Top 10 Must Visit Places in Bali

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Some say that Bali is overrated, too touristy, and not worth a visit, while some say it is one of the best experiences in their travels in Indonesia. I guess it all depends on how you want to enjoy Bali. With so many places of interest and beautiful beaches, Bali will still delight you.

Regardless, as time has passed and places may have grown, Bali is still what it is. If you can look past the many tourists, especially during the peak season, and enjoy the many attractions dotted around catered explicitly for tourists, you might fall in love with Bali.

Bali deserves the attention it is still getting, and our top 10 must-visit places list is enough to show why you should not give Bali a miss!

Uluwatu Temple – Pura Luhur

Uluwatu Temple, a must-visit in Bali, is also known as Pura Luhur. Imagine a large rugged limestone cliff with a temple perched on it; to add to its dramatic grandeur, it is like a scene from Cliffhanger.

It is situated in Bukit Peninsula, which houses Bali’s few best beaches like Balangan, Padang-Padang, and Nyang-Nyang, as well as many good surfing spots. The temple is a majestic structure; constructed and expanded many times since the 11th century. It is perched on a cliff of 70 meters above the Indian Ocean. If you go on even higher grounds, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view on either side and sunset over Uluwatu temple itself.

-> With this tour *, you can explore the nearby beaches, climb higher on Uluwatu Temple, and reward yourself with a spectacular view from both sides and sunset over the Uluwatu Temple itself – click here for more information *.

Uluwatu Temple, Pura Luhur @ Bali

Uluwatu Temple, Pura Luhur at Bali. Photo by melburnian

Pura Tanah Lot

Another majestic rock formation lies as a foundation of a famous pilgrimage temple, Pura Tanah Lot. It is most famous for its serenity and cultural significance as it is associated with Balinese mythology as one of the seven temples that form a ring in the southwest of Bali. A travel tip is to visit the place during the low tide so that you can “walk across the water” to the temple for the whole experience.

-> Try a tour of Uluwatu and Tanah Lot temples to save time! *

Pura Pura Tanah Lot @ Bali

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali. Photo by Kevin Poh

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (Bali’s temple by the lake)

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is another must-visit temple in Bali, , this one is serenely resting at the edge of Lake Bratan, unlike the rest that perches on rocky cliffs. Imagine a beautifully structured temple with its image reflected on the clear lake doubling its beauty.

A great option would be to go here together with this tour * with a transfer and entrance tickets to the temples – find out more here *

Temple by the lake @ Bali

Temple by the lake at Bali. Photo by Rud Glazn

Dolphin sightings at Lovina

Another thing to see in Bali is the dolphins! Lovina is one of the best places in Bali to go on a dolphin sightseeing boat trip. Lovina is one of the best places in Bali to go on a dolphin sightseeing boat trip *. You will leave the beach at dawn. Yes, it may be pretty crowded with other tourists trying to do the same, especially during peak season; it is especially worth it when you find a school of dolphins happily jumping out of the sea.

Lovina also offers many other attractions and activities and even boasts backpacker scenes where you can chill out in cafes with live music.

Lady selling flowers at the Market @ Ubud, Bali

Lady selling flowers at the Market at Ubud, Bali. Photo by David Stanley

Ubud

Despite that one might be trying to escape the “eat, pray, love” trail, Ubud is one place you cannot miss during your visit. Bali’s heart is where all the action, people, and energy are focused. Ubud is packed with the best of Bali: nature, culture, people, temples, museums, rolling rice fields/paddy fields, human-made gardens, and parks.

You may take a half-day electric cycling tour with spa *, enroll in a  cooking class *, do adventure activities like whitewater rafting * and abseiling, relax with yoga */meditation, get pampered spa sessions *, immerse in the arts and theatres, and last but not least, the shopping. As you see, Ubud has a little bit of everything for the discerning traveler.

Rice fields terraces, Tegalalang, Ubud, Bali

Rice fields terraces at Tegalalang. Photo by Pandu Adnyana

Party at Kuta Beach

Kuta is the most popular beach in Bali, which means you can be sure to find life and a party scene here. Head here to socialize, party, and have a good time. You can be sure to find a range of places with different atmospheres and budget, ranging from Hard Rock Cafe to your neighborhood cafe and pub.

-> Kuta Beach is also great for some surfing experience *

Party @ Kuta Beach, Bali

Party at Kuta Beach, Bali. Photo by riza

Ayana bar on rocks

We had two temples on the cliff, and now we get to drink off a bar perched on yet another cliff at Ayana bar resort * in Bali. This bar is the best bar in Bali, with long lines of people trying to get in daily to have a drink or some bites while overlooking the sea crashing into the rocks below. The bites at this incredibly popular bar are surprisingly good. Imagine the combination of drinking, chilling, and dancing atop a cliff with the roaring sea stretching behind you to infinity while you watch white water crashing onto the side of the wall creating a spectacular natural show. If you decide which is the one bar you must go to in Bali, Ayana bar on the rocks is the place. You may get special access to the bar as a guest of Ayana Resort and Spa or RIMBA Jimbaran by Ayana *.

Bar on rocks @ Ayana, Bali

 

Bar on rocks at Ayana, Bali. Photo by ValeriosVeo

Private luxury at Nusa Dua beach

If you have a bit more of a budget to spare, splurge at Nusa Dua beach, which is dotted with high-end hotels and resorts. You will be rewarded with private pristine beaches for you to slowly soak in the sun and the sea. Nusa Dua is also ideal for couples on honeymoon in Bali or people looking for a private and relaxing getaway.

Private Beach @ Nusa Dua, Bali

Private Beach @ Nusa Dua, Bali. Photo by sektordua

Hike/Climb Mount Batur at Kintamani

Mount Batur caldera in Kintamani is up in a highland East of Bali. A climb to this active volcano’s summit (1700 meters) is an excellent experience for any active travelers and a place of interest that is not to be missed.

Many would do the sunrise hike for an ultimate experience, starting as early as 4 am to reach in time for the 6 am sunrise. This hike is relatively easy, and the treks are pretty well marked. From the mountain’s peak, there are views in all directions to sweep you off your feet, not literally.

Try this sunrise tour on Mount Batur with breakfast included * at the top of the mountain with transfer

Hike Mount Batur @ Kintamani, Bali

Hike Mount Batur at Kintamani, Bali. Photo by Jeda Villa Bali

Coffee plantation at Bali Pulina Agro Tourism

An almost zen place for you to sit back and appreciate your cup of coffee while overlooking the coffee plantation as far as the eye can see. Here you are served various coffee and tea for tasting. You can also see the process of how the famous and expensive Kopi Luwak is made and get up close to the civet cats themselves. If you are a coffee lover, do check out this place for the ultimate coffee experience.

Coffee roasting @ Agro Plantation, Bali

Coffee roasting at Agro Plantation, Bali. Photo by Jos Dielis

So you have ten reasons to visit Bali, and these are just the highlights. Now you know the reason behind Bali’s popularity, so maybe people can be right sometimes. Come over with an open heart and arms, a considerable ounce of patience and tolerance for the crowd, close an eye to all the touristy things glaring at you and enjoy yourself here. If all else fails, you can always jump on the next fast boat and escape to Gili Islands or its rival Lombok!


Best Accommodations in Bali

Booking.com is my favorite site for booking a place in Bali when planning my trip. The main reason is that most of the bookings can be canceled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend for a stay in Bali:

Luxury (from 150 USD)

Oberoi Villa, Seminyak
For those looking for privacy and to splurge for a honeymoon or special occasion. With quick access to Seminyak beach, this Balinese-inspired accommodation is built on 15 acres of tropical gardens. The Frangipani Cafe inside here is famed for its cuisine. Notables are their open-air massage pavilions and outdoor pool overlooking the ocean.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Tandjung Sari Hotel, Sanur
For those who appreciate traditional architecture and design. This hotel, built in 1962, encapsulates the Balinese style and spirit. The spacious gardens are thatched roofed bungalows, pavilions, sculptures, and fish ponds. It also has direct access to Sanur beach.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)

Sri Ratih Cottage, Ubud
For those who are looking for unpretentious comfort with Balinese charm. Located in Ubud, our favorite place to stay in Bali, the Balinese-style cottages with carved wood furnishings are set in beautiful gardens with a pool.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *


Resort Courtyard by Marriott Bali, Seminyak
Marriott is a trusted brand for many, and this one in Bali lives up to its name. This secured luxury is located just 5 minute walk to Seminyak beach. A noted feature is its private terraces for relaxation, making it a favorite of couples.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Budget (below 50 USD)

Nick’s Pension, Ubud
For those seeking a mixture of peace and action in the heart of Bali – Ubud. The rooms come with traditional Indonesian architecture and air-conditioning. There is also a swimming pool, restaurant, Wifi and parking provided.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Linda Villa, Sanur
For the budget conscious, this guesthouse in Sanur is a steal, featuring swimming pools, clean, air-conditioned rooms, and a simple breakfast. It is located at a quiet place with only 15 minutes easy walk to the beach. Prices start from only 24 USD!
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *


Travel Tips:
1. Book the best accommodations – Booking.com* or Agoda.com *
2. Find the cheapest flight options that suit you – Omio.com * or 12Go.asia *
3. Rent a car in advance and make your trip more convenient – Rentalcars *
4. Make the most of the time that you have! Exciting excursions, professional guides, and more – Klook *

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