Things to do in Bali: 25 dreamy places to visit
Ready to discover 25 things to do in Bali, Indonesia? Let’s start!
1. Tegalalang Rice Fields
One of the most beautiful places in Bali is, without a doubt, the Tegalalang Rice Fields, located on the outskirts of Ubud. If this is the first time you are going to visit rice terraces, prepare to be amazed by the greenest landscape you have ever seen in your life. The best time to visit this place is at dawn: fewer people and less heat.
Around the rice fields you will find several cafeterias, shops and establishments with swings in which to take the typical photo. However, my recommendation is that, after enjoying the views of Tegalalang from the entrance, you go inside to walk the different paths that cross the rice fields.
Visiting Tegalalang is free, however, sometimes it is normal to find locals on the entrance stairs trying to sell you a ticket. Do not purchase an entrance ticket. Once inside the rice fields, you can come across farmers who asks you for a donation for letting you pass through his or her land, which seems fair to me.
2. Visit Ubud Monkey Forest, one of the best things to do in Bali
One of the best places to visit in Ubud is the Monkey Forest Sanctuary, a forest inhabited by hundreds of monkeys and more than 100 species of trees. Walk around the area, which is also home to several temples and fountains, as you observe the monkeys and how they interact with each other and the environment.
It is important to follow some basic rules, since the monkeys are a bit mischievous. They ask you not to carry bags, food, or valuables. Also, it is advisable not to look the monkeys in the eye, not to run and not to panic if a monkey jumps on you. Follow these recommendations to enjoy a very pleasant visit.
- Price Ubud Monkey Forest: 80.000 IDR (WEEKDAYS), 100.000 IDR (WEEKENDS).
- Schedule Ubud Monkey Forest: 9:00h – 18:00h.
3. Tirta Empul Temple and its purification ritual
One of the most traditional things to do in Bali is to visit the Tirta Empul Temple and bathe in the sacred waters of its central pool. Here, every day, locals and tourists practice the famous purification ritual. As you can already imagine, Tirta Empul is dedicated to the water god Vishnu and it is one of the most sacred temples in Bali.
It is strongly recommend that you go to the temple and explore each area whether you wish to perform the ceremony or not. You can find a special sense of serenity and spirituality there. You’ll return home feeling brand-new. If you want to do the ceremony, you can rent the necessary attire there and then, in exchange for a gift, allow yourself to be guided.
- Price Pura Tirta Empul: 50.000 IDR.
- Schedule Pura Tirta Empul: 8:00h – 18:00h.
4. Visit Campuhan Ridge Walk, one of the best things to do in Bali
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is one of the most famous ridges in Bali, and I fully understand why. Through a narrow stone path, you will be able to cross several hills covered with rice paddies and palm trees while enjoying beautiful views and letting yourself be carried away by the sounds of nature.
The entire path is just over 2 kilometers long. I recommend going at sunrise or sunset. At these times of the day, there are fewer people, the light is more beautiful and the heat is better since there are hardly any shadows. By the way, the visit to the Campuhan Ridge Walk is free.
5. Tanah Lot Temple
The Tanah Lot is one of the most important temples in Bali and one of the most visited. It is located on the southwest coast of the island, 10 km from Canggu. This temple is dedicated to the god of the sea and stands out for being built on an islet several meters from the coast. Depending on the tide, you can find it completely surrounded by water or connected to the mainland.
In any case, it is possible to approach the temple without entering. Don’t worry; the most beautiful thing about this place is to see the temple from afar. Sunset is the best time to visit the Tanah Lot Temple, although I warn you that it is also the busiest time of day. Sunrise is another great option. Batu Bolong Temple is also located in the area. I recommend visiting both temples.
- Price Tanah Lot: 60.000 IDR.
- Schedule Tanah Lot: 7:00h – 19:00h.
6. Watch the sunset in Echo Beach, Canggu
Canggu, along with Ubud and Uluwatu, is one of the best places to stay in Bali. The main reason why is because it has a wide selection of restaurants, shops, hotels, and it’s near the coast where you can enjoy incredible sunsets. On the other hand, Canggu doesn’t have many places to visit; however, it’s one of the best places in Bali to watch the sun set.
Among all its beaches, I recommend Echo Beach. Going to this beach to watch the sunset was one of my favorite plans when I lived in Bali. As I have done countless times, sit on one of the beanbags on the sand, order a drink and enjoy the view of the sea. If you are a surf lover, you can also take the opportunity to go catch some waves.
If you want a more exclusive experience, you can go to the beach club located on this same beach, called La Brisa Bali. The aesthetics of the place is very cool. In addition, it has a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Every Sunday morning they set up a market of local products. It is one of the things to do in Canggu!
7. Leke Leke, a natural work of art
One of the main attractions of Bali is its incredible nature. Among its natural wonders, we can highlight the waterfalls. One of my favorites, or maybe it’s just me, is Leke Leke waterfall, located right in the center of the island, around an hour’s drive from places like Ubud or Canggu.
Once you reach the entrance of the waterfall, you have to walk along a path through the jungle for about 15 minutes until you reach Leke Leke. It is a very pleasant walk. Leke Leke is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by walls covered with vegetation. It looks like something you can find on a postcard! At the entrance there is a restaurant and on the way you will also find a coconut stand.
- Price Leke Leke: 50.000 IDR.
- Schedule Leke Leke: 7:00h – 17:00h.
8. Nungnung, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali
Nungnung is one of the most stunning waterfalls in all of Bali. It is not only one of the most beautiful but also one of the highest. It is quite impressive, since the water falls with great force. If you get too close, you will get soaked; you have been warned! Another thing that I have to warn you about is that, to get there, you have to go down and then go 500 steps. I promise you that it is well worth it.
- Price Nungnung: 15.000 IDR.
9. Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
Now let’s talk about northern Bali, one of the most special areas of the island. Here you will be able to discover a different Bali, much calmer and fresher. Don’t forget to bring a jacket because it can get cold! One of the best places to visit in the north of Bali is Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, dedicated to the goddess of the lake and fertility, Dewi Danu.
Something that must be highlighted about this temple is its privileged location. It is located on the shores of Lake Bratan, in the town of Bedugul, in an area surrounded by mountains. When the water level is high enough, the temple appears to be floating. It is probably one of the most beautiful landscapes in Bali.
The best time to visit Ulun Danu Bratan Temple is at sunrise. If you want to enjoy a different perspective, I recommend you rent a boat and explore the waters that surround the lake. Very close to the temple, you can find the famous Handara Gate, one of the most famous places in Bali.
- Price Ulun Danu Bratan: 75.000 IDR.
- Schedule Ulun Danu Bratan: 7:00h – 19:00h.
10. Visit Sekumpul Waterfall, one of the best things to do in Bali
Other main tourist attractions in northern Bali are: Aling-Aling, Gitgit, Banyumala Twin Waterfalls, Red Coral, Banyu Wana Amertha… However, if a single waterfall has to be highlighted, it would be Sekumpul. If you visit this place, you can enjoy a path that crosses rivers and viewpoints until you reach this impressive waterfall, formed by three waterfalls.
Something I don’t like about Sekumpul is the business they have set up around it. Before, it was possible to visit it for free, but now they force you to go with a guide to go down to the waterfalls, something I don’t see as necessary. The cost of visiting the waterfall depends on the tour you choose:
– Viewpoint Entry: 20.000 IDR.
– Short Hike: 125.000 IDR.
– Long Hike: 200.000 IDR
Choosing one option over the other will depend on the time you have, the amount of money you want to spend and your desire to walk. The hike can be somewhat demanding in some sections. Regardless of all this, the waterfall is so beautiful that I couldn’t help but include it in my list of places to see in Bali.
If you decide to visit the waterfall, it may be worth booking this private tour to Sekumpul Waterfall. It is a 10-hour tour that also includes a visit to the Ulun Danu Bratan Temple. Price includes hotel pickup, transfers, guide, and entrance fees.
11. Jatiluwih Rice Fields
Despite being less known than the Tegalalang rice paddies, Jatiluwih can boast about being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These rice terraces are located in the north of Bali and offer a unique landscape to those who decide to visit them. At the access points, there are marked trails for a walk through the rice fields.
- Price Jatiluwih: 40.000 IDR.
12. Hike to the top of Mount Batur + sunrise
If you really enjoy hiking, I recommend hiking to the summit of Mount Batur, which is at an altitude of 1,717 meters. It is the second highest peak in Bali. The objective of this tour is to see the incredible sunrise from the top of this volcano, where you will have incredible views of Lake Batur and Mount Agung in the distance.
Now comes the hard part. To do this tour, you have to start the day at 2:00 in the morning, which is the time they’ll pick you up at your hotel, since the ascent begins very early. If you are interested in living this wonderful experience, you can book the Mount Batur sunrise tour here. Includes transfers, guide and breakfast. It has very good reviews!
If a morning walk is not your thing, you can book this 4×4 trip to Mount Batur.
13. Besakih, mother temple
At the base of Mount Agung rests the Mother Temple of Besakih, the most important in Bali. It is over a thousand years old and miraculously survived the tragic eruption of Agung in 1963. The complex is made up of a total of 23 temples, with the Pura Penataran Agung being the most important of all.
You can visit the temple on your own; however, my recommendation is that you hire a guide. In this way, you will be able to discover many facts and curiosities about Balinese culture. Another option is to book this tour to the Mother Temple of Besakih, which also includes a visit to other places in the area.
- Price Besakih Temple: 60.000 IDR.
- Schedule Besakih Temple: 8:00h – 18:00h
14. Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Tukad Cepung will be the last waterfall I’ll name in this Bali travel guide. It is one of the most unique waterfalls on the island; therefore, I recommend you visit the place. It stands out for its incredible location, located between a series of caves and canyons, which creates a very unique landscape. Around 10:00 in the morning, the sun’s rays illuminate the waterfall. It’s very beautiful!
This waterfall is located in the Sidemen region, one of the greenest and most peaceful on the island. From the parking lot, you have to walk about 15 minutes to reach it.
- Price Tukad Cepung: 15.000 IDR.
- Schedule Tukad Cepung: 8:00h – 18:00h.
15. Lempuyang Temple and the famous Gates of Heaven
Pura Lempuyang is one of the most well-known temples in Bali. You have undoubtedly seen numerous times the classic reflection of a Balinese gate with Mount Agung in the distance. The “Gates of Heaven” is a section of the Lempuyang Temple, which is made up of multiple temples that were constructed at various heights.
If you decide to visit Lempuyang Temple, I recommend that you be there first thing in the morning. If you don’t, your experience in this place will not be as good as it could be, as there is a huge line of tourists who want to take the classic photo. Trust me, get up early and enjoy the true essence of this temple.
- Price Lempuyang Temple: 100.000 IDR.
- Schedule Lempuyang Temple: 6:00h – 19:00h.
16. Tirta Gangga Temple
Let’s talk about the Tirta Gangga Temple, another of Bali’s most stunning places, which is likewise situated in eastern Bali. It is a historic royal palace that was constructed in 1946 and is filled with gardens, swimming pools, and fountains. The most well-known location in this palace is a fountain with stone tiles that you can walk through to get a close-up look at the fish in the temple’s pond.
- Price Tirta Gangga: 50.000 IDR.
- Schedule Tirta Gangga: 8:00h – 17:00h.
17. Visit Amed, one of the best things to do in Bali
Amed is, in my opinion, one of the most magical places in Bali. It is a small fishing village located on the east coast of the island. It stands out for its calm waters, which are ideal for taking a relaxing bath or snorkeling. Another of the strengths of this charming town is that it has wonderful views of Mount Agung.
There are numerous hotels and restaurants despite the fact that it is a less popular tourist destination. However, there isn’t nearly as much traffic here as there is in Ubud or Canggu. On the other hand, it is a spot where you can find peace. To experience this peace, I advise you to stay in Amed for at least one night.
18. Lahangan Sweet, views of Mount Agung
One of my latest discoveries in Bali was Lahangan Sweet, a viewpoint with stunning views of Mount Agung located not far from Amed. The most popular point of this place is a wooden platform built next to the trunk of a tree. From here, you can enjoy one of the best sunsets on the island.
Please follow the instructions in your maps app to reach Lahangan Sweet. When you get there, park your motorcycle next to the street and begin strolling along the trail. It splits at a certain point, therefore you must turn to the right. The journey there takes roughly 20 minutes.
19. Bias Tugal Beach, a real paradise
If you fancy spending a morning or afternoon of water, sun, and sand at a local beach, I recommend going to Bias Tugal Beach, also known as Secret Beach. This is located in the Balinese town of Padang Bai, an ideal place for snorkeling excursions. Bias Tugal Beach is not a very popular beach among tourists, yet it is one of the most beautiful beaches I have visited in Bali.
If you decide to go to this beach, you will find turquoise waters and white sand. In addition, you can rent sun loungers with an umbrella and there are several stalls where you can buy drinks and food. From the parking lot, you have to walk about ten minutes to reach the beach.
- Price Bias Tugal Beach: 10.000 IDR.
20. Melasti Beach
Let’s head to Uluwatu, another of the most famous regions of the island. What stands out most about Uluwatu are its magnificent beaches, perfect for bathing, sunbathing or surfing. One that I recommend you visit if you want to enjoy very beautiful and calm waters is Melasti Beach. In addition, it has all the necessary services: sun lounger rental, local restaurants, beach clubs, etc.
Unlike other beaches in Uluwatu, accessing Melasti Beach does not require much effort, since it can be reached by motorbike. You have to pay a small fee to go down with your vehicle and park next to the beach.
21. Nyang Nyang Beach, surrounded by a huge cliff
Nyang Nyang is another one of the best beaches in Bali and is also located in Uluwatu. If you visit it, you will find an extensive and wild beach sheltered by a huge cliff covered in vegetation. Unlike other beaches, such as Melasti Beach, Nyang Nyang hardly has any services. There is only a small bar at one end of the beach.
Apart from going down to the beach and bathing, be sure to go up to the cliff that surrounds the beach, since the views are truly incredible. By the way, a few years ago, you had to go down a large set of stairs to get to this beach, but now it is accessible by motorbike.
22. Uluwatu Temple
You must visit Uluwatu Temple while in Bali, which is located on a 70-meter cliff. The surroundings are extremely beautiful. Since there is a well-known Kecak show, a traditional Balinese dance, every day at 6:00 p.m., I recommend arriving just before sundown. You can purchase tickets in advance for this performance here.
- Price Uluwatu Temple: 30.000 IDR.
- Schedule Uluwatu Temple: 7:00h – 19:00h.
23. Thomas Beach, turquoise water and white sand
This beach is one of the beaches that I highly recommend visiting in Bali. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. It is not as crowded as other beaches in Uluwatu, and yet it is a real beauty. It will be that many decide to stay on the famous neighboring beach of Padang Padang. This one is also very pretty but it is always packed with people.
You will find an extensive beach of white sand and turquoise waters, ideal for escaping the heat of Indonesia and enjoying a great bath. For greater comfort, it is possible to rent sun loungers. There are also paddle boards available. If you get hungry or thirsty, don’t worry. On the same beach, there are several local restaurants.
24. Bingin Beach
Here is one more beach suggestion: Bingin Beach. This beach is one of the best places to visit in Uluwatu and the ideal location if you want to spend the afternoon by the sea. What’s unique about this beach is that businesses have been constructed at various heights on the sheltering cliff. Hotels, pubs, and restaurants can be found among them.
25. Visit Nusa Islands, one of the best things to do in Bali
Nusa Penida is an island located off the eastern coast of Bali, along with Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. All of them are beautiful and unique; therefore, if you have enough time, I recommend you visit them. Nusa Penida is the wildest of the three and has authentic natural wonders, such as Kelingking Beach or Diamond Beach. Do not miss everything to see in Nusa Penida.
I recommend you spend at least one or two nights in Nusa Penida. If you have fewer days, you can book this organized tour to Nusa Penida. On the other hand, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, which are connected by a small yellow bridge, are much more peaceful. They are a great destination if you are looking to spend a few relaxing days on the beach.
Where to stay in Bali
One of the most important steps when planning a trip to Bali is choosing your place or places to stay. As you have seen, the places that I recommend visiting are spread throughout the island, therefore, it is advisable to stay in a central area and take day trips from there. In this case, I would recommend areas like Ubud or Canggu.
Another option is to change hotels every few nights. If you have enough time to do this, you can also spend a few nights in Amed (to visit the east), Munduk (to visit the north) or Uluwatu. I also recommend you book a night in one of the best hotels in Bali. You can enjoy an incredible stay!
Below, I recommend several hotels located in different areas of Bali:
- Ubud: Buda Cottage Ubud ($), Raditya Villa Ubud ($$), The Udaya ($$$).
- Canggu: Asung Guesthouse ($), Maylie Bungalows ($$), Kano Canggu ($$$).
- Amed: Bubu Racok Homestay ($), Bali Dive Resort ($$), Nalini Resort ($$$).
- Munduk: Adila Warung and Homestay ($), Lesong Hotel and Restaurant ($$), Munduk Moding Plantation ($$$).
- Uluwatu: Telaga Sari Bingin ($), Oceanna ($$), Hari Indah Hotel & Spa ($$$).
Map of things to do in Bali
In the following map, I have indicated all the places to visit in Bali (Indonesia) that I have mentioned in the previous sections. In addition, I have also marked other things to see and do in Bali. You will also find the hotels that I recommend in each of the different areas, with their respective links to Booking.
Do not miss my Indonesia travel guide if you are planning a trip to this country.
I hope this article on the best things to do in Bali has been very useful when planning your visit to this magical Indonesian island. If you think I should add another place to this list or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send email me. Enjoy your trip!