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15 Best Things to Do in Bali: From Beaches to Balinese Culture

best things to do in Bali, 15 Best Things to Do in Bali: From Beaches to Balinese Culture

With its lush rice terraces, pristine beaches, and welcoming locals, Bali earned its reputation as one of Southeast Asia’s most beloved destinations. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a culture enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation, Bali offers a diverse range of activities and attractions to suit every traveller’s desires. We will take you through the 15 best things to do in Bali, ensuring that your visit to this paradise island becomes an incredible journey of discovery.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Bali to make the most of your holiday!

1. A sunrise trek to Mount Batur is the first best thing to do in Bali

Fellow adventurer, you absolutely can’t pass up the chance to witness the stunning sunrise from the peak of Mount Batur. This active volcano is nestled in the picturesque Kintamani area, and you can embark on a guided tour to reach its summit just in time for the breathtaking sunrise. Trust us, the view from up there is simply out of this world – something you’ve probably never experienced before!

No need to fret about safety either, as a knowledgeable tour guide will be right by your side, ensuring you have a smooth and enjoyable trekking journey. 

Pro tip: Here’s the icing on the cake – during your trek, you can relish a truly unique experience by savouring a delicious breakfast cooked by the steam of the volcano itself. Can you imagine anything cooler than that? 

2. Wander around Tegalalang Rice Terrace

Don’t skin a mesmerizing series of cascading rice fields designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Embrace the magical moments of sunrise and sunset, casting a spellbinding glow over the area. One of the best things to do in Bali is to wander through the terraces, pay a visit to the nearby Bali Pulina plantation, and experience the thrill of swinging on the mountain edge swings.

Pro tip: To witness the fields at their greenest, plan your visit in March, August, or September, while December and February offer verdant landscapes despite the slippery conditions of the rainy season.

3. A tranquil visit to Munduk village

If you’re searching for unique and nature-focused things to do in Bali, look no further than this exclusive adventure tailor-made for nature enthusiasts like you. Escape the bustling crowds and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of Munduk Village, where you’ll discover a whole new world of culture and traditions waiting to be explored. The village boasts an array of picturesque waterfalls, including the Banyumala Twin Waterfall to the majestic Sekumpul Waterfall.

Visiting Munduk village is truly one of the best things to do in Bali because besides exploring the captivating waterfalls, there’s so much more to experience in Munduk! Test your adventurous spirit with a thrilling swing ride at Munduk Swing Viewpoints, capture stunning photos at the iconic Handara Gate Bali, take a leisurely stroll around the picturesque Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, and discover a myriad of other exciting activities awaiting you!

Pro tip: Don’t miss the chance to savour the renowned Bali coffee, known for its rich flavour and enticing aroma, as the plantations in Munduk cover vast expanses of the area’s landscape.

4. Witness the Mesmerizing Kecak Dance Show at Bali’s Uluwatu Temple

When it comes to the best things to do in Bali, a visit to Uluwatu Temple is an absolute must! One of its major highlights is the captivating Kecak and Fire Dance Show, a mesmerizing performance that takes place during sunset, adding an extra touch of magic to the experience. 

As the sun dips below the horizon, prepare to be enchanted by the traditional Kecak Dance, featuring swirling flames and vibrant cultural costumes, skillfully performed by local artists. This hypnotic show is perfectly timed to coincide with the breathtaking sunset, creating an unforgettable fusion of nature and culture.

Pro tip: It’s best to book your tickets in advance. You can easily book online or upon arrival, with tickets costing around IDR100,000 (less than AUD10). Purchasing your ticket in advance is recommended as the show often sells out daily. Additionally, upon arriving at the temple, you’ll need to pay a nominal fee of IDR50,000 for entry and wear a provided sarong as a sign of respect.

5. Visiting Nusa Penida is one of the best things to do in Bali

Prepare to be awestruck by the natural wonders of Nusa Penida, a hidden gem that lies just a 45-minute boat ride away from Bali. If Bali is considered paradise, then Nusa Penida is undoubtedly heaven itself. So, visiting Nusa Penida is definitely one of the best things to do in Bali.

This picturesque island boasts breathtaking rock formations, beaches straight out of travel magazines, and an abundance of marine life, including graceful manta rays and serene turtles.

From the sacred Goa Giri Putri Temple to the stunning Atuh Beach, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the enchanting beauty of heaven on earth during a delightful 3-day, 2-night trip. Take the chance to explore both Atuh Beach and Diamond Beach, as they are conveniently located right next to each other, offering double the beauty in one area.

Pro Tip: Short on time but still eager to explore Nusa Penida? We’ve got you covered with a quick day trip option. Catch the first boat at 8 AM and return with the last boat at 4 PM, providing you ample time to discover either the west or the east of Nusa Penida.

6. Experience a healing moment from the Balinese purification ceremony

Prepare for a truly uplifting and healing experience with “Melukat,” a sacred water purification ceremony that should be at the top of your list of things to do in Bali. This soul-enriching ritual is a unique opportunity to cleanse both your body and mind, leaving you with a sense of peace and rejuvenation.

Located in the picturesque village of Manukaya, Gianyar, Tirta Empul Holy Water Temple offers a serene and tranquil ambience for your spiritual journey. No wonder that visiting Tirta Empul Temple is one of the best things to do in Bali.

As you journey through the temple, you’ll make stops at various purification points and waterfalls, where you’ll be blessed with the holy water that locals believe carries profound therapeutic benefits on a holistic level. Embrace the soothing touch of the water as it washes away negative energies, leaving you with a sense of purity and renewal.

Pro Tip: If you prefer a hassle-free way to reach Tirta Empul, joining a tour is an excellent option. With numerous tour operations in the town center, you can easily book a tour to Tirta Empul, ensuring a seamless and delightful experience throughout your sacred journey. So, dive into the spiritual realm with “Melukat” and make your visit to Tirta Empul a cherished memory in your Bali adventure!

7. Take a jewellery-making class in Ubud

If you prefer less adventurous activities and seek to nurture your creative side, Bali offers wonderful experiences that you can try. One of the best things to do in Bali is to join a jewellery-making workshop in the artistic haven of Ubud.

For an exceptional jewellery-making experience, consider the renowned John Hardy Kapal Bamboo workshop in Ubud. This engaging 5-hour workshop includes an exclusive tour of their Archive, adding an extra layer of fascination to the experience. 

Pro tip: Be sure to make a reservation in advance, as the workshop is only available on Mondays and Fridays from 10 AM to 2 PM. Get ready to unleash your creativity and craft unique treasures with the guidance of skilled artisans in the heart of Bali’s artistic hub!

8. White Water Rafting Ubud Bali with Hotel Transfer

Ready for another adrenaline rush during your trip to Bali? Why not experience the thrill of rafting at Ayung River in Ubud? Renowned for its exciting rafting opportunities, Ayung River offers a less rapid pace compared to the Telagawaja River, but it presents its own challenges, requiring strong paddling to keep your journey going. Definitely one of the best things to do in Bali.

Numerous travel agencies provide rafting packages for the Ayung River, with prices varying between IDR400,000 to IDR550,000 per person (approximately AUD 39.5 – AUD 54). Typically, these packages also include hotel pick-up for your convenience. As you navigate the river, prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking sights of untouched rainforests, lush rice fields, enchanting hidden waterfalls, and mesmerizing stone carvings adorning certain parts of the river walls.

Pro tip: There are many travel agencies that offer packages for rafting on the Ayung River and the prices offered also vary. The average package price ranges from IDR400,00o – IDR550,000 per person (AUD39.5 – AUD54). Usually, this price includes the pick-up fee to your hotel, so you better make a price comparison first and see what benefits are included in the package.

9. Bali Waterfalls: Tibumana, Tukad Cepung and Tegenungan

Isn’t a trip to Bali incomplete without relishing its breathtaking natural beauty? That’s why exploring some of Bali’s most exquisite waterfalls is one of the best things to do in Bali. You can visit Tibumana Waterfall, Tukad Cepung, and Tegenungan, all located in Ubud.

Photography enthusiasts will be especially delighted as these spots offer incredibly picturesque views. If you fancy, take a refreshing dip in the pools, and to keep your energy up, savour a traditional Balinese lunch along the way.

Pro tip: If you are looking for a tranquil moment, It’s better to visit the waterfalls before 11 AM since it’s the common hour for the local tourist to arrive. 

10. Secluded Beach Moment in Bingin Beach

Though Kuta, Canggu, and Seminyak’s renowned beaches may be popular favourites, there’s a lesser-known gem called Bingin Beach in Pecatu that shouldn’t be overlooked. This secluded paradise demands a lengthy journey to reach but rewards you with the most exquisite, glistening sands once you arrive. That’s why, visiting Bingin Beach is one of the best things to do in Bali.

Bingin Beach is a surfer’s dream destination, offering challenging waves that can reach heights of 5-8 meters during high tide. Apart from surfing and snorkelling, visitors can bask in the beauty of a stunning sunset. 

Pro tip: As this beach remains hidden, it’s advisable to inquire with the locals for directions. While getting there by motorcycle is easier, you can also use a car. However, be prepared for a steep descent down the stairs. This hidden gem is not for the faint of heart!

11. Go Surfing! Heavenly place for beginner to expert surfer

Riding the wave a.k.a surfing, is definitely one of the best things to do in Bali. Bali is well-known for its exquisite barrelling left-hand reef breaks, but it also has a diverse selection of world-class right-hand reef breakers. There is no shortage of waves for expert surfers, thanks to the vast list of prominent surf spots. There are also several calmer surf places for intermediate surfers and beach break choices for beginners.

You can surf at Kuta Beach, Batu Bolong Beach, Jimbaran, or Seminyak if you are a newbie to intermediate surfer. Surfers from intermediate to advanced levels can enjoy the waves at Kuta Reef, Berawa Beach, or Tanah Lot. Experts can test their skills at Padang-Padang, Uluwatu, or Dreamland.

Pro Tip: We recommend visiting during the dry season. August is the driest month; therefore, it’s ideal to visit then. The big, clear waves will greet you. Visit the west coast during the dry season, when the wind and swells are at their best.

12. Diving is one of the best things to do in Bali: Meet mola-molas and manta

Scuba diving in Bali has it all, and that’s why this activity is definitely one of the best things to do in Bali. You can dive alongside manta rays and mola molas to see the world-famous USAT Liberty shipwreck. Don’t be shocked if you get to see the underwater beauty at a modest price. There are numerous dive sites in Bali. Tulamben is home to the Liberty Wreck, one of the world’s most famous wrecks. You might see a bumphead parrotfish, a school of jacks, or a resident giant barracuda.

Crystal Bay, one of Bali’s premier dive locations, is located in Nusa Penida, as is Manta Point. Mola-molas can be met and swam with at Crystal Bay. Diving in Padang Bai, Menjangan Island, to Amed is another alternative.

Pro Tip: For your own safety, stick with the guidance and monitor the current. For the finest experience, visit during the dry season. As a result, when you dive into the sea, you will have the best underwater eyesight.

13. Art market hop and get Bali’s unique souvenirs

Another best thing to do in Bali is of course shopping. Thankfully, Bali has a large range of handcrafted items that symbolise the island’s cultural past. A small present to take home won’t break your wallet, right? So, here is a list of markets in Bali that you should visit.

Kuta Art Market has wonderful paintings, key chains, clothing, and other locally made items. Kumbasari Art Market offers a wide range of art and handmade items. Sukawati Art Market has sculpted wooden sculptures and sarongs (a fabric draped around the waist before entering a temple) at reasonable costs. Ubud Art Market is the place to go if you’re looking for high-quality local crafts and artistic treasures from Bali.

Pro Tip: Haggling is the key to great savings in Bali’s market, just like it is in any other street shop. Remember to carry cash with you on your shopping trip because some stores may not accept credit cards.

14. Learning Balinese dance is one of the best things to do in Bali

It’s typical to watch Balinese dancing, but how about learning it from the master? Yes, there are Balinese dancing studios in Bali where you can practice. Kebo Iwa Art Studio, Sri Padma Studio, and Puri Agung Denpasar Studio are the three most well-known studios.

Kebo Iwa is well-known for producing some of Bali’s top dancers. This art centre teaches four traditional Balinese dances: Joged Bumbung, Legong Lengkap, Legong Mini, and Panyembrama. The Sri Padma studio only teaches Balinese dancing to youngsters aged 6 to 10 years old. They only teach traditional Balinese dances like Rejang Dewa, Legong Lasem, Puspanjali, and Pendet.

Puri Agung Denpasar Studio is the last one. This dance studio was founded to educate teens in Balinese dance, particularly basic dance. Condong Dance, Legong Keraton Lasem Dance for females, and Baris Dance for boys are the basic dances taught in the Puri Agung Denpasar Studio.

Pro Tip: Going to a dance studio does not obligate you to dance. You can also come to observe the Balinese dancer as she practices step by step. Learning about the area’s history will provide you with more information!

15. Instagrammable places to release your adrenaline in an extreme swing experience: Alas Harum Bali

Alas Harum Bali is an Instagram-worthy destination with a variety of activities. Do you desire a good photoshoot as well as a burst of adrenaline? You can try the Extreme Swing and the Super Extreme Swing. Totally one of the best things to do in Bali for social media influencers and adrenaline junkies.

The Extreme Swing is 15 metres above the ground and can support up to 200 kilogrammes. You’ll feel the 15 pushes as soon as you get in. Feel the breeze on your face as you fly in your magnificent gown or other Instagram-worthy attire. Try the Super Extreme Swing if you’re feeling bold. If you’re brave enough to swing 28 metres from the ground, this is the one for you.

Pro tip: Make sure you are not acrophobic and are in decent physical condition. Don’t forget to bring your camera and take some beautiful pictures!

Bali beckons with myriad experiences that promise to leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul. From the mystical temples that emanate an aura of spirituality to the adrenaline-pumping adventures that set your spirit free, this island paradise has something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or embarking on your first international adventure, the 15 best things to do in Bali are a testament to the island’s natural beauty, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. 

So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the captivating charm of Bali, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Get ready to be enchanted by this tropical gem as you embark on a journey of a lifetime amidst the beauty and wonder of things to do in Bali.

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