Bali Family Itinerary: 5 Days on the Island of the Gods

Bali family itinerary
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Bali places high when it comes to bucket-list destinations. The landscape, culture, and way of life draw thousands of tourists every year, and the island is ever-popular with backpackers, honeymooners, and digital nomads. But Bali has many sides, and it couldn’t be better for young families.

Before diving in, there are few logistics to navigate. Children require visas to enter Bali, just as adults do, and getting around with a young family could complicate your transport situation. But Bali is a small island and offers endless adventure. A few weeks in this tropical paradise is the perfect amount of time to see it all. And if you are strapped for time or looking for the best kid-friendly activities, our five-day Bali family itinerary is the place to start.

From adventure-packed days out to relaxing in the sun, there’s no shortage of fun to be had here to keep the kids and mom and dad happy. So let’s get started! 

Day 1: Padang Bai

Bali family itinerary
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What better way to kick-start your visit to the exotic island paradise than with a day at the beach. Kids love the sand and the sea, and mom and dad can enjoy some well-earned rest after a long day of travel. But a trip to Bali wouldn’t be complete without journeying through the local culture. Just an hour from the rustic shores of Padang Bai are some remarkable historical sites that even your little ones will love. 

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Start your day at Pura Lempuyan, the Hindu Temple guarded by the famous Gates of Heaven that you’ll recognize as a popular Instagram spot. Snap some pictures with your family before heading onto the nearby Taman Tirta Gangga. Often mistaken for a temple, the water palace is a maze of fountains and ponds and even boasts pools for swimming that the kids will love. The entrance fee is just 30,000 IDR, around $2 per person, and the pools are just an additional 70 cents each. 

Next, head to Padang Bai, about an hour and a half drive from Tirta Gangga. A local taxi should only cost you around $10 to $15 for a family of four. But if you want to squeeze in the most adventure to your Bali itinerary, renting a car to drive around yourself will prove most efficient. Daily car rentals start in the region of $10 a day, depending on the vehicle you’re after, and you’ll find good weekly discounts at most rental shops. 

Padang Bai is a port town on the eastern coast of Bali and is a relaxing place to stay for families. Still, a day by the beach here is enough to squeeze in the area’s best attractions and sunbathe off some of that jet lag. Better yet, the Padang Bai Blue Lagoon is a great snorkel spot for kids with its calm shallow waters and colorful artificial reef. Wade out from the shore of even consider booking a boat tour to drop you off into the water beyond the breaks.  

Finish the day with a seafood meal at the Bloo Lagoon Eco Village, a family eco-stay that boasts stunning views of the ocean, great dining options, and a kid-friendly atmosphere. 

Day 2: A day at Waterbom

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After starting Day 1 with some culture, treat your kids to some unadulterated fun that you’re sure to love too with a visit to Waterbom, Bali’s most famous water park. Spanning almost four hectares, with over 12 slides, arcade rooms, and multiple restaurants, Waterbom is a one-stop destination for family fun.

It’s the most sustainable water park in the world, so you need not worry about your environmental footprint. It is also home to Asia’s steepest slide to appeal to any thrill-seekers in your family. 

Located in the heart of Kuta, it’s easy to access, and you can happily spend a whole day on the slides. Admission is quite pricy compared to Bali’s other inexpensive attractions, but spending a full day at the park will be worth it. At 535,000 for adults, roughly $37.50, and 385,000 for kids, or $27, you can visit anytime between 9 am until 6 pm at Waterbom, when the park closes, and finish your day with a sunset dinner at Kuta’s bustling outdoor night market. 

Book your Waterbom Day Pass before you visit to avoid the queues when you arrive. 

Day 3: Explore Ubud

rice fields
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After your first few days on the coast, it’s time to head inland and check out Bali’s spiritual hub of Ubud. The drive from Kuta is only about an hour and a half, so if you set out in the morning, you’ll be free to explore Ubud with the rest of your day. 

Check out the Saraswati temple as your first sot, located on Jalan Ubud Raya. Framed by two ponds with lotus plants, it’s an excellent spot for a family snap before you dive into Ubud’s activities. 

Walk along Jalan Kajeng to get to the Juwuk Manic rice fields. The looping trail that leads down the vast paddy valley is a great place to let the kids run free while you take in the views. Visit Sweet Orange Cafe for a spot of lunch with stunning vistas of the traditional rice terrace. 

After lunch, there are plenty of fun things to do in Ubud. Have a village experience in Taman Anyar, a quaint town run by a Balinese family who welcomes travelers into their home and will teach you and your loved ones about village life, plowing the rice fields and even letting you try your hand at Balinese cooking. 

Or, take a class at Ubud’s community center, Pondok Pekak. The library and learning hub is perfect for keeping the kids busy with lessons in Balinese painting, wood carving, offering making, and music. 

Finish the day at Ubud Royal Palace and catch a performance from a traditional gamelan dance group accompanied by authentic music. These take place every night at the palace and cost just a small donation of 100,000 IDR to watch (around $7). 

Day 4: Bali Zoo

Bali family itinerary
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Just 25-minutes from Ubud is Bali Zoo Park in the Gianyar Regency. The zoo is an environmental conservation area and a great place to observe wildlife in its natural habitat.

It’s also an affordable option starting at just 90,000 IDR, or $5 to enter. Still, it offers several experience packages, too, from breakfast with orangutans to getting down and dirty with Sumatran elephants and even exploring the zoo after dark. Bali Zoo is all about animal conservation, and the keepers work tirelessly to give the animals the best lives they can have. 

The zoo even has a number of amusement rides, an exciting playground, and restaurant options. After your morning getting to know the wildlife, you can venture to the nearby Tegenungan Waterfall, which is just a ten-minute drive from the zoo. Nestled in the jungle, this scenic waterfall is a breathtaking sight but also a great place to take a dip with its shallow bathing area. 

Watch out if you’re bringing young kids, as the steep steps down can be somewhat treacherous. Still, you can enjoy an early dinner at one of the cafes above and take in panoramic views of the rushing falls.     

Day 5: Tanjung Benoa Turtle Island

Bali family itinerary
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One of the best places for marine sports and enjoying Bali’s wildlife is Tanjung Benoa beach, and a whole day at turtle island and the surrounding bays is the best way to end your Bali family itinerary.

Located in the southeast, Tanjung Benoa is just over an hour from Ubud, and you can reach the beach by car before setting sail for Turtle Island on a glass-bottom boat. The area is actually a green turtle conservation spot rather than an island where you can dismount. Still, it’s one of the best places for guaranteed sights of turtles, and the calm waters make for an enjoyable boat ride and great snorkeling spots. 

Return to Tanjung Benoa for lunch. There’s plenty of tasty beach warungs or resort hotels where you can enjoy a beachside meal. Then, spend the rest of the afternoon indulging in a water sports package where you and your family can splash around with paddleboards, jet skis, and snorkeling equipment for a discounted price. 

Finish the day at the nearby Beachwalk Cinema to catch a new release on the big screen, where all the films are shown in English. Or head to Ulu Cliffhouse for a more rustic outdoor cinema experience, where you’ll find screenings of cult classic movies to the sound of the Uluwatu waves breaking below. 

Is Bali suitable for a family trip?

With great beaches, welcoming locals, atmospheric restaurants, and exciting culture, Bali is an excellent place for family holidays, and there’s plenty of appeal for kids of all ages. Bali’s natural landscape is diverse and wild, promising adventure at every turn.

From the paddy fields to the waterfalls, many of Bali’s inexpensive attractions make for a fun-packed family day out. But Bali has many sides, and the more touristy areas have been designed to appeal to all. From waterparks to safaris, there’s no shortage of organized experiences for you and your family to dive into on your trip to Bali. 

How much does an average trip to Bali cost?

Bali is mainly inexpensive and benefits from Southeast Asia’s signature low pricing. But Bali has been a popular tourist destination for years, and not everything promises to be cheap. Eating local food, staying in budget accommodations, and making the most of the natural scenery are all ways to keep the costs down. At the same time, organized excursions and family-friendly resorts will hike up your total prices. 

For two adults and two kids under the age of 11, you should expect to pay around $1,000 to $2,000 for a seven-night stay in Bali. Food can cost from $350 to $1,000 for the week, and you should budget around $250 for activities for the family. This means an average trip to Bali for a family of four will cost approximately $3,000, but Bali can be as cheap and as expensive as you want it to be. 

How safe is Bali for families?

Bali is very safe for families and much safer than other backpacker hotspots because of its well-established tourist facilities, developed infrastructures, and attractions for children of all ages. Using taxis and private drivers is affordable and very safe.

Still, it’s also easy to rent a car in Bali, and it’s unlikely you’ll run into any issues driving around the island as long as you have the appropriate insurance and travel documents. The Balinese are very welcoming, and crime is low. If you’re worried about safety, staying at a touristy resort and booking fun-family excursions through your hotel should give your a hassle-free trip.  

Is Kuta good for families?

Kuta is Bali’s most touristy area. The bustling city atmosphere provides less stunning natural scenery like Ubud and Uluwatu offers, but it’s arguably better for families, especially those with teenage kids. There is no shortage of organized activities to take part in with waterparks, swimming pools, kid clubs, and the Beachwalk Mall that is home to the XXIX cinema, where the latest blockbusters are screened in English. For budget accommodation, vibrant beach fun, and affordable family packages, Kuta is a great place to visit.  

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Esmé is an English literature graduate and freelance writer. Originally from London, Esmé is lucky enough to call Bali home. Her travels have taken her from the far corners of the East to the islands of the Caribbean. When she's not writing, you'll find her lying on a beach somewhere, lost in a crime novel.