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Planning an adventure to Indonesia and wondering what to wear in Bali? This Bali packing list will show you exactly what you need to bring on your trip!
What to Wear in Bali
Bali is one of my most memorable destinations. There’s something magical about this Indonesian island–it seems to have it all. I’ve been there four times and I find it more extraordinary each time.
Bali style is uniquely laid back and bohemian. There are three main types of travelers that visit this island: surfers, scuba divers, or yogis. It’s a popular vacation destination for Australians, an essential stop on every Southeast Asia itinerary for backpackers, a cheap home base for digital nomads, and a sought after location for spiritual retreats.
Due to its tropical atmosphere, Bali fashion is generally informal. When planning what to wear in Bali, choose clothing in lightweight fabrics to keep you cool in the humidity.
In this guide, we’ll discuss:
- What to Pack for Bali
- What to Wear in Bali
- Travel Tips for Bali
What to Pack for Bali
The below list covers the essential items for what to take to Bali. Additional items will depend on your planned activities. Popular things to do in the island include yoga, retreats, surf, hike, and scuba dive.
Essential Things to Take to Bali
- Tampons or Menstrual Cup: tampons can be hard to find or expensive
- Secret Bra Wallet: purse theft can be common
- Head Lamp: for early morning volcano hikes
- Rash Guard: for snorkeling and other for water activities
- Dive/Snorkel Mask and Snorkel: to scuba dive or snorkel
- Sun Hat: protect your face from the sun
- Biodegradable Sunblock: for water activities
- Sarong or light wrap: to cover your shoulders or knees in temples
Bali Packing List
- 4 Tops
- 3 Bottoms
- 3 Dresses
- 1 Jacket/Sweater
- 2 Swimsuits
- 1 Pajamas
- 1 Comfortable Sandals
- 1 Flip flops
- 1 Sneakers
- 1 Sun Hat
- 1 Purse
- 3-4 Packing Cubes
The above is a general Bali packing list offering a little bit of everything. Use it as base to create a capsule travel wardrobe, which should easily fit in a carryon suitcase with the help of packing cubes to compress your clothing. Add additional clothing as needed based on your planned activities.
If you’re wondering what to pack for Bali in terms of clothing, you’ll find specific suggestions below.
What to Wear in Bali
Tee | Tank | Blouse | Shirt | Maxi Dress | Dress | Trouser | Shorts | Jacket | Poncho | Shorts | Maxi Skirt | Sandals | Classic Flat | Scarf | Tote
Packing for Bali: Clothing
For a feminine yet functional Bali packing list, dresses are ideal. They make the perfect alternative to pants and you can also dress them up for a nice dinner.
Choose a variety of lengths. Bring a short dress for a night out in the town or to lounge by the beach and a longer style to wear to visit sacred sites.
Tip: Use these products to avoid thigh chafing.
Jersey Sleeveless V-Neck Dress Plus
The best Bali dresses are longer in length because you’re able to wear them when visiting temples or sacred sites. Remember to pack a light shawl to drape over your shoulders if you’re wearing a sleeveless top when visiting a temple.
Alternatively, opt for a classic tee dress that’s versatile enough to wear around the island and will also work in other stops on your trip.
Tropical Summer Maxi Dress Plus
Don’t forget about all the Instagram opportunities around the island, and add some vibrant prints and colors to your dress selection.
Jersey Sleeveless Shell Top Plus
For your Bali packing list, pick out tops that allow your skin to breathe. Cotton is one of those comfortable travel fabrics you can wear on hot days. Choose colors that will reflect the light of the sun; white is a staple and you can never go wrong with it.
Wearing tank tops can alleviate the heat with the sun beating down on Bali during daytime. Prioritize comfortable blouses that will allow you to mix and match different looks during your stay.
Don’t forget to pack a lightweight longer sleeve top you can layer over a tank top when visiting temples or sacred sites. You can also use this as a layer of protection from the sun or the wind later in the day.
Packing for Bali is pretty straightforward and shorts are always an easy option (just don’t wear them to temples). Not only are denim shorts practical because you don’t have to wash them frequently, but they are also easy to dress up or down as needed. You can wear them on the beach and around tourist towns.
Flex-to-go Relaxed Fit Cargo Short Plus
For something a little longer in length, look for a bermuda style short in a lightweight fabric such as chambray or linen. These shorts will work well on non-temple days because they’re versatile but will also help you stay cool in the heat.
In addition to a pair of shorts, bring breezy trousers or a long skirt that you can wear when you visit smaller towns and require more modest attire. These will also work for cooler evenings, to keep mosquitos away from your legs, and they’re an ideal choice to visit places of worship.
Use these products to repel mosquitos!
Motion Tech Fleece Bomber Full-Zip Jacket
Depending on your location and the time of year, evenings or early mornings can be cooler in Bali, especially in areas of higher altitude like Kintamani. You can pack a light jacket, hoodie, or fleece, depending on your activities.
What kind of shoes to wear in Bali? Whether you prefer sneakers or sandals, a good pair of walking shoes (or the shoes you’ll be using to sightsee) is always recommended.
If you plan on doing volcano trekking, bring a hiking sandal like the one shown above or opt for versatile sneakers you can wear in other parts of your trip.
You will for sure need flip flops if you plan to spend some time on the beach. Plus, everyone wears them so why not make things simple and just go with the easiest option.
Need arch support? Try these comfort flip flops. If not, choose from our regular list of top picks instead.
Morning Blessing in Padangbai
General Bali Clothing Tips
You may see locals wearing skinny jeans and long sleeve tees, but you’ll probably roast if you’re not used to the weather; be prepared with lightweight fabrics that are great for both the heat and humidity.
Follow the clothing tips below for more info.
Bali Dress Code
Although Indonesia is a Muslim country, Hinduism is the predominant religion in this region. Bali clothes rules are relaxed for travelers in beach towns, please be respectful of the local culture.
Remember to bring items that fall below the knee, whether it be capris, lounge pants, or midi or maxi skirts, especially when you are visiting a temple. A pair of cropped pants in a lightweight cotton blend is a good substitute, giving off a classy, relaxed vibe.
What do Tourists Wear in Bali?
Short shorts are fine on the beach but trousers or skirts that fall below the knee are ideal when traveling to small towns or non-touristy destinations.
Sleeveless tops are totally fine, just carry a lightweight scarf that you can wrap around your shoulders or a lightweight long sleeve you can layer on top if you’re going to temples.
What should I bring on my Bali trip? Other Bali packing list necessities
Beach sarong wraps are always a useful, multi-functional item. You can use a sarong as an easy cover up at the beach and to provide you extra coverage in smaller towns and temples. You can pick one up for $3-$5 or more on the beach (depending on how hard you haggle).
Additional clothing can be bought within the island, where locally-made items for men and women are available. Kuta and Ubud are popular for their low-cost clothing.
Shopping in Bali
For surf brand enthusiasts, be prepared for Billabong and Quiksilver heaven. While you can shop at the legitimate retail stores in Kuta, you can also find the brands readily available in the local market stalls, too.
However, I’m not sure if they’re fake or not. From my experience working in the fashion industry, some brand manufacturers actually overproduce then sell the overage as “knock off” goods so my guess is as good as yours.
You can find cute clothing and Bali-style boho accessories in the local stalls at a fraction of what they would cost at home. If you’re an accessory fanatic like me, be prepared to haggle and spend because the jewelry and accessory selection under $5 is amazing!
Prices skyrocket in heavy tourist areas like Kuta Beach so be prepared to haggle! As of 2010, I was let in on a little shopping secret: the color of the bags given to you dictates if you got a good deal or if you got ripped off. I believe a striped bag means you overpaid. Your best best bet is to shop around.
Bali Travel Tips
The View of Volcano Batur in Kintamani
I <3 Bali! For this Bali style post, I used my personal travel experience to give you a brief packing guide on what to wear in Bali in addition to the travel tips below.
There’s something magical about this Indonesian island–it seems to have it all. I ended up switching my plans not once but twice on my Round the World trip in 2010 and made two separate trips to Bali.
Being located in a tropical region, Bali daytime temperatures can vary from 20-33°C / 68-91°F all year round.
Heavy rain showers and high humidity from the west monsoon can be felt from December to March. Days are consistently sunny with rains arriving in the late afternoon, and passing swiftly.
June to September boasts a low humidity and can be cooler in the evenings. During this season, there is hardly any rain in the low-lying coastlands.
The Bukit Peninsula has far less rain than any part of the island. In Central Bali, on the other hand, cloudy skies and rain drizzles at any time of the year.
It can be colder at higher elevations like Kintamani or Bedugul, and tourists should have a good jacket to keep away the chills, especially after the sunset. Keep this in mind when creating your Bali packing list.
Lonely Planet Guides are my preferred guide book and they proved to be indispensable on both my trips to Bali. The Southeast Asia on a Shoestring is fantastic if you’re country hopping; if you’re only visiting Bali, check out Bali & Lombok.
Finding a Bali hotel or guesthouse isn’t too much trouble unless you’re traveling during the peak season of July through August, which is a big time for Australians on holiday. Prices go up during this time and availability can be limited. Plan ahead.
Kuta Beach, Ubud, Kintamani, Lovina, Candidasa, and a side trip to nearby Gili Islands–highly recommended!
It is possible to visit several parts of Bali either on a day trip or throughout your stay. If your time is limited or convenience trumps budget, you can easily book shuttles at the many eager travel agencies–ask around to find the best price.
If your schedule allows it, and you’d like to save cash while also getting closer to the local culture, you can take public transport to get between towns. If you decide to do this, make sure you have a strong will, a knack for bargaining, and a guide book to provide you with prices. Tourists pay a premium–sometimes for the whole vehicle.
Alternatively, rent a motorbike, but be sure to have your “international driver’s license” and always wear a helmet.
Additional Travel Ideas
Indonesia is a beautiful country with more island paradises than I can count! If you plan on adding a few more islands to your Indonesia travel itinerary, check out:
Bunaken Island in Sulawesi for a budget diving resort you’ll never want to leave in Panorama Cottages; Gili Trawangan in Lombok for some backpacker fun; if you’re looking for a quick stopover from Singapore try Bintan Hotel; and one of my favorites, Raja Ampat, “the last frontier” of travel with unspoiled beaches and no trash, electricity, or tourists!
Tampons are extremely expensive in Bali and not available in other parts of Indonesia. Bring your own or risk this happening!
I’m sure you’ve heard of Bali Belly and be prepared–it does happen, even to the strongest of stomachs. Learn more about this stomach infection here.
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What are your tips on what to wear in Bali?
For more Asia packing posts:
- The Packing Guide to Backpacking Southeast Asia
- 6 More Items to Bring to Bali
- Bali Travel Fashion: Ubud Street Style
- Thailand Beach Holiday Packing List
Suggested Travel Resources:
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Reading what to pack is my favorite! Try Bali lists is great…having been there once already, I have a general idea of what to bring! An added bonus is laundry service is cheap and readily available. We used it last time and we’re able to back light for a 10’day trip!
I’m planning a trip to Bali in summer 2023 with my husband for anniversary celebration. Is 2 weeks enough time in Bali and which areas do you recommend us visiting?
I am going to Bali in October with my best friend to celebrate my birthday
this post has been the most helpful to ease my anxiety SO thankyou for this.
I will be staying in Ubud and in seminyak . Any great things like shopping places etc will be helpful to.
Hi Megan, so happy you found the post helpful!! Let me look into this for you! Have the most amazing time with your best friend and Happy Birthday!!! 🙂
I love reading your lists and travel tips. I have two separate trips planned later this year to Koh Samui and Bali so I will be taking your advise and I see how I go.
I have been sharing your pages with my friends too!
Hi Kathy, thank you so much for your lovely feedback, so glad you love the travel tips and thank you for sharing our page!! Have a fantastic time on your trips to Bali and Koh Samui!! 🙂
Hi just wanna that is it ok to travel in bali on dec? because we are planning to go in Bali to celebrate our christmas and what are your advises or recommendation. Thank you in advance
Hi Bella, thank you for your question! Have a look at these TFG articles on bali for some ideas: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/bali-travel-fashion-ubud-street-style/ https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-bali/ Hope these help. Have a fantastic trip to Bali!! 🙂
Hi Me and my wife are going to bali very soon on our honeymoon. So please suggest the dress for beaches and hotel swimming pool because my eagerly to wait wearing bikinis and short dresses.
Hi Karan, thank you for your question! Have a look at this article on Bali: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/bali-style-what-to-wear-in-bali/ Also have a look at these articles about dresses to wear on the beach: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/beach-dresses/ https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/10-stylish-dress-sandals-for-your-beach-getaway/ Congratulations, have a fantastic time on your honeymoon! 🙂
My husband and I are going to Bali soon this post has been very useful. thks
Hi Mandy, thank you for your feedback, glad you found the article helpful! 🙂
Hi Alex, thanks for the info. Traveling to Bali next week with 6 other friends. Few are getting there early. I’m wondering, how safe it is to take a taxi at night? And, is it expensive? Any tip on what to look for if taking taxi so we don’t get rip off?
Hi Alex – I am traveling to Bali and Thailand in July. I planned on bringing only warm weather clothes, but I recently booked a volcano trek in Bali and I’m wondering how cold it will get and what I’ll need for it. It’s a sunrise trek so we are starting out super early in the morning. Any tips? Love your blog. Thanks!
Hi Kristyn, I would definitely plan to bring hiking trousers (or leggings) and a fleece jacket or similar. I did one in Mt Banur and it was beautiful but cold in the morning. Bring a head lamp like this one: https://travelfashiongirl.com/headlamp/
I just booked a trip to Bali, single female. Staying in Ubud. Are the sunrise trekking trips down mountain safe for single female? how much do those normally cost? I was going to purchase through the homestay I’m staying at.
Looking forward to rejuvenation. Should I bring mosquito spray?
Hi Mel! Yes to mosquito spray (don’t find it as effective over there), sunrise trekking seemed safe when I did it (see if you can join other travelers once you’re there, this is common), they vary in price I think I paid $20-$40 usd. Have a great trip!
I’m going to Bali next month, I’m very excited specially when I get to run w/my grand children Matthew & Isabella on the beach. Love them with all My heart.
This list is great! I love the Birkenstock sandals you pictured, I was wondering what is the name of the style? Thanks!
They’re the Gizeh 🙂
Hi there! We are planning a trip in August 2017.. I am wondering how bad mosquitos are? I know in the resort areas most everywhere has air conditioning so they don’t deal with mosquitos, but I also like to get off the beaten path. Any issues with local insects?
Hi Janet, even in resorts you should plan for mosquitos. These are our best tips: https://travelfashiongirl.com/best-insect-repellent/
Getting ready to go to Bali alone in a couple of weeks. I will be flying from Thailand. My question is, I will be arriving on Tuesday afternoon on the 12th of April. Do you think it is safe for me to take a taxi by myself from Denpasar airport to Ubud? I heard it is an hour trip or more.
Just want that I safe. I am attractive, tall, thin and blonde and usually attract attention.
Not all exotic islands are tropical. Check out this one in Labrador Canada. It should be on everyone’s bucket list, island or not
thanks for the tip!
Hello Travel Fashion Ladies! I’m going to Bali this December 2016. I was wondering if you would recommend a poncho or if an umbrella would suffice for the rain during this time of year? Thank you in advance for your help!
I would do some kind of poncho or coat. The wind can be really bad with the heavy rains so an umbrella wouldn’t be as useful! Happy travels! Enjoy Bali!
Thank you so much! I appreciate your advice!!
I am debating where to stay, Kuta or Seminyak. My 15 year old daughter and I are going and looking forward to beautiful water, bali culture , yoga and holistic experience, any recommendations? Is their a market we should not miss?
Thanks so much!!!
Hi Sonia, I’d stay in Ubud instead of Kuta or Seminyak if you’re after culture and yoga. Kuta has a beach but it’s not the best and it’s more of a party destination. Seminkyak is more developed and also by the sea. While Ubud isn’t by the beach it’s in a breathtaking setting. For the sea I’d recommend visiting Candidasa on the East or the north of Bali. You can also visit the nearby Gili Islands on a trip from just about any town in Bali. It’s gorgeous!
I went to Bali in May this year and found your Bali travel tips and packing list invaluable. It took the stress out of packing and I had a great time. Love your blog and will be sure to check out your tips for my travels to Sri Lanka next year.
Yay! I’m glad you found it useful!
I’d like to print this list without including all the extra pictures and side bars. I tried to copy and paste, but that didn’t work. I’m going to Bali in May with my daughter. I really enjoyed your website and find this extremely helpful. Now I know I will be packing the right things and not stress over it. Thank you!
Thanks Connie! Happy to help 🙂 We have copy and paste disabled to prevent copyright infringement and plagiarism. We apologize for the inconvenience. Hope you have a great trip!
I am going to Ubud on February 14th and super excited. I am going alone. I need a much needed break from life.
I am having trouble getting together what I need to take. I’m going to be staying in a hostel and worry about leaving my luggage while out and about.
Hi Annette, Ubud is a wonderful, safe, and comfortable destination. You’re going to love it! It has delicious international restaurants, a vibrant female expat community, and the natural beauty of Bali of course. I highly recommend the yoga center Radiantly Alive and their holistic therapies.
Leaving your stuff in a hostel is usually pretty safe so long as you have a bag that locks. Here a few other hostel essentials: https://travelfashiongirl.com/backpacking-checklist-top-10-hostel-travel-essentials/ For more ideas, take a look at these street style pics from Ubud: https://travelfashiongirl.com/bali-travel-fashion-ubud-street-style/ have an awesome trip!
This article is just what I was looking for- thank you! Heading to Bali for the first time next week and I’m really excited.
Thanks again- love your blog!
wow! I cannot explain to you how useful this post has been for me. I´m going to Bali next month and I´m a little nervous. I want this trip perfect 🙂 so thank you very much for your help
Thanks! have a great time 🙂
What would you say is the price range in USD for clothes in Bali?
Hi Cali! The range is as cheap as $5 and as high as $500. Depending on the quality you are looking for, many tourist markets sell tank tops at $3, sundresses for $5, and up. Sandals average $15. Be prepared to bargain hard.
You can also buy regular priced clothing at the brand name retail stores too. I paid full price for my Roxy purse in one of the surf shops in Kuta. You can also find BEYOND expensive “designer” yoga clothing in Ubud. Hope this helps!
Thanks Alex! I was debating whether i should pack really minimal and just purchase clothes out there. I dont wish to spend more than $50 but i dont want the low quality items either (think typical cheap clothing at thai mkts)
I would just pack light – the clothing is similar to Thai markets. Have a good trip!