Bali Travel Guide

Broken Beach Nusa Islands guide

Ultimate Travel Guide For Bali, Indonesia

Thinking of traveling to Bali? Bali is one of my favorite destinations, as it has so much to offer. Bali is an island providence in Indonesia, and over 80% of the population is Hindu. In this Bali travel guide, you will learn where to find beautiful temples, practical information, and detailed guides for visiting cities around Bali.

From lush jungles, volcanic mountain landscapes, and pristine beaches, you might find yourself never wanting to leave. On top of that, Balinese culture has so much to offer. 

Nusa Island guide Kelingking Beach
Nusa Islands Guide -Kelingking Beach

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What to Expect When Traveling to Bali

Before jumping into this Bali travel guide, here is some practical information to know before traveling to Bali, Indonesia.

Bali Population: 4.362M

Denpasar Population: 897,300

Language: Indonesian, Balinese, and English are widely spoken, making it easy for tourists to communicate.

I would still recommend downloading Google translate to make communication easier!

Currency: Bali uses the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).

Cards/ATM’s: Credit Cards are widely accepted and ATM’s can be found everywhere. Some of the major banks are Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Central Bank Asia, Bank Negara Indonesia, and Bank CIMB Niaga.

Visas: Most countries (140), including the USA, can get a 30-day free entry stamp but cannot extend it. Passports should be valid for 6 months. Always double-check to make sure rules and regulations have not changed.

Airport: The closest and most easily accessible airport for Bali is Ngurah Rai (DPS). Find flights here.

Vaccinations: Bali is still considered a developing country. Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Tetanus are usually strongly recommended. Always check with your doctor or travel health care provider to find out exactly what you need before you go!

Safety: Bali is generally safe, with a huge ex-pat community, including female solo travelers. As always, practice common safety measures when traveling in Bali. 

Power outlets: Bali sockets are type C/F sockets. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. I recommend using a universal adaptor. 

Tipping in Bali: Tipping is not expected in Bali unless otherwise told.

Famous Dishes Across Bali

Ayam Pelalah: Shredded roast chicken with freshly picked herbs and spices. 

Bebek Betutu: Seasoned duck that is usually steamed or roasted and is known to be spicy. This is a traditional dish!

Nasi Goreng: Bali version of fried Rice

Lilit Satay: Also known as a ‘snack-on-a-stick’ dish, this is usually made from finely diced meat or fish. 

Budget:  Bali can be very budget-friendly! You can find affordable hostels as low as $15 a day(maybe even less) and street food as low as $1-3 per meal.

If you’re looking for luxury, you can easily get a 5-star hotel for $70-150 a night with many options available. 

Cell service: In Bali, you should have access to 4G unless you are within rural areas, where it may not be accessible. Wi-Fi is available in most public areas like restaurants and cafès.

You can find a sim card while in Bali, although we had issues during our visit. Now my go-to is Holafly E-Sim which works with my iPhone and my husband’s Andriod.


Some Bali Background

Bali is a providence of Indonesia and one of the only Hindu majority islands with over 80% Balinese Hinduism. Known for its lush Volcanic jungles and pristine beaches, Bali has been a huge tourist destination since the 1980s.

With a large ex-pat community, you will find many Balinese can speak some English. After the well-known book and movie, Eat, Pray, Love, many tourists have come from all over the world to practice Yoga, meditation, and many other spiritual retreats in the center of Bali, Ubud.

Ubud Palace Water Temple Bali Guide

Best Times to Visit Bali

Bali has two main weather seasons, dry and rainy seasons. 

November-March is the rainy season. During these months, the temperature usually ranges from 73°F (23°C) to 88°F (31°C).

April-October is hot and humid with little rain. During the dry season, you would expect the temperatures to be around 84°F (29°C), making it the perfect weather to visit the beach and spend time in nature. 

April-June and September are usually more affordable and less crowded times to visit Bali.

July, August, and around Christmas break are usually the busy season in Bali.


Best Cities to Visit in Bali

Some of the most popular areas to stay while traveling in Bali are Ubud, Seminyak, the Nusa Islands, Uluwatu, and Canggu. All are easily accessible by car, scooter, or boat.  

Ubud, Bali

If you are interested in temples, culture, jungle vibes, yoga, and retreats, Ubud is where you want to be. You will find adorable cafes, rice patty terraces, and some of the most important temples in all Bali. 

Ubud also has a huge ex-pat community, coffee plantations, waterfalls nearby, and some of the best shopping!  I personally loved staying in Ubud, but note just like any city, it’s full of traffic and people.

I would recommend staying anywhere from 4-8 nights in Ubud if time allows. Ubud is also a great jumping-off point for day trips!  For a full in-depth guide to the top activities, temples, and food spots in  Ubud, Bali found here

The Rice Paddies in the city of Ubud, Bali should be on everyones bucket list
Ubud, Bali Rice Paddy Fields

Bali’s Nusa Islands

Nusa Lembongan

Looking for more of a remote bungalow experience? Then the Nusa Islands are for you! Take a ferry boat (30 mins) from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan.

We stayed at The Well House by Mushroom Beach. We had a pleasant stay and were within walking distance of Devils Tear and Dream Beach (top attractions).

Nusa Ceningan

Across from Nusa Lembongan is Nusa Ceningan. You can either take a taxi or scooter to the yellow bridge, but only scooters and people are allowed to cross (no cars). 

Nusa Ceningan is pretty small. You can actually walk the island in a day, which is what we did!

Note: it was slightly exhausting in the heat. You will find Instagram favorites such as the Blue Lagoon, Secret Beach, and Mahana Point.

Nusa Penida

A little further is Nusa Penida, which is the least developed of the islands and the most Instagram famous.

Top destinations include Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, Angels Billabong, and Crystal Bay Beach.

This island has a lot to offer including swimming with Manta Rays.

For an in-depth guide for exploring the Nusa Islands, click here!

Nusa Islands Guide beach cliffs

Seminyak

Next, is a beach town paradise with lots of shops, food, and tourists alike. Welcome to Seminyak, where you will get more of a beach resort feel.

Here you will find trendy food spots, beach clubs, and “airport-like” security in most places you visit.

If your main plan is to relax on the beach, drink, and eat, this is where you want to be!

We stayed at a more budget-friendly hotel, Tijili, which we loved.

It had an amazing breakfast, beautifully updated rooms, and a funky cool layout.

We were about a 7-minute walk from Double Six Beach. This beach is full of lounge and bean bag chairs, as well as, restaurants right on the beach!

Although this beach is crowded, every night, we sat on our bean bag chairs, ordered a Bintang beer, and watched the most epic sunsets we have ever seen!

Find the Best Things to do in  Seminyak, Bali here!

Make sure you add a Seminyak sunset to your list of things to do
Sunset on Double Six Beach

Bali, Indonesia Travel Guides

Transportation in Bali

Plane

Most likely, you will have to fly to Bali, depending on where you are coming from. I find the best flight deals on Skyscanner and also learned it might be cheaper to fly into Singapore and then Bali, so check out that combo!

Cars & Scooters

So, Bali does not currently have any mass transportation. Therefore, scooters, taxis, and drivers are your best ways to get around!

We found that hiring a driver to bring us on full-day excursions was the easiest, but also the most expensive ($50-$70 USD for the day).

If you feel comfortable riding a scooter, this is the cheapest and best option you can do, however, driving in Bali is crazy! Driving a scooter can be one of the most dangerous things to do in Bali.

Bali also has Grab (like Uber), but as an island, they are trying to ban Grab because it takes jobs away from the local taxi drivers. You can get one occasionally, and they are much cheaper, however much harder to find.

For taxi’s, look for the bluebirds, which are known to be the more honest taxi drivers.

If you want a personal driver, let me know in the comments or email me, and I can give you our driver, who was extremely friendly and helpful!

What to Wear in Bali 

 Bali has a more conservative dress code, especially when entering temples. Make sure to bring something to cover your shoulders and knees which is required when visiting some places of worship. 

It is always important to respect the culture!

Booking Accommodations in Bali

Bali has tons of beautiful accommodations across the island! Find everything from super luxurious to stays for less than $15 USD a night! Overall Bali has really affordable accommodations. We use Bookingdotcom for all our bookings including in Bali! Check Booking here!

cafe du monyet restaurant views looking over rice fields

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