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28 BEST Things to do in Bali, Indonesia

28 BEST Things to do in Bali, Indonesia

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If you’re looking for the best things to do in Bali, this is it!

With so many activities on this beautiful island, it’s hard to know where to begin! But I’ve been going to Bali on holiday regularly for the past 20 years, and Bailey and I even lived here in 2023, so I’ve tried a lot. I’ve written this list of the best activities in Bali to narrow it down and help you plan the perfect trip. 

From cooking classes and canyoning to chasing waterfalls and checking out beach clubs, this list covers all of the Bali must-dos. So whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, culture, or a mix of it all, I’ve got you covered!

Things to do in Bali, Indonesia

1. Join an authentic Balinese cooking class

A cooking class is an absolute must when in Bali! This island is one of our all-time favorite foodie destinations, so we just had to take a cooking class to learn how to recreate the cuisine at home. We also thought it would be fun and a fantastic way to try food we wouldn’t normally eat – and we were right! We’ve done a few of these classes in Bali, but our top choices are…

Group cooking class with market visit in Seminyak

Bailey trys some fruit during a market tour on a cooking class in Bali
Picking out fruit and veggies at the market!
Bailey wraps food in banana leaves during a cooking class in Bali
Learning to cook with banana leaves!

We loved this group cooking class, which started with a trip to the local market to pick out the freshest ingredients. Then, we went to a local warung where we learned how to cook 9 different Balinese dishes.

We loved how hands-on the class was and even though I’ve eaten a ton of Balinese food over the years, I still discovered dishes that I hadn’t tried before. Sitting down together as a group to eat the feast we had prepared was a nice end to the class, and we even received a recipe book to take home with us. 

It cost $45 USD, and we drove ourselves. It’s easy to get to Seminyak from the most popular places on the island by bike or GoJek, but the hosts can help organize transport, too. We thought it was good value as the price covered all the ingredients and we got to eat so much food! We met at the market at 8 am and the class lasted for 5 hours, so it was a fun way to spend a morning. We would definitely do this again! 

Ubud private tour 

Fresh ingriedients we cooked at a cooking class in Bali
Fresh ingredients we cooked with!

We also wanted to try a private cooking class, and this one in Ubud was outstanding. It takes place in a private home in a traditional village, and we got to meet our host’s whole family! We learned to make recipes that had been passed down through several generations.

We cooked a 5-course meal and tried tons of fruits and vegetables from the family’s orchard, as well as homemade jamu, which is a Balinese health tonic, and even got some local beers to wash all of the food down with. 

What set this experience apart for us was that it was so personal. We loved hearing stories from Putu and her family and taking a tour of their family compound. We aren’t the only ones who loved it – there are HUNDREDS of 5-star reviews you can check out!

The class costs $74-$98 USD per person depending on group size, which includes transport from Ubud, although if you’re staying in another area you can always drive yourself. Trust me, it’s worth it!

2. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Bailey walks a trail under a tree at Monkey Forest Ubud 
Walking through a tree!
A monkey eats food at Monkey Forest Ubud, Bali
Just a cute little monkey enjoying a snack

The Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest is one of the most iconic attractions in the whole of Bali, which is definitely saying something. Plus, it’s super easy to visit because it’s right in the middle of Ubud – so if you’re planning to visit Ubud, then this is a must.

This sanctuary is home to over 1,200 long-tailed macaque monkeys, which are sacred in Balinese culture. These cute little guys are protected here. We’re happy to say they’re not aggressive and didn’t try to steal anything from us – phew! Just stay at a respectful distance and remember that the forest is their home.

Speaking of the forest, it’s absolutely beautiful. Monkeys aside, we loved walking around here. There are sacred temples and shrines to see.

There’s parking available if you’re arriving via scooter, and entry costs around $5 USD on weekdays, or $6.50 USD on weekends. It’s open from 9 am until 6 pm daily, but we recommend arriving just before 9 am to beat the crowds. After all, this is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the entire island. 

You can also visit the Monkey Forest as part of this sightseeing tour, which takes you to many must-see places in Ubud in one fun-filled day. This tour includes visiting the Tegallalong Rice Terrace, Tirta Empul, and Monkey Forest, and prices start at $33 USD.

3. Visit Finns Beach Club

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie at Finns Beach Club in Bali
We had a fun time at Finns!
A group of ladies float on a pink flamingo at Finns Beach Club in Canggu, Bali
It’s certainly a party place!

You can’t miss the chance to party at Finns Beach Club in Canggu! It’s a huge beach club with four pools, two swim-up bars, and several dance floors with live music and DJs pretty much every night. We say if you want to party in Bali, there’s no better place than right here on the beach at Finns. 

Finns accept walk-ins but it’s super popular, so you should book tables, booths, day beds, and party platforms in advance. You can even book a lagoon bed right in the middle of the VIP pool! There’s a minimum spend associated with each option, which starts at $42 USD for a single daybed and up to $420 USD for a deluxe party bed that holds up to 10 people. Finns is quite pricey, so you’ll easily hit that minimum spend here. 

With that being said, Finns has a pretty good happy hour from 7-9 pm where you can save money with 2-for-1 cocktails, mocktails, beers, and wines. It’s a really fun place to party, so it’s worth treating yourself to a day at Finns. It’s open from 10 am until midnight, 7 days a week, and you can make reservations online

4. Day trip to Nusa Penida

Bailet at Kelingking Cliff on a tour to Nusa Penida, Bali
Kelingking Cliff is stunning!
Bailey enjoys a drink at a cliffiside restaurant on tour to Nusa Penida, Bali
Our lunch stop on Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is a small and stunning island off the east coast of Bali, and it’s here that you’ll find those famous T-Rex cliffs, or the Kelingking Cliff, to use its proper name. But believe it or not, there’s even more to Nusa Penida than this dinosaur-shaped rock formation. 

You can take a day trip to Nusa Penida by yourself if you catch a slow ferry, but speaking from experience, ferries in Bali can often be cramped, uncomfortable, and frequently delayed. So instead, we booked this speedboat tour and it proved to be a great decision! 

After zipping over to the island, we saw the famous cliffs overlooking Kelingking Beach, as well as Broken Beach, which is home to a beautiful natural bridge. Our guides also took us snorkeling, and we visited a beautiful restaurant for lunch with epic coastal views.

Being driven around by our friendly guides also saved us the hassle of trying to rent a scooter and navigate the island ourselves. The tour offers pickup and dropoff from hotels all over Bali, so we didn’t need to worry about getting to the port on our own.

You need at least two people to book this tour and we highly suggest getting the option with snorkeling because it was some of the BEST snorkeling we’ve experienced in Bali. It costs $116 USD, which we think is totally worth it because we’d do this tour again in a heartbeat!

5. Dinner at Sa Mesa

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at Sa Mesa in Canggu, Bali
We had so much fun!
Long family style dinner table at Sa Mesa, Bali
Long family-style dinner table at Sa Mesa

Sa’Mesa is a really fun and unique dining experience in Bali. It’s an Italian restaurant and since Daniel is Italian, we just had to go and check it out … and we’re so glad we did! 

Sa’Mesa is a family-style restaurant, so everyone sits and eats together at two long tables. Their motto is “Come as strangers, and leave as friends,” which absolutely rings true! They have two locations in the Canggu area, so hopefully you’ll be close to one of them!

You don’t order a-la-carte here, but instead, pay a set price of 590,000 IDR ($36 USD) and enjoy around 18 different dishes altogether. It’s a true culinary journey and what’s even better is that you get free homemade limoncello all night, which definitely helps to liven things up. 

The night wraps up with everybody dancing on the tables, so you start with incredible food and end with a big party. It’s so much fun and not the kind of experience you might expect to find in Bali, but it’s an unforgettable way to spend an evening. 

6. Tirta Empul Temple

Daniel puts his head under the water at Pura Tirta Empul Temple in Ubud, Bali
Just don’t drink the water!
Daniel splashes himself with water at Pura Tirta Empul Temple in Ubud, Bali
Daniel splashing himself with water at Pura Tirta Empul Temple

Pura Tirta Empul is one of the most famous temples in Bali. This is where people come to get blessed with holy water from the spring that fills the temple pools. In fact, the name “Tirta Empul” means “holy spring.” Visiting Tirta Empul allows you to participate in this purification ritual and experience the spiritual side of Balinese culture.

It’s roughly $4 USD to enter the temple, which includes a sarong rental. If you’re visiting by yourself, a local guide will probably approach you and offer to take you on a tour of the temple, which we found really helpful on our first visit. 

You can do an offering in front of a shrine before heading to the changing rooms, where you can rent a special sarong to go in the water for less than $1 USD. Wearing only swimwear is not allowed, so please respect the cultural practices. There are also lockers for rent for $1 USD.

There are three pools we worked our way through, representing the past, present, and future. There are multiple spouts in each pool to cleanse yourself, so if you want to do it properly, you can stop at each one. However, the pool does get busy, so people tend to skip a few. Make sure you DO skip the 11th and 12th spouts after the first pool, as our guide informed us those are only for use during death ceremonies! 

Tirta Empul is a 30-minute drive from the center of Ubud, so you can drive yourself if you’re renting a scooter and staying in Ubud.

Alternatively, you can book this skip-the-line tour that includes private transport, temple admission, locker rental, and a guide to show you what to do during the purification ritual. This costs around $30 USD per person – depending on where you need to be picked up. They do offer pickups from all over the island which is handy. The lines can get very long at the temple, so we highly recommend this tour!

7. Waterfall tour

Bailey and Daniel at the Tukad waterfall on the instagram tour bali
Tukad is such a pretty waterfall!
Tegenungan Waterfall in Bali
Tegenungan Waterfall in Bali

DO go chasing waterfalls on this awesome private tour

It’s no secret that Bali is home to some seriously pretty waterfalls, but a lot of them can be tricky to find by yourself. So, to ensure that you don’t miss any of the best spots, you can spend a day touring the island with a private driver and snapping Insta-worthy photos that will have everyone back home turning green with envy. 

Some of the waterfalls you get to visit include the gorgeous and dramatic Munduk Waterfall in the highlands, and the Banyumala Twin Waterfalls, which are beautiful and much less touristy. Your guide will also take you to the Leke Leke Waterfall, which is nestled in the jungle and difficult to find on your own, so you really get some true hidden gems on this tour. 

If you’re the kind of person who likes to get off the beaten path and discover secret spots, then this waterfall tour is an absolutely ideal way to explore Bali! We aren’t the only ones who love it either, it has HUNDREDS of 5-star reviews you can read here.

It costs $129 USD each for two people, but the price goes down for larger groups. This tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Seminyak, Central Canggu, Central Ubud, Uluwatu, Jimbaran, or Nusa Dua, as well as lunch at a local restaurant. It lasts for around 9 hours, and you can choose to start between 7-10 am, although we recommend going early so you get to enjoy these spots with fewer people! 

8. Go on a food tour

Bailey tries a traditional dessert on a food tour in Bali Indonesia
Klepon!
Satay we tried on a food tour in Bali
Satay!

We love food tours because they’re so much fun and a great way to get to know a place. Balinese cuisine is so flavorful and with so many dishes to try, we love checking out different food tours all over the island. No two are exactly the same! 

Private Food Tour in Denpasar with 10 Tastings

We enjoyed this private food tour in Denpasar, because it got us off the beaten track. Denpasar isn’t really a tourist spot in Bali, so this tour helped us discover tons of authentic local spots with the help of our incredible guide, Reza! We tried so many different dishes from food markets and local restaurants, but a real highlight was the babi guling, which is a Balinese hog roast. Reza also took us to see some temples and religious sites while we walked around. 

This tour cost us $60 USD each for two people, but would only cost $35 USD each for a group of 8, which we thought was fantastic value for a private tour. We would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to step away from the beach clubs and Instagram hotspots for a few hours and experience the “real” Bali! 

Night Market Food Tour in Ubud

We also had a fantastic time on this night market tour in Ubud, and got a much more in-depth experience of the market than we would have on our own. Our guide, Kadek, made sure we enjoyed samples from all of the best stalls, from traditional laklak cakes to delicious babi guling. A few beers were included, too, so it was a fun and relaxed night out! Kadek was so friendly and a fantastic host, and we were absolutely stuffed by the end of the evening. 

In my experience, Asian markets can actually be a bit overwhelming the first time you visit, so it’s worth having a local help you get the most out of the experience. And at $36 USD, this tour is hard to beat in terms of value! The price even includes pickup from Ubud.

9. Pura Lempuyang Temple

Bailey-and-Daniel-at-the-gate-to-Lempuyang-temple-with-the-mountain-in-the distance on the instagram tour bali through get your guide
Lempuyang Temple!
Bailey at Lempuyang Temple in Bali
What a view!

Who wouldn’t want to visit a temple that’s known as “the Gateway to Heaven”? We certainly did!

Pura Lempuyang is one of Bali’s oldest and most beautiful temples. We had to climb around 1,700 steps to get to the top, so we worked hard for those views, but it was definitely worth it. And once we got to the top, we were able to snap that famous Instagram photo, with Mount Agung framed between the two pillars – although the reflective water you see in pictures is actually just the photographer holding a mirror underneath the camera! 

It’s possible to visit the temple by yourself. It’s open from 7 am until 5 pm, and admission costs about 100,000 IDR for foreigners (roughly $6 USD).

However, the temple is at least a 2-hour drive from most of the island’s tourist hotspots, such as Canggu, Seminyak, and Ubud, so we decided to take the hassle out of it and book this all-inclusive guided tour. Pickup is offered all over the island and it’s nicer to be driven in an air-conditioned vehicle than sweating on a bike and navigating by yourself – I’ve found that Google Maps isn’t always 100% accurate in Bali! 

We also got to visit Titra Gangga, a stunning water temple, and Tenganan Ancient Village as part of this tour, which allowed us to glimpse what life was like in Bali before the big tourism boom. This is a full-day private tour, and it costs $75 USD each for two people. Ketut was an amazing guide and made the tour so much fun, as well as giving some fantastic insights into Balinese culture.

10. Go on an Instagram Tour

Bailey sits and poses in a suspended chair at the jungle swing in Bali on the instagram tour
An Instagram-worthy spot for sure
Bailey and Daniel sit on a swing at Lempuyang temple during the Bali instagram tour
Gorgeous!

Bali is like heaven for amazing travel photos, so why not combine sightseeing with some fun photoshoots on this Instagram tour?

We had heard the hype about this tour (there are 2,000 positive reviews online!) and let me say, it was everything I hoped for and more. We traveled to all of the island’s top Instagrammable spots with our own personal photographer. He snapped photos of us swimming underneath the Tukad Cepung Waterfall, soaring on the giant swing over the Tegallalang rice terraces, posing at the Gates of Heaven, and hopping between stepping stones at the Tirta Gangga water palace. 

These Insta-famous spots are scattered about the island and we can assure you it’s worth going with a local guide who knows their way around, and understands how to capture your best angles, of course! If you want more info (and to see all the photos we got!), check out our review of the Bali Instagram tour.

This is a private tour and it’s all-inclusive, which meant we were able to relax and enjoy the experience … and say cheese every so often for our photos! It costs $134 USD each for two or more people or $199 USD if you’re a solo traveler, which actually could be ideal if you don’t have anyone to capture those all-important holiday photos for you. This price includes pickup from your hotel in Uluwatu and all admission fees, so it’s a fantastic value overall!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

11. Sunset dinner cruise 

Bali Hai Cruises Sunset cruise Sunset cruise
Photo credit: Bali Hai Cruises
Bali Hai Cruises dinner
Photo credit: Bali Hai Cruises

We think this dinner cruise is the perfect way to end a day in Bali! As well as enjoying a glorious Balinese sunset out at sea, this 4-hour cruise also offers a range of local entertainment, which was so much fun to watch. We got to see traditional Balinese dancing, as well as a singer and even a bodybuilder, so there was something for everyone! 

The buffet was also really good, with plenty of Balinese and international food options, and then there was a disco after dinner. We think this would be a great option for groups of friends looking for a fun night out in Bali, and the staff was super friendly and happy to snap lots of photos. 

The cruise leaves from Seminyak at 5:45 pm and lasts for 4 hours. Complimentary pickup is offered from Seminyak, but it’s possible to arrange pickup from other parts of the island for an additional fee. It costs $87 USD, which includes the cruise, buffet dinner, and a welcome drink, and then there’s a well-stocked bar on board if you’d like to purchase extra drinks. 

12. Go surfing 

birds eye view of a man surfing in Uluwatu Bali
The surf was huge while we were there!

We’ve surfed all over Bali but the most popular places to go are Kuta, Canggu, Seminyak, and Uluwatu. We often head to Canggu Beach to surf, and it’s possible to rent a board for between $3-$4 USD for two hours, although this usually requires a little haggling. 

If you haven’t surfed before, or need to brush up on your skills, I think this private 2-hour lesson in Canggu is the best way to learn. It’s a private lesson so it’s completely tailored to your skill level, and an amazing way to build confidence. I think it’s a steal at $28 USD, especially since board rental is included, and there’s no haggling involved when you book online! 

We also love surfing in Uluwatu, which is Bali’s ultimate surfer hotspot. There are tons of fantastic spots for experienced surfers here, such as Bingin Beach, Balangan Beach, and Suluban Beach. 

Although Uluwatu attracts lots of seasoned surfers, it’s also a great place to learn. Padang Padang Rights beach break is perfect for beginners, and it doesn’t hurt that the beach itself is stunning. This spot gets busy, so we recommend booking this private lesson for $51 USD, which includes transport, board rental, and a 2-hour class. I think private lessons are the way to go if you want to be able to surf independently throughout the rest of your trip, as you get so much personalized instruction. 

13. Kecak Dance Uluwatu

The famous Kecak Dance in Uluwatu, Bali
The famous Kecak Dance in Uluwatu
The stunning cliffs to the ocean at Uluwatu temple in Bali
The views from Uluwatu temple

A Kecak dance is a popular Balinese dance performed in villages and temples. It’s based on an older exorcism tradition to ban evil spirits and typically involves fire and traditional costumes. 

By far the most famous Kecak dance in Bali is the one that takes place at Uluwatu Temple. Around 75 performers do the Kecak dance every day at sunset up on the steep cliff, and the dramatic scenery makes the performance even more impressive. 

We definitely think it’s worth venturing to Uluwatu to see this epic ritual, but depending on where you’re staying in Bali, it could be as much as a 2-hour drive. That’s a long time to be sitting on a scooter in the heat, so we suggest taking this sunset tour, which offers pickup from around the island. That way, you’ll be transported to the Uluwatu Temple in an air-conditioned vehicle and get a guided visit to the temple before the performance kicks off. 

We recommend selecting the all-inclusive option, because not only do you get to watch a world-renowned Kecak dance, but you also get a delicious seafood dinner in Jimbaran afterward. Jimbaran is seafood central in Bali, and who doesn’t love dinner on the beach? If you’ve got the time, we highly recommend fitting in this experience.

14. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

The beautiful Ulun Danu Temple in Bali, Indonesia
The beautiful Ulun Danu Temple in Bali

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple (aka Pura Bratan) is one of Bali’s major temples and, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful. It sits on the edge of a lake, so it’s surrounded by gorgeous scenery and it’s possible to see the tall tower reflected in the water on a calm day. Unsurprisingly, this is a popular spot for photographers to capture! 

Ulun Danu Beratan is towards the north of Bali, so it’s about 1.5 hours from places like Ubud and Canggu. Entry costs 75,000 IDR (about $5 USD), but it can be quite tricky to find on your own, so we recommend visiting on this full-day water temples tour. This way, we not only got to visit Pura Bratan, but we also got to see Luhur Batukaru, which sits on the slopes of the Mount Batukaru volcano, and Tanah Lot at sunset, which was epic.

One thing we love about this tour is that the itinerary also includes a trip to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, which tend to be a lot quieter than the famous Tegalalang rice terraces in Ubud. Prices start from $39 USD per person, but we went for the all-inclusive option for $69 USD as it covered all admission fees, lunch, and a delicious lunch overlooking the beautiful rice terraces. 

15. Yoga

Bailey does Yoga in Bali, Indonesia
Yoga is so relaxing in rice fields!

Did you even go to Bali if you didn’t do yoga?

There are tons of yoga studios all over the island, but as Bali’s spiritual center, Ubud is the ultimate yogi destination. The most famous place to find your zen is The Yoga Barn, which offers up to 20 classes per day. They’ve got everything, from hatha and power yoga to types I’d never even heard of before, like PiYo and somatic flow. So if you’re looking to try something new, I’d say you’re all set here!

The Yoga Barn is open from 7 am until 9 pm daily and a single class pass usually costs 165,000 IDR (around $10 USD). I’d recommend arriving at least 20 minutes early as classes fill up fast. 

Alternatively, for those really looking to get in touch with their spiritual side, there’s this full-day retreat, which includes a water purification ceremony, a healing massage, lunch, and a yoga meditation session. It costs $82 USD and is the perfect way to relax and reset. Hey, when in Ubud, right?

16. Explore Ubud

Bailey poses for a photo at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud, Bali
Tegalalang Rice Terrace!
Bailey enjoys a swing over the rice fields in Ubud Bali on a tour
Up, up, and away!

Ubud is the spiritual center of Bali, known for its lush green rice fields and gorgeous temples. It’s worth spending a night or two in Ubud, but if you can’t, then this private full-day tour will ensure you get a real sense of what Ubud is about. 

What we love about this tour is that its itinerary includes all of the must-see attractions in Ubud, which would be quite hard to cover on your own in a single day. It’s very well planned out, so you get to go to the Art Villages to check out some amazing local art, and the elaborate Puseh Batuan Hindu temple. 

You’ll also visit Tegenungan Waterfall, which is one of the most impressive in Bali, and my personal favorite, the Tegallalang rice terraces. These rice fields are so beautiful, and you can even do a tea and coffee tasting while overlooking them at Luwak Coffee next door.

Plus, there are lots of places to take photos on the bridges, pathways, inside the man-made nests, and even on a giant swing! Another highlight of this tour is a visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest that we mentioned earlier

Since this is a private tour you can also tailor it to your interests, so for example you could ask your guide to take you to the Tirta Empul Temple, where you can participate in a traditional bathing ceremony, or the beautiful Campuhan Ridge Walk. The Kanto Lampo Waterfall is also worth visiting for a quick swim, and there are people around who will take amazing photos with your phone in exchange for a tip. 

This full-day private tour costs $52 USD per person for a group of 2-3 people, or $33 USD each for a group of 4 or more. We think this is a great price for a tour with 1,900+ positive reviews, especially since it includes admission fees.

Related Read: Check out our full list of the best tours in Ubud for over a dozen options we love!

17. Rock Bar in Jimbaran

Rock Bar in Jimbaran
Photo credit: Rock Bar in Jimbaran
Part of the Rock Bar in Jimbaran
Photo credit: Rock Bar in Jimbaran

The Rock Bar may sound like the place to head to dance to the Rolling Stones and AC/DC, but it’s actually a super classy bar in Jimbaran. It’s located within the luxurious Ayana Resort, but fortunately, you don’t need to be a guest to enjoy this epic sunset spot. 

This glamorous bar is quite literally carved into the cliffside – in fact, we had to take a stairlift just to get up there! It’s known as one of the best places to catch the sunset in Bali, so, we recommend getting there well ahead of time to snag your table, since only hotel guests can book them in advance for sunset.

Sunset times in Bali only vary very slightly throughout the year, so we’d advise arriving at about 3:30 pm to wait for the stairlift, and then you should get a table in time to see the entire sunset spectacle. 

There’s a minimum spend of 300,000 IDR per person (~$19 USD) for a Tapas Table or 500,000 IDR (~$31 USD) for a dinner table, which is easy to hit if you’re drinking cocktails here. But we promise it’s worth it, as the dramatic scenery and colorful skies had us pinching ourselves! 

18. Scuba diving

Two people scuba diving in Bali
So pretty
A school of fish while scuba diving in Bali (1)
So many fish!

Bali is located in Indonesia’s coral triangle, making it a world-famous scuba diving destination. So as keen divers, we just had to mask up and explore! The island’s eastern coast is home to excellent dive spots like Amed, Candidasa, and Tulamben, the latter of which is home to the famous Liberty Wreck. The USS Liberty was a World War II cargo ship that sank in 1942, so diving it is an insanely cool experience. 

We’ve seen so many amazing creatures while diving in Bali, such as manta rays, sunfish, stingrays, frogfish … just to name a few! Even though we’re pretty seasoned divers, we were impressed with the variety of marine life here.

For those who have never dived before, it’s possible to do a PADI course in Bali. Getting PADI certified is one of the best things that we’ve ever done, as it has allowed us to go scuba diving all over the world. This 3-day course costs $533 USD and certifies you to dive up to 18 meters (59 feet) and includes theory classes, two open water dives, pool practices, daily lunch, and hotel pickup from all over the island. 

Since we are both already PADI certified, we love this all-inclusive diving tour to the Liberty Wreck. Diving the Liberty Wreck is an unforgettable experience and the dive masters are absolutely fantastic. It costs $64 USD without hotel transfers or $93 USD each for 2 people including transport. We think it’s great value for money since it includes lunch, two dives, and all equipment. No wonder it has over 100 5-star reviews!

19. Go Snorkeling in Blue Lagoon

Bailey snorkeling at Blue Lagoon while surrounded by colorful fish
Bailey snorkeling at Blue Lagoon while surrounded by colorful fish

Blue Lagoon Beach is one of the best places to go snorkeling in Bali, thanks to its clear, calm waters. The only problem is that it can be a long drive from where you’re staying since it’s roughly a 1.5-hour drive from Canggu or Uluwatu and about an hour from Ubud.

Luckily, this awesome snorkeling tour includes private transport to and from Blue Lagoon, and you’ll also get to visit the Kanto Lampo and Tibumana Waterfall, plus enjoy lunch at a local restaurant which sounds pretty good to us!

At Blue Lagoon, you’ll have a guide with you in the water who will show you the best coral areas, where you’ll see tons of tropical fish, moray eels, pufferfish, and maybe even some turtles if you’re lucky! You get 2 hours in the water, so you’re sure to see tons of marine life during this time. The price of the tour also includes snorkeling equipment, waterfall tickets, and lunch.

The Blue Lagoon tour lasts around 10 hours, including transport time, and costs $58 USD for the standard tour which includes snorkeling and waterfall visits. Alternatively, you can save money by booking the snorkeling-only tour for $44 USD per person, or you can upgrade the experience to include an ATV ride for $104 USD each.

20. Get a massage 

Daniel and Bailey enjoy a massage in Canggu, Bali
Foot massages are the best!

One of our favorite things about living in Bali was getting massages regularly … sometimes even daily! There are tons of places on the island offering massages from as little as 150,000 IDR (~$10 USD) for an hour-long session.

We love trying different styles of massage, too. The traditional Balinese-style massage is one of my favorites, as it’s very gentle and uses lots of aromatherapy oils, but energetic Thai massages are popular here, too. These are great if you do a lot of exercise and want a real deep-tissue treatment! 

Hot stone massages are also common in Bali, as well as Shiatsu massages which are ideal if you’re struggling with back or shoulder pain. And when I’ve got a busy day, a 30-minute foot massage is hard to beat. 

There’s no one specific place to go for massages in Bali. There are parlors all over the place and you’re rarely more than a few hundred meters away from one. There’s no need to go to a fancy, expensive spa – unless, of course, you want to! 

21. Check out Uluwatu 

Bailey poses for a photo on Padang Beach in Uluwatu, Bali
Padang Beach!
Karang Boma Cliff in Uluwatu, Bali
Karang Boma Cliff in Uluwatu, Bali

Uluwatu is where you’ll find those picture-perfect Bali beaches and tons of amazing surfing. We have a full guide on things to do in Uluwatu if you want to spend some time here. We love how calm and serene it feels compared to other parts of Bali, so for us, visiting Uluwatu is a must when on the island! 

We highly recommend spending a night or two here if you can. There are tons of beautiful hotels around, including the famous Edge Bali Hotel, which is home to the island’s most iconic infinity pool. If that’s out of your price range, you can browse all the hotels in Uluwatu here.

Our number one must-do in Uluwatu is visiting the famous cliff-top Uluwatu Temple. It dates back to the 11th century and every night at sunset the island’s most famous Kecak dance takes place here. It’s a dance that depicts a legendary battle between good and evil, and we were enchanted by the fire dancing. Entrance costs 50,000 IDR (around $3 USD) and then tickets for the performance cost 100,000 IDR (about $6 USD). Make sure to have cash in rupiah (IDR) to pay.

Bailey poses for a photo at a beach in Uluwatu, Bali
The beaches are beautiful in Uluwatu!

We also love beach club hopping in Uluwatu with gorgeous spots like the Ulu Cliff House, Sanvaya, and Single Fin on offer. And of course, we can’t ignore the beaches themselves. We love relaxing at the picturesque Padang Padang Beach, and we’ve had fun surfing at hotspots like Bingin Beach and Balangan Beach. 

If you’re short on time, there are also some fantastic Uluwatu tours on offer. We love this private half-day tour, which includes a guided visit to the temple and the sunset Kecak performance, and dinner afterward on the beach in Jimbaran, aka Bali’s seafood capital. The all-inclusive option costs $60 USD, and pickup is offered from all over the island, so it’s really convenient. We’re clearly not the only ones who think it’s fantastic, either, as it has over 1,300 5-star reviews you can read here

22. Watch a sunrise from Mt Batur

Views from the summit of Mt. Batur in bali
Views from the summit of Mt. Batur at sunrise

Mount Batur is an active volcano in north Bali, and it’s a real must-see! In fact, one of the best things to do on the island is to hike it in the early morning hours so you can watch an epic sunrise from the top.

As you can imagine, the sunrise at Mt. Batur is just amazing. Typically, there are all sorts of colors above you and then a blanket of clouds below, with Mount Agung peeking out in the distance. It’s an epic experience and totally worth the early start!

In total, the hike takes around 2-3 hours one way, and there’s also driving time to get to Mt. Batur, so you need to leave in the middle of the night to make it to the crater for sunrise. We don’t recommend doing it on a scooter in the dark, so it’s best to book a tour. 

This sunrise tour includes transport from around the island (with pickups between 1:30-2 am!), as well as flashlights, trekking poles, and raincoats so you don’t need to worry about renting hiking equipment separately. Since you’ll be hiking in the dark, it’s safer to go with a guide, and there’s even a nice breakfast with fresh coffee after. Our advice is to choose the option with the hot springs visit so you can reward yourself with a relaxing soak after the hike, with beautiful views to boot. 

If hiking (or 2 am wake-up calls) is not your thing, you can also explore the lava formations at the bottom of Mt. Batur in the Kintamani province with this private Jeep tour! The stark landscape below the volcano feels almost otherworldly, and I personally loved exploring this area, because it was much quieter and less touristy than many other places in Bali. 

Speaking from experience, I can tell you that it’s almost impossible to drive a scooter around the black rock desert. However, cruising around in a Jeep is so much fun, and the guides take amazing photos for you. Make sure to choose the tour option that includes lunch and a soak in the Batur hot springs to really make a day of it!

23. Whitewater rafting

Bailey smiles on a White water rafting tour in Bali
Whitewater rafting is so much fun!
Rafts float down the river on a White water rafting tour in Bali
The jungle is so lush!

We never pass up an opportunity to go whitewater rafting, and this river tour is one of those activities in Bali that’s even better during the island’s rainy season because the rapids reach up to Class IV! 

Although this is perfect for thrill-seekers, you don’t need any prior rafting experience. You’ll get plenty of support and guidance from a professional instructor, so this would actually be an ideal way to try out whitewater rafting for the first time. It’s also suitable for families because kids as young as 7 are welcome to join in the fun. We’re confident that this tour is worth it whether it’s your 1st time or your 20th.

You can choose whether or not to include pickup, although we would recommend doing so. Once you get to the rafting center, you’ll get a safety briefing and then spend 1.5 to 2 hours on the river as you zoom through the wild beauty of the Balinese countryside.

This tour costs $28 USD for adults without transfers, or $39 USD each which includes private transportation (which we highly recommend). You can also combine your rafting tour with extra activities for an additional fee, such as visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest or the rice terraces.

24. Tegalalang Rice Terrace

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud, Bali

The Tegallalang Rice Terrace – also known as the Ceking Rice Terrace – is one of the most famous places in Bali. 

You’ve probably already seen the rice terraces on Instagram as they’re one of the top photo stops! Nowadays, they’re more geared towards social media users and photographers, with a bird’s nest to climb inside, a colorful “I Love Bali” sign, and a giant bungee swing. 

The reason the rice terraces look as vibrant as they do is thanks to the traditional Indonesian subak irrigation system, which you’ll learn more about if you visit with a guide on this sightseeing tour.

To walk around the rice fields there’s a small entrance fee of less than $4 USD, but there are tons of other fun, photo-worthy activities to enjoy for an additional fee. For example, you can ride on the bungee swing, and even rent a long, billowing dress to wear that makes your photos really pop! There’s also a zipline and a Skybike that go over the rice paddies for epic views. Just be sure to bring some cash in rupiah (the local currency) so you can take part in all the fun!

Wide angle shot of the Ceking Rice Terrace in Bali
You can explore the entire place!

Basically, the Ceking Rice Terrace is like an adventure park and an amazing Instagram opportunity all in one! 

Probably my favorite experience here, though, was doing a coffee and tea tasting at the Luwak Coffee shop that overlooks the rice paddies. Better still, we got to drink our coffee on a glass terrace with a serious view.

The Tegallalang Rice Terraces open at 8 am every day, and we recommend showing up first thing to avoid the crowds. As one of Bali’s most photogenic locations, this place is super popular! 

24. Waterbom Park

Bar and slides at Waterbom Park in Bali
Photo credit: Waterbom Bali
Waterbom Park Bali river float
Photo credit: Waterbom Bali

Waterbom is a huge water park in Kuta, with 26 different rides and attractions to enjoy. There are some really exciting water slides here, such as the pipeline, which is see-through, so we got awesome views as we whizzed along at top speed. But for the more mellow among us, there’s also a lazy river and private gazebos to relax in. 

A day pass for the park costs 493,000 IDR (about $30 USD), and there’s a family pass available for 1,581,000 IDR (about $97 USD) if you’re bringing the kids. The best prices are online in advance as you save 15-30% on the various admission passes when you book on the Waterbom website.

Waterbom is open from 9 am until 6 pm every day so that’s plenty of time to enjoy all of the rides, and there are a ton of dining options. Personally, we liked having cocktails at the swim-up Lagoon Bar! 

26. Go canyoning 

Canyoning in Ubud, Bali
Adventure time!

As much as we love Bali, it can feel a little touristy sometimes so we jumped (literally!) at the excuse to go canyoning in the jungle of north Bali. We booked this canyoning tour and before we knew it, we were geared up and rappelling down waterfalls, whizzing down natural rock slides, and plunging into swimming holes.

It was so much fun and the scenery was beautiful – we loved having an adventurous experience in the middle of nowhere. We also really appreciated that the group sizes were kept small and capped at 12, so there wasn’t much waiting around. 

Another thing that we love about this tour is that the $139 USD price tag includes GoPro footage, which means that you can prove just how brave you are! All safety equipment is included, as well as breakfast and lunch, and pickup from all over the island. This trip is also very beginner-friendly and the instructors were great at encouraging those in our group who had never been canyoning before. We were very impressed! 

27. Mount Agung Sunrise Trekking

Mount Agung Sunrise Trekking
Mount Agung Sunrise Trekking

Okay, so you may have heard people talk about hiking Mount Batur in Bali, but we recommend that you hike Mount Agung instead! 

Mount Agung is the highest volcano in Bali, so the views from up here can’t be beat. But perhaps more importantly, it’s a lot quieter than Mount Batur! There will be hardly any other tourists on the trails and you won’t be surrounded by crowds at the summit when you watch that glorious sunrise, which is what usually happens with Mount Batur.

Now, Mount Agung is a bit more difficult to climb than Mount Batur and since a sunrise trek requires climbing in the dark, we highly recommend booking this tour. The experienced guides will be there to help you along the trail, so as long as you’re fit and active, you don’t need to be a hiker per se. Hiking equipment like poles and head torches are included, too.

And I promise, once you get to the top, the lack of sleep and 2-hour climb will be a 1,000% worth it as you watch the sunrise over Bali. In fact, we could see all the way to Lombok, which is a totally different island! Plus, we got to have breakfast and hot drinks as we watched, and it truly felt like being on top of the world. It was worth the $81 USD and the midnight hike!

28. Devdan Show at Bali Nusa Dua Theatre 

Devdan Show in Bali Indonesia
Devdan Show in Bali, Indonesia

The Devdan Show is one of the best ways to spend an evening in Bali. It’s an absolutely enchanting dance show that tells the story of two young tourists who get bored and break away from their group, only to embark on a magical adventure and discover what Balinese culture and spirituality are all about. So, as the audience, you go on that journey with them! 

We loved the costumes, music, and dancing – it really was a spectacle! The production value was fantastic and there were so many myths, legends, and different styles of dance woven into the show. The performers were incredible and we especially loved all of the stunts. The show lasted for 45 minutes, and that time flew by! 

Tickets for the show cost $33 USD for the cheapest seats or up to $60 USD for the best seats in the house, and pickup is included from Nusa Dua. If you’re staying outside of that area it’s easy to drive to the theater or take a GoJek or taxi. The show runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, and you can change or cancel your tickets for free when you book through Viator. 

Where to Stay in Bali

Abipraya hotel in Bali with views of the pool and the rice fields
Abipraya Hotel in Ubud.

Bali is full of stunning hotels – so many, in fact, that it can be hard to choose. The first step is deciding on which area suits you best and then selecting a hotel afterward.

There are three areas of Bali that we personally love and recommend to all of our friends. You can read about them below as well as our top hotel choice in each area!

Canggu

This is Bali’s trendiest area! This is where Dan and I stay whenever we are in Bali for an extended amount of time because of the lifestyle here. There are beautiful cafes on every corner, amazing restaurants and bars, and boutique shopping. It’s also close to the beach and has a great nightlife. This is the area where most expats base themselves in Bali, which creates the buzzing atmosphere that Canggu is known for.

Chesa Canggu is a boutique hotel within walking distance of Canggu’s best restaurants, bars, and beaches. Each room faces the outdoor pool and has a private bathroom, free WiFi, a TV, and a safety deposit box. Chesa has an onsite bar and restaurant and offers free parking for guests. The beds are super comfortable, and the staff always go out of their way to help you. Trust us, you won’t regret staying here!

Prices start as low as $124 USD per night and you can book online here.

Uluwatu

This is the perfect place to stay if you want a relaxing beach holiday! Uluwatu is a lot quieter than Canggu with a lot less traffic. The beaches here are amazing and some of the most beautiful on the island. There are also plenty of cafes, restaurants, and beach clubs here. We also love the closer proximity to the airport, making for a convenient stay if you’re only in Bali for a short time.

Anantara Uluwatu is a fantastic option for those looking to treat themselves during their stay in Uluwatu. It’s located right on the beach, so you’re guaranteed some amazing views. There are multiple restaurants and bars, an outdoor infinity pool, a spa, and a fitness center. Plus, each room comes with your own hot tub! The employees are super helpful, and the hotel has onsite activities like dance classes, ceramic-making, and yoga.

Prices range from $320 to $1,500 USD, and you can check rates and availability online here.

Ubud

Not a beach person? Then Ubud is for you! It is located inland, surrounded by lush jungle. The area is still quite trendy with plenty of cafes and restaurants, although the nightlife is a lot more limited. Ubud is where you can easily find nearby waterfalls, go whitewater rafting, ATVing, and all the other fun adventurous activities.

We stayed at Abipraya, which was super quiet and nestled into a tropical garden, about 10 minutes’ walk from the main town. The location was ideal for us and we loved the big swimming pool overlooking the rice fields, as well as the open and airy feel that the rooms had.

Prices start at around $50 USD per night, which includes breakfast, so it was a really good budget option. Book Abipraya here!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali
Thanks for reading!

Well, that was quite the list! After multiple visits here, it was hard to narrow it down, but we think this sums up our favorite things to do in Bali. Whether it’s your first time here or you’ve been before, hopefully, we’ve helped you discover a few must-do experiences for your trip to Bali.

If you want more travel tips before you go, check out all our Bali guides. We’d love to share all that we’ve learned about this beautiful island so you can have the best trip. A few of our popular Bali blogs are below:

4 Types of Tours in Bali that Every Tourist Should Consider

23 BEST Things to do in Canggu, Bali

28 BEST Things to do in Ubud, Bali