What to do in Bali: The Ultimate Guide

Bali is increasingly establishing itself as one of the most popular holiday destinations. In fact it is the most famous Indonesian island in the world and is perfect for any traveler.

I have made this complete guide where we will see in detail what to do in Bali, from famous temples to volcano hike, from snorkeling to surfing.

So if you have booked your holidays on this wonderful island and want to plan the perfect itinerary, you just have to find out what to see absolutely in Bali.

What to do in Bali: The Ultimate Guide

What to do in Bali

In this definitive guide I propose you several things to see in Bali, obviously you will be the one to choose according to your preferences and the time you have available.

In detail we will see:

  • The Best Temples of Bali
  • Excursions on the Volcanoes
  • The waterfalls of Bali
  • Ubud
  • Beaches for all tastes: Surf, Relax or Snorkeling
  • See the Dolphins
  • The rice terraces
  • A particular aperitif
  • Spa and massage

We are ready, enjoy the wonders of the island of Bali!

The temples of Bali

What to do in Bali: The Ultimate Guide

Do you want to know what to do in bali? The first thing not to be missed is to visit one of the many temples, there are about 20.000 of them, not a few for an island of about 5.000 km2. Let's see which ones are not to be missed.

Besakih Temple

It is the most famous temple in Bali, considered the holiest place on the island, also known as the "mother temple". It is located on the slopes of the Gunung Agung volcano and is a 23-unit complex, with the Pura Penataran Agung which is the most famous.

Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot owes its fame to its spectacular location, it is located on a rock overlooking the sea. At low tide you can reach the Temple, but not enter, access is allowed only to Balinese.

It is one of the must-sees in Bali and one of the most photographed attractions on the island.


Another of Bali's most fascinating temples is Uluwatu, located atop a promontory.

Unfortunately it is always very busy, both by tourists and by spiteful monkeys, but it is worth a visit during sunset to admire the panorama from the cliff overlooking the sea.

The temple is located in the southern part of the island, on the Bukit peninsula, easily accessible if you are staying in Kuta or Seminyak, or even better in Jimbaran.

Ulun Danu Bratan

This temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan, in the most mountainous area of ​​Bali, about a 2-hour drive from Ubud. Even this temple is not accessible but its position on the lake makes it unique and particularly fascinating.

Tirta Empul

Among the things not to be missed in bali there is the Tirta Empul, ideal for those looking for a unique experience. A sacred spring where you can bathe with the Balinese, between the scent of incense and surrounded by an atmosphere of spirituality and sacredness. These waters are said to have magical powers and bring good luck and health.

elephant Cave

Temple known as the Elephant Cave, is located near Ubud and is immersed in the green of the rice fields, the nature that surrounds it is the real charm of the complex.

Tirta Gangga

Although it is not a temple, this former royal palace is worth a visit, located in eastern Bali about 5 km from Karangasem. A magical and relaxing place, off the beaten track. A park with several pools and fountains, with lotus flowers and huge carp, all surrounded by statues of Hindu gods. Bring your swimsuit because it is possible to swim in a tub.

Volcanoes excursion

What to do in Bali: The Ultimate Guide

If you love trekking and adventure among the things to do in Bali there is the excursion to the volcanoes Mount Batur e Gunung Agung. The routes are not very simple, in particular that of the Gunug Agung, so face them prepared and with the right equipment.

Must See Waterfalls In Bali

Another excursion not to be missed in Bali is the one at cascate in Sekumpul, it is not easy to reach them, almost an hour's walk in the forest, but the show is worth the effort. If you come from Ubud I recommend you to combine the visit to the temple Ulun Danu Bratan.

also the Melanting Falls they are worth a visit, a nice hike in nature with different paths, ideal for trekking lovers.

For more information I suggest you read the article where I describe the 10 best waterfalls in Bali.

Visit Ubud and the Monkey Forest

Ubud is a true jewel of the island of Bali, immersed in the forest, between temples and rice fields. The town is full of restaurants, shops, cafes, spas and yoga centers.

As I already wrote in the article on where to stay in Bali, Ubud is the perfect base to stay overnight, strategically located to visit the main attractions of the island.

In Ubud, don't miss the Royal Palace and the famous Monkey Forest, a nature reserve and temple complex inhabited by more than 600 Balinese macaques. Monkeys look cute, but remember they are ready to grab anything, glasses, water bottles or even jewelry. So move calmly and respect the rules described at the entrance and along the way.

To surf

Bali is also famous for surfing, an island where you can surf all year round. There are spots suitable for experienced surfers like the famous one Uluwatu and perfect beaches to learn how to ride the first waves, like Kuta beach where you will find several surf schools.

Beaches Of Bali

Bali also offers many beaches where you can simply relax. Among these the best are Kuta Beach or Seminyak.

Another beautiful beach in Bali is Jimbaran Beach, especially known for its fish restaurants where you can dine with your feet in the sand.

And if you are looking for calm and crystal clear waters and a clean beach to relax, Nusa Dua it is the destination for you, a true oasis of peace. It is located in the south-east of the Bukit peninsula, in an area full of exclusive resorts.

Nusa Dua is also the perfect choice for families traveling with small children.



Snorkeling and Diving in Bali

Many of my readers often ask me if you can snorkel in Bali? Yes, you will discover a tropical paradise full of colorful fish and sea turtles.

The northern part offers several areas where you can admire the underwater landscapes. Eg Pemuteran it has a beautiful coral reef, the sea has no strong currents and is perfect for snorkeling and diving.

From Premuteran do not miss an excursion to the island of Menjangan, calm sea and excellent snorkeling.

Gili Islands

Among the excursions to do in Bali, I recommend the Gili Island, three islets that can be reached in less than two hours.

The three islands are: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, the first is the most touristy and lively even in the evening, the other two are ideal for relaxation.

I stayed overnight in Trawangan, in the north, quiet and in a perfect spot for snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles.

Visit the rice terraces

What to do in Bali: The Ultimate Guide

Rice terraces are definitely one of the things not to be missed on a trip to Bali.

The most beautiful fields are those in the village of Tegalalang (near Ubud) and the very famous rice fields of Jatiluwih, the latter declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

A visit to Jatiluwih it will be an unforgettable experience, a breathtaking landscape with a green never seen before, in a less touristy context and perfect for those looking for an authentic experience off the beaten track. The rice fields can be reached within a day from Ubud in less than 2 hours by car. Absolutely one of the most beautiful excursions to do in Bali.

Aperitif at the Rock Bar

As we have seen, Bali is an island that offers many excursions, certainly you will not be bored. But between a visit to a temple and a trip to the rice fields, why not indulge in an aperitif in one of the 10 most beautiful bars in the world?

I'm talking about the Rock Bar dell’Ayana Resort, an exclusive place located on a cliff overlooking the sea, with a breathtaking view. Sipping a cocktail at sunset in this unique location is something priceless. Go early as there is always a lot of people.

See the Dolphins in Bali

If you are a nature lover, exploring the Indian Ocean aboard a boat and seeing dolphins is an experience to do. The excursions leave at dawn from Lovina (North Bali), an area still not very touristy and certainly one of the least beautiful beaches on the island, recommended only for dolphins.

In my first experience in Bali, when I was 23, I thought it best to reach Lovina by scooter from Kuta, 5 hours of travel, at the time it was fun but today I would recommend a more comfortable and faster way! The boat trip to see the dolphins and the final snorkeling was still a beautiful experience.

Balinese dances

A characteristic and typical attraction of Bali, not to be missed, is the show of local dances. There are many places on the island to watch these dances, especially the temple of Uluwatu and Ubud. Between the two the most fascinating, especially for the magical place, is that of Ulu Watu called Kecak.

Relax in an Indonesian SPA

After a busy day exploring Bali, the perfect end is a nice rejuvenating massage. Bali is full of spas where massages are very cheap. The best place to have this experience is Ubud, where you will find several hotels with spa. Try a typical Balinese massage, certainly cannot miss the list of what to do and see in Bali.

Where to sleep in Bali?

We have described the things not to be missed in Bali, we conclude by giving you one last tip to better plan your trip.

Choosing the perfect place to sleep in Bali is very important. As you will have understood, the best position always remains Ubud, especially if you have a few days to spare. Otherwise you can opt for several stages, creating an itinerary that also includes the north and south of the island, thus optimizing the daily movements.

What to do in Bali: The Ultimate Guide

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