Oh Bali – where do I start?! As most of you know, Bali is like second home for us. We’ve spent a few months here every year for the past few years. We come here to enjoy a slow pace of life, take advantage of its wellness retreats and healthy cafés, and of course fast wifi! But Bali is a popular holiday destination in its own right. We get so many queries and questions about Bali on a daily basis, so we’ve decided to put together The Ultimate Two Week Itinerary For Bali – based on everything we’ve learnt from all the months (years?) we’ve spent staying here. Let’s go!
Where in Bali Should I go and what should I avoid?
Bali has plenty of gorgeous areas. If you enjoy scenic beaches, then you should definitely consider staying at Uluwatu. If you want a mix of beaches and hip cafés by the dozen, then choose Canggu. If you love yoga or want a wellness getaway, then choose Ubud. If you want to stay in the midst of nature and love really quiet and offbeat places, then choose Sidemen.
The two areas of Bali we don’t like at all are Kuta and Seminyak. They are commercial, crowded, and in our opinion, quite unsavoury! If you’re visiting to enjoy partying or nightlife in Kuta or Seminyak, then we’d highly recommend choosing a different destination – like Koh Phangan (Thailand) – instead!! Having said that, both Kuta and Seminyak have some great hotels that work like sanctuaries of peace – so you could choose a nice hotel if you’d like to stay in either of those areas.
Which hotels and villas should I book?
Once you’ve shortlisted the areas where you want to stay, you can start narrowing down the hotels you want to spend your time at. Now if you’re spending less than 3 days in 1 area or you’re in Bali on your honeymoon, then we’d recommend choosing a gorgeous hotel (we’ve left the names of our favourites below!).
But if you’re staying in a place for longer than 4 days, then we’d highly recommend renting a private villa in Bali on AirBnB. Of all the places we’ve visited, Bali is one that offers some of the most scenic and experiential villas and apartment stays – you can choose one based on your budget and preferences. They start from as little as $20 per night. However make sure you go via a reputed website instead of individual villa websites as there are a lot of scams floating around. If you are new to renting apartments and want some help, check out our guide to renting apartments while travelling here:
Should I rent a car or scooter in Bali?
Should I rent a car in Bali? The answer to that is a resounding no! Lanes are narrow, hard to navigate, and it can take a long time to reach from one place to another if you’re using a car. Rent a scooter (costs anywhere between $3-$7 per day) for daily explorations.
For transfers from the airport, day trips, and excursions, just rent a car with a driver. This costs anywhere between $30-$50 per day depending on where you’re going. We usually rent a car with driver (including airport transfers) from Wayan or Bali Bliss Tours. Both are safe and reliable and we’ve been using their services for more than 3 years now.
What’s the best time to visit Bali?
Bali is truly an year round destination. However prices and crowds go up during July, August, and Christmas-New Year. We’d recommend avoiding these peak times for both those reasons. The end of September and October is a great time to visit because paddy fields are in full bloom and sunsets are gorgeous.
Other than that, most other months work too. Of course summer months get quite hot, January and February can get quite wet, and all the rice fields are barren during the end of August and first two weeks of September. But these little niggles shouldn’t stop you from visiting the island – there are always plenty of things to see and do even during those months.
Shopping in Bali
We have a detailed video on shopping in Bali – here you will find all information including our favourite shops, how much to pay for items, where to bargain and where not to bargain, and what snacks to pick for friends and family back home. Here it is:
An itinerary for 2 weeks in Bali
Now that the logistics are out of the way, here is our itinerary for a week in Bali. You can modify it based on your preferences.
Day 1 Arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and drive to Uluwatu
All flights to Bali arrive at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. Pre-book a transfer so that your cab is waiting at the airport when you get there. Drive to Uluwatu, your first stop in Bali.
Days 1-3 Relax in peaceful Uluwatu
Uluwatu provides access to some of the most scenic beaches and panoramas in Bali. Relish the peace and explore the area in your first 3 days in Bali. Some of the things you must check out in the area include
- Uluwatu Temple
- Rent a scooter and explore the beaches especially Pandawa Beach, Dreamland Beach and Suluban Beach (aka Blue Point Beach)
- Attend the Saturday party at Padang Padang Beach
- Drop by Single Finn Club for a drink and an amazing view of Uluwatu Beach
There is no dearth of accommodation in Uluwatu. We would recommend booking a beach-facing apartment or villa on Air BnB. If you’re in the mood for a splurge, then book a stay at The Edge (they have the most gorgeous infinity pool) or Alila Villas (the best in classic luxury!)
Days 3-6 Explore hip Canggu
It’s time to explore one of the most hep areas of Bali. Canggu boasts of some of the most instagrammable smoothie bars, yoga studios, and hipster cafés in Bali. It is also one of the prime surfing hubs in Bali. If that is not your thing, you can easily skip Canguu as your stay in Uluwatu would have given you enough time at the beaches of Bali. If you DO choose to visit Canguu, then make sure you
- Witness sunset at Batu Bolong Beach
- Stop by a weekend market such as Love Anchor Market or Samadi Central Market
- Take a trip to Tanah Lot Temple – the iconic temple is always crowded but worth a visit
- Grab a smoothie bowl or vegan brunch at a cafe such as Nalu Bowls, Avocado Cafe, or In the Raw
Days 6-9 Rejuvinate in Ubud
My heart beats that little bit fast upon hearing the word Ubud. This little area of Bali, packed with smoothie bars, wellness retreats, and spas – has my heart. Here is some stuff you must tick off your list in Ubud
- Indulge in a bit of bohemian street shopping
- Take a day trip to North Bali – Witness sunrise at Ulan Danu Bratan temple and combine that with a visit to ‘selfie’ spots at Wanagiri Hidden Hill and Banyumala Waterfall
- Rent a scooter and drive to Tegalalang Rice Terraces
- Make friends with monkeys at Monkey forest
- Explore waterfalls such as Tegenungan Waterfall, Tibumana Waterfall, Pengempu Waterfall, and Kanto Lampo Waterfall
- Book a decadent spa session. Follow it up with a Balinese flower bath. You’ll find all our favourites and (un)favourites spas to suit all budgets in our detailed guide to Ubud linked below.
We usually rent a villa on a monthly basis in Ubud via AirBnB. However Ubud has a number of experiential hotels with gorgeous rooms. If you’re on a honeymoon check out Kayon Resort. It has gorgeous villas with private pools and you can dine by a waterfall here. You could also check out Desa Visesa, which is surrounded by paddy fields and offers private pools, floating breakfasts and a scrumptious picnic by paddy fields. Maya Ubud is another good option with spacious rooms, private pools, and a stunning spa overlooking a flowing river. Most luxury hotels in Ubud have similar layouts and comparable amenities, so we would suggest comparing prices for the dates you have in mind and booking the most cost-effective option instead of narrowing down on one hotel in advance.
If you’re going to spend time in Ubud, then you have to read our detailed guide to Ubud here (opens in new tab) for our favourite spas, restaurants, and cafés.
Days 9-12 Go offbeat in Sidemen
Sidemen is one of the least crowded and least touristy parts of Bali and boy, it’s gorgeous! If you enjoy peace and quiet, we would highly recommend staying here for at least 2-3 days on your trip to Bali. Here’s what you should be doing in Sidemen
- No need to rent a scooter here but do explore the rice terraces around your hotel.
- Book a day trip or two. We highly recommend a sunrise trek to Mount Batur if you like a bit of activity on holiday
- Another day trip we would recommend is to Lempuyang Temple
- Marvel at the views of Mt. Agung, a majestic active volcano that you can see from a number of places in Sidemen
- Spend a morning at Tukad Cepung waterfalls and prepare to be amazed by the dazzling sunbeams. Go around 9 a.m. for the best lighting.
There is a paucity of good hotels in the Sidemen area as it is still up and coming. We have two suggestions depending on what you’re after:
- If you want a luxurious stay in Sidemen, then we would highly recommend Wapa Di Ume Sidemen. This is actually one of our favourite hotels in all of Bali. The scenic hotel is located in the middle of rice paddies. Rooms are spacious and they are equipped with bath tubs, indulgent toiletries, and large balconies. Some of them even have private pools, But it is the little touches such as cotton bathrobes to beat the heat, a yoga studio overlooking the hills, a scenic spa, and restaurants overlooking the rice paddies that make Wapa di Ume special. You can compare prices and book here.
- Villa Sidemen – If you want to go the private villa route, then here’s a villa run by a family. Search for Villa Sidemen on AirBnB and you’ll spot it right there. The villa itself is spacious but quite basic in terms of furnishing – nothing fancy. However the pièce de résistence here is the infinity pool overlooking Mt. Agung. If you’re willing to pay a premium for the view, then this is a good option. However you must book Villa Sidemen well in advance as it tends to get booked out quickly.
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“In an age of speed, I began to think nothing could be more exhilarating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still” ✨ ✨ Thinking of the sheer wisdom of Pico Iyer’s words, listening to my favourite ambient tunes, and drooling over this crazy view of an active volcano (the majestic Mt Agung!) with miles of rice paddies for company 💚💚
Days 12-14 Optional Kuta/Seminyak/Gili Islands
Your last couple of days in Bali could be spent in a place that suits your taste best. If you enjoy beaches and you’re craving some more beach time, we’d recommend escaping to the Gili Islands for a few days or Nusa Penida for a day. If all you want is a bit of partying and shopping, then book a stay at Kuta or Seminyak before you fly out of Bali.
That’s it! A perfect itinerary for 2 weeks in Bali. We’ve tried to answer all your questions in this article. But if you have any other questions or comments, do leave them down below. We love hearing from you 🙂