“Bali – An Indonesian paradise that feels like a living fantasy. In this issue, we take you to discover Bali’s beautiful beaches, forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, cliffside temples, luxury resort villas and beach clubs… After your first visit, it is likely this place might just become your second home.”
Known as the Island of Gods, Bali’s stunning beauty comes in many forms — from exotic temples set against stunning natural backdrops, towering volcanoes, pristine jungles, rich wildlife to mesmerizing sunsets… after sunset hours, you will find the dancefloors of famous party spots packed to the brim! Spend your days lazily sunbathing on Bali’s best beaches, surfing the waves, or chilling at one of the famous beach clubs, with a fresh coconut by your side. It is no wonder why many digital nomads and expats plant their roots here. Needless to say, Bali is a honeymoon hotspot for newlyweds as well. Let us share our Top Things to do in Bali with you.
[Updated 18 October 2019]
Editor’s Note: We have been to Bali four times since 2015. With each visit, we discover a new piece of Bali to add to our jigsaw puzzle. Contrary to what some may think, Bali is huge. The island has so much awaiting your discovery, much more than just resort villas and beach vibes (though that is a big reason why we love Bali so much!). The island is brimming with culture, religion, and art, and also known for yoga and meditation retreats — which explains why many arrive here to “eat pray love”. I can’t wait to show you our favourite things to do in Bali!
After reading this article, be sure to also check out our Ultimate Bali Travel Guide below. It shares everything you need to know about traveling to Bali. Definitely give it a read, especially if it is your first time to Bali!
Before we get started on the things to do, here are our recommendations on the best places to stay at in Bali!
p.s. A short disclaimer that some of our links below are affiliate links – they come at no cost to you if you decide to click and purchase. But if you do book through our links, we get a small commission which keeps our site running and allows us to create content for you — for free! That being said, we only recommend picks that we ourselves would use. Thank you for your support! For more information on our disclosure policy, please click here.
Best Places to Stay in Bali
1. Luxuriate in the panoramic ocean views at Six Senses Uluwatu
Situated atop a rugged cliff in Pecatu, Six Senses does not only offer a back-to-nature experience but is also filled with 5-star services and amenities. We stayed in their 1-bedroom villa, which is inspired by Balinese culture with a large deck that overlooks the Indian Ocean – a stunning view of the horizon where the sky and the sea meet. It is definitely food for the soul!
Six Senses also has tantalising in-resort fine dining options with an impeccable selection of dishes – both modern and fusion based on the traditional Balinese cuisine. One of our favourites is probably the cliff bar where we truly enjoyed breakfast and cocktails while waiting for sunrise and sunset. The resort staff was one of the best we’ve had on the island; the meditation, yoga and pilates sessions add up to the peace of mind that the resort brings. In fact, the resort has so many things to offer that you can stay there and just enjoy your time to the fullest.
Jl. Goa Lempeh, Uluwatu, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
2. Embark on a peaceful wellness retreat at The Samata
During our visit to Bali this year, we were a little tired of being surrounded by crowds and sought a more peaceful residence. We discovered The Samata. Tucked away in a quiet spot in downtown Sanur, this resort is the perfect city refuge for you to experience the tranquility of island living. It is refreshing to enjoy a peaceful and undisturbed atmosphere, one that honeymooners crave after a period of hectic wedding planning and socialising.
For our first two nights, we stayed at their Spa Suite and we got a free daily 1-hour couples massage. We later on moved to their One Bedroom Villa. Each morning we woke up to a picturesque view of rice fields facing the sea. The view is perfect for honeymooners seeking nature’s serenity and intimacy. The resort is designed with the health-conscious traveller in mind – you can look forward to healthy dining options, spacious fitness center, various daily activities like yoga sessions and relaxing massages at the spa.
Key Tips to Getting around in Bali
- When arriving in Denpasar airport, it can be a hassle to figure out transport to your hotel. We pre-booked a private airport transfer that took us straight to our hotel for just under $10! Also, pick up your SIM card before embarking on your journey.
- Getting around Bali is relatively easy. You can take Grab or Go-Jek, or hail a metered cab from Blue Bird Group. That being said, if you are planning to cover a lot of activities in a day, it is more convenient to book a private car charter. You get the flexibility of your own itinerary and pace, and you do not need to worry about getting from one place to another. It is also relatively affordable and I encourage pre-booking with Klook so you do not have to waste time figuring it out or haggling with vendors during your trip. If you prefer a Chinese-speaking driver, book here instead.
- Alternatively, if you are up for an adventure, one of the best ways to explore Bali is on bike! You can rent your own scooter here, it’s less than $10 for a day.
- Another way of touring Bali is their own version of the ‘hop on hop off’ bus, called Kura Kura Bus. I’ve personally not tried it before, but it can be a fun way to discover Bali too.
- A unique way of experience Bali would be to rent a campervan (yes, just like in New Zealand) and do it road-trip style. Though fairly uncommon, if you are feeling up to living out of a mobile home, feel free to give it a try! Let me know how it goes.
- More travel tips are at the bottom of this article, or can be found in our Ultimate Bali Travel Guide.
Top Things to Do on your Bali Honeymoon
1. Watching the stunning sunset at Tanah Lot Temple
This iconic Hindu temple sits atop a large rock formation and is one of the seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Famed for its unique offshore setting and mesmerizing sunset landscape set amid crashing waves, Tanah Lot is a Bali icon that is not to be missed. Part of Balinese mythology, legend has it that the rock Tanah Lot sits on was shifted out to sea by a high priest (Dang Hyang Nirartha) who faced opposition from the village chief, and transformed his sashes into sea snakes to guard its base. The sight of his power led to the chief’s allegiance.
Lots of guidebook and reviews will tell you that the ideal time to visit here is during sunset, but this also means hundreds or even thousands of tourists are packed in the area. So instead of contending with evening rush hour traffic just to get in and out of the complex, we went at 7:30 am and we were truly delighted! The sun was just up; the surroundings were quiet and everything was pristine. No hordes of tourists and aggressive vendors – just us, the ocean, gardens, and temples. You can also cross over during low tide to the base, and though you cannot visit the temple grounds, the panoramic view makes it worth a visit.
Tanah Lot Temple
Jalan Raya Tanah Lot, Beraban Village, Kediri, Tabanan
Opening Hours: 7 am – 7 pm
2. Be mesmerized by the Tagallalang rice terraces in Ubud
We stayed at the new Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Bali Resort during our trip last year (read our review here), and from there we drove to North of Ubud to check out the Tegallalang rice terraces. The dramatic landscape is incredible and makes for beautiful photos. It took a short hike for us to get to it, but it was well worth it. The layered padi fields line the side of Ubud’s green hills and are simply mesmerizing to watch standing from a vantage point. This photography tour will take mesmerizing photos of you while you tour the beautiful rice fields for your keepsake.
Travel tip: As you walk through the rice fields, you will be asked for donations from locals – you can pay what you wish but the minimum we learned was about IDR 5,000 – 10,000 ($0.50 – $1) per person, otherwise they may hustle you for more. Be aware that if the locals help you with photos, they may ask for a token as well. That being said, after getting away from all those who were asking for money, we met some local farmers who greeted us with amazing smiles and lent us a helping hand without asking for anything in return. You will probably spend about an hour here. There is a small stall/cafe at the entrance of the rice fields for you to grab a quick bite or drink. After your visit to the rice fields, you can check out the small village of Pakudui in Tegallalang where you can see avid Balinese craftsmen work up creative sculptures using just wood. You can also discover Bali’s nature on an ATV Quad Bike tour that will take you through local villages, rice fields, jungles, and rivers.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Jalan Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561
Opening hours: Daily 7 am – 7 pm
While you are there, get the popular Instagram shot on the Bali Swing
There are certain things that look astounding up close, but the Tegallalang rice terraces are a whole new wonder when you admire it high above the ground. Another popular activity in the area that you shouldn’t miss is the Bali Swing. It is surely an amazing spot to get your Instagram photos, but it also gives you the adrenaline and a wonderful experience with nature, making you appreciate it even more.
3. Alternatively, check out the Jatiluwih rice terraces in Tabanan
Jatiluwih rice terraces in Tabanan, West Bali is another beautiful place to visit. The rice fields comprise of over 600 hectares which makes for a beautiful sight. Click here for a tour that brings you to the Jatiluwih rice terraces, followed by the volcanic hot spring Angseri located at the foot of Mount Batukaru and ancient temples that are off the beaten track.
If you enjoy the serenity of the paddy rice fields, you can even spend the day cycling around lush fields with this tour.
If you are adventurous enough, you can try a farming workshop by The Organic Farm which allows you to experience a day in a farmer’s life during your visit. Learn about the rice plantation process from local farmers, plant and harvest seeds with your own hands, this entire time being surrounded by beautiful scenery. You will be walking away with a new-found appreciation for rice. Alternatively, check out this tour to Tanjuk Village for a unique insight into Balinese life – you will learn first-hand how to plow, plant, transplant and harvest rice.
Jatiluwih rice terraces
Jalan Jatiluwih No.Desa, Jatiluwih, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82152
Opening Hours: Daily 8:30 am – 6 pm
4. Marvel at the beautiful views at Uluwatu Temple
Bali is also known as the island of a thousand temples. Uluwatu Temple, one of the six key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, is perched on a magnificent cliff bank 70 meters above sea level. Also known as Pura Luhur, Uluwatu Temple comprises of beautiful Balinese architecture and ancient sculptures.
The majestic view is further accentuated during sunset. With a sunset comparable to that of Tanah Lot Temple, this makes a perfect spot to enjoy a romantic evening. You can also look forward to a Balinese Kecak and fire dance performance here from 6 to 7 pm daily, for IDR 100,000 (~S$10) per person. You can pre-book your tickets here that includes a pickup and drop off from hotels in South Bali.
Travel tip: Do wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect when visiting Uluwatu Temple. There are some monkeys roaming about the area, so be sure to keep your food out of sight.
If you want to make the most out of visiting the sites in the Uluwatu-Jimbaran area, Sun Island Suites & Spa Goa Gong is a good option for accommodation – it’s 13.9km away from the majesty of the Uluwatu Temple and 6.5km away from the gastronomic delights of Jimbaran. Their suites give you your much needed privacy and their breakfast basket by the pool is a must try.
Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Pecatu Village, Kuta sub-distrcit, Badung Regency.
Entrance fee: IDR 30,000 (~S$3) for adult and IDR 20,000 (~S$2) for child
Opening hours from 9 am – 6 pm
5. Create huge splashes at the #1 waterpark in Asia, Waterbom Bali
Voted as the #1 best waterpark in Asia and #2 in the WORLD by Tripadvisor in 2016, Waterbom Bali is a waterpark not to be missed, especially if you are adrenaline sun-seekers. Located in the middle of the famous Kuta stretch, Waterbom features exciting water slides that slice through 3.8 hectares of tropical park goodness. From thrilling rides to gentle lazy rivers, you can be sure that Waterbom Bali will add a blast to your Bali honeymoon. Tickets are priced at IDR 442,000 (~S$42) for a single-day pass. We suggest booking online to avoid queues.
If you love water parks like I do, and want more after Waterbom, head to Super Bowl to their splash waterpark for 2 more slides.
6. Climb an active volcano – Mount Batur and Mount Agung
Mount Batur, an active volcano surrounded by a 13 km caldera lake, is a penchant for adventure. Standing at 1,717m above sea level, the climb takes about 2-3 hours, depending on your fitness level.The thrill of climbing an active volcano is part of the package. At the top, on a clear day, you are promised an unforgettable sunrise casting over a spectacular landscape. You can take a winding road down to the lake shore which leads you to Toya Bungkah, Ulun Danu Batur temple, and a collection of hot springs. Mount Batur is about a 3-hour drive from Kuta. Click here for a guide to trekking Mount Batur on Tripcanvas. You can also see Mount Batur on a jeep with this tour.
For those who don’t fancy waking up in the wee hours, but still wish to see the volcano, you can opt for a day climb or sunset climb.
If you don’t wish to climb, yet still wish to enjoy Mount Batur’s views, an alternative would be to
- Take a 4WD Jeep Ride through Kintamani to explore Mount Batur. It also includes a soak in the hot springs after.
- Or simply head to Pinggan Village instead where you can admire the landscape without sweating it out.
Penelokan, Kintamani, Bangli, Bali
If you are an avid fan of climbing, Southeast of Mount Batur lies Mount Agung. Towering at 3,031 metres from sea level, it is the highest mountain in Bali and fifth highest in Indonesia. Climbing Mount Agung is no easy feat and requires a higher level of fitness. The four-hour sunrise climb starts from as early as 2:30 am in the morning, so be sure to fuel up. You’ll be hiking in the dark for some parts of it, but most guides provide you with headlamps. Be sure to wear good shoes and carry enough water with you. As Mount Agung eurupted five times in 2017, make sure you check the latest updates of volcanic action before heading there. Click here for a detailed guide to climb Mount Agung on Tripcanvas.
Mount Ijen & Mount Bromo in Surabaya
On our trip this year, we flew from Bali to Surabaya in East Jaya. The flight took less than an hour. We drove 6 hours to Mount Ijen, hoping to see the blue fire. Unfortunately, it was closed due to toxic gases. We then drove 4 hours to Mount Bromo for the sunrise climb, and the view is spectacular. If you are not much of a climber, Mount Bromo is ideal for you. There is hardly any climbing involved as you ride on a jeep to the sunrise point, and then the caldera. From the bottom, you can ride on horseback to the steps that take only about 10-15 minutes to climb right to the top.
Here are the popular tours to Mount Bromo:
- Mount Bromo Sunrise Tour (from Surabaya or Malang) >
- Mount Bromo Sunrise and Madakaripura Waterfall Tour >
7. Relax in your own private pool villa
Bali is well known to have some of the best villas in Southeast Asia, with some so luxurious it can be said to deliver an experience close to paradise on earth. For your Bali honeymoon, look forward to private pools, jacuzzis, and endless spa treatments. Find out which are our picks for the Top 10 Bali honeymoon hotels.
To add a little extra oomph to your vacation, you can rent wacky pool floats delivered right to your villa or hotel for that perfect IG-worthy shot! Take your pick from a variety of quirky designs like a pristine White Swan, a fabulous Pink Flamingo, or a stunning Gold Dragon. The floats will also be inflated and deflated for you, so all you have to worry about is picking the perfect pose.
Chapung Sebali in Ubud
Chapung Sebali is Ubud’s luxury boutique resort that blends traditional Indonesian architecture and Scandinavian interior design, giving you a cosy ambiance; a home away from home vibe. Located high up among the hills, it also offers a spectacular view of the rice fields and rich wilderness outside. The rice paddies and the jungle looked magical as the sun changes the world’s hue first thing in the morning and when it dips down the horizon at dusk.
Suites and villas of Chapung Sebali offer high-end comfort. For a more intimate and luxurious stay, book their 1-bedroom villa. Their bathroom is huge! On top of its spacious and airy atmosphere, it has a private pool and garden that you can enjoy for yourself. It is indeed a place for peace and solace.
White Rose Kuta Resort & Spa is located in the Kuta-Legian area which is at the central of touristic destinations. It is a convenient spot to stay at as it is only 15-minutes away from Bali International Airport. They offer Balinese-style accommodation at its most affordable value with heartwarming service.
We recommend their Pool Villa, the true gem of this resort and spa. It also provides an intimate honeymoon experience with its private plunge pool and terrace where they serve afternoon tea. Its overall interior is a fusion of luxury, elegance, and comfort that add essence to your romantic honeymoon in Bali.
Travel tip: Nusa Dua is Bali’s most exclusive area where you will find many luxury hotels. The beach here is generally quiet, well-kept and is one of Bali’s best beaches for snorkelling.
8. Go bananas with monkeys at Ubud Monkey Forest
The Ubud Monkey forest, situated within the village of Padangtegal, is also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal. This hilly forested area is also a Hindu temple complex and is home to a horde (700) of grey long-tailed macaques. With 186 species of trees in 12.5 hectares of forest, fresh air is abundant here. This area is viewed as an important spiritual, economic, educational and conservation center for the village. Here you can watch playful monkeys in their natural habitat, though be wary as they are daring in their advances for food, going as far as taking your valuables to trade for food! A friend of mine had her phone taken by a monkey and would not let it go until he got a banana! So if you prefer being left alone, be sure not to flash any food in the open. Do not feed monkeys any human snacks such as biscuits, bread or peanuts for it is not food for them. Entrance fee to the forest is IDR 50,000 ($5). A day tour to the Ubud Monkey Forest is usually combined with sightseeing at the Ubud Royal Palace and a tour around the Ubud Art Market, which is only about a 10-minute drive away.
Ubud Monkey Forest
Jalan Monkey Forest, Padangtegal, Ubud
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8 am – 6 pm
+62 (0)361 971 304
9. Take the plunge at Bali’s best waterfalls – GitGit Waterfalls & Sekumpul
Indonesia is home to beautiful waterfalls, with many in Bali for you to discover. On a hot and scorching day, nothing comes close to hiding out under a waterfall.
GitGit waterfall is great for beginners – it is easy to find and reach by road. Trek for a couple of minutes and you will find the 35-meters tall waterfall crashing into a pool where many like to take a refreshing dip in, though a local legend here that says that couples shouldn’t bathe together as this can spell bad luck for their relationship. Instead of swimming, you can take photos with these majestic waterfall backdrops behind you. A professional photographer will accompany you on this waterfall tour. Enjoy a creative photoshoot session while admiring the picturesque views.
Jalan Raya Bedugul – Singaraja, Gitgit, Sukasada, Kabupaten Buleleng Bali 81161, Indonesia
- Check out the Bali Hidden Waterfalls Trip – this tour allows you to see the Best of Ubud, which includes Tibamuna, Tukad Cepung, and the Teganungan and Blangsinga Waterfalls. Or you can opt for just Sekumpul, or Aling-aling and Gitgit Waterfall. There is also a side trip to Tegalalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces and capture photos of the beautiful views.
The Sekumpul waterfall is touted as the most beautiful waterfall in Bali. It is also the tallest waterfall in Bali, at 80km high. but seeing it up close takes quite a bit of effort – a 45 to 60 minutes trek. It is an hour drive from the city centre of Munduk. From the parking lot, you will have to walk a distance before going down a dirt road, hundreds of steps and across the river. The effort to get to Sekumpul Waterfall does keep tourists away, so it is not as crowded as GitGit waterfall might be. What makes Sekumpul so gorgeous is that it is made up of not one, but seven waterfalls which can be viewed from a distance. Entrance fee to the waterfall IDR 5,000 (~S$0.50).
Check out the tours below for Sekumpul Waterfall:
- Private Sekumpul Waterfall Private Day Tour
- Sekumpul Waterfall and Gate of Heaven Private Trip in Bali with Lunch
- Premium Sunrises, Rice Fields and Sekupul Waterfalls Tour
Sekumpul, Sawan, Lemukih, Sawan, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81171
10. Visit the Gates of Heaven at Lempuyang Temple
The Gates of Heaven at Lempuyang Temple has been one of the most popular spots in Bali because of its Instagrammable scenery. It is a huge ancient gate standing tall on a hilltop overlooking the majestic Mount Agung with a pool of water in front that reflects the sky above, creating a mirror-like effect. The photos you would see online really look immaculate like the temple itself. However, the puddle of water that used to be there is now just a concrete ground. What makes this mirror reflection in photos is now just a camera trick: a glass beneath the lens.
Maybe some tourists who visit the temple might be a bit disappointed by this trick, but we weren’t. The view here during sunrise is marvelous regardless if you take away the mirror illusion. Bring a cup of coffee or two and enjoy the break of day atop the temple – the place is so serene and the locals still practice their traditions here amidst the swarm of tourists. It is an irreplaceable experience to see how they preserve their culture, doing morning prayers and rituals despite the growing commercialism in the place.
From the temple, you can also explore the royal water garden, Tirta Gangga. It is located on the south-eastern slope of Mount Agung, the region’s highest mountain.
11. Go on Bali’s popular Instagram Tour
One of the reasons why The Gates of Heaven and Tegallalang rice terraces is so popular is thanks to Instagram. During your trip, visit some of the most picturesque and Instagrammable locations in Bali with this tour. Not only do you get to see stunning scenery, you also get to refresh your Instagram feed with amazing photos. Your guide will be your personal photographer, and not to worry, for he knows what he is doing! Get inspiration from Charlie & Lauren (who run travel blog Wanderers & Warriors) on how you can snap these Instagram-perfect shots! If you do not wish to travel so much, here is another Instagram tour that focuses on East Bali.
After that picture-perfect IG tour, kick back, relax, and have some well-deserved peace and serenity with premium afternoon tea at the 5-star Chedi Club. Munch on some Balinese-spiced tuna satay and indulge in Valrhona chocolate cake amid Balinese architecture interiors, or if you’re still high with adrenaline, go on a thrilling hot air balloon ride over the breathtaking natural scenery of Bali.
Because Bali has tons of stunning luxury resorts each with their own unique quirk, it’s so difficult to pick just one–thankfully, you can still enjoy all of the glitter and glam of 5-star luxury even if you’re not staying in one. Spend the day at the height of posh and fabulousness at Club Med Bali, with its exhilarating water sports and unforgettable music and entertainment at night. Whether you’re in it for just half a day or rearing for a full-day escape, Club Med has everything you’ll ever need from sun up to sun down.
12. Relax and surf on Bali’s best beaches
Bali has a fine collection of beaches, from palm-fringed white sand beaches to black sand beaches. Each sandy cove offers you an experience of its own – the most popular being Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, followed by the quieter shores of Sanur, Nusa Dua, and Jimbaran.
Kuta Beach is great for learning to surf. If you wish to ride Bali’s waves, you can get a package on the spot that includes an instructor for about IDR 150k to 200k (S$15-20), or just the board for about 50k (S$5) an hour. But if you are keen to learn how to surf, I encourage pre-booking this 2.5-h Surfing lesson that includes hotel pickup and drop off. Alternatively, you can relax on the grey sands with a Bintang beer in hand – many hawkers are peddling food, drinks, trinkets, and massages. Sun Loungers are available for rent at about IDR 50k (S$5) for an hour. Admire the beautiful sunset, and as night falls, you will find Kuta liven up with tons of exciting nightlife. There is also new Beachwalk complex for shopping, and you will find international brands like H&M and Ripcurl and more.
Legian Beach, close to Kuta beach, is separated by a narrow beach road not accessible to cars, so if you are looking for a less crowded option with the same perks, Legian Beach might just be your beach. If you want to get away from all crowds, try Balangan Beach which is 40 minutes outside Kuta.
Uluwatu beach is also great for surfing, and beneath it hides the Suluban Beach Cave that resembles a dragon’s lair. Seminyak, home to more upscale and chic establishments, is the beach to head to for a stylish beach hangout. Sanur and Jimbaran are both more serene options, with the main difference of Sanur resembling more of a quiet rustic fishing village, whereas Jimbaran is home to 5-star resorts and seafood restaurants which can get quite pricey.
For other beach honeymoon destinations, check out the travel guides below:
- Top 16 Things to do on your Phuket Honeymoon
- Top 25 Things to do on your Boracay Honeymoon
- Top 15 Things to do on your Palawan Honeymoon
13. Chill out at Bali’s best beach clubs
Bali has great beach clubs. The vibrant atmosphere, creative cocktails and sparkling pools facing the beach, your trip to Bali is not complete without a visit to a beach club.
Potato Head Beach Club and Ku De Ta in Seminyak are the most well known of the lot, and you will need a reservation for sure. So far, all of my trips to Bali have included a visit to Potato Head, but sadly over the years it has gotten very crowded and isn’t quite like it was before. Prices too are on the higher side though. That being said, it is definitely still worth a visit. Ku De Ta on the other hand, was a little underwhelming on my first visit so I have not returned since 2015.
Potato Head Beach Club
Jalan Petitenget No.51B, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Opening Hours: 10 am – 2 am
In Seminyak, popular beach clubs to visit are Mrs. Sippy (which has the largest saltwater pool on the island) and Cocoon. Other famous mentions on the internet include Sundays Beach Club (Ungasan), Finn’s Beach Club (Canggu) and OMNIA Bali (Uluwatu). You can be sure to find a beach club on almost every beach in Bali. Our latest trip, we stayed in Sanur for a couple of days, and visited ABC Artotel Beach Club – the vibes there are just as great, and the beach club is built around 100-year-old old Banyan tree!
Finn’s Beach Club
With its beachfront appeal and its VIP exclusivity, Finn’s Beach Club takes your inner celeb status to a whole new level. This ultimate elite destination offers 5-star facilities and world-class amenities—after all, where else can you find an infinity edge pool decked to the nines with underwater speakers? The best part of it all is that you can go on a full day pass on this beachfront property at Berawa surf break, or take a Super Fun Pass for a trip you definitely won’t forget.
14. Enjoy tranquil island life at the Nusa Islands
If you are tired of battling the crowds in Bali, a 30-minute speedboat will bring you to Nusa Penida, where a slice of true island life awaits. Nusa is part of a tropical trio – Lembongan, Penida and Ceningan.
Nusa Penida shot to fame recently thanks to the popular Instagram spot at KelingKing beach. From the viewpoint, you will see it’s unique t-rex shaped outline, which lead to its nickname ”dinosaur island. On Nusa Penida, you will find beautiful coastal cliffs, untouched nature, and little tourists (at least for now). Most of the island remains relatively undeveloped, allowing it to retain its virgin island charm. Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach are the popular points of interest as it is close to the Nusa Penida port. You can also scuba dive in Nusa Penida. Check out Journey Era’s guide for a list of things to do on Nusa Penida.
There are two smaller islands next to Nusa Penida – Nusa Lembongan & Ceningan and you can get there by boat. If you plan to visit all 3 Nusa islands, you can check out this 2D1N tour. Tripcanvas has a great guide on visiting the 3 Nusa islands. Nusa Lembongan is a great spot for snorkeling. You can snorkel and also visit the mangroves , or go on a reef cruise.
Try exciting Water Sports
After all is said and done, chillaxing on an island is never complete without engaging in thrilling water sports with your beau! Master the waters on a Jetovator in Nusa Dua, or go kayaking and snorkeling at Lembongan Island on the luxury catamaran, Bali Hai II. Experience extreme flyboarding at Tanjung Benoa Beach, or impress everyone with your totally sick wakeboarding skills like 180-degree spins for the ultimate Instagram action shot. Then, take a cool break and ride out to the middle of the Bali Sea on a banana boat coupled with easy round trip transfers in Kuta, Sanur, Legian, Seminyak, Nusa Dua, and Jimbaran.
15. Go river rafting with the tides at Ayung River
Ayung River, Bali’s longest river, is where you can tackle 33 rapids! Not only is river rafting here going to give you a serious adrenaline boost, it also presents a perfect opportunity for you to see Bali’s beautiful nature, interesting canyon wall carvings, and even waterfalls. The route is rather thrilling, and not for the faint-hearted, though first-timers are more than welcome. Paddle, swim and splash around! Ayung River is 5 km away from Ubud. Click here for a tour by Red Paddles – it includes a free pick-up from selected areas and free 24-hour cancellation.
If you have tried water-rafing before, and want to opt for a more advanced ride, you can go to Telaga Waja river for their medium-level river rafting course.
16. See the animals at the Bali Safari and Marine Park
Embark on a safari journey where you can see animals roam freely from your bus. You also get to see and interact with animals up close while they are in their natural habitats. Catch live animal shows, and the highlight is the Bali Agung – The Legend of Balinese Goddessess show, which feature exciting performances. There is also a water park and fun zone for you to take your visit to the next level. My concern with animal parks is always abotu how they treat their animals, but here at Bali Safari & Marine Park, conservation and education is important to them. That being said, when there, avoid riding on the elephants.
If you really want to get up close and personal with these gentle giants, you can connect with the rescued elephants over at Mason Elephant Park and learn all about their plight and how they were saved. You can even give them a good ol’ scrubbing and bathe with them for a fully immersive and totally unforgettable experience!
Top off your flora and fauna experience with the beautiful sanctuary of a thousand birds. Bali Bird Park is more than just 250 different avian species—you can also catch a glimpse of the famed Komodo dragons here!
17. Chase dolphins at Lovina Beach
Board a local fishing boat and cruise out to Lovina beach where you can see hundreds of dolphins frolicking in the calm waters. Back in the days, local fishermen would head out to these waters for their daily catch – and so did the dolphins! You can arrange to go on a tour through hotels such as Dolphin Beach Bali and The Lovina. Tickets vary from IDR 200,000 to 250,000 (S$20 – 25) per person, and the tour starts early in the morning at about 5:30 am. There are several dolphin species here, with the most commonly sighted dolphin being the Stenella longirostris. After the tour, you can visit Air Banjar Hot Springs for a relaxing dip.
Travel tip: Avoid months of February and April as the weather is unfavourable during those times. If your boatman gives you the go ahead, you might just be able to jump in for a morning swim with the beautiful mammals. As Lovina Beach (North) is relatively far from Denpasar, if you are staying nearer the South of Bali, this tour by Bali Hai takes you dolphin watching near the Nusa Dua and Uluwatu coastline.
18. Feel the Bali breeze along the Campuhan Ridge
Campuhan Ridge is an easy 2km trek located at the heart of Ubud. It is famous for its smooth pathway; the walk is not strenuous at all, and it’s free entrance! It can really be just a simple troll along the ridge; no need to gear up. It is windy up here and gives you a scenic view of the vistas. Either during sunrise or sunset, you would definitely get that aesthetic photos, thanks to the sun’s warm and cool lights.
“Unity in Diversity”—this is the colorful way Balinese culture celebrates Indonesia’s one-of-a-kind tapestry of rich multi-cultural gems across 18,000 islands. Immerse yourself in the award-winning Devdan show as it takes the audience on a journey that follows the tale of a boy, a girl, and a treasure trove of hidden artefacts across the archipelago.
19. Party hard at Bali’s best nightclubs
Bali is home to some of the best nightlife we have experienced. You will find exciting clubs in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak.
Sky Garden (Legian)
We highly recommend you visit Skygarden, ranked as the #88 club in the world. With 4 floors of different clubs each spinning different top hits, you are bound to have a blast. We went there on a Monday and yet the Skydome (first floor) was packed. They even had a fire show on set! It was AMAZING.
There is a cover charge of IDR 200,000 (S$20) per pax on regular nights, or IDR 250,000 (S$25) on premier nights. It includes a coupon for a free drink, but ladies get a free entry from 9 to 11 pm daily. On the top floor, there is an all you can eat or drink buffet at Skygarden. It runs from 7 – 9 pm daily and you get free flow of food and drinks (yes alcohol too) for just IDR 99,000 per person, which is an insane deal! The Skylounge on the top floor serves up drinks at promotional prices – IDR 50,000 (S$5) gets you a glass of mojito, long island tea or 2 shots. Beers are going at IDR 25,000 (S$2.50) and IDR 35,000 (S$3.50) will get you a vodka red bull. I was honestly speechless by the prices. The drinks are strong, music is great and the atmosphere is hyped up – what else could you ask for! Opposite Skygarden is Engine Room, another club that you would want to pop by.
Jalan Legian Kaja No.61, Kuta, Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 5 pm to 4 am
Mirror Bali Lounge and Club (Seminyak)
Mirror Bali Lounge and Club gives you one of the coolest nightlife experiences. Its interiors, resembling of a Gothic cathedral might seem freaky at first, but it has glittery mosaic-like wall décor, beautiful stained glass windows and a towering ceiling brilliantly matched with futuristic laser lighting that provides an immersive party experience. From hip-hop to house music, here you can dance the night away to internationally famous DJs. On some nights, you can even party with trapeze artists as they swing over your head. Do note that Mirror has a stricter dress code than most clubs – no sleeveless tops or flip-flops. A cover charge of IDR 150,000 on weekdays 250,000 on weekends apply for most days, but stay tuned to their facebook page for events – some have free entries!
Mirror Longue and Club
Jalan Petitenget No.106, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Wed-Sat 11 pm – 4 am
Tel: +62 (0)811 3993 010
20. Go café-hopping at Bali’s best cafés
Bali’s cafe scene is booming, with many offering Instagrammable-interiors and interesting concepts. In front of Mirror Bali Lounge & Club is Gardin Bistro, an enchanting glasshouse restaurant that will take your breath away. The elegant space is romantic and definitely a place to visit on your Bali honeymoon.
Coffee lovers, be sure to pay a visit to Revolver Espresso (Seminyak) for their exquisite coffees and fragrant smells. Another worthy mention is Deus ex Machina (Seminyak) – a restaurant, cafe, motorcycle shop, surf shop and photo + art gallery all in one. The coffee is said to be pretty good here, though what caught our attention is their Dirty Bintang – Bintang beer over ice with a dash of sambal and squirt of fresh lime served in a salt-rimmed glass. We also loved our lunch at Clean Canteen (Seminyak). We had tuna poke and their raw chocolate for desserts. Their dragon fruit smoothie is also a must-try.
In Canggu, you can try out the loft-style eatery, The Loft. They serve healthy vegan options and even their coffee concoctions are more than just a caffeine boost. For a minimalist haven, The Sensorium Bali is the place to be. They offer Asian-fusion menu with exquisite platings and taste. Meanwhile, if you prefer a plant-based and ultimate vegan food place, Peloton Supershop has impeccable meat substitute dishes.
During our trip, we also visited La Favela for drinks. This internet-famous spot resembles an abandoned colonial-building with jungle-like interiors. The interiors were indeed enchanting, but the drinks were underwhelming and we experienced poor service. We quickly finished our drinks before leaving for Red Carpet just opposite – service there was the complete opposite. Do note that during evenings, guys are not allowed to wear sleeveless shirts into most bars.
If you are in the Ubud area, do visit Cafe Pomegranate – this cafe allows you to enjoy a 360-degree view of rice fields! The tranquil and peaceful surroundings are great for enjoying a coffee and a book. Nook, located north of Seminyak, is also a little heaven with such tranquil surroundings. If you are at Nusa Dua, do visit Pirate’s Bay – this cafe is a pirate ship that comes complete with a lookout tower, tree houses, a huge ocean playground and even a pirates kitchen – it’s time to unleash your inner Jack Sparrow here. Click here for a great guide on Bali’s cafes by The Asia Collective.
21. Admire the sunset at Bali’s best beach restaurants – Chez Gado Gado
Sunset ocean-view dining is an experience you would not want to leave Bali without. During our trip, we paid a visit to Chez Gado Gado. This fancy restaurant sits right on Double Six Beach in Seminyak and is one of the best places to dine at while admiring the sunset. Their cocktails are delicious and surprisingly cheaper than other alternatives – would recommend the Gadogado on the beach!
Chez Gado Gado
Jalan Camplung Tanduk Dhyana Pura No. 99, Seminyak
+62 (0)361 736 966
22. Delight in fresh seafood at Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran Bay boasts a beautiful stretch of white sands and is fined for its fresh seafood and stunning sunset views. Here, restaurants line up tables and chairs on the sand, where you can dine barefoot with sand in your toes as you hear the sounds of waves crashing on the shores. Most restaurants display their (live) seafood at their entrance, where you can handpick your own dinner to be barbecued. The North part of the beach is where the fancier restaurants are, and word on the ‘beach’ is you will get most value on the South end (in between the InterContinental and the Four Seasons). Teba Mega, Menega, and Made Bagus Cafe are popular choices. Peddlers do go around the beach selling handicraft, and you can get some delicious corn from here too.
Travel tip: Do research or walk around to shop for a restaurant beforehand, and be sure to confirm the prices and weight first – some places may overcharge. On one visit, we (spontaneously) did not do our research beforehand and ended up paying about S$120 for a very small platter of seafood which was not even enough for two.
23. Experience underwater seawalking in Sanur
Bali is a paradise for sea lovers. Surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving are popular activities. This tour even allows you to swim with sharks! One of the unique experiences you can have your Bali honeymoon is seawalking! Bali Seawalker allows you to enjoy an immersive underwater experience without a scuba diving license – you do not even need to know how to swim! You pop on a helmet, which is connected to an oxygen tank onboard, and it allows you to breathe underwater. You stay dry chin up while observing and interacting with marine life up close. It is quite an incredible experience, plus you do not need to deal with heavy scuba diving equipment. Each underwater tour takes about 30 minutes. The package includes a free pickup from selected areas. You can also experience Bali’s underwater world in a scooter with this tour.
24. Scuba dive in Bali’s best diving spots – Menjangan Island
If you love scuba diving, Bali has some beautiful underwater gardens for you to explore. Menjangan Island in North Bali is part of West Bali National Park and is one of the popular diving (and snorkeling) spots in Bali, thanks to its abundant marine life. It is surrounded by calm and pristine waters, and the shallow reefs make it easy for beginner divers and snorkellers to enjoy. Click here for a guide by Travelfish.
For more adventurous divers, you can try wreck diving at Tulamben. The USAT Liberty wreck is famous and is ranked as one of the Top Wreck Diving sites in the world, making it a must for adventurous divers to visit. For non-divers, this tour takes you snorkelling around the wreck site.
You can also scuba dive in Nusa Penida, and you will see manta rays and the mola-mola (an Indonesian sunfish that measures up to 3metres and weights up to 1000kg.
Nusa Lembongan’s turquoise waters also have much to discover, click here for a reef cruise tour that brings you around on board a luxury catamaran. Click here for more top scuba diving spots in Bali by Girls that Scuba.
If you’re not up for a full-fledged diving course, you can try this 3-hour Beginner scuba diving experience (pick up and drop off at Southern Bali) instead.
25. Visit the Gili Islands (it’s also great for diving!)
If you have time to spare, visit The Gili Islands – a group of 3 tiny islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Gili Trawangan, the biggest island, is the most developed of the 3 and is also one of the best (and cheapest) places to learn diving. The laid-back vibes of this place is perfect for sunbathing and just snoozing away on a hamoock, or you can take a casual stroll around the island in 2 hours. Gili T is friendly and every night a club or dive centre will host a party for everyone to be at. Though nearer to Lombok, it is only a 2 hour speedboat ride from Bali – no reason not to visit!
26. Explore Bali’s strangely abandoned places
For a tourist hotspot such as Bali, it sure has plenty of strangely abandoned places where you can get a spine-chilling experience (and tons of Instagram photos) just being there. If you crave an off-the-beaten-path experience, you might just want to check them out for yourselves. At South Kuta near Pandawa Beach, there is an abandoned airplane, and no one really knows why its there. The defunct amusement park Taman Festival apparently never got completed because crocodiles got out of their pits. If you are brave enough to set foot here, you will see a scene commonly sighted in The Walking Dead – just without the zombies. The uncompleted hotel Taman Rekreasi Bedugul is also another creepy sight, and the skeletons at Trunyan island might just leave a lasting effect on you. Click here for a tour of Trunyan Village. Here is a link to all the strange places in Bali to visit by Tripcanvas.
27. Indulge in a relaxing spa session
Trips here and there are fun, but you can’t help but be exhausted on your journey. Booking a spa session is a nice way to get your energy back and calm yourself from the overwhelming feeling of traveling to these great places. We recommend Karsa Spa if you want to enjoy various treatments in a beautiful setting as your massage therapists heal your entire being.
Karsa Spa aims to open your true nature – your core beyond your mind and body. They allow you to connect with your source energy, divine connection, and who you truly are. After your massage, you can choose to have their flower bath. Their products are made of natural and traditional Balinese products that relax and open yourself and keep you in tune with the world.
Here are some spas you can enjoy when in these areas:
- Kuta: Full body massage at Bali Orchid Spa (rated 4.1 by 613 Google reviews) or Taman Air Spa (rated 4.2 by 285 Google reviews)
- Seminyak: Bali Spa Treatment at Lluvia Spa Semiyak (rated 4.2 by 99 Google reviews)
- Ubud: For a unique experience, try this forest spa experience at Kamandalu Ubud Hotel
- Featured on Honeycombers, Prana Spa is a wellness chain that focuses on relaxing ancient rituals in India & Middle-Eastern inspired interiors. Click here to experience.
Below are some Bali travel tips. Be sure to also check out our Ultimate Bali Travel Guide. It shares everything you need to know about traveling to Bali. Definitely give it a read, especially if it is your first time to Bali!
When is the best time to visit Bali?
The best time to visit Bali is during April, May, June, and September. These months are during the dry season and are just before and after the high season.
The dry season is from April to October. If you are planning on day excursions, beach trips, and water sports, do visit during the dry season. The wet season is from October to March. The high season in Bali is during June and August, especially during Easter, Christmas and New Year holidays.
Where to stay in Bali?
The most popular area that many choose to stay in Bali is the south coast from the airport up to Tanah Lot.
- Kuta: A good spot if you want to be in the action of it all. The ease of access and nightlife options are aplenty.
- Seminyak: If you are seeking a more stylish vacation, Seminyak has many beach clubs and chic restaurants for you to enjoy. Kuta and Seminyak are about a 15-minute cab ride from each other.
- Canggu: A great spot for surfer lovers. The chilled vibes are perfect.
- Nusa Dua has many luxurious resorts for you to enjoy 5-star living. We recommend The Bale and Samabe Suites & Villas. The Bale is a stylish minimalist resort with zen vibes. Samabe, a luxury oceanfront resort has all-inclusive packages that will pamper you during your vacation.
- Ubud: This is the cultural capital of Bali, with yoga and meditation to complete the ‘zen’ lifestyle.
- Sanur: A good middle ground between quiet beaches and noisy nightlife. We stayed at The Samata which is about 15 minutes away from Sanur beach.
- Uluwatu: On the far south is Uluwatu, famous for beautiful cliffside temples. There are luxury hotels, beach clubs (Finn’s beach club is here), and surf bars in this area. We suggest staying at Banyan Tree Ungasan, a beautiful clifftop resort with an amazing sunset view.
Read our Bali hotel reviews
- Tie the Knot at a Clifftop Wedding Chapel with Panoramic Views of the Indian Ocean in Banyan Tree Ungasan, Bali
- 10 Reasons why Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Bali Resort will become every Honeymooner’s Secret Paradise
- Refresh your Senses at The Balé, Minimalist & Stylish Living in Bali, Indonesia
- Experience Breathtaking Wedding Venues & All-Inclusive Luxury by the Ocean at Samabe Bali Suites and Villas
- Check out our list of Top 10 Most Romantic Bali Hotels.
- Check out our list of Top Wedding Venues in Bali to Suit your Wedding Theme
Bali travel tips
- Situated near the equator, Bali experiences a tropical climate, with an average year-round temperature of 86°F (30°C). Pack light clothing, beachwear and bring loads of sunscreen for your trip. Be sure to also bring repellent with you as there are many mosquitoes around, especially around the forested areas.
- Public transport is not available in Bali, but you can get around easily with Uber or Grab. Go-Jek is another local app that you should download – on top of transport, it can be used for shopping/courier services. You can also easily hitch a ride on a Motorbike/taxi. For taxis, use the metered ones by Blue Bird Group. If you are comfortable riding a scooter, you can easily rent one for about IDR 30,000-50,000 (S$3 – 5) per day.
- Do not drink from the tap, the water is not potable.
- Avoid stepping on the ‘canang sari’, a colourful daily offering made by the Balinese Hindus. They usually place it at the entrances, so be careful to not step on them.
- Don’t be afraid to haggle – usually, prices quoted to you are marked up, so do ask if they can offer a discount or cheaper price (try using the local phrases below)
- With the influx of tourism, most restaurants in Bali charge service and tax that is not reflected on the menu. The tax seems to be progressive in different places, I paid about 15 – 20% each time. Tips are not expected but definitely welcomed.
- Bali is great for surfing and swimming, but when at the beach, take note of the red flags and swim within the boundaries. The beaches are quite wide so the shallow areas are quite big, but be careful, as the waves can get unpredictable.
- Bali is generally safe, but stay tuned to the news for any updates on volanic activity before booking your tickets.
- For day tours, we highly suggest you hire a car with a driver which usually range between IDR500-600k for a 10-hour trip. The driver can also help you plan the day itinerary accordingly. During our trip, we hired Ketut Beau of Uluwatu Bali Driver and we highly recommend his service. He was kind, always on time and very helpful.
Bali travel costs
- The rupiah exchanges for approximately IDR 10,000 to S$1. Money changers can be easily found along the streets of busy areas.
- For accommodation, there are cheap guesthouses and hostels that cost about IDR 120,000 – 200,000 (S$12 – 20) per night. Budget hotels range from about IDR 300,000 – 700,000 (S$30 – 70) per night, and if it comes with a pool it will probably start from IDR 500,000 (S$50) per night. Airbnb is available, and you can rent entire villas or apartments from about IDR 350,000 (S$350) per night. Shared rooms will probably cost a fraction of it. In Bali, there are plenty of luxury options and 5-star resorts, so if you are up for pampering yourselves, you will be spoilt for choice.
- Food in Bali can be cheap. The key word is ‘can be’. You can get street food for about IDR 20,000 (S$2). A basic meal with a drink can cost about IDR 30,000 – 50,000 (S$3 – 5). That being said, Bali is getting increasingly expensive, and our most recent trip left us feeling as though we were in Singapore – we spent about IDR 150,000 – 200,000 (S$15 – 20) per person for each meal. Cafes are not cheap either, with prices for a drink starting from IDR 40,000 (S$4) not inclusive of tax and service charge.
- Transport in Bali thankfully remains relatively cheap. Short 5 to 10 minute rides usually cost about IDR 30,000 to 50,000 (S$3 to 5).
- Flights to Bali will range depending on whether it is the high or low season. Get your tickets at least 6 weeks in advance to avoid paying a premium.
I hope that our Things to Do in Bali guide has helped you with your planning. For more, please go to our Ultimate Bali Travel Guide! If you enjoyed it, please share it on Facebook! If you need any help with planning, booking or recommendations, feel free to email us at [email protected]. We have a honeymoon planning guide here.
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