Bali Temple Complex near a Lake

Bali Island Guide – Things to Do in Bali

This post was last updated on July 8th, 2020 at 01:50 pm

Bali, Indonesia. Almost every traveler comes to this popular Indonesian island once in their lifetime. The island is an absolute hotspot in Southeast Asia: a surf and yoga mecca. Bali has perfect diving spots, a hip digital nomad scene, is a culinary party, and has a lot to offer culturally. Almost no one leaves Bali without falling madly in love with this Hindu island.


The island of the gods has so much to offer that you may not see everything in one trip. Here we list the nicest Bali sights, hotspots, beaches, and vacation tips for you. Because in Bali, there is something to do for everyone!


12 Fun Things to do in Bali

The island of Bali lends itself well to many excursions outside of visiting temples and beaches. There are two large national reserves in Bali, there are volcanic mountains and there are a large number of museums. But a visit to a traditional Balinese dance group is certainly worthwhile as well. Bali itself is actually one big attraction.


Get on a scooter and get carried away with what the day brings you. Below are a number of Bali highlights that we feel are worth a visit. There are enough highlights in Bali that you are probably running out of time before you get to see them all.


1. Taman Nasional Bali Barat

The Bali Barat Park measures almost 770 square kilometers, covering no less than 10% of the island. The park is located in the northwest of Bali where very few visitors show up. Different types of habitats are present in the park, such as savannas, mangrove forests, and monsoon forests.


Under the canopy of trees, there are more than 200 plant species such as many ferns and orchids. The fauna section provides a large variety of animals you can bump into; rusa deer, wild boar, macaques, reptiles, and insects.


A tour guide and a permit are required to visit this park which you can get right there at the park itself.


2. Gunung Agung

Gunung Agung, Holy mountain in Bali

Gunung Agung is the holy mountain for the Balinese. They regard this volcano as “the bellybutton of the world”. The measured height is 3142 meters and the crater itself has a circumference of 700 meters.


They claim that after the 1963 eruption, the altitude was reduced to 3014 meters. The foot of the mountain extends to the sea in the northeast, and on the southeast side are some small extinct volcanoes.


It is best to climb this volcano in the morning when the sky is still clear. It is also advisable to hire a guide. Know that wherever you are staying in Bali, chances are that you will wake up with your head facing towards the “Agung”.


3. Monkey Forest

The Monkey Forest is a sacred forest located in central Bali near Ubud. As the name suggests, it is inhabited by macaques who are considered sacred in this area. On your walk, you will come across several temple complexes where ceremonies regularly take place.


Sellers peddle with food that you can give to the mischievous monkeys but keep in mind that if you feed them, these animals will no longer leave you alone. It is best to store your belongings away if you’re planning to go for a stroll here. The best time to visit Monkey Forest is in the afternoon when the crowds have subsided (for the most part).


4. Pasar Badung

Try to visit the (daily) largest traditional market of Bali in Denpasar. On this four-story market, you will find everything that has to do with food; herbs, spices, dried fish, fruit, and also prepared dishes.


On the upper floors, you will find clothing and all other everyday items. For the Balinese people, this market will always exist because it sells many products for ceremonial use. The quietest time on the “Pasar Badung” is between 2 and 4 o’clock. The rest of the day there is plenty of activity.


5. Taman Burung Bali

In the bird park Taman Burung Bali you can admire the largest collection of Indonesian birds, but also fantastic birds from Africa and South America. This park also houses more than 2000 tropical plants and a variety of 50 different palm trees.


They try to combine the birds with their natural flora as much as possible and thereby create certain regions in the park.


Birds in free flight can be seen, but photo sessions with tropical birds are also possible. There is also a birdhouse department where you can follow the growth process of rare and endangered bird species.


6. Gunung Kawi

Gunung Kawi Temple with clear blue water

The imposing Gunung Kawi complex can be found north of Ubud and is best visited in the morning. By descending a long staircase you end up in a gorge that is surrounded by greenery. A river runs through the ravine and on both sides you will find Candi’s (statues) cut from the rocks.


These monuments date from the 11th century and were probably made in honor of the Royal family of the Udayana dynasty.


7. Neka Art Museum

The Neka Art Museum, founded in 1966, not only shows work by Balinese artists. It also shows works by Indonesian and foreign artists, inspired by the island of Bali. The museum shows a still growing collection of more than 400 artworks in 5 different buildings.


The Neka Art Museum has also made way for changing exhibitions in one of the buildings. The museum, which is mainly equipped with paintings, also contains countless statues, drawings, and photos.


8. Gitgit

Gitgit Waterfall, Hiding in the Tropical Forest

The “Gitgit” is, with 35 meters, the highest waterfall in Bali and can be found 10 kilometers from Singaraja. This waterfall is surrounded by tropical rainforest, where it flows continuously throughout the year. It is particularly breathtaking in the rainy season. Don’t be surprised if you come across wild monkeys that use this place to consume water.


Beware – There’s a superstition that couples who bathe in the water of the “Gitgit” are bound to split up soon after!


9. Petulu

The village of Petulu lies northeast of Ubud. It houses a bird sanctuary where many white herons perch when the evening falls. Large swarms look for a place to land in the tall trees. The next morning they will fly on to the north to find their food there.


It remains impressive to see thousands of Javanese egrets (white herons) take off en masse. These animals are considered sacred because they only appeared in Petulu after a sacrifice ceremony. This served as a request for protection after a political slaughter that took place earlier that year in 1966.


The herons are thought to carry the souls of the fallen and they still perform a ceremony twice a year for these white herons.


10. Danau Batur

Danau Batur mountain and Crater Lake in Bali, Indonesia

The height of the Gunung Batur, where Lake Batur is located, is 1,717 meters. The crater of this volcano has collapsed and has a width of almost eleven kilometers. At the foot of the volcano, you can see Crater Lake with a size of 7 by 2.5 kilometers and a depth of 60 meters.


On the east side of the lake, there are 8 villages, surrounded by greenery, where you will encounter many traditional buildings. The west side consists of black lava rock and is also described as a lunar landscape.


Many sulfur-containing hot springs can be found in the area. They appear between the crevices of the lava rock where the warm water can bubble upwards.


11. Taman Gili

“Taman Gili” is the remains of the royal palace dating from the 18th century that was largely destroyed during the Dutch conquest of 1908. It now consists of a number of pavilions, including the “Bale Kerta Gosa” and the “Bale Kambang”.


You can see beautiful ceiling paintings, original paintings, and other artworks in the traditional Klungklung style here. There is also a museum that focuses specifically on art from the Klungklung region where this palace is located.


12. Singaraja

“Singaraja” is the former capital of Bali. To the south of the harbor, you can still see the appearance of the colonial era. Old stately European buildings determine the view. For centuries it has been the most important port city of Bali and has, therefore, been exposed to many cultures. This can be seen today by the different cultural atmosphere that this city exudes.


TIP – Wonder if Bali still has some hidden gems left? Check out Kanciana Village near Belimbing.


The Best Beaches in Bali

There are several types of beaches in Bali. You can find beautiful white beaches in the South such as in Nusa Dua and Kuta, also known as the Costa del Sol for Australians. And the slightly quieter beaches such as Sanur and Legian can be found a stone’s throw from Kuta.


Do not expect to find perfectly deserted, white sandy beaches in Bali as you will find in southern Thailand. If you really want to find peace, head north. In Bali, there is something for everyone, from bustling to peaceful scenes. Bali has a beach for everyone!


1. Sunset Legian

Tourists come to Sunset Legian to enjoy both active and non-active holidays. On the beach, you can participate in beach volleyball, all kinds of massages, and meditation sessions. As the sun sets, the activities increase. Soccer is played on the beach and many take a beach walk. The many bars on the beach are slowly filling up around this time.


2. Nusa Dua

Ocean Waves on Nusa Dua beach in Bali

Nusa Dua is located on a lagoon on the southeastern tip of Bali and has beautiful white beaches and crystal clear water. And there are many water sports available such as jet skiing, parasailing, fishing, snorkeling, diving, and windsurfing. We recommend renting a small sailing boat to go out into the sea.


There are many good restaurants where freshly caught fish is deliciously grilled or processed into tasty Balinese dishes. It is, therefore, not surprising that this is one of the most luxurious beach destinations on the island. Here, you can relax, lie back with a drink on the beach or dive into one of the clear blue private pools surrounded by palm trees.


Looking for the best place to stay in Bali? Take a look at our page – Where to Stay in Bali.


3. Kuta beach (The Best Surfing Beach in Bali)

Bali’s most popular beach, especially among surfers and partygoers, is Kuta Beach, in Kuta. There are regular festivities on the beach. The beautiful white beach and the emerald green sea lie adjacent to a large boulevard where you can find hotels in all price ranges.


Kuta Beach has a spectacularly beautiful sunset where thousands of people gather every day to see this phenomenon in the afternoon.


4. Tuban beach

You will find this white beach five minutes away from the airport and Leguan street. Tuban Beach is surrounded by five-star hotels and suitable for quiet sun worshipers. Due to the presence of the Hotel lifeguards, this is a safe place to swim.


5. Lovina beach

Small Boat during a Sunrise on Lovina Beach in Bali

Lovina beach is an excellent location for watching the sunrise, snorkeling, or diving. It is also a good place for swimming. The environment and population are very hospitable. The local fishermen take tourists with their traditional Balinese boats into the sea at dawn to spot dolphins.


This is, in our opinion, one of the best beaches in Bali to get amazing experiences with the locals.


6. Balian

Balian is a small village that is 1.5 hours away from Kuta and when you see it you hope it will never change. This quiet spot on the west coast has that true paradise feeling that many tourists dream of; a long coastline with palm trees and hills and rice fields in the background. Many yoga groups hold their meditation sessions here in “the holy village”, the translated name.


7. Sanur

Aerial view of Sanur beach, Bali, Indonesia.

Sanur is located in a lagoon on the east coast of Bali. There is a lot less wind here than in Kuta and surroundings. As a result, there are no high waves to surf on for which Kuta is so famous. For this reason, you can safely swim in the sea in Sanur and you will also be less bothered by sellers on the beach.


The beach regularly fills itself with colorfully dressed Balinese people taking part in a ceremony.


8. Jimbaran Bay

You’ll find one of the most beautiful white sandy beaches of Bali here. Jimbaran Bay is nicknamed the “Beverly Hills of Bali” or “Millionaire’s Row”. It was a small fishing village that has grown into a vacation spot for tourists in the 1980s.


It is generally safe to swim there. In the evening you can be pampered by the many fish restaurants on the beach. A disadvantage for some is that there is almost no nightlife here.


Fun fact – It is also home to a Norwegian university where 500 students receive their education.


9. Nusa Lembongan

Village of Nusa Lembongan with a clear blue ocean

Nusa Lembongan is a small island located about 15 kilometers from Denpasar. You can dive and surf very well here. There are 2 beautiful white sandy beaches; Sandy Bay and Dream Beach.


Nusa Lembongan is 8 square kilometers in size and was initially discovered by surfers. This increasingly popular island is the ideal location to escape the crowds and traffic.


10. Amed

Amed is a combination of 7 small villages in the east of Bali. The pace of life is slow there. Tourism is not yet the dominant form of income here. Not too long ago they made an asphalted road and telephone lines to this part of the island.


If you lie on the beach between the prahu and thatched huts you have a view of the island of Lombok. The beach consists of coarse volcanic black pebbles, but the further you go from the volcano Gunung Anung it changes to gray/brown sand.


Amed is ideal for people who want to avoid the masses. The activities here include free diving, snorkeling or taking part in meditation sessions.


Kubu Beach (Private Beach)

View of Kubu beach on Bali, Indonesia

Kubu Beach is also one of the best beaches in Bali. It is, however, a private beach that you can access from the Ayana Resort. It lies in the city of Jimbaran. The Ayana Resort & Spa is a very chic hotel with luxurious rooms and a great view of the nearby beaches.


Take a look at the availability and prices of the Ayana Resort & Spa hotel >>


Bali Nightlife

Do you like living the nightlife or are you looking for relaxation? On the tropical Bali, the island of the gods, you are in the right place for both. Bali is a spiritual, cultural, and irresistible island. In addition, it’s an ideal destination for parties.


Kuta is the place where it all happens: the numerous bars, clubs, and dance floors on the beach form the perfect scene for unforgettable nights. Once you are finished in Kuta, continue to Gili Trawangan to start all over again.


Kuta, Capital of Balinese Festivals

The festive heart of Bali is around Kuta, in the south of the island. You will find cozy bars, restaurants and nightclubs all over the beach, much to the delight of many Australian travelers who often choose Kuta as their second home.


One of the most famous clubs is Sky Garden. This is a complex with night clubs and bars, one crazier than the other. The dance floor on the party boat ‘Bounty’ is also worth a visit. To enjoy live music you can buy a ticket for a night at Centerstage, in the middle of the famous Hard Rock Hotel.


Do you want to take full advantage of the parties in Kuta? The solution is simple: make sure you are at Kuta Beach when the sun sets.


The local carnival takes place in October. If you are in Bali during this period, you cannot escape the beach parties and the various cultural events. The party lasts several days, so be prepared.


Finally, Kuta is a great destination for surfers (beginners) who want to combine parties with sports. Here you never have to wait long for a wave. If you have some energy left after a sleepless night in one of the best clubs in Bali, then you know what to do.


Party with tents at Double Six Beach during a sunset on Bali


Party at Gili Trawangan

The islet of Gili Trawangan is located about forty kilometers from the Balinese East Coast. Located right next to Lombok, it is a true paradise, far away from the touristy Kuta.


But don’t be fooled: although the atmosphere is calm and cozy during the day, the beautiful beaches of Gili Trawangan are turned upside down a few times a week during the greatest parties.


Motor vehicles are prohibited on the island, so come here to party in an authentic hippie atmosphere.


TIP – Read more about Gili Trawangan and the Gili Islands.


Looking for More Parties in Bali?

If after this you can still be prodded for a party, you can spread your towel on the Bukit peninsula, south of Kuta. The beaches of Padang Padang, Bingin and Balangan Beach are perfect places to recharge yourself before you start dancing again.


In Seminyak, a few kilometers north of Kuta, you can spend an exclusive evening in one of the many lounge bars and restaurants on the coast. You will also find chic nightclubs, just like in Legian.


Do you want to know where to start your evening? Order a cocktail at Ku De Ta, a bar-restaurant known for its elegant atmosphere.


If you are in Seminyak, a visit to the Woo Bar is recommended. You can enjoy ‘sunset sessions’ here from the end of the afternoon through the evening. These are musical performances that get you in the mood while you wait for the sunset.


Arak, Bintang and Plenty of Fruit

If you want to try a local Balinese drink, you can order arak. Arak means ‘sweat’ in Balinese. It is a strong drink based on rice. If it is mixed with orange juice, it is called an arak attack. Sometimes it is also mixed with lime and honey.


The local beer is a light blonde beer called Bintang. To really quench your thirst, fresh fruit juice is a better idea. You will find the tastiest fruit in abundance in Bali.


Top 5 Parties in Bali


  • March: Bali International Jazz Festival, this is the place to listen to great jazz in a heavenly atmosphere.
  • August: At The Junction Festival, well-known DJs and artists gather in Bali for a beautiful festival for club lovers from all over the world.
  • August: Dreamfields is a festival with electronic music, at the Gwk Park cultural center in Kuta.
  • October: During the carnival in Kuta, beach parties, surfing, and all kinds of cultural activities take place.
  • Different dates: Parade and the Ogoh-Ogoh festival. Gigantic dolls, inspired by Hinduism, are shown to the public during a festive parade. It takes place in Denpasar and other villages on the island.


The Music of Maharani Records in Bali

Bali was a source of inspiration for countless films and novels in recent decades. That is not all, because the island has also managed to seduce the music world. There are compilations of great artists who immerse you in the festive Balinese atmosphere long before you get there.


An example of such a compilation is Bali Fashion Cafe Lounge from the record label Maharani Records.


The Best Temples in Bali

The Balinese are a deeply religious people who pursue Bali Hinduism, a mix of Hinduism animism and ancestor worshipping. They see their island as a world of gods and demons. A quarter of the income goes to the worship of ancestors and gods.


Because of this, you will find a place of sacrifice in every house and at least 3 temples in every village. The Pura Desa (village temple), the Pura Puseh (temple for the founder of the village), and the Pura Dalem (temple for the deceased). You will also find temples at intersections, rice fields, and all sorts of non-obvious places.


The Balinese calendar occupies a dominant place on the island, which consists of many days of obligations or special occasions to the gods. Daily rituals bind the Balinese to their family, environment, ancestors, and gods. These needs also ensure that Bali retains its own character among all the other islands of Indonesia.


Below we list the larger temples in Bali that are definitely worth visiting.


1. Pura Besakih

The Pura Besakih Temple Complex in Bali

The Pura Besakih is the largest temple, in the middle of Bali, and is considered the Mother Temple. The temple sits on the slopes of the volcano Gunung Agung. It is a sacred temple complex situated on a mountain and accessible by a long staircase.


It dates from the 14th to the 18th century. The temple consists of approximately 200 buildings spread over 30 complexes. They are spread over different terraces with several Merus and pavilions.


In 1963 the Pura Besakih barely escaped disaster when the Gunung Agung erupted and the lava flowed past the complex.


Location – East Bali, accessible via Ubud, Denpasar, or Candidasa.


2. Pura Gunung Kawi

This temple complex sits in the Valley of the Kings where the river Pakerisan runs through. It consists of seven Candi’s (statues) carved from the stone walls of the valley. They respect the kings and queens of the Udayana dynasty from the eleventh century.


Location – Central Bali, accessible via Ubud (north).


3. Tirta Empul

Green Water and Forest at the Tirta Empul Temple

The Tirta Empul is a beautiful temple complex, also known as the temple of the holy water. The original temple, built in the 10th century during the time of the Warmadewa dynasty, is a very important temple for physical and spiritual cleansing.


It provides the priests with holy water and bathing facilities for the Balinese people who believe that bathing brings prosperity and health. The story goes that the god Indra made this clean water source as a reply to a poisonous water source of a bad demon king.


Location – Central Bali, accessible via Ubud (north).


4. Pura Taman Ayun

The Pura Taman Ayun dates from 1634 and honors the ancestors of the princes who ruled over Mengwi. Taman Ayun means beautiful garden which is evident from the water garden with lotus flowers and several pagodas spread over the temple grounds.


Location – South Bali, accessible via Denpasar.


5. Pura Luhur Lempuyang

To reach the top of the Pura Luhur Lempuyang temple and enjoy the magnificent view, you first have to go up 1700 steps. It comes as no surprise that its nickname is “the temple of 1000 steps” and is directed to the supreme god Sang Hyang Widi Wasa.


The Balinese come here in full ceremonial costumes to have their sacrifices blessed by the priest who goes to the top of the temple.


Location – East Bali, accessible via Candidasa.


6. Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah is also known as “the Elephant Cave” and takes its name from the nearby elephant river. Discovered in 1922 and dating from the eleventh century, a monstrously carved figure greets you at the beginning of the cave.


Inside the cave, you can find a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha and a space dedicated to the god Shiva.


Location – Central Bali, accessible via Ubud (south-east).


7. Pura Tanah Lot

Pura Tanah Lot Temple on Bali during a High Tide

Tanah Lot stands on a rock that hangs over the beach and can only be reached at low tide. It was saved from destruction in the 90s because it threatened to fall into the sea.


On the accessible part, there is a magical freshwater spring surrounded by salty seawater. The story goes that in the fifteenth century the priest Nirartha had spent a night on the rock and it inspired him to build a temple there.


Location – South Bali, accessible via Denpasar and Ubud.


Night view of the Tanah Lot Temple with the Milky Way
The Tanah Lot Temple has an amazing night view as well!


8. Pura Goa Lawah

Bali has one so-called bat temple: the Pura Goa Lawah. The sanctuary sits in a cave opening with thousands of bats. Entering it is only reserved for the priests. Legends say that the tunnel is 30 kilometers deep and ends up at Pura Besakih.


Location – East Bali, accessible via Candasa.


9. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

The Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple is dedicated to the goddess Dewi Danu, the goddess of water, lakes, and rivers. The complex was built in 1633 and is spread over various islands. An 11-roofed Meru dedicated to Shiva is located on a peninsula and gives a great view of the water.


Location – North Bali, accessible via Denpasar or Singaraja.


10. Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple overlooking the ocean on a cliff in Bali

Perched high on top of a rock is the Luhur Uluwatu Temple, which dates back to the eleventh century and means ‘on the corner of the rock’. The temple was built by a Hindu Javanese guru who dedicated it to the spirits of the sea.


The temple is famous for its reliefs that can be found on both sides of the split gate. Behind this is an open courtyard where you can see 2 Ganeshas (elephant creatures) giving access to the main gate. There are many sacrificial places there and it gives you a great view of the breaking waves against the rocks.


Location – South Bali, accessible via Kuta or Uluwatu.


Best Time to Visit Bali

Hindu Temple in Bali with Green Environment

Bali is a great holiday destination all year round. However, the best months to travel to Bali are from April to September, because by then there will be the least rain in terms of both time and quantity. It also feels less stuffy, making the heat more bearable.


Bali is also a popular winter destination. The higher chance of rain is taken for granted because it is still much better in the warm Bali than in most countries with a cold winter. The days around Christmas and New Year’s Eve are even seen as a peak season in Bali, with the associated high prices for accommodation and flights.


The high season in Bali runs from July 1 to September 30. The rest of the year is a normal season. Bali does not really have a low season.


Average Weather in Bali

The Indonesian island of Bali is largely related to a tropical climate. The location near the equator ensures that it is warm on the coast of Bali with temperatures that are around 30-31°C (86 to 88°F) almost all year round. To cool off you have to go into the higher inland, where it can be considerably cooler due to the differences in height.


In the highest places on Bali, the temperature can cool down to around 10°C (50°F) at night. During the day it is often a bit cooler in the mountain areas than in the lower areas.


In this section, we mainly talk about the climate and weather in the coastal areas of Bali, where the popular resorts are located. Keep in mind that the inland may be wetter, cooler, and less sunny.


Two Seasons

Bali has two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season runs from October to March. The dry season runs from April to September.


Rainy Season in Bali

Some feel like the name ‘rainy season’ is exaggerated because even in the rainy season there are mainly short tropical showers and not many full days of rain. That does not mean that they do not occur. Those who are unlucky do have to deal with one or more predominantly rainy days in the rainy season. Most days, however, there are simply clouds and sun that alternate with occasional showers.


There is usually a significant shower at the end of the afternoon, with a relatively large amount of precipitation falling in a short time. In the most extreme cases, during a heavy thunderstorm, so much rain can fall locally that flooding occurs. Both tourists and locals are sometimes surprised by such showers during the rainy season.


Dry Season in Bali

The dry season does not mean that there is no rain. The quantities, however, are considerably less than during the rainy season and the frequency of the showers is also lower. Especially on the north side of Bali, you notice that there is much less rain. For example, the average monthly amount of precipitation in the town of Singaraja falls to just 10 to 30 millimeters in the period from June to September.


In the south, it is approximately double that amount. The month of August is the driest in Kuta. The long-term average here is 44 millimeters in August. Even in the dry season, the sun hides during fairly short showers.


By the way, if you start looking for climate data on Bali about the number of days in which rain falls, you will see large differences, especially during the dry season. It depends on which criteria are used. If you count between 0.0 and 0.1 millimeters of precipitation per day, you often end up with 10-13 days per month. If you only count the days that there is at least 0.1 mm of rainfall, then there are many places that remain at 3 to 5 days per month in the period from May to August.


Temperature in Bali

The host of the weather forecast in Bali has a boring job when it comes to temperatures; few variations occur during the year. During the day it is almost always between 28 and 32°C (82 to 90°F) while at night it almost always cools down to 22 to 25°C (72 to 77°F). As soon as the sun rises, the temperature increases fairly quickly. Usually, within two hours after sunrise, the mercury is almost close to the maximum of that day.


There is a difference in the temperature perception between the wet and the dry season. The relative humidity is higher in the wet season, making it feel colder and more stuffy than during the dry season. The actual temperature is also fractionally higher in the wet season. The relative humidity is between 60 and 70 percent from April to September. During the wet season, this rises to 70 to 90 percent.


Hurricanes in Bali

Bali is favorable when it comes to hurricanes. Hurricanes can certainly occur to the south of Indonesia, but they never reach as far as Bali itself. That’s because Bali is just outside the area where hurricanes can occur.


Bali can, however, be confronted with storm depressions that originate in the hurricane area but have decreased considerably in strength. In such a case, Bali has to deal with heavy showers and rising wind, but there is no hurricane force. The chance of this is highest in the months of January, February, and March.


Average Amount of Sunshine in Bali

Sunseekers will not be disappointed in Bali. The sun shines exuberantly on Bali and is also very powerful. The highest UV index applies for almost the entire year, which means that you have to be very careful with sun exposure. Avoid the brightest hours (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in the sun and use as much protection as possible in the form of sunscreen with a high UV protection factor.


On average, the sun shines 7 to 9 hours a day during the wet season. The number of sun hours in the dry season is no less than 9 to 10 hours. Not bad for a destination with only 12 to 12.5 hours of light during the day!


Are you interested in the history of Bali? Check out our Bali For Beginners page!


Tips for First Time Visitors to Bali

Without good travel preparation, you can sometimes be faced with surprises on the road or at your holiday destination. In our opinion, preparing well is essential for every trip or holiday. In this section, we offer tips for first-time visitors to Bali.


If, for some reason, the information here is not (completely) accurate according to you, please let us know via the contact form. We naturally strive to keep the information here as up-to-date as possible. Sometimes there are local deviations.


1. A Day of Silence

Nyepi Day is celebrated in Bali every year. This is the Hindu New Year and is also called the “Day of Absolute Silence”. According to Balinese beliefs, evil spirits come to Bali on this day. To deceive them, the Balinese stay inside, no light is used and no sound may be made.


The evil spirits then think that there is no one on the island and will leave again, only to return to the first new moon in March/April the following year. For tourists, this means that you cannot leave your resort. You may use the swimming pool at the resort, provided that it is not too noisy, but you may not enter the beach.


The airport is closed this day and no transfers and excursions may be carried out. So for both the Balinese and you it is a day of absolute peace, a special experience. Because the date for Nyepi is determined by the Lunar Calendar and the position of the moon, it is a different date every year.


2. Customs Documents

A valid passport is required. For tourists and business travelers, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon arrival. Most tourists who arrive in Bali via Denpasar airport and hold a valid passport no longer need a visa.


Since 9 June 2015, a visa exemption scheme is used for a number of arrival points in Indonesia.  Check if you need a visa on our Indonesia Visa page.


For a visit for longer than 30 days or a business trip, you can apply for a visa for Indonesia for a visit of a maximum of six months at your Embassy.


TIP – Read our information on extending your Visa on Arrival (VOA) in Bali.


3. Diving in Bali

The dive sites in Bali are among the best in the world. Bali is located in the Coral Triangle and is known for the diversity of animal species and extensive coral life. Around 3000 species of fish, dolphins, and whales make this the perfect place for diving.


4. Use of Electricity in Bali

220V / 50 Hz is used in Bali. On some remote parts, this can be 100v. In addition, the same power connections are generally used as in most countries. It is important to bring a connector block because the number of connections is often limited.


5. Tipping in Bali

In the small local eateries, it is not common to tip, but this is certainly appreciated. Tipping is even expected in the more expensive restaurants and hotels. The salary of the staff is partly linked to the tip.


The height of the tip naturally depends on your satisfaction. You should count on 5 to 10 percent of the bill. It is also common to tip your guide or driver. There is not really a maxim but give it as a token of appreciation.


6. Photography

Keep in mind that not everyone appreciates being photographed. It is polite to ask for permission before taking a picture of someone. This also applies to temples and other holy places. Better to ask than to look bad.


You can take the best photos in Bali with beautiful colors and contrasts in the early morning or in the afternoon.


7. Clothing

Bali has a tropical climate. As a result, it is always hot and humid. Our advice is to wear light cotton clothing. It is cool and dries quickly after washing.


In the mountains, it can get cool in the evening. Wearing a vest is a great way to keep warm and it’s quick to put on. Buying a sarong is wise. As a woman, it is easy not to have to rent one every time you visit a temple.


8. Emergencies During Your Trip

People who have travel insurance can always call an emergency center. In the event of an emergency, you must contact the relevant emergency center yourself. Try to write down any emergency numbers that you might need (for both Indonesia and Bali).


9. Language

The most important language in Bali is Balinese (Bahasa Bali). They also speak the Indonesian language and Chinese-Mandarin. In addition, you can also get by well with the English language.


10. Mobile Internet and Calling in Bali

The area code for Bali is +62.


Mobile calling is possible with most cell phone providers. The coverage for mobile phones is generally very good in Bali. The advice is to purchase a prepaid SIM card locally (simPATI). You can buy this for a few dollars. You can add credit to these cards.


If you put 50,000 Rupiah on it, you can convert it into 2 weeks of mobile internet via 4G. This way you are assured of good internet in case there are no good wireless internet connections available.


According to residents, you have the best 4G coverage with simPATI.


11. Vaccinations for Bali

To go to Bali you must be protected against:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • DPT (or DTP for the UK, Netherlands & France)
  • Malaria
  • Dengue fever
  • Rabies
  • Yellow fever


Get advice from a (family) doctor or local healthcare center. They can tell you which vaccinations apply to you. The vaccinations are not required to enter Indonesia but are highly recommended.


12. Currencies Used in Bali

The currency used in Indonesia, and also in Bali, is the Rupiah. The value of this currency fluctuates violently, so keep an eye on the rate. Foreign banknotes and traveler checks can be exchanged at the major banks or authorized money exchangers. Make sure you have enough cash with you to get through the first few days.


13. Drugs

All drugs in Indonesia are illegal. The purchase or sale of drugs can lead to high prison sentences, fines, and even to the death penalty. Take absolutely no packages from people you do not know or have known for a while.


14. Tap Water in Bali

It is not recommended to drink water from the tap. It is often very cloudy and contains a lot of chlorine. The chance of stomach flu when drinking this water is reasonably present.


If you are unable to purchase bottled water, boil your water for 5 minutes. You can then use this water to drink or to rinse your food.


Read More About Bali


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