How Not To Be Cheated by Taxi at DPS Airport, Indonesia
[ Update 31 August 2018 ] - Mt. Agnug is said to erupt. We had a chat with one international hotel group on this. The group shared with us that as to Mount Agung, Karangasem, while all their hotels in Bali are operating normally they are monitoring the situation closely. They encourage us to obtain information from The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency at http://www.bmkg.go.id or the local news agencies.
Lombok island (which is close to Bali) had M.6.9 earthquake in August, 2018. The international hotel group above told us that they operate normally.
We hope the prompt recover of the local areas affected by these. And our deepest condolence for those who lost their lives.
Kaeru team travels around the world. We usually write only about Japan. But we thought that as we have extensive knowledge, we should share it with the world.
We travel often in South East Asia. If you traveled to one of the countries in the area, you would understand the people almost always try to overcharge you (if you are not local).
Well, it is normal that the local try to overcharge tourists because they face fierce competition and need to live from hand to mouth. But... you still do not want to overpay, right? We share some very practical tips based on our latest trip to Bali, Indonesia 23 June, 2016. (Please note that this is just based on our personal experience. Not solution for all. We also believe not all drivers in Bali are trying to cheat you. The situation may change from time to time. Traffic jam is all the more serious from every year. If one of these tips do not work, just think other way. Probably our tip is not valid any more).
If you arrange the shuttle bus or airport pick up from your hotel, you do not really need most of our tips as you are already overcharged. Our tip is only useful if you did not book the airport pickup service from your hotel.
<< Planning some trip to Bali? Find out the great and romantic hotels in Bali with our review. >>
<<Check out another article: how not to be cheated by taxi at Tan Son Nhat International airport, HCMC, Vietnam >>
<<Not only Japan, we support your market entry to Indonesia-South East Asia! Feel free to talk to us. >>
When you travel to Bali, you fly into DPS airport (Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar)). Once you arrive at DPS airport, you HAVE the access to the free WIFI internet at the airport. DPS airport kindly provides you the WIFI access. But there is a small tip. The default page is in Indonesian and do NOT change it to English. If you choose English, the page gets error and you will NOT have internet, or you will need to pay to access the plan based internet. You just proceed with Indonesian language and you get a free WIFI. With the airport free internet, gather as much information as possible before you go out to the arrival gate. If you are reading this article at the airport, then you are lucky! Just read the below.
Do NOT take any taxi from the arrival gate of DPS. If you are in Indonesia, you know the BlueBird taxi which is a relatively safe bet against other illegal taxi and also fake Bluebird taxi. The reason is simple. BlueBird taxi can NOT come to pick you up at the DPS due to some local rule (probably set up by the local taxi industry or so) (But Bluebird taxi can drop you off at the airport). This means that even you go to the taxi ticket gate to pay in advance or you pick one of the taxis around the arrival gate, these are potentially expensive taxis which will try to charge you from 80,000 Rp - 250,000 Rp to get Kuta beach area. (Whereas indicative price to Kuta/Legian from DPS is just 45-55,000 Rp. You will see at the bottom of this page the indicative price list for major regions from Bali airport (DPS))
We were actually offered 250,000 Rp to get Legian! Never pay this!
Then how you should get to your hotel without taxi?
Walk out of DPS airport and use Kurakura Bus(a public bus which takes you to many main places in Bali starting from 20,000Rp to Kuta) as much as possible
As of 1st of April, 2018, Kurakura bus has some new routes and different fares. Please check the official website. With this change, you do not need to change bus at the DFS bus bay for some routes!
First check if your hotel is close to one of the bus stops on KuraKura Bus (most of the main hotels are close to the bus stops).
NOTE: The bus stop of Kurakura bus is not close to the airport. We show you how to get there below.
If not...so far from the stop. first better change to the hotel which is close to the bus stop if possible.
If not possible to change the hotel,
Then, walk out the airport and find the Bluebird taxi to get your hotel. (Remember the Bluebird can not pick you up from the airport but it can pick you up outside of the airport).
If close to the bus stop, walk out the airport and find the Bluebird taxi to get DPS Bus Bay and get the KuraKura Bus ( Use this bus map to find if your hotel is located close to one of the bus stops )
Note: DPS Bus Bay is an shopping mall where Kurakura Bus starts. The distance from DPS is almost similar to the Kuta beach ( around 4km). You can also walk for 50 mins.
If your hotel is so far from the stop but still in the same direction from the area e.g. Ubud. Then, walk out the airport and find the Bluebird taxi to get DPS Bus Bay and get the KuraKura Bus to the bus stop then take another Bluebird.
Where is DFS Galleria Bus Bay?
The Kurakura Bus stop is on the ground Floor of DFS Galleria, near the cafe at the East entrance
The main bus bay is located at Simpang Siur junction in Kuta.
At DPS airport, you ask for the direction for Kurakura bus, nobody will give you any direction. Some even try to convince us Kurakura Bus does not exit! The information desk person also never tells you how to get Kurakura bus. You ask the information desk how to get out of the airport on foot if you are not sure.
Indicative Taxi fare from Bali Airport?
If you do not want to walk out of the airport or walk out the airport, if you take taxi with no Kurakura bus. Here is our tip.
Always negotiate first if the taxi has no meter counter. You can use as these prices as indicator to check if taxi is overcharging. The price is per ride. ( The country faces a high inflation thus the price may be higher that these. )
These are normal fee. Taxi drivers usually come with "these prices are old/outdated". If you hear the word, just walk away and find another taxi.
· Kuta : 5-10 minutes Rp.45,000
· Legian: 10 minutes Rp. 45,000-55,000
· Seminyak : 15-30 minutes Rp.60,000
· Jimbaran : 15-30 minutes Rp.70,000
· Nusa Dua : 30 - 40 minutes Rp.95,000
· Ubud : 60 - 80 minutes Rp.195,000
Other areas are:
Uber in Bali?
Probably Uber is also an option? We usually do not use Uber in Japan so we did not use it in Bali but considering the advantage of Uber, we should have done Uber.
Any experience with Uber in Bali?
The most important lesson today is to walk out the DPS airport and get the Bluebird taxi outside the airport. There are so many bluebird taxis outside the airport. They (all taxi incl. illegal ones) will beep when they see you to see if you need ride. ( there are many Bluebird taxi at the departure gate and we did not try to get that one to get out of the airport yet...Probably it does not work because there is a check point at the gate of airport)
Some taxi drivers do not know the way if your venue is somewhere complicated (or some drivers just pretend not to know the way so that can drive all the way to overcharge). If you do not like to be unhappily overcharged but do not want to adventure a bit, the safest way is to book the airport pick up from your hotel. The hotel already overcharged you and you are usually happy to be overcharged by the hotel.
Good luck and safe trip in Bali!
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Check out another article: how not to be cheated by taxi at Tan Son Nhat International airport, HCMC, Vietnam
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Source: Wikipedia, Kurakura Bus website
Disclaimer: Even though we try to make the info as updated and accurate but the accuracy of the information herein is not guaranteed by us. If you have any uncertainty, please contact the information source.
Write a comment
Mango Jeff (Monday, 29 May 2017 18:57)
Hi Guys, I've to thank you for this tip (which is still good on the 29th of May 2017). Probably the cheapest way to go to Ubud from the airport.
I would add that there's a Kura-Kura bus close to the airport, station Aston Kuta on the green bus line, 15min walking from the airport (north).
I got this information by Kura-Kura office, I didn't try yet but I'll do it on the way back. It could help saving a little bit more money by avoiding the taxi to the station.
Thanks anyway. Have a safe journey around the world !
Ann (Friday, 25 August 2017 17:51)
Thanks for this.I just want to know how much is the approximate taxi fare (Bluebird) to DFS GALLERIA BUS BAY?
Julie (Friday, 20 October 2017 16:24)
Hi. I've been to Bali many times but have never tried to walk out of or into the airport. Any tips on where to go to walk out from either the international or domestic terminal. I've used the Kura Kura bus before and it is fantastic - but like everything it does get caught in the nightmare traffic from time to time - Aston Kuta is the closest stop. I'm so over the seemingly cartel taxi arrangement at the airport where they basically make up the price.
Stanley (Sunday, 17 December 2017 19:01)
Thanks for this website to help travellers.
I have walked out of the International Airport once recently through a pedestrian gate located somewhere near "Masjid Al Ikhlas Bandara Ngurah Rai" mosque. From the main road as you come out of this small gate, walk right for a short distance and "Harris Hotel Tuban" will be on your left, use google map to check Harris Hotel Tuban and the name of the mosque mentioned above, you will be able to find it.
From the gate, it's just a short walk to the Aston Kuta for the Kura-Kura bus.
If you cannot find the gate, ask those people working at the airport which is the shortest way to walk to Harris Hotel Tuban. Ask the ladies so you won't end up asking a taxi driver or touts. They will not tell you.
Hope someone can find the way and give a more accurate description.
Also note that the Kura-Kura bus is not the only bus to Ubud.
Perama Tour & Travel located at Jalan Raja Legian also have buses to Ubud for around the same price but they arrive at Hanoman Street in Ubud near the Coco Supermarket.
Stanley (Sunday, 17 December 2017 19:10)
More info for no. #5 above.
Please note that the "walk" I mentioned above from the airport building to the gate is all within the airport compound, without walking along any traffic. If you ask anyone for Harris Hotel Tuban and if they tell you it is a long way or show you a way that you see cars, you know that is not the shortcut. The gate I mentioned above is just a small gate of around 3 feet width, not for cars.
Maritza (Sunday, 17 December 2017 22:24)
Thanks so much for the info Stanely going try this this weekend.
Maritza (Saturday, 23 December 2017 19:30)
I walked out the airport today. It wasn’t difficult once I found my way but if you have a lot of luggage I wouldn’t do it. I only had a 50L backpack and my 23L daypack, it wasnt difficult at all. The only annoying part is constantly getting harrased by all the taxi drivers.
So when you get out of arrivals just walk straight (you will see an arch) once you walk through the arch you will see a parking lot in front of you. Go inside the parking lot and follow the signs pointing to the exit (the exit signs are for the cars driving and its on the left side)
After you walk through the exit of the parking lot, cross the street, and turn right. Just walk down the black and white curb (there will be no curb at some point)
Taxi’s will still be trying to get you into there taxi, dont go unless you see a bluebird.
Keep walking, you will see the parking pay station. Walk pass that (mind you there is no curb anymore, so not really pedestrian freindly), and then keep walking a few minuets (cross the street at this point, there will be a walkway again) and you will see a kuta/denpasar sigh wih an arrow (basically just keep walking straight.
If you keep walking, you will be in Kuta or you can catch a bluebird taxi. I caught a bluebird to sanur, it was 80,000rph but i also stopped at the Atm.
The walk wasn’t bad at all but i wouldnt do it with kids or a bunch of luggage.
Hope this helps
Maritza (Saturday, 23 December 2017 19:33)
Forgot to add this was from the internationals arrival terminal
V (Friday, 29 December 2017 14:41)
If you don’t want to get ripped off or walk out of the airport for a taxi, you can also get a Blue Bird Taxi by going to the departures level, and either booking using their app (be sure to do this before exiting baggage claim/terminal area and losing WiFi signal) or trying to catch one that is dropping off. I’ve done this a few times. Uber and Grab drivers tend to stay away from the airport due to the taxi mafia.
Also expect to pay 10-20k more depending on traffic and routing and exact destination. To Legian it can be up to 75-80k if they take Jl Sunset which can be faster if you’re going more north.
e c (Friday, 26 January 2018 22:58)
I just arrived in Bali this evening and was going to try and walk out to the Kura bus stop based on directions on here and Google maps, but after 2 days of straight travel from Peru, I am very glad I decided to take a taxi from the 3rd floor (departures) of the International terminal. A licensed driver offered me 150k to Legian area but we settled on 100k. After getting out on the roads in the Bali chaos and since being exhausted and with luggage, it was very worth it. It was a 20 min relaxing ride to my hotel door for $7.50usd.
Also, I wanted to give a tip related to getting money at the airport. I showed up with zero cash (wasn't planned to happen that way) and both atms outside immigration wouldn't work for me. I ended up walking way over to the domestic terminal where they have an international atm grouping near the burger king and taxi co. stands with about 8 different bank atms. I found one that worked and charged me 50k even though it said 100k fee on the machine... (Note: I'm not talking about the atms closer to the domestic entrance doors, those are local networks and wouldn't work for me.)
Henny (Saturday, 10 March 2018 19:07)
You don’t need to go out of the airport, Blue Birds from departure floor works very well.
Local guide (Saturday, 07 April 2018 12:55)
I am from jakarta and living in Bali for the past 7 years.
I feel obliged just to get things straight because so much negative words for the official airport transport is written in blog or something like that.
I have my own scooter and car here but I have friends who worked at the official airport transport and some are grab driver also.
Research here is why you have to pay such ammount of money for official airport taxi fare.
1. The estimated time on destination area as per written above is no longer real since traffic jam is getting ridiciolous nowaday and the one way road such as legian, pantai kuta. That makes the driver have to spent 1- 1.5 hour (or even more) just to drop off in that area and return.
2. The official airport taxi /minivan taxi are paying tax and other licenced that contributes (OFFICIALLY) to the airport. Please note that capital.
3. Others taxi without any sign of official airport taxi/ minivan taxi are illegal to operate inside the airport since they do not pay for licence to operate and contributes any to the airport. Thats why they are cheaper and like a greedy thief for most of the official airport taxi driver.
4. Local culture and rule. Bali has culture from long long time ago that is unique.Unlike the online transport (uber, grab etc) and bluebird that are free to pick up passenger everywhere else (outside the restricted area), They have unwritten rule here that driver from any area can not pick up guest from the other area (e.g: Official airport driver can not pick up guest in Kuta, Legian etc. and the opposite). Except that driver has already booked or chartered by the guest to be their temporary driver while they spent times in Bali.
5. Official airport taxi/minivan taxi driver are using batik motive uniform with airport transport written on the uniform. We can ask for the official published fare (listed) to them and negotiate if you feel that is too much. And in addition Most of them drive descent minivan.
For a simple picture regarding this transport fraud is :
Imagine that you have one food stall in Foodcourt along with other merchant
Are paying this and that to the operator of the Foodcourt for the facilities like chair and table and so on, and there is a person or two or even ten walking into the foodcourt area and is selling food and drinks to the guest at the foodcourt with cheaper price just because they do not pay anything at all cost.
What would you do?
At the end it is up to you to decide and decide it wisely.
Have a great time in Bali and keep it clean.
Venn (Wednesday, 18 April 2018 16:44)
DO NOT EVER TELL THE LOCALS ON THE STREET THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE BOOKED A BLUE BIRD TAXI!
Bali people will try to rip you off any time, starting from the airport. The airport taxi drivers are not paying for the airport in the way the Local guide above described the Foodcourt. The rule that a taxi can not pick anyone when in different area is also ridiculous. All these are in use to rip visitors off.
My advice after bad experience in Ubud with Blue Bird taxi and the locals is: install the free app, book a taxi and while waiting DO NOT EVER TELL THE LOCALS ON THE STREET THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE BOOKED a Blue Bird taxi, they will call their mates with Taxi signs, situated every 50 meters along the street and will make sure you will not go anywhere with your taxi - 5-8 people will be blocking his way acting AGGRESSIVELY and in the end they will make you get off the car. Trying to call Police at 112 (911) will just give you a busy message or ring tone forever. Moving down the street is not going to help you too, there will be either someone following you or the next one from the ripoff system on the street will already be informed by phone about you coming.
Local guide, this is called UNFAIR DISLOYAL COMPETITION and bribing is involved harming the other businesses and consumers.
Try to get info from anywhere possible about the fair prices and do not allow the locals to rip you off. Once they get used to it they will think that this is the way to do business. The above listed prices ARE still good.
Jeff (Tuesday, 08 May 2018 15:34)
What I do is go to lift on level 3 and catch a bluebird taxi from departure airport as someone is getting dropped off jump in taxi before he goes they're happy to take you but I found a bluebird taxi but he wanted a fixed price I ended up paying 100,000 Rp but I was happy enough with that he originally asked for 300,000 Rp but I bargained him down
Naveen (Tuesday, 17 July 2018 13:44)
Best option is to have your pick up arranged from the hotel . Their prices are reasonable. I was charged 60K IDR for 2 people from Airport to Kuta. Private taxis fare was 1L IDR. All boils down to your bargaining skills.
Jhonatan (Monday, 30 July 2018 00:48)
Best tip ever
Jade (Sunday, 26 August 2018 02:30)
To reply to 'local guide', it may be culture for taxi's to be zoned and only pick up from their designated zone, but nobody intended for that custom to be abused so flagrantly, by taking airport arrivals hostage. Please understand it's not a good look for new visitors, first impressions count.
I was quoted over 150k IDR at the official taxi counter for a short 1km trip to Kuta. Never heard anything so ridiculous, at any airport anywhere in Asia, Singapore and HK would be cheaper.
Walked outside, caught a bluebird, fare was 12'700 IDR. There is no justification for the 'official fare' being well over 10x higher than the meter fare.
Bella (Friday, 31 August 2018 17:22)
Hey Jade, thanks for sharing! Since your reply is very recent, I’m wondering when you say ‘walked outside’ did you mean leaving the airport ground completely, or the Departure level as everyone is advising for Blue Bird taxi? I’ve downloaded the Blue Bird app, btw. Thanks!
Jace (Sunday, 23 September 2018 10:47)
With the exception of their Sanur-Ubud line, Kura kura buses do not take luggages.
Trald (Tuesday, 16 October 2018 11:35)
Hi Jade , I too am traveling to Bali soon and like Bella asked about ‘walked outside’ , exactly where do you walk out from and to where ? I have also downloaded the Bluebird taxi app and should I use it or just wave down one ? Where would be the place you mentioned you got a bluebird taxi Jade?
Jade (Thursday, 14 March 2019 19:39)
Sorry for late follow up, by 'walked outside' yes I mean outside the airport grounds. You go beyond departures area, through the carpark, hit the first main road (you may be able to get a taxi here, but there's nowhere for the taxi to stop without interrupting traffic). So better to cross, continue along the footpath to the left about 100m, cross the second road on the first right - and around that area is (usually) some space for a taxi to pull over.
Having the bluebird app is ideal if you have internet, but there's a reasonably regular flow of taxi's passing this area, it shouldn't take too long to wave one down.
Pagalong (Wednesday, 12 June 2019 12:59)
Before i'm visiting Bali and try to search pre-book airport taxi for pickup us at Ngurah Rai Airport and drop to Anumana Resort Ubud. I found on google places Bali Airport Transfer, i'm contact him and ask the price to Ubud for 4 person the price IDR 300K/car. He info the price is per a car not per person and their service is a private transfer. I Think this is fair, we can negotiate and ask the details before the booking made. On arrival date driver waiting us at arrival hall with sign.
YZ (Friday, 31 January 2020 01:42)
So just a few minutes ago 12 am arrived and grabbed a taxi from bluebird, my Airbnb is 15 min. Walk or 5 minutes on car, they showed me a paper and started to confuse me about the charge was 215,000 and I said that in dlrs someone told me it was around 6 dlrs, they told me no and that maybe outside, so I just agreed as I saw in every post that it was safe and everything, literally took 6 minutes to the Airbnb and got here and just realized this. Does anyone have any suggestions to just let it go or go claim tomorrow?