Are you looking for the best 3 day Bali itinerary for your upcoming trip to the Island of the Gods? Good thing you’ve landed here, as I’ve got just the itinerary! 

My first trip to Bali was a whirlwind one, and while there’s so much to see and do in Bali that could take weeks of exploration, this three day Bali itinerary will help you make the most out of your short visit. 

Bali is this lush, sun-kissed paradise that seems like it’s been lifted straight out of your favourite travel mag, with rice terraces that look like giant steps, ancient temples that have more stories to tell than your grandad, and beaches that make you want to throw your return ticket into the ocean (I was definitely tempted but resorted to coming back again instead!).

It’s not just about the postcard-perfect scenery, though. The island vibes are as warm as the Indonesian sun, and the locals are so nice and friendly they could disarm the grumpiest traveller. 

Trust me, it’ll have you planning your next visit before you’ve even left!

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In a quick nutshell, here’s what you can expect from my 3 day itinerary for Bali:

Day 1: Nusa Dua and Uluwatu

Day 2: Ubud

Day 3: Seminyak & Kuta

Bali Day 1 – Nusa Dua and Uluwatu

My itinerary for your first day in Bali covers the Nusa Dua and Uluwatu areas, both in the south of the island, and both offering a perfect mix of sea, sun, and spirituality. 

Morning: Snorkelling in Nusa Dua

Start your day early to make the most of the calm, clear waters of Nusa Dua. It’s what I like to call the ‘posh’ part of Bali.  You’ll find luxury resorts, palm tree lined streets and a whole lot of beautiful beaches to chill out on. 

Woman snorkelling in green ocean, with green coral below her

If you’re into water sports, you can rent a jet ski or try your hand at parasailing. But for me, the highlight of Nusa Dua was snorkelling!

Now, if you love the ocean and seeing all kinds of fish underwater, and you’re looking for something a little different, there’s also an underwater walking activity in Nusa Dua. I didn’t do it there, but I did the same thing in Hoi An in Vietnam and it was incredible! You can find out more about my walking underwater experience here.

End your morning with a delicious brunch at one of the beachfront hotels – I recommend the Boneka Restaurant at the St. Regis Hotel for some amazing eggs benedict! 

Early Afternoon: Bike Ride Around Nusa Dua

After a refreshing morning in the water, I recommend exploring Nusa Dua on land. Renting a bike is an excellent way to see the area at your own pace while enjoying the beautiful landscapes. The well-paved paths around Nusa Dua are ideal for biking, taking you through lush gardens, past luxury resorts, and along scenic waterfronts.

Turquoise blue ocean water crashing against waves with a 'blow hole' in the middle where white misty water spouts out of - in Nusa Dua Bali

Make sure you stop by the Water Blow, an impressive natural phenomenon where large waves from the Indian Ocean crash into the limestone coast, creating a spectacular splash.

Continue on into the village to get a glimpse into the local way of life, with opportunities to stop at traditional markets and of course pick up a refreshing coconut drink – the humidity and heat in Bali calls for a coconut drink every couple of hours, if you ask me. 

Evening: Uluwatu 

As the day progresses, make your way to Uluwatu, a stunning region in southwest Bali known for its dramatic cliffside views (especially good at sunset) and cultural scene. 

Golden sandy beach with a part of a wooden shipwreck,

First, stop at Nunggalan Beach, home to a famous shipwreck. It’s become a quirky landmark for tourists, especially Instagrammers, as the shipwreck is almost completely covered in graffiti.

To get to the beach, you have to walk a path that winds through caves and rock formations, and as you come to the end of the path, a stunning hidden beach surrounded by cliffs is waiting for you. 

I recommend having a driver for today, as it’ll be difficult to pick up a taxi or a Grab from the beach. Unless you’ve rented a motorbike of course – then you’re free as a bird!

Next, take a short drive up to Uluwatu Temple, perched on a 70-meter-high cliff overlooking the sea. This ancient temple is one of Bali’s six key spiritual pillars and offers the most beautiful sunset views. The architecture and the location’s spiritual significance makes it something you shouldn’t miss.

A group of Balinese male dancers, shirtless with black and white checkered shorts, circling a bonfire getting ready to begin the Kecak dance at night

As the sun begins to set at Uluwatu Temple, the Kecak dance begins. This traditional Balinese dance performance tells the story of the Ramayana through dance, music, and fire, with the ocean and sunset providing a dramatic backdrop.

It really is an unforgettable spectacle that captures the essence of Balinese culture. Book your Kecak Dance Ticket here!

Night: Unwind at Single Fin

If you’ve still got some umph in you after a day of adventure and cultural immersion, you should check out one of the many beach clubs for a night-cap.

Single Fin, also located on the cliffs of Uluwatu, is the perfect spot to end your day. It’s got panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, beers, cocktails or juice and you can pick up your dinner here too.

It’s a chilled vibe in the evenings and as the night goes on, there’ll be live music or DJ sets if you fancy a dance!

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Bali Day 2 – Ubud

The second day of our Bali itinerary is dedicated to exploring Ubud, a town well known for its pretty, green landscapes.  

Morning: Aloha Giant Swing

Kick off your day with a visit to the Aloha Giant Swing. Is it a cliché thing to do in Bali? Yes. Is it worth it? Another yes!

Woman with long brunette hair, wearing a long flowy yellow dress. She has her back to the camera and is on a giant swing, swinging over lush green rice paddies and trees

First thing you need to know – you’ll want to get there early to beat the crowds. And by early, I mean you’ll want to be the first person there at 8am. In fairness, I was second, and that was still fine.

There are multiple swings there and you’ll need to pay for the full package – you can’t just book to go on one swing and be done with it. My favourites were the main swing, the bed swing and the bird’s nest.

Woman with green mid length dress sitting on a large swing that. She's facing the camera and is soaring over green rice paddies

You also have the choice to rent a flowy dress for an extra charge. I didn’t think I was going to go all out with the flowy dress, but I was convinced and I’m glad I did it! Although I did do a quick change back into my own dress so I had a mixture of pictures.

As I was leaving, just an hour after arriving, there were crowds and busloads of people arriving – this is why you’ll want to get there at 8am! 

BOOK YOUR UBUD SWING EXPERIENCE HERE TO AVOID THE CROWDS!

The area around the swing also offers a few picturesque spots, and I highly recommend taking a leisurely stroll through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Just be aware that there will be locals working here, so be mindful and respectful.

Early Afternoon: Ubud Monkey Forest

Next up, head to the Ubud Monkey Forest for an early afternoon wander. This isn’t just any forest. It’s a sacred nature reserve and Hindu temple complex that’s home to hundreds of monkeys.

Two monkeys sitting on a large rock surrounded by green trees. One of the monkeys is holding an empty plastic bottle

Walking through the forest, you’ll be surrounded by the calming sounds of nature, ancient trees, and beautiful temple structures that have stood the test of time. But don’t get too relaxed. The cheeky monkeys (now I get where that saying comes from) have been known to grab anything that sparkles or looks interesting!

If you’d prefer a guide to take you around the forest (best way to make sure you don’t miss a thing), you can book one here.

Late Afternoon: Tegenungan Waterfall

As the day heats up, it’s the perfect time to cool down at Tegenungan Waterfall. About an hour’s drive from Ubud, this waterfall is tucked away in a really cool jungle setting, making it a refreshing escape from the heat.

A serene view of the Tegenungan Waterfall in Bali, captured with a slow shutter speed to emphasize the smooth flow of water cascading down the rocky cliff surrounded by lush tropical greenery and palm trees.

The walk down to the waterfall takes around 15 minutes (easy going down, not so easy going up!), but the view and the cool water at the end make it all worthwhile – and you can take a dip under the waterfall once you get there.

Tegenungan Waterfall is less crowded than some of the other waterfalls in the area, but you won’t find yourself alone there, unfortunately. You’ll need to pay a small entrance fee of 20,000IDR (around USD$1.30)

Evening: Balinese Cooking Class

Finally, to finish off your day in Ubud, treat yourself to the flavours of Bali with a cooking class.

This isn’t just about learning to cook – while that part is fun of course – it’s also about understanding the local culture and traditions that influence Balinese cuisine.

I recommend this Balinese cooking class that starts with a visit to a local market where you’ll be able to choose fresh ingredients. Then, in a traditional kitchen, you’ll learn how to prepare classic dishes such as sate lilit (Balinese satay), nasi goreng, and even a traditional dessert.

Cooking classes in Ubud often take place in open-air kitchens, allowing you to enjoy the cool evening breeze as you cook. It’s a hands-on experience that ends with the best part: sitting down to enjoy the meal you’ve prepared, often with a view of the rice fields or a garden! If you’re a foodie, I highly recommend ending your day with a cooking class.

More places to visit in Ubud if you have more time or want to switch up:

  • Ubud Palace
  • Explore the town of Ubud
  • Ubud Art Market

Bali Day 3 – Seminyak and Kuta

Morning: Seminyak Beach

Your 3rd day in Bali starts of at Seminyak Beach, a spot that’s a bit more laid-back than its bustling neighbour, Kuta.

Wide-angle shot of the tranquil Seminyak Beach in Bali, showcasing the expansive sandy shore under a bright sun, with gentle waves in the distance and a clear blue sky above.

Seminyak’s got a nice blend of sandy shores and gentle waves, making it a great place for surfing beginners to catch their first wave. On that note, if you’ve never surfed before, consider signing up for a surf lesson here. You’ll be provided with all the gear you’ll need and an instructor to take you through the basics. It’s a really fun way to start the day!

Seminyak has its own vibe, with a more upscale atmosphere compared to other parts of Bali. The beach is lined with trendy cafes and bars where you can grab a coffee or (you guessed it) a refreshing coconut to rehydrate.

Midday: Shopping in Seminyak

Once you’ve had your fill of the beach, head into the heart of Seminyak for some shopping. This area is known for souvenir shops upon souvenir shops.

Take your time wandering through the streets, and don’t be afraid to venture into the smaller alleys where some hidden gems are often found.

A colorful display at a souvenir shop in Seminyak, Bali, featuring an array of vibrant wooden signboards with playful slogans, alongside paintings, backpacks, and a variety of tourist keepsakes.

Keep your eyes open for the shop selling signs – there are some hilarious / inappropriate ones there! 

Afternoon: Visit to Petitenget Temple

For the cultural part of our day, next up is Petitenget Temple. This sea temple is one of the key spiritual landmarks in the area, known for its historical significance and cultural ceremonies.

Traditional Balinese architecture at Petitenget Temple in Seminyak, featuring ornate golden motifs on clay-tiled roofing, weathered stone walls, and lush tropical flora enhancing the serene ambiance

Despite its location near the hustle and bustle of Seminyak’s main streets, the temple grounds offer a peaceful retreat.

Take a stroll around, admire the intricate carvings, and observe the offerings made by locals. Remember to dress respectfully when visiting the temple; sarongs and scarfs should cover knees and shoulders.

TAKE YOURSELF ON A SELF-GUIDED TOUR OF SEMINYAK’S BACKLANES AND HIDDEN SIGHTS!

Evening: Food Stalls and Kuta Night Market

As the day turns into evening, make your way towards Kuta. This area comes alive at night, with streets buzzing with locals and travellers.

There are a ton of food stalls scattered around Kuta where you can dive into Bali’s street food scene, sampling local delicacies such as satay, nasi goreng (fried rice), and mie goreng (fried noodles). These stalls are perfect for a casual, affordable dinner.

After satisfying your hunger, head to the Kuta Night Market, which is open most nights and run well into the early morning. This market is a bustling hub of activity, where you can find everything from clothes and accessories to souvenirs and local crafts. It’s a great place to pick up some gifts or mementos of your trip.

Late Night: Kuta’s Nightlife

If you’re still up for more after exploring the night market, Kuta is famous for its nightlife. There are numerous bars, clubs, and beach lounges that cater to all tastes, from quiet beachfront spots perfect for a relaxed drink, to lively clubs where you can dance the night away. Try one of these spots to end the night:

  • Sky Garden
  • Hard Rock Café
  • Blue Sapphire
  • Secret Garden Bar
  • Paddy’s Pub

Alternative Day 3 Bali Itinerary

If you’re not one for sightseeing or shopping and prefer to stick to the water (I get it, you’re in Bali!), I recommend spending your third day in Bali taking a day trip out to Nusa Penida! 

Breathtaking view of Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida Island, Bali, with its distinctive T-Rex shaped cliffside, pristine sandy beach, and turquoise blue waters, as seen from a high vantage point

Nusa Penida is a small island off the coast of Bali that’s known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and amazing marine life. A typical day trip to Nusa Penida usually includes:

  • Kelingking Beach: This spot is famous for its breathtaking coastal cliffs shaped like a T-Rex head! And it’s also known for having the most Instagram-worthy views on the island.
  • Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach: Two natural wonders that are located pretty close to each other. Angel’s Billabong is an amazing natural infinity pool. The crystal-clear waters and the natural rock formations make it a perfect spot for a midday dip. A short walk from Angel’s Billabong will bring you to Broken Beach, known for its natural archway that circles a beautiful cove. The archway, created by the force of the ocean on the limestone, frames the azure sea perfectly, so it’s the perfect spot for photos. 
  • Crystal Bay: Known for its clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, it’s an ideal spot for snorkelling. You’ll find an abundance of marine life here, from colourful fish to stunning corals. If you go with a tour guide, you’ll be provided with snorkelling gear, otherwise it can be rented from nearby vendors. As the sun begins to set, Crystal Bay also offers some of the best views of the sunset.

Is three days enough time to see Bali?

While it’s a short time, and there’s definitely a lot to see and do in Bali, three days is perfect for a first time trip, especially if you’re limited on time. My thinking is I can always go back somewhere I love! 

Where to stay in Bali

I chose to stay in the Nusa Dua area of Bali because it offers a great balance of luxury, tranquillity, and convenience. 

Nusa Dua is known for its upscale resorts, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming or water sports. But you don’t have to spend a ton to get a little luxury there. I stayed at the Grand Whiz, which was right next to the Sofitel. While it didn’t have its own beach, less than two minutes’ walk would have you there! And for a fraction of the price.

Of course, if you do want something a little more upscale, I have friends who stayed at the Sofitel and absolutely loved it. 

If you prefer to stay in Ubud instead, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, rice paddies, and traditional Balinese culture. 

Ubud is also famous for its yoga and meditation retreats, so it’s the perfect place to unwind and connect with nature, especially if you’re a yogi. 

If you’re looking for a great retreat, check out Ubud Nyuh Bali Resort & Spa or Surya Kembar Villas.

If you’d like to stay in the thick of the action, Kuta is the place to be. 

Known for its bustling nightlife and popular surfing beaches, Kuta generally attracts a younger crowd and this is where the hostels and budget-friendly accommodation is. 

For budget options in Kuta, I recommend Amnaya Resort or Fora Capsule Hostel Tuban

Search for Bali accommodation below! 

How to get around Bali

My favourite way to get around most areas is to walk, where possible. But, when you can’t walk, here’s how you can get around:

  • Motorbike:  This really is the best way to get around Bali for longer distances. Just make sure you have an international driver’s license with you if you plan on driving yourself.
  • Car: You can easily rent a car or hire a private driver for the day if you want to explore multiple areas in one trip. This is what I did to go to Ubud for the day and it was the best option.
  • Taxi/Grab: These are all great options for shorter trips, but make sure taxis and Grabs can be gotten where you are. Sometimes you’ll have to plan a driver to pick you up.

Tips for visiting Bali

  • Bring sunscreen. And keep applying! I did have sunscreen with me, but I still ended up with sunstroke on my last day. I don’t recommend!
  • Stay hydrated. Bali is hot and humid, so make sure to drink plenty of water and coconut drinks throughout the day.
  • Respect local customs and culture. Take the time to learn about Balinese customs and traditions before your trip and be mindful of them during your stay.
  • Bring cover ups for visiting temples. Many temples in Bali have a dress code, so make sure to bring appropriate clothing or cover ups when visiting.
  • Bring more clothes than you think you might need or have access to a washing machine. It gets humid in Bali, and I found myself having to change clothes a couple of times throughout the day!

I hope this 3-day Bali itinerary helps you get some inspiration for your upcoming trip. I’ve shared my opinion of the best things to see and do with such little time, but I’m sure it’ll only make you want to come back again. 

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