Whether you want a relaxing holiday in the sun or you’re seeking something a bit more adventurous, there are plenty of things to do in Bali. With various long-haul airlines and local budget airlines serving Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, flights to Bali are quite easy to find too.
Here’s a list of the top 10 things we recommend to do in Bali:
1. Tanah Lot
Pura Tanah Lot is a temple perched on a rock formation on the ocean, and is one of the most photographed spots in Bali, particularly as it offers a spectacular view of the sunset. Located in Tabanan on the West Coast of Bali, the temple is a popular tourist destination and is therefore quite commercialised, so you have to walk past many souvenir shops, street sellers and food stalls to get to it. Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s most sacred sea temples and it is believed that poisonous sea snakes protect it from evil spirits.
2. Watch a cultural performance
No visit to Bali is complete without experiencing some of the Balinese culture. Bali is known for its Gamelan music and vibrant dance performances, including the Kecak Dance, Barong Dance and Fire Dance. The Kecak Dance or ‘monkey dance’ is performed by a group of men who dance in a circle around blazing torches, and tells the story of Prince Rama, who attempts to rescue his wife Sita from the hands of the evil King of Lanka.There is no musical accompaniment to the dance, only the chants and claps from the male performers.
3. Hike Mount Batur
Mounta Batur is an active volcano in the North East of Bali, and although it’s about half the size of Mount Agung, it is worth hiking this particular volcano to see the sunrise and the spectacular view from the top. Treks with a local Balinese guide usually depart in the early hours of the morning since it takes about 3-4 hours to hike to the summit for sunrise.
4. Go surfing
Bali is known for having some of the best surf in the world and surfers travel from far and wide to ride the island’s waves. For beginners there are plenty of surf schools and camps across the island so its the perfect opportunity to rent a board and give surfing a go. Kuta also has plenty of surf board shops and repair shops.
5. Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu is down in the southern tip of the island on the Bukit Peninsula. The temple is perched high up on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, and is the ideal place to visit at sunset, when there is also a performance of the Kecak dance. Whilst it is only possibly for Hindus to go inside the temple, most tourists visit Uluwatu to see the monkeys that inhabit the area around the temple. Be careful though, as they will try to take any food or accessories you may be carrying!
6. Eat seafood on the beach in Jimbaran
At night, Jimbaran Bay is a really great place to sink your feet into the sand and enjoy a delicious seafood dinner on the beach. An entire section of the beach is covered in candlelit tables and chairs, so you can dine on freshly caught squid, fish and prawns right next to the Indian ocean.
7. White water rafting
There’s plenty of chance for adventure in Bali, with the opportunity to raft down the rapids of the Ayung River. You’ll be in for an exhilarating ride as you navigate your way along Class II and III rapids past cascading waterfalls, tropical rainforest, towering cliffs and scenic rice terraces.
8. Visit Bali’s cultural centre, Ubud
Bali’s capital of culture, Ubud, was propelled into the limelight thanks to the Julia Roberts movie Eat Pray Love. Here you can walk through the enchanting Sacred Monkey Forest, visit medicine man Ketut Liyer from Eat Pray Love, browse art galleries and craft shops, have a drink overlooking pretty green rice terraces, enjoy a relaxing spa treatment or try some yummy Balinese food in one of the fantastic Warungs.
9. Watch sunset at Ku De Ta
Bali has some stunning sunsets, but perhaps the most glamorous view of the sunset is from Ku De Ta in Seminyak. This trendy, upscale bar and restaurant has a prime location on the beach in Seminyak, so its the perfect place to watch the sunset go down with a cocktail in hand. In high season Ku De Ta puts on lots of extravagant parties and plays host to famous DJs.
10. Explore the island’s beaches
Being an island, Bali has lots of beaches along its coastline. Some, like in Canggu, are dramatic black sand beaches with crashing waves, whilst others consist of golden sand and plenty of beach activities like in Seminyak and Kuta. Padangbai on the East Coast of the island has a beautiful white sand beach, whilst the beaches on the Bukit Peninsula in the south of the island are protected by steep cliffs and coral reefs.