Thanks to EAT PRAY LOVE, Bali was solidly placed on the map for solo travellers in search of beauty and spirituality. During the surf season, hundreds of swell-chasers also arrive to catch awesome waves, no wetsuit required. Whether you’re on the island for swell or soul food – or something else altogether – we answer quick questions on how to navigate Bali as a solo traveler.
Is it safe?
Like any tourist destination, petty crime can happen to the best of us, so it is important to be aware of your belongings and remember to always keep your wits about you. That being said, with a long established tourism network and infrastructure, a Bali trip is one of the best solo vacations out there.
Solo female travel in Bali shouldn’t be a problem either, as the locals are quite peaceful and respectful of women – catcalling and aggressive behaviour are uncommon.
Before you even arrive (especially if you’re landing at a busy time, like Friday night) – consider booking a cheap airport pickup service in advance.
Do I need to know the local language?
While Bahasa Indonesia is predominantly spoken, the Balinese people can understand and communicate in basic English. It is generally easy to talk to the locals, especially because they are so accommodating and friendly.
How do I get around?
Local transportation comes in many forms, depending on what kind of adventure you’re up for.
Independence is important on any Bali solo travel trip. Thankfully, the place is scooter-friendly, and you’ll find a number of motorbike rentals all around the island – especially in the areas of Seminyak, Kuta and Ubud. The best thing about it is that you’ll be the captain of your own (erm) scooter and can go anywhere, anytime!
However, as we always want to err on the side of caution, we encourage everyone to observe traffic rules and safety. Some police / traffic officials have been known to catch tourists driving without a driver’s license.
If you’re not confident motoring around on a two-wheeler, there are taxis everywhere, especially around the touristic areas. You can also conveniently hail one using ride-sharing applications, such as GOJEK & GRAB.
If you’re on a long trip and want to tour around Bali easily (the island is still pretty vast), one can also rent a car with an English-speaking driver. It may sound expensive if it’s not common practice back home, but in Bali, it’s actually an affordable way of getting around if you can’t ride a motorbike. Often, it’s also cheaper than hailing a “Grab car” (there’s no Uber in Bali) everywhere you go, especially if you’re traveling away from the cities and making several stops.
The best thing about this? You get to cover more ground, faster, and you even have your driver as an unofficial tour guide (and photographer!).
Will there be opportunities to meet other solo travellers?
Bali is a great travel destination for solo travellers open to meeting fellow adventurers, and there are more on similar journeys than you’d think!
Find them in hostels, co-working spaces, music festivals, yoga retreats, or surf camps. There are also friend-meeting apps like Bumble BFF. New-found companions won’t be hard to come by here!
You can also join Shared Experiences, or small-group tours (max 5pax) organized around popular activities the likes of mountain biking or white water rafting. Unique itineraries are led by local guides, and you don’t have to pay for empty seats if going solo.
There are so many things to do! Where do I start?
Choose what appeals to you best and take it from there: outdoor adventures, hikes, beaches, history, food, culture, and wellness.
Have you ever traveled solo? Have you done Bali by yourself before? Do you have your own tips to share? Leave a comment below!
For an extensive list of Bali tours, click here.