Last updated on June 7th, 2024 at 08:24 am

Welcome to the ultimate Bali travel guide, your passport to unforgettable adventures and budget-friendly experiences on this enchanting island. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the best things to do in Bali while exploring the top tourist attractions that make this destination truly exceptional. Whether you’re planning to explore Bali on a budget or seeking out the best beaches for relaxation and adventure, you’ll find everything you need to make the most of your trip right here. Join us as we uncover the wonders of Bali and embark on a journey filled with discovery and exploration.

Visiting Bali: Understanding Visa Requirements

For travelers staying less than 30 days, including citizens of the USA, UK, and Australia, a tourist visit visa, known as Visa on Arrival (VoA), is required. This visa can be obtained online (minimal 2 weeks processing time) prior to your trip or upon arrival at the airport in the arrival hall. The Visa on Arrival is valid for 30 days and can be extended once for an additional 30 days, either online or through an agent. The online application process is straightforward and can be completed at Indonesia Visa Requirements, with a cost of 500,000 IDR for a 30-day visa.

For the visa on arrival, you will scan a barcode at the airport to begin the application, which asks for some basic information and your address in Bali. The second step is to proceed to the cashier booths to pay the 500,000 IDR fee (approximately $32). They accept USD and some other currencies or credit cards but charge a 4% fee. ATMs are available nearby, though some may charge a 5% fee. Afterward, you can proceed to passport control. As an American, I was able to use the automated machine to scan my passport. Finally, everyone must fill out the customs declaration on a computer and print the barcode before exiting.

Exploring Bali: Why Travel Insurance is Essential for Your Adventure

When embarking on international journeys, the significance of traveler’s insurance cannot be emphasized enough. We strongly recommend considering a SafetyWing policy.. Unexpected situations can occur unexpectedly, from needing medical attention to dealing with lost belongings or flight disruptions. For a thorough understanding of Travelers Insurance, explore our detailed guide here. Keep in mind, being prepared is key to ensuring stress-free and enjoyable travels.

SafetyWing Travel Insurance

Staying Connected in Bali: SIM Card Options & eSIM Convenience

Staying connected in Bali can be a mixed bag. While some hotels and cafes offer Wi-Fi, speeds can vary. If you plan on streaming, video calls, or frequent uploads, consider grabbing a local SIM card. It’s also wise to avoid sensitive information on public Wi-Fi – consider a VPN for added security.

SIM Card Options at the Airport:

For reliable internet access, two main providers stand out:

  • Telkomsel: Renowned for its extensive network coverage and generally faster speeds across Bali, Telkomsel is the go-to choice for those who prioritize connectivity. They offer prepaid SIM card packages with data options, so you can choose one that suits your needs. (43gig for 350K)
  • Smartfren: A budget-friendly option, Smartfren offers prepaid SIM cards with data packages as well. However,keep in mind their coverage might be slightly more limited compared to Telkomsel. So, if you’re staying in remote areas, Telkomsel might be a safer bet.

Tip: Both Telkomsel and Smartfren offer top-up options at convenience stores and mini-marts throughout Bali.

Pre-Purchase an eSIM for Ultimate Convenience:

Want to skip the hassle of finding a SIM card upon arrival? Consider purchasing a Bali E-SIM card online before your trip! This ensures you have connectivity options from the moment you land in Bali. Many providers offer eSIMs with data options or even unlimited internet packages.

Bali’s Electrical Outlets: Do You Need a Travel Adapter?

In Bali, the standard voltage is 230V, which is higher than the 120V standard in the USA. The outlet sockets in Bali typically support Type C and Type F plugs, whereas the USA uses Type A and Type B plugs. Therefore, if you’re traveling from the USA to Bali, it’s essential to note the voltage difference and the plug type discrepancy. You’ll likely need both a voltage converter and a travel adapter to ensure the safe use of your electronic devices during your stay.

*As an Amazon, Agoda, Klook, and TravelGuide Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

How To Get Around In Bali

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Exiting the airport, Look for green Gojek & Grab lounge area outside for pickup (avoid the local taxis claiming they are grab drivers). Exploring the enchanting island of Bali is made easy with a variety of transportation options to suit every traveler’s preference and budget. From navigating bustling city streets to embarking on scenic adventures along coastal roads, here are the best ways to get around in Bali:

  1. Renting a Motorbike:
    For those looking to explore Bali on a budget, renting a scooter or motorbike is a popular choice. Rental shops are abundant across the island, offering affordable rates and a convenient way to experience the best beaches in Bali and top tourist attractions at your own pace. However, it’s essential to exercise caution, wear a helmet, and familiarize yourself with local traffic regulations before hitting the road.
  2. Hiring a Private Driver:
    For travelers seeking to explore Bali’s hidden spots without the hassle, hiring a private driver is an excellent option. Many locals offer transportation services, allowing you to customize your itinerary and visit things to do in Bali with ease. Hiring a driver for the day or arranging airport transfers in advance provides convenience and peace of mind, especially for travelers with limited time.
  3. Using Ride-Hailing Services:
    Ride-hailing services such as Grab and Gojek are widely available in Bali, offering convenient and affordable transportation options. Whether you’re traveling short distances within the city or embarking on day trips to explore Bali on a budget, ride-hailing apps provide a reliable and efficient way to navigate the island’s bustling streets while staying within your budget.

Best Time To Visit Bali

Best beaches in Bali

The best time to visit Bali is during the dry season, which lasts from April to September. This period offers sunny weather with minimal rainfall, perfect for enjoying the island’s beaches, temples, and natural attractions. The peak tourist season falls between June and August, so expect larger crowds and higher prices during this time. For those seeking to avoid the crowds, the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to October are also great options. Even during the rainy season from October to March, Bali still experiences plenty of sunshine, with brief and sporadic rain showers. Ultimately, the best time to visit depends on your preferences and what activities you want to enjoy during your trip.

Where To Stay In Bali

When it comes to finding the perfect accommodation in Bali, the options are as diverse as the island itself. From luxurious beachfront resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses and cozy homestays, Bali caters to every traveler’s preferences and budget. I would skip Kuta and Seminyak, because they are overcrowded and the lack of local culture there.

Top 15 Things to Do in Bali

Top tourist attractions in Bali
  1. Visit Tanah Lot Temple: Explore one of Bali’s most iconic attractions, Tanah Lot Temple, perched on a rock formation in the sea. Witness breathtaking sunsets and marvel at the temple’s stunning architecture while learning about its cultural significance.
  2. Explore Tegallalang Rice Terraces: Take a leisurely stroll through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces and admire the lush green landscapes. Capture Instagram-worthy photos of the intricate rice paddies cascading down the hillsides and immerse yourself in Bali’s agricultural heritage.
  3. Discover Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary: Immerse yourself in nature at the Monkey Forest in Ubud and observe macaques in their natural habitat. Wander through ancient temples, lush jungles, and serene pathways while interacting with playful monkeys.
  4. Relax on Bali’s Best Beaches: Spend a day soaking up the sun on Bali’s best beaches, including Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu. Lounge on golden sands, swim in crystal-clear waters, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Bali’s renowned beach destinations.
  5. Take a Day Trip to Nusa Penida: Embark on a day trip to the nearby island of Nusa Penida and explore its pristine beaches and breathtaking viewpoints. Visit iconic landmarks such as Kelingking Beach and Angel’s Billabong while experiencing the island’s rugged beauty.
  6. Hike Mount Batur for Sunrise: Challenge yourself with a hike to the summit of Mount Batur for a spectacular sunrise view over the volcanic landscape. Trek through lush forests and volcanic terrain while enjoying panoramic views of Bali’s countryside.
  7. Dive or Snorkel at Menjangan Island: Discover Bali’s vibrant underwater world with a diving or snorkeling trip to Menjangan Island. Explore colorful coral reefs, encounter diverse marine life, and marvel at the beauty of Bali’s underwater ecosystems.
  8. Experience White Water Rafting: Get your adrenaline pumping with a white water rafting adventure on the Ayung or Telaga Waja rivers. Navigate thrilling rapids and pristine jungle scenery while experiencing Bali’s adventurous side.
  9. Walk the Campuhan Ridge: Enjoy a scenic walk along the Campuhan Ridge, offering stunning views of Ubud’s lush countryside. Follow the picturesque trail through rice fields and coconut groves while soaking in the tranquility of Bali’s natural landscapes.
  10. Discover Banyumala Waterfall: Escape the crowds and discover the enchanting Banyumala Waterfall, hidden in Bali’s northern highlands. Swim in the refreshing waters of this twin waterfall and marvel at its serene natural surroundings.
  11. Explore Kelingking Beach: Visit the iconic Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida Island, known for its dramatic cliff formation and turquoise waters. Hike down to the beach for an up-close view of the stunning rock formations and pristine shoreline.
  12. Visit Banyumala Twin Waterfalls: Explore the breathtaking Banyumala Twin Waterfalls and enjoy its serene natural surroundings. Swim in the crystal-clear pools beneath the cascading waterfalls and immerse yourself in Bali’s tranquil beauty.
  13. Experience Ulun Danu Beratan Temple: Visit the majestic Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, located on the shores of Lake Bratan amidst stunning mountain scenery. Marvel at the temple’s intricate architecture and tranquil surroundings while learning about its cultural significance.
  14. Take a Holy Dip at Tirta Empul Temple: Immerse yourself in Bali’s spiritual heritage with a holy dip at the sacred Tirta Empul Temple and its cleansing water springs. Participate in a traditional purification ritual and experience the spiritual energy of this ancient temple.
  15. Enjoy Waterbom Bali: Indulge in a day of fun and excitement at Waterbom Bali, Southeast Asia’s largest waterpark. Experience thrilling rides, relaxing pools, and family-friendly attractions while cooling off from the tropical heat. Read my full Waterbom Bali Water Park Review.

These activities offer a diverse range of experiences that showcase the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventurous spirit of Bali, all while staying within a budget.

Must-Try Foods in Bali

Must try food in Bali
  1. Nasi Goreng: A staple of Indonesian cuisine, nasi goreng is a flavorful fried rice dish typically served with a combination of vegetables, meat or seafood, and spices. It’s often topped with a fried egg and accompanied by pickles or prawn crackers.
  2. Satay: Grilled skewers of meat, usually chicken, beef, or pork, marinated in a blend of spices and served with a side of peanut sauce. Satay is a popular street food in Bali and can be found at local markets and warungs (small eateries).
  3. Babi Guling: Also known as suckling pig, babi guling is a Balinese specialty consisting of roasted pig seasoned with a variety of spices, including turmeric, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. It’s typically served with rice, lawar (a traditional Balinese vegetable dish), and sambal (chili sauce).
  4. Mie Goreng: Similar to nasi goreng, mie goreng is a delicious fried noodle dish cooked with vegetables, meat or seafood, and a flavorful blend of spices and sauces. It’s a popular comfort food in Bali and can be customized to suit individual preferences.
  5. Gado-Gado: A traditional Indonesian salad made with a mix of cooked and raw vegetables, tofu or tempeh, boiled eggs, and lontong (compressed rice cake), all topped with a creamy peanut sauce. Gado-gado is a refreshing and nutritious dish that’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans.

These must-try foods offer a taste of Bali’s rich culinary heritage and are sure to delight your taste buds during your visit to the island.

Bali’s Instagram Hotspots: Capturing the Island’s Beauty in Pictures

Explore Bali on a budget

Bali is a paradise for photographers, offering countless Instagram-worthy spots scattered across the island. Here are some of the most famous ones, categorized to help you plan your feed:


  • Tanah Lot Temple: This iconic temple perched dramatically on a rock formation during sunset is a classic Bali shot, attracting visitors from around the world seeking to capture its timeless beauty.
  • Gates of Heaven (Pura Lempuyang): A series of intricately carved gates leading up a mountain with Mount Agung as a backdrop. Achieve the “reflection” effect by holding a mirror under your lens, creating a mesmerizing and ethereal photo opportunity.
  • Tirta Empul Temple: Capture the unique cleansing purification rituals performed at the temple’s sacred spring pool, offering a glimpse into Bali’s rich spiritual heritage and cultural traditions.

Rice Terraces:

  • Tegallalang Rice Terraces: These cascading rice paddies near Ubud offer a picturesque landscape, especially during golden hour, providing a serene and captivating backdrop for your photoshoot.

Beaches and Coastlines:

  • Kelingking Beach (Nusa Penida): A dramatic cliff with a hidden beach accessible by stairs, often referred to as “T-Rex beach” due to its distinctive rock formation, providing a breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting for your beach photos.
  • Broken Beach (Nusa Penida): A natural archway carved by the ocean waves, creating a unique “broken” beach, offering a surreal and otherworldly backdrop for your coastal snapshots.
  • Angel’s Billabong (Nusa Penida): A stunning natural infinity pool overlooking the ocean, perfect for a dramatic shot capturing the beauty and majesty of Bali’s coastal landscapes.
  • Uluwatu Temple: Capture the temple’s silhouette against the vibrant sunset sky, perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean, creating a mesmerizing and unforgettable image of Bali’s cultural and natural heritage.

Swings and Waterfalls:

  • Jungle Swing Ubud: A giant swing set amidst lush greenery, offering a thrilling and picturesque experience, allowing you to capture the exhilaration and beauty of Bali’s tropical jungles.
  • Tegenungan Waterfall: A cascading waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation, perfect for a refreshing dip and a photo opportunity, providing a serene and tranquil setting for your waterfall shots.
  • Tukad Cepung Waterfall: A hidden waterfall with sunlight filtering through cracks, creating a magical light show, offering a unique and enchanting backdrop for your waterfall photos.

Unique Spots:

  • Ubud Monkey Forest: Get a photo with playful macaques roaming freely in a natural sanctuary, offering a glimpse into Bali’s diverse wildlife and lush rainforests. (Be mindful and respectful of the animals!)
  • Handara Gate: A majestic Balinese gateway overlooking a golf course and Mount Batur, creating a dramatic frame for your picture, symbolizing the beauty and spirituality of Bali’s cultural heritage.
  • GWK Cultural Park: A massive Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue (depicting a Hindu god) under construction, offering a glimpse into Balinese mythology and impressive scale, providing a unique and monumental backdrop for your photos.

Remember: While these are popular spots, Bali offers endless beauty. Explore hidden coves, charming villages, and capture moments that resonate with you!

Best Beaches in Bali

Things to do in Bali
  1. Canggu Beach: Renowned for its laid-back vibe and fantastic surfing spots, Canggu Beach is a top destination for travelers seeking a relaxed atmosphere and excellent waves. It’s the perfect spot to unwind, catch some waves, and enjoy the vibrant beach culture that defines Bali’s coastal charm.
  2. Seminyak Beach: Located just north of Kuta, Seminyak Beach offers a more upscale and laid-back atmosphere, making it perfect for travelers looking to explore Bali on a budget while still enjoying the luxury and relaxation that the area has to offer.
  3. Jimbaran Beach: Renowned for its picturesque setting and tranquil waters, Jimbaran Beach is not only one of the best beaches in Bali but also a top tourist attraction known for its seafood restaurants and stunning sunset views.
  4. Nusa Dua Beach: Situated on Bali’s southern coast, Nusa Dua Beach is one of the top tourist attractions in Bali, offering pristine white sands and calm turquoise waters, perfect for travelers looking to relax and unwind in paradise.
  5. Uluwatu Beach: Located near the iconic Uluwatu Temple, Uluwatu Beach offers breathtaking cliff-top views and world-class surf breaks, making it a must-visit destination for surfers and beach lovers alike.
  6. Batu Bolong Beach: Adjacent to Echo Beach, Batu Bolong Beach is another top tourist attraction in Bali, offering a relaxed atmosphere and stunning sunset views, perfect for travelers looking to experience the best of Bali’s beaches and top tourist attractions.

7-Day Bali Adventure: Explore the Best of the Island in One Week

Bali travel guide

Day 1: Arrival in Bali

  • Arrive in Bali and check into your accommodation.
  • Spend the day relaxing and acclimating to the island.
  • Explore the local area, grab some authentic Balinese cuisine for dinner, and rest up for your adventures ahead.

Day 2: Beach Day in South Bali

  • Start your day with a visit to Kuta Beach for some sun, sand, and surf.
  • Afterward, head to nearby Seminyak for a leisurely stroll along the beach and explore the trendy shops and cafes.
  • In the evening, enjoy a seafood dinner at Jimbaran Beach while watching the sunset over the ocean.

Day 3: Ubud Cultural Exploration

  • Depart for Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali.
  • Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and stroll through the lush jungle while observing playful macaques.
  • Explore Ubud’s vibrant art scene with visits to local galleries and workshops.
  • Visit the Tegallalang Rice Terraces for stunning views and photo opportunities.
  • In the evening, attend a traditional Balinese dance performance for a glimpse into the island’s rich cultural heritage.

Day 4: Temples and Nature

  • Start your day with a visit to the iconic Tanah Lot Temple, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea.
  • Next, visit the scenic Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, located on the shores of Lake Bratan.
  • Explore the serene surroundings of the temple and enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the lake.
  • In the afternoon, venture to the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces for a peaceful walk among Bali’s UNESCO-listed landscapes.
  • Return to Ubud for the evening and dine at a local restaurant serving Balinese specialties.

Day 5: Adventure Day

  • Embark on an early morning hike to the summit of Mount Batur for a breathtaking sunrise view over the volcanic landscape.
  • After the hike, relax with a soak in the natural hot springs at Toya Devasya.
  • In the afternoon, head to the Ayung River for an exhilarating white water rafting adventure through Bali’s lush jungle scenery.
  • Return to Ubud in the evening and unwind with a traditional Balinese massage to soothe tired muscles.

Day 6: Explore North Bali

  • Depart for North Bali and visit the stunning Gitgit Waterfall, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.
  • Continue your journey to the picturesque twin lakes of Buyan and Tamblingan, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the lakeshore.
  • Visit the historic Buddhist monastery of Brahma Vihara Arama, nestled in the hills overlooking the lakes.
  • In the afternoon, relax on the black sand beaches of Lovina and enjoy a sunset boat ride to spot dolphins in the wild.

Day 7: Departure

  • Spend your final morning in Bali relaxing at your accommodation or doing any last-minute souvenir shopping.
  • Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your departure flight, taking with you memories of an unforgettable week in Bali.

This itinerary offers a mix of cultural exploration, natural beauty, and adventure, allowing you to experience the best of what Bali has to offer in just one week. Feel free to adjust it according to your interests and preferences!


In conclusion, Bali stands as an epitome of diverse experiences, where enchanting beaches, captivating cultural attractions, and budget-friendly adventures await exploration. Whether you’re lounging on the best beaches in Bali or immersing yourself in its top tourist attractions, the island’s allure is undeniable. So, embrace the spirit of exploration, delve into the myriad things to do in Bali, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

What are the best things to do in Bali on a budget?

Bali offers a plethora of budget-friendly activities, including exploring scenic rice terraces in Ubud, visiting cultural landmarks like Uluwatu Temple, and enjoying affordable street food at local markets.

How can I explore Bali’s top coastal destinations efficiently?

To discover Bali’s renowned coastal spots, consider visiting lesser-known beaches like Balangan Beach or Padang Padang Beach, where you can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and surfing away from the crowds.

What are the top tourist attractions in Bali that I shouldn’t miss?

Some of the top tourist attractions in Bali include iconic landmarks like Tanah Lot Temple, the majestic waterfalls of Gitgit and Tegenungan, and the breathtaking landscapes of the Tegallalang Rice Terraces.

What are some economical transportation options for navigating Bali?

Bali offers various transportation choices that won’t strain your budget, including ride-hailing services like Grab or Gojek, public buses and minibusses known as bemos, and renting scooters or bicycles for local exploration.

Where can I find affordable accommodations in Bali?

Bali offers a wide range of budget-friendly accommodations, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels in popular areas like Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud. Additionally, you can explore alternative options like homestays or booking through online platforms for discounted rates.


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