Ultimate 7 Day Bali Itinerary for First Timers

Table of Contents

If you picture Bali to be idyllic beaches, turquoise waters and crazy nightlife – you’d be right.

Except this Indonesian island is so much more than that!

The green tiers of the Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Tanah Lot Temple’s coastal location show how local life moves with nature.

The richly flavored cuisine and healing spas offer an alternative to city living. Traditional dances and handicraft stores remind you of the value of traditions and culture.

You won’t just leave Bali feeling refreshed; you’ll also leave feeling inspired.

Read on for a 7-day Bali itinerary that highlights the best attractions on this Indonesian island.

7-Day Bali Itinerary at a Glance

Arrive in Bali and unpack your belongings in Seminyak. Your first day in town consists of temple hopping, browsing trendy boutiques, and ending your night with cocktails and lively music.

Today, you’ll be heading into Ubud’s lush jungles. Your itinerary includes: strolling the Campuhan Ridge Walk, visiting Saraswati Temple, Sacred Monkey Forest, Goa Gajah, just to name a few.

Your full day of adventure is spent in Kuta today. From visiting a turtle sanctuary, to full-on water activities, there won’t be a single moment you’ll feel bored with today’s itinerary.

Bring out your camera because today’s all about them Instagram snaps. Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Bali Swing, Sangeh Monkey Forest, and a plethora of unique temples will keep your trigger finger happy.

Full speed ahead! Cruise along Bali’s coast today. You’ll be beach hopping, paying a visit to Uluwatu Temple, and resting your feet at Sunday’s Beach Club for sunset.

 

Calm the mind and soul and start your day with a yoga session. Check out Kanto Lampo Waterfall, Bali Safari & Marine Park, and Pura Goa Lawah. Craving for more activities outside of the main island? Take a day trip to Nusa Penida.

It’s your final day in Bali and your itinerary is coming to a wrap. Full of energy still? Take another day trip and visit the Gili Islands.

Map of the Itinerary for Bali

bali itinerary map
(Click Map to Interact)

7-Day Bali Itinerary

A weekend just isn’t enough for you to experience all that Bali has to offer, so this 7-day Bali itinerary will take you through every corner.

Don’t just indulge in sand and cocktail; the island’s elaborately designed temples and diverse landscapes are numerous.

It’s not easy navigating a foreign place with public transport that is all over the place – this itinerary is designed so that you explore a different area every day.

All attractions are easily reached via Grab or taxi. If in doubt, ask your hotel to organize transport for you.

No matter where you base your stay, delicious cuisine and cultural sites are just around the corner.

Day 1 - Seminyak

tanah lot temple

Arrive in Seminyak

Bali greets you with a gust of hot air and chill vibes the moment you step out of Denpasar International Airport.

Drop off your bags at your hotel or villa and slap some sunscreen on – it’s time to explore!

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot Temple

Before dissecting airy and laid-back Seminyak, visit the first temple of your trip: Tanah Lot Temple.

Go early to avoid the crowds, as this ancient Hindu pilgrimage site sits on a quirky rock formation.

The unusual location, only accessible during low tides, is must-feature on your camera.

 

Wander Around

Walk around Seminyak, one of Bali’s ‘downtown’’ neighborhoods!

The main street of Jalan Raya Seminyak is brimming with eclectic boutiques, galleries and cafés.

Think 1.8-kilometers worth of souvenirs and casual restaurants, all within the vicinity of the coast.

An alternative is Jalan Laksmana road, which features bigger brands, resort clothing and upscale art.

Seminyak is great for home décor, boho baskets, macrame, and hand-crafted plant hangers and more spilling onto the sidewalk.

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Temple Hopping

More temples arrive in form of Pura Dalem Kahyangan and Pura Petitenget, the latter being one of six sea temples of Bali.

Meaning magic box, Petitenget is a rare cultural find in Seminyak since it mostly doles out commercial goods.

 

Check Out Local Art

Support local artists at Nyaman Gallery, which displays up-and-coming talents.

You’ll find ceramics, paintings, hand-blown glass and even wearable pieces. They’re almost all for sale, so think about bringing something unique home.

 

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding from Seminyak to Canggu is one for the romantics.

Professional guides lead you along the coast in a two hour ride, so you can enjoy sea views without getting your feet wet.

It’s definitely a unique way to travel across sand.

 

Get Pampered

OR enjoy a healing session at Bali’s well-known spas.

AWAY Spa, Prana Spa and Bodyworks operate on three different budgets and specialty treatments.

potato head beach club seminyak beach SP
Potato Head Beach Club

Turn Up the Music

Potato Head Beach Club and Ku De Ta are two big names in any Bali travel guide – for good reason.

Fancy a lazy day? Potato Head offers full-day cabanas and three on-site diners; it’s best experienced during sunset via infinity pool and beachside nibbles.

A DJ jazzes up the evenings at Ku De Ta alongside its generous beachfront bar with specialty cocktails.

Day 2 - Ubud

sacred monkey forest, ubud

Campuhan Ridge

Greet Bali’s sun-warmed landscape in the early morning. The Campuhan Ridge Walk won’t just wake you up – it’s a visual feast of lush hilltop scenery.

The hiking trails are mellow so you won’t be panting all the way, but the greens growing alongside are very vivid indeed.

 

Saraswati Temple

When you’ve seen enough of Ubud from up high, descend for a quick bite near the base.

Saraswati Temple, or Pura Taman Saraswati, requires more spiritual attention.

One of Bali’s most beautiful Hindu temples, its symmetrical buildings and lotus ponds are popular photography stills.

Free and with plenty of pretty gates, no 7-day Bali itinerary goes without it.

 

Sacred Monkey Forest

Pay your respects to the mischievous inhabitants of Sacred Monkey Forest.

Both sanctuary and natural habitat, this protected area is home to the Balinese long-tailed monkey – all 1049 of them!

Keep an eye on your belongings as you walk under towering trees and past moss-covered statues.

Goa Gajah

Nearby is the fascinating Goa Gajah. The ‘Elephant Cave’ is a 9th-century sanctuary built into the rocks, with the entrance looking like the open maw.

If you’re not interested in ancient carvings however, move onto the next item on our list.

goa gajah temple bali
Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)

Threads of Life

Threads of Life is an art gallery, museum and shop woven into one.

Displaying handmade textiles and baskets, this store doubles as an exhibit of Bali’s ancient hand-weaving craft.

Read about natural dyes, hand-spinning and the communities that dedicate themselves to keeping this tradition alive.

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Ending the Night

Ubud’s nightlife isn’t quite the drink and rave you’re expecting. Instead, sign up for Balinese traditional dances and music to celebrate local culture.

Day 3 - Kuta

bali sea turtle society

Lounge at Kuta Beach

Hit up diverse Kuta to swing from beach to bar! Kuta Beach is your first icon of the day, as the long promenade lures you in with a myriad of eateries.

Once done with a chill brekkie – or brunch – frolic onto the sandy dunes for surfing, sunning and sipping cocktails.

But don’t just stay here from dawn to dusk, there are plenty more to see.

 

Slip & Slide at Waterbom Bali

Waterbom Bali add thrill to your water adventures, whether you’re an actual kid or baby adult.

One of Kuta’s oldest attractions, it remains a popular entertainment center with plenty of water rides.

The Superbowl and Boomerang are two classics; the Climax is a sheer drop slide for the brave.

Tourist sightseeing at Ubud market in Bali
Street Market in Bali

Go Shopping

OR shop ‘til you drop at Kuta’s numerous offerings. As one of Bali’s trendier tourist-affiliated areas, Kuta compromises on indie boutiques and large-scale malls.

Legian Street – A cheaper alternative to Seminyak, Legian Street has all the shopping essentials.

Beach Walk Mall Kuta – Running right against the beach, it’s an international mash of shops and restaurants. You can upgrade your surfing gear or simply browse the gallery for beautiful Indonesian textiles.

Kuta Art Market – This beachside complex sells unique souvenirs, colorful art and is home to various tattoo stores. Why not add some art to your body?

 

Vihara Dharmayana Kuta

Inject some culture in your day with a visit to Vihara Dharmayana Kuta (also known as Kongco Bio Kuta Chinese Temple or Leeng Gwan Kuta Temple).

A Buddhist temple of many names, this religious site is over 200 years old and one of the island’s main places of worship.

Duck into the leafy backstreet to find it – the ornate roof is an easy mark. Its intricate carvings and vividly painted courtyard is absolutely stunning.

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Bali Sea Turtle Society

Visitors between April and October get to experience the beauty of life.

Drop by the Bali Sea Turtle Society after 4PM to watch tiny turtles totter their way into the ocean. Hatching season isn’t something everyone gets to see.

 

Dream Museum Zone

If you have time to kill, Dream Museum Zone is a fun trick-eye museum for those mind-boggling photo ops!

 

Kuta Theatre & Nightlife

Slowly wind down your day at Kuta Theatre, which keeps the kids (or your young-hearted self) occupied via colorful sweeps of Balinese outfits and traditional dance.

The signature show Lights of Faith is a beautiful story that speaks of local culture; other featured performances include puppet and magic shows.

Stay for the combined show-and-dinner package and you’re set for the night.

OR get your blood pumping with a whirl through Kuta’s nightlife.

Mingle with other travelers at Sky Garden Lounge as you bask in Bali’s famous sunsets, or party it up at Engine Room, Bounty Nightclub, Bali Beach Shack and other bass-thumping venues.

DAY 4 - Iconic Landmarks in Bali

Tegalalang Rice Terrace, bali

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

If you’ve ever seen a Bali postcard, you’ve probably seen the famous Tegalalang Rice Terrace.

Book a guided tour to this Bali icon; a series of terraced rice paddies that layer their way up the hills.

Not only are the verdant surroundings serene, it’s also the portal to fun activities among the trees. Ziplining is a must if you’re an adventurous spirit.

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Bali Swing

Make your way to the original Bali Swing – composed of both swing and nests.

You get to take amazing photos against the forested backdrop, flying over terraces, river and green everything.

 

Sangeh Monkey Forest

Fallen in love with nature?

Spend more time in the mountains by visiting Sangeh Monkey Forest, lesser-known compared to the Sacred Monkey Forest but equally magical.

35-acres of quiet pathways and 17th-century Hindu temple ruins aside, you only share space with a clan of grey macaque monkeys.

tirta empul temple bali indonesia
Tirta Empul Temple, Bali

Must-Visit Temples

Your afternoon belongs to a collective of temples.

Tirta Empul Temple is one of the busiest and largest water temples in Indonesia and the setting of a legendary tale. Water spouts from the sides of its unique bathing structure – holy spring water used for purification rituals.

Also referred to as Bali’s Valley of Kings, Pura Gunung Kawi acts as a temple and funerary.

Sitting across the banks of Pakerisan River, it is formed by 10 rock-cut shrines with carved alcoves. It’s inspiring what the Balinese have created out of sheer cliff face!

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is one of the most unique temples on Bali, located some 1200 meters above sea level at Lake Beratan.

What makes it so special? It floats. On misty days, the temple looks extra mystical; on sunny days, it glows in tiers of gold. If you have time, explore the area by foot or take the swan paddles out for a whirl.

Head back to your hotel for a relaxing dinner, or consider picnicking on a beach.

DAY 5 - Bali's Coast

Traditional fishing boats at Nusa Dua Beach

Uluwatu Temple

Your fifth day in town is all about the coastal attractions.

Start off with the legendary Uluwatu Temple, a sacred site perched on a sheer cliff.

As one of Bali’s six spiritual pillars, it’s popular among tourists for its mythical vibe.

Visit earlier in the day to avoid crowds so you can get the perfect shot of waves crashing underfoot, and the temple free of people.

Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple, Bali

Beach Hopping

After so many days of avid exploration, take a chill day! Right along the coast towards Kuta is a string of beaches.

Spend the rest of your day rolling in the sand or challenging the waves.

Those with open water licenses can even sign up for diving sessions; the surrounding reefs are a riot of colors.

For grounded entertainment without cost, hang out on these beaches:

Suluban Beach – Plenty of surfers and limestone cliffs for aesthetic.

Padang Padang Beach – Quiet sandy cove with shallow waters for easy splashing.

Bingin Beach – A surf point in great demand.

Dreamland Beach – Offers cafés, crazy shorebreak and plenty of amenities if you just want to lounge about.

Balangan Beach – A pretty, serene beach with a great viewpoint on one end (even if it takes a bit of climbing)

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Sundays Beach Club

Before the sun sets, make your way to Sundays Beach Club for unparalleled sunset views. A funicular takes you down a cliff to a private stretch of beach.

This hidden gem is outfitted with a bar and restaurant for those campfire nights and beachside dining. It’s well worth the travel.

DAY 6 - Sightseeing & Nusa Penida Day Trip

Kelingking Beach, nusa penida

Calm the Mind

Greet the day with a yoga session so you can power through your last 48 hours. Experienced yogi will guide you through deep stretches and mindful breathing.

After all, Ubud is known for being the heart of yoga.

Check if your hotel offers yoga classes, or drop by these studios:

 

Kanto Lampo Waterfall

There’s barely a walk between the parking lot and the actual Kanto Lampo Waterfall, so visit this unexpected Ubud find first thing after breakfast.

Do pack your swimming gear because there’s more to do than just standing around and staring at the thundering water.

Jump into the pool for a cooling dip – Bali is hot.

kanto lampo waterfall bali indonesia
Kanto Lampo Waterfall, Bali

Bali Safari and Marine Park

For a touch of wilderness, spend a few hours at Bali Safari and Marine Park.

It’s all the wild adventures you can think of: safari rides in caged cars, animal shows, petting zoos and aquarium tours.

From meeting lions up close (they will put their paws against your traveling cage) to watching piranhas feed, you’re seeing the animals in their natural habitat.

Alternatively, you can visit at night for a BBQ dinner plus Night Safari package. There’s also a Fun Zone and Water Zone for extra fun.

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Pura Goa Lawah

OR visit yet another temple: the Pura Goa Lawah.

Another of the six sacred sanctuaries, this ‘Bat Cave Temple’ is home to hordes of bats.

Entering the cave might not be on your to-do list, but the intricate temple structures at its mouth will halt your feet anyway.

Legend says that a mythical snake king dwells in the dark tunnel – let’s hope he doesn’t show up to surprise you!

 

Nusa Penida Day Trip

If you haven’t had enough of Bali’s stunning nature, take a fast-boat over to Nusa Penida – a neighboring island with gorgeous terrain.

Expect physical activity, whether the steep winding staircase to Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave or dynamic hiking trails.

Huge cliffs lead down to white sand beaches with rock formations; Atuh Beach, Seganing Falls, Kelingking Beach (the famous T-Rex Beach) and Crystal Bay Beach are just few of such landscapes.

There are too many sites to list!

DAY 7 - Finishing the Bucket List

beach at gili meno, bali

Sadly, it’s your last day in Bali. Take the opportunity to check more things off that bucket list!

Maybe it’s a hike through West Bali National Park, trying a cooking class, or visiting Air Panas Banjar hot springs for an exclusive, volcano-sourced soak.

It could also be café hopping through Seminyak or tasting the island’s famous roast duck.

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Day Trip to the Gili Islands

For those who have exhausted the main island, the Gili Islands is a great way to extend your adventure.

The triplet of small islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air) offer more sea-based activities.

Palm trees fringe their generous beaches while hilly treks bring you to panoramic view points. Scuba divers and snorkelers will have a blast discovering the coral reefs off shore; adventurers can scour the sunken ship at Wreck Point.

Stay into late afternoon for early booze and partying as there are plenty of bars to keep you occupied.

Not your taste? Enjoy fresh seafood at the myriad of international restaurants before skipping back to your hotel.

It’s time to pack up your souvenirs and seashells. Until next time!

Final Thoughts

Bali is best experienced with 50% of a plan, 50% gut feeling.

You’ll find that day-to-day living is simple but satisfying; Bali is the perfect holiday destination to slow down, relax and play.

At the end of the day, remember you’re there to take a break.

Which activity in Bali excites you the most?

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