Written by Beverley Lennon
Edited by Jiayi Ng
We all have a love-hate relationship with travelling – exploring a new place can be exciting, but there’s also the never-ending barrage of worries: “Where will I stay? What’s there to see? How long should I go for?” What do I do when the trip is only one week away???
It gets worse when you’re planning for a trip to Bali, where there are just too many things to do. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back!
Step 1: Don’t panic!
Step 2: Check out this 5D4N itinerary, and have a smashing time in Bali’s hottest areas of Seminyak, Kuta, Uluwatu and Ubud!
This island is a dream come true for local food lovers, lovers of nature and culture and those who’re looking for an introduction to the exquisite Balinese heritage. Add our itinerary to the mix, and you’ve got a foolproof holiday plan incoming – get ready to conquer Bali’s pristine beaches, cute cafes, magical waterfalls, mystical temples and more!
We bet this first trip to Bali won’t be your last one. 😉
Had Bali on your radar for a while but not sure how to explore it to the fullest?
We’ve curated a comprehensive 5D4N itinerary chock-full of Bali’s must-visit attractions and secret hot spots – from Bali’s hippest areas (Kuta and Seminyak) to exotic jungles in Ubud and the unavoidable beach destination of Uluwatu, here’s the best of Bali all in one place!
Important Tip: Since this is your first time going to Bali, you might not be aware of the airport situation – avoid the on-site taxi touts and book a transfer to your hotel prior to your trip. A transfer from the international airport to Kuta/Seminyak should not cost more than Rp. 150,000 – 200,000 (Approximately USD $10.25 – 13.68).
Getting to Bali
Treat yourself with ultimate fun, good food, funky drinks and a pampering session!
Welcome to the Land of the Gods, the land of possibilities! You’ll practically find everything you need in Bali, from prestigious beaches, serene jungles, and crazy fun beach clubs, to magical waterfalls, mystical temples and jaw dropping sunsets.
For the first day, let’s take it slow and disengage from the madness of city life – sit back and enjoy the 30-minute ride from the airport to your hotel in Seminyak, check in and get cosy in your room before we get started on the adventure!
Who heads to Bali and doesn’t party their heads off at a beach club? It may be your first time, but don’t just head to popular old names like Potato Head – instead, check out the newest kid on the block (as of 2018), right in the heart of Seminyak!
Besides very cool technicolor ‘grammable features and the funkiest cocktail creations, you’ll be wowed by Tropicola’s woodfire open kitchen, two swimming pools, and two bars! Take it from us, two is always better than one.
We also heard that they’ll be opening a rooftop bar section with magical views of the Bukit Peninsula and Tanah Lot – one more reason not to miss this gem for the world!
Photo Via Marlianelsa
This has got to be one of Bali’s most Instagrammed sunsets – and for good reason! With perfect golden hues and flamboyant Balinese umbrellas dotting the vast stretch of beach, this may be the most colourful sunset you’ll ever see.
If you’re not into squatting for ages just to get the perfect snap, you can also sit back and relax in one of the bean bags strategically placed by the several beach cafes.
With an ice-cold Bintang in one hand and a camera in the other, you’re all set for a magical show by Mother Nature!
TripCanvas Tip: Reach by 5.45pm for front row seats!
Photo Via Tinihitakara
Manners maketh man, environment maketh food. Gardin Bistro & Patisserie is not only distinctive for its mouth-watering international dishes, but also for the jaw-dropping interior that gives you the impression of dining in a glass house.
Just imagine digging into a perfect Smoked Salmon and delectable Rösti, as sunlight pours in from elegant floor-length windows. All you need now is one of their yummy desserts to make the perfect meal!
P.S. Don’t miss out on the cheesecake – seriously, we would go back to Bali just for that.
Photo Via Abe.1
Ding dong! You saw right – affordable body treatments, coming right up!
a. Pamper yourself with a memorable Four Hand massage – Jari Menari (1 hour)
What’s better than having someone massage your tired body? Having TWO masseurs do it at the same time!!
This spa is famous for its relaxing Four Hand Massage that’s exclusively performed by an all-male team. This holistic treatment is worth every penny, as it brings you a whole new level of comfort and de-knots every one of your sore muscles – you won’t even have to pay twice the price!
It’s not as intense as it sounds, but if you think you might fall apart at the slightest touch, you can also opt for a Yon-Ka Express Facial or Gourmet Massage (yes, with food!).
Just don’t come expecting a traditional roadside massage, for you’ll be getting so much more than that!
b. (Alternative) Get that energised holiday glow – Glo Day Spa Seminyak (1 hour)
Feeling iffy about getting a male masseuse, or just want to go the traditional way? Check out Glo Day Spa for the quintessential Balinese massage experience!
This spa offers a variety of soothing massage treatments that are bound to leave your body seriously energised… and glowing, thanks to the natural coconut oil that they use. If you’re in the mood for something different, try out the foot reflexology (it ain’t just a basic food rub)!
P.S. They’re also known to provide excellent waxing services, so how ‘bout a hair-free holiday?
The night is always young in Bali, so don’t head to bed or you’ll be missing out big time!
Experiencing Bali’s nightlife is definitely a must, and if you’re in Seminyak, you mustn’t miss Motel Mexicola!
This place practically embodies the essence of partying in Bali. Bask yourself in the strong Mexican vibes and snap an #OOTD amongst flashy interior and melting candles, or simply chill out to funky music and ice-cold Bintangs (grab some tacos for when the alcohol kicks in!).
And nope, no one’s gonna judge you for dancing on top of the tables – so let’s get this party going!
Photo Via Nextination, Yuthika._
Because sometimes, life is much better in funky colours! Not sure where to stay to enjoy more than just proper sleep after a busy day out in Seminyak? Tijili Seminyak Hotel’s our pick!
Spend your day snapping away in this fun and funky atmosphere, or take a few steps out to find tons of restaurants, bars and shops to explore – never has a hotel been so fun!
Photo Via Ojaboom, Metharani
Get the most out of Bali’s best beaches and mystical temples in the south!
We hope you’re refreshed and energised from your night rest, for it’s going to get ‘beachy’ for your second day in the south coast of beautiful Bali!
Who says you have to leave the best for the last? Sometimes you just need a treat right at the start of the day, and this is why you book yourself a massage at an ocean view spa like this one!
Spa at Mu’s gorgeous view of the calm ocean is the perfect appetiser to prepare your body and mind for Bali’s beautiful beaches. After all, you’re in Bali – a soothing massage with the ocean breeze is definitely a must!
TripCanvas Tip: The spa is constantly booked out so you will need (we repeat, need!) to make a reservation prior to your trip. Please check for the availability before your arrival, as there are limited spots for non-staying guests. They also require a 50% deposit by cash or full payment through Paypal.
If you like to catch waves, here’s where to do it! But if not, rest assured, as Suluban Beach is more than just a paradise for surfers.
This is a beach unlike any other – explore mystical caves set right on the beach, or marvel at the giant natural limestones that tower above the sand. It’s time to say goodbye to the boring white sand beaches of old!
Photo Via Couple.express, Maksal69
Don’t worry, you’re not going to fall down a cliff while having lunch, thought you might just fall for the gorgeous ocean views at Ulu Cliffhouse.
At this one of a kind beach club with a open-air restaurant, deck loungers provide you with the perfect vantage point to admire the Indian Ocean, while a playful selection of drinks are served to suit every palate and occasion!
Just remember to come in early to secure front row seats – the venue is particularly popular on weekends, when crowds gather for affordable brunch packages, free flow prosecco and groovy beach house music.
Photo Via Jonny.melon_
We know everyone talks about the beaches in Bali, but more often than not, these beaches are filled with more people than sand.
Thankfully, not Green Bowl Beach! Here, you’ll get that sun-kissed beach glow, and Vitamin ‘Sea’ intake, all on a serene stretch of pristine white sand. Don’t forget your swimsuit – how could you possibly not take a dip in water as clear as this?
Green Bowl Beach is somehow still a lesser-known spot (we don’t get it either), so if you desperately need to get away from the never-ending crowds, you know where to head to!
TripCanvas Tip: The tide can be very high in the morning (it can reach all the way to the bottom of the stairs), hence it’s recommended to visit the beach around noon until 3 pm when the tide is low.
Photo Via Brookeleonhardt
See a unique traditional performance at a clifftop temple – Uluwatu Temple with Kecak Dance (2 hours)
Think Uluwatu is just a cool beach club neighbourhood in Bali? Well, it’s also home to a magical temple set atop a 70-metre-high cliff!
This culturally rich spot comes to life every evening, when the sun dips down in the endless ocean and hundreds of people unite to witness the mystical fire dance! Fancy yourself one of the faces in the crowd?
TripCanvas Tip: The perfect time to arrive at Uluwatu Temple would be at 4pm, so that you have ample time to get a good seat and a ticket for the Kecak Dance.
Photo Via Suphakaln-Wongcompune
When you need to take a cliffside inclinator to reach a bar, you know that these are going to be some special views! AYANA’s Rock Bar features one of the most iconic and gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean that you simply can’t miss. For an even better experience, make sure to secure a seat on the deck!
The view’s not everything here, though! An evening session at Rock Bar involves everything from sipping cocktails and dancing to the DJs’ spinning beats, to an exclusive Mediterranean menu that includes mouth-watering seafood dishes, such as the Grilled Octopus and King Prawns! If you’re not a fan of seafood, the Lamb Loin is a crowd favourite too.
Imagine juicy, buttery prawns melting in your mouth as melodic music soothes your ear and the sun paints the sky a burnt orange – life can’t get any better than this!
Photo Via Deeonward, Ryanli23
If you dream that you’re Tarzan racing through endless, untouched greenery, you’re not too far from it. 😉
Wander in Bali’s jungles and paddy fields, and chase magical waterfalls!
Rise and shine, Tarzans (and Janes)! We hope you’re ready for an action-packed adventure to the untouched corners of Bali’s nature!
We recommend setting off from your hotel at 7am so that you can reach your first stop (Tegenungan Waterfall) by 8.30am and visit the rest of the day’s attractions!
Apart from lazing around at stunning beaches, chasing waterfalls should be your ultimate plan while in Bali. Depending on your hotel location in Seminyak, it can take a good 1 hour to reach Tegenungan Waterfall (also known as Blangsinga Waterfall), but the trip down there is definitely worth it!
While you’ll have to go down several flights of stairs, be prepared to be wowed by the majestic streams of water that form this magical waterfall.
After all, everything is better when you have to work for it, right?
Photo Via Sovest13
Sick of partying at beach clubs all the time? Why not take your adventures to a ‘waterfall’ club instead?
D’Tukad River Club joined the scene in 2018 as an all-new natural haven with a treehouse concept – right atop Tegenungan Waterfall (we told you the trip was gonna be worth it)!
Most guests spend their time soaking in the two-tiered pool while sipping on cocktails and munching on light-bites. Scared of getting wrinkly fingers? Catch a break on the scenic wooden terrace, or hop on the swings that hang out over the river for a quiet date with the jungle!
We love how creative party-fanatics are getting! A river club – why didn’t anyone think about this before!?
Photo Via TripCanvas
We know an abandoned airplane doesn’t exactly sound appetising, but Keramas Aeropark isn’t your typical aircraft boneyard. With bright green paddy fields surrounding the navy blue plane, this is a pretty gorgeous sight to behold.
But that’s not all! Look a little closer, and you’ll discover that this abandoned airplane has been revamped into a cosy restaurant. Grab a refreshing coconut and sit back, or snap away for the perfect plane selfie – both sound good to us!
P.S. We recommend just getting a drink here (and skip the food) and snapping away with your camera!
Photo Via Inengahsuarna
If you love the great outdoors, you’ll definitely fall in love with The Sayan House, a beautiful restaurant that overlooks the Ayung River, surrounded by a lush forest and rice fields.
A unique experience is what you’ll definitely get here. Other than the absolutely breathtaking view, the restaurant offers equally awe-inspiring fusion dishes (Japanese and Latin) with unique twists, such as Babi Guling Sushi and Crispy King Prawn & Avocado Maki.
Whether you’re just here to get your tummy filled, or want to celebrate a special occasion, this restaurant is bound to make your lunch time in Ubud extra special!
Photo Via Kensuke.hiruta
No, seriously, have you really been to Bali if you haven’t visited the rice paddy fields?
Nowhere else do stalks of rice look so majestic – only at Tegallalang Rice Terrace in Ubud! Last we heard, there are even swings there now, so it’s time to take that Instagram shot up a notch!
You might have to fight through the crowd and some photobombers to get that perfect shot of you walking through the terrace, but if there’s one shot that screams ‘Bali’, this will be it!
TripCanvas Tip: Be mindful of on-site scammers – visiting the rice terrace is completely free and you DO NOT need a guide (unless you want one)!
Photo Via Thierryjoubertphotography
Cupcakes, macarons, creme brulee… let’s give our usual dessert buddies a miss today and try out high tea the Indonesian way!
Relax in a private cabana right next to the pool (that you’ll have free access to!) while munching on delightful treats – if that sounds like heaven to you, then you have to drop by Folk Pool & Gardens while you’re in Ubud!
The delicacies that make up the three-tiered high tea stand include all kinds of traditional Indonesian sweets wrapped in banana leaves, offering you an afternoon tea experience like no other. Better yet, they’re all made from ingredients sourced by sustainable local partners, so feel free to indulge in some guilt-free snacking!
TripCanvas Tip: Reach by 3pm to catch the high tea session!
Photo Via Citra_tayuwijaya
When in Rome, do as the Romans do – surely you weren’t thinking of leaving Bali without trying things the local way?
At Laka Leke, you’ll get to try out local favourites, modern Indonesian fare, authentic Balinese cuisine and more… all in one place. You’ll also get to be entertained by traditional Balinese performances as you dig in!
We personally loved their popular crispy duck, which goes amazingly well with some sambal matah. Then again, everything at Laka Leke tastes fantastic, but no words can do justice to their mouth-watering Nasi Campur – colourful and flavourful!
TripCanvas Tip: On specific nights, the restaurant gets busy with traditional performances, which see locals dressed in colourful and shiny outfits replicating theatrical dances such as the Barong and Kris Dance, Frog Dance, Joged and Children Dance, as well as Bali’s popular Kecak Dance.
Photo Via Fangliwen
Ubud may be serene and tranquil, but who doesn’t get tired after a sweaty long day?
Time to check-in at your little oasis tucked in between rice paddy fields… Bliss Bungalow is a hard-to-resist option that we recommend if you decide to spend the night in Ubud! This humble abode is the perfect place to rest amidst nature, cleanse your mind, and prepare for another day.
It’s a ‘Shop for yourself and others’ kind of day!
Holidays are rare moments in life when we can ditch alarm clocks in favour of having the sun shine on us… but trust us, the sunrise walk at Campuhan Ridge Walk will be worth the early morning alarm clock you nearly snoozed.
This is a beautiful paved walk that is best enjoyed around 6 to 7am, right before the scorching hot sun rises fully. It’s a short trek that can be enjoyed as a romantic date, or even a family activity.
Enjoy scenic views of endless greenery as you trudge towards the paddy fields at the end of the trek – what a perfect start to your day!
Photo Via Julia_jujuu, Wzylouisey
It might be a bit of a challenge finding this cafe, but it’s worth the search! Take a tranquil walk along alleys and rice paddies, and follow a steep flight of stairs (Penestanan steps) towards Yellow Flower Cafe.
Lather on warm crusty toasts, enjoy your smashed avocado topped with soft and creamy ricotta cheese to the sound of chirping birds… If we were you, we would go for their fruit smoothie too!
The menu is vast and many visitors find themselves coming here every day not just for breakfast, but for lunch and dinner too!
Photo Via Hiencaooo
Since you’re heading back to the hustle and bustle, it’s time to get your hands on some unique souvenirs – how else will you prove to your friends and relatives that you’ve been to Bali?
Nothing quite beats edible souvenirs that are unique to the island:
a. Banana cakes with a sweet twist – Bali Banana
We saw dozens of locals packing up these at the domestic airport and decided to give it a go. Bali Banana surely did not disappoint!
Call in to place an order or simply drop by their shop to grab these uniquely crafted banana cakes – some topped with grated cheese, some with chocolate and peanuts, strawberry jam and more! You can even try it for yourself at Discovery Shopping Mall Kuta before buying!
These are pure treats for the eyes and stomach!
Photo Via Markole24
b. Queue up for Chinese-style pastries – Pia Legong
Early mornings at Pia Legong are pretty similar – you’ll see a crowd of people impatiently queuing up to collect their pastry orders.
We don’t blame them, as these freshly baked goodies are real explosion of flavours in the mouth. Besides, they’re so popular that you’re only allowed to buy 5 boxes at a time unless you place an order a day before, so plan carefully to avoid disappointment!
These pastries are so fresh, they have no additives and are best enjoyed on the day of purchase. Now you have an excuse if you end up eating most of them on your way home! 😉
Other unique souvenirs:
Snacks not special enough for your picky aunt? If you’re looking out for more unique souvenirs, on a shopping trip with your girl squad or simply want a traditional Balinese kebaya, we’ve got you covered with the best picks too!
At BOSSMAN, you’re the boss man.
Unlike classic burger joints, you’ll get to customise the ingredients of your burger here. Not an onion fan? Want more cheese? Gag at pickles? Everything’s possible when you’re the boss!
If you happen to be a really lazy boss, simply choose from BOSSMAN’s six signature burgers – they even have a Kimchi-inspired Chicken Burger that tastes awesome!
Photo Via Detaadipratama
What better way to feel refreshed at the end of a holiday than getting beautified from head to toe?
Drop by Manik Hair & Beauty for a complete makeover – they’ll work their magic on you with quality treatments like manicure, pedicure, hair braiding and, if you wish, even a haircut!
I personally think that the staff is expertly trained in the art of hairstyling as I went for an extreme makeover from mermaid long hair to a short bob – all these while getting my nails taken care of!
After all, can’t fresh haircuts and funky hair colours be the new souvenir?
After all that pampering, what can be better than topping it off with a lovely (and Instagrammable) high tea?
Folie Kitchen’s funky interior and unique hipster dishes remind us all that a casual day in Bali is just as tropical as an evening in Hawaii. This is a place where you can nosh à la folie against a backdrop that calls forth happy memories of the Pacific islands (or any tropical island to be honest).
With a globetrotting French chef, you can expect a potpourri of flavours fused from French to Indonesian origins. You’ll have a hard time choosing something from the menu, but what can compare to French pastries?
Photo Via Travelmints, Clxree, Balifoodies
Can’t get enough of Bali’s sunsets? Head up to Sky Tryst Bar on top of Daun Bali Hotel for one more memorable sunset before you leave!
The rooftop bar features a jacuzzi where you can soak in while enjoying the 270-degree panoramic views, sipping on cocktails and munching on tasty snacks.
This is what we call ‘living the Bali life’!
Note: Minimum purchase of Rp. 100,000 is required for free access to the jacuzzi.
Photo Via Calcoe09
Always wanted to go to Greece? There may be no Mediterranean sea view here, but everything else resembles ancient Greece – from the interior and exterior to yummy food!
This romantic and affordable fine dining spot in Bali is the perfect place to indulge in when you’re on the lookout for healthy yet tasty food options. Everything is top notch, as dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients, and even the Greek salads aren’t your regular ones! But don’t just chomp away at those veggies – make sure you try the Meat Platter and Feta Saganaki.
While you’re not stuffing your face, just remember to take a few more pictures of your life as an ancient Greek God/Goddess!
Photo Via Yolandayoshe, Inadesignerhome
It’s happy hour – and not quite the way you know it!
Head over to Bong Pipi for the happy hour of a lifetime. Not only will you get to gulp down some seriously exotic cocktails, the Asian eatery also features old-school video game stations, where you can have some nostalgic fun.
You also get one free cocktail if you win at the video games – just saying!
Photo Via Tonyhow24
Make the most of your last night in your comfy hotel bedroom!
Last day treats before your departure!
They always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day – why not ditch the boring hotel buffet for something more special?
Drop in at this tranquil glasshouse and enjoy breakfast in a whimsical atmosphere. If you’re up for a heavy meal before your flight (especially for budget fliers who want to save on in-flight meals), you should definitely give their signature Poke Bowls a try. These healthy munchies are packed with tuna tartare, salmon, eggs and more – tons of goodness for the body!
And if that’s not enough, don’t miss out on their fresh fruit options – chopped in bowls with granola, squeezed in glasses with ice or whole on platters to share!
Photo Via Travelbite.id_
What do you do when you’re waiting to head to the airport, sad and bored with not much money left in your pocket? Well, get a 1-hour Balinese massage at @Ease Spa for only Rp. 85,000 (Approximately USD $5.80)!
Whether you’re here to soothe your sore feet, tired back and shoulders, or even your sun-battered face, @Ease Spa offers affordable quality treatments that will get rid of all your post-holiday blues.
Don’t expect luxurious interiors, but the hygiene and cleanliness here are second to none – tried and tested (more than once) by the TripCanvas team!
Photo Via TripCanvas
You can start planning for the next one now. 😉
Or not, because we’ve done all the work for you for these Ubud and South Bali itinerary pieces!
Best time to travel
Bali has a reliable, warm and tropical climate all year round, with temperatures averaging from 26°C to 28°C. Locations at high altitude, such as Ubud and Bedugul, enjoy chillier weather.
The dry season is generally from May to September, and the wet season from October to April.
Peak season in Bali is from July to August, as well as during Easter holidays, Christmas and New Year.
In May, June and September (non-peak period), accommodation is 30% to 50% cheaper than peak season rates. Plus, you still get great dry season weather most of the time.
If you enjoy watersports, such as surfing, the waves are great during April and October. While slight rain showers are expected, you’ll also see plenty of sunshine. These are also great months to travel with children as most theme parks and attractions are less crowded, making getting around stress-free!