Bali is one of the most evocative places in entire Indonesia. It has many beautiful and best places to visit. The intoxicating aroma of incense and clove oil hangs in the thick tropical air. Peanuts sizzled on roadside stalls, leaf-covered food smoldered on crowded sidewalks, and traditional gamelan music jingled with the buzz of mopeds.
Although the main tourist area is full of people, the natural beauty of the island is suitable for all types of tourists. Surfers come for the legendary waves, hikers can climb from volcanic peaks in the jungle to misty waterfalls, and cyclists can cycle through lush landscapes dotted with rice terraces and traditional villages.
Best Places to Visit in Bali
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Bali and make your trip enjoyable.
Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Bali
Top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Bali:
1. Pura Tanah Lot
Located about 20 kilometers northwest of Kuta, Pura Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s most iconic temples. Its stunning beachfront location on a rocky islet surrounded by huge waves is a major factor in awe.
For Balinese, it is one of the holiest of the Tanah Lot temples on the island. Every night, tourists from Kuta, Legian and Sanur flock to watch the sunset behind the temples in a labyrinth of alleys lined with souvenir vendors.
While foreigners are not allowed to enter any of the temples in the complex, you can walk to the main temple at low tide. It’s also fun to stroll the trails, take pictures and soak in the amazing nature.
From Tanah Lot, you can walk along the tropical landscape path to the beautiful Batu Bolong, another Tanah Lot that sits on a rocky outcrop with an eroded causeway connecting it to the shore.
After visiting the various temples and shrines, you can buy time to relax and enjoy the famous Kopi luwak (musk coffee) at one of the cliff restaurants and cafes here. In some cafes, friendly civets napping around tables provide fun Instagram-worthy photos.
When visiting any temple in Bali, be sure to dress modestly and wear an apron and belt.
2. Mount Batur
Every day in Bali’s predawn darkness, hundreds of tourists begin their trek to the summit of Mount Batur, which is 1,700 meters above sea level. As they reached the top, they saw the sunrise, towering over the lush cloud-covered mountains and the distant crater. If you are looking for romantic activities for couples in Bali, this should be your first choice.
This sacred active volcano is located in the Kintamani region of Bali’s central highlands, about an hour’s drive from Ubud. Hiking on well-marked trails is relatively easy and usually takes about two to three hours. Guided walks often include a picnic breakfast and eggs cooked in the steam of an active volcano. On a clear day, magnificent views up to the Batur crater; surrounding mountains; beautiful Lake Batur is the island’s main source of irrigation water.
You can also travel there to visit one of Bali’s most important temples, Pura Ulun Danu Batur on the northwestern shore of the lake, and take a dip in the hot springs in the beautiful village of Toya Bungkah on the shores of Lake Batur.
3. Uluwatu Temple
Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of the most famous temples in Bali thanks to its magnificent clifftop setting. It is located on a steep sea cliff above one of the best surfing spots in Bali.
‘Ulu’ in Balinese means ‘end’ or ‘end of the land’ while ‘Watu’ refers to a rock, a name fitting for the temple’s location on the Bukit Peninsula, the southwestern tip of the island. Just like Pura Tanah Lot, sunset is the best time to visit when the sky and sea sparkle in the afternoon light.
Archaeological finds here show that the temple originated from megaliths dating back to the 10th century. The temple is thought to protect Bali from the evil sea god, while the monkeys living in the jungle near its entrance protect the temple from evil influences.
A scenic path leads through the temple entrance with breathtaking views along the way. Only Hindu devotees are allowed to enter the temple, but the beautiful setting and daily sunset Kecak dance performances here are well worth a visit.
The temple is located about 25 kilometers from Kuta.
4. Ubud Monkey Forest
Visiting the Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, is one of the top things to do in Ubud, Bali. It is also one of the best places to visit in Bali if you are an animal lover or photographer. It is about a 10-minute walk from the center of Ubud.
Aside from the recreational community of gray long-tailed macaques that make their nests here, much of the attraction is the evocative forest environment where monkeys roam freely. Asphalt paths wind through giant lush banyan and coconut trees, and mossy statues and ancient temples appear amongst the lush vegetation, giving it an almost mystical feel.
Forests are meant to represent the harmonious coexistence between humans and animals. It also preserves rare plants and is used as a site to study macaque behavior, particularly their social interactions.
On the southwestern side of the forest is one of three temples located here: the 14th-century Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal. Here, hundreds of monkeys swing through the jungle and climb the walls.
Pura Beji, an old bathhouse located by a cool creek in the northwest of the forest, provides a nice backdrop to watch the monkeys’ oddities.
When visiting the forest, be sure to guard your belongings and avoid direct eye contact (and smiling) with animals, as this can be interpreted as a sign of aggression. It is best not to bring food into the area.
Address: Jalan Monkey Forest, Padangtegal, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali
Official website: http://monkeyforestubud.com/
5. Ubud Art and Culture
Famous for the Eat, Pray, Love book and movie, Ubud is also the center of Balinese art and culture. This is the birthplace of the modern Balinese art movement, with the surrounding royal palaces and temples being the main patrons.
Today, some excellent local museums and galleries celebrate its evolution and legacy. Appreciating art here is particularly rewarding, as most of the collections are housed in traditional Balinese buildings surrounded by tranquil tropical gardens.
Other art galleries and museums in the Ubud area that might interest art lovers include the Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets, which showcase ritual masks from Asia and beyond, the Puri Lukisan Museum covering various Balinese art styles, and the artist’s home and studio of the Don Antonio Blanco Museum.
If buying art is your thing, don’t miss the Ubud Art Market. Filled with carvings, sculptures, jewelry, sarongs, paintings, and household items, this labyrinth of benches is one of Ubud’s top tourist attractions. Bargaining is essential and a good rule of thumb is to fight for half the asking price, then trade from there, always with a smile on your face.
Puri Saren Royal Ubud Palace across from the market is also worth a visit. Attending a traditional Balinese dance performance here in the evening is one of the top things to do in Bali at night, especially for families. Colorful costumes and hypnotic music will dazzle young and old alike. During the day it is a great place to photograph some architectural features and stroll through the gardens.
6. Tegallalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terracesin Bali
Would you like to visit the beautiful emerald rice fields you see in Bali travel brochures and Instagram posts? Tegallalang or Jatiluwih rice terraces should be at the top of your trip list, especially if you are a photographer.
About a 30-minute drive north of Ubud, Tegalalang Rice Fields is one of the most famous places to photograph these iconic landscapes and absorb their timeless beauty. Note that locals ask for donations along this most popular road through rice fields and many charge admission and parking fees along the way. A relaxing way to enjoy the lush scenery is one of the many restaurants and cafes overlooking the fields.
At the foot of the Batukaru Mountains, about 90 minutes drive from Ubud, the Jatiluwih rice terraces cover more than 600 hectares and are less crowded than Tegallalang. You’ll also find that there are fewer tourists here, so it’s easier to get around and explore undisturbed.
7. Pra Ulun Danu Bratan
The 17th century Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is one of the most beautiful temple complexes in Bali. It sits on a small island off the western shore of Lake Bratan, in the cool highlands of central Bali. Against the majestic backdrop of Gunung Bratan, thatched temples are reflected in the lake and appear to float above the lake as the water level rises.
Lake Bratan is one of Bali’s main sources of irrigation and drinking water, and the temple complex is dedicated to Dewi Danu, the goddess of the sea and lakes. An unusual feature is a stupa to the left of the entrance to the first courtyard, where the Buddha meditated in the lotus position in a niche on a square plinth. The pagoda reflects the acceptance of Buddhist beliefs by Balinese Hindus.
The best time to visit this sacred Hindu temple complex is early in the day before the tour bus arrives. The temple is picturesque, especially in the soft morning light, with a cool mist sometimes covering the lake and the mountains beyond. You can also rent a canoe to paddle on the lake and explore Meru (thatched temple) up close.
Address: Jalan Bedugul – Singaraja, Candikuning, Baturiti, Kabupaten Tabanan
8. Shopping in Seminyak
Bali is known for its amazing designers and great shopping, and you’ll find the best Balinese design on the busy streets of Seminyak. State-of-the-art designer fashion, surf and swimwear, jewelry, furniture and homewares are just some of the items you can buy here from the stylish shops and busy market stalls.
Top boutiques include Biasa, Magali Pascal, and Bamboo Blonde. Sea Gypsy is a favorite among jewelry lovers, and the Drifter Surf Shop & Cafe offers a variety of surf and skating gear. The two main malls are Seminyak Square and Seminyak Village, but you’ll likely find better prices in the smaller shops lining the streets.
Looking for real bargains? Head to Seminyak Flea Market near Seminyak Square, where you’ll find stalls filled with clothing, jewelry, carvings, and crafts. Seminyak is also home to some of Bali’s best beach resorts, restaurants and art galleries.
9. Nusa Dua Beach
Want to escape the hustle and bustle of Bali? Nusa Dua Beach is your answer. Here you can lie on a comfortable sun lounger with a refreshing drink in hand and listen to the gentle surf on the silky white sand. You won’t find this kind of culture shock anywhere else in Bali – it’s a safe vacation spot on its own private peninsula after all, but if you’re after tranquility and relatively unspoiled sand, you’ll find it here. The best beaches in Bali.
Some of Bali’s best luxury beach resorts lie along this expansive stretch of beach, and the resort staff works hard to keep the sand clean and trash-free. Popular activities in Nusa Dua include walking miles along the beach, swimming, surfing, paragliding and sunbathing, although you may have to pay or eat at one of the resorts to use the sun loungers. However, if you want the best beach experience in Bali, Nua Dua is for you.
When you’re bored with the beach, pamper yourself at the luxury resort spa or browse the stylish shops at the outdoor mall Bali Collection. A paved promenade wraps around the beach for guests to wander between resorts and attractions. With all this relaxation, it’s no surprise that Nusa Dua is one of the best places to spend your honeymoon in Bali.
10. Kuta Beach
- Yes, the beach is crowded and full of stubborn peddlers, but along with neighboring Legian and Seminyak beaches to the north, this famous beach is one of Bali’s top tourist attractions. You’ll have a great day here – especially if you’re a beginner surfer or want to immerse yourself in this water.
- You can take surf lessons, and rent surfboards, boogie boards, sun loungers and umbrellas directly from suppliers located on the beach, where there are many cafes and restaurants. Beach vendors can easily be discouraged with a polite “no thanks”, but on sweltering days, iced coconut water and juices placed directly on your sun lounger can be a boon.
- Kuta Beach is one of the best destinations for young travelers looking for a more lively setting than a sleepy beach resort.
For calmer shores on the island, head to the soft sands of Sanur Beach, Jimbaran Beach, or Nusa Dua (where Geiger Beach is open to the public).
Surfers should check out the hidden coves on the cliffs of Dreamland, Canggu,
- Barragan, Bingin, Padang-Padang or Uluwatu.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Bali. If you think there are some more best and beautiful places to visit in Bali, which we should cover. Write us below in the comment box.