Bali as a family: the complete guide

Modified on January 21, 2024

Travelling to Bali with family is an adventure that attracts many people every year. It must be said that Bali has no shortage of attractions, both for the little ones and the grown-ups. Discover everything you need to know about the island if you plan to go there with your family.

Table of Contents

The advantages of going to Bali with family

Many people wonder if going to Bali with family is a good idea. The answer is yes in the majority of cases.

Here are the main advantages of going to Bali with family.

Introduce your children to a new culture

Bali has a unique cultural richness in the world. In the middle of Southeast Asia, in an archipelago that is predominantly Muslim, Bali shines with its Hindu culture that is rarely found in the surrounding islands and countries.

If you or your children have never been to Asia, Bali is an excellent introduction. You can apprehend Asian culture without fear, with infrastructure designed to accommodate tourists, whether in a more luxurious setting or a more rustic one, depending on your preferences.

In either case, nothing is forced, making Bali a particularly affordable destination for both experienced and novice travelers.

Bali is a very safe destination

Another advantage of Bali is that it is a very safe destination, which is reassuring when traveling with children.

While petty crime exists as it does everywhere else, it is well below the level observed in most Western cities.

Balinese people love children

Family is a central element of Balinese culture. Having children is practically an obligation, and few deviate from this rule.

As a result, most Balinese people beyond a certain age are also parents and love children. Whether you are in a restaurant, a hotel, or a guest house, your children will always be appreciated by the locals, and so will you!

Enjoy luxury at a reduced price

Bali is a relatively inexpensive destination. While coming from Europe can be expensive, especially for a family, your expenses on the spot will likely be much lower than your usual vacation budget for equivalent comfort.

If you know that you don't come to Bali every year, it's a fantastic opportunity to treat yourself and offer your family a luxurious trip they won't soon forget.

If luxury is not your cup of tea, you can always opt for a trip that won't cost much more than going a few kilometers from home, except that you will have traveled to the other side of the world with your family.

Have the assurance of good weather during your vacation (during the dry season)

If you know when to go to Bali, it is very likely that you will not see a drop of rain throughout your stay.

Heading right in the middle of the dry season, which conveniently aligns with the summer holidays in Europe, guarantees you plenty of sunshine throughout your stay.

The best places to go in Bali with your children

Bali is not as small as one might think. From one coast to another or even from one beach to another, the ambiance and experience can change completely. Here are the cities you should consider if you plan to go to Bali with your family.

Sanur: the ideal seaside resort for families

sanur as family

Sanur is undoubtedly the most suitable city for family vacations in Bali.

The best luxury hotels on the Sanur waterfront allow everyone to stay in very comfortable and quiet rooms, and to organize outings in Bali very easily. Sanur's beaches are also protected by a lagoon, making them ideal for water activities in complete safety.

Sanur also has another significant advantage: the city is very central. You will have no trouble reaching Ubud, Seminyak, or the diving spots on the East Coast while staying in Sanur.

Amed: a haven of peace for families

amed family

Amed is a small fishing village in the northeast of Bali.

The town is very calm and is primarily a place to recharge or for diving and snorkeling. Amed's beaches are not exposed to the swell, making them perfect for family paddling without the risk of drowning.

There are accommodations of all types in Amed, allowing families with all budgets to stay there.

Amed should be a mandatory stop for all families wishing to discover Bali.

Ubud: discovering the heart of Bali

ubud family

Ubud is an essential city in the center of Bali. People come here for its art, rice terraces, and to live close to nature.

Ubud is also a popular destination for families. You can discover the heart of Balinese culture, both in terms of temples, royal palaces, and other essential monuments, as well as from a culinary point of view. Of course, one also comes to Ubud to discover the surrounding rice terraces, including the iconic Tegallalang rice terraces and its swings.

If you are looking for extraordinary accommodations to stay in Bali, Ubud has many truly exceptional hotels and resorts.

Ubud is often on the list of all family itineraries in Bali, and it's easy to see why.

Gilis: shells and crustaceans for the family

gilis as family

The Gili Islands are three small islets off the coast of Lombok that seem to come straight out of a postcard.

If Gili Trawangan is an island primarily known for its very festive atmosphere and therefore not recommended for families, Gili Air and Gili Meno are ideal for families.

If you want to spend a few days with your family feeling like you're on a deserted paradise island, without any cars and far from the city vibe, you can't really go wrong.

Menjangan: a destination too often underestimated

menjangan as family

Menjangan is one of those destinations often forgotten on family itineraries in Bali, and that's a shame.

The place is unique, calm, and ideal for diving. The surroundings of Menjangan have been spared by the tourist industry. If you want to immerse yourself for a few days in authentic Bali, see corals replanted by hand, and deer on a tropical island (yes, indeed!), you are in the right place.

Canggu, Seminyak, and Kuta: cities for a lively family stay

canggu family

Not everyone is necessarily looking for calm and serenity during a stay in Bali.

For those, there's nothing like spending a few days in the beach resorts of Canggu and Seminyak or Kuta. These cities are all very lively, offering a plethora of shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

Canggu and Kuta are probably the liveliest, making them particularly appealing to teenagers. Seminyak generally attracts a slightly more diverse audience.

Regardless of where you decide to settle between these cities, you are in the heart of South Bali, so you and your children will never lack activities.

Nusa Dua: a luxurious playground perfect for families

nusa dua as family

Nusa Dua is not necessarily a destination that will suit all families.

This place is primarily a collection of resorts that form something resembling a large "holiday village." Certainly, it may not be the most authentic place in Bali, but it is, however, a very convenient place for families.

The hotels there are magnificent and luxurious, it is possible to consume anything within this complex. The beaches are beautiful and very secure, and children can be relatively independent within this perimeter, which is not negligible.

If you are going to Bali with your family with the idea of staying in luxury establishments with an exceptional panorama, do not overlook Nusa Dua.

Le Bukit/Uluwatu: the flagship destination for surfer families

uluwatu as family

Uluwatu, and more generally the Bukit, the peninsula of South Bali (of which Nusa Dua is also part), is a destination primarily renowned for its world-renowned surf spots.

Between Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Bingin, Nusa Dua, Impossibles, Balangan, Dreamland, and many others more or less known, there is plenty to do for surfers.

The area is also interesting to visit for those who do not surf, especially during the time of Uluwatu, but let's not kid ourselves, most families looking to stay in the area are there for one thing: the waves.

Be careful, however, the waves of Bukit remain reef waves, often shallow, and are much more demanding than they appear in videos. Many surfers from around the world grab them each year, and the level in the water is often (very) high. If you are a beginner family, this is not at all the best place to learn; it is better to prefer Kuta or Seminyak in this case.

What to do in Bali as a family?

If Bali is a destination highly favored by families, it is above all because there are many activities to do. Here are the must-dos for families.

Discover Balinese culture: temples, dances, and crafts

It would be a shame to spend a few weeks in Bali without discovering the local culture. Temples, traditional dances, and local craftsmanship, Balinese culture is very rich, and the island is not just about beaches and rice fields.

An ideal opportunity to let both children and adults experience another culture often opposite to theirs.

Taste local food

ayam betutu

Local food, whether purely Balinese or Indonesian in general, is an absolute must-try when coming to Bali with family.

The dishes are sometimes very spicy, but not always, and many delicious dishes, desserts, and beverages are to be discovered during your stay. Entering a warung or ordering a dish in a "food court" or directly on the street is a local experience not to be missed that can leave you with unforgettable memories, both in terms of taste and human encounters.

Enjoy the beaches

kuta family

Of course, Bali is often visited for its beaches or water activities. So, it is natural to spend a good part of your family vacation in Bali enjoying its beaches and tropical climate.

From the surf spots in the South and West of Bali to the dive spots in the East, passing through the remote feel beaches of the Gilis or the black sand beaches of North Bali, the choices are endless.

Explore the inland

bali waterfall

The inland of Bali is full of surprises: waterfalls, rivers, volcanoes, lakes, hills, and of course, the must-see rice fields.

Activities inland are, therefore, very diverse: hiking, trekking, rafting, cycling, motocross, quad biking, or even rice cultivation initiation. Again, there is something for every taste.

How to get around Bali with family?

The issue of transportation often comes up in Bali, especially when travelling with family, which automatically rules out certain modes of transport.

Car rental with driver: the best way to get around Bali with family

If you plan to move around frequently, you can either afford the services of a private driver, or even benefit from the services of a guided driver who can show you emblematic places on the island.

Both are excellent ways to get around for a day or even a few days during your family stay in Bali.

Move by taxi or GoCar/Grab (local Ubers)

Taxis and other peer-to-peer services like Gojek (Gocar) and Grab are also good means of getting around between hotels in different cities.

Gojek (or Grab) has the advantage of having fixed prices in advance, in addition to some application automations that mean you don't have to speak Bahasa Indonesia (or your driver speak English) to get by.

If you're not sure how to go about it, I recommend reading this guide to creating a Gojek account and recharging it as a foreigner.

Scooters: better to avoid with family

Bali is often explored on scooters. Unless you and your children are accustomed to riding or being passengers on scooters in your home country, it is not recommended to ride a scooter in Bali if you are doing it for the first time.

The local way of driving remains sporty, and you can be a significant danger to other road users or your passengers if you have to learn everything at the same time: local driving, scooter riding, and how to be a good passenger.

Accidents are frequent, and we remind you that the hospital will only take care of you if it is ensured to be paid (either in cash or through insurance), so it is better not to tempt fate.

Read our article on modes of transportation in Bali to learn more.

The budget for a family vacation in Bali

The budget for a family trip to Bali depends on various factors, including the standard of your stay. It is evident that a backpacking-style trip will not cost as much as a stay in luxurious establishments.

Airfare from Europe: rarely less than €700

Airfare is a significant expense when travelling as a family from Europe.

There are regularly promotions, but don't expect to get away with less than €500 per person round trip. Generally, it's better to budget around €600-€700 for economy class from Paris, per person, of course.

Obviously, if you are Australian or Singaporean, the airfare is much lower.

Accommodation: budget depends on desired standard

Accommodation is one of those expenses that can quickly inflate the budget.

The minimum is around €8 per night per room for somewhat remote guesthouses. Finding anything less than that, especially in popular areas, is very rare without speaking the language!

Around €30 per room per night, you start to have very nice rooms almost everywhere you might go in Bali.

As you approach €100 per night, you enter the rooms of luxury hotels, and even some villas that can accommodate a family.

In short, for a family of 4 (so 2 rooms), if you budget a minimum of €50-€60 per night, you will undoubtedly not be disappointed with the trip.

Transport: not the most significant expense in Bali

Unlike many countries, the cost of transportation is not very high in Bali. As a family, you will probably opt for cars with drivers, guides, or taxis, which, divided per person on board, is rarely a huge budget.

For example, a full-day driver who can also act as a guide can be found for as low as 500-700k, or about €30-€45. For a family of 4 for a full day, this is barely €10/day to travel safely everywhere in Bali.

The cost of renting a car through Gojek to go from point A to point B is often around €5 for half an hour of driving.

Food budget: depends on your willingness to try local food

The food budget in Bali can be both very low or very high. Street food and warungs are, of course, very cheap. You can eat for €1 per meal per person. But you might have a bit of difficulty finding those prices without speaking Indonesian, especially in tourist areas. Prices for local dishes are usually around €3 (50k).

If you want to eat in your hotel or a luxurious restaurant, prices can quickly rise. €10-€15 per person is then a good range to budget. If you plan to drink alcohol, the price can also quickly rise, as alcohol is more expensive in Bali than in France. But if you're in Bali with your family, you shouldn't be there to get drunk. Unless...!

Activity budget: highly variable

The budget for activities in Bali is also one of the most variable expenses, especially for families where everything is quickly multiplied.

In theory, it is possible to spend a family vacation in Bali with almost no expense on activities, as many activities like going to the beach are free or almost free (you still have to pay for parking!).

In practice, there are probably temples you'll want to visit, a volcano you'll want to climb, a snorkeling mask to rent, or simply tickets for speedboats to go to the Gili Islands or Nusa Lembongan. Of course, none of this is free, even if expensive activities are ultimately quite few.

Planning to spend a few tens of euros per day per person is therefore a good idea.

Travel insurance: absolutely essential if you go to Bali with your family

If there's one thing you shouldn't skimp on in Bali, it's health insurance. A health problem in Bali can quickly result in thousands of euros, and hospitals will only take care of you if they are certain to be paid (either in cash or through insurance), regardless of the severity of the issue.

We strongly recommend not neglecting your health insurance when you go to Bali, especially with your family. It rarely costs more than €50 per month per person but can get you out of situations you really don't want to be in.

Visa budget for Bali with family: low if you are tourists

The visa budget is quite limited in Bali as long as you are a tourist.

If you stay less than 60 days, you will need to buy a Visa On Arrival (VOA) that lasts for 30 days and can be extended for an additional 30 days. It costs around €1 per day per person.

For more information, read our article on types of visas in Bali.

Example of a budget for a family vacation in Bali

Expense categoryMinimumNice and/or Easy to findLuxury
Airfare (Round trip) / person€600€700€1,500 ++
Accommodation / room / night€8€25 - €30From €80
Transportation / day / person€2€7€15
Food / day / person€4€15-€20From €50
Activities / person / day€2€15From €50
Insurance / day / family member€1.5€2.5€3
Tourist visa / day / person€1 (Tourist VOA)€1 (Tourist VOA)€1 (Tourist VOA)
Total budget / person / day on site (excluding airfare)€15-€20€50-€70From €200

Example of a budget for a family trip to Bali, according to your means

My tips for a family trip to Bali

Here are some general recommendations before booking your trip to Bali.

Plan for at least 3 weeks on-site

Regarding the minimum duration to visit Bali, everyone has their answer. I recommend 3 weeks if you really want to discover it.

Don't forget that you will have 2 days of travel each way if you come from Europe. The first days in Bali can be tough in terms of jet lag when coming from the West, especially for children. It's better to plan at least 2 quiet days to recover from the journey. In the other direction (on your return), the jet lag is much easier to handle.

If you have 2 or 3 effective weeks of vacation in Bali, it's a good start to discover the island. Less than that is often a bit short.

Avoid travelling with young children

If your children are young, the plane journey can be quite challenging. The fastest flights from Europe take about 18 hours, not counting layovers, getting to the airport, or from the Bali airport to your hotel. Make sure your child can handle it before embarking.

Pay attention to visas if you stay more than 30 days

If you stay more than 30 days, you cannot benefit from the visa exemption. You will need to get a 30-day Visa On Arrival (VOA) and then extend it after 30 days, allowing you to stay for 60 days in Bali.

Get travel insurance for each family member

Travel insurance is not optional, as we have seen earlier. It is also essential for children, of course. If you already have insurance that may cover you (sometimes the case with your credit cards), make sure that your family members are also covered. Do not hesitate to read the fine print of your contracts. If your family is not entirely covered by your insurance policy, do not take unnecessary risks.

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