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.
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.
Many bike rentals also offer delivery and pick-up services (to airports, your villa or hotel, etc).
One example is Pakegoo, which we love as they often have good deals for weekly and monthly rentals.
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:
**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!
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.
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.
Ps. If you want a cheap and fuss free airport pick up service with a private driver, opt for this one. It's nice because you can book ahead and someone will already be waiting for you once you land in Bali. Sometimes it works out not much more expensive than using Grab.
Here's a few things to note about Grab:
**UPDATE 2023** Price has definitely skyrocketed from the airport. Ordering a Grab car to Seminyak would cost around 120,000 IDR these days.
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).
But sometimes during peak hours or after rain, it's easier and faster to get assigned a driver with Grab.
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.
**UPDATE 2023** GoLife is no longer a thing. The company deleted this feature during the pandemic.
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!
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.
Also, you can actually order a Bluebird taxi through the Gojek app! It's labeled GoBlueBird.
Read Also: The Best Bali Instagram Tour
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.
Hiring a car with driver is great if you're travelling longer distances around the island (including day trips to Ubud or Kintamani from Seminyak/Canggu/Kuta areas). It's much more convenient too. You can even rent for multiple days or a week, which will work out even cheaper.
There are a few main ways to find cars and drivers for the day in Bali, which include:
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.
A quick Google search will turn up loads of sites for finding such drivers, we opted for balicarrentalcheap.com.
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
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
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!
Personally, we don't recommend hiring and driving your own car unless you're a very good driver.
Driving a car in Bali is so different from everywhere else, even from Jakarta and other large towns in Southeast Asia.
Western countries typically have larger roads and very proper traffic, and unfortunately that's not the case here...
So driving a car is probably more stressful than it's worth.
Not to mention the traffic jam is pretty bad.
But if you're a confident driver and really want to, you need to provide an international license and a national driving license. The regulations for renting cars are usually stricter than renting a moped.
Last but not least, walking! One thing to note that certain neighborhoods are more pedestrian-friendly than others.
Seminyak and Kuta are really good for walking around.
But on most roads in Canggu, there's hardly any sidewalk (except for the main street, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong), so it's best to avoid walking even if the distance seems short.
Again, there are lots of speeding bikes and the streets can get so packed during rush hour, so it's never a good idea to walk where there are no sidewalks.
But if you do end up walking on these no-sidewalk streets, make sure to stick VERY close to the left side and don't block the traffic!
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 ...