I am sitting in my Bali villa, deep in the heart of Uluwatu on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula. I can hear the gentle roar of the ocean and taste the salt on the air which is carried by the gentle breeze as I write the Bali Travel Guide. Before me are dancing palm fronds and endless blue skies. It is paradise.
I want to share this paradise with you. So I have created the Bali Travel Guide which will tell you absolutely everything you need to know to make your stay in Bali the best trip of your life. I keep coming back again and again, and soon you will want to too!
When to Go to Bali
Bali’s weather is divided into the wet season, and the dry season. November to late March is usually the wet part, and March to November is much drier. The peak holiday periods fall between December to January and June to August, which coincide with the big international summer holidays.
Our favourite time to visit Bali is between March and May. In March you may get the tail end wet season weather, but this is usually defined by a short sharp shower of rain in the evening after a lovely sunny day. In May you have a better chance of clear skies, and the best sunsets.
Read This for all the details: Bali Weather
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From Australia, you have a choice of direct Virgin or Jetstar flights from most major capital cities. Jetstar have sadly recently ceased the cheap flights out of Townsville. Indirectly, flying AirAsia from such
Ngurah Rai Airport is the island’s only International airport and it is massively busy with hundreds of flights from just about every airline in and out daily. Check out Skyscanner for the best deals. Use the ‘whole month’ feature to find the cheapest day to fly.
Arriving in Ngurah Rai International Airport
The airport is located in Denpasar. When you touch down, you are often guided to an airport shuttle bus which will take you to the main terminal building.
This is an impressively imposing structure and has
Find out if you need a visa to visit Bali or if you are eligible for the visa waiver program, read this.
For Australians, British and Americans we get a free 30 day stamp. If you want to stay longer than the standard 30 days, you can pay for a visa on
The Arrivals Hall
We have typically had really long waits at the luggage carousels. Just be patient, you are in Bali now. Your luggage will be coming directly. Surfboards and other oversized items are dumped unceremoniously at the end of the carousel rows.
There are toilets located before the immigration desks, and after the luggage carousels. Exit through the customs clearance by handing them your form and you are good to go.
Hot tip: With small
kidsyou are often shown through a ‘family line’ and get to skip the queue at immigration.
Without kids to help you get VIP status, you can actually pay for a VIP Fast Track pass to help you clear customs and immigration faster! Click on the link to find out more!
Once you have cleared immigration and customs and retrieved your luggage, you wander through a hall where you can buy a Bali Sim Card, and change money. You will find an ATM here too. For more details on money in Bali, what to use and how to find it, read this:
It is always advisable to have some Indonesian Rupiah on you when you leave the airport. Otherwise, get your taxi or driver to stop at an ATM en route. They can be found at just about every convenience store.
Getting An Airport Transfer
Hot tip: Book your airport transfer before arriving.
You can do this through your accommodation, or by booking through GetYourGuide using the link. It is so good not having to run the gauntlet of taxi drivers all trying to take you for a ride – both literally and figuratively.
An airport transfer to most places in Bali should cost between 200,000IDR and 350,000IDR. These are nice large and comfortable airconditioned vans and can fit a large family with luggage. We always fit a surfboard in too, no worries!
Watch out for helpful guys trying to carry your bags, they are porters and will expect you to pay them a small amount at the end.
Bluebird Taxi, Grab and Gojek
To catch a Grab (the Asian version of Uber) you will need to go over to the Domestic Terminal as they are not allowed at the International. Be aware that Grab and Gojek (motorcycle taxi) are not allowed in many tourist
Gojek and Grab will also deliver food and you can pay online using the app. Get the apps here before you go:
Getting Around Bali
Bluebird Taxi service is the most prevalant company in areas such as Seminyak, Legian and Kuta. You can download the app here which makes it easy to order a car.
Bluebirds are rarer in Canggu, Uluwatu
A private car and driver is the way to go. You negotiate a daily rate, or excursion rate, they pick you up from your door, and are with you all day. You can even organise to hire the same driver for your entire stay if you like them! Rates can vary greatly. Expect to pay roughly 200,000IDR to 350,000IDR for a one way trip, or around 400,000IDR+ for a whole day.
We loved taking a car for a
Hiring a motorbike may not be for everyone, but it can be the ultimate way to travel within Bali. Just make sure your travel insurance is up to scratch. World Nomads have great international policies. Check here for an instant quote:
You are supposed to have an International Driver’s Permit to hire a bike,
Take it slow, wear a helmet and don’t drink and drive. Keep to the left and let faster vehicles past. Be ready for anything, including chickens and dogs! I like hiring motorbikes in quieter areas like Uluwatu and
Bali for Families
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We keep coming back to Bali over and over again with our 4 kids. It is such a great place to visit with little ones! The people are so friendly and helpful at every turn.
There is no such thing as car seats in Bali. Often you won’t even find seatbelts at all. And if you plan on riding motorbikes with your kids, bring your own
If you have fussy eaters, the food at The Joglo will appeal to everyone. You can find Western style food on most menus, and popular fast food restaurants in the main tourist areas.
You can find medical
Where to Stay in Bali
There are so many different regions in Bali. From sand and surf, to partying all night long, and country mountain vistas, Bali has it all. I hope this Bali travel guide will help you decide how to make the most of your trip.
Uluwatu and surrounds are a surfer’s paradise. Kids love it too. Most of the beaches, however, are down steep pathways, and through rocky cliffs.
The sand is beautiful at Bingin Beach with its gorgeous sunsets and steep stairs.
Balangan Beach is super atmospheric with wooden warungs overhanging the white sand.
Padang Padang can get pretty busy with tour groups, but you will have it all to yourself before 9am and it is perfect for swimming and surfing.
Uluwatu is home to the stunning clifftop Pura Uluwatu temple with nightly fire dances, incredible sunsets and some of the best surf in Bali.
Riding a motorbike around here is pleasant thanks to smooth quiet roads. Or else you can get a private taxi from the multiple transport stands dotted around the place. Alternatively, ask your villa host or accomodation reception to organise you a lift. Get your driver to wait for you rather than a one way ride, as negotiating a different lift back you will probably pay more.
Where to Stay in Uluwatu
Budget ($10 – $100)
Mid-Range ($100 – $500)
Where to Stay in Uluwatu For a Family
- Puri Pandawa Resort – Private pool villa sleeps 4 $178 per night includes breakfast
- Hillstone Villas Resort – 2 bedroom ocean view pool villa including breakfast, sleeps 4 $277 per night
- The Eyes Villas – 2 bedroom villa, sleeps 6 including breakfast $135 per night
- The Brothers Villa – 3 bedroom with private pool, sleeps 6, walk to Padang Padang $182 per night
- Karma Kandara – 3 bedroom pool villa sleeps 6 $1,100 per night includes breakfast
- Bulgari Resort – 2 bedroom mansion sleeps 4, $4241 per night including breakfast
- Ulu Cliffhouse – Amazing infinity pool overlooking the ocean
- Despacito – Low key
spanishstyle with pool
- Bukit Cafe – Western Food
- Buddha Soul – Organic
- Brothers Warung – Awesome Indonesian
More the scene of groups of partying backpackers, hens parties and stag do’s, Kuta has a great nightclub scene, excellent markets
Buy your tickets before you go and save on entry!
Legian and Seminyak
Staying in Legian or Seminyak means you are close to everything and there are some incredible villa options to be found. Walk out your front door directly to awesome dining and shopping. Visit the popular and world-famous beach clubs Potato Head and Ku De Ta (kids day on Sundays starting
Where to Stay in Legian/Seminyak
Budget (under $50)
Luxury (over $250)
Where to Stay in Seminyak For a Family
- Villa Kemuning – Sleeps 6, in a 3-bedroom private pool villa $158 per night
- Villa Kayana – Sleeps 4, 2
bedroomprivate pool $158 per night
- Kori Bali Kubu – sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms with a private pool – $170 per night – awesome location
- Daha Mansions – 4 bedrooms, sleeps 8 with a private pool $561 per night
Best Restaurants in Seminyak
- Naughty Nuri’s
- Maybe Tony
- Bali Pearl
- Duck Duck Goose
- Sea Salt
Kuta, Seminyak and Legian are best served by Bluebird Taxis and private cars.
Canggu is our family’s favourite place to stay in Bali.
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It is so easy to get around by motorbike and private car. There are beautiful huge fully staffed private villas here which are so nice to stay in with your own private pool. The dining options here are amazing and you can find cheap eats, smoothie bowls, Indian, and everything in between in classy settings.
Where to Stay in Canggu
The best areas to stay in Canggu and main street names are listed here:
- Berawa Beach (Jalan Pantai Berawa)
- Batu Bolong Beach (Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong)
- Echo Beach (Jalan Pantai Batu Mejan)
- Pererenan (Pererenan Beach Street)
The neighbourhoods get progressively quieter as you go down the list, heading west. When searching for your accommodation, anything along these main streets, and on the beach side of Jalan Raya Canggu will be great.
- Villa Kassike – $250AUD per night for a 3 bedroom pool villa
- Dea Villas – so good for families or big groups with interconnected villas that can be booked altogether or separate
- Canggu Beach Apartments
- Beach Club Villa Bali – 3 bedrooms, fully staffed only $490 per night Beachfront!
- For a luxury stay check out COMO Uma Canggu.
Best Restaurants in Canggu
- The Joglo
- Warung Dandelion
- The Piring Daun
- JL Restaurant Bali
- The Shady Shack
- BB52 Burgers
- Lupe Canggu
- Lola’s Shaking All Day
What to do in Canggu
Definitely check out Finn’s Rec Club if you come to Canggu. It is such an epic day out for all the family. Tamora Gallery offers great kid’s activities on Sunday’s especially. La Laguna is super
Nusa Dua and Sanur
If you are looking for an
Where to Stay in Nusa Dua
Popular Resort Choices
- Novotel Bali Nusa Dua
- Grand Hyatt Bali
- Hilton Bali Resort
- The Westin Resort Nusa Dua
- Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort
Top Picks for Big Groups in Nusa Dua
- Vinila Villas – sleeps 6 with free breakfast, free airport transfers and private pool $686
- The Asmara Nusa Dua – sleeps 10, free breakfast and private pool $782 per night
- Ulu Segara Luxury Suites & Villas –
3 bedprivate pool oceanfront villa, sleeps 6 with breakfast included for $2215 per night
Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali. Although it is only an hour from the hub of Seminyak, you feel like you are worlds away. Many of the activities in Ubud can be enjoyed via
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Make sure you try White Water Rafting down the Agung River when in Ubud! It was such a fun day! For our whole review, including how to book, Read This.
Where to Stay in Ubud
Budget (Under $20)
Where to Stay in Ubud For Families
- The Amerta – 2 bedroom pool villa, sleeps 4 $89 per night
- Pondok Naya – sleeps 6 in a 3 bedroom villa $149 per night
- Bidadari Private Villas and Retreat – sleeps 8 in 4 bedroom Presidential Villa $1138 per night with breakfast
- Villa Puri Tupai – 4 bedrooms, sleeps 8 with a pool and tennis court $691 per night including breakfast
- Komaneka at Bisma Ubud – sleeps 6 in a 3 bedroom pool villa including breakfast for $1593 per night
Where to Eat
- Folk Ubud
- D’Tukad River Club
- Green Kubu
- Cinta Bar and Grill
Motorbikes would be fine to use here as the roads are not too hectic. Otherwise private taxis are available on every street corner, or can be arranged by your accommodation.
If you are into surf then pay a visit to Keramas on the East Coast for a very nice wave indeed. The peeling right-hander breaks on a glittering black volcanic sand beach. There is a perfect spot to chill here at Komune Resort where you can have a beer in a pool while watching the waves roll in.
Where to Stay in Keramas
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How to Get to Amed
A private taxi cost us 800,000IDR for a whole day one way trip from Sanur which included stopping in at Keramas for lunch and a surf.
We hired motorbikes here. The road is so quiet and winds up and down scenic hills and past azure bays.
Lush green valleys covered in farmland is the order of the day in Sidemen. Try a cooking class and a farm tour, or just relax and enjoy the incredible views.
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The main activities in Lovina include dolphin spotting cruises, (note there are fewer dolphins between
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Stay in Lovina
Stay in Lovina For Families
- Villa on Tulip – sleeps 10, beachfront for only $544 per night
- The Lovina Villas – sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms with a private pool $1006 with breakfast
- Joglo On the Beach – 3 bedroom villa including breakfast, sleeps 6 for $223 with a pool
- Lovina Beachouse Villas – 3 bedrooms, with a pool for $168
A private driver to Lovina will cost around 800,000IDR from Seminyak, and takes close to 3 hours. Not really good for a day trip, but perfect for a few days away from it all.
Visiting the Islands Near Bali
There are a handful of islands a short boat or plane ride from Bali. These can be visited as day trips, or you can stay a while.
The Gili Islands consists of 3 perfect tropical island paradises. Havens for surfing, snorkelling, diving and simply relaxing on these beautiful white sand beaches. Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno are all very different from each other and feel like worlds away from Bali.
Gili Trawangan is known simply as Gili T and it is the most popular and built up of the 3. There is heaps to do on Gili T but snorkelling and diving are the main activity. The shallow waters and reef surrounding the island are abundant with marine life and coral, including sea turtles.
Gili Air is the closest to Lombok and is like a smaller version of Gili T with a great range of accommodation and dining options.
Gili Meno is the quietest of the 3 with super tranquil white beaches for chilling on. They literally have a ban on late-night partying and loud music!
Where to Stay on Gili Islands
There are regular fast ferries between Bali and Gili Air. Book your tickets here:
Nusa Lembongan is a dreamy island easily accessible from Sanur. Day trips are a popular way to see the island, or you can easily stay a while too. If you are into surfing, snorkelling or relaxing with endless ocean views then this is the place to you
Find day trips, tours and transfers to Nusa Lembongan on GetYourGuide.
A perfect place for a day trip, Nusa Penida will have you in awe of it’s spectacular beauty. Home of the famous Manta Ray Bay, Angel’s Billabong and the Instagram worthy Kelingking Beach. You can snorkel with manta rays here in stunning surroundings away from the busy crowds of popular Bali beaches.
Lombok deserves a post all to herself, but it is just an addition to this one for now. They say Lombok is like the ‘old’ Bali. With less infrastructure and nicer, less crowded beaches, it is certainly getting a name for itself and gaining more popularity as an alternative destination. The surf here is amazing too. Go now, before it gets too popular.
A short flight, or speed boat transfer is the best way to get to Lombok. Compare prices below:
Food in Bali
The food in Bali is delicious! If you don’t know what to order, here are some our favourite dishes:
- Nasi Goreng (Fried rice)
- Mie Goreng (Fried Noodles)
- Ayam Betutu (Slow cooked chicken with salads and sauces)
- Nasi Campur (amazing selection of meats and sauces)
- Rendang (local Indonesian curry with tender beef)
- Bebek (Duck)
- Ayam (Chicken)
How to Communicate in Bali
There is wifi available in every single hotel, guesthouse, villa, cafe, restaurant and bar which makes communication a breeze.
The local language is Bahasa. Here are some commonly used phrases:
Selamat Datang – Welcome
Terimah Khasi – Thank you
Staying Safe in Bali
As with all of southeast Asia, you need to be careful of the food you eat, and do not drink the water out of the tap. Bali Belly is common, and is basically a mild gastro bug that many travellers get within a week of arriving. Watch out for dehydration by using Gastrolyte or something similar.
Use SPF 50+ sunscreen at all times to avoid overexposure to the sun.
Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in Bali. Cover up during dawn and dusk especially, use repellant and mosquito netting where appropriate.
Be aware of your personal safety. Although the absolute huge majority of Balinese are beautiful people, you still need to take care of yourself.
Watch out for random holes in the street, we have seen some epic ones that would cause a broken leg if you weren’t looking where you were going. That kind of thing would really ruin a trip.
Don’t ride motorbikes drunk. Make sure your travel insurance covers ‘at risk’ activities. Don’t do stupid things.
Watch out for monkeys.
What to pack for Bali
Not much. Bring cool breathable clothing, swimwear and flip flops. Buy a locally made sarong once you arrive, and that will be your uniform for your stay. It is easy to get your laundry done, just ask at your hotel reception. Save plenty of room for shopping!
If you have any questions about Bali, please get in touch! We love to hear from you! Drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do your best to help.
The Gadsventure tribe is currently in Thailand but we will be back in Bali before too long. To follow our South East Asian Adventure, check out our Instagram!