Travelling to Bali – everything to know before you go
If you’re planning your Bali holiday, prepare to add to your Bali bucket list because we have everything you need to know before you board your Virgin Australia flight and set off to the Land of the Gods.
Find out where to stay in Bali, the most popular Bali beach clubs, Balinese cultural activities, the most beautiful waterfalls to explore and the best things to do during your Bali holiday. You’re going to love it.
Where to stay in Bali
Bali is spoilt with stunning beaches, traditional villages, and restful mountain destinations for you to choose from. Here are some of our favourite spots to stay at on the island.
Kuta is conveniently close to Denpasar airport – it’s only around 15 minutes in a taxi - and is the original Bali hub that Australians have been visiting for decades. Its long, clean white-sand beach is dotted with traditional morning offerings, the scent of incense wafts in the air and colourful kites fly overhead. With its local shopping and restaurants, surf schools and Waterbom Bali just down the road, Kuta is an easy spot to park yourself. After a day exploring, grab a seat and a Bintang from a local beach bar and watch the sunset – it’s a fabulous way to end the day.
Just down the road, Seminyak is an upscale seaside village with coffee shops, designer stores and sunny beach vibes. It also boasts some of Bali’s best restaurants and ocean-front beach clubs.
Sanur is more family-focused, with an abundance of family resorts, restaurants, beach front cafes and shopping, and a beautiful 5 kilometre esplanade that winds around the beach front. It’s perfect for a sunrise stroll or bike ride, and once the sun is up you can lounge at Artotel Beach Club for the day and graze, swim and relax. If you’re keen for a Bali resort holiday, then Nusa Dua is for you, with its abundance of five-star properties where you can completely relax and don’t need to lift a finger.
If you’re too cool for school you belong in Canggu with its aesthetic cafes, coworking spaces and beautiful people. Canggu boasts some of the best new Bali beach clubs, has stunning villas and boutique resorts and is a deifinite vibe.
Up in the mountains, Ubud is a cooler retreat where you can hike through mountains and valleys of rice paddies, check out the monkey forest, temples and giant swings, join yoga classes and enjoy vegan and vegetarian cafes. It’s where you go to chill, relax and unwind and maybe even join a yoga retreat – but if you’re after a Bali adventure you can also quad bike, hunt waterfalls and go white water rafting from here.
Bali has some of the most incredible resorts in the world, with stunning infinity pools nestled in palm tree covered mountains, cliffside elevators to private beaches, and beautiful green tropical gardens. Try to splash out for at least a few nights – you won’t regret it.
The best beach clubs in Bali
Sundays Beach Club in Uluwatu is Bali’s most popular beach club, with cabanas and lounges in the white sand in front of the sparkling clear blue water, perfect for swimming and lazing the day away. Just a little further around the island at the stunning Melasti Beach, TT Beach Club has daybeds, lounges and two infinity pools overlooking the blue water and white sand.
One of the most popular beach clubs in Bali, Potato Head Beach Club is all cool with its beachfront pool and Balinese aesthetic, and its neighbour Mrs Sippy is the club with the diving board you’ve no doubt seen on your Instagram feed. If you’re staying in Canggu you can’t miss iconic Bali beach club Finns and the new Café Del Mar with its Ibiza vibes.
Best activities to do in Bali
If you’re keen for some Bali fun make sure to spend a day at Waterbom Bali with its 22 slides in stunning landscaped tropical gardens. Book a surf lesson – we love the Quicksilver Bali Surf Academy at Kuta Beach for lots of laughs, and expert teachers who will make sure you stand up and catch a long wave all the way into shore.
It would be a crime to leave Bali without experiencing and learning about its beautiful culture. Make sure to visit the revered Hindu sea temple, Uluwatu – it’s perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean and is completely mindblowing - and stay for the Kecak fire and dance show. Iconic Balinese temple, Pura Tanah Lot, is a picturesque sea temple on rocks above the ocean and is very popular with photographers and sunrise and sunset. Make sure to visit Ulun Danu Beratan temple in Bedugal, set in the middle of a Beratan Lake where you can be entertained by instagrammers paddling around in small boats trying to capture the perfect photo.
If you’re a foodie you can book into a cooking class that starts with a morning shopping at the local markets for produce, before cooking up a feast. You can’t go to Bali without getting a massage and pedicure and while some top notch spas are popular, we prefer to support the local ladies in their small stores along the streets. Ask about the Bali cream bath – an incredible traditional hair treatment.
Best Bali waterfalls
While you will need to hike into many of Bali’s stunning waterfalls, GitGit in North Bali is really easy to get to, with just a stroll to the 35-metre single fall drop into a beautiful aquamarine pool. For adventurers ready for a challenging trek, make your way to Sekumpul Waterfall in Singaraja – it’s a spectacular sight with seven different falls cascading down a jungle cliff, but it may be an idea to use a local guide as getting in can be a bit tricky. Just north of Bedugal, the twin falls at Banyumala are easy to get to, and just 10 minutes out of Ubud you can explore the peaceful Tibumana Waterfall, reached by a short stroll from the carpark with shallow pools that make it the perfect spot to spend a few hours.
Before you leave for Bali
Make sure to take out insurance that covers you for any extra activities like motorbike riding, and check your inbound requirements on Smart Traveller.
On arrival you’ll need to get your visa which costs $35USD (around $50AUD), and while you can pay by card it’s easier to have cash on you.
On your way home
With the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Indonesia, Aussie farmers are rightly worried about it making its way to Australia. Make sure to follow biosecurity protocols and leave your shoes behind if you can as they can carry contaminated dirt home.