery.
Travel Tip: Do not bring food into the sanctuary, as this can attract unwanted attention from the monkeys.
5. Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot is a striking sea temple located on a rocky outcrop off the western coast of Bali. It is one of Bali’s most photographed and iconic temples, especially during sunset.
Travel Tip: Visit during low tide to walk closer to the temple, and be sure to stay for the stunning sunset.
Seminyak is a trendy area in Bali known for its upscale resorts, boutique shops, stylish bars, and vibrant nightlife. The area also offers a wide variety of restaurants, serving everything from traditional Balinese cuisine to international dishes.
Travel Tip: Explore the area on foot or by renting a scooter to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.
Known as the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud is surrounded by rice paddies and dotted with temples, art galleries, and markets. Visitors can explore the town’s rich culture, take art and cooking classes, and enjoy performances of traditional Balinese dance.
Travel Tip: Visit the Ubud Art Market for local crafts and souvenirs, and remember to bargain politely.
8. Bali Safari and Marine Park
Bali Safari and Marine Park offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages, featuring a wide variety of animals from around the world, live animal shows, and an amusement park.
Travel Tip: Consider purchasing a package that includes a safari journey, access to the water park, and lunch for a full-day experience.
9. Waterbom Bali
Waterbom Bali is a renowned water park in Kuta, offering an array of slides, rides, and water activities for all ages. The park is set in a lush, tropical garden, creating a refreshing escape from the heat.
Travel Tip: Arrive early to enjoy the rides before the park gets busy, and consider renting a gazebo for a private space to relax.
10. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces offer stunning landscapes of verdant, rolling rice fields. Visitors can take leisurely walks through the terraces and enjoy the serene rural atmosphere.
Travel Tip: Bring comfortable walking shoes and explore the various trekking routes available, ranging from short walks to longer hikes.
11. Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)
Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, is an archaeological site dating back to the 11th century, showcasing intricate stone carvings and a meditation cave. The site also includes a bathing temple with fountains that are believed to have healing properties.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes as there are some steps to navigate, and bring a sarong to cover yourself as a sign of respect when entering the sacred areas.
12. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a picturesque water temple that appears to float on the lake when the water levels are high. It’s dedicated to Dewi Danu, the goddess of water, and is a vital temple for irrigation in Bali.
Travel Tip: Visit early in the morning to see the temple enveloped in mist, creating a mystical atmosphere.
13. Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul Temple is famous for its holy spring water, where Balinese Hindus go for purification rituals. Visitors can observe the rituals and even participate by entering the water, following the local customs.
Travel Tip: If you wish to participate in the purification ritual, it’s recommended to hire a local guide to explain the proper etiquette and procedures.
14. Kuta Beach
Kuta Beach is one of Bali’s most famous beaches, known for its long sandy stretch, vibrant atmosphere, and excellent surf conditions for beginners. The area around the beach is bustling with shops, restaurants, and nightlife options.
Travel Tip: The beach can get very crowded, especially during sunset, so if you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in the morning.
15. Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is a luxury enclave located on Bali’s southeastern coast, featuring high-end resorts, pristine beaches, and well-maintained public spaces. It’s an excellent area for those looking for a more relaxed and upscale Bali experience.
Travel Tip: Take advantage of the free shuttle buses provided by many resorts to explore the entire Nusa Dua area.
16. Campuhan Ridge Walk
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is a free and easy nature trek that provides a scenic escape just minutes away from the center of Ubud. The walk offers stunning views of hills, valleys, and rice fields.
Travel Tip: The trek is best enjoyed early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the temperatures are cooler, and the lighting is perfect for photography.
17. Bali Swing
The Bali Swing has become one of the most iconic photo spots in Bali, offering thrilling swings over lush jungle scenery. Several other swings and nests are available for visitors to enjoy throughout the area.
Travel Tip: Arrive early to avoid long wait times for the swings and to capture photos without the crowds.
18. Bali Treetop Adventure Park
Located in the Botanical Gardens in Bedugul, Bali Treetop Adventure Park offers a fun-filled day of zip-lining and obstacle courses among the trees, suitable for both children and adults.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes, and book your tickets in advance, especially if visiting during peak season.
19. The Blanco Renaissance Museum
Dedicated to the works of the late Filipino artist Antonio Blanco, The Blanco Renaissance Museum in Ubud showcases a collection of his paintings, lithographic artworks, and poetry. The museum itself is a piece of art, with its lavish and unique architecture.
Travel Tip: Take time to explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the museum after viewing the art collection.
20. Munduk Moding Plantation
Munduk Moding Plantation is a coffee plantation in the central highlands of Bali that offers a unique experience to learn about Bali’s coffee production. Visitors can take a tour of the plantation, participate in coffee tasting, and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Travel Tip: Consider staying overnight at the plantation’s resort to fully immerse yourself in the tranquil and picturesque environment.
FAQ About Things to Do in Bali, Indonesia
What are must-visit beaches in Bali?
Bali is renowned for its stunning beaches. Among them, Seminyak Beach for its sunsets and beach clubs, Kuta for its surf waves and nightlife, and Nusa Dua Beach for its family-friendly atmosphere and water sports are must-visits.
Can I visit a volcano in Bali?
Yes, you can visit Mount Batur, an active volcano. Many visitors embark on a trek to witness the sunrise from the summit. It’s a popular activity and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Are there opportunities for diving and snorkeling in Bali?
Absolutely, Bali is a diver’s paradise. The Coral Triangle is rich in marine life and the USS Liberty Shipwreck at Tulamben is a world-class dive site. Snorkelers will love the clear waters and vibrant sea life at spots like Menjangan Island.
What cultural experiences should I not miss in Bali?
Bali’s cultural experiences are plentiful. Don’t miss the traditional Balinese dance performances at Uluwatu Temple, exploring the ancient temple of Tanah Lot, and visiting Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali, known for its art, dance, and crafts.
Is there a place for yoga and meditation retreats in Bali?
Bali is a hub for wellness and spiritual retreats. Ubud, in particular, is famous for its yoga and meditation retreats amidst tranquil rice paddies and lush forests, catering to all levels of practitioners.
What are the best places for foodies in Bali?
Foodies should explore the culinary scene in Seminyak and Ubud, where you’ll find a mix of traditional Balinese cuisine and international dishes. Make sure to try local specialties like Bebek Betutu (smoked duck) and Babi Guling (suckling pig).
How can I explore the Balinese rice terraces?
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud are famous for their scenic beauty and are ideal for trekking. You can take guided tours to learn about the traditional Subak irrigation system and enjoy the green landscapes.
Are there any unique wildlife experiences in Bali?
Yes, Bali offers unique wildlife experiences like the Monkey Forest in Ubud, where you can interact with macaques in their natural habitat, and the Bali Bird Park, which houses a diverse range of Indonesian bird species.