How Many Days Do You Need In Bali? (For First-Time Visitors)

How many days do you need in Bali? If you’re trying to figure out how much time to spend on this beautiful island, this post will help you decide.

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how many days do you need in Bali

Bali may be a small island, but it packs a big punch. It’s filled to the brim with gorgeous waterfalls, dramatic rice terraces, stunning beaches, plenty of adventure opportunities, unique cultural attractions, and so much more.

With all of that to do on Bali, it’s tempting to want as many days as possible to explore it. But realistically, most of us can only take a certain amount of time off of work for vacation.

So how many days do you really need in Bali to see everything? Most travelers will agree that 10 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Bali. However, 5 days is the bare minimum if you want to explore more than one area of the island.

In this post, we’ll go over exactly how long you need in Bali and how to spend your time there.

How Many Days Do You Need In Bali?

Bali has so much to offer. From surfing to hiking to volcanoes to exploring temples, you will never run out of things to do when visiting Bali.

As to how long you would need to explore the island and see what Bali offers, most experienced travelers say that you need at least 10 days in Bali.

Although you won’t always be able to determine the length of your stay, 10 days will allow you to explore most things in Bali without being too rushed.

Because of the long flight time to Bali from most parts of the world, anything shorter than 10 days may not be worth the journey.

If you are coming from Australia or Southeast Asia, you may be able to justify a shorter trip to Bali. In that scenario, I recommend staying a minimum of 5 days.

If you can stay for about 5 days or longer in Bali, you will have the opportunity to visit more than one area. You can do many fun activities in Bali, such as going on a hike or learning how to surf. 

Of course, any amount of time in Bali is better than nothing. So we will explore a possible Bali itinerary for 3 days, 5 days, and 10 days.

Regardless of how much time you have, never pass up the opportunity to visit Bali. This beautiful island is worth exploring, even if it is only for a few days. 

Is 3 Days Enough For Bali?

As you may already have guessed, 3 days isn’t quite enough time to explore the island of Bali.

However, if you have only 3 days in Bali, you can still have a wonderful mini vacation. In this case, I recommend you choose one area of the island based on your interests and stay there while you are in Bali.

Traveling to different areas of Bali will take up a lot of the precious little time you have to spend there. Therefore, choosing one location and exploring the island around it is ultimately the best approach if you are going for such a short time.

Where To Stay If You Only Have 3 Days In Bali

So where should you stay if you only have 3 days in Bali? Here are 3 perfect suggestions:

Uluwatu For A Convenient Location & Beautiful Beaches

If you prefer staying closer to the airport to avoid unnecessary traveling time, I suggest staying in Uluwatu.

Uluwatu is in the south of Bali and has many wonderful things to offer. You can relax at the beach, surf, visit a temple, and see a fire ceremony.

Here are some of the top activities in Uluwatu:

Ubud To Experience Balinese Culture

Suppose you’re more interested in Balinese culture. In that case, you could travel to and stay in Ubud, known as Bali’s cultural center.

In Ubud, you can visit the monkey forest, do a mountain hike, explore the Ubud market, watch a fire dance, and go to the surrounding rice fields.

Here are some of the top things to do in Ubud:

Munduk To See Untouched Wilderness

Suppose you want to see as much of untouched Bali as possible. In that case, I recommend heading north to Munduk, where you can experience more of Bali’s pristine wilderness.

In Munduk, you can explore the various waterfalls in the rainforest. You can also visit a temple, go to the hidden hills of Wanagiri, and see the Handara Golf Resort and Bali Gates.

Here are some amazing things to do in Munduk:

Although 3 days isn’t enough time to explore much of Bali, you can still have a fantastic vacation there at one of these spots.

Is 5 Days Enough For Bali?

rice terraces in Bali
Rice terraces in Bali

Ideally, you would want to spend at least five days in Bali because this will give you time to explore more than one area in Bali.

You should choose 2 locations you would like to see in Bali and spend 3 days in one place and 2 days in the other.

We’d recommend visiting the place farthest from the airport first, then returning for the second place closer to the airport.

You can also go to three locations while in Bali for 5 days if you wish. For example, drive to the farthest spot you want to be first, such as Munduk, then do a return trip, stopping in Ubud. Finally, head further south to the beaches of Uluwatu or Canggu, where you will be close to the airport when you depart.

Where you go during your 5 days in Bali and how long you wish to stay ultimately depends on your interests and reasons for visiting Bali.

However, when going for a short time, such as 3 or 5 days, I recommend researching the towns you would like to see and set up an itinerary. 

Doing so will ensure you visit all the fantastic spots in that town and don’t waste time searching for places to go or things to do.

You should also buy your entry tickets ahead of time if you need them for different attractions. This will help you avoid long queues that take up precious time.

A Sample Itinerary For 5 Days In Bali

Day 1: Munduk

Arrive in Bali early in the morning and head straight to Munduk. The journey should take a little over 2 hours from the airport to Northern Bali.

Spend the afternoon exploring waterfalls, visiting the famous Handara Gate, and sampling coffee at a plantation.

Day 2: Munduk and Ubud

Wake up early and do a bit more exploring in Munduk. Visit the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple for some beautiful views and culture.

Take an afternoon transfer from Munduk to Ubud. The drive will take a little under 2 hours.

When you arrive in Ubud, take a sunset walk along the Campuhan Ridge Walk. This beautiful walk is located near the center of town and allows for some incredible views.

Day 3: Explore Ubud

Spend your day exploring the rice fields, temples, and waterfalls surrounding Ubud.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also do a sunrise hike to Mount Batur. This is one of the top things to do in Ubud and it looks absolutely incredible.

Day 4: Surf And Relax In Canggu

Make your way from Ubud to Canggu in the morning of day 4. The drive should only take you around an hour.

After you get settled in, make your way to the beach for some sunbathing or surfing. You could also spend your afternoon at a beach club if you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious.

Be sure to check out some of the nightlife options while you’re in Canggu. Need a place to start? Check out our guide to live music spots in Canggu.

Day 5: Explore Canggu

Start your fifth day with a big cup of coffee and a healthy breakfast at one of Canggu’s famous cafes. I have a list of the best coffee shops in Canggu if you need some suggestions.

Once you’re fueled up, spend your day exploring the markets and shops that line Canggu’s streets. This is a great chance to grab some souvenirs before heading home.

Have more time to kill in Canggu? I have a full post on fun things to do in Canggu, Bali.

Is 10 Days Enough For Bali?

10 days is the perfect time to stay in Bali if you cannot stay longer.

With 10 days in Bali, you can visit most tourist destinations on the island and still have time to visit the surrounding islands, such as the Gili Islands and Nusa Penida.

When going to Bali for 10 days, you don’t need to plan your itinerary as strictly as you do when going for a shorter time. I suggest selecting some locations you would like to visit and researching what you would like to do in each place.

However, don’t book all your accommodation in advance. You may arrive in one area and enjoy it so much that you would like to extend on stay.

On the contrary, you can also arrive at a place that isn’t what you expected. If you haven’t booked or paid yet, you can decide to move to another location.

Of course, if you don’t book your accommodation ahead of time, the hotel you would like to stay at may be fully booked. Therefore, consider your priorities carefully before deciding if you want to book ahead or not.

A Sample Itinerary For 10 Days In Bali

Days 1-3: Ubud

aerial shot of Campuhan ridge walk in Ubud Bali
Campuhan Ridge Walk In Ubud

Ubud is Bali’s cultural hub. Spend your days exploring temples, wandering through rice fields, taking yoga classes, and eating healthy food.

I highly recommend adding a sunrise hike to Mount Batur to your itinerary. It’s one of the top things to do in Ubud and looks absolutely incredible.

Another top recommended activity in Ubud is rafting. I wasn’t able to join a rafting tour while I was in Ubud, but it’s on the top of my list for things to do next time I’m there. This rafting tour looks incredible and is super affordable.

Days 4-6: Canggu & Eastern Bali

Lempuyang gates in Eastern Bali
Lempuyang Gates in Eastern Bali

For the next three days, you’ll want to base yourself in Canggu. This surf town is surrounded by rice paddies and filled with cute cafes.

This post will show you the absolute best things to do in Canggu.

I highly recommend hiring a driver for one day and exploring Eastern Bali. There are so many temples, rice fields, and beautiful views to be seen in this area of Bali.

This private tour will take you around to some of the most beautiful sights in Eastern Bali.

Days 7-8: Nusa Penida

sunset on Nusa Penida
Amok Sunset Restaurant on Nusa Penida

One of the perks of staying in Bali for 10+ days is that you can explore other islands as well. The Nusa Islands are located really close to the main island and are definitely worth visiting.

Nusa Penida is the most popular of the Nusa islands and is a haven for diving and snorkeling. Snorkeling with Manta Rays is one of the most popular things to do while you’re here.

Getting around Nusa Penida can be tricky. If you’re not confident on a motorbike, I recommend hiring a driver for the day to take you around to some of the sights.

Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, Angel Billabong, and Crystal Bay are all beautiful spots that you can visit on a day trip around Nusa Penida.

Days 9-10: Uluwatu

surfing in Bali

A great place to end your 10 day trip is in Uluwatu. You’ll spend your time in Uluwatu surfing, sunbathing, and partying.

The location is perfect for ending your trip because it’s located near to the airport. This will give you more time to explore and less time in the back of a taxi on your departure day.

How Many Days Do You Need In Bali For A Honeymoon?

When going on a honeymoon, you want enough time to relax and enjoy your new marriage after the stressful wedding planning and big emotional moments. Therefore, I suggest going to Bali for at least ten days when you are on your honeymoon. 

Bali is a relatively cheap tourist destination, allowing you to stay longer for the same budget as you could stay in a more expensive European country.

With 10 or more days in Bali, you can experience the most the island has to offer. However, for a honeymoon I recommend just picking 2 or 3 places and giving yourself plenty of time to relax.

Planning a wedding is SO stressful, so you don’t want to spend too much your precious honeymoon time rushing around the island in the back of a taxi.

Bali offers everything you and your partner could want on your honeymoon, whether you prefer going on hiking adventures, eating to your heart’s content, or laying around on the beach.

Here are some of the most beautiful hotels in Bali for a honeymoon:

  • Fivelements Retreat – One reviewer described Fivelements as a “paradise in the middle of the rainforest”. Expect a beautiful setting, luxurious spa treatements, and plenty of delicious and healthy food options.
  • Prasana Villa – This five star villa is located in Uluwatu. Enjoy luxury amenities, a beautiful infinity pool, and stunning, modern rooms.

Final Thoughts On How Long To Spend In Bali

When planning a trip to Bali, I recommend planning to spend at least 5 days in Bali. However, 10 days to 2 weeks would ultimately be best, allowing you to explore everything the island offers. You can also go for as little as 3 days, but you can only visit one location.

Bali is the perfect honeymoon destination. When visiting Bali on your honeymoon, I suggest spending 10 days in Bali at the least.

You will then have enough time to relax and unwind from the stressful wedding. There is plenty to do in Bali, so you won’t regret going for a longer time.

This post was all about how many days you need in Bali.

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