Information before you go
The south might be the busiest area on the island, but you'll be surprised to find out that there aren't many attractions to see and visit.
Kuta beach is the major tourist destination in south Bali followed by the villages Legian, Seminyak, Sanur, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran. The most popular things to do here are surfing, relaxing at the beaches, going shopping and visiting pubs, clubs and restaurants.
Uluwatu temple south of Bali
So if you really want to visit some cultural sights, you might need to arrange a driver to take you on a day trip to the beaches in the Bukit peninsula, the southern tip of Bali or visit sights located further away such as those in Central, West and East Bali. You will be longer in the car but there are several sights you can easily visit in a day.
If you are staying in Kuta or Sanur area you can also opt to join one of the many tours. The white water rafting tours or the biking tours will take you towards Kintamani from where you can see beautiful areas of Bali along the way.
While keeping these options in mind these are the attractions worth visiting in South Bali:
The sea temple of Tanah Lot is one of the most famous temples on the island and also one of the busiest. We have visited this sight a couple of times and even though there are bus loads of tourists arriving throughout the day, there’s something magical about the place.
Not surprising considering the perfect location with stunning sunsets in the background. The Tanah Lot afternoon tour specifically aims at getting you there on time for the perfect sunset pictures.
Bali Bombing Memorial:
in the middle of Jalan Legian and near Jalan Poppies Lane II where most clubs and bars are based you'll find this monument with the names of the 202 victims who died in the blast in the Paddy's Pub and the Sari Club on 12th October 2002.
You can't really consider this as a tourist site but more a place to show your respects.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana: just south of Jimbaran beach on the hill you'll find the huge statues of Vishnu and Garuda. This park also holds cultural performances for those who are interested in Balinese dances. The statues are not fully finished yet and they say that the entrance fee to the park helps the Balinese to finish the project but I have my doubts. To be really honest it is not really worth the visit.
This temple might not be as crowded as Tanah Lot or Uluwatu, nevertheless it's also one of the important sea temples in Bali. It belongs to the string of six temples set along the coast and was built in the 16th century. The Petitenget Temple doesn't get many visitors which is perfect for walking around.
Only during religious festivals and special days does this temple get very busy and you might see some ceremonies on the beach.
Denpasar Museum and Art Center:
Denpasar is Bali's capital and looks more and more like her big sister Jakarta with traffic jams and floodings. This is where you'll find the governmental offices, Chinese and Javanese businesses, numerous food stalls and people everywhere.
The only reason to travel to Denpasar is to visit the Bali Museum, the Pura Jagatnata temple and the Werdi Budaya Art Center. They are all close by and besides learning about Balinese history you can also see cultural performances from mid-June to mid-July.
Pura Luhur Ulu Watu:
This sea temple is one of the most impressive and also one of the six most important temples on Bali. It’s small and if you come early in morning you could be the only traveler here.
The temple sits on top of a 100 m high cliff with amazing views. You could sit here for hours watching the waves crash into the rocks below. Be aware of the temple monkeys (macaques) because they are cheeky and don't hesitate to take your camera, sun glasses or necklaces.
In the evenings this area is popular for its Balinese kecak dance, also known as fire dance. Evening tours to Uluwatu can be easily arranged in the village located in South Bali.
While you can't really consider it a sight, yet more a 'thing to do' we also recommend to go exploring around the Bukit peninsula. It is an exciting place with stunning beaches. We recommend arranging a motorbike and to go 'beach hopping'. Visit Nusa Dua, followed by lunch at Uluwatu beach where you can see advanced surfers catch amazing waves followed by a relaxing time at Padang Padang beach or Belangan beach and dinner at Jimbaran beach.
But if you like there are already many drivers and tour companies offering tours around the southern tip of Bali. A day usually starts off a Nusa Dua beach followed by a visit to the Garuda Wisnu kencana (which we recommend skipping). From there various stops are made at the nice beaches of the Bukit peninsula ending at Uluwatu temple.
Here, towards the end of the day kecak dances are held. The performance is held at a spectacular setting so if you do plan to see this dance, consider watching it here.
A day tour often ends at Jimbaran beach were you can enjoy a grilled seafood dinner in a romantic setting. The tables are set on the beach, so while nibbling on some crab you can wiggle your toes in the soft clean sand. Make sure the late transfer back to your hotel is included in the price.
The beaches in South Bali are the most popular beaches in Bali. Kuta beach, Legian beach and Seminyak beach are particularly known all over the world...Read more
Beginner surfers or those who have never done it before should head straight to Kuta beach and arrange a lesson with one of the many Balinese instructors.Read more
Only in Sanur for one day? Make sure you enjoy every minute of it. We have listed all the things you can do if you are planning to spend one whole day at Sanur Beach Bali.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.
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