Discover our TOP 10 of things to see and to do in Bali: the Must-See’s (temples, rice fields, remarkable natural sites . . . ) and the Must-Do’s activities to plan.
To easily situate the below described key places, you will find a map of Bali at the end of the article.
10. Taste the Balinese cuisine
Balinese food is excellent and inexpensive. Whatever your diet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free ...), it’s easy to treat yourself in Bali!
You can eat very well for only US$3 per meal. You should try a “Warung” at least once (small local restaurant) and a “Kaki Lima” (street stall), very popular in Bali.
Consult our section Local Food and drinks to discover Bali food specialties.
9. Chilling-out on Bali’s most beautiful beaches
If Bali is well-known for its numerous surf spots, where surfers are gathering from all around the world to surf Bali’s waves since the 60’s, travellers also find beautiful pristine sand beaches in the south and east of the island.
When heading south, and after passing the famous Kuta beach, the Bukit Peninsula shelters some of the island’s best beaches: Balangan, Padang-Padang and the charming cove of Suluban. If you’re heading east, don’t miss-out the irresistible Virgin Beach. You won’t be disappointed!
8. Share exceptional moments with the Balinese
Bali can certainly not be limited to its rice fields and its famous temples. Get off the beaten tracks!
Embark on a traditional boat for a fishing trip, live the Balinese purification ritual at the sacred springs of Tirta Sudamala, stroll into superb rice paddy fields (…) in the company of a Balinese and their legendary hospitality! There is nothing better for exchanging and absorbing another culture. Feel free to have a look at our authentic experiences and other activities in Bali.
7. Get a massage in one of Bali’s numerous spas
Make the most of your time in Bali by taking care of you with the world-renowned spas and massages. Many establishments offer massage services for ridiculously low prices (count around US$8 for a one hour massage in a mid-range spa and around US$16 in a cozy spa). It would be a shame not to take advantage of it!
6. Scuba diving or snorkeling
Scuba diving is one of the main reasons to go to Bali, since the island counts with several sumptuous scuba diving spots: the USS Liberty ‘s wreck in Tulamben, the Menjangan Islands (west of the island), the Gili Islands, and the Nusa Penida island in the south.
And if you are not a fan of scuba diving, snorkeling around Amed or Candidasa (swimming with fins, a mask and a snorkel) might be an excellent alternative to enjoy the beauty of the seabed. You will be able to see multicolour coral reef and fishes and even turtles if you are lucky.
5. Discover Bali’s natural wonders
Bali is full of natural wonders.
Regarding volcanoes, the climb of Mount Batur, close to Kintamani, which we recommend to start very early not to miss the sunrise, offers a splendid view when the sky is clear. You may also climb to the top of Mount Agung, the highest point of the island (3,142 metres high).
The island is also famous for its numerous waterfalls. Do not miss the most beautiful waterfalls of Bali in Sekumpul, north of the island.
4. Discover majestic Water Palaces in the east of the island
In the east of Bali, do not miss Tirta Gangga Water Palace. It is a splendid place of relaxation with its large lily ponds, crossed by slabs in the middle of the water (where it is very pleasant to stroll), its royal swimming pool as well as its beautiful statues and its lush and sophisticated vegetation. Travellers and especially children fancy this place. If you have enough time, the splendid Ujung’s Floating Palace should also be included in your itinerary.
3. Visit the city of Ubud
Ubud is considered as the touristic cultural and artistic centre of Bali island. All categories of Art are represented: dance, music, painting, sculpture, batik, cuisine, and jewellery…. Ubud is also home to the mythical and sacred monkey forest.
Ubud’s surroundings are also perfect for trekking, white water rafting, or bike riding.
Do not miss the spectacular Tegallalang’s terraced rice fields.
For the temple-lovers, we recommend to visit the Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) for its original demoniac facade, Tirta Empul for its purifying baths as well as Gunung Kawi for its sanctuaries hewn into the rock of an over 7 meters high cliff in the middle of the rice fields. All those places represent the best things to do around Ubud.
2. Contemplate Bali’s most beautiful temples
Many sightseeing tours in Bali allow you to discover the most dazzling temples of the island. Among the Must-See’s:
Pura Tanah Lot
This temple is one of Bali’s most emblematic temples.
This temple dedicated to “the earth and the sea” is perched high up on a rock, beaten by the waves of the Indian Ocean that surrounds it. It is dedicated to the god of the sea.
It is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, highly prized by tourists and photographs. When possible, it is best to see it at sunset. However, it is useless to expect being the only one there!
This temple is situated on the Southside of the island, about 20 km west from Denpasar.
Pura (Luhur) Uluwatu
This temple, which overlooks the Indian Ocean with over 70 meters, fascinates due to its magical setting: cliff and rugged coast. It is also dedicated to the spirits of the sea.
Keep a close eye on your belongings, as a colony of monkeys invaded the place!
This temple is situated at the extreme Southside of Bali island.
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan (or Bratan)
This temple is built on the Bratan’s crater lake, amid often-misty mountains. Sumptuous, especially when the Meru thatched-roofs reflect in the water!
This temple is dedicated to the goddess of the waters of Dewi Dany Lake; all the villages of the region come to pray, imploring her that the irrigation goes well.
This temple is situated in the centre of the northern part of the island, close to Bedugul.
1. Discover the terraced rice fields
There are several splendid terraced rice fields’ sites in Bali:
- Jatiluwih rice fields (in the centre of the upper part of the island). It offers a breath-taking panorama on the terraced rice fields. The natural area is even a UNESCO classified site!
- Karangasem rice fields, close to Tirta Gangga,
- The rice fields surrounding Ubud: Tegallalang (north, the most spectacular ones), Petanu valley (east) and near Campuhan ridge (west).