While a lifetime may not be enough to fully explore and experience the richness of Balinese culture and arts, visiting these museums will give a good introduction. From arts to history, artifacts to archaeology, discover the best museums to visit in Bali.
Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
Located in Bali’s most artistic town, Ubud, ARMA is a popular destination to experience art, culture, and architecture. The museum showcases collections from Indonesia’s most prominent artists, including Bali’s indigenous talents, and some international creators. Tourists can find classical work of arts as well as contemporary ones, many with a twist of traditional style. The museum also has painting classes and often hold cultural events or performances.
This museum is located at the legendary painter’s own mansion on a gorgeous hilltop in Ubud. Don Antonio Blanco relocated to Bali, where his art flourished. Many of his works are inspired by the island and its beautiful people, and his paintings, illustrated poetry, and erotic art is displayed in this baroque-style museum. A majestic building with European architecture that hosts Balinese-inspired artworks, this museum offers a unique variety of experiences to explore.
Showcasing artifacts from all around the island, the Bali Museum encapsulates the essence of Bali in manageable chunks. The museum has four main buildings, each organized along a different theme: music and theater, sculptures and painting, textiles, and archaeological finds. The museum is located in the city center of Denpasar, where the traditional Balinese architecture looks elegant.
Established by renowned Balinese art enthusiast Wayan Suteja Neka, the Neka Art Museum presents his wide and ever-growing collection since 1976. From classical to contemporary, traditional to modern, almost every kind of art can be found in the museum — paintings, sculptures, traditional tools, and weapons — many of which give insight into the elaborate culture of Bali.
This museum has a massive collection of masks and puppets, representing the different regions and cultures of Indonesia, Asia, and Africa. In total, it houses 1,200 masks and 4,700 puppets. You can even watch the figures come alive in puppet performances often held by the museum.
The La Mayeur Museum is home to the works of Belgian-born artist Adrien Jean Le Mayeur. Although the artists traveled the world before settling in Bali, his works are dense with Bali-inspired elements and figures, from traditional dancers to temples and flowers. The museum building, previously home to the artist and his wife Ni Polok, is an attraction in itself, with traditional architecture and rooms that tell stories about the life of the renowned artist.
This museum in Ubud displays the island’s most important fine arts pieces, with a complete collection that represents all schools of Balinese art. It collects artworks from local and international artists, many of which tell stories about the life of Balinese people.