Combining pristine coastal beaches, a breathtaking volcanic landscape, and over 10,000 religious temples, Bali is a destination that promises myriad wonders on its relatively small island landmass. And with so much to see and do, it’s nearly impossible to experience everything within a single trip.
But not to worry. Having spent extensive time exploring the island’s various corners, I have compiled this list of the best places to visit in Bali to help you get a taste of everything this incredible destination offers.
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The 25 Best Places to Visit in Bali
1. Tanah Lot Temple
Explore one of Bali’s most picturesque coastal temples.
- Where to Stay: Swell Hotel, Pool Bar & Restaurant
- Popular Tour: Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple and Spa Tour
Believed to have been built by Dang Hyang Nirartha in the 16th century, Tanah Lot Temple has been an important religious monument in Bali for centuries and is a must-visit destination when traveling to the island.
Surrounded by the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean, the temple presides on a rock just off Bali’s southwestern coast and can only be accessed during low tide.
While the main temple is not open for visitors, the picturesque vistas, nearby markets, and gardens make Tanah Lot one of the best places to visit in Bali to explore the island’s Hindu culture.
2. Mount Batur
Enjoy breathtaking sunrises from the peaks of an active volcano.
Bali is home to two active volcanoes. And while Mount Agung is the largest, Mount Batur is the most picturesque and provides visitors with fantastic hiking trails for enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the island’s natural landscapes.
Guests can hike the trails throughout the day, but the best time to start your trek is just after midnight. That way, you can time your journey to the summit of the volcano just before sunrise.
Immerse in the traditions of Bali’s cultural center.
Ubud is Bali’s cultural hub and an important stopping point for exploring the island’s traditional customs, surrounded by Hindu temples, majestic waterfalls, and sprawling rows of rice field terraces.
Offering a tranquil retreat towards the center of the island, Ubud is a quiet setting for exploring the authentic lifestyle of the local community and boasts several cultural museums and nature hikes to breathtaking landmarks.
4. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Find quiet tranquility at this water temple in northern Bali.
- Where to Stay: Dedanau Hotel
- Popular Tour: Ulun Danu Bratan Temple and Hidden Waterfalls Tour
Nicknames Floating temple thanks to its location just off the shores of Lake Batan, making it appear as if it is floating along the tranquility quiet waters of the lake, Pura Ulun Dany Bratan is one of the most beautiful Hindu temples on the island.
Constructed in 1633, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan boasts traditional stylings and designs and offers visitors a quieter setting for exploring Bali’s religious monuments free from the heavy crowding that can occur at the more famous Tanah Lot Temple.
5. Ubud Monkey Forest
Explore the local flora and fauna while touring ancient temple ruins.
Home to over 1200 Balinese long-tailed macaque monkeys, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud is a fantastic place to visit in Bali for those looking to explore the island’s local flora and fauna species.
Along with providing a lush environment for its primate inhabitants, the preservation offers a beautiful scenic walk complete with rushing rivers, majestic waterfalls, and even historic temples dating back to the 14th century.
6. Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Tour the sprawling terraces of the UNESCO-recognized irrigation system.
- Where to Stay: Om Ham Retreat and Resort
- Popular Tour: Tegallalang Rice Terrace with School Painting and Balinese House
Located about 30 minutes north of Ubud, the Teallalang Rice Terraces are home to some of the most iconic vistas in Bali and are one of the best places to visit in Bali for free.
Several hiking trails weave through the area’s 10-tiered paddies, field terraces, and waterfalls. Visitors can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours exploring the rows of foliage-rich scenery.
7. Uluwatu Temple
Admire the breathtaking views from a cliffside Hindu Temple.
- Where to Stay: Uluwatu Desa
- Popular Tour: All-Inclusive Uluwatu Sunset & Kecak Fire Dance Show Tour
Nestled within the cliffsides at the westernmost point of the island’s Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu Temple is another religious site in Bali that blends an exploration of the region’s breathtaking natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Established in the 11th century, the temple resides at the edge of the region’s limestone cliffs and offers a fantastic vantage point for admiring the sprawling expanse of the Indian Ocean as its steady waves beat on the jutting rocks below.
While the innermost sanctuary is reserved only for Hindu priests, international visitors are invited to tour the grounds for a soothing retreat to Bali’s more traditional corners.
8. Kuta Beach
Join the tourist festivities at Bali’s most famous beach.
Perhaps Bali’s most famous coastal destination, Kuta Beach, has been a popular destination for surfing for decades and has become the island’s premier tourist hotspot in recent years. While the southern regions of the beach can often become crowded, those looking for a sense of seclusion need only head a little further north for a quiet setting.
As the island’s tourist center, Kuta also boasts the most commercialization on the island and is home to an abundance of bars and nightclubs, making it one of the best places to visit in Bali at night for those looking for Bali’s party scene.
Embrace Bali’s top shopping centers, fine dining restaurants, and beachside bars.
Located just north of Kuta, Seminyak is another small town that has grown into a popular tourist center on the island. Despite this, Seminyak has remained a sought-after vacation destination, boasting high-end services, including boutique shopping centers, five-star restaurants, and luxury resorts.
As such, Seminyak is the best place to visit in Bali to enjoy the island’s world-famous beach while embracing the myriad shopping opportunities along its main strip and traditional markets.
10. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Escape the crowds at this lesser-visited rice field destination.
- Where to Stay: HOMM Saranam Baturiti
- Popular Tour: Ancient Temples and Jatiluwih Rice Terrace Private Tour
Offering a lesser-visited alternative to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are about a 90-minute drive north of Ubud and cover more than 600 hectares of sprawling paddies fields tiered along the Batukaru mountain range.
Less commercialized than the more celebrated rice terraces, Jatiluwih is a fantastic way to escape the crowds to admire the picturesque irrigation system in a more traditional setting.
11. Tegenungan Waterfall
Escape the heat at one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Ubud.
- Where to Stay: The Alena a Pramana Experience
- Popular Tour: Best of Bali Waterfalls: Tibumana, Tukad Cepung and Tegenungan
Bali has dozens of breathtaking waterfalls, but none are as enchanting or accessible as the Tegenungan Waterfall. Also known as Air Terjun Tegenungan, this waterfall is only 30 minutes from Ubud and is located in an isolated setting deep in Bali’s jungle landscape.
The area requires a small admission fee to enter and boasts a picturesque walk down to the waterfalls, where visitors are encouraged to soak in its soothing waters. Additional amenities in the area include an onsite restaurant and several rope swings perfect for pictures.
12. Tirta Empul Temple
Soak in the ritual baths of this 10th-century water temple.
Built in 962, the Tirta Empul Temple is a millennia-old religious site dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Named after the Tirta Empul groundwater spring, the temple has been an important healing site and offers visitors access to its natural waters in two outdoor pools and 30 showers.
While not as famous as Tanah Lot Temple or Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, the Tirta Empul Temple is the perfect place to visit in Bali for immersing in its Hindu culture while partaking in a ritual bathing experience.
13. Bali Bird Park
Explore Bali’s airborne creatures and tropical environments.
Protecting 2,000 square meters of the Balinese landscape, the Bali Bird Park is the perfect place to get up close and personal with the island’s avian inhabitants. More than 1,3000 birds of over 250 species call this preservation home and are easily spotted in the enclosed aviary.
Along with housing and breeding these birds of paradise, the Bali Bird Park also emulates the birds’ traditional environments and boasts 52 different species of palm trees, jungle fruits, cycads, and bamboo for visitors to explore.
14. Sekumpul Waterfall
Enjoy the quiet majesty of one of the island’s most impressive waterfalls.
- Where to Stay: Rostika Villa & Camping Sekumpul
- Popular Tour: Sekumpul and Banyumala Waterfalls All-Inclusive Hiking Tour
Challenging Tegenungan Waterfall as Bali’s most beautiful inland water feature, Sekumpul Waterfall is located in the island’s northern region and features three cascading waterfalls plummeting 80 meters down the cliffside into a rock pool at its base.
Despite being more remote than many of the more celebrated waterfalls on the island, Sekumpul Waterfall’s isolated nature provides a quieter setting for immersing in the surreal environment, with abundant foliage and a soothing swimming hole.
15. Waterbom Waterpark
Enjoy family fun at Indonesia’s top waterpark.
Boasting 22 slides and covering 38,000 square meters, Waterbom is one of Asia’s biggest waterparks and one of the best places to visit in Bali with kids. Surrounded by foliage-rich natural environments, the waterpark blends the tropical setting of the island with family fun activities and exciting water adventures.
Additionally, Waterbom is located directly in Kuta, meaning this thrilling waterpark can easily be combined with several other fun things to do, including the numerous attractions and beaches lining the island’s southern coast.
16. Sanur Beach
Escape the bustling city sprawl at a family-friendly beach.
Nestled along the southeastern corner of the Balinese coast, Sanur Beach is a family-friendly beach offering world-class shorelines and abundant waterfront activities.
Located only a short drive from the more popular Kuta Beach, Sanur Beach is an ideal base for those looking to explore Bali’s famous attractions while enjoying family-friendly resorts and picturesque beaches.
Spot dolphins from this north coast beach.
Located along Bali’s northern shores, Lovina offers an escape from the island’s tourism center in Kuta and provides a more immersive experience of the traditional side of Bali. It is the perfect setting for exploring the island’s picturesque natural landscapes, including tropical jungles and natural hot springs.
Additionally, the Bali Sea north of the island is also known for its abundant ecosystems of vibrant aquatic species, and Lovina is one of the best places to visit in Bali for dolphin watching and snorkeling.
18. USS Liberty Shipwreck
Scuba dive or snorkel to the wreckage of an old US cargo ship.
- Where to Stay: Pebble & Fins Bali Dive Resort
- Popular Tour: Tulamben Diving Day Trip with Certified Divers
Once a United States cargo ship, the USS Liberty was torpedoed down by a Japanese Submarine just off the northern coast of Bali in 1942. Today, the shipwreck presides only 40 meters from Tulamben Beach, from which visitors can explore via diving or snorkeling.
Thanks to its convenient location just off the island’s shoreline, the USS Liberty shipwreck offers an exciting setting for earning Scuba Diving Certification while exploring the authentic wreckage along the ocean’s depths.
19. Besakih Temple
Explore the heart of Bali’s Hindu culture at the Mother Temple of Bali.
- Where to Stay: Mahagiri Resort & Restaurant
- Popular Tour: Besakih, Mother of All Temples, Lempuyang & Tirta Gangga Tour
The largest and holiest temple in Balinese Hinduism, Besakih Temple, is often called the Mother Temple of Bali. And while it only first garnered this moniker around the 10th century AD, the temple itself is believed to date back to the Megalithic Period.
Over the millennia, the religious complex has grown to include 23 temples spread over six terraces. These temples attract tourists from around the world to explore the island’s religious heritage at its most monumental.
20. Nusa Dua
Enjoy the luxurious amenities of Bali’s most exclusive neighborhood.
- Where to Stay: The St. Regis Bali Resort
- Popular Tour: Private Half-Day Water Activities Package at Nusa Dua
The most exclusive corner of Bali, Nusa Dua, is located on the Bukit Peninsula’s eastern shore and promises a quiet luxury experience.
The region is known for its opulent resorts and private golf courses, but it is also one of the best places in Bali for engaging in water sports and enjoying a quiet retreat on its white sand beach.
21. Goa Gajah
Tour the religious monuments of Elephant Cave temple.
- Where to Stay: The Wakanda Resort A Pramana Experience
- Popular Tour: Bali Adventure Tour: Hidden Canyon, Tegenungan Waterfall, Goa Gajah temple
Also known as Elephant Cave, Goa Gajah is a unique temple located near the center of Bali, just outside of Ubud. Believed to be constructed in the 11th century, the cave temple features several historical relics, ancient bathing pools, and stone shrines reflecting the site’s religious significance.
Visitors are encouraged to explore the complex’s religious sculptures along a guided or independent walking tour, during which they can even receive a ritual bath at the complex’s soaking pools.
22. Gitgit Waterfall
Hike to a hidden waterfall.
Another of Bali’s breathtaking water features that is a must-visit for international tourists to the island is the Gitgit Waterfall. A rising attraction on the island, the Gitgit Waterfall is surrounded by natural scenery and features a 15-minute hike through its picturesque vistas. Several small markets are found along the path, offering a selection of treats and souvenirs.
While the waterfall is about a two-hour drive from Ubud, it is only 40 minutes from Lovina and about halfway between Buleleng and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, making it a fantastic stopping point along a trip to the religious monument from the north coast community.
Dine at Bali’s top seafood restaurants.
- Where to Stay: Anja Jimbaran
- Popular Tour: Half-Day: Uluwatu Sunset, Kecak Dance, Dinner at Jimbaran Beach
Located just south of Kuta, Jimbaran is a small fishing town along Bali’s southern coast and offers a quiet beach setting for enjoying a variety of seaside restaurants and activities. As such, it is one of the best places to visit in Bali for sampling the island’s local seafood while embracing the less-touristed coastline for a soothing beach holiday.
24. Sidemen Valley
Experience Old Bali at this tucked-away gem.
One of the best-hidden spots in Bali is tucked away from the public eye of the tourist limelight, Sidemen Valley offers visitors a window into the traditional Old Bali lifestyles and culture. Located 90 minutes from Ubud, the valley features a series of small villages nestled within the flowing waves of rice terraces within the foothills of Mount Agung.
It was the perfect destination for tourists seeking the old traditional charms of Bali before mass tourism made its way to its idyllic shores, triggering a wave of development.
25. Balangan Beach
Unwind with Balangan’s quiet beach vibes.
Occupying a quiet piece of coastline along Bali’s southern shores in Uluwatu, Balangan Beach offers visitors an idyllic white sand beach far away from the island’s bustling tourism hub.
It boasts crystal clear turquoise waters and far fewer crowds than the beaches in Kuta and Seminyak for a truly breathtaking Bali beach day experience.
FAQs About Bali Attractions
Is Bali Expensive?
Bali is not an expensive destination, and visitors can have a very enjoyable experience on a minimal budget. Still, visiting Bali can become expensive if you plan to stay at a luxury hotel or resort, which can reach upwards of thousands of dollars a night.
How many days do I need in Bali?
If you are only exploring a single region of Bali, three to five days are plenty of time to soak in the sun and sample the island. However, if you are looking to fully explore everything this destination offers, you should expect to spend ten days to two weeks in Bali.
When is the best time to visit Bali?
The best time to visit Bali is during the island’s dry season, which runs from May to October.
Will a US cell phone work in Bali?
While international plans are available for traveling to Bali, these packages can often be relatively expensive. Buying a prepaid Sim Card after arriving on the island is much more cost-effective.
How can I get around in Bali?
Most tourists to the island rent a scooter to navigate between its many attractions. However, if you don’t have riding experience, don’t worry. Taxis and budget-friendly ride-planning apps such as Gojek and Grab are abundant on the island.
What is considered appropriate dress in Bali?
Bali is a popular beach destination, and most visitors pack plenty of swimwear. However, Bali is also a deeply religious island, and visitors should be cautious of covering up when not at the beach to remain respectful.