Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Bali as well as lots of practical information such as where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airports and what to do in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.
- Solo Travel in Bali
- Where To Go in Bali
- Where To Stay in Bali
- Tours in Bali
- How To Get Around Bali
- Bali Itinerary
- Best Time To Visit Bali
- Travel Insurance For Bali
- Bali International Airport
- FAQs About Bali
- Bali Map
- Planning a Trip to Bali
Solo Travel in Bali
Types of Girl about the Globes (GatGs) – Party GatG, Spiritual GatG, Cultural GatG, Coffee GatG, Nature GatG
There’s no need to worry about heading to Bali solo. Being a destination for digital nomads means that you are guaranteed to meet others here. That’s why we’ve given it 4 out of 5 stars.
Bali attracts all types of solo from party GatG to spiritual and cultural GatGs, and Its popularity has also increased since the book Eat Pray Love, where Elizabeth Gilbert found her spirituality. The island is now a mecca for those seeking meditation and yoga retreats. Its paradise location cultivates creativity and writing retreats draw those wanting to create their storytelling masterpiece.
Kuta Beach is overrun with travellers and Australian party dwellers, and you’ll find spiritual and creative solos in Ubud. The island also attracts couples who tend to stay in the Nusa Dua region. The island is known as the Island of the Gods and the Balinese will greet you with a warm welcome. Their religion is Hindu and they are mostly kind, gentle people.
Because the island has so many visitors, there have been cases of bag snatching in the touristy areas so keep hold of your bag wherever you are (even on public transport). Drivers can also be a bit erratic. As with anywhere take care if you are walking around at night alone, and if you indulge in some of the island’s partying keep an eye on your drinks.
There is also the risk of volcanoes erupting. Flights in and out of the island can be cancelled at short notice. If you are planning a trip here check the Foreign Office advice for any volcano warnings.
Where To Go in Bali
Bali is one of the most popular backpacking destinations. A tropical paradise with rice paddies, a volcano and surfing beaches there’s a reason that this small island in Indonesia is one of the most visited islands out of the thousands of Indonesian islands.
Bali is as touristy or as authentic as you want it to be, depending on where you decide to stay and explore. Bali depends on tourism for the majority of its livelihoods, but because the island is so large, each place is different.
Denpasar is the capital. Located in the south of the island, Bali’s largest city is home to monuments from the Dutch colonial period and the Bali Museum with a display of traditional costumes and cultural artifacts. You’ll find many Hindu temples here including the Pura Agung Jagatnatha – which is near to the museum – Puri Pemecutan, and Pura Maospahit.
It is also bursting with lively street markets and cultural Kecak performances which take place every evening at Bali Art’s Centre. The capital is charming and a destination that you want to visit but not necessarily stay.
The former fishing village of Sanur is to the east of the capital. With a relaxed vibe and amazing sunrise views, Sanur is a romantic destination which attracts many couples. Don’t let that stop you exploring the beach that stretches for miles and the restaurants and shops along the promenade.
Spot the colourful fishing boats, visit the art galleries on Jalan Danau Tamblingan, and make sure that you see Pura Blanjong Temple, a coral temple with 10th-century inscriptions upon its pillars.
For the party GatG Kuta is the place to be. It’s also the closest destination to the airport. You can shoot yourself up into the air on a bungee rocket or just drink giant goldfish bowls cocktails before going clubbing in your flip flops.
Along the large promenade there is every fast food you can imagine. This is definitely the party town of Bali with pubs and clubs along the main street within easy walking distance. There’s disco music, house and garage or if you fancy a quiet drink: there’s live music to accompany your meal.
Small privately-owned restaurants are found in the back lanes near the beach which offer a wide menu of Western, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian and of course Balinese delights. Take advantage of any happy hours in bars where you can buy one and get one free. Kuta is definitely where you won’t have to drink or eat alone.
Kuta Beach is also one of the island’s best surfing spots and can hire boogie boards on the beach. The beach is long and sandy but be prepared to be hassled by the beach sellers trying to sell sarongs and watches. It is a good spot for a massage though as you don’t even need to move to have a masseuse come and offer you one. For a quieter beach, you may prefer Dreamland Beach, approximately 45 minutes away from Kuta.
For a more high end beach resort, Seminyak is nearby and to the north of Kuta. This stylish beach resort has luxury hotels and villas and you can party in the beach front clubs and bars or just pamper yourself in one of the spas as a treat.
Head even further north to find the up and coming resort of Canggu. With a cool and hipster vibe, this is the place for yoga GatGs with yoga studios aplenty. Its black sand beach is also popular with surfers but one of the biggest reasons to come here is Tanah Lot, one of the island’s most famous temples.
This island temple is located on a rock off the shoreline with spectacular water views. A former fisherman’s village, Canggu also attracts digital nomads and artists and is one of the hottest destinations to be.
For the active GatG, Ubud offers whitewater rafting on the island’s rapids or you can hire a bike for the day and explore the island’s cultural heart on bike or on foot. Ubud is more relaxed and spiritual than Kuta and Seminyak and it is easy to walk around. There are lots of lovely places to indulge in the cuisine such as Clear Cafe for breakfast and Elephant, a vegetarian restaurant with stunning views of the forest.
It is also home to Ubud Palace, and the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Don’t take any food with you into the forest and hold onto your bag tightly to ensure that a monkey doesn’t grab it. You’ll find museums, galleries and temples here too.
For more wildlife, head north from Ubud to Lovina Beach. This volcanic, black sand beach is where you can take a trip to see dolphins in their natural habitat. It’s also where you can bathe in natural hot springs, see the nearby fisherman’s village, the Gitgit Waterfall and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, a beautiful temple complex on Beratan Lake.
If you have the time, visit Menjangan Island, part of West Bali National Park accessible from Labuhan Lalang. This hidden gem is home to marine life and you can snorkel or dive its coral reef beds.
For nature and adventurous GatGs head to the island’s volcano. Mount Batur has a summit of more than 1700 metres high and the best way to experience the volcano is to hike to the top before sunrise (with a guide). You begin in the dark and arrive at the top in time for the spectacular sunrise and a breakfast of boiled eggs steamed over the volcano. As well as hiking the volcano, active GatGs can go paragliding, horse riding or even downhill cycling.
Other Places To See in Bali
The best surfing beaches can be found on the Bukit Peninsula, the southernmost point of the island. Even if you don’t surf it’s a relaxing place to sit in one of the cliff-side cafes and watch the surfers. This area is also home to one of the nicest Hindu temples. Built in the 11th century the Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu) sits on the edge of a rugged cliff and has amazing views. Visit at sunset if you can. To escape the crowds at Padang Padang head to Thomas Beach which is much less touristy.
For cultural GatGs you simply have to visit Gunung Kawi Sebatu, a water temple with pools you can swim in. You may want to take someone else along or join a tour to go here as you could find yourself alone here. With beaches, a rich cultural heritage and plenty of people to meet, this tropical paradise has the perfect mix for solo travellers.
Where To Stay in Bali
Bali is the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate no matter what your budget. From hostels to small villas and guesthouses there are a variety of options whether you are looking to stay for a week for a month. Stay in a Balinese hotel surrounded by peaceful rice paddies, or a luxurious resort by the beach. You can find some stunning accommodation here and it won’t cost you the Earth either.
Stay in Kuta if you’re looking for a party vibe, Ubud for more of a laid back vibe and Canggu for surfing and meeting digital nomads. Treat yourself in Sanur or Seminyak where you can find studios, and 4 and 5 star hotels. Consider renting accommodation if you’re going to Bali for more than a week, or look for a co-living space such as Canggu where you can live and do your own work remotely with others.
There is also Airbnb which connects you to staying with locals whether you choose to just book a room or a whole apartment. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement.
If you are looking for somewhere sociable on a budget, this hotel is ideal. The staff are so welcoming and arrange nights out and nights in. They organise movie nights and surfing at the beach (which is 20 minutes away). You can hire a scooter to get around but there are restaurants nearby, or you can cook in the kitchen if you prefer. There’s a sun terrace to relax on and free tea, coffee and water. The beds are comfortable and rooms come with air conditioning. Choose from either an 8-bed or 6-bed mixed dormitory room.
- Prices from £3 per night for a bed in an 8-bed dorm room
- To book, check prices or availability for Sholeh Silver Hostel
Located near the busy area of Kuta by Kuta Square, you feel more than a world away inside. Inside the hotel has a calm, relaxing vibe with clean and spacious rooms, and a flat-screen TV for when you want an evening in. Just on its doorstep is the beach and plenty of restaurants and shops.
The staff are really polite and friendly and are available 24 hours so you don’t have to worry about having a late check in. They can even arrange your airport transfer for you. There is an outdoor pool if you don’t want to go to the beach and breakfast is also included. Choose from a deluxe double room, super deluxe double room or queen room.
- Prices from £48 per night for a deluxe double room with shower
- To book, check prices or availability for Yan’s House Hotel
If you are looking for accommodation which you don’t have to leave then consider the Horison Seminyak Bali. It’s situated in a nice neighbourhood with lots of shops and restaurants within walking distance. The rooms are clean and have air conditioning and there’s the option of a good breakfast too. Each room comes with a hairdryer, toiletries minibar and slippers. With friendly staff and a beach just five minutes away you really have everything you need on your doorstep. Choose from a deluxe double, or upgrade to a double with city or pool view.
- Prices from £33 per night for a deluxe room
- To book, check prices or availability for Horison Seminyak Bali
If you love your yoga then Puri Garden is ideal for yoga GatGs. Located in the foothills of Ubud, walking distance from the Monkey Forest they offer daily yoga classes which are free for everyone. There is a 24 hour desk so someone is always available if you need anything.
The hostel is really sociable with live music and Happy Hours making it easy to meet others. There’s a cafe onsite as well as a garden, pool and a cinema room and a variety of breakfasts are included in the price. Having private rooms also gives you the chance to meet others in the common areas but still have your own space. They have female-only dorms too. Choose from a bed in an 8 bed mixed dorm, a 4 bed female-only dorm, or a deluxe room (with the option of a pool view).
- Prices from £19 per night for a bed in an 8-bed mixed dormitory
- To book, check prices or availability for Puri Garden Hotel & Hostel
If you need to rejuvenate then Swasti Eco Cottages is the place to do it. This tropical oasis has the perfect atmosphere to wind down and plenty of amenities to help you do it. The staff are really helpful and can book your day trips and airport transfer. Relax in the outdoor pool, the sauna or the spa whilst enjoying Balinese hospitality.
Take part in a yoga class, experience a traditional massage or just enjoy a morning coffee brought to your room. You’ll leave feeling completely revitalised. Choose from a traditional room, a standard double room with a fan, or a deluxe bungalow or double with air-con.
- Prices from £36 per night for a traditional room
- To book, check prices or availability for Swasti Eco Cottages
Tours in Bali
G Adventures– If you feel more comfortable in a group for your Bali trip, G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.
Adventures range from a 7 day Sailing Indonesia trip covering Bali and Lombok, to an epic 34 day Bangkok to Bali adventure. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company.
Intrepid – Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation so their prices can be more than G Adventures. Their tours range from 8 days to 14 days and include Jakarta to Ubud, and the Gili Islands. With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.
If you don’t feel comfortable riding a scooter around the island then you may want to take a day tour with one of the following recommended solo female friendly companies:
Bali Traditional Tours – These tour guides have fantastic knowledge of the island and go above and beyond on their private tours, making them ideal for us solo females. You can try traditional cooking, trekking and rafting or just go on a shopping tour. You’ll find the best photo spots for each place you visit and leave your tour feeling like you’ve made a new friend.
Bali Safest Driver – This tour company does what the title says! From sunrise volcano trekking tours to snorkelling at Amuk Bay, they offer private tours and activities throughout the island so you get your very own personal tour.
How To Get Around Bali
Bali is full of scooters and hiring one is relatively cheap. You can rent them on a daily basis or even by the month. You do need an international driving license so order one before you leave for your trip or you may find yourself having to take mototaxis instead.
Mototaxis are basically motorbikes (or scooters) with a driver who work similar to a taxi. They can work out cheaper than a car taxi. Just make sure to tell the driver if you’re not happy with his driving. You can also hire a driver for a day which are usually reasonable, or you can just take a normal taxi but be careful of unlicensed taxis. Look for Blue Bird Taxis who have an app you can use.
There are shuttle buses around the island. Perama shuttle bus will take you to all the main interest points such as Ubud, Kuta and Lovina. They also run fast boats to the three Gili of Lombok. Check bus and boat schedules through their site.
A week is enough time to see Bali’s sights but you’ll want to stay much longer. Below are recommended itineraries for 7 to 14 days.
One week’s Bali itinerary – Kuta (2 nights), Seminyak (2 nights), Ubud (3 night)
10 night itinerary – Kuta (3 nights), Seminyak (2 nights), Sanur (2 nights), Ubud (3 nights),
Two week itinerary – Denpasar (2 nights), Kuta (2 nights), Legian or Seminyak (2 nights), Canggu (2 nights), Sanur (2 nights), Ubud (2 nights), Lovina (2 nights)
Best Time to Visit Bali
Being tropical means that Bali it is always warm (and also humid) but they do have a rainy season from January to March. November also has some rainfall. The busiest time to visit Bali is July and August.
If you want to avoid the high season which also includes Christmas, New Year and Easter then look at either September or April to June instead. For cooler temperatures head to the higher altitudes. This chart shows the average maximum day temperatures for Bali (from January to December).
Travel Insurance for Bali
Bali is a beautiful country to explore but health and safety may not be what you’re used to. Travel insurance is always recommended to cover you for any medical assistance and activities that you want to do and there are some stunning waterfalls to jump off. With the unpredictability of volcanoes erupting, you'll also want to ensure that you are covered in case your flight is cancelled.
I recommend True Traveller for UK and European residents, and World Nomads for U.S. and worldwide citizens. Both companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road, and offer different plans depending on your needs including additional adventure cover. Check with your insurance company that you are covered for the volcano erupting.
Bali International Airport
There is only one airport in Bali called Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (or Denpasar International Airport). The airport is only a 15 minute drive from Denpasar and you can find taxis near the arrivals hall outside the terminal.
Don’t use unlicensed taxis and make sure you negotiate a price before you get in. Expect to pay £9 for a ride to Denpasar, £4 to Kuta (which takes less than 5 minutes) or £20 to Ubud.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bali
- Can I drink the water? No. Stick to bottled water. You can ask for ice as it is quality controlled by the government.
- Is tipping expected? No as a service charge is sometimes included. Because of low wages tipping is appreciated.
- Fixed price or barter? You can barter in the markets and main tourist areas.
- Any ATMs? You can find ATMs in the tourist areas that accept debit cards as well as credit cards. The best bank to use is Maybank which allows you to withdraw more than the one million Rupia limit.
- If you take currency to change there are plenty of money changers in Kuta, Seminyak, and Legian. Read more…
- Which side of the road do they drive? The left-hand side
- Good for vegetarians? There are a few restaurants for vegetarians and vegans. Visit Kismet, or Lazy Cats for vegetarian dishes, or Sayuri or Sage for vegan meals.
- Any seven wonders of the world? No
Planning a Trip to Bali
Budget – £35+ a day (you can get by on less)
Capital – Denpasar
Population – 4.225 million
Language spoken – Indonesian, and Balinese. English is spoken within the tourism industry and by the younger generation.
Local Currency – Indonesian Rupiah
Do I need a visa? Not for British citizens. You can stay up to 30 days without a visa.
Did you know?
Lingo – Useful Balinese phrases
The Best Time to Go – July, August