Idyllic beaches, stunning nature and beautiful temples
Bali has long enticed travellers from far and wide, from backpackers, surfers and yogis to culture vultures, foodies and schoolies. This is Southeast Asia's original island paradise: an irresistible package of legendary beaches, spellbinding nature, beautiful local culture and delicious food.
Famous for world-class waves and psychedelic sunsets, Bali’s beach life is as good as it gets. Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Sanur – with so many options it’s hard to choose one! The island’s other natural attractions are no less enchanting. A journey through Bali’s interior will immerse you in a Garden of Eden–like scenery of flower-strewn temples, pristine waterfalls and sculpted rice terraces, all to the unforgettable backdrop of volcanoes. With traditional Balinese arts and fascinating Hindu culture mixed in with palaces, amazing food and energetic nightlife, it's clear the hype surrounding Bali is well justified.
Things to do: Bali
Bali has no shortage of island-hopping options. Most popular is the trip across to Nusa Lembongan and neighbouring Nusa Penida. Both are known for their relaxed island vibe, with lovely beaches and excellent diving and snorkelling – including the opportunity to spot mola-mola (ocean sunfish) from around July to September.
Some of Bali's most popular attractions are the beautiful temples found across the island. All feature stunning Balinese-Hindu designs, and many are in spectacular locations overlooking dramatic seascapes and volcanic backdrops. Among the most famous are Tanah Lot, with its memorable setting perched on a rock out to sea, and the elegant royal water temple Pura Taman Ayun.
Food is one of Bali's undisputed highlights, and you'll find much more on the menu than nasi goreng. Local specialties include nasi campur (assorted banquet), babi guling (roast suckling pig) and bebek betutu (Balinese roast duck). And don’t miss Jimbaran's sunset seafood restaurants overlooking the ocean. You'll find a burgeoning local culinary scene too, with talented Balinese and international chefs whipping up creative Indonesian and fusion cuisine.
Ngurah Rai International Airport opens in new window (Denpasar; DPS)
Distance to Kuta Beach 7.5km; to Ubud 36km
Taxi A taxi to Bali's most popular beach towns of Kuta and Seminyak costs around IDR Rp120,000 to IDR Rp150,000 and takes around 20 minutes. There is a pre-paid taxi counter outside arrivals with fixed prices to destinations around the south of the island.Back to top
When to go
Located on the equator, Bali enjoys sunshine just about all year round, especially in the coastal areas. The rainy season from October to March means it tends to rain for just a few hours a day, though cloudy skies may last longer. Temperatures dip as you head towards the mountains of central Bali.
Two of Bali's main festivals include the annual Kite Festival in July and the Ubud Writers Festival in October. And all year long, you’re likely to stumble on Balinese Hindu religious ceremonies, held to celebrate almost every aspect of life – if you’re lucky, you might even witness the famed Ngaben/Pelebon cremation ceremony, which tends to involve thousands of people.Back to top
The most convenient way to get around is by taxi – be sure to use the reliable Blue Bird brand, who will use their meter. Though be aware they are prohibited to operate in some tourist areas such as Ubud and Canggu. GOJEK and Grab are handy ride-share apps, but are only allowed to operate in certain areas.
For longer trips, hire a private car and driver, the fee for which is charged by the day (8-10 hours) – you'll need to negotiate, but expect to pay around IDR Rp500,000 to IDR Rp800,000 per day. You can also rent a scooter and motor around like a true local for around IDR Rp50,000 per day.Back to top
Discover more about Bali
Green and serene - the Bali resort that will leave you transformed
Journeying to a beautiful hideaway in a remote rainforest in Bali, Sarinbuana Eco Lodge, a responsible travel leader, evokes more than a sense of oneness with nature – it plants the seeds of change.
This Bali yoga retreat will change your life
Want to pair your holiday with your headstand practice? This life-changing yoga retreat in Bali helps restore body-mind balance in unexpected ways.
"How three days at this Bali retreat finally taught me to sleep well"
You can learn to perfect the art of snoozing on a Bali wellness holiday dedicated to the science of slumber. It’s just one of a growing number of sleep therapy retreats.
River-rafting and mud-wrestling: this is a family holiday like nothing else
Raft building, mud wrestling, night safaris... oh my! A family-friendly holiday amidst the jungle at Green Camp, Bali, is anything but your typical kids’ club vacation.
The wellness hotspots in Bali only the locals know about
From yoga classes and spa treatments to vegan eats and detox cleanses, here's where the locals go for wellbeing on the Indonesian island.
An expert’s guide to taking on Bali by yourself
Holidaying on your own in Bali? From the island’s most tranquil yoga spots to the best café for digital nomads, here’s how to do Bali solo.
Discover Ubud through a local's lens
Bali-based foodie and founder of the Ubud Writers' Festival Janet De Neefe shows us around her adopted home Ubud - from the best restaurants to must-visit cultural destinations.
An insider's guide to having the perfect family holiday in Bali
With great food, child-friendly accommodation and a huge range of activities for kids, Indonesia’s family-oriented tropical island promises a good time for kids and adults.
Don't miss these amazing Gili Island experiences
From colourful markets to climbing an active volcano, here are the best things you can do in the Gili Islands - apart from the marine activities of course.
Bali retreat: The secret to slowing down and stressing less
Bali local yogi Rachel Fearnley reveals her top tips for staying relaxed and the best places to eat well and rest easy in Canggu.
Pssst... Ubud is a great family destination too!
Think Ubud is just for yogis and soul searchers? Think again. This Balinese town surrounded by serene rice terraces and lush forest is also an unforgettable family paradise.
Canggu's best beach clubs
Enjoy a sunset cocktail or spend the day lazing at these cool beach clubs in Bali's hippest holiday town.
These are Bali's best wellness retreats
Whether you’re looking to perfect your tree pose, meditate or get fit, there’s a feel-good island escape to suit everyone in Bali.
Unspoilt Bali islands you should visit right now
Visitor numbers to Bali are soaring, yet savvy travellers are taking a breather from the mainland for a more relaxed sun, sand and surf fix on three islands nearby.
Eat and retreat: Best ways to wellness in Bali
For anyone seeking a respite from modern life, there are myriad ways to restore one’s mind, body and soul in mystical Bali – whether it’s for a week, a day or an hour.
What to expect from a visit to Waterbom Bali
Away from the rice paddies and the temples, Michael Ward and his family experience the adrenaline rush of a waterslide, or two.
Gili Islands, the new go-to for travellers to Bali
Move over Bali - the nearby Gili Islands have become a hot destination for travellers in the know. We help you decide which Island is right for you.
Top 6 kid-friendly things to do in Bali
Grown-ups love it for its gorgeous beaches, luxurious resorts, pumping nightlife and delicious food, but there’s a whole other side of Bali made just for kids. Here are six of the best.