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Bali transportation: Bus, car, scooter and taxi options

Ride a minibus, hail a taxi or rent a car to get around this Indonesian island.

Updated

At 2,232-square miles, Bali is a fairly big island — about half the size of Connecticut. If you’re planning on traveling between popular cities like Ubud, Kata, Legian and Seminyak, you’ll need to rely on some form of transportation.
Whether you decide to zoom around on the back of an ojek or opt for a private car hire, be sure to keep rupiah on hand, as most forms of transportation in Bali only take cash.

Public transportation in Bali

Tourist shuttle

The best way to get around Bali via public transportation is on a tourist shuttle. You have two options:

  • Kura-Kura Bus. Covers main areas of Bali and includes Wi-Fi. Download the app to plot routes and track your progress.
  • Perma. A shuttle and tour company that offers regular routes to key tourist destinations.

Bemo

This is a minibus or van with a row of low seats down each side that can carry about 12 people. Bemos run on set routes determined by the local government, though fares are generally negotiable. Still, Bemos aren’t a common transit method for tourists, as they’re known for being slow and cramped.

Bus

Every town in Bali has at least one terminal for all forms of public transit, including buses. Buses in Bali are generally used for long-distance transportation, but may not be the most efficient option since drivers often wait for the bus to fill up with passengers before departing.

Ferry

Travel between Bali, Lombok, the Gili Islands and Lembongan is available by ferry with frequent departures during the day.

Taxis, rideshares and tours

Tour group

See Bali and its surrounding islands through expert eyes by joining a tour that hits top sights — transportation included. A few of our favorites:

Ojek

Motorcycles, called ojek, are a handy way to travel winding country roads in Bali. While generally available in the city too, riding via ojek is more dangerous in congested areas.

Taxi

It’s easy to hail a taxi while standing on the side of the road in Bali. When traveling short distances, Blue Bird taxis are cheaper. When traveling via taxi, make sure to tell the driver to put the meter on. Otherwise, they might try to charge you more rupiah than the trip was worth.

Driver hire

Hiring a car is probably one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get around Bali. They’re fairly cheap, with drivers setting the price via negotiations. Even for long-distance travel, hiring a driver is still one of the cheapest options.

Uber

Pull up your Uber app while in Bali and have your ride come to you. Prices are published right in the app.

Car rentals in Bali

At all the main Bali airports, you’ll find car rental companies like Bali Car Hire and Auto Bali Car Rental, as well as Avis, Hertz, Budget and Europcar.

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What to know before driving in Bali

In general, driving in Bali isn’t recommended for tourists — in part because hiring a driver is so cheap, usually between $10 and $20 per day. A driver will know where to go and have a better grasp of navigating traffic.

Still, if you’re set on sightseeing around the island via your own set of wheels, here are our best tips for driving in Bali:

  • You’ll need a special driver’s license. Either apply for an international license in your home country before you go or get a temporary Balinese driver’s license at the police station in Denspar.
  • Your line of vision is your responsibility. Other drivers may merge in and out of lanes without looking because they assume you’ll make room. Stay vigilant, and don’t expect people to signal before making a move.
  • Horn honking isn’t necessarily angry. In Bali, other drivers honk to let you know they’re approaching or about to pass you. Since you drive on the left side of the road in Bali, passes happen on the right.

Airport transfers

Airport transfers in Bali are generally cheap and convenient. Consider buying a ticket ahead of time to streamline the process upon arrival.

Bottom line

Getting around Bali will likely take more than one method of transportation — especially if you’re planning an excursion or two to the surrounding isles. Keep cash on you at all times, and remember to wear a helmet if you decide to hop on a motorbike.

After getting your transportation needs in order, plot your itinerary to hit all the top spots.

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