Often referred to as the “island of the gods”, Bali is associated with many religious temples scattered across the islands and the traditional practices of Hindu religion. On top of this, Bali is also known for its culture, amazing beaches, rugged landscapes, rice fields, and religious sites. The tranquility and the promise of relaxing holidays made Bali as one of the top destinations in Asia.
Although Bali is not that expensive compared to Western countries, the growing tourism has been responsible for the increasing price of basic necessities in the island. So if you are in this popular Indonesian island on a budget, here’s our list of free things to do in Bali.
10 Free Things To Do In Bali, Indonesia
Sunrise over Tegallalang rice terraces
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One of the most picturesque and absolutely free things to do in Bali is watching the sunrise over Tegallalang rice terraces. The famous terraces get packed during the day with tour buses and independent travelers coming from all over the island. To get the best views, escape the heat and beat tourist crowds make sure to get to Tegallalang around 6 AM.
This early in the morning it is still pretty dark, but you can easily find a good spot from one of the closed cafes. Set up your camera or grab a seat to meditate or simply enjoy the view as the sun slowly starts illuminating the early morning skies. You will see the sun rise behind the palm trees and bring the magical warm light over the lush green fields. This invigorating experience which will give you a boost for the rest of the day.
Once the sun has risen, you can explore the Tegallalang rice terraces deeper. Make your way down and up the valley, have a coffee at one of the coffee shops or visit private fields for a small donation to the farmers.
Source: Darja of DeeGees Travel
2. Take in a sunset at Batu Balong Canggu
It’s no secret that Bali’s southern coastline delivers amazing sunsets. Yet, a lot of people think that in order to indulge catching a memorable one in style and with entertainment, they need to be at one of those fancy beach clubs with an expensive drink hand. Well, not so.
At Batu Balong beach in Canggu, when the sunlight dims down and the glorious golden hour sets in, a live band comes on at the Sandbar public stage for your enjoyment, for free, no cover charge or need to buy a drink. You can even share your singing skills with the open mike available for anyone willing to partake.
Of course, if you want to indulge lounging in a bean bag, you can do so at the many little warungs along the beach by simply buying a local beer for a few dollars, a great deal in exchange for the breathtaking view.
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3. See the stunning water at the Blue Lagoon
One of our favorite free things to do in Bali was to visit the Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan. This lagoon has earned its name from the bright blue water that contrasts against the lagoon’s rocks. If you’ve seen photos of the Blue Lagoon you may assume that they’re edited to make the color more saturated, but once you visit this place for yourself, you’ll see it’s all-natural! To get to the Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan, you have to take the bridge from Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan.
Motorbike parking is free and you can park right next to the lagoon. This makes for easy inclusion on your itinerary while traveling around Nusa Lembongan, Penida, and Ceningan. The waves are pretty rough, so it’s not recommended to swim, but the simple joy of taking the time to just admire such natural beauty is what’s so lovely about the Blue Lagoon. Plus, the blue background looks stunning in photos!
Real thrill-seekers are known to do some cliff jumping over by the eastern side of the lagoon, but it’s not recommended. You have to time your jump with the waves and then scramble up the side of the cliff face to get back up. We preferred just watching the daredevils tempt fate!
Source: Christine Williams of Don’t Forget To Move
4.Hike In Mendi Hill
Mende Hill is a good alternative for Campuhan or Tegalalang walking trails. This quiet part of Bali offers a good view of rice fields, rolling hills, and scenic plantations. If you are up for some adventure, a hike to this secluded part of Bali is a must. Mend Hill is located in the village called Subaya which is also known as the village on the clouds because of its altitude. So when you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views that Bali can offer. And the best part? It is free.
5. Campuhan Ridge Walk
Looking for something free to do in Bali? You need to check out the awesome Campuhan ridge walk, an epic free activity that many tourists from all over the world visiting Bali like to explore.
So, what is the Campuhan ridge walk? It’s an amazing trek that starts near Ubud town center and takes you over the highlands that is fringed by stunning palm trees. The walk takes you to some stunning rice paddies. Tourists take advantage of this free activity and get to witness some incredible views of Ubud, also this is an awesome place to watch the sunset.
Top Tips :
- The hike can be crazy hot in the peak of the day! So, you should take plenty of water with you. Don’t get dehydrated.
- Take some change to grab some tasty food or a refreshing beer at the cafe situated at the end of the Campuhan ridge walk.
- If you’re visiting Bali during the rainy season, the trail can be super muddy. Check out this post for more on Bali’s climate and when to visit.
- Don’t forget your camera, you will get some sweet Instagram photos here.
Source: Louis Smith of TheNorthernBoy
6. Take a sunset walk on Seminyak Beach
Easily one of the best things you can do on your time in Bali is to make the most of the incredible sunsets. The island is famed for offering some of the best sunsets, not only in Asia but anywhere in the world! And one thing we often tried to make time for was a sunset walk on the beach, in particular, Seminyak, This is an incredibly long, wide beach, where the sun sets perfectly over the horizon.
This way, you can wander for at least an hour or more, slowly watching the sun sinks lower and lower over the sea. In peak season, Seminyak can get very popular, with hundreds of other families, couples and individuals, taking the time to soak up the last of the sun’s rays. Best of all walking on Seminyak Beach is completely free and is the perfect way to unwind and relax for the evening ahead.
Source: Bradley Williams of Dream Big, Travel Far
7. Watch the sunset in Jemeluk Viewpoint
Amed Beach is a popular beach for divers visiting Bali, but one of the hidden gems in the area is the Jemeluk Viewpoint just above the beach. Jemeluk Viewpoint is a grassy hilltop 500-meter away from Amed Beach. You can either drive up or walk for 10-15 minutes to get to the viewing point.
From the viewpoint, you can see the panoramic view of Mt. Agung behind the forest, the ocean, and the village and on the right, are the Gili Islands. It is one of the most scenic spots to watch the sunset in Bali.
To complete the experience, grab a beer from one of the sellers from the gazebo on the hill. And if you get lucky, you might also see the local guy playing guitar singing Bob Marley’s songs.
8. Take a dip in the natural jacuzzi
Hiding in plain sight below the cliffs of Jimbaran is Tegal Wangi Beach. To get to the beach, take the dirt trail that leads to the cliff. From there, you will see the stairs leading down to the beach.
Tegal Wangi Beach is one of the less touristy beaches in Bali and is famous for cliff diving and natural rock pools. These rock pools are part of the exposed corals by the shore. When waves crash on the shore, the unique rock formations keep the water in place creating natural pools.
You can enjoy a relaxing dip in these natural jacuzzis while taking in the spectacular views of the cliffs and the ocean. Make sure that you come during low tide though as the rock pools disappear during high tide.
Aside from the rock pools, you can also check out the caves and other rock formations in Tegal Wangi Beach.
9. Check out the only Buddhist temple in Kuta
Tucked away in the heart of Kuta, is the colorful Vihara Dharmayana Temple, a 200-year old Buddhist temple that dates back to 1876. Vihara Dharmayana Temple or Kongco Leeng Gwan Kuta to the locals is the only Buddhist temple in Kuta and one of the five Buddhist temples in the Hindu-dominated island of Bali.
There’s a long history of Chinese immigration in Indonesia which resulted in roughly 5% of the population being of Chinese descent. However, the Chinese cultural assimilation is more evident in Bali than anywhere in Indonesia as Chinese people are more accepted and faced less discrimination on the island than any other places in the country. This is more obvious in religion with many Balinese practicing Hindu, Confucianism and Buddhism at the same time.
The Vihara Dharmayana temple is the main site of worship for the Chinese descent Balinese and native Balinese since 1876 and it has been an integral part of Chinese culture and festivities in the island. The temple is decorated with lanterns, dragons, and tassels in red and yellow colors dominating the interior. A common design shared among Chinese Buddhist temples.
The temple was also visited by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1982 as part of his tour on the island.
10. Take photography to the next level in Lake Tamblingan
Lake Tamblingan is one of northern Bali’s three twin lakes that formed the caldera of the volcanic region of Buleleng Regency. It is surrounded by lush rain forest and ancient Bali temples and archaeological ruins dotted across the lake.
The lake is an integral part of the history of Tamblingan. It is said that plague almost killed the ancient civilization of Tamblingan village but the remaining people were healed by the water from the lake. From then on, the lake is considered a sacred place by the locals. They left the village and moved to the surrounding areas to help protect the sanctity of the lake. They also built temples in the area to honor the gods.
Tamblingan lake is one of the most culturally significant places in Bali and, thanks to its status as a government protected area, the village and nature are conserved. The lake is also popular among local wedding photographers.
Head to Mundok village for the stunning view of the ancient temples by the lake. This part of the Tamblingan is the major draw for photographers. The romantic ambiance makes it conducive for a pre-wedding pictorial. The surrounding forest is also a favorite subject of wildlife photographers due to its rich flora and fauna.
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