There’s more to this Indonesian destination than its stunning good looks. Venture beyond the sunbeds, lounges and nightlife venues, or the chic shops of Seminyak, and you’ll find a diverse and fascinating culture. Visit Bali to explore ancient temples, mesmerising music and dance performances, and a thriving local art scene.
Where to book your hotel in Bali depends entirely on the type of trip you’re after. Most travellers choose from the larger resorts to the south of the island. Kuta Beach tends to draw the party-going crowds, for sunbathing and water sports during the day and socialising all night. Nusa Dua is a more sedate area known for its luxury hotels and high-end lounges and restaurants, so it’s perfect for a romantic break in Bali and a popular choice with honeymooners.
If you’d rather spend your holiday soaking up some culture than some rays, then make Ubud your base. Located in central Bali, this charming town was immortalised in Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir Eat Pray Love, but it’s actually been drawing backpackers and culture vultures for decades. This is the best place to see traditional Balinese dance and pick up some local arts and crafts. It’s also a fantastic wellness destination, with an abundance of yoga studios, meditation classes, and vegan and vegetarian restaurants to choose from.
A little further afield – just a short boat ride east – you’ll find the Gili Islands, a tiny archipelago where cars and motorbikes are banned, and little shacks line white sandy beaches.