When you talk about transportation in Bali you have to remember that it is a very touristic island, which is reflected in its roads. Road infrastructure is not dimensioned to the number of people on the island. But Bali has plenty of transport options to choose from. Below we briefly describe the most important ones.
Taxis / Grab / Uber
Although it is a small island, you also have taxis to get from one location to another. They have air conditioning and as it is in all Asia, air conditioning is at maximum and you freeze in the first few minutes.
Although you can find regular taxis, you can also use apps like Grab / Uber, they are also on our list of recommended travel apps (here the entire list). But be careful because there are areas where taxi applications are forbidden. For example, downtown Ubud and some areas of Kuta and Seminyak. And besides cars, you can order a scooter with a driver.
Keep in mind that the main means of transportation on the island is the scooter. The main reason is the island’s road infrastructure which is quite limited. There are big chances you will get stuck in traffic for miles, so the cost of a race can grow imperceptibly.
The scooter is by far the best means of transportation in Bali. This gives you tremendous flexibility when you plan to visit many tourist attractions.
The roads are narrow and the road infrastructure seems to be overrun, but with a scooter, you can slip everywhere. Although at first glance it may seem chaotic and very risky driving to Bali, we felt safe on the scooter. Drivers are very careful with the two wheels. Respect on the road is noticeable.
Rent a Scooter
They can be rented from almost anywhere. (You can find a store or an accommodation from where to rent a scooter less than 100 meters.) Scooters can be rented at around $ 5 a day (depending on the model and the number of days).
Gasoline in Bali
Gasoline is also quite cheap. If you do not find nearby gas stations, well, you will surely find enough shops on the roadside that have shelves filled with petrol bottles. These are everywhere so you will certainly not be left without gas, as long as you have some cash.
We have received the recommendation to fill the tank, as much as possible, from the gas stations. They would have better quality gasoline that will last longer in the tank and is cheaper than on the roadside.
Local driving license in Bali
To ride a scooter in Bali you need a local driving license. If you have an international license, you can present yourself at the police headquarters and complete some papers and pay a tax to get permission to drive on the island. We did not have time to do all these procedures, so we risked and drove without having a local driving license. (most tourists do so). But you have to take the responsibility that if the police stop you, you will have to pay a fairly expensive fine.
Paying a driver to take care of you and create your itinerary can be a good idea if you want to sit comfortably in an air-conditioned car. As with scooters, these private tours can be found almost everywhere (at your accommodation, but also on the street).
This transport option is the most comfortable and safe. You have air-conditioned cars, drivers who know all the tourist attractions so they become guides for you. You will not worry about traffic or weather (in case of rain you are protected). Although it is also the most expensive means of transportation in Bali, it can be very useful if you have a little time to visit the island and you do not want to complicate yourself.
But you should keep in mind that the driver may also recommend tourist attractions with which they have a collaboration.
Ships / boats
Bali is an island, of course, also has water transport. Most often, you will get to Bali via the airport, but if you want to visit other islands near Bali you will get on a boat.
The most visited islands near Bali are Nusa Penida, Gilly Islands, and Lombarck. The ports of departure for these destinations are on the eastern side of the island. We took the boat to Nusa Penida and wrote here our experience.
In addition to private speed boats, there are also public boats that go very slowly and the cost is far less, but the journey time is much higher.