Things to do in Bali: Attractions and places to visit

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The dreamlike Indonesian island of Bali is blessed with great beaches, lush green jungle, breathtaking volcanic areas and impressive temples. The grandiose nature, the sea and all the enchanting landscapes are equally suitable for a beach holiday and an active holiday.

You can explore a lot on the island of the gods. Culture and religion are virtually omnipresent on a Bali trip. Therefore, it would be more than a pity to spend your holidays only in your own hotel resort. Even if you are not planning a big round trip, you should still make some trips to the hinterland.

Below we present you the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights on Bali.

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1. Monkey forests in a holiday paradise

On Bali there are several small monkey forests and three large forests where tourists can watch the animals strolling. This is an attraction for the whole family. Caution is always advised, however, because many species of monkeys are used to visitors and try all kinds of things to get to one or the other delicacy.

The Monkey Forest in Ubud is the most famous monkey forest on the green island. A real attraction in the monkey forest is a small, idyllic river. As a visitor you should follow the central path through the forest. This path then leads the visitor over a small narrow bridge directly to the holy spring. Here the guests of the Monkey Forest can fully enjoy nature. The peace and quiet in this place is paradisiacal.

2. Bali Botanical Garden

More than 2,000 plant species thrive and bloom on an area of around 157 hectares. As a visitor you have the opportunity to explore the park on foot. The Botanical Garden can also be crossed with a moped or a car. The park offers its guests meadows and hills, deciduous and rain forests, small temples and palm groves as well as magnificent vantage points.

In the Botanical Garden, flower lovers can experience the abundance and splendour of countless flowering and leafy plants. Around 10,000 different specimens can be admired in the orchid garden, in the cactus greenhouse, in the Aquatic Garden and in the fern and cyathea garden. In 1959 the famous Eka Karya Botanical Garden was founded. The park in the centre of Bali achieved world fame thanks to its busy botanical collection.

3. Lake Bratan and Temple

The famous Lake Bratan is always a well chosen destination. It’s one of four crater lakes on the island. The lake lies in a very old volcanic crater at about 1,200 meters altitude. The water is deep and murky and it is not uncommon for the surrounding mountainsides to be covered in mysterious fog. You can use the beautiful scenery at the lake very well as a photographic motive. It is one of the most natural sights in the world.

In the 17th century a temple was built on the western shore of the lake. The two shrines of the temple Pura Ulun Danu Bratan seem to swim in the lake. A picturesque picture, pure romance. For sports lovers there is the possibility to practice water sports such as water skiing or parasailing. Romantic boat trips are also ideal to immerse yourself in the landscape with all your senses.

4. Gunung Agung – the highest mountain on the island

The active volcano is well visible from many points of the island. The high mountain occupies a firm place in the Hindu world of the gods. At Agung you can visit holy shrines and several temples.

For the people of Bali, the 3,142 meter high volcano is a sacred mountain. The ascent is impressive and sometimes exhausting, but the sunrise high above the clouds is a force.

5. The magic bat temple

On the east coast of Bali lies Goa Lawah, a Hindu temple. Behind the temple altar there is a bat cave. During sunset, several thousand feather mice leave the hostel every day. For the inhabitants of the Indonesian island, the animals that live in or near a temple are sacred.

This attraction attracts many guests from near and far every year. The bat temple was once consecrated to the god Maheswara. A trip here is always worthwhile for you. The idea that the cave is a direct connection to the underworld fascinates young and old alike.

6. Museum of Balinese Culture

The famous Museum Negeri Propinsi Bali gives visitors an excellent insight into the millenary culture of the island in the fast track mode. Antique stone sculptures are exhibited in the main building. On the first floor, visitors with an affinity for culture can admire traditional household objects and original woodcarving art.

In the south pavilion of the museum you get an ideal insight into the Balinese dyeing methods and weaving techniques. The North Pavilion houses theatre and dance masks as well as traditional dance costumes. The central pavilion contains priestly clothing and religious exhibits such as ceremonial objects. This is a worthwhile visit for culture lovers, especially as the museum is one of the top sights of Bali.

7. Unforgettable sunsets in Kuta

Bali’s beaches are perfect for sunbathing, water sports, swimming, snorkelling and diving. Kuta beach is one of the most international and lively beaches in Bali. Even those looking for deserted beaches will find what they are looking for, but at Kuta Beach young and old people cavort around with great joy in life.

The famous Kuta Beach with its restaurants, hotels, shops, cafés and clubs is considered the most legendary party centre in Bali. Tours to all important sights can be started from here. Due to the reliable but moderate surf Kuta Beach is especially suitable for beginners. Every evening the beach fills up for the dramatic play of colours at sunset.

8. Rice Terraces Tegalalalang & Jatiluwih

The rice terraces in Tegalalang also belong to the well-known sights of Bali. The island has a lot to offer in terms of landscape, apart from temples and fantastic beaches, cultural landscapes in the interior are also worth seeing natural attractions.

The Jatiluwih riding terraces are also popular. You can take part in guided tours, so you can see better with how much painstaking detail work the Balinese maintain and harvest their vital rice. The impressive rice terraces lie in the timeless beauty of the jungle.

9. Temple Town Pura Besakih

The largest and at the same time most important Hindu temple has become a real tourist attraction since a long time as a holy place. You don’t need a guide to walk through the temple. With the background information, however, you will learn much more about the history and purpose of this temple city. This is not a single temple.

Built in the 8th century AD, the site consists of several temples and over 200 other associated buildings. The temple complex is arranged in terraces, the buildings on the slope are connected by paths and stairs. When visiting the temple city you should get a sarong and a long shirt before entering to pay the religious Hindus the necessary respect.

10. Blahmantung Waterfall

In the holiday paradise there are many great and admirable waterfalls. But on the Indonesian island there are also sightseeings that are not overcrowded by tourists from all directions. In the northeastern centre of Bali you will find the Blahmantung waterfall. At first glance it seems rather inconspicuous and suddenly appears out of nowhere on the way.

But this natural attraction can be heard from afar. Once you have reached the entrance to the waterfall, you can see how big it actually is. The water literally flows out of the jungle roof and the plants. A spectacle that will certainly impress you. At the waterfall the vegetation is very strong, bamboo plants can rise up to 20 meters high.

More things to do and activities for your Bali holiday

Best time to visit Bali

We recommend the following months as best time to travel for exploring the attractions and acivities of Bali:

April, May, June, July, August, September, and October

You can find more information about the weather, including all climate data, on our climate page for Bali.

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