If you are planning a trip to Bali, you should be super excited for what is ahead. Think delicious food, verdant rice fields, stunning beaches and coastlines, friendly locals and cheap massages. Bali is one of the most popular destinations in the world and it is for good reason! This article will explain everything you need to know when planning a trip to Bali.
Tourist Visa for Bali
Visas to Bali are granted for free on arrival and are valid for up to 30 days. You will need proof of a flight or boat ride out of the country within 30 days.
If you plan on staying for longer than 30 days, you will need to pay $35USD for your visa on arrival at the airport, then you have to take your passport to immigration and extend your visa before the 30 days is up.
If you plan on staying longer than 60 days, you can exit and enter the country, but long term you will need advice from a migration agent.
Flights to Bali
When travelling to Bali, you will land at Denpasar International Airport. I suggest using skyscanner.com to find the best deals.
From Denpasar Airport you are 45 minutes from Uluwatu, 2 hours from Ubud, 1 hour from Seminyak and Canguu and 30 minutes from Kuta.
You can pre-arrange a driver to get you to your hotel or you can easily find a taxi driver outside the airport. Once at your destination, I suggest hiring a bike to get around.
Weather in Bali
Expect year-round tropical temperatures in Bali. The wet season runs from January to April and dry season runs from May to September. The most popular time to visit Bali is from July to September.
I recommend visiting Bali between May to June for great weather and fewer crowds.
Phone and internet in Bali
The cost of a Bali sim card is around 100,000 rupees ($10AUD) for 23GB of data.
Most cafes and restaurants have wifi and the connection is usually good.
If you plan to work from Bali, you can always find a co working space at a reasonable price.
Travel Insurance for Bali
Travel insurance is a necessity when planning a trip to Bali. I recommend World Nomads.
Recently, however, I arranged a new credit card that covers all my travel insurance. If you travel a lot, this is something I recommend looking into. I can save up to $1,000 a year on travel insurance.
Currency exchange in Bali
You can use the Money Converter website to find out current exchange rates.
In Bali, you will find cash exchange places on every corner. I always carry Australian cash and exchange is as I need it.
Alternatively, you can withdraw cash from an ATM, but if you choose to do this you should look into any associated fees and charges.
Accommodation in Bali
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There are ample options for accommodation in Bali, ranging from guest houses, bed and breakfasts, Airbnb, hotels and luxury resorts. In Bali, you will get great value for money. Booking in advance isn’t essential, you can always find a great last minute deal in Bali.
Transport in Bali
The best way to get around Bali is on a bike. You can rent a bike for $3-5 AUD per day. If you aren’t comfortable on a bike, you can arrange a driver, taxi, uber or grab to get around.
Planning your route around Bali
Getting around Bali on a bike is relatively easy, but if you do have a lot of luggage you will need to arrange a driver or taxi. You can generally get from location to location within a couple of hours, but you should note that traffic is bad and in a car, it can take you a lot longer than it should to get from A to B.
When considering what destinations to visit, you need to think about what you want from your Bali trip. Seminyak and Canggu are great for restaurants and nightlife, Uluwatu is a surfers hotspot, Ubud is a yogis paradise and great for rice fields and waterfalls, the Gili Islands are a tropical paradise and the Nusa Islands are great for snorkelling and scenery. Or perhaps you might want to escape the crowds and head to the North of Bali to Lovinia or Amed. I suggest avoiding Kuta.
In my personal opinion, destinations not to be missed are Uluwatu, Canggu, Ubud, Gili Islands and Nusa Islands. You could visit all 5 destinations in 2 weeks. If you only have a week, I would choose 2 of the 5 destinations to visit. Find out more about the top 5 destinations in Bali.
See my guide to visiting Uluwatu Temple.
See my guide to visiting Gili Air.
See my guide to Canguu.
Check out the best things to do on Nusa Lembongan. Or if you are planning to visit Nusa Penida, see my guide to visiting Nusa Penida on a day trip. If you are considering hiring a bike on Nusa Penida, this is everything you should know.
See my guide to Ubud.
Check out this 2-week itinerary for first-timers in Bali.
Cost of travelling around Bali
The cost of travelling around Bali depends on how you want to travel.
You can stay in luxury resorts and go to expensive restaurants, or you can get by on the cheap if you wish.
My personal budget in Bali is $40 per day, which I find to be extremely comfortable. With $40 per day, you will find a room with air conditioning and hot water, a bike to hire, three delicious meals per day and the occasional massage.
You travel cost, will, of course, depend on your lifestyle and how you travel.
Accommodation with air condition and hot water starts at 200,000 rupees ($20AUD) per night.
Bike hire – 30,000 – 50,000 rupees ($3-5 AUD) per day.
Petrol – 30,000 rupees ($3 AUD) per tank.
Food – Local food and beers cost around 30,000 rupees ($3 AUD) each. Western food and cocktails cost around 100,000 rupees ($10 AUD) each.
Massages – 60,000 – 150,000 rupees ($6 – $15 AUD) for a one hour massage.
If you plan to travel to the Gili Islands or Nusa Islands, expect to pay around 500,000 rupees ($50 AUD) for the return trip.
Food in Bali
Traditional Bali meals include Mi Goreng and Nasi Goreng – both are delicious. But the food in Bali is so much more than that. There are so many healthy restaurants serving organic, vegan meals, like pictured below.
Vaccinations in Bali
Check the Travel Doctor website to find out what vaccinations you need when planning a trip to Bali.
Safety in Bali
Bali is one of my favourite countries and while I have never felt unsafe, I do recommend exercising all usual precautions when travelling in Bali. These are my tips for keeping safe.
For more information on the safety risk in Bali, visit the Smart Travellers website.
Haggling in Bali
In markets, the first price you are offering is rarely the real price, so don’t be afraid to counteract with an offer.
Tipping in Bali
In general, tipping in Bali isn’t expected or required, however, if your service from restaurants, hairdressers, taxi drivers, hotel employees, and other service providers exceed expectations, consider leaving a little extra to show your appreciation. To find out how much you should leave, read this guide to tipping in Bali.
When you are in the process of Bali trip planning, I suggest learning a few key phrases.
Hi – Hai
How are you – Apa Kabar?
Thank you – Terima Kasih
Sorry – Maaf
See you soon – Sampai Jumpa Lagi
Other things to know when planning a trip to Bali
- Don’t drink the tap water in Bali.
- Drug laws are extremely strict in Bali. If you get caught with drugs you could be up for a death sentence, so don’t take the risk.
- You can tip but it’s not expected.
- Beware of the monkeys, they love stealing from tourists. Hold onto your belongings and put your sunglasses away.
- Always wear a helmet when riding a bike in Bali. Even though you don’t have to in some areas, I recommend you do because you never know when something will happen.
- If you are travelling to Bali with kids, check out this guide.
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