Bali, with its picturesque landscapes, rich cultural heritage and diverse range of experiences, beckons travellers from all over the world. Whether you’re seeking serene spirituality, thrilling adventures, or simply a relaxing escape, Bali has it all. In this article, we’ll guide you through the best things to do in Bali’s most popular places to go: Ubud, Seminyak, and Canggu.
How to get to Bali?
If you’re coming in from Singapore, you’re in luck! Bali is easily accessible from Singapore, with multiple direct flights available to Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar Airport. The flight from Singapore takes about 2.5 hours.
What are the best areas of Bali to visit?
Bali is a large island and every area has its unique offerings. For tourists, Ubud, Seminyak, and Canggu are the most popular areas to go.
|Cultural centre, tranquil vibe
|Chic boutiques, vibrant dining
Other than these areas, there are also many other areas in Bali offering interesting things to do too.
Best things to do in Ubud
1. Visit Saraswati Temple
Bali is known for its cultural heritage and strong atmosphere of Hinduism. And Ubud is the exact area you would want to be at to experience the rich cultural heritage. So one of the best things to do in Ubud is to visit the Saraswati Temple. Built in the 1950s, this temple is dedicated to goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning, literature and art. If you are a fan of architecture, there is no better place to be! The entire temple is adorned with traditional Balinese wall patterns and wood carvings. Aside from the intricate architecture, there is also a pond full of lotus surrounding the temple. With the lotus flowers and beautiful temple as the backdrop, you will be guaranteed some insta-worthy shots! Visiting this site is definite;y one of the best things to do in Bali!
2. Discover waterfalls around Ubud
Ever seen the lovely pictures of Bali waterfalls on Instagram? There are plenty of those around the Ubud area. That’s why one of the best things to do in Bali is to go on a Ubud waterfall tour. First of all, we recommend going to Tegenungan Waterfall, one of the most famous waterfalls in Bali. It is really powerful, especially during wet seasons, so you would be witnessing and capturing some strong splashes. Another must-see is the Tibumana waterfall. It’s a bit of a long drive from the centre of Ubud but its beauty is worth the travel. The majestic flow adorned with rainforest trees creates a view that is simply unforgettable. For both waterfalls, we recommend going earlier in the morning to avoid crowds.
3. Walk down Ceking Rice Terrace
Another place with breathtaking views is the Ceking Rice Terrace. Visiting this plot of green rice fields is one of the best things to do in Ubud as it’s one of the most recognisable places in Bali. What makes these rice fields unique is their uneven land contour and unique terrace formations formed to help local farmers to flow water from one field to another. The entrance of this place is at the top of the rice fields, so you will be able to have an expansive view once you get there. As you walk down, you are slowly immersed into the stunning landscape. Be sure to take some photos with the layers of rice fields in the background!
4. Relax with a Balinese massage
A trip to Bali won’t be complete without an authentic Balinese massage. So the best thing to do after a day of travelling in Ubud is to have an authentic Bali spa experience. Traditional Balinese massages use a combination of stretching techniques, reflexology and aromatherapy to give a full-body, deep-tissue and holistic treatment. For the authentic Balinese experience, we recommend Ubud Traditional Spa. You get to choose from a range of essential oils and massage packages for your own personalised spa experience. One of their most popular treatments is the Ubud Royal Massage where you get two therapists to massage you at the same time. That’s surely going to be a treat for your body!
5. Get a session of yoga
Traditional yoga derives its practices from Hinduism, the dominant religion in Bali. So going for a yoga session is one of the best things you can do in Bali, and specifically Ubud, as it is a really spiritual area. With dozens of classes to choose from all-day, every day, you will be able to find styles to suit your own level. What’s even better is that the yoga classes are really affordable – you can usually find a class between $10 – $15. Imagine participating in a yoga class and stretching your body out with views of rice fields and jungles. There is no better way to start the day!
Best things to do in Seminyak
6. Go on a shopping spree
Seminyak is a more bustling area than Ubud, with lots of small shops and markets that are affordable. Therefore don’t miss out on one of the best things you can do in Seminyak – going on a shopping spree! For this, you can’t miss out on a trip to Jalan Raya Seminyak, which is a 1.8 km long shopping street with a wide variety of shops. Whether you want souvenirs for friends and family, fashion items or just some window shopping, this street has got you covered. Some of our favourite things to get are hand-woven bags and cushions, and home decor items with traditional Balinese art.
7. Check out the restaurants
Eating is no doubt the best thing to do in Bali, and especially so in Seminyak, full of hip restaurants. Whether you are looking for traditional Balinese cuisine, Western dishes or fusion food, there are plenty of choices out there. You might be spoilt for choice when you get there so we are here to help you with some recommendations. If you love a unique dining experience, book your seat at Sa’Mesa. It is an exceptional Italian family-style restaurant where you can enjoy a theatrical parade of surprise dishes shared across one long table. Not only will you be enjoying the food, but you will also be having the best time interacting with the chef and other guests!
8. Go to the beach (duh!)
An island holiday isn’t one without some beach time. The best thing to do on a trip to Bali is to chill at the beach, especially on the beautiful beaches in Seminyak. If you just want some relaxation while sunbathing on the sands, the Double Six Beach is a great spot as it is not very crowded. If you love watersports, you can also surf and catch some waves there. Or you can also head over to Seminyak Beach for a different kind of experience. This beach is regarded as the most trendy beach in Bali, with an onslaught of entertainment options with many restaurants and an upscale nightlife. If you are on a romantic holiday, Seminyak Beach is your place to go.
9. Visit art galleries
The best, but maybe somewhat unconventional thing to do in Bali, specifically Seminyak, is to see some art. Aside from beaches and shops, not many people know that Seminyak has a really vibrant art scene. For those who love exhibitions and galleries, don’t miss out on the ones in Semiknyak. Out of all the places, we recommend Nyaman Gallery if you want to see works of emerging Indonesian artists. The works are very contemporary but also incorporate local culture. Hence if you want to see a splice of local culture through artworks, this is the place to go. Maybe you can bring back a piece of artwork reminding you of your lovely vacation.
10. Go on a day trip to Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is an island off the southeastern coast of mainland Bali. To get there, you can take a taxi from Seminyak to Sanur port, and then take a ferry to Nusa Penida. Even though it takes a while to get there, the beautiful views of this charming island make going there one of the best things to do in Bali. This island is relatively underdeveloped so it is recommended to book a private car to chauffeur you around the island’s attractions. Some must-see places are Diamond Beach and Kelingking Beach. Cameras can rarely capture the beauty of the clear waters and pristine sand of these beaches so you have to go and see it for yourself! You can also book a snorkelling tour where you might catch a glimpse of various exotic creatures like manta rays.
Best things to do in Canggu
11. Relax at a beach club
For many of the club-lovers, one of the best things to do in Bali is going to a beach club. What’s good about beach clubs is that you can enjoy lounging at the beach along with impeccable service and a wide range of entertainment choices. And if you are there with a vibrant group of friends, you can absolutely throw a party too. The Canggu area is full of young people, and also the best beach clubs in Bali. One of the most popular ones is the Finns Beach Club. It is located on a beautiful stretch of beach, featuring luxurious sunbeds for you to lounge on and soak up the sun. At night, there are often lavish parties thrown. Time to let out your inner party animal! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the other best beach clubs in Bali!
12. Have fun at a water park
Going to Bali with your entire family and bringing kids along? Then going to a waterpark is one of the best family-friendly things to do in Bali. For this, we recommend going to Splash Waterpark, located in Canggu. It is just a short drive away from Finns Beach Club so while the party goers can go to the beach club, the kids can enjoy themselves at the water park. Or if parents choose to stay with their kids, they can sit back and enjoy food and drinks provided at the cabana area of the water park. This place is really just perfect for a fun day out with the whole family.
13. Visit Pura Tanah LotA 30-minute drive away from the heart of Canggu is one of the most iconic temples in Bali. Tanah Lot means “Land in the Sea” in the Balinese language and is apt for this temple as it sits on a large rock on the sea. The rocks are carved by the force of the tides and form a uniquely shaped silhouette against the backdrop of the ocean. This makes for an excellent photo spot for Instagram. And if you are lucky, you can even catch dance performances showcasing traditional Balinese culture. With the rich cultural heritage and beauty of this temple, visiting it is definitely one of the best things to do in Bali.
14. Explore the marketsIf you have a free day, browsing through various markets is one of the best things to do in Bali. Canggu is a vibrant area with many markets offering unique trinkets. The most popular market in Canggu is the Love Anchor market. They sell everything from clothing to jewellery and home decor objects. While you go from store to store, you might find like-minded people and form unexpected bonds since Canggu is full of fun, electric people. And if you are there on a Sunday, don’t forget to check out the Samadi Sunday Market too! This market mainly sells fresh goods including produce and various foods along with vegan and gluten-free options. You will surely be able to find some interesting products unique to Bali in these markets. Also, don’t forget to bargain for the best deals!
15. Go cafe hopping
With a large population of digital nomads, Canggu undoubtedly has an amazing selection of great cafes. You will probably stumble upon some great places walking down any street. But if you are spoilt for choice, one of our favourites is Crate Cafe. They have a great selection of both drinks and food – loads of healthy choices. You will absolutely enjoy having brunch there! And if you need to catch up on some work while on vacation, Zin Cafe is the place for you! They have multiple work areas, with even a quiet area where no music is played. Most importantly, there is a strong working atmosphere so you can get your work done ASAP!
Get ready for your weekend getaway to this island paradise!
As you embark on your trip to Bali, don’t forget to check out the best Bali villas for a truly luxurious and comfortable stay. With its diverse landscapes, cultural richness, and myriad of activities to suit every traveller’s taste, Bali promises an unforgettable weekend getaway that will leave you enchanted and rejuvenated. If you don’t have the time to go overseas, you can take a look at the best chalets in Singapore for a staycation too!