Amed is one of the most underrated destinations in Bali. Most people just visit to go diving for the day or maybe as a means to reach the Gili Islands. They don’t know what they’re missing out on!

Whilst the diving is admittedly amazing and worth the trip alone, there’s heaps more to do in Amed. A burgeoning craft cafe scene, excellent location, and an amazing sense of community make Amed more than just a day trip. And did we mention the black-sand beach as well?

Amed is totally worth staying in for a few days. Hell, some people have ended up getting stuck here for months at a time after discovering how wonderful it is here.

So what are the absolute best things to do in Amed? What must you experience while visiting this chilled-out Balinese town?

We’ve created this brief travel guide for Amed to help you better answer that question. Several of The Broke Backpacker staff have visited Amed and together we’ve assembled what we think are the must-dos in town.

Take our advice and use this article well – you’re sure to have a blast in Amed if you do!

Where to Stay in Amed

All those luxurious Bali villas that you hear so much about; you won’t find many of those in Amed. This town is way less developed than many other tourist destinations on the island, which means it has less accommodation options.

That being said, there is still plenty of vacancy for travelers. Business is booming at the moment and new lodges popping up all the time in this town. When I was there in May 2019, I think I saw a construction site every 5 minutes.

For backpackers, there are only a couple of hostels in Amed at the moment. Some of them resemble classic hostels while others are dormitories attached to a local dive center.

Where to Stay in Amed
source: Sajeewa W (Shutterstock)

If for some reason all of Amed’s hostels are full, there are plenty more guesthouses in town. You can book them ahead of time if you like but you could easily find something on the spot when you arrive in town.

To get the ball rolling, check out one of these backpacker lodges and hotels in Amed:

Best Hostel in Amed – Ocean Prana

ocean prana hostel amed bali

This excellent Bali hostel features several wooden huts built in the traditional style of the island. Prana is located very close to one of Amed’s best beaches but is not actually located on it. Has a pool on-site that can be used for practice dives and organizes real dive trips as well.

Best Guesthouse in Amed – Kirana Homestay

Kirana Homestay amed

A very clean and charming guesthouse located in the center of Amed. For what you get, this place is an amazing deal. Not connected to any actual dive shop but the staff can easily connect you with a good local operator.

Best Hotel in Amed – Amed Beach Villa

best hotels in amed

A semi-luxury hotel located right on Amed Beach. Offers gorgeous views of the ocean and of Mt Agung. There’s also a pool and lounging area on-site for when you need a break from that scorching black sand.

The Best Things to Do in Amed

Let’s get to it and start talking about what there is to do in Amed! Check out these 13 ideas and then go see Amed for yourself!

Is This the Best Travel Backpack EVER???
nomatic backpack black

We’ve tested countless packs over the years, and now we’ve found our absolute favourite: the nomad-approved Nomatic Backpack.

Want more deetz on why we love it so damn much? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

Learn More Now!

1. Enjoy some of the best diving in Bali

First and foremost, you have to go diving in Amed. Just off the coast of Amed are some of the most impressive dive sites in Bali; so much so that this town could arguably be called the dive capital of the island.

Amed is most well-known for its superlative macro diving. The amount of marine life hidden in the coral and calm waters around Amed is absolutely astounding. If you visit one of the many epic sunken ships, like the Japanese Wreck, you will definitely have your mind blown.

Octopus Diving Wunderpus Indonesia Bali Tulamben
Amed has excellent muck diving opportunities.

Amed also offers a lot of night diving opportunities as well. Granted, the night diving here is not as good as some other places in the world, but the chance to swim with bio-luminescent plankton more than justifies giving it a shot.

For more information and scuba tips, head over to our in-depth guide covering prices, the best dive sites in Bali, and more!

2. Grab the best breakfast in Amed at Tropikal Cafe

This is literally the first place my girlfriend and I went to in Amed. Call us suckers for the bamboo bungalow look and the open kitchen, but we were immediately captured by the Tropikal Cafe.

sitting in tropikal cafe in amed
Nothing but smiles in this cafe. | source: Roaming Ralph

The Tropikal Cafe, hands down, has the best breakfast in Amed. The food is of a high quality, which is probably a result of the business insisting on making homemade products.

All of the usual suspects that you’d find elsewhere in Bali, like smashed avocado on toast and smoothie bowls (massive eye-roll), are here and they are admittedly delicious. The baked goods are the real showstopper though! Order the fresh banana bread and you won’t be disappointed.

3. Catch the sunset at Jemeluk Viewpoint

Everyone knows that the best place to catch the sunset in Amed is at Jemeluk Bay. Hell, it’s the most reviewed attraction in Amed on Google for a reason.

jemeluk bay sunset amed
End the day with this view. | source: Chris Lininger

There are several ways to watch the sun go down over Jemeluk Bay:

  1. From Jemeluk Viewpoint aka Sunset Point: As the name implies, this is a point located above the bay that offers panoramic views. Mt Agung is, of course, visible as is the bay itself and whoever may be in it. The viewpoint is easy enough to find – just head towards ‘Sunset Point.’ Bring your own beer and skip the local warungs while you’re at it.
  2. While stand-up paddle boarding in Jemeluk Bay: There are few things to do in Amed more satisfying as chilling on a paddle board in the middle of the bay. The water is calm, the sounds of the island are distant, and it’s just you with the sun. Rent a board from a local resort or hotel.

4. Explore the countryside with a scooter

You can’t visit Amed – or any itinerary destination in Bali – without renting a scooter and going for a joy ride! Luckily, there is plenty of pastoral beauty and nature surrounding Amed and experiencing this side of town is a relatively easy activity.

riding around bali with a scooter highlands
The highlands of Bali are full of magic. | source: Roaming Ralph

You can rent a scooter from many different places in the village. Lots of hotels in Amed offer rentals. If you strike out at any of these, there are lots of little shops and stalls around that can rent out a scooter as well. Daily rates vary between 50k-70k. (Make sure to haggle!)

Whilst what you do on a scooter adventure is 100% up to you, I highly recommend zipping around the local rice paddies – they’re an iconic sight in Bali and totally worth seeing.

Riding a scooter can be a great and inexpensive way of traveling around Amed. Although you don’t need a license to rent a scooter, most travel insurance companies will ask for a valid motorbike license to be able to claim if you crash! Always make sure that you have travel insurance with a motorcycle-riding coverage.

5. Get some more diving in at Tulamben

Already visited the dive sites in Amed, perhaps twice over? Then head north to nearby Tulamben! This region is even more down-tempo than already chronically laid-back Amed and offers some equally impressive scuba options as well.

The most famous place to go diving in Tulamben is hands-down the USS Liberty Wreck. This shell of a colossus host an enormous array of marine life and many divers have stated that no one could see the entire site in one go. It is often considered one of the best wreck dives in the world and, for that matter, one of the coolest things to do in Bali as well.

uss liberty dive site amed
The ocean is taking over the wreck. | source: scubanet travel (Shutterstock)

If the USS Liberty is just too busy for your taste (it often is crowded with other divers), there are plenty of more dive sites around Tulamben. Be sure to check out the Coral Garden and Drop-Off when you’re ready.

6. Practice your French

Alright, I admit that this one is a bit of a joke and not really a legitimate thing to do in Amed…

BUT I can’t write this article in good faith and not mention the fact that there a ton of French people in Amed. Seriously, you can’t walk 5 minutes in this town without hearing an “allez” or “puton” ushered from the mouth of some Francophile. In fact, I’d say that almost 50% of the tourist population here is from the European nation.

If you had any desire to learn a bit of French while visiting Amed, you certainly wouldn’t have any problem doing so.

On another note, a lot of the dive shops in Amed are also run or owned by French expats. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your French at one of these and you may even score a crepe or two (if you go to Abyss).

Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on learning a new language for traveling if you’re serious about it!

7. Relax on a volcanic beach

Bali is already famous for its volcanic beaches but Amed Beach is about as volcanic as they come. The sand here is almost pitch-black, which is probably due in part to the proximity of Mt Agung. It’s kinda trippy to see at first and, for a moment, it may feel like you’re in a tropical version of Iceland!

Fair warning: the black sand at Amed Beach does get really hot in the middle of the day (it’s black, after all) and I guarantee that you will be hopping around during peak heat. Seriously, bring a pair of sandals.

black sand beach amed
Like a tropical version of Iceland’s black sand beaches. | source: Roaming Ralph

If you’d like to go snorkeling in Amed, just rent a kit from a local and jump in the water. There’s good coral very close to the shore. Just remember to put sunscreen on before you get in the water. I saw way too many with sunburned backs and they kinda looked like a piece of walking nigiri.

8. Take a day trip to Tirta Gangga

Tirta Gangga (meaning “water from the Ganges”) is a former palace and one of the most well-known cultural attractions in Bali. It was one the epitome of lavish and would make any noble (or distant relative of yours) jealous.

Titra Gangga is full of intricate stone carvings, statues, fountains, and pools. Most people visit Tirta Gangga to grab a snapshot of themselves around the pools – there are little stepping stones that make for good Instagram material.

trip to tirta gangga from amed
Not advised: looking at your phone while walking on water.

If you’re feeling a little pent-up or are just looking to escape the heat, Tirta Gangga makes a great day trip from Amed. The palace is only about 30 minutes away from Amed, which makes it very easy to reach.

bus iconNeed to travel to  Amed on the cheap? Use Bookaway to find the best deals on bus, plane, train, and ferry tickets. It’s easy to use and saves you time and money. Once you’ve arrived, why not use what you’ve saved to treat yourself to a cold beer and a bite to eat?

Book your transport on Bookaway now to guarantee your seat and for the right price.

9. Instead of suiting up, try out free-diving

If you’re not a fan of wearing a diving suit (like me) and want to try something a little different, why not give free-diving a shot?

Free-diving is essentially diving without any sort of equipment – just a pair of flippers and some goggles. Many people describe it as more therapeutic (including our very own Ana Pereira) than scuba diving. The act of holding your breath for extended periods of time and regulating your body while underwater can be an enriching experience, but make no mistake it takes practice.

learning to dive in bali
It’s a weird feeling at first but once you get used to it, free-diving can be very therapeutic.

There are several free-diving schools in Amed. In fact, many of them are among the only ones in Bali.

Apneista Bali is an excellent option that is run by a great team of instructors (shout-out to Bernard!).

10. Catch the sunrise at Lempuyang Luhur

Lempuyang Luhur sunrise in bali

Lempuyang Luhur is probably the most famous viewpoint in all Bali at the moment. People flock from all over the island for the chance to get a photo of Mt Agung, which is framed almost perfectly between the temple gates.

Lempuyang Luhur is beginning to become overrun though. Bali Instagram Tours (the latest in horrible vacations on Bali) frequently include this attraction on their itinerary, which means that viewpoint may be flooded with people looking for selfies.

If you want to skip the crowds, try to visit Lempuyang Luhur as early as possible. You’ll still have to deal with some crowds but thankfully fewer tour buses. Sunrise also affords the best views of Mt Agung.

INSIDER TIP: There are several photos of Lempuyang Luhur circulating online that include a reflection pool. There is, in fact, no pool at this temple – just a bunch of entrepreneurial locals with mirrors. Some people who were expecting water have expressed disgust over such a ploy but, hey, you gotta give it to those savvy Balinese photographers.

11. Visit the tiny Gili Selang

Gili Selang is a little island south of Amed that is barely on anyone’s radar. (Full disclosure: I didn’t actually make it to this location myself, it came highly recommended by the locals.)

As mentioned before Gili Selang is a tiny rock that is often glossed over by people traveling between Amed and Padang Bai. Actually, Gili Selang is more well known among divers and snorkelers as the coral here is exceptional.

gili selang island near amed
What’s out there? | source: Sueni Made (Flickr

Supposedly though, you can actually walk onto Gili Selang when the tide is low. At this time, there is a sliver of earth that allows you access to the island. Whilst I have no idea what could possibly be on this island, I imagine that it could only be hidden treasures and traveler’s loot 🙂

Unlock the The Broke Backpacker’s GREATEST Travel Secrets

Sign up for The Broke Backpacker Newsletter to receive weekly tips on how to travel on a budget + a FREE copy of The Backpacker Bible!

    12. Extend your stay

    A lot of people end up staying in Amed longer than they expected. Most of the expats that I talked to had already been living in Amed for several months. When I asked them what happened, they simply replied “well I was just passing through and then I just got stuck here.”

    Who knows what it is about Amed that makes is so appealing. Blame it on the chilled-out vibes, the amazing diving opportunities, the rasta parties, or emerging cafe scene. Any way you look at it, there’s a lot to love about Amed.

    So maybe book a one-way ticket to Bali and consider spending some extra time here. You certainly wouldn’t be the first person to set up shop in this tropical paradise.

    13. Nurture yourself at Blue Earth Village

    On an island that already promotes eco-responsibility, Blue Earth Village manages to have a leading role. Their ethos, which holds collaboration, sustainability, and reusability above all else, helps it stand out from many other businesses and frankly we have no problem spending our money here.

    Make no mistake either: there are lots of awesome activities at the Blue Earth Cafe that you can spend your money on. Delicious meals are served up – from breakfast to dinner; there’s a yoga studio on-site; plus, Blue Earth also works closely with Apneista Freediving School as well (there’s a diving pool at Blue Earth).

    coffee cafe in amed

    So if you want to eat some great organic food, practice a little vinyasa, and maybe engage in an enlightening conversation, Blue Earth Village is a no-fail.

    What to Do in Amed – Some Extra Tips

    Need some extra information for planning your trip to Amed, Bali? Here are some more things to consider before visiting.

    Want to save the world?
    Grayl Geopress Water Purifier Bottle

    Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to Marine Life – Be a part of the solution and travel with a filter water bottle.

    The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered.

    Read our full review of the GRAYL GEOPRESS!

    How to Get to Amed

    Amed is located on the eastern shores of the island, which is a little far from the usual backpacking route in Bali. The nearest towns are Candidasa and Sidemen (both 1.5-hour drives). If you wanted to travel from Ubud to Amed, it would take around 2.5 hours of driving.

    If you are self-driving via motorbike, the road to Amed is good quality and quite scenic. You’ll be driving on some lazy mountain roads and through villages for a while. When you begin your descent to Amed – around Chulik – you’ll be driving through some really pretty rice paddies and get some great views of Agung.

    Most people will travel to Amed using a private driver or taxi. Rates obviously depend on where you’re coming from but you can expect to pay at least $30 if you’re traveling from the airport or Ubud.

    Young woman driving a scooter at the beach with black sand Bali Indonesia.
    Be careful when driving on sand.

    There are some shuttle buses (perama) to Amed but they are a little difficult to find. Due to the fact that these are often run by some local with a van, schedules are almost never set. There are regular peramas between Lovina, Amed, and Candidasa though – if you’re in one of these towns you should find more success.

    By Bali standards, Amed is kind of in the middle of nowhere and somewhat off the beaten path, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of people end up falling in love with Amed precisely because it is away from all the craziness that you’ll get while traveling Canggu or Uluwatu.

    Amed is remote and quiet – people come here to decompress and to take a break from the madness. Even if you don’t go diving in Amed, it’s still a great place to visit if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.

    Restaurants and Nightlife in Amed

    Amed is becoming more and more popular every day, which means there are lots of new places to eat! There are traditional warungs, charming coffee shops, and full-blown restaurants in Amed these days. There’s even an organic cafe or two in town, which may or may not appeal to you.

    best restaurants in amed tropikal cafe
    Amed’s restaurants are usually relaxing. | source: Roaming Ralph

    Want to grab some food? Check out one of these awesome restaurants in Amed depending on the time of day.

    1. Tropikal Cafe (Breakfast): A super cute little cafe that serves homemade products. The baked goods are particularly tasty (get the banana bread!)
    2. Galanga (Lunch): A tiny little restaurant that serves up amazing Indonesian-fusion cuisine. The free Turmeric Tonic shot that they give you when you arrive is a nice added bonus.
    3. Blue Earth Village (Dinner): After catching the sunset at Jemeluk Viewpoint, head over to this ambitious business. They believe in 100% organic products and hit the vego options hard. Moreover, they are much better than the Sunset Point warungs, which are tourist traps.

    In terms of nightlife in Amed, there’s not a whole lot going on. If you’re expecting Legian or Canggu vibes here, you will be sorely disappointed. But if you like a good kickback or maybe a chill session, you’ll have plenty of fun in Amed.

    The most popular bars in Amed are reggae and/or rasta-themed. Live music is quite common at these and there lots of DJs throwing down reggaeton and rasta vibes. Both the Reggae Bar and Rasta Bar (don’t get them twisted) are two places where you can drink and listen to some good music.

    Diving in Amed

    Diving is Amed’s most well known attraction and for good reason – the diving here is absolutely stupendous. From enormous sunken ships to a living rainbow of coral and aquatic life, diving in Amed can be a once in a lifetime experience.

    In particular, Amed is most admired for it’s muck, macro, and night diving opportunities. The water here is usually calm (which is a nice respite from the monster surf spots in Uluwatu) and visibility can be very good. Contrary to some talk, you cannot see mantas or migrating whales around Amed though; they’re more common when visiting Nusa Penida.

    free divers in amed near coral temple
    Some locals have placed artificial reefs around Amed. | source: Dudarev Mikahil (Shutterstock)

    Diving in Amed is appropriate for all sorts of divers, from novices looking to gain their first certifications to pros looking to add another notch to their dive belt. It’s no wonder so many people are beginning to visit Amed – everyone’s welcome!

    To give you a better idea of what to expect, here are some of the most famous and well-known dive sites around Amed:

    1. Japanese Wreck: an old patrol ship that now hosts a thriving reef. Colorful coral, sponges, and lots of parrotfish.
    2. Gili Selang: a less visited dive site in Amed but no less stunning. A large array of creatures that includes turtles, morays, rays, and much more. Some local divers also said they saw hammerhead sharks while I was there!
    3. Amed Wall: located very close to the bay. Home to some epic gorgonians and reef sharks. Dive deeper down and you may even see and elusive pygmy seahorse.
    4. Ghost Bay: an artificial reef set up by some local divers. Great muck opportunities and the chance to see mimic octopus!

    Best Dive Centers in Amed

    Amed’s dive centers offer a multitude of services; they can organize day trips, live-aboards, dive trips, and diving lessons. That final activity, in particular, is quite popular in Amed and most dive centers can hook you up with some level of certification (if you put in the work of course).

    scuba dive centers in amed
    source: Vladislav Sagaidak (Shutterstock)

    There are almost 30 different dive schools in Amed these days; an exorbitant number compared to 5 years ago. Choosing one may seem like an easy task but one small detail may have an overarching effect on your overall diving experience.

    To help you out, here are some of our favorite dive shops in Amed at the moment:

    1. Abyss Dive Center: A very friendly dive center run by French expats. The only French certified program with the Balinese government. Offers very personal dive trips and authentic crepes! (The latter is a great source of pride for them.)
    2. Evolution Diver: Another French (sacre bleu!) dive center located down the street. Offers try-before-dive sessions in a local pool, which makes them great for beginning divers.

    Of special note is the amount of camaraderie you’ll feel around Amed’s dive centers. The diving community here is extremely close-knit and everyone seemingly knows everyone else.

    That is not to say that the local divers won’t accept you; quite the contrary! The schools here will take you in with open arms and bring into their homes whenever possible. Regularly, you’ll see masters and their clients sharing beers after a good dive and the vibe is very positive. This is one of my favorite parts about Amed and a reason to go back one day.

    Some Extra Insider Tips for Visiting Amed, Bali

    Do You Need Travel Insurance?

    Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.

    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!

    world nomads insurance banner

    Before I sign off here, I would like to remind everyone visiting Bali to be very careful when it comes to drinking. There is a lot of bootleg alcohol on the island – mixed sometimes with dangerous amounts of methanol – and you DO NOT want to drink the wrong batch.

    Buy liquor from trusted vendors and don’t accept drinks from random dudes. Go to legit bars in Bali and not to roadside shacks. Sticking to bottled Bintang beer is a sure way to avoid this shit as well.

    Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
    Active Roots Security Belt

    Custom-designed BY the Broke Backpacker FOR broke backpacking, the Active Roots Security Belt will keep your valuables safe no matter where you go.

    It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash or a passport copy. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to.)

    Check on Amazon

    Want to learn how to travel the world on $10 a day? Check out the Broke Backpacker’s Bible for FREE!

    Find out how YOU can support the site.

    We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers (that’s you!). Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂

    For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a piece of gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only link to stuff that members of the Broke Backpacker team has actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support!