Things to Know Before You Go to Bali: Beaches and Balinese Culture

Dreaming of pristine beaches and a rich cultural journey? Bali is surely your next destination. This guide gives you all the things you should know before you go to Bali, preparing you for a fantastic adventure in this certified island paradise.

A man on a solitary walk along a golden-lit Bali beach at sunset, moments of peace
A man on a solitary walk along a golden-lit Bali beach at sunset, moments of peace

Surf, Sand, and Sacred Sites

Dubbed the ‘Isle of the Gods,’ Bali is your invitation to paradise. Home to more than 10,000 temples, the city merges spiritual sanctuaries with its world-renowned beaches, making it a unique hotspot for millions of visitors annually. This blend of divine and sublime will undoubtedly captivate and entice you for a visit, just as how it draws tourists from all corners of the globe.

In this guide, we’ll uncover the essential things to know before you go to Bali— from its spellbinding shores to the ceremonial rhythms of Balinese culture. Whether you’re a beachcomber or a culture vulture, ThisCityKnows serves up all the Bali basics on a silver platter. 

So dive right into our blog to catch the wave of must-have travel insights that promise to spruce up your Bali escapades!

Best Times to Visit Bali

The right time for any trip is one of the most essential things to know first, especially before you go to Bali. After all, its climate varies distinctly between two main seasons. 

The dry season from April to October, promises minimal rainfall and cooler air, making it perfect for beach activities and attending the island’s vibrant cultural festivals. Meanwhile, the rainy season spans from November to March when the island turns lush and less crowded. Nonetheless, it’s the ideal setting for a peaceful retreat, granting you the opportunity to enjoy more indoor cultural activities. 

Knowing these seasonal patterns will help you decide the best time for your visit, whether you’re looking to enjoy sunny beach days or prefer the tranquility of rainy afternoons. 

With that, let’s explore the beautiful beaches Bali has to offer next.

Bali’s Stunning Beaches

Bali’s beaches are central to its appeal, with each offering a unique experience. 

Here’s what makes each beach special:

  • Kuta Beach: Known for its vibrant atmosphere, Kuta Beach offers long sandy stretches perfect for surfing beginners and sunset watchers.
  • Seminyak Beach: More upscale with trendy beach clubs and high-end restaurants, Seminyak is perfect for luxury seekers and those who love social scenes.
  • Nusa Dua Beach: Famous for its crystal-clear waters and calm shores, Nusa Dua is more ideal for families looking to swim and snorkel safely along with similar water activities.

These beaches promise a glimpse into Bali’s vibrant beach culture, making them one of the important things to know before you go to Bali. Now let’s dive deeper into the rich cultural fabric of Bali, shall we?

Dive into Balinese Culture

Bali’s culture is a sea of traditions and experiences that will enrich your journey like nothing else. These cultural immersions are the essence of Bali, and knowing them is like unlocking the island’s hidden treasures before you even set foot on its shores.

One of the most vital things to know before you go to Bali is to immerse yourself in temple ceremonies at revered sites like Pura Besakih and Pura Tanah Lot. These holy grounds will envelop you with strong spirituality, as if you’re in a sacred embrace that leaves an indelible mark on your soul.

Still rich with spirituality, why not follow things up by letting the rhythmic beats of the Kecak dance entrance you. With performers dressed in elaborate costumes and flames flickering in the night, they spin tales of ancient legends that transport you to another time and place.

And don’t forget to wander through the enchanting art villages of Ubud, where every brushstroke and chisel strike tells a story. Lose yourself in the intricate wood carvings and delicate silver jewelry, each piece a testament to Bali’s rich artistic heritage.

These cultural escapades lay the foundation for an unforgettable adventure in Bali. And while you’re absorbing the cultural sights, make sure you don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine.

Taste of Balinese Cuisine

Bali’s culinary offerings are a collective treat for your taste buds. Sampling its dishes connects you more deeply with Bali’s culinary heritage, making them the more sumptuous things to know before you go to Bali.

Here are some local delights you should try out:

  • Babi Guling (Suckling Pig): This festive dish is often found at ceremonies and is a flavorful representation of Balinese cuisine.
  • Lawar: A traditional mix of vegetables, coconut, and minced meat, spiced with local herbs, offering a true taste of the island.
  • Nasi Campur Bali: A plate that combines rice with a variety of side dishes showcasing the diversity of Balinese flavors.

 Now that you have an idea of what to indulge in, let’s have a look at how you can get around the island without a hitch.

A smiling tourist delightfully indulging in the diverse flavors of Balinese cuisine

Navigate Bali with Ease

Getting around any city involves various modes of transport, each suited to different travel preferences. 

These practical options are handy things to know before you go to Bali:

  • Scooters: Renting a scooter allows you the freedom to explore at your own pace and lets you access more remote areas easily.
  • Taxis and Ride Apps: These are convenient for longer distances or when navigating the busier parts of the island.
  • Bemos (Minibuses): These are affordable ways to travel like a local, though they can be less comfortable than having private transport.

These transportation options will help you choose the best way to explore the island. Now that we’ve sorted out how you can get around the city, it’s time for you to capture those memories.

Capture Bali in Photos

Photographing Bali’s landscapes and cultural moments is a wonderful way to preserve your memories. 

Here are the top spots for photography, which are significant things to know before you go to Bali:

  • Tegalalang Rice Terrace: Capture the breathtaking early morning light as it illuminates the lush green rice paddies.
  • Uluwatu Temple: Situated on a dramatic cliff overlooking the sea, this temple offers stunning views, especially during sunset.

These spots provide incredible photographic opportunities that will let you keep your Bali memories closer to your heart. And after capturing the beauty of Bali, consider where you’ll rest your tired soul.

Diners watch the sun dip into the sea at a Bali beachfront restaurant
Diners watch the sun dip into the sea at a Bali beachfront restaurant

Choosing Your Bali Accommodation

Where you stay can greatly affect your trip, and where to book a stay is definitely one of the most critical things to know before you go to Bali. 

Here are some areas to consider, each paired with a top-rated hotel recommendation:

Kuta and Seminyak

These bustling areas are perfect for those who crave thrilling nightlife while also desiring easy access to sandy beaches. For a luxurious stay, consider the W Bali – Seminyak, which offers plush accommodations and direct beach access, making it a hotspot for those looking to indulge in the local scene.


For those seeking a tranquil, culturally rich experience, Ubud is a true sanctuary. The Viceroy Bali provides a serene retreat with stunning views of the valley and is just minutes away from the town’s famous art galleries and temples, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the cultural heart of Bali.


Known for its laid-back atmosphere and excellent surf spots, Canggu is a haven for surfers and digital nomads, among other on-the-go individuals. The Como Uma Canggu is highly recommended, offering stylish, comfortable stays right on Echo Beach, one of the area’s most famous surf spots.

Selecting a base that matches your travel preferences is one of the most practical things to know before you go to Bali. This ensures you have the perfect springboard to explore all that Bali has to offer, and with these top accommodations, you’re sure to enjoy both comfort and convenience.

Finally, let’s learn a few words to help you mingle with the locals.

Speak Like a Local

Interacting with locals can make your trip much more enriching. 

Here are a few basic Balinese phrases you can learn:

  • “Om Swastiastu”: A respectful greeting that means “good luck with God’s grace”.
  • “Suksma”: This means “Thank you.”
  • “Berapa Harga Ini?”: This translates to “How much?” Trust us. It will be quite useful when you’re out shopping or dining.

These basic phrases can help you connect better with the people you meet, so remember and practice them (or add on more common phrases if you can), before you go to Bali.

Learn the Best Ways to Experience Bali with ThisCityKnows

With these insights and things to know before you go to Bali under your belt, you’re well-prepared for a journey full of discovery and enjoyment. Bali’s stunning beaches, rich culture, and delicious food await you. And the more prepared you are, the deeper your connection with this beautiful island will be. 

With ThisCityKnows, you are always in the know about the essential things to remember about your destination. 

Plan a Bali escape with us and discover more of this island paradise!

Author: Lei

Armed with curiosity and a knack for planning, Lei loves finding cool stuff to do and places to see that aren't packed with tourists. This City Knows becomes her platform to guide you through the world's wonders, sharing easy tips for making your trip awesome and packed with memories.

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