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.
Check out the latest prices at Booking.com *
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.
Check out the latest prices at Booking.com *
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.
Check out the latest prices at Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices at Agoda.com *

-> Look for more hotel deals near Uluwatu temple at Booking.com *
Lucy Vinestock

Author: Lucy Vinestock

As a solo traveler, Lucy first fell in love with Indonesia at the very beginning of her trip. A year later, she returned and is now based in Gili Air. She works as a freelance writer, sharing her love of travel, wellness and coconut oil. You’ll find her on her yoga mat, wandering barefoot around her tiny paradise island or practicing her Bahasa Indonesian in the country she’s happy to call home.

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