Author: Guillaume Marques on Unsplash

Welcome to Bali

Find all the necessary information for a perfect vacation in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. We present you with a complete tourist guide through the paradise of Bali - a place of stunning natural beauty, unreal sea depths, and unusual temples. Learn how to get to know this part of the world in the best way and organize your dream vacation. On our page, you will find out how much money you need for the trip, how and when to travel to Bali, book the perfect accommodation, and attractions that you should not miss during your trip. Enjoy Indonesian magic. Be richer for an unforgettable tourist experience.

The most important information about Bali

Bali is the most visited and the most popular island in Indonesia. Here is the most important information about Bali.
  • History of Bali - Austronesian people who originally migrated from the island of Taiwan to Southeast Asia and Oceania inhabited Bali around 2000 BCE. The Balinese are culturally and linguistically closely related to the people of the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, the Philippines and Oceania. Portuguese were the first known European contact that Bali had, then the Dutch explorers came and the Dutch East India Company was established in 1602. Bali became independent from the Dutch in 1949. Today it is a province in the Republic of the United States of Indonesia and is one of the most popular tourist places in Indonesia.
  • Geography and time zone - The island of Bali is located east of Java from which is separated by the Bali Strait. Bali is approximately 153 km wide from east to west, and it spans approximately 112 km north to south. The highest point of Bali is Mount Agung (3,031 m) that is a part of Bali’s central mountains. The island is surrounded by coral reefs and there are a lot of beaches. The ones in the south tend to have white sand, and the ones in the north and west have black sand. The time zone in Bali is the Central Indonesian time zone, GMT +8.
  • Climate - Bali has a fairly even climate all year around because it is just 8 degrees south of the equator. The average temperature during the whole year is around 30 °C, while the humidity level is about 85%. The island has a monsoon season from October to April that brings significant rain.
  • Demography - Bali has a population of 4,317,404. The capital of the province of Bali is Denpasar that has a population around 725,0000. Most of the people are of Austronesian origin, and there are an estimated 30,000 expatriates living there. Over 85% of Bali’s population adheres to Balinese Hinduism. Minority religions include Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism.
  • Tradition and culture - What is Bali unique for? - Bali is unique for its coral reefs, beaches, and volcanic mountains. It is home to beautiful temples. It is a tropical island with volcanic nature that has perfect conditions for a summer vacation. The world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, actually comes from Bali.

Travel Tips for Bali

Here are some details and trips when traveling to Bali.
  • Official Language and other languages spoken - The official languages of Bali are Balinese and Indonesian. Most of the people there speak different levels of English since tourism has been one of the significant sources of income in Bali.
  • Entering Bali: Procedures and requirements - When entering Bali, you need a passport, a Visit Visa, and proof of ownership of health insurance with a minimum coverage value of USD 100,000.
  • Money Tips - Currency - The currency in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah. If you want to save some money, you should avoid the high season - July and August. Also, eat where the locals eat, at the local restaurants called warungs, or at the local markets. You should book online in advance, since it is cheaper, and rent a scooter because it’s more affordable than hiring a driver. If you are in a group, then you should hire a driver. You should bring cash and pay for everything with it. The average cost of a 7-day trip to Bali is 400 euros plus the flights there and back.
Important Numbers
  • Country Dialing Code Prefix - The dialing code prefix for Indonesia is +62.
  • General emergency: 112. If you’re using a local SIM, enter 0361 first, and if you’re using an overseas SIM card, dial +62 361 112.
  • Police: 110.
  • Medical Emergency: 112.
  • Fire Department: 113.
  • Search and Rescue: 111, 115, or 151.
Useful apps, free travel map - Here are some apps that would make your vacation on this beautiful island more pleasant and easier:
  • Waze - an app that has built-in offline maps and navigation routes. It is constantly updated with new relevant information, such as traffic jams, accidents or roadblocks.
  • WhatsApp - this app will allow you to stay in touch with any locals since it is widely spread all across Indonesia.
  • Traveloka - an app that contains information about cheap flights, hotels, and the exact amount of money you’ll need for everything, including tax and any additional fees.
  • Grab - an app that will help you find motorcycle taxis in Bali. This app also provides taxi services and offers a food delivery service.
  • The Bali Bible - an app with information on everything you need to know about Bali. It has information on restaurants, family trips and discount coupons, as well as attractions.

When to visit Bali?

The best time to visit Bali is in the dry season, from April till October. The monsoon season is from November till March, so you should avoid that time. The flights and accommodation are more expensive in July and August, and there are more people.

How to get to Bali?

Getting to Bali by:
  • Plane - the main airport on Bali is the Ngurah Rai International Airport, popularly known as the Denpasar International Airport. Many international airlines serve this airport, like Emirates, Dragonair, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, and more.
  • Sea - many cruise liners have a stop at Bali, and if you want to get to Bali by sea, you can take a flight to Singapore, Sumatra or Java, and then a ship to the island.
  • Bus, train or car - you cannot travel to Bali this way. It is either impossible or too tiresome.

Activities for tourists in Bali

Bali offers much more than beaches and luxurious resorts. Here are some of the best tours, shopping spots, and events and festivals:
Best tours - There is an opportunity to go on different types of tours in Bali, from the cultural to the action-packed. There are some of the most popular tours through Bali:
  • Taman Ayun, Monkey Forest and Tanah Lot - a tour in the countryside with a short walk through Scenic Terraced Rice Paddies. It includes a guided tour to Mengwi, Tanah Lot, and Monkey Forest, and a roundtrip transportation to and from Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur, or Nusa Dua Hotel. You will also get to experience the sunset at the famous Sunset Temple. The price of this tour is from 40 euros, and you can book it here.
  • Bali Full-Day Traditional Village Sightseeing Trip With Lunch - on this tour you will visit the artisan villages around Ubud and learn about the Balinese culture. You’ll get to see local handicrafts, such as batik in Batubulan, gold and silver jewelry in Celuk, and wood sculptures in Mas, as well as the Batuan Temple and Sebatu Holy Spring Temple, and more. The price of this tour is 51.50 euros, and you can book it here.
  • Best of Ubud Tour with Jungle Swing - on this tour, you’ll get to see Ubud’s natural wonder, UNESCO-listed rice terraces, and sacred temples. It includes a tour of a coffee plantation and a visit to Tegenungan waterfall. The price of this tour is 55,51 euros and you can book it here.
Events and festivals - Bali offers different events and festivals you shouldn’t miss. You can see the island's spiritualism, culture and tradition in them.
  • Galungan and Kuningan - an annual festival that takes place in Denpasar City over  ten days in February in honour of the win of good over evil. Houses and temples are decorated  with tall bamboo poles called Penjor. The festival’s opening day is called Galungan which is the time to welcome the deities on Earth, and the closing day is Kuningan that marks the ascending of Deities back to Heaven.
  • Ogoh Ogoh Paradise - an event with the Ogoh Ogoh Parade or Ngerupuk Parade that takes place in March at the Puputan Square in Denpasar. It showcases the local tradition, and the monster dolls of the parade are burnt at the end of the celebrations.
  • Air Festival - a festival that portrays the criss-cross of art and ecology in the region. It takes place in April in Kabupaten Badung and its aim is to conserve the Balinese land with the grand genres of broad music and diversified themes each year.
  • Bali Arts Festival - a festival that celebrates art, culture, music and dance. It takes place in June and July in Panjer. During this festival there are different events, competition and activities related to literature, fashion, handicraft, and culinary.
  • Odalan - one of the most prominent Temple festivals that takes place in August at the Pura Besakih Temple. Communities in Bali gather in prayers and take part in the processions.
Best Shopping - Bali is also a place where you can shop for various things at different spots. You can visit modern malls that offer international brands, you can find them in every major resort area in Bali: 
  • There are also art markets, like the Kumbasari Art Market in Denpasar and Ubud Art Market, where you can shop for traditional artworks and handicrafts from locals. 
  • In popular resort areas like Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, there are pedestrian-friendly shopping streets with traditional art markets, fashion boutiques, modern malls, and art galleries.

Tourist attractions in Bali?

Bali is a favorite vacation spot for many tourists. Here are some of the attractions you should see:
  • Uluwatu Temple - a Hindu sea Temple in Uluwatu that is dedicated to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in his manifestation as Rudra. Since it is set high at the edge of a cliff, it overlooks the waves of the Indian Ocean and it provides spectacular views. Monkeys inhabit the temple, so you should watch your belongings. A Kecak dance performance is performed daily in the temple, at 6 pm. The entrance fee for foreigners is IDR 30,000 (1.87 euros), and the temple is open from 9 am to 7 pm. When visiting the temple both men and women should wear a sarong, scarf or sash tied around the waist. You can use sarong and sash provided in the temple for free.
  • Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary - a sanctuary and natural habitat of the Balinese long-tailed macaque at Padangtegal Ubud. There are about 1049 monkeys living in this sanctuary. In this sanctuary you can see the Statue of Goddess of Sri, a cave called Durgama, Goddess of Dhurga, Candi Terbelah, and the aspect of four Brotherhood. The sanctuary is open daily from 8:30 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee for adults is IDR 80,000 (5 euros), and for children, IDR 60,000 (3.70 euros).
  • Seminyak - a mixed tourist residential area located on the west coast of Bali. There are plenty of expensive hotels, land, accommodation, spas, high-end shopping, and restaurants. It is popular among tourists and resident expatriates. Oberoi, an expensive hotel with a worldwide reputation is located here.
  • Tegallalang Rice Terrace - a popular tourist spot that is probably one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bali. It is part of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province UNESCO World Heritage Site. It comprises cascading emerald-green fields. You can take a picture at the Love Bali sign at the start of the rice fields. The field is open daily from 7 am to 6 pm, and the entrance fee is IDR 15,000 (0.93 euros).
  • Ulun Danu Beratan Temple - a lakefront Hindu temple located in the mountains near Bedugul. It is one of the nine Kahyangan Jagat temples in Bali and it consists of five various shrines dedicated to other Hindu gods as well: Penataran Agung, Prajapati, Dalem Purwa, Taman Beji, and Lingga Petak, and one Buddhist Stupa. The temple complex is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm, and the entrance fee for adults is IDR 75,000 (4.60 euros), and for children it’s IDR 50,000 (3.10 euros).
  • Sanur - a coastal stretch of beach east of Denpasar. There are a number of hotel resorts, like the Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali and the Hyatt Regency Bali, villa resorts, restaurants, and shops. From this beach you can see the island Nusa Penida. You can visit Museum Le Mayeur, which was previously the home of Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes, a Belgian painter.
  • Mount Batur - an active volcano north west of Mount Agung, in the Bangli region, that is popular for climbing. You can watch the sunrise over nearby volcanoes. The hike takes about two hours, and it can be pretty difficult for certain people. You can book the hike with some of the local companies, and the price would be around IDR 800,000 (50 euros) per person.
  • Kuta Beach - also known as the Sunset Beach, a tourist area in the Kuta District. Kuta was a former fishing village that was one of the first towns on Bali to have a substantial tourist development. Kuta is known for its long sandy beach, varied accommodation, restaurants and bars. There is a two-meter white sandstone fence that prevents sand from blowing to the cafes and restaurants. The beach is 2.5 km long.
  • Tirta Empul Temple - a Hindu Balinese water temple in the village of Manukaya, near the town of Tampaksiring. There is a pond there with a spring that gives out fresh water regularly. The name of the temple means Holy Spring in Balinese. The sacred springs are said to have been created by the God Indra and possess curative properties. The temple is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, and the entrance fee for foreigners is IDR 50,000 per person (3.11 euros).
  • Besakih Temple - a pura complex with grand spires in the village of Besakih. It is the largest and holiest temple of Balinese Hinduism. The complex has 23 separate but related temples. The largest one is Pura Penataran Agung. The complex is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm, and the entrance fee is IDR 60,000 (3.70 euros) per person.

Accommodation in Bali

Bali is a popular tourist destination, so it has many available places to stay at. They vary from private villas and five-star resorts to bungalows and homestays. Some of the best areas to stay in Bali are Kuta and Legian because they are packed with shops, markets, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, while Ubud is popular amongst the tourists who want to experience the interior area of the island.
  • Hotels and resorts - Hotels and resorts in Bali are mainly 3-5 star ones, and they are the best in the region. They are often designed with natural principles in mind, which means they were using the local materials, as well as traditional wood carving, stone-masonry, and architecture. Every hotel and resort has the kids area, lagoon pools and sometimes even water slides. Most of them offer spa treatments and massages, and some of them offer access to golf courses. Some of the hotels and resorts are Alam Kulkul Boutique Resort located a five-minute walk from Kuta Beach, Grand Istana Rama Hotel, and Alaya Resort Ubud.
  • Villas and Apartments - There are plenty of luxurious villas in Bali that you can rent and enjoy with your whole family. They often have spas and private pools. Some of them are Viceroy Bali, Chapung SeBali, and Kuta Lagoon Resort and Pool Villas. Studios and apartments are still rare on the island, but they are becoming more popular. Prices for this type of accommodation start at around 11 euros per night.
  • Hostels and budget accommodation - Hostels in Bali often offer luxury with pools, on-site yoga studios, hammocks in the garden and clean communal kitchens. There are hundreds of them all over the island that are cheap, yet offer an incredible value and some of the best are the Farm Hostel, Puri Garden Hotel & Hostel, and Puri Rama Hostel. Prices go from around 2.50 to 11 euros per night for a dorm room, mixed or female-only, and 13 to 21 euros for a private room.

Best restaurants in Bali

In Bali you can find Asian flavours, like Chinese, Indian and Malay cuisines. While on the island you should try ayam pelalah, a shredded roast chicken with freshly picked herbs and spices, nasi tepeng, a rice porridge in chicken broth, nasi campur Bali, boiled long grain rice with either ayam pelalah, string beans, or bean sprouts, and more, and soto bakso, a soup with meatballs.
Where to eat - If you want to experience local food, you should try these restaurants, or warungs, simple Indonesian restaurants:
  • Pak Malen - an Indonesian warung that is known for serving some of the best roast pig in Bali. This restaurant is considered one of the best by locals, so it can get crowded at peak times.
  • Naughty Nuri’s - a restaurant, warung, in Ubud, Seminyak, Kelod, and Badung, known for its Indonesian barbecued pork ribs and martinis. Anthony Bourdain declared this restaurant's martini the best martini outside of New York.
  • Chandi - this restaurant serves one of the best bebek betutus on the island. Bebek betutu is an Indonesian dish of steamed Balinese duck heavily seasoned with an Indonesian spice mixture called betutu. In this restaurant they make this dish with a blend of sixteen spices.
Where to go out - People in Bali go out every night of the week to pubs, clubs, and beach club bars. There are places for everyone, for the ones who want to dress up, and for the ones who want to go out in their shorts and t-shirt. Areas of Bali that have the best nightlife are Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, and Ungasan/Uluwatu. 
  • Kuta has megaclubs and ultra-cheap drinks
  • Seminyak focuses more on beautiful venues with top of the line sound systems and international DJs, 
  • Canggu has a new clubbing scene, and Ungasan has cliff side clubs and bars with the most amazing acts and DJs.

Public transport in Bali

Public transport in Bali is not that developed. There are no trains or trams, and the most common form of road transport are Public buses.
  • Buses - Buses in Bali are usually mini-buses, known as bemos or colts. They travel on the main roads in Bali, and are the cheapest mode of transport. It is not unusual for locals to travel with produce and livestock, and there may not be air conditioning inside the bus. The price of the ride starts at about IDR 5,000 for short distances (0.31 euros).
  • Cycling - You can rent a bike if you want to explore Bali. There are many forms of bike tracks, from paved roads to off-road tracks. The daily bike rental is about IDR 25,000 (2.22 euros).
  • Motorcycles and Scooters - There is a possibility to rent a motorcycle or a scooter, as well as hiring a driver to take you wherever you want to go. Daily rates for a motorcycle rental range from about 3.50 to 9 euros depending on the engine displacement, and the gas is not included.
  • Taxi - Taxi drivers in Bali tend to be dishonest, they can claim to have a broken meter or take the long way around. The most honest ones are the blue taxis marked Bali Taxi, also known as Blue Bird Taxis. They are limited to South Bali and Ubud. The flag-down rate is IDR 7,000 (0.44 euros), and then IDR 6,600 (0.41 euros) for every added kilometer.

Frequently asked questions about Bali

What country is Bali in?

When should I visit Bali?

What is Bali famous for?

Is Bali safe?

What time zone is Bali?

Is Bali expensive?

What do you need to enter Bali?

What is the best way to get around Bali?

The most important information before going to Bali?