Although Bali is considered one of the world’s most popular destinations, unfortunately, this island (and by extension, the country in general) is still slow on its uptake on transport.
Bali does not have a comprehensive public transportation system. Getting around could be a real headache if you don’t do your research or plan ahead. Getting a taxi could be simple and straightforward, but a 100K IDR bill here and there, it easily adds up in just a day.
And before you know it, you’d spent a significant amount of money that you could really save for something else. Here are some of the cheapest options that will help you get around Bali without spending more than you should.
Kura Kura Bus Bali Public Shuttle
This green vehicle come in three sizes; the medium bus (contrary to its name, it is the largest bus they have), the long mini bus, and the short mini bus. Kura Kura bus public shuttle is an affordable and simply an excellent method to get to popular tourist areas.
Tickets start from as low as 20,000 IDR. This public shutter operates daily from 8.30 am to 10pm. However, some lines may close earlier, so obviously this is not a viable option if you wish to stay out late.
Some of the major tourist destinations/attractions that the Kura Kura Bus get to are Seminyak Garden, Beachwalk shopping mall, Seminyak Village, Museum Puri Lukisan, Bali Bird Park, Bali Zoo, and many others.
The main hub is located at DFS Bus Bay, located at Mall Bali Galeria near Kuta’s Simpang Siur Junction—which is hard to miss given the sheer size of the place. They have an informative, comprehensive website that you can access anytime, watch out for the cute Kura-Kura (turtle) logo!
Bali Trans Sarbagita
Bali’s first ever government-run public transportation is the blue bus known as Bali Trans Sarbagita. It is the cheapest public transport you could experience in Bali.
Most of Sarbagita’s passengers are locals. At certain hours, you can see some street vendors going to their work destination or coming home with their baskets. The ticket for the Sarbagita bus only cost 3,500 IDR for adults.
It operates from 5 am to 9 pm on paper, but often times, the bus stopped operating at 5 or 6 pm depending on many factors, because there’s little to no passengers.
Therefore, there is no fixed time schedule and you should proceed with this in mind. It’s not an ideal means of transport if you’re short on time as you may have to wait up until one hour (probably more) depending on traffics.
Try to ride Sarbagita for the experience of it; you’ll see the local school students chatting with each other or local vendors who go to faraway markets to sell their goods. Sarbagita is also usually not crowded and all units are usually well-conditioned, so you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable during your ride.
Unlike the first two options, online transportation is the most convenient method if you’re short on time and you want to go to specific places not covered on the routes on Kura Kura Bus and Trans Sarbagita.
Online transportation is the most transparent means of transport when it comes to the costs, so you don’t have to worry about being overcharged or ripped off.
Consider getting an in-app balance that you can top up easily with your driver once they arrive, or go to the convenience stores listed where you can get your balance from. You can also ask the help of a local you trusted to top up your online transport balance for you.
Rent a Scooter
Undoubtedly the best method. Hands down, the cheapest and the most convenient, considering the narrow roads of Bali. But only go for this route if you have international driver’s license that allows you to ride motorcycles.