Things To Do When Arriving at Bali Airport (DPS) | Tips for Every Traveler As Soon As We Land

Things To Do When Arriving at Bali Airport (DPS) | Tips for Every Traveler As Soon As We Land

Things to do when arriving at Bali Airport

Once the tickets are purchased, your bag is ready and you know where to sleep during your trip to Bali for your first night, all you have to do is fly quietly to paradise. Once you got your luggages and out from the Customs (Douane), here are things to do when arriving at Bali Airport:

Don’t forget to check how you are covered by your travel insurance!

Once you arrived, you will see that the Balinese culture will jump out at you (or above… we will come back to this!). You may be a bit lost if it’s the first time. But we are here to help and reassure you. So what to do when you arrive at Bali airport? Here are our tips on the 5 things to do when you get off your plane.

1 – Complete the Electronic Customs Declaration (e-CD) before you arrive

This will save you time at the airport and make the immigration process smoother. You can complete the e-CD online up to 4 days before your arrival in Indonesia.

2 – Have your passport, visa (if required)

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your departure date from Indonesia. If you are a visa-exempt citizen, you will receive a visa on arrival (VOA) at the airport. If you are not a visa-exempt citizen, you will need to apply for a visa before you travel to Indonesia.

3 – Go through the immigration queue

Once you have your documents ready, join the immigration queue. There are separate queues for visa-exempt citizens and those who need a VOA.

4 – Collect your luggage

After you have cleared immigration, you will collect your luggage from the baggage carousel. Safety: Stay cautious of your belongings and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas. Read here for: Passing through Customs, how will it happen? WELCOME TO BALI and Enjoy your trip to Bali!

5 – Arrival in Bali: withdraw money from the ATM machine at the airport (once you collected your bags)

As you know, your $, €, £, AUD… will clearly not be able to be used in Indonesia! You will have to withdraw Indonesian Rupiahs. As soon as you arrive you will have the opportunity to do so. Moreover, we strongly advise you to withdraw directly from Bali airport so that you are safe for your first purchases. There are several ATMs in the airport you will see after you finish with immigration and customs (douane) and pickup your bags. If you do not know how much to withdraw, we advise you to withdraw the maximum per withdrawal, that is to say IDR 2.5 million around: USD 165 or AUD 245 or EUR 150 or SGD 220 or GBP 130 or CHF 150).

Read also: Bali Airport DPS | Important and Practical Tips to Improve your Experience at Ngurah Rai Airport

But what to do in Bali with all that money?

Seen like that, IDR 2.5 million is a lot! But in reality it is only around EUR 150. It’s quite surprising at first, and you can quickly get lost in it. With time and experience you will get used to it.

IMPORTANT: if you go to a money changer, ALWAYS count again right infront of the person handing that money to you. Read also: Cheapest Credit Card to Use Abroad | Maximizing Savings and Convenience, Especially When Traveling to Bali

Duty Free

Duty Free on Bali airport arrival is not at all interesting and extremely expensive. if you can, do your shopping before your arrival if you are stopping over in Singapore, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur. Or when departing from Bali, indeed, the Duty free in Bali on departure is much more interesting and with prices close to those of other airports in Asia.

Bali Airport (DPS) I Gusti Ngurah Rai International AirportBali Airport DPS | Important and Practical Tips to Improve your Experience at Ngurah Rai Airport Bali Airport (DPS) I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6 – Use your cell phone in Bali

Your plane lands, you get off and arrive in the hall to collect your luggage and your first instinct will surely be to turn on your phone to tell the parents that you have arrived safely. For that, no problem: there is free wifi in the airport!

We advise you to buy your local SIM card directly at Bali airport. If you wish to use your own SIM, make sure before going to Indonesia, ask your phone company to activate the international option. This is one of the most important things to do when arriving at the Bali Airport, get a SIM card! If you stay in Bali for more than 90 days… scroll down for important info.

But once out, you will need your phone to communicate with someone there or find your direction. In this article we intervene to help you! Recently, stands located in Bali airport have been selling SIM cards at very good prices. You have the choice between SIM cards with internet+call or SIM cards with internet only. It all depends on what you want, but we, for example, only take data, just to use the internet and communicate via WhatsApp. The good thing is that it’s really cheap. We often take between 15 and 20 Gigas for barely EUR 7, and that makes you the whole stay. Or you can buy online an eSIM (Google it: eSIM), or if you want, you can buy Airalo. Revolutionize Your Connectivity with Airalo eSIM!


There are 6 operators in Indonesia. Some have fairly good global coverage and others cover specific small regions. We advise you to turn to a large operator that covers a large territory with 4G present in Bali, Lombok, Java and Flores. The two biggest are Telkomsel and XL. For having tested both, we advise you to take Telkomsel which covers many more areas than XL and which is not more expensive.


It is above all a story of comfort. We communicate a lot on social networks so we need to have a 24/7 connection, no matter where we are. We use WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, emails, Skype etc… It is also good to orient you on the island with Google Map or to seek important / emergency information when you are on the move.


Since April 2018, a new law obliges any purchaser of an Indonesian SIM card to present an identity document in order to register the SIM card. We recommend that you buy your SIM card at Bali Ngurah-Rai International Airport (DPS Airport) or in town in an official shop, and not in a small street shop. If you buy from a street shop, your card will not be registered with your passport and will be blocked for a few days after first use. You can’t know everything when you arrive in Bali and that’s why we thought it was important to write this article.

Read also: Itinerary in Bali, Lombok and Gilis in 3 Weeks Stay

Can I still use my mobile phone in Indonesia without registering the IMEI?

The answer is yes, if you purchased your phone from abroad, and if you are going to stay less than 3 months in Indonesia, you will be able to acquire a SIM card called Telkomsel PraBayar or Telkomsel Tourist Card, which will work for 3 months and it will not be necessary to register the IMEI of your phone. THE BEST is using the eSIM. You can Google them, there are many operators for international eSIM out there. For examples: Holafly, Nomad or you can compare them by using esimdb.

Or if you want, you can buy Airalo (our referral code: ALDO8725 to get US$3 discount, when you buy it for the first time).

Register your IMEI if you wish to stay for more than 90 days, and if you want to use Indonesian SIM

If you are going to stay more than 3 months in Indonesia and want to continue using your phone (purchased abroad) with an Indonesian SIM card, you must register the IMEI at the Customs office in Jakarta or Bali.

If you are planning to stay in Indonesia for over 90 days and wish to use a local SIM card, you will have to register your phone (if it is not already in the database). You can do so at the airport of Jakarta or directly in Bali.

  • The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) registration for the phones that are worth less than US$500 is free of charge. Read also: Bali Online Customs Form to Complete | A Complete Guide to Filling it out the ECD
  • The amount of tax to be paid for foreigners is 40% of the cost of the phone, exceeding the rate of US$500. For example, if your phone costs US$800 the 40% will be charged from US$300, therefore the tax amount would be US$120. No one really finds much fault in the cost of the phone, so it can be understated, but within reasonable limits of course.
  • If you have Indonesian work / residence permit for foreign nationals (KITAS) and a tax number (NPWP) the tax amount will be 30% of the cost of the phone exceeding the rate of US$500.
  • If you don’t register the phone within first 5 days, will lose the opportunity to get the discount of 500 USD and must pay 30-40% of the original price of the mobile.
  • Keep in mind that you must register your phone within 90 days from the date of your arrival in Indonesia (if you wish to use your phone) or else you can my a mobile phone in Indonesia and use them as a wifi modem.

7 – Taxi / driver at Bali airport

Once you have money and a working phone, all you have to do is get out of the airport and discover the wonderful Balinese world. If this is your first time to Bali, please leave a comment to tell us how you felt and how it went! Read also: Bali for the Firstimer | Advice, Good Adresses and Idea for Visit

Some people were very surprised to see about fifty Balinese people literally jumping on clients to get them into their taxi! They felt a little attacked by them and they do not hide it from you. Nowadays they dont really jump on you or a bit less aggresive.

In Bali, they all want to be your driver. After several times, you get used to it, but the first time can be shocking. That’s why we’re telling you about it, so you won’t be surprised. But above all, this is only to give you good ideas about it. Read also: How to Take a Taxi in Bali Without Getting Scammed or Cheated?


Since you have followed the steps for preparing your trip with our previous article, you will have booked your first night in a hotel to be peaceful. Remember to ask your host if she/he offers a transfer from the airport. If this service is not feasible, they will surely offer you another solution and find you a driver. They are so nice and have such a sense of service that they will do everything to satisfy you.


Having a driver pick you up at Bali airport is a real comfort. It saves you from being scammed (because you negotiate the price upstream) and above all you save time because your driver knows where he is taking you. If you wish, you can even travel all over the island by taxi. For that see if the one who picks you up at the airport is available or if one of his friends is. Otherwise we have a solution for you, as you can imagine. Since you have internet on your phone, you can download transport apps like (Uber), Grab or Gojek that allow you to order an online taxi at the right price.


Book online your airport transfer via Traveloka (local website / Apps), they proposed fixed price. Find more about this: Bali Airport PickUp, Drop-Off Service, Excursion, Travel and Transportation Services at Villa Carissa


As a reminder, the price of an Uluwatu / Sanur / Kuta / Seminyak / Canggu / Denpasar airport trip should not exceed Rp 200,000. To go to Ubud, count double of that.

8 – Rent a scooter in Bali

You may have decided to rent a scooter to get around Bali. Too good idea! It’s the best way to get around. You see landscapes, you meet locals, and you feel free! We love it. This is why we advise you to travel with a bag and not a suitcase, because it is easier to carry. There are scooter rental companies on every street, and often your hotel may also offer one. We leave you the choice of scooter and what you do with it, but we advise you on 3 points:

  • Take a helmet, really. It may seem like silly advice to you, but you will see a lot of Balinese and especially a lot of tourists without helmets.
  • On the other hand, be aware that the roads are still super dangerous and that the traffic is dense. There are serious accidents every day on the island. And then the controls get tighter. Before, they let pass the non-wearing of a helmet. Now they are stricter. It can save you a fine and your life.
  • DOUBLE CHECK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE! insurance for scooter accident overseas. If you have a motorbike accident and are injured overseas, who will pay for your emergency medical treatment and hospital expenses?

Do not rent your small scooter + helmet above IDR 70,000 per day (= € 4) so as not to be fooled!

Read also: Tips for Scooter Travelers in Bali | Safety, Price, Road conditions, Driving license and Insurance

9 – A few Indonesian words to know

Make yourself understood as soon as you arrive at Bali airport.
When you speak the same language, it is easier to be understood but above all more difficult to be scammed. So if you want to find a good place to stay in Bali cheap because your travel budget is limited, or even find the best restaurant in Bali, these few words will help you enormously. For this, we give you a small simple list to express yourself a minimum in Indonesian language.

  • Ya: Yes
  • Tidak: No (a word that will be extremely useful for you to get rid of a salesman who is a little too pushy)
  • Terima kasih: Thank you (soksma in Balinese dialect)
  • Sama-sama: You’re welcome
  • Halo: Hi
  • Sampai jumpa: goodbye
  • Selamat makan: Bon appetit
  • Selamat datang: Welcome
  • Selamat jalan: Have a good trip
  • Maaf: Sorry
  • Pagi: morning
  • Siang: noon
  • Sore: afternoon
  • Malam: evening / night
  • Selamat tidur: good night
  • Selamat pagi: Good morning (in the morning)
  • Selamat siang: Good afternoon (noon, from 11 am say)
  • Selamat sore: Good afternoon (afternoon, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.)
  • Selamat malam: Good evening (evening and night)
  • Selamat tidur: Good night

The locals often remove the “selamat” to go faster. You can then say “pagi” (morning) to say hello. It’s like you know.

Now you now about things to do when arriving at Bali airport, why don’t you share your experience when the first time you arrived in Bali airport, in the below…

Sources: Forbes, Huffingtonpost, Traveller

Photo credit: RainerPrang via Pixabay

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