Top 10 Things to Do and What to See in Bandung

Bandung is a popular place in Indonesia and to travelers in Java, especially. There are many things to do in Bandung, and it is not short of attractions to see. Many locals will recommend going there for shopping, food and refreshing respite. It is a popular weekend destination for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. Many travelers would say they have their best Indonesian experience here.

Here the food is cheap and delicious, products are competitive and in a wide variety, and most importantly, there are many interesting things to see and do. Therefore, it is no surprise that the whole place evolved around the tourism industry, so do come and explore Bandung!

Here’s our take of Top 10 Things to Do and Must See in Bandung:

-> Or jump to see the Best Accommodations in Bandung

Bandung city, Java, Indonesia

Bandung city, Java, Indonesia. Photo by Irwandy Mazwir

 


Top Things To Do in Bandung

Rest and recreation at Dusun Bambu

Dusun Bambu, known as a family leisure park, is located at the foot of a mountain. It is one of the top things to do in Bandung with family. Imagine walking on bamboo walking bridges across paddy fields surrounded by lush picturesque mountain views. If walking is not your thing, you can hop onto Wara Wira, a floral decorated transport that will take you around Dusun Bambu.

Enjoy a meal on a treetop in their hanging nests, the Lutung Kasarung, while soaking in the mountain breeze. Or you can move up higher to Cafe Burangang for a cup of coffee or tea while you drink in an even more incredible view of the Burangang mountain. But if a variety of food is important to you, you can head to Pasar Khatulistiwa, a food court.

There are also many activities you can choose to do here such as archery, flying hammock, canoeing, paintball, ATV and so on. Some may require additional fees.

Dusun Bambu, Bandung. Photo by Prabowo Restuaji

Many people choose to also stay in Dusun Bambu so that they can fully experience the place. For comfort, you can stay in Kampung Layung, where there are various villas to choose from. For those who want to stay close to nature, there is a camping ground, but this is more of glamping equipped with facilities

This place is definitely one of the best places to visit at the moment in Bandung, whether you are solo traveling, a couple or with your family. With their vast area of nature and various things to do, you will surely leave this place with a smile on your face.

-> Stay at Dusun Bambu for the ultimate experience *

Enjoy the musical performance at Saung Angklung Udjo

This traditional musical performance is one of the best ways to explore Indonesian culture. It is a 2-hour show of several parts, including a puppet show, mask dance, Angklung performance, and dances with little kids. Angklung is a traditional musical instrument made of bamboo. Watch the performance and maybe also participate in an Angklung workshop; you may find yourself delighted by learning this long-standing craft. 

Saung Angklung Udjo, Bandung, Indonesia

Saung Angklung Udjo, Bandung. Photo by inna dee

Shop in factory outlets

I am not exaggerating here; nobody goes back from Bandung empty-handed. Especially if you go to the factory outlets at Jl Riau or Jl Dago, you will find all the hidden gems of quality clothes, shoes, bags, and all else in various famous brands. All the items you discover here are in good condition, brand new but at half the price!

-> Find the best hotel deals at Jalan Riau or Jalan Dago *
Shopping at Bandung, Java, Indonesia

Shopping at Bandung. Photo by Azlan DuPree

Catch a sunset at The Valley

If you are looking for another option to dine and something unique to do in Bandung, you can choose to go to The Valley * for dinner. This Western restaurant is located at a hilltop with an amazing sunset view. The food is good too, so enjoy your meal while watching the sunset over Bandung city. They also have a choice of rooms and villas * if you can’t have enough of the view.

Eat dinner at Kampung Daun

One of the Bandung’s best restaurant, many tourists come here for the relaxing ambiance with bamboo huts, streams, and waterfall. Food is not especially delicious, but it is extensive and inexpensive. Come here for the overall experience of enjoying Indonesian cuisine in a comfortable and serene outdoor setting.

Kampung Daun restaurant at Bandung, Indonesia

Kampung Daun restaurant at Bandung. Photo by Chen Wu

Swing on a hammock in Tebing Gunung Hawu

Tebing Gunung Hawu is a cliff from limestone mountains and is one of the off the beaten track in Bandung. For the adventurous, get a hold of a hammock operator and swing from one between the rocks overlooking the cliff. A tip is to book early for it before going as they can all be taken especially during peak season. The lush green scenery here is well worth your time even if not from a swinging hammock. 

How to get there: Tebing Gunung Hawu is located in Padalarang, West Bandung. 

Rice Terraces at Bandung, Indonesia

Rice Terraces at Bandung. Photo by chrisinno

Top What to See in Bandung

Kawah Putih

Kawah Putih is definitely on the top of the list of attractions to see in Bandung for its stunningly beautiful lake. It is 2 hours away from Bandung city center and in the highland, but it is worth to do. The place is cooling but beware of sunburn as it is still really sunny here without feeling it. It is a sulphuric lake as it comes from a volcano. The entire area can be explored in 30 minutes. Many people come here either by car hire or through a Kawah Putih, Bandung Tour.

Kawah Putih, Bandung, Java, Indonesia

Kawah Putih, Bandung, Java. Photo by firmatography

Tangkuban Perahu

About 1.5 hours from Bandung, it is yet another crater from a volcano in Indonesia that is worth the visit for the sheer awe of the view from the top. It may be the second-best next to Kawah Putih but still worth a visit.

Villa Isola

Built by an Italian millionaire and perched at the northern part of Bandung, Villa Isola overlooks a breathtaking view of the city to the south. This villa is one tourist attraction not to be missed. There are also cool places to stay nearby Villa Isola *

Tangkuban Perahu, Bandung, Java, Indonesia

Tangkuban Perahu, Bandung. Photo by Irwandy Mazwir

Gedung Sate and Gedung Merdeka

There are two iconic buildings in Bandung city that you might like to check out. Gedung Sate is built and used by the Dutch companies, it is also popular for its satay food decoration. It has six ornaments symbolizing 6 million guldens. Now it is used as the office for West Java governor. The place is open to the public, and don’t forget to have a good chill and drink at the top floor while overlooking the city. Gedung Merdeka is another architectural wonder. It was built for the rich previously and then made famous for hosting the first Asian-African conference. Though not much of an attraction but worth taking a look if you are nearby.

Gedung Merdeka, Bandung, Java, Indonesia

 

Gedung Merdeka, Bandung. Photo by MangAndri Kasep

Now you know the best things to do and attractions to see in Bandung. You will be amazed how you can enjoy yourself so much without actually really spending a lot, especially suitable for budget travelers who are backpacking in Indonesia, though carrying a lot of things after the shopping is another story altogether! Do read our


Best Accommodations in Bandung

Agoda.com * is a good choice as they have the most extensive hotel listings in Asia with great deals.
Booking.com * is a favorite of many because it offers cancellation allowing flexibility.

Most people like to stay in the center of Bandung for easy access to shopping and food, but if you are looking for a relaxing and tranquil getaway, a little up north are some beautiful retreats, with quicker access to tourist spots. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to stay in Bandung:

Luxury (from 150 USD)

Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)

Budget (below 50 USD)


Versi Bahasa Indonesia10 Tempat Wisata yang Wajib Dikunjungi di Bandung

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Top 10 Things to Do in Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan is part of the trio of Gili Islands along with Gili Meno and Gili Air. At this paradise island that is part serene and part hype, you will be sure to find lots of things to do.

Affectionately known as ‘Gili T’, this island has a reputation as a party spot for a reason. Half the island is dedicated to late-night bars and loud music. The far side of the island, however, is just as beautiful as its two sisters. The beaches are clean and beautiful and make a great base for a day of swimming and snorkelling. Again, there are lots of opportunities to dive, be it your first or hundredth time.

Cycle and explore island

One of the best activities around here is cycling, as there are no cars on Gili Trawangan. By cycling, you will also find yourself exploring the island in depth. One can easily rent a bicycle here on Trawangan and you can spend few hours circumventing the island.

Gili Islands, Indonesia

Birdeye’s view of the islands. Photo by yeowatzup

Enjoy the viewpoint

Gili Trawangan is known for its highest point which is aptly named ‘The Viewpoint’. It takes around half an hour to walk there from the central hub of the island but it is well worth it for the views over the sea and towards the other islands in this part of Indonesia like Lombok and Bali.

Sunrise at Gili Air, Lombok

Sunrise at Gili Air, Lombok. Photo by brian

Catch Gili’s famous swing on the sea

Find the famous swing on the sea and get a beautiful picture with the romantic sunset as backdrop. This swing can be found on the west of Gili Trawangan at Ombak Sunset resort hotel *.

The swing at Gili Islands at Ombak Sunset, Indonesia

The swing at Gili Islands at Ombak Sunset resort hotel *. Photo by Dennis Keller

Diving

The Gili Islands have some of the best dive spots in the country as the conditions here are clear and calm. Most people choose to dive off the coast from Gili Trawangan as this island has the best variety of dive shops and diving packages. Although not one of the top sites to dive in Indonesia, Gili Islands still offer quite a diving experience with some (harmless) sharks, rays, turtles and more.

Snorkelling

One of the best and easiest way to enjoy the sea is by snorkeling. You will find lots of snorkeling rentals in Gili Trawangan so just grab one and go spotting turtles, colourful fish, and maybe even a baby shark for far less than the price of a diving excursion from Gili Trawangan.

Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia. Photo by Luis Medina

Take a boat tour

A boat tour can be easily arranged from Gili Trawangan with its many operators. They offer boat trips ranging from a simple trip between the islands to a luxurious glass bottom boat tour of the surrounding seas. If you charter a boat to island hop, it can coast around IDR 300,000 depending on your haggling skills. But if you want to check out the other islands more cheaply, you can also get the local ferry for IDR 30,000.

Boats at Gili Trawangan beach, Lombok, Indonesia

Boats at Gili Trawangan beach, Lombok. Photo by yeowatzup

Visit the local night market

The local night market here is something not to be missed. Every evening a night market will be set up in the main square of Gili Trawangan at around dusk. This is also one of the best places to grab some dinner on the island. You will find many local stalls selling traditional snacks such as grilled satay and spicy corn on the cob or you may go for some simple fried noodle or rice dishes. The food here is usually cheaper than the restaurants or cafes on the island but it is equally if not more delicious.

 Night Food market at  Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Night Food market at Gili Trawangan. Photo by Henrik Palm

Eat some seafood

If one is on a paradise island, eating loads of fresh seafood is a must. There are many local restaurants here that will display the day’s catch. There are no better ways to enjoy the fresh seafood than having them simply grilled over coconut husks and served with steamed rice.

Grill seafood at Gili Trawangan Gili Islands, Indonesia

Grill seafood at Gili Trawangan. Photo by Marie

Nightlife Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan is known for being the ‘party island’ but don’t expect this to be anything like the nightlife scene in Kuta in Bali. Nonetheless, you will find a range of beach bars here that play music well into the night. Some venues will have special themed nights and dance parties, so look out for it. If you prefer a more relaxing evening, then head to Evolution Bar for live bands music.

 Live Band at Evolution Bar, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Live Band at Evolution Bar, Gili Trawangan. Photo by Reinardt Gilfillan

Try an open-air cinema

This may not sound like an activity you thought you would do here but it is really an experience itself. If you happen to know one coming up, do give it a try. At the open air cinema, you can sit on bean bags and enjoy a movie on a big screen under the stars. The most famous open-air cinema takes place on the main beach on Gili Trawangan. But many guesthouses and hotels here have noted its popularity and have set up their own open-air cinemas too.


Best Accommodations on Gili Trawangan

Pearl Trawangan
A beachfront resort with its own outdoor pool and bar, this place is ideal for those who want to relax in style. Styled with rustic designs, the individual huts are unique and inviting. Themed with a tropical island feel and filled with lush gardens, it is truly a dream to stay here. Prices starting from 140 USD.
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Agoda.com *

Desa Dunia Beda
Another beachfront resort, this one features spacious standalone bungalows and villas with a traditional wood interior. Each villa has its own private terraces and there is also an outdoor pool. Prices starting from 120 USD.
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Booking.com *.
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Agoda.com *

-> For more read Gili Trawangan Best Accommodations

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Nusa Dua, Bali – Accommodations, Things to Do and more!

Nusa Dua is one of Bali’s most exclusive regions, but don’t let that put you off. Among the many luxurious accommodations, private beaches and fancy restaurants, there are still many things to do. Here also lies Bali’s classic culture and unrelenting friendliness. Nusa Dua, or ‘two islands’ as it translates to in Bahasa Indonesia, is home to some of Bali’s best.

Nusa Dua is all about spending your time in total comfort. The resort enclave has three gates: Main Gate, North Gate and South Gate. Some resorts have private beaches for their visitors; however, other areas are easily accessible to general public. This fishing village also offers a range of water sports facilities as well as many mid-range and budget hotels that were difficult to find in Nusa Dua.

-> Jump to Nusa Dua Accommodations
-> Or skip to Things to Do in Nusa Dua

Map of Nusa Dua, Bali

Map of Nusa Dua, Bali

When is the best time to go

Nusa Dua, located in Bali Island, enjoys a tropical climate. The rainy season here lasts from October to March. The best time to visit Nusa Dua is period from May to August when the weather remains pleasant and cool, just perfect for exploring tourist attraction or enjoying adventurous activities.

Nusa Dua Accommodation

Nusa Dua is often referred to as Bali’s ‘gated community’, as it is full of pricey and luxurious hotels. This can feel pretty exclusive, and there are some incredible options if you’re happy to splash out.

St. Regis Bali Resort
At the highest is this famous world-class resort that is highly rated. With its own private beach and impeccable service, you will definitely find yourself in paradise here.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Other notable high end resorts on Nusa Dua are Kayumanis Nusa Dua Private Villa & Spa * and Samabe Bali Suites & Villas *.

For a villa, Rumah Bali * is stunning and makes the perfect spot for any lazy sunbathers.

INAYA Putri Bali
Featuring clean and modern design, every villa has direct acces to the pool that runs along with palm trees lining it. With beautiful sea view from the rooms and a quick access to the beach, it is no wonder this villa is one of the top choice in Nusa Dua. To top it off, price starts only at 150 USD!
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

If you’re on a bit more of a budget, don’t panic! You can find some lovely, cheaper places to stay in this region. For even more budHouse of D16 * is a lovely little hostel in Nusa Dua, and Clamonic House * is perfect for travelers on a budget.

Alternatively, stay in nearby Tanjung Benoa and take a day trip to Nusa Dua. There are much cheaper options for accommodation here, such as Sari B&B.

-> Find the best hotel deals in Nusa Dua at Booking.com *
-> Don’t miss out the Best Beachfront Hotels in Nusa Dua

Things to Do in Nusa Dua

Hit the beach and sightseeing

Geger Beach – locally known as Pantai Geger. This beach lies in Sawangan area, about 3 km from Nusa Dua. It is a public beach, considered safe for swimming. You can also enjoy some delicious snacks at the beach side warungs at this beach. his white sand beach is fringed with palm trees and offers lots of comfy deckchairs to relax on. There are several small cafes here, so you can eat while keeping your toes in the sand. You have to pay a small entry fee (around 3,000 – 5, 000 IDR), but this feels totally acceptable once you see how clean and well-kept the beach is.

Mengiat Beach is one of the quieter beaches, so you can expect to have some space to yourself. Unlike some of the other beaches in Bali, you’ll pretty much be left to it by locals selling their wares. While it can sometimes be nice to have people randomly pop up and offer you a foot massage, it’s also quite nice to drift off in your own little bubble of relaxation.

Nusa Dua Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Nusa Dua Beach. Photo by Adhi Rachdian

Water Blow Rock Formation – located north of Grand Hyatt Hotel. This site is worth watching for the rock formation and the giant splash formed due to the collision of water waves with rock walls. From a distance, splashing water appears like milky white foam sliding down from the top of the rock.

Museum Day

If you’re after an afternoon of culture, Museum Pasifika is a great place to visit. This museum is pretty spread out and has over 600 pieces to enjoy. It documents various pieces of history, art and culture from all over the world. There is a beautiful mixture of sculptures, paintings and artefacts on display, and entry costs 100, 00 IDR.

Sports activities

Water-Sports – while many of the beaches here are pretty much designed for lazy days, there are also opportunities for the thrill-seekers among you. If you’ve ever wanted to try out kite-surfing, or fancy yourself whizzing around on a jet ski, now is your chance! Head to the nearest beach and see what’s on offer, or book through your accommodation for great rates. There are many companies in Nusa Dua that offer equipment on rent for water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, etc. There are some excellent surfing sites here that remain crowded during ideal weather conditions. Tourists can enjoy sports like tennis, gym and squash in some of the five-star hotels and resorts.

Water sports at Nusa Dua, Bali

Water sports at Nusa Dua. Photo by Donald Man

Bali Jetpacks is a fantastic company, offering a range of fun water activities, ranging from donut-rides (perfect for families with young kids) and water jet-packs for those after something a real adrenaline rush! This company take safety very seriously, and will make sure you have an amazing time, whatever you get up to…
Snorkelling is the perfect mid-point for anyone who wants to do something more exciting than sunbathing, without going too wild. The reef around Nusa Dua is studded with turtles, brightly-colored schools of fish and striking coral.

Get Your Golf On – as you’d expect from a 5-star region, Nusa Dua is home to some incredible golf courses. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, head here for an afternoon of high-quality fun. Bali National Golf Course is any golfers dream – stunning greens, a challenging course and wonderful customer service. Make a day of it and enjoy the on-site café.

Private Beach @ Nusa Dua, Bali

Private Beach at Nusa Dua, Bali. Photo by sektordua

Rainy day activities

Bali is the land of sunshine, but, just in case it rains (or you fancy a break from the beach!), there’s still plenty to do.

Hit Bali Collection for some retail therapy and enjoy the mix of chain stores and restaurants. This isn’t a local mall or market, so expect to pay similar prices to back home. Nike, Billabong and Quiksilver have outlet stores here, and there are also some lovely places to pick up souvenirs or local crafts.

Spa – Enjoy some pampering with selection of choices for spa, one of the latest in Nusa Dua, SPA Healthland, incorporates “medical-spa” concept which involves preventing illness and improve well-being. There is also the popular Zahra Spa. Try out a traditional Balinese massage, pamper yourself with a mani/ pedi or indulge in a full package, complete with delicious food and a range of calming treatments to soothe your soul. The Laguna also offers wonderful spa treatments.

Tanjung Benoa from Nusa Dua
Tanjung Benoa from Nusa Dua. Photo by salis

What and where to eat

While this region is seen as Bali’s crème de la crème, there are also dining options for those on more of a budget. For anyone after something a bit cheaper and cheerful, make a stop at Secret Café and sample some delicious Indonesia food. Those craving the comforts of home should take the time to visit Nusa Dua Pizza – it does what it says on the tin, and very well! Warungs along the Jalan Srikandi in Bualu village offer authentic Balinese food at much cheaper prices. Benoa Cafe, Bumbu Bali, Café Bagus, and Kacak Bali are some of the reasonably priced restaurants in Tanjung Benoa area.

If you do fancy going all-out, head to Kayuputi at The St. Regis – this place knows how to do fine-dining, so go with an empty stomach and dress up. Table8 has to get a mention, partially for their stunning interior, but mainly for their incredible menu. Banyubiru at The Laguna Resort is the perfect place for a romantic meal out. For some fresh seafood and wine, go to Kendi Kuning Restaurant which is located in between Tanjong Benoa and Nusa Dua.

Restaurants in Nusa Dua
Restaurants in Nusa Dua. Photo by PYONKO OMEYAMA

How to get there

Nusa Dua is down in the south-west of Bali and is easily-reachable from Denpasar Airport. It’s a very well-known region, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting there. It takes about half an hour from the airport and will cost around 150, 000 IDR. From the airport, you have options of either hiring a prepaid taxi or a metred taxi. A pre-paid taxi fare costs between Rp 90,000 and 115,000. Metred taxis are cheaper than a prepaid taxi but they don’t enter the main airport area and you’ll have to walk a few hundred metre distance to avail this option. If you are coming from Denpasar, you can use the public transport dark-blue bemos that depart from Tegal bemo station at Denpasar or a taxi. Bemos are not allowed to enter the Nusa Dua area, and you’ll have to either walk the distance (about 2 km) or hire a taxi from the entry gate.

Many people head to Nusa Dua for the day from nearby Tanjung Benoa. Benoa is lovely and has a certain charm to it, but the beaches here sadly aren’t very nice for swimming or sunbathing on. A quick twenty-minute drive to Nusa Dua will soon have you dipping in and out of turquoise waters and enjoying the quiet, resort-front beaches.

White sand beach at Nusa Dua, Bali

White sand beach at Nusa Dua, Bali. Photo by skyseeker

How to get around

Metered taxis are freely available to get around in Nusa Dua and Tenjung Benoa areas. Another option is the public bemos that regularly ply around two resort areas. Rented bicycles and cars, available at many hotels, can also be used to explore the area.

Where to go nearby

Denpasar – the administrative capital of Bali. Puputan Square, Bali Museum, Taman Budaya Cultural Center, Pasar Badung and Pasar Kumbasari are some of the best sites to explore in Denpasar.

Kuta– located about 11 km from Nusa Dua and famous for its magnificent sandy beaches and dynamic nightlife. Surfing, shopping, eating, and partying are some of the favourite activities to enjoy while in Kuta.

Serangan or Turtle Island – a turtle conservation island where you can see hatching of turtle eggs in traditional houses.

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Top 10 Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali

Uluwatu is a coastal tourist hub popular with surfers, but there are plenty more things to do here besides.

From amazing food to lazy beach days, Uluwatu has something for every type of traveler. Here are our recommendations of the best things to do in Uluwatu.

Visit the famous Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple is one of the most visited temples in Bali, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s set on top of a high cliff, with amazing views of the ocean. There are winding paths along the coast-line which lead you to various different parts of the temple. There’s also a cobbled path along the forest, so beware of monkeys!

Be respectful when visiting any temples in Bali, and cover your knees, shoulders and chest. You can also borrow a sarong when you arrive, so don’t worry too much if you forget! I’d suggest taking a few hours to explore and make sure your camera is fully-charged as the views from this cliff-edge temple are unreal.

Beach in Uluwatu, Indonesia
Beach in Uluwatu, Indonesia. Photo by Graeme Churchard

Check out beautiful Uluwatu beaches

There are some pretty beaches in Uluwatu that don’t offer much to surfers, but have everything any sunbather could possibly want. Thomas Beach is a beautiful place to visit if you’re after clean sand, clear waters and some peace and quiet. While it can get quite busy with tourists, it has a really chilled out vibe to it.

Bingin Beach is popular with surfers but is really nice to visit during low-tide. You can snorkel here, or just enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Most beaches in Uluwatu have some little cafes or bars dotted along them, so you’ll be able to find cold water or, realistically, cold beer!

Bingin Beach, Uluwatu, Indonesia
Bingin Beach, Uluwatu, Indonesia. Photo by Jumilla

Try our some of the best restaurants in Uluwatu

Probably one of the best things to do in every new place you visit, eating is an attraction of its own in Uluwatu. Thanks to its beachy location, there are heaps of seafood restaurants here. For cheap local food, visit Waroeng Jadul Blangkon or treat yourself to a meal at DUGONG. Bukit Café is perfect for Aussie-inspired brunches, and Café La Passion is the best pick for cozy evenings with movies, live music or just chilled vibes.

Have seafood dinner in Jimbaran

Head over to nearby Jimbaran by hiring a private driver. Your accommodation will be able to recommend someone to you, or you can use Bali’s best taxi service – BlueBird. Jimbaran is more of an upscale area of Bali than Uluwatu is, which means that it’s packed full of fancy beach restaurants. If you’re after something tasty but cheap, make your way to Bawang Merah Beachfront and wander until you find something you’re happy with.

-> read Top 10 Things to Do in Jimbaran

Seafood dinner in Jimbaran Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Seafood dinner in Jimbaran Beach, Bali, Indonesia. Photo by 123_456

Try Surfing!

I had to include this, just because it’s Uluwatu! If you’re new to surfing, start off with a lesson to ease yourself in to it all. Padang-Padang beach, one of the best beaches in Uluwatu, is perfect for any beginners, and there are always places to rent boards or have lessons. Take something to cover your shoulders and back (or rent/ borrow a rash-guard) and slather on the sunscreen. You’ll be out for a while and the sun gets super strong here! Of course, there are also places like Bingin Beach that offers world-class waves, but these are only for pros.

Surfing can seem pretty scary but is actually such good fun. It’s also a crazy workout for your arms, so have a snack before you go. I skipped brekkie because I was so nervous and ended up really struggling with my energy levels.

Surfing in Uluwatu, Indonesia
Surfing in Uluwatu, Indonesia. Photo by Sergio Fernández

Balinese Dance

Uluwatu temple is just one venue that hosts regular Balinese dance performances. There are dances shows regularly held all over Uluwatu, so you can find one close to your accommodation if it’s easier. Dance and performance highlight the deep culture that Bali is built upon, and fire shows are just one of the amazing variations. Look out for ‘kecak’ dances, as well as ‘barong’ performances and get ready to embrace the weird and wonderful world of Balinese dance.

These dances are different to anything else in the world, and involve masks, drum music and dramatic make-up, on both men and women. I’d definitely suggest taking the time to see one of these shows, as they are truly unique to Balinese culture. Make sure you wear insect repellent, as most theatres are just outdoor spaces with some chairs or beanbags laid out.

Balinese Dance, Uluwatu, Indonesia
Balinese Dance, Uluwatu, Indonesia. Photo by Marmontel

Indulge in a Spa Session

If you’re in Bali, you need to try out a Balinese massage, and Uluwatu is a great place for some me-time. Esthetic Day Spa is a beautiful haven where the staff will ensure you’re pampered and relaxed the whole time. The service here is fantastic, and this is a wonderful place to spend an hour or two to wind down after traveling.

There are smaller spas everywhere in Uluwatu, so you can stop off by the side of the road for a quick foot massage if you fancy! The service here won’t be what you’re used to back home, so don’t expect a private room and utter silence. These little places tend to be more laid-back and there’s normally some chatting and giggling going on, which makes it quite fun.

Yoga

As with pretty much anywhere in Bali, yoga is very popular in Uluwatu. Head to Morning Light Yoga Studio to stretch out your body. There is a really lovely spiritual side to yoga here, which is partly thanks to all the movies and books about ‘finding yourself’ that is set in Bali. It’s also just a great way to wind down, focus your mind and work your muscles. Traveling can wreak havoc on your body, with time-zone struggles, heavy bags and uncomfortable journeys. Uluwatu is the perfect place to soothe your soothe, look after your body and check in with yourself.

Sunset in Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Sunset in Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia. Photo by Tom Booth

Nightlife

Single Fin Beachgets pretty busy on Sunday nights, so head here for pizza and Bintangs in the evening. There are also other, unofficial nights around Uluwatu if you want to get out and meet new people. Café La Passion offers tasty Mexican and Italian food, as well as brilliant live music nights. If you’re after something a bit livelier, Summer Waroenglooks small from the road but has a huge outdoor area with amazing reggae nights on Tuesdays. Equally, grabbing a couple of cold beers and making your way to the nearest beach tends to work pretty well, too.

Sunset over Pura Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia.
Sunset over Pura Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia. Photo by Ferry Octavian

Day Trip

Take a day trip to nearby Ubud and explore the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary! Ubud is a quirky, super popular place to visit full of artists. If you fancy getting some shopping in, Ubud is the place to do it. There’s a long street of market stalls, so you can load up on sarongs, jewelry and souvenirs to take home.

The Royal Palace is also well worth visiting if you have time, and is pretty central to Ubud. There are loads of great little cafes, restaurants and gelato stalls all over the centre! Give yourself a day to wander around and explore.

-> See Top 10 Things to Do in Ubud


Where to stay at Uluwatu, Bali

If you wish to stay nearby this wonderful temple, you will be spoilt for choices in the Uluwatu area of Bali. There are a number of very good reviews hotel, bed & breakfasts and homestays around here.

Gravity
For those looking for a charming retreat or an alternative to their honeymoon, this is touted as the best accommodation in Uluwatu area with its chic and charming design. The view from the poolside here is also to die for.
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Check out the latest prices at Agoda.com *

Yoga Searcher Bali
Another popular hotel here is the with yoga retreats, organic spas and cooking classes. The hotel also features a calming pool and delicious organic foods.
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Check out the latest prices at Agoda.com *

Pandawa Beach Homestay
For a budget option in Uluwatu area, this is definitely the place. Located only 5 minutes drive from the Pandawa beach, this place is best value for your money, with air-conditioned rooms and personal terraces for chilling out.
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Check out the latest prices at Agoda.com *

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