How many days to spend in Bali

Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 07.06.2024

When planning your trip to Bali, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the details. How many days in Bali should you spend? Our advice is to err on the on the side of adding more days, as you’ll likely not want to go home. In this guide, we’ll cover how long your trip should be, with sample itineraries and tips from our local travel experts.

How many days in Bali do you need?

If your idea of a perfect holiday involves lounging on stunning beaches, indulging in luxurious spa treatments, and taking in a few local attractions, then 5 to 7 days should do the trick. This will give you enough time to see a glimpse of Bali, and move on to other parts of Indonesia.

If you’re keen on exploring various parts of the island, such as Ubud, Seminyak, Canggu, and the Gili Islands, as well as taking part in activities like hiking, diving, and cultural tours, you might want to spend 10-14 days. 

Keep in mind that the time difference between Bali and home might be drastic. Bali is a good 6 to 8 hours ahead of Europe and a whopping 12 to 16 hours ahead of the United States. So, be sure to give yourself some wiggle room to combat that inevitable jetlag.

Batur sunrise Bali © Shutterstock

Batur sunrise, Bali © Shutterstock

The best Bali itineraries

From quick getaways to extended stays, these itineraries will help you uncover the magic of Bali and ensure you don't miss any of its must-see spots. Or skip the hassle of planning and booking altogether and have us handle the details with our tailor made trip service. Or trips are designed by local travel experts and are completely customisable. 

Goa Giri Putri temple is sacred place for Balinese people and popular travel destination of Nusa Penida © Shutterstock

Goa Giri Putri Temple, Nusa Penida © Shutterstock

5-day Bali itinerary

Spending five days in Bali is a whirlwind, but if it's just one stop on your Indonesian adventure, here’s a fantastic way to make the most of it:

Start on day one by landing at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and head straight to Candidasa for some well-deserved relaxation. On day two, explore the beautiful Taman Ujung and Tirta Gangga Water Palacea and finish the day on a nearby beach.

Day three kicks off with a scenic drive to Sidemen, where you’ll visit a local farming village. Get hands-on with rice field walks, farming tasks, and workshops in cooking, distilling arak, and ironworking. After a traditional lunch, visit the impressive Pura Besakih temple and then transfer to Ubud.

On the fourth day, visit to the Agung Rai Museum of Art, take a stroll through the Monkey Forest, and stop at Ubud's Royal Palace and town market. Enjoy a Balinese massage, then catch a traditional dance performance in the evening.

Your final day takes you to Lovina, with stops at the Royal Taman Ayun Temple, the UNESCO-listed Jatiluwih rice terraces, and the picturesque Ulun Danu Temple at Lake Bratan. Drive past the serene Buyan and Tamblingan Lakes, visit the iconic Tanah Lot Temple, and then head back to Ngurah Rai International Airport. Read More.

Broken beach in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia © Shutterstock

Broken Beach in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia © Shutterstock

7-day Bali itinerary

Bali has become a magnet for yoga enthusiast, and  attracts experienced yoga instructors from around the world. This week long itinerary is a week of yoga and relaxation.

On day one you’ll transfer from the airport to your hotel. On day two, you’ll begin with morning yoga and a specially prepared breakfast. The rest of the day is yours to relax, and you'll end with a healthy dinner. Day three continues with a morning yoga class, a sumptuous breakfast, and various healing treatments, including a shirodhara cure.

On day four you’ll explore Ubud or indulge in more Ayurvedic treatments after your morning yoga class and breakfast. Day five is all about total yoga immersion, featuring morning classes, personalised lessons, and leisure time for relaxation.

On day six you’ll take a full-day temple tour, visiting renowned landmarks and enjoying lunch at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel.

You retreat concludes on day seven with a final breakfast at the hotel and a transfer to the airport for departure. Read more

Pura Kehen Temple in Bangli, Bali © Shutterstock

Pura Kehen Temple in Bangli, Bali © Shutterstock

10-day Bali itinerary

This 10 day itinerary includes a trip to Bali and nearby Lombok.

Start your trip with an arrival at Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar, followed by a relaxing transfer to your hotel for a leisurely day one. On day two, kick things off with a Barong Dance performance in Batubulan. Then, visit Mas Village, admire the views of Mount Batur from Kintamani, enjoy a lakeside lunch at Batur Lake, and make stops at Tegalalang, Celuk village, and Tohpati village.

Day three takes you through the monkey forest at Sangeh, the Ayun temple in Mengwi, and Bedugul, with a visit to a local market, ending the day at the iconic Tanah Lot Temple. On day four, explore the monument of Balinese struggles in Denpasar, unwind at Kuta Beach, have a delicious lunch, and visit the stunning Pura Luhur Uluwatu.

Day five involves a transfer to Lombok, where you'll check in at Anema Resort Gili Lombok and enjoy some leisure time. Days six through eight are yours to spend at leisure in Lombok, with plenty of optional activities available. On day nine, take a boat transfer to Sanur, check in at Sudamala Suites & Villas, and relax for the rest of the day. Conclude your trip with a departure from Sanur on day tenRead more.

Sanur beach, Bali © Shutterstock

Sanur Beach, Bali © Shutterstock

14-day Bali itinerary

This two week itinerary allows you to explore the best of Bali. Your trip begins on day one with a tranquil arrival in Bali, where you’ll have leisure time. Day two brings a trek through Sidemen's hidden trails and lush green vistas. 

On day three, you’ll explore Hidden Canyon’s pools and waterfalls. On day four, experience Balinese culture with a temple visit and purification ceremony. Day five brings a Vespa tour with a twist, followed by a hop over to Lombok on day six

In Lombok, travel through local villages and trek to Benang Setokel Waterfall on day seven, then dive into the crystal-clear waters of Gili Trawangan for a snorkelling on day eight. Head back to Bali on day nine and unwind in laid-back Canggu. 

Day ten is yours to relax before trekking through Mt. Batukaru's rainforest on day eleven. Catch some rays at Finns Beach Club on day twelve, then saddle up for a horseback ride along the beach on day thirteen. Wrap up your journey with a half-day tour to Uluwatu on day fourteenRead more.

Ubud market is a famous market in Bali © Shutterstock

Ubud market is a famous market in Bali © Shutterstock

Where to stay in Bali

Here’s some of our favourite parts of Bali to stay in:

Kuta for nightlife and surfing

If you're all about vibrant nightlife and hitting the waves, Kuta is your spot. This area is buzzing with energy, perfect for younger travelers and surf enthusiasts. 

You'll find plenty of budget accommodations, making it easy to stretch your travel budget while enjoying the lively atmosphere. Whether you're looking to party or catch some epic surf, Kuta's got you covered.

Ubud for something central

Head to Ubud if you want to immerse yourself in Bali's rich culture and natural beauty. Ubud is the cultural heart of the island, surrounded by lush rice terraces and bustling markets. You can wander through traditional art galleries, visit the famous Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, or marvel at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. 

Don't miss out on a traditional Balinese dance performance at the Ubud Palace. Plus, Ubud is a wellness haven with plenty of yoga centres and retreats.

Tegenungan Waterfall on the Petanu River, Kemenuh Village, Gianyar Regency, north of Ubud, Bali © Shutterstock

Tegenungan Waterfall, north of Ubud, Bali © Shutterstock

Sanur for a relaxed family holiday

Sanur, located on Bali's southeast coast, is known for its relaxed vibe, beautiful beaches, and family-friendly atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll along the Sanur Beach Promenade, explore charming local shops and cafes, or visit the Le Mayeur Museum to see Balinese art. 

The kids will love the Bali Seawalker experience, where you can walk on the seabed. Plus, the ancient Blanjong Temple is a fascinating spot for a bit of history.

Jimbaran for a romantic getaway

If you're dreaming of a romantic escape, Jimbaran is the place to be. Known for its stunning beaches and seafood restaurants, Jimbaran offers a more peaceful and less crowded atmosphere. Enjoy a candlelit dinner by the beach, watch the sunset, and relax in the serene surroundings. It's the perfect spot for couples looking to unwind and enjoy each other's company.

For a luxurious stay, Nusa Dua

If you're craving a luxurious getaway, Nusa Dua is your paradise. Here, you'll find a plethora of top-tier, all-inclusive resorts designed to pamper you to your heart's content. Whether you're into water sports, lounging by the pool, or exploring the nearby markets and eateries, Nusa Dua has it all. 

Sea turtle sanctuary in Gili Meno island, Indonesia © Shutterstock

Sea turtle sanctuary in Gili Meno Island, Indonesia © Shutterstock

Practical tips for your trip to Bali

To make your adventure smooth and stress-free, a few practical tips can go a long way.

Getting around Bali

How to get around Bali while you're here? If you're feeling adventurous, hopping on a motorbike taxi (ojek) is a thrilling way to navigate Bali’s bustling streets and discover hidden gems like secluded beaches and traditional villages. For a more budget-friendly and authentic experience, try the public buses (bemos). Just be ready to be flexible with your schedule, as these buses don’t always run like clockwork.

Traveling with family or in a group? Hiring a private car with a driver is your best bet for comfort and ease. You won’t have to worry about navigating, and you can explore at your own pace. Ride-share apps like Grab and Gojek are also incredibly convenient. They offer both car and motorbike rides, with the added perks of cashless payments and real-time tracking.

Sidemen in Bali, one of the best Indonesian islands

Sidemen in Bali, one of the best Indonesian islands © Shutterstock

Bring a filter water bottle

A filter water bottle is a must-have in Bali. While tap water is safe for bathing and brushing your teeth in tourist areas, it’s not recommended for drinking due to potential contamination. Having a filter water bottle means you’ll always have access to clean drinking water, which is especially important if you have kids. Plus, you’ll reduce your reliance on single-use plastic bottles, helping to keep Bali beautiful.

Best time to visit Bali

The best time to plan your Bali trip is between May and October for the best weather. July and August are peak season, with temperatures around 27°C to 28°C—perfect for beach days and outdoor adventures. Try to avoid December to March, as the heavy rains can put a damper on your plans.

For the most stunning views of Bali’s famous rice fields, visit from April to June. The fields are lush and green after the rainy season, making it an ideal time for photography. For a more detailed overview, see our guide to the best time to visit Bali.

Ubud in Bali © Shutterstock

Ubud in Bali © Shutterstock

Cultural differences

Respecting Bali’s cultural norms will make your trip more enjoyable. Balinese culture is steeped in Hindu traditions, evident in everyday life and religious practices. While beachwear is fine by the sea, dress modestly when visiting temples or rural areas. Cover your shoulders and knees, and consider wearing a sarong and sash at temples—these are often available at the entrance.

Bali is renowned for its frequent religious ceremonies. Show respect by not interrupting these events. If you come across a procession, step aside and let it pass. 

Protect yourself from the sun

Bali’s tropical climate means you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors. Make sure to pack and regularly apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the intense sun. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can also help keep you cool and prevent any potential burning. Staying hydrated is key, so carry water with you, especially during long excursions.

Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 07.06.2024

Dre Roelandt is originally from the United States but lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Dre is a freelance writer and artist with a passion for travelling. They are an in-house Content Editor at Rough Guides.

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