19 things to do when travelling to the magical land of Bali

Jul 31 2018, 4:39 am

The beauty of Bali is that it has something for everyone. Whether you’re in it for a romantic honeymoon, family vacay, adrenaline rush, zen retreat, or booze-fueled extravaganza, this island has got you covered.

This list could go on forever, but here are some of our top things to do in Bali.

Party your face off

where to drink

Potato Head Beach Club in Bali. (Shutterstock)

And then party some more. Bali attracts partygoers from across the globe (admittedly with a heavy emphasis on drunken Australians) who are down for some epic tunes, drinks, and company. Check out our list of where to drink in Bali for awesome bar recommendations.

Frolic in a waterfall

Banyumala Twin Waterfalls in Bali. (Shutterstock)

You’re in Bali. Waterfall frolicking is a must. Find one of the many waterfalls across the island and dive right in. A few top recos are Banyumala Twin Waterfalls in north Bali, Tegenungan Waterfall in Ubud, or Kanto Lampo in Gianyar.

Hike Mount Batur

best things to do

Mt. Batur at sunrise. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive)

Gear up for a 3 am wake-up, a great workout, stunning view, and rambunctious monkeys at the top. Your accommodation manager will coordinate everything for you from the driver, hiking guide, “breakfast” (some sort of combo of white bread, a hard-boiled egg and a banana, so you may want to bring a backup), and any activities for after such as a rice field tour or hot springs. The views of Mount Agung, Lake Batur, and the Balinese countryside will take your breath away.

Go surfing

things to do Bali

Surfer riding wave at Padang Padang beach in Bali. (Shutterstock)

Join world-class surfers riding the waves of Dreamland, Padang Padang, Canggu, or Balian. Or just park yourself on the beach with a cocktail and take in the views.

Visit the rice fields

what to do Bali

Rice fields in Bali. (@topolindra/Instagram)

You can’t go to Bali without getting the classic rice field terrace photo. Make your way over to Tegalalang in Ubud or Pupuan in West Bali, stare pensively into the distance, and get that ‘gram.

Day trip to Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Penida Island. (Shutterstock)

These little slices of paradise are relatively non-touristy and you fall in love with the postcard-worthy beaches, friendly locals, and overall island vibes. You can catch a boat from the mainland of Bali, and take the 30-45 minute cruise over. Most accommodation managers will be happy to help coordinate. 

See a traditional Balinese show

things to do

Balinese Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple on Bali, Indonesia. (Shutterstock)

Balinese culture is a beautiful, spiritual, colourful experience and you will see displays of it all over the island. One of the most popular places to take in the Balinese cultural expression is the Kecak dance at sunset on Uluwatu Temple.

Hit the beach

what to do Bali

Padang Padang beach in Bali. (Shutterstock)

Join in on some family-friendly watersports at Nusa Dua; check out the hidden rock formations from Eat Pray Love at Padang Padang, ride your bike along Sanur Beach’s coastal promenade, or go snorkelling off of Amed Beach in the north. Beach bum life is the best life, and you know Bali is all about that life.

Bike through the countryside

things to do bali

Biking through the Balinese countryside. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive)

The touristy hotspots are all great, but a great way to experience true Balinese lifestyle is to bike through the countryside. Organize through your accommodation managers or the many tour operators in Ubud, and make sure to shop around for the best price (speaking from a scam experience). You will pass by temples, rice fields, crops, beautiful homes and beautiful people. This is authentic, untouched, beautiful Bali.

Monkey around

Balinese Monkeys

Balinese Monkeys (Shutterstock)

If you want to immerse yourself in wildlife, look no further than the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, which is home to around 700 Balinese Macaque. Explore this jungle covered in lush greenery and baby monkeys clinging to their moms. But beware as they are notorious for snatching loose items like sunglasses and cell phones!

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Aside from these furry monkeys, the sanctuary is a great example of the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature that Bali does so well.

Find your inner yogi

things to do bali

The Yoga Barn, Ubud, Bali. (@theyogabarn/Instagram)

It’s no surprise that the lush jungles of Bali make a great backdrop for peaceful yoga sessions. Since spirituality is so prominent here many places in Bali, it is a prime spot for yoga retreats. Ubud is considered a yoga Mecca, with the tranquil Yoga Barn being one of the most well-known yoga studios in the world. Channel your inner yogi, or try it out for the first time. Namaste.

Snorkel or scuba dive with epic marine life

things to do bali

Diving with turtles at Turtle Heaven, Gili T. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive)

Indonesia has world-renowned diving, and if you’re in Bali you definitely need to spend some time getting acquainted with the marine life. Take the plunge at Amed in Northern Bali, take a 30-45 minute boat ride over to Nusa Penida for a chance to see manta rays or a 2.5-hour ride to the Gili islands for a Turtle Heaven (no really, that’s what the dive site is called). If you’re really keen, take the hour-long flight to Flores in Komodo National Park and see mantas, turtles, and more!

Visit an elephant sanctuary

things to do bali

Mason Elephant Park & Lodge. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive).

If visiting animals in captivity, it’s essential to do your research and make sure ethical standards are upheld. Mason Elephant Park and Lodge is the only dedicated elephant rescue facility in Bali and is an opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle giants in a safe and comfortable environment.

Catch a sunset

travel in 20s

Seminyak in Bali, Indonesia. (Shutterstock)

Bali sunsets are seriously a daily phenomenon, and the west coast is dotted with beach clubs and restaurants that are designed for taking it all in. Enjoy some seafood with your toes in the sand on Jimbaran beach, cozy up in the colourful bean bags of Seminyak, or kick back to some acoustic tunes in Canggu. The vibrant red, pink, purple, and orange skies are where Bali’s magic shines through the most.

Buy all of the beautiful Balinese things

things to do bali

Rattan bags paradise in Ubud. (@ubudhood/Instagram)

You’ve seen the rattan purses all over Instagram and at designer shops back home for over $100. But you are now at the source of this boho style phenomenon, so you better be getting your shop on. You can usually bargain at the markets for an even better deal. Stroll the shops of Jk. Kayu Aya in Seminyak, Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong in Canggu, or the many markets of Ubud. Hope you left some room in your suitcase!

Get a Balinese massage

Balinese massage. (Shutterstock)

Balinese massage is a holistic full body treatment, using essential oils and techniques of gentle stretching, acupressure and reflexology. An hour session will be sure to enhance your ‘qi’ and wellbeing; you can feel the zen already, can’t you?!

Ball out on accommodation

things to do bali

Green Village in Bali. (@iamstais/Instagram)

In Bali, you can live like kings and queens without breaking the bank. It’s not unheard of to rent a villa in Canggu or Ubud with your own private pool for $50 CAD a night. You can also find insane pads like this bamboo treetop village that you could never dream of staying in anywhere else in the world. Even the hostels are luxurious — shout out to Capsule Hostel New Seminyak, which we may or may not have checked into four times over a two month period. Bali’s accommodation scene is next to none, and you need to soak it up!

Try your chef skills at a traditional cooking class

Traditional cooking class (Shutterstock)

Okay, so you love the food, why not learn how to make it? Embark on a culinary adventure to learn the secrets of authentic Balinese cooking, utilizing traditional ingredients and preparation methods in a fully equipped community village kitchen. Discover how to create your very own delicious authentic Balinese dishes while immersing yourself in the local culture.

Embrace the Instagram opportunities

Swing set over Twin Lakes, Bali. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive)

You know Bali is all about that Instagram appeal – don’t try and fight it. In case it wasn’t clear from this article already, we are all for a good Insta opp. The locals in Bali know this all too well, and they have mastered the art of providing picturesque photo spots for tourists – yes it is a cash grab and yes you have to do it anyway. Visit spots like this swing over the twin lakes, the hanging bird’s nest right next to it, the infamous Bali Swing over the jungle in Ubud, the Gateway to Heaven at Pura Lempuyang, or the many life-sized photo frames at the rice terraces. You don’t have to pay for likes, but you can pay for the photos that bring in the likes.

What are your favourite things to do in Bali? Share with us using the hashtag #dailyhivemapped.

Kellie PaxianKellie Paxian

+ Travel Guides
+ Mapped