How to travel in Bali for cheap ?

While Bali might look expensive, you can find prices really affordable.

Here are some tips on how to enjoy the island without spending a lot of money. If you like being a backpacker or hiking, you can enjoy Bali for a cheap budget.

Choosing the perfect hotel

Everyone has already seen magical pictures with luxury hotel and Balis wonderful landscapes which look really expensive. However, the Island holds its own secrets and you can find a lot of places for cheap offering a high services level. You only need to be informed about it and ask some advice on forums or travel blogs.

Note:  You can avoid fees if you choose the hotel directly in Bali without booking. Reduction prices can sometimes reach 20%, so check it out!

On landing

You have just arrived in Bali and you realize your place is far from the airport? Dont be stressed! You can ask a direct transfer to your hotel. I advise you to compare prices with the taxi ones.

Note: services hotel can be often more expensive because they know you prefer adopting the simple solution. Therefore, you can refuse politely if you want.


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    Taxis in Bali are really cheap, but if you want to book a cab for few hours during the day, prices rise up quickly! Also, you can opt for Bemos which are kind of minibus really cheap. Nevertheless, the travel is longer than with other transportation. Then, you can take Perama bus which are not expensive too and faster than Bemos but frequently have to be fixed, so it sometimes looks unsafe.

Note: According to me, the best way is to ride a motorbike along the Island. You have the possibility to discover wonderful landscapes on your own.


    If you like surfing, you can go to the South of Balangan, Padang Padang and Uluwatu on the Bukit Peninsula. Also, you will find a single room for less than 100,000 rupees per night. Then, if you are lucky, you will have the opportunity to walk on the fabulous white sandy beaches.

    You can also climb on the top to the hills, Sideman in the East of Bali or Munduk in the West. Then, the both places offer quality rooms for less than 100,000 rupees per night with amazing views on the sunset. 

Dont be afraid to negotiate prices

It is always possible to decrease prices hotels offer you in Bali. Indeed, they wont never tell you the right prices at the first time. Thats why you need to be informed about its before going to your hotel so that be able not to pay a lot of money.

Note: If you come to visit Bali out of season, prices are cheaper and the Island is as pleasant as during summertime.


As said above, negotiation is a really important feature if you want to respect your budget and this doesnt concerned only hotel rooms. Indeed, breakfast hotel offer you are always very expensive, thats why you need to be focused on your goal KEEPING PRICES DOWN. Also, you can find cheaper breakfasts outside which are said to be more pleasant and quality than any hotel.

SIM card

Be careful not to use your own sim card when you will arrive in Bali. Indeed, your telephone bill will rise up at the end of your trip. Therefore, sim card in the Island are really cheap. Thus, I advise you to buy it mainly because basically when you go on a trip, you dont really need your phone expect for calling local services.

Note: The SIM cards can be purchased at kiosks everywhere in Bali.

Bring Euros !

If you are European travellers, you dont need to exchange from Euros to Dollars. Indeed, Euros are also accepted. Be careful! If you decide to exchange your money, you will suffer from fees. Once to convert Euros to Dollars and twice to change Dollars to rupees.

Also, avoid airport offices or hotels services so that exchange your money because you wont have advantage. Then, compare prices and the various exchange rates regarding different possibilities you have. Otherwise, you can directly pay with your credit card because a lot of touristic places accept it. Nevertheless, you also have fees depending on your spendings. Thats why you have to check with your country bank before leaving.


Your trip is coming to an end and you want to buy some souvenirs for family or friends. One more time, it is possible to negotiate every prices. Bali is full of bargains and you can find many wonderful items for cheap even if sellers tell you important prices. Dont be fooled, these ones are not the real prices, so try to decrease it!

To sum up, you dont hesitate to visit Bali anymore especially because of a lack of money! Now, you know the Island is totally affordable and you are able to organize an amazing trip with a low budget. There exist many tricks and tools to find the perfect plan and enjoy your trip!

Another great post Oliver!   :top:

You are absolutely right about negotiating prices, especially at markets, art shops
and with hotels (even some of the 5 stars!).  However, more and more, a lot of businesses here are working with fixed prices. 

A useful tip when it comes to negotiating here is to not ask “berapa harga” (how much) but rather to ask “berapa harga pagi” (what is the morning price).  This is effective, regardless of the time of day, in that it somewhat forces the merchant to open negotiations at a presumably lower price than they likely would otherwise.  In Bali, the first sale of the day has great significance, and all Balinese in business look for that first sale as a precursor to a good day of business.  With that in mind, it is also best to shop here when markets, shops, stalls, etc. open up. 

A little bit of a pet peeve here is calling our local currency rupees.  That’s for India.  Here it’s rupiah, and calling our local currency rupees is almost as bad as asking “how much is that in real money?”    :o   

As for your suggestion to use motorbikes, I totally agree that offers the visitor the absolute cheapest and most independent method of getting around, and for exploring Bali.  However, it also the most dangerous, and those dangers cannot be exaggerated. 

IMHO, renting motorbikes is OK, but only for those who have a lot of experience with them.  Driving a motorbike around Bali is not at all like driving a moped around Bermuda. 

Here our roads are often in poor condition, especially in the more remote areas, and the traffic, as well as local “driving skills” are not like what folks in the West are normally accustomed. 

For travel around Bali, I like to use the perfect phrase coined by Benjamin Franklin (who was almost as much French as American).  In his words, “penny wise, pound foolish.”   

Finally, regarding bemos as a great way to get around...unfortunately, they are almost a thing of the past aside from in Denpasar.  In the Ubud area, and in many other areas of Bali they simply no longer exist.  That's too bad as they once were (IMHO) the most fun and most interesting way to get around within Bali...not to mention the absolutely most cheapest.     

Cheers, Roy

Oh thanks a lot for replying Fred! I really like your comments because you learn me things I didn't know, so interesting and I will follow your advice the next time I will visit Bali! Thank you so much!

OliverSH2016 :

Oh thanks a lot for replying Fred!

Time travel is wonderful, as are your posts.

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