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Top 5 Temples in Bali

February 29, 2016

A trip to Bali is not really complete without visiting at least one temple. The island has over 20,000 pura (temples in Balinese) and even though it’s impossible to visit them all, a few of them are really worth the time and effort. Plus, many of them are close to each other, so you can visit several in one day. I visited these five temples over two days and managed to see rice terraces, a butterfly farm and other Bali sights, too.

How to dress: Remember to bring a sarong if you visit a temple. Most temple guards will ask that you cover up your shoulders and ankles, but if you’re wearing pants and a tee, there shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t have a sarong, you can borrow one for free at most temples. At Besakih, it’s included in your entrance fee so don’t let anyone there convince you otherwise. Unfortunately, the place is crammed with people trying to rip you off!

Prices: Visiting a Balinese temple is cheap (cost is between $1-3), but there are different prices for foreigners and locals. You can find the prices below.

How to get there: There are three main ways to see the temples. You either sign up for a group tour, you rent a driver (what I did) or you rent a scooter. The latter is definitely the cheapest, but sitting on a scooter all day is probably not the most comfortable way to enjoy Bali’s temples. Remember, if you bring a few friends, you can split the costs which makes it a lot cheaper.

Upcoming Bali Retreats: Bali Yoga Retreat // January 20-26, 2019 or Bali Yoga Retreat // March 17-23, 2019

Temples in Bali

1. Taman Ayun

Entrance fee: 15,000 Rupiah ($1,28)

The Taman Ayaun, built in 1634, literally translates to ‘beautiful garden’, and that’s exactly what it is. It is surrounded by green gardens with ponds and trees, and the temple area has those thatched multi-roofed shrines (meru) that signifies Balinese temples. Visitors are not allowed to enter the temple premises, but you can walk around it while taking pictures and enjoying the view.

It’s a UNESCO site and truly worth the visit.

Temples in Bali

2. Ulun Danu

Entrance fee: 30,000 Rupiah ($2,5)

Ulun Danu, built in 1633, is one of the most iconic and photographed temples in Bali. It is dedicated to the lake goddess, Dewi Danu, to ensure plentiful water and bountiful crops. The temple is surrounded and reflected by the lake, and its misty mountain backdrop highlights its serene beauty.

Tirta Empul, Bali

3. Tirta Empul

Entrance fee: 15,000 Rupiah ($1,28)

This is by far my favorite temple in Bali. It reminded me of the devoted pilgrims at Ganges River in India which is also a place where many people come to pray and bathe in the holy water. A local man told me that the Balinese come here if they have bad dreams or are feeling depressed as it is believed that the water is purifying. It was a beautiful sight to see locals and foreigners move through every water spring to make a prayer.

Pura Besakih, Bali, Indonesia4. Pura Besakih

Entrance fee: 15,000 Rupiah ($1,28)

 Please be aware of the temple scams. Don’t let anyone pressure you to give a donation at the ticket counter and don’t pay for a sarong before you enter – it is included in your entrance fee.

Besakih temple, Bali’s Mother Temple, consists of more than 86 temples and is perched 1,000 metres high on the slopes of Mount Ahung. It is the largest and most important temple for the Balinese and it is said to be the only temple where a Hindu of any caste can worship. You will even find a temple of all religions.

Personally, I was not impressed by Besakih. Sure, it has a magnificent view and marvelous structures, but the vendors, scammers and overall attitude towards making a profit just ticked me off. It still is a temple of high importance, so if you do visit just stay alert.

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Join us in Bali on our upcoming Glow Yoga Retreat this upcoming March 30–April 2, 2016. Learn more. 


Freelance copywriter. Full time travel obsessive

In 2006, I went for a six-month backpacking trip through Asia and it changed my life. I started appreciating the small things, I learned to be present and depend on myself, and most importantly; I gained perspective. Since then I’ve traveled extensively in Latin America and returned to my beloved Southeast Asia every chance I get.

I live in Denmark with my husband Thomas, and he’s usually the one I travel with. Plus he’s cute and I like him. When we’re not roaming the world together, I travel solo or with Pernille, my trusty travel wingwoman.
Want inspiration for your next trip? Need packing tips or advice on where to find the world’s best beach? Love a good travel story?

That’s exactly why I’ve created Adventurous Miriam. I want to inspire you. I want you to have the best trip possible. And live the life you dream of.

I believe adventure is for everyone even if you’re not an adrenaline addict or rich. I want to give you the tools to take control of your life and realize your potential. I believe that traveling changes lives to the better. All you have to do is try.