Finding the cheapest flights to Bali is a matter of timing and your choice of departure cities. With only a couple of exceptions, a majority of the international flights servicing Bali come from Australia and other points in Asia.
Certainly the busiest tourist destination in Indonesia and one of the top destinations in Asia, the island of Bali has it all. Fortunately, the explosion of tourism makes finding cheap flights even easier.
Flights to Bali
Bali is so small that only one airport, the Ngurah Rai International Airport (airport code: DPS), handles all international flights and many transfers to other parts of Indonesia. Bali's airport is actually the second-busiest airport in Indonesia. The airport is expected to hit its maximum capacity by 2017, so construction of a new international airport is planned for the north part of the island. A new international airport on the neighboring island of Lombok will also help handle the increase in traffic to Bali.
The airport in Bali is conveniently located only 1.5 miles from Kuta and the popular beaches of South Bali. Although the airport is often called Denpasar International Airport, it is actually located around 30 minutes away from Bali's capital of Denpasar.
- See some great places to visit in Bali.
Finding the Cheapest Flights to Bali
A majority of the international flights to Bali come from Australia and other parts of Asia.
Flights from the US are relatively expensive, so consider splitting up your journey in a popular hub such as Singapore, then continuing onward to Bali with a different airline.
Flights from Bangkok and Singapore are often the cheapest flights to Bali. Air Asia and other budget airlines offer extremely cheap flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Bali's peak season is in the summer, especially between the months of June and August. Expect to pay more for flights during the busy season.
Flights to Bali from Australia
Bali, because of the close proximity and excellent surfing, is a popular destination for Australians. Here are the cheapest flights to Bali from major cities in Australia:
Arriving in Bali
You can receive a visa on arrival good for 30 days in Indonesia once you land in the airport. You'll need at least two blank pages left in your passport and a minimum of six months validity remaining. Officials prefer if you pay the visa fees in US dollars, although Indonesian rupiah is accepted. Internationally-networked ATMs are available in the arrivals area so that you can get local currency.
- See some Indonesia travel essentials to prepare for your trip.
As with many popular airports in Asia, expect to be inundated by offers from porters, touts, and drivers once you exit the airport. Do not allow anyone to pick up your bags unless you are willing to pay them.
- See what to expect after arriving in Asia.
Leaving the Airport
To avoid extra hassle from drivers, purchase a fixed-rate coupon for an official taxi (walk to the right as you exit the airport) where a driver will be assigned for you. A ticket to Kuta will cost around US $5 while a ticket to Ubud costs between US $10 and $25 depending on the taxi company.
Ambitious backpackers and ultralight travelers can actually walk from the airport to accommodation in Kuta. Alternatively, you can walk five minutes just outside of the airport area to flag down a taxi or bemo -- public minivan; make sure the driver uses a meter or negotiate your fare before you get inside.
The airport at Bali unfortunately has a long reputation of corruption and petty scams aimed at travelers who are leaving. The departure tax -- to be paid at a designated kiosk on your way out -- is 150,000 rupiah (around US $15). If flying elsewhere in Indonesia, expect to pay only around US $4 for domestic departure tax. This tax is not included in your ticket price so save some local currency to pay on the way out!
Unless you are leaving with antiques, question anyone who claims that you have to pay a duty on souvenirs or other gifts that you purchased. See more about popular scams in Asia.