Your go-to guide to the island’s best tourist attractions.
Make the most of your island getaway with these amazing activities in Bali, from sipping cocktails in your villa and beach club, partying in Canggu or Seminyak, enjoying world-class day spas to watching cheeky monkeys in Ubud or bartering with locals in Legian for that Bintang T-shirt.
The yearly pilgrimage to Bali is normal for many Australians and travellers worldwide. They keep coming back each year not just because of the fabulous Bali villas but also because the island has so many wonderful and exciting things to do. Once Bali gets under your skin, it can be quite addictive. I have heard stories of people having been to Bali over 50 times. This is why we keep updating this article (recently, December 2022) to keep everyone informed about the best things to see and do in Bali.
If you are like most Aussies, you probably love Bali for many reasons, which is why they plan at least 2 trips a year. I’m afraid no other destination offers me the kind of experience Bali does. So the team at Bali Villa Escapes thought we would list a few reasons why Bali is such a wonderful place and why we seem to find ourselves booking that next Jetstar, Malindo, Virgin, Qantas or Garuda flight as soon as the holiday finishes.
13 Things to do in Seminyak
1. Learn to surf
Seminyak Beach is a great place for newbies to try and get the hang of surfing. Head over to Double Six Beach and rent a board or go for a lesson or 2 with one of the local surf dudes. The price for a two-hour lesson is Rp 300 000 or AUD 30. This is such great value. Before you know it, you are riding the waves to shore one after another. One note of warning: surfing is very addictive, and you’ll want to be doing it every day in Bali!
Many surf schools are dotted along the beach where you can rock up and ask one of the guys there for a lesson. There are, however, a few surf schools online where you can book in advance.
2. Shop till you drop at unique shopping boutiques
Seminyak is the most famous shopping haven in Bali. Oberoi Road is the place to be for a shopaholic’s treasure hunt. Start at Cornerhouse at the beginning of Jalan Kayu Aya and stroll down to Seminyak Square. After the shopping malls, you can continue walking towards the Petitenget Strip – this is a shopping paradise! You will stumble upon unique designers ( such as Magali Pascal ), boutiques and celebrated fashion stores, finding the most beautiful dresses, jewellery and homeware items. You can also find some local vendors selling souvenirs. Head to a place called the Flea Market or Kaya Aya Village, about 100 metres from Ku De Ta. Here you’ll find about 50 stalls selling the usual T-shirts, wood carvings, sarongs etc. If you head in the other direction towards Jalan Basangkasa towards Jalan Legian, you’ll also have more shopping options from local vendors selling everything from clothes to wood carvings. Bring your bargaining skills for this!
3. Sunset drinks
Most people come to Bali for sunset drinks, and Seminyak is Bali’s top destination for sunset gazing in style! Head to La Plancha for a relaxed beach vibe and chilling out on bean bags while sipping cocktails or coconuts. Other famous places to go for sunset drinks are (of course!) KU DE TA and Potato Head. Try them all! There is also a huge addition to the Bali beach club scene called Atlas Beach Fest, which opened its doors in late 2022. It’s got the usual pool, bars and 5-star dining, but the best thing about Atlas Beach Fest ( other than the sensational beach views and music) is the private cabanas and master suites you can rent for the day. Plus, they have amazing food options with a huge range of local and popular vendors.
4. Hot yoga in the centre of town
For some people, a trip to Bali is all about relaxing. There are plenty of must-visit spas, but why not tick all the boxes and go for a hot Bikram yoga class at Jiwa Yoga in Petitenget? After the class, go for a dip in the ocean… nothing could be more perfect. Pure bliss for your body and soul!
5. Wining & Dining
There is no shortage of world-class fine dining restaurants and fabulous beachfront venues to go for dinner in Seminyak. You are up for wonderful evenings of wining and dining. Traditional Indonesian, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Asian Fusion, Japanese, Greek – you will find it all in Seminyak!
La Lucciola (Italian on Petitenget Beach), Ginger Moon, Sarong, Sisterfields, BATIK, Metis and Motel Mexicola (for a fun night with lots of Corona beers and tequila). These are just a handful of excellent restaurants; go find your favourites!
6. Ditch the hotel and stay at a gorgeous Seminyak Villa
I will be biased here because this is essentially a villa booking website, but for those who have never stayed in a villa, give it a try – that’s all I’m saying. I can almost guarantee you will never consider staying in a hotel again. Villas, especially the ones in Bali, are gorgeous, and I can’t think of anywhere else I would stay again. Imagine having your chef, concierge, private pool, kitchen etc. IT” S A MUST! Plus, it’s excellent value for a family on holiday – get in touch with the reservation team at Bali Villa Escapes today and book your Villa – we are open 7 days.
7. Dive into Seminyak’s trendy coffee culture
Yep, the coffee culture is alive and trending in cosmopolitan Seminyak. More and more specialty coffee hubs are opening in the centre of town. They serve delicious cappuccinos with amazing latte art but also manual-brew, organic and single-origin coffee – any coffee freak is in coffee heaven here in Seminyak. Try Revolver Espresso, Pison Coffee, The Koop, Monsieur Spoon, Expat Roasters and Coffee Cartel! The most popular cafe is Revolver; it’s a little tucked away down an alley off Jalan Kayu Aya (or Eat Street), but the vibe is just as good as the coffee.
8. Don’t miss out on the luxury spas
You can get a great Balinese massage almost everywhere in Seminyak but for the ultimate spa experience, go for a spa package at a renowned luxury spa. The tranquil environment, quality oils and professionally-trained massage therapists make the difference!
Our favourites include Bodyworks, Prana Spa, Rob Peetoom and Sundari Day Spa. Many people who don’t want to fork out the $100 or so for an hour at one of these spas often opt for the cheaper alternative by having a massage or facial at the local spas found up and down the main strip in Seminyak. Here you can get an hour massage for $10 per hour. It’s better value, but somehow it doesn’t quite offer the same experience as you would expect from the more stylish day spas.
9. Spend the day at Waterbom Bali – Asia’s #1 water park
Need I say more? Waterbom is voted the #1 water park in all of Asia, and it is not to be missed, especially when travelling with kids. Exhilarating water slides, a kiddies pool, lady river – great fun! Not quite in Seminyak (in Kuta), this place gets a mention as it’s a super popular way to keep the kids entertained. Have a look at the Waterbom Bali website here.
10. Eat at a local warung and taste the real flavour of Bali
Two of our favourite local warungs are located in Seminyak. Cheap, local and delicious. Free from MSG and lots of veggies to go with your rice and chicken or beef rendang – go get your plate of ‘nasi campur’ at Warung Murah (near Double Six Beach on Jalan Arjuna) and Warung Melati (close to Jalan Nakula). Warung Melati is only open for lunch, but Warung Murah is open from early morning till late at night. Don’t forget the sambal and see how much spiciness you can take.
11. Walk from Tuban Beach to Seminyak Beach
Take a leisurely walk along the white sands from Tuban to Seminyak and pass all the sites and major hotels along the beachfront. Perhaps if you’re feeling up to it, you can hop into the water for a nice cool swim and, after getting a massage from one of the local ladies, walk up and down the beach looking for customers. You will also find many local vendors plying their wares up and down the beach selling everything from fake watches and sunglasses to wood carvings, sarongs and kites.
You might even get a fake tattoo or your hair braided. It’s really fun as they come up and approach you – if this is not your thing, then all you need to say is a polite no. Once you have ended the walk-in Seminyak, why not pop into Ku De Ta for a bite to eat or a cool drink? What a perfect way to end the day!
12. See cool live bands
Seminyak has some great options for live music performances. You just need to know where to go! Around sunset time, go chill out at Champlung on Double Six Beach for amazing views, cold beers and live music. On Monday evening and Friday evening, it’s time for Jazz at Ryoshi on Jalan Raya Seminyak. Reserve a table upstairs, munch on delicious sushi and sashimi, and stick around for the night of your life. After dark, great live music continues to play at The Orchard Bar, hidden away on a little lane in the heart of Seminyak (close to Legian!).
13. Trans Studio Mall Bali
Trans Studio Mal Bali is a huge indoor attraction theme park/shopping centre located only a few kilometres away from the centre of Seminyak (right behind Sunset Road). Thrilling rides, indoor skydiving, cultural performances and more. The theme park has 5 zones to explore, entertaining the entire family for the entire day.
There is one thing Canggu does best: beach parties! Straight after the surf, it is time for chilling out with cold Bintang beers, gazing at the sunset and listening to live music. Right after, the party kicks in. The most famous place to party is The Lawn, close to Batu Bolong Beach, but there are many more. Gimme Shelter, La Brisa, and Finns on Berawa Beach are other places to check out.
Note: not all of them are located on the beach.
La Brisa in Canggu is a great place to chill or party at Echo Beach & watch the waves.
2. Get a 24K Gold Facial at Goldust Beauty Lounge
Who would’ve thought you could get a 24K gold facial in Bali? Gold Dust Beauty Lounge Bali is a fabulous luxury spa where you can get pampered inside and out! Bring your girlfriends, and your day can’t go wrong – it’ll be the ultimate golden glamour party!
Get a 24k gold facial mask at Goldust Beauty Lounge, Canggu
3. Check out the trendy and eco-friendly weekend markets
Canggu has the most weekend markets going on of all places in Bali. They’re colourful, lively, trendy, eco-conscious, and more! Love Anchor Market is open 7 days a week, and every Sunday morning, it is time to head over to Samadi Bali to buy handicrafts and organic produce directly from the artists/farmers. Old Man’s has a market going on once a month on a Saturday, and Tamora Gallery is hosting a night market, also once a month.
4. Have great family fun with the kids at Finn’s Recreation Club
A water park with amazing waterslides, bowling alley, trampoline centre, tennis court, kids clubs, spa, and more – Finn’s Recreation Club is the ultimate family hang-out haven for the family! A must-visit to keep the kids happy and burn off that holiday energy.
5. Lounge at all of the fabulous beach clubs
There is no lack of beach clubs in Canggu. They may not be as famous as KU DE TA or Potato Head over in Seminyak, but they are just as trendy and happening! Finn’s Beach Club tops it all with 4 swimming pools, 9 bars and 6 restaurants, but we also love the boho-chic La Brisa and the brand new Ibiza-inspired Cafe Del Mar over at Batu Belig. There is also the super popular Old Man’s or The Lawn at the end of Jalan Batu Bolong. Let’s not forget the beach bar at 707, Tropicola or all those fabulous mini beach clubs where you can watch the sunset and listen to music in Berawa’s Hidden Beach & Echo Beach.
6. Family-friendly cafes in Canggu
Canggu is extremely family-friendly. The town is bursting with family cafes, playgrounds and activities to keep the little ones entertained for hours. Milk & Madu is the most famous, always packed with food fanatics and families. Tamora Gallery is a great place to stop for lunch and do some shopping while the kids have fun at the outdoor playground and play in the virtual reality area. Made’s Warung (formally The Joglo) is another must-visit, and La Casita is also a lovely family spot. Other family-friendly cages include Pels Supershop in Berawa, Butterman, BAKED, Shady Shack and Crate just off Batu Bolong or the popular Deus ex Machina. There’s also Bottega for great handmade pasta, Finns Club which has a pool and a children’s menu, and Milu by Nook and Al Bacio for amazing gelato.
While Ubud was the best place for yoga and organic food, Canggu is catching up quickly! Who doesn’t love to combine yoga & beach time or, even better, yoga on the beach? How about yoga on the beach, healthy food and a surf lesson or two? You can do it all in Canggu, and while you’re at it, you can also shop for eco-conscious recycled and super fashionable yoga wear. For yoga, you can go to Pranava, The Practice or Samadi, which are all great studios. And, for organic food, go to Shady Shack or Give Cafe along Jalan Batu Mejan.
Just a short drive from Canggu, just further up north on the pristine black sand coastline, you can visit one of the most famous and iconic Bali temples: Pura Tanah Lot. Tanah Lot is one of the island’s most important sea temples, protecting Bali from evil sea spirits. It can get crowded around sunset, but it is a beautiful temple, not to be missed!
Sunset is the perfect time to get that amazing Instagram shot at Tanah Lot Temple.
9. Rent a scooter!
Let’s not make it sound any better: Canggu is quite a stretched-out area, and unless you are staying in a villa on Batu Bolong Street or Jalan Pantai Berawa, you better rent a scooter. Regular taxis, Go-Jek, and Uber, are all banned in Canggu, which makes getting around a bit harder than in neighbouring Seminyak. Also, it is great fun to rent a scooter and just go drive, explore the rice fields and beaches and see the street amazing street art that is to be spotted everywhere in Canggu.
Note: as you can imagine, traffic jams and chaos happen everywhere in Bali, and Canggu is no exception. Be prepared to meet some insane traffic queues, especially in the more popular areas and when it’s peak hour. As you can see below, this type of chaotic traffic is not uncommon in Canggu. Having said that, once you get through it all, the area is amazing when you drive around on your scooter. Also, ensure you have an international driver’s license at all times.
Also: the most popular scooters to rent are the Vario 125cc or the Scoopy 125cc & which will cost you Rp 60 000 per day or AUD 6.
You can see fabulous street art all over Canggu while driving around on your scooter.
10. Get a tattoo
There seems to be a tattoo parlour on every corner in Canggu. This hipster hang is where loads of people come to get their first tattoo or perhaps get their second or third. There are too many tattoo places to mention, but one in Berawa called Fox Mulder comes to mind. It’s probably the most popular, but if you think about getting inked in Canggu, do your homework before committing. For more information, read: 5 Amazing Tattoo Studios in Bali.
11. Go horse riding
Bali Equestrian Centre is the place to be for horse riding in Bali. The stables have over 30 horses and professionally-trained instructors. You can have lessons, or the kids can go for a grooming and pony ride package. At the Equestrian Centre in Canggu, there is an excellent restaurant, and there is a pool. It’s a wonderful place to spend family time close to your Bali villa.
12. Take the kids to Parklife.
Park life is a big playground situated in the rice paddies of Canggu. Mom and Dad can chill out with some tropical juices and gaze at the rice field views while the kids are entertained for hours. There are kids’ activities and crafts, there are multiple playing nooks, there is a giant jumping pillow, and there’s an indoor playing area as well.
Located right in the centre of town: a sacred monkey forest… now isn’t that something unique?! As the name suggests, Ubud Monkey Forest is a forest in the city with ancient trees, a streaming river, Balinese statues and many monkeys. Wander around to experience real close encounters with these cheeky little macaque monkeys. You can feed them, take some cool photos and enjoy this lovely nature city stroll. Be careful of your belongings and put away anything the monkeys can easily grab because if they get the chance, they’ll take it!
2. Do the Campuhan Ridge Walk
Though the centre of Ubud is always busy and happening, you don’t have to walk far to get into nature and escape the hustle and bustle for a little while. Ubud is surrounded by rice terraces, river valleys and tropical jungle. The Campuhan Ridge Walk is a gorgeous rice paddy trail, and yes, you can walk there from the city centre. The trail is approximately 2 km long, and you can enjoy a splendid 360-degree view of Ubud Town and its surroundings. The best time to go is in the early morning or afternoon, as there is almost no shade.
3. Go rafting on the Ayung River
Who doesn’t love to have some adventure on the river?! Just a short drive from Ubud, several rafting companies take you to the rafting trip’s starting point. You’ll be rafting through a deep valley, and the surroundings are completely stunning and unspoiled. The river’s water is cool, and there are some areas where you can swim, which is wonderful on a hot summer day. Rafting on the Ayung River is great fun and very safe; also perfect for families with kids! The trip takes around 2 hours. If you’d like to book your white water rafting tour – click here!
White water rafting in Ubud – book directly with Bali Villa Escapes
4. Rent a scooter and see the landmarks near Ubud
Nothing is more fun than getting away from the city on your motorbike, driving through villages and jungles to discover amazing places and Unesco World Heritage Sites. The first stop could be the famous elephant cave Goa Gajah. From there, see the tranquil water temple of Tirta Empul and take a ritual bath in holy spring water to purify your entire being. Then, it is time to visit the ancient funeral monument Gunung Kawi (one of the oldest temples in Bali), and you can also stop at a local coffee/tea/cacao plantation farm if you like. On a different day, see if you can drive up to Kintamani (+- 1 hour) and be amazed by the beauty! Make sure you also drive up to the wonderful rice terraces at Tegalalang. This is where you get those amazing Instagram shots.
Ubud is one of the best places on the island to do workshops. From silversmith courses to spa product making, Balinese cooking, woodcarving, pottery, painting, Batik, coffee & latte art, Balinese dance – the list goes on and on. In Ubud, you can never get bored!!!
6. Eat vegan & raw food at trendy health hubs
Ubud is a healthy food haven. Just wander around in the city, and you’ll stumble upon one raw food cafe and a vegan restaurant. Organic, homemade, healthy, and even if you’re not a vegan at heart, you’ll be surprised how delicious it all is. Must-visits include Alchemy, Bali Buda, Soma Cafe and The Seeds of Life.
Bali Buda in Ubud – healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle
7. Fantastic yoga studios and spas
Hands down, Ubud has got the most beautiful spas you can imagine. Rice paddy views, waterfall sounds, surrounded by jungle or overlooking a deep river gorge – there are too many spectacular ones where you are sure to lift your body, soul and spirit. Ubud also has the most famous yoga studios, including The Yoga Barn. Meet like-minded yogis and travellers on their soul search – you’ll feel at home!
The most popular yoga studio in Ubud, The Yoga Barn, is massive.
8. Shop and learn to bargain at Ubud Market
Ubud Market is a large souvenir shopping area in the centre of Ubud. In this market, you NEED the very best bargaining skills you’ve got in store! A great place to find all kinds of gifts and handicrafts at low prices. The trick is to have fun with it, keep smiling and bargain, bargain, bargain. The ladies are persistent and very good at what they do. Go practice!
9. See a traditional dance performance at Ubud Palace
Located next to the market, Ubud Palace has enchanting traditional dance performances every evening. Get your tickets from the street venue and dive into the Balinese culture just by sitting and keeping your eyes and ears open.
10. Explore museums and artisan villages
There is a reason why Ubud is known as the cultural heart of Bali. Ubud is home to great artists and craftsmen, and the town has attracted painters, writers, spiritual seekers and culture lovers forever. In Ubud, there are many museums to visit (more than anywhere else on the island), and around the town, you can visit authentic craftsmen villages of silversmiths, woodworkers and painters. These trades have been passed on from generation to generation, and when visiting these villages, it seems life stood still.
11. Learn to cook Balinese style at an organic farm
The village of Sideman is an organic farm that conducts daily Balinese cooking classes using the freshest local ingredients. Nyoman, the head chef, kicks things off at about 9 am when you learn the art of Balinese cooking. You start at Klungkung market, where you will see what ingredients you need to buy for the days cooking ahead. Following that, you walk through the local village and the rice fields, where you can see local farmers tilling their fields and then it’s off to the organic farm to start preparing the meals. You will be cooking traditional dishes in the old way using firewood. You learn how the locals cook, from the farm to market to the kitchen and finally to the table. The whole ambience makes your mouth water, and by the end of the cooking class, you can finally sample your tasty dishes. Pick up is from Ubud at around 8 am.
12. See the sacred Tirta Empul temple
A not-so-far beautiful ride from the centre of Ubud leads to the sacred Tirta Empul water temple. It’s a peaceful and beautiful place with holy springs, fountains, shrines and stone-carved statues. You can walk around the ponds and gardens or take a ritual bath in the holy spring water. Tirta Empul water temple dates back to 926 BC. It’s a special place!
13. Taste Luwak Coffee
Do you love coffee? If you do, you should want to try the world’s most expensive coffee: Luwak. On the coffee and tea plantation farms around Ubud, you will learn all about this special coffee from bean to cup. Not so much of a coffee lover? No need to worry; you also get to taste all kinds of local teas, from ginger to rosella. Oh, and the views are gorgeous all around!
Legian beach is a famous surf spot for beginners! Not as busy as Kuta and much more laid-back than Seminyak, Legian is a much-loved holiday destination. The sea is perfectly safe for swimming most of the time, there are lifeguards, and the waves are great fun (not too big!). On the beach, there are many local surf schools and board rentals. Stick around for sunset and cold Bintang beers (make sure you get a great day bed on the beach at any beach cafes), and you’ve got another perfect day on paradise island!
2. Take unique family photos at DMZ trick art museum
Dream Museum Zone is unlike any other museum you’ll find in Bali. Amazing Korean illusion artists came to Bali to create 121 magnificent trick-art murals. You can take unique photos, visiting many worlds and places from Venice to Egypt to Fairyland and back to the dinosaur era. This is a museum even kids will love!
3. Shop for souvenirs
Legian is a great place to go shopping for cheap souvenirs, even though the price may sometimes depend on your bargaining skills. There are many local handicraft shops where you can buy clothes, jewellery, sunglasses, sarongs, hammocks and much more. Garlic Lane is a good place to go. At a place called ‘Ketut’s,’ you can buy many things at cheap prices – no need to bargain! Can’t get enough of shopping? Seminyak is just minutes away. You can also walk up and down Jalan Legian ( the main road connecting Legian with Kuta and Seminyak ), where hundreds of local shops sell all types of souvenirs. Another great shop is called Abang, packed with gifts and Bali souvenirs. You can also walk into Kuta, where you’ll have even more shopping options at Kartika Plaza or the bigger department stores like Lippo Mall.
4. Cheap eats at local Warungs
Warungs are where locals go for quick, cheap and tasty local Indonesian food, and they are all over the place. Essentially, they are Indonesian street food. Legian is no exception with some great warungs where you can pop in for lunch or dinner and grab delicious dishes from fish, noodles, sate, veggie dishes, eggs and various rice dishes. Most warungs are a family run with the Ibu or Mum cooking everything. Many people might worry if the food is fresh and safe, but from our experience, most of the warungs cook fresh food daily. Our favourite in Legian is Made Warung. Its’ fairly cheap, and a family of four can be fed for about AUD 40.
You will be able to find loads more warungs as you wander around the area, and they generally have colourful signage or banners outside to attract customers. Most warungs work on a pay-as-you-eat basis and will take a look at your plate once full and charge accordingly. So stack it high with delicious goodies and be pleasantly surprised by the amazing favours and cheap prices!!
5. Rent a scooter and explore Seminyak, Canggu & Uluwatu
Legian is only a small area where you can easily get around on foot. However, renting a scooter and exploring the surroundings is great fun. Seminyak, Kuta, Berawa and Canggu are close by, making it impossible to ever get bored. You could even drive to Uluwatu to discover the most stunning white-sand beaches.
6. Sunset drinks at La Plancha
Did you know you can easily get to Seminyak on foot? From your private Legian Villa, we highly recommend you take a stroll to neighbouring Double Six Beach around 4 pm in the afternoon and go chill out at La Plancha. This famous beach bar has the best chill-out music, comfy beanbags and parasols on the beach, and when sunset strikes, you just don’t know what hits you! La Plancha is one of the best places for sunset drinks in Bali!
Make sure you go to La Plancha in Legian for sunset drinks.
7. Azul Beach Club
Azul Beach Club is a beachfront family paradise with a big lagoon-like pool, waterslides, sunset views and excellent cocktails. The alang-alang roofed bamboo building is impressive to see. They have frequent events and live music. Great fun!
Just a 10-minute drive from Legian in neighbouring Kuta, you can have the ultimate family water fun day at Waterbom. Exhilarating slides, multiple pools and more water fun for the smallest family members. Waterbom Bali is ranked Asia’s #1 waterpark. Go check this place out!
Sanur has the most breathtaking sunrises, and if you can get up early and stroll down to the beach from your private Sanur villa, you really should! (at least once!). Fresh air, empty roads and a desolate beach – watch the night turn into day and see the world glazed in shades of yellow, gold, orange and pink. It is a spectacle. Just as much of a spectacle as the sunsets in Seminyak!
2. Take the kids to ABC Beach Club (Artotel)
If you’re travelling with kids, ABC Beach Beach at Arotel Sanur is a must-visit! Tucked in a gorgeous bamboo structure with ‘alang alang’ thatched roofing, this beach club boasts a shady outdoor playground and a large multi-level lagoon-like swimming pool with a large playing area for adult-only with a pool bar. Ocean views, friendly staff, affordable food and drinks are lovely places to spend the day!
3. Visit the Sunday Market on Mertasari Beach
This market is held once a month (every last Sunday of the month), and if you like to stroll around markets, you will love this one! There are plenty of food stalls and live music, and you can buy all kinds of crafts, souvenirs and gifts. The market is located on the beach (Mertasari Beach, next to Genius Cafe), and the vibe is laid-back and friendly. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Although Sanur is considered a tranquil, sleepy town, there are plenty of things to see and do and on the beach, you can have loads of fun with all kinds of water sports. Paragliding, windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, banana boat rides – you name it, Sanur has it!
5. Take the boat to Nusa Lembongan
Did you know Sanur is the main gateway to get to Nusa Lembongan? Just a short 30-minute boat ride from Sanur, you can stay on a pristine little island that is still part of Bali. Great for diving, snorkelling and getting away from the mainland, Nusa Lembongan should be on your places-to-go list!
Two amazing villas to stay in Nusa Lembongan are Villa Voyage & Villa Seascape – we have these villas to rent & if you are interested, please contact our reservation team.
Spend a day or two relaxing in the wonderful Nusa Lembongan – get the fast boat from Sanur.
6. Lunch at Mak Beng restaurant
The most popular Indonesian restaurant in Sanur, Mak Meng, is an institution worth visiting. It serves only one dish and has been doing this successfully for decades; fish head soup with rice and BBQ fish. The cost is Rp 60,000 per service or $AUD 6. It’s delicious and the queues to get in here, especially on a Sunday, are long. It’s very informal, and there are no reservations necessary, so it’s come in and grab the first table you can find.
7. Sunset drinks at Genius Cafe
Genius Cafe is a great hang-out spot on the beach in Sanur. With bean bags on the sand, yummy smoothies and delicious healthy food, you can just chill out here all day. Kids can play in the sand and play in the calm sea water while mom and dad keep an eye out from afar. Sundays are even better for families with kids’ craft activities and face painting.
8. Check out the Power of Now Oasis for yoga on the beach
The Power of Now Oasis sits near Genius Cafe, tucked in a stunning bamboo pavilion by the beach. The yoga shala is spacious and light-filled with mesmerizing ocean views. Try out different types of yoga such as Iyengar, Hatha or Vinyasa. You also sign up for yoga teacher training and become a yoga guru.
For those lovers coming to Bali on their honeymoon or those couples who just want to put the romantic spark back into their lives, the cave dining experience in Uluwatu will do the trick. A table will be set up at the bottom entrance to the caves at Uluwatu, where you can dine exclusively. This is the perfect venue to ‘pop the question. Just imagine the two of you alone, in your private beach setting with the sound of the waves in the background – guys, pay attention!!!! This is such a cool setting to impress your partner.
2. Watch the Sunset at the Rock Bar @ Ayana Resort.
The Rock Bar is legendary; most people know about this place in the Jimbaran Bay area. If you have never been here, all we can say is DO IT! If you miss watching the sunset here with a cocktail, you have missed one of the best tourist attractions in Bali. The food here is fabulous as well, so after the sun goes down, settle in for dinner and then after, if you like, kick on the evening and party on. There is a DJ, so it does turn into a club scene. Again, ensure you get here early to avoid the masses queueing up to get in via the inclinator, which takes groups one at a time down the cliff to the restaurant/bar area. You need to get a prime position to enjoy the spectacular performance nature puts on here. This is unbelievable, and better bring your camera as the Instagram photos you will get will be phenomenal.
Visit Rock Bar, Sejahtera, Jl. Karang Mas, Jimbaran. Ph +62 361 702222
Sunset drinks, great music & food at The Rock Bar in Uluwatu. Photo Credit: @ rockbarbali – Instagram
3. Sunset Drinks at El Kabron in Uluwatu
Perched on the cliffs at Uluwatu is the famous El Kabron. It’s best to come here at sunset as this is when the music starts pumping and the vibe gets going. Enjoy Mediterranean tapas-style food with sensational cocktails as you watch the sun dip below the horizon. This is magical, and the place gets jam-packed nightly with people wanting to experience this scene. There is also a swimming pool where you can relax and cool down if things get too hot. Top food in a seriously gorgeous location makes El Kabron a must-visit Bali experience. Getting there is about a 60 min trip from Seminyak.
Visit El Kabron, Jl. Pantai Cemongkak, Pecatu. Ph +62 878-6171-7212
Sunset drinks at El Kabron Uluwatu. Photo Credit: @ elkabronbali – Instagram
4. Kecak Dance at the Uluwatu Temple
Every night just before sunset, you can watch a traditional Balinese Kecak performance telling the ancient saga of Rama and Sita. It’s impressive, overwhelming, enchanting and funny all at the same time. The ocean views are also stunning from the Uluwatu Temple. Don’t miss it!
5. Surfing at some of Bali’s best beaches
Uluwatu is famous for its gorgeous beaches and amazing surf spots. Ride your motorbike while bringing along your surfboard, and go check out one amazing beach after another. Balangan Beach, Dreamland, Padang Padang, Blue Point, Nyang Nyang, Take you pick. You’ll love it! Not to forget the amazing clifftop bars such as Single Fin, El Kabron and more.
Steven Waldberg wrote this article and is part of the Bali Villa Escapes marketing team. Steven has been featured in Readers Digest as an authority on Bali and has published many YouTube videos about Bali, which are quite popular and extremely informative. Steven loves Bali and has been travelling there for well over 20 years.
What to do in Bali FAQs
When is the best time of the year to go to Bali?
The dry season which runs from March to November, is the best time to visit Bali.
Is Bali affordable for a family holiday?
Bali can be super-cheap or very expensive. It depends on your budget and the type of holiday you want for the family. You can stay in a 5-star holiday villa with all the extras or a budget holiday villa. Bali’s accommodation and food cater for all budgets.
Do I need an international licence to rent a motorbike in Bali?
You need an international driver’s licence to rent a scooter/motorbike in Bali. If you have an accident and you don’t have a proper international. licence while riding a motorbike, your travel insurance will be void.
About the author
Steven is a die-hard Bali island addict and committed surfie. When he's not writing or taking videos of the latest restaurants or cool places, he's at Echo Beach surfing or riding his scooter around Seminyak, Berawa or Canggu. Steve is part of the Bali Villa Escapes marketing team and has been living in and out of Bali for the last 15 years.
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