30 Incredible Things to Do in Bali in 2023

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
Veruska
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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Bali is one of the most (if not the most) popular destinations in Indonesia and the whole World. Even if visiting Bali has become cliched these days, it still offers plenty of things to do.

The trick to visiting Bali these days is to get away from Ubud and Kuta, the most famous places in the whole island; if it’s your first time in Bali, you certainly cannot miss these two areas but as soon as you start exploring the countryside and the less Instagram famous places you will find a much better Bali.

If you’re looking for the ultimate list of the things to do and the places to see in Bali, keep reading as in this article, we will guide you through this beautiful island, introducing you to some of the most famous places but also to hidden gems you don’t want to miss.

This travel guide to Bali will show you the best things to do and the places to see in Bali, how to make the most of your visit, the places to go to get off the beaten path, and basically how to have the trip of a lifetime.

30 Incredible Things to Do and Places to See in Bali

Bali is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and lush tropical landscapes. Some of the must-see attractions in Bali include visiting iconic temples such as Uluwatu and Tanah Lot, experiencing the local culture by attending a traditional Balinese dance performance, and exploring the rice terraces in Ubud. Additionally, Bali offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as surf and yoga retreats, hiking and rock climbing in Mount Batur, and snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters of the Gili Islands. With so many things to see and do, Bali truly has something for everyone.

The Best Places to See in Bali

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali’s most important landmarks, especially at sunset when people come together for the celebration of this ritual (and to try to take pictures). The best thing about Tanah Lot is that it can be visited only at certain times because of nature. At high tide, waves flood the causeways making it impossible to cross, while at low tide, you can cross to view the base and sip the water from the fountain since it’s considered sacred.

After centuries of waves crashing at its rock base, Tanah Lot faced the constant threat of erosion and in the ’80s the Government put in place a plan to renovate this landmark, with the help of the Japanese Government. Today, a third of the rock is artificial.

Practical info: Tanah Lot Temple is open from 7 am to 7 pm and gets really crowded during the day and at sunset. The admission price to Tanah Lot Temple is IDR 20,000 for adult domestic tourists and IDR 60,000 for adult foreigners. Every six months celebration are held at the Temple, and considered unmissable for locals and tourists; dress appropriately if you want to visit the Temple during the celebrations or even on regular days.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Perched on top of a cliff approximately 70 meters above sea level, Uluwatu Temple is one of the many temples you can visit in Bali. For a long time, Uluwatu Temple was hardly accessible, and after a lightning strike set some parts of the temple on fire, it has been restored, and it’s now accessible. One of the most important and famous things not to miss in Uluwatu Temple is the traditional Kecak dance which is scheduled at about 6 pm every evening tickets cost IDR 100.000 per person; there’s limited seating for the event, and it usually gets crowded and busy since it’s only for tourists. Close to the Temple is the Uluwatu Monkey Forest while Uluwatu Beach, under the cliff of the Temple, is known for being one of the best surf points in Bali.

Practical info: Uluwatu Temple is open from 7 am to 9 pm for visitors, but if you want to pray, you can access it 24/24. The admission price to Uluwatu Temple is IDR 30000 for adults. Every six months celebrations are held at the Temple, and considered unmissable for locals and tourists; dress appropriately if you want to visit the Temple during the celebrations or even on regular days.

Ulun Danu Temple

Ulun Danu Temple is also known as Pura Ulun Danu Beratan and Floating Temple. Pura Ulun is probably the most famous temple in Bali and after having entered the temple gates, you can visit a whole complex with four sacred buildings devoted to the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva; the location of this Temple is absolutely stunning, on the shores of Lake Beratan.

Practical info: Ulun Danu Temple is open from 8 am to 5 pm, but if you want to pray, you can access it 24/24. The admission price to Ulun Danu Temple is IDR 50000 for adults. Always dress appropriately and behave with respect. Fog may cover the Temple after 3 pm.

Besakih Temple

Besakih Temple

Besakih Temple is the largest Hindu temple complex in Bali and it survived the volcanic eruption that occurred in 1963, despite its location on the slopes of Mount Agung. Located between rice paddies, mountains, and hills, Besakih Temple is visually incredible: a long staircase brings visitors and locals to the three temples located inside the complex and representing the Hindu trinity.

Practical info: Besakih Temple is open from 8 am to 5 pm, but if you want to pray, you can access it 24/24. The admission price to Besakih Temple is IDR 60000 for adults. Always dress appropriately and behave with respect. Every April, a ceremony is held at the Temple.

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

The Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bali and has been also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The terrace is stunning, and despite being a touristy attraction, they still remain untouched, and locals still work using the same techniques used for centuries. The best time to see the rice terrace at its greenest is in the following months: March, April, September, and October. On-site, you can eat at the famous Terrace Padi Restaurant.

Practical info: The admission price to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace is 15.000 IDR per person plus 5.000 IDR for parking. Tegalalang Rice Terrace is officially open from 7 am to 6 pm.

Ubud Monkey Forest

The Ubud Monkey Forest is one of the main attractions in Bali; it’s located in the village of Padangtegal, very close to Ubud and at the moment it hosts approx 750 monkeys. In the Forest, you can get extremely close to the monkeys, and this can also cause problems since monkeys’ behavior can be unpredictable and also aggressive. This means that a visit to the Ubud Monkey Forest should not be done lightly or without caution, always following the recommendations written in the Monkey Forest Tips signs placed everywhere around the Forest.

Practical info: The admission price to the Ubud Monkey Forest is 50.000 IDR per person. Ubud Monkey Forest is officially open from 8.30 am to 6 pm.

Kintamani Region

The beautiful region of Kintamani is far away from the chaos you can find in Ubud and Kuta, and it really deserves to be visited and enjoyed. It’s where Mount Batur is located and where the amazing Lake Batur rests in the active caldera. In the area, you can also find the Batur Natural Hot Springs, created by volcanic activity. Even if people usually tend to visit the region just for a day trip, we recommend spending a few days here and enjoying its beauty.

Practical info: Climbing Batur can be possible if you’re physically fit, and it will require proper shoes and equipment since the weather can suddenly change. See more on climbing Mount Batur in the following paragraph of this article.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is the most extensive rice terraces in Bali, and it’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2012. There are several hikes available, and temples hold festivals here every 105 days. There are a few cafes with tables overlooking the terraces, in case you want to stop and get a picture.

Practical info: The admission price to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is 40.000 IDR per person plus 5.000 IDR for parking. The best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon.

Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah Bali

Goa Gajah is also known as Elephant Cave Temple, and the site is particularly impressive. In fact, Goa Gajah is carved into a rock face, and you enter through the mouth of a demon.

Practical info: The admission price to the Goa Gajah Cave is 15.000 IDR per person. The cave is officially open from 8 am to 5 pm. Always remember this is a temple so you need to dress appropriately and behave respectfully; Goa Gajah Cave is an active worship site.

Sidemen

Sidemen is a fairly unknown area in Bali where you feel you’re not… in Bali. Or you feel you’re finally in the real Bali! In fact, this area is full of amazing natural spots such as the Telaga Waja river, Mount Agung (the highest mountain in Bali), the village of Tenganan, and so on. We recommend you spend a few days in the Sidemen area to experience authentic Bali, as it used to be before the boom.

Tirta Empul

Tirta Empul

Tirta Empul Temple is highly famous among locals and tourists; the pond has a spring that gives out fresh water regularly, and the water is considered sacred and used by Hindus to cleanse their souls. Being the busiest temple in the region, at Tirta Empul, there are a lot of facilities and also a lot of people all year round.

Practical info: The admission price to Tirta Empul Temple is 50.000 IDR per person plus 5.000 IDR for parking. The temple is open from 9 am to 5 pm. Always remember this is a temple, so you need to dress appropriately and behave respectfully.

Sekumpul Waterfall

Sekumpul Waterfall

Located in the Northern part of the island, the Sekumpul Waterfall is, in reality, a collection of 7 different waterfalls all in the same place. The path to the waterfall is very well marked from the parking space, and it is possible to hike in the area; the most significant thing is that if you’re a hiker, you need to hire a guide for the duration of your visit and to hike. The idea is to avoid problems and help the local economy… and we leave the judgment to you.

Practical info: Despite being a natural attraction, the admission price to the Sekumpul Waterfall is 20.000 IDR per person and allows viewing of the Sekumpul waterfall only. A medium trekking costs 125.000 IDR per person and includes a guide, the Hidden waterfalls, and the Sekumpul waterfall, plus a donation to the local village; the long hiking option costs 200.000 IDR per person and includes a guide, the Hidden waterfalls, the Sekumpul waterfall, the Fiji waterfall plus donation to the local village.

Munduk and the waterfalls

Munduk

Munduk is one of the less touristy places in Bali, and it has plenty of opportunities for people looking for nature. The Munduk Waterfall is just one of those opportunities and easily rivals the most famous Sekumpul but without the crazy amount of tourists. In the same area, you can hike to Melanting waterfall. The Munduk waterfall loop hike (this is not the official name, which doesn’t exist) starts in the small village of Munduk unless you are doing it in reverse.

Practical info: The admission price for Munduk Waterfall is 20.000 IDR per person and an extra 5.000 IDR for the car park.

If you are looking for an accommodation in Bali for your holiday in 2023, check out the offers on Booking.com. You will find hotels, traditional houses, and B&Bs, and you can also read the comments from people who have already been there, check the ratings, and see photos of the place. Try Booking.com and be sure to pick flexible accommodations: in this way you can move or cancel the facilities at no additional cost.

Ubud Palace

Ubud Palace

Ubud Palace is located in the center of Ubud, and entry is free. Every evening traditional Balinese dances are organized in the Palace even if the official opening hours are 9 am to 6 pm. We did put the Ubud Palace on the list of things to see because it is unmissable, and hard not to notice how big it is.

Gitgit Waterfall

Gitgit Waterfall is located on the road between Bedugul and Singaraja. The 40-meter-high cascade is impressive and evocative, and when you reach the base, you can take a plunge in the pool or just enjoy the view and relax.

Practical info: The admission price to Gitgit Waterfall is 20.000 IDR.

Things to Do in Bali

Go surfing in Kuta

Go surfing in Kuta

Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, Bali has a few interesting spots for surfers, Kuta being one of them. Beginners love Kuta because of its short waves. Its sister beach, Legian, is more suitable and loved by intermediate and advanced surfers. You can book surf lessons in one of the many schools located in the area.

Book Online: Surfing Lesson in Kuta

Diving in Padang Bai

Diving in Padang Bay

Padang Bai is the place where people dive in Bali, and there are different spots in this area where you can go, either by yourself or with an instructor. The Blue Lagoon is probably the most famous thanks to its two reefs going pretty down, while the Jetty is the place where you have to go if you wanna see the craziest fishes and marine plants ever. These two sites are perfect for beginners and advanced divers, while Ferry Channel is only suitable for experienced divers since it starts off shallow. If you wanna experience something unique, dive to Turtle Bay: the name says everything, and the experience is just amazing!

Book Online: Padangbai Blue Lagoon Beginner’s Dive Experience

Book Online: Padangbai Blue Lagoon Snorkeling Day Trip

Practice yoga

There are thousands of places where one can practice yoga in Bali, and the whole island is considered a paradise for yoga lovers. We could recommend different places where to practice. Still, we’ve chosen two of them: one is Samadi Bali, a place all about yoga and wellness, where to practice as a beginner or expert, where you can get a certification to become a yoga teacher or can challenge yourself with some amazing vegetarian food or the many holistic wellness treatments offered. The other one is the famous Yoga Barn, located in Ubud. In both cases, you can avail of it on a pay-as-you basis or by paying a membership. People come from every part of the World and have different backgrounds, so the experience is enhancing both physically and emotionally.

Climb Mount Batur

Climbing Mount Batur is an experience every serious traveler should do when in Bali. Rising to 5,633 feet, Mount Batur can be hiked by physically-fit hikers in around two hours; it’s always climbed in the morning because it offers an incredible view at the sunrise, is a perfect morning workout, or, if you’re into photography, an excellent spot for pictures. Remember: the sun sets from 6-6:30 any time of the year because of the proximity of Bali to the equator.

Part of Mount Batur’s caldera is filled by Danau Batur, Bali’s largest crater lake. Climbing Mount Batur is possible either with or without a guide, so don’t be fed up with the idea of only going with an organized tour because that’s not true. You can join one of the many tours, or if you’re a hiker, you can go by yourself, choosing your route and your timing.

The most famous (and crowded) hiking path starts from Toya Bungkah. Still, if you want to experience the hike without feeling the pressure of tours and people, then you should start from Pura Jati: this second trail is rugged and hardest, it requires a certain fitness level, but it will leave you with pure satisfaction.

Doing the Mount Batur hike without a guide can be discouraging because the locals will tell you it’s too hard and you need a guide, and it’s not hard to be given wrong directions on purpose; there aren’t any trail markers, but if you’re a hiker the path is undeniable.

Always wear proper shoes (sneakers are not good for climbing and hiking!) and bring a wind jacket with you because rain can come unexpectedly and the mountain gets extremely slippery. +

Book Online: Mount Batur Small Group Sunrise Trekking

Book Online: Mount Batur Private Volkswagen Jeep Volcano Safari

Book Online: Mount Batur Sunrise Hike and Hidden Waterfall

Indulge in luxury in Nusa Dua

luxury in Nusa Dua

If you are not the type of person interested in partying all night and being immersed in chaos but instead you’re looking for some luxurious experience while in Bali, we highly recommend staying in Nusa Dua. This is the area of Bali with an incredible collection of world-class international-chain hotels facing the beachfront. Being situated in a slightly remote location, Nusa Dua is secure, exclusive, and far from the crowds. For this reason, it’s perfect for people looking to relax and have an all-inclusive trip.

The downside of this is that Nusa Dua is quite disconnected from the local culture and also quite fake; so said, the whole area around Seminyak and Kuta is also completely disconnected from the local culture, and it’s just a hub for tourists and this reason if you want to be disconnected from the Balinese culture we strongly recommend Nusa Dua. At least you won’t be annoyed by chaos and tourists.

Visit Menjangan Island

Menjangan Island

Menjangan Island is a must if you’re in Bali: a little uninhabited island located just a few miles from the coast of Bali. Its beauty makes it one of the spots you don’t want to miss. To reach Menjangan Island you need to catch a boat at Labuhan Lalang, in Northern Bali, and book a park guide which will cost you approx 350.000 IDR for the day. Since it’s a National park, you also must purchase a permit for a cost between 200.000 and 300.000 IDR, depending on when you’re visiting.

Menjangan Beach is the first thing you want to check once on the Island: blue and pristine water, quietness, and on springtime you may encounter deers swimming in the sea. Give dive a try: Menjangan Island is famous for its marine life, and you don’t wanna miss out on what nature can offer.

Visit Candidasa

Candidasa

Candidasa is one of the less crowded beaches in Bali, located on Bali’s east coast. Rich in traditional Balinese arts and culture, Candidasa is considered located remote, and for this reason, not so many mass tourists flock here, despite its beauty. It’s the perfect place to stay when and if you want to visit East Bali, which is (as explained above) a true jewel. The lotus lagoon of Candidasa is one of the area’s attractions, so it’s Pasir Putih, a fairly remote and unique white and black beach.

Hike Mount Agung

Mount Agung is the highest mountain in Bali; it may not be as famous as Mount Batur, but if you’re a hiker, you need to put this on your travel list. The trail is significantly hard and challenging, and hiking the mountain can take up to 12 hours back and forth, depending on your chosen route. You can start your hike from Pura Pasar Agung, it will take 4–5 hours in total, or from Besakih and it will take between 6 and 7 hours: the hike is strenuous. It requires a high level of fitness and for this reason, it is recommended for experienced hikers only.

Mount Agung is considered a very sacred place in Hinduism, so several shrines have been built on the slopes. Remember: this is not a “leisure” hike; it’s hard and requires a lot of preparation and appropriate clothing/shoes. Do not attempt to climb Mount Agung if you’re not ready.

Also, you can climb Mount Agung without a guide even if everyone tries to sell you a guide or a tour: if you’re experienced and ready, go hike Mount Agung without a guide, and you won’t have any problem. If you’re not experienced, first of all, you shouldn’t hike Agung, but if you decide to try it, do it under the surveillance of an expert guide.

Relax in the many of Bali’s hot springs

Bali’s hot springs can be found everywhere around the island, and some of them are considered sacred because their water leads directly into the Temples. Do not miss the opportunity to relax in one of the many hot springs around Bali, here are the two we recommend:

Batur Natural Hot Spring (Toya Bungkah)

Located in the Mount Batur caldera, these hot springs are perfect after you’ve climbed Mount Batur. Even if they’re usually packed, you can still enjoy their beauty and get relaxed; on site, you can find a restaurant serving local specialties and facilities for your stay.

Book Online: Lake Batur Natural Hot Springs Experience

Belulang Hot Spring

Located in the village of Mengesta in Tabanan,10 km from the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, the Belulang Hot Spring is a hidden gem attended mainly by locals. The sulfuric water is highly beneficial to the skin.

Spend a day at The Edge

The Edge

The Edge is a real Balinese dream, so it’s not that accessible economically. But if you want to treat yourself (like we did in Mauritius), you should try this place. It’s a luxury four-villa hotel located 500 feet above the Indian Ocean. Every villa has an outstanding amount of amenities, such as a butler, a private pool, and an epic view of the Indian Ocean. The biggest reason why The Edge is so famous is its cliff-hanging and glass-bottomed pool with a view of the 500ft cliff drop; the good news is that you don’t have to be a guest to check out the pool, though, because the resort also has a bar and lounge open to the public.

Book your staying at The Edge

Go rafting on the Ayung river

rafting Bali

The Ayung river is the biggest and longest river in Bali, and if you’re up for a real adventure, you can book a rafting tour to enjoy its water. The whole rafting experience is everything but dangerous during the dry season but in the rainy season is only suitable for experts. A great way to experience something different in Bali, considering that Ayung’s white water rafting trail needs approx 2 hours to be completed.

Book online: Ayung River All Inclusive Rafting Adventure

If you are looking for an accommodation in Bali, check out the offers on Booking.com. You will find hotels, traditional houses, and B&Bs, and you can also read the comments from people who have already been there, check the ratings, and see photos of the place. Try Booking.com and be sure to pick flexible accommodations: in this way you can move or cancel the facilities at no additional cost.

Swim with manta rays in Nusa Penida

If you dream of swimming with mantas, head to Nusa Penida and enjoy one of the many tours offered in the area. The water is so clear that manta rays use to swim there all the time, and they are also not afraid of humans (if humans behave correctly), so you really can enjoy your time in the water. There is no specific manta season in Bali (even if it is said that the best time for manta snorkeling in Bali is between May and November, but at the same time, it is never guaranteed that you will see them.

Book online: Manta snorkeling in Nusa Penida

Take a Balinese Cooking Class

Bali Cooking Class

If you like cooking and your first thing when traveling is to taste everything local, indulge in a Balinese cooking class and experience what local food means. There are thousands of opportunities, this is one we firmly recommend%: it will leave you happy and satisfied!

Join a Bali Food Tour

Bali Food Tour

If cooking is not one of your interests, but you like to eat, a food tour is what you need to experience in Bali. The tour guide will bring you to some of the best places in Bali to taste the local cuisine, but you may also get a chance to experience different types of cuisine. It’s an excellent way to know more about the place and the people… and to eat some serious local food!

Book Online: Bali Private Food Tour

Visit the Gili Islands

Gili Islands

Visiting the Gili Islands from Bali is extremely popular and convenient: you can plan a daily trip or stay longer to enjoy the beautiful sea and relax. The Gili Islands are a group of 3 small islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. You can go from Bali to the Gili Islands by fast boats and by ferry, and the three islands are also connected by boat. Gili Trawangan (known as Gili T) is the party island, Gili Air is the quieter, and Gili Meno is the perfect mix of the two.

Book Online: Private 3-Day Gili Islands Tour with Snorkeling from Bali

Book Online: Gili Islands 2-Day Tour with Beachfront Resort from Bali

Is it Worth Visiting Bali?

Bali is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and lush tropical landscapes. While it is always busy with a steady flow of tourists, many people find it worthwhile to visit. It offers travelers plenty of things to see and do, from relaxation to adventure. However, it’s important to remember that the island can be pretty crowded during peak seasons, and popular spots can be bustling. Bali is a destination worth visiting with its beautiful natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and wide-ranging activities. Still, it’s also essential to plan ahead and consider the level of crowd you are comfortable with.

So if you’re planning a trip to Bali in 2023, start planning early!

If you are looking for an accommodation in Bali for your 2023 holidays, check out the offers on Booking.com. You will find hotels, traditional houses, and B&Bs, and you can also read the comments from people who have already been there, check the ratings, and see photos of the place. Try Booking.com and be sure to pick flexible accommodations.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning we may receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase through a link.

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