What to Wear in Bali: Packing List and Travel Tips

What to Wear in Bali: Packing List and Travel Tips

I <3 Bali! For this Bali style post, I’m using my personal travel experience to give you a brief packing guide on what to wear in Bali.

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.



Tirtagangga i Water Palace


Dubbed as the Island of the Gods, Bali presents an ethereal beauty with its diverse landscape, sandy beaches, and rugged coastlines. Flourishing rice terraces spread over verdant rural scenery, along with a rustic volcanic hillside that provides a charming landscape. Bali has a colorful culture immersed with a deep spiritual belief, hospitable locals, and amazing amenities.

Bali has something to offer a wide market of travelers, from adventurous backpackers to spiritual seekers and dive enthusiasts to luxury travelistas.



Morning Blessing in Padangbai


General Clothing Tips


Although Indonesia is a Muslim country, Hinduism is the predominant religion in Bali. While the rules are relaxed for travelers in beach towns, when planning what to wear in Bali, please be respectful of the local culture.

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 ok, 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.

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.



The View of Volcano Batur in Kintamani


Bali Weather


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.


What to Wear in Bali



Basic Tee / High Neck Tank / Sleeveless Blouse / Button Up Shirt / Maxi Dress / Off-the-Shoulder Dress / Trouser / Denim Shorts / Venture Jacket / Cashmere Poncho / Shorts / Maxi Skirt / Sandals / Classic Flat / Scarf / Tote Bag


All tops, hat, bag, scarf, and linen pants are from Old Navy. The rest of the items featured are from Nordstrom.


Bali Packing List

Due to its tropical atmosphere, Bali’s style is generally informal. Choose clothing in lightweight fabrics to keep you cool in the humidity. As always, pack according to your planned activities. This is a general Bali packing list offering a little bit of everything.


5 Tops

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 if extra coverage is needed or if you want protection from the sun.


3 Bottoms

Denim is always an easy beach option, or go for casual capris that you can also wear in town on non-beach days. A light and airy beach pant will offer you some extra coverage while keeping you cool from the heat. Pair it with a tank top or a breathable long sleeve for a casual but chic look by the shore.

Remember to bring items that fall below the knee, whether it be capris, lounge pants, 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.


2 Dresses

Dresses are a great option for those who want to feel fresh and feminine. Maxi dresses make the perfect alternative to pants. This is also a great item you can dress up for a nice dinner. Pack a day dress and a nice evening dress to enjoy the ultimate Bali holiday.


1 Outerwear

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.


3 Footwear

A pair of good walking shoes is always recommended. Your walking shoe can be a stylish yet comfortable slip on like these Cushe slippers or a pair of trainers if you plan on doing volcano trekking. Alternatively, a Birkenstock sandal will provide you comfort and allow your feet to air out if you don’t plan on trekking.

You will for sure need flip flops if you plan to spend some time on the beach and your third pair, if needed, can be a cute set of sandals.


Other Necessities

Sarongs 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. 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



Candidasa Seaside

Popular destinations

Kuta Beach, Ubud, Kintamani, Lovina, Candidasa, and a side trip to nearby Gili Islands–highly recommended!


Bali Accommodation

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.



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. Make sure if you do take local transport that 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!


Special note: 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.


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.

What are your tips on what to wear in Bali?

More Asia packing posts:

To learn about my experience traveling Bali, check out this post: My Bali.




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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!
    Katie xx

    • Thanks Katie!

  5. 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 :-)

  6. Hi Alex

    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!


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