Things to Do in Bali: Complete Guide to Places and Activities

Nick Fewings, Unsplash
September 18
Written by Aisha Chen

Discover the best places to visit and activities to do in Bali. Find all the necessary information to plan your trip to this amazing destination.

Have you ever noticed how some destinations just have that magical spark? Bali, Indonesia has it in spades. Known as the Island of Gods, it's a place where art, culture, and nature converge.

Whether you're considering where to go on your next big adventure or simply love to daydream about exotic locales, we're going to guide you on why this magical island should be on top of your list. You'll find all you need here about the array of things to do in Bali, from savoring its rich culture to immersing yourself in its breathtaking landscapes.

Whether you're looking for what to see or places to visit in Bali, our personalized Bali guide is designed to take you through paradisiac beaches, serene temples, lively markets and so much more.

So, buckle up as we take you on a tour of this captivating island, igniting your wanderlust in a way only Bali can.

1. Uluwatu Temple

Historical Monuments and Architecture
mountains near the ocean during the day
Uluwatu Temple / bckfwd, Unsplash

Uluwatu Temple is a must-visit for travelers looking to uncover the culture and natural beauty of Bali. Perched on a 70-meter cliff above the Indian Ocean, this ancient Hindu temple offers breathtaking panoramic views and a unique spiritual experience.

Uluwatu Temple is one of the six sacred temples of Bali and is believed to have been built in the 11th century by a famous Hindu priest. Its cliff-top location makes it even more special, as it provides a spectacular view of the sunset over the ocean.

In addition to its architectural beauty and picturesque location, the temple is famous for its populations of long-tailed macaques. These monkeys are considered sacred and are believed to protect the temple area from evil spirits. However, it is important to exercise caution when approaching them as they can be a bit mischievous.

2. Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Natural Spaces and Parks
person standing on the edge of the palm tree overlooking the mountain
Tegallalang Rice Terraces / Jamie Fenn, Unsplash

The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are a sight to behold and a must-visit attraction in Bali. Its cascading terraces offer a unique landscape, filled with green shades that seem to go on forever. Taking a walk along the paths amidst the rice terraces will allow you to appreciate the hard work of local farmers, who have been working on this land for generations.

Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of this natural environment. The gentle breeze and the sound of water flowing between the terraces will create a unique relaxation experience. Plus, you'll be able to capture incredible photographs of these stunning landscapes.

If you visit Tegallalang, don't forget to try the delicious Balinese rice. In nearby restaurants, you can taste traditional dishes, such as nasi goreng or ayam betutu, prepared with rice grown in the area. A gastronomic experience that will complement your visit to these unique rice terraces in the world.

3. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Natural Spaces and Parks
brown monkey on tree branch
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary / Steve Douglas, Unsplash

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island. Located in the midst of a lush jungle, this place offers a unique experience for nature and animal lovers.

When visiting the sanctuary, you will have the opportunity to interact up close with the monkeys, observe their behaviors, and enjoy their company. You can walk along trails surrounded by trees and discover hidden waterfalls, ancient temples, and sacred statues.

If you are looking for things to do in Bali, you cannot miss the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Venture into the jungle and enjoy this unique experience in contact with the island's nature and wildlife.

4. Tanah Lot Temple

Historical Monuments and Architecture
landscape photo of a beach at sunset
Tanah Lot Temple / bckfwd, Unsplash

Tanah Lot Temple is one of Bali's most iconic attractions. Located on a rock amidst the sea, this ancient Hindu temple is a symbol of Balinese culture and its natural beauty. Tanah Lot Temple is known for its spectacular sunsets and its tranquil and serene surroundings.

Tanah Lot Temple offers a breathtaking view of the ocean and the waves crashing against the rock. It is believed that this sacred place was built in the 16th century by a Hindu priest to honor the gods and protect Bali from evil spirits. During low tide, it is possible to walk to the temple and explore its sacred grounds.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit Tanah Lot Temple during your trip to Bali. Explore its traditional architecture, admire the stunning sea views, and enjoy the serenity of this sacred place. Tanah Lot Temple is a must-visit for all lovers of culture, history, and the natural beauty of Bali.

5. Besakih Temple

Religion and Spirituality
brown and black temple under blue sky during daytime
Besakih Temple / Andrey Bond, Unsplash

The Besakih Temple, also known as the Mother Temple, is a must-visit for any traveler exploring Bali. Situated on the slopes of Mount Agung, this temple is the largest and most sacred Hindu temple in Bali.

Built in the 8th century, the Besakih Temple consists of over 80 individual temples and spans a vast area. Each of these temples has a particular function and significance in Balinese religion.

From Besakih Temple, you will enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, with nearby mountains and terraced rice fields. Additionally, you will get up close and personal with the traditions and rituals of Hindu culture in Bali.

6. Tirta Empul Temple

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a group of people sitting in a pool of water
Tirta Empul Temple / Ismail Hamzah, Unsplash

Discover Tirta Empul Temple, located in the village of Manukaya in Bali, this Hindu sanctuary is famous for its sacred water springs. According to local tradition, bathing in these waters has purifying properties and brings good fortune. It's a fascinating experience that you can't miss if you visit Bali.

The temple was built in the 10th century and is dedicated to the Hindu deity Vishnu. It features a series of pools and fountains that are fed by a sacred spring flowing into a nearby river. Worshippers and visitors have the opportunity to participate in purification rituals, immersing themselves in the blessed waters that spring from the fountains.

In addition to its religious significance, Tirta Empul Temple is also considered an important historical and architectural site. Its beautiful gardens, statues, and traditional structures are an impressive showcase of Balinese art and culture.

7. Ubud Palace

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a pond with a lot of water jets in it
Ubud Palace / Christian, Unsplash

Ubud Palace is an impressive palace located in the heart of Ubud city in Bali. Also known as Puri Saren Agung Palace, this place showcases the history and rich culture of the island.

Built in the 16th century, Ubud Palace is a magnificent example of traditional Balinese architecture. Its beautiful gardens, statues, and decorative features will transport you to another time.

In addition to visiting the palace itself, you can also enjoy dance and traditional Balinese music performances that take place here regularly. Immerse yourself in Bali's enchanting culture as you witness the amazing performances.

8. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

Natural Spaces and Parks
aerial view of green grass field
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces / Dennis van Dalen, Unsplash

The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are one of the top tourist attractions in Bali. These terraced rice fields offer breathtaking panoramic views, with rice fields stretching as far as the eye can see. This traditional agricultural landscape has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a must-visit for nature lovers and photographers.

A picturesque natural wonder: The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces are unique for their stepped terrace cultivation on the mountain slopes. This allows efficient water flow between different levels and creates a suitable environment for rice growth. The combination of the natural beauty of the landscape with local workers performing agricultural tasks creates an impressive photographic scene.

A journey through culture and tradition: In addition to enjoying the incredible views, visitors also have the opportunity to learn about the local culture and traditions. Farmers in the area are happy to share stories about rice cultivation and teach traditional techniques. This unique experience provides a glimpse into rural life in Bali and allows visitors to understand the importance of rice in Balinese culture.

9. Mount Batur

Natural Spaces and Parks
silhouette photography of mountain surrounded with clouds
Mount Batur / Geio Tischler, Unsplash

Mount Batur is a must-see tourist attraction in Bali. This active volcano is located in the northern part of the island and offers breathtaking panoramic views. Standing at 1,717 meters, it is a popular destination for hiking and enjoying nature.

In addition to the magnificent volcanic landscape, the area surrounding Mount Batur is known for its beautiful temples and tropical gardens. You can also experience a relaxing bath in the nearby natural hot springs.

If you enjoy spectacular sunrises, we recommend taking an early morning excursion. Enjoy the beautiful view and the silence of nature before the sun rises on the horizon. An unforgettable experience in Bali!

10. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Historical Monuments and Architecture
temple in between body of water
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan / Norbert Braun, Unsplash

Things to do in Bali: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is one of the most important tourist attractions in Bali. Located on the shores of Lake Bratan, this impressive Hindu temple is a masterpiece of traditional Balinese architecture. The temple is dedicated to the goddess of water and is a sacred place for the Balinese people.

Things to do in Bali: In addition to admiring the beauty of the temple and its natural surroundings, visitors can stroll through the lush gardens surrounding the temple. You can also rent a boat and explore Lake Bratan. This is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the serenity of nature and spirituality.

Sacred temple in Bali: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a place of great religious importance to the Balinese people. Ceremonies and rituals are performed here to bless the water and seek protection from the gods. It is an incredibly beautiful and magical place that you cannot miss during your visit to Bali.