The beautiful and fun island of Bali isn’t just about pristine beaches and party places, it is so much more than that!

Each year, thousands of tourists visit Bali to discover its undying charm and culture.

According to the Bali National Statistics Agency, the tropical island welcomed more than 4 million foreign tourists in January 2024 alone.

Check out our list of the best Bali temples below to explore Balinese culture more closely.

Tourists are seeking the latest and innovative trends for travel while exploring places in a new light.

Spiritual tourism has caught the attention of many travellers, not just Indians but foreigners as well.

While this trend is spreading within domestic travel quickly, why not take it up a notch and extend it to international travel as well?!

There are many spiritual places with religious significance outside India that can be explored.

With more than 20,000 unique temples to marvel at, Bali is a great choice for cultural exploration. Looking for the best temples in Bali? We've got you covered. 

Balinese Culture

The Balinese culture is a mix of Hindu-Buddhist influences. Bali follows a form of Hinduism called Agama Hindu Dharma unlike the rest of the Indonesian population which is Muslim.

The religious belief of harmony between gods, nature and humans is emphasised as Bali is considered ‘The Island of Gods’. Bali temples are rich in art and sculpture.

Traditional dances and performances are still a common practice at these centres of worship.

Many folk and theatrical performances are devoted to gods and based on myths to keep the traditional customs alive.

Bali Temples: Types

While you will find thousands of unique temples, Bali temples are generally of four types:

1. Pura Kahyangan Jagat

These are known as directional temples that are believed to maintain the balance on Bali island.

The nine of these are situated strategically each representing a different direction and devoted to a specific god.

2. Pura Kahyangan Tiga

These temples are based on the concept of trinity and are divided into three subtypes: Desa, Puseh and Dalem. Such temples are public temples generally located in villages. 

Desa Temples are where people gather for meetings. These symbolise birth. Puseh temples, signifying life, are used to conduct ceremonies.

Dalem temples are located near cemeteries and are used for funeral rites as they symbolise death.

3. Pura Swagina

These temples worship the traditional occupations of the Balinese population like fishing, farming and merchants.

4. Pura Kawitan

These are ancestral Bali temples dedicated to familial lineage.

10 Best Temples in Bali to Visit

These best temples in Bali should definitely be on your travel list. Relax your mind within the spiritual aura of these temples to explore Balinese culture in an insightful manner. 

1. Tanah Lot Temple

One of the most famous and best temples in Bali, Tanah Lot Temple is a must-visit on your trip.

The temple is well-known for its sunsets that attract many tourists for some Insta-worthy shots.

If you want to avoid the tourist crowd, visit the temple during sunrise hours to get some spectacular views. 

The temple has many restaurants and a vibrant market where you can spend some quality time after the visit. The traditional dance performances at its cultural park are unmissable!

2. Uluwatu Temple

Among the Bali temples, Uluwatu temple has the best views to offer without a doubt!

Located atop a cliff with a beautiful ocean and sunset view, this temple gives a serene atmosphere to relax amid nature.

The enchanting Kecak dance performance that takes place every day during sunset hours will definitely leave you mesmerised. 

3. Besakih Temple

Located at the lush Mount Agung, Besakih Temple is among the holiest Bali temples. Also known as the Mother Temple, it has the largest temple complex in Bali comprising 23 temples.

The temple complex is situated among vibrant gardens and a breathtaking mountain scenery making it a perfect getaway.

It is recommended to visit during early morning or late afternoon when there are few tourists around.

4. Goa Lawah Temple

Truly one of the best temples in Bali, this one has unique architecture that is sure to catch your attention.

Built around rocky cliffs with engraved dragons and home to thousands of bats, this temple is a site of wonder that adds to its mysterious aura.

The temple is known to be one of the sacred directional temples of Bali and is believed to be keeping negative and evil energies away in Balinese tradition. 

5. Taman Ayun Temple

Taman Ayun Temple is among the significant landmark Bali temples showcasing the majestic traditional architecture.

The complex houses a huge garden with flower-filled ponds. The temple is a great insight into the Balinese royal life reflected by the expansive courtyards, pools and engravings.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the perfect place to unravel Balinese history and culture. 

6. Goa Gajah

This is among the most unique and best temples in Bali with intricate stone carving that attracts tourists all over the world.

Translated to Elephant Cave, Goa Gajah does not have elephants but finds its name from the nearby Petanu River, also known as the Elephant River. 

There are intricate caves, bathing pools, a lush courtyard and intricate relics to marvel at this temple complex. Go for a short walk around the rainforest if you are feeling adventurous. 

7. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Also known as the floating temple, this is one of the best temples in Bali to explore Balinese culture and traditions.

The temple complex consists of four Hindu structures and houses Goddess Danu, queen of water, lakes and rivers.

Surrounded by lush green gardens amid a mesmerising scenery offering the best of nature.

The temple has exciting activities to indulge in including cultural performances and animal spotting.

8. Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul Temple is among the famous Bali temples known for its purification ritual.

The temple has a famous holy spring where tourists from all over the world come to cleanse their minds and souls.

The huge temple complex boasts three expansive courtyards with decorative plants and statues.

Tirta Empul Temple provides an enriching experience to its visitors.

9. Pemuteran Underwater Temple

If you are looking for something adventurous, this place is a must-visit. The Underwater Temple is one of the best temples in Bali offering a unique experience.

Standing true to its name, this temple complex is literally below the water and is only accessible through diving or snorkelling!

It is believed that this temple was made to foster the growth of corals. You may even get to see some colourful coral colonies covering the temple structures.

Dive into the depths of water to unravel the mystery of this temple.

10. Lempuyang Temple

You must have pictures of Instagram influencers posting an intricately carved structure resembling an entrance amid a mountain scenery.

Well, this is that place. One of the most famous Bali temples, Lempuyang temple, is among Bali’s oldest ones.

The iconic structures are known as the ‘Gates of Heaven’ that perfectly align with the majestic views of Mount Agung.

This is a perfect place for adventure junkies with more than 1700 steps to climb before reaching its marble gates. 

Things to remember while visiting Bali Temples

  • Dress appropriately respecting the religious and cultural sentiments of locals
  • It is usually customary to remove your shoes and any headgear like hats, caps, etc. while entering the temples
  • Do not touch any ancient relics or artefacts while in the temple as they are revered as sacred and holy
  • Be mindful of your behaviour inside the temple complex. Bali temples are places of worship and serenity. One must maintain the calm and peaceful atmosphere of the place.

Balinese culture is full of spirituality and serenity embodied in the best temples in Bali.

Bali temples are not just sites of worship but reflect the rich traditions and history of the island.

While you pack for your trip, let us get your visa with our efficient service so that you only have to worry about how you want to explore Bali!