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Solo Travel Bali: Guide to Backpacking Bali

Indonesia has over 17,000 islands, but Bali is undoubtedly the most popular place. With so many unique things to see and do, Bali has rightfully earned this title. In this solo travel Bali guide, I’m sharing my tips and advice for Bali solo travel and essential facts about Bali, like renting a scooter in Bali. I’ll answer all your questions about “Is Bali a safe place to visit?” to help you plan an unforgettable backpacking Bali adventure.

You can choose between top Bali tourist attractions, Instagram spots, idyllic beaches, and hidden gems where you can get some peace without having to share the views with crowds.

Read on to learn more about your trip to Bali as a solo traveler, including what to do, what to pack, where to stay, how to get around, and how to plan the perfect ten days in Bali itinerary.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

solo trip to bali

Top Things to Do While Backpacking Bali

Bali is a hub for exciting activities, no matter what kind of traveler you are. Two weeks is plenty to solo travel to Bali and see the top sights—but the longer you can spend there, the better.

Explore Canggu

Canggu was hands down one of my favorite places to visit during my Bali solo travel experience. Traveling throughout this area is easy, and it’s an increasingly popular area for ex-pats, especially digital nomads. The beach is nearby, the eateries in Canggu (especially the warungs, aka local restaurants) are the country’s best, and there are plenty of things to do in Canggu. It’s not as busy and touristy as Seminyak and Kuta, which is a big plus.

Must-visit attractions to add to your backpacking Bali itinerary include Batu Bolong Beach (especially for surfing and surf lessons), Finn’s Beach Club, and Tanah Lot Temple.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Bali ToursClick here to check out the top Bali tours
Best Bali Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Bali
Best Bali Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Bali

Visit Seminyak, Kuta, and Uluwatu

Seminyak, Kuta, and Uluwatu are great for beach lovers. Seminyak and Kuta are famous tourist spots, so there’s no shortage of markets, restaurants, and tourist activities.

Uluwatu is famous for surfing, and beachgoers have the choice of many beaches to take a dip in the ocean and relax by the seaside.

While south of Bali, head to the beaches (especially Suluban Beach), Uluwatu Temple, Kuta Art Market, and Potato Head Beach Club.

Relax in Ubud

Head to Ubud for culture—there are arts and crafts to peruse, Hindu temples, and traditional dance performances. It’s located in central Bali, making it a significant travel Bali hub. Consider using Ubud as a home base for your solo travel to Bali so you can make day trips to less busy areas.

While in Ubud, join a yoga class or visit the art market, the monkey forest, Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Goa Gajah, or Tirta Empul. You can also find good scuba diving in Bali. Before booking anything, check out these tips for the best scuba diving in Bali to ensure the best experience.

Take a Day Trip to Karagasem

Karangasem is located east of Bali—many people visit for a day rather than stay overnight. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, consider staying here, especially if you plan to get up at sunrise.

One hidden gem in Karangasem is Bukit Cinta Pangi. The sunrises here are amazing, and there are virtually no tourists, so you’ll have the view all to yourself.

solo travel to bali

Tour Munduk

Munduk is another excellent place to visit during your backpacking Bali trip to escape tourist crowds. When I was here for a few nights, I saw only a few other foreigners.

Munduk is famous for waterfall hopping. If you want a beautifully clear and uncrowded waterfall to swim in, go to Banyumala Waterfall before 10 a.m. This quiet area greatly contrasts the busy Tibumana, Tegenungan, Tukad Cepung, and Kanto Lampo Waterfalls near Ubud.

Apart from the waterfalls, you can also visit Wanagiri Hidden Hills for some great Instagram shots and the Jatiluwih Rice Fields and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple.

solo travel to bali

Enjoy the Island Life

The Gilis

There are three islands: Gili Trawangan (Gili T), Gili Air, and Gili Meno. Gili T is considered a social island, great for partying and nightlife. Gili Meno, meanwhile, is popular amongst honeymooners, and Gili Air is a combination of both.

Nusa Penida

Nusa Penida is the busiest area in Bali. While most people take a day trip here, I recommend staying overnight to see the sunrise and sunset and beat the crowds. Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, Angel’s Billabong, and Crystal Bay are popular attractions. Arrive as early as possible, as this place gets packed, even in the off-season.

Travel Bali After Dark: Bali Nightlife

Bars can be found throughout the touristy areas of Bali. Finn’s Beach Club and La Brisa in Canggu are great places to spend an evening—go to Pretty Poison and Old Man’s for more affordable options.

Seminyak and Kuta have some great nightlife spots, too. Potato Head Beach Club is the most popular spot in Seminyak—Ku De Ta, La Favela, and La Plancha are also popular.

Ubud is a lot more relaxed but still offers excellent nightlife. No Mas is the most popular bar in Ubud, or you can visit Folk Pool & Gardens or Copper Kitchen & Bar for more relaxed vibes.

How to Get From Denpasar Airport to Bali

The cheapest way to solo travel to Bali from Denpasar Airport is by taking a Bluebird taxi. These taxis aren’t allowed to pick people up at the airport, so head to international departures on level three. In the drop-off area, wait until you see a Bluebird taxi drop someone else off and hop in. I traveled to Canggu from the airport and paid around 165,000 IDR through Bluebird.

I recommend avoiding other taxi companies, which charge up to 200% more inflated prices than Bluebird. Many accommodations will offer an airport transfer, which is convenient but expensive.

Grab is another great way to get from Denpasar Airport to your accommodations, although it can be more expensive than Bluebird. There’s a designated pickup point that you can reach by walking to the domestic terminal. This area isn’t well-marked, but look for the app’s green and white colors.

bali solo traveler

How to Travel Bali Using Public Transportation

Staying in Bali’s city centers is your best bet. Most cities are walkable, so being downtown will give you easy access to eateries, shopping, and day tours.

Renting a scooter or motorbike is popular when backpacking Bali as it can be cheap, around 50,000 IDR per day. However, road rules aren’t as strict as back home, so I only recommend hiring a scooter if you feel comfortable driving one.

Also, check in advance whether you’re legally allowed to drive in Bali. Some countries will only let you drive a bike up to 50cc—bikes in Bali are generally over 100cc, so you might not be insured to drive in Bali.

Seeing many of the main attractions requires a car or a motorbike. For example, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces are just under 30 minutes from Ubud’s city center, and Tanah Lot is around 20 minutes from Canggu.

A cost-efficient way to see all the main attractions is hiring a driver for the day. Drivers generally cost around 500,000 IDR per day. Since I explored many areas of Bali (Canggu, Ubud, Sanur, Nusa Penida, Munduk, and Amlapura), I hired a driver for the day to get from one town to another, stopping at attractions in between.

Walking around Bali’s tourist areas at night is generally safe. Just avoid walking through dark, deserted alleyways. Taking a short taxi is a cheap alternative if you feel unsafe.

Rideshare options such as Grab, Gojek, and Bluebird are easy to use, so download the app before your trip. Remember that ridesharing is banned in Canggu and Ubud, so you may have to haggle with a taxi driver instead. Ensure they use a meter—otherwise, you may pay premium tourist prices.

bali solo traveler

Bali Solo Travel: Where to Stay

Many people who solo travel to Bali start their holiday in Seminyak or Kuta. Seminyak is more popular for families and mid-range and luxury travelers, while Kuta is a top pick among backpackers and budget travelers—both areas can get very busy. For a similar vibe with fewer people, Canggu is the place to stay while you travel Bali. Batu Bolong is the best place to stay in Canggu. It’s not as busy as the Berawa Beach area, but there are many places to eat and shop.

Homestays and guesthouses are ideal options when backpacking Bali as they’re often cheaper and more social. In Ubud, I can’t recommend Wayan’s Family Homestay enough. Dorms start at 13,500 IDR, and private rooms start at 27,000 IDR; however, their walk-in price is even cheaper. The family is so lovely and helpful—there’s a fantastic pool to cool off in after a day in the heat and areas to socialize with other travelers. Did I mention breakfast is included, too? You can choose from eggs or a pancake every morning. I loved it here so much that I returned after visiting other parts of Bali.

For luxury accommodations, the Four Seasons Resort and Como Uma are highly-rated. The reviews are outstanding and ideal for honeymooners eager to relax.

Is Bali a Safe Place to Visit?

Bali has become incredibly popular amongst tourists, making it a generally safe place. While backpacking Bali, you’ll encounter many solo travelers—hostels and homestays are great ways to meet people.

Like many Southeast Asian countries, exercising caution in busy areas is essential. If you use a handbag, wear it across your body instead of on one shoulder, and choose a bag that zips rather than an open tote bag. Wear your backpack on your front in busy crowds, and for peace of mind, you could also get a lock for your backpack.

Thankfully, I never felt unsafe during my Bali solo travel experiences. However, I did travel to Bali during the low season, so things got considerably crowded only on New Year’s Eve.

Bali Travel Guide Planning

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m traveling?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

🧘‍♀️ Where can I look for the best Yoga Retreats?

I always use BookYogaRetreats when planning my Yoga Retreats Journey. You can select by region and there are many options whether you want to do it online or not.

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are Booking.comHotels.com, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Solo Travel Bali: Final Thoughts

It’s a no-brainer why solo travel to Bali is so popular. It’s a safe destination for solo travelers to meet like-minded people from all over the world. Activities are diverse, from shopping at local markets to chasing waterfalls, temple-hopping, and dipping in the ocean.

Bali Solo Travel Guide

Author Bio

Delilah loves travel and writes for her travel blog, Our Travel Mix (https://www.ourtravelmix.com/). Delilah is making her way around the world. She has spent the past few months in Southeast Asia and is currently in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In her spare time, Delilah loves to photograph wildlife and immerse herself in nature.

To keep up with her travels, follow Delilah on Instagram and Pinterest.

Manjulika Pramod

Wednesday 26th of February 2020

I have been visiting Bali many times and stayed in many places like Lombok. But after seeing your post I feel like Bali calling me again. Anyways thanks for sharing an amazing post.