Taxis in Bali: A Guide
Bali may be a small island in the grand scheme of things. Yet it’s still big enough to need some form of transport to get from A to B. As you can only get around on the roads, taxis are your best bet, especially with luggage in tow. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the different taxis in Bali as well as other ways of travelling around.
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Taxis in Bali: Bluebird
Bluebird is a local company and is, in my opinion, the best option when it comes to taxis in Bali. As soon as you arrive in Bali you’ll see plenty of these taxis driving around, instantly recognisable from their blue colour and bird logo on the side.
Bluebird taxis are definitely the most reasonably priced on the island, with the best rates available when you go on the meter rather than agree on a flat rate. They also have an app which works in the same way as Uber, making it super easy to book and use their service. Though you can also just flag them down in the street, which can be just as easy most of the time!
Furthermore, Bluebird is a Bali only company, by using them you are firstly supporting a local business. Yay to that! And secondly, you won’t be angering any local taxi drivers (more on that later…). The only downside to Bluebird is it only operates in the southern part of the island. So although a Bluebird driver will happily take to you Ubud, Amed and other central and northern locations, you won’t be able to get around using them once you’re there.
Taxis in Bali: Uber/Grab
Bali still seems rather reluctant to welcome these companies onto its island. Although they aren’t officially banned anymore, a lot of local taxis in Bali are still heavily boycotting the companies, as they feel they are taking away their customers.
In most tourist areas you’ll even see large signs tapped to street posts that mark no Grab or Uber zones. But don’t let that put you off. Whether you choose to use Uber/Grab or not is entirely up to you. A lot of tourists do due to the familiarity of the app and the ease of having it on their phone already. Though I would avoid ordering one within the no go zones to avoid any hostility with locals.
Like Bluebird, most Grab/Uber drivers are based in the south of the island, yet you do find them in other parts of the island more often too. As we wanted to support long-running local businesses, we only used Grab once in Bali, and this was when there were no Bluebird or other taxis to book. Plus Grab/Uber was also nearly always more expensive than Bluebird whenever we compared prices on the apps anyway.
Taxis in Bali: Traditional taxis
Despite the boom in app-based taxi services, there are still plenty of traditional taxis in Bali. These drivers get their fares by hawking at the side of the road or honking their horn as they drive past to let you know they’re available.
Truth be told, these taxis aren’t the cheapest or easiest option in the busy south of Bali. Yet if you venture outside of this hub, traditional taxis become more or less your only option. Be aware that, particularly in remote areas, you’ll be charged higher rates than what you would with Bluebird, Uber or Grab. But that’s because the drivers here have fewer customers, so try not to haggle too much on the price.
Other ways to travel around Bali
By local shuttle bus
Bali’s Kura Kura shuttle bus is a great alternative way of getting around the southern part of the island. There are 5 different routes that all depart throughout the day from the DFS bus station and stop off in main tourist areas including Kuta, Seminyak, Nusa Dua, Legian, Ubud and Sanur. Single tickets are a flat fare with prices starting at Rp 20k for the shorter lines to Rp 80k for the line to Ubud. Alternatively, you can buy a 1, 3 or 7 day pass for Rp 100k, Rp 150k or Rp 250k respectively.
Another budget option for getting around Bali is by scooter with daily rental prices ranging from Rp 50k – 100k. However the traffic in the south of the island and even up to Ubud is very bad, therefore I would only advise only renting a scooter if you’re a confident driver. Though if you want to explore the quieter, less connected areas of the island, a scooter is definitely the best way to do it. Just remember that driving without a helmet is illegal in Bali, and the police will often stop tourists and make them pay a fine.
So there you have it, everything you need to know not just taxis in Bali but other ways of getting around too. Enjoy your time on the island!