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Planning a trip to Bali, but not quite sure where to go on Indonesia’s most well-known island? With so many gorgeous places to visit in Bali, often referred to as ‘the Island of the Gods’, it’s easy to be unsure of where to visit, and what to see and do.

Here are our recommendations for the top 10 places to visit in Bali (in no particular order) that simply cannot be missed.

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1. Ubud Monkey Forest, Ubud

Visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest is a top thing to do in Bali
The Money Forest is where you can have close encounters with these playful macaques. 
The Money Forest is a great place to go in Bali for a nature escape.
Enjoy a peaceful stroll through the green forest.

This nature reserve is a monkey lover’s paradise! Home to over 600 crab-eating macaque monkeys, along with various Hindu temples, Ubud Monkey Forest is one of Bali’s most popular attractions, visited by over 10,000 tourists each month. The nature reserve was established with a mission to create peace and harmony for its visitors while also conserving rare plants and maintaining a natural habitat for its monkeys.

  • Opening times: Open daily, 8:30 am — 6 pm
  • Best time to visit: Visit in the early afternoon, around 2:00 pm, as the monkeys have normally been fed by this time and are less assertive.
  • Tip: Keep an eye on your bags and small children, and don’t bring in snacks — the monkeys are known to get a little too playful.

2. Tanah Lot Temple, Tabanan

Visiting Tanah Lot temple is one of the best things to do in Bali
Take a tour of the Tanah Lot temple and watch a breathtaking sunset from this enormous offshore rock

Certainly Bali’s most well-known temple and perhaps one of its most signature landmarks, Tanah Lot, or Pura Tanah Lot, is a truly unique site. Sitting atop a rock (from which the temple gets its name), this historic Hindu monument is surrounded by crashing sea waves. It is one of seven sea temples along the Balinese coast.

  • Best time to visit: Visit in the summer months just before sunset for an iconic view of the temple
  • Tip: Visitors aren’t allowed on the temple grounds but you can walk around the temple.  

3. Mount Batur, Bangli Regency

Mount Batur hike provides exquisite views of Bali
Chose to hike Mount Batur in wee hours of the morning to catch an exquisite scarlet sunrise. 1,717 m is the highest point of the hike.

If you’re wondering where to go in Bali to see some of the island’s most beautiful natural sites, the active volcano Mount Batur should definitely top your list. Many tour companies offer hikes of Mount Batur, which can be completed in about two hours.

  • Best time to visit: Many tours offer sunrise hikes of Mount Batur, giving you an unforgettable view of Bali’s scenery as daylight breaks.
  • Tips: Although Bali is a tropical destination, temperatures can drop at the top of Mount Batur, so make sure to bring some warm clothes.

4. Bali Safari and Marine Park

Visit over 60 different species of animals from the safety and comfort of a safari bus at the Bali Safari and Marine Park as they roam about. Get up close and personal with zebras, orangutans and elephants before dropping by the aquarium to watch sharks lurking in the waters. Spend a night in the park’s hotel for panoramic views of the animals.

  • Opening times: Open daily, 9 am — 9 pm
  • Best time to visit: Year round, but visit in the spring for some baby animals!
  • Tips: The park has numerous shows and parades, so make sure to check up on the park’s schedule for the day.

5. Besakih Temple, Besakih

One of the best place to visit in Bali, the Besakih temple is worth a visit
The Besakih Temple is also known as the "Mother temple of Bali".

Also known as the ‘mother temple’ of Bali, Besakih Temple can be found an impressive 1000 metres high, along the side of Mount Agung, Bali’s highest volcano mountain. The temple complex is actually made up of 23 temples waiting to be explored - though the most iconic is certainly Pura Penataran Agung with its six-terraced levels.

  • Opening times: 8 am — 5 pm
  • Best time to visit: The Besakih Temple complex’s main temple holds a festival once every 210 days. 
  • Tip: Make sure to dress modestly as revealing attire is prohibited inside Indonesian temples.

6. Goa Gajah, Bedulu Village

Goa Gajah is one of the oldest places to visit in Bali.
The entrance to the 'Elephant Cave' in Goa Gajah.
Goa Gajah has ancient bathing pools.
The ancient bathing pool at Goa Gajah.

Goa Gajah, or ‘Elephant Cave’, is a former sanctuary that dates all the way back to the 9th century. To visit the cave, you must enter through the mouth of a demon that has been carved into the facade. Inside, you’ll find fragments of Hindu statues, including Ganesha, a god with an elephant head that gives the cave its name. Outside, you’ll also be able to see some ancient bathing pools.

  • Opening times: Open daily, 8am — 4pm
  • Best time to visit: Visit early in the morning, before 10am, to avoid the buses full of tourists
  • Tip: Similar to the Besakih temple, make sure to dress modestly. The temple also provides sarongs for hire.

7. Kuta Beach, Kelurahan

Kuta beach is one of the best beaches in Bali
People having fun as the sun sets in Kuta Beach

If you’re looking for places to find adventure in Bali, Kuta Beach, one of the best beaches to visit in Bali certainly won’t disappoint. By day, the white sandy beach is the perfect spot for surfing and sunbathing. By night, it becomes one of the island’s most active nightlife scenes. If you’re looking for more peace and quiet, you can also find it at the north end of the beach.

  • Best time to visit: Kuta Beach is usually most crowded during July and August, and during the holiday season (Christmas and New Year)
  • Tip: Kuta is a popular tourist beach but this also means that there are lots of tourist scammers around. So stay alert.

8. Uluwatu Temple, Pecatu

Uluwatu temple is one of Bali's stunning sea temples.
Visit the Uluwatu temple during sunset.

Uluwatu Temple is loosely translated into English as “something divine at the end of the land”, and that sums it up perfectly. This sight is another of Bali’s stunning sea temples, hanging from the very edge of a 70-meter-high cliff jutting out into the sea. Not only does the temple offer incredible views off Bali’s coast, it is also home to Macaque monkeys. Be careful, though - these monkeys are known to steal the personal belongings of tourists visiting the temple!

  • Opening times: am — 6 pm
  • Best time to visit: Like all of Bali’s sea temples, Uluwatu Temple is best seen at sunset
  • Tip: Monkeys in the temple are known to steal attractive items like sunglasses and phones so make sure to keep these items away from sight.

9. Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Ubud

Visit rice terraces and take pictures of one of best place to visit in Bali
The rice terraces in Bali are a perfect spot for scenic photographs.

No visit to Bali is complete without a visit to one of its many rice paddy fields. Learn more about subak, a traditional Balinese irrigation system, and be sure to bring your camera along to take scenic photos of the lush, green terraces.

  • Best time to visit: Arrive before the tourist buses (around 10am) to avoid crowds
  • Tip: There are several hiking trails that you can take around the Rice Terraces.
Menjangan is part of the West Bali National Park in Bali
Relax on the beautiful beaches of Menjangan island.

Though off the coast of Bali island, Menjangan is part of the West Bali National Park. This picture-perfect island is known for its crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches, and is the perfect location for a bit of snorkeling or scuba-diving! If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a sea turtle or manta ray! Even more likely is a sighting of one of the majestic sambar deer that call the island home.

  • Best time to visit: The island is beautiful year-round, but it is probably best to avoid visiting during rainy season (December to February)
  • Tip: Visit the Bali tower for spectacular views of the sunset and the West Bali National Park. 

Check out our travel guide on Top things to do on Bali. If you're looking to rent a villa on Bali, check out Villa Bali

Published by Sofie, updated on July 15, 2022
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1 COMMENTSWe welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.
  1. V
    Venkat RangaMay 02 2019REPLY
    Hi, Can this be done in 2 days skipping mount batur. Thanks
    1. C
      Candice PigeonMay 03 2019
      Hi Venkat, Bali is quite a big island and you won't be able to it all in 2 days. Not to loose too much time in transportation, you will have to skip Batur, but also Menjangan island and Besakih Temple. The rest of the list is between the south of Bali and Ubud area which makes it do-able. If you are into culture, close to Tegalalang, I would recommend you as well to visit Tampaksiring area with Gunung Kawi and Tirta Empul holy waters. If you need help to organise your trip to Indonesia, I will gladly help. Regards, Candice
    2. T
      TarunDec 15 2019
      sir, i am going for 4 days trip to bali with my family, 2+2 , can u help me in deciding the places to visit........
    3. S
      Sofie Bookmundi StaffDec 16 2019
      Hi Tarun, Thank you for your comment. Please send us a trip planner request by following the link below and one of our travel experts will get back to you to help plan a customized trip to Bali. https://www.bookmundi.com/trip-planner?country=Indonesia#/grouptype