Bali is hands-down one of our favorite places in the world. Though it is just one of the 17,800 islands that make up Indonesia, it is full of all Indonesia’s beauty. Breathtaking sunsets, idyllic beaches, captivating rice terraces, and a variety of cultures make Bali a destination you’ll want to add to your bucket list. Whether you are looking for adventure or trying to enjoy a relaxing vacation with the one you love, Bali has something for everyone. Below are our top 12 things to do in Bali, Indonesia!
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1. Ride the Waves in Keramas
Bali is known for its surf culture and long list of amazing surf beaches. Therefore no matter where you are in Bali, you are bound to see surfers wading in the water in search of the perfect wave.
One of the best places to surf on the island of Bali is Keramas Beach. Originally a locals spot, Keramas has recently become more popular due to its serene black sand beaches and perfect right breaking barrels. Keramas Beach is the perfect place for those, with experience, looking to have some fun in the water. Like anywhere in the world, Keramas experiences better waves depending on the season. For example, surf in Keramas Beach is typically the best during the beginning and end of both the dry and wet seasons.
If you are interested in spending some time in Keramas Beach, Kevin and I recommend staying at Hotel Komune. This hotel is beautiful, reasonably priced, and the staff is extremely friendly!
Protip: The Bali Pro 2018 was held in Keramas Beach from May 27th to June 9th!
2. Visit Uluwatu Temple
Located atop a steep 230-foot cliff, Uluwatu Temple is truly breathtaking. Though the temple itself is beautiful and known for being one of Bali’s “spiritual pillars,” it is the views that make this a must while exploring Bali.
Uluwatu Temple consists of a small forest inhabited by thousands of wild monkeys, a serpentine pathway allowing visitors to walk along the cliff, and beautiful Indian Ocean views. Visiting the temple typically takes about an hour and a half, however, for those interested in taking a lot of pictures and enjoying the sunset expect to be there closer to two or two and a half hours.
Protip: Watch out for the monkeys! Though they look cute, they will steal everything from your lunch to your sunglasses and cell phone!
3. Explore Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is an Indonesian island located just southeast of Bali. While visiting Bali, Kevin and I cannot recommend exploring Nusa Penida enough. The island is magical with so many beautiful beaches and places to see and it’s only a 30-minute ferry ride!
Broken Beach & Angels Billabong
Located on the west coast of Nusa Penida is Broken Beach and Angels Billabong, two of Nusa Penida’s most popular sightseeing destinations.
Broken Beach is a beautiful cove made up of stone walls that give way to an arch allowing water from the ocean to both enter and exit the cove. Unfortunately, there is no way down to the water making Broken Beach simply a place for sightseeing and not swimming.
Right around the corner, however, is a brilliant swimming hole and tide pool you won’t want to miss. Angels Billabong is a crystal clear tidepool that cascades into the bright blue ocean to the east. Here you can swim, hang out, or just enjoy the sites from above. Like all tidepools, Angels Billabong is greatly impacted by the tides, therefore, if you are hoping to swim make sure to visit during low tide otherwise the water may be too dangerous.
Protip: Getting to Angels Billabong and Broken Beach can be tricky by motorbike. Though the roads are improving, some of the roads to get to these destinations are dirt and quite treacherous.
In addition to Broken Beach and Angels Billabong, Nusa Penida is also home to the famous Kelingking Beach. Trust us when we tell you this is not a spot you’ll want to miss when exploring Nusa Penida! At the top of Kelingking Beach is a restaurant for those with a fear of heights who choose to enjoy the views from afar. For those who want to get a little closer, don’t worry you can. As you get closer to the cliff and the point there are a number of different views of Kelingking Beach that are worth checking out!
Interested in going down to the beach below? Go for it, though the hike down is not for the faint of heart! The trail is composed of bamboo railings and steps in some places. In other areas of the trail, there is nothing, that’s right no railing at all so we recommend being very careful. Additionally, once at the beach be very aware of the water when swimming. Kelingking Beach is known for its large beach break and can be very dangerous. Regardless of whether you swim or not, the white sandy beach is still worth checking out in our opinion.
Watch the Sunset at Crystal Bay
After a day of sightseeing, sit back and enjoy the sunset at Crystal Bay. Crystal Bay is a beautiful cove located on the west side of Nusa Penida. This cove is a great spot to relax and enjoy a cold one with friends, family, and/or other tourists.
4. Hang Out with Monkeys at Ubud Monkey Forest
Located in the center of Ubud, in the village of Padangtegal, is Ubud Monkey Forest. This forest spans over 30.8 acres and is home to over 186 different species of trees and about 700 monkeys. Ubud Monkey Forest is definitely somewhere Kevin and I recommend visiting while exploring Ubud. Hours can be spent roaming around the forest and watching the monkeys, its truly an experience like no other.
Ubud Monkey Forest is open daily from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Please note though that the ticket stands are only open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Entrance pricing varies whether you are an adult or a child. Tickets for adults cost 80,000 IDR (roughly $5.69 USD) and for children 60,000 IDR (roughly $4.26 USD).
Protip: The monkeys here are also known to jump on you and try to play. They also will steal your belongings if you are not paying attention. However, throughout the forest there are staff around to help you out if you need it.
5. Relax on the Beach in Canggu
It’s no secret Canggu is a coastal resort village with great surf and welcoming sandy beaches, so why not take some time to enjoy these beautiful beaches. While relaxing on Canggu’s beaches, feel free to either relax alone or join in on the fun at one of the many pool and beach bars.
Some of our favorite beach bars in Canggu are Finns Beach Club, The Lawn Beach Lounge, and my personal favorite La Brisa.
La Brisa is located beachfront on Echo Beach and is a great place for friends, couples, or singles just trying to enjoy the amazing weather. I personally spent an afternoon at La Brisa while Kevin enjoyed the surf. The staff and patrons of La Brisa were all very nice and super welcoming and the atmosphere was spectacular. Here I was able to read a few chapters of my book before chatting up some expats and making new friends!
6. Spend the Morning Wandering around Tegallalang Rice Terrace
It’s no secret Tegallalang Rice Terrace is one of Ubud’s most famous attractions. Along with jaw-dropping views, Tegallalang Rice Terrace is home to many open-air swings and the infamous “LOVE BALI” sign. Additionally, Tegallalang Rice Terrace surrounded by a number of beautiful hotels. Hours can be spent here exploring all the different levels and taking hundreds of photographs.
For those looking to have the place to yourselves, go early. Tour buses commonly arrive after 10:00 am so generally anytime after 10 the rice terraces are flooded with people. Officially, the terraces open daily at 7:00 am.
7. Become a Foodie in Seminyak
Seminyak is full of beautiful beaches, unique shopping, and you guessed it, great food. With both Asian and Australian influence, Seminyak offers wonderful food regardless of your palette.
Below are some of our favorite places to eat in Seminyak.
This place is simply a must. Open from 8:30 am to 12:00 am, The Bistrot is an award-winning English inspired restaurant located on Seminyak’s popular “Eat Street.” The Bistrot serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but is known to serve one of the best afternoon teas in Bali.
Our recommendations: Try the crab ravioli and the fried calamari, you literally can’t go wrong!
Protip: The Bistrot serves its food family style.
Though Wacho Burger is not located directly within Seminyak’s square, both Kevin and I still think it is a great place to eat while in Seminyak.
Open from 9:00 am until 10:00 pm, Wacko Burger is always serving up the best burgers in town. In addition to offering a number of burgers on their menu, Wacko Burger even allows customers to create their own burgers to guarantee each customer receives exactly what he or she wants!
Both Kevin and I created our own burgers so I can’t recommend any particular burger here but if you like onion rings we definitely recommend trying them at Wacko Burger.
Oh my goodness! This was hands down our favorite place to eat in Seminyak! Sisterfields is nothing short of amazing. Founded by an Australian expat, Sisterfields is known for its relaxed cafe “brunch” experience that Australians adore. For this reason, Sisterfields has become quite the hit for expats, locals, and tourists in the area!
Sisterfields, open daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, serves its modern-day “brunch” menu all day.
Our recommendations: Try the acai berry bowl, smashed avocado, pash me (smoothie), and purple dragon (smoothie).
Looking for the best healthy dessert in Seminyak? Head over to Mad Pops! Mad Pops is the best popsicle shop around. Mad Pops popsicles are made with local seasonal fruits, completely vegan, and all homemade. I mean want more could you want?
Popsicles here come in a number of flavors including vegan chocolate fudge, blackberry toasted coconut crunch, mango banana dragonfruit, strawberry banana, coconut caramelized banana with chocolate granola, and more.
Our recommendations: Try the avocado-lime coconut and mango strawberry!
Ku De Ta
Looking for a breakfast, lunch or dinner location with panoramic views of the ocean? Head over to Ku De Ta!
Ku De Ta has an exquisite restaurant as well as a great beach club for those looking to get a little rowdier. Open from 8:00 am to 2:00 am daily, Ku De Ta also hosts a variety of events such as White Party Supper Club, Glitterbox Box, KUDETA Christmas Lunch and more.
Our recommendations: Try the grilled swordfish loin, parmesan and sumac crusted pork, Moscow mule, and strawberry mojito.
8. Get your Picture Taken at Heaven’s Gate
Located at the top of Bisbis Hill, is another one of Bali’s famous attractions, Lempuyang Temple. Lempuyang Temple was founded in 11th century AD making it one of the oldest and most sacred temples on Bali.
The temple is open daily from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm for tourists and open 24-hours for those who are going to the temple to worship. To enter the temple you must provide a donation. Kevin and I gave about 25,000 IDR (what we paid for other temples we visited). In addition to a donation, you also must wear a sarong while exploring the temple. Sarongs can be rented for 10,000 IDR, less than one USD, or if you have your own feel free to bring it!
Kevin and I recommend visiting on a clear day in the morning before it gets crowded. However, if you don’t make it there early it is also beautiful at sunset.
Know before you go, temple rules:
- Your shoulders must be covered.
- You may not use drones.
- There is no kissing
9. Enjoy a Floating Breakfast
Many hotels and resorts in Bali offer guests their one of a kind floating breakfasts, so why not try it out during your visit? Bali’s famous floating breakfast includes eggs, toast, fresh-squeezed juices, a variety of fruits, coffee, tea, and more.
A few hotels/resorts that offer floating breakfasts include.
- Ayana Resort and Spa
- The Edge
- The Four Seasons
- Kamandalu Ubud Resort
- The Royal Purnama
- The Jimbaran Villa
- The Ritz Carlton
10. Grab Lunch with a View at Single Fin
For those coming to Bali for the surf, I am sure you won’t miss visiting Uluwatu and the famous Single Fin! Single Fin was started in 2008 and has been a hit for both locals and tourists ever since. Single Fin hits atop a cliff overlooking Uluwatu’s most famous surf spot.
Protip: Not into surfing, that’s okay Single Fin also offers some of the best sunset views around.
Single Fin is open daily from 8:00 am until 11:00 pm and does get very crowded during popular eating hours. That being said if you are hoping for a good seat out on the deck overlooking the water make sure to get there early or book a reservation!
Our recommendations: Try the margarita pizza, herb-crusted Mahi Mahi, edamame, a refreshing Bintang, and a Kelapa colada.
Protip: Not only are the food and views amazing, but the staff at Single Fin is also one of a kind!
11. Have some Drinks at Finns Beach Club
Looking for a fun place to hang out in Canggu? Check out the world’s best beach club, Finns! Finns is just about where everyone goes to have a good time while in Bali. Finns has four pools, nine different bars, and five restaurants. In addition to amazing food and drink options, Finns always has a great DJ helping the beach club come alive at all hours of the day. Finns in open daily from 9:00 am until 11:00 pm.
Daybeds range in price depending on your time of arrival, the number of people in your group, and whether you prebook or buy at the door. Generally, prices range from 650 IDR to 12,000 IDR, roughly $9.04 to $166.82 USD.
12. Visit Tirta Gangga Temple
Located an hour and a half from Ubud and only 20 minutes from Lempuyang Temple is Tirta Gangga Temple. Tirta Gangga Temple is a beautiful royal water garden with breathtaking landscapes, fountains, and ponds. Hours can be spent here walking along the water, feeding the koi fish, and discovering the culture.
Protip: Be careful while walking on the stepping stones, many have fallen in the water!
Tirta Gangga opens daily at 7:00 am. The entrance fee for Tirta Gangga is 30,000 IDR which is about $2.00 per person.
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Thinking about making your next vacation destination Bali. Let us help you plan! With so much to do and see on this beautiful island, planning can get stressful. That is why we have outlined the top 12 things to do in Bali, Indonesia.
- Ride the Waves in Karmas
- Visit Uluwatu Temple
- Explore Nusa Penida
- Hang Out with Monkeys at Ubud Monkey Forest
- Relax on the Beach in Canggu
- Spend the Morning Wandering around Tegallalang Rice Terrace
- Become a Foodie in Seminyak
- Get your Picture Taken at Heaven’s Gate
- Enjoy a Floating Breakfast
- Grab Lunch with a View at Single Fin
- Have some Drinks at Finns Beach Club
- Visit Tirta Gangga Temple
Something we forgot? Add a comment below, we would love to hear your favorite things to do and would love you receive recommendations for our itinerary for our next trip to Bali!