Bali is a dream destination for solo female travelers seeking adventure and safety. As someone who has traveled alone in Asia, Bali holds a special place in my heart. This small island is a treasure trove of stunning temples, lush rice fields, and breathtaking beaches. From late-night parties to hiking volcanos, learning to surf, spotting dolphins, and taking yoga classes, Bali offers endless options for unforgettable experiences.
In this guide, I will share everything I know about making the most of your solo trip to Bali. From finding the perfect accommodation to discovering the best activities and staying safe, I’ve got you covered.
Best Places in Bali for Solo Travelers
If you’re wondering where to stay in Bali as a solo traveler, here are my top recommendations:
Located on the southern coast, east of Kuta, Canggu is a haven for socializing, nightlife, and surfing. Batu Balong, in the center of town, is an excellent place for first-time visitors. Canggu is not just about surfing and parties; it’s also a thriving hub for digital nomads. You’ll find co-working spaces and sustainable fashion boutiques alongside a plethora of restaurants catering to all tastes.
Best things to do in Canggu:
- Take a surf class at Batu Balong Beach.
- Party at Old Man’s.
- Visit Tanah Lot Temple (30 minutes drive).
- Enjoy delicious meals at Canggu cafes like KYND (vegan), Copenhagen (brunch), and Lolas Cantina (Mexican, lively).
Ubud, known as the cultural and spiritual capital of Bali, is a haven for yoga and meditation enthusiasts. Surrounded by lush rice terraces, Ubud offers stunning waterfalls and majestic temples just a short drive away. Explore the art market, sample Balinese cuisine at local warungs, and immerse yourself in the serenity of this vibrant town.
Best things to do in Ubud:
- Shop for souvenirs at the Ubud Art Market.
- Take a yoga class at Ubud Yoga House.
- Visit nearby waterfalls: Tegenungan, Kanto Lampo, and Tibumana.
- Enjoy a meal at Ubud Shanti Warung overlooking rice fields.
Uluwatu, nestled in Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, is a surfer’s paradise with stunning beaches and advanced surf breaks. The area boasts beautiful beaches like Melasti Beach and Bingin Beach, perfect for both relaxation and swimming. Uluwatu offers a more laid-back and tranquil atmosphere compared to busier areas like Canggu or Seminyak.
Best things to do in Uluwatu:
- Watch the Kecak dance show at Uluwatu Temple (daily at 6 pm).
- Witness pro surfers at Suluban Beach.
- Indulge in a seafood dinner with your feet in the sand at Jimbaran Bay.
For those seeking a quieter and less touristy experience, Sanur is a hidden gem on Bali’s southeastern coast. With serene, sandy beaches and affordable accommodation rates, Sanur provides the perfect setting for relaxation and solitude. It also serves as a gateway to nearby islands like Nusa Penida and the Gili Islands.
Things to do in Sanur:
- Watch the sunrise at the beach.
- Go on a rice field walk.
- Take a day trip to Nusa Penida.
5. Gili Trawangan
Escape the main island of Bali and venture to Gili Trawangan, a slice of paradise off the northwest coast of Lombok. This tiny island boasts turquoise blue waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. Dive, snorkel, or simply soak up the laid-back island life. Gili Trawangan is also renowned for its nightlife, making it a great place to meet fellow travelers.
Things to do in Gili Trawangan:
- Take a snorkeling trip around the island.
- Visit the neighboring Gili Air and Gili Meno.
- Rent a bicycle and explore the island.
- Spot turtles at Turtle Beach.
How to Make Friends and Meet People in Bali
Traveling solo doesn’t mean being alone all the time. Bali offers several ways to connect with like-minded people. Here are some of the best ways to meet fellow travelers:
1. Facebook groups
Join Facebook groups like “Girls in Bali” or “Canggu Nomad Girls” to connect with other female travelers. You can post a message introducing yourself and see if anyone is interested in meeting up for a sunset stroll or a coconut. I’ve made lifelong friends through these groups, so I highly recommend giving it a try.
Staying in hostels is an excellent way to meet people in Bali. Many hostels organize activities such as surfing and yoga classes, island trips, and fun parties. Here are a few recommended hostels:
- Kos One Hostel in Canggu, known for its chic pool area.
- Tribal in Pererenan (Canggu), perfect for co-working.
- Arya Wellness Hostel in Ubud, an upmarket hostel exclusively for women.
3. Gym or yoga classes
If hostels aren’t your thing, consider joining fitness or yoga classes. Not only will you stay fit and healthy, but you’ll also have the chance to meet other like-minded individuals. Many fitness studios in Bali have hang-out areas or cafes where you can socialize with fellow members.
How to Get Around Bali
Exploring Bali is a breeze with these transportation options:
1. By scooter
Renting a scooter is the most popular way to get around Bali. It’s affordable and gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. However, be cautious of Bali’s traffic and consider taking a class if you’re a beginner. Always wear a helmet, ride slowly in crowded areas, and enjoy the beautiful rural scenery.
2. Go Jek or Grab
For those who prefer to avoid traffic, Go Jek and Grab are convenient alternatives. These ride-hailing apps offer affordable transportation options, including cars and scooters. Download the app, choose the ride type, and you’re good to go!
3. Organized transfers
If you need to travel between cities with luggage or prefer a hassle-free experience, consider booking shared transfers through local travel agencies or your hostel. They provide a comfortable and convenient way to move around Bali.
How to Stay Safe in Bali
Bali is generally a safe place for solo female travelers, but it’s essential to prioritize your safety. Here are some tips to stay safe in Bali:
1. Bali Belly
To avoid traveler’s diarrhea, known as “Bali Belly,” take some precautions:
- Be cautious with street food.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Stick to bottled or filtered water.
- Maintain good hand hygiene.
2. Riding a scooter
If you choose to ride a scooter, follow these tips:
- Store your bag securely under the seat, especially at night.
- If you’ve had alcohol, take a Go Jek instead of riding.
- Watch out for reckless drivers.
3. Money Exchange
Use authorized currency exchange counters to avoid scams. Alternatively, withdraw cash from ATMs or pay by card, which is common in Bali. Notify your bank before traveling to prevent any unexpected card blocks.
4. Travel Insurance
Lastly, always have travel insurance, especially when traveling solo. Safety Wings is an excellent choice for affordable global coverage. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Whether you’re a solo travel novice or a seasoned explorer, Bali offers a diverse and budget-friendly destination for your adventure. With its enchanting beaches, majestic temples, and vibrant culture, Bali is a place that will capture your heart. Start planning your solo trip to Bali and get ready for an unforgettable experience!
About the Author: Mal is a travel blogger and owner of Where to Stay Bali. She divides her time between living in Bali and exploring the world. Besides traveling, Mal is an avid surfer and passionate photographer.