Top Things To Do in Bali

There are so many sights to see and things to do in Bali, we often don’t realize how big Bali actually is. Most of us will stay in Seminyak or Ubud and go to other areas may take anywhere from 2 -4 hours. So, we wanted to share the 5 top things to do in Bali, focusing on the most instagrammable places and activities actually very near Seminyak and Ubud that are super easy to get to. Not only that, but 4 of the 5 listed are pretty much free! Yay!

This is a roundup of the place, how to get there, the best time to go, and our secret tips for your trip to Bali!

If you want more day to day details on what to do in Bali, check out our full 5-day itinerary of the most stunning spots in Bali.

 

1 Rice terraces in Tegalalang

This is probably one of the top things to do in Bali. You know how the sunset looks different in different places? Some places you will remember as having the most beautiful sunsets? Well, the Bali sun brings out the most beautiful green-yellow glow on the rice fields. As the sun comes up over the massive terraces, the landscape is so stunning that you’re almost left holding your breath waiting for the fairies to come out and play! We never expected rice terraces 🌾🌾 to leave us so speechless, but Bali’s Tegalalang Rice Terraces does. So much so that we don’t have much else to say about it except to be sure to go!

Top Things to do in Bali Top Things to do in Bali


Our Secret Tip

Get here by 7am to escape crowds and also possibly miss the entrance fee, like we did! There were just a handful of people there when we arrived so we had almost every angle of the rice terraces with no people in the shot. ALSO, the sun just starts getting to tree level at about 730am or so, so the sunrays will be coming through the trees at the most beautiful angle then!


Cost? And is it worth it? 

💸💸 Between IDR0 to IDR 503195.29 (USD 12) per person. 👍 Hell yeah! Individual rice farmers own small plots of the land that makes up the Tegalalang rice terraces. So do expect that the individual farmers may charge a fee as go through their plot. We heard many travelers say they had to pay anywhere between USD1-3 fee for each stop. We went early (7am! Maybe it was even earlier than the farmers?) and didn’t come across any farmers asking for a fee.

Our Tip 💡

It’s a relatively easy walk, but there are quite a few steps and ups & downs, so if you have trouble with your knees, bring a brace and have good walking shoes. It also gets quite muddy so we would suggest leaving your favorite shoes at the hotel! Arrange with local drivers or hotel drivers for the whole day to go to Tegalalang since they have no Grab Car there (Grab Car is the Uber in Southeast Asia).

How to get to the Rice Terraces, Tegalalang? 

About 30 – 45 minute drive from Ubud Town Centre. Arrange a taxi or car from your hotel for a few hours in the morning is the easiest way to go.

Address: Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia

Hours: Supposedly 24 hours? But we definitely don’t think you should go when it’s dark.

 

2 Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud

This was by far one of our favorite free things to do in Ubud! Just outside the main stretch of Ubud, the Campuhan Ridge Walk is within walking distance from pretty much anywhere within the Ubud town center.

The walk goes through amazing views Ubud’s jungles to stunning grass valleys and rice fields 🌾 further along. It is usually a little crowded in the evenings, but it is such a lovely walk to see the sunset. You can walk to the end of the ridge walk which takes about 1 hour and either turn around (though take note it will be dark by then) or get a ride back to Ubud town center from the other side.


Our Secret Tip – If you want to get pictures without people like we did then we recommend you come here in the morning at about 645am instead of trying to catch a sunset photo. Here’s the catch, in the evening, the walk is nice and cool! (it is super hot in the morning)❄️


Another plus point to making sure you try the Campuhan Ridge Walk is just at the start of the walking path, there is the beautiful temple. Pura Gunung Lebah is a stunning Balinese temple that is more catered to the local Balinese and thus, less visited by tourists. It was founded by wandering Indian Hindu holy man, Rishi Markendaya who is also credited with bringing Hinduism to Bali and the creation of a string of temples across the ccenterof the island. Pura Gunung Lebah is said to have very powerful earth energies and supposedly also brought about the birth of Ubud.

Cost? And is it worth it? 

Free entry. 👍 Hell yeah! Oh so green and beautiful, and oh yeah! It’s free!

Our tips 💡

The sunsets are beautiful here but are surprisingly earlier than a lot of other places in South East Asia. In Bali, the sun sets around 6:15pm, so get to the Campuhan Ridge Walk at about 5 or 5:30pm to get a nice spot to enjoy the sunset.

If you want to go in and visit Pura Gunung Lebah, note that because it’s for Balinese and not so much a tourist temple, both men and women are required to wear clothing that covers the knees and shoulders.

How to get to Campuhan Ridge Walk? 

🚶  13 to 15-minute walk or a quick 5-minute 🚗  drive from Ubud Town Centre

Address: Kelusa, Payangan, Jl. Raya Campuan, Sayan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Hours: 5:30am – 7:00pm

 

3. Pura Saraswati (Saraswati Temple), Ubud

Pura Saraswati is a stunning temple in central Ubud town that features water ponds filled with pink lotuses. It’s right at the edge of Ubud town center and is a lovely introduction to the beautiful cultural Ubud.

There are traditional Balinese dances & folklore are performed on the temple’s open stage in the evenings and you have to buy tickets to watch the performance.


Our Secret Tip – The temple can get pretty packed almost soon after it opens. If you want to get pictures sans people, arrive early, possibly before the temple opens!


Cost? And is it worth it? 

Free entry. 👍 Hell yeah! It’s stunning, makes for a super nice picture and free!

Our tips 💡

Also, if you don’t manage to get tickets, but want to watch the cultural performance, the best seat in the house to watch the performances or the temple’s ceremonies is from Cafe Lotus right at the entrance to the temple grounds.

How to get to Pura Saraswati (Saraswati Temple)? 

🚶 5 to 10-minute walk or 2 to 3-minute 🚗 drive from Ubud Town Centre

Address: Jalan Kajeng, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm

 

4. Tanah Lot

Pura Tanah Lot is breathtakingly stunning and definitely should be one of the top things to do in Bali! Literally meaning ‘small island floating on the sea’, Tanah Lot is supposedly the most visited & photographed temple in Bali. Pura Tanah Lot is one of the 7 sea temples around the southwestern coast of Bali. Each of the 7 sea temples was intended to be within sight of the next, forming a chain along the coast. So the clifftop site of Pura Uluwatu to the south is actually visible from the inside of Pura Tanah Lot, and we thought this was pretty amazing!

​​  


Our Secret Tip – If the tide is low (we were there during the lowest tide, but make sure to check the tide times), head down to the beach for a lovely beach walk and an amazing view of the sun rising from just behind Pura Tanah Lot


Cost? And is it worth it? 

Free entry to 💸 Approx. IDR 60000 (USD 4) per person. 👍 Hell yeah! Be warned though, it can get super super crowded there for sunset. People go there for the sunset in busloads! But Tanah Lot makes for a fantastic sunset viewing point. We went there at 7am for sunrise and didn’t have to pay the entrance fee.

Our tips 💡

Arrange with Grab driver to pick up after few hours (at least 3 hours). We can’t emphasize enough that this is another famous spot to catch sunsets, so, expect a massive amount of people in the evening. If you prefer to have the place a little more to yourself and escape the crowds, come here early in the morning instead. Sunrise is also beautiful and it is much more peaceful.

Also, if you are a little wary of local superstition, be aware that there is a fabled ‘Bali Curse’ at Tanah Lot. We were warned by the locals as it is said that unmarried couples who came here would soon break up after they leave. It didn’t stop us from going, but we just wanted to be sure to pass on the ‘warning’

How to get to Tanah Lot? 

🚗 45 minutes by car (Grab/Uber or hotel car) from Seminyak Main Street

Address: Jl. Tanah Lot, Beraban, Kediri, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia

Hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm

 

5. SWINGING OVER THE ABYSS AT BALI SWING | @bali.swing

Have you ever swung over the abyss? Bali Swing seems like it could potentially be a tourist trap, but we loved it and thought it should be added to the top things to do in Bali list! Swinging at 25 meters above ground, with a breathtaking view left us full of happy butterflies in our stomach!

There are quite a number of places that have these swings throughout Bali. For you guys who look for a little more insurance and the like, Bali Swing makes sure everyone who has a go is all harnessed up. They have 5 main swings going up to 78 meters above ground. Though it is a hefty entrance fee, you can try out all the swings for as long as you and, have a buffet lunch, and a try out a few other activities.

Bali Swing in Ubud


Our Secret Tip – This makes for a really nice picture, so if you want that dreamy picture ladies, wear a long super flowy dress, but make sure to wear boyshorts or something under as everything flies up as they push your swing forward to swing you!


Cost? And is it worth it? 
💸💸💸 Approx. IDR 503195.29 (USD 35) per person. 👍 Hell yeah! It is expensive, but swinging high into the sky, over that river meters below, was totally worth it for us! 

Our tips 💡
Go early! No, seriously. Go. Early. We got just after it opened so we were among the first people there. Otherwise, we heard you could be waiting for up to an hour for just one swing. There are also guys who take photos for you (you have to pay for the photos), so if you have a travel buddy, you can just stand near them and know that that’s the best angle to take the shot!

How to get here?
🚗 About 30 to 45-minute drive from Ubud Town Centre.  Arrange a taxi or car from your hotel for the morning so you can go from Tegalalang straight here since it’s quite nearby.  🚌 There is also a scheduled free bus service from Ubud to Bali Swing. Call them for reservations

Address: Abiansemal, Jalan Dewi Saraswati No.7, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Abiansemal, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung

Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm

 

There are many more amazing things to do in Bali, but these are just the top things to do in Bali; more specifically, near Seminyak and Ubud. We hope you have a magical time in Bali! If you’re planning to spend a few days exploring Bali, check out our 5 day itinerary of the most stunning spots in Bali.

Wishing you amazing travels,
Renesh & Sue

 

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