One of the top destinations to choose for a culture holiday mixed with heat, surf, and social antics.
Bali has been a travellers choice since way back, and regularly brings new “hot spots” to their offering. Here’s your go-to detail of where to go, how to get there and what to do you have the best Bali experience possible.
Denpasar Airport is Bali’s international airport, conveniently located close to main tourist hubs (10km from Kuta, 8km from Seminyak, 26km from Ubud, 30km from Uluwatu).
Unlike many airports around the World, Denpasar is not as chaotic as you might expect. Walking out the main terminal there are stands offering ride services which means you don’t need to worry about being mobbed for a taxi, you can elect a service from out front.
The main method of Bali transport is taxi, private driver, or walking. Taxi’s can be hailed down anywhere and are eager to pick up tourists. There are plenty floating around. For longer excursions such as day trips to temples or travelling between between regions it is commonplace to purchase a private driver. They are cost effective and reliable.
Two main ferry terminals also operate in Bali, for travellers to head to the many spectacular surrounding islands. Serangan ferry terminal is closest to Denpasar and the main tourist areas of Bali. Further afield is Padang ferry terminal. Not all boats leave from each; some destinations provide fast and slow boats which they reserve for specific ferry terminals. That means that in some cases it may be faster to travel to the furthest terminal (Padang) to board a fast boat.
Bali Currency & Handling Money
Like most tourist mecca’s, Bali has plenty of ATMs in the main areas. When heading to more remote places or areas where there isn’t such an entertainment hub (the ferry terminal in Padang for example) it’s worthwhile assuming ATMs are not going to be available.
Bali’s currency is Indonesian Rupiah and this is the currency used throughout. Carry small denominations on you otherwise there is a risk that you won’t receive the correct change due to a vendor not having enough change to return to you.
Bali: Where to go
There are many options of where to stay when visiting Bali, and each area will offer travellers a different experience. In a nut shell:
The place for surfers to head to. Expect epic waves, the famous bar, Single Fin, high cliff faces and a hilly limestone region. This is the destination for less traffic and more sea vistas, although not the best spot in Bali for sea swimming.
The inland destination best known for wellness retreats and tapping into a travellers Zen. Expect plenty of downtime reading a book on the edge of an infinity pool that is surrounded by jungle.
The backpacker haven that put Bali on the map. Kuta represents Bali’s best chaos which plenty of traffic, markets and bars. Hagglers roam the beach from where visitors can enjoy a sandy massage and Bintang beer overlooking the ocean. The water is fine for swimming and waves are good learning.
5 star resorts far enough from Kuta’s chaos to feel slightly more advanced, yet close enough to stroll down if the mood takes you. Private villas and classier boutiques set Seminyak apart from Kuta
Slightly further North along the same stretch of coastline to Seminyak, Canggu is the latest hip place to be. Expect surf, sun, social and a millennial vibe.
Expect less of the usual Bali culture, or as some would call it, hassle, instead finding a classier, quieter side of Bali. Set on the Southeast coast, Sanur can be a little slow with 5 star resorts, and classy restaurants. The beach is swimmable.
Similar to Sanur, and perched on the same stretch of coastline, Nusa Due is known for golfing holidays, gated communities and 5 star resorts. Perfect for a clean holiday without culture or fuss.
Islands off Bali
If time is on your side then spending time off the main Island of Bali will be a trip highlight. The Gili Islands are tropical paradises with an assortment of reefs to snorkel, diving opportunities, and plenty of wild turtles to swim with. There are 3 Gili Islands, each around 2.5 hours boat ride from Serangan Ferry terminal (Bali).
Nusa Lembongan is approximately 40 minutes by ferry from Sanur and a place for surf, culture, social, relaxing and excellent beaches. Consider this the Bali you hoped for.
Nusa Penida is a much larger island beside Lembongan and offers more outdoor adventures than just beach and surf. Expect hikes to cliff faces with views to knock your sock off.