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The 26 Things To Do In Bali, Indonesia (2023 Guide)

Kurt Norris
Last Updated: June 2nd, 2023

There are dozens of amazing things to do in Bali. From exploring historical Hindu temples to hiking volcanoes or even simply relaxing on the beach, Bali offers something for everybody.

While it is nearly impossible to sample everything the island offers in a single trip, I have created this list to help you make the most of your visit to Indonesia’s island paradise.

TL;DR

In a rush and just want a quick look at the best things to do in Bali? Don’t worry, I got you covered with this quick look.

26 Best Things to Do in Bali

1. Learn to Surf in Kuta

Catch your first waves at Bali’s most celebrated white sand beach.

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A surfer in Bali.

Known for its white sand beaches and world-class surf, it would be a shame to visit Bali and not catch at least one wave. Luckily, as an internationally acclaimed surf hotspot, Bali boasts several beach breaks perfect for beginners and pro surfers alike.

While the beaches of the Bukit Peninsula attract big-wave surfers from around the world, the soft white sands of Kuta Beach are ideal for a more laid-back experience. The beach boasts several board rentals and surf schools, and visitors can even book beginner surf lessons to help them catch their first waves.

2. Hike Up Mount Batur for the Sunrise

Enjoying breathtaking views from the top of Bali’s most picturesque volcano.

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The view from the top of Mount Batur at sunrise Image by: Kurt Norris

Highlighting the natural beauty of Bali’s volcanic landscapes, the Mount Batur Sunrise Trek leads tourists to the top of the island’s most picturesque volcano, from which they will enjoy some of the most breathtaking views.

While the hike can be done at any time of the day, it is best to start your journey in the early morning hours so that you time your summit on the volcano’s caldera with the sunrise.

Since this means you will likely be making the hike in the dark, you should only attempt the trek with a local guide and do not forget to pack your headlamp.

3. Take a Tour of One of Bali’s Famous Water Temples

Explore the local Hindu culture at one of the over 10,000 religious temples found in Bali.

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Tanah Lot Temple is connected to Bali’s southern coast at low tide. Image by: Kurt Norris

Hinduism plays a massively important role in Balinese culture, and no trip to the island would be complete without first visiting at least one of these monumental religious sites.

Of its places of worship, Bali’s water temples offer the most surreal complexes and are truly some of the most scenic religious facilities in the world. The most popular temples to tour include the Tanah Lot Temple, the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, and the cliffside Uluwatu Temple.

What’s more, you don’t even have to decide which of these fantastic religious sites to visit. Several tours, such as this full-day water temples tour, offer full-day guided adventures to all of the island’s greatest religious complexes.

4. Chase Waterfalls

Visitors can hike, bike, or drive to dozens of gorgeous waterfalls scattered across Bali.

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Leke Leke Waterfall near Ubud

Completing Bali’s tropical atmosphere are dozens of majestic waterfalls scattered throughout the island. Some, like Tengenungan and Leke Leke Waterfalls, are well-known among tourists for their natural beauty. Others are tucked away from the public eye and promise surreal settings far away from the tourist crowds.

The best way to experience Bali’s hidden waterfalls is by engaging a local guide with insider knowledge on the island’s top hidden gems. This Eastern Bali Waterfall Tour offers one of the best explorations of both well-known marvels and close-kept local secrets.

5. Practice Yoga

Find your Zen with a yoga retreat to one of Bali’s most surreal environments.

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An outdoor yoga class in Ubud.

While Ubud is often considered the cultural hub of Bali, it has also become one of the world’s premier destinations for yoga. Surrounded by lush jungle vistas and a quiet relaxing environment, Ubud oozes Zen and serenity for making the most out of your tranquil escape.

Bali’s yoga classes are a great way to get a taste of yoga’s many health benefits. However, Bali’s multi-day yoga retreats enhance the spiritual journey and promise an experience of unparalleled peace and relaxation.

6. Dive to an Authentic WWII Shipwreck

Explore the exotic sea life inhabiting the USS Liberty shipwreck.

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The coral-covered shipwreck of the USS Liberty.

Located just 40 meters off the shore of Tulamben Beach, diving into the shipwreck of the USS Liberty is one of the most unique things to do in Bali. Sunk during WWII by a Japanese submarine, the USS Liberty has since become the home of a vibrant coral reef and numerous fish species.

The wreckage can be explored via snorkeling and free diving. However, its convenient location near the coastline also means it is an easily accessible diving site and has become one of the premier destinations in the world for earning your Scuba Certification, with several diving resorts operating nearby.

7. Hike Through Bali’s Famous Rice Terraces

Admire the breathtaking landscapes of Bali’s UNESCO-recognized irrigation system.

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The ten-tiered rice terraces at Tegallalang Village

World-famous for its UNESCO-recognized irrigation system, Bali’s rice terraces are some of the island’s most iconic vistas. And while these tiered paddy fields can be explored across the island, the ones in Tegallalang Village are typically the most popular thanks to their picturesque landscapes.

Additionally, the hiking trails of the Tegallalang Rice Terraces do not require any form of admission fee to access, making them one of the best things to do in Bali for free. Still, visitors can combine a hike through the rice terraces with stops at the Bali Swing and the Holy Water Temples with this Ubud Highlight Tour.

8. Attend a Traditional Kecak Fire Dance

Attend the ancient Balinese ritual every evening at the breathtaking Uluwatu Temple.

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Fire dancers at a traditional Kecak Fire Dance in Uluwatu.

Perhaps one of the most thrilling ways to immerse in Bali’s exotic tropical culture, the Kecak Fire Dance is an ancient ritual performed every evening in Uluwatu.

Hosted in the scenic Uluwatu Temple, visitors spend the day exploring the cliffside religious complex before flocking to the waterfront theater at sunset to marvel at the display of daring fire dancing.

Check out this tour for a private exploration of the Uluwatu Temple and the Kecak Fire Dance before ending at Jimbaran Beach for a seafood dinner.

9. Hike to the Peak of Mount Agung

Enjoy Bali’s best views from the island’s highest point.

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The view from the top of Mount Agung. Image by: skyseeker / Flickr

While Mount Batur is the most popular volcano on Bali for hiking, Mount Agung holds the title of the island’s tallest. Reaching over 3,000 meters above sea level, Mount Agung is the highest point on Bali and offers truly remarkable views from above the clouds.

Starting at around 1,600 meters above sea level, the Pura Pasar Agung hike follows a challenging 7.9 km out & back trail and takes about six and a half hours to complete. While independent hikers are welcome to take on the trek, I suggest booking this Mount Agung Sunrise Trek for the best experience.

10. Swim with Manta Rays

Visit Manta Point in Nusa Penida to swim with the devil fish.

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A manta ray in the Indian Ocean around Bali.

Those looking to explore Bali’s aquatic environments will want to plan at least one day of diving into the waters around Nusa Penida. While Manta Rays can be found throughout these waters, they are the most abundant around Manta Point along the island’s southern shores.

Additionally, while manta rays can be found year-round in Bali, the best time to visit them is in the early morning hours of the island’s dry season, between May and November. Along with manta rays, this is also a great time for getting up close and personal with the Mola Mola, Bali’s giant sunfish.

While you can head over to Nusa Penida on your own, the best way to track down schools of manta rays is to engage the knowledge of a local with this manta ray snorkeling tour.

11. Fuel Your Adrenaline with a Rafting and Ziplining Tour

Explore Bali’s lush Jungle environments along the river and through the tree canopies.

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A tour group rafting down a river in Bali.

Promising a thrilling afternoon of exploring Bali’s lush jungle rivers and forest canopies, a rafting and ziplining tour of the island is one of the most fun things to do in Bali for families and travel groups.

Boasting Grade I and II rapids, the Telaga Waja River promises a myriad of adventures perfect for escaping Bali’s tourist crowds to immerse in the more untouched corners of the island. Along the tour, visitors begin their journey on the water before transitioning to the treetops and finishing at a majestic waterfall.

12. Escape to the White Sands of a Hidden Beach

Enjoy quiet solitude while exploring one of Bali’s most pristine hidden beaches.

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The tropical white sand beach, Nyang Nyang, near Uluwatu Temple.

There are many beautiful beaches in Bali. And while Kuta and Seminyak seem to get all of the glory, some of the most pristine are those that experience less tourist traffic. Unruined by commercialization, these beaches offer quiet settings for enjoying the untouched natural wonders of Bali’s coastlines.

My favorite beaches tucked away from Bali’s tourist center include Balangan Beach in Jimbaran and Nyang Nyang Beach in Uluwatu. But there are dozens of fantastic coastal gems to choose from.

For a varied beach-going experience, check out this Bali Beach Hopping Tour.

13. Go Dolphin Spotting in Lovina

Complete the idyllic island vibes with a dolphin-spotting tour on Bali’s northern shores.

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A school of dolphins in the Bali Sea just off Lovina Beach.

Bali’s coastal waters are teeming with sea life. But dolphins always seem to be near the top of every visitor’s Wishlist for completing the tropical island paradise. Luckily, these beautiful ocean creatures are abundant in the Bali Sea north of the island.

The most common place for spotting the sought-after species is in the waters just off the island’s northern coasts near Lovina. While schools can often be spotted from the shore, this dolphin-watching tour is one of the best ways to get an up-close view.

14. Hang With the Simians at Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Delve into Bali’s jungle environments inhabited by hundreds of long-tailed macaque monkeys.

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A screaming macaque monkey in the Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Image by: Kurt Norris

Located only five minutes from Ubud, the Sacred Monkey Forest is a preservation of 30.8 acres that protects several native flora and fauna species, including a population of hundreds of Balinese long-tailed macaque monkeys.

Along with providing a space for interacting with the island’s simian inhabitants, the Ubud Monkey Forest also boasts some breathtaking waterfall vistas and the ruins of a 14th-century temple along its scenic walking path.

Combine your adventure to the sanctuary with other nearby attractions with this Ubud Highlights Tour.

15. Go Wildlife Spotting in West Bali National Park

Visitors can spot over 160 animal species within the protected confines of this preserved national park.

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A Menjangan Deer on Menjagan Island in West Bali National Park. Image by: yesy belajar memotrek / Flickr

Another fantastic thing to do in Bali for animal lovers is to take a guided wildlife spotting tour through West Bali National Park. The 190 square kilometer park is the last untouched habitat for numerous native species, including the Menjangan Deer, Leopard Cat, and Large Flying Fox.

Tourists are not permitted to enter the park on their own. Luckily, plenty of guides are willing to lead visitors to the region’s wildlife hotspots, including this West Bali National Park Trekking and Snorkelling Tour.

16. Go Bird Spotting at Bali Bird Park

Explore Bali’s birds of paradise at this aviary conservation park and breeding center.

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A pair of colorful parrots at Bali Bird Park.

Bird watchers won’t have to travel as far as West Bali National Park to see Bali’s birds of paradise. In fact, Bali Bird Park is located only about half an hour from Kuta Beach and is home to over 1,000 colorful birds from 250 different species from across Indonesia, Africa, Latin America, and Australia.

Despite only being two square kilometers, Bali Bird Park is an abundant botanical garden filled with native foliage and offers seven diverse regions to explore filled with unique bird species. Visitors to the park can easily spend a few hours to a full day exploring the exotic avian species of the world.

17. Cycle the Trails of Sidemen Valley

Step back in time to before Bali’s tourism development with a bike ride through the island’s most traditional valley.

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An aerial view of the traditional rice terraces of Sidemen Valley.

Located in eastern Bali, Sidemen Valley is a lesser touristed region of the island and offers a breathtaking landscape of rice terraces and traditional villages for exploring Bali’s more authentic experiences.

While there are plenty of ways to explore this wondrous corner of the island, the best way to experience everything the region offers is along a Sidemen cycling tour that goes through the region’s small villages, rice fields, and ancient temples.

18. Spend a Day Riding the Slides at Waterbom

Escape the humid tropical weather with a thrilling day trip to Indonesia’s biggest waterpark.

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Four waterslides at the Waterbom Waterpark in Kuta. Image by: Matthew Kenwrick / Flickr

One of the most popular things to do in Bali for families, Waterbom is one of the biggest waterparks in Asia, boasting 22 waterslides within its 38,000 square meters. Along with its thrilling attractions, Waterbom respects the island’s natural environments and features a foliage-rich natural setting that completes the park’s tropical jungle design.

Some of the waterpark’s top attractions include ‘The Climax,’ Asia’s steepest waterslide, a ‘Funtastic’ kiddy area, and a soothing ‘Lazy River’ perfect for unwinding to the quiet wilderness sounds of the area.

19. Go Island Hopping to the Gili Islands

Enjoy a wide array of experiences at this small collection of islands off of Bali’s eastern coast.

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A deserted stretch of the coastline on Gili Meno. Image by: Kurt Norris

The Gili Islands are a collection of three small islands located about 95 km east of Bali. Each island offers a unique experience, but all provide a fantasized island paradise perfect for lounging on idyllic beaches while enjoying tropical cocktails.

The islands also boast fantastic aquatic environments for snorkeling adventures, and they offer some of the best waters in Bali for swimming with sea turtles. This private snorkeling tour is the best way to explore the area and bring visitors to various sea turtle hot spots and even the celebrated Nest sculptures depicting a ring of people below the sea.

20. Explore the Undeveloped Island Paradise of Nusa Penida

Explore traditional Balinese villages, abandoned white sand beaches, and surreal tropical landscapes along a guided tour of this nearby island paradise.

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The Broken Beach on Nusa Penida.

Nusa Penida is a popular day trip destination that boasts pristine island landscapes and untouched natural environments and promises many tropical adventures along its deserted beaches and coastal cliffs.

However, while Nusa Penida is a relatively small island, it is actually much bigger than most visitors think, boasting a little more than 200 square km of landmass. As such, seeing everything the island offers can be difficult if you are planning on going it alone.

Instead, the best option for tourists looking to explore all of the island’s hidden corners is to book a Nusa Penida Tour that provides a private transfer to various hotspots, including Nusa Penida Beach, Crystal Bay, Kelingking Beach, Sampalan Beach, and Angel’s Billabong.

21. Unwind at a Beach Bar in Seminyak

Sip a cocktail while soaking in the laid-back atmosphere of Seminyak Beach.

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The pool bar at the Potato Head Beach Bar.

While there are plenty of fun things to do in Bali, the island experience would not be complete without first spending a day lounging at one of the region’s famous beach bars while relaxing with a tropical cocktail.

Several welcoming beach bars can be found across the island, but none quite match the simplistically elegant charms of Seminyak. Potato Head Beach Club, Ku De Ta, and the Mari Beach Club are just some of the most popular spots to grab a drink while enjoying the beach’s white sands and picturesque surfs.

22. Tour a Luwak Coffee Plantation

Discover the processes behind Indonesia’s famous coffee.

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A luwak coffee shop in the market surrounding Tanah Lot Temple.

Indonesia is the home of some of the world’s most expensive and opulent coffee โ€” Kopi Luwak Coffee. The reason for the coffee’s fame and price tag is that producing the product involves an Indonesian palm civet choosing only the best beans and consuming them.

After passing through its digestive system, the beans are collected, cleaned, and roasted before being distributed. This process produces some of the most sought-after coffee beans in the world, with prices reaching up to $600 for 0.5 kg.

Visitors can explore these eccentric coffee-making practices at various plantations across Bali, including along this Ubud Cycling Tour.

23. Unwind at an Authentic Bali Hot Spring

Soak in the therapeutic waters of one of Bali’s natural hot springs.

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The water spouts pour into a Banjar Hot Springs thermal pool.

Bali is no stranger to breathtaking water features, from beautiful coastal beaches to majestic waterfalls. But the most relaxing of these aquatic attractions is easily the island’s abundant hot springs.

There are several hot springs around Bali, many of which have become important spiritual destinations, such as the Banjar Hot Springs and Tirta Empul, and are even home to various temples and ritual soaking experiences.

One of the most popular hot springs is the Batur Natural Hot Spring which offers a soothing soak following a demanding hike up the nearby volcano.

24. Go Shopping in Kuta

Spend a day perusing the wares of Kuta’s numerous markets and boutique shopping centers.

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Kuta Beachwalk Shopping Center. Image by: Howard Yu / Flickr

While Kuta may be most recognized for its beach, the district is also home to the island’s most prominent shopping scene and boasts numerous shopping centers, malls, and markets.

Along with offering recognizable brands, Kuta’s shopping centers feature several local markets selling handicrafts, luwak coffee, souvenirs, and even traditional Balinese massages.

While it is easy to browse the district’s stores on your own, this Kuta District Shopping Trip makes stocking up on your souvenirs a breeze and even finishes off with a stop at a local spa for a relaxing massage.

25. Take a Street Food Tour

Explore Bali’s culinary specialties along a delectable food tour of the island.

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A seafood restaurant on Jimbaran Beach, Bali.

Bali may be home to dozens of fantastic international restaurants and eateries, but the best way to explore the island’s culinary delicacies is by sampling the traditional cuisines of its locally owned street food stalls and shops.

This private street food tour starts in the famous produce epicenter, Badung Market, and guides visitors through various snacks and meals, including a traditionally cooked babi guling (roast pig) and satay ayam (a chicken satay covered in a delicious peanut sauce).

26. Visit The Nightclubs in Kuta

Let loose at Bali’s world-famous nightclub hot spots for a vibrant party scene and active nightlife.

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Bounty nightclub on Legian Street, Kuta. Image by: Aiko Konishi / Flickr

Kuta’s beach may be one of the most popular attractions on the island during the day, but visiting the district’s nightclubs on Legian Road is also one of the most popular things to do in Bali at night.

Whether partaking in a full moon party or looking for a spot to enjoy live music over a drink, Kuta’s clubs attract tourists from around the world and are fantastic spots for meeting all sorts of characters.

The most popular clubs in Bali to let loose include LXXY Bali, the Jenja Club, and the Azul Beach Club.

FAQs About Bali Attractions

What is Bali best known for?

Bali is best known for its tropical climate, volcanic landscape, and world-class white sand beaches promising an exotic island paradise holiday. It is also famous for its premier surfing conditions, rich Hindu culture, and religious temples.

What should you not miss in Bali?

Despite being a relatively small island, there are many things to see and do in Bali. Its idyllic beaches, breathtaking religious temples, and volcanic hikes are just some of the few things you should absolutely not miss when visiting.

How many days in Bali is enough?

If you are only planning on visiting a single area in Bali, then you need no more than a few days to soak on the beach and explore some of the nearby attractions. However, if you are looking to expand to multiple regions, then you will likely need from 10 days to two weeks to enjoy most of everything the island offers.

What is the best time to go to Bali?

The best time to go to Bali is during the regionโ€™s dry season, which runs from May to October. However, if you are not big on crowds, then it is also best to avoid the peak tourist months of July and August and instead visit during the shoulder months of May, June, September, or October.

What is there to do in Bali at night?

While Baliโ€™s tropical beaches are best enjoyed during the day, there are still plenty of things to do on the island at night. These include taking a night safari at Bali Marine and Safari Park, taking a dinner cruise, and visiting Legian Street for Kutaโ€™s nightlife.

Is Bali expensive to visit?

Bali can be a very inexpensive destination to visit. Still, in reality, the island offers a massive variety of accommodations spanning the entire gamut of budgets, ranging from cost-effective hostels to luxury resorts charging thousands of dollars a night. As a result, Bali is really only as expensive as you make it.

What are the best Bali beaches?

Kuta and Seminyak are the best beaches in Bali if you are looking for beach bars, clubs, and other social scenes. However, if youโ€™re looking to escape the crowds to enjoy your own corner of paradise, then Uluwatu, Jimbaran, and Sanur Beaches take the prize of Baliโ€™s best beaches.

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About The Author

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelorโ€™s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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