If you’re planning to visit Bali then there is a good chance that you will fly into the Bali Airport. To get your holiday started in the right way I created a guide that covers how to get from the airport to the popular tourist destinations. I also cover a tiny about transportation in Bali.
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Let’s get started with the easiest way to leave the airport and get you to your hotel or private villa.
Ngurah Rai International Airport (NRIA) with IATA code: DPS is located in the South of Bali. The airport is located between Kuta and Jimbaran, but is known as Denpasar airport / Denpasar International Airport. This might confuse some people, as the airport is almost 13 km away from Denpasar.
Bali Airport is very busy, very modern and very confusing. It’s been expanded to deal with the growing number of tourists that visit the island, however that doesn’t mean the expansion was well managed.
Leaving the Airport
Like most airports, Denpasar Airport is located just outside of the major urban centers. There are three main options when leaving the airport. You can arrange for a driver to pick you up from the airport, arrange a taxi or get a shuttle bus. You can find shortcuts to each of the topics below.
- Taxi from Airport: Find Out More
- Shuttle Service from Airport: Find Out More
- Car Transfer from Airport: Find Out More
- Car or Scooter Rental from Airport: Find Out More
Let’s cover taxis first.
Taxi From The Airport
There are no official pick up points for metered taxis at Bali Airport. This means you have three choices. The first choice is ordering a taxi from one of the official taxi counters at the airport (this is one of the most expensive options, example: a transfer from the airport to Ubud costs around Rp250,000, it should be half that price).
If you are not on a tight budget and you want to catch a taxi without having to haggle then I would suggest ordering a taxi from one of these desks. The people behind them can speak good English and you are guaranteed to get a good service.
As you walk out of the arrivals hall at Denpasar Airport you will get a lot of people offering taxi services. These taxi drivers are not metered and you will have to bargain with them and even then you will pay more than you should. I would avoid ordering a taxi from any of these drivers as the price is often more expensive than at the official taxi counters (especially if you look very confused). The price can be anything from Rp50,000 – Rp200,000 more than it should be depending on where you want to go.
It is possible to catch a metered taxi, but to do so you will need to walk out of the airport premises. If you choose to do this, head towards the pickup point and then cross the car park. You will be able to catch a taxi (I’d recommend Blue Bird) as they exit from the car park.
You can get a shuttle from Denpasar Airport to several of the larger hotels in Kuta. One of the companies that operate shuttles is called Plus Priority. A shuttle ticket costs USD25 and is valid for five days all over the island (Uluwatu, Ubud, Kuta, Legian, Jimbaran, Seminyak, Sanur, Tanah Lot, Nusa Dua and even to Kintamani).
Plus Priority has a lounge at the International arrivals area of Bali Airport. It is open from 10 am until midnight. I’ll tell you a bit more about Plus Priority when I let you know about transportation options on Bali.
The third and final option is a private transfer from Bali Airport to your hotel. In many ways this is the most convenient option (especially if you are getting off a long haul flight). You don’t have any hassle trying to organize anything on arrival. With the private transfer a person holding a sign with your name on it will meet you as you leave departures.
If you choose the private transfer option the driver, who will speak English, will take you directly from the airport to your hotel. This is a great option, but you do need to arrange your private transfer before arrival. For more information about private transfer you can visit this page.
Travelling Around Bali
Bali has no proper public transportation system, which makes private transport the most popular way to get around the island. Still, even though private transport is the only solution, there are a lot of options available. Let me lead you through the possibilities.
1. Rent a Car Or Scooter
Yes. Renting a scooter or a car is the easiest way to explore Bali! Scooter rental per day is around Rp 50,000. While a good car rental is around Rp 600,000 (the price depends on the car type, and whether you want a driver or not, the length of rent etc.).
A car or motorbike rental gives you the freedom to go where you want when you want. It’s easy to rent a motorbike from almost anywhere in Bali, make sure you inspect the bike and the helmet before you make a deposit. There are a lot of people renting out old second hand bikes with very basic helmets.
When it comes to car rentals things are a lot easier. With Discover Your Indonesia you can arrange a Bali car rental with a private driver. The cars are always well maintained and you get an experienced local driver who will share some of the best bits of Bali with you.
If you plan to drive in Bali you need an international driving license. The police do random spot checks. A national driving license from your country of origin are (usually) not accepted. Avoid any problems with the law by making sure you have the correct paperwork.
Taxis are an easy, but expensive, way to get around Bali. It’s easy to find Taxis with meters outside of the airport. One of the best Taxi companies in Bali is called Blue Bird. Although these taxis do have meters, you might need to demand that they turn the meter on. If the driver refuses then just get another taxi.
Don’t forget to have some small change. Sometimes taxi drivers can be a bit silly… Drivers often say that they don’t have change and things can be a bit annoying, especially if you are in a rush to get somewhere. Not cool.
3. Shuttle service
The last option I want to talk about is the shuttle service. There are several shuttle services in Bali that you can use. Top of the list is Plus Priority.
Plus Priority offers a five-day pass with certain schedules (you can refer to the schedule here and the route map here) that cost you USD25. It is a hop on hop off service and you can use it as much as you want to (yes, unlimited) over five days. The route is extensive. You can go to Uluwatu, Ubud, Kuta, Sanur, Tanah Lot and even to Kintamani.
Plus Priority has two exclusive lounges, one in Kuta (close to Bubba Gump) and one in Ubud (right in front of Monkey Forest) – oh I love their Ubud lounge (pictures are below)! Oh btw, Plus Priority will works with one of the biggest national banks in Indonesia, BCA. The Plus Priority card works like BCA Flazz Card. This means you will be able to top up the card when it expires (5 day already passed). Cool, right?
A five-day Plus Priority ticket costs $25, which is a good price and it covers most of the island. The vehicles are comfortable and spacious. Of course an issue with Plus Priority is that you travel according to the bus schedule. However, there is a frequent along the main routes.
Another benefit of Plus Priority is that with a purchase of a ticket you get access to plenty of special discounts around Bali. For example you can get 50% discount on Cold Stone ice cream. Alongside the discount booklet you also get a free Indonesian simcard (special for foreigners) with a balance Rp 10,000,-. Isn’t that great? Super useful.
Booked Your Accommodation? Here are the Best Hotels in Ubud for Every Budget
P.S. Need help arranging your Bali holidays? Save yourself some time! Here’s a list of Shared and Private tours.