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Read on to learn where is Bali located and what all the hype is about, along with answers to other common questions!

Where is Bali located?

Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t know where is Bali located! A lot of people hear about Bali while watching tv and movies, or from friends and simply assume that Bali is a country.

Bali is in fact an island province within the country of Indonesia. Indonesia is the world’s largest island country, with over 17,000 islands, it covers more archipelago (total land and sea area) than any other country in the world.

You’d think with how popular Bali is that it is the capital of Indonesia. Jakarta, however, is the capital of Indonesia and is just a short 2 hour flight to the west of where Bali is.

Bali is the #1 tourist destination in all of Indonesia. It is located between the islands of Java and Lombok. While Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world, Bali is considered a Hindu island. You’ll often hear Bali referred to as the Island of the Gods.

Where is Bali?
This map of Indonesia shows Bali circled in red. The areas greyed out to the north are Malaysia (and in the far upper left is a little bit of Thailand) and in the bottom right is Australia. Source: Wikipedia

Where is Bali closest to outside of Indonesia?

Bali can be accessed most easily by flying. It’s close proximity to Australia makes it many Aussie’s number one choice for an international getaway.

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is a nearby major city of Southeast Asia. It is just a 3 hour flight from Bali.

Singapore is one of the most popular destinations in the region and the massive Changi Airport serves as one most popular transit airports in the world, effectively linking every major route option we have these days. Flights between Bali and Singapore are just 2 hours and 50 minutes.

How big is Bali?

So now that you know where Bali is, let’s talk about how big it is. Bali isn’t the biggest island in the world but it’s not exactly small either. It is roughly the size of the state of Delaware in America, one of America’s smallest states.

Bali covers 5,780 square kilometers (2,230 square miles). To put that in comparison, Singapore is just 728 square kilometers, while the entire area of Tokyo in Japan covers 2,194 square kilometers.

Bali’s roads, especially in the north, were built around volcanoes and therefore run primarily north and south. Getting East to West requires more time. An entire “lap” around Bali is approximately 400km and would take an estimated 10 hours by car.

Where is Bali located?
Driving around Bali by car would take around 10 hours and cover over 400km.

Where is Bali the busiest?

Where is Bali traffic the worst? Refer to the map above and you’ll see a cluster of all my saved spots – restaurants, places I wanna go, places I’ve been. The south of Bali is by far the busiest part of the island.

Back in the day Kuta was the hot spot, followed by Seminyak. Everything has basically moved North to Canggu – the new epicenter of ‘it all.’ This is where 99% of the digital nomads and social media influencers are based.

The southern peninsula, commonly referred to as the ‘Bukit’ (hill in Indonesian), is certainly popular and up and coming although relatively quiet when compared to Canggu. About an hour drive northeast from Canggu, another famous village, Ubud, is also very popular and crowded.

Traffic has come under the spotlight in the media, as the post-pandemic Bali experiences the shortcomings of poor infrastructure.

Not a fan of crowds? Travel to the northern areas of Bali or Bali’s islands – Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. These small islands are great for a quiet getaway!

Where is Bali airport?

Bali’s airport, I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, airport code DPS (short for Denpasar), is not actually in Bali’s capital of Denpasar. It’s located in the Tuban area of Kuta.

Where is Bali’s airport relative to Canggu? Canggu, depending on traffic, can take as little as 30 minutes when avoiding peak traffic hours. If you hit rush hour gridlock, the drive can take over 1 hour.

Where is Bali?
Flying in or out of Bali offers amazing views of the island – make sure to grab that window seat!

Why is Bali so special?

To start, Bali is a beautiful tropical island in Southeast Asia. Who doesn’t love hearing the words tropical and island together anyway, right?

Knowing where is Bali and what it has to offer could make it your number one choice for your next holiday.

There are countless beaches, amazing restaurants, & fantastic surf. There is rich culture with a huge selection of amazing temples and other aspects of the Balinese culture that tourists love to explore. In all likelihood, you’ll witness a Balinese ceremony of some kind – an amazing opportunity to see their beautiful customs and traditional clothing.

Why do people go on holiday anyway? That’s right, TO RELAX! Bali is home to hundreds, if not thousands of spas. The best part is they probably cost only a small fraction of what you would pay in your home country. It’s not uncommon to find massages for as little as US$4.50 per hour!

Another primary reason that Bali is so special is that most would consider it a cheap destination. Compared to places like Japan, New York, or London, it’s likely that your entire holiday can cost the same amount as just your flight to those other cities!

Where is Bali the cheapest? Definitely not in the tourist areas, but still expect to find some really great prices. Tip: look for promo boards displayed out front of shops and restaurants for some great deals!

Check our article on the cost of living in Bali, updated for 2022. This will give you some insight on to how much it costs to visit or live in Bali.

Is Bali safe?

Overall, yes Bali is a safe place. Use common sense and don’t be too naive. Here’s a quick list of the most important

  • Use ATM’s at banks where there is a security guard present
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • If you aren’t experienced on a scooter, Bali is NOT the place to learn
  • If you are, don’t drink and drive and always wear a helmet
  • Females should avoid traveling alone at night, especially in Canggu and surrounding areas
  • Don’t hold your phone in your hand for navigation, as phone/bag snatching is quite common in Canggu and surrounding areas at night
  • Avoid driving at late hours when people are on their way home from partying
  • Be conscious of potential scams
  • Only change money at an authorized money changer (we recommend BMC)

Do I need a visa for Bali?

No matter what your purpose for visiting Bali is, you will need a visa.

If you’re visiting for tourism and plan to stay less than 60 days you can purchase a visa on arrival (VOA). The visa on arrival can be purchased when you arrive (note: there are just a few countries that can get a free VOA). The VOA is valid for 30 days and can be extended one time for an additional 30 days, but you’ll be required to visit the immigration office for the extension.

Currently, 75 countries are eligible for the Visa on Arrival. Visit this page from Visa-Indonesia.com, as their website is simple to read and updated regularly.

If you wish to stay longer than 60 days you’ll want a B211A visa.

It’s important to use an established and reliable agent, as there are a lot of horror stories out there. We highly recommend our affiliate, Visa-Indonesia.com. They are a licensed company who have handled thousands of visas. You’ll get support before, during, and even after the visa application process.

Although the visa application process usually takes between 7 to 10 days, it is recommended that you apply for it around 4 weeks in advance just to be safe.

Check our full article on visas for Indonesia HERE.

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