If you’re thinking about visiting Bali by yourself, you may be wondering “is Bali safe for solo travel?”
Well, we think it’s one of the world’s best destinations if you’re going to keep yourself company and we’ve got a bunch of reasons why, some amazing tips to ensure you have an awesome time here and a rundown of the best places to spend your time if you’re going solo.
Solo Travel In Bali, What To Expect
The beach areas of Bali are hot and sunny all year round and while there is a “rainy season”, it’s fair to say that on average we get 8+ hours of sunshine a day in the rainy season.
If you head inland, the terrain is quite mountainous and the temperature can be much lower than on the beaches, particularly, at night.
There is a huge range of activities and areas to choose from and each offers something different.
We would also note that some of the stereotypes associated with these areas have become outdated in the last few years, Kuta, for example, is no longer full of young “bogans” getting blasted on a budget.
Bali is developing rapidly and it pays to really research an area before you decide to stay there.
You will find that wherever you go on the island, that the local people are welcoming and friendly and that’s what makes Bali so special to so amny people – the soul of the nation is found in its people after all.
Great Destinations For Solo Travellers In Bali
Let’s take a look at some great places to stay on the island if you’re unaccompanied and looking to have a ton of fun:
Most guides won’t even bother to mention the capital city of Bali, Denpasar, and that’s pretty daft given how easy it is to get around the city, how cheap it is and how much there is to do.
Sure, Denpasar’s never going to win the “most beautiful city in Asia” award but it has plenty of character and charm and there are some absolutely lovely spots in the city.
You can find pretty much every kind of cultural experience that you’d like in Denpasar from museums to temples, it’s not far from a turtle conservation center and you won’t need to go too far in a taxi to reach the beach towns either.
If you love markets, cheap warungs and the chance to get off-the-beaten-path, you might find you really enjoy Denpasar.
However, it can be hard to find fellow travellers as it’s not the most popular destination on the island.
Sanur’s one of our favourite places to get a break from the stress of the rat race, unfairly nicknamed “snore” by some Bali expats, it’s a charming beach town that is currently undergoing a rapid transformation as it gains popularity.
The beachfront is lovely, though you will need to get up early for a spectacular sunrise rather than waiting for sunset for the best light, and there’s a pleasant boardwalk for you to amble along by the sand.
If you love swimming and water sports, then Sanur is an ideal place to be as it’s one of the cheapest places to learn surfing, kite boarding, etc.
The only real downside of being in Sanur is that it really doesn’t have much in the way of nightlife, so if you were hoping to get out and party, then Sanur’s not going to cut the mustard.
Tanjung Benoa Beach
If you want a lovely stretch of near pristine beach with a ton of things to do around it, then Tanjung Benoa could be your cup of tea.
It’s not the cheapest part of Bali as it’s right next to the luxury resort area of Nusa Dua but if you’ve always wanted to try donut rides, banana boats, parasailing, etc. then this is where to be.
Its proximity to Nusa Dua means there’s plenty of fine dining and upscale villas to enjoy in the area.
Like Sanur, it’s not an area famous for its night life but you’d probably be so tired from all the day time activities here that you wouldn’t much care about nightlife.
Kuta & Kuta Beach
Today, it’s transformed from a destination for young couples and families into a more mature part of the island.
This is an ideal stepping-off point for solo travellers who are in their midlife and looking for a strong bar and club scene.
There are lots of shops, malls, and things to do in Kuta, but the beach isn’t as clean as it could be and you may find that it’s a bit over-commercial if you stay too long.
Its night life remains the busiest and probably cheapest on the island though and you won’t ever be short of a party if you stay in Kuta.
Canggu is the home of FINNS Beach Club and we’re a bit biased in thinking that it’s the best part of the island.
That’s because you can find everything in Canggu, mountain views, rice paddies to travel through, luxury and budget accomodation, and every kin of activity (from ten-pin bowling to water parks).
There are great restaurants, bars and cafes and the area has some of the hippest and most upscale nightlife of any part of Bali.
The beach is black sand and soft underfoot, it’s not the best place for sunbathing but it’s awesome for surfing and long walks at sunset.
The downside is that Canggu is super popular right now (with locals, tourists, expats and even digital nomads who love the amount of available coworking space in Canggu).
Seminyak is the upscale party district of Bali. While Nusa Dua attracts families, in the main, seeking to escape the world – Seminyak sees young beautiful people looking to see and be seen.
You can expect to stay in luxury resorts and eat in some of the island’s finest restaurants, assuming you can afford the price of admission.
The area has some of the best boutiques, malls and stores around and if you love to build a unique style in the places you go, Seminyak’s fashion scene is perfect for you.
The downside of Seminyak is that it’s quite removed from the culture of Bali and you won’t find much of the original island here.
Ubud was made famous by the novel Eat, Pray, Love but there’s more to Ubud than somebody else’s fantasies, most people consider it to be the “spiritual heart” of Bali.
It has temples galore, a sacred monkey forest, rice terraces, art markets and royal palaces for you to explore.
The restaurant scene in Ubud is fantastic and there’s a wealth of accomodation for almost any budget.
If you want yoga retreats and cooking classes, there’s no doubt that your best options are probably around Ubud.
The downside is that this part of central Bali has become one of the most popular spots on the island and central Ubud is prone to heavy traffic and crowds, particularly in the peak season.
If you want to get a bit further away from the crowds, Lovina can be a great option.
This part of Bali is home to Bali’s dolphins and if you hit Lovina Beach in the early morning, you’ll find plenty of boats heading out to sea to spend the early day chasing the dolphins around (the dolphins don’t appear to object to this).
You can also explore the awesome lake temple, of Ulun Danu Beratan and head out to the famous GitGit Waterfall.
Lovina’s the ideal place to visit the West Bali National Park from too and there you can see the critically endangered Bali starling and local deer among many other animals and plants.
The downside of being in Lovina is that it is off the beaten path, there are fewer options for hotels, restaurants and entertainment than in the more popular destinations.
If you love to surf, you won’t want to miss out on Uluwatu which is one of the world’s best surfing spots and several professional tournaments are held there each year.
It’s also home to the famous Uluwatu Temple home of the Kecak dance, amazing clifftop sunsets and some of the world’s most mischievous monkeys.
The area around Uluwatu is quite lovely but very spread out, it’s not an ideal place to be without transport.
There’s a decent nightlife scene in Uluwatu but again, you may need to travel quite some distance from your accommodation to find it.
The Nusa Islands
The Nusa Islands (Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan) are officially part of Bali province even though they’re off the coast of Bali’s mainland.
That makes it easy to go and visit them without incurring additional tourist tax (as you would if you visit the Gili islands).
These islands are relatively unspoiled and have amazing beaches and some very pleasant accommodations.
However, be warned if the sea is a little rough, then the journey out to the Nusa Islands can be a bit of a nightmare.
How To Make Friends In Bali On Bali Solo Holiday
A solo trip doesn’t have to mean a lonely trip and even solo female travellers can visit Bali and make friends in a safe and sane fashion.
Here are some of the time-tested methods that solo travellers have been using to make friends since solo travel began.
Considering staying in a hostel. Hostels are built for socializing and you can easily meet a ton of people who are as keen to make friends as you are. You don’t have to stay in a dormitory, either. Many hostels now offer a set of private rooms for the more discerning traveller.
Join some Facebook Groups. You’re not the first person to plan a solo trip to Bali and that means you can share in the knowledge of others when you visit Bali. Look for the Bali Solo Travel Group, the Canggu Ladies Group, etc. and you’ll soon know everything there is to know about solo travel in Bali and you might even meet a few people to meet up with in real life.
Consider travelling as part of a tour group for some or all of your stay. Tours are an awesome way to travel solo because they bring together a bunch of people with similar interests in a safe environment. Strike up a conversation on the bus or when walking around your destination and you’ll quickly make friends.
Join some classes. There’s nothing quite like learning a new skill with other people to form fast friendships. Yoga classes and cooking classes are particularly popular with solo female travelers. There are dozens of classes on the island for almost every kind of learning, so don’t worry you won’t feel like a potato head.
Beach club days. The beach clubs are built for chilling out and enjoying yourself. FINNS has a full security team on hand to ensure that things stay social and never become uncomfortable and solo guests are always welcome. Grab a drink or two and strike up conversations with the people around you that seem interesting. We think beach clubs are the best part of a Bali vacation and FINNS is the world’s best beach club.
Consider a homestay. If other travellers aren’t your cup of tea, you could always stay in a homestay and make friends with locals from Bali, Indonesia. The Balinese people are super friendly and will be delighted to teach you about Balinese culture and traditions.
How To Stay Safe In Bali As A Solo Female Traveller
Is Bali Safe? Yes. In fact, you should find that during your time here whether you have a beach holiday or head inland to enjoy the culture within walking distance of the centre of Ubud, Bali is very safe.
However, that doesn’t mean you can assume that traveling solo in Bali is risk-free. You still need to use some common sense to keep yourself safe here and we’d advise you to:
Avoid walking alone late at night. As with everywhere in the world, unscrupulous individuals are more likely to come out at night, they’re more likely to head to places with lots of tourists, particularly if it’s an area where most people are drinking. If you need to travel after dark, take a ride-share, they’re super cheap in Bali and much safer than walking.
Don’t leave your possessions unattended in a public place. Probably the biggest risk you face here in Bali is petty theft. These are usually not crimes of violence but of opportunity. If you leave your bags along on the sandy beaches or by the side of the road as you stop to admire some stunning scenery, you’re offering someone the opportunity to take them.
Keep your passport, cash, cards, etc. secure. Pickpocketing is also a minor nuisance here on the island and while you probably won’t encounter a pickpocket, you can ensure you make their lives difficult by keeping valuables out of sight and in hard-to-reach places. We’d recommend you store your passport, any cards you don’t need and any excess cash in your hotel safe – they can’t steal what you don’t have on you.
Pay attention to the tide and warning flags when you swim. Every year, people drown while swimming at Bali’s beaches. Yet, if you visit the beaches here, even remote beaches like Dreamland Beach, you will find that there are flags up demonstrating whether or not it’s safe to swim. They’re not there to ruin your good time, they’re there to help you stay safe.
Don’t mess with monkeys. Seriously, monkeys have a bad reputation in this part of the world and it’s entirely deserved. They will try and steal anything that’s not nailed down and will often have a lot of fun at your expense. If you are a victim of a monkey, find a local staff member and seek their help don’t try and tackle the monkey on your own. They don’t fight fair, they will call other monkeys to aid them and you will get bitten. If you get bitten, you will need to be vaccinated against rabies. This is very expensive. So, don’t get bitten.
Try to avoid street dogs. Most street dogs here are sweet-natured and though they bark, they don’t bite. But some dogs here do bite and rabies is real. So, try to avoid dogs where possible. Rabies treatment, as we said earlier, is really expensive in Bali and it’s not always readily available either.
Trust but use your common sense. If a complete stranger approaches you in Bali and instantly wants to be your friend, this should have your spidey senses tingling. People make friends here in the same way that they do anywhere else in the world and that means they don’t tend to approach people asking to be their friends. This doesn’t mean “don’t trust anyone”, it just means keep your wits about you.
The Pros Of A Bali Solo Travel Itinerary
Before we finish up let’s look at the pros and cons of opting to travel solo rather than with a group or a partner:
You set the pace – you can choose where to go, when to go and how long to stay. You’re not beholden to anyone else’s schedule and that can be immensely freeing.
You can save money – two do not live as cheaply as one. Sometimes, it’s nice to worry about your own expenses and not about sharing other people’s. This is particularly true if your friends are extravagant and you have modest needs.
You can make more friends – making new friends as a group or couple is complicated as everyone needs to get on with everyone. When you’re on your own, it’s simple, if you like someone and they like you, you’re friends.
You can eat whatever you want – whether you’re vegan, carnivore or omnivore, Bali has food for you but that doesn’t mean that you will find it easy to find places that you all want to eat at. On your own, you can just focus on what suits you. It makes choosing somewhere to go easier and more enjoyable.
You can do things you wouldn’t otherwise do – you can read books, watch TV, or study that course you’ve been putting off. When you travel around Bali with company, you will put these things aside for the sake of that company. But don’t we go on holiday to do the things we can’t do during the working year?
You can focus on learning Indonesian – it’s much easier to immerse yourself in the language on your own. With a companion, you will tend to default to your own language, instead.
You can focus on yourself – “me time” is a luxury and one we are often denied in our regular lives, holidays are a great time to enjoy your own company.
It’s easier to form romantic entanglements – two’s company, three’s a crowd when it comes to hooking up with others. It’s really that simple and the same is true in Bali.
More interaction with Balinese folks – the people of Bali are one of the main reasons to travel here and yet so many people barely interact with the locals because they’re so wrapped up in the group that they came with.
It boosts your confidence. Travelling solo allows you to become more confident in dealing with the world around you. Bali isn’t the most challenging destination to be in, but it’s a great place to start solo travel and learn the ropes before planning your first trip to Mali.
The Cons Of Bali Solo Travel
But we should point out that there are some downsides of going by yourself too and they include:
Accommodation can be more expensive – most hotels and resorts charge by the room, not by the number of people in the room. Some organized tour holidays even charge a premium for not sharing your room!
You have to deal with more risk – that doesn’t make you any less safe than someone with a friend but it does mean you need to keep an eye out for yourself. Watch out for scams, be careful not to get lost and most of all, think about how much you’ve had to drink and don’t leave yourself too open for bad behaviour from others.
Getting sick can be really unpleasant – if you’re unwell when you’re by yourself, it can be hard to get to a doctor or pharmacy and deal with the process of getting treated. People in the hostel are unlikely to want to get too involved with a sick stranger.
It’s hard to get great photos, particularly selfies – the best photos are almost always taken by someone else. Sure, you can ask a stranger to give you a hand at a tourist spot, but sometimes, you will be in a place by yourself and wish you could grab a shot.
There is a risk of loneliness – even the most sociable people occasionally go out and find there’s no one around to talk to. However, this shouldn’t be the sum total of your time in Bali, we guarantee if you go out and seek out other people, you will sooner or later find your crowd.
You won’t have shared stories when you get back home – travel is often far more interesting to those who did the travelling than it is to the people who stayed at home. Your stories won’t be as meaningful to the people at home as they are to you.
You may cause other people to worry about you – families, friends, partners, etc. can feel left out at first and then they may worry about you when you’re overseas. You can reduce this by staying in touch on social media while you’re in Bali.
You might get homesick – sometimes, we go away and suddenly realize we miss the place we left behind. This is perfectly normal and it’s important to know that our friends and family are only a call away when we’re in Bali.
How To Dress For Solo Travel In Bali
There is no strict “dress code” in Bali. Most solo trips here tend to involve spending time in the island’s beach towns, if that’s the case then you can wear what you like on Berawa Beach, Echo Beach, etc.
However, if you’re straying away from the beach then it’s considered polite to cover up a bit. It’s certainly not done to go shopping or to a warung in your bikini!
When it’s time to visit some of the island’s temples or more remote areas then it’s a good idea to dress more conservatively.
It’s not just solo female travellers who could benefit from a shawl and a sarong, these garments are ideal for modesty whenever you’re visiting Bali and for both sexes.
We’ve got a complete packing list here for you to give you some inspiration as to what to wear and bring with you to Bali.
How Much Should A Bali Solo Trip Cost?
It really depends on how you like to travel. If your Bali itinerary is all luxury resorts and fine dining restaurants, then you will need to budget, potentially, hundreds of dollars a day.
But solo travellers living in dorms in budget hotel accomodation or hostels, who eat at local restaurants and warungs, and who prefer to join group tours rather than hire a driver could get by on $50 or less a day.
Flight costs vary hugely when visiting Bali as a lot depends on where you’re flying from to start your solo Bali trip and when – it’s pretty cheap to hop a budget flight from Australia or Malaysia (round trip flights might be as little as \$2-\$300) in low season, but flights from New York in peak season are going to be much harder on the solo travelers wallet.
Bali Travel Tips For Solo Travellers
We’ve also got some tips for those who choose to travel solo when visiting Bali including:
Use ride-sharing apps – the local “Uber equivalents” are Grab and Go-jek and you can download both apps and install them on your phone. Booking through these services means you don’t have to haggle over prices, you can pay by card through the app (including leaving a tip) so no arguing over change, and the services track your journey to ensure you stay safe. We’d still recommend you sit in the back if the driver’s male but otherwise, you should find that your solo trip to Bali is much easier without having to fight taxi drivers all the way around the island. You can even use Grab at Denpasar International Airport now.
Take out travel insurance – for most people, the worst thing that will happen on a solo trip to Bali is a mild case of Bali belly, but if you get into an accident or fall seriously ill, you will be glad of travel insurance. Medical treatment here can be very expensive and you don’t want your trip to leave you bankrupt. Take out some travel insurance and you’ll have peace of mind even if a monkey in the monkey forest or at Uluwatu Temple makes off with your passport (as happened to one tourist recently).
Get a local SIM Card – this is going to keep your call and data costs to a minimum and ensure that your solo trip to Bali is always connected. You will find plenty of free WiFi in the hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants of the island but that won’t help when you’re out exploring temples or rice terraces.
Don’t overpack. There’s a laundry on nearly every street corner and they operate 24 hours a day, so don’t bring too much in the way of clothing and other gear. The solo traveler that travels light is going to find their time in Bali much easier than somebody carrying their whole wardrobe on their back.
Do pack sensibly. It’s hot and humid around the beaches, but if you head up into the mountainous regions, it can be surprisingly cool. Always make sure to bring some sensible shoes that grip well because thongs won’t cut it when visiting waterfalls, etc.
Bring sun protection. Solo travel in Bali is great but sunburn is never fun and it’s all too easy to tackle Bali solo, spend hours out in the sun and only realize that you’re burned and have heat stroke when you get back to the hotel. This will then turn the next few days of your Bali solo tour into a miserable experience. So, don’t do that. Use sunscreen with a high SPF rating and apply it regularly. Wear a hat in the direct sun and use sunglasses to protect your eyes. Seek out shade when you’re too hot and always keep hydrating.
Always use licensed money changers (and better still just use an ATM). If your money exchange is offering rates that are too good to be true, it’s because there’s a near-certain chance that they plan to rip you off. The government has introduced a local registration scheme which you can verify by scanning a QR code at the money exchange but we think it’s easier just to withdraw cash as you need it from an ATM and it’s going to cost you roughly the same as using an exchange.
Don’t do drugs. If you want to ruin your solo travel experience, the easiest way is to get caught using drugs here in Indonesia. Even minor possession charges will see you sentenced to several years in a horrible jail, if the quantity you are caught with is deemed enough to charge you with “intent to supply” you face the death penalty. Indonesia regularly executes Westerners foolish enough to do drugs here.
Only ride a motor scooter if you’re road-legal. You need a valid driver’s license from your own country with a motorbike endorsement, you also need a valid International Driver’s Permit (issued in your own country), you must wear a helmet, and you must not be under the influence of alcohol. If you’re not road-legal, your travel insurance is worthless. If you get into an accident, you will need to pay for your own treatment.
Digital Nomads should be careful about revealing too much about themselves. Most digital nomads in Bali are not, strictly speaking, legally allowed to work here. You will hear a lot of nonsense about using tourist visas, social visas, or business visas to work “legally” but if you do not have a KITAS Visa and an ITMP work permit, you’re not legal to work. Don’t worry, nobody will care if you do work and the coworking spaces here are packed with nomads but you shouldn’t boast about working illegally. You never know when someone might decide to inform immigration.
Is Bali A Good Place For Solo Travel?
Yes! Solo travel in Bali, as long as you use some common sense, is safe and fun.
It can also be relatively low cost, particularly when compared to Western countries, which means you can try, see and do a lot of different things when you visit Bali.
However, a solo trip is always best with a little pre-planning and some conscious consideration of how you will find some social interaction while you’re on the island.
Bali solo travel shouldn’t mean “lonely travel” and solo travellers can easily make friends in this part of Southeast Asia.
Where Is The Best Place To Go In Bali For Solo Travellers?
There’s no perfect Bali solo travel guide and that’s because we’re all different. You might opt for Ubud if you want yoga retreats, the Ubud monkey forest, and cultural activities.
If you want to surf some wicked breaks and still enjoy an amazing sunset view, you might head to Uluwatu which is the home of the famous Uluwatu Temple.
Or you could plan your solo travel in Bali around a popular area like Canggu with a great mix of nightlife, daytime activities, shopping, restaurants and bars and, of course, FINNS Beach Club.
Solo travellers are very lucky in that solo travel here is very affordable and your solo trip can easily accommodate most interests and hobbies.
We’d recommend that before you visit Bali, you spend some time thinking about your Bali itinerary and ensure that you get the most out of this tropical paradise.
Is Bali Good For Singles?
Bali can be good for singles. But, of course, that really depends on you. Solo female travel can be hard enough without being hit on by every available man within a hundred miles.
So, as with anywhere else in the world, you need to be considerate with any advances that you make while on a solo trip here and know that “no means no” just as much as it does in Bali as it does at home.
We should note that most Balinese people don’t tend to date holidaymakers.
This is still a very conservative society and there is an expectation that people will date someone with the hopes of it leading to marriage rather than a summer fling.
That doesn’t mean nobody has ever dated a Balinese person on a solo trip to Bali but it does mean that it’s unlikely and you shouldn’t go around hitting on every local that you meet.
Can A Girl Travel To Bali Alone?
Yes, in fact, solo female travelers report that going to Bali solo is often much easier than solo travel elsewhere in the world because of the welcoming and friendly local culture.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can assume your solo trip to Bali will be perfect everywhere that you go and you should take common sense precautions, as you would anywhere else, to ensure your safety.
Violent and sexual crime is rare across Southeast Asia but it’s not “non-existent” and we’d recommend that every solo female traveler read up on the environment here and keep safe.
What’s The Ideal Length Of Time For Solo Travel, Bali?
We’d think that your first Bali adventure would be perfect for 1-2 weeks. You can, of course, stay longer and still have an amazing time, you couldn’t see and do everything on this island in a year, but for most people, 1 or 2 weeks is the best introduction you can have to the island.
You can explore plenty of places in that time enjoy Green Bowl Beach, Kuta Beach, the Campuhan Ridge Walk, FINNS Beach Club, Nusa Penida, some stunning waterfalls, eat authentic Balinese cuisine, see some black sand beaches and much more.
How To Book A Solo Adventure In Bali? How Do I Go On A Bali Solo Trip?
We always recommend that a solo traveler books their solo travel in Bali through the Bali Res Centre.
This excellent local travel service specializes in Bali, Indonesia and can ensure a great experience of solo travel.
Bali Res Centre has all the right local connections to get you a great deal on flights, accomodation, a side trip to the Gili islands, your favourite yoga class and more.
Final Thoughts On Bali Solo Travel
If you’re interested in solo travel this island is a great place for solo travel. Bali offers endless choices when it comes to the things you see and do, it’s, mainly, reasonably priced (high-end luxury resorts and fine dining, excepted) and it’s safe.
Balinese culture is fascinating and welcoming and the local people are used to delivering exceptional travel experiences for individual travellers.
If you’re thinking about your first-ever solo trip, we’d heartily recommend Bali and it’s amazing for single female travel too.
Just make sure you pop in at FINNS Beach Club, the world’s best beach club, when you visit and have the ultimate party with new friends!