Your Essential Travel Guide To Holidaying or Honeymooning in Bali.
Hands up if you’ve been dreaming of Bali’s lush landscapes and intoxicating holiday appeal? We’ve put together this ultimate travel guide to Bali so you can follow the frangipani breezes from the beautiful beaches to the lush jungles and navigate this intoxicating island paradise stress-free!
If you’re planning a trip to Bali, even for the first time, you probably know this southeast-Asian gem packs a lot into a compact footprint. From luxury accommodation and a renowned spa scene to delicious food, extreme natural beauty and a rich local culture that resonates long after you return home.
So, if you’re wondering what to see and do in Bali, we have you covered! We’ve been visiting the Island of the Gods for more than 20 years, so this Bali travel guide (designed especially for couples) will ensure you’re off to a flying start …
How to get to Bali
Head just west of Australia’s northern tip and you’ll find the tropical idyll of Bali. A province of Indonesia, and part of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Bali includes the main island and several other small islands including Nusa Lembongan.Direct flight time is 6-7 hours from Brisbane and Sydney and just under 4 hours from Perth, arriving at theNgurah Rai International Airport (often called the Denpasar International Airport) in the capital of Bali,Denpasar. Currently Australian visitors can travel to Bali and buy a visa on arrival for up to 30 days.
Travel tip: ‘Nusa’ = island and ‘Pantai’ = beach in the local Balinese language.
When is the best time to visit Bali?
You can always pack light for a trip to Bali! Sitting just eight degrees south of the equator, the island enjoys a warm and humid tropical climate with two main seasons to consider. Dry season (April-October) is considered one of the best times to travel to Bali because the days are pleasantly warm and there is less rain and humidity. Along with the usual holiday surge of Christmas, high season in Bali is July and August when you’ll get the best weather but also an uptick in prices. Wet season (November-March) comes with rain and higher humidity but less tourists and more chances of scoring a bargain on your Bali accommodation.
Travel tip: If you’re keen to dodge the crowds, consider the ‘shoulder seasons’ including April, May, June, September, and October.
Find the ultimate Bali honeymoon itinerary here
How does the money work?
As in the rest of Indonesia, the currency of Bali is the rupiah. For every $A1 you’ll get around 10,500 rupiah and you’ll find your money goes a long way here, especially when it comes to food and transport. We recommend having some cash for your travels as it’s handy for markets and tipping (which is not required but appreciated) and some places still don’t accept credit cards.
The best way to travel around Bali
For this Bali travel guide, we considered the many ways you can get around the island. The good news? They’re all relatively affordable! If you’re staying at one of Bali’s luxury resorts or hotels, chances are you’ll start your adventure with an air-conditioned airport transfer. To explore beyond the resort, we usually hire a driver — it’s reasonable and you get the benefit of local knowledge when it comes to sightseeing. If you’re catching a taxi, look for the metered Bluebird taxi service, which often has English-speaking drivers. There’s also the local Kura-Kura shuttle bus, which operates daily between some of the most popular tourist areas (tickets can be bought onboard).
For the adventurous (with good health insurance!), there are mopeds/scooters for hire – just remember that riding in Bali is not for the faint-hearted and ALWAYS wear a helmet.
Wondering where to stay in Bali? Here are some of the best options for couples.
Best places to see in Bali
Bali has so many holiday destinations within its beautiful shores that, chances are, you’ll need more than one trip. Here are some of the best…
A magical place for couples to retreat and reconnect, Ubud is the spiritual heart of Bali. Beloved for its lush landscapes, tiered rice paddies, and peaceful feel, this region can be found in the highlands north of Denpasar. Spend your days exploring the many Hindu shrines and temples, trekking the Campuhan Ridge Walk, cycling through the rice paddies or drifting in and out of the world-class day spas. The township is a creative hub of arts, dining and shopping while the outskirts offer heavenly hideaways, some overlooking the Ayung River. For a romantic getaway in Bali, don’t miss Ubud.
Why you’ll love a romantic getaway in Ubud
Legian & Seminyak
If you’re searching for five-star resorts, awesome sunsets and an all-rounder appeal, look to the west-coast regions of Legian and Seminyak. Connected by popular Double Six Beach, Legian is a low-key alternative to neighbouring Kuta while just to the north you’ll find Bali’s capital of cool, Seminyak. This upscale coastal enclave features a beachfront lined with luxury hotels, restaurants, beach clubs, boutiques and spas. From Indian Ocean vistas to shopping and gallery-hopping, Seminyak is a must-consider for any couple travelling to Bali.
If you’re in the mood to surf, shop and party (and you don’t mind braving the crowds), head south to the iconic waves of Kuta.
The charming fishing village of Jimbaran is beloved for its sensational sunsets, crescent-shaped beach and trail of seafood warungs (food stalls) right on the sand! It’s not far from the airport and offers a unique mix of luxury resorts, relaxed dining, and insights into local Balinese life. A romantic option for the low-key couple.
Looking for a little drama? Head to the south-western tip of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula to experience the world-class surf breaks and clifftop bars of Uluwatu. One of the holiest and most spectacular temples on the island can be found here: the Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, perched 70 metres above the waves. Or follow the sound of the waves down to Suluban Beach (also called Blue Point Beach) or the pretty cove of Padang Padang Beach. Our non-negotiable when visiting Uluwatu? Sunset cocktails at the Rock Bar, accessible via AYANA Resort and Spa’s cool cliffside funicular.
East coast appeal: Nusa Dua & Sanur
While south-coast sunsets draw many to a Bali holiday, there is much to love on the east coast too. And the sunrises are epic! The southern town of Nusa Dua is where you’ll find some of Bali’s best luxury resorts and high-end hideaways. Roll out of bed and hit the beach straight from your resort (many are backed by a private stretch of sand) or explore one of the lovely local beaches including Pantai Mengiat and Pantai Geget.
Further north, Bali’s original beach town of Sanur is all laid-back vibes. It’s the Bali of old, where couples can take it easy with long walks along the seaside promenade and lazy days spent at the beach or sampling the local cuisine. The calm, crystalline waters are dotted with traditional jukung fishing boats and Sanur is so lovely, you’ll wonder why more tourists don’t spend time here (although we’re kind of glad they don’t).
Travel tip: Pick up a couple of sarongs at the local markets. They’re perfectly packable mementos, great for the beach, and come in handy for covering bare shoulders and legs in the local Balinese temples.
First time to Bali? We have great tips here
Bali has so much to offer but if you have more time, hit up these nearby holiday escapes and day trip destinations – all located off the east coast.
1. Nusa Lembongan
An island idyll of turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, Nusa Lembongan is part of the Bali province and located just to the east of Sanur. An under-the-radar gem for romantic getaways, honeymoons and even destination weddings in Bali!
A longtime surfing mecca, the beautiful island of Lombok also attracts active couples keen to take on the guided multi-day hike to the peak of Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s second-highest volcano.
3. Gili Islands
Just off the north-west coast of Lombok, the Gili Islands may be tiny but they’re renowned for their stunning beaches, excellent snorkelling and diving, and ultra-relaxed vibe. No motorised transport is allowed here, meaning a quieter experience than in many other parts of Bali. Each of the three Gili Islands has its own personality, from the party scene and beach bars of Gili Trawangan to the totally under-the-radar charm of Gili Meno.
Discover authentic Bali with these three day trips
We hope you’ve found plenty of inspiration and a few new ideas in our Bali travel guide. It really is a magical holiday destination for couples, with more to discover on each visit. And if you’re looking for a romantic place to stay, don’t forget to check out our Bali accommodation guide.