Have your trip to Bali planned by a professional
Bali is an island paradise and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. As a travel blogger, I had heard so much about this Indonesian island’s natural beauty, rich culture, and stunning beaches, and I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself. In this travel guide, I will share my experiences and give an overview of the best things to see and do, as well as some helpful tips for making the most out of your vacation in Bali. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and let’s explore this magical island together!
Table of Contents
10 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Bali
Bali is a beautiful and culturally rich destination that offers a lot to travelers. Before heading to this Indonesian island, there are several things to keep in mind. Here are a few important things to know before visiting Bali:
- Visa requirements: Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter Bali. It’s important to check the visa requirements well in advance of your trip.
- Currency: The local currency is the Indonesian rupiah. It’s a good idea to exchange some money before your trip or withdraw cash from an ATM once you arrive.
- Language: Balinese and Indonesian are the official languages, but many locals also speak English.
- Dress code: Bali is a predominantly Hindu island, and it’s important to dress modestly when visiting temples or other religious sites.
- Weather: Bali has a tropical climate, with wet and dry seasons. The best time to visit is between May and September, during the dry season.
- Transportation: Taxis, ride-sharing services, and motorbikes are all popular modes of transportation in Bali.
- Food: Balinese cuisine is a mix of Indonesian, Indian, and Chinese influences. Be sure to try local dishes like nasi goreng and satay.
- Culture: Bali has a rich cultural heritage, with traditional dance, music, and art. Take the time to explore the island’s cultural offerings.
- Tourism: Bali is a popular tourist destination, and some areas can be quite crowded. Be prepared for crowds, especially during peak season.
- Respect for the local customs: Bali is a beautiful and unique place, and it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions. Learn a bit about the culture before you arrive, and be mindful of local customs and traditions during your stay.
Best Ways to Get to Bali: Flights and Transportation Options
The best way to reach the island is by taking a flight to Ngurah Rai International Airport, located near Denpasar, the capital city of Bali. There are several airlines that fly to Bali, including Indonesian airlines such as Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, and Citilink, as well as international airlines like Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Cathay Pacific. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or shuttle bus to their hotel or destination. Alternatively, visitors can take a boat from the neighboring island of Java or Lombok to Bali. These boats usually arrive at the Gilimanuk Port in western Bali or the Padang Bai Port in eastern Bali.
Top Places to Stay in Bali
Bali offers a range of accommodation options that can cater to various budgets, styles, and preferences. From affordable options to luxurious villas, Bali has something for everyone.
- Budget options: For travelers on a budget, Bali has several affordable options such as guesthouses, homestays, and hostels. Some of the popular options include Kayun Hostel, Bali Caps Hostel, and Wijaya Guest House. These options offer basic amenities and are perfect for travelers who want to experience Bali on a budget.
- Mid-range options: Bali has a wide range of mid-range hotels that offer comfortable and stylish accommodation. Some of the popular options include Dash Hotel Seminyak, Sense Hotel Seminyak, and The Vira Bali Boutique Hotel & Suite. These options provide more amenities than budget options and are perfect for travelers looking for a balance between cost and comfort.
- Luxury options: Bali also offers luxurious accommodation options for those who want to indulge in a lavish vacation. From five-star resorts to private villas, Bali has it all. Some of the popular options include The Ritz Carlton Bali, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, and The St. Regis Bali Resort. These options offer an array of amenities such as private pools, personal butlers, and stunning views.
- Unique options: Bali also has unique accommodation options such as tree houses, bamboo houses, and eco lodges. These options provide a one-of-a-kind experience that is perfect for adventurous travelers. Some of the popular options include Hideout Bali, Green Village Bali, and Bubble Hotel Bali.
No matter the budget, Bali offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs.
My friends & I stayed at The Africa House, a luxurious villa located in the heart of Seminyak, one of Bali’s most vibrant and fashionable neighborhoods. The villa is situated just a few minutes’ walk from the beach and is surrounded by some of Bali’s best restaurants, shops, and nightclubs.
The Africa House is a five-bedroom villa, each with its own en-suite bathroom. The villa is perfect for families or groups of friends, and can comfortably accommodate up to ten people. The villa has a large, open-plan living and dining area that opens out onto a beautiful garden and pool. The garden is lush and tropical, with plenty of space for sunbathing, relaxing, and entertaining.
The Africa House is decorated in a modern African style, with luxurious furnishings and unique artwork throughout. The villa has all the amenities you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay, including air conditioning, high-speed internet, and a fully equipped kitchen.
The villa also has a dedicated staff, including a villa manager, housekeeping, and a private chef who can prepare delicious meals for you during your stay. Whether you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation or a fun-filled adventure, The Africa House is the perfect place to stay in Bali.
Best Places to Shop in Bali
Bali is a great place to shop, with a range of markets, boutiques, and malls selling everything from traditional handicrafts to designer clothing. Here is a summary and description of some of the best places to shop in Bali:
- Ubud Art Market: This is a popular traditional market in the center of Ubud, where you can find a range of handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs.
- Seminyak Village: This is a luxury shopping mall in the heart of Seminyak, offering a range of high-end fashion and accessories brands.
- Kuta Art Market: This is a great place to buy local handicrafts and souvenirs at affordable prices. Be prepared to haggle!
- Jalan Legian: This street is lined with shops selling everything from surfwear to souvenirs.
- Beachwalk Shopping Center: This mall in Kuta offers a mix of local and international brands, as well as dining and entertainment options.
- Sukawati Art Market: This is a great place to buy traditional Balinese handicrafts, including wood carvings, paintings, and textiles.
- Bali Collection: This outdoor mall in Nusa Dua offers a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, including a department store and designer boutiques.
Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or traditional handicrafts, Bali has plenty of shopping options to suit all tastes and budgets.
Best Restaurants in Bali
Bali is known for its vibrant cuisine scene, and visitors can find an array of dining options ranging from traditional warungs to high-end restaurants. The island is a melting pot of Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, and European cuisines, resulting in a unique fusion of flavors.
One of the most popular areas to dine in Bali is Seminyak, known for its upscale restaurants and trendy cafes. Some of the top dining destinations in Seminyak include Sarong, a fine-dining restaurant serving contemporary Asian cuisine; Metis, a French-Mediterranean restaurant set in a beautiful garden; and Mama San, an Asian fusion restaurant with a vintage-industrial design.
Ubud, a town located in the center of Bali, is another culinary destination worth exploring. Here, visitors can dine at restaurants such as Locavore, a restaurant that offers a fine-dining experience using locally sourced ingredients, and Mozaic, an award-winning French-Indonesian restaurant that has been ranked as one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
For those looking to try traditional Balinese cuisine, warungs (small, family-owned restaurants) offer a range of local dishes such as nasi campur (mixed rice with various toppings), babi guling (suckling pig), and sate (skewered meat).
Other notable dining destinations in Bali include:
- Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak, a beachfront club with several restaurants and bars serving international cuisine
- Ku De Ta in Seminyak, a popular beach club with a restaurant serving modern Asian cuisine
- Naughty Nuri’s in Ubud, a restaurant famous for its barbecue pork ribs
- Made’s Warung in Seminyak, a classic Balinese restaurant that has been around for more than 50 years
Beach Club Recommendations in Bali
Bali is known for its stunning beaches and world-class beach clubs. Here are some of the best beach clubs to check out in Bali:
- Potato Head Beach Club: One of Bali’s most famous beach clubs, Potato Head is located in Seminyak and features a large infinity pool, a swim-up bar, and a range of dining options.
- Ku De Ta: Another popular beach club in Seminyak, Ku De Ta has a sophisticated atmosphere and is known for its delicious cocktails and impressive ocean views.
- Finn’s Beach Club: Located on the stunning Berawa Beach, Finn’s Beach Club is the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun. The club features multiple pools, a restaurant, and a range of water activities.
- Sundays Beach Club: This secluded beach club is located in Uluwatu and boasts crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and stunning views of the Indian Ocean.
- La Brisa: This beach club in Canggu has a rustic and bohemian vibe, with plenty of comfortable seating, good food, and a range of cocktails to choose from.
- Mrs Sippy: Located in Seminyak, Mrs Sippy is a popular beach club with a large pool, a diving platform, and a Mediterranean-inspired menu.
- Ulu Cliffhouse: This beach club is located on a cliff in Uluwatu and offers stunning views of the ocean. It features multiple levels, a bar, a restaurant, and a range of music events.
Whether you’re looking to party or just relax by the ocean, Bali’s beach clubs have something for everyone.
Final Thoughts on Bali
As the sun sets on our Bali vacation, I’m left with a sense of awe and wonder at the sheer beauty and variety of experiences we’ve had here. From tranquil rice paddies to bustling markets, from sacred temples to stunning beach clubs, Bali truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to unwind and relax, explore and learn, or party and indulge, you’ll find it here.
I hope this guide has been helpful in planning your own trip to Bali, and that it’s given you some ideas and inspiration for what to see, do, and experience while you’re here. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, Bali has been a magical and unforgettable experience, and I can’t wait to come back and explore more of this incredible island.
So, pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget. Bali is waiting for you, and I promise you won’t regret it.