How to Get Around in Bali (10 Ways)

Lois Morton – Bali is very popular tourist destination, but surprisingly, there is no reliable public transportation available to get around easily (and cheaply) for travellers and visitors. Off course, walking in Bali, especially in the densely popular area like Kuta is feasible, but not all tourist destinations in Bali are within short walking distance from where you stay. Even when it is said to be 200 m or 15 minute-something walking from your hotel, the fact is longer than you expected, sorry to say :p

So if you are planning to come to Bali, please also think how you plan to get around and explore there, after finding how to get to Bali and where to stay in Bali. Even so, but don’t be discouraged. We’re here not to spoil your Bali dream (Bali beach or surfing dream :p), but quite the opposite; we’re here to help you to make the most out of your stay and make your Bali holiday is easier and cheaper 😀

Event though there is no dependable public transportation that goes to every corner in Bali, there are quite many transportation options to choose based on your preference, budget, skills, plan, etc. Let’s check these how to get around in Bali in 10 ways!

1. Walking

Okay, this is obvious. You can walk to get around and go the places in Bali that are within walking distance from where you are. Make sure you know the direction and do not forget it when walking back to your hostel. Do not forget to wear comfortable walking shoes/flip-flop, wear hat or umbrella, and sunglasses if necessary, and put on some sunscreen before you go out. Walking can be long and Bali is very hot and sunny all day long!

2. Cycling in Bali
Nowadays, this option is no longer feasible to get around in Bali’s dense tourist areas like Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and also the town areas. The streets there are narrow, dense, and have no designated cycling path, so you will find difficulty navigating the street and traffic. And If you still insist, you may be the only one there who ride a bicycle in the town! Well, but you still can ride a bicycle if you stay in a real village or in several tourist destinations that are located in green quiet villages and frequently used as locations for cycling tours.

Motorcycle or motorbike is ubiquitous in Bali, since it is the main transportation in the island. It is the easiest (and can be the cheapest) way to get around in Bali, if you can ride a motorbike. Many Bali’s wonderful sites and destinations are actually hours/tens kilometers away by car from the town/tourist center, so it is not a good idea to walk or cycling there. The cheapest option then is to rent a motorcycle and ride it yourself, and you are free to explore Bali on your pace.

If you want to rent a bike (motorbike/motorcycle) in Bali, there are many motorbike rentals in tourist areas to choose from. Read here where to rent a motorcycle in Bali, the standard rate, and the procedure: How to Rent A Motorbike in Bali

Best for: Everyone/Solo Traveler

Yes it’s true that Bali is lack of public transportation, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any. Many people may not know that now, Bali also has a real public busway service just like Trans Jakarta in Jakarta and Trans Jogja in Yogyakarta, eventhough it have not served all areas in Bali. The Bus is called Trans Sarbagita, which stands for Trans Bus for DenpaSAR, BAtubulan, ; the complete bus route in the future). 

Trans Sarbagita Buses have been operating since 2011, and currently only has 3 lines: Ngurah Rai Sport Stadium-GWK line (corridor 1), Batubulan-Nusadua line (corridor 2), and Ngurah Rai International Airport-Tegal Bus Terminal line (branch line). In addition to these 3 ‘main’ lines, Trans Sarbagita Buses also have 6 feeder lines which include GWK-Uluwatu line and Tanjung Beno-GWK. Large buses serve the main lines, while the feeder lines served by smaller minibus. The buses have several stops within the line and come every 15 minutes or so, and operate until about 6 pm for the main lines (feeder lines operate until 5 pm). The large buses standard flat rates per trip are so affordable: only 3,500 IDR for public passengers and 2,500 IDR for students. And 3,000 IDR for the feeder minibus.

Although Sarbagita buses may not the most convenient way to get around in Bali, it can be a feasible option, especially if you want to go to GWK (using corridor 1 line), Nusa Dua Beach (using corridor 2 line), and Uluwatu Temple (using corridor 1 line + Kelan-Uluwatu feeder line). The large buses which serves the main lines usually quite crowded with public locals and university students (like I say, not many tourist use it, either do not know or prefer more convenient/expensive transportation), while the feeder minibuses are most often almost empty with only 1 or 2 passengers per trip (so you will have the whole car for yourself and feel like renting a car plus a driver for only 3,000 (three thousand) rupiah! Ow, sounds too good to be true, eh? :D)

One more public transportation in Bali that you may never heard of. It’s Komotra, small colorful minibuses with open windows who will take passengers between Kuta Parking Center and Kuta Beach. You can use this minibus to go to Kuta Beach and and other places along its route if you are happened to be around Kuta Parking Centre or stay close there. But be warned and ready to snatch a seat on the Komotra with big group tour, since many large group tour buses are stopped in Kuta Parking Centre and send their passengers to Kuta Beach by Komotra. The Komotra flat rate for one way trip per person is 3,000 IDR (Do not ask the price/rate. Just get on and hand the money with exact amount when you get off).

Motorbike taxi can be a good option for those who want to get the comfort of riding on a taxi but with cheaper cost. For you who are not familiar with this means, riding on a motorbike taxi means you will hop on the back seat of a motorbike, instead of a car, and the rider will take you to where you want to go just like with taxis. In local Indonesian language, this is called ‘ojek’. This kind of services has been exist for a long time in Indonesia, include Bali, since motorcycle is still the main transportation in this country.

And recently, with the growing of internet and information technology development along with smartphone uses that is getting bigger and bigger, emerged online motorbike taxi services that use smartphone application to book the ride. There are many online ojek company, but Go-Jek is the first to offer this kind of service, and so become the most popular one. Online ‘ojek’ become increasingly more popular and widely used in big cities in Indonesia since it is savvy, easy, metered, and often alot cheaper than the conventional offline ‘ojek’. That’s why this online ‘ojek’ recently just got big confrontation and demonstration by offline ojek riders who feel their existence is threatened because more passengers prefer online ojek. I do not follow the ending of this case, but as I know, online ojek is still operating and used as normal, but may be with some limitation in some areas to provide more rooms for conventional taxi/transportation.
Like in Bali, Go-Jek is prohibited to wait or pick up for passengers in bus terminal and in tourist destinations like Uluwatu Temple (there is a sign said “no Go-Jek, drop only” in parking area). It means that you can still ride Go-Jek to those places, but not from it). Okay, I have gone astray to far, so lets go back to the topic riding a motorbike taxi (ojek) in Bali :D. You can use ojek to go to places in Bali. Online ojek is more preferable since it is easy (you can order it online via App and they will pick you up. No need to look where they base like in offline ojek). It’s also cheaper (rate is counted per km) and no need to haggle. In Bali, you are likely to haggle the rate for offline ojek ride, and often, after some times haggling and though deal, you still end up with a significantly higher rate than if you use onilne ojek *sigh*.

Best for: Everyone/Solo Traveler
Quite low-budget friendly

Okay, this one is a bit touristy, not local wise transportation :p, but still can be used as a way to visit places in Bali. Kura-Kura Bus is a kind of shuttle buses who will take passenger along its routes and stops in several determined bus stops. This bus service is owned by private Japanese company and has been operating in popular tourist areas in Bali since 2013 . It uses mini shuttle bus with capacity of about 15 passengers and wi-fi is available inside the bus. Look on the service and how they provide complete information on the site, the buses seem to target and chater mainly for foreign tourists. And it’s proven when I try to get on it this May. No locals visitors use it. All foreign visitors 🙂

Kura-Kura Bus have 8 lines that each covers the area of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Sanur, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, South Nusa Dua, and Ubud respectively. Kura-Kura Bus operating times varies between lines, generally from 08.20 until 23.00, and arrive in each bus stop every 20 minutes on a fix schedule. The flat fare for a single journey is: IDR 20,000 (Kuta, Legian, Seminyak line), IDR 40,000 (Sanur line, Jimbaran line), IDR 50,000 (Nusa Dua, South Nusa Dua line), and IDR 80,000 (Ubud line). You can buy the ticket on board the bus when it stops on the bus stop, and there are 3 types of ticket available: Kura-kura coin, Value Card, and Day Pass. Coin is enough if you do not intend to use Kura-Kura Bus frequently.

Best for: Everyone/Solo Traveler
Minus: Not low-budget friendly

Okay, this one too is not less touristy than the previous number. There are many shuttle bus services that are offered by travel agents/companies as a way to get around and visit popular destinations in Bali. It is easy to book one of them.

You can ask the front desk in the hotel where you stay if they can help you find and book shuttle bus. They usually have information for tourists like shuttle bus, day tour, and also bike rental. If not, just visit one of ‘tourist information’ booths that are usually dotted along the street in popular tourist areas like Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Jimbaran, dan Ubud. Shuttle bus rate is usually around IDR 60,000 for a single journey.

More suitable if you want to go to places with long distance. If you want to stop along the route, ask them if you can make several stops with that rate. One of popular shuttle bus is provided by Perama Tour. You can find their booth on Legian Street south of Bom Bali Monument, next to Surfer Girl.

Best for: Everyone/Solo Traveler
Minus: Not low-budget friendly

Just like shuttle bus, many hostels and travel companies in Bali also offer day tours for visitors. Day tour is more suitable for travelers who already arrived in Bali and have a place to stay, since the tour is just a trip, not include hotels and plane ticket like conventional group tour with X Day Y Night format. So if you are in Bali, have a room already, but still confused how to visit those popular tourist destinations in Bali, then the day tour is the answer. 

Many day tours are offered per area, like South Bali, East Bali, etc, with 3-5 places visited per tour. Length varies, generally from 09.00 to 19.00. So if you think you want to visit all those popular destinations across Bali, the chance is you have to take several tours (This is if you want to visit them all this way. Count your budget).

Day Tour prices range varies but generally range from 300,000 to 500,000 IDR per tour, per person. Travel companies usually set minimum booker to 2 people, so that they can go already and cover the cost even though they only take 2 people (it is more like you rent a car and driver with your friends).

How if you are a solo traveler and alone? Then looking for a mate or ask if you can book for 1 people and compare it with renting a car and driver yourself. If you think that’s too expensive, then look up for other options above. Below is getting more expensive :p

Best for: Group

If you are visiting Bali for holiday with a bunch of friends, with the big family, or with large groups of people, the best option for you then may to rent a car. Rent a car is expensive but will become cheaper if divided among many people and it could be the best option to accomodate everyone. You can rent a car with or without a driver. Rate varies depend on the type of the car. A family/private car with capacity up to 9 people without a driver may cost between IDR 500,000-700,000 per day (usually up to 10 hours max). While a medium size minibus with a capacity up to 17 people and with a driver may cost around 1 million rupiah per 10 hours. You can ask your hotel’s front desk if they can connect you with a car rental or help you booking it.

Best for: Group/Family

Useful Links:
Cheap hostels in Bali


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