We answer everything you need to know about how to plan a trip to Bali so you can bask in the Indonesian sunshine without a worry.
Indonesia’s crown jewel, Bali, is a tropical paradise that boasts the best beaches in the world, islands with friendly locals, resorts that rival the fanciest on Earth, and seascapes you need to see to believe. Vacations in Bali show why the Indonesian island remains a favorite among honeymooners, adventure travelers, and cultural explorers.
If you have dreamt of its sun-kissed beaches and culinary hotspots serving Southeast Asian cuisine, here you can find what you need to know before you go on a Bali vacation.
Bali is an island and province of Indonesia in Southeast Asia. While Bali is not a country, many travelers choose to spend entire vacations on the island as it is the most popular place to visit in Indonesia.
The best time to visit Bali is between April and October, during the dry season. During these months, you can enjoy the summer sunshine on Bali’s beaches and at the island’s main attractions, avoiding the rainy season.
July and August are the most popular months to visit Bali as they fall within the peak of the high season. During this time, the skies are clear and the days warm, with low humidity, but travelers must contend with an influx of tourists.
Bali is quieter during the tail-end of April through October, and you can avoid the crowds between October and December. During these times, you can expect frequent rainfall. However, this is not a deal-breaker as you can comfortably explore Balinese temples, partake in yoga classes, and enjoy indoor experiences when it rains.
Learn more: Best Time to Visit Bali
Eight days is an excellent duration for a trip to Bali, providing time to experience the highlights of Ubud, relax at the seaside resorts of Nusa Dua, and enjoy a day cruise to or night on Gili Meno island.
Bali is small, so you do not need to plan a long vacation to explore most of the island’s main hubs. That said, trips of up to 12 days are ideal for travelers with a vested interest in Balinese and Indonesian culture. The more time you spend in the region, the more room there will be for activities and tours that reveal the island’s rich history and traditions.
Bali is famous for its picturesque beaches that attract families who enjoy the outdoors, couples on their honeymoons, and surfers searching for the world’s best waves. Balinese temples are also famous, and history buffs and senior travelers adore any opportunity to embrace Bali’s humble culture at these spiritual sites.
Bali is a small but significant island with plenty of seaside resort towns, rural villages, forest sanctuaries, and scenic coastlines. Below, we list the most popular destinations:
Our guide on the best places to visit in Bali unveils what makes several of these must-visit places, revealing the highlights and number of days to spend enjoying Bali’s most popular destinations.
Boasting some of the best surf spots in the world, a fabulous food culture, sacred Balinese temples, and more, the list of things to do in Bali can quickly fill up an itinerary. Below, we share our recommendations of the top things to do to help you plan a custom trip according to the experience you dream of having:
You can explore some of these recommendations in more detail and discover more ideas for your vacation in our guide on the top things to do in Bali.
Bali’s beaches are some of the best in the world. Whether you’re a couple who enjoys afternoon strolls or cocktails by the sea, a surfer who desires to surf iconic waves, a family who adores snorkeling, or a senior who wants to relax and unwind, there are few better places to visit than Bali’s beaches. Below, we highlight some of the best:
While tourism thrives in Bali, much of the landscape remains untouched, providing shelter to animals, birds, marine creatures, and other wildlife. Below, you can find a list of the top places to see wildlife and what to spot at these destinations:
You can organize private transfers, hire a car or bike, use ride-hailing apps, take buses, and explore the seas by boat. For the most part, transportation in Bali is reliable, though be aware that Balinese people are laidback and public transport may not always be on time. Therefore, we recommend factoring in time for delays should you wish to use public transportation.
Sun, sand, and sparkling seas make Bali the perfect destination to take your family on a beach vacation. Activities are suitable for all ages, from spotting the friendly monkeys of Ubud to exploring jungle temples and snorkeling in search of schools of fish and marine creatures.
You and your kids can learn to surf Bali’s smaller waves, visit vibrant villages where locals dress in colorful traditional garments, and watch fire dancers perform, the sunset illuminating the seascape behind them.
Our family vacations in Bali share family-friendly possibilities and capture the spirit of adventure with activities perfect for young children and older teens, be they hikes through the forested mountains or water sports on world-class beaches.
On a trip to Bali, senior travelers can expect a comfortable vacation, thanks to the friendly lifestyle and cultural history that differs from mainland Indonesia.
The temple architecture and sculptures dressed in gold or covered in moss showcase centuries of Balinese Hinduism. There are tranquil resorts in private bays offering privacy and comfort like no other, with the beach steps from your room. Senior travelers can also enjoy fine Indonesian dining or take the trails from coasts to forests should the opportunity for adventure strike.
Traveling to Bali as a senior with Zicasso, you can enjoy first-class accommodations and tours, with guides who can support any mobility challenges or enable an active vacation at your pace.
Bali remains one of the world’s best destinations for honeymooners and couples. The breathtaking beaches and seaside resorts offer luxuries for all romantic travel.
You can stroll along your private strip of shore at sunset, feel your worries melt away with spa treatments, and explore the roads less traveled on hikes to secluded waterfalls. Romance exudes from every corner of Bali, whether along sun-washed shores or within wildlife sanctuaries.
To discover the best of Bali’s romantic experiences, explore our Bali honeymoon packages, curated for these milestone occasions.
Balinese cuisine is twofold. There are authentic Indonesian dishes and fusion cuisine that takes inspiration from global culinary influences in popular places like Ubud. You should try a combination of Balinese classics and renditions of international dishes for a rounded taste. Below, we highlight a few of the best Indonesian foods to try:
Bali is a safe destination to visit. With a well-established tourism industry, low crime rates, and friendly locals, travelers can confidently explore the island as a couple, family, solo traveler, or senior citizen.
The biggest concern regarding traveler safety in Bali is the busier areas, especially during the peak season. Pickpocketing and petty crime, although rare, can occur. For security, we recommend keeping your personal belongings out of sight and watching your children on beaches and in busy areas.
Some travelers express concerns about water-sport safety. Bali is a famous surf destination because of its world-class waves and big swells. These create currents and riptides, which you should be conscious of when swimming and snorkeling. Should you visit beaches with a guide, they can give you an idea of where the currents and riptides are.
Balinese roads can become very busy with cars and bikes, so drive defensively if you rent a vehicle. Also, do not touch or feed wildlife like monkeys when visiting forests or sanctuaries. When haggling with Balinese vendors, be mindful and respectful to ensure you get the best deals and do not disrespect locals. Finally, purchase bottled water for the duration of your trip.
While Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of Indonesia, the most widely spoken language in Bali is Balinese.
English is also commonly spoken in tourist areas like Ubud and Seminyak, so you should be able to communicate easily with hotel representatives, restaurant staff and owners, and other locals. For trips that include tours of rural areas, we recommend following a guide who can translate for you.
Balinese Hinduism is the predominant religion.
Bali also has Islamic, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, and Confucian communities. You will discover the differences between the traditions of these religions as you explore Balinese temples, encounter locals, and partake in customary experiences. When visiting Bali, be mindful of these religions and do not do anything that may offend religious locals.
Bali has a long history of religion and spirituality that connect the local people to their ancestral culture. As you explore Bali, you will acquaint yourself with some of the following cultural traditions:
From cultural customs to traditions and safety precautions, there are certain things you should not do in Bali. Below, we share a list so you can enjoy a respectful and safe vacation:
The CDC Indonesia vaccination information offers vaccination requirements and recommendations. You should take note of these and consult your travel nurse or doctor to confirm your vaccination status before your trip.
Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is the only airport servicing travel to and from Bali.
Travelers will arrive at the airport and transfer to their accommodation. You will then return to the airport on your departure date and catch a direct or connecting flight home.
The official currency of Bali is the Indonesian rupiah (Rp).
You should ensure you exchange US dollars for Indonesian rupiah before your trip. Unfortunately, most establishments do not accept US dollars, electronic payment services are not always accepted or reliable, and ATMs are few and far between in rural areas and small towns.
Zicasso travel specialists can assist you with your travel plans, helping you find stunning accommodations and great deals. Before you begin planning your trip with a Zicasso travel expert, browse our Bali vacations, where you can find sample trips of how best to experience the Indonesian island.
When you have found an itinerary that appeals to you or have ideas you would like to share, complete a trip request and our Travel Care team will be in touch with you. By providing insight into your preferred duration, budget, and travel style in your request, our team can pair you with a top Bali expert.
Your destination expert will be available leading up to your trip and for the duration thereof to book accommodations and tours, and help you navigate unforeseen circumstances should they occur. You can travel to Bali with peace of mind knowing your travel specialist is readily available through Zicasso.
With your biggest questions on Bali answered, you can begin to plan the perfect getaway to the tropical paradise. For inspiration on what to do and where to go when you visit the Indonesian island, view sample itineraries from our Bali vacations.
These will give you an idea of what to expect when you explore Bali. You can also learn more about the island when chatting with a Zicasso travel specialist or taking a look at our Bali travel guide.