Planning a couple’s trip to Indonesia and looking for the most romantic things to do in Bali? Maybe watching Balinese dance or indulging in couple’s spa treatments?
We’ve got all the insider info you need!
We spent over six weeks exploring the best places to visit in Bali for couples. We also stayed in scads of Bali’s oh-so-romantic hotels.
True – Bali isn’t the undiscovered paradise that it was some decades ago.
But there are still plenty of romantic spots to enjoy special time with your other half – whether you are a new couple on your first romantic getaway or are looking for things to do in Bali on a honeymoon.
Is Bali good for couples?
Quick answer: Totally!
Its beautiful scenery, range of activities and luxurious accommodation options make it one of the most romantic places in the world.
Now, let’s answer this question in more detail…
Bali and its friendly people have fascinated visitors ever since European artists first made this once-remote tropical island world-famous in the 1930s.
It’s a tropical beach destination where happy couples sip coconuts, island-hop or even try out adrenalin-charged activities like surfing and scuba diving.
The Kuta Beach area, shunned by many as over-crowded and noisy, is sought out by party-loving couples for its miles-long beach and throbbing nightlife.
Yoga duos find mantra heaven gazing out over Bali’s terraced rice paddies.
And then there’s Bali’s traditional village life, art, dance and festivals – something every culture-loving pair must experience.
When we return to Bali – and we will! – it’s the Balinese culture that will lure us back. (Oh, and we can’t lie, the fabulous luxury resorts and spas are a huge draw too!)
Most romantic things to do in Bali
Let’s now explore 23 romantic things to do in Bali…
1) Watch Balinese dance
On our first evening in Ubud, we happened upon a dance performance that was about to begin at the Ubud Palace.
We quickly bought tickets and sat down.
Under a starlit sky, two young women performed the classic “Legong” dance, accompanied by a gamelan orchestra’s xylophone rhythms.
Wearing gold bodices and elaborate flower-adorned headdresses, they fluttered their fingers, darted their black-rimmed eyes back and forth, and gracefully contorted their bodies, all in perfect stylized sync.
Then a whole cast of actors in glittering costumes and ogre masks, including girls dressed as golden deer, enacted the Hindu “Ramayana” love epic. It was a theater date with a difference!
We were so enthralled that over the next few evenings, we took in several other performances during our stay in Ubud.
This included the “Barong” lion dance and the “Kecak” (performed at a different venue), where 100 men chanted in a trance-like state and a fire-walker in a horse costume danced barefoot on blazing coconut husks.
Watching Balinese dance shows is among the best things to do at night in Bali – the perfect way to embrace its traditions!
Many hotels in Bali also offer Bali dance performances. But the shows in Ubud somehow seem more authentic.
2) Savor a romantic sunset dinner at a Jimbaran seafood restaurant
The long white-sand beach at Jimbaran Bay is the perfect place to head for a romantic dinner in Bali.
Located between Seminyak and Uluwatu, Jimbaran Bay is lined with a string of at least 30 restaurants with wooden tables and chairs set out on the sandy beach.
Pick one, plonk yourself down and munch on delicious grilled prawns, calamari, snapper, lobster and other just-caught seafood – with your toes in the sand, of course.
Don’t fuss too much over which Jimbaran Beach restaurant is better than the other – they all cost roughly the same and have similar menus.
The exception is Sundara, which is affiliated with the Four Seasons Hotel on Jimbaran Bay (see our Four Seasons Jimbaran review). This beach club and dinner restaurant cranks up the ambience and food many notches (at a price).
Just be sure to get there at sunset! The sunset views are really quite magical.
3) Indulge in a couple’s spa treatment
Bali’s wellness boom means that spas have popped up all over the island.
And what’s the best way to enjoy this with your partner? A couple’s massage, of course! Could this be the most romantic thing to do in Bali?
Balinese massage uses a combination of thumb and fist pressure, long kneading strokes and gentle stretching to create waves of relaxation.
Massage costs are far less than in North America, and many spas top the pleasure meter with luxurious add-ons.
Take the Sacred River Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan (near Ubud) – one of the best spas in Ubud – where we crossed lotus ponds to reach a private indoor/outdoor spa villa for our couple’s treatment.
After our feet were gently cleaned and perfumed, we were rubbed with a warm poppy and rose oil scrub.
Then we luxuriated in an outdoor bath strewn with rose petals, while served a soothing rose elixir. A deliciously skilful massage followed.
Talk about 150 minutes of bliss!
First came the massage. Next we were slathered with a body mask of ginger, cinnamon and rice, then wrapped up like mummies and pampered with facials.
Our skin felt so soft afterward that we acted like honeymooners who couldn’t stop touching each other.
Booking a spa treatment is a must. Better still, book two! It’s among the best things to do in Bali for couples.
4) Monkey around in the Ubud Monkey Forest
One of the most fun things for couples to do in Bali is to visit Ubud’s Monkey Forest sanctuary.
While it’s not always top of the list of the most romantic things to do in Ubud, it’s a fun and unique activity that you’ll talk about a lot when you’re back at home!
Here, in a protected forest reserve on the edge of town, over 550 macaque monkeys scamper about three 11th-century holy temples.
The tiny almost-hairless babies suckling from their mothers are especially adorable!
We heard lots of laughter as monkeys jumped up on people who had brought them bananas. (Good idea? Maybe not…)
While dodging primates might not be everyone’s pick for a romantic outing, animal lovers will be transfixed watching the lively antics of the long-tailed felons.
5) Watch dolphins at sunrise at Lovina Beach
Begin your day in Bali on a glass-bottom boat ride – as the sky turns from black to red, pink and orange – taking in the dolphins dancing among the waves.
Lovina Beach is on the secluded offbeat coast of North Bali. It’s a romantic setting any time of day. But at sunrise, it’s even more special.
On this 5-star-rated private sunrise dolphin tour, you’ll see the famous wild Lovina Beach dolphins who grace the waters every morning.
Afterward, you’ll head to a local restaurant for breakfast. Then you’ll venture to Wanagiri Hidden Hills to see one of the famous Bali swings – ideal for your couple Instagram photos!
6) Gaze at the sunset from Uluwatu Temple
If you’re more of a night owl than an early bird, how about catching the sunset from Uluwatu Temple?
This 10th-century temple is renowned for its Indian Ocean vistas (and cheeky monkeys).
Perched on high sea cliffs on the western side of the Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu basks in breathtaking sunsets every evening.
Grab your better half and enjoy the views. Then take a seat and watch the Kecak dance performance (for a fee).
This is a busy, rather touristy attraction. So it’s not quite an exclusive romantic setting for just the two of you. But for any couples who love culture, it’s a must-visit.
The Kecak dance performance combines dance, drama and music as it retells the Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic. You’ll be engrossed by the dancers’ rhythmic chanting and elaborate costumes as the sun descends.
Make the experience hassle-free with this private sunset Uluwatu Temple and fire dance evening tour. Have dinner afterward (own expense) at Jimbaran Bay (see #2). The tour includes private transport.
7) Go for a bicycle ride
Bicycling in Bali on the roads can be a bit hair-raising.
The roads weren’t built for both cars and bicycles, and there are few dedicated cycling paths.
But there’s still some great pedaling to be had!
Bicycling the rice fields
Spending half a day two-wheeling through the rice paddies around Ubud is popular.
Several companies offer Ubud bike tours, like this easy downhill bike tour from the slopes of Kintamani volcano, through the famous rice terraces and on into Ubud.
Or you might prefer this best-selling Bali countryside bicycle tour. It combines the rice fields with exploring Bali’s rural countryside and the traditional village of Penglipuran.
Cycling Nusa Dua
A lovely stone beachfront path in Nusa Dua is also perfect for bicycling. (You share it with pedestrians.)
As we cycled along, Nusa Dua reminded us a little of a fancy Hawaii resort area – only more exotic with its stone statues of Garuda sun birds and Hindu gods guarding beach resort entrances.
At sunset, we reached a public park with huge Ramayana stone statues, where locals and tourists alike were strolling and jogging.
The bicycle-and-pedestrian path has recently been extended.
It now stretches from Nusa Dua Beach up to the Tanjung Benoa peninsula – passing the Melia Bali and Club Med Bali.
If you’re staying in Nusa Dua, your hotel can help arrange bicycles for you. Some hotels even offer free bike rentals for a couple of hours.
8) Experience a Bali festival
Everyone enjoys Bali’s festivals. Experiencing one of these festivals will be something you and your partner will remember fondly for years to come.
We were on the island during the famous Galungan festival – one of the most important religious Bali ceremonies for Balinese Hindus.
It celebrates the triumph of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma).
Spirits of ancestors are believed to return to earth to visit their former homes, and people say prayers, make offerings and perform rituals to welcome them back.
The 10-day celebration takes place every 210 days according to the Balinese pawukon calendar, so there may sometimes be two festivals in one solar year.
On the 10th day, Kuningan, the spirits are believed to rise back to heaven.
Preparations before Galungan traditionally include slaughtering pigs for communal feasts.
It’s a big holiday for families. Schools are closed and employees are supposed to get time off.
When we bicycled through a secluded village in the southwest part of Bali during Galungan, children were everywhere. Bells tinkled. And everyone greeted us with face-splitting smiles and a cheerful “Good morning!”
If you visit during the Galungan festival, soak it all up!
9) Bask in the Bali culture
Don’t worry, though, if your visit doesn’t coincide with one of Bali’s festivals.
Revered as the Island of Gods, Bali’s culture captivates. There’s nothing more romantic than immersing yourselves in the island’s rich tapestry of traditions.
Infused by beliefs that spirits inhabit the sacred mountains, trees, animals and all living things, these traditions are embedded in daily life. They’re woven into the very fabric of the island.
Temples dot the landscape, gracing every village and family compound, with many more shrines to boot.
And tiny hand-made palm baskets are placed in front of every temple, dwelling and shop each morning. They contain offerings of plumeria blossoms, rice and burning incense (sometimes even a cigarette or two to keep the spirits extra happy) – all sprinkled and blessed with holy water.
And there always seems to be something to celebrate with a merry feast or the banging of cymbals during a noisy parade or procession!
One day as we walked to Sayan village near Ubud, we stumbled across preparations for an evening temple festival.
Women weaved palm leaf baskets for offerings, which they pinned in shape with bamboo slivers and filled with flower petals.
Men huddled in groups over charcoal fires in the ground, chattering away as they grilled bamboo skewers wrapped with shredded pork, ginger and coconut.
They invited us to share some – delicious!
This welcoming spirit and the festive way of life in Bali completely won us over. We’re pretty sure it’ll steal your hearts too.
10) Chase waterfalls
Definitely go waterwall-sightseeing in Bali!
Dozens of cascading falls are waiting to be discovered, and they’re some of the most romantic spots in Bali.
It’s possible to explore them independently. But hiring a guide is more time effective and will ensure that you see the best places.
Departing from Ubud, this private waterfalls tour (just for the two of you) takes you to some of Bali’s most enchanting falls.
You’ll first visit Tibumana Waterfall, a hidden 65-foot-high fall that plunges down into a cool pool, where you can take a dip. Then, you’ll drive through the Balinese countryside to the lush Tukad Cepung, uniquely situated in a cave.
Finally, you’ll head to Tegenungan Waterfall. Cascading down more than 80 feet, it’s widely regarded as one of the best waterfalls in Bali. (It’s also one of the most visited.)
Sit on the rocks by the falls, snapping photos while listening to the gush of the water…
Afterward, you’ll dine in a traditional warung for lunch. Try peanut gado gado (salad and veggies with a spicy peanut saurce) or nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice with chicken, prawns and shredded omelette).
11) Explore Ubud
Located inland in lush rainforest, Ubud is Bali’s cultural heart.
Although it’s not coastal, we think it could be the best place to visit in Bali for couples.
Remember Eat Pray Love? Publicized by the romantic flick starring Julia Roberts, Ubud town now buzzes with activity.
However, it’s not just for lone travelers finding themselves. Ubud is one of the most romantic towns in South East Asia!
Wander hand-in-hand with your partner as you hop from yoga studios to trendy restaurants serving up Indonesian delicacies and funky warungs (modest eateries).
Also join the international visitors who visit Ubud’s designer boutiques, open-air craft markets, antique shops and art galleries.
Just watch out for the locals who zip by on scooters along Ubud’s narrow, winding cobblestone streets.
But as “discovered” as it is, Ubud is still the best place to experience how the Balinese way of life is beautifully expressed in dance and music, in stone carvings and paintings, and in temple feasts and festive ceremonies.
You can’t visit Bali and not spend time in Ubud.
12) Do a “Bali Swing” couple’s photoshoot
One of the most Bali-esque experiences on the island – which is also among the best couple things to do in Bali – is a swing photoshoot!
This attraction began with just one Bali swing over Bali’s lush jungle, not far from Ubud. The company then opened two more Bali swings. Now other swings by other companies have popped up all over the island!
You’ll catch a panoramic view as you strap onto the swing and soar high above the trees.
Being one of the most scenic activities in Bali, it’s perfect for couples looking for romantic activities on the island. What’s more, you can even have a photoshoot with your other half!
The best way to do this?
There’s a jungle swing tour that takes you to Swing Heaven, which has 13 swings, including a tandem swing. The guides, who’ll help you pose, will take photos and videos of you on your cell phone.
13) Enjoy a couple’s beach day
What about the best beaches in Bali for couples?
We visited a few during our time on the island.
Whether you’re after deserted sands without another soul on them or buzzing beaches lined with clubs, there are hundreds of tropical beaches in Bali.
Nusa Dua beaches
Some of the best beaches in Bali for swimming are found on the Bukit Peninsula in the Nusa Dua area.
A planned five-star resort community, Nusa Dua boasts long stretches of white sand beaches, with clear calm water where you can swim.
Many luxury resorts like the St. Regis, Westin and Melia have beach chairs and umbrellas set up on the beach or on the manicured lawns in front of their resort.
While the Nusa Dua beaches aren’t private, these resorts are pretty exclusive. Hotel chairs and umbrellas are only for hotel guests.
However, Geger Beach in Nusa Dua is public (it’s next to the St. Regis Bali Resort).
You can rent sunbeds there for the day. A handful of local restaurants will also deliver food and drinks to you under your umbrella – perfect for the ultimate lazy vacation day!
Other Bali beaches
Of course, there are also beaches in other popular Bali resort areas like Seminyak and Kuta.
In truth, though, some of these were too crowded or littered for our tastes. The beaches weren’t the main reason we visited Bali anyway, so we didn’t really check out lots of beaches.
We found Jimbaran Beach a better bet than Kuta or Seminyak. Sanur Beach is also worth a try.
14) Take heavenly Insta-shots of Heaven’s Gate
Adding Heaven’s Gate to your Bali itinerary for couples is another memorable way to experience the island’s magic together – and to get some great Insta shots!
Pura Lempuyang is perched on Mount Lempuyang in east Bali. This collection of sacred Bali temples is home to Heaven’s Gate (the Gateway to Heaven).
One of Indonesia’s top Instagram-worthy photo spots, its famous for the images showing people – often couples holding hands – positioned between the gates at sunrise or sunset. In the photos, it looks like there’s a pool of water in front.
The mirror-like reflection at the gates is actually a trick by local photographers who take the photos of you using your phone. There’s no pool of water.
Still, this doesn’t take away from the fun of capturing a romantic snapshot!
This full-day, small-group Instagram highlights tour makes visiting Heaven’s Gate easy.
15) Snorkel with manta rays at Nusa Penida
At the nearby island of Nusa Penida, you can snorkel with not only tropical fish but manta rays!
This has to be one of the most wondrous honeymoon things to do in Bali, right?
Just a 35-minute trip by speedboat (quicker than the ferry), Manta Point in Nusa Penida is renowned for – you guessed it – huge manta rays. They rays have a wingspan of up to 16 feet.
Scuba diving with manta rays is also possible. But as the rays feed on plankton in shallower areas around the reef, it means you can see them up-close by snorkeling alone. You can even see mantas from the boat!
A few manta ray tours are offered from Sanur in Bali.
This private boat tour combines snorkeling with the manta rays and a land tour. And this small-group snorkeling trip has a couple of snorkeling stops around Nusa Penida Island (including one for manta ray snorkeling).
Or, you could stay in the paradise islands of Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan for a few days. They’re quieter than the mainland and, for a romantic Bali getaway, it’s definitely worth staying there for a bit.
16) Go surfing in Bali (or learn how to surf)
Surfing is legendary in Bali.
And it’s one of the best Bali honeymoon activities for anyone who wants an adventure.
The peak surfing season is May to September.
Some of the top surfing spots on the island are found on the Bukit Peninsula on Bali’s southern coast. In fact, it was surfers who first discovered this beautiful place – it’s an arid, teardrop-shaped piece of land (Bukit to its friends).
For big fast surfing waves, head to Uluwatu Beach right under the cliff-hanging Uluwatu Temple, one of Bali’s oldest temples.
Kuta Beach is good for both beginners and experts. Many surf schools offer lessons, and you can rent boards. Kuta’s waves are good to surf from March to November.
17) Eat great food at a romantic restaurant in Ubud
Want to bite into some really good food?
The food scene is terrific in Ubud, which is home to some of the best restaurants on the island.
You’ll be spoiled for choice. Think everything from garden cafés and juice bars to smart hotel restaurants. The gamut of cuisines ranges from French to Mexican to Indonesian (of course!).
If you like your food healthy, many places to eat in Ubud dish up wholesome plates, including vegan, vegetarian and raw food options.
18) Go horseback riding on the beach
Canggu is well known for its boutique shops and hip cafés. But you can see it from another angle atop a horse.
Feel the tropical wind in your hair as you trot along the sands of Pig Stone Beach and journey over to the lush green rice terraces.
On this horseback riding tour, you’ll be matched up with a horse that suits your riding ability and get full instruction. You can choose from a morning, afternoon or sunset tour.
19) Wander through marigold fields
Palm tree forests, white sand beaches, lush rice paddies… Bali’s landscapes are stunning.
For a unique landscape, head to Bali’s marigold fields. They’re a blanket of orange, dotted with white Kasna flowers.
Marigold flowers are significant in Balinese culture; they’re frequently used in spiritual ceremonies.
One of the best places to see these fields is Temukus Village in Northern Bali, but it’s also worth stopping by Padang Bunga Kasna near Mount Agung.
Some fields are free to visit (although a donation is always appreciated). Others ask for a fee of about 20,000 IDR ($1.30 USD).
We love these fields because they’re often quieter than other Bali hotspots, which only makes them more romantic!
20) Visit an art gallery or museum
Balinese art is beautiful and quite special.
The traditional occupation of growing rice on the island allowed the Balinese plenty of spare time, so painting became part of daily life.
Ubud art galleries
Ubud, as the island’s cultural hotspot, is the place to browse and buy Balinese paintings.
Ubud art galleries are chock-full of Balinese artworks – original oils and acrylics lean in thick stacks against gallery walls.
As well, out in the countryside, simple artist-owned stalls sell original art works in a wide range of styles – paintings, drawings, sculpture, wood carvings, even intricately painted eggs and masks hand-carved from bamboo.
Much of it is good and cheaper than in Ubud’s galleries.
Neka Art Museum
Keen on the art, we also spent many enjoyable hours at the Neka Art Museum, just a short distance from the center of Ubud.
It houses more than 400 Indonesian works of art in a cluster of colonial buildings.
The history of Balinese art is laid out here, from traditional “Wayang-style” paintings (based on old-time shadow puppet plays) onward.
Some later styles were inspired by Bali-mad European artists like Walter Spies and Adrien LeMayeur – lured to Bali in the 1900s by the beauty of Bali and its people.
The museum’s collection of ceremonial knives and kris daggers and swords is also interesting.
The museum gets top reviews. It’s quiet, and the galleries and grounds are gorgeous. Art lovers will definitely want to put it on their list of romantic places to visit in Bali.
21) Party at a beach club in Seminyak
We confess – we’re not too much into partying. So when we think of romantic things to do in Seminyak, Bali, partying at clubs isn’t the first thing that springs to our minds.
But we did have fun watching the sunset and noshing on appies at the Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak. Definitely a scene! (The club attracts international DJs and celebs.)
If you’re looking for things to do in Bali for honeymooners and couples who love to party, then the island’s beach clubs certainly deliver.
Several beach clubs in Seminyak offer good times, ocean views, swimming pools and killer cocktails.
You can easily while the day away at one of these – lounging on a sunbed, swimming, eating, drinking and listening to cool tunes.
Seminyak beach clubs get the most ink.
But other fun clubs for spending the day by the beach can also be found in Uluwatu, Jimbaran and Legian.
22) Stroll through the Tegalalang rice fields
The Tegalalang rice terraces are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ubud.
This series of lush green rice fields spreads out on tiered terraces, about a 20-minute drive north of Ubud.
Their sheer beauty makes them one of the most romantic places in Bali.
They’re great for taking an early morning stroll and to snap some eye-catching photos.
You can combine a visit to the Tegalalang rice terraces with other Bali must-see sites (like the Monkey Forest and the Tegenungan Waterfall) on this top-notch “Best of Ubud” tour.
The Jatiluwih rice terraces in Tabanan, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are also stunning, but a little harder to get to.
23) Enjoy a floating breakfast in your pool
The most romantic places to stay in Bali? An exclusive private villa, of course!
There are hundreds around the island, and if you’re savvy, you can find exceptionally cheap deals.
They’re often set in verdant rice paddies with their own private pools. And if you have a private pool, why not start the day with a floating breakfast?
We’re talking breakfast – fruit, pancakes, pastries, eggs, juice and coffee – served on a giant floating tray in your pool. One of the best honeymoon activities in Bali, it’s a breakfast date with a difference.
Or you can arrange for a floating breakfast experience at a natural pool in the Ubud jungle with this romantic Ubud tour.
Practical information for a romantic trip to Bali
Where to stay in Bali?
Ahhh, there are so many gorgeous places, perfect for couples.
In case you missed it, here are our reviews of some of best romantic Bali hotels and resorts. We’ve personally stayed at many of these hotels.
How to get to Bali
Cathay Pacific, EVA Air and other airlines fly to Denpasar (Bali) via Hong Kong or Taipei. (Flights from North America are sometimes as low as $900 USD.).
We flew on EVA Air and were quite impressed with the airline.
Getting to Ubud
Most resorts arrange airport transfers, and luxury hotels around Ubud offer complimentary shuttle service to Ubud town.
When to go to Bali
The best time to visit Bali is the dry season from April to October.
Now you know what to do in Bali for couples!
Hopefully you’re getting excited about your romantic Bali vacation!
From walking through lush tropical forests and snorkeling around colorful coral underneath the bright blue ocean to relaxing in lavish villas, Bali is a playground of romantic activities for couples.
There are romantic things in Bali for every travel style. Nature, culture, gastronomy, nightlife – pick your ideal romantic activity, and we bet you’ll find it!
Next time we go, we’d like to explore even more romantic Bali activities and hidden gems.
More Bali travel information
See our other Bali travel blog guides:
- Monkeying Around in the Ubud Monkey Forest
- The Most Romantic Hotels in Bali
- Is Alila Villas Uluwatu the Most Luxurious Hotel in Bali?
- Seeking Bliss in Bali: Hotel Tugu Bali Review
- In Bali, Luxury Pool Villas in Seminyak All The Rage
- Four Seasons Sayan Review
- Ayung Resort Ubud Review: Tropical Luxury and Art
- Jimbaran Beach is One of Bali’s Best
- Kayumanis Villas Make a Splash in Bali
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Photo credits: 6, 7, 15, 16, 19, 23 to 25, 27 to 29, 32, 39, 46 to 49, 56 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase