Bali is such a special place. The island is known for its stunning beaches, gorgeous green tropical forests, and amazing culture.
The Balinese culture is deeply rooted in religion, with temples and offerings visible throughout the island. The locals are SO incredibly friendly and welcoming – some of the nicest people I’ve encountered while traveling. The food in Bali is also really good, with a range of delicious dishes influenced by local ingredients and global influences.
There is so much to see that a week in Bali will not seem like enough time. However, you can spend a week in Bali and still experience a lot of what is has to offer.
7 Day Bali Travel Guide
We flew in and out of DPS Airport (Ngurah Rai International Airport). Our hotel in Seminyak offered a pick up service for a small charge, so we had someone waiting for us upon arrival. I would definitely go this route – it made things so much easier.
- Private driver: Hiring a private driver is the most ideal route if you want a more relaxed way to explore Bali. Most hotels have drivers you can arrange directly through them too.
- Scooter: Renting a scooter is one of the most popular ways to get around Bali. It’s affordable, convenient, and allows you to explore the island at your own pace. You can rent a scooter from several places on the island, but make sure you have an international driver’s license and wear a helmet!
- Taxi: Taxis are available in Bali, but make sure you use a legit service. Bluebird or Grab are usually super safe options.
- Walking: Most parts of Bali are relatively walkable and beautiful. Just be sure to bring good walking shoes.
- Bikes: Renting bikes is another great way to get around and see the areas.
Best Time Of Year To Go:
Bali has a warm and tropical climate year round, but best time of year to visit Bali is May-September, which is considered the dry season. This is when Bali has the most sunny days, lowest humidity, and cooler temperatures. The peak tourist months are July & August, so I recommend visiting in one of the shoulder months (May, June, or September) for lower price and fewer crowds.
The type of trip you’re looking for will determine how long you want to stay in each location. When we went, we spent an extra night in Ubud since we wanted to hike Mt. Batur. If you’re looking to spend more time at the beach, I would spend 2 nights in Ubud and either 3 nights in Seminyak (if you’re looking for more beach-club vibes) or 3 nights in Uluwatu (if you’re looking for something more relaxed).
- Seminyak = 2 nights
- Uluwatu = 2 nights
- Ubud = 3 nights
We kicked off our trip in Seminyak and were there for 2 days. Seminyak was about a 15 minute ride from the airport, making it a good first stop. I would highly recommend coordinating a pick up through your hotel. Another reason we picked to start in Seminyak was because we wanted to save the more “relaxing” vibe for the end of our trip. We then arranged a taxi from Seminyak to Uluwatu, which was about an hour. Our drive also offered to stop at the Kuta Beach entry gate on the way for some pictures, which was pretty cool.
The top things on my Seminyak, Bali travel guide are:
»Drinks @ Potato Head Beach Club: One of the #1 (if not the top) beach clubs in Bali, Potato Head is so much fun. You can head there for lunch, rent a day bead, or spend time in their infinity pool overlooking the beach.
»Drinks @ Finn’s Beach Club: This spot is like a Vegas pool party, but on the beach overlooking the ocean. When we went, it wasn’t as crowded as Potato Head, but it was still super fun.
»Watch the Sunset @ La Plancha: I’ve traveled to a lot of cool spots, but La Plancha is still one of my favorite places ever. Imagine lounging on a beanbag chair overlooking the ocean/sunset, surrounded by a beach full of people and colorful umbrellas. Add in a cold glass of wine and speakers playing old dance hits – it doesn’t get much better than that. I totally would’ve stayed there all night.
Uluwatu is your quintessential surfer/beach town. Since the majority of the things on our Uluwatu Bali travel guide were check out beaches + bars, I was the most relaxed during this part of the trip. I’m definitely not a surfer, but this is definitely the spot for that in Bali. We spent one full day/two nights in Uluwatu and then headed to Ubud, which was about a 90 minute ride. We arranged a car with our hotel.
The top things on my Uluwatu, Bali travel guide are:
»Eat @ Ulu Cliffhouse: This was an amazing spot to grab a drink and watch the sunset. Since we went during the week, it wasn’t as crowded. There is couch-like seating overlooking the ocean, amazing food + a DJ playing in the background. I never wanted to leave. We came for drinks and dinner, but they also have a fun brunch/pool situation on the weekends.
»Get Drinks + Watch the Sunset @ Single Fin: Single Fin is probably one of the most popular spots in Uluwatu – made obvious by the dozens of motorbikes parked outside when you arrive. It’s a multi-story bar/restaurant with seating on a first come-first serve basis. It felt like I was watching the sunset on the edge of the world.
»Visit the Uluwatu Temple: Uluwatu Temple is located on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean in the southern part of the island. It’s also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, and is one of the six key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars. The temple is home to some mischievous monkeys, so make sure to keep your belongings close. We saw someone get their sunglasses taken by one!
Bali Swing, Yoga Barn, Rice Paddies, monkeys, and green backdrops. Ubud has a lot of the things that are likely on your Bali travel guide. We were here for 2 full days + 3 nights and probably could’ve squeezed in a lot more if it wasn’t for the rain and us underestimating how tired we would be after climbing Mt Batur on 4 hours of sleep (poor planning). Ubud is more of a jungle/rainforest vibe VS the beachy vibes of Seminyak + Uluwatu.
The top things on my Ubud, Bali travel guide are:
»Climb Mt Batur: Our second day in Ubud started with a 2am wake up call to hike Mt Batur, an active volcano. Even though I wasn’t the most excited to get up that early to hike 2 hours UP an active volcano, watching the sunrise from the top was pretty rewarding and made for some great pics. That being said, a few of my friends have done the climb (separately) and they didn’t have the best experience. I would definitely recommend doing your research to decide if it’s something you want to prioritize!
»Swing Through the Jungle on the Bali Swing: Before getting here, I didn’t realize there are a number of other swings + activities to do. You pay for entry and have access for however long you want. If you’re trying to take a ton of pictures, I would recommend getting there right when it opens to avoid a rush. We went on a Thursday and it was PACKED with everyone trying to get the best picture.
»Get Drinks @ The Four Seasons: We heard the Four Seasons hotel was breathtaking, so we headed the for a drink before dinner. It’s definitely one of the top hotels in the world, so do whatever you can to make it here and walk around. It was amazing.
»Eat @ The Sayan House: This was one of my favorite restaurants of the trip. It has kind of a backyard vibe…if your backyard overlooks the jungle and has delicious food. We got Sushi, Fish Tacos Prawns and Korean Tacos. I also added some house made Kombucha to my vodka and it was delicious. Be sure to make reservations before you go.
Know Before You Go:
- Check travel requirements: Depending on your country of origin, you may need a visa to enter Bali as well as be up to date on certain vaccines. Be sure to double check the travel requirements.
- Book transportation ahead of time: Ride shares aren’t as reliable in Bali, so I highly recommend arranging transportation through your hotel.
- Pack accordingly: Bali has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. Pack lightweight, breathable clothing and bring an umbrella depending on the time of year you go.
- Learn some basic Indonesian: Even though English is spoken in Bali, it’s definitely helpful to known some basic Indonesian phrases:
- Selamat pagi (suh-lah-maht PAH-gee) = Good morning
- Terima kasih (tuh-REE-mah KAH-see) = Thank you
- Maaf (mah-AHF) = Excuse me/I’m sorry
- Ya (yah) = Yes
- Tidak (TEE-dahk) = No
- Sama-sama (SAH-mah SAH-mah) = You’re welcome
- Berapa harganya? (BEH-rah-pah HAR-gah-nya) = How much does it cost?
- Di mana toilet? (dee MAH-nah TOY-let) = Where is the toilet?
- Nama saya… (NAH-mah SAH-yah…) = My name is…
- Apakah kamu bisa berbicara bahasa Inggris? (ah-pah-kah kah-moo bee-sah ber-bee-cha bah-hah-sah Ing-gris?) = Do you speak English?
- Sampai jumpa (SAHM-pie JOOM-pah) = Goodbye/See you later
- Respect local customs and traditions: Bali is a predominantly Hindu island, and culture/traditions are extremely important to its people. Be respectful of their beliefs and practices, dress modestly when visiting temples, and ask for permission before taking pictures.
- Be mindful of your surroundings: Bali is generally pretty safe, but it’s still important to be aware of your surroundings, particularly in crowded tourist areas.
- “Bali Belly“: Bali Belly is pretty common for those traveling to Bali due to the tap water & some food preparation technics. Be sure to avoid drinking any water that isn’t bottled – this includes brushing your teeth, accidentally swallowing water while showering, drinking ice, or eating anything that hasn’t been washed with filtered water.
What To Pack:
- Lightweight, breathable clothing: The weather is warm and humid most of the year, so pack lightweight and breathable clothing.
- Swimsuit: Bali has so many beaches and pools, so you’ll definitely want to bring a few swimsuits.
- Sunscreen: The sun in Bali is pretty intense, so pack sunscreen, especially if you burn easy.
- Insect repellent: Bali is home to mosquitoes and other insects, so bring insect repellent so you don’t get bit.
- Comfortable walking shoes: You’ll likely be doing a lot of walking, so bring comfortable walking shoes.
- Rain jacket or umbrella: Even though Bali has a dry season, it can still experience occasional rain showers, so bring a rain jacket or umbrella.
- Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated while exploring Bali by bringing a reusable water bottle. You can refill it at your hotel or at many refill stations found throughout Bali.
- Daypack: Bring a small daypack to carry essentials such as sunscreen, water, and a camera while exploring Bali.
- Electrical adapter: Bali uses the European plug, so bring an electrical adapter if your devices use a different plug type.
Enjoy your trip!
*This post is not affiliated with any of the mentioned establishments.
Jill R. says
Fabulous post! I have always wanted to go to Bali and this has given me the inspiration to plan my trip. I really appreciate how you emphasize the importance of respecting local customs and traditions. It’s essential to be mindful travelers.
Angela Hope says
It’s an amazing place to visit! You should book a trip ASAP 🙂