Known for its volcanic landscape, pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs, Bali is a top destination for beachgoers and outdoor adventurers. Even if you only have a weekend in Bali, you can experience the best the island has to offer. Here’s a suggested itinerary with ideas for spending 2 or 3 days in Bali and how to make the most of your trip.

Friday Evening

Friday starts your 72 hours in Bali. When you arrive, have dinner at Locavore, an excellent restaurant that features a 7-course tasting menu with dishes like salt-cured prawns with chili gel and kemangi juice, jicama with passion fruit emulsion and other locally sourced dishes.

After dinner, visit Room 4 Dessert for sweet treats paired with potent cocktails in a Spanish tapas-style venue. If you’re still hungry, you can visit the terrace garden for quick bites like Iberico ham. To immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, start your trip with a live dance show at one of Bali’s many theatre venues. You can find everything from modern theatre with light shows to aerial acrobatics shows and ancient Hindu epics.

If you’re looking for a more energetic night, you can find an array of bars and pubs along the coastline of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak with live music, specialty cocktails and waterfront views. The wilder experiences are in Kuta, while sophisticated evenings can be found on the Bukit Peninsula.

Vibantly-coloured surfboards at Kuta Beach

Kuta Beach

Saturday Morning

On Saturday morning, you’ll have 48 hours to explore Bali. Begin with a top-notch breakfast at The Slow, a fascinating restaurant that offers wood-grilled meats and seafood, locally grown vegetables and field grains. When you dine at The Slow, you can choose between traditional dining in a chandeliered dining room or a laid-back breakfast by the pool.

When you’re done eating, head to the ancient Uluwatu Temple to marvel at its stunning architecture and take in the coastal views. You could also visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, a temple complex that’s home to a variety of unique monkeys.

After sightseeing, stop for lunch at La Lucciola, an open-air hut near Seminyak Beach that offers fruit juices, dessert platters and hearty lunch dishes with local ingredients. You’ll also like the Seniman Coffee Studio, a specialty coffee shop with traditional Indonesian food like sushi and blended juices.

Saturday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, take some time to visit the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, a lakefront temple with opportunities for boating and swimming. If you prefer to spend the day lounging on the beach or trying out water sports, you can spend time at the relaxing beaches of Seminyak or Sanur.

Saturday night in Bali is when things get really exciting. Start with dinner at Blanco Par Mandif, a small restaurant with authentic Indonesian cuisine served with fine wines and cocktails. One of the signature dishes is the poached Jimbaran Bay rock lobster, but you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

If you’re looking for a quiet night, you can spend your time at one of Bali’s night markets. The best markets are found in Sanur, Gianyar and Badung, offering traditional stalls with food and local handicrafts. If you prefer a party, Bali is filled with rooftop bars that offer stunning views of the water and starlit sky as you sip delicious specialty cocktails.

Tourist viewing the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning in Bali, you’ll have 24 hours left to explore the sights. Start with breakfast at Kilo Kitchen, an open-air cafe with minimalist architecture and both traditional and non-traditional foods such as tuna tartare, bacon French toast, lamb tacos, salmon with eggs and more.

Before you leave, be sure to wander the Goa Gajah caves, a network of caverns with mysterious and fascinating ancient carvings, or check out the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, a rice paddy with jungle zip lines and obstacles. You’ll also like the Tirta Empul Temple, a Balinese structure with a ritual bath. For more adventure, plan a hike to Mount Agung, an active volcano and the highest peak on the island.

For lunch, visit Watercress, an upscale cafe that serves all-day breakfast. You’ll have plenty of unique dishes to choose from, including an array of salads, quiches, fish, lasagna and more.

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, you can spend some time exploring more of the Balinese culture at places like Pura Gunung Kawi, an 11th-century temple with carved shrines, or Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, an expansive green space with Hindu statues. If you’re looking for things to do with the kids, visit the Bali Safari and Marine Park, a wildlife park with elephants, rhinoceros, tigers and vibrant sea life in aquarium exhibits.

On Sunday night in Bali, you can begin your evening with dinner at Mozaic Restaurant, an award-winning spot with a rotating menu that features local ingredients from farms and the sea. All the food is prepared using modern French culinary techniques, giving it a unique twist. After dinner, head to the beach to enjoy drinks and live music at one of the many Bali beach clubs. Some of the best clubs include Mozaic, Cocoon and Potato Head, but you can find plenty of options near the water.

Elephanta at Bali Safari and Marine Park in Indonesia

Bali Safari and Marine Park

Ready for the perfect weekend getaway?

From its rejuvenating retreats and ancient cultural sites to its luxury resorts and stunning beaches, Bali has something for everyone. Now that you have your itinerary for a fun weekend in Bali, you’re ready to plan your trip. Visit Expedia to explore options for Bali holidays and book your trip!