Best places to visit in Bali

Explore the Island of the Gods and discover why Bali is the paradise that people can’t stop visiting.

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Bali is a dreamland for travellers to explore and holiday-makers to indulge in.

It's a mix of landscapes, people, culture and food that creates a unique energy and a destination that has visitors wanting more. From the iconic rice terraces in the centre of the island to the white sand beaches in the south, Bali is truly a paradise that has been developed in some areas but is still completely untouched in others.

Whether you want to take time out of your busy schedule to relax or to explore the shores and mountains on this incredible island, we’re sharing the best places to visit in Bali to help you have an unforgettable trip.

Best places to visit in Bali

1. Ubud

Ubud is the heart of Bali, built in the centre of the island and home to a vibrant arts scene. It’s in Ubud that you’ll find the most culture, Balinese dancing and temples. The busy streets in the centre of town are filled with delicious restaurants and bustling shops with tranquil yoga retreats set back from the streets. Just outside of town are the temples and rice terraces that are a Bali icon.


2. Seminyak

Seminyak is the most luxurious area of Bali. It’s where beach resorts and world-class hotels line the perfectly white sand beach and is where expats have set up home and opened many restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, boutiques and home stores for you to eat and shop at. Seminyak is easily where you could spend your entire holiday, shopping, enjoying the many spas, beach sunsets, partying and surfing.

  • Best for: Beaches, shopping, food, nightlife, surfing.
  • Where is it? Seminyak is in southern Bali, a 30-minute drive from Denpasar airport.
  • Where to stay: Splash out and stay at The One Boutique Villa or book a budget break at Villa Ace.
  • Top things to see/do: Watch the sunset on the beach, take a surfing lesson, enjoy a spa day, spend a day at Potato Head Beach Club and shop ‘til you drop.
  • How long do I need? 2-3 days.

3. Kuta

Kuta is the epicentre of entertainment on Bali. It was the island’s first area to be developed for tourists and it still continues to grow today. Kuta has busy streets, cheap cafes, shopping and surf shops and is known for its party atmosphere.

Kuta is not for everyone, but it’s often where travellers make their first stop to hit the long easy waves or enjoy the unlimited entertainment on offer.

  • Best for: Surfing, partying, non-Balinese activities.
  • Where is it? Kuta is in southern Bali and is a quick 15-minute drive from the airport.
  • Where to stay: One of the best high-end options is Alaya Dedaun Kuta while a budget winner is De Dukah Guest House.
  • Top things to see/do: Check out Kuta Beach, get wet at Waterbom Bali, visit the Dream Museum Zone, see a show at Kuta Theatre and practise surfing in the ocean or at Armada Flow House.
  • How long do I need? 2-3 days.

4. Canggu

Canggu is an up-and-coming resort area that has yet to develop the expensive tastes of Seminyak. For now, it’s filled with villas, beach clubs and three main strips lined with casual Australian-style cafes. Canggu is where travellers go to chill out, hit the waves, practise yoga and where many expats choose to call home.


5. Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua is the most manicured area of Bali and is a place where you can escape the chaos. Here, there are two headlands with a temple on each and resorts between. Nusa Dua is for anyone who wants to explore the many water activities available, the beautiful waters and the white sand beaches. It’s famed for its 18-hole golf course and all-inclusive resorts.

  • Best for: Families, beaches, golfing.
  • Where is it? Nusa Dua is along Bali’s south-eastern shore and is a 25-minute drive from the airport.
  • Where to stay: Live the life at The St Regis Bali Resort or have a unique and cultural experience at Frangipani Homestay.
  • Top things to see/do: See the Devdan show, check out the beaches, watch the Water Blow, walk along the Nusa Dua Promenade and hit up the golf course.
  • How long do I need? 2-3 days

6. Nusa Islands

The Nusa Penida District is a group of three islands off Bali's south-east coast famous for their stunningly blue waters, rugged cliffs and marine life. Nusa Penida is the largest island and was the last to attract visitors, but it has dramatic landscapes and small villages that are still yours to explore. Nusa Lembongan is best known for its surfing, snorkelling and diving opportunities. While Nusa Ceningan sits in the middle of the two larger islands, it’s easily explored from Nusa Lembongan and has unbelievably beautiful waters.

  • Best for: Beaches, surfing, diving/snorkelling.
  • Where is it? The Nusa Islands sit off Bali’s south-east coast. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida can be accessed by public or fast boats that range in travel time from 30-90 minutes and leave from Sanur. Nusa Ceningan is accessed from Nusa Lembongan via a yellow bridge.
  • Where to stay: Nestle inside your own private lodging at Coco Resort Penida or stay like a local at The Mel Homestay.
  • Top things to see/do: Visit Kelingking Beach, scuba with manta rays, see the Blue Lagoon, catch the sunset on the beach and stop by Devil’s Tear.
  • How long do I need? 2-5 days.

7. Uluwatu

Uluwatu is just one part of the Bukit Peninsula that makes up the most southern part of Bali. The area showcases a heavy contrast from the rest of the island with plunging stone cliffs, large waves and rolling terrain. Uluwatu is home to some of the most famous surf breaks on the island, one of the best spots for watching the sunset and unbeatable beaches in easy and harder to get to areas that make for an adventure.

  • Best for: Beaches.
  • Where is it? Uluwatu is the most southern part of Bali and a 40-minute drive from the airport.
  • Where to stay: Resorts don't get better than Suarga Padang Padang and its infinity pool and intimate 36 guest rooms. For something even quieter, try out Lullaby Bungalows.
  • Top things to see/do: Visit Uluwatu Temple and see a Kecak (fire) dance. For something more relaxing, surf Bali’s best waves, check out the top beaches and watch the sunset at Single Fin.
  • How long do I need? 2-3 days.

8. Amed

Amed is a string of fishing villages that make up the far north-eastern coast of Bali, dotted along the clear waters of the ocean. The area is still developing for tourists but is holding true to its traditions. What Amed is most known for are its excellent diving and snorkelling spots, while in town, yoga is making its way into the scene. The grey-stoned beaches and excellent lookouts make Amed a beautiful stop on any Bali trip.

  • Best for: Diving and snorkelling.
  • Where is it? Amed is along Bali’s north-eastern coast and is an 80-minute drive from the airport.
  • Where to stay: Pamper yourself at The Griya Villas and Spa or book more modest digs at Kelapa Cottage.
  • Top things to see/do: See the Bay Jemeluk Underwater Gallery, snorkel or dive the Japanese shipwreck, visit Jemeluk viewpoint, practice yoga and go snorkelling.
  • How long do I need? 2-3 days.

9. Munduk

Munduk is an area in Bali where people go to escape the hustle and bustle and to experience nature. The rolling hills sit pleasantly as the mist moves in the afternoon while travellers take to the hills in the early morning to hike the numerous trails available. Waterfalls pour down the sides of lush jungle cliffs and the lakes that lie just outside of Munduk are picturesque.

  • Best for: Hiking, scenery, nature, waterfalls.
  • Where is it? Munduk sits in the central highlands and is a 2.5-hour drive from the airport.
  • Where to stay: For hotels, you can't go past Sanak Retreat Bali, while for homestays, Aditya Homestay is a cut above the rest.
  • Top things to see/do: Chase adventure in a 4WD safari, visit Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, go hiking in the hills, check out the viewpoints along the lakes and visit a coffee plantation.
  • How long do I need? 2-3 days.

10. Gili Islands

This group of three tiny islands are not a part of Bali, but many visitors choose to zip out to the Gili Islands to experience paradise. The islands are tiny with no motorised vehicles, making it a quiet oasis that is lined with white sand beaches and palm-fringed shores. The marine life just off the shores is well known for turtle spotting. These islands are booming and have people flocking to them for the laid-back culture and vibes. Gili Trawangan, the largest, is most known as the party island, while the smallest, Gili Meno, is the most quiet and known as the honeymoon island. Gili Air is a mix of the two.

  • Best for: Beaches, diving, snorkelling, parties, relaxation.
  • Where is it? The Gili Islands are just off of Lombok’s northern shores, the island that sits east of Bali. The most common way to get to the Gili Islands from Bali is by fast boat, which takes three hours from Sanur or Padang Bai harbour.
  • Where to stay: Bliss out at Pondok Santi Estate or sleep among the trees in one of La Cocoteraie Ecolodge's tents.
  • Top things to see/do: Laze on the islands' pink beaches, go snorkelling, watch the sunset over Mount Rinjani and enjoy the nightlife.
  • How long do I need? 2-5 days.

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