What To Do In Bali – The Ultimate Local Guide

What to Do in Bali
Wondering what to do in Bali! At last, The Ultimate Local Guide!
Want to know a bit more about what to do in Bali? Well, here are a lot of our favourites and some local insight!

Which area of Bali to stay?

Where to stay in Bali is as imortant as what to do in Bali. So which area is best? Well its a bit like asking what is the best wine to drink, it often depends on people’s tastes.. As a very ‘rough’ guide:
  • Kuta/Legian historically known to be for the younger partying 18-21 year olds or those liking the pubs and the famous tourist beach spots, or those that have been going there for years, and often stay in the same places
  • Canggu and Berawa are now moving more towards the favourite of the 21-30 demographic too, for the young and trendy ‘digital nomad’ and hipster set. It polarises many people, whoever love it or don’t care for it at all. Warning – it’s getting very busy, and traffic to and fro can be a nightmare. Not everyones cup of chai.
  • Seminyak is still for the more sophisticated as well as family friendly  30+ set, with well established accomodation, shopping, bars, restaurants and clubs, so lots of what to do in Bali here!
  • Nusa Dua is for the self contained all in one place hotel/resorts style
  • Sanur is often a favourite  for the more mature or longer termers and those liking a quieter ‘sleepier’ destination
  • Ubud is good for the arts, health and wellness, yoga retreats and good food amongst a more relaxed community
  • The very north of Bali such as Lovina, is a favourite with Europeans, and also a sleepier vibe, away from the main tourist spots in the south.
  • Amed for the more famous snorkelling and diving areas, on other eastern side of the island to the main spots in the south west .. but much sleepier and remote…
The best place to stay for us would be a villa in Seminyak for lifestyle and to eat and drink and shop by a long way… Beaches are ok there too… and of course the best villas to stay in are Villa Bugis villas! https://villabugis.com/
Villa Bugis has the right villas for every occasion – with many different Balinese style private pool villas to choose from, ranging from 2 bedroom to 6 bedroom villas.


As for seeing more of Bali than just the tourist south, we suggest you check out some tours, via our website below, as well as some time to yourself. A combination. Bali is great for chilling, its also about the Villa, the beach, the massages, the shopping, and the eating. This is a great way to work out what to do in Bali.
Particularly if you are staying with Villa Bugis, for tours/car rental, check out our website for transport rentals: http://villabugis.com/car-charter/
If you stay with us, airport transfers are included!
Maybe do one tour to start, the one that floats your boat the most eg temples vs art, and if you like, then do another… we recommend maybe Kintamani tour to start with, as it has a bit of everything culturally.
There are so many tour companies, but we can vouch for the one we use as reputable and good value for money. It’s the same company that does our airport transfers – safe, reliable, and reasonable. Most important if you are a newbie.
We highly recommend the bike tour, near Ubud, through the village ending at a local house, and fishing for your own lunch. Not arduous, quite educational and only 1 hour cycling, mostly downhill. Anyway see what takes your fancy.  Of course there are other tours, and everything from helicopters to bungy jumping, white water rafting and elephant parks if you want. You will see plenty of brochures, and internet sites,  we are sure.


Hire a motorbike/scooter if you’re up for it… else walking is not so bad, all is close… when hailing taxis make sure they use a meter, but are all very cheap. If they make excuses, just politely move on. Bluebird taxi is the one to go with (Download the app).. careful about the copies such as bluebiro, that look the same – try and get a meter if you can, else you are going to have to haggle – locally shouldnt cost more than $5 (50,000) anywhere within Seminyak really…
Car with driver is about $50 -$80 a day depending on size, motorbikes about $5 a day.
There is also Gojek, for motorbike cheap ride, and grabcar etc. all app driven. Download Gojek or Grab, attach to your credit card for ease of payment, and easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Suggest strongly to have an international license, and proper helmut, not a cute funny one, and you will avoid having to bribe your way out of police. Proper license and helmut, they cant touch you, although they may try! Also, without a proper bike license, any accident, your insurance wont cover you, so be aware of that!


Even if you want work out what to do in Bali, there are always plenty of massage places out on the street, all of differing quality and prices of course – so it’s hit and miss… usually best to go with a recommendation – or a place like Carla Spa is a chain, and usually ok, as they are meant to be trained to the same standard.
But if you want a nice place, with a good price, we recommend Spa Bali Drupadi or DyanaPura, https://thespabali.com/ or If you want quite upscale,we like Prana Spa, they do Yoga and Ayurvedic treatments as well. Bodyworks is similar.. Nice but pricey.
You can also order a massage via the go-jek app, ‘go life’ which has many different online services to order – very cheap, less than $10 per hour.

The Beach

Seminyak Beach is great for a beer at sunset, very cheap, sit on a deck chair or beanbag at one of many bars, or perhaps take a sunset drink at the SOS bar top of Anantara Hotel is best view in Seminyak. Highly recommended. Try the Tapas too – crispy pork belly and duck spring rolls are fab. For Kids and teen ages, you can also try an alternative to the beach, a highly recommended water park in Kuta – http://waterbom-bali.com/
The beaches south of Bali are much nicer, even Jimbaran actually – cleaner and whiter sand… south of the airport. Around Uluwatu is less people and far nicer beaches – Green bowls is our fav, it has a cave to escape the sun, but its a 300 steps down and up!
Padang padang – squeeze through cliffs – the famous eat pray love beach – can get busy though.
Also try Melasti – easier access new big roads and projects… or Pandawa – Roosterfish beach club there is quite cool


For shopping, there are so many options in the what to do in Bali list….just head out to the main streets of Jalan Raya Seminyak (where Bintang is) for all the boutique stores, or else restaurant street as its know Jalan Kayu Aya /Jalan Laksmana (same street, but many streets have multiple names!) or Jalan Dhyana Pura/Camplung Tanduk.  Head into Kuta for more brand stores, and fight the rest of the Aussie tourists :-) Sunset road has a lot of outlet stores too, particularly surf stores.
For bigger ‘mall’ type shopping we recommend going to Beachwalk (more upmarket) or Galleria (less so,but more variety, and a hypermarket and hardware). Also, for all your Bali souvenirs/knick nacks – we strongly suggest visiting Geneva Handicrafts on Kerobokan Road, next to Christy furniture. Its 2 floors of bulk items, more like a wholesaler. It’s like Bunnings for tourists. Suggest here for cheap and huge range, and fixed prices. Cheap Cheap. Christy furniture highly recommended if you want furniture made – all the Villa wooden Furniture is from here. Synthetic Rattan furniture very cheap too, fraction of home prices.
Bintang Supermarket also has a lot of things. Shop here for groceries, and essentials. Upstairs also has many miscellaneous and tourist items. Bintang has long been a favourite what to do in Bali.


Good food is everywhere and definitely a highlight of What To Do In Bali – from cheap local Warungs, to 5 star(ish) All 3 streets mentioned above have great food –  (Laksmana, Jalan Seminyak and Dhyana Pura) – restaurant street, or eat street (Jalan Laksmana as we call it) having the most choice in the one place.
If youre staying with us at Villa Bugis, must try in villa dining. Book at least one night having them cook in the Villa for you…. great experience too, and menu choice. Check it out here: https://villabugis.com/in-villa-dining-seminyak
Some of our recommendations are also here: https://villabugis.com/where-to-eat-and-drink-in-seminyak


Tanamera – very good coffee and breakfast
Kim Soo (Petitenget) – lovely setting and cute gift shop – can eve have indian for breakfast
Neon Palms/Sea Circus (Petitenget)
Doppio Cafe Pink -Jalan Basangkasa (Seminyak)
Sugarhead (Mertanadi) very good quality food and very good value for money
Braud (Mertanadi) – not bad but very popula rand usually crowded
Revolver (Eat Street)- great coffee and great food – can get popular
Sisterfield near Seminyak Square. More pricey, but service and quality is what you get for it.
Vedic Kitchen  – great Indian Vegie next to Nataraja yoga shala
La Lucciola good italian, great setting, does great breakfast overlooking the beach from 9am.
Watercress at Batu Belig
Also a little further afield at Canggu but not bad/trending:
Vida – canggu like balinese house – just gorgeous – take your time here, as they make everything fresh
Fine Dining:
Boy and Cow Great steaks ‘ Fine dining’
Mauri – fine dining Italian
Si Jin – upscale steaks
Starfish Bloo
The Restaurant
The Plantation Grill
Eating on or near Dhyana Pura  – 
Japanese: Sushimi – great japanese sashimi and sushi train
Indian: Gateway of India – Good Indian
Lucky Day, Australian owned and run, and consistently good food. Not a bad pepper steak.
Pantarei – good Greek food on Jalan Seminyak nearby
Ryoshi and Sakanaya is also great Japanese nearby – Sakanaya good for fresh seafood a bit further on Jalan Sunset
Vedic Cafe – the best Vedic vegetarian going!
Kynd – vegetarian – very good food and drinks, and instagramable place – young trendy set well worth a visit.
Tasty Vegan – plant based vegan food, very good variety and quality with an Indonesian focus
Try also Local Warungs.
Try this one, Taman Bambu, Jalan Plawa, for great taste and quality Nasi Campur, a mix of all styles, a bit of a fusion, but yummy.
Melati on Nakula 5 is also cheaper and great food, but more basic
Brave it at any Nasi Padang/Nasi Campur place with bowls of food in the window – the adventurous will be rewarded with taste sensations. Or take a local with you to help order!
Try Babi Guling  – suckling pig local style – there is a good one on Jalan Sunset just before it hits jalan kerobokan, near Jalan Mertanadi…. Spicy! Its called Pak Malen. If you do a tour to Tanah Lot (the temple on the island at the sea) there are many great Babi Guling places on the way.
Crispy duck? Try Warung Eropa is further round Petitenget, great Bebek Goreng (Crispy Fried Duck)
Ginger Moon – fusion asian/western – very nice food and drinks here. Sister restaurant Jackson Lily on Jalan Seminyak
Try Happy Chappy for fantastic dim sum Chinese food. (dim sum platter and xia long bao are fantastic)
Sarong   – very popular so book – Asian indian thai fusion.
Biku – lovely Indonesian style setting and food – famous high teas
Gado Gado for fine dining Indonesian
La Lucciola – good quality Italian beautiful beach views open concept
Ingka – Mertanadi – extensive menu for all meals
Must try Hog Wild (ex Naughty Nurri’s Rib place but better – best Ribs in Bali perhaps, good value, and great Bebek Goreng too…. very good laid back/rustic/casual setting, and great staff…. Before 6.30 or its sometimes packed! Order a margarita or martini, and watch the special shake!! A must!
Great burgers at Wacko burger on Drupadi, or more expensive, made from aged ground beef, The Boss Burger Seminyak Square for fine quality burgers! So many burger places in Bali now – try to gojek some from Burger Bros or Killer burgers
BBQ Chicken? Cant go past Chicken Run, it’s an institution, you wont regret!
Seafood? we wouldn’t recommend Jimbaran too much – bit of a tourist trap in our opinion…
Try somewhere like Echo Beach: http://www.echobeachhouse.com/ for laid back overlooking the sea, or Sakanaya on Sunset Road has good fresh Tuna and Salmon usually.
Home Delivery? Try the Gojek App – Go food – or use Go Send if the restaurant is not there, but you have a menu, they will go and pick it up and deliver for you! What did we do before this app?!


Never a shortage of these around Seminyak, and of course the popular ones change all the time.. A few of our favourites are the Red Carpet Champagne Bar further up the road is popular,. Quite cute, red carpet and all. Great cocktails and retro music https://www.redcarpetchampagnebar.com/
Around sunset Anantara SOS bar, 4th floor, down at the beach is also fab for sunset drinks overlooking beach, one of the best views there is overlooking Seminyak beach
Best value for sunset is actually right on Seminyak beach – pull up a beanbag at any bar – Champlung is our fav, next to La Plancha for those that follow the crowds and instagrammables. We prefer champlung – less crowded and less doof doof music usually
Or go where the locals go.. 707 at Batu Belig
For a cocktail?
Manina speakeasy
Be seen at places are a great what to do in Bali – for lunch/drinks/pool bars/day clubs
Ku De Ta for either sunset drinks, happening place on weekend afternoons, or dinner.
Atlas is the latest and biggest
Potato Head, now the ‘In’ place threatening Ku De Ta market.
Also Mrs Sippy fairly new in comparison.
Finns at Berawa is one of the biggest, best and most popular for a long time now too
Further away there are many beautiful up and coming outdoor bar/pool clubs like Savaya (old Omnia) , The Cliff, SundaysIbiza El Kabron and many others around South Bali
The long term favourites like Ku de Ta and Potato Head remain popular, but here are a few other ideas: http://bali.mehthesheep.com/unique-bars/
A Week of Hip Nights in Canggu
Monday – Luigi’s Hot Pizza – Metto Monday
Tuesday – Old Mans Canggu party
Wednesday – Vault for Afro-Latin Dancehall Hip-Hop night
Thursday – Pretty Poison,  Black Cat or Jungle.
Friday – The Lawn for sundowners and live DJ then the Sand Bar for the after party.
Saturday – Atlas Beach Club or Finns Beach Club –experience the beach club vibes
Sunday – La Brisa or Deus Ex Machina
Still not sure what to do in Bali? Other Sports perhaps?
Yoga – we highly recommend Nataraja Yoga Shala https://g.page/NatarajaBali?share
Golf – We have 2 choices of location that you can choose:
Option 1: Bali Handara Golf Country , located in Bedugul mountain ,takes around 2 hour drive from villa Tresna. the price is USD150.00/person for Golf fee ( 18 holes ) includes: Green fee, Caddy fee, Golf cart fee ( twin sharing ) one bottle of mineral water.
Option 2: New Kuta Golf, located in Dreamland beach ( Uluwatu ) take aroun 1 hour drive from Villa Tresna.The price is USD170.00/person for Golf fee ( 18 holes ) includes: Green fee, Caddy fee, Golf cart fee and 10% insurance.
Scuba Diving – Diving is also not bad in Bali, depending on the dive site and company/dive guides allocated. Liberty Wreck at Tulamben but about 3-4 hrs away, (and a few lesser known others nearby) is the must do dive, and Padang Bai is quickest and easiest to get to, as well as Nusa Penida during Mola Mola season is recommended, but often not for beginners due to current. we dive most year round without a wetsuit, 28 degree water is fine for me, but Nusa Penida can get cold some times of year.
I can recommend Aquamarine Diving, at 2a Jalan Petitenget call +62 361 4738 020 they are big, safe and friendly. quality outfit, and dive shop easy to get to from the Villa info@aquamarinediving.com www.aquamarinediving.com Also Bali Scuba is not bad, they are at Sanur, John in particular is great instructor. BALI SCUBA  Jl.Danau Poso 40 Sanur, Bali 80228 Tel: +62 (0) 361 288610 or 271317 Handphone: +62 (0) 81 3381 39295  Skype: baliscuba  MSN: letsdive@baliscuba.com  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bali-Scuba/32764421851 www.baliscuba.com
For equipment, the place for Mares is probably Ocean King, at By Pass. They are kind of a Mares Dealer here in Bali. At the end of the day, a much better organized shop for dive equipment would be right next to Ocean King. They are called Bali Dive Shop. No specialized on Mares, but the guy who runs the place is a smart kid.
Surf – Book now for surf lessons In Seminyak with Bali Ocean Surf School, professionals and experienced coaches with european safety standard and pedagogy. Use promo code BUGISSURF5% and get 5% off on any surf program. (Free transportation from your villa) 
Most of all, relax and enjoy! It’s Bali!
We also realise the world changes constantly, so if you notice any issues or changes needed with the The Ultimate Local Guide On What To Do In Bali, please feedback to us, at info@villabugis.com