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A Guide To Getting Around Bali In 2019: Everything Explained!

Written by:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last updated:
October 15, 2019
Travel stories
The best way to get around Bali, Indonesia, whether it's by taxi, car, bus or bike, we have you covered on all you need to know for the perfect getaway.
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On Bali beach
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If you really want to experience all of what Bali has to offer, then you're going to need a way to get around during your visit.

To be absolutely up front, for us, our main mode of transport in Bali was mopeds, as it is for most people there.

Almost all locals use mopeds to get around, and it's fair to say that they run the show.

However, with more and more tourists coming to Bali, it's transportation systems have become a lot more advanced than other islands in Indonesia.

As such, you'll find that there are a number of great ways to get around Bali, that don't have to ride a moped if you don;t want to.

So, to help you plan your next trip here, let's take a look at the 5 main ways of getting around Bali.

 

1. Renting a moped

This isn’t an option for the faint hearted, and I couldn't bring myself to drive one solo, but thankfully Brad is brimming with confidence and was happy to drive the roads of Bali.

The biggest advantage of driving a moped is how cheap they are.

Mopeds are around 60,000 IDR to 80,000 IDR per day for a 125cc scooter, and you can usually haggle a lower price depending on the length of your stay there.  

What's great is that fuel prices in Indonesia are incredibly cheap, and even with a few hours of driving every day, you'll likely never do more than $2 in fuel a day.

So, if you are travelling in Bali on a budget, then this is the best option if you can handle the roads!

But before you hire, here are some things to note:

  • Always wear a helmet. Yes, they aren’t the most flattering objects in the world but they are essential and a legal requirement. If a local Balinese person is caught by the police not wearing their helmet it’s a 300,000IDR fine, if it’s a foreigner, you can expect it to be a lot more. It's also a legal requirement to use your indicators, but you'll soon realise 80% of people don't.
  • Recent laws entered in Bali mean that police officers CANNOT ask you for money when and if they pull you over on the road. If you are issued a fine, you will be given a piece of paper with the description of the fine and the amount due to be paid and you take it to the courts to pay. It is now illegal for police officers to take money on the streets, so know your rights. This is all coming from local people, and they say the best thing to do is take a picture of the police officer's badge and report him if this happens. Bali is trying to crack down on bribery.
  • Mopeds and motorbikes run the road. This means you need to be super aware when driving. You can’t drive like you would back home, you need to drive like a local and you will survive.
  • In around around Kuta, you will actually find some of the best roads anywhere in Indonesia. However, if you venture further afield (especially up north) the roads become more rugged and there will be a lot of potholes, so take care to drive sensibly and not overtake when you can;t clearly see the road ahead.
  • The biggest threat is other drivers. Drivers come out of nowhere and overtake in unsafe places, so just stay alert and be sensible.
  • Don’t drink and drive. According to locals the biggest death on the roads due to mopeds are tourists and it’s a result of getting pissed then trying to drive home. This is a stupid idea and you wouldn’t do it back home, so don’t do it here. You are not only putting yourself at risk but everyone else too. There are many other cheap transport options if you plan to have a drink and I will list them below.
  • When you are parking around Bali the official cost for locals is around 2000 Rupa per moped, do not feel the need to pay anymore than this - they are ripping you off.
  • Get yourself an international driving licence. Depending in where you are form, how you get these and how much you will need to pay will vary. In the UK, They cost £5.50 from the local post office and they are valid for one year. They are really good in case you are stopped by local police, if you don’t have this licence, you can get fined. For the cheap cost, you may as well carry one!

**UPDATE 2019** We visited Bali for the second time in 2019 (our first visit was in 2017) and it seems that police checks for drivers licenses have increased big time! In 3 weeks, we got stopped perhaps every other day, almost always on the way into or out of Kuta. Just remember what I said above, DO NOT hand over a fine there and then if caught without a license. Most of the time, the officer never even checked the license we gave him. In fact, he didn't even take it out of the plastic bag we keep it in! He simply saw that I had a piece of paper and flashed it away. I honestly believe that most of the officers are simply trying to get a quick pay day from you; don't oblige them!

You can easily rent a moped by reserving online. I recommend this one for its great prices and high reviews. Book here.

For an in-depth guide to renting mopeds in Bali, check out this article: Renting A Scooter In Southeast Asia: All Your Questions Answered!

Our moped in Bali

2. Using ride-hailing apps

As of 2019, the 2 dominant ride-hailing apps in Bali are Grab and Gojek.

When we visited in 2017, this wasn't the case and instead Uber was the big kid in town.

Well, not anymore, it's completely out.

First up, Grab

Grab is super cheap, super easy and super useful.

A taxi from the Denpasar airport to Seminyak is around 60,000 - 70,000 IDR with Grab and with a taxi at the airport, they will start you off at 350,000.

When arriving at the airport, you'll need to login to the airport WiFi and order it from the main lobby before heading out to the official Grab pick-up point. There are clear directions to this on the app.

Always be aware that the taxi men at the airport are ripping you off. On our first visit to Bali, the first guy we got in a taxi with, drove us out of the airport, then realised the place he needed to take us was “too far”, even though he had seen the address before we got in the car.

He then proceeded to ask us for 350,000 for the journey, instead of the 120,000 we had agreed upon. When we said no, he said we would never find a taxi man to take us (our friends had arrived a couple of hours earlier and got the same route for 100,000) and threw us out of the taxi on a busy road - I didn’t like him.

(If you want a cheap and fuss free airport pick up service with a private driver, opt for this one.)

Here's a few things to note about Grab:

  • Locals don’t like it, so they will tell you it’s illegal - it’s not.
  • There are many areas such as Canggu have official drop off zones, so as to limit the number of taxis in the area. So be aware that your driver may not be able to drop you to the doorstep you are hoping to arrive at.
  • Grab cars are generally nicer than taxis and most drivers speak English and want to get to know you and chat- it’s very nice!
  • Grab car is slower than mopeds. If your journey says it’s estimated 15 minutes on Google Maps, you can guarantee with the Bali traffic it will take twice to three times as long. This can be super frustrating, but it’s the nature of the hectic life there. The roads are dead in the evening however so you will fly through!
  • Grab is CHEAP. Expect most journeys to cost you around maybe half to a third of what they would back home. When you’re splitting that between 2 or 4, it’s crazy cheap.
  • You can rent mopeds from Grab too which is about half the price of a car and generally quicker.
  • You can even rent drivers by the hour from 4 hours to 10 hours to take you around all of Bali which is great. When you fill a car that fits 6, it works out like 2 pounds a day for a driver.

You can download the app here: Android / Apple

Gojek

For perhaps 80% of our ride-hailing and food ordering (which we did a LOT) we used Grab.

It simply came down to the fact that we like how the app works and we had our bank details all set up in there.

That being said, there were a few occasions where the app couldn't find us a driver nearby, so we used Gojek to search as well.

On average, it seemed like Gojek actually worked out slightly cheaper for many rides than Grab (though it really wasn't by very much).

That being said, other times Gojek was more expensive, but again not by much.

My advice would be to download both apps and use the one that you like most. But for the occasions where it's unable to get you a driver quickly, start your search on both apps and see which one comes back first.

Another point to note about Gojek is that it also does food delivery and even has another app called Go Life.

As of writing, it's only available in Indonesian but within it you can purchase services from people, such as a handyman to fix your air con or a masseuse to come by for an hour; and it's still all so cheap!

You can download the app here: Android / Apple

3. Calling a taxi

If you need to get a taxi then go for Bluebird taxis. It’s recommended for tourists and locals and it goes by the meter.

They’re all moderated and safe, and they have an app in which you can download and pay via credit card, just like Grab.

I’d say expect to pay twice as much here as an Grab or Gojek journey- but even still it's not that expensive.

Just be aware there are other blue taxis that look like bluebird but aren't and will rip you off. The bluebird taxis will have the word Bluebird written on them.

You can download the app here: Android / Apple

Read Also: The Best Bali Instagram Tour

4. Hiring a car and driver

You can hire a car and driver in Bali for around 8-10 hours for approximately 15-30 dollars.

They are yours for the day and will take you where you need to go and pick you up too.

It’s a good idea for sightseeing and if you want to move at your own pace without the added effort of finding taxis and negotiating prices.

It’s also a nice idea for families or couples. My sister used it with here boyfriend when they visited us, as neither one of them wanted to ride a moped.

It cost them 500,000 IDR for 10 hours, which was plenty to get them all the way up to Sideman from Kerobokan, and to stop off at some sites along the way.

There are a few main ways to find cars and drivers for the day in Bali, which include:

Klook

You can easily book a driver online for less than $30 a day. Split that between you and your friends and it’s even cheaper. Book this highly rated service here.

If you want a cheap and fuss free airport pick up service, opt for this one.

Google

A quick Google search will turn up loads of sites for finding such drivers, we opted for balicarrentalcheap.com.

Grab

Alternatively, you can rent drivers for the day out through Grab, and I'm not sure if Gojek offer it as well.

Read Also: The Best Beaches In Bali

5. Taking local buses

This is a tourist/local shuttle bus that has a variety of 8 routes across Bali.

You can buy tickets from Kura-Kura ticket booths or on board the bus itself.

The route includes stops in Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Sanur, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, South Nusa Dua, and Ubud.

You can find out all about the routes and frequency of routes etc here.

‍Each route has a standard pricing system.

As of 2017, routes

  • KUTA
  • LEGIAN
  • SEMINYAK
  • JIMBARAN

= 20,000

  • SANUR
  • NUSA DUA
  • SOUTH NUSA DUA
  • UBUD

= 50,000

Whilst these routes will take much longer in the traffic, they are super cheap and great for groups of friends and solo travellers.

Also, they have free WiFi!

Basically, any choice of transport you choose will be travelling super cheap! If you have any other tips for driving in Bali, let us know in the comments below ...

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