You’ve made up your mind to visit Bali, but when is the best time of year to go? The island has two distinct seasons – dry and rainy – and the weather can vary a lot depending on which month you visit.
Some sunseekers wouldn’t dream of touching down on the island during the rainy season, whilst others prefer the cooler weather and thinner crowds at this time of year. Rainfall isn’t the only thing that should be taken into account when planning your trip, either.
If a cultural experience is what you crave, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with when the most popular events and festivals are held. Surfers should work out when the swell is best, and budget backpackers would be wise to visit when accommodation and services are cheapest. With so much to take into account, working out what time of year to visit Bali may seem like an impossible task. Fortunately for you, we’ve put together everything you need to know about weather conditions, events, and prices on the island at various times of the year.
Depending on how you want to spend your time in Bali, and what your budget is, choosing when to visit can make a big difference to how enjoyable your trip is!
When to travel to Bali?
Weather and temperatures in Bali
Bali has only two distinct seasons; the dry season, and the rainy season.
Dry Season in Bali
The dry season lasts from April through September and is characterized by sunny days and limited rainfall. The driest months are July and August, and the weather during this time is usually hot and cloudless. It’s no surprise that this is Bali’s high season, but beware; if you’re not a fan of crowds, this isn’t a great time to visit.
Sunseekers wanting to sunbathe without compromising on their relaxation time should head to Bali in April, May, or June. At this time of year, you can catch the best of Bali’s tropical climate, whilst avoiding the rush of families during high season.
Good For: Hot, dry weather, snorkelling, scuba diving, and other outdoor activities.
Bad For: Big crowds in touristy places, and more expensive accommodation.
Rainy Season in Bali
Bali’s rainy season lasts from October to March. Many people avoid visiting at this time of year, but the name ‘rainy season’ is actually something of a misnomer. Although rainfall on the island is pretty high during December, January and February, in reality, the weather is simply more changeable during Bali’s low season. For many reasons, this is actually the best time to visit the island, as the increased wind from offshore storms brings cooler temperatures, and you’re likely to see just as much sun as you do rain.
Ocean swells are also higher during the rainy season, so this is the best time for surfers to visit.
Good For: Spectacular tropical storms, cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and lower prices on accommodation and activities.
Bad For: People hoping for flawless weather and endless sunshine.
Popular festivals and events in Bali
The Balinese calendar is bursting with colorful celebrations and festivals. For people hoping to imbibe a little of the island’s culture, these are not to be missed out on! But what are the most popular events, and when are they?
Bali Arts Festival
When? June to July
The Bali Arts Festival is the island’s biggest celebration of their rich art history. Featuring parades, drama, and dance displays, this event is well worth heading to the capital for. The festival runs for one month from mid-June to mid-July, kicking of Bali’s busy season with a bang.
Nusa Dua Fiesta
When? October or November
Where? Nusa Dua
This week-long festival of art, handicrafts, music, sports, and cultural performances is held in the beach resort area of Nusa Dua. This vibrant celebration has been held annually since 1996 and is a great way to learn more about Bali’s rich culture. Visitors can witness fascinating exhibitions, listen to live bands and pig out at the many food stalls.
When? Around March
The Balinese day of silence and seclusion doesn’t seem to have much to offer visitors at a first glance. All over the island, people stay in their homes and refrain from making noise, and travelers are expected to do likewise. The Ngrupuk Parade in the evening, however, is truly spectacular, and well worth a quiet day in. Those who attend can witness incredible processions of paper mache giants, ogres that symbolize negative forces. This celebration is unlike any other on earth, and perfectly embodies the unique energy of Balinese culture.
Ultra Beach Bali
Partygoers should make their way to Seminyak in September for one of the biggest music events of the year. Held since 2015 at The Potato Head Beach Club, Ultra Beach Bali is a huge hit among digital music fans. Live shows featuring big-name DJs and stunning visual effects combine to make this the party event of the year – don’t miss it!
Bali spirit festival
Yogis and the health conscious should head to Ubud in March to take part in the Bali Spirit Festival. This event draws yogis from all over the world and is the best place to attend health and wellbeing workshops during your visit. The Bali Spirit festival is all about love and light and fosters concepts of spirituality and harmony within society and the natural environment. Join one of the many yoga workshops that run throughout the festival, and find your inner peace.
When is the cheapest time to visit Bali?
Bali’s high season runs from July to August, and this is when most people choose to visit. The surge in custom at this time of the year pushes up prices significantly, and everything from day trips to villa rentals can cost up to 50% more.
Accommodation prices settle down again outside of this busy season, so budget travelers would be wise to avoid these months. Visit in April, May, June, or September to get the best of Bali’s weather at a more reasonable price.
When is the best time to avoid the crowds in Bali?
Lots of people visit Bali for its perfect climate, so it’s hardly surprising that most people go in July and August. These two months see barely any rainfall and, as a result, the beaches and streets are thronged with families on summer vacation. Congested roads and hoards of people aren’t exactly relaxing, so visit Bali outside of the high season if you want to beat the crowds.