How to plan your trip to Bali ?
Bali is an island belonging to Indonesia. It is a very popular and appreciated destination for tourists. The Balinese culture, landscapes, gastronomy… almost everything seduced us during our trip to Bali !
In this article, to help you visit Bali in the best possible conditions, you’ll find information on plane tickets, when to go, visas, how to get around and the budget !
Practical information for organising your trip to Bali
- Time difference : +7 hours
- Plane tickets : from 800€ from Paris
- Flight time from France : 17 hours minimum with 1 stopover.
- Capital : Denpasar
- Visa required : Yes
- Currency : Indonesian Rupee (IDR) / 1 EUR = 16500 IDR
✈️ Book your plane ticket to Bali
We use the Ulysse comparator to find the best prices on plane tickets. The advantage of this French platform is that customer service is very responsive in the event of a problem. You can take advantage of a €10 discount on your first flight booking by registering and using our code : PVWYP4ESA.
On my last trip to Bali, I flew Turkish Airlines with a stopover in Istanbul. In all, the flights and stopover lasted around 16.50 hours.
☀️ When should you travel to Bali ?
As Bali is close to the equator, the daylight hours are identical throughout the year. The sun rises very early at around 6am and sets at 6pm at the latest. As in most South-East Asian countries, there are two seasons : a rainy season with heavy showers throughout the day and a dry season with hot weather.
The dry season in Bali runs from May to October. The wet season is from November to April. July is the driest and “coolest” month of the year, but it is also a busy month for tourists, as is August.
The ideal time to go to Bali is therefore May and June, when everything is green following the monsoon and prices are more moderate as the high season has not yet started! I wouldn’t recommend July/August, though, as there are a lot of tourists there.
⛅️ Should you travel to Bali during the rainy season ?
During the monsoon season, it inevitably rains more than in the dry season, but it never lasts all day. In general, there is a heavy downpour for periods of 2 to 3 hours and then the sun returns. It may be worth travelling to Bali during the rainy season to enjoy the sights with fewer tourists ! Prices are even cheaper than usual.
So it’s perfectly possible to travel to Bali during the monsoon season if you’re not too averse to a few hours of rain a day.
See our travel guide : 2 and 3 weeks itineraries in Bali
Do I need a visa to travel to Bali ?
Many of you have asked me this question on Instagram : the answer is YES. You need a visa for any stay in Bali.
The tourist visa for Bali : VAO (Visa On Arrival)
The cost of the VAO is around €30 for 30 days, and it is compulsory for all travellers arriving in Bali. You can either do it directly at the airport when you land, or do it online on the official website. I opted for the e-visa to avoid potential queues at the airport.
If you want to extend your visa beyond 30 days, you can renew it once for the same length of time at an immigration office. The renewal procedure is fairly lengthy, so I advise you to plan ahead!
For stays of more than 2 months, you will need to apply for a B211 visa for Bali. I’ll leave you to look at the procedures carefully on the internet.
What are the entry requirements for a trip to Bali ?
You need to meet a number of conditions before you can travel to Bali.
Firstly, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your trip. If it is not, you will be refused boarding or entry. You will also need to show your return ticket at immigration.
Update June 2023 : the Covid vaccine is no longer compulsory for travel to Bali. Since 9 June 2023, the Indonesian government has announced that these measures have been eased.
Finally, to save time at the airport, you can fill in the customs form 3 days before your departure. The QR code will be requested before you go through the exit gates at the airport.
What budget should I allow for a 2 weeks trip to Bali ?
Although I’ve noticed an increase in prices between 2018 and 2023, Bali remains a very inexpensive destination for a French traveller. You can treat yourself to restaurants, bars, activities and hotels! In this section, we’ll look at fixed costs to give you an idea of the average budget.
I’ve put together a little infographic with an average of the different prices I saw during my recent trip to Bali. Personally, I spent around €1,000 for 2 people during my 12 days trip to Bali, so €500 per person all-inclusive (excluding flights).
Changing money in Bali
Should you take euros with you or withdraw them on the spot ? That depends on your bank charges ! To find out what’s best, call your bank before you leave. Commissions are usually very high, so it’s best to leave with euros.
Be careful with your bag when you’re carrying large sums of money, as disasters can happen…
Don’t go just anywhere to change your money! Scams in dodgy exchange offices are common in Bali. If you find the exchange rates too good, you’re in danger of being ripped off. The most reliable bureaux de change are called BMC Money Changer.
How do you get around during your trip to Bali ?
➔ The scooter
If you know how to drive a scooter, it’s the most practical way to discover the island. On busy roads, there is an enormous amount of traffic so a scooter will save you long kilometres of waiting. Be very careful when driving and avoid driving a scooter in Bali if you are not at least experienced.
➔ Do I need an international driving licence to drive in Bali ?
Officially, it is compulsory to have an international licence to drive in Bali. In the event of a police check, you will have to pay a fine if you do not present it. In this case, the policeman will give you an official document, and you will then have to go to the police station to pay it and collect the scooter’s papers. I spent a total of 8 weeks in Bali on my 3 trips and was never stopped by the police. Checks are more frequent in the south (Kuta / Canggu / Seminyak), an area I advise you against visiting in my article “What to do in Bali”.
In practice, no scooter hire company will ask you for your driving licence. So you won’t be prevented from hiring a two-wheeler. However, apart from the risk of a fine, it’s in the event of an accident that the situation can get complicated. If you don’t have a valid driving licence, your travel insurance may not cover the cost of hospitalisation, if any… and they can be extremely expensive !
➔ Journeys for long distances
For long distances, download the Grab app or GoJek, the local Uber. Prices will be considerably cheaper than taxis… What’s more, payment is made directly on the app, so there’s no risk of being ripped off! Be careful, though, as ordering a Grab is prohibited in certain strategic locations such as airports and ports. To avoid this, you’ll just have to walk for a few minutes to get out of the forbidden zone and be able to order your driver.
In some towns, you won’t find a Grab driver because the service isn’t developed enough (this is the case for Munduk or Lovina, for example). So book a driver you can trust with your hotel or in a restaurant. Negotiate the rates if you think it’s too much!
➔ Book your driver for your arrival in Bali
After 16 hours travelling from France, I clearly didn’t feel like walking out of the airport with my suitcases. So I booked a transfer to Ubud on Booking.com. It was the first time I’d used this service and everything went smoothly. The price was 2 times cheaper than the one offered by my hotel and the driver was waiting for me with a sign right in front of the arrival. I would recommend this solution ++ !
➔ Take a guide / driver to visit Bali
For people who don’t want to drive a scooter in Bali, it’s perfectly possible to visit Bali with a driver / guide! This will cost you between €30 and €70 per day. Each guide sets their own rates according to the season and whether or not they speak English !
Organising your trip to Bali : advice
➔ How do you get internet on your phone in Bali ?
To find your way, make a phone call or simply be able to google anything at any time, we advise you to buy a Balinese SIM card with a 4G package. Don’t buy at the airport: prices are higher. When you arrive, simply ask your driver to stop at a place to buy a SIM card. Prefer official shops so that everything is OK. Don’t worry, he’ll take you to the right shop.
In April 2023, I paid IDR 300,000 (€18) for a package including 28 gigs of internet, unlimited calls and texts.
➔ What to take in your suitcase ?
Here are the essentials to take before your trip :
- Swimsuits to be the hottest on the beach !
- Sneakers to venture into the rice fields and other hiking areas
- Sunscreen so you don’t get as red as a tomato
- A diving mask + snorkel as there is plenty to snorkel (you can also rent one on the spot)
- A mosquito repellent, if you don’t want to be eaten, like we were.
- Your identity papers and international driving licence
Don’t come with a suitcase too full because you will regret not being able to buy lots of souvenirs and Balinese decorative items to perpetuate your trip to Bali in your living room !
I hope this information has helped you organise your trip to Bali ! Don’t hesitate to share your questions and tips by commenting on the article.
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