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16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Places to Visit in Bali

16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Places to Visit in Bali

16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Places to Visit in Bali

In the entire Indonesian archipelago, Bali is one of the most stirring destinations to visit. A trip here stimulates the senses. The thick tropical air is permeated by the enticing scent of incense and clove oil. On crowded sidewalks, petal-strewn offerings burn, and traditional gamelan music jangles over the whir of mopeds as peanuts sizzle at roadside vendors.

The island is abundant in natural beauty, with attractions suitable for all types of tourists, despite the clamor and disorder of the main tourist spots. Surfers travel here for the renowned swells, hikers can ascend jungly volcanic peaks to misty waterfalls, and cyclists can ride through lush terrain studded with rice terraces and ancient towns.

The vibrant arts culture on the island is another major lure, and if unwinding is your first concern, Bali's spa services and shopping are both amazing and reasonably priced. Bali's appeal is further enhanced by its spiritual side; popular Bali activities include seeing its gorgeous temples and participating in sacred Hindu rituals.

Undoubtedly, more tourists have arrived since the Eat, Pray, Love book and movie brought attention to this beautiful island, but if you go off the beaten path, you may still see Old Bali. This list of the top Bali attractions and tourist destinations will help you discover the best activities and some of the island's best-kept secrets.

1. Pura Tanah Lot

Pura Tanah lot bali

One of Bali's most well-known temples is Pura Tanah Lot (Pura means temple in Balinese), which is located about 20 kilometers northwest of Kuta. The stunning beachfront location, on a rocky islet with pounding waves all around, is a big wow factor.

Of all the sea temples on the island, it holds a special place in the hearts of the Balinese people. The sun sets behind the temple every evening, drawing hundreds of visitors from Kuta, Legian, and Sanur through a maze of narrow passageways packed with souvenir vendors.

The priest Nirartha, who requested that local fisherman build a temple here after spending the night on the rock outcrop, is said to have served as the inspiration for Pura Tanah Lot, which was constructed at the start of the 16th century.

The complex's temples are closed to visitors from outside the country, although during low tide, you can cross to the main temple. Wandering the walkways while taking pictures and admiring the breathtaking scenery is enjoyable as well.

You can take a stroll from Tanah Lot down roads lined with lush tropical vegetation to the stunning Batu Bolong, another sea temple set on a rock outcrop with an eroding causeway connecting it to the shore.

Save some time after visiting the many temples and shrines to unwind and try the renowned Kopi luwak at one of the cliffside cafés and eateries in this area (civet coffee). At some of the coffee shops, amiable civets take a nap on the tables, making for amusing Instagram photo opportunities.

Always dress respectfully and wear a sarong and sash while visiting any temple in Bali.

2. Mount Batur

Mount batur bali

Hundreds of tourists start their ascent of Mount Batur's 1,700 meters every morning in the pitch-blackness of early morning Bali. They reach the summit and watch the sun dawn over the caldera far below and the beautiful patchwork of mountains cloaked in mist. This should be at the top of your list if you're seeking for romantic activities for couples in Bali.

About an hour's drive of Ubud, in the Kintamani Region of Bali's central highlands, is this revered active volcano. The relatively short, two to three-hour hike follows well-marked trails and is rather easy. Usually, guided treks come with a picnic meal that features eggs that have been cooked by the volcano's steam. The views, which on a clear day span the entire Batur caldera, the surrounding mountain range, and the lovely Lake Batur, the island's primary supply of irrigation water, are breathtaking.

Wearing layers is recommended because the weather can be chilly before sunrise, and sturdy hiking shoes are a need.

You may also visit Pura Ulun Danu Batur, one of Bali's most significant temples, which is located on the lake's northwest coast, and take a relaxing hot springs dip in the picturesque village of Toya Bungkah, which is situated along Lake Batur's shores.

3. Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu temple bali

Because of its breathtaking clifftop location, Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu) is one of Bali's most well-known temples. It watches over cliffs that plunge into the sea above one of Bali's top surfing locations.

The temple is situated on the Bukit Peninsula, which runs along the island's southwest coast. In Balinese, "Ulu" means "tip" or "land's end," and "Watu" means rock. The greatest time to visit, similar to Pura Tanah Lot, is at sunset, when the sky and water sparkle in the waning hours of the day.

The temple may have been built in the 10th century, according on archeological evidence in this area. The monkeys who live in the jungle outside the temple's entrance are said to shield the structure from negative energies, while the temple itself is thought to protect Bali from malevolent sea spirits (keep your belongings securely stashed away from their nimble grasp).

At the temple's entrance, a beautiful route winds its way across the landscape, passing breath-taking vistas. The temple is only accessible to Hindu believers, although it is well worth a visit for the scenic location and daily sunset Kecak dance performances. About 25 kilometers separate Kuta from the temple.

4. Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud monkey forest bali

In Ubud, Bali, one of the best things to do is to visit the Monkey Forest, also known as the Holy Monkey Forest Sanctuary. If you enjoy photography or animals, it's one of the best spots to visit in Bali. From Ubud's town center, it takes about 10 minutes to walk here.

A significant portion of the attractiveness is the evocative forest landscape where the grey long-tailed macaques walk freely, in addition to the fascinating battalions of the monkeys who call this place home. Paved paths wind through deep stands of enormous banyan and nutmeg trees, giving the area a mysterious appearance as moss-covered monuments and old temples protrude through the thick undergrowth.

The peaceful cohabitation of people and animals is what the forest is meant to symbolize. Also, it protects endangered plants and acts as a site for studies on macaque behavior, particularly social interaction.

The 14th-century Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is one of the three temples that can be found here. It is located on the southwest side of the forest. Thousands of monkeys can be seen climbing the walls and swinging among the trees in this area.

The ancient bathing temple Pura Beji, which is located next to a refreshing stream in the northwest of the forest, forms a stunning backdrop for seeing the monkeys' antics.

When in the forest, take sure to secure your valuables and avoid making direct eye contact with animals (especially grinning), as this could be construed as an aggressive gesture. Moreover, it's a good idea to avoid bringing any food into the area.

5. Ubud Art & Culture

Ubud Art & Culture bali

The heart of Balinese art and culture, Ubud is made famous by the book and film Eat, Pray, Love. Here is where the modern Balinese art movement began, with the nearby temples and royal palaces serving as its primary benefactors.

Many good local museums and galleries now honor its history and progress. The abundance of collections housed in traditional Balinese structures surrounded by tranquil tropical gardens makes for particularly rewarding art viewing here.

The Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) and the Neka Art Museum, both of which are nearby the Ubud Monkey Forest, should be your first stops if you want to get a general overview of Balinese art. Traditional to modern art are represented in the collections at both institutions, including kris (ceremonial daggers), photography, and traditional wayang (puppet-figure) paintings.

The Setia Darma House of Masks & Puppets, which exhibits ceremonial masks from Asia and beyond, the Museum Puri Lukisan, which features a variety of Balinese artistic styles, and the Don Antonio Blanco Museum, which is located in the artist's former residence and studio, are additional art galleries and museums in the Ubud area that art lovers may find interesting.

Don't miss the Ubud Art Market if art shopping is more your thing. One of the most popular tourist destinations in Ubud is this maze of stalls that is filled to the brim with jewelry, household goods, sarongs, paintings, and carvings. It is imperative to haggle, and a decent rule of thumb is to counter with half the requested amount and then negotiate upwards from there, constantly smiling.

The Puri Saren Royal Ubud Palace, which is located opposite the market, is also worthwhile visiting. Especially for families, one of the best things to do in Bali at night is to see a traditional Balinese dance performance. Young and old will be mesmerized by the vibrant costumes and seductive music. It's a lovely location for taking pictures of some of the architectural details and strolling through the gardens during the day.

In Bali, what can families do to experience the local culture? Enroll in a local village's painting class. Traditional painting, mask-making, and jewelry-making are just a few of the pursuits that could pique the interest of young minds with inventiveness.

6. Tegallalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali

Tegallalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali

Would you like to go see the stunning emerald-colored rice fields that you see in all the Bali travel brochures and Instagram posts? You should prioritize visiting the Tegallalang or Jatiluwih rice terraces, especially if you're a photographer.

Tegallalang Rice Terraces are one of the most well-known locations to shoot these classic landscapes and take in their timeless beauty, located about 30 minutes' drive north of Ubud. Be advised that many residents demand admission and parking fees along the road and many beg for donations along the most well-traveled trail through the area's rice fields. Sitting at one of the several eateries or cafés with a view of the fields is a tranquil way to take in the lush surroundings.

The Jatiluwih rice terraces, which are around 90 minutes' drive from Ubud and extend over 600 hectares of rice fields along the hillsides of the Batukaru mountain range, are typically less congested than Tegallalang. Also, there are less tourist touts here, making it simpler to go around and investigate without being hassled.

Both of these places make use of the "subak" cooperative system for traditional water management, an irrigation method recognized by UNESCO that dates back to the ninth century.

7. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan bali

One of Bali's most beautiful temple complexes is the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, which dates to the 17th century. In the cold highlands of central Bali, it is located on a little island near the western shore of Lake Bratan. The thatched temples reflect in the lake and appear to float on its surface when the water levels rise. They are set against the imposing backdrop of Gunung Bratan.

One of Bali's primary supplies of irrigation and drinking water is Lake Bratan, and the complex of temples is devoted to Dewi Danu, the goddess of the sea and lakes.

The Buddhist stupa with statues of Buddha meditating in the lotus posture in niches on its square base, which is located to the left of the entry to the first courtyard, is an uncommon feature. The stupa is evidence of Balinese Hindus adopting Buddhist principles.

Early in the day, before the tour buses come, is the ideal time to view this important Hindu temple complex. When the lake and the mountains beyond are occasionally shrouded in cold mist in the beautiful morning light, the temple is exceptionally attractive. You can also rent a canoe and paddle out on the lake to get a closer look at the meru (thatched shrines).

With its lovely bamboo woods, begonias, orchid collection, and medicinal plants, the Bali Botanic Garden (Kebun Raya Bali), which is close to the temple complex, is also worthwhile a visit.

8. Seminyak Shopping

Seminyak Shopping bali

The best examples of Balinese style may be found on Seminyak's bustling streets, which are famed for their flamboyant designers and fantastic shopping. Modern designer clothing, surf and swimwear, jewelry, furniture, and home goods are just a few of the things you may purchase at these swanky stores and bustling market stalls.

Biasa, Magali Pascal, and Bamboo Blonde are a few of the best boutiques. Jewelry lovers frequently shop at Sea Gypsy, and skateboarders and surfers can get equipment at Drifter Surf Shop & Café.

Although Seminyak Square and Seminyak Village are the two primary shopping centers, you'll generally find greater prices in the smaller stores surrounding the streets.

In search of a true bargain? You may find stalls stuffed with apparel, jewelry, carvings, and handicrafts in the Seminyak Flea Markets, which are close to Seminyak Square.

Several of Bali's top beach resorts, dining establishments, and art galleries are located in Seminyak.

9. Nusa Dua Beach

Nusa dua beach bali

Wish to get away from the busy city of Bali? The solution is Nusa Dua Beach. Here, you may relax on a plush sun lounger with a cold beverage in your hand while taking in the sound of the gentle lapping of the surf on the soft, white sands. Since this is a gated resort community on its own private peninsula, you won't experience the same level of cultural immersion that you would elsewhere in Bali, but if you're looking for peace and relatively unpolluted sands, this is one of Bali's best beaches.

This large stretch of coastline is home to some of Bali's finest luxury beach resorts, and resort staff members make a concerted effort to keep the sand tidy and free of rubbish. Popular activities in Nusa Dua include sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and parasailing, however you may have to pay a charge or eat at one of the resorts to utilize their sun loungers. Nonetheless, Nua Dua checks all the boxes if you're looking for the best Bali beach experience.

When you've had enough of the beach, treat yourself at a swanky resort spa or shop till you drop at Bali Collection, an outdoor retail center. Between the resorts and attractions, a paved promenade surrounds the shore, allowing for off-sand strolling. Given the abundance of relaxation available, it is no surprise that Nusa Dua is one of the best locations in Bali to go on a honeymoon.

10. Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih)

Besakih Temple bali

Since it is the largest and holiest Hindu temple complex in Bali, Pura Besakih, which dates back more than a thousand years, is known as the Mother Temple.

The magnificent Pura Besakih is actually a collection of several temples that serve as the spiritual hub for the Balinese people, and it is situated on the southern slopes of Mount Agung at a height of 1,000 meters. The biggest temple is Pura Penataran Agung.

You could be lucky enough to witness one during your stay. Beautiful rice paddies and forests encircle this temple complex, and many significant festivities take place here.

Seeing the temples should take roughly three hours. You'll need to walk a big distance and climb a lot of stairs, so it's a good idea to wear shoes that are comfy to walk in.

Insider's Tip: Locals hawking sarongs, incense, tour packages, and other goods overwhelm guests at the entrances, but your ticket covers everything you'll need for the duration of your visit. Before the tour buses come in the morning is the ideal time to visit Pura Besakih.

11. The Nusa Islands

The Nusa Islands bali

Want a slower-paced Bali devoid of the tourists, traffic, and crowds? You can find it on the Nusa Islands. Couples looking for a little more peace and quiet than they might find on the mainland should visit them in Bali as well.

The most well-known of the three islands is Nusa Lembongan, which is about 20 kilometers from Sanur and is readily reached by motorboat. The major activities here include surfing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding, and the top sights include the stunning Dream Beach, Mushroom Bay, and the Devil's Tears rock outcrop, where you can see the roaring wave erupt over the rocks. You may see the villagers picking seaweed by the shore, where many still rely on it for their livelihood.

With a stunning blue lagoon, the neighboring island of Nusa Ceningan is just over a bridge from Nusa Lembongan.

Nusa Penida, the largest of the trio of islands, is only a short boat trip away. One of the most popular activities in Nusa Penida is diving, which offers the chance to see manta rays, sunfish, and turtles. Other top attractions include rock formations, caves, and a bird sanctuary. Kelinking Beach, also known as T-Rex Bay, is one of the best beaches in Asia, so be sure to make the difficult descent there to enjoy your own little patch of golden sand surrounded by towering sea cliffs.

12. Kuta Beach

Kuta beach bali

Although it is congested and relentless hawkers patrol the beach, this well-known strip of sand, along with the Legian and Seminyak Beaches to the north, is one of the trendiest locations in Bali. You'll have a good day here, particularly if you're a beginner surfer or just want to take it all in.

Several cafes and restaurants line the beach, and you can rent sun loungers, umbrellas, boogie boards, and surfboards directly from merchants set up on the sand. An icy cold coconut sloshing with juice served directly to your sun lounger can be a blessing on a hot day. Beach vendors can be easily discouraged with a polite "no thank you," though.

For youthful tourists seeking a more energetic atmosphere than the sedate beach resorts have to offer, Kuta Beach is one of the greatest locations.

Go to the gentle sands of Sanur Beach, Jimbaran Beach, or Nusa Dua for a more tranquil section of the island's coastline (Geger Beach here has public access).

Check out Dreamland, Canggu, Balangan, Bingin, Padang-Padang, or the cliff-fringed secret coves of Uluwatu if you're a surfer.

13. Lempuyang Temple Complex

Lempuyang Temple Complex bali

If you've ever been curious about the location of the well-known Instagram shot of people at the Gates of Heaven, Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang is where they posed. Commonly referred to simply as "Lempuyang Temple" (Pura Lempuyang), this well-known building is really one of a number of temples scattered around Mount Lempuyang's highlands. Visitors come to this location to take pictures while posing between the soaring dragon stairs that frame Mount Agung's cloudy peak.

While you're here, it's worthwhile to visit the other temples if you have the time. One of Bali's holiest and trickiest to get to temples is Pura Luhur Lempuyang. Are you ready to work out? Almost 1,200 meters above sea level and 1,700 stairs through a humid jungle later, you will reach the shrine. Watch for the grey long-tailed macaques scurrying through the jungle as you travel.

Depending on your level of fitness, the trek to Pura Luhur Lempuyang normally takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, but when you arrive at the top, you'll be rewarded with the ethereal beauty of a historic artifact as well as breath-taking views. Unwilling to hike? The journey could be shortened if you paid a local to ride a motorbike with you to the end of the asphalt road.

Bring a sarong with you; otherwise, you may need to rent one at the temple. Insider tip: Visit on a clear day for the best views. However, keep in mind that the nearby villagers ask for "donations" at this well-known location.

14. The Sidemen Valley

The Sidemen Valley bali

The emerald-hued Sidemen Valley, located about 90 minutes northeast of Ubud, captures the atmosphere of Ancient Bali, before the island was overrun by tourists. Cloud-capped Mount Agung stands watch in the distance like a benign sentry while sleepy towns nestle in the valley between cascading rice terraces.

A visit here is not complete without a trip through the nearby villages. In this area, surrounded by farms and rice paddies, the residents still take care of their traditional pursuits. You can also hike through the countryside to the peak of Mount Agung or through lush countryside past cocoa and coffee farms while passing through rice fields.

River rafting is another well-liked activity in this area, as are yoga retreats and participating in cultural pursuits like dancing, carving, or traditional weaving.

In this region, Bali homestays and B&Bs are especially well-liked, but you can also find some opulent villas with views of the nearby paddy paddies.

15. Sekumpul Waterfall

Sekumpul waterfall bali

Many people think Sekumpul Waterfall is the most stunning cascade in Bali. This obscure tourist destination can be found in the Singaraja region, about 66 kilometers north of Ubud. It consists of a group of about seven falls that cascade like long, misty veils over the edge of a steep, jungle-covered cliff.

If you decide to drive yourself, be aware that locals may halt you well before the entry and demand exorbitant entrance and parking fees. Hiring a local guide who is familiar with these obstacles and can help you find the right trailhead for the falls is a good option.

The three to four-hour round-trip trek travels through a thick tropical jungle and past rice terraces, local communities, and orchards of rambutan and durian trees. It can be difficult at times because you have to walk down slick stairs and wade through a river, but once you get there, you can cool off with a cool swim at the foot of the falls.

For those who enjoy the outdoors and want to experience Bali's wild side away from the resort areas, this is a fantastic excursion.

16. Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul Temple bali

The Tirta Empul Temple (Pura Tirta Empul), located in Central Bali's lush tropical forest and dating to around 960 CE, provides a look into a sacred purification ceremony.

This significant temple compound is divided into three courtyards and is a designated national cultural heritage site. The large, rectangular pool that is the center of attention is supplied by a sacred mountain spring, and it is here that locals congregate to pray and take baths in the therapeutic waters that flow from a variety of artistically crafted spouts.

Asking a knowledgeable guide first will ensure that you respect the customs if you want to participate in the cleansing rite alongside the locals. The best course of action is to first tour the temple complex since you are not permitted to drip water in the courtyards. You must enter the water fully clothed, wearing a sarong and sash.

The early morning and late afternoon are the ideal times to explore Tirta Empul Temple.

17. Waterbom Bali

Waterbom bali

Are you looking for family-friendly destinations to visit in Bali? Make a day to visit Waterbom Bali. Every member of the family will enjoy the action-packed water park located in the center of Kuta. Children can splash in the pools, float down the Lazy River, or fly down one of the numerous twisting water slides and rides, with names like the Python, Green Viper, and Super Bowl.

Reflexology, manicures and pedicures, and fish spa therapies are relaxing options for parents. Here is a cool retreat from the heat on a hot tropical day since restaurants and cafés offer a variety of diet-friendly options, and the grounds are designed with big, shady trees and lovely tropical flowers.

Have you ever wished to test your skills at wakeboarding, waterskiing, kneeboarding, or skurfing (a combination of surfing and waterskiing) in a reasonably risk-free setting? Visit Bali Wake Park for these and other thrilling water park activities. There is an enormous inflatable obstacle course on the lake called Aqualand, which children will adore.

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