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The Ultimate 17 Best Things To Do In Uluwatu Bali

Nestled on the southwestern tip of Bali, trendy Uluwatu is home to some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in Bali, as well as dramatic cliffs, beautiful landscapes, impressive beach clubs, a plethora of cafes and restaurants – plus the most turquoise waters!

It’s an absolute surfer’s paradise and is the perfect destination for those looking to experience the best of Bali.

Sat high up in the cliffs, it’s definitely one of our favourite areas in Bali due to the stunning views, and it offers a much more laid-back and enticing vibe than over-hyped Canggu (and way better beaches!). Plus there is still plenty of Balinese culture to explore.

Here are the best things to do in Uluwatu!

Thomas Beach Uluwatu Bali

1. Visit The Famous Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu)

Uluwatu is a famous cliffside temple in Bali that’s a must-visit when in Uluwatu – it’s probably the most breathtaking temple in the whole of Bali!

It is known for its stunning location perched on the edge of a 70 metre high cliff, as well as its breathtaking ocean views and the traditional Kecak Fire Dance.

The Kecak dance is performed at 6pm every evening in an open-air amphitheatre by over 100 men – a great way to experience Balinese culture.

Sunset is definitely the best time to visit Uluwatu Temple, although it’s also the busiest time!

You may prefer to come first thing in the morning when it’s a lot quieter, not too hot, and the lighting is good for photography, and you can really explore the temple and see all the intricate sculptures without the crowds.

Uluwatu Temple was built in the 11th century, and do note that as this is one of Bali’s most spiritual and sacred sites, you will need to wear a sarong here.

Also watch out for the monkeys at Uluwatu Temple – they aren’t the nicest here as they can steal sunglasses, food, even phones if you aren’t careful! There are literally hundreds of monkeys here.

Opening Times & Admission:

Uluwatu Temple is open from 7am until 7pm. It costs 50,000 IDR to enter the temple, and an extra 150,000 IDR to watch the Kecak dance.

That being said, in my opinion the temple is actually best admired from a distance from the location below!

2. Enjoy Uninterrupted Ocean Views At Karang Boma Cliff

A 10 minute drive from Uluwatu Temple will take to you Karang Boma Cliff (sometimes known as Uluwatu Cliff) – a nice relaxing place to watch the sunset and admire Uluwatu Temple from a distance without the crowds.

No hiking is required to get to this viewpoint, it’s an easy flat walk from car park. The entrance fee is 10,000IDR, and if you want to fly a drone they will charge you 100,000 IDR!

The panoramic views over the cliffs to the ocean from here are really stunning.

Uluwatu Temple in Bali from Karang Boma Cliff viewpoint

3. Visit The Hidden Thomas Beach

Thomas Beach is a lovely and fairly unknown beach to visit in Uluwatu, with several beach shacks and simple beachfront bars for you to enjoy food and drinks. You can also hire paddleboards and surfboards from some of the shacks.

You’ll find the entrance to Thomas Beach on the pathway that’s opposite Suka Espresso (which serves some really good coffee and food by the way).

There are quite a few stairs to get down to the beach, but the view as you’re walking down the stairs is lovely.

When visiting Thomas Beach, make sure you don’t visit at low tide.

Mid and high tide are the best time to visit, as when it’s low tide the beach definitely doesn’t look as nice, the water isn’t as blue, you won’t be able to swim, and the sun loungers all get put away so the atmosphere just isn’t the same.

Thomas Beach Uluwatu Bali

4. Go To A Clifftop Beach Club With Epic Views

Uluwatu is home to some great clifftop beachclubs and dayclubs that offer stunning ocean views. One of our favourites is Ulu Cliffhouse that has a giant pool, lots of comfy daybeds, and is home to some really nice views across to Thomas Beach.

Ulu Cliffhouse looking out to Thomas Beach in Uluwatu, Bali

Head down the wooden stairs to the Ocean Deck, a separate section of Ulu Cliffhouse near the water, and you’ll come to this secret beach with some caves where you can get nice photos!

cliff beach Uluwatu Bali

Mid to low tide is a good time to come here as you can paddle through the water and explore the sea caves!

couple standing in cave beach in Uluwatu, Bali  

OneEighty dayclub at The Edge and El Kabron are a couple of other really good beach clubs that offer incredible ocean views. One Eighty has an incredible glass-bottomed pool overlooking the ocean that is just incredible!

5. Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park is home to the huge statue of the Hindu God Vishnu riding Garuda – a mythical eagle that is also Indonesia’s national emblem.

It is one of the largest monuments in the world at 122 metres high – yes, taller than The Statue Of Liberty! The statue is very impressive, and so big that you can even see it from as far away as Canggu’s beaches!

couple standing in front of statue at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Bali

Often called the most iconic landmark in Bali, there are so many spots where you can get unique photos of the monument – our favourite was in between the high cliffs!

There are actually three large statues here, all very impressive – it’s definitely worth a visit and isn’t that crowded! 

They even have a Kecak Fire Dance here in the evenings, which is great if you can’t make it to the one at Uluwatu Temple!

steps at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Bali

6. Tanah Barak Cliff Road

On the southern side of Uluwatu you’ll find one of the most unique and totally Instagrammable spots in Uluwatu!

The road leading down to Tanah Barak Beach and Pandawa Beach is so impressive – it cuts through a big cliff and makes for some fantastic photos!

Due to social media however, it has got so busy, so if you want to visit without the crowds and cars parked everywhere, you’ll want to visit first thing in the morning.

Entrance fee to 15,000 IDR.

Tanah Barak Cliff Road leading to Pandawa Beach in Uluwatu, Bali 

7. Dreamland Beach

Dreamland Beach is another beach in Uluwatu that’s worth a visit and is easily accessible down just a few steps.

It actually reminded us of the famous Bondi Beach – our local beach back home in Australia, with its relaxed beachside vibe, lots of people, surfboards everywhere and the beautiful surrounding cliffs!

This is a great spot to go surfing if you’re a beginner. You’ll also find lots of souvenir stalls on the walk to the beach, as well as a few cafes and restaurants.

dreamland beach uluwatu bali

8. Bingin Beach

Bingin Beach is stunning, the waters here are so clear, and there is a lovely chilled boho vibe on this beach – but it does get quite busy.

Bingin Beach is the perfect place to go snorkelling, enjoy some fresh seafood at one of the local warungs (small restaurants), or just sit on the beach and watch the surfers! It’s also the perfect place to enjoy the sunset.

Bingin Beach is accessed via a little passageway, and then walking down some stairs for a few minutes. There are some really nice cafes, beach bars and restaurants here to enjoy too!

If you visit at low tide and walk left along oceanfront, you’ll see the big rock in the middle of the ocean with the tree on top. If it’s not low tide, you can’t access this spot.

9. Visit Padang Padang Beach – The Beach From ‘Eat, Pray, Love’

The next beach along from Bingin Beach is Padang Padang Beach. This is another picture-perfect beach, known for its beautiful scenery – unique rock formations, calm turquoise waters and surf-friendly waves.

It’s also the beach that was featured in the Julia Roberts ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ movie when she met the Brazilian man on the beach.

Padang Padang Beach is probably the most popular beach in the Uluwatu area, but without a doubt one of the most beautiful, as well as most accessible (many of the beaches in the area involve climbing up and down a lot of steps!).

It’s quite a small beach, so it’s best to visit in the morning before all the crowds appear to appreciate the beauty of this beach. There are monkeys around but they tend not to be interested in people or their belongings, which is good!

Entrance fee: 15,000 IDR per person – in cash only.

sunset at Suarga in Uluwatu Bali

Other popular beaches in the area include:

10. Suluban Beach (Blue Point Beach)

Accessible via a dramatic and incredibly photogenic cave entrance, Suluban Beach is a must-visit beach in Uluwatu!

It’s a hotspot for experienced surfers due to its powerful waves. The beach has a vibrant surf culture – surfers from around the world come here, but it’s definitely not recommended for novice surfers as there are lots of barrel waves and sharp currents here.

Suluban Beach is also an ideal spot to catch the sunset, with its stunning scenery.

There are also some really nice cafes, bars and warungs (local restaurants) next to the beach where you can get great food and enjoy the views. Single Fin Bali is the perfect place for good food and excellent panoramic views.

11. Balangan Beach

A 200 metre long beach that’s also popular with surfers as well as sunbathers.

The Balangan Beach Viewpoint looking down onto the beach on the northern end of the beach is a lovely photo spot worth checking out.

12. Tegal Wangi Beach & Cave

Tegal Wangi is also a lovely white sand beach and it isn’t too busy. Here you’ll find some caves on the far left end of the beach from the car park that are perfect for watching the sunset.

Just make sure you visit at mid or low tide – it’s dangerous if you visit at high tide. You’ll also find lots of nice natural jacuzzi-like rock pools in the sand on the beach.

13. Nyang Nyang Beach

Nyang Nyang is a very beautiful beach with perfect white sand running for 1.5 km – one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali infact. If you want to get away from the crowds, head here as the beach is always empty.

That’s because it’s a long, steep & slippery gravel path to get down to this secluded beach and so is quite hard to reach.

All the other beaches in the area have steps to get down, except this one, so just be realistic if you can get down and back up again! You’ll also find a couple of shipwrecks at this beach.

14. Melasti Beach 

Melasti Beach has absolutely beautiful blue water & white sand, it’s so stunning and probably the most beautiful beach in the area! You need to pay a small fee to visit.

15. Enjoy Uluwatu’s Cafes

Uluwatu has a great cafe and restaurant scene that is ever-growing, and definitely completing with the food scene in Canggu! Some really nice cafes and restaurants that I can recommend are:

Single Fin Bali – next to Suluban Beach, Single Fin Bali has great views and is one of the best spots in Uluwatu for sunset, offering stunning panoramic ocean views and a great atmosphere. It’s open from 8am until 10pm.

The Loft – located a few minutes drive from both Padang Padang Beach and Bingin Beach, this is a great spot for brunch. Opens at 7.30am. 

Kellys Warung – located at Bingin Beach, there are great views from this popular cafe/restaurant.

The Cashew Tree – a short walk from Bingin Beach, The Cashew Tree is great for day and evening.

Seed Bingin – also just a short walk from Bingin Beach.

Warung Bejana – just a 1 minute drive from Uluwatu Temple, this is a lovely spot for food and drinks.

16. Go Surfing At One Of Uluwatu’s Beaches

Uluwatu is one of the best spots in the world for surfing, with people coming from far and wide to catch a wave here. If you’re a beginner surfer, stick to Padang Padang Beach or Dreamland Beach if there’s no current.

17. Watch The Sunset 

Uluwatu is probably the best spot in Bali to watch the sunset due to its location on top of the cliffs and its west-facing views. Whether you head to a sunset bar, pool club or beach club, make sure to make time to watch a sunset here!

Suarga is a great chilled place close to Padang Padang Beach to head for some sundowners – the sunset views from the infinity pool are spectacular! Otherwise, head to Ulu Cliffhouse or El Kabron if you want a party vibes!

If it’s a Sunday night, the bar Single Fin near Suluban Beach is the place to be to watch the sunset, when you’ll find parties and a DJ set.

infinity pool at sunset at Suarga in Uluwatu Bali

How to Get to Uluwatu

The journey from Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) to Uluwatu takes about 45 minutes. If you’ll be coming from Canggu it will take around 1.5 hours. 

Use the Grab or Gojek car hailing apps to get the best prices.

Where To Stay In Uluwatu

There are so many great boutique accommodations to stay at in Uluwatu, whether you wish to stay in a bubble tent, an aircraft or on a beachside villa.

On our last visit to Uluwatu we stayed at Ronja, a lovely hidden boutique hotel with just 7 suites, located in a super convenient location just a short walk from both Padang Padang Beach and Bingin Beach.

ronja boutique hotel uluwatu bali

Here you can read all about our stay at Ronja Boutique Hotel!

Where To After Uluwatu?

If you’re keen to avoid the crowds of Canggu and even Ubud, another really unique part of Bali to explore is North Bali, where you can find the true authentic Bali.

There are so many great things to do in North Bali, from visiting the famous water temple to the Instagrammable Handara gates, plus of course Munduk Moding Plantation Reserve, known for its iconic infinity pool!

And if you’re looking for an epic caption to go with your Uluwatu photos on Instagram, check out these Bali quotes & captions!