Looking for things to do and places to visit in Bali? Here are seven that you can’t miss!!
Who has not wanted to visit Bali?? Everyone knows it’s one of the most enchanting places on Earth, and I finally got the chance to visit it myself in February 2017. Even though I only spent 5 days in the island, I explored it from North to South and East to West, familiarized myself with Balinese culture, and visited some the most beautiful places in Bali. From the well-known to off the beaten path, here are 7 unmissable places to visit in Bali…
7 Unmissable Places to Visit in Bali
1- Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu): a very scenic Hindu temple perched atop a 70m high sea cliff on the south-western coast of Bali.
The temple is considered one of Bali’s spiritual pillars and because of its spectacular location, also one of the best spots to watch the sunset. But even without the sunset the view from the temple is just breathtaking! Definitely one of the best places to visit in Bali.
However, the awe-inspiring scenery wasn’t the only reason I visited Uluwatu Temple. The main purpose of my visit was to watch the Kecak Dance, a form of Balinese dance and music drama that was developed in the 1930s.
Attending this extraordinary show is one of most memorable things to do in Bali. The music is hypnotic and alluring and the hand and arm movements the dancers use to tell their story incredibly expressive. Not to mention how much fun the hilarious and adorable white monkey was!
In the end of the show, you also get the opportunity to take pictures with some of the performers. Don’t forget to put Uluwatu Temple on your list of places to visit in Bali.
2 – Holy Spring Water Temple (Tirta Empul): according to my Balinese guide, there are over one million temples in Bali. It because the Balinese people are very religious, and almost every house has its own temple.
With so many temples to choose from, I would say that the Holy Spring Water Temple should be high on your list of places to visit in Bali.
A visit to this Hindu water temple is a great opportunity to admire the temple’s beauty, learn about Balinese culture and particularly witness the Balinese people’s devotion.
3 – Jungle Fish: one the best things when you travel is definitely meeting people! And following the recommendation of two friends that I made in Bali, I went to Jungle Fish.
This luxury resort is located amidst the dense forest in the breathtaking landscape of the Ubud area.
I wasn’t particularly impressed with the resort entrance but everything changed when I saw the pool. The view from the staircase is just surreal, and you can’t believe that there is an infinity pool in the middle of the jungle.
For an entrance fee, visitors can also enjoy the facilites: pool, bar, shower, bathroom, lounging area, children’s pool, and use of a towel if they wish to swim.
Reservations are highly recommended, and drinks and dishes are reasonably priced.
Swimming in an infinity pool in the middle of lush vegetation, admiring the view and sipping a glass of champagne in the company of good friends, it would seem like that life could not be better…
Jungle Fish is one of those places that once you’ve arrived, you wouldn’t want to leave again. You can’t miss it as one of the best places to visit in Bali!
4 – Jatiluwih Rice Terraces: Bali has a diverse landscape that range from mountains, deep forests, and flowing rivers to coastal areas, beautiful beaches and stunning crop fields. In many parts, particularly in the South, Bali is dotted with terraces of paddy fields and some of them have become major tourist attractions.
And if you want to see the most spectacular and impressive terraces when you visit Bali, you should go to Jatiluwih.
This UNESCO Heritage Site, located in a rural area 700 m above sea level in the western part of Bali, features stunning rice terraces, stretching from the foot of the mountain to the coast.
Even though it isn’t as accessible as the terrace fields in Ubud, a visit to Jatiluwih is totally worthwhile because of its beauty, tranquility and cool atmosphere.
It’s believed that these rice fields were created as long as 500 years ago, and still prove a showcase for an impressive and curious irrigation system.
Visitors can hike the trails through the rice fields to explore the different parts and visit small villages and restaurants. It’s definitely a remarkable experience when you visit Bali!
5 – Karma Beach: Bali has some beautiful beaches and is considered as one of the world’s best surfing spots.
Unfortunately during my short stay I didn’t surf, but I made sure to visit at least one of the best beaches in Bali.
Karma Beach is nestled on the southern coast of Bali along very high cliffs, near the Ungasan and Uluwatu areas. The view from the top of the cliffs of the crystal-clear turquoise water contrasting with the lush vegetation covering the cliffs is beyond imagination.
The white sandy beach is accessible by a staircase or private funicular rail and there are two beach clubs, including the super fancy one, Karma Beach Club, which has a very busy calendar during the high season, and attract celebrities from all over the world.
However, dependent of the time of the year, the beach can be completely empty and you can have this picture-perfect paradise all to yourself.
6 – Luwak Coffee Bali Plantation: if you love coffee and islands, Bali is the perfect place for you. Balinese coffee is very tasty and there are many different kinds of coffee to please every palate.
Coffee plants arrived in Bali early in the 20th century and, because of the rich volcanic soil and temperate climate, coffee plantations expanded rapidly.
Not only is the Robusta plant found on the island but also the Arabica plant which, in fact, is now the most common.
The big difference between Balinese coffee and the coffee produced in other parts of Indonesia is the processing method. In Bali they use wet processing while in the rest of the country the dry process is used. It creates a very special taste, which makes Balinese coffee some of the best in the world.
The most expensive coffee in the world is Luwak Coffee that is produced in Bali. The curious and fun facts are that the coffee beans are eaten by the Asian Palm Civet, a small mammal that looks like a cat, and the enzymes in the stomach of the animal take away the bitterness of the beans during the digestion process, giving it a smooth and mild taste; when the civet excrete the beans, it’s collected by farmers (and washed, presumably)…
At the end of your visit to the Lambing Sari House of Coffee, you can taste Luwak coffee and many other blends, such as ginseng, lemongrass, chili, vanila, mocha, etc.
So, you should put visiting a coffee plantation on your list of “what to do in Bali”.
7 – Ulun Danu Temple (Pura Ulun Danu Beratan): to complete my list of 7 unmissable places to visit in Bali, another temple. As I mentioned before, the Balinese people are very religious (some of the most religious people I’ve ever seen), and there are many temples scattered throughout the island.
The Ulun Danu Temple complex located on the shores of Lake Bratan, in the mountains near Bedugul, is one of the most photogenic temples in Bali.
This Hindu Temple built by I Gusti Agung Putu in 1556 Saka year, (1634 AD), consists of five temple compounds, as well as a Buddhist Stupa, and is considered one of the most important temples in Bali.
There is a spacious park, two restaurants, a large children’s play area and visitors can partake in several water actives, such as hiring a speed boat, a pedal boat, or a traditional junkung.
This was the temple that I wanted to see most, and one of the most famous points of interest in Bali!
And this is my list of 7 unmissable places to visit in Bali, but of course there are many more other things to do in Bali, such as: Kintamani and Mount Batur, Ubud Art Market, Ubud Monkey Forest, Sekumpul Waterfalls, Lovina, Kuta Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, Padang Padang Beach, Ayana Bar on Rocks, Tirta Gangga,Tanah Lot Temple, Besakih Temple, Goa Gajah, Bali Botanic Garden, etc.
Bear in mind that Bali is a big island and to go from one place to another it can take up to three hours, depending on where you’re staying and the traffic conditions. Therefore, the best way to move around Bali is renting a motorbike, a car, or hiring a private driver.
I’m looking forward to going back to Indonesia and visiting all the other attractions in Bali that I didn’t have chance to see on my first time.
I wish you have a fantastic time in this extraordinary island !!
Safe travels 😉
Have you been to Bali? What do you think about my list of the places to visit in Bali? Any recommendation? Let us know on the comments below.
Planning a Trip to Bali
- Where is Bali located?
Bali is an Indonesia island situated 8 degrees from the equator, in the Java Sea. Bali’s location is 4,555 km (2,830 miles) from Australia and is situated between Indonesia’s islands of Lombok and Java (check map here).
- How to get there?
The only ways to get to Bali are by plane or boat.
* By plane:
There is an international airport in Bali, also known as Denpasar International Airport, located in southern Bali, 13 km south of Denpasar. Some of the companies fly to Bali airport are: Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Lion Air, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air, Garuda Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, China Southern, etc.
You can book your flights with Skyscanner or Momondo that are the websites that I use.
* By boat:
The most common routes are from Lombok and Gili Islands. There are ferries departing from Lembar (Lombok) to Padang Bai (Bali) 24 hours a day, and speedboats departing from Gili Islands. You can check prices and schedule here.
There are also ferries from East Java to Bali with PELNI, the Indonesia state’s ferry. But to be honest, it’s better to be avoided due to the poorest condition of the vessel, appalling maintenance, zero comfort, awful delays and dirtiness, etc.
- Best time to visit Bali?
Bali has tropical, warm and humid climate all year around with two main distinctive seasons: Dry Season and Rainy Season. The rain season is from November to March, and the dry season from May to October.
Because of the weather conditions the high season is during the months of July and August. However, the island is also busy during Easter, Christmas and New Years Eve.
So, the best time to visit Bali is April, May, June and September, just before and after high season.
I was there in February, and the weather was mostly sunny with scattered showers through the day. Humidity was high though.
- Where to stay in Bali?
I stayed at Grand Mirage Resort &Thalasso Bali, and if you’re looking for hotels in Bali my recommendations are:
Budget: Swasti Eco Cottages, Jati 3 Bungalows and Spa, Canggu Beach Hostel and Saren Guesthouse.
Great Value for Money: Satori Villas, Batu Empug Ubud, Echo Beach Townhouses and The Artini Resort.
Luxury: Plataran Canggu Bali Resort & Spa, Ayana Resort and Spa, The Royal Santrian and Puri Wulandari – Boutique Resort & Spa.
Book your accommodation now with Agoda and get exclusive discounts.
- Travel Costs
* Five months travel insurance: US$ 256 with World Nomads
* Five nights at Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Bali – All Inclusive: US$ 1900
* Car with driver&guide with Bali Custom Tour: US$ ± 45 /day
* Goa Gajah Temple: 15,000 IDR (US$ 1,10)
* Kecak Dance: 100,000 IDR (US$ 7.50)
* Ulu Danun Temple: 50,000 IDR (US$ 3.75)
* Gunung Kawi Temple: 15,000 IDR (US$ 1,10)
* Tirta Empul Temple: 15,000 IDR (US$ 1,10)
* Jatiluwih Rice Terrace: 40,000 IDR (US$ 3)
* Jungle Fish: 100,000 IDR (US$ 7.50)
If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia you might also like
- Komodo National Park, Indonesia.
- Koh Lipe: the Maldives of Thailand.
- Things to do in Lombok & Where to stay.