With its vibrant tourism scene, having free things to do in Bali may sound impossible. Hotels here are luxurious not to mention the beach resorts where you’ll need to work your ass off just to afford a vacation. If you’re traveling on a budget, free stuff is almost heavenly especially if it brings more fun than paid ones.
Here, I listed some of the free activities you can do so you can have your savings intact without compromising your enjoyment.
1. Enjoy the azure waters
If there’s one thing to be excited about traveling on a budget, it would be the stunning shores of Bali. You can check in on a cheap homestay since you won’t be staying in your room, right? Once you have secured your belongings, you can take a swim in one of the beaches in Canggu, Kuta, or Nusa Dua.
You can also watch the surfers ride the waves or you can go snorkeling in the shallow waters. All these for free!
2. Go hiking and visit temples
Bali is the home to many Hindu temples in Indonesia. Almost all of these are free to visit plus you can go hiking to reach those that are perched on cliffs. If you’re planning to hike on mountains, you may need to pay a guide or you can go on your own. You can take the grueling challenge on Mount Batur or Mount Agung.
Remember that hiking on some sacred sites would need a permit from the local authorities for your safety.
3. Watch craftsmen create their masterpieces
Aside from the beaches, Bali is also rich in art markets where locals show their artisanship through souvenir items. You can visit one of these villages as a memorable activity and you’ll also get to know the locals. From the variety of crafts, you can choose to watch either woodcarving, silversmiths working on their next gem, or batik making.
The locals here are eager to have you watch their process of making the goods. This is in hope that you’ll purchase something that you like. Anyway, it’s not required that you buy something from the free things to do in Bali.
4. Participate in the hatchling release of Bali Sea Turtle Society
Kuta is the home of a conservation center for Bali’s sea turtles. If you’re in time, you can join the volunteers when they release the hatchlings to the sea. This is a one-of-a-kind experience as it takes months before the turtles can lay eggs and for it to be hatched. Aside from enjoying, you also get to give back to Mother Nature. This is also a good opportunity to photograph the little creatures as they fight their first waves.
5. Free Things To Do In Bali: Enjoy colorful festivals
The likes of Bali Arts Festival, Sanur Village Festival, and Bali Kites Festival are free to watch. Here, you’ll get to see colorful processions for zero dollars. Bali Kite Festival, for example, happens during the weather-perfect months of July to October. Locals will fly gigantic kites here that you can enjoy watching.
If you’re staying in West Bali, you should catch the Makepung Buffalo Race that happens in the months of July to November. Aside from the speeding buffalos, they also wore colorful headdresses that the farmers prepared.
6. Visit stunning rice terraces paddies
A visit at Ubud’s famous rice terraces would be a fulfilling activity. The view of the multi-level paddies is a spread of lush green surrounded by tall coconut trees. You can walk through the paddies where the owner would likely offer you a sip of the green coconut drink he makes. If you have a spare change, buy a souvenir hat from his creations.
The Tegallalang rice paddies are one of the photographer favorites here in Bali. Who can resist taking snapshots of such beauty, anyway?
7. Watch the sunset
Of all the free things to do in Bali, watching the sunset is the most spectacular one. And since there are countless beaches here on the island, you’ll surely find a spot to sit on. This is definitely free and you can find the best spot in Tanah Lot, Jimbaran, Kayu Putih, and Dreamland Beach. Even if you’re not in these places, you’ll still have a romantic view of the sun.
8. Visit art galleries for free!
There are many art galleries in Ubud, and the good news is that a lot of them don’t have entrance fees. The Neka Gallery, for one, is free to visit instead of going to major museums in the area. You just have to ask the locals and you’ll definitely find a bunch to spend the day on.
9. Unleash your photography skills
Bali is a paradise. You don’t have to go to optical illusion museums just to have fun taking pictures. You can take snapshots of the sunset, rice terraces, white sand beaches, and even the crazy traffic. It’s not important if you’re a professional photographer, as long as you have a camera in hand, you’ll have a good time.
Don’t forget to take loads of selfies and groupies here. Even if you’re traveling alone, the locals would be there to accompany you with a big smile.
10. Immerse yourself in the countryside
There are many organized tours in the Ubud countryside, but if you want to save money, you can go on your own. The locals here are friendly as long as you respect their space and you smile. On your self-tour, you can see the humble lives of Balinese people.
These free things to do in Bali are humble but it can be fun as those you spend your dollars on. Traveling in Bali doesn’t always mean luxurious resorts or high-priced meals, it can also be about immersing yourself in its natural beauty by paying less or nothing at all. So what does that mean? Yes, you can enjoy Bali even if you’re traveling on a budget. How good is that?