First time in Bali – everything you need to know

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Bali! As exotic as it sounds, the island of Bali really is an amazing place where mysticism and modern trends go hand in hand. From sleepy fisherman’s villages to buzzing beach towns, vibrant party scenes and mystical traditional ceremonies, private luxury villas to ancient temples and local warungs to exquisite restaurants, it is one small island but Bali has got everything any traveller could ever wish for! We’ve written extensively about Bali, so it can get overwhelming for first-timers. This article goes out to all of you Bali First Timers – travellers and holidayers out there – coming to Bali Island for the first time – here’s what you need to know:

Before you go

A new destination, a far-away destination, an exotic destination – it raises questions and we are here to provide the answers!

Best time to go to Bali

First time Bali

Bali is beautiful all-year-round. Photo credit: gypsy_feet_escapes on Instagram

Bali has got a pleasant, tropical climate all-year-round with warm temperatures around 28 degrees Celsius on average. There are 2 seasons in Bali: dry season (May to September) and wet season (October to April). During the dry season, there is little to no rain, the sea is cool and the nights are cooler as well. The wet season is more humid, the sea is warm and there is occasional heavy rainfall, usually not lasting all too long. No matter when you come over to Bali, there will be plenty of sunshine (even in rainy season).

Useful articles:

Visa in Bali

Citizens from 169 countries get a free tourist visa that’s valid for 30 days. Check out more information here.

Currency in Bali

Currency in bali

The local currency in Bali and Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah. They come in 50,000 (blue) and 100,000 (red) notes from the machine. If you don’t pay attention, you will be spending a 100,000 note on something that actually costs Rp. 10,000 as the colour is quite similar. Yes, all those zeros can be confusing but you’ll get the hang of it! How nice is it to be a millionaire for a little while during your island stay 🙂

Beware: Credit Card Skimming in Bali

What do you need to pack to Bali?

How many days should you spend in Bali?

Whether you are just popping over for the weekend, staying 1 week or you have an entire month to spend here on the island, Bali is perfect for any kind of holiday. Weekend trips, school-holiday getaways, honeymoons, long holidays, backpacking adventures. Bali island may be small but there are different regions to explore, each with their own beauty and charm. Here are some itineraries for you:

Hospitals and clinics in Bali

What’s the best location to stay in Bali?

First time Bali

Different regions in Bali

Check out our blog on where to stay in Bali.

South Bali

Central Bali

first time in Bali

Balinese statues at Tirta Empul Water Temple just outside of cultural Ubud. Photo credit: federicoandzahra on Instagram

East Bali

First time in Bali

The peaceful village of Amed guarded by the almighty Mount Agung. Photo credit: the_ancient_healer on Instagram

  • Candidasa – Candidasa Travel Guide
  • Amed Amed Travel Guide
  • Padang Bai– The main gateway to Gili Island. Padang Bai also features some beautiful beaches where you can go snorkelling.
  • Tulamben – Close to Amed, famous for its snorkelling and diving spots, including a shipwreck.

North Bali

Lovina first time in Bali

Dolphins in the sea at Lovina, North Bali. Photo credit: sann_travel on Instagram

  • Lovina – Lovina Travel Guide
  • Singaraja – the old capital city and the busiest town of the north.

West Bali

first time in BAli

The magical underwater world of Bali @ Menjangan Island northwest Bali. Photo credit: rakastradlin on Instagram

  • Pemuteran – A remote and peaceful area bordering West Bali National Park and the main gateway to get to Menjangan Island
  • Menjangan Island – The best snorkelling and diving spots in Bali
  • Gilimanuk – The portal town to get from Bali to Java
  • Balian – A famous yet very peaceful and remote surfing haven
  • Mengwi – Another awesome surfing spot, far away from everyone and everything.

Islands Around Bali

What’s the best way of getting around Bali?

What to do during your Bali Holiday?

There are endless things to do and places to see. Check our guide for more detailed information:

8 handy tips and advice for your first Bali Holiday

First time in Bali

Balinese street offerings: Do not step on them! Photo credit: Bartwatching on Flickr

These tips might come in handy for you First Time in Bali Holiday

  1. Bargain! Always bargain when you go shopping at traditional markets. It is not rude, you are not cheap – it is simply part of the local culture and it is almost awkward not to bargain at all.
  2. Be mindful of the street offerings. They are beautiful handmade baskets made from coconut leaves with flowers, cookies, cigarettes, incense and other snacks for the Gods inside. Don’t step on them! Learn more about canang here.
  3. Avoid little money exchange offices. These places are famous for scams. They will count the money in front of your eyes but somehow, you’re missing 1 or 2 notes in the end. Go to licenced exchange offices or take money directly from the bank.
  4. Dress code – dress respectfully! When you visit small towns and especially when entering temples or visit governmental offices such as immigration, make sure to cover your shoulders and knees.
  5. Inform yourself about special celebration days such as Nyepi. This is a day of absolute silence and it is unique in this world. The airport is closed and nobody is allowed on the streets.  The night before Nyepi is when the exciting Ogoh-Ogoh ‘Demon’ Paradise takes place. Read all about Nyepi and Ogoh Ogoh here.
  6. Download the Go-Jek app. Go-Jek is native to Indonesia. It is the simplest way of getting yourself around cheaply, ordering your favourite food, arranging a direct in-villa massage and more. Read more about Go-Jek and how it works here.
  7.  Bring your international drivers licence. This one goes out to all of you planning to rent a scooter and drive around the island.
  8. Get familiar with the language. It will be nice to be able to say some words in Indonesian. So, while you are on the plane, you can do a little practising. Here are some other words that may come in handy
    • Ya – Tidak (ya – tee-dak) – yes – no
    • Terima Kasih (te-ree-ma ka-seeh) – Thank you (you can also say ‘makasih’)
    • Sama Sama (saa-maa saa-maa)– you are welcome
    • Permisi (per-mee-see)– excuse me

See our entire villa collection in Bali. Selected and inspected by Villa-Finder.com

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