Bali is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world at present. Tourists from all parts of the world come to Bali for a perfect vacation full of fun activities, good food, and soul-inspiring experiences. Bali is the most popular travel destination in Indonesia for its beautiful beaches, volcanic mountains, rice fields, and amazing nightlife. Bali caters to your mind, body, and soul with its wide variety of holidaying options. The best time to visit Bali is between April and October as it is the dry season for Bali, and tourism is at peak here. Read this Bali travel guide further to know more about Bali.
-Learn some local lingo. Learning a few words of Bahasa Indonesian like selamat pagi (good morning), tolong (please), terima kasih (thank you) is right to begin.
-Choose your base carefully as each part of Bali is known for a different culture
-Expect crowded places as Bali is currently one of the most popular travel destinations
-Avail some of the best spa services in Bali
-Experience unique and advanced yoga/meditation sessions in Bali
-Respect nature and avoid dumping plastic bottles/cans carelessly
-Bali is known for its strict governance and administration, especially when it comes to drug cases. Avoid practicing any illegal activity here.
-Bali is known to be home to over a hundred temples. Do respect their culture and religious sentiments while you stay here.
By Air: One of the best airports in Indonesia, Ngurah Rai International Airport, popularly known as Denpasar International Airport, connects you to Bali. Many International Airlines serve at this airport, and it is known to be one of the busiest airports in Indonesia.
By Sea: Several cruise liners traversing through South East Asia have a stop at Bali. However, the flight route is a better option in all cases. Reaching Bali by air would give you a hassle-free and convenient ride.
Although Bali is said to have innumerable attractive tourist places that cater to tourists of all kinds, some areas grab a space in your must-visit list. They are Pura Tanah Lot, Mount Batur, Ubud Monkey Forest, and Uluwatu Temple. Bali also has many beaches like Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu, which are known for its tropical beauty.
There are many untouched and not-so-crowded islands around Bali that are adored for their beauty. These islands are must-visit places for the people who wish to relieve themselves from the hustled life and gain a serene experience in the lap of nature. The most popular islands around Bali are Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and the Gili Island Triangle (Gili Trawangan, Gili Gede, and Gili Meno). They are also known to offer several exciting water activities which most of the youths visiting Bali are fond of.
Lately, Bali has become an essential center for Yoga shalas, meditation centers, and retreats. Yoga practitioners from all around the globe come to Bali to experience the serenity and calmness that Bali has to offer. Several such centers have opened in Bali in the last few decades. Some of the popular places are Bali Eco Stay, Fivelements, Yoga Barn, Bali Silent Retreat Meditation Center, and Shambala Oceanside Retreat. In the current age of digitalization, the digital nomad generation is on a lookout for spiritual and soul-awakening experience, and Bali happens to be the perfect destination for it.
Tourists admire Balinese fabrics and handicrafts for their close depiction of the art and culture of Bali. There are several popular stores for crafts in Bali, which are an essential part of every tourists’ go-to list for buying souvenirs for friends and family. Some of them are Krishna Bali Souvenir Shop, Sukawati Art Market, Kuta Art Market, and Joger Bali. Apart from these, if the movie Eat Pray Love is your inspiration to be in Bali, then you must know that some parts of the film were shot in this area of Bali (Ubud Art Market). There are shopping malls too with a wide range of favored brands- Seminyak Village Mall, Beachwalk Shopping Mall, and Mall Bali Galleria.
The beaches of Bali make it a popular travel destination for adventure seekers. It offers a wide range of water sports & activities like sea-walking, underwater scooter ride (It’s like a submarine with handlebars that lets you navigate your way), flying fish (you are secured to an inflatable rubber boat and pulled by a speedboat). One can also opt for kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and jet skiing. It has options for everyone from a beginner to the advanced. There are some unique activities like flyboarding (a forceful water spray is attached to the boots that let you propel in the air and then dive into the water), subwing (diving into the water holding onto a carbon-fiber wing which is dragged by speedboat), and kitesurfing (it uses a large steerable kite to launch you over the water) which are attracting a lot of tourist attention lately.
Tanah Lot Temple
Pura Tanah Lot, popularly known as Tanah Lot Temple, acquires an essential place in the list of must-visit places for tourists in Bali. Located on the coastal side of Beraban countryside, it gives a stunning view located atop of rock overlooking the sea. It is perhaps the most photographed temple in Bali and provides a surreal view of the sunrise and sunset from the top. The name of the temple is a derivation accounting to its location as tanah stands for land and lot for sea. The temple is usually crowded with tourists on sunny days.
The sunrise trek of Mount Batur is a popular trek destination for tourists visiting Bali. Located in the Bangli Regency, Bali, Mount Batur is an active volcano placed at the center of two calderas. Climbing Mount Batur is not tough but is said to be challenging as the dark and narrow path of the volcanic mountain gives you a unique experience. The tourists feel the bliss of standing atop the volcanic mountain by the dawn and witness the beautiful sight of the sun rising.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu, popularly known as Uluwatu temple, is one of the essential temples in Balinese spiritual pillars. The temple is one of the best places to visit in Bali as it is located on a cliff, almost 70 meters above the sea level. It is, again, an essential spot to witness the spectacular sight of sunset in Bali.
Ubud Monkey Forest
Mandala Suci Wenara Wana is popularly known as Ubud Monkey Forest. It is deemed as a sanctuary or natural habitat of Balinese long-tailed monkey. The monkeys here are known for their notorious activities and hence make sure not to carry anything with you. If you carry bananas with you to feed the monkeys, there are high chances that they will be all over you, snatching it from you. They may also snatch and run away with your sunglasses and other belongings, so be cautious!
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
The Tegalalang Rice terrace is again an important destination to be visited when you plan for Bali. It is a lush green terraced rice field that you would have often spotted in Bali pictures of popular bloggers. It is one of the most photographed locations in Bali. It is a beautiful series of rice paddies located near Ubud. It is advisable to visit this place in the early half of the day to avoid heat and sun.
Balinese cuisine is admired for its tempting aromas and rich taste of spices. With its tantalizing and unpretentious flavors, the food is Bali earns a unique place amongst South Asian cuisines. Let’s look at some of the must-try dishes in Bali:
This smoked duck dish is the most famous Balinese dish of all. It has an intense cooking technique and is said to take 12 hours. In Bebek betutu, the duck is rubbed and mixed with spices, wrapped in areca palm leaves and smoked with rice husk. The spicy preparation gives it a unique mouth-watering taste and accounts for its finesse in taste.
Where to have- Chandi, Seminyak
Babi Guling is the suckling pig where pork is rubbed with turmeric and stuffed with rich spices and roasted on coconut husk or wood to provide a tender base to it. The stuffed spices include a wide range of traditional spices which is carefully put together to give a delicious taste to it.
Where to have- Babi Guling Ibu Oka, Ubud
Rice is widely grown all over Bali and is particularly a favorite food for most Balinese people. Nasi Goreng is the most popular staple food wherein fried rice is served with your choice of meat, shrimp, pork and pickled veggies. It can be easily spotted anywhere from high-end hotels to street food markets.
Where to have- Poppies Restaurant, Badung Regency
Bali is said to have rich varieties of bananas and Pisang Goreng is a Balinese dessert made of fried bananas. Pisang goreng gives an exciting taste because of the rich varieties of bananas as each time you may experience a different taste. They are served with honey or palm sugar syrup, flaked coconut and vanilla-flavored ice creams.
Where to have- Warung Dhea, Jatiluwih
It is the famous Indonesian staple fried noodles served with chicken, veggies, shrimp or pork. The other ways of adding more flavors to it are by adding chicken sate sticks, prawn crackers, fried egg, and peanut sauce to it. Pickled veggies too are often added to it.
Where to have- Café Kami, Seminyak
It is one of the most recommended and highly reviewed restaurants in Bali. Sensorium is known for its authentic preparation and exquisite presentation. With its simple and homey setup inspired by Japanese interior and Australian interior café, Sensorium delivers the best of everything you ask for.
The Tropical restaurant is a retro club themed restaurant built on the beach. The main attraction of this place is the central pool which is surrounded by daybeds on all sides. With pop colors decking all sides and an exciting menu to keep you fresh and hydrated, Tropical happens to be a unique experience altogether.
Located at the shoreline of Seminyak, Mejekawi looks magical with its glass-fronted setup. The restaurant gives a spectacular view of the sunset from its location. The interior is great and attractive as the view it gives from the restaurant. They are known to have a dynamic menu with some signature dishes available throughout. Their specialty includes yellowfin tuna with sumac and radish, roasted duck and Bubur Injin- a classic Indonesian dessert.
With its tiny galley-style kitchen buzzing with chefs, Locavore follows the mantra “Go Local or Go Home.” It is owned by the two renowned chefs, Ray Adriansyah and Eelke Plasmeijer make sure that all ingredients used in cooking dishes here are only local and endemic. The signature dish of this place is Into the Sawah, it is hyper local rice cooked risotto style and served with frog legs, snails, flowers and duck egg yolk.
This place offers a contemporary Italian dining experience with a touch of traditional ingredients that gives a special flavor to the dishes prepared here. Mauri includes home-made items exclusively and is known for its world class service. They specialize in Indian and Mediterranean cuisines.
Hanging Gardens of Bali
Hanging Gardens of Bali is a luxurious resort featuring Balinese themed posh villas. It is located in the lush rainforest and overlooks the Ayung River. The regal attraction of this property is the Hidden Palace which was originally built by the owners as a private residence. It gives an authentic taste of luxury with its individual suites- Emperor Suite, Presidential Suite, Majestic Suite, and the Garden Suite.
The Legian Bali
It is a luxurious and sophisticated property known for its ocean-view rooms. The beautiful setting of the property allows you to choose amongst sleek suites and well equipped villas. The Legian offers a beautiful escape into the lap of nature in the most unique way.
Aman properties are intricately designed in natural settings. They are most renowned for their respect for space and privacy. They believe in giving a warm welcome to all its guests and impart a sense of belongingness. Aman has three beautiful properties in Bali- Amankila, Amandari and Aman Villas at Nusa Dua.
The property is located in the vicinity of the central part of Ubud. The Viceroy Bali was awarded The Best Resort in the World by CNT in the Readers’ Choice Awards. The lavish setup accommodates 25 luxurious private pool villas. The villas give a sneak into the natural surrounding which gives a calming effect to its guests.
Suarga Padang Padang
The property in its interior and culture projects a perfect balance between the age-old values and contemporary expectations. Suarga Padang Padang is located at the southern peninsula of Bali and gives a stunning view of the ocean from all its rooms. The property depicts the brilliance of Balinese craftsmanship and is built upon the three pillars of sustainability- environmental, social, and economical.
-Guided Sunset Tour
Bali is known for its spectacular view of the sunrise/sunset. Such locations may have an entry ticket for the visitors, but the amazing sight that you will witness is worth it. The most popular spots which you can head to witness the sunrise/sunset is Tanah Lot Temple. Several agencies offer guided sunrise/sunset tours to this location.
The Sunset Dinner Cruise around Benoa Harbor is a place where you can experience a perfect romantic dinner with your partner. To make it more special, they provide musical entertainers, a delicious international buffet, and a live cabaret to accompany you.
-Live Music Band
Live Music and good food make the perfect combination. Fortunately, Bali tends to have some of the very famous clubs which are recognized for its live bands. The most popular place under this list is The Orchard, it is known to have some of the best local and international bands play for them. Some other such places are Laughing Buddha Bar, Hard Rock Café, and Ryoshi House of Jazz.
-Bars and Clubs
Bali is home to a wide range of clubs and bars which are mostly located in the Seminyak region. Some of the most famous ones are Townhouse, Charlie Bar & Bistro, Vertical Point, and Ku De Ta.
The night markets in Bali are locally termed as pasar malam and pasar senggol. It is a unique experience to shop local traditional food and snacks at midnight that, too, at attractive rates. Some of the best places for the night market are Sanur, Kereneng, Gianyar, and Badung.