Best time to visit Bali

Best Time to go

Events in Bali

Bali is paradise at any time of year. This island idyll has long been popular with surfers and snorkelers, solo travellers and families, party lovers and yogis alike – there are so many things to do during your holidays to Bali. It has a fantastic foodie scene and some of the most stunning temples in Indonesia, not to mention breath-taking hiking (like the famous Mount Batur) and dream-scape beaches. It’s a place to enjoy relaxing spas and yoga sessions, deep in the peaceful jungle, or to sip cocktails and sample delicious cuisine, perched next to an infinity pool. You can ride the waves or sink beneath them and explore the colourful world below the surface. In short, Bali can be all things to all people, so it’s understandably popular. So, when is the best time to go to Bali?

Seasons: When is the Best Time to go to Bali?

Since it’s warm year-round, you can’t rely on the heat to know when to go to Bali. The temperature hovers around 27°C all year, and never really drops below 20°C. It’s the rainy season – November to March – that really dictates the low and high season in Bali. Here’s our guide to the best time to go to Bali depending on your activity and what sights you want to visit. The verdant island paradise has plenty to recommend it in peak season, and rainy season too.

High season in Bali

High season in Bali coincides with European school holidays and so the small island does tend to feel busy. Peak holiday season crescendos from July to August and – although it’s a gorgeous time to visit, with hot, sunny weather and great diving visibility – the beach resorts are busy. This is undoubtedly the best time to visit if you’re an avid diver or snorkeller, as the water is blissfully clear. It’s also the best time of year to rent a motorbike and zip around the isle (if that’s part of your dream), since the roads aren’t wet and slippery. If you’re visiting during high season in Bali but want to skip the crowds, try heading inland to (slightly) cooler Ubud and renting a villa, or to surf-spot Balian beach. Christmas, New Year and Easter, despite not being the hottest, driest times of year, also draw crowds to the island.

Shoulder season in Bali

The summer shoulder season is possibly the best time to go to Bali. It starts in April, as the west season draws to a close, with a majority of sunny days and the east coast clearing up significantly for snorkelling visibility. It’s also the start of true hiking season in Bali, so if you plan to traverse the island by foot, April is a good time to start looking. May and June are even more idyllic, allowing the opportunity to hike up the iconic Mount Batur. These are the hottest months in Bali averaging 27–29°C, with excellent water visibility and still just shy of school holidays, so you’ll find fewer crowds in the popular Bali hotels and beach resorts.

On the other end of high season in Bali, September is when the crowds start to tail off slightly. So, if you want the best of both worlds, with no rain and temperatures averaging 27°C but a slightly calmer south coast – book September in Bali. September is also the tail-end of the best surf season, so surfers might want to hang fire to catch the waves and miss the crowds. October is officially the start of the rainy season, but it isn’t in full swing yet, making it a great moment to visit Bali. You’ll still have opportunities to hike and maybe even snorkel, but you’ll enjoy the peace and serenity at temples, ruins and local restaurants and cafes.

Low season in Bali

Low season in Bali is typically November through to March – rainy season. If you’re pondering the best time to go to Bali without the crowds (just the laid-back locals) and to get the best deals on the best areas to stay, November through March is your jackpot. The rain peaks in January and, while it takes hiking and diving off the table, if you’ve come to Bali seeking zen yoga sessions and the solace of uncrowded temples – this is the moment. The beach might be a bit lacklustre, but many people find the rhythmic and rather predictable rain in the inland forest region rather relaxing. Plus, all the popular cafes and restaurants have tables, so Bali becomes a foodie haven with no need to book. Even during Bali’s wettest months – November, December and January – you can still expect long, warm bursts of sunshine. February experiences intense tropical rain showers and humidity, which just begin to tail off in March. It’s a great moment to visit Ubud; it’s uncrowded and peaceful, as well as less humid than the coastal resorts.

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Events in Bali

One of the most iconic festivals on the Bali calendar is the Bali Arts Festival, starting in the second week of June and running until the start of July. Expect outdoor stages, plus parades, and the villages are decorated with traditional, colourful décor. Denpasar is the festival hub, with some of the most impressive art displayed in Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre, as well as handicraft stalls and delicious local cuisine. The festival ends with a ceremony featuring a traditional ballet dance, typically held at the Ardha Candra stage.

  • In late June and early July (2023: 31st June to 2nd July) Ubud is briefly taken over by the Ubud Food Festival. Foodies will delight in cooking classes, panel discussion and workshops. Plus, there are food tours, long-table lunches, jungle foraging and cocktail parties. In the evening, the festival comes alive with pop-up food stalls (if you have any space left), film screenings and live music.
  • If it’s music and beach parties you’re seeking in Bali, be sure to search for events in Seminyak and Ubud before you book. There are festivals and DJ events held throughout peak season. For example, in July, you can visit Bali Blues Festival in Nusa Dua and Ubud Village Jazz Festival.
  • Bali Kite Festival is a popular event, yet a tricky one to pin down. It takes place somewhere between July and August, but exact dates are fixed closer to the time, depending on weather conditions. However, if you want to see impressive traditional kites – often 10-foot long, intricate and beautifully designed – head to Padanggalak (the home of the festival) on any windy day in July or August.
  • Indonesian Independence Day (or Hari Merdeka) falls on 17th August. Usually, it’s commemorated with parades and outdoor celebrations including food stalls, dancing and traditional dress.
  • Visitors to Bali in November will witness the 10-day holiday of Galungan, celebrating the triumph of good over evil. It’s a religious ceremony, and tall bamboo poles called “Penjor” are used to decorate the houses and temples.
  • New Year’s Eve in Bali is perennially popular – so book well in advance so December 31/January 01. You might spend the night in a chic restaurant sipping cocktails, with your toes in the sand anticipating fireworks, rubbing shoulders with locals at a long-table dinner or dancing in a club. Fireworks are let off in many locations, including Seminyak. To be in the heart of the action, however, book to stay in Kuta where the main parties are.

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