Things to do in Bali
Intrepid travelers have long been attracted to Bali—for its natural beauty, colorful culture, and deep spiritual traditions. Just one of literally thousands of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, Bali stands out for its luxury beach resorts, countless Hindu temples, fine handicrafts, great spas, impressive nature parks, and exceptional adventure tours. There’s no lacking for things to do in Bali.
Peruse Travel + Leisure’s guide for the best attractions and activities on the island—we’ll show you what to do in Bali, where to go, and how to make the most of your island vacation. We highlight don’t-miss experiences, like a sunset visit to the 11th-century Uluwatu Temple, a silk tented safari along the banks of the Wos River, and air tours of the lush landscape by helicopter. Less ambitious things to do in Bali include shopping for Balinese sculpture and brightly colored textiles, attending a traditional dance performance, and taking a guided day trip by car to Mount Batur, a still-active volcano. Whether you just want to float in the warm Indian Ocean waters or take in the island’s rich history and culture, T+L’s Bali travel guide has the listings you need.
A two-hour white-water rafting tour on the rushing Ayung is easily the most exciting way to see Bali’s inland jungles and waterscapes.
Known for its modern, affordable ceramics. Pick up stylish tableware at this Bali standout.
This glittering salon, which partially occupies the Kerobokan property of owner Sandra McArthur, is filled with fabulous custom-beaded handiwork.
A literal Bali High ensues when you see the island from up above. Air Bali’s aircraft (a Bell 206 helicopter seating four, and a Piper Cheyenne plane seating six) run an array of over-the-top tours (pun intended) from Ngurah Rai Airport.
Textile gallery and emporium that supports local women's weaving cooperatives.
American owner (and art historian) Susi Johnston and her Italian partner Bruno Piazza make regular treasure-hunting trips through the Southeast Asian outback for one-of-a-kind artifacts—which wind up in their shop. Susi focuses on 18th-century textiles; Bruno on tribal art and ancient jewelry.
The Sayan Valley, along the Ayung River, is one of the island's most stunningly beautiful places - perfect for a quiet walk.
Public tours of the 23-acre campus are held on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Waka’s Land Rover tours (led by charismatic, knowledgeable, Indiana Jones-esque guides), allow guests to explore some of Bali’s most far-flung and magical places.
Balinese Barong on Rangda dance performances take place at Pura Taman Saraswati (Ubud Water Palace). It's the hub of Ubud, and surrounded by crafts stalls.
Tanah Lot, Bali's most dramatically situated temple, poised on a rocky headland that becomes an island at high tide.
This beautifully maintained stable just outside Seminyak offers guided horseback rides twice a day—in the morning and at sunsest—on Seminyak Beach.
American husband-and-wife team Katherine and Rally Dupps create bold geometric patterns for their cheery line of pillows, table linens, and wall hangings.
Many tourists make a quick, guided daytrip to see this 5,000-foot, still-active volcano near the northwestern village of Kintamani—but it’s a much better idea to rent a car and driver, and take your time getting there.