I’ve visited Bali many times over the years, and today it’s where I base myself. Even after so many visits, I’m always discovering new things to do here.
Bali is a place where, in the space of a week, you can climb a volcano, hike a waterfall, visit an old temple, relax on a beach, go dirt biking in the jungle, and so much more.
When I first visited the island, I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it. Today, I absolutely love it.
Here are 41 of the best things to do & see in Bali!
1. Kuta Sea Turtle Release
Looking for an activity that lets you interact with animals, and benefits conservation? You can release turtles with the Bali Sea Turtle Society (BSTS) as a volunteer! It’s completely free, and you get to see hundreds of sea turtles on the beach running to freedom.
2. Ubud Monkey Forest
Some love it, some hate it. The Ubud monkey forest is a big jungle area surrounding an old 14th century Hindu temple, and over 600 monkeys live here. It may sound weird, but the Instagram famous monkey forest was one of THE biggest inspirations for my first trip to Bali. I saw all the pictures of people posing with monkeys, and it looked really fun.
3. Bali Dirt Biking
There are a bunch of companies offering dirt bike tours in Bali, and they go to places like the Tabanan black sand beach and the Kintamani volcano crater. It’s a cool experience if you’re looking to get an adrenaline rush while touring some scenic Bali vistas.
4. Sekumpul Waterfall
Sekumpul is the biggest (and in my opinion the best) waterfall in Bali. It’s two huge 260 foot tall spouts of water pouring out of the jungle treetops. This one is a must see.
More info: Sekumpul Waterfall
5. Banyumala Waterfall
Banyumala is not as big as the Sekumpul waterfall, but it’s more hidden and much less crowded. This one is not far from Sekumpul, so you could easily visit both in the same trip.
More info: Banyumala Waterfall
6. Saraswati Temple
Saraswati is an old Hindu temple in Ubud, and it has some of my favorite Balinese style walls and sculptures in the whole island. This one is located in the Ubud city center, so it’s easy to visit on any trip to Ubud.
More info: Saraswati Water Temple
7. Souvenir Shopping
Most of the souvenirs in Bali are quality handmade things, and the wood carvings and paintings are especially nice. You can find the usual items like fridge magnets and keychains too, if that’s your thing. There’s something for everyone.
8. Indonesian Food
One of my favorite things about Bali is the food. The nasi goreng (fried rice) and sate ayam (chicken kabobs) are both really good. In some places you can get a full meal for $3. Fresh fruit juice is served as a drink in every restaurant, and you can try some exotic ones like the purple dragonfruit.
9. Bali Zoo
The Bali Zoo has a lot of great wildlife, including some species that are local to Indonesia. You can get your picture taken with tropical birds here, and the park facilities and animal care seem to be great too.
More info: Bali Zoo Review + Photos
10. Sanur Beach
Sanur beach is pretty average in most respects, but where it really shines (no pun intended) is at sunrise. This beach is one of the best sunrise viewing spots on the entire island.
More info: Sanur Beach Sunrise
11. Nungnung Waterfall
Nungnung is one of the biggest and most powerful waterfalls in Bali. It’s not as well known as Sekumpul (the biggest), so it’s usually a lot less crowded. The jungle surroundings are great too.
More info: Nungnung Waterfall
12. Bali Bird Park
If you’ve been to the Bali Zoo and you’re wanting to see more tropical birds, there’s a Bird & Reptile Park just a short distance away that has over 1,000 exotic bird species. The reptile center has crocodiles and Komodo dragons too!
13. Padang Padang Beach
This is a neat little hidden beach tucked into the cliffs in south Bali. It’s a popular spot for surfing, or you can just sip a fresh coconut and hang out on the white sand with the monkeys.
More info: Padang Padang Beach
14. Tegal Wangi Beach
My favorite part about this beach is the cool sea cave, but it’s also known as a great place to catch the sunset.
15. Suluban Beach
Suluban is a secluded beach with lots of caves and huge rocks to explore, but my favorite thing is the restaurant view. It’s an epic place to grab breakfast while exploring south Bali.
16. Nyang Nyang Beach
This is one of the bigger white sand beaches in south Bali. The walk down and back up is a killer, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for a nice quiet beach!
17. Dreamland Beach
Dreamland has a nice long stretch of white sand lined with sunbeds you can rent. Sadly this beach has gone a bit downhill in recent years because of trash washing up from the ocean, but hopefully things improve again.
18. Green Bowl Beach
Green Bowl is one of my favorite hidden beaches in south Bali. It’s a long walk down to the beach, but you’re greeted by a perfect stretch of white sand and two big sea caves to explore.
More info: Green Bowl Beach
19. Tibumana Waterfall
Tibumana is quickly becoming one of the most popular Instagram waterfall spots in Bali. The road to this one winds through some green rice fields and palm trees, so it’s also a nice scenic drive.
More info: Tibumana Waterfall
20. Nusa Penida
Just 15 miles from Bali is the beautiful, exotic island of Nusa Penida. It’s a much smaller island than Bali, but it has so much incredible scenery. Penida can be visited on a day trip from Bali, and there are a lot of things to do there.
More info: Best Things To Do In Nusa Penida
21. Kelingking Cliff Point
Kelingking Cliff in Nusa Penida is one of the most famous Instagram spots in Bali. You can admire this epic view from the top of the cliffs, or climb a stairway down to the white sand beach to get an even closer look.
More info: Kelingking Cliff Point In Nusa Penida
22. Crystal Bay
This beach on Nusa Penida is a great place to relax and watch the sunset with your toes in the sand. It has a bunch of little food and drink shacks, or you can rent a sun chair or bean bag to sit on.
More info: Crystal Bay In Nusa Penida
23. Suwehan Beach
Suwehan is one of the best hidden beaches on Nusa Penida. It has perfect white sand and turquoise water, and there’s even a pointy Christmas tree shaped rock in the center of the beach.
More info: Suwehan Beach In Nusa Penida
24. Atuh Beach
Atuh is not as hidden as Suwehan, but it has a unique stiletto shaped rock that makes it just as memorable. There are also some unique food and accommodation options to check out here.
More info: Atuh Beach In Nusa Penida
25. Rumah Pohon Treehouse
This is an epic treehouse you can stay the night in at Nusa Penida. You’ll fall asleep to the sound of geckos chirping in the trees, and wake up to an incredible sunrise over the Raja Lima islands, with dolphins and manta rays swimming and jumping in the distance.
More info: Rumah Pohon Treehouse In Nusa Penida
26. Diamond Beach
This is a newly accessible ‘cliff beach’ in Nusa Penida. Diamond Beach is named after the pointy gem shaped rock on the beach, and it has the same white sand and amazing views as Suwehan Beach, but even better in my opinion.
More info: Diamond Beach In Nusa Penida
27. Danau Bratan Temple
This is a 17th century temple on a lake, and it’s arguably one of the most famous and iconic places in Bali. The 12-story pagoda just screams ‘Asia’, and the mountains in the background aren’t too shabby either.
More info: Danau Bratan Temple
28. Flying Fox & Monkey Sanctuary
There’s a wildlife sanctuary in Tabanan that’s similar to the Ubud Monkey Forest, but instead it’s home to huge flying foxes. These bats look scary, but they’re actually super friendly and love interacting and climbing on people!
More info: Alas Kedaton Flying Fox & Monkey Sanctuary
29. Goa Gajah Cave Temple
This is one of the oldest temples I visited in Ubud, and also one of the weirdest. The doorway to the cave is really bizarre and unique, and it feels like you’re walking into the belly of some underground rock monster.
More info: Goa Gajah Cave Temple
30. Uluwatu Temple
The Uluwatu temple sits on the edge of a huge cliff in south Bali. The pagoda itself may not be spectacular, but the setting is really scenic and gives you some epic views of the ocean cliffs. Watch out for the monkeys here, they’re notorious for trying to snatch your stuff!
31. Karang Boma Cliff Point
This is a huge cliff point on the south end of the island. It’s a great spot for doing some droning, and you can even catch views of Uluwatu temple in the background. Watch out, there are no safety railings!
32. Tegalalang Rice Terraces
These are the most famous rice terraces in Bali, and they’re also the easiest to reach. Sadly that also means the place has turned into a bit of a tourist trap, but it’s still easy to see why it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you come here in the right month, it’s one of the brightest shades of green you will ever see!
33. Ubud Royal Palace
This palace was built in the 1800s and it’s easily one of the most well known buildings in Ubud, partly because it’s located right in the city center. It’s free to visit.
After you’ve been to the Bali Zoo and the Bird Park, next up is the Butterfly Park in Kemenuh. This one claims to be the biggest insect conservation park in Asia, and it has some rare bugs native to Indonesia like the huge Atlas moths. Biggest moth in the world!
OK, you can’t leave Bali without trying at least one Bintang. This is Indonesia’s beer since 1929, and it comes in several flavors. You can get a large Bintang for about $2.
36. Sanur Rice Fields
There’s a group of rice fields near Sanur that is virtually unknown to tourists, but they’re just as green as any of the others in Bali! A new jogging path through the fields was just added in 2018.
More info: Sanur Rice Fields
37. Oneeighty Infinity Pool
There are lots of cool restaurants and beach clubs in Bali, but the cliff pool at Oneeighty takes the cake. The views in all directions are unbelievable, and the pool even has a glass floor so you can look directly down the side of the cliff.
38. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
Some of my favorite rice terraces in Bali are the ones at Jatiluwih. These are far from town so they haven’t been spoiled by tourism like the terraces at Tegalalang. There’s a walking path at Jatiluwih and you can catch some great views of the Bali volcanoes in the distance.
More info: Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
39. Tanah Lot Temple
This is a unique old temple on the west coast of Bali. It’s a popular spot to catch the sunset, or when the tide is low you can walk out and get a closer look.
40. Batuan Temple
This is an ancient 10th century temple located in Batuan village, halfway between Ubud and Sanur. The whole temple grounds are open to tourists, and a lot of the buildings and carvings are different from what you normally see at other Balinese temples.
41. Layana Waterfall
This is a nice 2 step waterfall in Ubud that you can see without any hiking or entrance fee. It’s actually sitting right next to a warung where you can buy food or drinks (optional) while hanging out by the falls.
More info: Layana Waterfall