One of the best parts of traveling is building friendships along the way. Bali is the perfect destination to meet like-minded travelers and make lifelong friends! If you’re backpacking alone for the first time, Bali is one of the most beautiful and friendliest places to start your next adventure.
There are several must-see spots along the way that all tourists in Bali will want to check out. Ubud, Gili Trawangan (Gili T), Nusa Lembongan and Canggu are some of the most beautiful places to put on your checklist. They’re also great places to meet other travelers, so you can explore the sacred monkey temple, go hunting for turtles, or even climb an active volcano together! Here are some of our top tips for meeting other travelers in Bali.
Stay in the social hostel
Bali is full of great hostels with a vibrant social culture and/or relaxed atmosphere that makes meeting people natural and easy. When you are looking for a social hostel to stay, check reviews! Notice the comments about how easy it is to meet people. See if there are good communal areas and spaces to hang out. Is there a bar on site? Do they organize events? It doesn’t have to be a ‘party motel’, if that’s not your thing. Just look for the couches, beanbags, swimming pools and communal sitting areas that indicate it’s a social spot and you’re sure to find company.
When traveling to Bali, check with your accommodation to see if they have anything organized for the night. Hostels often organize dinners, beer pong, temple visits, quiz nights… something interesting is always going on! People usually stay in special hostels to meet other travelers, so chat and make new friends.
Try a new activity
Trying one of the many activities Bali has to offer is a great way to soak up the culture while meeting other travellers. You can learn how to cook delicious local dishes, make your own jewelry or try a local language lesson. Yoga and surfing classes are also popular. There are many retreats where you can stay for a few days and master your skills with other like-minded people. Plus, if you’re a SCUBA enthusiast (or want to be a diver), Bali has some of the best diving sites in the world.
Whether you want to learn or improve your skills, swim with manta rays for the first time, or go through your own ‘Gili Snorkel Test’ (google it!), dive centers are the go-to spot. interesting save. Gili T, Amed and Nusa Penida are some of the best areas for diving.
If SCUBA isn’t your thing, book a day trip and explore the island with your new friends while island hopping, spotting dolphins, or hiking up Mt Batur for a spectacular sunrise coated.
Make the most of your travel days
While it may sound like the most boring part of a trip, travel days can actually be one of your best opportunities to meet people. Take out your headset and start a conversation with the person next to you on the bus, shuttle, or ferry. Chances are they’ll go to the same place in Bali as you, or they might already be and can give you advice!
Ask them for recommendations, like the best attractions to visit, cheap places to eat, or the best ways to get around. They may even be willing to join you for an excursion, giving you a special insight into the culture and local life that you won’t find in the guidebooks. Plus, when you talk with locals, you can get an authentic experience that will make your trip even more memorable.
Bali has many volunteer organizations that are a great way to socialize while giving back. Gili T Eco Trust is a charity where you can get up early to help protect baby turtles, clean up the beach, and keep track of it all with a free cheeky drink with your volunteers.
Moreover, having a conversation with locals is also a great way to learn about the culture, find new hidden spots, and get ideas about how to get the most out of your time there. It’s a great idea to talk to your travel companions or people who live in Bali. Ask them about their favourite places to visit, the foods to try, and what the locals do for fun. Not only will you gain invaluable information, but you’ll also be able to share stories and leave with closer connections with the people who live in the area.
Get to know the locals
Balinese people are known to be super warm and friendly. Book a stay in a guesthouse or homestay, or try grocery shopping at one of the many local markets. Grab a coconut at sunset at a bean bag stand on the beach – someone might even invite you to a mini paddle boarding session or sing a song while they’re playing guitar! You never know what might happen if you keep an open mind.
Find an online group
And we live in a digital world and we are all… digital nomads! Sometimes you can meet your best friends through apps. Bumble has a friends option when you are looking for adventure buddies, there are plenty of solo travelers out there just like you! There are also plenty of suitable Facebook groups to join, just enter the Bali destination you’re exploring and a multitude of options will pop up. Booking a small group tour with INTRO Travel is a great option as you can meet everyone in your group via FB before and after the trip, giving you a whole new set of friends in no time! Check out INTRO’s 9-15 day Bali trips here.
Check out Bali’s epic bar scene
From pool parties to buzzing nightclubs to casual bars, there are plenty of social places to go for a drink and meet new people in Bali. Plenty of epic beach bars and restaurants provide a great setting to hang out with your new friends. Watch the sunset at La Plancha, then head to Mexicola for some delicious margaritas and tacos. Bali is known for its nightlife, so whatever your style, you’re sure to have a great time!
Try a co-working space
Bali is a major hub for digital nomads, and many of the expats living here work online. Grab your laptop and order a coffee, you can help each other learn new skills from photography to blogging. If you’re on the go, Ubud and Canggu are important sites. The many workspaces there include massages, gyms, movie nights and even organized ‘speed dates’. Don’t knock it until you try it!
Consider a group tour
Group travel gives you instantly a new group of friends to dine, take photos and dance with all night long. Visitors on INTRO tours often stay a few days after the tour ends to continue exploring and hanging out with their new group of friends… sunbathing at beach clubs, Enjoy the massage days and plan the next vacation together where should be!
Most young people come to Bali because they think of its sandy beaches, bustling nightlife, fascinating culture and year-round sun. When you arrive, you will realize how much more beauty this place has to offer. Temple walks, windsurfing, spotting incredible marine life and making great lifelong friendships are all on the card. Once you experience Bali, you will understand why people love Indonesia!