The Top 28 Best Places to visit in Bali


Experience the Magic of Bali

Bali is often called the “Island of the Gods” for good reason. This tropical paradise is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, offering stunning scenery, rich cultural experiences, delicious food, friendly locals, and so much more.

With so many incredible places to explore, it can be overwhelming to figure out the best places to visit, especially if you only have a limited amount of time. That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the 22 best places to visit in Bali.

From majestic temples and spiritual sanctuaries to gorgeous beaches, lush jungles, and amazing sunsets, these are the top attractions and destinations you absolutely must see on your trip to Bali. With this guide, you’ll know exactly where to go to experience the magic of the Island of the Gods.

1. Tanah Lot Temple

No trip to Bali is complete without visiting Tanah Lot Temple, one of the most iconic temples in all of Bali. Perched dramatically atop an offshore rock formation, the temple is only accessible during low tide. It provides one of the most memorable and photographed scenes of Bali.

The temple itself holds great spiritual significance and is dedicated to the guardian spirits of the sea. Make sure to visit during sunset when the temple is silhouetted against colorful skies for truly breathtaking views. You can browse the shops near the entrance, have dinner at one of the cliffside restaurants, or simply take in the beauty of Tanah Lot lit up at night.

2. Ubud

Hailed as the cultural heart of Bali, Ubud is a charming town nestled among rice paddies and steep ravines. There is so much to see and do here, you’ll want to spend at least a few days exploring Ubud’s many temples, museums, galleries, traditional dance performances, yoga classes, cooking classes, and more.

Some top attractions include the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Ubud Market, Ubud Palace, Tegenungan Waterfall, and the many art museums celebrating local crafts like painting, wood carving, and silversmithing. From staying in a luxurious jungle resort to being immersed in spiritual encounters with healers and priests, Ubud provides endless opportunities to connect with Balinese art, nature, and culture.

3. Mount Batur

Rising up from central Bali, Mount Batur is an active volcano that is well worth the early wake-up call to trek. Most people set out around 2 am to summit Mount Batur in time for a fiery sunrise around 6 am. You’ll hike by flashlight up through misty darkness before reaching the peak just as the sun peeks over the neighboring Mount Agung.

The sunrise views over Lake Batur, an expansive crater lake in the volcano’s basin, are simply magnificent. You can hire a guide to lead you on this moderately challenging trek. Stop for breakfast at one of the restaurants overlooking the volcano before descending.

4. Tirta Empul Temple

If you want to bathe in the healing holy spring waters of Bali, head to Tirta Empul Temple in central Bali. Meaning “Holy Water Spring” in Balinese, Tirta Empul is renowned for its purification pools fed by natural springs.

Follow the temple rituals by bathing under the crystal clear waters cascading from stone spouts and wading through the long rectangular pools. The springs are said to have curative properties. Don’t forget to explore the complex and admire the traditional Balinese temple architecture along the way.

5. Tegallalang Rice Terraces

No trip to Bali is complete without stopping at the iconic Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Situated just outside Ubud, these lush green rice terraces form stunning cascading layers down the hillside. Meandering pathways let you wander through this living landscape, where you can see farmers at work using traditional techniques of cultivating rice.

Make sure to visit the main vantage point, called Bukit Cinta, where you can get the classic postcard shots of the rice terraces. The best times to visit are just after sunrise or before sunset, when the afternoon light creates a magical glow over the terraces.

6. Nusa Dua Beach

For amazing beaches, head to Nusa Dua in southeastern Bali. This upscale enclave is home to many of Bali’s best beach resorts, offering pristine tropical beaches with sparkling blue waters and mellow waves. The soft white sand beaches hug rocky limestone points and tranquil turquoise bays perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Nusa Dua Beach is a great home base for beach relaxation while still being close to Bali’s cultural attractions. Pamper yourself at one of the luxury resorts and enjoy beachside dining and water sports like surfing and scuba diving during your stay.

7. Penglipuran Village

Step back in time with a visit to the traditional village of Penglipuran in east Bali. Entirely built from bamboo, the heritage village features a maze of walkways past traditional Balinese homes enclosed by bamboo gates. Marvel at the architectural details like the carved wooden door frames and thatched roofs.

Penglipuran Village provides a glimpse into ancient Balinese culture and traditions that still thrive today. Make sure to also visit during Kuningan, a traditional religious ceremony that takes place every six months, to see elaborate offerings and processions.

8. Mount Agung

The tallest peak in Bali, Mount Agung is an imposing volcano that towers over eastern Bali at just over 9,000 feet. While eruptions in recent years have temporarily disrupted visits, when safe to do so, hiking Mount Agung is an exceptional outdoor adventure. Witness stunning sunrise views, explore otherworldly volcanic landscapes, and visit the expansive Mother Temple complex on its slopes.

Guided hikes typically depart around midnight to reach the summit in time for sunrise. There are two popular trails: a shorter 4-5 hour route starting from Pura Besakih and a longer 7-8 hour route from Pura Pasar Agung. An experienced, licensed guide can help ensure safe passage up the mountain.

9. Taman Ujung Water Palace

Explore the ruins of a royal historic site at Taman Ujung Water Palace in east Bali. The palace was built in 1921 by the last Raja of Karangasem as a retreat featuring pools and gardens. The complex suffered extensive damage after an earthquake in 1979 but has since been partially restored.

Wander the grounds to see the ruined palace structures, the iconic Lotus Pond, several temples, and the impressive landscaping incorporating Balinese and European elements. Its side-by-side pools and fountains leading down to the sea create a reflective serenity, especially beautiful at sunset.

10. Taman Ayun Royal Temple

Marvel at one of Bali’s most majestic royal temples, Taman Ayun in central Bali. This temple served as the main temple for the Mengwi kingdom in the 17th century. The temple boasts an elegant multi-tiered meru roof and expansive courtyards and gardens set around magical ponds.

Built on six ascending levels, it honors the Hindu god Shiva and goddess Lakshmi. Take time to wander the grounds and admire the pagodas, ponds with lotus flowers, and traditional stone carvings. Don’t miss the forested area behind the temple filled with rambling paths and small shrines.

11. Kelingking Beach

Tucked on the western cliffs of Nusa Penida island, Kelingking Beach stuns with tropical beauty and thrilling landscapes. The iconic landmark is the arched limestone headland of Kelingking Cliff jutting out 90 meters above crashing waves.

Peer over sheer cliffs down to the golden sand cove and crystal blue waters that make it easy to see why Kelingking is named one of the world’s best beaches. Don’t miss the magnificent coastal vistas along the scenic clifftop trail. The challenging hike to reach the secluded beach only enhances the reward upon arrival.

12. Sekumpul Waterfall

Adventurers will love exploring off the beaten path to reach the dazzling Sekumpul Waterfalls in central Bali. Accessible via a scenic dirt road, you can trek through the lush jungle terrain for about 1.5 hours before being rewarded by seven cascading waterfalls plummeting some 100 meters into a deep gorge.

This hidden gem offers gorgeous swimming holes and natural infinity pools perfect for a refreshing dip. The layered cliffs make for dramatic scenery as the water gushes over the edge into vines and jungle canopies below. Don’t forget your camera to capture yourself gazing out from behind these majestic falls.

13. Seminyak Beach

Popular for its upscale resorts, fine dining, and beach clubs, Seminyak is a more sophisticated beach town located north of Kuta along the west coast. The stretch of coastline here includes the beaches of Petitenget, Kudeta, and Seminyak, boasting white sand, fun waves, and stunning sunsets.

Relax on a beanbag at a trendy beach club, join locals at a pick-up football game as the sun goes down, or try your hand at surfing and swimming. After enjoying creative cocktails and seafood at a beachfront restaurant, browse the boutiques and concept stores that give Seminyak its cosmopolitan, glossy vibe.

14. Sidemen Valley

For gorgeous valley views in east Bali, spend time soaking in the magic of the Sidemen Valley. With its verdant rice terraces, lush hills, and rushing rivers, Sidemen transports you to another world of pastoral beauty and tranquility.

Relax at a boutique eco-resort, hike through picturesque farmland and villages, raft along the Telagawaja River, and visit weaving workshops practicing traditional ikat fabric dyeing. Don’t miss admiring an iconic Balinese rice field landscape at Jepun-Jepunan Tree.

15. Trunyan Village

On the shores of Lake Batur, Trunyan Village is one of the most unique villages in all of Bali. What makes Trunyan so interesting is their ancient, unique funeral rite known as Mepantigan. Instead of cremation, they lay their dead out in the open under a sacred Banyan tree.

Tourists can respectfully visit the village as long as properly guided by a local. Interact gently with villagers and take time to understand the traditions around death that shape their spiritual beliefs. Witnessing these rare funeral rituals illuminates a very different way of life.

16. Waterbom Bali

In need of a fun family activity or water park adventure? Head to Waterbom Bali in the heart of Kuta. This water park packs exciting rides like the Climax, Green Vipers, and Smash Down, along with kid-friendly options. With pools, slides, and play areas nestled in a lush tropical garden setting, Waterbom offers wet and wild entertainment for all ages.

Be sure to also check out FlowRider for surfing simulations, Python for daredevil slides, and the Lazy River for relaxation. Dining outlets, private cabanas, and shady spots ensure it’s easy to enjoy a full day making a splash at Waterbom.

17. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Get up close with mischievous monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Padangtegal, south of Ubud. This nature reserve is home to over 600 Balinese long-tailed macaques that roam freely throughout the forest grounds.

Wind your way along stone pathways through the serene forest environment, taking care to avoid run-ins with the monkeys. Make sure not to feed or touch them and do not show fear if they approach you. With three ancient temples to explore within the forest, this site perfectly blends nature, wildlife, and Balinese Hinduism.

18. Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

Located in Ungasan on the Bukit Peninsula, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park is a world-class cultural landmark. This expansive complex is home to the tallest statue in Indonesia, a 121 meter tall statue of the Hindu god Vishnu riding the mythical eagle Garuda.

In addition to seeing this iconic statue up close, cultural park visitors can admire the street theatre, Lotus Pond, traditional dance performances, exhibitions, and film screenings. The park’s restaurants also offer exceptional views over southern Bali.

19. Besakih Temple

Resting dramatically on the slopes of Mount Agung, Besakih Temple is the most important Hindu temple in Bali. Called the “Mother Temple,” this holy complex follows the slopes for over 3 km and includes more than 86 different structures set in seven compounds.

The main temple Pura Penataran Agung has multiple levels with intricately carved sandstone walls and a distinctive pagoda-like roof. Visit during a religious ceremony or festival to see elaborate offerings and rituals honoring the gods.

20. Campuhan Ridge Walk

For a pleasant nature hike near Ubud, take on the Campuhan Ridge Walk through charming villages, lush valleys, and rice paddy fields. Beginning just west of Ubud, the 9 km trail meanders through the traditional village of Sanggingan with its cute warungs and easy river crossings before bringing you to peaceful views overlooking the Wos River.

Pause along the way to admire the verdant scenery. You’ll feel deep in the countryside even though Ubud’s cafes and shops are just a quick taxi ride away. Go early in the morning for the ideal conditions.

21. Pandawa Beach

Found along Bali’s southern coast, Pandawa Beach impresses with dramatic limestone cliffs jutting out to frame pearly white sands and serene blue waters. To access this stunning beach, walk down a flight of stone steps carved into the cliffside.

Once there, relish the peaceful atmosphere, go for a swim in the gentle waves, and snap pictures of the remarkable cliff formations that provide a backdrop unlike any other beach in Bali. Stay to catch the captivating sunset here lighting up the dramatic coastal scenery.

22. Medewi Beach

Off the beaten path on Bali’s southwest coast, Medewi Beach offers pristine black sand beaches with powerful surf breaks and a laidback surf town vibe. Medewi is renowned for being one of the top spots to ride right-hand point breaks across reef bottoms perfect for intermediate and advanced surfers.

After an early morning surf session, relax and take in views of expansive rice fields meeting the ocean. As one of Bali’s top spots to see hypnotic green vortex waves, Medewi Beach will make you want to stay for just one more ride.

23. Padang Padang Beach

Boasting a secluded cove framed by rocky cliffs, Padang Padang Beach is a gorgeous stretch of sand hugging the coastline of the Bukit Peninsula. Only accessible by a flight of stairs leading down the cliffside, the tranquil beach has bright white sands and inviting blue waters.

From surfing and swimming to sunbathing on the sand, Padang Padang is a peaceful spot to soak up the natural beauty. After your beach time, stop for lunch at the funky cafes up on the cliffs with panoramic views over the coastline. The beach here starred in the movie Eat, Pray, Love.

24. Balangan Beach

On Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula, Balangan Beach impresses with its sandy white shores set against craggy cliffs and headlands. This laid-back beach attracts surfers to ride its renowned waves and sunbathers to lounge on its idyllic sands.

Relish swimming in the aquamarine waters and watching the surfers catch barreling waves from the reef break offshore. As the sun goes down, join other travelers enjoying sundowners at the hip, rustic cliffside bars and warungs.

25. Crystal Bay Beach

Accessible by boat from Nusa Penida, Crystal Bay Beach offers a tranquil escape with crystalline waters perfect for snorkeling and diving. This secluded beach dazzles with gentle waves lapping onto soft white sand with a backdrop of rugged cliffs and palm trees.

Take a swim or lounge on the sand before exploring the excellent reef, where sights like reef sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles thrill snorkelers. The beach gets its name from the exceptional visibility in the calm, clear waters.

26. Kintamani and Mount Batur

Admire breathtaking volcano vistas in Kintamani, a village perched on the rim of Mount Batur’s caldera. Gaze out at the captivating sight of the Mount Batur volcano rising up from Lake Batur in the crater below. Soak up panoramic views over the lush highland region.

Have lunch at a restaurant overlooking the volcano and lake before heading out to explore Mount Batur up close via scenic hiking trails. Don’t miss visiting Pura Ulun Danu Batur, one of Bali’s most sacred and important temples, on the shores of Lake Batur.

27. Taman Tirta Gangga

Escape to the royal water palace of Taman Tirta Gangga set amid rice fields and jungle in east Bali. Wander between ponds, fountains, and stone carvings surrounded by tranquil gardens. Don’t miss admiring the towering 11-tiered fountain and iconic multi-leveled swimming pool.

You can swim in certain designated areas. Be sure to also check out some of the smaller pools tucked away off side paths that make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret oasis. The combination of water and greenery creates a serene, refreshing ambience.

28. Lovina Beach

For a quieter alternative to Kuta, head to the coastal area of Lovina along north Bali’s shoreline. Lovina Beach attracts visitors with its serene black sand beaches, coral reefs, and calm waves perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Go on a dolphin watching tour by traditional jukung canoe to spot dolphins swimming playfully in the Bali sea during sunrise. Relax by the pool at a laidback beach resort or soak in the natural beauty along lovely coastal walks.

Start Planning Your Dream Bali Vacation

From calming temples to active adventures, cultural experiences to beachfront relaxation, Bali truly offers something for every traveler’s interests. With this guide to the top places to visit, you can start crafting your own Bali itinerary filled with awe-inspiring natural beauty, meaningful encounters with locals, outdoor excursions to waterfalls and volcanoes, and indulgent spa treatments.

Experience the magic of the Island of Gods for yourself by escaping to these incredible destinations across Bali. Let your senses come alive through dance performances, cooking classes, yoga practices, and exploring thriving reefs while scuba diving. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or solo, Bali is sure to provide memories, spiritual encounters, and tropical beauty that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

The welcoming Balinese culture and rich Hindu spirituality shape the character of the island. Treat yourself to authentic experiences by staying at family-run boutique hotels, attending temple ceremonies, wandering artisan villages, and exploring backstreet night markets where you can sample street food favorites like sate or skewers of seafood, chicken, pork, or tofu served with peanut sauce.

With this list of the top places to visit in Bali, you’re ready to start planning your own adventure on this island paradise. Look into the best times of year to visit, how to get around the island, and where to stay in each region. Plot out which top attractions make the most sense given your interests,budget, and schedule.

Dreaming up the details of your perfect Bali getaway is part of the fun. Whether you spend most of your time lounging at a luxurious beachside resort dipping into infinity pools, embark on a full-on wellness and spiritual retreat, orseek thrills like surfing, diving, and hiking volcanoes, Bali offers an incredible travel experience. Open your heart and mind to all this gorgeous island has to offer.

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