Information before you go
Bali courses and workshops are offered in hundredfold every where on the island. In the last years other courses besides dancing, painting and woodcarving have been added to the list of options. Health oriented courses such as yoga and raw food cooking together with courses in Balinese cooking, Indonesian language and traditional massage techniques are becoming pretty common.
Besides being a lot of fun and a perfect way to meet other travelers, we think that learning on your holiday is an ideal way to be able to experience more of the beautiful Balinese culture or to improve your health or way of living.
Courses longer then two days should be planned in advance while one day courses or those that last a couple of hours can usually be booked once you are in Bali. The largest choice in classes and courses is in Ubud. But there are many accommodations and other places scattered around the island that offer very interesting courses too.
If you are looking for a retreat, then Bali is the place to be as well. Have a look at some examples here.
We divided the different type of courses in the following categories:
art, course, class, classes, courses, offer, teach, training, workshops, traditional, program, retreat
can be, classes & course, workshops and courses, book a class, classes for visitors, kids art classes, creativity for families, courses for teachers, head and shoulder, drawing and painting, daily yoga classes, surrounded by rice, over the world, traditional balinese massage, raw food workshops, massage techniques, massage course, art classes, ., bali classes, oil painting, short course, local artists, bali batik, batik painting, group retreats, offers courses, yoga meditation, art lessons, daily classes, private courses, food workshops, arts courses, offering making
Every form of art and crafts can be learnt in Bali. If you want to follow a quick course in Balinese dancing, painting, batik making, fruit carving, woodcarving or playing the Gamelan then it's all possible. Most of these courses are offered at wonderful places in Ubud such as at the ARMA museum and Museum Puri Lukisan.
Besides half day courses, Puri Lukisan offers a wider range of possibilities such as 1-2 days batik courses or shadow puppet making. At the ARMA museum they also offer unique workshops which go into depth about the impacts of modernity in Bali, Balinese astrology, history and Balinese architecture.
Another place in Ubud where you can learn more on batik making is with one of Ubud's famous artists, I Nyoman Suradnya on Jalan Gautama (+62 361-975415). Here you can even follow 5 days courses where you'll learn from the basic to the more advanced techniques.
If you want to learn more then just the basic dance moves, check out Mekar Bhuana. This family run school teaches the Gamelan and Balinese dance. Various workshops are offered in order to meet everybody's wishes. You can either go for one-hour, half-day, full-day or for longer programmes. Once home you can even continue improving your skills through regular Skype sessions.
Need much more practise ;-)
We once followed a two-hour course of woodcarving and fruit carving at Pondok Pekak Library and Learning Center (+62 361 976194) in Ubud center. Here, Mr Wayan assisted my girlfriend in turning a watermelon into a nice flower.
At the meantime I struggled to turn a piece of wood into a gecko. Besides my hands, I even had to use my feet to stabilize the wood while I was carving. It was really hard work but I liked the fact that slowly I was seeing a result.
Painters or those who want to discover their creative side should definitely have a look at the school named Bali Art Classes. Besides traditional painting techniques, there are various classes which aim at discovering your creative side. There are even art classes for kids and classes for families.
This was pretty tricky
The Balinese culture is not about art alone. It also includes the language. The official language in Bali is Indonesian, which you can learn at various places on the island such as at the Cinta Behasa school. But the Balinese also have their own language which you can learn at Cinta Bahasa too.
And don't forget their delicious local food...
Many hotels and villas offer private courses on cooking, where the chef personally explains how a specific dish is prepared. But restaurants also offer you the opportunity to get to know every type of spice used in the Balinese kitchen.
So enough options to choose from...
When I was in Ubud I grabbed my chance to follow a Bali cooking class given by Janet de Neefe or one of her staff members at the Honeymoon Guesthouse on Jalan Bisma. It was a very educative experience however I was hoping to get my hands dirty and to grind the spicy red chillies myself. Instead their main focus was on informing us on Balinese dishes and the importance of them in daily life.
Janet de Neefe (in green) with her staff members preparing chili paste
Besides traditional Balinese arts and crafts, you can easily find other types of courses and workshops in Bali that will interest you. Here we have just listed a few:
Silver Making at Chez Monique in Ubud. Two local silver smiths will assist you in making an unique piece of jewelry. Classes take up to 2 to 3 hours.
Photography courses at Ubud Bali Photography Workshops with Beata and George. Courses last 6 days but everything is included, plus you will travel to the most beautiful parts of Bali. You don't have to book any other tours during your holiday as you will see a whole different side of Bali while taking pictures at the same time. If you love diving, consider under water photography at Underwater Tribe. They offer courses ranging from 1 day to 3 days for all levels.
Perfume making at L’Atelier Parfums et creations in Jimbaran. In just 1,5 hour you will be able to create your very own perfume. For more in depth knowledge you can also opt for the 3 hour workshops. Children are welcome too and can have an hour of smelling various scents and mixing their own perfume which they can take home.
Besides Balinese cooking, raw food courses are becoming just as popular. At Raw Food Bali in Ubud you will soon discover that you won't be missing out on delicious food when preparing raw food dishes. Their courses are very flexible to what you hope to learn and do, so perfect for everybody. You can go for private classes or opt to go with a group. Small groups are preferable but the more people, the cheaper it is per person.
The great thing about the courses in Bali is that you can take it to another level. If you are familiar with yoga and are considering to become a yoga instructor, then there are many places that offer that possibility. For instance Shades of Yoga offers three week teacher courses, while at certain dates courses are offered at various resorts. The Frog Lotus Yoga International organizes 200 hour yoga teacher trainings at Ananda Cottages in Ubud.
However you can also think about other teacher training courses such as the course to become a Diving Instructor, Free Diving Instructor or you can learn traditional spa massage techniques which you can use in your spa business in your country of residence. Popular places to gain experience in traditional spa techniques are at at Sekar Jagat Spa near Nusa Dua, the Bali International Spa Academy or the Jamu Spa School.
Another interesting training is on Permaculture. It is not offered widely but there is a course offered on the subject. At Jiwa Damai they offer training on a regular basis. Just keep an eye on their website to see their upcoming dates.
At the Seeds of Life they offer various training in Raw Food Cooking. Become a Bali Raw Food Chef Level 1 or 2.
As expected these training sessions are focused on becoming a professional, so prices are set accordingly.
Doing as the local do is probably the best advice you can get on food in Bali. The local dishes are delicious and best eaten at small, cheap local restaurants...Read more
Wander through the rice fields in the early morning or late afternoon and enjoy the colors, the sounds, the fresh air and the people you meet along the way.Read more
Before you consider joining a Balinese dance course, go and check out a traditional dance performance held almost every evening at certain places in Ubud.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.