The ultimate guide | Bali
Bali is exactly what they say, a real paradise.
On Bali you can enjoy a stunning view, get a kick out of a wide variety of activities, get in contact with the warm and welcoming people and unwind in a perfect combination of relax and culture.
Temples, islands, heavenly beaches, great cuisine: the richest experiences are waiting for you in less than 6000 square meters.
Here is all you need to know before leaving for your perfect holiday on the Island of the Gods.
- Rice Fields and Ubud
- Visiting the temples:
- Tirta Empul, the most mystical
- Tanah Lot, the temple on the sea from where you can enjoy the best sunset view
- Ulun Danu Bratan, photographic symbol of the Island, heading towards the north
- The sea in Nusa Dua
- Getting enchanted walking through the hills in the rice fields
- Eating the real indonesian kitchen in a warung, looking over the rice fields
- Taking a surfing lesson in Kuta
- Eating grilled fish on the beach in Jimbaran
- Enjoying a cocktail on the sea in Seminyak, facing the sunset
- Visiting a real local marketGetting a relaxing massage in one of the best spa on the Island
Seminyak is the glam center of the island, where you can find shopping areas, restaurants, luxury hotels and appetizers on the beach at any time.
It’s worth a visit because it shows how Bali adapted to the growing tourism phenomenon without losing its charm.
In three words: fashion, seaside and nightlife - it offers all the basics of a relaxing vacation. If you’re looking for something a little bit more cultural and natural we suggest you to rent a car and move a bit further.
Stay longer on the seaside enjoying a cocktail until the sun goes down, perhaps in one of the most known pubs, like the Potato Head. Visiting the Hindu Temple Petitenget is mandatory.
WHERE TO SLEEP
- If you’re looking for a dreamy experience and you’re not locked to a budget, The Kunja Villas & Spa or The One Boutique Villa might be perfect for you.
- If you’re travelling on a budget you can find the best price/quality ratio Puri Cendana Resort or Tijili Seminyak.
- The best place to stay with kids? The Seminyak Beach Resort and Spa, without any doubt.
KUTA & LEGIAN
Kuta, you either hate it or love it. Well known for its perfect windy and wavy surf beaches, resorts, restaurants and crazy nightlife. For those who are looking for the paradisiacal side of Bali, probably Kuta is not what you’re looking for. On the other hand, you will not feel that disorientation which is typical of a stay in the Bali countryside. Kuta is the best solution for those who can’t wait to be immersed in the Balinese movida. Legian is Kuta’s extension: same spirit, only less crowded.
Choose Kuta if you’re into surf and nightlife, don’t choose it if you’re into relax, nature and discovery of the culture.
If you love surfing don’t miss the waves! Kuta beach is full of schools to learn all about surf ABC, like the Rip Curl School of Surf. Sunsets are legendary, if you’re tired of the nightlife enjoy your peaceful moment on Pantai Patra Jasa beach, a little gem, a corner of paradise only reachable through a narrow little street. If you’re looking for a different experience Kuta also offers waterparks, where kids will have a ball!
WHERE TO SLEEP
Canggu is definitely our favourite area to stay on the island. It’s the perfect equilibrium between rice fields, beaches, culture and food. It wins the prize of the coolest area on the Island of Gods. From Batubelig Beach to Perenenan Beach and the most known Echo Beach, the sea and the dark sand of Canggu will enchant you. Enjoy a relaxing holiday in one of the areas with the highest lifestyle.
Walking for 4 km from Batubelig Beach to Perenenan Beach, enjoying a break in a Warung, where you can taste incredible indonesian food at an excellent price. Do not dare to miss a visit to Tanah Lot, preferably during the sunset. You will never forget it. Allow yourself to be carried away by Canggu’s cool atmosphere, sipping a drink or a coffee in a local trendy bar. Whatever is your choice, Canggu will never let you down.
WHERE TO SLEEP
- The best solution to stay in Canggu is to book a villa. You can find any type of villa at any price, among the rice fields, on the beach. You can find a wide selection of villas on Airbnb.
- If the hotel fits your needs better, Tugu Hotel is the best. When you’re on a budget check the Ngeluwungan Boutique Hotel.
- If you are a family don’t miss the Lv8 Resort Hotel.
Ubud is Bali’s quintessence, its real spirit. The immense rice fields, the artisan boutiques, the temples make of Ubud the cultural capital of the island. You can’t say you’ve been in Bali if you never walk through Ubud. In the center you can find anything you need, from the most authentic local restaurant to the westerner one, a spa for a little bit of relax, traditional shows, shops and more in a perfect tropical environment. Rent a car to reach places that you’ll never forget, such as the Tirta Empul Temple, only one hour away (where you can assist a ritual of spiritual purification), the neverending Tegallalang rice fields, the Pura Luhur Batukaru Temple (one of the most known of the island) or the Jatiluwih rice terraces, Unesco world heritage.
Get lost in the center of Ubud and don’t be afraid to walk on unknown paths, you might find rare pearls. The Sacred Monkey Forest can’t be missed, especially if you’re travelling with your kids (but watch out for the monkeys, they get easily upset and they are particularly fond of your purse). Visit the temples dressed in a sarong (sometimes it’s mandatory and you can rent it there). The Pura Taman Saraswati, Pura Gunung Lebah and Ubud Palace are all in the city centre. Forget you’re on a clock while you walk towards Campuan through the rice paddies. Don’t miss a traditional dance show, our favourite is the Kecak Fire & Trance Dance.
WHERE TO SLEEP
- if you want to live an extraordinary experience, stay at the Royal Pita Maha. Consider renting a Villa with a pool, there are so many!
- If you’re travelling with kids a house might be the best solution for you, and also the most convenient. You can enjoy a real dream staying in Kamandalu Ubud.
- While if you’re on a budget, Junjungan Ubud Hotel & Spa has all you’re looking for.
Ulu Wantu is an area full of charme. The waves attract a lot of surfers, the cliffs overlooking the ocean make it a perfect destination for couples that want to enjoy an incredible panorama from the comfort of a restaurant with a view. The sand beaches hidden between the hills guarantee intimacy and relax.
A dinner and a cocktail with a view, the sunsets, Padang Pasang beach and the visit at Uluwantu Temple, where you can assist to a traditional indonesian performance by nightfall, the Kecak Fire Dance. Ask the locals for advice on the best local beach.
WHERE TO SLEEP
- the best choice is no doubt a stay on the cliffs. Anantara Uluwatu perfectly fits this dream. If you’re on a lower budget check the Sal Sacret Spot.
- If you’re on a lower budget check the Sal Sacret Spot è un’ottima soluzione.
- If you’re travelling with the kids Mahagiri Villas and Spa Dreamland will offer anything you need, but keep in mind that Nusa Dua might be a better destination for the children.
Jimbaran Bay is all about neverending white sand and a romantic time looking at the sea. Jimbaran is a fishermen’s little village and it’s well known for its fish market (don’t miss it in the early morning). Jimbaran is an alternative solution to the more crowded Kuta and Legian. If you love good fish this will probably be your favourite area. You can find warung (restaurants) anywhere on the beach, offering the best grilled fish of Bali.
The fish market in the morning, without any doubt. The restaurants on the beach. Walking around on a Sunday afternoon, when local people get out for their weekly outing. A cocktail in the sunset at the Rock Bar in the Ayana Resort and Spa.
WHERE TO SLEEP
All you need is some relax on a beach, maybe in a luxurious resort with a pool view? You can’t wait to be alone with the sea? Nusa Dua is what you want. Beaches are its strenght. We believe it’s the best place to end your holiday, where you can really recharge.
Enjoy the white sand or the many sports and activities the seaside offers. Enjoy the sea, he’ll do all the work.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Without any doubt, for families or not, Westin Nusa Dua is the very best.
The area of Sanur is the queen of relax. Ideal location for families, in particular the walk on the seaside. The general spirit of Sanur is the spirit of a little fishermen’s town and their little colorful boats bring this feeling to life. Sanur is perfect for those who are looking for relax and a seaside environment a bit cheaper than fancy Nusa Dua.
Relax on the beach among the colorful boats, have lunch or dinner looking at the sea with your toes in the water, enjoy a calm walk. If you’re enchanted by the boat life, here you can rent a boat and head towards Nusa Lembogan: the island is only 40 minutes away and it’s a sweet escape.
WHERE TO SLEEP
BEST PERIOD TO VISIT
The best months to visit Bali are May, June and September. Considering the average temperature we can definitely say that the weather is great (dry as we like it) and the prices for the accommodations are at their cheapest.
July, August and December (especially the summer peak season the Christmas and New Years peak) are the most expensive months. Properties are not that easy to book, because they’re quickly sold out, try to book in advance.
The low season includes months such as January to April and October - November. It’s very likely to find a rainy weather during these months even if normally the rain is not excessive and you can still visit the city in relax.
HOW TO GET THERE
There is only one airport on Bali: the Ngurah Rai in Denpasar is well connected with the whole world. It’s in the south of Kuta, from where you can easily reach any area of the island. If you get a taxi define the price with the driver before, and don’t forget to negotiate, always. It’s common practice on Bali. However we suggest to arrange a shuttle service with your accommodation because you’ll have the same service for a cheaper price. Another great solution is using Grab (app android e IOS) and Uber (app android e IOS), definitely cheaper than a taxi and the service is great.
ABOUT THE TRANSPORT IN BALI
The island is very big and distances might be long, even if doable most of the times. renting a scooter might be the most practical and cheap solution, and it definitely allows you to breathe in the real spirit of the local life. Sometimes you can rent a driver through your hotel for a whole day. Grab (app android e IOS) and Uber (app android e IOS) are always available, functional and cheap. We personally wouldn’t suggest to move by taxi because sometimes the fee is excessive compared to the other transports.
Indonesian Touristic Visa lasts for 30 days and it’s free of charge.
The Indonesian currency is Rupee (IDR) with an exchange rate very interesting for westerners. It’s common to find banks and ATMs in the touristic areas. Extra charges might be applied, so we suggest to contact your bank for more information before withdrawal. We suggest you to download XE currency app (android e IOS).
On Bali, the main religion is Hindu; while the rest of the country is mainly Muslim. You will see lots baskets of flowers at every front door, it’s the offer that Balinese give to the gods every morning.
- As soon as you arrive make sure you get a SIM card with access on the Internet, it’s easy to find them also in the Airport. Using a local SIM is very cheap and 4G is great in all the touristic areas.
- Try to avoid drinking tap water, it might lead to unpleasant consequences. For lunch or dinner in bars or restaurants, try to avoid drinks with ice, unless the ice is made with mineral water (which often happens).
Don’t forget bugs and mosquitos repellent, because they’re everywhere on the island and the most dangerous ones are very active during the daytime too.
Peel fruit and vegetables to avoid negative consequences.
It’s a good habit to use a flashlight during nighttime when you’re crossing the street (also the mobile phone’s one will do). It might be dangerous otherwise.
Negotiation is common practice everywhere. Don’t be afraid to discuss about prices, especially for transportation and souvenirs shopping.
Bali is an extremely safe travel destination, locals are generous, good-hearted and welcoming. Respect their culture and you’ll enjoy an amazing time!
Bali is absolutely family and kids friendly, there are so many activities to do all together and resorts and hotels welcome them with open arms.
WHERE TO EAT
LIndonesian cuisine is very simple, it mainly consists of rice and vegetables. You can easily find westerners restaurants, offering a simple dish of pasta. Curiosity: Indonesian ragù is so good!
Kids love Indonesian cuisine, just make sure they’re not ordering something spicy. If you prefer eating at home the choice is various at the supermarket, you will easily find milk powder too. It’s difficult to find flour though, Indonesian kids are weaned on rice.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Best areas to visit with the kids are Nusa Dua for the amazing sand beach; Sanur, extremely quiet and with an awesome seaside and Canggu, one of the best areas that we definitely suggest checking out. Also Ubud is very kids friendly, if you’re looking for a more cultural area. Don’t miss the Monkey Forest!
The majority of the resorts offer baby cribs and high chair on request. But beware the very cheap accommodations, because it might be more difficult.
If you opted for a stay in a Villa (probably the best choice in many areas on Bali) just reach out to them to request baby cribs. In case they cannot satisfy this request you can rent all the necessary here: https://www.balibubs.com/.
On this website you can find anything, from strollers to car chairs, to pouches and potty chairs and sterilizers. This service is brilliant!
- Balinese sidewalks are a bit illogic and not well maintained, thus walking around with the stroller might become a nightmare. Kids carriers are definitely the best option. If you know that you’ll use it only for one day you can rent it here https://www.balibubs.com .
- If moving by scooter is not for you just rent a taxi (negotiating the price in advance), an Uber (app android e IOS) or Grab (app android e IOS) - outside the touristic areas.
For a daily field trip rent a taxi driver, in Indonesia the car seat for kids is not mandatory.
You can easily find diapers in supermarkets, including the brand Pampers, but it’s very expensive. We tried the brand Mami Poko and we think it’s good enough.
No vaccine is mandatory to visit Bali! Just make sure you have your solar cream and mosquitos spray with you but apart from that you have a green light on the Island of the Gods!