Top Things To Do in Bali 2019 – The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide
Top Things To Do in Bali 2019 | The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide for Budget to Mid-Range Travelers
Bali has always been one of my top places to visit due it its stunning natural landscapes and beautiful islands. For my 1-Week travel in Bali, I was able to explore a lot of great things Bali has to offer. With that said, here is my guide on the TOP THINGS TO DO IN BALI.
📖 Pre-Travel Preparation
As a U.S. Citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Indonesia if your stay is less than 30 Days.
- Passports must have SIX MONTHS’ validity remaining and have TWO empty visa pages.
💵 Currency & Exchange Rate
The official currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah. At the time of writing, the exchange rate is $1 USD to approximately 15,000 IDR. If you are from the States, I recommend getting a Charles Schwab Checking Account to make use of their no-foreign transaction/ATM Fees.
Bali is generally a safe city. I have never felt any danger walking around the city at night, and plenty of women walk around in the dark by themselves. The only people I would be more aware of are the Taxi drivers, especially at the airport. This brings me to my next point.
🚗 Getting Around Bali
Grab (Bali’s version of Bali Sunset: Uluwatu Temple, Kecak Dance and Jimbaran Bay) is pretty widespread in the busier parts of Bali. Since Grab drivers are taking away a lot of the local Taxi Drivers’ business, many Taxi drivers get extremely aggravated towards anyone who takes Grab. They are usually more angry towards the Grab drivers. However, I still relied on Grab to get around most of the time, and it really isn’t a huge problem.
➡️ Here are some necessary precautions to take when calling a Grab:
- Be careful where you call Grab. Do not do it around other Taxi Drivers, and definitely not in any designated Taxi Pickup Zone.
- Grab drivers cannot pick up riders in certain areas of Bali. This includes Bali’s airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS). You will need to negotiate with the Taxi or carpool drivers there. I paid 250,000 IDR (~$17 USD) to get from the airport to my AirBnB in Seminyak.
Another option is to rent a motorbike, which is actually the best way to get around. The streets and roads around Bali gets pretty packed, and there are many small streets and alleyways.
✈️ Where to Get the Best Flight Deals?
The websites I use to search for the best flight deals are Google Flights and Skyscanner. I use them both in conjunction with each other. Google Flights is good to get a snapshot of the best dates to fly, while Skyscanner is where I book the flights through. You can also book through the airline’s website directly.
🏠 Where to Stay?
As a budget traveler, I opted to stay in accommodations from both Booking.com and AirBnb, and these are usually Villas or Bungalows owed by private owners. On the lower end, they range from $20-$30 USD per night, while the mid range costs $50-$60 a night. Most of these usually include a nice, relaxing shared pool area.
Now that you are prepped, read on for the Top Things to Do in Bali in 2019.
Top Things to Do in Bali
Bali has many different areas, so if you want to fully explore Bali, you will need to book your stay in different parts of Bali. The main areas are as follows: Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud, Sanur, and Uluwatu.
🌴 Eat & Party in Seminyak, Bali
Seminyak is located north of the DPS Airport and is basically the “Beverly Hills” of Bali.
➡️ Recommended Dinner/Drink Spot: Potato Head Beach Club Bali
- Fine Balinese Dining by the beach. They have a delicious set menu and really good cocktails.
- Bottom Floor is a bar and a huge outdoor area to chill. There is a pool and you can just walk right out to the beach.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.51B, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Hours: Daily, 10AM – 2AM
🌴 Shop & Sight-See in Canggu, Bali
Canggu is situated roughly a 30 minutes drive north of Seminyak and is like the Bali’s version of Venice Beach in Los Angeles, CA. The trend here is more hip and laid back.
🛒 Bargain at the Love Anchor Bazaar
At the Love Anchor Bazaar in Canggu, you can bargain for cheap souvenirs, accessories, and jewelry.
Name: Love Anchor Canggu Bali
Address: Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.56, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia
Hours: Daily, 8AM-12AM
Best Times to Go: Saturdays and Sundays
💡 Tip: Do not call a Grab leaving here. The taxi drivers will chase you down and prevent you from getting into a Grab! (Yes, that happened to us.)
☸️ Visit the Tanah Lot Temple by the Water
The Tanah Lot Temple is a beautiful temple by the water in Canggu. It’s a great place to catch the sunset. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to visit myself, but I will if I ever get a chance to go back.
🚌 Tours to Consider:
🌴 Spend a Night or Two in Ubud, Bali
Ubud is Bali’s more rural and countryside area in the Northern Middle part of Bali. It is roughly an hour’s drive from Seminyak and Canggu. Here, you can check out a most of Bali’s well-known spots as well as take some really breathtaking photos. I recommend taking a Grab here.
🐒 Ubud #1: Visit the Monkey Forest
The Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali is my favorite experience by far in Bali! Here, you can watch monkeys do their thing. There are so many monkeys around that you will get plenty of great photos and videos. You cannot touch or pet them, but sometimes the monkeys hop onto you. You can see monkeys of all ages here!
Name: Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Address: Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Hours: Daily, 8 AM – 5:30 PM
🚌 Tours to Consider:
🐘 Ubud #2: Check out the Elephant Safari Sanctuary
The Elephant Safari Park Lodge is located around an hour’s drive north of Ubud. The elephants here are all endangered and rescue elephants, and the trainers there all do a good job taking care of the elephants. Here, you can wash, bathe, and also ride the elephants.
- Hire a full day driver (typically from your accommodation). They can take you to multiple locations. You cannot call a Grab here.
- Make a reservation first through their website or by phone before heading over.
Name: Elephant Safari Park Lodge Bali
Address: Jalan Elephant Safari Park Banjar Desa Taro Tegallalang, Taro, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
💦 Ubud #3: Bathing Ceremony at the Tirta Empul Temple (Water Temple)
The Tirta Empul Temple (Water Temple) is one of the largest and busiest Water Temples located in Northern Ubud. You must wear a Sarong to enter, and once you enter you can participate in the bathing ceremony in their fountains, which is believed to have magical purification properties. I did not get a chance to go, but this is definitely at the top of my list the next trip.
Address: Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Hours: Daily, 9AM-5PM
🌾 Ubud #4: Visit the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces is an absolute must see when visiting Bali. The beautiful landscape makes for many great photos. You can observe the many rice paddies created using the traditional Balinese irrigation system.
- Hire a full day driver to take you around.
- Go during the week when it is less crowded, and aim for the morning before it gets too hot.
- Don’t take photos with farmer because it’s a money scam.
🚌 Tours to Consider:
- Klook: Tegalalang Rice Field and Monkey Forest Full Day Tour in Ubud
- Klook: The Heart of Bali Private Tour – Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Hot Spring Angseri at the foot of Mount Batukaru
📷 Ubud #5: Take Amazing Photos at the Bali Swing
If you want those fancy, breathtaking Instagram photos of you swinging into the tropical forest, then the Bali Swing for you. Be prepared to wait a long time for each swing, as a majority of tourists are females dressed in their nicest and fanciest dresses trying to take that one perfect photo. The employees do not limit the amount of time you can spend on the swings. You can literally spend an entire day here if you want a photo at each swing (12 swings total). There is a buffet there that is included in the full price of your ticket ($35USD).
💡 Tips: Give yourself a few hours if you want just a few photos. Prepare to spend an entire day if you want a photo at every swing.
🚌 Tours to Consider:
💧 Ubud #6: Visit the Tegenungan Waterfall
The Tegenungan Waterfall is another great spot for some breathtaking photos. You can go into the water as well as fly your drone for some captivating shots. After that, eat lunch at one of restaurants near the falls for an amazing view.
🚌 Tours to Consider:
➡️ Ubud #7: Wear a Sarong and Check out the Goa Gajah Caves
The Goa Gajah Caves (also called the Elephant Cave, but no elephants here) is known for its ancient stone carvings of Hindu Gods. Here, there are mini temples and waterfalls you can look at as well as some souvenir shops. You are required to wear a Sarong before entering, which you can rent for free with your entrance ticket.
Address: Bedulu Village, Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Blahbatuh, Gianyar
Time Needed Here: <1 Hour
🚌 Tours to Consider:
- Klook: Pure Ubud Private Tour with Lunch at Bebek Bengil Restaurant – Pura Desa Batuan, Goa Gajah, Art Markets, Bali Bird Park, Bebek Bengil Restaurant
🌴 Explore Sanur, Bali’s Upscale Resort Area
Sanur is an area in the eastern side of Bali, and they house Bali’s earliest high-end establishments. The ambiance here is more trendy and laid-back.
👨🍳 Activity: Take an Indonesian Cooking Class
Taking an Indonesian cooking class is one of the best ways to learn and try Indonesia dishes. There are many classes throughout Bali, but the one we took was in Sanur, the eastern part of Bali. If you are lucky, you get a private lesson with the Chef if no one else books, which was the case for us!
The class we took was by Chef Mudana, who was very patient and great to talk to throughout the class. There are three packages to choose from depending on the time of day, and prices are reasonable, ranging from 500,000IDR ($33 USD) to 750,000IDR ($50 USD). He also offers pick-ups and drop-offs to/from your hotel!
🍳 Other Cooking Classes
- If you cannot make Chef Mudana’s class, there is also the Paon Bali Cooking Class in Ubud.
🐠 Swim with Manta Rays at Nusa Penida Island
Nusa Penida is an island South-East of Bali. It is roughly an hour’s boat ride away from Sanur, and here you can enjoy some beautiful views of clear water and enjoy some water activities.
The tour we booked is the Manta Ray Snorkeling Trip. If you are lucky, you will be able to swim with Manta Rays! The tour does pick-ups and drop-offs to/from your hotel. The cost for this package is not cheap, at $80 USD per person. However, I think it is worth the experience, especially if you are lucky enough to swim with Manta Rays.
VLOG: Snorkeling at Nusa Penida Island (Coming Soon!)
🌴 Visit Bali’s Southern-Most White Sand Beaches in Uluwatu
Uluwatu is Bali’s Southern-Most Tip and has some of Bali’s most beautiful white-sand beaches. It is more secluded, so getting around will be a bit harder. However, if you have your transportation figured out, it is definitely worth seeing.
➡️ Recommended Spot: Balangan Beach
- More secluded and less touristy.
- Beautiful views and sunsets.
- Have your rides figured out or have a rental motorbike. Once the Grab or Taxi drops you off, it will be hard to call for another ride. If you need a ride to the airport the next day, make sure you schedule the transportation early (Your accommodation can usually do that for you too).
- Bring Extra Cash. There are no ATM’s in this area.
☸️ Enjoy the Ocean View at the Uluwatu Temple
The Uluwatu Temple is a popular touristy spot that features beautiful ocean views and hosts traditional dance shows. I didn’t get a chance to visit this, but it’s definitely a must see if you are in the area.
Hours: 9AM – 6PM Daily for Worship, but open 24 Hours Daily.
🚌 Tours to Consider:
- Klook: Uluwatu Temple Sunset and Kecak Fire Dance
- Getyourguide.com: Bali Sunset: Uluwatu Temple, Kecak Dance and Jimbaran Bay
There are so many things to do in Bali. We spent a week here and did so many activities. If you enjoy nature and love the laid back vibe, you will enjoy Bali.