Reviewed on Dec. 19, 2020
Reviewed on Mar. 23, 2020
Reviewed on Jan. 3, 2021
Rejuvenate on idyllic beaches, explore mystical temples, browse galleries or cycle through the lush countryside of this famous island in the Indonesian archipelago.
Bali’s attractions draw a range of people, from backpackers and expats, to families and honeymooners. This once sleepy tropical island has become world famous for its gorgeous beaches, rolling mountains and unique cultural, spiritual and artistic flair.
Bali can be very cheap or moderately expensive, depending on your needs. Stay in a resort or hotel and book a tour, hire a private guide, jump in a taxi or bus, or rent a bicycle, motorbike or car to get around.
The island’s most famous beaches are in North Kuta, just a short drive north from the international airport at Denpasar, Bali’s capital city. Kuta Beach and Legian Beach are a surfer’s paradise. In the villages of Kuta and Legian, markets, bars, water parks and food outlets keep the crowds entertained. Head to Sanur Beach, on the east coast, to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere that makes this part of the island popular with families.
Spend a few days inland, among the rice paddies and forests of Tegallalang Village or Ubud to see a more cultural side of Bali. Ubud is Bali’s artistic capital, so take your pick from the Puri Lukisan Museum, Neka Art Museum, Antonio Blanco Museum and the Arma Museum. Take a yoga class, bike along rice paddies or see the macaques on the temples’ roofs in Ubud Monkey Forest. Don’t miss the mysterious Elephant Cave, and take a dip in the ninth-century Tirta Empul baths.
South of Ubud, meet the animals at the Bali Zoo and Bali Bird Park. North of Ubud, in central Bali, is the Gunung Kawi Temple, carved into the mountain.
In South Kuta is idyllic Jimbaran Beach. Head here to enjoy a seafood banquet with your toes in the sand. On the east coast of South Kuta is Nusa Dua with Mengiat Beach and the Pasifika Museum. On the southwest coast, the Uluwatu Temple sits atop rugged cliffs, one of the best places on the island to watch the famous Bali sunset.