Bali, Indonesia, also known as the Island of the Gods, is a tropical paradise. There are so many reasons why travellers descend on it, be it for volcano hiking, awesome nightlife, or its (roughly) 10,000 temples. However, there’s one thing Bali is known for above all else – and that’s its beaches!
Bali is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, each one with its own distinct character that attracts tourists in their numbers. Some of them promise epic surfing, while others have spellbinding volcanic black sand – don’t worry, it’s safe to walk on! Others have even played a part in Hollywood movies (we’re looking at you, Eat, Pray, Love).
No matter where you stay on the island, there’s sure to be an epic stretch of sand near you. Whether you’re in search of wild parties, on the lookout for the biggest waves or you simply want to enjoy a spot of sunrise yoga as the waves lap against the shore, there’s a beach in Bali for you.
In this post, we’ll take a look at seven of the best beaches in Bali. So, pack your sun-cream, swimsuit, and surfboard, and let’s jump right in!
Table of Contents
- When to go to beaches in Bali
- Most Popular Beach in Bali | Kuta Beach
- Best Beach For Swimming in Bali | Pemuteran Beach
- Most Beautiful Beach in Bali | Padang Padang Beach
- Cleanest Beach in Bali | Virgin Beach
- Quietest Beach in Bali | Bias Tugel Beach
- Family-Friendly Beach in Bali | Nusa Dua Beach
- Best Party Beach in Bali | Double Six Beach Seminyak
- Bali Packing List
When to go to beaches in Bali
The great thing about Bali is that it’s a year-round destination. The temperature is never far from 30 degrees celsius, and the climate is blissfully hot and humid.
Of course, if you’re planning to explore the island’s beaches, you’ll want sunny weather, so the best time to visit is between April and September; this is Bali’s official dry season. Humidity is a little lower, too, so things are less sticky!
November to February is the rainy season in Bali, which brings with it high levels of humidity. But thankfully, you can expect daily rain showers to cool you down. Don’t let this stop you from visiting during this time as these rainstorms don’t last very long, and before you know it, you’ll be back on the beach sipping on a Bintang.
The busy season peaks in July and August, as well as around Christmas and Easter. These are popular times to visit due to the school holidays. If you can plan your trip outside of these times, we highly recommend it. You’re likely to have more space on the beach, and it’ll be easier to get around the island. If the busy months are the only times you can go, don’t worry; you’re still going to have a great time!
The best overall times to travel to Bali are in April, May, September, and October. You’ll not only be able to enjoy great weather, but the island won’t be overrun with tourists. The bonuses are shorter lines for all the attractions, Instagram shots with fewer people in the background, and peace and quiet when you need some time out.
Most Popular Beach in Bali | Kuta Beach
- Who It’s For: Groups of friends who want to have a wide selection of activities, as well as places to eat and drink on their doorstep. Also good for solo travellers looking to meet people.
- Don’t Miss: Upside Down World. If you’re looking for something to do and the weather’s not great, check out this cool and unusual attraction. You’ll get some great photos for the gram!
Kuta Beach is one of the best-known beaches in Bali and is just a stone’s throw from Ngurah Rai International Airport. It’s perfect for those who want to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea without straying too far from the city and it’s a hotspot for backpackers in Bali. If you fancy being in the center of it all, Kuta Beach is for you but it does get pretty busy so be prepared for crowds!
It’s one of the liveliest beaches in Bali, with scores of activities, including surfing, horseriding, and even paragliding. There are lots of restaurants and cafes lining the beach, too, so you’re never far from food (or an ice-cold Bintang!).
Best Airbnb: 2 bedroom bungalow with pool
Just 100 metres from Kuta Beach, this bungalow has a pool and a fully equipped kitchen. It’s an entire house rather than a private room, too!
Best Hostel: Puri Rama Hostel
Right in the heart of Kuta, this hostel has easy access to the beach and nightclubs. We know you’ll love the two swim-up bars here!
Best Hotel: Pondok Krishna Poppies
Five minutes from the beach, this affordable hotel is an excellent base for visiting Kuta. Rooms have private terraces overlooking a garden, and breakfast is on the house.
Best Cottage: Poppies Cottages
Looking to stay in a traditional Balinese cottage? Look no further than this place. You still have the convenience of having everything you need (and more) on your doorstep!
One of the cutest things to do near Kuta Beach, this organisation has been around since 2011 protecting the sea turtles of Bali. Find out more about their work and get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures. [image credit]
Perfect for a rainy day or if the sun is a little too much. Beachwalk Shopping Centre is on the main strip just behind Kuta Beach and boasts a range of international shops, restaurants, and cafes. [image credit]
Another great activity near Kuta Beach. For those travelling with the family (or certified “big kids”) this is one of the biggest water parks in Bali and a fun break from the beach. [image credit]
Learn to Surf
Never picked up a board before? Well, now’s the time to do it! Check out these cool and inexpensive surf lessons for beginners and intermediates on Kuta Beach.
Enjoyed what you’ve been eating at the beach? Learn how to cook it yourself at a cooking class in Kuta. You’ll be able to impress your friends back home with spicy food and chef skills!
Get the adrenaline flowing and catch some air with wakeboarding.
Best Beach For Swimming in Bali | Pemuteran Beach
- Who It’s For: Families and travellers who want to get off the beaten track while enjoying Bali’s warm turquoise waters. Scuba divers will love the underwater temples.
- Don’t Miss: The sunsets. They’re absolutely stunning here!
Bali’s northwest is often overlooked by tourists. However, getting off the beaten path reaps its rewards – one of which is the beach of Pemuteran. The stunning beach is one of the best for swimming in Bali, and it’s never crowded. Turn to the shore to see the backdrop of a mountain range.
Best Airbnb: Wooden house with rice field view
If you want the best of both worlds – i.e. the beach and stunning mountain and paddy field views – look no further than these nature lodges near Pemuteran. On the days you’re feeling too lazy to go to the beach, cool off in the pool!
Best Hostel: Tiara Homestay Pemuteran Bali
It’s a ten-minute walk from this hostel to Pemuteran Beach. Although not a traditional hostel, this homestay is a warm and welcoming place to stay, and each room comes with a private terrace.
Best Hotel: Taruna Boutique Homestay & Spa
This homestay is in the village of Pemuteran. If you don’t fancy walking to the beach, you can always rent a bike from here. You’ll be able to explore the surrounding areas on it too!
Best Villa: Villa Coral for 8 people
This gorgeous villa is a lot more affordable than you might think. And with space for up to eight people, it’s a great spot for family/friend gatherings!
Have a few drinks at Joe’s Bar – one of the best nightspots in Pemuteran.
Check out a pearl farm and enjoy a demonstration of pearl picking and accessory making. You’ll be able to buy your own on the way out if you fancy. [image credit]
Reef Seen Diver
Swim with sea turtles and tropical fish at Reef Seen Divers’ Resort. [image credit]
Most Beautiful Beach in Bali | Padang Padang Beach
- Who It’s For: Daydreamers looking for a hidden idyllic beach and a lot of likes on their Instagram account!
- Don’t Miss: The Uluwatu Temple – just ten minutes away by car. One of the most beautiful temples in Bali.
Romcom lovers will recognise Padang Padang Beach from Eat, Pray, Love. It’s here where Julia Roberts finds love with the man of her dreams. If you don’t find the one here, you will at least fall in love with the beach and its white sand paired with impressive rock formations.
Padang Padang is not only the best beach in Uluwatu but the whole of Bali! On the walk down to the beach, you’ll be met by a number of monkeys who call the Padang Padang home. Remember that they’re wild animals so keep a respectful distance, if they let you!
Best Airbnb: Humble surfer loft with Santorini vibes
A private room with a bathroom and pantry, this place will help keep your costs down yet has plenty of character. And you’re welcome to use that beautiful pool.
Best Hostel: Arumani’s Hostel
Not a traditional hostel, but this homestay is one of the best places to stay on a budget near Padang Padang Beach. All rooms have a flat-screen TV and are set around a garden.
Best Hotel: Uluwatu Breeze Village
This resort-style hotel is within walking distance of Padang Padang Beach – you can be there in ten minutes. It’s just a mile from the Uluwatu temple too, so you really have got the best of both worlds!
Best Beach House: Two floor zen bungalow on beach
Moments from Padang Padang Beach, you have another gorgeous stretch of sand right on your doorstep when staying here. It may seem expensive at first, but you can split that price between six!
Saturday night is when everyone comes out to party at the legendary weekly Padang Padang Beach party.
Stop off for a delicious lunch at the excellent Bukit Cafe. [image credit]
Sunset Point Bar
Head ten minutes north to Sunset Point Bar where you can pull up a beanbag and – you guessed it – watch the sunset! [image credit]
One of the most famous temples in Bali, Uluwatu is less than ten minutes’ drive from Padang Padang Beach. For a change of scenery, head to the temple and enjoy a traditional Balinese fire dancing show.
Try out a beginners’ surfing lesson – there will be fewer people to watch you fall off than in Kuta!
Learn about the history and culture of Southern Bali with a local guide.
Cleanest Beach in Bali | Virgin Beach
- Who It’s For: Adventurous day-trippers who want to get off the beaten track and enjoy pristine soft sand.
- Don’t Miss: A spot of lunch at the line of BBQ stalls offering freshly-caught seafood.
For the cleanest beach in Bali, you’ll have to head to the village of Candidasa – and then a bit further. It’s well worth the trip, though; this is one of the few white-sand beaches in the region (the rest are black). Despite it’s growing popularity, it can still be classed as a hidden gem and one of the best places to visit in Bali, and is also known as Pasir Putih or Hidden Beach.
Best Airbnb: Kangkung Cottages Bedroom Home
This comfy private room is the ideal base for visiting Virgin Beach and the nearby water palaces.
Best Hostel: Sleepy Croc
Candidasa’s top hostel, the Sleepy Croc, has an outdoor swimming pool, bar, and free parking. So, it’s perfect if you’re road tripping around Bali!
Best Hotel: Pondok Diana
There are a lot of expensive hotels around Candidasa, but this homestay keeps the price real. It’s just over half a mile to the white sand beach, and you’ve got a garden to enjoy in the evenings!
Best Tree House: Romantic Coconut Tree Hut
We don’t think we need to twist your arm too much to stay in this unique Bali Airbnb, but we’ll have a go. It’s a treehouse with views of the ocean. SOLD!
Warung Sunrise Bar
Dine on fresh seafood at Warung Sunrise Bar.
Stop in nearby Candidasa to see the Lotus Lagoon in bloom.
See one of the island’s top historic sites – Taman Ujung Water Palace.
Catch your dinner and then head back to a traditional Balinese house to enjoy it with your host!
Make memories that will last a lifetime by getting your picture taken at some of the other hidden sites near Virgin Beach.
Watch the sunrise from Mount Lempuyang, where the oldest temple in Bali is situated.
Quietest Beach in Bali | Bias Tugel Beach
- Who It’s For: Travellers who don’t like sharing their beach… shhh, don’t tell anyone who sent you!
- Don’t Miss: The eastern end of the reef where there are almost completely enclosed rock pools.
Another stop in Eastern Bali, Bias Tugel is a small beach which is reached by a short trek from the village of Padangbai. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel as the gentle waters here are perfect for exploring and seeing what colourful creatures call the reef home. Once you’ve finished in the water, walk out onto powder-soft sands and get yourself some fresh coconut or a drink.
Best Airbnb: Yoga Bale House
Overlooking Padangbai and the ocean from a hilltop, this is one of the prettiest places to stay in all of Bali. Enjoy yoga and outdoor dining here.
Best Hostel: Fat Barracuda
This small hostel is the best place to stay on a budget in Padang Bai. It’s a great base for exploring Bias Tugel Beach and the surrounding hills.
Best Hotel: Harmony House
There are lots of places to explore in Padang Bai, and free bike rental at this affordable hotel makes that a whole lot easier. Arrange trips without any stress at the front desk.
Best Villa: CASA MIMBA – Luxury Villa Bali
Located on the path to Bias Tugel Beach, you won’t get any closer than this awesome villa with a swimming pool!
See a hilltop Hindu temple dating back to the 11th century at nearby Pura Silayukti.
Kusamba Salt Farm Village
Learn about the process of salt making at Kusamba Salt Farm Village.
Dance the night away at the Sunshine Bar. [image credit]
Family-Friendly Beach in Bali | Nusa Dua Beach
- Who It’s For: Geger Beach in Nusa Dua is a quiet beach that’s perfect for families. The waters are calm, and there’s plenty to do nearby.
- Don’t Miss: Waterblow – a reef that sees massive splashes during high tide!
Not only is Nusa Dua a beautiful beach in Bali, but it’s also very big. Besides that, there are loads of awesome family-friendly restaurants and attractions nearby. You’ll have your pick of the top luxurious resorts here and so it can be a bit pricey, which is the only downside.
However, it costs nothing to enjoy the powder-fine sand and take a dip in the ocean. The sea here is calm enough for inexperienced swimmers to enjoy and you can spend hours lazing on the day beds!
Best Airbnb: Kubu Dimel Homestay
Homestays are a great way to keep your costs down and have an authentic experience. Kubu Dimel homestay is comfortable, and the food on-site is delicious!
Best Hostel: Sunrise Backpacker
Looking for somewhere on a budget? Sunrise Backpacker is one of the few hostels in Nusa Dua – and it’s certainly the best-reviewed. Families might be better looking at a budget hotel, though.
Best Hotel: Novotel Bali Nusa Dua
The five-star Novotel near Nusa Dua is one of the more affordable resorts in the area and is the perfect fit for most family stays.
Best Villa: 2 Bedroom Villa in Nusa Dua
There’s room for five guests here, so it can fit a medium-sized family. There’s a fully-equipped kitchen should you want to whip up everyone’s favourite meal!
The temple stands at the end of Pantai Gegar and overlooks the sea. [source: Maciej Czekajewski (Shutterstock)]
Nusa Dua Beach Grill
Admire the views of the ocean as you chow down on seafood at family-friendly restaurant Nusa Dua Beach Grill. [image credit]
Pirates Bay Bali
Arrr! This pirate-themed cafe is a great alternative for a spot of lunch. Kids can have adventures in the wooden ship… just don’t let them near the rum! [image credit]
Best Party Beach in Bali | Double Six Beach Seminyak
- Who It’s For: Groups of friends can enjoy some of the best nightlife in Bali on Double Six Beach.
- Don’t Miss: Nearby beach club, Potato Head. Dance the night away to epic DJ sets!
This is one of our favourite beaches in Bali thanks to the vibrant energy and bustling atmosphere. Should you fancy it, you can spend the whole day at Double Six Beach. Rise nice and early to get a sun lounger and a coconut for breakfast (of course) before cooling off in the ocean.
Later on, you’ll be able to sample some of the best restaurants, bars, and nightlife Bali has to offer as there’s always something happening at Double Six Beach.
Best Airbnb: Blue Bali Loft
Not only will you have an awesome place to stay with this loft apartment, but you’ll get a free scooter included to explore the island with. Not bad, huh?!
Best Hostel: Capsule Hotel Bali – New Seminyak
Arguably the best party hostel in Bali, the only downside of this superb accommodation is that you might not make it as far as the beach as there are exciting events happening every night!
Best Hotel: Grandma’s Plus Hotel
Just two minutes away from Seminyak Beach, this budget hotel offers cooking classes, yoga sessions, and cycling trips nearby.
Best Villa: Beach Walk Villa
Yes, it might seem expensive at first glance. However, split this with 11 of your mates, and suddenly that swimming pool is starting to look a lot more affordable!
You’ll never have trouble finding a sun lounger, but for the best views, it’s colourful La Plancha’s poufs and umbrellas (which are a hit on Instagram too). [image credit]
Cookies Beach Bar
Want a sick sunset spot while keeping an eye on your budget? This place is no-frills, but the food and drinks come highly recommended. [image credit]
If you can still stand after a few drinks, walk ten minutes (if you can’t, get a GoJek) to Bali Joe. Enjoy strong drinks and cabaret at this drag bar before sashaying away in the early hours… [image credit]
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Bali
Shoutout from Will – The OG Broke Backpacker: Have fun on your backpacking adventure, but please do get insurance – take it from someone who has racked up tens of thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before: you need it.
As a wise man once said, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you shouldn’t be traveling! Presenting The Broke Backpacker’s top recommendation: World Nomads!
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Bali Packing List
1. Travel Water Bottle: Always travel with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. AR bottle are tough, lightweight and maintain the temperature of your beverage – so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are. For every AR bottle sold, we donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an initiative to reduce plastic in our oceans!
2. Microfibre Towel: It’s always worth packing a proper towel. Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
3. Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: I never hit the road without my security belt. This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash.
4. Camera or Cell Phone Camera Accessories: One thing’s for sure – Bali is has some of the most photogenic architecture out there. If you’re relying on your mobile phone camera exclusively, enhance your lens with accessories to make those photos really pop!
5. International Adapter: Bali outlets accommodate typical European type C two-pin plugs; if your plugs are of a different variety, you’ll need an adapter. Save yourself the hassle of trying to track down an adapter at your destination and paying twice as much than planning ahead by buying one online.
Final Thoughts on the Best Beaches in Bali
You won’t find anywhere quite like Bali when it comes to a beach break. In every single nook and cranny on the island, there’s a hidden paradise, or a surfer’s beach, or somewhere that you can go for a swim with an incredible backdrop. White sand, black sand, turquoise waters, white, foamy waves, it’s all in Bali!
If you’re still struggling to decide on which of these seven beaches to visit first, then check out Kuta Beach – the overall best beach on Bali. It’s got epic things to do – you can even paraglide over that expanse of golden sand! And remember that there are many more beaches that didn’t make it onto our list – one of the best feelings is finding a secluded hidden beach on your road trip around this tropical paradise island.
Luckily, Bali’s beaches are matched by the incredible places to stay nearby and fun things to do. So, even if you get tired of swimming, surfing, or sunbathing (we doubt that’ll happen), there’ll be something to keep you occupied. And since Bali is such a small island, you shouldn’t have too much trouble visiting all the beaches on this list – especially if you’re staying for two weeks or longer!
Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.
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Chris Lininger is a writer, photographer, and guide from California. He is an advocate for off-beat responsible travel and the preservation of the world’s wild places and spaces. Chris is also a founding member of Epic Backpacker Tours and leads expeditions to Pakistan throughout the year. He is currently riding out the pandemic in Bali. Follow his adventures on Instagram.