Bali attracts many kind of people – even considering the fact that the island is located many hours of flying away for most visitors – whether you are seeking the real “Eat, Pray, Love” experience, you are an adventurous family, a couple in love, a backpacker traveling through Asia, one thing is for sure – you will get memorable experiences in Bali – and many of them! Bali has so many different things to offer – from sublime sunsets, great beaches, tropical islands, exotic culture, water sports, animal life, amazing nature sites, tasty food, and cool beach bars!
In my complete Bali guide I have separated the different areas I write about into individual chapters. In each chapter regarding the certain area in Bali, you can read about things to do, see, try, and eat. Furthermore I have made a little list of general tips and advice for traveling in Bali. I hope you will like it! Complete guide on how to spend 14 days in and around Bali and its nearby islands:
In this area of Bali, a mix of beach life, surfing, chilling to good music and visiting the coolest Australian-owned bars, cafes, and restaurant can be enjoyed. Literally, side by side the most cool, hip, and at times fancy looking places are located, and there are more of them that there is time to visit all, sadly. Most Bali-visitors come here for at least a couple of days, simply to enjoy life.
Potato Head Beach Club – As soon as you enter the very hip looking Potato Head Beach Club, you will discover that this is the place to be. A beach club, bar, restaurant all combined to one, big, cool place with big, cosy beach beds, chairs and tables for lunching, and bars to enjoy Potato Head’s creative drinks, maybe a piña colada served in a bowl or one of the many other colorful cocktails. The cuisine is international and offers dishes like yummy-looking burgers, pork belly, kale salad, spaghetti and meatballs and much more. If you are looking to spend a day in one of the club’s beach beds by the ocean and the pool, make sure to make reservations beforehand.
Jl. Petitenget No.51B, Seminyak, Kuta, Badung, Bali 83061, Indonesia
Pearls – If you, during your visit in Bali get a little tired of eating rice – and trust me, even though it seems impossible, it will happen – there are, luckily, thousands of restaurants that serve different food. An example is Pearls that line up a superb three course French dinner in a cute court yard with hanging lamps and plants as decoration. The food is classic French and on their menu card are options like tartare, meat, and chocolate fondant or creme brûlée for dessert. Due to the low prices in Bali, Pearls is definitely a good place to splurge and go all in for that French three course dinner.
Jl. Double Six Legian, Kuta, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Bo & Bun – If you are up for trying some different kind of Asian food, head over to the little shack looking restaurant named Bo & Bun that has delicious Vietnamese food. All the traditional, beloved Vietnamese dishes as pho, Vietnamese spring rolls, fresh salads, and wok are on the menu, but also (as in the name) Bo & Bun serves great bun burgers with pork or chicken. The food is beyond good, and so is the decoration of the place. Cute lamps, and antique furniture where Vietnam meets the west.
Jl. Raya Basangkasa No. 26, Seminyak, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Double-Six rooftop – On top of the hip hotel, the even more hip Double-Six Rooftop is located. This is the perfect spot to go to after a long and very hard and exhausting day on the beach… The bar has a whole bible of delicious drinks and the bartenders mix up everything from sangria versions, to classic cocktails and the more challenging drinks. The drinks are served with popcorn in little cute popcorn baskets. If you are craving food, there are many yummy options for this also written in the menu bible. Try the different meat satay skewers, fresh spring rolls or the sliders. The bar has seating both indoor and outdoor, the view is amazing – overlooking the beach, and if you choose to sit outdoor you will be seated in a pool with little round booths with couches – so cool! The decor style is self explanatory – amazingly hip and modern, like everything else in this place. Even the bathrooms are special with sharks swimming around (well, in big aquariums), but still – that makes it coming here even more worth it!
Double-Six Luxury Hotel, Jl. Arjuna No. 66, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Sisterfields – Sisterfields is an example of yet another place in the world, where Australians opened up the serve what they do best – “brekkie”. The breakfast menu is big, and there is something for both boys and girls – and sweet and savory lovers – granola and smoothie bowls, healthy salads, or a meatball and mozzarella sub, a burger, or pulled pork charcoal roll. If you are more on the sweet side, Sisterfields has an answer to that too. Try one of their delicious cakes or their pancakes and French toast. Besides from the more than 30 different all day breakfast options, Sisterfields also has a big drinks menu that contains everything from good coffee and tea to healthy green juices and smoothies. For the smoothies and juices there are, like the food menu, many different variations to choose from. The decoration is hip and modern, the place is usually crowded with guests that like breakfast at any time of the day. It is possible to sit both inside and outside, and the whole place has a very hip and urban vibe, and you would easily be tricked to believe that you are not in Bali anymore but more likely in New York City, Melbourne or Los Angeles.
Jl. Kayu Cendana No.7, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Sling Bar – Another cool spot that is also situated in the Double-Six hotel on their second floor. You step in to the bar and you are met by lavish decoration wherever you look. From the beautiful staircase in the middle of the room, to the black and white floor, to the hallway that leads you to the bathroom which is full of mirrors and also entails a make up room with an antique make up table. Everything is put down to the finest detail, and the right word to use for this place is decadent. The drinks are great as well, and Sling bar is one of the places that are open till late (2 am) which makes it an obvious spot to grab a night cap after dinner.
Double-Six Luxury Hotel, No. 66. Double six beach, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
Spa – All over Bali you will find spa’s. They are everywhere, and the different treatments are very cheap compared to the prices we pay in the western world. An hour of massage will cost you around 10 euros, and massage is just one of the many treatments the spa’s offer. Mani- and pedicure, eyelash extensions, body scrub, hair treatment, and waxing just to name some of the treatments the spa’s offer.
Nalu Bowls – inspired by the Hawaiian surfer lifestyle and opened by two Australians not long ago, this place mixes up healthy smoothie bowls and serves them with delicious toppings such as fresh fruit, coconut flakes, nuts, and granola. There are around five different smoothie bowls to choose from, and each person is able to add extras to the bowls, so they become exactly how you want them to be. And yes, they are both healthy and yummy!
Jl. Drupadi I No. 2A, Seminyak, Kuta, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Ubud is the home to many of Bali’s vital must see’s, such as markets that sell everything from Balinese batik clothes, silver, art, spices, fruit and food, amazing rice terraces, jungles, rice fields, great restaurants and the monkey forrest, not to forget!
Bali Pulina Agro Culture Farm – Interested in getting to know more about the legendary Kopi Luwak coffee? Head over to a agro culture farm too see with your own eyes how animals search for the best coffee beans, eat them, poop them out, and afterwards they are rinsed and made in to the world’s best coffee. You can try the coffee here and taste for yourself if you like it. The farm has a little café with an amazing rice field view and they serve you a taste of their seven different home produced teas and coffees for free.
Sacred Monkey Forrest Sanctuary – picture credit. Have you ever tried walking around a forrest surrounded by monkeys? This experience the monkey forrest in Ubud offers visitors. For a small entrance fee guests can take a nice walk through the forrest and see monkeys everywhere they look around. There is even the opportunity to buy bananas, and if you put the banana op in the air, the monkeys will climb on you to reach the banana.
Terralalang Rice Fields – If you are looking to get your mind blown, go see one of Bali’s many rice fields and take a walk in them. A must see Bali experience and a sight you will never forget.
Ubud Palace and Temple – in the center of Ubud you will find the royal palace and the temple right next to each other. The royal family lives in the palace, and it is free for tourists to visit the gardens of both the palace and the temple.
Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Bridges – this restaurant is located in a remarkable location. Next to a little bridge in Ubud and right in the nature. The view from the restaurant is astonishing, and the food is too. A mix of Asian/Indonese/French food makes eating here a very good experience with some different, creative, and very tasty combinations of food and drinks. The view, the service, and the food makes a dinner here unforgettable.
Jalan Raya Campuhan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80581, Indonesia
♥ Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Cenagan
These little islands with less than 1000 inhabitants all together are the fastest to reach from Bali, being only a half hour boat ride away. A one way trip from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan costs around 25 USD, and 30 minutes later you will reach a little island with motor bike traffic, cliffs, beaches, and clear blue water. These islands are for water- or relaxation lovers, since there is not much to do here – besides enjoying yourselves. Most visitors don’t stay here for more than two days.
The Deck – As the name suggests, this bar is a deck hanging off a cliffside in the habour of Nusa Lembongan. The view is superb, especially for watching the sunsets, and the drinks likewise. The Deck is a hip spot, there is a DJ most nights to play sweet, electronic tunes to the happy, drinking guests, and the lounge furniture invites people to come here to have a good time. On the menu card are several fancy and tasty drinks, but also healthy smoothie mixes with stuff like beet, ginger, spirulina, and spinach for the people seeking healthy.
Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Nusa Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia
To do – if you prefer to use one of you days in the Nusa’s to be a little more active, rent a motor bike and visit Dream Beach in Nusa Lembongan, a little secluded beach where you will have it almost to yourself. After that across Nusa Lembongan and head to Suspension Bridge, the bridge that connects Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. It is a tiny bridge and it is quite amusing that there is so short between the two islands. On Nusa Ceningang, the Blue Lagoon and Secret Point can be found. The water here is crystal blue and amazing, and if you are in for some dare devil action, you can jump the cliffs – for example from the 13 meter mark, or you can go surfing in the high waves.
♥ Uluwatu/Jimbaran/Nusa Dua
Uluwatu in Bali’s south bottom, is a haven for surfers. This is where the pro Australians go to surf, and the real high waves are here for the surfers to enjoy. But even if you are not a surfer, fear not. There are plenty of things to do here, even if you don’t master the skills of riding waves.
Nikki Beach (Nusa Dua) – For the initiated that know what Nikki Beach is – go there. For the uninitiated, Nikki Beach is a renowned beach club that is situated all over the globe. Nikki Beach in Bali is located right on the beach, but they also have a great pool. Come here and chill in the huge cabana beds, drink liters of drinks, and have fun.
Kawasan Pariwisata BTDC Lot 5, Nusa Dua, Bali 80363, Indonesia
Single Fin – This place is the chill out spot for all the surfers when they take a break from the wave. At Single Fin beach club, they sell coffee from Revolver Coffee (great coffee!), a little wooden build booth, smoothie bowls from Nalu Bowls, and their own food for lunch or dinner. The place is located on a cliff and it has an amazing view to watch the many surfers beneath Single Fin out in the high waves. Come here to hang out, enjoy the view, go surfing if you dare, and try the coffee, drinks, smoothie bowls or food.
South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Rock Bar and Aryana Resort – picture credit – another cool place to enjoy life is at Rock Bar in Aryana Resort. Rock Bar is as the title suggest, a bar on a secluded rock in the water. Could it get more special? Next to Rock Bar, the Aryana Resort is located. Here you can hang out during the day and enjoy the nice pool they have.
Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Ayana Resort, Jimbaran, Bali 80364, Indonesia
♥ Gili Islands
The Gili islands are three tiny islands located between the islands of Bali and Lombok. The boat takes you here from Samur, Bali, in 1,5 hour, and you will get a totally different vibe and scenery here. Whereas Bali is mostly Hindu, the Gili’s are considerably Muslim. As soon as you reach the Gili Islands a wave of pure relaxation also hits you. On these islands there are no worries other than where to go snorkeling, what beach to visit and what food to eat.
♥ Gili Air
Gili Air is one of the three Gili islands and it is known for being the “honey moon island” of the three islands. This means that here you will find more relaxation where as if you are here for the party, it is better to go to Gili T, the first of the islands. In Gili Air there are no motor bikes, no scooters and no cars – only horse rides and bikes. You can probably imagine what this means for the island and the vibe here. Pure quietness and relaxation! The island is so tiny, so everywhere you go, you are basically on the beach. And the beaches are amazing, not to mention very picturesque with their clear turquoise water, little waves, and white white sand. The beaches are filled with bars, restaurants, and cafés, and whether you prefer to chill in the sun or the shade, in a little hut, a tanning bed, or a beach bag, the different bars and restaurant have you covered.
Snorkeling trip – Half day trips for snorkeling cost from around 8 euros including the snorkeling equipments and the boats will take you around all three Gili Islands with a stop in Gili Meno for lunch. On the trip you will go to three-four different snorkeling places and you will get to see big turtles and many different fish. You can even feed them bread off your hand, and it is a truly unique experience to snorkel around in the clear blue warm water.
The Mexican Kitchen – On the other side of Gili Air on Sunset Beach, The Mexican Kitchen is situated. It is decorated in a way, that suddenly you don’t feel like you are in Asia any longer, but somewhere in Cancun or Tulum. The sun here sets straight in the water, and you can watch it while sitting in the sun beds and enjoying the great Mexican food and drinks from the cute restaurant.
Bintang Beach, Tanjung, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia
Mowie’s Bar – Mowie’s is one of the many beach bars Gili Air offers. This one has a unique view on the sunset, and besides from that they have amazing drinks. For those who prefer without alcohol, they can try a power smoothie for example with coconut, goji berries and banana, and for those seeking a little buzz, Mowie’s does amazing, fresh cocktails. Mowie’s plays music at just the right volume for you to relax, and enjoy the sunset while drinking great drinks.
Gili Air island, Gili Indah, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
♥ Tips for Bali
♥ Every authorized taxi has a meter, even it the taxi driver himself says he does not have one. Most drivers will try to overcharge you for rides, so the cheapest way to ride a cap is to ask them to turn the meter on. If the driver refuses to do so, simply get another cap!
♥ If you dare, the cheapest (and probably fastest!) way to get around is by motor bikes/scooters. You can rent one for a whole day for less than 8 USD.
♥ Drivers are cheap, so if you have a day full of sights to see, a driver will cost you around 50 USD for 9-10 hours of service.
♥ If there is no price tag on goods, you can bargain the price, often you are able to get 75% off.
♥ Download an app for converting currencies. It is very handy, especially with the sky high Indonesian rhupias.
♥ For accommodation Bali offers some of the best hotels in the world with great luxury, but for a better price range, AirBnB is a great place to look for places to sleep. It is also possible to arrive at your destination, and simply find a hotel without booking beforehand. Accommodation in Bali is very cheap and it is possible to get a perfectly fine hotel room for 15 USD per night.
♥ For your own sake, ally yourself with all sorts of bug repellants. Mosquitoes will eat you up alive.
♥ Know that the WiFi works very slow, especially if you find yourself on the surrounding islands of Bali.
♥ People from Bali are in general very friendly, they speak good English, and there is a very low criminal rate. Therefore you feel very safe when traveling in Bali.
♥ A good souvenir idea is to buy a batik sarong, the original pieces of beautiful pattern sarongs, the Balinese wear themselves. They are very useful, as they can be used as both a skirt, dress, towel, a table cloth and so much more.
♥ Make sure you try authentic Indonesia food in one of the many Warungs. Order Nasi Goreng – fried rice with egg and sometimes they also serve it with chicken satay, and it is yummy!