Flights & getting there
Most visitors to Bali will arrive by air. Island-hoppers can catch frequent ferries between eastern Java and Bali, between Bali and Lombok, and between Lombok and Sumbawa.
Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at lonelyplanet.com/bookings.
Although Jakarta, the national capital, is the gateway airport to Indonesia, there are also many direct international flights to Bali.
Airports & Airlines
Ngurah Rai International Airport (http://bali-airport.com), just south of Kuta, is the only airport in Bali. It is sometimes referred to internationally as Denpasar or on some internet flight-booking sites as Bali.
Bali's current airport terminal opened in 2013. Unfortunately, it has many problems.
- Outrageous food and drink prices, even by airport standards.
- A serpentine layout that forces departing passengers to walk a very long narrow path amid shops.
- Long lines at immigration and customs. Immigration officials may offer passengers a chance to cut the queue for an unsanctioned fee of 750,000Rp.
- Nonoperating escalators.
- Touts offering dubious accommodation and transport services in the arrivals area.
International airlines flying to and from Bali have myriad flights to Australia and Asian capitals. The present runway is too short for planes flying nonstop to/from Europe.
Domestic airlines serving Bali from other parts of Indonesia change frequently.
Air Asia (www.airasia.com) Serves Jakarta as well as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, India and Australian cities.
American Airlines (www.aa.com) Direct flights to Hong Kong and Sydney.
Cathay Pacific Airways (www.cathaypacific.com) Serves Hong Kong.
China Airlines (www.china-airlines.com) Serves Taipei.
China Southern (http://global.csair.com) Serves Guangzhou.
Delta (www.delta.com) Serves Australia and Seoul.
Emirates (www.emirates.com) Has good connections from Europe via Dubai.
Eva Air (www.evaair.com) Serves Taipei.
Garuda Indonesia (www.garuda-indonesia.com) Serves Australia, Japan, Korea, London and Singapore direct, plus cities across Indonesia.
Jetstar (www.jetstar.com) Serves Australia.
KLM (www.klm.com) Serves Amsterdam via Singapore.
Korean Air (www.koreanair.com) Serves Seoul.
Lion Air (www.lionair.co.id) Serves cities across Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Airlines (www.mas.com.my) Serves Kuala Lumpur.
Philippine Airlines (www.philippineairlines.com) Serves Manila, Cebu City and Taipei.
Qatar Airways (www.qatarairways.com) Serves Doha nonstop with good connections to Europe.
Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com) Serves Singapore several times daily.
Thai Airways International (www.thaiair.com) Serves Bangkok.
Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com) Serves Australia.
Xiamen Airlines (www.xiamenair.com) Direct flights to several cities in China.
Departure tax is included in the price of a ticket.
Any trip to Bali over land will require a ferry crossing.
The ferry crossing from Bali is included in the services offered by numerous bus companies, many of which travel overnight to Java. It's advisable to buy your ticket at least one day in advance from a travel agent or at the terminals in Denpasar (Ubang) or Mengwi. Note that flying can be almost as cheap as the bus.
Fares vary between operators; it's worth paying extra for a decent seat (all have air-con). Destinations include Yogyakarta (350,000Rp, 20 hours) and Jakarta (500,000Rp, 24 hours). You can also get buses from Singaraja in north Bali.
Mengwi Bus Terminal
When travelling to/from south Bali, you can save time using this terminal rather than the one in Denpasar. Metered taxis are available and fares should be 150,000Rp to 200,000Rp.
Bali doesn't have trains but the State Railway Company does sell tickets through travel agents in Denpasar. From here buses leave for eastern Java where they link with trains at Banyuwangi for Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Jakarta, among other destinations. Fares and times are comparable to the bus, but the air-conditioned trains are more comfortable, even in economy class. Note: Google Translate works well on the website.
Pelni (www.pelni.co.id), the national shipping line, operates large boats on infrequent long-distance runs throughout Indonesia. For Bali, Pelni ships stop at the harbour in Benoa. Schedules and fares are found on the website. You can enquire and book at the Pelni ticket office in Tuban.
You can reach Java, just west of Bali, via the ferries that run between Gilimanuk in west Bali and Ketapang (Java), and then take a bus all the way to Jakarta.
Ferries travel between Labuhan Lombok on Lombok and Poto Tano on Sumbawa frequently throughout the day.
Public car ferries travel slowly between Padangbai and Lembar on Lombok. There are also fast boats from various ports in Bali to the Gilis and Lombok.