Information before you go
Bali Airport is located in the south between Kuta area and Jimbaran beach, both just a 10 minutes drive. Currently all flights to Bali arrive at this airport of which many arriving from South East Asian Countries and Australia.
The Ngurah Rai International Airport is currently undergoing a total make-over so you might have to use different routes to get from one point to another. But the procedures upon arrival and departure are still the same.
Domestic Arrivals at Ngurah Rai Airport
Once you are finally out of the aircraft and able to stretch your legs you will soon find yourself queuing at the VISA UPON ARRIVAL desk. Check here if you need to arrange a Indonesia visa before you travel to Bali.
Today there are more than just two counters where you can get your visa, so the process of obtaining a visa upon arrival is much quicker than in the past. Here you need to pay USD 25 for a 30 day single entry visa. You can pay by cash (in Rupiah or any major foreign currency) or by card.
The Indonesia visa upon arrival counters at the airport
Once you got the receipt you head to the other queue: passport control. If you are lucky you just need to wait about 15 to 20 minutes but if many international flights have just landed too then don't be surprised if you are still standing there after 45 minutes.
So be prepared, t is upgrading their facilities, so hopefully the long wait will be history soon.
Make sure you have filled out the immigration entry forms given on the aircraft or provided in the arrival hall before passport control. Don't loose the little piece of paper that the immigration officer places in your passport. You will need it when you leave the island.
Queuing at the passport control
Once you got your stamp of entry in your passport it's time to collect your luggage. It can get very crowded here as the hall is very small. But this will probably change once the new airport is finished.
If you are not carrying any cash money on you it might be convenient to use one of the many ATM's that are located just after passport control near the conveyor belts. Money changers are after customs.
If you want you can arrange a porter to carry all your luggage. These men are official employees from the aiport and carry a shirt with a number on the back. Please negotiate a price first to avoid suprises.
If you don't need one and you have got all your luggage then it's time to head for customs. All the bags have to be screened again: hand and check-in luggage.
In Indonesia it's prohibited to import weapons, fresh fruit, pornography, products made from endangered species, printed matter written in Chinese characters, chinese medicine and drugs. For the last one you will get the death penalty when caught. There is no restriction on foreign currency and there's an import limit of Rp. 5.000.000.
You have been warned...
Additionally foreign nationals are allowed to import one liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes and a reasonable amount of perfume.
Officially camera, laptops and other electronics must be declared upon entry but generally the customs at the airport don't make a big deal about this. I never had any problems when bringing my laptop together with two cameras and a video camera.
However if you bring an item in 'large quantity', for instance 2 or three surfboards then you might cause some eyebrows to rise.
As soon as your luggage is screened an official will ask for your custom declaration form, which you received on your flight.
Before you actually exit the International Arrival Hall you will pass a whole row of money changers first. It might look odd to see women sitting behind a booth trying to get your attention.
Rows of money changers just after customs...
But they are there to sell the local currency: the Rupiah. If you are not carrying some cash on you already then you should exchange some here. This makes it easier to get through the first couple of hours as you might need to pay for the taxi fare etc.
Not surprisingly the exchange rates are not as good as in town. But if you have no choice then you might as well change a small amount. If you missed the ATM's at the baggage conveyor belt and you really want to save some money then you can head to the departures hall where you can find a number of different ATM's.
Car rental, taxi service, hotel reservation etc just outside the arrival hall
Once you pass the row of foreign exchange counters you will go through the sliding doors only to stumble upon the heat and humidity. Welcome to Bali.
You will soon see a crowd of people of which most of them are holding a sign with a name. If you have arranged a pick up through your Bali accommodation then all you need to do is follow your friendly driver.
If that's not the case head to the TAXI stand located nearby. This is the only way you can leave the airport. These taxis are linked to the airport and the prices are all fixed. To avoid any trouble, don't be tempted to follow an unlicensed driver. They are not official airport drivers and are not allowed to pick up travelers.
Taxi prices are fixed, these are from 2011
Once you arrive at the TAXI counter tell the person where you need to go. He will then give you the price which you pay right there. Once you have the receipt your taxi driver will suddenly appear and take you to his car.
Remember, the prices are fixed so there won't be any charges afterwards. So you don't need to worry about already being ripped off within the first hour of setting foot on Bali.
The taxis are well organized and you'll soon be on your way
Unfortunately the holiday will eventually come to an end and you need to head back to the airport. Again, if you haven't arranged airport transfer at your accommodation you can ask the hotel reception to call a taxi. This taxi will use a meter so ask the reception how much it will approximately be.
If you are leaving from Lovina, Candidasa or Ubud area then it might be cheaper to arrange a Bali driver in town for a fixed price.
If you have an early flight then it is always a good idea to be near the airport to avoid being late due to traffic. Luckily there are a couple of nice accommodations located just a stone throw away from the airport so you can spend a relaxing last evening in Bali and still feel refreshed when you need to wake up early in the morning.
Tuban is the village closest to the airport. Surprisingly enough Tuban is not as popular as its neighboring village of Kuta. But if you want to be sure to be at the airport within 15 minutes than Tuban is the place to be.
The Patra Bali is located at a quiet beach just 5 minutes from the airport
We recommend three Balinese styled resorts located right at the beach. The Patra Bali Resort & Villas is an ideal family resort with a beautiful tropical lagoon swimming pool and direct access to the beach. They have three restaurants so you don't have to walk far to enjoy a nice dinner.
Ramada Bintang Bali Resort & Spa is located somewhat closer to Kuta and there is a nice beach path that takes you to this famous village. But if you want to spend a romantic sunset dinner on the last night of your holiday then their restaurant is a wonderful option as it is located right at the beach.
Great place for a sunset dinner at Ramada Bintang Resort
The Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali is another beach resort near the airport. This resort has exceptionally good family suites. Couples will enjoy this resort too which is beautifully located at the beach and like Ramada Bintang, just a stroll away from the action in Kuta.
If the beach is not of great importance and you just want a good night sleep at a smaller hotel for a reasonable price then you can consider The Vira Bali Hotel. Like the other resorts it also has a Balinese atmosphere with clean rooms and a nice swimming pool. The beach is just a short stroll away and with the large number of taxis driving pass you will be at the airport in no time.
After check-in and before passport control you need to pay airport tax. So make sure you have enough Rupiahs left because otherwise you have to look for an ATM (which are available at the departures hall before baggage screening) or change money again.
For international flights the airport tax will be Rph 150.000 per person, while domestic passengers only need to pay Rph 30.000
Also remember not to take any products made from endangered species such as sea shells and accessories made from turtle shells etc as it is prohibited to export these products from Indonesia.
Last minute shopping at the Duty Free
Once you arrive in your home country you can also receive a fine for these products plus products with fake brands. The last one is only prohibited if you buy it in large quantities and customs will be suspicious of your intentions.
One minor note, if you buy any liquids at the duty free shops at Bali airport exceeding 100ml then it might be confiscated at the security point on your connecting flight even though it is sealed properly.
With the many flights arriving at Bali you are sure to be able to get to this unique tropical destination too no matter where you are coming from. Check out how.Read more
Bali has a rainy and dry season. In both seasons you can travel to Bali however you might want to adjust your travel itinerary depending on the season you are going. .Read more
Tourism does not always have a positive affect on the environment. Read practical tips that you can easily apply to minimize your impact during your Bali holiday.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.