What are the best destinations to visit in Bali?

There is no simple answer to this. Bali is a very diverse island, with each destination offering something quite different. If you are visiting Bali for the first time, this should be the page you spend the most time exploring before booking a hotel.

Each area has its own unique vibe, culture, activities, travelers, and positives and negatives. We suggest you browse through this page and read the short descriptions for each location to get a feel for what might suit you best, and also have a look at the maps to understand a bit more about where each area is located, before booking your accommodation.

Destination Overview

Main Destinations in the South and Center of Bali


Bali Maps

Bali Destination FAQ

The top destinations in Bali are foremost in the south of Bali. Lombok and particularly the Gilis are often included in the travel itinerary for travelers who spend at least 2 or 3 weeks in Bali or longer.

Most of the top destinations are near the coastline of Bali. For a RELAXING beach vacation we suggest mainly Sanur and Nusa Dua (more luxurious in general) and of course the amazing 3 neighbouring islands Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida. If you have the time you could visit the famous Gili Islands (part of Lombok)

Bali is well known for its vibrant Nightlife, here are the main areas to consider

Kuta – Party destination for the young and wild

Seminyak – more upbeat and classy than Kuta, lots of cubs and party places

Canggu – famous for an upcoming vibrant nightlife scene with amazing beach clubs on the rise

Uluwatu – became a party destination due to the venues Savaya and Ulu Cliffhouse that feature regular parties with DJs from all over the world

 

 

First time in Bali?

Moving “around” and spending some time in different parts of Bali is easy and rewarding.

Not many travelers stay in one hotel for their whole vacation anymore. It has become very common to travel to different places and see what each area has to offer. Bali isn’t very big, so it’s easy to get from one place to another when you want to change where you’re staying.

Travel itinerary suggestions for first-time visitors to Bali (stay between 10 days and 3 weeks)

First, take your time exploring the South and arrive early to get used to the time zone and weather: A few days in Sanur, or Jimbaran or Nusa Dua (easy arrival and chill). (2-4 nights)

Then go sightseeing and explore the Center. Relocate to Ubud to learn about the culture and natural sites of central and north Bali (Daytrips & Tours, Chilling, Health, Yoga, Nature). (3–5 nights)

If you have the time, go to the islands of Lembongan and Ceningan Islands for a tropical and more simple way of life like Bali had 30 years ago (and great diving). Or, you can hop over to the Gilis, which takes a bit longer. (2–4 nights)

Finish up your trip in the south by going out, partying, shopping, or just relaxing at sunset in Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, or the new and exciting Canggu. (3–5 nights)

With such choices, you may do a lot in a short amount of time (say, two to three weeks).

When you go back to Bali, there is more to discover and explore. For decades, Bali has been a popular travel destination, and it has remained so due of the island’s abundance of wonder and wisdom.

 

HOT TIP – Save some time

When moving to another location, we recommend that you use the check-out day to do some sightseeing and rent a car with a driver. (save 10% on Tours & Car Rentals with our BaliCard).

Your driver will pick you up after breakfast and take you on a half- or full-day tour. He keeps your luggage safe in the car while you visit temples and other interesting sites and locations before driving you to your next location.
This is an excellent way to avoid wasting time traveling between your chosen accommodations and destinations while also saving money.

Traveling with Children

Most suitable for a holiday with kids are Sanur and Nusa Dua. 

Ubud would be thirst on our list, while Canggu can be interesting however the lack of sidewalks and because its so widespread we suggest Canggu for families whose kids are not toddlers anymore.

Romantic Getaways

if we would assume that romance comes with some sort of luxury, quietness, and privacy then we would pick the following areas for romantic couples. In these destinations you can also find plenty of high end villas and hotels.

  • Nusa Dua
  • Sanur
  • Uluwatu
  • Ubud
  • Ungasan
  • Jimbaran

To some extend you can find an oasis in Seminyak. While the surrounding might be a bit more hectic.

There are several more remote destinations in Bali, that could be interesting or you, if you love nature

  • Sidemen
  • Batukaru

The Highlands

Kintamani: Nestled amidst the highlands, Kintamani captivates with its enchanting volcanic landscape, including the revered Mount Batur and picturesque Lake Batur.

Kintamani

Bedugul, Puncak & Baturiti: A serene oasis in the highlands, Bedugul beckons travelers with its lush botanical gardens, serene lakes, and sacred temples, offering a tranquil retreat amidst Bali’s cool mountain air.

Bedugul, Puncak & Baturiti

Sidemen: Tucked away in Bali’s enchanting highlands, Sidemen charms visitors with its idyllic rice terraces, traditional villages, and serene river valleys, offering a serene escape into the heart of Balinese countryside beauty.

Sidemen

Batukaru: Visiting Batukaru and its highlands is a chance to experience Bali’s essence at its purest form – a harmonious blend of spirituality, nature, culture, and sustainable living. Whether seeking a spiritual retreat, an offbeat adventure, or a serene connection with nature, Batukaru’s allure is sure to captivate and rejuvenate any traveler’s spirit.

Batukaru

Bali’s Main Destinations Overview

Canggu & Berawa

Canggu (including Berawa and Pererenan) is Bali’s most up-and-coming destination. There’s something for everyone, from backpackers to partygoers to families and spiritual seekers. Feels like Ubud but with a beach and a touch of Seminyak. Despite a few traffic jams, digital nomads and surfers love it here.There is a big range of accommodation choices, as well as coffee shops, bars, beach clubs, gyms, spas, and yoga studios.

#everything #beachclubs #yoga #party #coworking #healthyfood #coffeeshops #smoothiebowls #sunset

Canggu Travel Guide

Kuta & Tuban

Kuta is the most popular travel destination beside Seminyak, Ubud and Canggu. This low-cost alternative is perfect for individuals who want to have fun at the beach without breaking the bank. You may buy souvenirs, dine at fast food chains and chain restaurants, and stay at hotels that are typically 3 or 4 ratings. Australians and “backpackers” love it here.

#party #young #veryaffordable #easysurf #sunset #bintangbeer #lovedbyaussis #beachwalkshopping #legendary

Kuta Travel Guide

Seminyak & Petitenget

If you travel north from Kuta, you will find Petitenget, which is perhaps Bali’s most well-known destination. Beach Clubs, Shops & Boutiques, and Luxury Villas & Resorts can all be found here. There are some incredible restaurants and culinary marvels nearby.This is the finest place to start exploring the nightlife of Bali, with its great international crowd.

#nightlife #greatfood #mixed #easysurf #sunset #shopping #luxury #villas #beach #spas

Seminyak Travel Guide

Ubud

Ubud is Bali’s cultural and artistic center where people from all over the globe come to attend seminars and workshops focused on taking care of their mind, body, and soul and finding more balance and well-being in all parts of their lives. Excellent location from which to explore Bali’s center and north, including its many surrounding temples, waterfalls, and rice terraces. Don’t forget about the traditional dance shows and the monkey forest, either. Ubud is popular among digital nomads due to its amazing coffee shops, co-working spaces, and healthy food options. 

#spiritual #art #temples #coolbreeze #nature #relaxed #digitalnomads #tours #shopping #monkeyforest #ubudmarket

Ubud Travel Guide

Nusa Dua

Away from it all, on the south-west tip of Bali. The international beachfront resorts here have wonderful restaurants and bars and attract visitors from all over the world. The area is often chosen for events with a universal theme, such as weddings, honeymoons, international meetings, and other large-scale gatherings. The beach and the sea are perfect for a relaxed holiday and for families with kids. 

#luxury #beach #vip #5-star-resorts #culinary #conventions #golf #celebrities #familyfriendly #dining #romantic

Nusa Dua Travel Guide

Legian

Legian, which is north of Kuta, is a quieter option and Kuta, while it is still close to bars and clubs and the vibrant nightlife. Families from Down Under frequent here because of the variety of hotels, cafes, and shops available. Still reasonably priced, there are a number of high-end 4-star hotels and many gift shops to choose from. Beautiful beach for swimming and surfing. 
#beach #mixed #affordable #easysurf #sunset #families #3to4sar #shops

Legian Travel Guide

Sanur

As one of Bali’s “oldest” tourist destinations, it has managed to stay charming, serene, and quiet. It’s great for kids because the beach is safe for swimming and it has a beautiful promenade with hotels and restaurants right on the beach. There are a lot of 3- to 5-star hotels, a residential area, and a port where the boats to Lembongan and Penida leave. Favorite destiantion for foreign retirees. Great for a romantic getaway.

#families #relaxed #calmbeach #serene #romantic #traditional #authentic #promenade #divecenters #escaperooms

Sanur Travel Guide

Jimbaran & Kedonganan

A beautiful bay in a more relaxed part of Bali. Beach resorts for families with some of Bali’s most iconic hotels.The southern end of the beach is known as Kedonganan, and it is well-known for its beachside seafood BBQ. Jimbaran is just south of the airport and a great spot to explore the southern peninsular (Bukit). Overall it’s a very quiet destination. 

#families #relaxed #whitesand #seafood #romantic #sunset #4to5star

Jimbaran Travel Guide

Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan, Penida

From Sanur, it takes 45 minutes by boat to reach Bali’s three “sister islands.” Some compare it to Bali 30 years ago, but with a more comfortable atmosphere. A tropical paradise with some of the area’s best diving. Small bungalow hotels rule the roost, with simple but decent restaurants. However, in order to get around, you must be able to ride a scooter.

#tropical #adventure #whitesand #paradise #romantic #scubadiving #molamola #nocars #guesthouses

Nusa Islands Travel Guide

Uluwatu & Pecatu

The south west coast of the Bukit Peninsular has white sandy beaches in Balangan, Padang Padang, and Bingin. Backpackers, surfers, and now digital nomads love it here. Pecatu, which is quieter and more laid back, is home to some of the best luxury villas in Bali, as well as upcoming 4-5 star resorts in Pecatu with a golf course.

#surfing #cliffs #whitesand #remote #nomads #temple #uluwatutemple

Uluwatu & Pecatu Travel Guide

Amed & Tulamben

The area is home to two quiet, down-to-earth fishing villages in Bali’s northwestern region, and it is well-known for scuba diving and snorkeling, nature tours, and amazing views from Mount Agung. The less well-known beaches and villages of Jemeluk, Lipah, and Selang are nearby and well worth a visit.

#diving #remote #blacksand #raw #simple #nature

Amed & Tulamben Travel Guide

Candidasa

East Bali’s main tourism area, yet still quiet and remote, with decent accommodations. Excellent starting point for day trips and excursions, including snorkeling and diving.

#diving #remote #quiet #raw #simple #nature

Candidasa Travel Guide

Ungasan & Kutuh

Quiet and remote, nestled on Bali’s most southern tip, with stunning coastline and steep cliffs. It is home to some of the best resorts, beach clubs, luxury villas and estates. Ungasan in particular, is popular for weddings and honeymoons. There is no real “center” to go for a stroll, so you definitely need transportation.

#cliffs #savayaclub #villas #remote #nature #villas #luxury

Ungasan & Kutuh Travel Guide

Sidemen

Sidemen – an authentic Bali experience of being surrounded by rural Balinese life. Even if you can’t stay long, Sidemen is worth the visit for an adventure vastly different to what you’d get on the west side. Sidemen hotels are a bit more rustic and homelier, where you get to enjoy stunning views of natural landscapes and be in the midst of a relaxing atmosphere.

#eastbali #sidemen #remote #nature #waterfalls #riceterraces #rafting

 

Sidemen Travel Guide

Tanah Lot & Tabanan

The area stretches from the coast of Tanah Lot Temple to the north of Batukaru Mountain. Known for eco-retreats and eco-tourism. It’s remote, quiet, and full of nature, with rice terraces and cacao plantations, making it ideal for trekking and waterfalls.

#batukaru #remote #nature #eco #waterfalls #riceterraces #temples

 

Tanah Lot & Tabanan Travel Guide

Bedugul, Puncak & Baturiti

Similar to Kintamani, this is located in Bali’s Highlands, with lakes, hot springs, forests, amazing trekking, fruit and coffee plantations, and the majestic Mount Batur volcano. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, these areas boast a refreshing climate, lush greenery, and serene lakes. Bedugul is renowned for its iconic Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, set against the backdrop of Lake Beratan, while Baturiti offers a tranquil escape with its rural ambiance and traditional Balinese charm. Together, these neighboring destinations create an enchanting retreat for travelers seeking natural beauty, cultural experiences.

#highlands #remote #nature #eco #waterfalls #coffeeplantations #temples #twinlakes #trekking

 

Bedugul, Puncak, Baturiti Guide

Kintamani Highlands & Mount Batur

Kintamani, a captivating tourist destination in Bali, its a breathtaking highland region offers a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Located in the regency of Bangli, Kintamani is famed for its awe-inspiring vistas of Mount Batur, an active volcano, and the serene Lake Batur. The cool mountain air, lush landscapes, and proximity to unique cultural attractions make Kintamani an alluring destination for travelers seeking a blend of adventure and tranquility. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an avid hiker, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in Balinese culture, Kintamani promises an unforgettable experience.

#highlands #remote #nature #eco #waterfalls #coffeeplantations #temples #danaubratan #trekking #mountbatur

 

Kintamani & Highlands

Don’t miss Lombok & The Gilis

Lombok & The Gilis

Lombok is known for its pristine natural landscapes, incredibly pleasant roads, and excellent surf. Get ready to climb Mount Rinjani, one of Indonesia”s most beautiful volcanos. Motorsport enthusiasts really like the brand-new Mandalika Race Track. The Gilis, a group of tropical islands, are popular with motor-free enthusiasts, particularly young people and newlyweds.

#rinjani #nature #trekking #surfing #raw #mandalika #quiet #pearls #diving #gilis #fullmoonpartytrawangan

Lombok & Gilis Travel Guide

More Bali Destinations & Tourism Areas

Padangbai

Small, quiet, laid-back coastal town in eastern Bali with good diving. It also has a ferry terminal and speed boats to Lombok, the Gilis, and other Lesser Sunda Islands. During the day it can get quite busy at the harbour.

PADANGBAI Guide

Tanjung Benoa

Peninsular north of Nusa Dua with 3-5 star beachfront resorts that offer family-oriented water sport activities and peace and quiet.

North Bali, Lovina, Singaraja

Near Menjangan Island and the nature reserve park, there are very quiet black sand beaches with small hotels and resorts, guest houses, nature, and diving.

Map Overview of Bali’s Main Tourism Destinations

Nine regions of Bali
Nine regions of Bali