During our three-month trip to Indonesia we dedicated a whole month to Bali . And yes, it is an island that we fell in love with and to which we know that one day we will return. In our 20-day Indonesian route proposal we include a week in Bali. And we are going to tell you 30 things to do in Bali so that you don’t have time to get bored that week.

Because even though there are places a little crowded , it is one of those places where local people continue to maintain their traditions and culture intact. Bali freaks us out!

Things to do in Bali

1. Rent a motorcycle and travel Bali at your own pace: although Bali has chaotic traffic, the motorcycle is the best way to get around the island.

Rent a bike

2. For long distances, rent a car: because it is not the same to do two hours riding on a motorcycle, as in a car. And we found the car rental surprisingly cheap, about $ 30 a day. Of course, the traffic is just as chaotic and you will have to be careful with the motorcycles, which pass without a problem.

3. Stay in a villa in front of the rice paddies on the outskirts of Ubud. For us, it is one of the best things to do in Bali. We really enjoyed getting up each day with those views.

Accommodation in Bali

4. Try Indonesian gastronomy: mie goreng, nasi goreng, gado gado, soto ayam, etc. It is varied, very rich and cheap.

5. And if you want a break from local food, try one of these nice cafes and restaurants with western dishes.

Things to do in Bali – tours and things to see

6. Take a tour of southern Bali and, if it doesn’t rain as we do, stay to watch the sunset at the Uluwatu temple or on the cliffs around it. Do not disappoint!

7. Stroll among the rice paddies. Enjoy that landscape that you had visualized so many times in your mind. The most accessible from Ubud is Tegallalang, which are only 15km from the city. Of course, they say that the best ones are those of Jatiluwih, two hours from Ubud. In addition, being further away, fewer people go and you can see them more calmly.

Rice terraces in Bali
On the Tegallalang rice terraces

8. Surf or learn to surf: Bali is one of the surf meccas for lovers of good waves. Of course, we tried it in the Canggu area and we found it rather complicated. We don’t know if the tide was too high or what, but we spent more time swimming than catching waves. The rental of board costs $ 3 for a couple of hours of surfing and the classes are around $ 10-20.

9. Find a good spa and have a Balinese massage. For less than $ 10 you will enjoy the most relaxed hour of the trip. You can go pearl after a couple of surf sessions!

10. Do the trekking of the Batur volcano at sunrise. And do not do it if it is cloudy and it is going to rain because the sunrise may twist and you end up seeing only clouds. We did it with Yayan, from Your Bali Excursion. You can do the Batur without a guide, to be honest, but we hire the transfer and the guide altogether. And the experience is very good, the truth.

Mount Batur Bali

11. Take a yoga course (or class): There are a lot of people who go to Bali to do yoga retreats and courses. There are plenty of options in both the Canggu and Seminyak area and Ubud.

12. Trip-drop: Trip-drop is a way to help a local project knowing in advance what material needs they have. It is the best way to travel and help local people.

13. Enjoy the sunsets in one of the beach bars in western Bali.

14. Go shopping and haggle in the Ubud Market and in the little shops that you will find at every step. There are really beautiful crafts!

15. But for the flea market, the one in Sukawati. It is further from Ubud and, I suppose for that reason, you find the same as in Ubud but at half the price. If you have to buy many souvenirs or handicrafts, it pays to rent a motorcycle and go to this market.

16. If your trip to Bali coincides on Sunday, don’t miss the Love Anchor, a street market that they put up in Canggu. Mainly it is clothing and jewellery and there is a very good atmosphere.

17. Swing, because if there is something leftover in Indonesia they are swings. They have become fashionable and hey, you find them everywhere. They are paid in the amusement park plan as in Bali Swings or free as the one in the Campuhan Ridge Walk.

Swings in Bali

18. Get up early and go for the Campuhan Ridge Walk, a path about two kilometres that begins at the exit of Ubud. It is a very pleasant road and, at dawn, even more, because there are fewer people and it is less hot.

19. Walk aimlessly through Ubud, you will discover doors of houses that are authentic treasures. The traditional Balinese houses have temples inside and the doors are to freak out.

20. Go to the Kanto Lampo waterfall and climb its walls. And don’t leave without asking one of the workers to take a thousand photos of you. The guys who work there are real experts, they know how to help you climb the waterfall and take the photos you need.

Kanto Lampo waterfall Bali

WHY I HAVE NOT INCLUDED THE MONKEY FOREST AND WHY I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT

You may have noticed that in this list of things to do in Bali I have not included the Monkey Forest , one of the tourist attractions of Ubud. Mainly I have not included it because I did not visit it, and I did not visit it because it does not seem like a responsible activity . Perhaps you may think that, not having been, I don’t have the ‘power’ to determine if a place is responsible or not. But in this case I do not think it is necessary. There is already enough information on the Internet and a quick search on Instagram is enough to realize how that place works.

The Monkey Forest is a ‘sacred’ forest in Ubud full of monkeys . There are many species of trees and a temple and, in addition, they have classified it as a ‘sanctuary’. In this way, the people who visit it believe that they are protecting those monkeys and conserving space. From what I have seen, monkey selfies are allowed in the Monkey Forest , I have seen over fed monkeys, aggressive monkeys and monkeys riding tourists’ humps. Does that seem like normal behavior to a wild animal?

And that, in my eyes, is a sign that the animal has lost respect and distance from the human. That in that place it is interesting to keep the monkeys there because they attract tourism and money, so they feed them. It is a business and, in my opinion, it has nothing of a sanctuary. And that’s why I don’t recommend it.

Cultural things to do in Bali

21. Learn about Balinese Hinduism: It is a unique type of Hinduism in the world. And the truth is that it has many characteristics that make it unique. The best way to learn about Balinese Hinduism is to stay with a local family or take a tour with someone who is from Bali. You will freak out with their customs and celebrations!

22. Attend a Kecak dance: although it is mainly geared towards tourism, it does not stop being a plan. It is a traditional form of traditional dance performed mainly by men. One of the best places to enjoy Kecak dance is in Uluwatu.

23. Or to a barong dance show: another traditional dance show in Bali. The most famous is the one performed in Batubulan, but in Ubud, there are also daily performances, as well as Kecak dance.

24. If you have the opportunity, attend a local ceremony: in Bali, there are many temples. And each has its own celebration. So it will not be strange that some coincide with your stay. Of course, you will have to dress appropriately and respect their traditions a lot. For us, it was an unforgettable experience!

Bali Traditional Dance

25. Buy yourself a sarong and use it throughout your trip: if your route through Indonesia starts in Bali, buy yourself a sarong the first few days, so you will pay for it throughout the trip. A sarong is a cloth worn to cover the lower part of our bodies; it is tied around the waist and falls just right below the knees. It is mainly used as clothing for both men and women to enter temples. You will see that there are better and worse quality sarongs. I bought mine for Rupiah 40,000. And I used it for the 3 months we were in Indonesia and as a beach towel in the Philippines. The best investment of the trip!

26. Get married by the Balinese rite: cheap what is said cheap is not. But is there perhaps cheap weddings? You can take a look here at some possibilities and prices. Unforgettable will be safe.

27. Visit some of the best temples. You don’t need to go to everyone, really. But the truth is that there are some really incredible and very different among them. Here are the best:

  • Pura Besakih – The Mother Temple: It is the holiest temple on the island and is located at the foot of the Agung volcano. During our visit, the Agung erupted and it was impossible for us to visit it. We will be back!
  • Tanah Lot: it has one of the most typical sunsets on the island, but also one of the busiest. The temple is dedicated to the God of the sea. If the tide is out, you can get closer to the temple, if not, you can only see it from afar.
Tanah Lot Bali
  • Gunung Kawi: one of the most imposing temples with its ancient rock-cut tombs.
  • Tirta Empul: very close to the previous one, this is one of the most famous temples in Bali. And it is famous precisely because it is located on a spring of waters considered sacred. The Balinese believe that it has healing properties and they go to the temple to bathe and make offerings to the gods. The problem is that, as famous as it has become, many people go more to take the photo for Instagram than to anything else. They will end by prohibiting the bathing ritual for foreigners.
  • Uluwatu and its cliffs: as we have already mentioned, if you can, stay until sunset or witness a Kecak dance. The scenario could not be better.
  • Lempuyang: probably the most photographic temple. The only problem with this is that it is about two hours from Ubud, so you may prefer to spend the night there or take the opportunity to visit other nearby temples. The views of Mount Agung are spectacular.
  • Goa Gajah: Probably the easiest temple to visit from Ubud because it is only 5km away. It is famous for the carved elephant at the entrance to a cave, although we were more impressed by the temple gardens.
Goa Gajah Bali

What excursions to do from Bali

28. Lombok: just an hour and a half from Bali you have Lombok. We spent a week there and we loved it. Read our guide to Lombok.

29. Gili Islands: The perfect getaway from Bali if you are looking for beaches. We chose Gili Air and here I tell you why and everything we did on the island.

Gili Islands Bali Air View

30. Nusa Islands: our pending subject. But they say they are the perfect combination of adventure, good diving and snorkelling and stunning landscapes. Perfect to spend 3-4 days. If you don’t have time to go for several days, you can always book a day tour to Nusa Lembongan from Bali.

How did you like our selection of 30 things to do in Bali? Do you think you can do them all? We leave some in the pipeline, but it is the best excuse to return. If you have any questions, write us a comment or an email and we will give you a cable with your trip through Indonesia.