There’s no doubt Bali is a bucket list destination that’s filled with colorful activities. From picture-perfect beaches to lush jungle escapes, this island in Indonesia is an absolute oasis.
There’s such an array of things to do in Bali. You could trek up an active volcano and chase waterfalls or dive into the rich culture, bartering for goods in Kuta and eating gourmet food at dirt-cheap prices.
This place boasts it all! But with so much to do, when is the best time to go to Bali?
Maybe you’re interested in checking out local events and festivities. Or perhaps you just want to set out on a sun-soaked vacation.
After living in Bali on and off for a couple of months, my guide has everything you need to know about when the best time to go to Bali. I'll give you helpful advice based on preference and different itineraries.
Can you have the best of both worlds? Let’s find out!
What is the Best Season to Visit Bali?
There's no direct answer here. Personally, I prefer to visit during between March and April or October and November. This is because it's not in the middle of high season, nor am I likely going to get stuck in a monsoon!
That being said, the best season to visit Bali depends on why you're going to Bali and what type of travel expectations you have.
Before you go, you should know that Bali is home to 2 distinct seasons: wet and dry. Each season has its advantages, as well as its drawbacks. Before I deep dive into specific answers about the best time of year to visit Bali, I want to give you more info about each of the seasons...
Understanding Bali's Seasons
Bali has 2 main seasons: wet and dry, each with its unique charm and downsides. Let's dive deeper into what each season has to offer to help you decide when you'd like to embark on your Bali adventure.
Exploring Bali During the Dry Season
Visiting Bali during the dry season means you'll be visiting between April and October. This season presents the perfect opportunity to experience the tropical paradise in all its glory.
Also known as the high season, this time of year boasts blue skies, beautiful beaches, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Let's dive into what you can expect during the dry season in Bali.
Bali's dry season is characterized by sunny days and minimal rainfall, making it ideal for soaking up the sun on the island's gorgeous beaches.
It's important to note how hot it'll be on the island. I recommend spending time in the pools or beach waters on the coast if you're feeling the heat. The cool waters are a welcome respite from the heat, so don't forget to pack your swimwear!
Events During the High Season
During the dry season, Bali comes alive with a multitude of cultural and religious events.
One of the most significant events is the Bali Arts Festival, a month-long celebration of Balinese culture held in June and July. It's a great time to immerse yourself in the local customs and traditions.
Navigating Tourist Crowds
The dry season is also the peak tourist season in Bali, so be prepared for larger crowds at popular sites.
If you're someone who prefers a quieter experience, you might want to plan your visits to popular attractions early in the morning or consider exploring some of Bali's off-the-beaten-path destinations.
The Wet Season
Between November and March is the monsoon season in Bali. This is the best time to go to Bali if you want to get a more authentic and local insight into this tropical paradise.
Visiting in Bali's low season means you'll be able to experience lush landscapes, tranquil beaches, and an array of indoor and cultural activities. Here's what to anticipate during Bali's wet season.
During the wet season, Bali's tropical climate results in regular rainfall. But worry not, these showers are usually brief and often occur in the late afternoon or evening. And the temperature is still warm and enjoyable!
The rain transforms Bali into a green paradise, adding a unique charm to the island.
Events During the Low Season
The wet season also coincides with several unique cultural events.
Galungan, a major Hindu holiday, typically falls during this period. During this time, you can witness colourful processions, festive rituals, and experience Balinese culture at its most vibrant.
Enjoying Bali with Fewer Tourists
One major advantage of the wet season is that there are fewer tourists, making it a perfect time if you prefer a more tranquil experience.
The popular attractions are less crowded, and you might even find that you have some of the beaches or trails to yourself.
When is the Best Month to Visit Bali?
So, now you know about the differences between the seasons in Bali. I've already answered this question above, very briefly. But let me go into more detail about my favorite months to visit Bali.
Based on the time I've spent in Bali, I feel the best time to go to Bali is between March and April or October and Novemeber. Visiting during these shoulder seasons provides pleasant weather, affordable accommodation, and fewer tourists than during the peak periods.
Sunny days graced with a few light showers will give you the chance to explore the breathtaking terrain or join a tour to experience the rich underwater life. These months offer travelers the best of both worlds.
Catch a wave surfing at Balangan Beach, trek through the tropical jungles, and experience the quieter side at the Nyepi Balinese Day of Silence.
April and May are brimming with special events and festivities. Release your inner child as you dance, sing, and heal your heart at the Bali Spirit Festival or indulge your flavor palette at the famous Ubud Food Festival.
Best Time to Visit Bali for Every Traveler
Best Times of Year to Go to Bali for Every Traveler
The “Land of the Gods” is graced with gob-smacking attractions and natural splendor at every end. Depending greatly on your preferred travel style, the best season to go to Bali differs majorly.
Budget Travelers: What is the Cheapest Time to Visit Bali?
If you're a backpacker or budget-friendly traveler, visiting Bali year-round is relatively cheap and affordable. That being said, if you want to save extra pennies to put towards something else then the best time to visit Bali is undoubtedly the wet season.
From November to March, Bali boasts pleasant weather and tropical rainfalls. Aside from the random downpour and rare natural disasters, the island still has great, balmy weather for outdoor exploits.
Budget-conscious visitors can expect extremely affordable hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs, as well as more affordable flight deals during the wet season.
Travelers can also score cheaper prices on activities in Bali between November and March.
The best time to go to Bali for backpackers and budget travelers will be the wet season. You can enjoy affordable prices and still have cash to spare.
Visitors Looking for a Quiet, Relaxing Holiday
The wet season between December and February is also the best time to go to Bali if you’re looking for a quieter holiday. Honeymooners, the intimacy of this off-season is for you!
If you don't know what to do during the low season, I've got a whole section below that talks about great activities. But I want to mention right away that spending time in the spas is a fantastic and relaxing way to spend rainy days!
Spas offer a whole bunch of options including baths, scrubs, and beauty treatments like nails and lashes. But my favorite offering at the spa? The incredibly affordable massages that left me feeling so loose and relaxed... Definitely set aside time for a massage during rainy season.
Hikers and adventure enthusiasts can bask in the beauty of the dry season between April and October. This means dryer weather, which makes outdoor living that much easier.
You could also opt for the shoulder seasons and plan your outdoor adventures accordingly. As I mentioned above, even during rainy season the showers are quick and often in the afternoon.
If you keep track of the weather and want to explore in more moderate temperatures, consider booking your stay during the shoulder months.
If it’s crowds, festivals, and buzzing nightlife that you’re after then the best time to go to Bali is definitely between April and May—key months in the the high season. That’s when you’ll vibe with your tribe and make friends wherever you go!
Be ready for crowds, slightly higher prices, and some steamy weather.
Where is the Best Place to Stay in Bali?
If there’s one thing first-timers and seasoned travelers can agree on, it’s that Bali is full of stunning, affordable accommodations.
With hotels, hostels, Airbnbs, and everything else in between, there's something to suit everyone's travel style.
Although we have a full article on Bali's accommodations, I'll mention very quickly that I enjoyed staying in private rooms at hostels in Bali. This is because they were super affordable, had lots of amenities, and were very social.
And I know that Bali isn't a massive place, but there are still very diverse areas to visit. Depending on what you're looking for, you should visit areas accordingly. Here's a short rundown on popular areas in Bali and what they're known for:
- Ubud: Known as Bali's cultural heart, Ubud offers lush rice fields, sacred temples, yoga retreats, and the famous Ubud Monkey Forest.
- Seminyak: A stylish and chic area, Seminyak boasts high-end boutiques, lavish spas, and a stunning beach that is perfect for sunsets. The food scene here is diverse and trendy, catering to a more upmarket crowd.
- Kuta: Popular with surfers and party-goers, Kuta offers a lively nightlife, shopping centers, and a wide sandy beach. It's also known for its water park and close proximity to the airport.
- Canggu: A favorite among digital nomads and expats, Canggu features hip cafes, beach clubs, and surf breaks. Its laid-back vibe is perfect for those seeking a more relaxed pace.
- Sanur: With a laid-back vibe, Sanur offers calm beaches, a long coastal path, and a more traditional town atmosphere. It's a favorite among older visitors and families.
- Jimbaran: Renowned for its seafood dining on the beach, Jimbaran offers a calm bay, luxury resorts and a more local, peaceful atmosphere.
Top Things to Do in Bali
Bali, a gem amidst the 17,000+ islands of Indonesia, is an adventurer's paradise and a relaxation seeker's haven.
With its captivating blend of pristine beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant culture, it's no wonder Bali captures the hearts of those who visit.
But with so much to explore, where do you begin? Here are some must-have experiences in Bali.
Bali's natural beauty is nothing short of enchanting—I loved the green landscapes and swimming in the waterfalls. Hiking isn't really my thing, but you can challenge yourself with a sunrise hike up an active volcano, such as Mount Batur.
Don't miss the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, a stunning showcase of Bali's agricultural tradition. I know there's lots of pictures on the Internet, but I promise you it's still worth it to see and explore for yourself!
For marine enthusiasts, snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Nusa Lembongan offers a vibrant underwater world.
Immerse in Bali's Wellness Culture
Renowned as a global wellness destination, Bali boasts some of the world's best yoga studios, particularly in Ubud, the island's spiritual heart. Whether you're a seasoned yogi or a curious beginner, a yoga class here is a unique experience.
And don't forget about those spas either!
Explore Iconic Temples and Rich Culture
Bali's temples are more than just religious sites—they're testaments to the island's rich history and culture. Visit landmarks like Tanah Lot or Uluwatu Temple, and make sure to catch a traditional Balinese dance performance.
Discover Boutique Shopping and Gastronomic Delights
From the bustling streets of Kuta with its myriad of boutiques to the local markets offering handicrafts, shopping in Bali is an adventure in itself. And don't forget to delve into the island's culinary scene—it's a blend of traditional flavors and innovative fusion that's sure to excite your taste buds.
You won't ever run out of delicious cafes to try. I highly recommend visiting a mix of local hole-in-the-wall shops and more upscale restaurants. It's amazing to see the diversity in even just one area of Bali!
Relax on the Beaches
Of course, no trip to Bali would be complete without experiencing its famed beaches.
Whether you're a surfer looking for the perfect wave, a family seeking calm waters, or a couple desiring a secluded spot for a romantic sunset, Bali's beaches have something for everyone.
Bali's definitely a great place to try out a surfing lesson if you're new to the sport.
Are There Things to Do in the Wet Season in Bali?
December to February are typically the wettest months, but just because there’s more rainfall doesn’t mean that you have to have less fun.
Whether you want an active holiday, an adrenaline rush, or a cocktail-fuelled vacation, the wet season still has a lot to offer. You could find your inner zen at a yoga studio or experiment with local ingredients at a Balinese cooking class.
And despite the rain, you can still traverse the tropical jungles in Ubud, admire the teeming temples or eat your way through the delectable dining scene.
If you're looking for the best time to go to Bali for a honeymoon, the wet season offers intimate experiences that are sure to spark romance. You and your partner can bask in the beauty of Bali, and enjoy the serenity and seclusion instead of having to battle your way through crowds of tourists.
Bali, Come Rain or Shine!
If you’re clamoring to be part of the buzz of Bali then there’s no time like the present! Start planning a trip to beautiful Bali today.
With so many activities and cities to choose from, Bali can be an adventure like no other. Club together with your travel buddies and put together an epic itinerary or surprise your fiance with a romantic getaway!