How to Get Around Kuta Bali
Kuta stretches along the beachfront all the way from the airport to Legian, and small lanes lead from the beaches into the densely populated accommodation zone. To avoid traffic-related frustrations, the best option is a combination of walking in small lanes and using metred taxis or a rented motorbike for longer excursions.
Traffic jams are a constant hassle here and especially so when it is raining. It is often best to park your car before you reach downtown Kuta, and walk in. The area downtown is only about one and a half kilometres in length and half a kilometre wide but when stuck in traffic you might easily spend 30 minutes or more to travel these short distances.
There are some designated parking areas in the middle of Kuta (usually Rp 5,000 for an unlimited stay) including a large one on Jalan Legian near the top of Poppies II. There are also public parking bays on Jalan Pantai Kuta right beside the beach, but these can get very busy.
Finding a rental car company is easy in Kuta, especially in Poppies I and Poppies II. A small rental car starts from Rp140,000 with third party insurance. Add another Rp100,000 or so for a comprehensive cover. Check your rental contract for specifics before signing. The rental car can be driven to your accommodation for pick up.
Metred taxis are ubiquitous on the streets of Kuta and are a relatively cheap and reliable way to get around, especially at night. Avoid any taxi where the driver refuses to put the meter on. This is increasingly rare but you will still find the odd taxi driver who is stuck in a 1990s timewarp.
The largest, most reputables and most reliable taxi operators are Bluebird and Bali Taksi. You tend not find these taxis parked at night near discos and bars as other smaller companies have exclusive contracts with these businesses. However, they can be found easily by walking a little up the street. Taxi drivers usually have only limited small change, so it is best to have small notes available to avoid issues.
Those with a sense of adventure should try hopping on the back of a local scooter. They are always looking for a passenger, making negotiation easier and more successful. This type of informal transport is called an ojek and is fast and cheap.
You can choose to rent a scooter for your stay. These can cost as little as Rp 30,000 per day if you rent in large groups and are a lot of fun. However, as a single renter, Rp 50,000-70,000 is a more accurate figure to expect. Insist on a helmet for the motorcycle, for both your own safety and because wearing a helmet is a legal requirement in Indonesia; you will be stopped by the police and fined for riding without a helmet. It should be understood that the streets can be chaotic and dangerous for inexperienced riders so consider carefully before renting a motorcycle. If you intend to surf, there are plently of specially modified motorbikes with surfboard hangers.