First Time in Bali? Here’s Your Itinerary

So you have decided to visit Bali this holiday? Congratulations! It might be one of your best holiday decisions. I’m not saying this because I am Indonesian, well I am actually, but there are a lot of places that you can visit in Bali, and a large variety of attractions within an hour of travel.

Here are some recommendations that you must try and possible itinerary recommendation. I’ve tried this itinerary on my last visit to Bali so I know it works and you’ll have enough time to enjoy Bali and it’s beautiful scenery. My itinerary starts around lunch and ends around sunset, so you’ll have time to enjoy those delicious hotel breakfast and close your day with whatever nightlife activity you’re in to. This itinerary focuses on the southern part of Bali (Kuta, GWK, Tanah Lot, etc) and not on the northern part (Ubud, etc).

Our trip will be around this area here.


There are a lot of hotel in Bali, a lot. A quick search at agoda or traveloka will show you a list of hotels with a wide range of prices. Try to find hotels that are around Kuta or Nusa Dua.


First off, you need to plan how to get around Bali. There are no public transport in Bali. No trains, no busses, no subway, no tram, nothing. So your choices are:

Rent a motorbike

Best choice. Easy to get around, easy to park, cheap rent, cheap gasoline. Downside is exposure to weather, and Bali’s sun can be quite hot, but I’m sure you can handle it. You don’t know the direction? Google map is your friend, it’s quite accurate in Bali.

A little tip on renting a bike:

  • If possible, find rental place online, as you can compare prices better. The rentals usually willing to deliver the bike to airport or your hotel, so it’s quite convenient.
  • Choose an automatic transmission bike, it will save you the hassle.
  • Choose a bike that  is around 3 years old. Newer bike might cost you in repair claims (broken rearview mirror, scratches, etc), it cost me Rp 100.000 ($8) for a slightly cracked rearview mirror. Older bikes doesn’t perform as well as new ones and might brokedown in the middle of your trip, you don’t want that.
  • Rental price at 2017 is around Rp 60.000 – Rp 100.000 ($5 – $8) per day.

Rent a car

If you can’t ride a bike or you want more convenience, renting a car is the way to go. Car rent usually comes with driver, so you could relax and enjoy the view. Downside is it’s a bit more pricy and you might get stuck in traffic (at the time of this writing there’s a construction work near the airport that causes traffic jam).

Ride Hailing (Uber/Grab/Go-Jek)

OK for going around the city, not so much for trips outside the city.


Same as ride hailing, pricier. Not very recommended.

OK let’s start the itinerary!

Day 1

Lunch at Nasi Ayam Bu Oki

Let’s start of Bali with my favorite food in Bali, Nasi Ayam Bu Oki. It is rice with chicken processed in various way with traditional Balinese spices. A great way to tell your body that you’re now in Bali!

Nasi Ayam Bu Oki have several branches, but my favorite is the one at Uluwatu street.

Price: Rp 25.000 ($2) per servings

Balinese Dance at Garuda Wisnu Kencana


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Next we will go to Garuda Wisnu Kencana. There are two main attractions here: Balinese Dance, and the statues of Garuda Wisnu Kencana. 

Entrance Fee: Rp 100.000 ($8)

Day 2

Lunch at Sate Babi Bawah Pohon (Pork Satay)

This is also a recommended food in Bali. There are several of good pork satays in Bali, but if are staying in Kuta, Sate Babi Bawah Pohon is the closest.

Benoa Water Sport

Next we go south to Benoa Water Sport. Here you can do parasailing, banana boat, snorkeling, sea walker, etc. The price varies, but if you don’t want to haggle on spot, better search online for vouchers or offers from travel agents, it’s usually cheaper.

Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple

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Uluwatu Temple is a temple on a cliff by the ocean. It’s very beautiful. A little warning though, there are a lot of monkeys here, and they can be hostile. So don’t wear any glasses or shiny objects, also park you bike away from trees and trash bins as monkeys might come and scratch your bike.

It is recommended to come here around 5 P.M. so you can still get tickets to Kecak Dance show. I always buy the tickets online as it is cheaper and more conevenient, but I think they’re available on the spot too.

Entrance Fee: Rp 20.000 ($2) for local tourists, Rp 40.000 ($4) for foreign tourists

Kecak Dance Ticket: Rp 100.000 ($8) on the spot.

Day 3

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah lot is quite far from Kuta so you might want to spend a whole day for this trip. If you’re not really into temples or long rides, you can skip this and go straight to beach hopping, you’ve visited Uluwatu Temple anyway.

Day 4

Beach Hopping

Of course you can also beach hop on day 1, 2, 3, but I’ll just put it together here. So here are some of the beaches in Bali:

  • Kuta Beach
    Kuta beach is your normal standard beach.
  • Legian beach
    Same as Kuta, with more beach clubs.
  • Seminyak Beach
    Same as Kuta, with more beach clubs.
  • Karma Kandara Beach
    Recommended beach. Very beautiful. Big waves. Pricy if you go by the hotel entrance (around Rp 1.000.000 or $80), free if you take the stairs at the side of the hotel (it’s a loooong stairway).
  • Balangan Beach
    Great beach for swimming. Calm waters.
  • Geger Beach
    Great beach for swimming. Calm waters.
  • Pandawa Beach
    Not very recommended as it is way too crowded. Too many local tourists.

That’s about it. Have other recommendations? Questions? Leave a comment.

One thought on “First Time in Bali? Here’s Your Itinerary

  1. Thank you so much for this article. It is really useful for me because I am planning a trip with my girlfriend next year to the Legian area and we will be staying in this villa . This is our first trip together so I want it to be perfect. Since we are planning the trip by ourselves we are gonna need some guidelines online and your post is just what we need 🙂 I will bookmark this post just to read it again before the trip. Thanks again, Luke

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