So you’re headed to Bali and only have one week? If you’re planning a one week trip to Bali check out this one week Bali itinerary guide. I’ve spent about four weeks total in Bali, and have wrapped up my favorite spots into a one week Bali tour itinerary to help you plan for an epic trip to Bali.
In this Bali guide you’ll get tips on what to see, do, and where to stay during a Bali itinerary for 7 days.
Day 1: Fly in to Denpasar and head to Ubud
If you’re arriving in Bali, chances are that you’ll arrive by flying into Denpasar. I guess you could be arriving from the Gili Islands by boat, but let’s assume you’ll be flying.
Denpasar is actually a pretty nice airport, and getting through customs usually doesn’t take too long. I’d recommend going directly to Ubud after arriving in Denpasar – both times I visited Bali I went to Ubud right after landing. I just think Ubud is the perfect place to settle into your trip to Bali and to relax on your first days of vacation and of this one week Bali itinerary.
Once you enter the main area of the airport, you’ll see taxi drivers everywhere trying to get your attention, quoting you super high prices to go to Ubud. The truth is that you should not spend more than 300,000 IDR to get to Ubud. Anyone who charges you more is absolutely ripping you off.
The drive from Denpasar to Ubud will take about an hour and twenty minutes – unless you arrive during the middle of the day when there might be a lot of traffic.
Where to stay in Ubud
Once you arrive in Ubud, settle in to your hotel – I strongly recommend staying at a hotel in the center of Ubud between the parallel streets of Jl. Bisma and Jl. Raya Andong. If you stay in this area, you will can easily walk to all the points of interest in Ubud like the Monkey Sanctuary, the Water Palace, Ubud Market, and even the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Plus, there are tons of great restaurants around here you can easily walk to, too. This is pretty much the only place during this one week Bali itinerary where you’ll be able to walk from place to place without a scooter.
There are two places I’d suggest to stay in Ubud, both of which I’ve stayed in myself, have great pools, and are budget friendly.
The first one is Pertiwi Bisma 1. Pertiwi Bisma is very close to the Monkey Forest – but don’t worry, there won’t be any monkeys trying to break into your room! What I love about Pertiwi Bisma is that the pool looks out onto the jungle… yes, major jungle vibes here!
The other hotel I’ve stayed in which I would recommend is Artini 2 Cottages. What I love about it is that it just feels like Ubud. The gardens and statues around the courtyard of the hotel instantly make you feel so far away from home and in touch with beautiful Ubud.
Check out this post for more great places to stay in Bali
Days 2-3: Explore Ubud
I think what I love most about Ubud (it is my favorite spot in Indonesia besides Lombok), is that you can easily wander everywhere and there is no need for a scooter. The vibe in Ubud is much more laid back than in other areas of Bali, like Kuta for example. Ubud is one of those places I could go back to year after year and never get bored. It is exactly what you picture when you think of relaxing in Bali. Jungles, yoga, incense everywhere, temples… I just love it. So, here are a few of the best things to do when you spend the second and third day of your one week Bali travel itinerary in Ubud:
On your first full day in Ubud, wake up and pay a visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest. After getting your token monkey photos, start your walk to Sari Organik, and organic restaurant in the middle of rice fields. After spending some time sipping fresh juice at Sari Organik, continue your walk along Jl. Subak Sok Wayah where palm trees and rice fields will surround you. Alternatively, head to the Campuhan Ridge walk where you can also find a spot for lunch – I personally think the walk to Sari Organik is prettier, but it’s up to you!
After taking a walk, start heading back to your hotel, stopping off along the way to buy tickets to a traditional Balinese dance show at Ubud Palace for the evening.
Looking for family friendly tips? Check out this guide to Nusa Dua with kids
On your second of two days in Ubud, wake up and find your zen with a yoga session at the Yoga Barn. Grab lunch or a smoothie bowl at the Yoga Barn, or head to Atman Nourish Kafe for lunch. After that, head to the Ubud market to do some shopping, or peruse the shops on Jl. Hanoman and Jl. Monkey Forest. My favorite artisan jewelry shop called IOU is on J. Hanoman, so treat yourself to something gorgeous there and you won’t regret it! If there is one shop you should visit during your one week Bali itinerary, this is it!
After checking out the shops, head to the Ubud Water Palace for a quick visit. Water lilies will greet you when you walk up to the Ubud Water Palace – it is one of the pretty places in Ubud!
If you still want to get some extra activities in, consider doing a bike tour through the rice terraces on the outskirts of Ubud, or visit the Tegalalong Rice terraces (these are the ones you see all over Instagram). I personally find the Tegalalong Rice terraces outside of Ubud to be over touristed and very commercial – I’d recommend you save your rice terrace visit for Jutiliwih Rice Terraces which is a UNESCO heritage site.
Read my complete Ubud guide
Days 3-4: Enjoy Uluwatu
After spending a few relaxing days in Ubud, head south to Uluwatu, one of the surf capitals of the world. Uluwatu is situated on the Bukit Peninsula in the south of Bali. This area is much less busy than areas like Seminyak or Kuta, but still has a nice vibe from all the shakas thrown up by surfers catching the massive waves.
To get from Ubud to Uluwatu, you can take a minibus, which can be organized at the Ubud Tourist Center, located on the corners of Jl. Monkey Forest and Jl. Raya Ubud at Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud, Bali, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia. Distance-wise, Ubud to Uluwatu isn’t that far, but expect to spend at least 2 hours on the journey. I’d also recommend booking your minibus the night before to make sure you can get a spot.
Once you arrive in Uluwatu, you’ll definitely want to rent a scooter from your hotel to zip around this area – it is not conducive to walking at all. A scooter should run you about €3 per day.
On your first day in Uluwatu, head down to Uluwatu Temple to soak up local culture and the dramatic views from this clifftop temple. Be careful for monkeys around here – they’ll be happy to steal any food you might have from your scooter! After getting your dose of culture, head to Single Fin at Uluwatu Beach and grab a drink on the terrace where you can watch surfers riding epic waves if Uluwatu is pumping.
Please don’t try to go out yourself unless you know what you’re doing – there is a very sharp reef at Uluwatu and the waves head straight for a cliff, so don’t find yourself between the break and the cliff! And.. you want to get through the rest of your one week Bali itinerary!
Spend your second day in Uluwatu enjoying the beautiful beaches in the area. These beaches are much more laid back and less busy than the ones you’ll find up north in the tourist axis, so soak it in! My personal favorite is Bingin Beach, where a friendly golden retriever lives and will even swim in the ocean with you (yes, it is so cute!!). To reach Bingin you’ll need to climb down some pretty steep steps, but worry not, the beach is worth the hike down (and up).
An itinerary for the Bukit Peninsula wouldn’t be complete without you visiting Padang Padang, another beach famous for its surf. Padang Padang is also known for its disappearing beach – at high tide there’s no beach at all. To reach it, whether its high or low tide, you’ll need to walk down a narrow path between two giant rock walls – which is a pretty cool experience in itself!
Where to stay in Uluwatu
We stayed at S Resorts Hidden Valley and would definitely recommend it to anyone else visiting Uluwatu. It is in a great location for visiting the points of interest in Uluwatu, it has a great restaurant on site, a great pool, and seriously AMAZING massages. You’re welcome 😉
Read on for a complete guide to Uluwatu
Day 5: Head to hip Canggu
If you’re planning a trip to Bali, you might have heard about how Seminyak became the new Kuta, and then Canggu became the new Seminyak. Maybe you didn’t hear that and I’m just confusing you now. Canggu is the new hip darling of Bali.
This is where you’ll find all the hip young crowds, fantastic restaurants, and boutiques. When I first visited Canggu, it felt to me like I’d stepped into a Balinese version of Amsterdam. What is hip in NYC, LA, London and other big cities will be big in Canggu. Trust me, you’ll find kombucha there. A one week Bali itinerary would not be complete without hitting up one of the hottest spots on the island of the gods.
After I went back to Canggu again however, I learned to enjoy it more. Sure, it might be pretty westernized and hipster, but it is still a great place to visit nonetheless.
On the fifth day of your Bali itinerary, take a taxi from Uluwatu to Canggu, and check into your hotel. We stayed at Bloomfield Umalas and rented a scooter, but if you don’t want to drive around, then I’d recommend you get something near Old Man’s Beach.
While you’re in Canggu be sure to take your time here, enjoy the restaurants and soak up some shopping. The most popular beaches in Canggu are Echo Beach and Old Man’s (Batu Balong). Echo Beach is a tourist and local favorite for watching the sunset, and is a bit more laid back (read: less hipster) than Old Man’s. Head to Old Man’s if you want to rub shoulders with influencers and those seeking Insta-glory. Either way, both are fun to visit, but have slightly different vibes.
There really are dozens of great restaurants in this area, but I’ll just call out some of the best ones to check out while you’re in Canggu:
- Fish Bone Local: easily one of the best meals I had on our second trip to Bali. Snapper? Check. Chips and Guac? Check. Yes, this place is delicious.
- The Lawn: This is where you want to go if you want to be seen. Expect beach side pool, huge white fringed umbrellas, and quite possibly an amateur photo shoot by an Insta-husband.
- Old Man’s: Head to Old Man’s after a long day at the beach for a beer and maybe a coconut… no, make that 2 beers… and maybe just stay here all night. Don’t miss the mural on the side of the restaurant.
Day 6: Hire a driver and tour the island
You can’t plan a one week trip to Bali without hiring a driver. I think the universe just doesn’t allow it, quite honestly. Now you’ve seen several different areas of the island, but its time to do a whirlwind tour to take in ALL the sights before you leave. I don’t think any one week Bali itinerary is complete without one of these whirlwind island tours.
When you hire a driver, you’ll want to make sure you hit at least these three big highlights:
Tanah Lot: By this time you’ve probably seen dozens of photos of the temple Tanah Lot, and you’ll want to start your tour off here since it is so close to Canggu.
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces: Remember how I told you the Tegalalong Rice Terraces near Ubud weren’t that special. Yeah, that’s because you should visit Jatiluwih instead. This is a UNESCO world heritage site, and no one is going to be charging you ever 100 meters like they do at Tegalalong. You can wander Jatiluwih seemingly endlessly. Besides Ubud, it is my favorite place in Bali. Just picture perfect. This is a must visit in your one week Bali itinerary.
Pura Ulun Danu: This temple is in the mountains on Lake Bratan, and is one of the most famous points of interest in Bali.
Typically when you hire a driver you can pretty much tell him where you want to go and he’ll drive you there and you can make the tour as long or as short as you want. When we did our tour, we actually did a 2 day Bali tour taking us to artisans in Ubud, Tegalalong Rice Terraces, Tirta Empul, a hot spring we swam in, Lovina (don’t bother seeing the dolphins), Pura Ulun Danu, Jatiluwih and Tanah Lot. Whew! That was one busy tour, but we did it over two days so it was actually a pretty lovely way to end our trip in Bali.
Day 7: Fly out of Bali
Sadly, you will have to leave Bali at some point. The one week Bali itinerary I provided here is fairly basic but realistic, and can be customized to any extra needs that you might have.
If you DO have more time than this one week Bali itinerary, here are some other places nearby I would strongly suggest visiting:
Nusa Lembongan: Technically Nusa Lembongan is part of Bali but it is an island in itself. Nusa Lembongan is much more relaxed than Bali and the beaches are even more beautiful. Nusa Lembongan is just a one hour boat ride from Bali.
The Gili Islands: Unless you REALLY want to party, I’d suggest paying a visit to Gili Air. It is the perfect place to visit if you are traveling as a couple and want a mix of relaxation and night life. The Gilis are about an hour boat ride from Bali.
Mt. Rinjani: Want a challenge on your vacation? Then climb the 12,000 foot Mt. Rinjani, Indonesia’s second highest volcano. This isn’t for the feint of heart, trust me.
Did this post help you plan your one week Bali itinerary? Let me know in the comments below what you would add to a one week Bali itinerary!
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Gabby is a native (Northern) Californian who spent the majority of her 20’s living the expat life in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, exploring Europe and beyond. 27 countries later, she’s relocated back to her home base in California where she explores her passions for the travel and the outdoors.