If you are looking for 3 days in Bali itinerary and figuring out how to make the most of your time there, this blog post is for you.
This is an island paradise that seamlessly blends nature, rich culture, and ancient traditions while appealing to all types of travelers. This is Bali.
On our itinerary, we explored three of Bali’s most famous landmarks: Tanah Lot, Ubud, and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. From Tanah Lot, the stunning temple perched on a rocky outcrop in the middle of the sea to Goa Gajah and Gunung Kawi in Ubud, follow us as we walk this path together.
Our 3 days in Bali itinerary was the perfect introduction to the island as we covered ancient monuments and stopped by a unique beach. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first-timer, you would surely fall in love with the island, as were we.
As the saying goes, leave only footprints and take memories that would surely last a lifetime.
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Once you have reached Bali, get your 4G SIM Card at the XL Axiata Store Booth near the arrival at Denpasar Airport.
Save the hassle of getting to your hotel with a private 1-way airport transfer in an air-conditioned vehicle. Here, you can sit back and relax as you enjoy the view from the airport to your hotel.
Join the Ubud Best Kept Secrets Instagram Private Adventure Tour where you visit Kehen Temple, Kanto Lamto Waterfall, and swing with views of the Tegalalang Rice Terraces.
For fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Eat Pray Love, you can join the Eat, Pray, Love Private Tour where wander through some of Ubud’s scenic paddy fields, speak to a Balinese fortune teller, and get your life questions answered and end with a purification ceremony at Tirta Empul.
If you plan on extending your trip, join the 4-day private tour to Komodo Island. All you need to do is make your way to Labuan Bojo Airport and the guide will do the rest. See the Komodo dragons in their natural habitats and snorkel at some of the beautiful spots on the island.
For something extraordinary, join the underwater sea walking experience where you walk to the bottom of the ocean with a professional guide. This 15-minute experience is for those who prefer not to dive and for those who are not confident swimming in the ocean.
Where is Bali?
Bali is at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands and is geographically between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. While Bali is much smaller than the other 17,000 islands in the Indonesian Archipelago, it is known for its stunning beaches and landscape.
With its tropical climate, the island’s warm and sunny weather makes it the perfect year-round destination. Bali has two distinct seasons. The dry season is from April to September while the wet or monsoon season is from October to March.
The island is unique in that it is home to pristine beaches, lush forests, and majestic volcanoes. Its most popular beaches are Kuta, Seminyak, Jimbaran, Sanur, and Nusa Dua.
If you are looking for some quiet, peace, and relaxation, head inland where you will be surrounded by paddy fields, waterfalls, and several hot springs. Bali’s rich culture is a unique blend of Hinduism, only found in Bali.
The island has something to offer everyone, which is why we kept coming back here. From its white sandy beaches to the ancient temples of Tanah Lot and Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, coming to Bali is an experience on its own.
What are the best and worst months to go to Bali?
The best months to go to Bali are during the dry season which is from April to October. These months are perfect for hiking, sailing, diving, and snorkeling. With warm temperatures, this period is peak season.
This means that you can expect higher room rates and sunny days. May is Bali’s hottest month while June is one of the best months to visit as it is not quite high season yet. Some major events to look out for are the Bali Arts Festival and the Ubud Food Festival.
The worst months to go to Bali is during the monsoon season from November to March. While the wet season brings continuous rainfall, the weather is cool and pleasant. This is the best time to hike to the waterfalls of Bali which are spectacular during these months.
Always mosquito repellants such as malaria and dengue are most active in the evenings. While mountain climbing and trekking Mount Batur is not advisable. March is the best time to head to Ubud to enjoy the afternoon rain showers while still exploring its streets.
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Do we need a visa for Bali?
Visa requirements vary depending on the length of stay, nationality, and purpose. The common types of visas available are those with visa exemptions, visa on arrival, an advanced visa, and those who require long-stay visas for work.
Tourists from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand can enter Indonesia visa-free for up to 30 days. Tourists from ASEAN countries are exempt from visas, allowing them to enter Indonesia visa-free for up to 30 days for tourism purposes.
Indonesia has an electronic Visa On Arrival System (e-VOA) available to citizens from Austria, Thailand, Singapore, and India, which can be applied for at the Directorate General of Immigration Ministry of Law and Human Rights website.
Tourists from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, the United States Virgin Islands, and British Indian Ocean Territory must obtain a visa before arrival from the closest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate Office. Long-term stay visas for more than 30 days are also available and require additional documents and a longer processing time.
An easier way to apply for an Indonesian Visa is by using iVisa which aims to make traveling easier. With a global team that spreads across 17 countries, someone is available to answer your queries. Most importantly, your credit card details are always secure.
Can you see Bali in 3 days?
Yes, you can see Bali in 3 days, as we did in our 3 days in Bali itinerary. However, we were selective in the places we visited. With our compact itinerary, we only focused on 3 areas which gave us enough time to explore each tourist site in depth.
In our itinerary, we kept minimum places to visit on Day 1 and Day 3 while Day 2 was much more intense by visiting 3 major tourist sites, all in Ubud.
Keep in mind that Bali is a small island and traffic can be busy at times. It is always a good idea to join a tour, as we did, which maximized our time without the hassle of driving on unfamiliar roads.
Day 1: Yeh Leh Beach, Pura Batu Bolong, and Tanah Lot Temple
The first of our 3 days in Bali itinerary was Yeh Leh Beach. This beach was about 2 hours from Grand Istana Rama where we stayed for the 3 days we were in Bali. Yeh Leh is known for its serene and peaceful atmosphere with stunning views of the Indian Ocean.
We were the only ones there when we arrived as this beach is secluded and off the tourist trails. The waves at a distance were high, or so we thought. As my husband and I sat down to enjoy the view, it wasn’t long before the waves made our way to the boulders we sat on.
The two unique features of this beach were its black sand which is the result of volcanic activities in the area and these boulders. As the currents were strong when we visited, we do not recommend swimming or surfing in the area. The beach does not have lifeguards.
This was our first hidden gem in Bali and was perfect for us as we were looking to get away from the crowds and the hustle and bustle of life in Kuta.
The second of our 3 days in Bali itinerary was Pura Batu Bolong within the Tanah Lot temple complex. This temple complex is about an hour from Yeh Leh Beach. Pura Batu Bolong means the temple on a rock with a hole. The hole refers to the natural archway on which the temple was built.
While the temple is closed to tourists, visitors can still walk the narrow bridge to reach the temple. We walked along the ridge. However, the area was crowded and we walked out and took this photo instead.
The shrine is dedicated to the Hindu Sea God, Baruna, and is an important site for the locals who come here to pray with their offerings. The local fishermen also come here to pray for a bountiful harvest.
The beach below is popular with surfers due to its high waves. Like Tanah Lot, this temple is busy during sunset as many rushes to take the ideal sunset photo.
The third of our 3 days in Bali itinerary was Pura Tanah Lot which is one of Bali’s most iconic landmarks. This sea temple is one of the seven sea temples that provide spiritual protection to the island.
We paid an entrance fee of Rp60,000 ($4) for adults which gave us access to both Pura Batu Bolong and Tanah Lot. After a short walk from Pura Batu Bolong, we were greeted by massive crowds and high tides.
Walking along the narrow ridges to Tanah Lot temple was out of the question as announcements were made on the loudspeakers that advised tourists to stay back and that the temple was closed.
This was our best photo as we walked back to shore. While we didn’t have a stunning sunset photo, we enjoyed walking through the market selling souvenirs and local artwork of the temple.
According to local legend, the temple was built by a Hindu priest named Dang Hyang Nirartha in the 16th century. He meditated on these rocks and blessed the area. At the base of the rocky outcrop, venomous sea snakes guard the temple from evil spirits.
Just after sunset, we made our way out towards the car park, as did many others. Although we didn’t spend much time here, we would return to Tanah Lot once again.
Day 2: Goa Gajah, Candi Tebing Gunung Kawi, Tirta Empul
The fourth of our 3 days in Bali itinerary was Goa Gajah or the Elephant Cave which is about 4 miles from Ubud and 25 miles from Kuta. After an hour of traveling, we arrived here to large local tourist crowds.
We paid an entrance fee of Rp50,000 ($4) for adults. We walked down several stairs and reached the entrance of the cave. What struck us was the entrance of the cave was carved in the shape of a demon’s mouth.
However, inside the cave, we found the statue of Lord Ganesh, the Hindu God that removes obstacles. The cave was dark and we were told that this cave was used for meditation by Hindu priests in the past.
We spent some time exploring the other areas such as the bathing pool which has the statues of 7 women holding a pitcher of water, believed to represent the 7 holy rivers of India.
We were told by our guide that if we walked further down another set of stairs we would reach the sacred gardens and an ancient Buddhist temple that dates back to the 9th century. We skipped these two as we proceeded to our next destination.
The fifth of our 3 days in Bali itinerary was Candi Tebing Gunung Kawi which was about 8 miles from Goa Gajah. This hidden gem in Bali is now one of the most popular tourist attractions.
These funerary complexes are known for their intricate carvings and peaceful surroundings. When we arrived, there were a lot of people walking up and down the long flight of stairs. We paid an entrance fee of Rp50,000 ($4) for adults.
To get to the temple complexes, we walked down (and up!) about 300 steps with souvenir stalls, cafes, and restaurants that overlooked the lush paddy fields. At the bottom of the steps, we saw the first four funerary complexes.
After taking some photos and exploring the area, we crossed the bridge and reached the other 5 shrines. These shrines and funerary complexes are believed to be one of the oldest in Bali.
The site is also a sacred spiritual site for the locals who believe that the water that flows through the temple has healing properties. Many locals come here to meditate in the caves and pavilions are at the back of the second set of shrines.
After spending almost 2 hours here, we slowly walked back up and headed to our next destination, Tirta Empul.
The sixth of our 3 days in Bali itinerary was Tirta Empul. This temple is a mile away from Candi Tebing Gunung Kawi. After paying an entrance fee of Rp50,000 ($4), we arrived at the temple which was bustling with people. They had either come out from the baths or were going in.
We were required to wear a sarong and a sash which we rented from the ticket counter. Also, if you plan on taking part, bring some spare clothes as you will be completely wet by the end of the ritual.
This temple is spiritually significant as the locals believe that these waters have curative properties. It is here that locals and tourists come for both purification and spiritual cleansing by doing the melukat ceremony.
For this trip, we didn’t take part in the melukat. However, our guide explained that it was a two-step process. Firstly, the person performing the melukat makes an offering to the gods while reciting prayers. Secondly, the person then immerses in the holy water.
We continued walking behind these springs and came to a much quieter area known as jeroan which is where the locals offer prayers. There is a large pond and the waters from this pond feeds into the fountains for the melukat ceremony.
We easily spent about 2 hours here, taking photos and just enjoying the peace of the pavillions at the back. With that, day 2 of our 3 days in Bali itinerary came to an end.
Day 3: Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
The seventh and last of our 3 days in Bali itinerary was Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. This iconic landmark was a 2-hour drive from our hotel in Kuta. When we arrived, we paid an entrance fee of Rp 50,000 ($4) per person.
Since we reached early, there were no busloads of tourists. There were a handful of tourists and we had most of the places within the temple complex to ourselves. This 17th-century temple was built to honor Dewi Danu, the Goddess of Lakes and Rivers in Bali.
Once we entered the compound, we were greeted by beautiful lush green gardens known as Taman Beiji. The 5 temples you can find here are the Penataran Agung, the Dalem Purwa, Taman Beiji, Lingga Petak, and the Prajapati Temple.
There is a Buddhist Stupa that faces south and signifies the religious harmony between Hinduism and Buddhism in Bali.
The 11-story Meru Tower at the center of the lake is dedicated to Lord Shiva while the more miniature 3-story Meru Tower is for Parvati, his wife. Collectively, these temples are known as the Lingga Petak Temples.
As this was our last day in our 3 days in Bali itinerary, we spend much longer here. The postcard-perfect views against a backdrop of majestic mountains gave us a sense of peace.
After almost 2 hours, we walked back to our car, only to be greeted by the arrival of the busloads of tourists who had just arrived.
Which is the best area to stay in Bali?
There are many popular areas to stay in Bali, each with its unique charm and attractions. In our guide, we have curated the best hotels to stay in Bali in 3 of the most popular areas. We have chosen Kuta, Jimbaran, and Ubud.
Kuta for First Timers & Nightlife
If you are a first-timer and want to experience Bali’s nightlife, Kuta is the place to be. This vibrant town caters to everyone. With Kuta Beach just a few steps away, the waves are perfect for surfing or you can just relax on the beach on the golden sand.
The nightlife here is legendary as bars and restaurants come to life once the sun sets below the horizon. From our hotel, we walked along the pathway to Beachwalk Shopping Center. From there, we had an ice cream stop at Cold Stone Creamery.
Kuta’s laid-back vibe plus the friendly and welcoming locals make this place warm and hospitable. While I can continue writing about the “why” of staying in Kuta, nothing beats experiencing the vibes of Kuta, unless you stay there.
We have chosen some of our preferred hotel choices which you can use to stay for an unforgettable 3 days in Bali itinerary or more.
Hard Rock Hotel Bali
Our first choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is the Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta. This 418-room hotel is the ultimate destination for the rock ‘n’ roll experience. Its iconic vibe is ideal for fans of classic rock, pop, or metal.
Look out for the hotel’s collection of music memorabilia featuring items from legendary artists such as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Guns N’ Roses, and many more. With an array of world-class amenities and multiple dining options, stay here to relax and unwind.
Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort
Our second choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is Sheraton Bali Resort. This 203-room hotel boasts stunning views of the Indian Ocean and steps away from Kuta Beach.
The rooms and suites are well-appointed and feature modern amenities combined with stylish decor making this hotel the perfect destination for travelers who want a relaxing holiday.
Imagine starting your day swimming at the infinity pool. Next, spend some peaceful moments on your own at the spa, and end your day dining at one of the 5 restaurants in the hotel.
We recommend this hotel if you are seeking a luxurious and unforgettable experience as this resort would exceed your highest expectations.
Alaya Dedaun Kuta
Our third choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is Alaya Dedaun. This 12-villa resort is unique in that it is surrounded by calming tropical gardens with views of paddy fields and the Ayung River.
The rooms seamlessly combine traditional Balinese architecture and modern amenities. Private butlers are assigned to each villa to cater to guests’ needs. Alaya Dedaun also has a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant that serves both Indonesian and international cuisines.
Guests of the resort loved the service and amenities provided while others loved the kind and friendly staff. The excellent location in the heart of Kuta is also a plus point.
However, the cons of staying here are that the rooms are dated, the butler service is not on par, and the overall maintenance is disappointing.
Jimbaran for Couples & Honeymooners
This small fishing village is known for its stunning sunsets, beautiful beaches, and fresh seafood restaurants. The go-to beach here is Jimbaran Bay which is suitable for swimming and surfing.
Jimbaran Bay is also a popular spot to enjoy the freshest seafood while watching the planes land at Ngurah Rai International Airport nearby. Jimbaran has several traditional markets that sell souvenirs, handicrafts, and clothing.
For sightseeing, head to Pura Ulun Siwi which is regarded as the “mother” of the Subak rice temples. According to local legends, the temple was built in the 11th century by the same monk who built Pura Besakih, Pura Luhur Uluwatu, and Pura Goa Lawah.
InterContinental Bali Resort
Our fourth choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is the InterContinental Bali Resort. This luxurious 417-room 5-star resort boasts a beautiful beachfront location with views of the Indian Ocean.
The resort is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and offers a range of accommodations, from private villas to standard rooms. A private balcony, free WiFi, and 24-hour room service are available in all rooms.
While the rooms are beautifully appointed, the check-out is extremely slow. The hotel is about a 15-minute drive from the airport and the staff are friendly. Overall, staying here is suitable for those seeking a luxurious experience.
Our fourth choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is Ayana Resort. This 294-room hotel features private balconies and a contemporary design with views of the Indian Ocean.
With 19 restaurants and bars, variety is the spice of life. From traditional Indonesian cuisine to Japanese sushi, staying hungry is not an option. Spend your nights at the iconic Rock Bar that sits on a cliff. Stay at the Rock Bar for the stunning sunsets, probably one of the best in Bali.
Guests also have access to Ayana’s private beach, multiple swimming pools, and a saltwater infinity pool. The hotel is also conveniently near the legendary Uluwatu temple where you can witness the famous Kecak Dance.
Or, spend your time at the Garuda Wishnu Kencana Cultural Park where the Garuda Wishnu statue stands at a height of 121 meters. Overall, Ayana Resort is perfect for those seeking a relaxing escape amidst lush greenery and stunning ocean views.
Four Seasons Resort
Our sixth choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is the Four Seasons Resort. This 156-luxury resort villa in Jimbaran Bay offers a private plunge pool, tranquility, and serenity amongst tropical gardens.
With a wide range of dining options serving contemporary Asian to international cuisine, guests have the option of in-villa dining or simply watching the crew prepare their traditional Balinese meal with the freshest seafood from Jimbaran.
Four Seasons is also a family-friendly resort with a kids’ club while being a popular destination for weddings and events.
Guests who stayed here loved the friendly and attentive staff. The incredible ocean views, the welcome fruit and drinks, and the comfortable beds made the stay here memorable. Guests were all praises for the excellent customer service and the beautifully kept grounds.
Ubud for Sightseeing & Outdoor Activities
With lush green paddy fields, beautiful landscapes, and home to many traditional Balinese arts and crafts, Ubud is the cultural heart of Bali. If you are looking for an authentic experience, you can enjoy cooking classes, yoga retreats, or go river rafting at Ayung River.
While the Sacred Monkey Forest is one of the most popular attractions here, Candi Tebing Gunung Kawi and Tirta Gangga are other places you can visit in and around Ubud. Overall, staying in Ubud allows you to relax among nature while exploring authentic Balinese culture.
The Kayon Jungle Resort
Our seventh choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is the Kayon Jungle Resort which has 20 units with large bedrooms, a living space, and an ensuite bathroom. This luxurious resort offers a jungle experience with views of the Ayung River.
Other than the stunning setting amidst beautiful views, guests loved the peaceful atmosphere and the resort’s infinity pool. Guests also appreciated the spa and the attentive and welcoming staff as well as the personalized service received.
However, some guests felt that the prices were overpriced and an issue with the cleanliness of the rooms. Overall, you can be assured of an enjoyable stay while appreciating the resort’s beauty amidst the lush forests of Ubud.
Komaneka at Bisma
Our eighth choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is the Komaneka at Bisma. This 32-room luxurious hotel is known for its beautiful surroundings and high-end amenities.
The rooms have stunning views of Campuhan River Valley and the resort’s own lush rice terraces with the family duplex pool villa that is ideal for families and small groups. All rooms come with private entrances, in-room safety deposit boxes, and generous living spaces.
While the reviews are generally positive, some negative reviews include poor WiFi connection in rooms and the resort’s remote location. The remote location means that additional transport costs are incurred to get to the other areas of Ubud.
Our ninth and last choice for the perfect stay in your 3 days in Bali itinerary is Capella Ubud. This hotel offers 22 rooms that are designed with extravagance in mind. The refined and luxurious tented retreats have oversized daybeds and private pools.
Some positive reviews include the spacious rooms with all amenities provided while other guests commented that the resort is an absolute paradise with breathtaking beauty and impeccable service.
While the resort is isolated and the dining prices are high, guests are invited to immerse in the local community while engaging in the local heritage. Overall, this luxury resort is perfect for those seeking solace amongst nature while immersing in local customs and traditions.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bali
If you are planning a short trip to Bali and are not carrying much clothes or equipment, then 7 kgs is enough for Bali. However, how much baggage to bring would depend on the purpose and length of stay in Bali.
There are at least 315 steps at Gunung Kawi. These steps take you to the bottom of the valley with glimpses of lush paddy fields, forests, and many souvenir shops. As the first set of shrines are partially hidden by trees, walk out by the base and you will get your first view of these beautiful funerary complexes.
The Balinese equivalent for namaste is “om swastiastu” which is both a greeting and a prayer. It wishes the recipient receives “blessings from God, happiness, and good health”.
The official currency of Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) although you can bring Australian Dollars (AUD), US Dollars (USD), and Euros (EUR). You can easily exchange these currencies into rupiahs at money changers throughout the island.
Yes, you should bring cash with you when traveling to Bali. Although credit cards are widely accepted in major tourist areas, the local markets and street vendors accept only cash payments.
When carrying cash, remember to always keep your money and valuables secure at all times. Do not flash your cash in public places as that easily makes you a target for pickpocketing syndicates.
The best mall in Bali, in our opinion, is the Beachwalk Shopping Center which is centrally located in the heart of Kuta. The mall boasts a wide range of shops, restaurants, a cinema, and live entertainment and is the largest mall in Bali.
Another popular mall is the Discovery Shopping Mall which has a rooftop garden and a mix of local and international brands.
The hottest months in Bali are in April and October when temperatures can reach 33°C (91°F) with high humidity which makes it feel even hotter. If you are visiting Bali during these months, always stay hydrated and wear light and breathable clothing.
To stop and avoid getting Bali belly, always drink bottled water or water that has been filtered and boiled. Avoid raw and uncooked food and iced drinks where you do not know the source of the water.
If you want to enjoy street food, always ensure that it is served freshly cooked. To ensure a healthy gut, always take probiotics with you at all times.
Ubud is special because, despite the influx of tourists, the town has managed to maintain its traditional Balinese art and craft form. The town is home to the cultural center of Bali and is home to many art galleries and museums.
Ubud is the only place where you can experience traditional Balinese dance performances, music, cooking, and religious ceremonies. Ubud is also special because of its green surroundings. From paddy fields to forests, Ubud is the place to be for relaxation.
After spending 3 days in Bali, it was clear to us why everyone loved this island. Even, we were sad to leave this Indonesian island that was a true paradise. With its stunning beaches, lush greenery, and rich cultural heritage, Bali has something to offer for everyone.
If you haven’t visited Bali, make it on your bucket list. Whether you’re a nature lover, a culture enthusiast, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Bali has it all. With its warm weather, friendly people, and stunning scenery, Bali truly is a tropical paradise that will leave you wanting more.