26 Best Holiday Attractions in Bali The most comprehensive guide to popular tourist attractions in Bali you will ever need.

In Guide to Bali Attractions - Beach Clubs, Swings, Temples, Waterfalls
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Bali has so much to offer you’re spoilt for choice. There are so many temples, beaches, waterfalls, wildlife, theme parks, markets, swings, volcanic mountains, rice terraces and nearby islands to explore you’ll need a plan to tick some of them off your Bali Bucket List. Here are the most popular attractions in one easy guide complete with maps, entrance fees, opening hours and tips so you can make the most of your perfect Bali holiday.

Most Popular Bali Attractions Guide Map

  

  


Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot Temple is a must-visit for anyone holidaying in Bali. Tanah Lot, which means “Land in the Sea” in Balinese, is the most visited tourist attraction in Bali for a reason. It really is one of the most iconic images of Bali and makes for a spectacular day tour.

The surrounding carparks, markets and parks make it quite a large area, with the main attraction being a path leading down to the rocks where you can walk out to the temple itself during low tide. When the tide is coming in the local guides sometimes have to convince swathes of tourists to get off the rocks, which can be covered by water quite quickly.

Along the way there is a large market where some of the best souvenir shopping and deals can be had on the island. Surprisingly, perhaps because of the competition and the sheer number of tourists visiting, the prices can be much better than other markets in the tourist enclaves of Kuta, Seminyak and Nusa Dua, so I recommend taking the time to go shopping instead of rushing through the complex.

As you approach the gates leading to the temple, I recommend taking a right turn around the parks surrounding the ocean front to get a look at Tanah Lot from a higher perspective. From there you can also get a decent view of the rocks and check the tide before venturing down.

The incoming tide can catch unwary visitors on the rocks between the land and the temple.

Looking at the temple from the land there is a pathway up to the left which provides spectacular views of the temple, especially at sunset. There are around a dozen cafes with outside seating overlooking the temple, with the best views towards the top.

I recommend doing the right side first, then down to the rocks, tide permitting, before going up the pathway for another view of Tanah Lot, which is stunning at sunset.

Tanah Lot at Sunset - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 60,000
Location: Beraban, Kediri, Kabupaten Tabanan
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 07:00-19:00


Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Monkey Forest is extremely popular because, well monkeys are just so damn cute. They have also earned a well-deserved reputation for being masterful thieves. It’s best to leave sunglasses, handbags and anything you don’t want to part with inside the tour vehicle, as the monkeys have a well-earned reputation for stealing pretty much anything they can get their hands on.

The Ubud Monkey Forest is very accessible and is an easy walk through the sanctuary grounds over well-paved walkways. It is visited by more than 10,000 tourists a month, making it one of the most popular attractions in Bali.

Monkeys in the Ubud Forest - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 15,000
Location: Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:30-17:30


Ubud Art Market

Located in the heart of Ubud, this double-storey warren of stalls is full of wood carvings, batik shirts, sarongs, and all manner of other souvenirs aimed specifically at tourists. The merchants here haggle with tourists for a living and think nothing of asking for ten times the going price, so try to establish a baseline before you go in to buy.

Most of the merchants downstairs will lose interest if you try to get a reasonable price. It is better to try the shops upstairs where you will find the same products often for sale at lower prices.

Ubud Art Market - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Free
Location: Jl Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 06:00-18:00


Tegalalang Rice Terraces

The Tegalalang Rice Terraces is one of the most accessible and beautiful rice terraces in Bali. Lining the main road in the small village of Tegalalang are a number of hillside cafes where you can relax, try the local Luwak coffee and get some Instagram-worthy photos.

If you’re feeling physically fit and adventurous you can descend the steep incline and walk up through the valley to the other side. There are several well-trodden paths around the terraces although the going can be tough.

Tegalalang Rice Terraces - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 15,000
Location: Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours


Bali Safari & Marine Park

I’m not usually a fan of animal parks, but if you are going to visit one while in Bali I recommend Bali Safari & Marine Park. They put some serious effort and dollars into wildlife conservation in Indonesia and is home to over 1,000 animals across 100 species.

They have some unique experiences, including night-time safaris and a number of programmes designed specifically for children.

Bali Safari and Marine Park - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: From Rp 720,000
Location: Jl. Profesor Ida Bagus Mantra km 19,8, Serongga
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 09:00-17:00


Handarah Golf Course Gates

Stone gates are an important architectural tradition in Balinese culture. You will see them literally everywhere, from entrance ways to villages, temples and places of cultural significance.

The most popular of all the gates in Bali thanks to Instagram are the ones leading to Handarah Golf Course. It’s a photographers dream, especially in the early morning light.

26 Best Holiday Attractions in Bali 1

Entrance Fee: Free
Location: Handarah Golf Course
Opening Hours: 24 hours


Tegenungan Waterfall

Tegenungan is the largest waterfall by volume and the closest to the tourist enclaves in the south of the island, including Seminyak, Legian, Kuta and Sanur.

To get to Tegenungan Waterfall, drive from Denpasar to the Tegenungan Kemenuh village, in Gianyar. The drive is just 16 kilometres, or about 30 minutes. But the falls remain quite isolated and you will need to descent hundreds of steps along the bank of the River Tukad Petanu to access it.

Tegenungan Waterfall - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 15,000
Location: Jl Ir. Sutami, Kabupaten Gianyar
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 06:30-18:30


Waterbom Theme Park

Bali’s biggest water theme park in Bali with rides for all ages Waterbom is a great place if you are travelling with children of all ages. There are several food outlets as well as a swim-up bar for the grown-ups.

Waterbom Theme Park - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: From Rp 337,000
Location: Jl. Kartika Plaza Tuban, Kuta
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-18:00


Mount Batur – Kintamani

The area of north-eastern Bali at the Mount Batur caldera, commonly known as Kintamani. Kintamani, Batur and Penelokan villages sit on the rim of the huge Batur caldera about 1,500m above sea level and offer dramatic views of the active volcano and Lake Batur.

The Balinese of this area are warm and friendly, and also very traditional, so it’s appreciated if respect is paid by not walking on their farmlands, entering their temples (unless you wish to pray) and it’s advisable that women cover their legs to the knees.

Because its high in the mountains, the temperature can be up to 15 degrees cooler than down on the coast, and even more so at night. Combined with the often cloudy weather makes a sweater or jacket advisable during the day (and more so at night).

Kintamani - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 30,000
Location: South Batur, Kintamani, Bangli Regency
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours


Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

An incredibly beautiful area of verdant terraced rice paddies located in the shadow of Mount Batukaru. Running from the mountains to the coast, Jatiluwih Green Land as it is commonly known was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007. Jati means ‘really’ and Luwih means ‘special’, and it’s easy to see why. There are a number of cafes with stunning views in the area, making it an excellent place to stop for a while.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 40,000
Location: Jl Jatiluwih No No.Desa, Jatiluwih, Penebel
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:30-18:00


Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple is, according to the Bali Tourism Board the 2nd most visited attraction after Tanah Lot, with over 1.7 million visitors in 2015. Apart from the extensive and spectacular temple complex situated on a cliff 70m above the sea, it is also known for the Balinese Kecak and fire dance performance.

Uluwatu Temple Kecak Performance - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 30,000
Location: Pecatu, South Kuta
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-19:00


Ulun Danu Beratan

The Floating Temple, Pura Ulan Danu Beratan in Balinese, is one of the iconic images of Bali. The temple sits on the western shore of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul, and its position in the lake can give the illusion of floating on the water. It takes a full day to get there as the temple is located around 57 km from Seminyak, making it ideal to combine with other attractions along the way.

Constructed in 1633, the temple is devoted to the goddess of the lake, Ida Batara Dewi Ulun Danu in Balinese. Located 1200m above sea level, it has a cooler tropical climate than the coastal areas. 

26 Best Holiday Attractions in Bali 2

Entrance Fee: Rp 50,000
Location: Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Tabanan Regency
Opening Hours:

 


Bedugul Market (Pasar Candi Kuning)

The Candi Kuning Market referred to as ‘Pasar Bedugul’ by the locals is a great place to stop and stock up on snacks and drinks during a tour. It’s one of the main markets in the area for flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables – mangosteen, bananas, tamarillos, tangerines and strawberries – and an excellent place to buy a wide selection of spices.

Because of its location a few minutes from Pura Ulun Danu Beratan there are a large number of souvenir shops with a huge range of handicrafts.

Lempuyang Temple

While Lempuyang is spectacular, there are so many photoshopped images on Instagram it can be a disappointment for many people. It’s a spectacular setting, with a steep climb up several stone stairways to get to the top of the temple complex. In my opinion, most tourists are missing the point trying to get the perfect shot looking back through the temple gates back towards Mount Agung (the active volcano that disrupted flights in 2018).

The reality is Mount Agung can only be seen clearly for a few short hours after dawn before the clouds set in. And those mirror-like Instagram photos that make it look like a lake are completely fake. 

That being said, if you are in Bali for longer than two weeks I highly recommend the trip to Lempuyang as the temple complex is inspiring for the walk up to the main stone staircase looking up towards the gates.

It’s best combined with a day tour taking in the water palace further down the valley as getting there will take several hours. However, if you are keen enough to wake up around 4 am and make the trip, and patient enough to wait for the dawn light it is a truly spectacular sight.

Lempuyang Temple - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 30,000
Location: Bunutan, Abang, Karangasem
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 06:00-19:00


Pura Tirta Empul

Pura Tirta Empul is a Hindu Balinese water temple dating back to the 10th century and is one of the holiest in Bali, located near the town of Tampaksiring, around a half-hour drive (15 km) north of Ubud. The temple pond has a spring which gushes fresh water regularly, which Balinese Hindus consider to be holy – Tirta Empul means Holy Spring in Balinese.

You can bathe in the springs alongside locals if you observe a few simple courtesies and protocols. Start from the left, and if there is someone praying alongside to the right, simply join in the queue (or start one) and be patient.

Work your way right until you get to the end of the first pool, and hop up and across into the second one. It’s an extraordinary experience, and one I highly recommend with two provisos.

One, there was an outbreak of e.coli in 2017 due to contaminated water leaking into the water table upstream from the springs in. The water has been cleaned up since then, but if another outbreak happens I’ll send word through the email newsletter, which you will want to sign up for.
Two, the facilities for changing beforehand and washing afterwards are rudimentary at best, and very unhygienic at worst. You are best off getting changed into your swimsuit in your car beforehand (you did hire a private car and driver, right?) and having a towel and a change of clothes for afterwards.

Regardless of the poor changing facilities I highly recommend bathing in the temple. It’s a unique and enlightening experience and well worth the effort to plan ahead.

Pura Tirta Empul is only 1.3 km from Gunung Kawi, so it makes sense to visit them both on the same trip or day tour.

Pura Tirta Empul - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 15,000
Location: Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-18:00


Goa Gajah

The Elephant Cave as it’s known – Goa Gajah in Balinese – is an ancient temple on the outskirts of Ubud. While the steps down to the temple complex are fairly steep, it’s only a 5-minute walk and not difficult for average fitness levels.

The Elephant Cave temple is located 5 km from Ubud, 31 km from Seminyak and 58 km from Nusa Dua.

Goa Gajah - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 15,000
Location: Ubud, Bedulu, Blahbatuh, Kabupaten Gianyar
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 06:00-19:00


Gunung Kawi

Gunung Kawi Temple is an 11th-century temple complex that sits on either side of the Pakerisan river. It comprises 10 rock-cut shrines (candi in Balinese) that are carved into 7-metre-high sheltered niches of the sheer cliff face.

These funeral monuments are thought to be dedicated to King Anak Wungsu of the Udayana dynasty and his favourite queens. The temple overlooks the Pakerisan River, which also flows past Pura Tirta Empul, a kilometre to the north.

Gunung Kawi Temple - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 15,000
Location: Banjar Penaka, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-19:00


Sekumpul Waterfall

One of the most inspiring natural wonders in Bali, Sekumpul Waterfall isn’t easy to get to, but it is definitely worth the trip.

Located 66 km north of Ubud and 76 km from Seminyak it will take the best part of a day to drive (or ride) out there and back. At the carpark, there are a number of local guides very keen for you to employ their services, and to be honest their help for this particular hike can be a big help as they do know a couple of hidden gems nearby. From the carpark to the falls is around a 45-minute hike, and due to its popularity, the track is quite well marked.


It’s busiest between midday and 2 pm, so if you’re making it a stop on a day tour I advise going straight there when the traffic is lightest and before the crowds arrive. The waterfall flows year-round although like with all the falls in Bali things get pretty intense during the wet months from December through the March.

Make sure you have decent walking shoes because the track is quite steep in places and the rocks can be very slippery. Take your time, you do not want to sprain an ankle this far away from medical services.

Sekumpuil Waterfall - Bali Holiday Secrets
Photo credit: @for_travelers_with_love

That being said, Sekumpul falls are without doubt one of my top 5 destinations in Bali. They are quite magical, and the hike through the jungle is an adventure in itself. If you want to visit other waterfalls in this region I also recommend Aling-Aling and Gitgit.

Sekumpul Waterfall makes a great destination for a day tour with a private car and driver.

I’ve designed a tour route that stops at Secret Gardens on the way to the falls for a short coffee and toilet break. It’s important to head straight for the falls as soon as possible to beat the crowds. Then after you’ve trekked down and back I recommend lunch at Wanagiri Hidden Hills and some photo time to feed the Instagram at the famous swings.

Then if you have time you can choose to stop at Danu Beretan, the famous floating temple and Bedugul Market before heading back home.

Entrance Fee: IDR15,000
Address: Sekumpul, Lemukih, Kabupaten Buleleng
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 06:00-18:00


Besakih Temple

Besakih Temple (also known as the Mother Temple) is the largest and most holy of all Hindu temples in Bali. Located in the village of the same name on the slopes of Mount Agung, the temple complex is quite far from the tourist areas, 66km from Seminyak and around 2-2.5 hours depending on traffic.

Besakih Temple - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 60,000
Location: Besakih, Rendang, Karangasem Regency
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 07:00-22:00


Garuda Wisnu Kencana

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue is the symbol of God Vishnu riding the great Garuda as his trusted companion. The statue is one of the world’s largest at a height of 75m for the statue itself, and 120m if you include the pedestal it stands on. That’s 30m taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York, but what makes Garuda Wisnu Kencana truly exceptional is the sheer size – it has a 64m wingspan and can be clearly seen from several kilometres up the coastline.

The statue was built in sections on the island of Java and is made from layers of wax, fibreglass, copper and brass, then cut up and driven by truck to Bali for final installation.

It has been 25 years since construction started and cost an estimated USD$100 million. The monument was completed on 31 July 2018 and inaugurated by Indonesian President Joko Widodo on 22 September 2018 and is already attracting over 3,000 visitors a day. 

Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: From Rp 110,000
Location: Jl. Raya Uluwatu, Ungasan, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-22:00


Bali Swing Park

The most popular swing park is Bali Swing, located 15 km from Ubud. They have 15 different single swings to try, along with three tandem swings so you can be scared witless alongside your loved one.

There are also 4 large stones to pose on (yes, posing on stones is a thing). They also have 6 nests to pose in. And yes, posing in nests is a thing too. They are quite artistic, made from branches and fauna but mostly have a lined interior for comfort.

Bali Swing operates a free shuttle operating from Ubud, but make sure the entry fee you are paying is confirmed up front. They also sell package tours which include other activities like rafting, elephant rides and chasing waterfalls, but these tend to be quite expensive compared to hiring your own driver and making your own custom itinerary.

Tandem Bali Swing - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Rp 400,000
Location: Jl. Dewi Saraswati No.7, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Abiansemal
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 08:00-17:00


Bali Bird Park

An open-air bird park. Great to for kids and families, they have a huge number of Inodnesian bird species. Well worth the visit.

Bali Bird Park - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: IDR 346.500
Location: Jl. Serma Cok Ngurah Gambir Singapadu, Gianyar
Opening Hours: Mo-Su 09:00-17:30

Amed

Amed is a sleepy coastal strip of fishing villages in East Bali that’s trying to maintain it’s traditional values while tourism inevitably continues to grow.

It’s a beautiful part of Bali and the sunsets on the point overlooking Amed village with Mount Agung in the background are spectacular. The area is known for being a bit of a mecca for free and scuba diving.

There are some really interesting things to do around Amed, but perhaps one of the most surprising is to go snorkelling off a small stony beach next to a fishing village where a small Japanese submarine was sunk during the Second World War and lies only 20m off the shore.

It’s a long drive to get there, and the road from the east side of Bali is often quite busy with heavy trucks transporting goods and construction materials to the main centres, so extra care needs to be taken as overtaking on the wrong side of the road appears to be quite an acceptable driving manoeuvre. 

Making Amed part of a 3 or 4-day tour starting at Seminyak, going through Ubud, on to Lovina and then to Amed is an excellent road trip.

Sunset in Amed - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Free
Location: Amed Beach, Nusa Tenggara
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours


Lovina

Lovina is in the very north of Bali. It’s a small town, bigger than a village but smaller than Denpasar, known for its black sand beaches, coral reefs and dolphin tours.

Lovina is 73 km from Ubud and 85km from Seminyak.

Dolphins at Lovina - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Free
Location: Lovina Beach
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours


Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan is one of the most accessible outer islands from Bali, one of three islands that make up the Nusa Penida chain.

Lembongan Ferry - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Free, but you must buy for a ferry ticket to get there
Location: Nusa Lembongan
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours


Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are a group of three very small individual islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, each with their own character and varying degrees of atmosphere, from party to chill mode.

The Gili Islands are located off the coast of Lombok Island. Characterized by sandy beaches fringed with palm trees, they’re known for their coral reefs just offshore. On the smallest island of Gili Meno, sea turtles swim at Turtle Point. At Gili Trawangan, the largest island, a sunken ship sits at Wreck Point near Mentigi Beach.

Gili Islands - Bali Holiday Secrets

Entrance Fee: Free – but you must buy a ferry ticket to get there
Location: Gili Islands
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours


Hire a private car and driver

If you want a stress-free way of seeing the best attractions in Bali, I highly recommend hiring a private car and driver. You can hire one from almost anywhere – your hotel or villa will certainly recommend one – but remember, you get what you pay for.

I am supporting an emerging group of local, independent English speaking drivers who make excellent tour guides for your Bali Holiday. If you would like to book a private car and driver to take you for a day tour to Bali’s best attractions – and some not so well known – you can book one here.


I’m sending this to all my friends!!

You are better than our travel agent back at home Michael. Thank you so much for listing all the attractions and making the guide map. Seriously we had no idea where some of these were so for a planning tool it's awesome!!! We picked out 4 days worth of day tours and made a list of which attractions to see on each day and it made it sooo easy. Thank you so much ?

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8 Comments

  1. Your website has been such a savior!!!! I’m travelling to bali with two kids and now i seem to have all the information that I possibly need!
    One quick question, would you reccomend the Bali swing park or the tegallalng rice terrace swing? Also can kids do this – mine are 7 and 11 years old.

    • Hi Apurba,
      Thank you so much for the kind words, it really is very much appreciated.

      The Bali Swing Park is larger with more options and have invested a lot in safety issues and infrastructure, and Tegallalang River Swings is easily accessible and only a few minutes from Ubud.

      Regarding safety for your children, that’s a judgement call only you can make on the day after inspecting their safety processes, as no adventure activities are 100% risk-free.

      Safe travels,
      Michael

    • Hi Ida,
      Thank you so much for the positive comment, I really appreciate it.

      I hope you have a perfect Bali holiday!

      Safe travels,
      Michael

  2. Hello,

    I’d like to book private drivers during my trip to Bali in October. I would also love your help in planning a fun trip! Are you available on WhatsApp?

    • Hi Vani,
      I would love to help you plan your trip, but unfortunately, I am not a travel agent.

      This post, along with all the others, was written because I had so many emails from friends, family and guests that putting them into a website was an easy way of not writing the emails again.

      It has since become a monster of a website, although I didn’t intend it to be.

      Perhaps you could reply with how long you are here for, what kind of things you would like to do while here in Bali, and perhaps I’ll write an itinerary – so I don’t have to write it again 🙂

      Thanks for commenting and asking the question – I really do appreciate you taking the time. Let’s see what happens next!

      Cheers,
      Michael

  3. Really like your website. Currently in Bali, and find it very helpful.

    • Thanks for the positive feedback, it’s very much appreciated!

      And remember, sharing is caring 🙂

      Cheers,
      Michael

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