How to Ride a Taxi in Bali, Indonesia

The Fastest Way to Travel From the Airport to South Bali

Traffic lines the streets of Kuta.
••• The streets of Bali are notorious for their traffic. Matthew Micah Wright/Getty Images

If you're only getting around South Bali - say, from the airport to your hotel in Nusa Dua, or from Legian to Seminyak - you only have to stand by the side of the road, lift your arm, and watch a taxi stop to pick you up. Taxis in Bali are abundant, with one at almost every corner in South Bali and Ubud.

Special rules apply to the airport, where Ngurah Rai Airport Taxi holds a taxi monopoly at the arrivals gate.

In Bali (just as in Jakarta) taxis are divided into two types - Bluebird taxis, and everyone else. Bluebird taxis have earned a reputation for being honest dealers in the often-corrupt taxi industry. Non-Bluebird taxis, on the other hand, are known for dirty tricks - not using their meter and taking roundabout routes, among other things.

Bluebird taxis are light blue, with a bird logo enclosed in a rounded diamond, and "Bali Taxi" emblazoned on the side.

Getting a Taxi at the Bali Airport

At the airport, taxis are pre-paid at the taxi counter in front, with rates ranging from IDR 70,000 (US$3.50) for Kuta, to IDR 750,000 (US$25) for fares to Tulamben. The updated list of airport taxi fares can be read in the link below.

If you want to ride other taxis from the airport, you may need to step out of the airport premises entirely to hail a cab.

Smartphone Taxi Apps in Bali

Another spoiler to traditional Bali taxi drivers' corrupt ways comes in the form of free smartphone apps that allow you to summon a taxi or hired car to almost any point on the island.

Bluebird led the way with its own app. You need to register your name and cellphone number first, but after that's done, you can summon a Bluebird taxi as you please. Download it here: Bluebird Taxi on Apple Store | Bluebird Taxi on Google Play

Two competing car hire companies – the globe-spanning Uber and the Southeast Asia upstart Grab – both have a major presence in Bali.

Visit Uber's Bali page here, and find out about GrabCar Bali here.

Bali Taxi Tips

Riding a taxi in Bali works the same way as everywhere else - you hail a cab, get in, and tell the taxi where you're headed. But here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind:

  • Take the traffic situation into account. Bali's traffic seems to get worse by the week, particularly fares from the airport. Look up possible detours before getting in the taxi.

  • Ask the driver to repeat your destination to you, or otherwise ensure that he knows your destination.

  • Explain your preferred route to the driver, if you have one.

  • Make sure the driver uses the meter; say so at the beginning of the trip. If he doesn't use the meter, he may just be getting ready to gouge you at the end of the trip. If he refuses to use a taxi or makes an excuse, get out and hail another cab.

  • If the taxi driver offers to wait for you at your destination, consider it. Some places do not get a lot of taxi service, so it might be handy to have a ride ready for you when you're set to leave. Agree beforehand if you want him to keep the meter running while he waits, or if he's willing to settle for an hourly fee. IDR 50,000 (about US$5) is a good upper limit.

List of Taxis in Bali

Taxis may be summoned over the phone. These taxis will be dispatched to your hotel or location if you call for them.

  • Bluebird/Bali Taxi: +62 361 728200

  • Gelora Dewata PT: +62 361 241444

  • Koperasi Taksi Kowinu Bali: +62 361 771661

  • Koperasi Taksi Ngurah Rai: +62 361 724725

  • Pan Wirthi Taxi PT: +62 361- 723 366

  • Rajawali Taxi: +62 361 484537

  • Ramayana Taxi: +62 361 765303