If you plan to travel in Bali for the first time, you will LOVE reading this.
If you are a frequent traveler to Bali, you will LIKE it as well.
I list all my TIPS to TRAVEL IN BALI in this one post for your easy reading. Each tips include my advice and recommendation. So, you can have a quick info on which area to explore, activities to do in Bali, Indonesia, by reading this post.
INFORMATION YOU CAN FIND IN THIS POST
9 Best Tips to Make the Most out of Your Travel, covering:
Best area to visit and stay, including the tips for first timer
Perfect beach to relax and enjoy the view
Awesome underwater places
Nice Bali food to try
Best places to hangout
Best nightlife in Bali
Best and Worst budget place to stay
A must see tourist attraction
Thing You Should Have Known Before Visiting Bali
9 Best Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Travel in Bali, Indonesia (updated in 2019)
#1 – CHOOSE THE BEST AREA TO VISIT OR STAY IN BALI
Here is the list of area you can choose according to your preference. Unless stated otherwise, I’ve spent at least one night in these area.
This area is the best place to stay if you wanna go diving in Menjangan island. I stayed in Jalan Mawar which is about 20m to the beach where lies many beachfront cafes. The beach itself is not that interesting. I saw many divers and some elderly tourists 🙂 It’s about 4-5 hours drive from airport and a 45min drive from Lovina.
I dunno why, but I like this place. The weather is not too hot, the dive site is right in front of you. The wind can be very cold that you’ll need warm clothes, esp on July. Cheap food is near the entrance harbour gate and so is a nice secluded beach, Bias Tugal beach. At nite, you can see thousand of stars in the sky. The environment doesn’t make me scared to go out at nite. You can cross to Gili islands too from here. I did enjoy my stay there.It’s about 2-2.5 hours drive from airport.
I was here for a snorkeling with my family. It was very dark and quiet at night but the snorkeling site was amazing. In Jemeluk beach, you can swim there. It’s only a few feet from the beach, you will find an amazing clear water, corals, and marine life. I cant imagine how can there be so many fish there. I had wonderful time here and hope can go back again soon.
Finally I visited this island and keep coming back-and-forth. I love how laid back it is. Beautiful scenery of the beach. It is relax, no night life. I like spending my time in Mahagiri Resort private beach and Mushroom bay. A note: food, accommodation, and transportation are more expensive than Bali here. Plus do not expect that you will get the same food quality or hotel amenity as in Bali.
I visited this island recently. Surprisingly this island is more laid back than Nusa Lembongan. It has its own characteristic. I thought it would be similar as Nusa Lembongan or Lombok, but it is different. It has breathtaking view from above the cliff and amazing beach if you want to go down the stairs to the beach. The underwater is amazing. I’ve circling the island on motorbike and staying in the city (west part) is best. Easy to find what you need.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO VISIT OR STAY FOR FIRST TIMER?
Where should you visit in Bali for the first time?
- Ubud – the center of Bali culture
- Uluwatu – watch the famous Kecak dance
- Lovina – watch dolphins at early morning
- Amed – to snorkel from the beach
- Nusa Penida – see the breathtaking view above and under the water
- Nusa Lembongan – feel the laid back of an island
Where should you stay in Bali for the first time? Away from touristic Kuta
MY FAVE PLACE & BUCKET LIST
My fave area to stay :
- Legian and Seminyak if I want to be in the center of everything
- Amed and Nusa Penida to snorkel and see amazing underwater just a view kicks from the beach
Other area I want to visit and stay more than a night :
- Nusa Ceningan in Nusa Lembongan.
#2 – CHOOSE THE BEST BEACH TO RELAX IN BALI
These are the beach you can choose to spend your time and relaxing. There are many in Bali. Mostly with wave, even big one and hardly find a calm beach for swimming. Bali is famous for surfing. The beach in west part of Bali has good wave in the dry season and beach in east part of Bali has good wave in the wet season.
It’s a white sandy beach full with tourist. It’s best for watching beautiful sunset, surfing and body boarding. There are times when you will find garbage in the water. But amazingly, you won’t find them in the next day..
It’s in the end of Kuta beach, a quieter part of it. Sometimes people called it Double Six Beach. It’s half white sandy beach and half is getting darker cause of the mix with black sand from Seminyak beach. This beach is also best for watching sunset, surfing and body boarding. I like it better than Kuta cause lesser tourist here and one thing for sure, the rental for beach bench and body board are cheaper than in Kuta beach..
Lies in north part of Nusa Lembongan as private beach of Mahagiri Resort. I like spending my time here, looking at the awesome view of Bali island across the water. Not to mention the nice sunset view.
Lies in the south part of Nusa Lembongan, it is a relax place. Nice beach where you can swim. The cafes here offer less lower price to go snorkeling to 5 spots around Nusa Lembongan island and the nearby Nusa Penida island.
Lies in Amed and offer amazing marine life where you can see after a few feet swim. This is why I love this beach. It is highly recommended for snorkeling with family.
It’s in the end of Legian beach, part of Seminyak beach. This beach is great for chilling out but you cannot surf / play body board cause it’s in sacred area. I saw local family with children playing in the water on the weekend. I like the atmosphere there and it’s cleaner than Legian beach / Kuta beach..
NUSA DUA BEACH
It’s a nice beach to spend the time with your family. You will see the beach on your right and on your left.. If you see Bali map, you will know where this beach located. You can swim here, it is a bit calm and further from the beach, you can surf..
It lies in Nusa Dua area. It’s a long stretch white sandy beach. First time I was there, I think it looked like Kuta beach. But last November (2012), I went there to find that there was a big hotel construction nearby. It doesn’t look as good as my first visit and according to my friend, the water tasted sour. Maybe because of the seaweed plantation there. That’s too bad. This beach is in the left side of a temple. While in the right side, there is a nice place for surfing.
It is in Pecatu area. I think this is the best beach in Bali. Most of my visit there, I see a high wave about 1 meter or so just a few steps from the beach. Crazy.. and Awesome!! I am afraid of high wave so I don’t play body board there, just relax, laying on the beach bench. The water is clear and clean. There is KLAPA cafe uphill where you can watch beautiful sunset. I love it there!!.
This is a great beach for family, calm water but be careful if you swim further from the beach, esp near the canal arean. I had my diving there and the underwater current is pretty strong towards afternoon. There are many cafes along the beach and a jogging track. Great place for chilling out or for jogging/bicycling while watching the sunrise.
I didn’t go to this beach in the morning/noon but in the afternoon, there are many local boats. The sand is kinda black, if I am not mistaken. There are cafes along the beach, mostly the tourist are elderly or divers.
Hardly sand here, mostly rocks with great underwater!!.
My only memory about this beach is that there are many rocks there LoL!.
BLOO LAGOON BEACH
It’s in Padang Bai area. I only saw it from a distance. It’s so small and not interesting but the underwater is great. Best for snorkeling..
PADANG BAI BEACH
It’s a white sandy beach but many local boats there and many garbage. Maybe because it’s in the harbor area??.
It’s a nice beach, you can swim here. Guess the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” made this beach popular ^^.
BIAS TUGAL BEACH
It’s in Padang Bai area and it’s the best one!! I went there in the afternoon and in the early morning for sunrise. It’s like a small private beach that time. I love it there. Just watch this video I took there (Padang Bai Video 1)
MY FAVE PLACE & BUCKET LIST
My fave beach :
- Padang-padang beach in Uluwatu
- Jemeluk beach in Amed
Other beach I want to visit :
- Secret beach in Candidasa
- beaches in Nusa Ceningan
Click to Tweet: Which one do you think the best beach to in Bali?
#3 – CHECK OUT THESE AWESOME UNDERWATER WORLD IN BALI
It’s the best for diving since you can see many kind of marine life here. Awesome!! I think it’s best to go there on November, no much people dive and the shore entrance is not difficult (no wave). No big current. For snorkeling, I think the visibility is not as good as diving. The water is a bit greenish.
I was there on February and the water was clear. It’s best for snorkeling and also diving. You better go there in the morning because the current is getting stronger towards afternoon.
I love my snorkeling trip to Jemeluk Beach in Amed. It’s a short swim from the beach to see beautiful and colorful fishes as well as coral.
I was here for diving. The water is cold. Many sting rays. I saw 3 sharks here 😀
One of the sites that dive center use when taking open water course. I was here because of that too. The current can be strong here. I didn’t see many fish down there though.
It’s located in Nusa Penida. I went here from Nusa Lembongan, few minutes boat ride. Amazingly many marine life here. The water is crystal clear but please be careful with the current and choppy water.
This one is also in Nusa Penida. Clear water and many fishes.
This is the water sport area that also offer short dive. Many fished but when I was diving there, the visibility was low. It’s too crowded under the water too.
I would recommend to go to Tulamben and Menjangan Island, both are suitable for beginners. Then Nusa Penida for advance diver.
I would recommend to go to Amed and Crystal Bay Nusa Penida.
MY FAVE PLACE & BUCKET LIST
My fave place to dive and snorkel :
- Menjangan Island for diving
- Amed for snorkeling
Other site I want to dive/snorkel : I think I’ve tried all the places in my bucket list. Yay!
- You can check my post for diving: A week for relax and diving lesson (sanur, kuta, tulamben)
#4 – TRY THESE NICE LOCAL FOODS IN BALI
The price range for food in Bali starts from USD 1-2 in cheap places (called “warung”). It’s sort of a small local restaurant/street vendor.
Above that price, it’s categorized as expensive or good restaurant 😀
MY FAVE PLACE & BUCKET LIST
My fave meal :
- Nasi Campur Bali in Bambu Sari Resto
- Babi Guling Pak Malen in the corner of Seminyak-Kerobokan-Sunset road
Best places for local food :
- Warung Murah in Double Six area, Legian
- Bambu Sari Restaurant in Jl. Kahuripan Kuta,
Best places for international food :
- Ultimo (Italian) in Seminyak.
- Cafe Marzano (Italian) in Double Six street, Legian
- Pork Star (Pork Ribs) in Jl. Nakula near Double Six street, Legian
- Lemongrass (mix Italian, Thai, Local) in Jungut Batu, Nusa Lembongan
- Mama’s German in Legian street, Kuta
#5 – SEE THE TOURIST ATTRACTION IN BALI
Honestly I hardly visit their tourist attractions.
So far, the place I think interesting is Ubud and Tanah Lot.
I would recommend you to see traditional dance like Kecak dance on sunset at Uluwatu Temple and Barong Dance in Batubulan.
Besakih Temple is worth a visit too.
#6 – BEST PLACE TO HANGOUT
When I go to Bali, I seldom chill-out in café so I only had few experience.
But I can remember this nice place to hangout in La Planca and other beach cafe Double Six area. Also in Echo Beach Club, Canggu
But, My Fave would be La Planca in Legian / Double Six for sunset
#7 – THE PLACES TO HAVE THE BEST NIGHTLIFE IN BALI
The Clubs I’ve been to:
- Sky Garden
- Engine room
- Vi Ai Pi
- Espresso bar
- La Favela
- Ku De Ta
- Potato Head
- Olds Man
- Deus Ex Machina
- Linga Longa
MY FAVE PLACE & BUCKET LIST
My fave : Sky Garden in Legian street, Kuta
Craziest club I’ve been : Bounty Club in Legian street, Kuta used to be the one. Now I consider Sky Garden for this criteria.
A club I want to check out next time : Jenja in Jl Nakula near Double Six, Finns Beach Club.
#8 – THE BEST AND THE WORST BUDGET HOTEL TO STAY IN BALI
My fave :
– on a very limited budget, I prefer staying in Poppies Lane 2 Kuta. Beneyasa I, probably my fave cause I stay there many times :p
– but on a slightly higher budget, I love Fave Hotel in Seminyak. You might need to rent a bike to go to the beach but I had the most comfy bed ever here and 101 Legian for their superb hospitality
The cleanest budget place : Little Pond guesthouse in Sanur
My worst experience : Fat Yogi Cottage place has been replaced with Villa Coco in Double Six, Seminyak. Staying here totally ruined my new year holiday in 2018. I would recommend to stay away from this hotel. It is not suitable for a local with a western partner. You can read more about it in my post “Think Twice Before Staying Here“ or my tripadvisor review “Great Manager“. Fyi, her response in tripadvisor is not 100% real fact of what happening. I am still upset remembering it.
#9 – OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BEFORE TRAVELING TO BALI
I have this other post about Bali. It covers all the things you should have known before visiting Bali. I wrote it for JetsetBunny, a female travel blog. Read more about it on: Top 10 things I should have known before traveling to Bali.