How to get around in Bali – Transportation Transportation Transportation!
This is one of the most important part of your trip planning, because there is no public transportation system and each area in Bali is different.
How do I get from A to B in Bali, is a question that is often overlooked.
How you get around can make or break a trip. How to get from the hotel to the beach, restaurants, and shops, as well as how to get to the sights and attractions.
In Bali, it’s easy to misjudge how far you can walk, and if you don’t choose your base wisely, you could end up walking for a long time in the tropical heat.
How you will get around will depend on a few things, like where you want to go, how much money you have, how well you can ride a motorized scooter, and even what time of day or night you need to get somewhere.
For an efficient Travel Planning: Some Basics first
- First of all, we always tell our readers to figure out which destination(s) in Bali they want to explore so they can learn about the land, the weather, and what to expect in general. Check out our Destination Guide to get familiar with the different regions
- Make sure that when you choose a place to stay, you look at a map (Google Maps is a good option) and check things like how long it takes to walk to the beach or a restaurant nearby the hotel you are thinking about booking. YOu might be surprised.
- Walking is usually fine in Bali if you are in the main tourism centers such as Seminyak, Sanur, Kuta, Ubud etc. But even here, distances are far, and sometimes it’s hard to get around because there aren’t enough sidewalks, traffic lights, or roads even Not to mention the hot sticky and sometimes unexpected tropical downpour.
- At times and in some touristy areas, the traffic can be very congested. Especially in Seminyak, Kuta, and Canggu, where formerly undiscovered roads, shortcuts, and small alleys can suddenly turn into a traffic nightmare due to a ruck or simply too many people trying to get through.
- Bali doesn’t have a public transportation system that deserves the name.
- We don’t suggest you should rent a car without a driver since it is very affordable to rent one with a driver. For most travelers, the roads and traffic are very different from what they are used to. It can be hard to park and find your way around. You can (pre-)book a car with driver here: Car Rental with Driver
- If you know how to ride a motor scooter, that is the best way to get around. You can pre-(book) your scooter or motorbike here. Bikago
- You need an International Driver’s Permit if you want to drive a car or scooter on your own in Bali. The police is getting more strict. Don’t have one or forgot it? You can apply here for a digital or physical International Drivers License online
Your best options to get around in Bali
1. Rent a Scooter or Motorbike – if you can handle it
You should definitely consider renting a scooter or motorcycle while in Bali. It’s fun, cheap, and gives you plenty of freedom to visit the nearby restaurants, beaches, shops, and other places at your own pace. Another easy idea is to circle the island while carrying enough gear for a few days in your backpack.
Even if it costs a few dollars more, avoid renting from one of the many “hole-in-the-wall” shops. It’s important to rent from a business with a good track record, the newest models, insurance, safety measures, and good service.
Check out BIKAGO, which we think is the safest and most reliable place on the island to rent. You can also book a scooter or a motorcycle online.
If you are not used to riding a motorcycle or scooter, you should think twice before renting one in Bali. There are too many accidents with people who were more confident, than they should have been
We’re not trying to scare you, but riding one carries risks that could turn your vacation into a nightmare. There is no crash protection, no seat belt (as if you’d want one), no air bag, no bumper, and no windows. Its higher level of danger demands a higher level of rider skill. Period. However, by following these tips, your trips around the island could be safer and easier. Accidents do happen, even when you are careful.Driving a Scooter Safely International Drivers License Online
2. Private drivers with cars – rent for a drop-off or the whole day
Hire a car with a driver for half or full day is a great option to go for little and big sightseeing tours. Half-Day and Full Day Rental Online: You can discuss with the driver were to go, they usually know nice places, or you know already where to go, or you can choose some of the curated tours here online.
On Bali, there are lots of drivers who are ready to help you and take you also for short distances – like a taxi. Most of the time, you can’t miss them. Especially in popular places like Ubud, Sanur, Seminyak, etc., you will be asked a lot if you need “TRANSPORT” just by walking around.
Most of the time, these drivers live in the area where they work and are part of the community there. Some of these communities even have driver organizations to discuss and make decisions about issues like vehicle quality, registration, and making sure drivers follow certain standards. The challenge is that it can be hard to figure out how much your drop-off should really cost and what is a fair price, and just like in any other popular tourist spot in the world, travelers can be overcharged if they don’t know what a service should cost—especially late at night when alcohol is involved.Rent Car with Driver Online
3. Transportation Apps (like Uber)
Uber is no longer available in Bali, but there are two great apps that let you rent cars and motorbike-taxis online. The prices are clear, and the service is great. The problem is that drivers in some areas actually dislike them and sometimes even beat them up if they come into their “territory.” But in the last few years during COVID, this has calmed down, and you can now book a ride online without any trouble. Local drivers in Ubud and Sanur are still a bit of a problem, but most of them are already driving for GoJek or Grab, so they have to provide good service for a fair price.
GOJEK and GRAB for Scooter taxis and Cars – the most liked and super practical transportation apps
You can order a scooter taxi, GoJek (which is preferred), or Grab for short trips. They are very cheap, come with a helmet, and let you avoid the main roads, where traffic is often too much to handle. If you need to go a long way or have a lot of stuff, you can order a GoCar online. However, in some areas, the driver associations that we spoke of, are blocking the App-drivers and sometimes threatening them. So in Sanur and Ubud for example, it can be hard to get one.
4. Taxis in Bali
Bluebird is the most reliable taxi company with metered cars. We suggest you only use them if you choose a metered taxi. You can stop them on the road, or these days, you can use the GOJEK app (GO-CAR) to order one.
Taxis are easy to find in tourist areas, but they can be hard to find in remote areas. When that happens, you should have your GOJEK app ready and order a Go-CAR or ask the hotel front desk to call you a Blue Bird Taxi.
5. Flying to and from Bali
Bali is easy to get to from almost everywhere in the world.
There are many airlines that fly directly to Bali or make only one stop (Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Qatar, Mumbay, etc.). Bali is also a great place to get to other places, and there are many good low-cost airlines that offer cheap flights to almost everywhere in the region. India and China are getting better air connectivity to service the increasing demand for flights from these countries.
Best Budget Airlines & Low-Cost Carriers
Browse our list of budget airlines flying from Bali Denpasar Airport (DPS) and their connections to other exciting destinations in Indonesia and the surrounding area.
Book a room in Kuala Lumpur, Australia, Singapore, or Hong Kong for two nights and take advantage of the cheap round-trip airfare. You might even take a flight to one of the other Indonesian islands.