10 Free Things to Do in Bali

How to Enjoy Bali With a Small Budget

Here’s our roundup of the best things you can see and enjoy in Bali, without needing to spend even a dollar or Rupiah bill. After all, who doesn’t like keeping the budget down while on holiday? In compiling this list, we wanted to include not only the obvious free attractions and activities available, but also the odd and unusual that you might’ve not even heard about before.

Bali’s affordability is one of the factors that make it a favourite holidaying destination and it offers many things to enjoy on the cheap. Getting around might require you to shed just a bit off your travel money, but trips spanning popular beaches to scenic hills and valleys provide great value for budget travellers, as the discoveries on each journey end don’t cost you any extra!

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    Bali owes part of its fame to its collection of beaches, mostly public and easily accessible. The popular ones, such as Tuban, Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dua have additional footpaths that allow for leisure walks at any time of the day, especially sunrise and sunset. The cliff-fringed beaches of the southern limestone Bukit peninsula require much more effort to get to, with stone pathways and crags, but with scenic views and quieter scenes. Kuta Beach is more urbane, with modern malls the likes of Kuta Beachwalk on its northern half and Discovery Shopping Mall on its south – both freely accessible from the beachside and great for window shopping after a day out on the sand. Read More...

    While in Bali, surf to your heart’s content. Surf spots abound, and range from sand breaks to challenging (barrelling) reef breaks – there’s a fair share beginners and pros around. Surfers from across the globe bring their own boards and head to these favourite spots as soon as they get out of Ngurah Rai Airport. You can enjoy the underwater wonders of Bali’s colourful coral gardens by snorkelling for free, too. Read More...

    If you’re the adventurous type, Bali’s mountains are free to climb but the more gruelling ones such as Mount Agung and Batukaru, two of the island’s highest, usually require an acknowledgement or permit from the local village community organisation or the forestry department (for safety issues). No extra charges, however. Some lower mountains offer ‘modest’ climbs, such as Mount Lempuyang in Karangasem, East Bali, with its lush forests, hordes of timid grey macaques, and the prized discovery of an ancient temple named after the mountain at its peak. Read More...

    As one of the best attractions in Ubud, the Campuhan ridge is free to access. It’s also a relatively easy nature trek, with a well beaten trail that leads you into the vast green valley expanses of this highland area. While the hike lets you enjoy cool fresh air and probably the most gorgeous hillside vista in the region, it also allows you to shed off some calories too with its nine-kilometre hill track. Some consider it a must-see and do while in Ubud, just to escape the urban and traffic scenes of town and discover a more pristine side of Bali. Read More...

    Make your stop at any of Bali’s major art markets where you can find stall after stall of arts and crafts, curios of different shapes and sizes. Then consider how they are made. A visit to any of Bali’s artistic villages and communities of craftsmen, such as the Pakudui village in Tegallalang, or the gold and silversmith communities of Celuk and Mas, south of Ubud, can be eye-opening where you can see how woodcarvers shape intricate Garuda statues, or how silversmiths craft gemstones into their shiny and sophisticated jewellery pieces. Most workshops allow you to witness the process (in hopes that you buy something in the end… well, that’s all up to you). Read More...

    There are two major turtle conservation sites on the island that are free to visit, and one happens to be in a convenient spot in Kuta Beach. The Bali Sea Turtle Society (BSTS) has a conservation centre right next to the Balawista lifeguard tower and the Headquarters Beach Club. The conservation centre has a huge nursery in the shape of a giant sea turtle, which contains a sand bed with clusters of eggs rescued from contiguous nesting sites, in order to protect them from natural predators and human beach activities. Consider yourself lucky when they release hatchlings out to sea – you can freely participate! Read More...

    You’ll most likely encounter a Balinese Hindu procession during your visit, whether a funeral, or a village temple ritual that has a whole village in temple attire fleeting along roads from or to temples, while carrying elaborately crafted heirlooms and towering fruit offerings on their heads. The idea of going to a funeral on holiday might sound strange, but, unlike the west, these are actually festive occasions where you get the chance to mingle with the locals and learn about village rituals. Wear a sarong and sash around the waist as standard respectful attire. Read More...

    Each village in Bali has its sub-village community gathering hall where youths regularly practice performing arts, from traditional Balinese dances to gamelan orchestras. Outside visitors are usually welcome to drop in and watch. It’s a great alternative to those dance shows where you actually have to pay tickets! Also, around the month of March coinciding with the Saka New Year preparations, you can witness giant ogoh-ogoh effigies being crafted by the villagers in these same halls. Read More...

    For a truly offbeat experience, head to Bali’s collection of weird sights – some totally free to access. These include a vast abandoned amusement park north of the Sanur Beach proper, a collection of ‘lost planes’ in some of the weirdest places, and several cave-like temples. Some are eerie and mysterious – great for the adventurous type looking for a dare. We’ve compiled the odd places to visit in a special page. Read More...

    Most of the annual festivals in Bali are free to watch, particularly the Bali Arts Festival opening parades, which are a great opportunity to witness the arts and vibrant cultures of the island in one single street procession. Another is the annual Bali Kites Festival, which is held during the windy season, around the months of June to August, following favourable weather conditions. The community of Sanur rejoices yearly with the Sanur Village Festival, a week of various agendas that are mostly free admission. Read More...

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    We try to provide free information that is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. However, if you are planning to travel it's a good idea to double check specific dates and information to avoid surprises.


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