Bali vs Maldives – Which Is Better For Honeymoon

Two of our all-time favourite honeymoon destinations but Bali vs Maldives – which is better for honeymoon?

Bali vs Maldives - Which is better for honeymoon? | The Honeymoon Guide
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

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Maybe one of the most beautiful of choices you’ll ever have to make in your lives! But in the battle of spectacular destinations, Bali vs Maldives, which is better for honeymoon?

You’ve seen a ton of swoon-worthy videos about these heavenly destinations on your social media channels.

You’d love to fly on a seaplane, swing in the ocean, maybe swim with dolphins and drink cocktails at sunset. Witness the ocean hues of sapphire, cobalt, mint and turquoise.

Run along dazzling white sand beaches. Stay in a magical overwater villa and a heavenly jungle suite with an infinity pool. But how do you decide? Bali vs Maldives – which is better for honeymoon?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked! There are a few things that will help you decide.

For now let’s break it down, Bali vs Maldives – which is better for honeymoon?

P.S. You can dive deeper into both destinations with our in-depth guide to Bali and our in-depth guide to Maldives

Good to know about Bali vs Maldives


Time Zone: GMT +8

Language: Balinese & Indonesian

Population: 4 million in Bali

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah Rp


Time Zone: GMT +5

Language: Dhivehi

Capital: Malé

Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa MVR

Visa Required: Most nationalities do not need to obtain a visa prior to arrival for the Maldives. In Bali, most nationalities can enter Bali for up to 30 days if you get a visa online. You need 6 months of validity left on your passport. can help if you need a visa.

Travel Insurance: Here at The Honeymoon Guide, we want you to have the best honeymoon possible. Safety is paramount, so it’s important to have travel insurance in place when you book your honeymoon. If you don’t have travel insurance, check out to learn more.

World Nomads provide travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance from World Nomads.

Travel Health: The Maldives is a malaria-free honeymoon destination.  Bali has a (low) risk of malaria. Anti-malarial drugs may be recommended for rural parts of Bali and other parts of Indonesia. Neither Bali or the Maldives are considered Zika free.

Some travel vaccinations may be needed. We encourage you to visit the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date travel vaccination recommendations or speak to a Tropical Medicine Specialist.

Nusa Penida Bali Honeymoon in Indonesia

Is there a difference between Maldives and Bali

When it comes to considering Bali vs Maldives for honeymoon, there are some key differences.

For starters, the Maldives is an entire country, spread across over 800kms. The other, Bali, is an island of Indonesia that is 153km in width and 112km in length.

The Maldives is a collection of 1200 tiny atolls (groups of islands) located just south of Sri Lanka and India. The capital, Malé, is a bustling island city.

The islands in the Maldives have no mountains or rivers and the vast majority of couples will stay on the same tiny paradisiacal island. 

On the other hand, Bali has beaches, volcanos and a lush jungle rainforest interior. Despite being a nation of islands, it’s less common to island hop in Maldives, whereas it’s extremely common to tag on neighbouring islands to Bali.

Best time to visit Bali and Maldives

The Maldives and Bali are tropical destinations where the temperatures stay warm all year round.

Both experience ‘rainy’ and ‘dry’ seasons but at different times of year (as opposed to four seasons in other parts of the world).

The time of year you’re intending to travel might be one of the first thing that will help you decide on Bali vs Maldives for honeymoon.

The best time to visit Maldives for a honeymoon is during the dry season, from December to April, when there is the least risk of rainfall.

That being said, many couples travel during the rainy season from May to October and it’s a great time to save some money as prices drop up to half of the cost of the dry season.

During the rainy season in Maldives, you may experience overcast days or days of thunderstorms, but even the rainy season sees many days of sunshine. May, September & October experience the most rainfall. 

The best time to visit Bali for a honeymoon is the opposite season, from April to October, during the dry season.

While many couples travel during the rainy season from November to January and particularly over the Christmas/New Year period, expect some bouts of showers, including occasional heavy rain and thunderstorms.

So if you’re planning a summer honeymoon, Bali is a great option and if you’re planning a winter honeymoon, Maldives is a great option. 

Maldives Resort Overwater Villas The Honeymoon Guide

How to get to Bali vs Maldives

To get to the Maldives, you fly to Velana International Airport at the capital Malé (airport code: MLE).

One popular option for reaching the Maldives is to fly via the Middle East. You can catch connecting flights with a short layover from cities in the UAE (with Emirates via Dubai or Etihad via Abu Dhabi), Qatar (with Qatar Airways via Doha) or Turkey (via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines).

These cities have frequent flights for a smooth and convenient journey. From Asia, there are direct flights to the Maldives from Bangkok, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. You can also fly from London and Frankfurt to the Maldives.

To get to Bali, you fly to I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport at the capital Denpasar (airport code: DPS) via the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

You’ll most likely need a connecting flight as there are currently no direct flights from the US to Bali. There are also very few flights from Europe, except from Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and one with KLM from Amsterdam which touches down in Singapore.

However, getting to Bali is relatively easy with connections via many Asia hubs like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Tokyo.

You can also fly from all major Australian cities and also via the Middle East, like Dubai and Abu Dhabi and Doha.

If you’re travelling from Europe or the Middle East, the Maldives is closer by about 6 hours, so if time and distance matter when considering Bali vs Maldives, Maldives is closer unless you’re based in Asia or Australia, then Bali is closer.

How to get around Bali and Maldives

In the Maldives, the concept is “one island: one resort”. 99% of couples visiting the Maldives go straight from the airport to their hotel, spending the entire trip in the same resort.

To get to your resort, you can pick a resort with a speedboat transfer, a seaplane transfer, or domestic flight followed by a speedboat ride. It can take anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes to get to your resort.

You won’t need car hire or public transport to get around as you stay on a private island. In some resorts, there are opportunities to visit local islands, but the only time you’ll leave the island is on a sunset cruise or to go home!

Although it is possible, in theory, to go island hopping in the Maldives and stay in different resorts, it is actually extremely rare to do this. Mainly because of the cost of speedboats and seaplanes which can be on average $500 person.

The cheapest way to stay in different resorts would be to stick to the same atoll so you can arrange a speedboat between neighbouring islands.

However, if you love the idea of a Maldives island hopping honeymoon, you can find unique week long cruises with G Adventures and lovely options with ScubaSpa.

In Bali, it’s likely you’ll be moving around. However, as Bali is one island, you can get away with not taking any flights once you’re there, making it easier to get around.

In theory, you could base yourself in one area and take day trips, although we recommend moving around and staying in a few spots as mentioned above, like a beach area and Ubud.

You can also take the ferry to other islands like the Nusa Islands and the magical Gili Islands. You can fly to the quieter neighbouring island of Lombok, too (beside the Gili Islands).

Tourists rarely hire a car in Asia as the best way to get around is to either use taxis, tours or hire a driver. For those who are more adventurous, hiring mopeds is also an option. However, using taxis and drivers is actually very affordable.

Gili Air Palm trees at sunset

Where to stay in Bali vs Maldives

When considering where to stay Bali vs Maldives, we must admit it’s a tough choice, as both have some wonderful and unique honeymoon accommodation.

However, they both offer differing experiences on the honeymoon hotel front.

In the Maldives, resorts reign supreme. You’ll find a variety of options ranging from large, all-inclusive islands to smaller, more intimate ultra luxury islands with a handful of adults only options, perfect for couples looking for a quiet romantic honeymoon getaway.

Some of the best honeymoon resorts in the world are in the Maldives, and every hotel there caters to honeymoon couples as a priority.

One highlight of staying in the Maldives is the opportunity to stay in an iconic overwater villa.

These luxurious accommodations often come with their own private plunge pool and direct access to the warm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. You might even book a water slide overwater villa! There are some more affordable options, too!

If you’re looking for an authentic experience, you can go off the beaten track a little, as the government recently allowed local guesthouses to open on locally inhabited islands with a chance to immerse yourself in Maldivian culture and support the local community.

However, outside of the privately owned and operated luxury resorts, Maldives is a conservative country, so the vibe will be very different to a resort.

Although these days the Maldives is not the only destination with overwater villas or overwater bungalows, and you can find some overwater bungalows in other parts of Indonesia, although not in Bali.

However, in Bali, you are spoiled for choice. You can stay in local guesthouses, backpacking- style. However, some of the most luxurious hotels in the world are on this magical island.

From cliffside villas to oceanfront resorts and hilltop jungle retreats, the options for an indulgent hotel stay are actually endless.

Bali has stunning private pool suites and villas, and it’s the birthplace of the floating breakfast concept.

It’s also one of our top picks for affordable luxury, a chance to indulge in five-star experience without breaking the bank.

When considering Bali vs Maldives accommodation, Bali is more affordable and has more varied types of honeymoon hotels.

What they do have in common is that there are some beautiful options with amazing service and honeymoon amenities like private pools and floating breakfasts!

Plus, there are always new resorts popping up so for couples who are seeking the latest in luxury.

Some of our favourite Maldives honeymoon resorts:

Huvafen Fushi | Soneva Jani | Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi | LUX* South Ari Atoll| Kuramathi Maldives| Varu by Atmosphere | Amilla Maldives | Nova Maldives | Sun Siyam Olhuveli 

Some of our favourite Bali honeymoon hotels:

in Bali Hotel Tugu | Ayana Resort Bali | Six Senses Uluwatu | Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay | The Udaya Resort & Spa

Bali Floating Breakfast

What to eat in Bali vs Maldives

Whether you do or don’t want an all-inclusive resort might help you choose in the battle of Bali vs Maldives for honeymoon!

Generally speaking, Bali is not an all-inclusive kind of destination, whereas the Maldives definitely is!

For gastronomy lovers, if you choose the Maldives or Bali for your honeymoon, you will be in foodie honeymoon heaven, as both are great destinations for food lovers.

However, they are different. As we mentioned, Bali is not an all-inclusive kind of destination.

One reason this is a good thing is because the dining scene in Bali is incredible. Whether your jam is trying the local cuisine, seafood or prefer to stick international cuisine / western food options, there are so many great places to eat.

We’d highly recommend taking part in a cooking class in Bali and taking a street food tour. Seminyak, Ubud, Gili Trawangan, all the top tourists destinations will have many options on your doorstep, you’re spoiled for choice.

Make sure you dine at a warung. These are traditional and usually family-run establishments with super affordable Indonesian food. You get incredible value, with dishes only costing a couple of dollars and a must for diving into local cuisine.

The Maldives is a remote island nation and has to import most food and drink. However, because of its proximity to three continents, Maldives still has wonderful dining options.

You can probably eat anything you want in Maldives, and the standard of food and drink is extremely high.

Even in the all-inclusive resorts, you’ll find beautiful buffet breakfasts and multiple dining options in most resorts. You can’t really go anywhere as you’re on your own self-contained island. The number of restaurants and the types of cuisines will vary from resort to resort.

Dining is relatively expensive. Hence why the vast majority of couples will opt for an all-inclusive package where possible, making it easy to enjoy a variety of meals and drinks without worrying about the bill at the end. 

However, some resorts also offer bed-and-breakfast, half board (breakfast & dinner) or full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner) options.

This is often the case at the high-end five-star plus resorts in the Maldives. It might also be suitable for couples who don’t drink alcohol. If you don’t go all-inclusive, you only pay for any extras you eat & drink locally (added to your bill and paid at check-out).

Dining in the Maldives is a treat for the senses. You may find Italian, Indian, Thai, and Japanese cuisines, as well as fresh seafood and exotic fruits.

Sometimes only the buffet restaurant is included in your package, so it’s worth comparing Maldives honeymoon packages.

All-Inclusive packages can be great value and sometimes have a handful of activities included. Others have an optional supplement that allows you to upgrade to dine around in multiple restaurants.

aerial view boat maldives honeymoon

Things to do in Maldives and Bali

When thinking about things to do in Bali vs Maldives, we must admit Bali wins here. It’s actually impossible to fit in everything there is to do in Bali on the average honeymoon length.

However, that doesn’t mean the Maldives has to be boring or quiet in comparison!

How would your day go on honeymoon in the Maldives?

You might choose to wake up to see the magical Maldivian sunrise, go for a leisurely breakfast, or spend the morning scuba diving or snorkelling amongst the coral reef.

You could even plant some coral, a fun activity for couples passionate about sustainability. Take an afternoon stroll on a sandbank or take part in some water sports.

Sunbathe by the pool, go to the spa, play a game of tennis, take a sunset dolphin-spotting cruise, have the most beautiful dining experience by the beach, marvel at the wondrous night sky on a stargazing tour.

As you can see, there is plenty to keep you occupied if you’re an adventure loving couple.

However, in comparison, Bali truly has an endless array of things to do. So much so, it’s unlikely you’ll fit it all in on the average honeymoon length and you’ll have to choose the highlights!

Whether its temples, swimming in waterfalls, hiking volcanos, snorkelling, diving, surfing, beach clubs, hot-air balloon rides, island hopping, cycling through rice paddy fields.

Bali is the perfect mix of beach, culture and adventure.

If you want a ton of things to do, and hate to sit still, then in this instance of Bali vs Maldives, Bali wins.

seri resort gili meno ocean swing

Bali vs Maldives Beaches

For us the perfect beach has undisturbed dazzling white sand and the most incredible aquamarine sea and a true castaway island feel so for us in the battle for Bali vs Maldives beaches, Maldives wins.

Maldives has the most pristine paradise beaches. Plus, you have the bonus of having a private sandbank lunch or dinner, which is a real highlight of this slice of paradise.

However, that is not to say Bali doesn’t have incredible beaches.

You have much more variety in Bali when it comes to beaches, with black sand volcanic gems of the north to yellow and whiter sands of the south.

The beaches in Bali’s most popular areas like Seminyak are more yellow sand. Around Uluwatu, in the south of the island, the cliffside spots are dramatic and wonderful.

Bali is a much better spot for surfing, like Canguu.

On the neighbouring islands, the Nusa Islands and Gili Islands, you’ll find some of the best beaches in the region. You can go snorkelling and diving in both, too and the Gili Islands have beautiful white sand beaches.

Bali vs Maldives nightlife

Bali vs Maldives for nightlife lovers, Bali wins, hands down.

Bali has endless choices for night owls. Particularly, along the beaches of Seminyak and Kuta. Gili Trawangan has many parties, too.

Kuta is known for its backpacking party scene, with bars and nightclubs open until the early hours of the morning.

Seminyak offers a more upscale party experience, with a range of cool bars and fancier restaurants.

You can also find some of the best beach clubs in the world in Bali, like the popular Potato Head Beach Club or Sundays Beach Club.

The Maldives is much more subdued in comparison.

While you will find stunning bars and sundowners and even some pool parties, it’s not anywhere near as lively as Bali.

Maldives Beach Pool The Honeymoon Guide

Planning a honeymoon itinerary in Bali vs Maldives

When planning your honeymoon itinerary for the Maldives or Bali, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of your trip.

First, it’s important to remember that the length of your stay will determine the time you have to relax and/or explore each destination.

For example, 2 nights will only give you 1 full day to explore and relax, 3 nights = 2 full days, 4 nights = 3 full days, and so on.

Most couples stay 7 to 10 nights in Maldives, whereas with Bali, you need at least 10 nights, but ideally even more! That’s not including travel time!

In the Maldives you stay in the one resort but in Bali there are so many destinations to see. So if you’re considering Bali vs Maldives and how much time you have is a factor, Maldives needs less time.

If you’re thinking about Bali vs Maldives, do you know you can easily do both if you have the time and the budget?!

There are easy connecting flights via Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok and combining the Maldives and Bali is one of our favourite swoon-worthy multi-destination honeymoon ideas.

Bali vs Maldives – Which is cheaper

Bali is definitely cheaper and more affordable although what you get for your hard earned money is different.

You could easily spend 5-figures on a week in the Maldives all inclusive, yet you could get 2-3 weeks in the height of luxury in Bali for the same cost.

However, flights can make a difference and time of year, too. So where you’re travelling from and the time of year you’re travelling can make a difference.

Plus, one can be an all-inclusive trip and the other is not. It’s definitely worth comparing both destinations. 

aling aling waterfall bali Honeymoon in Indonesia

So Bali vs Maldives – which is better for honeymoon?

If you’re looking for endless adventure and cultural pursuits, then Bali might be the better option.

If you want a super-relaxing, romantic castaway island feel for your honeymoon, then Maldives might be the one for you.

Whether it’s the weather, the nightlife, budget, the beaches, the activities, the food scene or the accommodation that helps you decide on Bali vs Maldives for honeymoon, we promise you’ll have a magical time in either.

We’re huge Maldives fans and we’re totally obsessed with Bali, so for us both are winners and whether you choose the Maldives or Bali, we hope you get to go to the runner-up on a fabulous anniversary trip in the future.

Plan a trip to the runner-up will be a fantastic way to get rid of the post honeymoon blues!

Bali vs Maldives? Let us know in the comments which one you decide on!

Happy planning x