Must Visit Places in Bali
It is not easy to prepare an itinerary in Bali as there are so many things to discover. What are the must visit places in Bali?
Bali island is in the Indian Ocean, in Indonesia. Volcanic land, between mountains and beaches, the surrounding landscapes are magnificent.
So, what to do and where to go in Bali? Here are Must Visit Places in Bali
This “list” is of course not exhaustive, and remains very subjective, but I hope it will be useful to you! Do not hesitate to complete it in the comments…!
1. Ubud, the cultural and spiritual center of Bali
Ubud is a city located towards the center of Bali where about 35,000 people live. It is considered to be the cultural and spiritual center of the island.
As you walk around Ubud, you will appreciate the many handicrafts and you may have the chance to experience ceremonies with traditional dances.
Located on high plateaus, Ubud has a very rich surrounding nature. You can easily escape to the tropical forest, discover the famous rice fields on the plateau or the beautiful Ayung River!
Many majestic temples stand in the surrounding area and you can’t wait to discover them on foot or by bike.
Visiting Ubud in Bali is the feeling of being in osmosis with Balinese nature, culture and traditions. An authentic Bali tour for sure!
Here are some places to discover near Ubud:
- The Monkey Forest of Ubud, another must-see in Bali
- The Ubud Art market
- Ubud Palace
- Monkey Forest Road
Ubud Complete Guide: Top 10 Places to Visit in Ubud
2. Denpasar, the largest city in Bali
Denpasar is south of the island of Bali, It is the capital of the province, it has around half million inhabitants.
Former capital of the Badung Kingdom, a trip to Denpasar is a journey into the heart of the islands’s entire history. Near magnificent beaches, visitors like to stop there to visit the many monuments of the city and enjoy its markets. Denpasar is the major center and offers many activities to tourists who go there.
In Denpasar, it is possible to find wonderful beaches on the east coast towards Sanur. You can also immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of Kuta further south.
There are many traditional and beautiful sites. We advise you to visit the temples of Pura Blanjong and Tanah Lot or the Bali Museum to immerse yourself in Balinese traditions.
Denpasar is definitely one of Bali’s must-sees, although it is a more touristy region where it is difficult to rest.
The Jagatnatha temple in the very center of the city (Jagat: world), and the Maospahit Temple will delight the curious who want to familiarize themselves with Hinduism. Stroll around the historic square, Puputan Square, and visit the very interesting Bali Museum, featuring sculptures, costumes and ceremonial masks. Don’t miss the traditional, colorful (and flavourful) markets.
Bajra Sandhi Monument was built in 1987 and inaugurated in 2003. It is one of the oldest monuments in Bali. It represents the struggles of the Balinese people throughout history, particularly against the Dutch and Japanese invasions. It is located in front of the office of the Governor of Bali in a very beautiful green park.
Here are some ideas of places of interest to visit around Denpasar:
- Tanah Lot Temple
- Seminyak Beach
- Sanur Beach
- The Bajra Sandhi Monument
- Jagatnatha temple
3. Kuta and Seminyak, one of Bali’s main resorts
Kuta is considered Bali’s main resort. It is located south of Denpasar, in the south of Bali.
Who says seaside resort, says paradise beach, tourists, nautical and sports activities, festive atmosphere etc. We are far from authentic Bali but Kuta remains a magnificent region of Bali.
Its beaches have become surfing spots and many amateurs go there to learn about the sport. Moreover, you can find many surfboard rentals in Kuta.
Here are some places to visit in the Kuta area of Bali:
- Seminyak Beach.
- Seminyak. Shopping in boutiques and partying.
- Sunsets in Seminyak. The sunset show while sipping a beer or cocktail.
- Kerobokan. A meal in one of the many excellent restaurants on the premises.
- The Legian district.
- The city of Denpasar.
- Kuta Beach.
- Kuta Beach. A walk on the first beach to have attracted tourists to Bali.
- Kuta “by night”. A wild night in the bustling clubs and nightlife of Kuta.
4. Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple
Here is a wonderful temple to discover in Bali. The Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple is located on the cliff of Uluwatu in the far south of Bali. You just have to follow the end of the cliff to see it.
If you are lucky enough to go there at the end of the day to enjoy the sunset, then it will be a feast for your eyes and your camera!
It is a temple dedicated to the God of the sea, hence its geographical location at the end of a cliff and surrounded by the sea.
5. Amed and the fishing villages
A much more authentic destination in Bali, Amed is located in the northwest of Bali.
Here, you can conquer the seabed thanks to the many diving and snorkeling spots. Amed is full of secrets buried at the bottom of the sea. One of the secrets to be discovered is the wreck of the USAT Liberty in Tulamben. You can scuba dive there… Thrills guaranteed!
If you dream of charm and authenticity, calm and serenity, then Amed is the must-see destination in Bali that you must add to your list!
Here are some places to visit near Amed in Bali:
The wreck of the USAT Liberty at Tulamben
The small fishing villages
6. Jimbaran, another seaside resort in Bali
Jimbaran is another resort located in the south of Bali, below Kuta and Denpasar.
It is a city and a fishing village which have made tourism profitable thanks in particular to the many paradisiacal beaches of the region.
It is an ideal destination to taste fish in the many restaurants.
The sea of Jimbaran Bay is particularly calm and will make you want to rest in an idyllic setting.
At night, the festive atmosphere takes precedence over the sound of the waves because yes, Jimbaran is also lively at night!
Here are places to visit around Jimbaran in Bali:
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park
Jalan Tegal Wangi Beach
7. Mount Batur Volcano
Mount Batur is the best known volcano located in the north of Bali in the Kintamani area. Considered a sacred mountain in Indonesia, Mount Batur is perched over 1717 meters above sea level.
The volcano is still active but it is possible to climb Mount Batur.
If you are lucky enough to experience a sunrise or a sunset, then the experience is unique and you will be amazed! The Mount Batur hike is extraordinary and we highly recommend you do it!
Sun is already un and shining on Batur volcano, Bali, Indonesia. Syselpunk, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
8. Canggu, a charming village in Bali
Canggu is a small village bordered by a magnificent beach. Located in the southwest of Bali and west of Denpasar, tourists like to relax in peaceful nature.
Canggu is indeed quieter and less busy than Kuta which is a few kilometers to the south.
Canggu is a fashionable destination for tourists seeking authenticity in Bali. There is a surf spot, a heavenly beach, temples and rice fields.
Here are some places to visit around Canggu in Bali:
- Canggu Beach
- Batu Bolong Beach
- Tanah Lot Temple
- Mejan Stone Beach
9. Benoa, a seaside resort in Bali
Benoa is another seaside resort which was built on an old fishing village towards Kuta Selatan. It is located in the southeast of Bali and offers many activities for tourists.
In particular, there are many luxury hotels that are located on the edge of the beach. The beach is also magnificent with transparent and calm water.
This seaside resort differs above all from the others for its calm and relaxing side. Here, no party until no time and the music at full blast.
Everything is done so that tourists can enjoy the surrounding calm and tranquility.
Here are some ideas of places of interest to do around Benoa in Bali:
- Pasifika Museum
- Waterblow Beach
- Jimbaran Beach
- Penangkaran Penyu Bali Tanjung Benoa Turtle Reserve
10. Tanah Lot Temple
The temple of Tanah Lot is very well known thanks to its geographical layout. It stands in the middle of an islet called Pura Tanah Lot.
This Hindu temple is located on the west coast of Bali near the small village of Canggu.
It is a high place of pilgrimage for believers and a place of photographs for tourists and photographers.
If you can have the chance to visit the temple during a sunset, then you can make great photos!
Tanah Lot Bali | Impressive Hindu Temples in the Indian Ocean
11. Nusa Penida, a paradise island near Bali
Nusa Penida is an island that belongs to the province of Bali. It is located southeast of Bali, a few kilometers.
It is a fashionable destination to immerse yourself in a small paradise island, without volcanic mountains on its edge.
When you visit Nusa Penida, you fall under the spell of its paradisiacal beaches, its tropical forests and the seabed with incredible coral reefs. Difficult to find such turquoise water on Bali.
Nusa Penida is definitely an island you must visit if you go to Bali!
Here are places to see around Nusa Penida towards Bali:
- Nusa Lembongan Island
- Kelingking Beach
- Crystal bay
- Nusa Ceningan Island
12. Nusa Lembongan, neighbor of Nusa Penida
Once on Nusa Penida, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the very small neighboring island that is Nusa Lembongan. Located north of Nusa Penida, it is a magnificent destination.
A real natural reserve of fish and underwater species, bring your mask and snorkels to discover the beauty of the seabed!
You can also do the third island which is called Nusa Ceningan.
13. Jatiluwih rice fields
If you want to immerse yourself in the heart of the most beautiful rice fields in Bali, then you have to go to Jatiluwih!
The Jatiluwih rice fields are located in the heart of Bali.
There are hectares and hectares of rice plantations arranged in plateaus in the heart of lush and incredible nature. The scenery in the rainforest and the steep ravines are just beautiful to see.
Moreover, to prove to you the beauty of the place, it is enough to translate “Jatiluwih”. You have it ? Well, that simply means “wonderful” like the place you are about to set foot in.
14. Bedugul, the mountain resort in Bali
Bedugul is an atypical seaside resort since, unlike the others, there are no heavenly beaches or diving spots. It’s a mountain seaside resort!
It is located in the north-central region of Bali towards the beautiful Lake Bratan. There are many villages in the region and many hiking departures for sports and nature lovers.
It is also the place where we find an incredible temple under the name of Ulun Danu.
Here are some ideas of places to see around Bedugul in Bali:
- Lake Bratan
- Ulun Danu Temple
- Candi Kuning market
- Jatiluwih rice fields
- Banyumala Waterfall
15. CandiDasa, a haven of peace in Bali
Discover a very beautiful city located on the east coast of Bali: CandiDasa.
This region has magnificent beaches bordering a freshwater lagoon. It is one of the must-see places to visit in Bali.
We discover landscapes isolated from all tourist constructions in Bali. It is a real haven of peace with an authentic side of Bali.
However, there are many things to do and see, such as exploring the superb seabed, discovering unknown beaches, visiting the Goa Lawah temple, or even meditating at the Lotus Lagoon.
Here are some places to visit around Candidasa in Bali:
- Goa Lawah Temple
- The Lotus Lagoon
- Go rafting on the Telaga Weja River
- The village of Tenganan
- Mount Agung
16. Padangbai, a small village in Bali
Padangbai is a small fishing village located in the south of Bali. It is a village known mainly for its gateway to another tourist island: Lombok. Many ferries run back and forth between Bali and Lombok.
By going to Padangbai, you can go diving and snorkeling on a superb paradise beach with turquoise water. This beach is called Blue Lagoon.
Another even more discreet beach, Bias Tugel Beach is less easy to access but is definitely worth the detour. Finally a beach on which you can rest quietly away from the tourist influx!
Here are the places to see around Padangbai in Bali:
- Blue Lagoon
- Bias Tugel Beach
- Padang Bai Beach
- Silayukti Temple
18. Tirtagangga Palace
A 35-minute drive from Candi Dasa (18 km or 11.18 miles), this palace is a delight. The Tirta Gangga Water Palace in Bali, set on the sacred waters, is a veritable Garden of Eden where all is beauty. The nature that surrounds the statues, baths and fountains is wonderful. We didn’t swim but you can take your bathing suits to dive into a swimming pool at the palace if you’re not chilly.
Located in East Bali, Tirtagangga Palace stands in a stunning area surrounded by lush nature. Tirtagangga means “water of the Ganges”, thus taking up the sacred Tirtagangga springs that can be found there.
Here, there are baths, gardens, water sources, rice fields and a palace. It is an old Water Palace surrounded by parks and gardens with many water sources.
Do not hesitate to walk there because here, the environment is very soothing. So walk through the park, passing many Balinese statues and flowers, each more beautiful than the other.
You can even swim in a sacred spring in the park!
19. The mountainous region of Kintamani
Kintamani is the mountainous region of Bali located in the north of the island. There are therefore mountains and volcanoes that surround small Balinese villages.
There is notably the famous Mount Batur and its Lake Batur. We strongly advise you to go for a walk there because the trails are magnificent!
You can go to the village of Penelokan to enjoy a superb view of the region. This is one of the most beautiful panoramas to do on Bali, landscape guaranteed!
In this region of Kintamani, there are also some temples including the Pura Ulun Danu Batur temple which was destroyed by an eruption. This temple is considered sacred by the Balinese community.
Here are some places to do and see in the Kintamani area of Bali:
- Mount Batur
- Lake Batur
- Kintamani Village
- Village of Penelokan
- Pura Ulun Danu Batur Temple
20. Tampaksiring Town and Gunung Kawi Temple
The town of Tampaksiring is located in the center of Bali, in the Gianyar region. There is notably the famous temple of Gunung Kawi and its archaeological site.
This area is located about 18 kilometers north of Ubud. The two main places to visit here are the Tirta Empul springs and the Gunung Kawi temple.
It is a famous pilgrimage site for Indonesians. Considered a true jewel of the Island of the Gods, Tampaksiring is definitely worth a visit.
The Tirta Empul springs have made their reputation thanks to their therapeutic virtues. Pilgrims come to bathe there to purify themselves.
Here you are in authentic Bali!
Here are the things to do in Bali, main places to visit around Tampaksiring in Bali:
- Gunung Kawi Temple
- Titra Empul Springs
- Mengening Temple
21. Lake Bratan and its Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
This is now one of our favorite places in Bali. Lake Bratan is the second largest lake in Bali, located in the Bedugul area in the north.
The Ulun Danu Bratan temple was built on this lake in the 17th century so that the faithful could place offerings there intended for the goddess of the waters: Dewi Tanu.
Lake Bratan is Bali’s main source of irrigation and water. Being located in north central Bali, it can irrigate many lands around.
If you see Indonesians taking pictures in front of the temple with 50,000 rp bills, don’t be surprised. The Ulun Danu temple is represented on the ticket, which is to say the enthusiasm that the Indonesians have…
22. Lovina Beach
Lovina beach is another resort in Bali located on the north coast. Its black sand beaches have made its reputation.
The seaside resort of “Lovina Beach” is formed by a group of several small coastal villages in the North of Bali. This region represents a somewhat ignored and therefore privileged part of the island. The “mass tourism” concentrating rather in the South, the North is an ideal place to discover Bali far from the crowds.
However, Lovina remains a fairly touristy town, taken over by some visitors to meet the famous Lovina dolphins. Indeed, in this unspoiled part of the sea, a large population of dolphins lives there. Unfortunately, it becomes more of a “dolphin race” done in a rather clumsy and unethical way.
Although opinions are divided on Lovina Beach, the surroundings are beautiful. The landscapes vary between rice fields, waterfalls and mountains. The region offers a beautiful environment where Balinese customs are well preserved and full of charm.
In addition to the black sand, it is also the place where you can observe dolphins and corals while diving.
If you like hiking, you can take a trail that starts from Temoekoes village and takes you to Singsing waterfall. There is also a superb Dutch monument.
You can also bathe in the thermal springs of Banjar. In this park, there are hot water pools and tropical forests.
It is a very beautiful region of Bali that must be visited. Even though it is a very popular tourist destination, there are many activities and many must-see places for Bali to visit.
Here are some places of interest to go to in the Lovina Beach area of Bali:
- The Dolphin Statue
- Lovina Beach
- Pantai Lovina Beach
- Pantai Lingga
- Banjar thermal springs
- Singsing Waterfall
- Brahmavihara-Arama Buddhist Monastery
24. Lake Batur
Going up the road from Ubud, to the north, you will find Lake Batur, at the foot of the Gunung Batur volcano which is a very important tourist attraction in the region where you can do almost any outdoor sport you dream of such as hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, or even water sports at the lake.
The view of the mountain is beautiful, but it may happen that you encounter foggy days, but even on these days the place is splendid.
As mentioned earlier in this article, Lake Batur is an essential place to visit in Bali. It is located at the foot of Mount Batur in the Kintamani region of northern Bali.
It is a crater lake between Mounts Batur and Abang. It is the largest lake on the Island of the Gods with an area of 10 kilometers in diameter (6.2 miles in diameter). The color of the water varies according to the color of the sky.
You can reach the lake by a small road that leads to the Batur volcano. This road starts from the village of Penelokan.
You can then start your ascent to Mount Batur!
25. Tuban in South Bali
Tuban is a village located in the south of Bali, between the city of Denpasar and the peninsula of Bukit. It is particularly known for being not far from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
This may be the opportunity, if you are waiting for a plane, to enjoy Tuban Beach. It is a beach located not far from the famous beaches of Kuta and yet it has nothing to see.
It is mainly used by the local population for fishing, swimming or spending time with family. It is also a surf spot for the most seasoned.
The beach hotel is luxurious and the rates are quite expensive! We advise you not to stop there to eat.
Here are some places to visit around Tuban in Bali:
- Circus Waterpark Kuta
- Tuban Beach
- Satria Gatotkaca Park
- Pantai Kelan Beach
26. Sidemen Rice Fields
Sidemen is a village located in the eastern region of Bali. This small village enjoys an incredible environment since it is surrounded by mountains and rice fields.
Considered a cultural and artistic center, Sidemen enjoys serenity and absolute calm. You can discover magnificent rice fields surrounded by lush nature.
What we really appreciated while being in Sidemen, is that it is possible to walk many trails that leave in the middle of nature. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking!
You can also visit the Besakih temple about a good hour’s drive from Sidemen. Besakih is a set of twenty temples built at the foot of the Agung mountain.
27. The Temples and Springs of Banjar
Banjar is a province located in the north of Bali in the Buleleng region. This area is known for its temples and hot springs.
There are beautiful waterfalls like the Singsing waterfall.
In the pools of Banjar, several dragon statues spit hot water. In a green setting surrounded by nature, these pools will do you a lot of good!
28. Klungkung, former royal capital of Bali
Klungkung is also called Semarapura and is located in eastern Bali a few kilometers from Denpasar.
This is the former royal capital and it is an essential stopover to go to the east coast of Bali. There are many monuments in memory of the Gegel dynasty which reigned at the time.
Here are the places that we advise you to visit near Klungkung in Bali:
- The floating pavilion
- The Klungkung Museum
29. Tenganan Village
The village of Tenganan is one of the oldest in Bali. Located in the east of the island, it is known for its art of weaving and its traditional ceremonies.
If you want to find authenticity in Bali, you will be served at Tenganan!
You can attend dance performances, traditions, customs of the time. It is a village still spared by mass tourism.
To disconnect for a few hours or a few days, why not visit the village of Tenganan in Bali?
Here are some ideas of places of interest to discover around Tenganan in Bali:
- The ancient village of Tenganan Pegringsingan
- Virgin Beach
- Bale Agung Tenganan Dauh Tukad Museum
- The nature reserve of Pulau Paus
Sources: PinterPandai, Villa Carissa Seminyak
Main photo credit: Thutruongvn / Pixabay