Top 5 things to do in Bali: your ultimate Bali travel guide that will help you create the perfect itinerary for your trip.
“Don’t talk about heaven if you’ve never been to Bali.”
Top 5 Things To Do In Bali
Bali is an Indonesian island known for its stunning beaches, lush rice paddies, and volcanic mountains. There’s so much to do on the island that it can be hard to know where to start.
Here are some of the best things to do in Bali that should not be missed!
1. Visit Some Of Bali’s Most Beautiful Temples
Bali, “The Island of the Gods”, is home to many magnificent temples and if you have plenty of time, you could visit over 20,000 temples during your visit.
If you’re a bit short on time or a first-time visitor, it could be a bit overwhelming to decide which temples to visit while in Bali. Don’t worry, we summarized Bali’s main temples, called the 9 Directional temples, for you to choose from.
Before visiting any temple, you need to be aware there is a certain etiquette that should be followed. This means to be respectful to the Balinese culture and cover your shoulders and legs. Often, you are asked to wear a sarong and a sash when entering a temple – but don’t you worry, you can rent them at the entrance of most temples if you don’t have your own. The temples should not be entered by women during their menstrual period.
Please also be prepared to pay a small entrance fee as a foreigner visiting the sacred temples, ranging from 20k-100k Rp (1.40$ – 7$).
Let’s dive right into it. The 9 Directional temples in Bali include the Batukaru Temple, Besakih Temple, Goa Lawah Temple, Lempuyang Temple, Masceti Temple, Pasar Agung Temple, Ulun Danu Batur Temple, Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, and last but not least the Uluwatu Temple.
We chose five of them to describe in a bit more detail, but all of them are worth a visit if you have the time.
The most important temple on the entire island is the Besakih Temple which is known as the Mother temple. It is definitely a must-see on your visit to Bali if you’re interested in learning more about and emerging yourself more into Balinese culture.
Goa Lawah Temple
The Goa Lawah Temple is worth a visit if you want to experience something no other temple has as you can find thousands of bats living in the cave! Watch out, the bats make noises and might startle some of you.
But to ease your mind, most tourists and locals alike are amazed by the Bat Cave temple and love hearing the noises made by the bat colony.
The Lempuyang Temple locally called Pura Lempuyang Luhur, is the most famous temple among people who love taking breathtaking pictures. The stunning temple gate with the volcano (Mount Agung) in the background really does leave you speechless.
We suggest visiting Lempuyang Temple for sunrise or sunset for the most epic views. Both have their advantages. During sunrise, you can most likely avoid the crowds but during sunset, the sun will be right above the volcano which obviously will make the view even more magical than it already is.
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Right on the edge of Lake Beratan, you can find Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. When the lake water rises, the temple seems like it’s floating on the surface of the lake offering you a truly stunning view.
Similar to the Lempuyang Temple, we suggest arriving in the early morning to avoid the crowds.
Last but not least, we have Uluwatu Temple which is located on the top of a cliff as the name suggests (Uluwatu = top of a rock cliff).
Every day at sunset, the famous Kecak dance is performed which is known as the fire dance by tourists. It lasts for one hour and is something that should not be missed on your trip to Bali.
2. Enjoy One Of The Famous Sunday Brunches
Sunday Brunches in Bali are something not to be missed, no matter if you’re just visiting or live on the island. Bali’s best Sunday Brunches range from buffets to a la carte experiences to BBQs by the beach!
St. Regis Bali Resort
First up is the Sunday Brunch at St. Regis Bali Resort in Nusa Dua. If you are a fan of Kayuputi’s Pan-Asian-inspired haute cuisine or love the signature dishes from Boneka restaurant, this Sunday Brunch will leave your taste buds very satisfied.
The cherry on top is that all dishes are handcrafted and prepared à la minute, the brunch starts with an hour of free-flow cocktails from 11am-12pm and you can choose whether you’d want the brunch served a la carte or if you’d like the all-you-can-eat style. The Sunday Brunch at this elegant resort only costs 900,000 Rp net per person.
Next, we’d like to introduce you to Starfish Bloo brunch in Seminyak which is known as being one of the best brunches in Bali.
The modern indoor as well as outdoor venue provides the perfect atmosphere to enjoy sushi, seafood, BBQ, Indonesia Martabal, roast beef, delicious desserts and so much more right by the sea.
Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit for a relaxing dip into the amazing beach view pool while listening to a DJ performing between 12pm and 5pm.
This Sunday Brunch will only cost you 595,000 Rp net per person.
Amazing Sunday Brunches don’t always have to be expensive. The Corner House in Seminyak offers brunch served a la carte where you can choose from their favorites for only 59,000 Rp. Of course, you can also order from their regular menu which includes oysters and other seafood.
Psst, I’ve been told their vegan pancakes are the best. While feasting, you can also enjoy the live music and their weekly cocktail specials.
3. Best Things To Do In Bali: Explore The Beaches
Of course, when in Bali relaxing on a beach, going snorkeling, or going out surfing are must-dos. There are many Bali beaches that are just begging to be explored, here are three beaches that can give you an idea of what’s on offer.
First, if you just want to relax on the beach while sipping a coconut, Bingin beach in Uluwatu is the place to be. The crystal blue water, the white sand beach and the surrounding cliffs will leave you relaxed as never before.
But watch out for the monkeys – they love to say hi and grab your food (or even belongings) when they get a chance.
If you’re into snorkeling and other ocean activities, Amed is the place to be. It offers calm and secluded bays for swimming as well as shallow reefs which are perfect for snorkeling. If you’d like to go deeper, Amed also has a huge concentration of dive sites for you to try out.
And last but not least, you can find black sand beaches in this area of Bali.
All the surf lovers should visit Echo beach in Canggu. You’ll find lots of surfers, beginners and superstars alike.
During the evening, you can enjoy the sunset thanks to its western position. And of course, you can find a bite to eat at one of the cute beach restaurants as well as sip-worthy cocktails.
4. Stay In The Rice Fields Of Sidemen
Sidemen can be considered Bali’s best-kept secret. Not many tourists come to Sidemen and nature looks untouched and as green as it can get.
If you’re looking for rice fields, you’ll definitely find them here. Just riding your scooter through the cute traditional villages in and around Sidemen will give you lots of great views of the rice farming around the area.
If you want to spoil yourself and experience staying in the middle of rice fields for a few nights, we highly recommend Samanvaya Resort – an eco-luxe boutique resort that offers you a breathtaking view of the surrounding rice fields, pools, spas as well as cold – and warm tubs.
5. Shop In The Markets
Once you’ve done everything on your Bali Holiday itinerary, it’s time to do a little souvenir shopping for yourself and your loved ones back home. Here are some of our favorite authentic markets in Bali that have handicrafts and handmade goods, giving you a genuine expression of Bali in every aisle.
Ubud Traditional Art Market
Ubud Art Market is one of these authentic markets where you can find coconut bowls, silk scarves, banneton bags and much more.
Tegallalang Handicraft Center
If you’re looking for something no one else has Tegallalang Handicraft Center is the place to go to. Spanning for more than 10 kilometers, it is one of the longest markets across the world. Here you can find locals selling handmade furniture and hand-carved sculptures as well as many other notable treats.
Kumbasari Art Market
Kumbasari Art Market is a place that allows you to search for magic! It is teeming with colorful and affordable goods and stretches over two floors with more than a thousand stalls across the market. It is the perfect place to shop for anyone looking for Balinese fabrics, sarongs, sculptures, ornaments, and clothes. Don’t forget to negotiate the best deal and bring a bag to tote all those gifts and souvenirs!
We did our best to give you a good impression of what you could do on your next trip to Bali. There is no denying the complexity and vast majority of things you can do in Bali that will leave you speechless, relaxed and happy. If you want more inspiration and detailed information about everything Bali related you can check out BaliBuddies.
This guest post has been written by Ines Luttenbacher from Bali Buddies. Bali Buddies is your Insider’s Guide to enjoying Bali on any budget!
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