Are you trying to figure out where to go in Bali?

With so many popular places to see on such a big island, it can be difficult to decide where to go.

The easiest way is to follow a friendly guide.

We’ve picked out the 21 best places in Bali you can see on organised tours.

Table of Contents

1. Mount Agung

Gunung Agung, or Mount Agung, is the defining feature of East Bali.

Reaching more than 3,000 metres into the sky, it is the highest point on the island, and the fifth highest volcano in the entire Indonesian archipelago.

Mount Agung has spiritual significance to the Balinese people, and is the home of the Mother Temple of Besakih.

Active travellers can climb Mount Agung lead by local guides.

You’ll have to wake up early in the morning to start your trek.

Once you reach the top, you’ll see spectacular views of Bali and it’s natural surroundings.

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2. The Mother Temple of Besakih

Located on the slopes of Mount Agung, Besakih Temple is Bali’s largest, most sacred and most important temple.

Known as the Mother Temple of Besakih, it is located 1000 metres up Mount Agung, and consists of a large complex containing more than 20 temple structures.

Besakih Temple is on six terraced levels, each featuring traditional Balinese decor such as the large Candi Bentar (split gateway) and numerous stone sculptures.

The site is a popular tourist spot, but is also regularly visited by thousands of Balinese Buddhist Hindus.

They consider the site to be at the head of all of Bali’s temples.

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3. Mount Batur

Measuring at just over 1,700 metres high, Mount Batur is not Bali’s highest mountain, but it is one of the most popular for hikers and trekkers of all skill levels.

It is one of the areas most active volcanoes.

The trek is relatively low-grade, and climbers of reasonable fitness should have no problems completing the 2-3 hour climb up.

As the aim of the climb is to see the sunrise, tours generally begin around 3 or 4 am.

Sunrise climbs are popular, leaving hikers the rest of the day to spend exploring the surrounding areas of Kintimani.

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4. Lake Batur

Bali’s widest crater lake, Lake Batur is located in Bali’s Kintimani region.

This mountainous region has been shaped by the volcanic eruptions that occurred thousands of years ago.

The lake is approximately 65 metres deep, extremely cold, and surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas of Mount Batur.

You’ll also see Bali Aga Village and the famous Ulun Danu Batur Temple.

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5. Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple, known to the Balinese as Pura Luhur Ulawatu, is a particularly significant spiritual location to the Balinese Buddhist Hindus.

It is one of the seven sea temples that form a chain along Bali’s south western coast.

Uluwatu Temple is also one of the nine direction temples of the island, considered to protect it from evil spirits.

On arrival, you’ll notice the stunning sea views.

Wild monkey roaming around adds to the unique atmosphere.

Make sure you stay for the traditional Kecak Dance at night, which has spiritual significance to the temple.

Uluwatu Temple now draws both regular worshippers and tourists interested in seeing Bali’s famous cliff side temple.

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6. Bedugul

Located in the central highlands of Bali, Bedugul covers a large area that contains the villages of Bedugul, Candikuning, Pancasari, Pancung and Wanagiri.

They are all at heights of more than 700 metres above sea level.

Unlike the popular highlands area of Ubud, Bedugul has stayed almost entirely off the tourist radar, and is only now seeing regular visitors.

This untouched area features three crater lakes, one of Indonesia’s four official botanic gardens and other natural attractions.

The Lake Bratan Temple is a must see attraction if you do plan on visiting Bedugal.

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7. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, or the Lake Bratan Temple, is a significant Buddhist Hindu temple located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the Bedugul region.

Built in 1633 by the King of Mengwi, the temple has been a focal point of the area for centuries and is now a popular tourist destination.

The temple is known for its unusual architectural design.

It is dedicated to the goddess of the Lake, Dewi Danu.

Balinese locals believe that worshipping her ensures adequate water for their crops.

There is also a small beautiful garden around the Temple, making it a great photo opportunity for visitors. 

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8. Kuta

Previously a fishing village in Southern Bali, Kuta’s claim to fame is being the first Indonesian town to significantly develop its tourism sector.

Now it stands as a renowned surfing hub thanks to the magnificent beaches dotted with resorts, restaurants, street food and bars.

Other attractions you can see include the Discovery Shopping Mall, Waterbom Bali, and the huge variety of shops. 

It’s also lively at night so spend some time exploring the streets after a day of sun baking. 

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9. Waterbom Bali

Set in a lush tropical garden, Waterbom is the place to go for a day of fun in the sun or relaxation under the shade.

Bring the whole family and let the kids splash around.

There are plenty of rides to suit everyone from steep slides dropping from 26 meters to lazy river rides where visitors can rest.

Other premium activities include a surf simulator, water blaster and Euro-bungy.

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10. Discovery Shopping Mall

Across the road from Waterbom Bali, you’ll find Discovery Shopping mall, Kuta’s premier beach mall.

You will find the biggest brands like Guess, Puma and Roxy.

There are also a number of unique boutique shops, some with hand-designed, locally-made products.

It is also a place for dining where you can experience award-winning service and quality dishes while looking out to the Indian Ocean.

At times, there are movie events of dance performances on the giant outdoor amphitheatre.

For shopping and dining, Discovery Shopping Mall is your ultimate entertainment destination.

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11. Denpasar

Denpasar, the capital and largest city in Bali, is a true representation of life in Bali. 

The city is filled with interesting attractions, and truly embodies the unique multi-cultural nature of Bali.

Home to around 800,000 people, Denpasar is easy to navigate for visitors.

It is the ideal location to learn more about the Bali’s traditions, history, and people.

Attractions worth visiting in the area include the Bali Museum, Puputan Square, Taman Budaya, Jagatnatha Temple and Badung Markets.

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12. Puputan Square

Puputan Square is an urban park found in the centre of Denpasar. 

The park is used by local as an urban green space, but more than 100 years ago it was the site of a tragic ritual.

Puputan Square is a regular stop for many tourists exploring Denpasar.

Take a photo at Puputan Square Monument to commemorate the 1906 Puputan Bandung victims. 

Alternatively, stroll around the park or play a game of chess.

It is an interesting location to learn more about the history of the Balinese and their struggles against the Dutch colonisers.

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13. Badung Markets

Badung markets, located in Denpasar, is Bali’s largest traditional fruit and vegetable market.

These markets have stayed relatively untouched and reflect Bali’s true culture.

Badung markets remains an active part of life for many Balinese people living in Denpasar, who conduct their shopping there.

The market is known for its fresh produce.

There is also large number of items available for purchase in the multi-storey complex, including clothing and crafts.

If you’re planning on stopping by at the markets, make sure you bargain with all vendors trying to sell you goods. 

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14. Lovina

Lovina, located on Bali’s northern coastline, is an area unlike many tourist-focused spots in Bali.

This area remains relatively quiet, with a focus on relaxation and a slower pace of life.

Anak Agung Panji Tisna, the late king of Buleleng, gradually developed Lovina in the 1950s.

It comprises of seven traditional villages stretched over 12 kilometres.

The surrounding areas offer a range of activities from coastal adventures, to inland explorations.

You can relax at the beach, go snorkelling or join dolphin watching tours.

Nearby, you can also stop at Banjar Hot Springs and Brahma Vihara Arama Temple.

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15. Taman Ayun Temple

Taman Ayun Temple, also referred to as The Royal Temple of Mengwi, is located in the Mengwi district some 18 kilometres north of Denpasar city.

Although not particularly large in size, the temple is one of six royal temples in Bali making it very important both spiritually and historically.

The temple’s name Taman Ayun translates to the ‘Garden Temple in the Water’.

Beautiful lotus flowers surround the temple in a narrow moat.

This is one reason why many visitors enjoy stopping at the temple to wander around the grounds.

You’ll see the many architectural and historical highlights of this Balinese landmark.

Close to the main temple complex is a museum-style building that aims to provide visitors with more information about the Taman Ayun Temple complex and traditional lifestyles of Balinese people.

This museum is small, but incorporates some informative dioramas and an art centre where visitors can see traditional Balinese art being created.

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16. Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple, locally known as Pura Tanah Lot, is a rock formation and temple off Bali’s coast around 20 kms from Denpasar.

The temple is one of Bali’s seven important sea temples.

Over the years, the ocean waves has left the structure damaged and crumbling, putting the entire temple at risk of collapsing into the sea.

After some time, a project was proposed and successful completed to protect the iconic landmark with artificial rocks.

You’ll also find a quaint market with vendors selling souvenirs and street food.

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17. Nusa Lembongan Island

One of three small islands just off the coast of Bali, Nusa Lembongan Island wasn’t a part of Bali’s tourism climate until just a few decades ago.

The island is around 8 kms square and home to around 50,000 people.

You’ll find thousands of fish and coral off the shores of Lembongan Island.

There are a small number of hotels on the island, increasing every year, but many visitors choose to visit via boat on a day trip only.

If you do choose to stay on the island, there are hotels at Mushroom Bay and Jungut Batu.

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18. Tirta Gangga Water Palace

The royal water garden, Tirtagangga, which translates literally to Water from the Ganges, is an important site both for the Balinese royal family and the Balinese people.

After being almost entirely destroyed in 1963 by the eruption of nearby Mount Agung, Tirtagangga has since been carefully restored by descendants of the royal family and a board of supervisors.

Today, visitors come to experience the royal atmosphere of the many beautiful pools, surrounding vistas of local rice paddies and mountains from the Tirtagangga site.

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19. Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)

Dating back to the 11th century, Goa Gajah is a Hindu temple that is both historically significant and very popular amongst tourists.

It is located just 10 minutes drive from Ubud’s centre.

Goa Gojah is known for the demonic cave-entrance and its ancient archeological relics.

Onsite, there is also a large meeting hall, collection of old stone carvings, and a pool featuring female statues. 

Nearby, you can explore the jungle and rice paddies in the surroundings.

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20. Pura Luhur Batukaru Temple

Pura Luhur Batukaru Temple is located in the Tabanan Regency.

The temple sits on Mount Batukaru’s southern slope, at a height of around 1300 metres above sea level.

It is also one of the nine directional temples on the island protecting the island and its inhabitants from evil spirits.

There is also an extensive water garden on site.

At times, the area gets foggy due to the altitude, which adds to the mystical nature of Batukaru Temple.

Today, Batukaru Temple is used for ceremonies and spiritual events throughout the year.

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21. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Bali’s Sacred Monkey Forest, located in the mountainous area of Ubud, has been a popular tourist attraction since the mid-1980s.

The site, which is around 27 acres, has been steadily growing in popularity since then and now hosts upwards of 15,000 visitors every month.

There are over 600 playful long-tailed macaques living protected on site.

Try hand feeding the monkeys with the assistance of guides around the sanctuary. 

Take a photo of them eating a banana on your shoulders with the lush forest in the background.

In addition to wild monkeys roaming around, there are three very important local Balinese Hindu temples: Temple of Death, Temple of Cremation and the Temple of Holy Spring Bathing

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Still not sure where to go?

We have plenty more tours and tickets available to suite everyone’s taste. 

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For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!