Information before you go
"Bali Transport....? Yes? Maybe tomorrow?" These questions are frequently heard during your stay in Bali. It can be annoying, but if you are actually looking for some transportation it is pretty easy to get one.
In general private Balinese drivers are very friendly and they love to take you around this amazing island but there are many other options to get around too. You can choose from taxis with a meter, bemos, tourist shuttle buses, motor scooters, bicycles to travel agents who will arrange every detail of your day trip.
Which kind of transportation will you be taking?
Once you arrive at the airport in Bali (Ngurah International Airport) and you’ve already booked a hotel, the hotel driver will be waiting for you in his traditional Balinese outfit. If you haven’t arranged anything yet, no problem, just walk over to the Airport Taxi Service desk and they will help you out.
Prices are fixed, very reasonable and the service is good. Make sure you arrange the taxi at the Taxi Service Booth. There are many unlicensed taxi drivers who will approach you and ask ridiculous prices. If you want to start your holiday properly go with an Airport Taxi.
Taxi Service counter at the airport...
Once you are off the airport you will be able to get a regular taxi with a meter. Make sure you ask the driver to turn the meter on otherwise you might be in for a unpleasant surprise.
The Bluebird taxi company has sheltered us from numerous tropical rains. They have a good reputation, not only here but also on Java and there’s never an issue about the fare since they always switch on their taxi meters.
Taxis are cruising through the streets all day long. So you can easily hail one if you need to.
The motorbike is the most popular local transport
If you are prepared to do some independent traveling the car rental companies in Bali are ready to help you out with whatever car you like. You can arrange this type of transportation right upon arrival at the car rentals at the airport, at your hotel desk or after a short stroll around the main roads in the tourist areas.
Remember not only do they drive on the left side of the road. Also be aware that driving can be quite different than at home. Especially around the crazy busy streets of Denpasar, Seminyak and Kuta it will look as if you’re the only one not participating in the Balinese version of the Formula 1. Dozen of motorcycles will cut you off while taxis suddenly pull over.
Basically the rule is that there are no traffic rules, which is understandable in a country where it’s easy to obtain a drivers license. On top of that petrol costs approximately 6000 rupiah a liter which is cheaper than buying a bottle of water in some places. So hence the thousands of motorbikes on the streets....
Unfortunately traffic has increased on the island and if you do head outside town you will still need to be able to keep your nerves and frustrations. Traffic jams on the main roads in areas around Ubud, Sidemen and Candidasa are now very common.
Driving Madness: Try overtaking these ones....
If you want to travel a bit more comfortably then you can consider going for a private driver who will drive your around while you sit back and enjoy the sights.
When we look for a driver we often immediately bump into one waiting around the hotel or on the main tourist streets. But if you want, you can pop into the many travel agents all over town and they can arrange a driver for you too.
Make sure you check out the car first. Does it fit everybody? Do they have a child seat if you need one? And is it comfortable enough to drive around the whole day? Is there a fan available or air conditioner? Short trips with a Mitsubishi van as pictured above is good for a quick trip to Tanah Lot but it gets into trouble going up hill.
Go for the popular Toyota Kijang, Toyota Avanza or similar models. These are good cars and therefore also very popular in Bali.
An old Toyota Kijang looks simple, but it's a very comfortable vehicle for touring
We enjoy having a private driver in Bali. For us it’s the safest and most relaxing way to get around. You can do numerous day trips by car.
From early morning till late in the evening the driver and guide service will show you everything you want for around Rph 600.000. The full day tour includes petrol and great stories by your driver who is probably called Made, Ketut or Wayan. Make sure you arrange a English speaking driver so you can fully enjoy them ;-)
By the way, if you do arrange a driver you can also decide where to go and when to stop too. It's Balinese service all the way.
Another mode of transportation in Bali which offers a lot of freedom and is also more adventurous is renting a motor bike. It looks like a typical Asian scooter, made by Honda or Yamaha and has enough power with 100-125CC. If you want the real thing then you can even arrange a Harley Davidson or a Kawasaki Ninja...
You can rent the Asian scooter for Rph 60.000 for 24 hours including two helmets and you hand it in with a full tank again. Even when you feel like you haven’t seen enough you can call the owner and extend the bike rent for another 24 hours. No problemo...
It's one of the best ways to discover the secluded beaches, the green and gold rice fields and misty mountains.
The coolest thing is to drive where rental cars and tourist buses can't take you. We are always excited to see what's next; whether it's a private beach with swaying palm trees or a Hindu temple site.
Don't try this yourself with your family...
Due to the heavy traffic we recommend travelling between villages by private driver or shuttle bus. It is not only less tiring, but you won't have a black face at the end of the day. Once in the village you can rent a motorbike and from there tour around the area.
Check everything properly first. Does the helmet fit? Do the tires still have a profile? Are the papers there? And most importantly do the brakes work?
If this all goes too fast for you, you can always rent a bicycle and paddle along the beach road. It's a great way to get to know the area. It will take you through the various narrow alleys ('Gang' in Indonesian) with small shops, houses and surprisingly good restaurants. Renting one will cost around Rph 15.000 daily.
Cheap and environmental friendly way to get around....
You can find bicycle rentals all over town. Usually companies that rent out motorbikes have bicycles to but you can also rent them at hotels and shops.
Another way of getting around is by public transportation. The one you see the most often is the bemo. The bemo can be found throughout Indonesia. It's a mini-van that operates between parts of the city or between villages and is the most popular type of transport for locals.
There are no rules on what to bring inside the bemo and it can range from chickens, rabbits, fish, bags of carrots to school children, elderly people and the sunburnt faces of my girlfriend and me.
Take anything along with you on the bemo...
You will not find anything cheaper than this, from one side of town to the other costs you Rph 4000 and includes a hop on and hop off policy. Just yell 'stop' when you want to get out and the driver will immediately hit the breaks.
Big buses usually only go between large cities and even all the way to Java. For these long journeys it is best to go to the right terminal in Denpasar, where large coaches depart.
Another form of transportation in Bali which is mainly popular among travelers is the Perama Tourist Shuttle bus. It is a great way to get around as it operates between most of the tourist spots such as Lovina to Ubud and from there on to Sanur and Kuta. They even have routes to the airport.
The Perama shuttle bus service in Ubud
You will see their signs and prices in the many shops and travel agents along the main roads in the tourist areas such as Jalan Legian in Kuta or Monkey Forest Road in Ubud.
It's cheaper than renting a car or private driver and a lot quicker than the local bemo or bus.
The shuttle bus schedule is posted everywhere in town...
The tourist shuttle bus is the ideal type of transportation to get around the island when you're on a budget but want to travel comfortably. The only thing you have to take care of is to buy the ticket one day in advance and you’re ready to go.
If you are planning to head to the Gili Islands then the best option is the fast boat. They leave from various ports, such as Sanur, Padangbai, Benoa Harbour and even Amed. A fast boat takes about 2 hours but in practice it can take a bit longer.
There are many companies that offer this service so it is best to compare the prices, but most importantly check what is the most convenient for you. Where does the boat leave from? Does it have a pick-up service in Bali? And most importantly is the price a one way or return ticket.
You can find various offices in the villages where the boats leave from. But you can also check online to find a whole list of companies.
Home > Bali Transport Getting Around
Rent a car, motorbike or arrange a private driver to take you on a day trip to the sights in East Bali while making detours so you'll see the wonderful rice field terraces too.Read more
Jump on a motorbike or rent a car with a driver and head to the southern most beaches in Bali. Do some beach hopping and discover various beaches in different bays.Read more
Driving in Bali can be tricky as traffic rules are non existent. However it is a great way to explore the island by yourself and stop whenever you feel like it. Just take extra care.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.