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Plan Your Trip to Bali: Best of Bali Tourism

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In partnership with AYANA Hospitality

Bali, Indonesia

Bali packs a lot into one small island— from breathtaking waterfalls like Sekumpul in the north to the white sand beaches of Nyang Nyang in the south. Whatever you’re seeking, you’ll probably find: surf-able waves in Batu Bolong, all-night clubs in Seminyak, luxury clifftop hotels in Nusa Dua, and spiritual refuges all around. Snap a pic at the Gateway to Heaven, cut through the jungle to the hidden Gunung Kawi Temple, and catch the sunset and a traditional fire dance at Uluwatu Temple. Just don’t miss the markets—hunt for handcrafted artwork and textiles at the Sukawati Art Market, or snack on street food staples like satay and bakso at the Sindhu Night Market. For even more tastes and things to do, check out our recs below.

Travel Advice

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Essential Bali

How to do Bali in 3 days

Beach hangs, cocktails, and sunset fire dances
Read on

My favorite street markets in Bali

The street markets of Bali are a treat for the senses. Colorful silks, sparkling artisanal jewelry…even the sizzling street food is pure eye candy. I’ve checked out almost all of the markets on the island and these are my top five recs that are so worth braving the crowds to visit. Be sure to bring your appetite, and an extra bag for your loot.
jennifercruznguyen, Toronto, Canada
  • Gianyar Street Night Market
    157
    Known as “Pasar Senggol Gianyar” to locals, the Gianyar Street Night Market is famous for its street food. (I took a guided tour here with Tripbylocals and thought it was well worth the price.) Among the Indonesian delicacies to sample here are satay, suckling pig, serombotan (Balinese salad), lempog (cassava cake), and kue ongol ongol (Indonesian mochi). My favorite though is the klepon, a coconut-covered rice cake.
  • La Brisa
    1,239
    La Brisa beach club hosts a market every Sunday and it’s a must-visit for anyone who prefers a more relaxed, curated experience. You can shop for organic produce, baked goods, and natural beauty products, all surrounded by lush greenery and fisherman boats. Don’t miss Bokashi Bali, a farm-to-table grocery store selling homemade honey, essential oils, and more.
  • Frog Market
    11
    Pasar Kodok (a.k.a. Frog Market) is Bali’s best-kept secret for thrifters. Explore the block and a half of stalls and you’ll discover both vintage and contemporary second-hand clothing from all over Central Asia. While you won’t need to fight off other tourists, you will need to sift through racks and racks of clothing, so bring your patience, a bottle of water (it can get hot in the shops), and a sharp eye.
  • Ubud Traditional Art Market
    1,825
    My obsession with Bali started when I first saw Eat, Pray, Love. If you’re also a fan of the movie, don’t miss the Ubud Art Market—it’s where the market scene was filmed. Also known as Pasar Seni Ubud, this spot has a great selection of handmade souvenirs (oil paintings, silk scarves, kites) as well as excellent produce and spices toward the east end of the market.
  • Sukawati Art Market
    417
    Expect to find a bit of everything here from wooden house decor and colorful sarongs to rattan bags. Pasar Seni Sukawati is also one of the more affordable markets in Bali (especially if you buy in bulk) and is entirely indoors, which is nice on rainy or super hot days.

Bali Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Bali

AngL

Yes, you do need to be careful crossing the road because the traffic can be crazy, however, I would have to be careful crossing a busy road near where I live.

Kieran

Taxis are so easy to get all-around Bali, so don’t stress about that. You’ll need cash for them though unless you’re using an app like Grab which is really popular.

ShutupGreg

Do a lot of research but don't micro-plan every minute of your stay... it will all fall into place.

Rhonda C

Surfing, scuba diving, great eats, and very friendly people are what Bali is all about to me. And, of course, you can't go to Bali without a massage.

Rick M

Bali is a fantastic place for all travelers, young and old alike. I've been traveling to this fantastic tropical oasis for the past 30 years and I've seen a lot of changes in that time. It is my hope and wishes that you will find Bali to be one of your favorite places too.

Joannes Rhino

Beaches are Bali’s best asset, apart from its gorgeous cliff-side resorts, rooftop bars, and celebrity weddings. But have you ever heard of a beach with black sand, or one so exclusive you can find the rich and famous? This tropical island boasts many such secret places tucked away in its little corners, where you can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea far away from the crowd.

Lynne P

Sun, sand, tropical forests, luxurious resorts, heavenly spas, and a food lover's paradise — whether you're celebrating a wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, Valentine's day, or simply want to enjoy some quality time together away from the humdrum of day-to-day life, indulge in the best of what romantic Bali has to offer!

What is the best way to get there?

flying

Bali is served by one airport: the Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), just 13 km (~8mi) south of Denpasar, the capital of Bali and the main gateway to the island. Flights from major international cities regularly fly in and out of DPS. It is also well connected to most of Indonesia and has regular domestic flights connecting it to major cities within the country.

bus

Travelers can take a bus from Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) to Bali, but only if you can brave the 23-hour bus journey.

ship

Bali is quite a popular port for most cruise liners traversing through Southeast Asia. To get into Bali through the sea route, take a flight to Singapore, Sumatra or Java and take a ship for your onward journey to Bali. The information desks at the airport will guide you thoroughly.

Do I need a visa?

Visa Regulations are based on your passport and nationality. Over 160 nationalities need no Visa and have free entry for a maximum stay of 30 days. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months out from the day of your arrival. For more information and the list of 160 countries, see here.

When is the best time to visit?

May to September: Bali’s tropical climate has two distinct seasons: dry (between May to September) and wet (between October to April). May, June, and July are generally considered to be the best time to travel to Bali in terms of the weather. That is when temperatures hover around 80 Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). However, depending on whether the traveler is a surfer or explorer, preferences may change. During the dry season, May to October, the western side of the peninsula creates some of the world's best waves. The best advice is to check the estimated weather during the time of travel and pack accordingly.

For more information on Bali’s weather and when to go, you can check out some tips here.

Get around

driving

Most travelers are satisfied with either a bemo (chartered vehicles with driver) or taxi (metered). Travelers will hear the words "bemo, bemo, bemo" or "transport, transport" all over Bali. If the vehicle has a taximeter, travelers should insist that the meter must be turned on. Otherwise, the driver will offer a fixed fare, or say the meter is broken. If the vehicle is a "private" bemo and has no meter, it is typical to bargain for the cost of the charter before taking the ride.

scooters

For adventurers, a motorbike is a quick, but often dangerous, way to get around town. Travelers need to purchase insurance and must have an international license. Wear a helmet at all times and keep your license on you.

bicycle

A bicycle is an inexpensive and scenic way to travel through Bali. Many villages have a place to hire a bike for the day. When exploring the backroads in places like Ubud and around Lovina, travelers may find a bicycle an ideal form of transport. However, cyclists should keep on the smaller roads and plan out each trip since Balinese road conditions are not always suited to long bike rides, with its steep hills and thick traffic on some of the main roads.

Check out more tips on getting around Bali here.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

WITA (Central Indonesian Time)

What are the voltage/plug types?

230 Volts / 50 Hz. In Indonesia, they typically use Type C and Type F plugs.For plug types, you can reference this international guide.

What is the currency?

Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes.

Are credit cards widely accepted?

In some areas. Credit cards are usually accepted for larger purchases, accommodation (apart from smaller establishments), department stores, and larger restaurants. Always check though, as they are not accepted as widely as in Western Countries.

How much do I tip?

Tipping is not customary in Indonesia, but small gratuities for great service are very much appreciated. The exception is spa services. Most Indonesians give tips to their hairdresser or masseur after they complete the service. Just 5-10% of the bill is appropriate. Get more tipping tips here.

Are there local customs I should know?

Spirituality

The Balinese are extremely devout and spiritual. In Bali, there are more than 20,000 temples. The Balinese believe that good spirits dwell in the mountains and that the seas are home to demons. Therefore, most villages have at least three main temples: one of which is the Pura Puseh or “temple of origin,” is dedicated to the village founders and which faces Mt Agung — home to Pura Besakih the mother temple of Bali. Also, each home, rice field, or market can have several temples. Daily offerings are made at these temples in the form of food, cigarettes, sweets, and sometimes even money in order to honor the good spirits and satiate the evil spirits. Here’s a great overview of culture in Bali.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bali




If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Bali between March and May, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between June and August.