16 things to do in Bali and an event guide for 2021

Experience the spiritual temples and underwater beauty from the relaxed atmosphere of Indonesia’s best island, Bali.

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Indonesia's most popular destination lives up to its name with a relaxed atmosphere and picture-perfect surroundings. We have created a list of things to do so you can spend more time unwinding in a spa with a traditional massage, climbing Mount Batur or taking a day trip to Nusa Penida.

Top things to do in Bali

1. Visit sacred temples

Bali is known to have some of the best temples in Indonesia to visit. While you can explore them at your own whim and fancy, some of the most notable temples to visit are Tanah Lot, which is a pilgrimage temple on the coast providing spectacular sunset views over the ocean, Uluwatu Temple and the temple complex of Besakih. You can book tours that transport you to multiple temples with a guide, so you can scrub up on your knowledge of Balinese culture, appreciate intricate temples and take in epic views.

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2. Relax at a spa

Bali is the perfect place to re-energise and relax. There's practically a spa on every corner in the heart of each province, where you can find a variety of spa and beauty treatments on offer, from a traditional Balinese massage, to a hot stone massage, a flower massage and more. You won't have to go searching high and low for spas with incredible views overlooking tranquil forests and the ocean.

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3. Climb Mount Batur

A 2am wake-up call may not sound enticing, but we promise it's worth it to see sunrise views from the peak of Mount Batur. The 10-hour hike is not for the faint-hearted, but you will be rewarded with spectacular sunrise views like you've never seen before. When you arrive, you will be given a quick briefing, then commence the approximate three-hour trek to the peak. Take in the views and enjoy a local breakfast before heading back down the mountain and stopping by a coffee plantation to refuel before making your way down to the bottom.

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Top things to do in Bali with kids

4. Outdoor adventure

Bali is a playground for outdoor activities that the kids will rave about. A day out at Bali Treetop Adventure Park will have you swinging through the forest like Tarzan, completing rope courses and crossing suspension bridges, just to name a few things. With access to nine circuits and a buffet lunch included in the tour, it's the perfect place to settle in for a day of action-packed fun. Head out to rural Bali for the ultimate adventure with a buggy driving experience as you take in views of the rice fields, mountains and plantations. The adventure doesn't stop there. You'll be a guided to a canyon in the rainforest to zip-line down to a stream of water, where you'll have the option to flow down the stream on a tube, before being transported back up to this base.

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5. Bask in the sun at the beach

The kids will love running freely along the beaches in Bali. There are a range of water sports and surfing activities that the whole family can get involved in. Many beaches act as a base from where island tours depart, so if you decide you're up for the adventure, you can always walk along the boardwalk where you'll find people at booths advertising activities and see what tours are departing nearby.

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6. Embark on a Bali safari

With 40 hectares to explore, a visit to the Bali Safari and Marine Park is sure to be filled with fun and adventure. Discover and hang out with the natural inhabitants of Indonesia, Africa and India with 400 residents in the park including elephants, tigers and orangutans. See how the animals act in their habitats and interact with them first-hand, with the opportunity to feed piranhas and white tigers.

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Top things to do in Seminyak

7. Water activities at Tanjung Benoa Beach

What better way to cool off on a warm day than with a visit to the beach, but with an added level of fun. Get picked up from your hotel and transported to Tanjung Benoa Beach to enjoy the thrilling experience of balancing on an inflated donut in the ocean for as long as possible. Amp up your Tanjung Benoa experience with a jet ski ride. Take the time to relax and take in the postcard views before being transported back to your accommodation.

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8. Visit Nusa Penida Island

Nusa Penida offers some of the most picturesque views in Bali. You'll need a couple of days to explore the island thoroughly, but you can take a day trip with hotel pick-up and drop-off from Seminyak to either side of the island. A tour to the west part of the island takes you to the sights of Broken Beach and Kelingking Beach, with the opportunity to Snorkel at Gamat Bay and Crystal Bay. If you would prefer more time on land in Nusa Penida, the east coast tour takes you to beaches and bays as well as scenic spots like Rumah Pohon Tree House and the Teletubbies Hill.

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Top things to do in Kuta

9. Make a splash at Waterbom

Waterbom is Bali's most popular water park and is home to the world's largest water slide. The park is the perfect place to be on a warm, sunny day when you want to be out in the sun testing out all of the rides or relaxing in the shade under the gazebo. There are activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want to relax in the Lazy River or test out rides like the Double Twist that thrill-seekers will enjoy, a day out at Waterbom is sure to be a hit. For convenience, you can get a private transfer in an air conditioned vehicle from your hotel to Waterbom.

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Top things to do in Ubud

10. Make new friends at Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Monkey Forest isn't just home to the grey long-tailed macaques, but also to a number of temples. You can walk through the lush forest on paved trails watching the monkeys go about their day. It becomes apparent very quickly that these small animals create an abundance of entertainment in the way they interact with each other and with humans. The standard adult entry fee is IDR 80,000, which will set you back approximately $8. If you want to spend the whole day exploring Ubud, there are tours that will take you to all of the popular spots, including the Monkey Forest.

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11. Get up close with the animals at Bali Zoo

Interact with Bali's wildlife during an unforgettable immersive experience at Bali Zoo with return transfers from Kuta. Sit down for breakfast with a choice of an Indonesian or continental menu, while orangutans, elephants and birds freely roam around you. You'll also earn boasting rights to say you ate breakfast with some of the world's friendliest animals. You don't have to be a morning person to experience all of the fun at Bali Zoo. A guided night tour of the zoo will give you the opportunity to feed elephants from a double-decker bus and enjoy a Brazilian dinner before settling in to watch a traditional fire show.

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12. Explore Tegalalang and take in views from the Bali Swing

The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are a highlight for visitors to Ubud and there's no wonder why. Step into a terrain of lush greenery and perfectly-maintained rural land. The best time to visit is during sunset and if you get there early enough you'll get to explore without the crowds. While you're there, get harnessed up and take in the views from the Bali Swing. You can choose from a variety of swings to get the best views overlooking the rice terraces.

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13. Test out your skills in the kitchen with a cooking class

The food scene in Ubud is definitely something to rave about. Whether you prefer to eat delicious traditional Indonesian cuisine at the local warungs or you enjoy food that looks as good at it tastes from Western eateries, many visitors to Ubud fall into food comas daily. Another way you can delve into the Indonesian culinary scene is to take a cooking class, where you'll learn about local produce and prepare authentic dishes. Pemulan Bali is an organic farm that offers cooking workshops on the outskirts of Ubud. Pick out fresh ingredients from the garden that you'll use in the open-air kitchen during your cooking class. A cooking class with Visesa follows a similar process, but you'll select your ingredients from a herb garden outside of the restaurant. When you finish cooking, sit down and tuck into your cooking creations.

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Top things to do in Canggu

14. Learn how to surf

Canggu is a hot spot for surfing and if you've ever wanted to pick up the skill or enhance your technique, Canggu is the place to make it happen. The Canggu Beach surfing spots stretch out for approximately 5km, so regardless of where you're staying in Canggu, you'll be in close proximity to the beachfront. If you're committed to learning how to surf and want to embark on the ultimate adventure, Mojosurf offers surfing tours that start and finish in Canggu, with stops including Lombok and Nusa Lembongan.

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15. Get into zen mode with a yoga class

Release your inner yogi with a relaxing yoga class. If yoga is new to you, you may find it best to try out one class to start off with. If you're going to Canggu specifically to zen out, then you may find it more convenient to buy a class pass so you can attend multiple classes. Canggu is filled with yoga studios, all offering different styles of yoga classes from Vinyasa to Sivananda, with reputable instructors from around the world. You'll find a range of yoga studios that offer accommodation and yoga packages, so your commute to class can be a matter of a few steps away.

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16. Hang out at Finns Beach Club

There's nothing quite like Finns Beach Club anywhere else in Bali. If you're looking for a luxurious and relaxing holiday, you will find solace in Finns' facilities that provide the ultimate experience in a great location. The beachfront venue has four pools, including an infinity pool and two swim-up bars, single and double day beds and a resident DJ daily from 9am. Finns has separate dedicated areas for families and for adults to ensure everyone has the best experience. Stick around during the late afternoon to catch the striking sunset before dancing the night away.

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Seasonal events in Bali

Things to do in Bali in summer

  • Denpasar Festival
  • Anniversary of Denpasar
  • Djakarta Warehouse Project
  • Finns Beach Club New Years Eve Festival

Things to do in Bali in winter

  • Ultra Beach Bali
  • Sunny Side Up Festival
  • Bali Arts Festival
  • Bali Blues Festival

Things to do in Bali in autumn

  • Nyepi
  • Ubud Food Festival
  • Purnama Kedasa
  • Tumpek Wayang

Things to do in Bali in spring

  • Balinale
  • Bali Marathon
  • Ubud Writers Festival
  • Bali Triathlon

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