In Bali, the most widespread religion is Balinese Hinduism. The locals love temples. Temples can be found in various forms and sizes around the whole island. Bali is therefore called the island of thousands of temples. We will advise you which temples in Bali are worth a visit.
By the way, when you see tiny brightly colored cups placed on the ground or on the sidewalks, it is a local religious habit. Cups are called Canang Sari and are sacrifices to Hindu gods. In Canang Sari mostly contain some biscuits, incense sticks, flowers, money and other small presents.
Besakih Temple - Mother Temple
Besakih Temple (in Balinese is the Temple called Pura) is the largest temple complex in Bali. It consists of 22 temples and is also called the Mother Temple. Pura Besakih Temple lies at the foot of the Agung volcano. The place is undoubtedly magical, but unfortunately it is also notorious for the practices of the locals who try to make the most of the tourists. As soon as you arrive in the parking lot you will run into a bunch of locals who literally force you all kinds of items, including sarongs, canang sari, etc. Politely refuse them, continue to temple entrance (renting of sarong is included in ticket price) and enjoy a tour of this charming place.
Who wouldn’t want to have an iconic Bali photo from the Lempuyang Temple gate with reflection and Agung volcano towering in the background? You will have to visit the Lempuyang Temple high in the mountains in the northeast of Bali. The whole complex consists of 7 temples and just the way to the top offers beautiful views of the surroundings. At the gate, called Gate of Heaven, you will be photographed by locals. Unfortunately, the reflection in the photo isn’t made by the water surface. It is an optical illusion created by a mirror during a photo shoot. These photos are very popular, so you need to take your number when you arrive and wait for your turn. You can shorten your waiting by visiting the entire Pura Lempuyang, one of the oldest (if not the oldest) temples in Bali. Down at the entrance is another very nice photo corner, where you can take beautiful photos for a nice memory..
If you’re travelling to this part of the island, it is also worth visiting the Taman TirtaGangga Water Gardens, or the tree house Rumah Pohon Temega. We wrote more about these places in the article What to see in Bali.
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
Inland of Bali hides two big lakes Buyan and Tamblingan. Near them is also one smaller lake Beratan with the iconic Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. It is this temple that you’ll often see in postcards and cover photos of Bali tours and articles. Among other things, you can find this temple on 50,000 IDR banknote. Set on the shore of the lake with the mountains in the background, the temple is truly magical and extremely photogenic. You can also enjoy pleasant walk in the adjacent beautiful gardens.
Not far from the temple is another very popular photo spot in Bali – the Handara Gate. Just turn off the main road about 1 km from the temple and you can take a picture here for a fee.
Uluwatu Temple in southern Bali is definitely worth a visit. The temple lies on a high cliff and if you come in the evening, you can enjoy a really amazing sunset. It is also worth visiting the traditional Balinese Kecak dance. The show is very popular so you have to arrive in advance to get your tickets. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the dance, three-quarter hour was not enough. Kecak tickets can be only bought inside by the cliff after entering the temple fo a fee. We enjoyed the dramatic Kecak dance later in Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. We write more about that in article What to see in Bali, and it was such a great experience.
Tanah Lot Temple
Pura Tanah Lot is a beautiful temple on a small rock island. You can get here in about half an hour by scooter from Canggu. If you want to avoid the biggest crowds of tourists, arrive early in the morning. The path to the temple will be uncovered due to the low tide. But we’ve to admit that visiting the temple at sunset also has its undeniable charm.
Bonus tip: Goa Giri Putri Temple on Nusa Penida
A visit to Pura Goa Giri Putri – a temple that is all in a cave and entrance it through a narrow crack, is definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, this temple is not located directly on Bali, but on the nearby island of Nusa Penida. Nusa Penida island is a very popular destination for a short trip from Bali. If you go there, be sure to explore this temple. About Nusa Penida Island, including Goa Giri Putri Temple, we write more in article Nusa Penida – Island Guide.
Map with Bali temples location
If you didn’t find something in the article you are interested in, don’t hesitate to write down the comment or send us an e-mail. We’ll be happy to answer.