Tyler Indonesia 5 Comments

Bali, an enchanting island located in Indonesia, is a tropical paradise renowned for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. Visit the rice terraces, relax on its pristine beaches, visit the ornate temples, and learn more about the Balinese culture…these all top the list of the best things to do in Bali.

With its blend of natural beauty, cultural wonders, and modern amenities, Bali is a joy to visit. It’s a great spot to visit for budgets of all sizes and perfect for those in search of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and time on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

In this guide, we share with you the best things to do on Bali with tips to help you plan your experience.

While visiting Bali be mindful that many of the tourist sites (temples, mountains, etc.) are considered sacred. People visiting these sites are expected to act and dress in a manner that is respectful to local culture and customs.

Overview of Bali

Bali is one of over 17,500 islands that make up the archipelago of Indonesia, and it may be the most famous. It’s the only island in Indonesia that is primarily Hindu and it is an excellent hub of culture and adventure.

Up north in Bedugul, you’ll travel off-the-beaten-path and hunt for the island’s best waterfalls, such as Banyumala and Sekumpul. The town itself is situated between several lakes that rest under looming peaks. Travel up here for some spectacular views!

To the east, the peaks of Mount Batur and Mount Agung rise up from an ancient caldera. Swing by some of the most prominent Hindu temples such as Besakih Great Temple, Tirta Gangga, and Pura Lempuyang.

Central Bali is the perfect spot to unwind and take everything in. Here you’ll explore vast rice fields such as Tegalalang and the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, wander through the town of Ubud, and visit the Sacred Monkey Forest.

Southern Bali features the best beaches on the island, such as Balangan Beach, Uluwatu Beach, and Melasti Beach. Don’t forget to enjoy coastal views at Uluwatu Temple.

Nusa Penida is a smaller island accessible via a 45-minute-long ferry. Making the time to visit Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, and Diamond Beach is well worth it.

Pura Lempuyang Bali | Best Things to Do in Bali

Pura Lempuyang with Mount Agung in the background | Best Things to Do in Bali

Best Things to Do in Bali

In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Bali. At the end of this list you can see all of them on a map.

1. Banyumala Twin Waterfall

Visiting Banyumala was one of our favorite experiences on the island. Towering at a height of roughly 26 meters, this waterfall is both impressive and one of the best instagrammable spots in Bali. It’s not as popular as some of the other nearby falls, so you may have the entire place to yourself. Banyumala is also two waterfalls that converge in the same pool. Talk about a great spot for a swim!

Banyumala Waterfall | Best Things to Do in Bali

Banyumala Twin Waterfalls | Best Things to Do in Bali


Tyler Waterfall

There is a small parking lot that’s a 10 minute walk to the actual falls. On the way you’ll pass a small concession stand where you can pay the entry fee. Further on is a steep staircase down to the falls which can be slippery when wet. We arrived at 9 am and had the entire place to ourselves. If you’re planning on having a photoshoot here, we recommend getting here early in the morning. You’ll have great lighting and minimal crowds.

Hours: 8am-6pm
Cost: 25K IDR

2. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

This picturesque temple sits right on Lake Beratan. Situated right off the main road, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple (also called Pura Ulun Danu Beratan) is very easy to reach and well worth your time. You get stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountainside. There is also a small park and other minor temples situated within the campus, allowing you to make the most of your money.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple | Best Things to Do in Bali

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple | Best Things to Do in Bali

Hours: 7am-7pm
Cost: 75K IDR

3. Sekumpul Waterfall

Sekumpul Waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Bali and one of the most impressive. We never made it here due to closures from the national Nyepi Day holiday, but we wish we could have.

This hidden gem is nestled deep within the rainforest and is roughly 3 times the height of Banyumala. Visitors will have a brief walk from the carpark to reach the viewpoint of Sekumpul Waterfall. From here, you have the option to hike down to the base of Sekumpul and visit other, smaller “hidden” falls. You may be pressured to hire a guide upon purchasing tickets, but a guide is not necessary or worth the extra money.

Sekumpul Waterfall | Best Things to Do in Bali

Sekumpul Waterfall | Elizaveta Galitckaia/shutterstock.com

Most visitors daytrip to Sekumpul from Ubud, where it is roughly a 2 hour drive one way. We instead recommend staying in Bedugul, a small mountain town that sits between several large lakes. Use Bedugul as a “home-base” if you’re planning on visiting several waterfalls in the area. Sekumpul is located roughly an hour away from other waterfalls such as Banyumala and Aling-Aling. If you’re staying in Bedugul, you can drastically reduce travel times and allocate more time to seeing the waterfalls.

Hours: 8am-5pm
Cost: Viewpoint 20K IDR, Sekumpul & Hidden Falls 125K IDR, Sekumpul, Hidden Falls, & Fiji Falls 250K IDR

4. Aling-Aling & Nearby Waterfalls

Growing up my parents always asked me “would you jump off a cliff if all your friends did?” While I’d always say “no” to please them, today my answer has soundly changed.

On visiting Aling-Aling waterfall and the waterfalls that are located next to it, we were expecting some spectacular views and maybe a bit of a swim. However, we were met with something a whole lot more exciting: cliff jumps and a giant waterfall slide.

This was my favorite experience out of the 10 days I spent in Bali, due to the adrenaline rush that you can’t get anywhere else on the island. There are 3 cliff jumps to attempt, all of varying heights, with the last one standing at a whopping 15 meters high. For all the jumps there is a tiny ledge for daring visitors to jump off from, and below lies a deep pool of water. There is also an 8-meter-tall waterfall slide.

Upon entry, you’ll hire a guide that will show you around the area and assist you on the waterfall slide. Our guide was fantastic, and this wouldn’t have been my favorite experience if it weren’t for him. Life jackets are provided for the waterfall slide so you don’t damage your back.

Aling Aling Waterfall Slide | Best Things to Do in Bali

Kroya Waterfall Slide | Best Things to Do in Bali


Aling Aling Waterfall Jump

Cliff jump in front of Kroya Waterfall

 Tyler Rivenbark

10 meter jump at Kembar Waterfall


Aling Aling Waterfall | Best Things to Do in Bali

We also did the 15 meter jump from Pucuk Waterfall, but we don’t have photos to share, unfortunately (but you can see a video of it on our Guide to the Aling-Aling Waterfalls). It was exhilarating! 

Visit this group of waterfalls was such an epic experience that we recommend anyone to make the time to visit. Even if you don’t consider yourself an adrenaline junky, there is still plenty of fun to be had.

Hours: 8am-5pm
Cost: 125K IDR (includes guide, which is required)

5. Handara Gate

Flocked by thousands of tourists every year, Handara Gate has become a bit of a tourist trap. The gate is iconic, yes, but we found that the whole experience is not worth it. When we visited in late March, we found a very slow-moving line of people waiting to get their photo taken. After waiting in line for over 30 minutes, we quickly snapped our photos before moving on.

We found that the gate was a lot more underwhelming than it appeared in the photos. This fact, along with the crowds of people, made it a poor experience. However, the gate is very easy to get to if you’re visiting other sites around Bedugul, and the design of the gate is impressive. There is also an employee that can snap your photo if you do not have your own camera. We still recommend checking it out but beware of the crowds. We arrived around sunset, which is when the gate may be most crowded.

Cost: 30K IDR

Handara Gate Bali | Best Things to Do in Bali

Handara Gate | Best Things to Do in Bali

6. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Located in central Bali, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces may be one of the most scenic locations on the entire island. Massive rice fields stretch out for as far as the eye can see, framed by several of Bali’s largest volcanoes in the background. Jatiluwih is an underrated site that doesn’t get a lot of attention from tourists, which I found shocking due to its stunning beauty.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces | Edmund Lowe Photography/shutterstock.com

The best time to visit is from February to April as the rice stalks will be in full bloom. We recommend visiting either at sunrise or sunset for the best views and minimal tourists. While here, soak in the views and wander the fields. The area is so expansive that you could spend hours hiking. If interested in learning more about hiking, check out this article.

Hours: 8am-6pm
Cost: 40K IDR

7. Enjoy One of Many Bali Swings

There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. Photos of people swinging out over the countryside have become popular on social media in recent years. There are several large-scale locations that offer all kinds of different swings, but I found this to be a giant tourist trap and waste of both time and money.

You can find better, more secluded swings all throughout the island, such as at Tegalalang or the northern waterfalls.

Check to make sure there is somebody nearby before swinging at a private location. As this can be private property, it’s most important to respect the local’s space. It is likely that, at these smaller sites, you will need to pay a tiny fee to go for a swing (~15K IDR). For the photos and a good bit of fun, this is definitely worth it.

Bali Swing | Best Things to Do in Bali

8. Tegallalang Rice Terraces

The rice terraces at Tegallalang may be one of the most picturesque spots on the island. When planning a trip to Bali, a trip is incomplete without a view of this terraced valley. We visited at the late end of the rainy season in March, so everything had a lush green color, and the rice plants were in full bloom.

There are plenty of different areas of Tegallalang that are worth your visit. Some spots offer extraordinary views and others may feature a signature swing. Visitors are welcome to wander this UNESCO site at their own leisure and may have to pay tiny entrance fees that go towards supporting the local infrastructure.

Tegalalang Rice Terraces | Best Things to Do in Bali

Tegallalang Rice Terraces | Best Things to Do in Bali


Tegalalang Bali

Tegalalang | Best Things to Do in Bali

Hours: 7am-6pm
Cost: 25K IDR

9. Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul is a sacred Hindu Balinese water temple located only a few miles from Tegallalang. The main draw of this temple is its pools of holy water and spiritual influence. Visitors will travel to bathe in the water, taking part in a cleansing ritual for self-purification. Whether you’re an active practitioner or not, anyone is welcome within these pools.

Tirta Empul | Best Things to Do in Bali

Tirta Empul Temple | Best Things to Do in Bali


Tirta Empul Koi Pond

The temple itself isn’t very large and may only take you five minutes to wander the full thing. Your length of stay will be determined by your choice to take part in the purification ritual. If interested in entering the pools (which is something we strongly recommend), there are sarongs to rent at the temple for 10K IDR.

Hours: 8am-6pm
Cost: 50K IDR, 10K extra for a sarong

10. Besakih Great Temple

The largest Balinese Hindu temple, the Besakih Great Temple, must be on any traveler’s to-see list. It’s a giant complex of smaller shrines and temples that can only be described as impressive. Besakih is also the oldest and holiest temple on the island, rightfully being nicknamed “The Mother Temple”. Located near Mount Agung, the highest peak in Bali, you are treated to spectacular views of the volcano and surrounding countryside.

Besakih Temple | Best Things to Do in Bali

Besakih Temple | Best Things to Do in Bali

 Besakih Temple Statue

Besakih Temple Steps

Since Besakih is such a massive site and draws thousands of tourists, there are also plenty of scammers. An entry ticket will cover the cost of a provided sarong and guide. However, there will be locals trying to rent you sarongs or guides may demand outrageous tips. As pushy as they may seem, respectfully ignore the scammers and stick with the provided services on your ticket. Tips are not mandatory for guides, but for the officials who lead you through the temple, a tip here would be generous.

Hours: 8am-6pm
Cost: 60K IDR

11. Tirta Gangga

The water gardens at Tirta Gangga are a unique spectacle that is almost always flocked by tourists. The former palace-turned-sanctuary is famous for its array of fountains and stepping stones which have caught the eye of photographers over the past couple years.

When I visited in March of 2023, I found it to be packed with hundreds of visitors all attempting to get their perfect photo. The only problem was that practically every stepping stone was occupied by someone, making it impossible to grab a half-decent shot.

Although it can be considered a tourist trap, a visit to Tirta Gangga may still be worth it for you. It’s a beautiful sanctuary that is also conveniently located near other great locations to visit. The site is located near the eastern shores of Bali and a short drive from the base of Mount Agung. If you’re patient, arrive at a less popular time of day (near opening and closing), or if you’re just very lucky, you may get the perfect photo you’re looking for.

Tirta Gangga Bali | Best Things to Do in Bali

Tirta Gangga | Best Things to Do in Bali

 Tirta Gangga

Tirta Gangga Temple | Best Things to Do in Bali

Hours: 8am-5pm
Cost: 50K IDR

12. Pura Lempuyang

When planning your trip to Bali, chances are you’ve seen a photo at this iconic Balinese gate. The Gate of Heaven frames Mount Agung, and in some pictures you can see a perfectly reflective pool of water. Spoiler Alert! The reflective pool of water you may have seen in photos is actually an optical illusion created through clever photography.

Pura Lempuyang is another beautiful temple that has fallen victim to large crowds in recent years. I found that the gate itself was stunning, but not nearly as impressive as in the photos. Similar to Handara, there is a massive queue of people waiting to have their photo taken, creating queue times upwards of 3 hours long! When I visited in the early-evening, I had over 100 people ahead of me in line.

Pura Lempuyang is worth it IF you’re willing to simply admire the Gate of Heaven and smaller temples in the complex (which are still cool to see), or if you consider yourself extremely patient. Photos are best at sunset but expect massive crowds. If you want to beat the crowds you’ll need to arrive before opening, which could be a pretty early wakeup given where you are staying.

Pura Lempuyang

Pura Lempuyang | Best Things to Do in Bali

 Pura Lempuyang Steps

Gate of Heaven Bali

Gate of Heaven | Best Things to Do in Bali

There is a large carpark at the base of the temple. From here, you’ll ride a shuttle up to Pura Lempuyang and purchase your entry tickets. You cannot drive your own vehicle up to the temple, you must take the shuttle or walk (it’s a steep 40-minute uphill walk). Your entry ticket will include a sarong that you must wear on temple grounds.

Hours: 7am-5pm
Cost: 45K IDR (shuttle) & 55K IDR (entry)
Get more information on the official website.

13. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is one of the most popular attractions in Bali. This nature reserve houses hundreds of monkeys that freely roam the collection of forested temples. A major highlight for us was getting up close with a few of the monkeys under the guidance of a park guide.

Cam with Monkey

The monkeys will not harm you unless they are given reason. Don’t feed them and be careful about what you bring into the park. They will mistake paper/plastic bags to be holding food and will try to steal whatever is inside. We even learned not to open our own backpacks as that could draw similarly unwanted attention.

There are more than monkeys to see at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Much to our delight, there are several temples to visit. The highlight of the temples are the carvings of monkeys, frogs, and other strange looking animals, all looking somewhat ferocious and menacing. Their moss-covered bodies made the temples seem mystical and otherworldly, like we were out in the middle of the jungle even though we were in downtown Ubud.

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary Ubud

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary | Best Things to Do in Bali


Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary Photo

Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud

Hours: 9am-6pm
Cost: Adult 80K IDR, Child 60K IDR.
Get more information on the official website.

14. Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot rests on a small outcropping by the shore and is famous for it’s romantic setting and sunsets. At low tide, you can walk out to the base of the temple, but tourists are not allowed to enter. Despite this fact, it has remained one of the most popular attractions in Bali, and I’d consider it to be 100% worth it.

There is a park that rests up on the cliff above that viewers can enter. Wander the cliff edge and admire the waves crashing against the temple’s base. Come here at sunset for some absolutely stunning pictures but be wary of crowds.

Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot | Sergii Figurnyi/shutterstock.com

Hours: 7am-7pm
Cost: Adult 60K IDR, Child 30K IDR.
Get more information on the official website.

15. Uluwatu Temple

This Balinese Hindu temple provides scenic views of the surrounding cliffs and is also an excellent hub of unexpected entertainment. The temple is perched atop a cliff that overlooks the southwestern shores, making for some incredible views.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple | Best Things to Do in Bali

The main attraction for us, however, were the monkeys that roamed the temple. These guys were surprisingly bold, stealing hats and sunglasses right off visitors’ heads! Luckily, the monkeys are more curious than aggressive, so keep a tight grip on your belongings here.

You cannot enter the very top of the temple unless for prayer. I learned that the shots I saw online of the temple were all via drone, which is now banned. Instead of grabbing the perfect shot of the temple, I instead admired the coastline and watched the monkeys wreak havoc on unsuspecting tourists.

You will receive a sarong with your entry ticket, which is required at the temple. The temple also hosts a Kecak dance performance daily at 6pm (150K IDR per adult). If you have the time, check it out!

Hours: 7am-7pm
Cost: Adult 50K IDR, Child 30K IDR

16. Uluwatu Beach

From great restaurants, stunning views, and fantastic surf, Uluwatu Beach (also called Blue Point Beach) has it all. The cliffside is terraced with restaurants and shops that overlook the water below. Wander the paths, shop at a few vendor stalls, and enjoy the secluded beach that rests below. If you’re into surfing, Uluwatu Beach has some of the best surf in all of Bali.

We spent our time here soaking up the views at Single Fin, a restaurant located at the top of the cliffside.

Uluwatu Beach | Best Things to Do in Bali

Uluwatu Beach | Best Things to Do in Bali


Lunch in Bali

Lunch at Single Fin

17. Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida Island

Many of those who plan a trip to Bali fail to consider day tripping out to the nearby island of Nusa Penida. In my opinion, Kelingking Beach is the most scenic beach in the region, more so than any of the beaches in Bali. When visiting it felt as if I’d been transported back to Krabi, Thailand. If that’s not reason enough to make the trip, I don’t know what is.

At Kelingking Beach, visitors can walk down the picturesque steps to the beach below. It is a long walk, so make sure you bring some water on a hot day. 

Kelingking Beach | Best Things to Do in Bali

Kelingking Beach | Best Things to Do in Bali

How to Get to Nusa Penida:

The only way to get to Nusa Penida from Bali is by boat. By ferry, it takes 45 minutes to travel to Nusa Penida. The ferry departs from Sanur Beach, located 45 minutes from Ubud. You can visit Nusa Penida on your own, but we’d recommend booking a tour if you’re planning on day tripping. It’s a bit more expensive but eliminates a ton of unwanted hassle.

We booked with Four Elements and had a wonderful experience. They provided transportation from our resort to & from the Sanur harbor, as well as a guide that drove us around the western side of Nusa Penida.

Another option is to travel by ferry to Nusa Penida and hire a private driver for the day. This allows you to travel on your own schedule and visit only the sights you want to see.

This full day tour of Nusa Penida includes your transportation to Nusa Penida in a fast boat, your entry tickets, and visits to some of the most scenic spots on the island.

If you have the time, we recommend spending a night on Nusa Penida as there is so much to see. We only had time for the day tour that covered the western end, but people also rave about the eastern end of the island. Spend 2 days here, see both ends and decide which region you prefer most!



18. Visit a Coffee Plantation

Bali singlehandedly turned me into a coffee drinker. Before traveling here, visiting a coffee plantation would never have made my itinerary. One day our driver spontaneously asked us if we’d like to visit a plantation to taste some local coffee & tea. Although hesitant, I kept an open-mind and went along with the experience.

We arrived for the tasting session at this quaint house out in the countryside. The woman working there came out with a tray of 16 tiny cups, each with a different flavor. Each and every one of them was delicious. So much so that I immediately purchased several bags of coffee grounds to take home. Sitting out in the countryside and sipping on tasters was one of the highlights of my trip.

When in Bali, you must make time to visit a nearby plantation. It’s a phenomenal experience for visitors who could use a nice burst of energy during their day. You’ll find various plantations across the island, but we recommend the Abian Kusuma Sari Coffee Plantation).

Bali Coffee Plantation

Bali Coffee Plantation | Best Things to Do in Bali


Bali Coffee Tasting

Coffee and tea tasting | Best Things to Do in Bali

19. Surf at Balangan Beach

The first time I visited Bali back in 2015, I spent a week in Seminyak. Expecting a beautiful white sand beach, I was disappointed to see it run down and covered in trash.

8 years later, I finally found what I was looking for. Balangan beach is stunning. It’s much more secluded and lesser known, giving it some charm. This golden sand beach is nestled at the bottom of a short cliff, with parking lots located close above.

Go for a swim in the pristine water, then unwind under an umbrella and sip a cocktail. We spent hours here surfing the waves and had a perfect day for it. A few hours at Balangan beach may end up being the highlight of your trip.

Balangan Beach

Balangan Beach | Best Things to Do in Bali

20. Melasti Beach

Looking for a beautiful, lesser-known beach with golden sands and turquoise waters? Look no further than Melasti Beach, located on Bali’s southern shores. This beach is perfect for a swim, where you’re treated to beautiful views of the surrounding limestone cliffs.

Melasti Beach

Melasti Beach | Olexandr Taranukhin/shutterstock.com


Melasti Beach

Melasti Beach | Iriskarightnow/shutterstock.com

Bali Mountain Ban – Plans to do the Mount Batur Sunrise Hike?

The Mount Batur sunrise hike is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bali, as well as one of the most scenic sunrise hikes in the world. However, the Governor of Bali has issued an immediate ban on all mountain activities across the island, beginning on May 31 2023. This is due to foreign tourists damaging the sacredness of Bali’s most prominent and holy mountains, with some polluting or posing naked in photos.

After two weeks, tours of the Mount Batur hike resumed, so it still remains to be seen if and how this Bali mountain ban will be enforced. Currently, it looks as if you can still hike Mount Batur but this could change at any time.

You can only experience this excursion with a tour guide; self guided hikes are not allowed. Also, bans on recreational activities on Bali’s mountains (including hiking) can occur. So stay in touch with your tour operator ahead of your trip to make sure your tour hasn’t been cancelled.

Learn more about this hike in our guide to the Mount Batur Sunrise Hike.

Mount Batur Sunrise Hike

Mount Batur Sunrise Hike

With More Time: More Things to Do in Bali

Mount Batur Hot Springs. Just a 15-minute drive from Mount Batur, these hot springs are the perfect place to relax after a busy morning. Here you’ll find a collection of heated infinity pools that are essentially giant hot tubs.

Mount Batur Hot Springs

Mount Batur Hot Springs | Best Things to Do in Bali

Jimbaran Beach for sunset dinner. Check out the nearby fish market, where locals will prepare you a fresh selection of the day’s catch.

Jimbaran Beach | Best Things to Do in Bali

Jimbaran Beach | Best Things to Do in Bali

Gitgit Waterfall. One of the most impressive waterfalls in Bali. There are 2 sites that showcase different segments of the waterfall. One hosts a small pool to swim in, and the other reveals Gitgit’s full power.

Git Git Waterfall

Gitgit Waterfall | Best Things to Do in Bali

Wanagiri Hidden Hill Lookout. This viewpoint offers a stunning view out at Bedugul and the surrounding lakes and mountains.

Wanagiri Hidden Hill Lookout | Best Things to Do in Bali

Wanagiri Hidden Hill Lookout | Best Things to Do in Bali

GWK Festival Park. Visit this giant sculpture park to learn more about Balinese culture. One of the main attractions is the immense Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue, which stands at 121 meters tall. It’s so large you can see it from Jimbaran Beach! Find out more here.

Places to Skip in Bali

When traveling through Bali, do not waste your time visiting the beaches around the airport, primarily Kuta Beach. A lot of tourists, myself included, make the mistake of staying there since it’s a convenient location and the photos online depict it differently than it really is. The resorts there are all really nice, but the area is trashy and way too touristy. The beaches are rundown and are littered with trash.

If you want better beaches, visit the area around Uluwatu or Nusa Penida. If you want a great resort that offers a more personal experience in the heart of Bali, stay directly outside Ubud.

Our Top 10 Favorite Things to Do in Bali

  • Aling-Aling & the nearby waterfalls (waterfall slides and cliff jumps)
  • Banyumala Waterfall
  • Mount Batur sunrise hike
  • Surfing at Balangan Beach
  • Purification Ritual at Tirta Empul
  • Visiting a coffee plantation
  • Wandering Tegalalang Rice Terraces
  • Day tripping to Nusa Penida Island
  • Eating and watching the surfers at Uluwatu Beach
  • Unwinding in the Mount Batur hot springs

Best Things to Do in Bali: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

How to Get Around Bali

The roads of Bali are a nightmare to traverse. Local drivers take a more relaxed style to traffic laws and lanes are non-existent. There almost always will be traffic (don’t expect to crack 20miles/32km per hour in urban areas), and the roads can be described as “organized chaos.”

Knowing this, always allocate more time to traverse the island as you will most likely get caught in a slowdown. The time estimates on Google Maps are pretty accurate (but add 15-30 minutes just in case).

Private Driver

This is the easiest and safest way to traverse the island, but also the most expensive. This was how we traveled between sites every day of our trip.

You can hire a driver with GetYourGuide and prices average out to roughly $50 to $65 USD to have a driver for 10 hours for a group of five people.

If you simply need to hire a transfer between two locations on Bali (for example, Ubud and Seminyak) you can also do that through GetYourGuide.

With a private driver, you have the freedom to select when and where you want to travel. They are there to make the most of your trip, and from my experience they were some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. We booked with Bali Hire Driver and had no issues. Ask for Suwardana, he was our driver for the last 3 days of our trip and is an absolute legend!

A good rule of thumb is to tip an extra 100K IDR ($6) for their service. We recommend hiring a driver a few days in advance.

Rental Car

Friends of mine rented a car to travel around Bali. Although it is much cheaper than hiring a driver, I don’t believe the hassle of driving your own car is worth it. Having to worry about parking and driving Balinese roads, which can be pure chaos, is only recommended if you’re absolutely confident in your ability behind the wheel. Ensure you have a viable international driver’s license before renting.

Scooter Rental

Using a scooter to navigate Bali can be more relaxed than driving a car, and gives you a higher sense of freedom. This is our recommendation for those who want to save money and aren’t afraid of the roads (scooters are best used up north where there is less traffic).

Make sure you have a viable international driver’s license as this is required. You should also have experience driving a scooter. The crazy roads of Bali are not a good place for newbie scooter drivers.

For more information, check out this article as they explain the process very well.

Public Transport

Taxis are easy to find in Bali. When walking down the street you may have dozens of Balinese people ask if you’d like a ride. As tiresome as it can be, it is pretty convenient. This is only recommended for traveling short distances, as taxi drivers can scam you by taking the longer route. If you’re travelling across the island, you’re better off hiring a private driver.

There is a bus system, although it can be hot, dusty, and crowded. We found that they were almost always packed to the brim with people. Traveling by bus may be the cheapest option, but it doesn’t always give you the flexibility to view sites along the way to your final destination.

Note: There is NO UBER in Bali! Use “Grab” instead, an app that functions in a similar way to Uber.

Ulun Danu Beratan | Best Things to Do in Bali

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple | Best Things to Do in Bali

How Much Time Should You Spend in Bali?

The minimum amount of time we recommend is five days, since that is just enough time to visit the highlights in Bali. More time is ideal, with 7 to 10 days being the sweet spot for getting to explore a lot of Bali and have some downtime for relaxing on the beach or surfing.

For a short visit to Bali, take a look at our 5 Day Bali Itinerary and our 7 Day Bali Itinerary. With 10 days in Bali, you can visit the highlights, a few hidden gems, and have plenty of downtime in Ubud and at the beaches.

Tours of Bali

Joining a tour takes the hassle out of arranging transportation and allows you to do something unique, such as taking a mud bath with elephants or swimming with manta rays.



If you have any questions about the best things to do in Bali, or if you want to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Bali

BALI: Learn more about Bali in our guide to the best things to do in Bali, how to visit the Aling-Aling Waterfalls, what it is like to visit Bali on Nyepi Day, and how to do the Mount Batur Sunrise Hike.

BALI ITINERARY: If you are planning a quick visit to Bali, take a look at our 5 Day Bali Itinerary and our 7 Day Bali Itinerary.  If you have more time, learn how to spend 10 days in Bali, visiting the highlights and a few hidden gems.

FIJI: Read about our experience spending one week in Fiji and how to visit Modriki Island, filming site for the movie Castaway.

SAMOA: In our Guide to Samoa, we cover the best things to do in Samoa, planning information for Upolu and Savai’i islands, a sample itinerary, plus where to stay and where to eat.

OCEANIA: For all of our articles about New Zealand and Australia, take a look at our New Zealand Travel Guide and Australia Travel Guide.

ADVENTURE TRAVEL: Here are 50 adventures to turn your next trip into an epic travel experience.

Read all of our articles about Indonesia in our Indonesia Travel Guide.


Things to Do in Bali Indonesia


Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 5

  1. Avatar for dilan

    thanks a lot, it is fun while reading and for me the most helpful content I came across about Bali.
    will continue to follow your other adventures and advices!

  2. Avatar for Gergo

    Great to read all this, can’t wait to get over there this summer.
    I can’t view the map though, can you send me the right link?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Avatar for Julie

      If you click on the map, it will load into a new screen that is bigger and easier to see. I can’t send the link but you can press the share icon on the map to save the map or save the link. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Vero
    1. Avatar for Julie

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *