Bali Best things to do on your holiday [Top beaches, waterfalls, Zoos & activities]

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Imagine this: You’re walking barefoot on endless rice terraces after a relaxing day at an exotic beach. The sun dips into the horizon spraying the sky with the most mesmerizing shades of pink, purple, and orange. You’re taking a deep breath and finally feel at peace. Sounds dreamy, right?

Continue reading the full guide after watching this short video about the best things you can do in Bali

Well, these are just some of the amazing things to do in Bali. To find out more, scroll down!



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The best things to do in Bali in a nutshell


Meet new people, do water sports and enjoy a spectacular sunset at Kuta Beach

  • popular
  • socialization
  • activities
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Discover all the exotic waterfalls in the jungle of Bali

  • nature
  • photogenic
  • hiking
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See over 500 exotic animals and many plant species at Bali zoo

  • wild
  • nature
  • activities
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Spend the day at the trendiest beach in Bali, Seminyak Beach

  • luxury
  • sunset
  • hotels
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Discover stunning natural landscapes and amazing beaches at Nusa Penida

  • complex
  • views
  • organized
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Download the key takeaways of the best things to do in Bali in PDF so you can read it at your own pace or print it

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The best fun things to do in Bali

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Watch a Kecak fire dance at Uluwatu Temple

Kecak fire dance is a traditional music and drama show also known as Ramayana Monkey Chant. It originated in the 1930s as a form of Balinese Hindu dance with roots in exorcism dancing. On this fiery show, which takes place at Uluwatu Temple, performers tell the story of the Ramayana Hindu poem through movement and “chak-chak” chanting. Watching this spectacular show at the open theater of Uluwatu Temple at sunset is an unmissable thing to do in Bali!

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Visit the monkeys at the Monkey Forest

If you go to Bali and don’t meet the monkeys, did you even go to Bali? We don’t think so!


Confronting the monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud is one of the most fun things to do in Bali. At Monkey Forest, a Hindu temple complex in Ubud, you’ll find over 500 adorable Balinese monkeys in their natural habitat. You can feed them bananas and play with them, but be aware -they’ll try to steal anything from you, so keep an eye on your personal belongings!

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Test your skills in water sports

Either you’re an adrenaline junkie or you like to try new things, water sports in Bali is truly something to experience!


From surfing and rafting to fly-board (jetpacking) and paragliding, there’s a variety of fun water sports to do in Bali. Sanur is the most popular place for water sports in Bali (not ideal for surfing though, as there aren’t any waves). Other good places for watersports are Tanjung Benoa Beach, Sanur Beach, and Nusa Dua.

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Visit the best waterfalls in Bali, one by one

You can’t leave Bali without visiting its famous exotic waterfalls! This paradisiacal island is full of waterfalls, some of them easy to find and some of them hidden in the jungle, untouched by mass tourism.


Some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali are Gitgit waterfall in Singaraja, Kroya waterfall in Buleleng, NungNung waterfall in Petang, Niagara Munduk in Buleleng, Aling-Aling waterfall in Sambangan, and Kanto Lampo waterfall in Beng village. Whichever waterfalls you decide to visit, don’t forget to take many photos -a flawless Instagram feed is guaranteed!

The best things to do in Bali for free

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Capture the Broken Beach on Nusa Penida

Bali beaches are photo-worthy, but if you want to step up your insta-game, a shot of the Broken Beach on Nusa Penida is an absolute must!


The Broken Beach, which is nestled in a little cove on Nusa Penida island, stands out for the ark-shaped rock that arches over the mesmerizing turquoise waters of the bay. It took many many years of wind and waves for this natural miracle to be formed, but the result is worth it. The setting is every Instagrammer’s dream!

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Watch the breathtaking sunset

Well, this is one of the most romantic free things to do in Bali. But, even if you’re not in Bali for your honeymoon, watching the sunset at the beach is one of the most otherworldly experiences to have on the island. The sunset in Bali is different every day. One day the sky might be painted pink and purple, while the other may boast yellow and orange undertones. There’s one thing that doesn’t change, though -the sky’s beauty!


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Visit the volcano on Mount Batur

One of the most popular volcanoes on the island, Mount Batur is an amazing place to visit in Bali, especially if you’re into interesting natural landscapes. Standing at 1,700 meters above sea level, Mount Batur (or Gunung Batur) offers stunning views of the verdant landscape and the sea. Except for taking in the amazing view, another must thing to do on Mount Batur is hiking, especially at sunset.

Tip: We highly recommend joining a sunset hiking tour on Mount Batur -it’s not free, but it’s worth it. Otherwise, just watching the sunset or exploring the volcanic landscape are unique experiences as well!

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Spend the day at Seminyak Beach

Seminyak Beach is one of the most stunning beaches in Bali! Stretching for 3 (!) km, this pristine sandy beach is backed by luxurious hotels and boutiques, which create a chic and fashionable atmosphere. The natural beauty of Seminyak Beach is something else: endless white sand, emerald waters, and breathtaking sunsets create a magical scenery that attracts hordes of tourists.


Besides its beauty, though, Seminyak Beach also offers a wide selection of facilities including water sports, horseback riding, bars, and restaurants. The best (and most romantic) time of the day to visit Seminyak Beach is in the evening -watching the sunset at the beach is an experience out of this world!

The best things to do in Bali with family and friends

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See dolphins in their natural habitat

Watching the dolphins jumping off the water is one of the best things to do in Bali with friends and family. The best place to go for dolphin-watching is Lovina, a volcanic beach with black sand on the north side of Bali.


Other places in Bali, where you can also find dolphins are Amed, in eastern Bali, and the coast of Sanur. The best hour of the day to spot the dolphins swimming is before sunrise, so boat tours usually start around that time.

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Hang out at Kuta beach

Kuta beach is arguably the most famous beach in Bali!


As a result, it’s usually overcrowded. But, this isn’t necessarily bad if you’re traveling solo or with friends, as it offers the perfect opportunity for meeting new people. From surfers to fellow travelers, you’ll meet a wide variety of people! If you’re not in the mood for making friends, you can just sit and enjoy the scenery. Kuta beach is also a top beach for surfing and sunset-watching!

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Wander the rice terraces

Visiting the island’s dreamy rice terraces is one of the must things to do in Bali! You’ll have seen them on postcards and photos long before you go to Bali, but the real thing will blow your mind. The UNESCO-listed Balinese rice fields are all over the island. They consist of layers of rice (white, black, and red) patties irrigated by the canals of the Subak irrigation system that uses water from natural springs throughout the island.


The best rice fields to visit in Bali are the Tegalalang rice terraces, the Ubud rice terraces, the Munduk rice terraces, the Jatiluwih rice terraces, and the rice fields at Sidemen valley.

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Get up close and personal with the most exotic animals at Bali Zoo

If you want to spend a fun and educational day with family, Bali Zoo is a go-to! Also known as Kebun Binatang Bali, Bali Zoo is the only zoo on the island and is home to over 500 animals, as well as numerous plants. Some of the most popular inhabitants of the zoo are the African lion, the Asian otter, the white peafowl, the Bengal tiger, and the Bornean orangutan.


Except for the chance to see rare exotic species, though, Bali Zoo also offers a selection of super-fun family activities including a night at the zoo, breakfast with an orangutan, jungle dinner, animal feeding, and mud fun with Sumatran elephants. Can you think of a better family day out?

Best zoo tours

The best places for sightseeing in Bali (Top attractions and monuments)

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Soak in the sacred pool of Tirta Empul

If you are an Eat Pray Love fan, you’re going to love this ritual! Pura Tirta Empul (Holy Spring Temple) in Manukaya village, near Tampaksiring, is a sacred water temple complex with a purification spring.


People from all over Bali (and the world) flock to Tirta Empul to soak into the holy waters and cleanse themselves spiritually. Except for the popular pools, in Tirta Empul you’ll also find several statues, shrines, and gates that date back to 962 A.D., counting over 1,000 of history.

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Sneak into the Elephant Cave

The Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) is one of the most impressive attractions in Bali! Located near Ubud in Bali, this cave complex is full of sculptures of Hindu gods carved into stone. The temple, which dates back to the 11th century, is believed to have taken its name from the Hindu God Ganesh who seems to appear in the form of an elephant.


In the cave area, you’ll also find 6 statues of women carrying water pitchers, from which water flows. Legend has it that everyone who drinks this water stays young forever. That’s something to check yourself on your visit!

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Visit Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple, which means “Land in the sea”, is both a cultural and natural attraction in Bali! Sitting on a top of a rock in the sea, this Hindu temple boasts a stunning setting that attracts many tourists, especially at sunset time.


This spectacular landmark, which is located in Tabanan, dates back to the 16th century and holds an important place in Balinese mythology. The best time of the day to visit Tanah Lot Temple is from 6 pm to 7 pm, when the sun is setting, creating a breathtaking (and very insta-worthy) scenery!

Best day trips from Bali

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Head to Nusa Penida for the most stunning natural landscapes

If you’re searching for postcard-perfect landscapes and amazing beaches, Nusa Penida is the place to go! Nusa Penida is the largest of the three Nusa Islands (Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida) southeast of Bali. Some of the must-visit places on Nusa Penida are Atuh Beach, Crystal Bay Beach, Broken Beach, Kelingking T-Rex cliffs, and Manta Ray Viewpoint. They are all super-photogenic!


There are regular ferry schedules from Bali (Sanur) to Nusa Penida every day. However, we highly recommend that you go on an organized day trip from Bali to Nusa Penida, to get the most out of your visit.

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Escape the hustle and bustle at Gili islands

Gili islands is a complex of three tiny paradisiacal islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air) off the northwest coast of Lombok. Gili Trawangan is the most cosmopolitan one, Gili Air is ideal for snorkeling, while Gili Meno is more laid-back.


Although Indonesia is a super-popular and overcrowded destination, Gili islands seem to keep their authentic charm and that’s mainly because cars are banned from the islands. A day trip from Bali to Gili Islands is one of the best things to do on your holiday in Bali!

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Explore the ocean and catch waves at Nusa Lembongan

If you’re a fan of underwater activities and water sports, you’ll fall in love with Nusa Lembongan!


Nusa Lembongan, which is part of the three Nusa Islands complex southeast of Bali, has become a popular tourist destination over the last years. In Nusa Lembongan, you’ll find many paradise beaches, like Dream beach and Jungut Batu Beach, where you can do watersports or just chill. However, if you’re into extreme activities, we highly recommend cliff jumping at Dream Beach or snorkeling with Manta Rays!

The top places to eat & drink in Bali

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Eat epic steak at Naughty Nuri’s

If you’re searching for the best steak on the island, Naughty Nuri’s in Ubud is a go-to. Naughty Nuri’s opened its doors in 1995 and its signature barbecued pork ribs and martinis quickly created fans out of even the most picky eaters -it has even been recommended by Antony Bourdain himself!


The menu at Naughty Nuri’s isn’t long, but every option is scrumptious, from the restaurant’s hit pork ribs with BBQ sauce to the jumbo beef fillet. Taste them all and wash them down with a couple of martinis!


Info: Jl. Raya Sanggingan No.88X, Kedewatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia Tel: 62361977547


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Sip on sophisticated cocktails at Night Rooster bar

The Night Rooster bar, which is the bar of the legendary Locavore restaurant, is one of the hippest bars in Bali. Locals and tourists alike flock to Night Rooster bar to enjoy innovative cocktails made with seasonal herbs and fruit mixed with high-quality booze. Their menu consists of 10 cocktails that change seasonally to guarantee the freshness of the ingredients and keep up with the mixologist’s creative spirit!


Info: 89 York St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Tel: 62819-9917-1882


How to get to Bali?

The only way to get to Bali is by air. There are frequent direct and indirect flights to Bali from all over the world, as well as domestic flights from other cities in Indonesia. However, you can also get to Bali by bus from Jakarta and by cruise ship from South East Asia.


Where to stay in Bali?

The best areas to stay in Bali are Kuta and Legian (for nightlife), Jimbaran (for couples), Sanur (for first-time visitors), Seminyak (for shopping), Ubud (for sightseeing), and Nusa Dua (for families).


Explore more: Check all the hotels in Bali

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What is the best time of the year to visit Bali?

Bali has two main seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. Although the temperature doesn’t change much throughout the year, humidity is bad during the rainy season (November to March). With this in mind, the best time of the year to visit Bali is the dry season, between April and October.


What are the most popular attractions in Bali?

The most popular attractions in Bali are Uluwatu Temple, Rice Terraces, Tanah Lot Temple, Tirta Empul, the Elephant Cave, and the Monkey Forest.


What are the must-try foods in Bali?

The best foods to try in Bali are Nasi Campur, Babi Guling, Bebek Betutu, Sambal Matah, and Sate Lilit Ikan.


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Now we ‘d like to hear from you

Are you already dreaming of the paradise beaches, beautiful rice terraces, pristine islets, and exotic waterfalls of Bali?


We know we do!


But, we’d love to know…what are YOUR favorite things to do in Bali? Tell is in the comments and share this article on Social media if you liked it!

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