Free Travel Guide for Bali

Getting Around

Discover the different manners to travel in Bali with their advantages and disadvantages.

There are numerous means of transportation in Bali and your choice will probably depend on your budget. Below you will find each of them, ranked from the most comfortable to the least comfortable.

You should keep in mind that Indonesian roads offer random safety conditions: variable maintenance, traffic congestion, pedestrians and animals, bad weather, etc. Above all, Balinese’s driving habits are mostly based on reflexes rather than established rules. Thus, traffic accidents often involve travellers who choose to drive, whether in town or in rural areas.

Car rental with a private driver in Bali

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Car rental with a driver in Bali

Asking a private driver from Bali to drive you along the island is, by far, the safest option to explore your new playground. Under certain circumstances, this mean of transportation can actually be one of the cheapest!
You’ll be comfortably seated and you won’t have to subscribe to an extra insurance, to look for gas stations seeking fuel, nor will you have to adapt to the Balinese unpredictable driving habits…. All these advantages while going exactly where you want to go! You will fully enjoy the scenery without having to worry about your security and itinerary.
The average price range is set to EUR 45-60 per day. As the price is given per car instead of being calculated by multiplying the number of participants, the cost is often really attractive. Therefore, you are totally free to imagine your own customized and optimized itinerary.

Car rental in Bali

Car rental is a good option as it comes with greater freedom. However, keep in mind that Balinese roads are dangerous, traffic congestion is intense and the Balinese driving style is generally unpredictable.

Besides, insurances are limited: the regular car insurance coming with the rental includes a IDR 1,200,000 (€71.3) up to IDR 4,800,000 (€285.1) excess. But it is not sufficient! You absolutely need to request the « third party liability » insurance by the rental agency).

Yet it is important to note that the insurance policy is always limited to an amount of damages that goes up to IDR 1,000,000 (€59.4), which is low. The driver at fault must pay the rest of the damage value. And this can be very expensive!

For the current conversion to Indonesian Rupiah from your currency, refer to the currency converter available in the Money section of our travel guide.

If, after reading the above information, you still wish to rent a car:

  • bring your international driving licence. It is compulsory in Bali. If you drive without a licence, you will be liable for a fine in the event of control. The police almost exclusively controls foreigners, since they are fully aware that many of them do not have the required paper. Police officers generally ask to pay on site and use this to increase the amount of the fine illegally. The only way to pay the fixed price is to go with them to the police station and to pay once you’ll get there. Of course, by doing so, you will also have to come back where you left your vehicle.
  • carefully check the vehicle,
  • subscribe to a third party liability insurance (essential!!),
  • rent a GPS device and be very vigilant,
  • bring a Bali road map. Try to opt for an up-to-date version printed on paper.
  • do not drive at night,
  • also, do not let any belongings nor valuables in the car in your absence,
  • give preference to official gas stations rather than small shops on the side of the road to refill the tank,
  • use your klaxon as often as possible to warn other drivers of your presence (when passing another vehicle for instance),
  • and in no instance should you park the car under a coconut tree!

Taxis in Bali

Taxis are a good way to move around South of Bali and you shouldn’t wait for too long before finding one of them. To avoid any bad situation, we recommend you to read the following advice carefully.

Give priority to the blue taxis because they belong to the official Indonesian taxi company named “Blue Bird Group”. Blue Bird is now considered as the most reliable taxi company in Indonesia. They have a taxi meter and are easily identifiable thanks to their light blue bodywork, the drawn little blue bird on the rooftop and the big “Blue Bird Group” logo on the windscreen.

Be careful: you will see dozens of fake Blue Bird Group taxis in Bali! The light blue painting used for the bodywork is slightly different but the small bird on the logo is almost the same. The best way to choose the real ones is to search for the Blue Bird Group logo on the windscreen, as below:

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A real "Blue Bird" taxi
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Learn how to recognize them!

In order to avoid any problem, it is highly recommended to ask the price, even if the taxi is using a taximeter.

Be aware that the standard start-up fare is always IDR 5,000 (€0.3 or IDR 30,000 / €1.8 if you call the taxi using your phone). The ride’s cost obviously depends on the route, the time and the traffic congestion. A good way to make sure your taxi driver will use the fastest itinerary (and so the cheaper) is to install and run an app on your smartphone (Google Maps or Here Maps for instance) to check where you are going to.

Motorbike or scooter rental in Bali

Renting a motorbike or a scooter is definitely the best way to go everywhere, but also the most dangerous one.

Traffic accidents regularly involve motorbikes and scooters.

Besides, motorbikes’ thefts are frequent. They generally happen at night at the hotel. In case of theft, the motorbike’s owner will claim full reimbursement of the vehicle’s purchase value. Food for thought to avoid dreadful holidays! It is therefore recommended not to accept the delivery of the vehicle at your accommodation’s place and to rent the motorbike from a specialised centre.

If, after reading the above information, you still wish to rent a motorbike or a scooter:

  • bring your international driving licence. It is compulsory in Bali. If you drive without a licence, even on a scooter, you will be liable for a fine in the event of control. The police almost exclusively controls foreigners, since they are fully aware that many of them do not have the required paper. Police officers generally ask to pay on site and use this to increase the amount of the fine illegally. The only way to pay the fixed price is to go with them to the police station and to pay once you’ll get there. Of course, by doing so, you will also have to come back where you left your vehicle.
  • carefully check the vehicle,
  • choose a good helmet,
  • subscribe to an insurance (essential!!),
  • bring a Bali road map. Try to opt for an up-to-date version printed on paper.
  • demand an appropriate lock,
  • do not drive at night and be very vigilant,
  • use your klaxon as often as possible to warn other drivers of your presence (when passing another vehicle for instance).

Bike rental in Bali

In all the touristic places, you will find really affordable bikes to rent for an hour or for the whole day.

This could be the perfect way to discover your hotel’s surroundings, unless the traffic is too dense, and it is unfortunately the case in many places in Bali (especially on the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak-Petitenget axis)!

However, this mode of transportation is ideal to visit the surroundings of Ubud (once you left the main roads), Lovina and Sanur.

Before renting a bike, make sure to get detailed information on your itinerary and carefully check the state of the bike before leaving!

The « bemos » and buses in Bali

The bemos, sort of minibuses, connect the villages during the day, following a pre-determined route..

With a maximum of around ten seats, they generally transport edible goods and sometime animals. This mean of transportation has the advantage to allow closer contact with the population. The downside: it is often tricky to find the (correct) bemo! Moreover, the travel time can be long and you will not get inside if there are no available seats…

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A Balinese bemo waiting for more customers
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A bemo, from the inside

The buses, more or less modern, count around thirty to forty seats and belong to private companies. They cover large distances, including the south-north (Denpasar-Singaraya), north-east/north-west (Singaraya-Gilimanuk) and south-east/north-west (Padangbai-Gilimanuk via Denpasar) axis. The PERAMA company does have a rather good reputation in this field.

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