The must-do activities for first-time Bali visitors
Are you getting ready for an exciting and fun-filled Bali vacation? Preparing for your upcoming adventure can often be overwhelming, but don’t worry!
This article will guide you through the top must-do activities you won’t miss. So, read on and let the planning begin – you’re sure to have a great time in Bali!
Accommodation: Finding the right place to stay
Accommodation is a vital part of your Bali holiday. Finding the right place to stay can be both daunting and exciting. When looking for a place to sleep, there are many options available. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider luxury hotels or budget-friendly hostels and homestays.
For those who want more space and privacy, some villas offer everything from romantic couples’ accommodation to luxurious family options with plenty of room for groups of friends or extended family. Many villas also provide amenities such as swimming pools, café and restaurants for guests’ convenience.
Apartments near the beach can be the best option for surfers and beach-goers who plan frequent trips to Bali’s stunning beaches. This will provide easy access to nearby restaurants, shops, spas and other nearby attractions without the hassle of long drives from farther inland locations.
Overall, finding the right place to stay in Bali is an important step in planning your holiday – a short weekend getaway or a longer escape! Be sure to research before finalizing your choice, so you have the best vacation possible!
Transportation: Getting around Bali
Travelling in Bali is both easy and affordable. With so many attractions and temples to explore, the infrastructure has been built to support visitors’ needs for getting around the island. Here are the various modes of transport you can choose from:
Public Transportation: Bali offers an economical and reliable public transportation service, with some buses connecting the main parts of the island. Those are not really recommended because the traffic jams make the schedule unpredictable.
Ride-Hailing: If you prefer convenience, you could book a ride-hailing service like Grab or GoJek. You should download their apps before your visit to be used while visiting Bali.
Renting a Car/Motorbike: Renting a car or motorbike is possible in Bali, with most reputable companies requiring drivers to hold a valid international license. Make sure you read through the rental agreements before signing them, know all applicable traffic rules when driving (Indonesian), and wear protective gear when riding your motorbike.
Sightseeing: Exploring the best tourist attractions
Bali has no shortage of beautiful and amazing tourist attractions to discover. From the ancient architecture of places like Taman Ayun Temple and Uluwatu Temple to the stunning views from Mount Agung and Mount Batur, you can find plenty of ways to make your time in Bali unforgettable.
There are plenty of temples with breathtaking landscape gardens for nature lovers that are also worth exploring. The Gili Islands, Tanah Lot Temple, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Bedugul Botanical Garden, and many other gems will offer a chance to submerge yourself in the beauty of Bali.
Don’t forget the countless beaches like Sanur Beach, Nusa Dua Beach and Kuta Beach – perfect for sunbathing or even watersports such as snorkelling and jet skiing at some great beach locations like Dreamland Beach.
With so many things to do here, you won’t run out of activities during your stay!
Food: Trying the local cuisine
Bali is home to various edible delights, with a unique blend of flavours that can only be tasted here. There are several surprising dishes for visitors looking for lip-smacking dishes. From the classic Bebek Betutu—a classic Balinese dish of slow-roasted duck—and traditional lawar greens to the freshly caught seafood options, it’s an endless list.
Some must-tries that enable visitors to taste the strong spices and well-balanced flavours that are profound in Balinese cuisine include nasi Campur (a multi-item platter usually found on restaurant menus), sate Lilit (made with ground fish or seafood) and babi guling (roast suckling pig)!
A word of caution – heavy spiciness and intense flavours can be overwhelming for some palates.
Shopping: Shopping for souvenirs and local products
Shopping in Bali is an absolute must if you’re looking for souvenirs or local products. From its world-famous keychains and dream catchers to traditional art handicrafts, the wide selection of shops in the region will make finding a thoughtful gift for your friends and family back home a piece of cake! Besides gifts, you can find clothes, arts and crafts, jewellery, furniture and pottery from some of the most talented designers in Bali.
For those looking for top-of-the-line clothing at more affordable prices than in other countries, look no further than Seminyak — it boasts high-quality yet reasonably-priced fashion finds! As for art handicrafts, including Balinese stone statues and carvings of different Hindu deities (20000 – 500000 IDR), Ubud is known to be a great place to find those —if you don’t mind haggling—it’s practically unavoidable at the Ubud Markets. For local teas like white kratom that are said to be healthy as well as add significantly to its flavour profile when brewed into coffee beverages (1 kilo: 600 – 1000 IDR), head straight over to Javanese Tea Handicraft located around Tampaksiring — here you will find many unique variations of tea leaves ready just for your taste buds.
Lastly, suppose jewellery is on your list. We recommend checking out Kuta Square, where you will find some stunning pieces crafted from white sapphires from neighbouring Java. Not to mention that almost all stores are outfitted with air conditioning, so your shopping experience can be truly enjoyable!
Nightlife: Enjoying the nightlife of Bali
Bali’s nightlife scene is an electrifying and eclectic mix of renowned bars and pubs, semi-high-end clubs or members-only venues. Wherever your tastes lie, the idealized setting, captivating music and amazing variety of beverages in all corners of the island will be sure to captivate and charm you.
Enjoy some downtime at sophisticated lounges like Ku De Ta or Finns Beach Club to get a real feel for the iconic ambience that Bali bars provide. Alternatively, take in some live music at a nightclub or make an effortless trip to the daringly chic Double Six Rooftop bar. Sample some of Bali’s famous cocktails overlooking Seminyak beach from one of their top decks.
Whether you stay out late into the night to Party in Canggu or wake up at sunrise to explore another day – Bali’s nightlife surely has something for everyone.
Culture: Experiencing the culture of Bali
Balinese culture is a mix of ancient traditions with modern western sensibilities, providing visitors with a rich cultural experience. Tourists can witness the vibrant culture of Bali on a day-to-day basis and find plenty of interesting activities to do on the island.
Visiting one or more temples is a must-see if you want to immerse yourself in the local way of life. Every Balinese village has its own temple, ranging from tiny family temples to grand sandstone structures open for public viewing. Additionally, many ritual offerings are made throughout the island by locals engaging in devotion or prayer rituals and these can sometimes be witnessed by visitors too.
Another great way to experience local culture is by attending various ceremonies that occur every week. From gamelan performances at temples to cockfighting to traditional dances like Kecak, there’s never a dull moment in Bali! Watching these traditional activities will provide insight into the lifestyle and customs of the Balinese people.
Don’t forget about arts and crafts either! There’s plenty for someone interested in design and handicrafts, so check out some shopping centres for souvenirs. You can also visit craft villages such as Celuk (gold and silver jewellery) or Batubulan (stone carving). These villages are great places for getting personal with artisans producing hand-crafted items that are unique souvenirs of your visit!
Adventure: Doing adventurous activities in Bali
Bali is an adventurer’s paradise with its soaring volcanoes, breathtaking beaches, and lush rainforests. Surprise, the island is a hit with first-time visitors looking to get out of their comfort zone and experience something entirely new.
If you’re feeling brave, take a dip at one of Bali’s beautiful waterfalls, trek up Mount Batur for an amazing sunrise-watching experience or explore ancient temples. If you’re looking for something more on the adrenaline side, try canyoneering in Tekelan gorge or paragliding from Mount Batukaru and experience untouched nature from up high. Or, if you’d like something more fast-paced, why not head out for a white water rafting adventure down Telaga Waja River?
For those seeking an aquatic adventure, dive or snorkel at Menjangan Island to explore one of Bali’s most unspoiled diving sites through the calm and clear waters teeming with marine life. Go stand-up paddle boarding along the south coast of Bali for breathtaking views of both land and sea. Or try flyboarding along a beachfront — experiencing what it feels like to be a superhuman where you can fly as high as 12m above the sea surface! No matter what level your adventure taste lies at there are plenty of thrilling activities to cross off your Bali Bucket List so come on down and let loose!