Home » 24 Best things to do in Bali, Indonesia
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24 Best things to do in Bali, Indonesia

The Ultimate Bali Itinerary Blog

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Bali is an amazing place and one of the best places I visited in Southeast Asia. This is why I created the list of the best things to do in Bali for you such as the Bali swing, waterfalls in bali, Nusa Penida island and the awesome Mount Batur. I arrived in Denpasar, Bali and was hit hard by the madness of the Bali tourism. My first thoughts was “I don’t like Bali”. It was crowded, busy and horns beeping like it was a fashion. Nevertheless, my backpacking on the Bali island, Nusa Penida and the Gili islands turned out to be and unforgettable adventure. The beaches in Bali, the friendly locals and so much more make a visit to this top destination an unbelievable memory.

If you like drinking and partying, then you need to visit the amazing sky garden Bali which is a clubber’s dream. Also, the sky garden restaurant is one for you foodies. The sky garden menu for the buffet is crazy!

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Let’s look what exactly is included in this post;

How to get around Bali?

okay, so you’re going to have to get some sort of transport to be able to do all these epic things on the 16 things to do in Bali list. So let’s look at your best options.

Getting around Bali can either be cheap or leave a big dent in your travel budget. If you’re renting a scooter in Bali it will save you a lot on your backpacking budget, however I know not everyone is confident on riding scooters especially on the busy Bali island roads so in this case the best option would be to rent a scooter. However, I highly recommend getting a scooter to create your own unique adventure, save money and discover how to do the best things in Bali on a budget.

Here is a couple of the best transportation ways in Bali;

  • Scooter rental in Bali cost | $4 per day
  • Taxi in Bali cost | Varies

The Awesome List Of best Things To Do In Bali

1. Visit Nusa Penida from Bali island

A stunning and unforgettable island, which is a personal favourite of mine as a best thing to do in Bali. There is plenty of epic things to do on Nusa Penida, including the unbelievable Kelingking beach and the epic broken beach. I was absolutely shocked how amazing this island is.

I Never in a million years expected to see some of the unbelievable views on this newly tourist found island. You need to see Nusa Penida sooner rather than later as this island will become very touristic in the not so far future. You won’t want to visit the secret point beach if it’s covered in tourists running round like headless chickens with selfie sticks.

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Getting to Nusa Penida from Sanur Bali is easy and cheap and it is why it is on you 16 backpacker things to do in Bali list. 

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The cheapest way for how to get to Nusa Penida from Sanur is to pay for the local ferry from either Sanur or Padang Bai both which are located on mainland Bali, the ferry takes about 1 and half hours. Once your there you will be amazed at unbelievable picturesque scenery. Also, the food and accommodation on the Nusa Penida island is crazy cheap.

Ferry from Bali to Nusa Penida cost | $25

2. Visit the Gili islands

There are 3 tranquil Gili islands and your Bali bucket list should have at least one of the islands down for a visit. The Gili Trawangan and the other Gili islands are filled with romance, atmosphere and amazing spirit. I absolutely loved Gili T, such a cool island with a sweet atmosphere. It’s crazy how it’s perfectly for backpackers, but at the same time perfect for a luxury holiday. So whatever type of visit to Gili you want, there is something on this epic island for everyone

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So how to get to the Gili islands and where are the Gili islands?

You can visit the Gili islands by the same boat as the Nusa Penida journey which is from Bali mainlaind, it takes around 2 hours to get from Bali mainland to the Gili Trawangan.

Bali to the Gili islands by boat map

The accommodation on Gili is cheap (a room for $9 a night), the food is cheap and snorkelling with turtles is free! You will have an amazing time no matter what type of holiday or backpacking journey you are on and don’t forget the action camera for the turtles.

Ferry from Bali to the Gili islands cost | $25

3. Drink local Bali coffee

I love coffee and if you enjoy a cup of the finest then you will enjoy a coffee in Bali. There is a range of coffee available in Bali’s caffeine loving cafes like Balinese local espressos to sweet tasting vanilla lattes. The expensive Luwak coffee is also available, but Bali offer free tasters all over the place and that is what we will go for. Also, it is not just a small cup taster you will be given a tray of all the different flavours to enjoy. I went back a few times for the free coffee, I drank weyyyyy to much.

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There is also many coffee shops that do cheap food, therefore you can drink great coffee and dine for very little prices.

Pick a local coffee cost | $0.50 cent

4. Visit Tegenungan Waterfall

The are many amazing waterfalls in Bali, you have got to visit at least one when you’re Bali. Visiting waterfalls is always a favourite for backpackers, it’s cheap, it’s fun and you get unbelievable scenery. But don’t go after 1pm they can get crazy busy and everyone there is pushing and shoving around to get the perfect Instagram photo, it really annoys me. Therefore, you should go early in the morning around 8am!

The Tegenungan waterfall is one of the best waterfalls in Bali!

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Where is a great waterfall in Bali?

Visit to waterfall cost | free | however it’s $0.30 cent for parking

5. Climb Mount Batur in Bali

This is amazing if you like hiking and stunning views like me. You will get to see the Bali island, from the top of a volcano at sunrise. It’s a moment that will live with you forvever.

Sorry if you don’t like early mornings, because you will leave your hotel at 2am to venture out on this unique active volcano of Mount Batur hike.

We loved every minute from turning on our torches to accent the volcano to looking out over Bali from above the clouds. A truly memorable experience and worth the low-cost, plus you get a friendly guide in the cost to guide you up the mountain.

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mount batur sunrise hike in Bali, Indonesia

Climb with guide, transportation, breakfast and coffee cost | $25

6. Visit the temples

If you didn’t already know, the locals of Bali are very religious and take great pride in showing the world this. Therefore, this is why you can discover plenty of cool and unique temples, dotted all over in Bali The architect of the temples is spectacular and worth a visit to understand the craftsmanship that goes into these buildings.

Most of the temples are free but you may have to pay a small fee for parking.

Some of the best Temples in Bali

For a small price of next to nothing, visiting the temples of Bali is a must if your on a budget (of not on a budget).

Visiting this temple cost | free | parking $0.50 cent

7. Do the white water rafting of Ubud, Bali

The white water rafting in Bali, thrilling fun and a memorable experience. I had a wicked time on one of Bali’s best adventure things to do. You can hop into a raft and fight the fast rapids of the Ayung river for 2 hours, then hop out and grab a free all-you-can-eat buffet dinner.

white water rafting in bali

So much fun for a small price and the fact you can eat as much food as you like makes it worth the money (water is also free).

White water rafting of Ubud cost | $20

8. Talk to locals and learn some interesting history about Bali

I am always interested in the locals of foreign countries to see how they live and how well they can hold a conversation in English.

I couldn’t believe how friendly the people of Bali are, they will go out their way to start a conversation with you and they are very friendly. Whether it’s the busy part of Ubud or in the middle of nowhere on Nusa Penida, the locals are always friendly. You will feel very welcome and and at ease on a visit to Bali.

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Start a conversation, learn about them and learn them something about your culture as they are always interested. Best of all this is FREE.

Genuine friendly chat cost | Free but worth a lot

9. Try Bali’s best yoga in Ubud

For the best place to visit in Bali, Ubud has got to be up there. The locals refer to it as the yoga centre hub of the world. We tried the yoga barn, unfortunately it was yin yoga which is quite boring in my eyes. Nevertheless, there is still some epic yoga classes in Bali. If you like yoga, then you will definitely want to try yoga in Ubud.

The yoga in Ubud Bali is a lot cheaper in “back street” classes, which is still a yoga studio class – just not as fancy as some of the more popular yoga centres.

Yoga Barn in Ubud

Where is the best yoga place in Ubud?

There is plenty of free things to do in Ubud. For example the picturesque walking ridge or visiting Ubud’s art market.

Yoga in Ubud Bali cost | $6

10. Eat local Indonesian food

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Are you like me? Do you enjoy trying out different local foods? Even if you don’t. You have got to try the local foods of Indonesia  ,they’re bursting with flavour! It is usually rice or noodles with a mix of chicken or beef and mixed with a range of spices.

The local food is always the cheapest and in my eyes usually the tastiest. Bali restaurants sell westernised food aswell but that comes at more of an expense. So be adventurous try the local food and both your tastebuds and pockets will thank you!

Local Indonesian food cost | $1

11. Try surfing in Kuta Bali

Surfing is a BIG deal in Kuta Bali, if you go to any beach you will usually find a friendly local renting out surf boards.

surfing in Kuta is mega fun and I’m glad I did a few lessons in England before backpacking to get ready for the waves. But don’t worry if you haven’t done it before, surf lessons in Kuta are also available for cheap (I would of preferred to do my surf lessons on the Kuta beach in Bali).

Surf board rental in Kuta Bali cost next to nothing and it will give you hours of enjoyment.

Surfing in Kuta travel guide

Surfboard rental cost in Kuta Bali | $4

12. Enjoy the Bali sunsets

Grab a towel, head to one of Bali’s beaches and watch the sky fill with fire as the sun drops into the horizon. The sunsets in Bali are stunning and make the most perfect picture, this will get you a lot of likes on Instagram. The best things is that this costs absolutely nothing, FREE night on the sun.

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Watch the sunsets in Bali cost | C’mon Free

13. Change accommodation in Bali

Finding places to stay in Bali is easy with services such Booking.com and HostelWorld. These services will show you the best accommodation in Bali for very low prices. This is why I moved every 2 nights like a true travelling gypsy.

We was happy to keep moving around because at the low Bali Accommodation prices, why would you not want to stay in a new room every couple of nights? It’s like a new mini holiday in Bali every couple of days without the high expenses.

Top tip – Always pick accommodation in Bali with breakfast, this will save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Places to stay in Bali cost | room as little as $4 a night

14. Snorkel with turtles the Gili islands

Snorkelling on the Gili islands was one of the most surreal moments for me.

I got in the water to snorkel on Gili T for the first time and I was completely astonished at the size of the enormous turtles on the Gili islands;

  • The turtles go about their own business whilst you photograph them and even touch them (yes touch them, they don’t care as long as they can carry on eating). A true magical experience.
  • This is totally free, get your own snorkel and head into the water from the beach.

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Where is the best place to see the turtles on Gili T?

Every time I left the shore I found a turtle within 5-10 minutes, what a crazy experience and one of the most memorable things I did on Gili T.

Snorkelling on the Gili islands cost | Free (if you do it yourself)

15. Scuba diving in Bali

Get down deep below the water’s surface and discover a whole other world. I’ve tried scuba diving and absolutely loved it, I still need to work up the PADI qualification ladder. You can get this if you like in Bali.

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This may cost the most out of everything, however cheap accommodation and food for a week should give you the budget for this mega underwater adventure.

Prices for scuba diving

Scuba diving cost | $80+

16. The Swings of Ubud

The Bali swing is an adult adventure playground with amazing swings, climbing rocks, love nests and more. It is hours of fun jam packed into this adventure playground and it is definitely one of the best things to do in Bali.

We was a little unsure whether to try out this epic adventure due to the price as we are backpacking, but we never looked back after paying to join in the fun. The swings offer spectacular views over the vast jungle and also make for some memorable photos.

amazing Bali swing

Bali Swing cost | $35 for one then one free

17. Git Git waterfall

There is lots of top waterfalls in Bali and the Gitgit waterfall is one of the best you will get to see! Located in a jungle scenery, this is one of the most stunning Instagram, worthy places in Bali. It’s in breath taking place and this makes it one of the best waterfalls of Bali. It is very famous for calm and cool water and for long bridge walkways.

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18. Jungle Fish Ubud

The Jungle fish Ubud is an amazing restaurant, hotel and infinity swimming pool in Ubud, Bali. The restaurant claims itself as a ‘Bali no beach, beach club’ restaurant. This is the most epic and the perfect place if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the Ubud town centre. It is one on the best Bali Instagram locations to visit. Also, is has got to be one of the best and most luxurious hotels in Bali, as well as the hanging gardens in Ubud. Like the Bali monkey forestthis is one of them places to see in Ubud!

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19. Monkey Forest Ubud

The amazing sacred Monkey Forest Ubud of Padangtegal (Mandala Suci Wenara Wana) is a natural forest that is home to lots of long tailed Balinese monkeys, that are also known as Macaca fascicularis. Also, this is one of the best things to do in Ubud that you should really check out whilst visiting this top destination in Bali.

Tourists travel here from all over Bali to spend a day watching and feeding the monkeys. You’ll be surprised how many people ask if the monkeys in Bali have rabies and has there been any attacks? So, this is discussed in this post along with the awesome Sangeh monkey forest which is another popular attraction.

monkey forest ubud

20. Goa Gajah

Let’s dive straight in and clarify that the name Goa Gaja stands for elephant cave, which is an awesome tourist point in Ubud. The Goa Gajah Bali is cool setting of a unique courtyard, awesome carvings upon the walls of the rocks, an amazing meditation cave (one of the best cave temples in Bali), cool fountains and of course bathing pools. This really is a magical historic site that you need to check out. If you’re a fan of temples, you should definitely try and visit the awesome Tanah Lot Temple on your travels.

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21. Tanah Lot

If you’re heading to Bali you need to take a stop off at the picturesque sea side Pura Tanah Lot Temple, famed for its unique location and stunning sunsets. Tanah Lot Temple stands for earth (Tanah) and sea (Lot), quite appropriate considering its spectacular setting on top of an impressive rock overlooking the sea. It is one of 7 sea Temples located on the Balinese Coastline. This is just one of the amazing temples in Bali and other favourites of mine are the Pura Tirta Empul and Uluwatu Temple. Then there’s Pura Gunung Kawi and Pura Besikah to visit!

exploring the tanah lot beach

22. Uluwatu Temple

There is a lot of history around this Uluwatu Bali temple and it’s an epic experience to just explore the lands and take photos. If you can stay for the sunset, then I highly recommend you grab the opportunity to see one of the best Bali sunsets. If you’re wondering what Uluwatu means, the name Uluwatu comes from ulu, meaning ‘lands end’, and watu, meaning ‘rock.

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23. Pura Tirta Empul

What is the Temple of Pura Tirta Empul Bali? This is one of the most visited tourist points in Ubud, by both tourists and locals. This place is the ultimate attraction of tranquillity and a truly amazing experience into Balinese culture. You can join in the water foutains blessings and throw yourself in the composure of holy waters of the Empul temple of Bali, Indonesia. If you have visited the Uluwatu Temple Bali, then you will love this one. Furthermore, this is one of the best things to do in Ubud on your visit.

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24. Tegelalang Rice Terraces

What is the Tegallalang rice terraces in Ubud? The rice fields origannly named “Ceking rice terraces” are a stunning setting of rice paddies that visitors can pay an entrance fee to explore them and also see the rice terraces swing. Also, the terraces are a UNESCO world heritage site and they should be on your list of things to do as it’s one of the most famous places to visit in Bali. The location of the rice terraces is just north of Ubud in the quirky little Tegalalang village. It is known the terraces stand 600 metres above sea level, so there are epic views up there. The Ubud rice terraces are absolutely amazing and should definitely be on your bucket list if you are visiting Bali.

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Where to stay in Bali?

You will never struggle to find a place to stay in Bali. The number of guesthouse in Bali probably outnumbers the local private houses. I have stayed at some of the best budget places to stay in Bali and I’ve also stayed at some of better places to stay in Bali.

There’s also mega luxury accommodation in Bali, which is perfect for those looking to visit Bali on a romantic honeymoon. As a result, what ever type of trip you’re on, there is plenty of suited places to stay in Bali. 

Summary

I hope this list of 16 backpacker things to do in Bali has been helpful. I have had an amazing time in Bali and I hope your journey is just as exciting. Please subscribe to my adventure and let’s share journeys.

Have you done anything else when visiting the epic Bali? Please subscribe below if this post has been helpful  

Check out my list on the best things to do in Ubud

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