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25 MUST-DO Things To Do In Bali

25 MUST-DO Things To Do In Bali

Let’s just start off with Bali should be on everyone’s bucket list! We fell in love with the island on our first trip, and now it’s a place we’ll keep going back to time and time again. There are so many things to do in Bali; you could easily spend months exploring. We would suggest at least one week in Bali to hit the highlights.

We first visited Bali on our honeymoon back in 2012. We spent a week trying and seeing all the things to do in Bali. On our first trip to Bali, we covered a lot of ground with only one week in Bali. Bali is the perfect destination for everyone from solo travelers, backpackers, couples, families, and luxury travel, and one of the best honeymoon destinations.

We’ve traveled to Bali several times and put together some of our favorite things to do in Bali to help plan your Bali itinerary.

Must-Do Things To Do In Bali

Nusa Penida in Bali Viewpoint

1. Take an Unforgettable Trip to Nusa Penida

When it comes to islands, Indonesia truly is blessed. There are remarkably over 17,000 islands in Indonesia for you to explore, with Nusa Penida one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia.

Nusa Penida is just a short 30-minute ferry ride away from Bali. The natural paradise is definitely worth a day trip from Bali, although you’ll certainly end up wishing you’d stayed longer! With idyllic spots such as the palm tree-lined Crystal Bay, the beautiful Atuh Beach, and the glorious Thousand Islands Viewpoint for you to enjoy. Visiting Nusa Penida is one of the top things to do in Bali! Nusa Penida diving and snorkeling are also some of the best in the area. 

To book Nusa Penida ferry tickets online, click here. It’s best to book online in advance to guarantee the lowest price. Whenever we are traveling in Asia, we book all of our tickets on 12Go. They are reliable and have the best prices.

Bali to Nusa Penida Day Trip Tours

If you are staying in Bali and want to visit Nusa Penida as a day trip, there are several day tours to join. Here are a few great options:

Kuta Beach at sunset people playing football

2. Explore The Best Beaches in Bali

When it comes to beautiful beaches, Bali has an almost endless number of them for you to visit, with each one appearing to be better than the last. With beautiful turquoise waters surrounding the island, idyllic white sands, and fantastic weather almost every day of the year, it can be almost impossible to drag yourself away from the beach and explore all the other things to do in Bali!

Not only are the beaches in Bali some of the best in the world, but they are also one of the best free things to do in Bali. Bring a beach towel and claim a spot on the beach.

You can rent a beach chair and umbrella for a few Indonesian rupiahs. Better yet would rent a house right on the beach. There are tons of Airbnb listings in Bali that are beachfront. There would be no better place to wake up than at the beach.

Top 5 Best Beaches in Bali

  1. Kuta Beach: As well as one of the best places to learn how to surf in Bali, Kuta Beach is also renowned for the fantastic sunsets that can be seen here each evening. While reasonably busy during the day, Kuta is one of Bali’s most famous and popular areas. So, it might not be your cup of tea if you’re looking for peace and quiet. However, if you want to people-watch and indulge in some partying in the evenings, Kuta will be right up your alley. Surfing, sunbathing, drinking, shopping – it’s all here on the stunning white sands of Kuta.
  2. Nusa Lembongan: Located just a short boat ride away from Bali, the tiny island of Nusa Lembongan has a number of delightful beaches for you to enjoy. Nusa Lembongan is definitely worth visiting if you have the chance. While Jungutbatu Beach is the main beach that everyone heads to, there are many other small and secluded beaches to check out, such as at Dream Beach and Sandy Bay.
  3. Sanur: With a more peaceful, relaxed feel to it than some of the other beaches in the central tourist areas of Bali, Sanur is ideal for families looking for a quiet vacation. The sandy beach is very soft, and as it can get quite windy, it is a great spot to try your hand at kite surfing.  Sanur Beach is not a surfer’s beach, but there are good spots to lie on the shore and work on the tan in between dips. In addition, there is a lovely beachfront promenade to stroll along while taking in the fantastic views, complete with boutique shops, cute bars, and cafes.
  4. Suluban Beach: An idyllic spot, Suluban Beach is tucked away at the bottom of the Uluwatu cliffs, and the scenery on show is spellbinding. There are many clifftop bars and restaurants at Suluban Beach where you can enjoy brilliant sunsets and take great photos. Lounging on the beach is the favorite activity for many here, but for those who want to hit the waves, surfing is considered to be top-notch.
  5. Canggu: An increasingly popular place to visit, the small village of Canggu has lots of cool cafes, restaurants, and bars to check out, as well as many gorgeous beaches. Canggu is changing rapidly, transforming from a laid-back, hipster-type place to a busy hive of activity full of partiers, digital nomads, and the in-crowd. If you’re in search of a deserted beach to explore, skip Canggu, but if you want to be surrounded by an energetic vibe, you’ll love it here. Just be prepared to battle a bit of traffic as you head to the golden sands – where you can even ride a horse along the beach!

3. Rent a Scooter in Bali and Explore all of Bali’s Hidden Gems

One of the best ways to explore Bali is to rent a scooter and whizz off to wherever your heart takes you. The island is full of secluded beaches and hidden spots for you to discover, and going by scooter means you’re free to do as you please.

While it is lots of fun driving a scooter around the island, make sure to stay safe, wear a helmet, and follow the road rules. There are lots of accidents every year, so it is better to be safe than sorry and have a great time responsibly!

Rumah Pohon Treehouse in Nusa Penida Bali Attraction

4. Stay in a Bali Treehouse Hotel

When it comes to where to stay in Bali, there really is every type of accommodation available. Staying in a treehouse hotel certainly ranks amongst Bali’s most memorable places to stay! Many treehouse hotels are scattered around the island, and they are usually located in secluded spots surrounded by nature.

The hotels themselves look amazing; they are ingeniously made out of bamboo woven together, so they have a very natural look. As they are situated in quiet spots surrounded by jungle, the treehouse hotels are perfect for people looking for a relaxing and peaceful vacation.

Surfer surfing in Kuta Beach Bali

5. Try Surfing in Bali 

As Bali is synonymous with surfing, you have to give it a go. Even if you’ve never tried it before, consider taking surfing lessons in Bali. Bali really is a surfer’s paradise. Everywhere you go on the island, you’ll see people taking to the water and elegantly (or not so elegantly!) riding those waves without a care in the world.

As there are so many great beaches and surf spots in Bali, there are waves that cater to all levels. As such, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced pro or someone who’s always felt like giving it a go but hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

Bali has a large surf culture, and it is very easy to take a surfing lesson. With an instructor on hand, it is much easier to learn the basics and take to your first swell! Kuta Beach is probably the best place to learn to surf in Bali if you are a beginner just starting on your surf journey. This is because there is a sand bar just in front of the beach, which means the waves are quite small and manageable.

If you’re already quite a confident surfer, then you have slightly more options available to you. Dreamland Beach or Balangan Beach may offer up a bit more of a challenge. The waves are somewhat larger at these beaches and are a bit too advanced for a beginner to try out. They are, therefore, ideally suited to intermediate surfers, and the setting, as always on Bali, is absolutely stunning!

Now, if you’re an advanced surfer, Bali is certainly going to be a treat for you! While there are lots of world-class surf spots for you to head to, the two you can’t miss out on are Padang Padang and Uluwatu. One of the most famous waves in the world, the former is a must-do for any surfer. At Uluwatu, you’ll find four different types of waves to ride, each more exhilarating than the last.

As you should now be able to tell, Bali really is the place to try out surfing for the first time if you haven’t before. Just make sure to avoid Padang Padang and Uluwatu on your first go, and you should be fine! For many people, going surfing is one of the best things to do in Bali. It certainly is lots of fun and satisfying when you finally catch your first wave.

Monkey at Ubud Monkey Forest Bali

6. Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest

Hey there Mr. Monkey! Be prepared to get up and close with the monkeys at the Ubud monkey forest. Whatever you do, don’t buy bananas from the nice ladies out front. We did, and the monkeys were literally crawling up our legs.

Make sure to keep all your bags zipped, and don’t wear a hat/sunglasses. The monkeys are known to be naughty thieves.

Here are a few of the Bali day trips that visit Bali monkey forest:

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

7. Visit Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Look at that picture! Do I really need to tell you it’s one of the best things to do in Bali? One of the prettiest temples in Bali is the Ulun Danu Beratan temple. The floating temple is just off the shore in Lake Bratan, which is in the center of Bali, 3600 feet above sea level. So, it’s nice and cool compared to the beaches of Bail.

Sunrise at Mt Batur Indonesia

8. Hike Mount Batur for Sunrise

Set the alarm super early. Hiking Mount Batur starts several hours before the sun rises. The early morning wake-up call is worth it once you reach Mount Batur’s top and see the sun rising. This is easily one of our favorite things to do in Bali, and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Related Article: Hiking Mount Batur at Sunrise

9. Hot Air Balloon Ride over Ubud

Floating high in the sky above endless rice fields and lush rainforests, and with Mount Agung looming impressively on the horizon, taking a hot air balloon ride is a great way to enjoy breathtaking views of Bali.

Currently, only one tour provider offers hot air balloon rides in Ubud. The Ubud hot air balloon experience is worth checking out for its unique views of the beautiful countryside below. You can book online at GetYourGuide. It sells out often, so book in advance. A delicious Balinese dinner was also included. You can find more information about the hot air balloon ride here.

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

10. Visit the Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Gorgeous green rice paddies exist, making for some epic photos.  When planning out your things to do in Bali, make sure to schedule a day in the Ubud area for the Tegallalang rice terraces & Ubud Monkey Forest. If you travel with a drone, now is the time to fly! If you don’t have a drone, check out our travel drone guide to find the best one for you.

Balinese Massage in Bali

11. Get a Balinese Massage

After a busy day with all the things to do in Bali, just relax with a Balinese massage. Massages in Bali are not only amazing but super affordable, around $5 for an hour for a Balinese massage.

Most massage parlors offer several types of massages/facials/etc. If you happen to run into some rain in Bali, just go get a massage. You will forget about the rain.

Girl at Sekumpul Waterfall in Bali

12. Gaze in awe at the stunning Sekumpul Waterfall

Widely considered to be the most beautiful waterfall in Bali, you have to visit Sekumpul if you get the chance! Make sure to check out our waterfalls in Bali article for more waterfalls to chase in Bali. 

Sekumpl Waterfall is located just outside of a little village of the same name. The magnificent waterfall is surrounded by lush rainforest, and you’ll definitely hear the thundering roar of the water before you see it. Sekumpul really is stunning to behold, and you’re sure to get lots of fantastic photos of the water cascading down amidst the forest into the pool below.

The only downside to visiting this beautiful, secluded spot is that there are a number of scams that you have to watch out for, with various ‘registration’ points telling you that you have to have a guide with you to visit. However, you can easily hike through the rainforest to Sekumpul waterfall alone without a guide accompanying you. It’s one of the best things to do in Bali, so make sure you don’t miss going when you’re there!

Boys playing football on the beach as the sunsets

13. Catch a Famous Bali Sunset

There is no better way to end a perfect day in Bali than watching the sunset. Head to the beach and watch the locals come out to play a game of beach soccer, or head to a rooftop bar for happy hour.

Kuta Beach is one of the best places in Bali to watch the sunset. A few other great places for sunset in Bali are:

  1. SugarSand Sunset Bar in Seminyak
  2. La Plancha in Seminyak
  3. Rock Bar in Jimbaran
  4. Tanah Lot Temple
Mount Agung active volcano in Bali

14. Hike Up Active Volcano Mount Agung and Watch the Sunrise

Towering to a height of 3,031 meters, Mount Agung dominates the Bali skyline and plays an important role in the island’s religious and cultural life, as locals consider it to be the center of the world. Unfortunately, Mount Agung has been off-limits to hikers for quite some time due to frequent eruptions.

There is a four-kilometer exclusion zone from the peak, and due to the unpredictable nature of this volcano, tourists and locals alike are advised to avoid it. If you’re lucky enough to visit when the mountain has settled down, the trek to the top takes around four hours. Many people start in the middle of the night to watch the sunrise from the summit.

You can hike nearby Mount Batur instead if you’re determined to get some amazing views. Unlike Mount Agung, this volcano is not dangerous. Although the smaller of the two, it’s still a decent hike and will give you spectacular views of the surrounding ocean, countryside, and steaming silhouette of adjacent Mount Agung. If you get the chance to hike one of these peaks, we would definitely recommend it; it ended up being one of our favorite things to do in Bali.

Kelingking Beach T-Rex Steps Nusa Penida Bali Indonesia

15. Hike up the rickiest stairs you’ve ever seen at Kelingking and take a photo of the ‘T-Rex’

Located on the west coast of Nusa Penida, secluded Kelingking Beach looks stunning, with its dazzling white sands bordered by glistening turquoise waters. The beach, however, isn’t what most people come here to see. The main attraction which draws visitors to Kelingking is the remarkable T-Rex-shaped cliff you can see from the top of the hill overlooking the beach.

To get there, you have to clamber up some of the most uneven steps you’re ever likely to come across! Once you pant your way to the top, you’ll be greeted with an amazing view of Kelingking Beach below and the distinctive cliff that really does look like a T-Rex!

Indonesian Chicken Satay

16. Eat Your Weight In Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay with peanut sauce? Yes, please! Chicken Satay is a must-try dish when in Bali. These tasty little meat skewers are served with a delicious peanut dipping sauce. Once you pop, you can’t stop. Eating chicken satay is one of the best things to do in Bali and one you’ll find yourself doing over and over.

Uluwatu temple on the coast in Bali

17. Visit Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu temple is located right on the shore and is a perfect place to end a busy day, checking out everything to do in Bali. Make sure to come at least an hour before sunset so you have enough time to get photos before you lose the light. Beware of the naughty monkeys at the temple.

Man swinging on the real Bali swing

18. Soar Above the Famous Bali Swing!

If you’re after the ultimate Instagram photo, you will definitely want to go on the famous Bali swing. Swinging out through the air with just the jungle and rice fields below you is a fantastic experience, and the views are breathtaking.

As it has grown in popularity in recent years, you can now find many swings located all around Bali; each of them has a gorgeous view. The original, however, is still the most popular; you’ll find the famous Bali swing located just outside of Ubud.

There are several different packages & swings. The most expensive Bali swing package includes all 6 of their swings, a lunch buffet, and drinks for $35 USD without transportation. Other prices vary based on where you need transport from. The cheapest option for $15 USD includes a lunch buffet, drinks, and some photo points but does NOT include any of the swings. There is a free transfer from Queen’s of India restaurant in Ubud four times a day.

19. Watch Kecak Fire Dancers Perform

Simply a must-see when in Bali, the Kecak Fire Dance is incredible to behold, and there are nightly shows at both Uluwatu Temple and Ubud Town. Based on the Ramayana – a famous Sanskrit epic – the performance involves around 60 people who chant and tell the story through dance.

With brightly colored costumes on show and lots of drama in terms of the story itself, it certainly makes for a fun and entertaining night out. Watching the traditional performance as the sun sets really does make for a great end to another day in paradise!

Girls doing yoga on the beach in Bali Photo Credit Kick The Grind

20. Try Yoga in Bali

Get your “Eat Pray Love” on and give yoga a try in Bali. There are tons of yoga retreats in Bali, specifically in Ubud.

Parasailing on the beach in Bali

21. Soar High Above the Beach Parasailing

Nothing like a good dose of adrenaline to get your day started! Parasailing in Bali is beautiful and one of the cheapest places I’ve found yet.  It was $30, but only for a few minutes. Don’t forget to bring your GoPro to get some good photos of the beaches in Bali from above.

Tanah Lot

22. Visit Tanah Lot

One of our favorite temples in Bali is Tanah Lot, located right on the coast. Tanah Lot is easily reached from the popular Bali beach towns like Kuta/Sanur/Seminyak. The temple at Tanah Lot is set on a rock that has been shaped over time by the tide. It’s one of the most unique temples in Bali.

Related Article: The Best Waterfalls in Bali

gili t sunrise

23. Catch a Ferry to the Gili islands

Hop on a ferry and head to the Gili islands for a few days. The ferry from Bali to the Gili islands is 90 minutes, and prices start at $19 and vary based on the departure port. Make sure to book tickets online at 12Go (this is where we always book) to get the lowest price and not have to haggle for prices in person.

The Gili islands are made up of three very small islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. We visited Gili Trawangan, which is best suited for a younger crowd looking to party. On our next visit to the Gili islands, we plan on visiting either Air or Meno for a quiet relaxing vacation in Bali.

24. Marvel at the Elephant Cave’s impressive carvings

Located just outside of Ubud, the Elephant Cave is an incredible archaeological site to visit, and the temple dates all the way back to the 9th century. While it is thought that Hindu priests used the cave as a shrine, many different myths and legends are swirling around its origins.

A popular tourist attraction, Goa Gajah, as it is known by locals, is a fascinating place to visit. The highlight is undoubtedly the fantastic carvings at the cave entrance. While lots of different symbols and figures have been carved into the stone, the cave actually takes its name from the scary-looking elephant one, which marks the entrance to the temple!

Drinking with friends on the beach in Bali

25. Party in Kuta

End your Bali vacation with a night out partying in Kuta. Just make sure not to plan too many things to do in Bali the day after. One of our favorite bars is Alleycats, literally located down an alley. The drinks are well-priced, and it’s a great place to start the night out. Have you been to Bali? What are your favorite things to do in Bali? 

Indonesia is a huge country. It’s actually the 4th most populated country in the world, the world’s largest island country, and home to more than 18,000 islands. So visiting Bali is only a fraction of what Indonesia has to offer. Make sure to check out other wonderful Indonesian destinations.

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Things to do in Bali pin picture
Thank you to Wonderful Indonesia for inviting me as a guest to explore your beautiful country. As always, all opinions are my own.


Monday 18th of April 2022

Beautiful post! Me and my family want to go to Bali in august and this post help us a lot to organize what to do on the trip. My main intention is to deepen the practice of yoga while my husband's is surfing. But I think that stay in a housetree hotel will be a amazing experience for everybody!!


Saturday 7th of September 2019

Not only that but me and two girlfriends rode our scooters around a lot of Bali last year, we realised how amazing some of the street food can be. Hot tip is eat where the locals are eating! Gotta try Gado-Gado and embrace their food! We had the best time doing it! Canguu was incredible for great food, bit more westernized but delicious!!


Sunday 10th of June 2018

what area is the best to stay or areas for 12 day visit with friends? wanting to be somewhere where we can visit some of the places you listed without spending too much time in a car? also is it safe for females - three of going next May!


Wednesday 22nd of August 2018

Ubud is central to the island with some great places to stay especially for groups. The only downside is you don't have the beach. You could split your time between Ubud and another place or even two places over 12 days in Bali. You should use normal caution, but Bali is overall a safe place to travel generally.

Kelli Horton-Toombs

Saturday 7th of April 2018

I have lived in Malang, Indonesia for the past 3.5 yrs. We go to Bali, at least once a year. I stay on Nusa Dua beach, primarily, at Nikko Bali. They are like family.!It’s pretty much a private beach, there. However, I have to HIGHLY disagree w/ the person, above, saying these are some of the ugliest beaches in the world as I have my main house on the beaches of Galveston, TX. That’s where Mississippi meets Gulf of Mexico... those are some ugly beaches, dear. Muddy, murky & polluted from recent hurricane, oil platforms, oil refineries, & a major hub for cruise ships to unload bilges. Yuk’ I’ve travelled all over world & snorkled/dove in most! Indonesia isn’t just beautiful, aesthetically... the people are what make this country magical/spiritual. I’ve been to most of the locations, you listed, except for hiking as I’m almost 50 & terminal. I’d add the water rafting & an art village, is just an amazing place to pick up wood carvings, in Ubud is amazing! There’s so much to do but do NOT leave w/out getting to know some of these ppl & learn a little Indonesian. It will not only endear you to them, it’ll help with mixups as far as money, directions & such. May you come to Bali or any island in Indonesia for the beautiful experiences but never leave because of the beauty in the people. Cinta & Tuhan memberkati, Ibu Kelli (Semoga sukses di perjalanan anda & berharap dapat melihat anda segera!)


Sunday 8th of April 2018

Thanks for the comment and we agree, the Balinese people and Indonesians, in general, are pretty cool people! We are due to get back there real soon I hope! Thanks!

Natasha Naveed

Thursday 7th of December 2017

I absolutely LOVED this post! We got back from Bali in July this year and went to majority of the places you shared. Can't wait to go back and explore the gili islands.

Hannah Lukaszewicz

Thursday 7th of December 2017

Yeah great to hear you loved this article. Where did you stay in Bali? We love Bali and can't wait to get back, craving some chicken satay.