There are a lot of competing ideas regarding what to do in Bali, Indonesia. Read any Bali guide and you’ll see that some find it to be a welcomed fantasy-like break from their hectic city lives. Others find it to be a tourist trap. Whatever your opinion is, no one can deny that Bali is a fantastic value-for-money beach destination. But which bits are the best to see? What if someone wants to see a little bit of everything? Check out my Bali Guide to make the most of your next trip.
Fly in Friday
- 3 Nights in Seminyak (Friday – Monday)
- 3 Nights in Menjangan (Monday – Thursday)
- 4 Nights in Ubud (Thursday – Monday)
- 3 Nights in Kuta (Monday – Thursday)
Fly out 2nd Thursday
My Bali Guide will give you a good foundation to see all of the major tourist hotspots, plus some space to see some places that are off the beaten path. I’ve organized it so you’re in the tourist hotspots for the weekends so you can meet and mingle with other travelers during your time in Bali. In comparison, I’ve scheduled downtime and scenic opportunities during the week when you’re more likely to want to sit and sunbathe or hunt for Instagram’s most iconic locations. You’re welcome.
Seminyak is a key-tourist hotspot that has also been dubbed as ‘Little Australian’ (by me). It’s extremely popular for ex-pats and tourists alike due to it’s popping bar and cafe culture. This is also a Digital Nomad hub where foreigners can live an affordable island lifestyle with all of the amenities and treats that they are accustomed to back home.
Popular things to do in Seminyak include:
- Visit Seminyak Beach
- Party at a Beach Club (Ku De Ta)
- Take a cooking class
- Do Crossfit or Yoga
- Go boutique shopping
- Hit the spa
- Eat, drink, party, repeat
- Water sports
- Live your best Instagram life with a Instagram Tour
This is definitely a more ‘westernized’ part of the island and if you’re interested in partying and enjoying the beach resort life, this is the area for you!
I would recommend staying with bVilla Bali. For a reasonable price, you’ll get your own villa with a pool and high cement walls to provide a bit of privacy for your family or Instagram shoots. The private villa was outstanding and there’s an outdoor kitchen and patio area that’s perfect for escaping the sun in the afternoons when it can be quite warm. bVilla is ideal for families and groups of friends as well because you have so much space and privacy within a typically crowded area. See my full review here.
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Tucked away in the northern part of Bali, Menjangan Island is an incredible opportunity to experience a quieter side to Bali. It is part of Bali’s National Park and in the middle of 382 Hectares of lush, forest land. Here you can do exciting experiences (such as horseback riding, scuba diving, or hiking) whilst enjoying all the little luxuries you might want in a 4 or 5 star resort. Menjangan is definitely beyond the average Instagrammer’s reach as it’s a four hour drive from Seminyak, but it’s well worth the trip.
Popular things to do in Menjangan include:
- Spa treatments overlooking the ocean
- Water Sports in crystal-clear waters
- Hikes in the National Park
- Horse riding through the forest
- Snorkeling and Diving
- Balinese Cooking Classes
Experience a more calm and natural side to Bali with this luxurious retreat away from all the commotion.
I would 100% recommend staying with The Menjangan Resort & Spa. It’s the perfect juxtaposition to the more crowded side of Bali and it’s the perfect place to relax and recharge before heading back into the tourist hotspots. We stayed in a private beach-front villa and it was so relaxing to wake-up to the sound of crashing waves and chirping birds. Every morning, we were able to watch the sunrise whilst we walked along the shore with families of deer trailing behind us. We were able to detox easily from our hectic Hong Kong trip with fresh and organic food that was locally sourced and made with a Balinese twist. You can see my full review here.
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Ubud is located in the uplands of Bali, Indonesia and it’s known as the culture hub of Bali. If you’re looking to experience traditional crafts, coffee and tea tastings, and ceremonial fire dances, this is the place for you. Ubud is the more green and natural hub of Bali and it’s home to the infamous terraced rice paddies that everyone is ‘gramming about. There are many Hindu temples and shrines for you to visit as well.
Popular things to do in Ubud include:
- Rice Field Walks
- Hindu Temple Visits
- ‘Kecak’ Fire Dance Performances
- Practicing Yoga
- Cooking Classes
- Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
- Tirta Empul Water Temple
- Chase Waterfalls (Tegenungan)
If you’re looking for a memorable experience in a charming boutique hotel in Ubud, treat yourself to Mathis Retreat. The resort is located in the heart of the Balinese rice-fields (perfect for Instagram!). Its private and intimate setting is a perfect for couples or close friends.
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Kuta is for those who want to experience Bali with the same familiarity of home. As one of Bali’s first tourist hubs, it’s the main destination for those who enjoy surfing, beach parties, and western amenities. Ideal for families or those who love all-inclusive experiences, Kuta promises to have all the same luxuries of home in a single, affordable space.
If you’re more interested in experience local Balinese traditions and culture, I would recommend skipping Kuta and spending more time in Ubud or Menjangan. If you’re traveling with small children or if your budget is limited, Kuta is a great and affordable option.
If you’re looking for the perfect 5 star resort to spend a honeymoon, a family vacation, or you’re just looking for a place where your every need is catered to, look no further than the Padma Resort Legian. With a wide variety of private pools, restaurants and bars, it’s everything you might need in one place.