The Complete 2019 Bali Travel Guide For First-Timers

Bali is a 95-mile-wide island located in the Indian Ocean and one of the famous islands in the Indonesian archipelago. It is blessed with lush surroundings, tropical weather, exotic temples, exciting seascapes, looming volcanoes – and a quest for more adventure – dubbing them as the “Island of the Gods.”

Bali Budget Travel Guide
Bali Budget Travel Guide

The island was even named as “World’s Best Island in 2009” by Travel and Leisure Magazine, and second place amongst top region at Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel in 2010.


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Bali is included in the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. There are over 500 reef-building coral species which can be found on the island and is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean.

There are plenty of reasons why you should include Bali on your bucket list. First of all, the island is home to an ancient culture that’s known for its warm hospitality. If you are a foodie and wanted to taste the addictive flavors of Bali, this island offers endless local food choices and signature cuisine.

Bali on a Budget Travel Guide
Bali on a Budget Travel Guide

Bali is also home to active volcanoes, jungles, and beach resorts where tourists can also go surfing. Speaking of beach resorts, you can find the most resorts and hotels, from cheap to luxurious ones in Bali’s famous areas.

The Balinese culture is steeped in an otherworldly tradition which mainly focuses on art and religion.

Memories of Bali
Memories of Bali

In this 2019 Travel Guide to Bali blog article, we’ll give you detailed and comprehensive budget travel tips to the island of Bali with budget tips and advice on things to do and see, Bali Itinerary, money saving tips, best places to stay, and more.

Best Time to visit Bali

  • July to August – Peak Season
  • May to June – Best time for visiting
  • November to April – Dry Season

How to Get There

In case you want to visit Bali, the best time would be from July to August. AirAsia offers direct flights to Bali, Indonesia from Manila Philippines. To check out the complete flight schedule, click here.

Bali is AirAsia Philippine’s international destination from Manila with flights departing daily from NAIA Terminal 3.

AirAsia Manila to Bali Flight Schedule:

AirAsia Flight Origin

(MNL)

Destination

(DPS) Bali

Depart Arrive Frequency
Z2 231 Manila Denpasar/Bali 18:40 22:55 Daily
Z2 232 Denpasar/Bali Manila 23:20 03:25 Daily

Also Read: How to get to Bali, Indonesia from Manila

Getting Around 

Just like here in the Philippines, traveling and getting around the city is more convenient and cheaper if we just rent a car. There are also buses, minibusses or bemo, and a motorbike rental if you want to wander around the city like a real tourist. Grab Taxi and Uber are also available on the island, just download the app to book a ride.

One of the cheapest modes of transportation on the island, if you don’t want to drive, is by hiring a GO-JEK – an app for a motorbike taxi very similar to Uber.

Bike Rental in Bali
Bike Rental – Bali Travel Guide

Plus, you’d get to appreciate more the city if you decide where to go, and just go on impromptu trips with your friends. However, if you wanted an itinerary and be able to tour around some notable spots in Bali, then we suggest you book a tour package.

Top Bali Tour Packages

As mentioned earlier, tour packages offer an all-inclusive package for tourist including hotel accommodation, transportation, itinerary, and most especially, this saves them bucks. And if you’re a person who is always in doubt and wants everything to turn out the way you imagine it, then you better find out some best tour packages for your next worry-free journey.

You can check out the following Bali packages via Klook.

Bali Travel and Tour Packages
Bali Travel and Tour Packages

Bali’s Greatest Hits (P2,127)

  • See Bali’s local craft industries in action, everything from art to jewelry to woodwork
  • Take a seat at a traditional Balinese Barong and Kris performance
  • Tuck into a local lunch with views over sparklingly clear waters to Batur Volcano
  • Be cleansed of a temple’s holy waters and see royal tombs
  • Choose the Private Tour and you can tailor the itinerary to fit in additional gallery stops if you wish
  • Enjoy air-conditioned transport with hotel pick up, accompanied by your friendly private guide

Bali’s Greatest Hits – A cultural introduction to Bali

Bali Safari Tour
Bali Safari Tour

Bali Safari and Marine Park (P2,337)

  • Visit the petting zoo and enjoy the Safari journey
  • Visit the freshwater aquarium and watch the frenzy of the piranha feeding
  • Enjoy adrenalin-pumping rides at the Fun Zone and get wet in the Water Zone
  • Enter the world of nocturnal animals at the Night Safari and enjoy a BBQ dinner
  • Leopard ticket holders enjoy Express Line entry to all attractions, plus a welcome drink and lunch, and premium seating for the nightly Balinese show

Bali Safari and Marine Park – Safari with amazing and endangered animals

Nightlife in Seminyak Bali
Nightlife in Seminyak Bali

The Heart of Bali Tour (P2,024)

  • Visit Jatiluwih rice terraces
  • Enjoy the natural volcanic hot spring Angseri located at the foot of Mount Batukaru
  • Visit ancient temples off the beaten track with a stunning natural landscape

The Heart of Bali Tour – Explore the natural beauty of inner West Bali region

Pure Ubud Tour (P3,425)

Temple in Ubud Bali
Temple in Ubud Bali
  • Private tour of Ubud’s best spots like Bali Bird Park, Pura Desa Batuan, Pass by some of Bali’s most stunning rice paddies and sawas, and more.

Pure Ubud Tour – Private tour of Ubud’s best spots

Bali Nature Biking (P3,113)

  • Tour run by Sobek – one of Bali’s oldest and experienced adventure companies
  • A 3-hour bike ride on a beginners track
  • A day filled with insight into Balinese culture
  • Hotel pick up provided from most areas in Bali
  • Buffet lunch included in the tour

Bali Nature Biking – Head up to the highlands for a bike through nature

Tour Package Prices may change without Prior Notice. For more Bali Travel and Tour Packages, head over to www.klook.com.

Learn Some Local Lingos 

One of the most defining moments when traveling is not only making memories and taking photos of the tourist spots you visit but more likely, it’s the locals you meet and the language you learn. Plus! It’s a such a letdown visiting a country if you couldn’t even ask and respond the local way. It’s a great experience by the way.

Here are the basic local lingos and basic Bali words and phrases you should use and learn when you visit here:

  • selamat pagi (good morning)
  • tolong (please)
  • terima kasih (thank you)
  • persmisi (excuse me)
  • ya (yes)
  • tidak (no)
  • sampai jumpa (good bye)
  • apa (what)
  • kapan (when)
  • dimana (where)
  • berapa (how much/many)
  • apa kabar (how are you?)

Where to Stay in Bali

There are plenty of hotels in Bali to choose from depending on your budget. Since this island is an avenue for people who wanted to experience retreat and culture immersion, might as well suggest you top hotels near some of the tourist attractions in Bali.

If this is your first time traveling to Bali, remember that it is divided into 6 main areas from South, Central, West, North, East, and Southeastern Islands.

We’ve listed here 2 recommended luxury and 2 budget hotels, depending on your preference.

Sheraton Kuta Bali

Sheraton Kuta Bali
Sheraton Kuta Bali

Address: Jalan Pantai Kuta, Kuta Bali, 80361, Indonesia
(Check Hotel Rates Here)

Experience true sanctuary in the only 5-star beachfront resort in Kuta – Sheraton Kuta Bali Resort. Kuta is a famous beach resort destination in Bali, which is also conveniently located at nearby shopping establishments and just a few steps away from the famous Kuta Beach.

Their hotel rooms range from Deluxe Rooms and Presidential Suite and is something that speaks of luxury. From their Ocean View rooms, one can have a breathtaking view of the ocean.

When it comes to their in-house restaurant, their staff are ready to rustle up a plate of their cuisine ranging from Balinese, Italian, and western as well.

Element by Westin Bali Ubud

Element by Westin Bali Ubud
Element by Westin Bali Ubud

Address: Jl. Raya Andong No.88, Petulu, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
(Check Hotel Rates Here)

Feel like royalty and stay at the newest hotel in Ubud, in Element Westin Bali Ubud. All rooms are air-conditioned, equipped with rainforest shower, mini refrigerator, coffee and tea making facilities, 43″ LED Television with Remote Control, In-Room Safe, telephone, and most importantly, a fast & free WiFi access.

There are two dining options inside Element Ubud – the Andong Teras All-Day Dining Restaurant and the Andong Pool Bar. Element also has rooms perfect for holding conferences, meetings, exhibitions, and venue for special occasions.

Also Read: Element by Westin Bali Ubud Resort Review

POP! Hotel in Kuta Beach

POP Hotel in Kuta Beach
POP Hotel in Kuta Beach

Address: Jl. Kubu Bene, Legian, Kuta, Kuta Legian Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali 80361, Indonesia
(Check Hotel Rates Here)

You don’t need to break the bank to enjoy your stay in Bali. We suggest you stay at POP! Hotel, located at Bedung Regency in Bali.

The chain of hotel caters to all smart and eco-friendly travelers. More than just a place to sleep, it is a perfect place for those looking for an efficient and affordable accommodation.

Their 15 sqm room size is equipped with king size bed and a comfy “Dream Care” mattress, exclusively developed by King Koil for POP! Hotels. Also, their 100% cotton linen will even give you a better “good night” sleep. Each room also has a safe deposit box, bath towels, and complete bathroom amenities.

The Haven Bali Seminyak

The Haven Bali Seminyak
The Haven Bali Seminyak

Address: Jl. Raya Seminyak 500, Seminyak, Bali, 80361, Indonesia
(Check Hotel Rates Here)

Located at the dynamic hub of Seminyak lies The Haven, a pioneering lifestyle resort surrounded by an array of restaurants and famous beaches.

Once you step foot in this resort, you’ll immediately feel the tropical vibe with its landscape itself. Its interior comprises contemporary design and also houses 5-star facilities.

Similar to other hotels, The Haven house complete bathroom amenities, coffee and tea maker, LCD TV, in-room safe, and laundry services too.

Also Read:

Best Places To Eat in Bali 

Now let’s move on to the highlight of your Bali experience — EATING.

Nasi Campur Bebek
Nasi Campur Bebek

Bali has plenty of dining options from casual brunch, cafes, and seafood too. One of the few things you should try is looking for some restaurants serving ridiculously great-tasting Bali cuisine like the ones listed below.

Balinese Babi guling or roasted suckling pig
Balinese Babi guling or roasted suckling pig By Jeff McNeill from Chiang Mai, Thailand – Babi Guling – Roast Suckling PigUploaded by Caspian blue, CC BY 2.0

Warung Ibu Oka

Address: Jalan Tegal Sari 2, Ubud, Bali

In the Philippines, we have lechon and crispy pata. But in Bali, ask anywhere, and there’s a Babi Guling for any occasion. In case you are wondering, Babi Guling is a Balinese suckling pig seasoned with local herbs and spices then roasted, served on rice with stewed vegetables and blood sausage.

At Warung Ibu Oka, you’re sure to taste the best of Bali flavors with their signature Babi Guling. The main branch of Ibu Oka is centrally located in Ubud’s town square, across the street from the Royal Palace and just down the street from both the art market and the Museum Puri Lukisan.

Bebek Bengil

Address: Jalan Hanoman, Padangtegal, Ubud

Bebek Bengil
Bebek Bengil

Another Bali’s famous restaurant is Bebek Bengil, meaning Dirty Duck Diner, which is famous for serving bebek tutu or smoked duck.

The whole menu here is almost entirely dedicated to the humble duck – crispy fried duck, duck in chili sauce, duck fried rice – but the specialty, smoked duck, has to be ordered 24 hours in advance. Smothered in Balinese spices and wrapped in betel leaves, it is slowly smoked for a whole day and is served with rice, satay, and vegetables.

Café Lotus

Sate
Sate

Address: Jalan Raya Ubud, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

People have commended this restaurant for a time now. Café Lotus, its location itself have lured tourists to dine and behold Bali’s beauty whilst dining there.

During night comes to life with performances of Balinese dancing accompanied by a gamelan orchestra. Their bestseller is the asih goa lawah (fish marinated in turmeric, lemongrass, and ginger then steamed in a banana leaf) to tuna carpaccio or the vegetarian favorite, lentil, and shitake soup.

Bebek Joni Restaurant

Nasi Campur Bebek at Joni Restaurant Ubud
Nasi Campur Bebek at Joni Restaurant Ubud
Mi Goreng
Mi Goreng

Address: Jl. Raya Goa Gajah, Peliatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 974738

The restaurant was stunning with a beautiful view of the nearby rice field. We sampled their Nasi Campur Bebek and Mi Goreng and it was very good. The staff is really friendly and the place was clean too.

Also Read:

Things to Do and See in Bali

Temple Hopping

Bali is surrounded by amazing temples and iconic landmarks waiting to be visited. The most frequent temple you should visit include the following:

Tanah Lot Temple Bali
Tanah Lot Temple Bali
Monkey Dance in Uluwatu Temple Bali Budget Itinerary
Monkey Dance in Uluwatu Temple – Bali Budget Itinerary
Bali Itinerary - Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul Temple Bali Itinerary

Surfing in Bali

It’s interesting that the “Island of the Gods” is considered to be a playground by surfer around the globe. Here are the list of places where you can catch some great waves while in Bali.

Great Surf Spots in Bali
Great Surf Spots in Bali
  • Uluwatu
  • Suluban
  • Padang Padang
  • Bingin
  • Impossibles
  • Balangan
  • Green Bowl
  • Canggu
  • Keramas
  • Nusa Lembongan

Ubud Monkey Forest

Monkey Forest Street in Ubud
Monkey Forest Street in Ubud By ?, CC BY-SA 3.0

Ubud Monkey Forest is one of Ubud’s most popular attractions you must see. It is a natural forest sanctuary that is home to a horde of grey long-tailed macaques.

Visit Bali’s Artistic Villages

Locals in Bali take pride in their creativity which is why it a must to visit how they woodcarve and shape intricate Garuda statues, and craft gemstones into shiny and sophisticated jewelry pieces.

Visit some Ghost Time

If you’re more of person who likes eerie and supernatural stuff, then we suggest you also visit some abandoned places in Sanur Beach proper, where you can see a collection of ‘lost planes’ in some of the weirdest places, and several cave-like temples.

Visit Green School in Bali

Address: Jalan Raya Sibang Kaja, Banjar Saren, Abiansemal, Sibang Kaja, Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 469875

Green School in Bali
Green School in Bali

Experience and see Green School in Bali. Take a glimpse of what this unique school offers to its community, students, and their families. The Green School which opened in September 2008 consist of 90 students and a tailor-made campus that emerged from the jungle and rice fields. Since then it has grown to 400 students and to an inspiring example of education for sustainability.

Visit Ubud

Ubud is a town located amongst rice paddies and steep ravines in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency. Promoted as an arts and culture center, it has developed a large tourism industry. Ubud has a population of about 30,000 people. The area surrounding the town is made up of small farms, rice paddies, and dense forest.

Here are some of the best activities you can do in Ubud:

Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud
Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud
Shopping Places in Ubud
Shopping Places in Ubud
Museums and Galleries in Ubud
  • Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA), Jl Pengosekan, +62 361 975742, e-mail: info@armamuseum.com. 9AM-5PM.
  • Blanco Renaissance Museum, Jl Raya Campuhan, +62 361 975502. 9AM-6PM daily.
  • Museum Puri Lukisan (Museum of Fine Arts), Jl Raya Ubud (on the main road just west of the market), 8AM-4PM daily.
  • Museum Rudana, Jl Cok Rai Pudak 44 (on the road to Mas, about a 10 min drive south of Ubud town center), +62 361 975779, Open M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM.
  • Neka Art Museum, Jl Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, +62 361 975074, M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM.
  • Seniwati Gallery of Art by Women, Jl Sriwedari 2B, +62 361 975485. Tu-Su 9AM-5PM.

Best Places to Shop in Bali

Time to shop for your pasalubong! But do you know where? In this article, we’ve rounded up some fancy shops where you could find the coolest souvenirs.

Beachwalk Shopping Center
Beachwalk Shopping Center
Souvenirs from Bali
Souvenirs from Bali
Shopping in Bali
Shopping in Bali
Souvenir Shops in Poppies Lane
Souvenir Shops in Poppies Lane
  • Kuta Art Market (Bazaar-like complex where you can find unique Bali souvenirs and handcraft items)
  • Jalan Pantai Kuta (go-to place of a mix of local art shops, jewelry boutiques, international surf brand outlets, and cafes)
  • Garlic Lane (Interesting home decors, art shops, DVD stores, fashion boutiques, and woodcarving galleries
  • Jalan Raya Kerobokan (Go-to destination when shopping for antiques, glassware, and statues)
  • Jalan Raya Ubud (mix of fashion boutiques, batik, and antique galleries and local art shops. )
  • Kuta Beachwalk (houses luxury brand shops and various dining areas.
  • Jalan Monkey Forest (Most are art shops with selections of assorted handicrafts, antiques and alluring textiles from the archipelago and Bali)
  • Poppies Lane

Also Read: A Guide to Shopping in Bali, Indonesia

Bali Currency Exchange
Bali Currency Exchange

Currency Exchange

Local Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
(As of March 2018)
PHP100 = IDR26,410
USD1 = IDR13,753

Money matters wherever you go. Here are the best places to change currency:

  • Hotels
  • International Arrivals of the Ngurah Rai International Airport
  • Central Kuta (Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa, Ubud, Sanur and Bali’s capital of Denpasar.
  • Dirgahayu Valuta Prima
  • Bali Maspintjinra

Wifi and Internet Access

Want to post photos of your Bali travel on your social media account but don’t know where to rent pocket wifi and sim card, well here is where.

  • Book a 4G Wifi Device online PHP156 / Day (Reserve Pocket Wifi here)
  • Buy 3G/4G SIM Card Online PHP416 (Denpasar Airport Pick Up) (buy 3G/4G SIM Card for Bali here)
  • Buy sim card Inside Bali Denpasar Airport
  • Mobile phone shops located at the main tourist streets
  • Mini markets
  • Co-working spaces
  • Free Wi-Fi at restaurants and cafes
  • 24-hour convenience stores

Money Saving Tips

  • Always be mindful of your money. Once you arrive in Bali, arrange for shuttle services provided by your hotel or villa and go for meter taxis only.
  • Ask your hotel to help you book a local driver and guide to avoid overcharging.
  • Do some research and search for free activities
  • Learn to negotiate. Don’t buy the first souvenir you see and roam around until you compare all the prices, then go negotiate nicely
  • Most importantly, keep track of your budget for the entire Bali travel.

Travel and Tour Packages

DIY Bali Itinerary: 4 Days and 3 Nights Bali Tour Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Airport Pick Up + Uluwatu Sunset Tour

TBA – Pick up at airport
16:00 – Hotel Check-in / Pick up
17.00 – Visit Uluwatu Temple
17.45 – Watching Kecak Dance Performance
19.30 – Enjoy Seafood dinner at Jimbaran Beach
20.30 – Back to the hotel
21.00 – Arrive at Hotel

Day 2: Ubud Village and Kintamani Volcano Tour

08.00 – Pick up at the hotel
09.30 – Watching Barong Dance Performance
10.30 – Visit Celuk Village ( gold/silversmith)
11.00 – Visit Batuan Village (traditional Painting art)
11.30 – Visit Batuan Temple
13.30 – Lunch at Kintamani with view Volcano
15.30 – Visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace
16.30 – Visit Ubud Monkey Forest
17.00 – Back to Hotel

Day 3: Bali Water Sports and Sunset Tanah Lot Tour

08:00 – Pick up at the hotel
09.00 – Visit Nusa Dua for Water Sports activities
14.00 – Enjoy Lunch
16.30 – Visit Taman Ayun Temple
17.00 – Visit Tanah Lot Temple with Sunset view
18.30 – Back to the hotel
19.30 – Arrive at hotel

Day 4: Free and Easy + Airport Transfer 

TBA – Free and Easy at Hotel
TBA – Hotel Check out
TBA – Arrive at Airport

This is just our recommended Itinerary, You can also create your own Bali DIY Itinerary based on your interests and preferred activities.

Bali Indonesia Travel Guide Photo by Raj Eiamworakul via Unsplash
Bali Indonesia Travel Guide Photo by Raj Eiamworakul via Unsplash

Have you been to Bali? Help us improve this 2019 Bali Travel Guide Blog by sharing your personal Bali travel tips and recommendations 🙂

Also Read:

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I read the full article in your blog; I’m from Indonesia and I can truly say that you’ve explained everything in full-scope. Amazing work 🙂

  2. […] Bali, Indonesia may be a place for Spring Breakers and Aussie surfers that it has become a bit expensive but worry not because you could go to Lombok instead and do your backpacking adventures there. You can head to East Java where you can, amongst other tourists see this pretty yet dangerous volcano lake in Ijen Volcano Complex. It fumes sulfur which miners get and make ornaments from. If that’s not adventure enough, visit Trekking Gunung Rinjani which is challenging enough for even the most experienced trekkers. It’s located in Lombok and lava glows out of the cone in the crater lake. […]

  3. Kudos for this in-depth guide to traveling and visiting Bali on a budget, Melo! We are planning our next getaway escapade with my family and we are definitely going to include this to our list. It’s always nice to explore new places, meet new friends, and enjoy good food but it’s even nicer if we get to experience them without spending a lot. This post will surely be helpful for us budget-conscious travelers!

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