Bali Travel Guide
Bali is a true paradise for every pocket. No matter if you’re a gap-year backpacker or a couple on a honeymoon – you will find accommodation, restaurants and activities to fit any budget. With it’s increase in popularity, Bali has now also become one of the world’s best hotspots for digital nomads.
In general, the yogis will flock to the outskirts of Ubud, the beach bums to Uluwatu, and the surfers and digital nomads to laid-back Canggu. The party animals will seek out Gili T for its island nightlife and the honeymooners will seek tranquillity on Gili Air. The families will hang in Seminyak villas, and the adventurous will give motorbike rides on Nusa Penida a go.
Whether you want jungles, waterfalls, beaches, surfing, shopping, diving or just relaxing on a bean bag in the sand with a Bintang in hand (preferably while watching sunset), Bali is your paradise.
Things to See and Do in Bali
- Chase waterfalls
- Swim with turtles
- Visit one of the Gili Islands
- Temple hopping
- Watch sunset in Canggu
- Balinese massage
- Rice terraces
- Eat a smoothie bowl
- Drive around on a scooter
Typical Costs When Travelling
Accommodation – Cheap guesthouses and hostels will generally cost you around $5-15 USD a night. Hostels, even though you won’t have a private room, are in general trendy, often with a pool and have a good vibe. WiFi and sometimes even breakfast are included in the price. Budget hotels will cost you around $20-60 USD per night for a double room, with WiFi and breakfast. For a hotel with pool, expect to pay around $30 USD and upwards. Airbnb is also available in Bali and you will be paying about $35 a night for a private villa with pool.
Pro tip: join a Facebook group if you’re looking for long term accommodation (1+ month). The prices are much cheaper for a long-term stay and you can expect to pay as little as $400 per month for a room in a pool villa with Wifi and cleaning.
Food – Local food is extremely cheap, usually under $1 USD from a street food vendor. A basic local meal will cost closer to $1.50 USD. Western food is more expensive but is still affordable at around $7 USD for something decent. A good-quality smoothie bowl will cost you around $3.50 USD. A bottle of Bintang (local beer) will cost you around $1.50 and a big bottle of water around $0.50 USD. If you want a floating breakfast in Bali, you can find it at almost any hotel for free if you are a guest. If you’re looking into cooking your own (Western) meals, it will often cost you more than eating in a restaurant. If you’re on a budget, then make breakfast at home and eat lunch and dinner out.
Transportation – Everything is possible in Bali. The easiest is renting a motorbike and driving around yourself. Renting a 110cc Scoopy will cost you around $18 USD for a week or $55 for a month. If you don’t feel comfortable driving a motorbike in Bali, you can also download the Gojek or Grab app and let someone else take you to your destination. The prices are very cheap and in both apps you can choose between cars, vans and motorbikes. Oh, and even food delivery! If you are a bigger group and want to hire a driver to take you around, expect to pay upwards of about $50 for 10 hours. This will depend on season and your negotiating skills as well.
Suggested daily budget
$60-100 USD. Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a mid-range hotel or an Airbnb villa with a pool, eat out at nicer restaurants that cater to Western tastes, rent a scooter to get around, have a few beers, get a couple of massages, and take a few tours. You won’t live large but you will have all you need and a little more. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat/drink out more often, expect this to be higher!
1. Eat local If you like rice and are slightly experimental with food, you can lower your costs drastically by eating local.
2. Join a Facebook group for accommodation If you plan on staying longer in Bali then consider having a cheap base and do trips from there. A private villa for a months costs a lot less than a hotel room. Search for Canggu Community Housing.
3. Bring your own bottle Bali is very aware of its plastic pollution. If you bring your own bottle, every restaurant will fill it with water for you. In some places, you can even get a discount if you bring your own reusable coffee cup.
4. Your own itinerary Bali is easy to tourist and you can definitely skip paying for tour guides. With a little bit of planning, you can do more in a day than with any pre-planned public tour.
When to visit Bali
July and August, during Easter Holidays, and Christmas / New Year (December till 1st week of January) is the high season. Expect the prices to be higher and restaurants and tourist spots to be packed.
Best time to come to Bali is February to May, June and September, just before and just after high season. We visited between January and March and had a great time, with hardly any tourists in sight.
Bali is truly an amazing, all-year round destination. The trick is to leave your Kuta or Seminyak accommodation and explore on your own. You will see that there is nothing quite like feeling the breeze while riding through Canggu’s rice fields or feeling the cold air in Sidemen. Ultimate Bali vibe? Having a Bintang and enjoying a Bali sunset. Can’t top that!