Are you a budget traveler? Planning to visit Bali anytime soon? Then, read below to know more about the most amazing things to do in Bali!
Bali – One of the most popular destinations in Indonesia is all but a small part of this beautiful country. When you think about Bali, what really comes to your mind? Beaches? Parties? Nightlife? Surfing? Well, we had the same picture of Bali too. What we never realized is that Bali has much more to offer other than beaches and parties. It is a whole island filled with most amazing places to explore and discover. One week isn’t enough to explore all the beauties that this small island holds, in fact, I would say 20 days are less to truly visit all the mesmerizing places in this island. It has amazing and secluded waterfalls, mountains, volcanoes, temples, beaches, and so on for you to visit. Bali is more than a party place, it is a whole different world here.
So, if you plan on traveling to Indonesia, it would be better to keep in mind that Bali and the rest of Indonesia are poles apart. While you would find it easier to go around in Bali and will see a ton of different places, the rest of Indonesia is more culturally rich and has the most beautiful volcanoes ever. You would also find that since more foreigners visit Bali every year, it is easier to communicate here than the rest of Indonesia. So, to make sure you don’t get cheated here and to ensure you have a good and safe trip, we have prepared this guide to help you in your travel!
How to Reach
Reaching Bali is the easiest thing ever. Since Bali is so famous among tourists and travelers, there are a lot of transport options for this place. Here are a few ways to reach Bali:
Direct Flights (From India)
Price: 21000 – 25000 INR
One of the easiest and simplest way to reach is by taking a direct flight from your home country to Bali. This is the best option if you are not planning to visit other places in Indonesia and would like to just chill and relax in the beaches of Bali. Make sure you book 6 months in advance if you want cheap flight prices and keep a look out for offers to bag the best price. If you plan early enough, you could easily get a flight from India to Bali for around 21000 – 25000 INR easily.
We took a round trip flight to Jakarta which cost us around 19000 INR per person since we wanted to visit other places in Indonesia too. We used Airasia.com for getting cheaper flights to Indonesia.
Price: 530,000 Rupiah(2500 INR) from Jakarta
450,000 Rupiah(2100 INR) from Yogyakarta
300,000 Rupiah(1500 INR) from Surabaya
In case you have decided not to take the direct flight to Bali, maybe because you are looking to explore more places in Indonesia or because you want to save more money, then you can always take Intercity flights to reach from one Indonesian city to another. You have frequent flights to Bali from Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and so on which cost around 530,000 Rupiah from Jakarta, 450,000 Rupiah from Yogyakarta and around 300,000 Rupiah from Surabaya for a one-sided plane ticket.
Make sure that you book these flights in advance if you don’t want to pay hiked prices. You can use AirAsia.com or Tiket.com for intercity flight bookings.
Time: Jakarta to Bali(25 hours)
Surabaya to Bali(12 hours)
Another common way to reach Bali is to take a bus. A bus from Jakarta to Bali will take around 25 hours or so which makes it better to always break your journey. If you are planning to visit other places in between Jakarta and Bali, then you can stop at those places and split your 25 hours journey into smaller batches. For example, you can visit Yogyakarta from Jakarta which takes only 10 – 12 hours via Bus and then head to Bromo which again takes around 12 – 14 hours to reach. From Bromo, Bali is around 13 – 14 hours again. You could also stop at several other places on the way like Bandung, Banyuwangi, Ijen, and so on. Buses are usually cheaper and will cost you around 150,000 – 250,000 Rupiah(750 – 1200 INR) for each journey. You can always book buses in advance through www.easybook.com.
Another transport option for reaching Bali is by taking a train ride till Banyuwangi or Ketapang and then taking a ferry ride from Ketapang in Java to Gilimanuk in Bali but let me tell you, this is going to be a long process and you would end up changing transport several times. It would take around 30 minutes for the ferry crossing and will cost you around 10,000 – 15,000 Rupiah(50 -75 INR). The catch is that once you reach Gilimanuk, there is not much public transport available so you would have to take a taxi if you want to directly head to Southern beaches like Kuta and Jimbaran. This taxi ride would easily cost you somewhere around 800,000 Rupiah(3900 INR).
In our opinion, the best option for reaching Bali is by taking a direct flight or an inter-city flight to Denpasar airport because it would save you a lot of time and money which you would otherwise end up spending on the cabs, trains, and buses. Also, you can walk from Bali airport to Kuta beach, which is just 1.5 – 2 km away so you can save your taxi money too.
Local Travel Options
There are not a lot of affordable options for traveling around in Bali. If you know driving, then voila! All your transportation problems are solved! In case you don’t, then be ready to shell out a little more money than you would have had to if you had a license to ride motorbikes.
Here are a few ways you can travel in Bali:
While Bali isn’t as connected via buses as the other parts of Indonesia, it still has a few basic routes for touring and sightseeing. You can get a Bus pass if you are going to be traveling around or you can pay as you go. Frankly, we didn’t find a lot of buses around here and we didn’t have time to scour for them so we let it be. If you have time and would like to save some more money, then you can find information about Bali buses on http://kura2bus.com/.
Rent a bike
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to travel around Bali is by renting a bike for a day. A bike rent comes out to be around 60,000 – 120,000 Rupiah(300 – 600 INR) for a day, depending on the area from where you are renting the bike. The petrol is pretty cheap here so on an average, you will spend just 80,000 Rupiah(400 INR) on traveling in a day if you go for a bike. This also gives you the flexibility to explore secluded places and make the most out of your day.
Another popular way to travel in Bali is by taking a Bemo from one place to another. Usually, these bemos have 8-10 seats and are actually shuttle buses. You can take these for traveling to different places in Bali but you would have to change a lot of Bemos at the terminals which make it not a popular option. This mode of transportation is cheap though, starting at just 5,000 Rupiah (25 INR) but it can be quite time-consuming.
Ojeks are basically the motorbike riders who give you a lift to your destination and are quicker and simpler than other option. There is one problem though, you can only use them for shorter distances and cannot take them for a Kuta-to-Ubud ride. They do charge 30,000 Rupiah (150 INR) for 5km which makes them expensive so I wouldn’t really suggest going for it.
If you want to travel from Denpasar to Kuta or Kuta to Ubud and so on, then shuttle buses are the best way to go about it. They take around 1-2 hours to reach and cost around 50,000 – 80,000 Rupiah(250 – 400 INR) depending on the distance. You can book these buses from your hostel itself or you can just go to a travel shop and get your ticket from there.
Price: 50,000 – 100,000 Rupiah(250 – 500 INR)
Since Bali is a tourist place, you would never have a problem in finding an accommodation here. There are several amazing hotels and hostels here which cater to everyone’s price range. You can either use an online site for booking rooms like Booking.com, Hostelworld.com, etc. in advance or you can find a place once you reach the place. You can get a dorm bed for around 50,000 – 100,000 Rupiah(250 – 500 INR) for every night. Here are a few suggestions from our side for staying in Bali:
Kayun Hostel, Kuta
One of the most amazing hostels we have ever stayed in, Kayun Hostel is the dream hostel for every traveler. It has two locations but we stayed at the recently opened one which happens to be located at the party street of Kuta. This hostel is near all the famous bars and party places in Kuta and you have a chance to party all night and then come back to your hostel, without the need of a transport. Yes, it is that close! It is also just 1 km from the Kuta beach which makes it the perfect spot to stay in. You get a dorm bed in an A.C room and a locker. It has a nice washroom and bathroom and it has a pool for you to jump in whenever you want! It also gives you access to T.V and watch your favorite movies and series. Trust me, this place is just heavenly.
You can also have a fine, delicious breakfast meal here for just 30,000 Rupiah(150 INR) which includes Cornflakes, Fruits, Toasted Bread, etc. Guess how much it costs for a night? Just 100,000 Rupiah(500 INR)!! It can’t get any better than this.
Joker 2 Hostel, Ubud
This is a great hostel to stay in Bali. The staff is super nice and friendly and you get free breakfast every morning and access to coffee and tea at all times. You also get hot and cold water so you don’t have to buy water while staying here. The rooms are nice and clean and they provide you with a small washroom/bathroom. This place is in walking distance of the Ubud monkey temple and the market area and is surrounded by various amazing eatery places. That’s not all though, you also get free access to a pool till 8 pm for the duration you stay here. Sounds amazing, isn’t it? This place also costs 100,000 Rupiah(500 INR) and is totally worth the price.
Price: 75,000 – 150,000 Rupiah(350 – 750 INR) on an average per day
Now, as you must be aware of that Indonesia has a different cuisine and is not into vegetarian food much but that is not the case with Bali. In Bali, you would find several, decent vegetarian places. You will also find different types of cuisine here like Continental, European, Indonesian, and so on. Here are a few amazing places which serve good Vegetarian food:
Sky Garden, Kuta
One of the most popular place in Kuta, Sky Garden is the ultimate place to visit if you are looking for a fun, party time. Here you will find an assortment of dishes to try, both in vegetarian and non-vegetarian and its Pizza is really delicious. It has 2 floors and on the top floor, you can see the DJs and the bands performing live. This is the most happening place in Kuta and one can hear music on the streets, which is why this street is also said to be the party street of Kuta.
Mamma Mia, Ubud
If you are looking for some Dim sums and Momos to eat in Ubud, then Indochine should be your next stop. Although this place looks a little fancy and cannot be considered as a cheap option, it does offer a lot of vegetarian food options which makes it a nice place to visit.
Apart from these few places, you would find that Kuta has a lot of places like KFC, McDonald’s, Subway, etc. for eating whereas Ubud has many fancy restaurants and a few really good cafes to try. If you are a non-vegetarian, you would love Bali and if you are vegetarian, you might not love Bali but you will easily manage here.
Things to Do
Bali offers a range of things to do here depending on what you are looking for. You can chill at the beaches or indulge in some water sports, you can explore the beautiful waterfalls and the rice fields or go for an early morning trek, and the options are endless. Here are a bunch of things that you would absolutely love doing in Bali because we know, we certainly did.
Chilling at the Beaches
It is no surprise that Bali has a lot of beautiful beaches where one can chill and relax while looking out at the sea. There are numerous beaches in Bali which mean that there is more than enough place for everyone to spend some quality alone time. You will be amazed to know that Bali has a variety of beaches from Palm-edged beaches to cliff beaches and a lot of these beaches require a lot of effort to reach here. So, if you are a beach lover, then make sure that you check out its all the beautiful beaches like Lovina, Uluwatu, Nusa Dua, Pantai Pandawa, Padang, and so on. Trust me, once you start hanging out at these beaches you wouldn’t wanna stay anywhere else!
Also, as an added bonus, a lot of these beaches are good for surfing so you can get your surf boards out and have an amazing afternoon here.
Sunset at Tanah Lot
Entry Ticket Price: 30,000 Rupiah(150 INR)
Another thing that you must do in Bali is to visit the famous Tanah Lot temple which is praised for its amazing offshore setting and sunset backdrops. This famous temple lies in the Beraban village, which is situated at a distance of 20km from Kuta. One can see the waves crashing against this Hindu temple which makes this view even more irresistible. So make sure that you do catch the sunset here because otherwise, you might regret it forever!
Visit the Uluwatu Temple
Entry Ticket Price: 30,000 Rupiah(150 INR) per person
Another iconic temple of Bali is the Uluwatu temple which is situated at the top of a cliff and is a famous Balinese sea temple. One of the most beautiful temples of Bali, Uluwatu Temple was constructed to keep the evil spirits away and is considered as one of the 9 directional temples in Bali. This temple is magnificent and glorious as it sits perched on the edge of the cliff while the waves crash against the foot of the cliff. This place sees a lot of tourists and locals alike and a lot of important rituals are performed in the interior of this temple.
I am not exaggerating but this is one temple you would not want to miss out on and the road journey to reach this place is quite thrilling.
Drive to Pantai Pandawa
Entry Ticket Price: 15,000 Rupiah(75 INR) per person
One of the most memorable parts of our Bali trip was the drive to Pantai Pandawa and Uluwatu Temple. You ask why? Well, due to the simplest of reasons that both of these places require you to cross curving and hilly roads which mean that your entire journey is a roller coaster ride. The whole drive to Pantai Pandawa was filled with unexpected twists and turns which made it quite exciting and scary but what took out breath away was the drive just near the Pantai Pandawa beach.
You will see a rocky mountain on your one side and a mesmerizing beach on the other side while the sky is painted with a hue of blue and the air smells fresh and crisp. Aah! That utterly blissful feeling when we finally made safely to this beach and were so glad that we decided to visit this place. Trust me, this is one beach ride that you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
Visit the Monkey Temple in Ubud
Entry Ticket Price: 50,000 Rupiah(250 INR)
Another important place to visit in Bali is the Ubud Monkey Forest, which is also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtel, is one of the most iconic places in Ubud and houses over 700 monkeys and 186 species of trees. This is a natural habitat for monkeys and you can see them in their natural routine, playing with each other or jumping in the lake, and so on. Apart from being entertained by the antiques of the monkeys, you will find that this place contains a lot of beautiful ancient temples which are covered in a green moss now but haven’t lost their charm at all.
You can spend some time here looking at the monkeys or you can just take a leisurely walk underneath the canopy of the trees. This is one place where you can spend a few hours and be at peace with nature.
Go for an early morning hike to Campuhan Ridge
Do you love hiking or watching the sunrise? Then you definitely need to visit the Campuhan Ridge. This beautiful place is situated at just a 1km distance from the famous Ubud Water Palace and requires you to walk some 2-3 km to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises ever. You can go for a morning walk over here and can enjoy the beautiful lush greenery which surrounds this place. The sides of the pathway are covered with tall reed grass and you can see valleys on both the sides of the hiking trail.
I cannot emphasize how refreshing and mesmerizing this place was. We had never been to such a place before so it was a welcome change for our eyes and as the sun started peaking through the mountains and its first rays touched the reed grass, we realized this is what an absolute bliss feels like. No, I am serious guys! Sunrise here is truly enchanting and different and you should definitely visit this place if you ever head out to Bali!
Visit the beautiful Tegalalanga Rice Fields
The rice terrace fields of Ubud are no secret as this is popular UNESCO Heritage site which makes it one of the topmost things to do in Ubud. While a lot of you might feel that it is just a rice terrace field and there is nothing special in it, I would like to point out that you are absolutely wrong. The Tegalalanga Rice Fields offer you a dazzling view of the rice paddies, especially during the early morning and the Balinese irrigation system makes the view even more bewitching.
This is one place where you can spend a couple of hours, walking amidst the rice fields and the trees and just take in the beautiful view around you without any worries or tension. Since this place lies on the high roadside location, you will find that the place is not as frequented and is large enough for you to get lost for awhile. If you ever visit Bali and don’t tour around the Tegalalang Rice Fields, then you have missed out on a crucial location in your visit.
Try Bali’s highest swing
Price: 260,000 Rupiah(1250 INR) per person
Another adventurous activity to do in Bali for all those adventure junkies out there is to swing on the Bali’s highest swing. Surprised? Well, don’t be because this activity has been in Bali for a while now. Zen Hideaway is a popular Airbnb property, which is situated in Bongkasa near the Ayung River Valley and is surrounded by the most hypnotizing view ever. However, this is not what makes this simple 150-year old teak house famous.
This place offers you a chance to swing on the highest swing of Bali which is tied to the coconut trees by 15-meter ropes. This is one thrilling experience that you would not want to miss out on! They allow you 30 minutes to swing on this great swing and offer you a chance to first try it out on the smaller swing before transferring you to the bigger one. As you sit on the swing and are pushed off the edge, you will like a bird flying in the sky and would feel instantly light and happy. If the weather is clear, then you could also see the Ayung river below and enjoy a beautiful and serene view. This is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we are so glad we got a chance to experience this!
Indulge in Water sports over here
Scuba Diving Price: 400,000 Rupiah(1800 INR) for 30 minutes
The last, but not the least, you can try a variety of water sports here to keep yourself entertained and happy. If you like surfing, then there are many Bali beaches which are just perfect for that. You would also find a lot of shops which sell or rent the surf boards here. Trust me, there are a lot of water adventure activities that you could try here which includes snorkeling, scuba diving, sea walking, parasailing, and so on.
So, if you always wanted to try some water sports and have enough time in your hands, then you should definitely try it in Bali.
Get wet in the Tegenungan Waterfall or go for a Waterfall slide
Entry Ticket Price for Tegenungan: 20,000 Rupiah(100 INR) per person
Bali contains many amazing and dazzling waterfalls which are covered by lush greenery and provide a respite from the populated and commercialized places. While Tegenungan Waterfall is the most popular waterfall in Ubud due to its near proximity to the area, there are many other waterfalls which are much better and less crowded than this one. The Tegenungan waterfall is a great place to visit if you can’t head out to the other hidden waterfalls but be prepared to be swamped by the crowd. If you want to avoid the crowd here, it would be better to visit early morning.
Another amazing activity to do in Bali would be the waterfall sliding. A lot of waterfalls in Bali have a natural slide built in them which makes them quite popular for water sliding. One such popular waterfall is the Aling Aling waterfall which is situated in Simbagan. If you are looking for a little adrenaline rush, then do try this out in Bali!
Try the Balinese Body Massage
If you go to Bali and not get a massage done, then you have truly missed out on one of the most authentic Bali activity ever! Bali is known for its spas and retreats and is quite popular for giving the most amazing and soothing massages ever. There are a lot of spas lined up here which offer you a soothing and relaxing body massage for an hour and trust me, by the end of the hour, your body feels much looser and relaxed than in the start.
This is the perfect thing to de-stress yourself and since it is so popular in Bali, you get it done at quite a reasonable price too! There are a variety of massages that they offer and depending on the facilities and services provided, the cost increases or decreases. A standard Balinese Body Massage would cost you around 100,000 Rupiah(500 INR) for an hour and by the end of it, you would feel like you have achieved Nirvana! Yes, I am not even kidding about it! Do try it and see it for yourself.