Quickly becoming the top destination in Indonesia, and even in Asia, Bali has a lot of tourist attractions to offer. Since it is well trodden by tourists from near and far, the wonders here despite its crowd, are world class and definitely worth the hustle for. Here you can find a good range and variety of attractions, such as beautiful ancient temples, rice fields, romantic sunset dinners, traditional dances, mountains and beaches. What more can one ask for during traveling with choices from art to culture to nature that are sure to please every sense of wonder and exploration?
There are definitely more than just 10 attractions in Bali but here is a list of the top ones for you.
Pura Tanah Lot Temple
Arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Bali, Tanah Lot temple definitely lives up to its fame, with its dramatic setting. It is one of the six revered, cardinal temples of Bali and is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Located at the edge of the rocks, it gives a breathtaking view and looks, especially during sunset. The temple itself is 100m offshore and is only accessible to the Hindus. It cannot be reached by anyone during the high tide. The cliff-side path to the north passes the Pura Enjung Galuh temple (behind which are the best views of Tanah Lot) and then some steps down to the beach and onwards to Pura Batu Bolong temple perched atop a rocky headland.
Kecak dance is one of the traditional dance and musical drama in Bali that is enchanting and one of the top attractions to tourists. This dance is from the legend of Legong and Barong, a dance from the south of Bali, with a story of a never-ending battle between good and evil. It is more commonly known as the fire dance that is set to impress. The best place to watch it is on the temple grounds of Puri Dalem Taman Kaja, where you will find an authentic atmosphere and setting. Another popular place to watch this dance is at Tanah Lot temple, with a dramatic setting.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple
Pura Luhur Uluwatu or Uluwatu Temple is a famous Balinese sea temple in Bali. It is one of the nine directional temples of Bali meant to protect it from evil spirits. This spectacular temple is one to marvel with as it perched at the edge of the rock overlooking the sea as if on guard. The inner sanctum of the pura (temple) is perched at the edge of steep cliffs which tower over Bali’s legendary surf breaks at the south. Most travelers enjoy the view of this temple from two different vantage points, from both northern and southern part of the area.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple
Lake Bratan’s temple, called Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and also known as the Floating Temple, is one of the most mesmerizing temples in Bali. The gorgeous volcanic lake of Danau Bratan is also the favourite of many local tourists but not as well known with foreigners, therefore relatively still unknown, it is a true gem to discover. What makes it truly special is that since it caters for the local tourists, weekdays here would be the best time to enjoy the lake and the park at peace.
Rice fields of Tegalalang
The rice fields of Tegalalang near Ubud is one of the top attractions in Bali because of its beautiful landscapes. Lined with rice terraces, running through with brilliantly blue streams with dramatic limestones and valleys as a backdrop, the view is an unforgettable one. The best way to explore this area is on a motorbike so that you can feel the cool refreshing wind while you hear every sound and see every sight in person. At the northeast of Tegalalang, you will find the classic rice terraces that are so revered all over Asia. Riding here will keep you well entranced as you see the greeneries stretch out as far as the eye can see. If you are not keen on motorbike, then you may find one of the rice fields trekking tours that will take you around.
Ubud’s Monkey Forest
Thanks to its good location at the famous Ubud, Monkey Forest is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bali. This area of lush forest is perched at the bottom end of a busy shopping street. It is home to hundreds of cute but cheeky Balinese Macaques. Be careful though of your belongings as they can be menacing. Tickets to the sanctuary include a useful map with locations and explanations of the three temples located there. It is well worth a visit and noted for its good maintenance by the local community. The forest is also home to 115 species of rare plants that are used for religious and medicinal purposes.
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 known as the best bar in Bali, having a long line of people daily trying to get in and have a drink or two with some bites (which is surprisingly good) while overlooking the sea crashing into the rocks below. Think about drinking, chilling and also dancing atop a cliff with the roaring sea stretching behind you to infinity while you watch white water crashed 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 *.
One of the more popular mountains in Bali, Mount Batur is an active volcano standing at 1700m, many travelers hike a do this short but can be quite tough 2 hours hike up the mountain to have a sunrise view over Bali and its surrounding islands. Getting here from Ubud might take some time but the climb and the view of the landscape and Lake Batur is all worth it in the end. It is also one of the popular activities to do when you are visiting Bali long enough to get bored of the beaches and sea and want to do some excursions.
Further down the line from the city Kuta is the Kuta beach. Thanks to its location, this is definitely one of the beach that almost every tourist in Bali would visit. The waves are higher here and the currents are strong making it a perfect beach for surfers. The beach is always crowded with locals or tourist, mostly for the vibe and energy that circles around here. At night you can find the Kuta beach parties among the beach clubs that are guaranteed to entertain. The local Hard Rock Cafe Bali is situated here so you can eat, drink and party whole day and night. Best hotels with quick access to Kuta Beach would be either the famous Poppies Bali * at Kuta or D’Kubu Legian Hotel * at Legian.
Sunset dining at Jimbaran
One of the most popular meal in Bali for every tourist is the romantice seaside dining at Jimbaran Bay. Walk down along this beach and you will find it dotted with warungs and candle-lit tables like mushrooms after the rain. Here you can dine on fresh seafood like prawns, squids and fishes fresh of the sea onto your table, almost literally. Couple it by feasting over the sun setting over the horizon make this authentic setting much more atmospheric. Unsurprisingly, as one of the popular area for people to stay, Jimbaran hotels * are people’s favourite.
Best Accommodations in Bali
Booking.com is my favourite site to book a place Bali when I am planning my trip. The main reason is that most of the bookings can be cancelled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to stay in Bali:
- Luxury (from 150 USD)
- The Oberoi, Seminyak
For those who are looking for privacy and to splurge for a honeymoon or special occasions. 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. Notable are their open-air massage pavilions and outdoor pool overlooking the ocean. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Tandjung Resort, Sanur
For those who appreciate traditional architectures and design. This hotel, built way back in 1962, encapsulates the Balinese style and spirit. Among the spacious gardens are thatched roofed bungalows, pavilions, sculptures and fish ponds. It also has direct access to the Sanur beach. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)
- Sri Ratih Cottage, Ubud
For those who is looking for unpretentious comfort with Balinese charm. Located in Ubud, our favourite 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 *
- 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 minutes walk to Seminyak beach. A noted feature is its private terraces for relaxation, hence making it a favourite of couples. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Budget (below 50 USD)
- Nick’s Pension, Ubud
For those who are seeking a mixture of peace and action in the heart of Bali – Ubud. The rooms come with traditional Indonesia architecture and air-condition. There are also a swimming pool, restaurant, Wifi and parking provided. Check out the latest prices on Booking.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 starting from only 24 USD! Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *