5 Days in Bali: A Complete Itinerary

5 days in bali itinerary

 

I had a tough time planning my 5 days in Bali since there weren’t many itineraries online, and the ones I did find didn’t include the information I needed or all of the places I wanted to visit. So, voila! I created my own itinerary and put it to the test last November. Since I had an amazing time, I’ve laid out my itinerary for my fellow travelers who are also struggling below.

This itinerary for 5 days in Bali includes Ubud, the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (optional switch with the Mother Temple), Kuta, Seminyak, Uluwatu, and Jimbaron.

 

5 days in bali route

Day 1: Head to UBUD

I arrived at 7pm at Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport.

Have a personal driver take you to Ubud from the airport. The drive will be around 1 hour. I used Ketut from Infobalidriver.com, who I highly recommend. With InfoBaliDriver, a full day tour is IDR 650 (or $50 USD) for max 10 hours a day and a half day tour is IDR 450 (USD $35) /car for 6 hours per day max.  The price includes a private car with AC, gas, and an English speaking driver.

If you think this is too expensive, you could look for other drivers using Google or take a cab for less money. Since I was traveling alone and arriving pretty late at night, I liked the idea of someone waiting at the airport for my arrival. Having a private driver also saves you time since you only have 5 days in Bali.

Once in Ubud, I stayed at the Puji Bungalows.  There are a lot of great, cheap places to stay in Bali so it was pretty hard to decide, but I liked the setting of Puji Bungalows since it is close to town but still located in the middle of a rice field. It was also only $20/night for my own bungalow with free breakfast delivered to my porch in the morning. For booking cheap accommodation, you can use Hostelworld or local Indonesian booking sites like Traveloka.

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Once you get to Ubud, relax, have dinner, get settled. If you’re not tired, sign up for a yoga or cooking class. Ubud is a very relaxed location, there isn’t much nightlife so use your time there to relax and explore.

 

Day 2: Rice Fields, Ubud Palace, Monkey Forest

Wake up, eat some banana pancakes, and go for an early hike in the rice fields. There are plenty of free hikes through the rice fields in Ubud to take advantage of. Watch for signs on JL Kajeng and JL Raya Ubud that will lead the way. Once you’re there, feel free to purchase a fresh coconut at an ultra cheap price from one of the locals.

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Go see the Ubud Palace. The palace is located in the heart of Ubud and is still the place where the Ubud royal family lives. It is decorated with statues, stone carvings and ornaments, and most of the compound is open to the public.

 

5 days in bali itinerary

5 days in bali itinerary

 

Walk through the Ubud Market Place and end up buying a million things because 1. everything is awesome here and 2. it’s all so so cheap.

 

5 days in bali

Head to Monkey Forest and make sure to hide your personal belongings! They will try to steal camaras, sunglasses, anything really. One almost pulled down my pants.

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At sunrise, go on the Campuhan Ridge hike on the hill above the rice fields.  This is a peaceful hike with some great scenery that will take you passed local housing and cafes mixed in with large elegant resorts. To get there, go to the main road in Ubud, before the downtown, find ‘Ibah resort’ and there will be two paths, choose the left side.

5 days in bali itinerary 5 days in bali itinerary

After all of that hiking, get a massage. I spent a decent amount of money to get one at The Lokha Ubud, partially because I was tired from the hike, but mostly because I really wanted to see what the resort looked like without paying for a room. No worries, there are also cheaper massages (say around $5.. for real) that you will pass on the street. Well worth the money.

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Once the sun goes down, watch a traditional Balinese Legong dance in front of the Ubud Palace. These performances take place every night and involve seriously interesting costumes. Pay attention to their eyes during the dance.

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Day 3: Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Pay your private driver to take you to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces, the most popular rice fields in Bali. These terraces offer dramatic views of the steep rice fields lining the valley and are only a half hour north of Ubud. Wear comfortable shoes, it is actually quite a hike that I was way overdressed for.

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Your driver will wait until you are finished, and then have him take you an hour north to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (the lake temple).  The temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul. The temple itself is pretty small, but I think the setting was a lot prettier (and less crowded) than the Mother Temple.

5 days in bali itinerary

 

**Another option is visting the Pura Besakih temple (“The Mother Temple”), which is the holiest and most popular of all temples in Bali.**

Next, have your driver drive 2 hours south and drop you off in Kuta. Hopefully you can make it in time to watch the sunset.

5 days in bali itinerary 5 days in bali itinerary

At Kuta, I stayed at the Bounty Hotel, which I would definitely recommend again. Bounty is known as a party hotel, but it’s also pretty nice. The price is $50/night. There are definitely cheaper places, but Bounty is fun, clean, and has a great location. I recommend it for the 20 something crowd.

5 days in bali itinerary

 

After the sun goes down, grab dinner and head out in Kuta, which is known as the party town. There’s a lot of hate for Kuta Beach on the internet, but I really found no problem with it. It’s definitely for the younger crowd, but people going there should know this. If you don’t like to party, don’t go to Kuta. I for one had a great time (but then again I always do).

 

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Day 4: Surfing in Kuta/Seminyak

Recover from the night before and then head to the beach for some surfing lessons. Other than being a party location, Kuta is also known for it’s great surfing. You could get a 2 hour lesson (including the board) for only $12 if you barter.

Side Note: I actually did get up, just no pictures of it 🙁 Which only means I have to go again!

5 days in bali itinerary

Head to Seminyak afterwards to chill at one of the posh beach bars. When the sun goes down, head to the beach where you can find live music, bean bags, and hookahs. Set a lantern into the night sky.

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Day 5: Uluwatu and Jimbaran

Have your driver take you 40 minutes south to the Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple , the temple on the cliff in Southern Bali.

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After touring Uluwatu, have your driver drop you off in Jimbaran, a section on the coast of Bali known for it’s seafood restaurants. Enjoy your last night on the beach with some of the freshest seafood. Pick out your fish and shrimp on your own, you’ll pay per lb. You can also watch the Balinese performances pass you on the beach.

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A perfect ending to a perfect trip!

 

 

And then when it’s all said and done, try not to cry when you’re leaving Bali 🙁

 

Items I recommend bringing to Bali:
1. A good pair of sunglasses, you can buy mine from the post here

2. Bug Spray

3. Sunscreen

4. A backpack. I prefer to carry my belongings in backpacks in places like Southeast Asia, where you don’t know how much walking you will be doing and how many roads will be paved. You can get a day pack like mine here, or a larger backpacking one (like this one) to carry your clothes instead of using luggage.

What would you do with 5 days in Bali? Add to our 5 days in Bali Itinerary Below!

 

If you liked this itinerary, check out the itinerary for 2 weeks in Thailand here.

5 days in bali

26 Comments

  • This is a super helpful post for my research, thank you so much! Just wondering, you said you flew into Jakarta airport, but did you mean Denpasar? Just trying to weigh up where I should fly into, and Jakarta is a 24 hour drive from Ubud according to Google Maps!

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thank you for reading! And you are right, it was Denpasar Airport. Thank you for catching this mistake! I’ll change it on the post. You definitely don’t want to fly into Jakarta if you are going to Bali. Please let me know if you have any other questions about your trip, I’d be happy to help!

      Thanks,
      Marteen

  • Mia says:

    Yup!! Bounty is indeed a party hotel, and totally for 20 something crowd,

  • Emily says:

    Hi Marteen, Love this post and is super helpful for my planning! Do you think 2 nights in Ubud is enough to fit everything in? (The first day we arrive super early in the am so we have a full day) Just because we only have the five days, trying to work out if we can squeeze in a trip to Gilli. Thank you!

    • Hi Emily,

      It depends on what you want to do, but Ubud is pretty small and manageable so I would say yes. Everything is within walking distance (just make sure to stay at a hostel or hotel that says they are in walking distance to monkey forest and the Ubud Market). Definitely do monkey forest and the market and the main Temple. There is a Balinese dance show at the Temple at night you can go to as well. You can also go hiking in the rice fields, get a massage, a yoga class, or a cooking class. Ubud is a very relaxing place. Enjoy your trip!

      Thanks for reading!
      Marteen

  • Fred says:

    Good info Marteen , I would like to go solo trip like you . This may be my first solo trip . My question is .. do i need to rent taxi for all 5 days or may i know which place should i go with taxi for full day tour ? how did you plan for taxi in all day ?

    • Hi Fred,

      Thanks for reading. You can rent a taxi for as many days as you want. I rented one for the first day from the airport to Ubud. When he dropped me off, i arranged for the car to pick me up again in two days and take me to the temple and Kuta. You can arrange for the same driver each time, I placed a link to my drivers website in the top of this article if you want to use the same one!

      Have a great trip!
      Marteen

  • Veronica says:

    Love your post! So very helpful. Was this a solo trip for you? I’m thinking of going in July and seems like you did a lot in a few days.

    • Hi Veronica,

      Thanks for reading! Glad I could help. Yes, this was a solo trip for me, but i met plenty of people. There are a lot of solo backpackers throughout Bali. I did do a lot when I was there, I’m usually pretty active on trips and have a hard time relaxing. However, I did have downtime on my porch in Ubud and on the beach in Kuta. Bali is pretty small so traveling from place to place doesn’t take much time. Let me know if you have any questions!

      Have a great trip and safe travels!
      Marteen

  • Emily says:

    Thank you for this itinerary! Some great ideas and really helpful as I’m also traveling solo. Thanks for the tips!

  • Marietta Socarras says:

    Awesome post. We are planning our first trip to Bali, it will be two full weeks. Taking our Kids ages 9, 15 & 19. As of now we have a week at the beach and another week at Ubud. just to make things easier than moving from hotel to hotel but planning on going out to see as much as we can. Any recommendations in places that we shouldn’t miss? Are two hotels a good idea or should we stay less time on each and move around? We like to relax and take it easy, so planning on sightseeing but also looking forward to enjoy the hotels.

    • Hi Marietta,

      I don’t have kids, but if I did I think I would stick to staying in two hotels like you are doing. Moving everyone around can become a hassle. Plus, Bali isn’t that big, so you can do day trips to a lot of different places if you wish (just hire a private driver, most speak english and have AC). I really enjoyed the Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Uluwatu. The Monkey Forest in Ubud is also really fun, especially if you have kids.

      Thanks for reading!
      Marteen

  • sutanwi says:

    super helpful post,

    we are planning a 5 day trip to Bali, your post will be very useful for the same. i will be taking my 6 yr son with me, was wondering do they have any animal safari kind off stuff there?

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  • Andi says:

    This is great. I leave in a couple weeks for a two-week trip that’s going to start with a one week yoga retreat. I will then have about five days solo afterwards. I’m a single woman in my 40s and was planning on staying in Ubud for at least two nights and then Seminak for a couple. I think I’ll definitely head north to check out the rice patties for a day trip on your recommendation. I was having such a hard time trying to determine how far places actually were. Thanks.

    • Hi Andi,

      Thanks for reading, I’m glad this post helped plan your trip 🙂 I’d love to head to a yoga retreat during my next visit, which one are you going to? I would definitely recommend seeing the rice patties, they are beautiful and great for photography as well. Enjoy your trip!

      Thanks
      Marteen

  • Elle says:

    Hi Marteen,

    This was so helpful! I’m in my mid-twenties and about to set off on a solo trip to Bali as well. I have a few questions for you.
    1. Where did you hang out in Seminyak? That photo of yours with all the bean bags looks great.
    2. Was it easy to meet people? Or did you spend most of your time solo?
    3. How far in advance did you book your driver? Did you have to give him your entire itinerary up front?

    • Hi Elle,

      Thanks for reading, I’m glad this itinerary has helped! I went to Cocoon Beach club during the day and then walked out to the beach across from that after the sun went down (that’s where I found the bean bags and live music). It was super easy to meet people, I planned out a solo trip but there was only a hand full of times where I was actually alone. There are a lot of younger solo travelers there and digital nomads, so it is fairly easy. Bali and Thailand would be two destinations that are perfect for solo travel because of the reasons above. I booked my driver the week before I left (for the ride from the airport to Ubud). While i was in the car, I arranged for him to pick me up a few days later to take me to the temple and Kuta. Let me know if you have any other questions, and have a good trip!

      Marteen

  • Wardalynn says:

    Hii,
    Let me start with great itinirary! It’s helping me so much plan my trip for this summer. So my question is, with Infobalidriver.com the driver you hired, how many people can fit into the car. Is the $50/day per person or per vehicle?

    Thank you

    • Hi Wardalynn,

      Thanks for reading! My car was an SUV, it would have easily fit 4 people, but if you email infobalidiver then you may be able to see which cars they have available. I believe the cost was per vehicle, but I was also alone. The website is good with communication so the best thing to do would be to email and ask. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Thanks
      Marteen

  • Pallavi Sah says:

    Hey this is a really helpful post. You did not visit Mt Batik?

    • Hi Pallavi,

      Thanks for reading, I’m glad this post helped you out. I didn’t visit Mt. Batik, but I’ve seen some beautiful pictures of it. You should fit it in if you have time. Have fun on your trip!

      Thanks
      Marteen

  • Laura says:

    Love the post- headed to Bali Sunday and am looking for great ideas on necessary places to see. I’ll be there a couple more days so we were thinking of heading out the either the Gili islands or Nusa Penida. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks for reading! I’ve heard good things about the Gili Islands, but I’ve never actually been there myself. Everything in this post I would do again. If I had more time, I probably would have gone to Mt. Batur or the Mother Temple too. Have a great trip!

      Marteen

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