We have received a lot of questions from you about the traffic situation and means of transportation in Bali. Weather it is possible to travel across Bali by bus, how much the taxi should cost, or if it is cost-effective to rent a motorbike. We have all the answers in this blog!
Public transport in Bali
According to the local people public transport in Bali is terrible. They say it is useless. Few buses operate there. Well, actually minibuses. We saw them a couple of times. But we had never seen the bus stop or a timetable. Therefore one can hardly say how often the bus goes and what is the route. That is probably one of the reasons why everyone in Bali drives a motorbike. Motorbikes are the fastest means of transportation and affordable.
Even parents take their children everyday to school on motorbikes. Since we had hotel near school we experienced that morning insanity.
Motor scooter or motorbike
However, because of the large amounts of motorbikes in the streets the traffic in Bali is horrible. Nobody abides any traffic regulations. It seems like drivers don’t know what is the purpose of red light 🙂 Of course, the two-lined street for cars is suddenly six-lined for motorbikes. Cars and taxis need to be very careful for motorbike drivers and give them priority. Therefore before each curve you can expect long jam. And if you are in taxi you can get quickly frustrated.
So you have two options in Bali. Either you rent a motorbike or you lose your patience in taxi while the journey will take you twice as long.
Rent a motor scooter or motorbike
Price for renting a motor scooter
Renting a motor scooter or motorbike is very popular on the island. Because it is cheaper and faster than traveling by taxi. How much does it cost to rent a motorbike for a day? Not much for a tourist. You can get motor scooter for 3,50 EUR per day and full tank of gas costs only 2 EUR and you can drive all day with it. Despite this, we decided not to rent a motorbike. The traffic was insane 🙂 and we saw too much people with ugly scratches after fall from a motor scooter.
Taxi in Bali
Short and long distances
So we were using taxi a lot. You can easily catch a taxi from the streets when you go for short distances. However, it is a problem if you need to travel longer distance, i.e. from Kuta to Ubud which is in inland and it takes 2 hours to get there. Rather consider to arrange a taxi by hotel at least day before your departure. If you want to hire a taxi with driver for whole day you should prepare 40 EUR.
Also it pays of to think ahead of your way back. For example, if you are travelling to Dreamland Beach (one of the most beautiful beaches on the island) which is quite far from the main road and there is no taxi stand. Therefore you can ask your driver to come back for you or wait you there. Think of this also when you go to Uluwatu to see the traditional Kecak dance performance at the sunset. The performance ends around 9pm. and you will not find there a free taxi. There is also Uber service but we did not use it.
Prices for taxi
The prices are variable and sometimes change according to the mood of the driver.
Watch out for taxi driver scams
The most critical is the first ride from the airport to the hotel. We have to admit that we were scammed. It was our stupid mistake caused maybe by our exhaustion after long flight. So after you appear at the exit hall many taxi drivers start talking to you. They will welcome you and ask you: “where are you from?”. The next question is: „first time in Bali?“ Yes, you read in your Lonely Planet that people in Bali are naturally curious and often ask questions to people. However, taxi drivers try to find out whether you have a clue about the prices in Bali. Don’t say to them that you are there for the first time. They ask for horrible price that can be overpriced more than 10 times – true story!
Negotiate the price in advance
Turning on the taximeter is not automatic. Many drivers don’t want to do that and if you insist some of them will refuse to take you. If you have no other choice and you have to take taxi with such driver negotiate hardly the price in advance.
Fair taxi company
We consider Blue Bird Taxi as the fairest taxi company we used in Bali. Drivers always turned the taxameter on. And as to the route from the Ngurah Rai airport after arrival to Bali, don’t let the taxi drivers standing at the exit hall from the airport fool you. Proceed from the exit hall to the stand with official prices to various destinations on the island. Of course you might encounter with taxi drivers that will tell you the prices are only to the edge of the district.
- The public transport is unfortunately not an option.
- Always insist in the taxi to turn on the taximeter or agree with the taxi driver on the price in advance. The best taxi company in our opinion is Blue Bird Taxi.
- If you want to rent a motor scooter don’t forget to bring your international driving license and note that you drive on the left side of the road
- There is Uber in Bali. However, we did not use it.
- And last but not least: Travel safe! 🙂