What you need to know before visiting Bali

A list of important things to prepare you for your first trip to Bali

Jenna Silver


Below, I answer the most common questions when visiting Bali. I've been to Bali 3 times for a total of a year and made lots of mistakes the first time. I hope this information can help you make your trip as enjoyable as possible

When to visit

Bali has a dry season (April to September) and a wet season (October to March). It is recommended to travel to Bali during the dry season. If you're looking to avoid the busiest period, which is during the summer, it's best to come between April and June or September and October. If you are only able to visit during the wet season, the weather will be unpredictable. It could be dry throughout your entire vacation or you could experience rain for a few days. Some parts of Bali receive more rainfall than others, such as Ubud and North Bali which receives a lot of rain, while Uluwatu, and the Nusa islands experience less.

How long to stay

As long as you can! I personally don't think there is a period that would be too long to stay in Bali. It's big and there is so much to see, including the Nusa and Gili islands nearby. I've stayed for several months multiple times and there are still places I want to see. I recommend a minimum of a week, if possible, and if you have more time, 10-14 days would be great to see the majority of the activities without feeling rushed.

How to get around

There are different ways to travel through Bali, and it all depends on what you're comfortable with and where you are going. One of the best ways to get around is by renting a scooter and driving yourself, but only if you have an international license and experience driving a scooter, as the traffic in Bali can be chaotic. You can also acclimate to the traffic by taking your time or taking driving lessons. Another option is to hire a local driver, which you can find at any hotel or in busy areas, and they are ideal for day trips. Taking a car for long distances is better, but because of the traffic, scooters can often be faster.

A third option, if you want to be on a scooter but don't know how to drive, is to download the apps Gojek or Grab with a local SIM card, which you can buy at the airport or in tourist areas. I recommend Telekomsel, which is the local provider on the island. With these apps, you can hire drivers by scooter or car to take you where you need to go for a reasonable price.


Bali is one of the safest places to travel to. The locals are friendly and mostly Hindu, meaning they believe in good karma and will help you out of good faith. I have traveled to Bali three times by myself, and it's also a great place for solo travel and meeting new people. You should still take the same precautions you would in any other country. Don't leave your belongings unattended, and if you're on a scooter, never hold your phone in your hands. In recent years, there has been an increase in robberies committed this way.


Most Balinese people speak two to three languages: Indonesian, Balinese, and English. In the touristy parts of Bali, the majority of people speak English, and there is no trouble communicating at all. However, when you travel to less touristy areas, you may encounter locals who do not speak English. It's always useful to have a translation app to help you or to learn some words in Indonesian, which the Balinese highly appreciate!


It is recommended not to drink any tap water in Bali. This includes not brushing your teeth with tap water, not consuming ice cubes made with tap water, and not washing your vegetables or fruit with tap water. You can buy sealed bottled water everywhere, including at supermarkets such as Circle K, but most hotels also provide drinking water.


The currency used in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). The cash comes in notes of 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000. Just to give you an idea, approximately $7 USD is equivalent to 100,000 IDR.


It's always a good idea to have enough cash with you in Bali, as many places only accept cash for activities such as visiting waterfalls and temples. There aren't ATMs everywhere in Bali, but there are plenty in the touristy areas such as Ubud, Uluwatu, Canggu, and Kuta. Most restaurants accept card payments, but local warungs (eating spots) only take cash.


Tipping is not expected, but it is highly appreciated by locals. Even a small amount can mean a lot to those working in the tourism sector.


Most hotels, restaurants, and day clubs have Wi-Fi in Bali. However, the speed of the Wi-Fi depends on the area. In South Bali, the connection is decent, but as you move further North, the connection can be unreliable. If you need to have internet access on your phone, it's best to buy a local SIM card from Telekomsel, the local provider in Bali. You can do this in various tourist areas. I usually buy it at the airport, as it may be a bit more expensive, but at least it is done by the official provider and works well. You can also use it immediately for transportation services like Gojek (similar to Uber) right out of the airport.


Bali is as cheap or expensive as you want it to be, meaning that there are budget options available for everything, as well as ultimate luxury, depending on your preference. You can have dinner for as little as $1-5, or you can spend over $50, depending on where you go. Accommodation, transportation, and activities follow a similar pattern. In general, Bali offers a lot of affordable options, with guesthouses costing around $10 per night with breakfast included, and full-day tours ranging from $20 to $40 per day.

For more information on what to do in Bali, planning your trip and hidden gems, check out my complete Bali guide .