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Culture

section type iconCustoms

Welcoming to foreigners? Yes LGBTQ friendly? While homosexuality remains legal across Indonesia, any public displays of affection should be avoided. Recently, a proposal was made for making sex outside of marriage illegal but we don't know how this will be enforced and if it will affect nomads in Bali.

Etiquette tips

Pointing fingers is considered rude, so if you need to point something out, extend your arm outward, using the palm rather than the index finger.

How to great people

The traditional Balinese salute is the Sembah salute, where the palms are joined together and placed vertically against the chest. In this position, Indonesians say, “Om Swastiastu” which means “May peace be with you”.

Balinese also love to smile as a way of greeting someone.

Tipping norms

It is not expected nor mandatory to tip in Bali, but you are welcome to leave any amount you'd like to tip if you're happy with the service!

section type iconFood

Since the majority of Balinese are Hindu, their culinary traditions are slightly different from the rest of Indonesia.

National dish

Nasi Goreng⁠ — fried rice with meat, vegetables, and egg.

Nasi Goreng
© Agus Susanto

Must try local food

1
Serabi Kuah
Serabi Kuah

These steamed Indonesian pancakes are great with curry, or with some sweet Kuah sauce.

2
Mie Goreng
Mie Goreng

Indonesian stir-fried noodle dish with thin yellow noodles mixed with meat and vegetables. You won't struggle to find it in restaurants or street food stalls.

3
Balinese Sate
Balinese Sate

You'll easily find Balinese pork or chicken satays with the famous peanut sauce everywhere on the island!

4
Nasi Campur
Nasi Campur

A serving of rice with a number of delicious dishes and sauces including meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs, and fried-shrimp.

5
Babi Guling
Babi Guling

Roast-suckling pig popular in Bali, but not as common in the rest of Indonesia.

6
Ikan Bakar
Ikan Bakar

Charcoal-grilled fish popular in Indonesia and Malaysia.

1
Serabi Kuah
Serabi Kuah

These steamed Indonesian pancakes are great with curry, or with some sweet Kuah sauce.

2
Mie Goreng
Mie Goreng

Indonesian stir-fried noodle dish with thin yellow noodles mixed with meat and vegetables. You won't struggle to find it in restaurants or street food stalls.

3
Balinese Sate
Balinese Sate

You'll easily find Balinese pork or chicken satays with the famous peanut sauce everywhere on the island!

4
Nasi Campur
Nasi Campur

A serving of rice with a number of delicious dishes and sauces including meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs, and fried-shrimp.

5
Babi Guling
Babi Guling

Roast-suckling pig popular in Bali, but not as common in the rest of Indonesia.

6
Ikan Bakar
Ikan Bakar

Charcoal-grilled fish popular in Indonesia and Malaysia.

1
Serabi Kuah
Serabi Kuah

These steamed Indonesian pancakes are great with curry, or with some sweet Kuah sauce.

2
Mie Goreng
Mie Goreng

Indonesian stir-fried noodle dish with thin yellow noodles mixed with meat and vegetables. You won't struggle to find it in restaurants or street food stalls.

3
Balinese Sate
Balinese Sate

You'll easily find Balinese pork or chicken satays with the famous peanut sauce everywhere on the island!

4
Nasi Campur
Nasi Campur

A serving of rice with a number of delicious dishes and sauces including meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs, and fried-shrimp.

5
Babi Guling
Babi Guling

Roast-suckling pig popular in Bali, but not as common in the rest of Indonesia.

6
Ikan Bakar
Ikan Bakar

Charcoal-grilled fish popular in Indonesia and Malaysia.

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Restaurants to try

Restaurant recommendations from nomads & locals. 4.0+ rating, great atmosphere and authentic food.

1
Pak Bagong
Pak Bagongopen link

If you're in the Bangli area, stop by this fish restaurant and try their signature dish — Mujair Nyat-nyat, a fried or baked fish with Balinese herbs and spices.

2
Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangkuopen link

This is a great spot for Nasi Ayam (Chicken Rice), close to the center of Ubud.

3
Lawar Kuwir Men Koko
Lawar Kuwir Men Kokoopen link

Apart from traditional Balinese dishes, this restaurant has an incredible view of the rice paddies! Try their signature dish, Lawar, finely minced meat with spices.

4
Lia Cafe
4.3 stars
4.3 stars
$
$
Lia Cafeopen link

Seafood restaurant on the beach, a local favorite.

5
Mamasan
4.5 stars
4.5 stars
$$
$$
Mamasanopen link

Asian street food inspired restaurant.

6
Golden Valley Breeze Eco Cafe
4.7 stars
4.7 stars
$
$
Golden Valley Breeze Eco Cafeopen link

Farmers' Cooperative coffee plantation with a restaurant overlooking the waterfall.

1
Pak Bagong
Pak Bagongopen link

If you're in the Bangli area, stop by this fish restaurant and try their signature dish — Mujair Nyat-nyat, a fried or baked fish with Balinese herbs and spices.

2
Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangkuopen link

This is a great spot for Nasi Ayam (Chicken Rice), close to the center of Ubud.

3
Lawar Kuwir Men Koko
Lawar Kuwir Men Kokoopen link

Apart from traditional Balinese dishes, this restaurant has an incredible view of the rice paddies! Try their signature dish, Lawar, finely minced meat with spices.

4
Lia Cafe
4.3 stars
4.3 stars
$
$
Lia Cafeopen link

Seafood restaurant on the beach, a local favorite.

5
Mamasan
4.5 stars
4.5 stars
$$
$$
Mamasanopen link

Asian street food inspired restaurant.

6
Golden Valley Breeze Eco Cafe
4.7 stars
4.7 stars
$
$
Golden Valley Breeze Eco Cafeopen link

Farmers' Cooperative coffee plantation with a restaurant overlooking the waterfall.

1
Pak Bagong
Pak Bagongopen link

If you're in the Bangli area, stop by this fish restaurant and try their signature dish — Mujair Nyat-nyat, a fried or baked fish with Balinese herbs and spices.

2
Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangkuopen link

This is a great spot for Nasi Ayam (Chicken Rice), close to the center of Ubud.

3
Lawar Kuwir Men Koko
Lawar Kuwir Men Kokoopen link

Apart from traditional Balinese dishes, this restaurant has an incredible view of the rice paddies! Try their signature dish, Lawar, finely minced meat with spices.

4
Lia Cafe
4.3 stars
4.3 stars
$
$
Lia Cafeopen link

Seafood restaurant on the beach, a local favorite.

5
Mamasan
4.5 stars
4.5 stars
$$
$$
Mamasanopen link

Asian street food inspired restaurant.

6
Golden Valley Breeze Eco Cafe
4.7 stars
4.7 stars
$
$
Golden Valley Breeze Eco Cafeopen link

Farmers' Cooperative coffee plantation with a restaurant overlooking the waterfall.

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Food festivals & markets

Food delivery apps

Gojek app (Android | iOS)

section type iconArt & music

Where to listen to live music

Theatre & film

Visual art

  • Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)

  • Blanco Renaissance Museum — The work of Antonio Blanco inspired by the island and its community.

  • Bali Museum — With several exhibition halls, each showcase different historical data from the Mesolithic Age to the modern era.

  • Puri Lukisan — A museum that consists of 6 buildings displaying traditional Balinese paintings and woodcarvings.

  • Bali Arts Festival Annual art festival that celebrates Balinese art and culture.

Puri Lukisan Museum
© Puri Lukisan Museum

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