• Menu
  • Menu
Best Things to Do in Bali Tips Travel Guide

Best Things to Do in Bali + Tips for Visiting Bali

Bali, with its enchanting temples, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture, holds a special place in my heart. Having spent over six months exploring its nooks and crannies, I’ve come to know it like the back of my hand. Whether you’re drawn to the island for its serene beaches, captivating rituals, or the warmth of its people, Bali never fails to mesmerize. In this guide, I’ll share the best things to do in Bali, along with insider tips to ensure your visit, be it your first or your fifth, is as magical as the island itself.

Find a great hotel in Bali on Expedia!

Bali Travel Guide

Why Visit Bali?

Bali continues to enchant visitors despite its fame. The island’s allure lies not just in its postcard-perfect nature but in a culture that’s vibrantly alive, weaving spirituality into the fabric of daily life.

Beyond the hustle of tourist spots, Bali reveals its treasures: intricate temple ceremonies, landscapes that stretch from volcanic peaks to serene rice terraces, and a culinary scene that dazzles the palate.

The balance of world-class dining and entertainment with the simplicity of island life offers a unique experience. Bali’s magic is in its ability to offer something for every traveler, making it a place where adventure and tranquility coexist. It’s this unparalleled blend of beauty, culture, and hospitality that marks Bali as a true treasure, inviting exploration and promising memories that linger.

Best Things to Do in Bali

1. Visit Temples

Bali’s temples stand as serene guardians of the island’s spiritual essence. Each offers a unique glimpse into the rich tapestry of Balinese culture and history. Nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes, these sacred sites are not just architectural marvels but are alive with cultural significance and serene beauty. Whether perched on cliff edges or sitting beside tranquil waters, visiting these temples offers a peaceful retreat and insight into the island’s soul.

Top 5 Temples to Visit in Bali:

  1. Gunung Kawi Temple– A serene 11th-century sanctuary carved into rock, surrounded by lush landscapes, offering a tranquil glimpse into Bali’s ancient spiritual heritage.
  2. Tanah Lot Temple: Iconic sea temple known for its stunning offshore setting and sunset backdrops.
  3. Uluwatu Temple: Majestic cliffside temple offering panoramic ocean views and traditional Kecak dance performances.
  4. Besakih Temple: Known as the ‘Mother Temple’, it’s the largest and holiest temple, nestled on the slopes of Mount Agung.
  5. Tirta Empul Temple: Famous for its holy spring water and purification baths.
  6. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple: Picturesque water temple on Lake Beratan, reflecting the serene beauty of Bali’s landscapes.

2. Explore the Many Regions of Bali

Bali’s diversity stretches far beyond its famous beaches. It’s a large island brimming with destinations each offering its unique vibe and experiences. From the cultural heartland of Ubud to the surfers’ paradise of Uluwatu, Bali’s regions cater to all. Whether you’re seeking serenity, adventure, or a blend of both. Exploring these different areas reveals the multifaceted charm of Bali, ensuring there’s something for every type of traveler.

Places to Visit in Bali:

  1. Ubud: The cultural hub of Bali. Known for its lush rice terraces, vibrant art scene, and spiritual atmosphere. A place where tradition meets modernity.
  2. Seminyak/Kuta: The epicenter of Bali’s nightlife and shopping. Famous for its long sandy beaches, luxury resorts, and trendy eateries.
  3. Canggu: A laid-back coastal town popular with digital nomads and surfers. It offers a blend of bohemian vibes and surf-ready waves.
  4. Uluwatu: Renowned for its stunning cliffside temple and world-class surf breaks, Uluwatu is a haven for surfers and sunset seekers alike.
  5. Northern Bali: Offers a tranquil escape from the island’s southern hustle. Home to the serene Lovina Beach, diving spots in Tulamben, and the picturesque waterfalls of Munduk and Sekumpul.

Learn more about the different regions of Bali with my complete travel guide to Where to Visit in Bali here.

3. Attend Local Balinese Cultural Shows & Performances

Attending a local Balinese cultural show or performance is a mesmerizing way to connect with the island’s rich traditions and vibrant arts scene. While some shows are undoubtedly tailored for tourists, the skill, passion, and cultural depth they showcase make them a must-see. From the intricate movements of the dancers to the captivating sounds of the gamelan, these performances offer a window into the soul of Bali. I highly recommend experiencing at least one during your visit.

Most Popular Shows and Performances in Bali:

  1. Kecak Fire Dance: A powerful performance combining choir-like chanting, dance, and fire, often held at Uluwatu Temple at sunset.
  2. Barong Dance: A traditional dance that depicts the story of the eternal battle between good and evil.
  3. Legong Dance: Known for its intricate gestures and expressions, performed by young female dancers.
  4. Gamelan Performance: Enthralling live performances of Bali’s traditional ensemble music.
  5. Shadow Puppet Shows (Wayang Kulit): A unique form of storytelling blending mythological tales with humor and shadow play.

4. Go to Local Warungs

Warungs are the heart and soul of Bali’s culinary landscape. These small, often family-run eateries can be found dotting every corner of Bali, from bustling streets in Seminyak to quiet lanes in Ubud.

Warungs serve up a variety of local dishes, showcasing the depth and diversity of Balinese cuisine. Not only are they a great place to enjoy delicious and authentic meals, but they also offer a chance to experience the island’s hospitality and community life.

With their affordable prices and home-cooked quality, dining at a warung is a must-do for anyone looking to savor the flavors of Bali. Whether it’s a plate of nasi campur, a serving of mie goreng, or a spicy bowl of sambal drenched goodness, warungs are your gateway to exploring the real taste of the island.

5. Take a Balinese Cooking Class

Taking a Balinese cooking class is an immersive way to delve into the flavors and techniques of this rich culinary tradition. Classes range from casual sessions in a local’s kitchen to more intensive courses at professional cooking schools.

Expect to start with a market visit, selecting fresh ingredients, followed by hands-on guidance in crafting traditional dishes like sate, sambal, and Balinese salads. It’s an engaging experience that caters to all levels of interest and skill, offering a delicious insight into Bali’s culture.

With numerous options available, you can easily find a class that suits your pace and culinary curiosity.

6. Spend the Day at a Beach or Pool Club

Bali is renowned for its vibrant beach and pool club scene, with countless options scattered across the island to suit any preference. While indulging in these stylish havens can be pricey, selecting the right spot promises an unforgettable day of luxury, relaxation, and entertainment. From chic lounges by the sea to serene pools amidst lush landscapes, these clubs are designed to offer an exquisite escape.

Top Beach and Pool Clubs in Bali:

  1. Sunday’s Beach Club in Uluwatu: Offers a secluded beach experience with crystal-clear waters and stunning sunsets.
  2. Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak: Known for its iconic design, lively atmosphere, and spectacular ocean views.
  3. Cretya in Ubud: Blends the tranquility of Ubud with luxurious poolside lounging.
  4. Finn’s Beach Club in Canggu: Features a breathtaking oceanfront setting with multiple pools and live DJ sets.
  5. Omnia Dayclub in Uluwatu: Stands out for its architectural magnificence and infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Each venue provides a unique blend of Bali’s natural beauty with world-class amenities. They are a must-visit for those seeking a blend of relaxation and sophistication.

7. Indulge in World Class International Dining

Best Things to Do in Bali

Bali’s dining scene is as diverse as it is sophisticated. Offering an array of world-class international dining options that cater to every palate, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The island prides itself on high-quality standards, where chefs from around the globe converge to serve up culinary masterpieces.

From authentic Indonesian dishes to gourmet Italian, fresh Japanese sushi to hearty American burgers, Bali has it all. Each restaurant, whether beachside or in the heart of Ubud, promises a unique dining experience that combines fresh local ingredients with international flavors. No matter what cuisine you’re craving, Bali delivers it with excellence and flair.

8. Go Hiking and Explore Nature

Best Things to Do in Bali

Bali, specifically Central and Northern Bali, is a haven for those eager to explore the great outdoors, showcasing a landscape filled with lush jungles, serene rice paddies, and towering volcanoes. This region of Bali is perfect for adventurers looking to engage with the island’s natural splendor through a variety of hikes. From leisurely strolls through verdant fields to vigorous climbs up dormant and active volcanoes alike. Each trail offers its own unique beauty and challenges, providing unforgettable views and a deep connection to Bali’s untouched wilderness.

Top 5 Hikes in Bali:

  1. Mt Batur: The most famous trek in Bali, ideal for experiencing an unforgettable sunrise from atop an active volcano.
  2. Mt Agung: Offering a more strenuous challenge, this hike rewards climbers with unrivaled views from Bali’s highest point.
  3. West Bali National Park: Discover diverse ecosystems, from rainforest to savannah, and spot rare wildlife on these trails.
  4. Twin Lakes Viewpoint Hike: A less crowded path offering spectacular views of Buyan and Tamblingan lakes surrounded by forest.
  5. Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud: An easier, scenic route perfect for capturing the essence of Bali’s rural charm and artistically sculpted landscape.

9. Chase Waterfalls

Bali is truly a haven for waterfall lovers, with its myriad cascades hidden throughout the lush tropical rainforest. Each waterfall offers a unique experience. From serene flows amidst tranquil settings to majestic drops that showcase the raw power of nature. Whether you’re looking to take a refreshing dip in crystal-clear pools or simply admire the beauty of these natural wonders, Bali’s waterfalls provide the perfect backdrop for adventure and relaxation.

Top 6 Waterfalls in Bali:

  1. Nungnung Waterfall: Located at an altitude, offering breathtaking views and a powerful cascade amidst lush greenery.
  2. Banyumala Twin Waterfalls: Renowned for its serene beauty and twin cascades that create a tranquil swimming spot.
  3. Kanto Lampo: Not as tall as others, but its unique cascading water over rocky formations makes for picturesque scenes.
  4. Tibumana Waterfall: A hidden gem that offers a peaceful atmosphere, ideal for swimming and enjoying the surrounding nature.
  5. Goa Rang Reng Waterfall: A multi-tiered waterfall that flows through a cave, offering a unique trekking and exploration experience.
  6. Leke Leke Waterfall: Known for its thin stream that resembles a white veil, set in a serene, forested area for a tranquil escape.

Each of these waterfalls presents an opportunity to connect with Bali’s natural beauty.

10. Drink Delicious Coffee

Best Things to Do in Bali

Bali, an island celebrated for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, is also a haven for coffee aficionados. The island’s coffee scene is as diverse as its geography. You will find everything from traditional Balinese coffee to sophisticated Western-style coffee shops. Bali’s traditional coffee, known for its robust flavor and thick texture, is a must-try. This coffee is often prepared using a method that allows the grounds to remain in the cup, creating a uniquely rich and full-bodied brew.

In contrast, Bali’s Western-style coffee shops cater to a more modern palate. Offering a variety of espresso-based beverages, artisanal blends, and single-origin coffees that highlight the global coffee culture. These cafes not only offer a space to enjoy high-quality coffee but also serve as social hubs where locals and travelers alike can mingle.

A noteworthy mention in Bali’s coffee landscape is Kopi Luwak, one of the world’s most unusual and coveted coffee varieties. Produced using beans that have been eaten and fermented in the digestive tract of the civet cat, Kopi Luwak is prized for its smooth, nuanced flavor profile. Despite its controversial production methods, it remains a sought-after experience for coffee connoisseurs visiting Bali.

Bali’s coffee scene truly offers an immersive experience into the world of coffee, from its traditional roots to modern innovations, making it one of the best places in the world to enjoy a cup of java.

11. Yoga/Wellness Retreats

Best Things to Do in Bali

Bali’s reputation as a world-renowned destination for yoga and wellness is well-deserved, offering a plethora of classes that cater to every level of practice. The island’s tranquil and serene environment provides the perfect backdrop for rejuvenation and self-discovery.

Among the myriad of options, Alchemy Yoga & Meditation Center in Ubud stands out as my personal favorite. This center offers a holistic approach to wellness, blending traditional practices with modern techniques to nurture both body and soul. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or new to the practice, visiting a yoga class or wellness center in Bali is an enriching experience not to be missed.

12. Rent a Scooter and Get Lost

Best Things to Do in Bali

One of the quintessential Bali experiences is renting a scooter and allowing yourself to get lost in the island’s less trodden paths. There’s something truly liberating about zipping through the lush landscapes, from the verdant rice paddies of Ubud to the rugged coastlines of Uluwatu, each turn revealing a new facet of Bali’s breathtaking beauty.

My most cherished memories of living in Bali are those spontaneous adventures on the back of my scooter, discovering hidden gems and soaking in the vibrant culture at my own pace. It’s an unparalleled way to connect with the island, feeling the breeze and the sun as you explore freely. However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety—ensure you’re comfortable with riding a scooter and always wear a helmet. Embrace the freedom, but ride responsibly for the most unforgettable exploration of Bali.

13. Balinese Massage

Best Things to Do in Bali

Bali is a sanctuary for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, with countless massage parlors and spas dotted across the island. Known for its traditional Balinese massage, a therapeutic technique that combines gentle stretches, acupressure, and aromatherapy to restore balance and calm the mind, Bali offers an unparalleled massage experience.

From luxurious spa resorts to quaint beachside huts, you’ll find an incredible array of options to suit any preference and budget. Indulging in a Balinese massage is a must-do activity, providing a blissful escape and a deep sense of wellness amidst the island’s tranquil surroundings.

Tips for Visiting Bali

Best Things to Do in Bali

Here are some essential tips for making the most out of your Bali adventure:

  1. Use Grab & GoJek: For convenient and cost-effective transportation, utilize Grab and GoJek apps. They offer rides, food delivery, and other services at local rates.
  2. Use Airalo e-SIMS for Data: Stay connected effortlessly with Airalo e-SIMs. They provide affordable data plans, allowing you to navigate and share your experiences without hefty roaming fees.
  3. Be Mindful of Heat/Weather: Bali’s tropical climate can be intense. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and dress in light clothing to enjoy your explorations comfortably.
  4. Venture Beyond the Tourist Spots: While iconic sites are a must-visit, Bali’s heart beats in its less-traveled paths. Discover hidden beaches, local villages, and untouched landscapes for a genuine experience.
  5. The Real Magic of Bali is Away from the Tourists: Engage with the local culture and people. Attend a village ceremony, dine at a local warung, and immerse yourself in the Balinese way of life for truly magical moments.
  6. Respect Local Customs and Traditions: Bali is rich in cultural heritage. Show respect by dressing modestly at religious sites and being mindful of local customs during your visits.
  7. Try Local Cuisine: Balinese cuisine is a flavorful journey. From savory nasi goreng to sweet dadar gulung, each dish offers a taste of the island’s diverse culinary landscape.
  8. Be Eco-conscious: Bali’s beauty is its bounty. Use refillable water bottles, avoid single-use plastics, and support eco-friendly businesses to help preserve the island’s natural charm.

By keeping these tips in mind, your visit to Bali can be as enriching for the soul as it is delightful for the senses. Embrace the island’s essence, explore with an open heart, and let Bali’s magic transform your travel experience.


As my journey through Bali’s enchanting landscapes and vibrant culture comes to a close, I’m reminded of why this island holds a piece of my soul. From the majestic temples to the tranquil beaches, every corner of Bali offers a story waiting to be discovered. With these tips and recommendations, I hope to have inspired your next adventure, ensuring your experience is as rich and fulfilling as the island’s own tapestry of life. Bali is more than a destination; it’s a feeling, one that stays with you long after you’ve left its shores.

Pin this Post for Later!

Complete Travel Guide to Bali Indonesia