Bali, Festival
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New Years Eve in Bali: What to Expect and Where to Go

Canang Sari, a daily offering made by Balinese to thank Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa the Supreme God

New Years in Bali is undoubtedly a very exciting time. The island is absolutely buzzing with activities and parties, and you will not be short of options. All of the popular beach clubs, restaurants and bars are holding a New Year special.

Where to stay in Bali

Regardless of what your plans are in Bali, I recommend staying in Seminyak or Canggu area, at least during the New Years Eve day itself (31 December) since there tend to be more options there.

In 2017, we stayed at Attu Suites which I found through Airbnb (If you haven’t used Airbnb yet, you can sign up with my link for some discounts). The suites are basically an outhouse of the owner’s house, George and his wife. The suite has its own private entrance and private bathroom so you don’t have to interact with anyone if you don’t want to. I found the location to be very convenient – it’s a stone throw away from Jalan Batu Belig, which is the heart of Seminyak, but still surrounded by rice fields and very quiet at night. It’s about half an hour walk to most places in Seminyak, but I’d recommend renting a motorcycle while you’re here to save some time.

Where to go for New Years Eve in Bali

Depending on the type of mood you are looking for, there are tons of places to choose from. I recommend checking out the following spots, and I recommend checking their pages on Facebook (which I’ve linked below) to see what each of these places have in plan for New Years.

Beach Clubs

If you are looking for a high energy party night, these are the places you should check out. Just visit their facebook page and look for their New Years Special.

Restaurant Parties

If you are looking for a sit-down NYE party with dinner and a group of friends, I suggest making a reservations ahead of time at one of these places:

How much will NYE cost in Bali?

It pays to plan ahead as most of them would also have tiered ticket system – the earlier you buy, the more you save. If you choose to wait you might be looking at spending around Rp 1,200,000 – Rp 1,600,000 (US$90 – 110). What’s included in the ticket/entrance fee is variable for each club. For example, this year Motel Mexicola offered 7 hours free flow food and booze for Rp. 1,5M, while Potato Head’s Rp 1.4M entry fee covers just that – an entry fee, but they had a good line of musical acts.

Also, if you choose to go to the beach clubs, make sure you pick up the ticket/wristbands ahead of time after booking online. We didn’t plan ahead of time bought the tickets for Potato Head on the day of the party itself and was given the wristbands on the spot. When we came back later that night to enter the party, we were able to skip through the long queue of people who booked online and haven’t picked up their wristbands yet.

Bali New Year’s Eve 2017: Potato Head’s TRIBE

Epic Fireworks at Potato Head Tribe 2017 (Pic credit goes to Potato Head Club themselves)

We chose to go to Potato Head in 2017 since they seemed to be the most promising. They’ve already announced Kevin from Tame Impala as part of the lineup, and hinted that a secret main guest DJ would be headlining the night, one half of the Grammy-winning duo from the UK – we knew it was going to be someone from Disclosure. We paid Rp 1,400,000 / person for the general admission ticket. I thought it was pretty expensive – but realized later that’s because we waited to buy until the day of the event itself.

In terms of event operation, Potato Head did not disappoint – the event was very well organized with an awesome lineup, tight security, great crowd, refundable tokens, amazing epic fireworks, and most importantly: there were NO disposable cups throughout the night! They served all the drinks in a reusable plastic cup that is constantly collected and washed throughout the night. Mad props to Potato Head for making this happen! Most businesses would have just written-off their plastic wastage in return for operational ease.

Bali New Year’s Eve 2018: Finns Beach Club

Finns Beach Club
Finns Beach Club

The NYE Party at Finns was massive – it seemed like the entire Bali was there that night. Operation-wise, it could have been done better. Getting in was pretty easy – you get a wristband a chip that can be topped up with money to buy drinks. It can be refunded as well. However, the line to get drinks and top up your chip was long and very slow-moving. Overall I was not that impressed by the party.

However, I do think the fact that Finns is located in Canggu and it held the biggest party in the last day of the year might have sealed the fact that Canggu is indeed the trendiest neighborhood in Bali. As if that wasn’t official already.

Getting around on NYE and after NYE: The Post-midnight New Years Traffic

New Year Traffic in Seminyak

New Years is an extremely busy time for Bali. Be mentally prepared for the chaos that ensues right before and right after the midnight countdown. But most importantly, you must plan your transport ahead of time – this includes planning how you will be getting back home. Shortly after midnight, The streets will be filled with motorbikes honking left and right and people blowing their New Years trumpet. We left Potato Head around 2 AM and managed to go home swiftly, but that’s because we weaved along in our motorcycle with thousands of other bikes on the street.

I don’t recommend relying on a Taxi or a car to go home – it would be impossible to get one, and even more impossible to move on the street even if you did get one. Instead, do what locals do – rent a motorcycle for the day, ride them to the venue and ride back home later.

If you aren’t comfortable driving your own bike, you can try downloading GOJEK, Indonesia’s best ride-hailing service. However, certain areas (like the beach clubs in Canggu and Seminyak) will be covered with the notorious bike mafias. Bike mafias charge you a premium for their transport services, and GOJEK drivers will not dare to come to pick you up as they might get in trouble with the mafias. If your booking is not accepted by anyone on GOJEK, that probably means your area is a bike mafia area. In that case, it’s time to give in to the bike mafias as a last resort – get one on the street even if you’ll have to pay extra for it, but try to haggle the price down. It usually comes out to be just Rp 50,000 – 100,000 more which translates to less than $10. It’s a special time of the year after all.

Or you can walk home.

Are you looking for more places to visit during your stay in Bali? Be sure to check my complete Bali Guide. This post contains everything I know about Bali – which areas to stay, what food to eat and what to do in Bali.

Filed under: Bali, Festival


Hello! Welcome to Girl Eat World. I'm Melissa, the "Girl" in Girl Eat World. I run a popular Instagram account by the same name, @girleatworld, where I update my 390,000-something followers about my food and travel adventure. I love writing really long detailed blog posts about my travel experiences, which I'm guessing was how you ended up on this site! (Read more about me here)

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