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Flying into Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS): What you need to know
9 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

This is part of the Been There, Done That series, where our expert globetrotters travel the world to get the insights and information you need for a seamless travel experience.

Welcome to Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), your gateway to the tropical island haven of Bali, where over 20 million beach lovers and yoga enthusiasts flock each year. Amidst the bustling crowds of fellow travelers, you'll discover a seamless entry process awaiting you.

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Entrance of Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) | iVisa

Despite Indonesia's entry requirements for foreigners, Ngurah Rai International Airport stands out as one of the more traveler-friendly international gateways. Its fusion of airport technology, comprehensive services, and compact layout ensures a smooth transition into your Balinese adventure.

Pre-Travel Essentials:

  1. Start your journey right by checking in online through your airline's app. Not only does this allow you to select your preferred seats hassle-free, but it also saves you valuable time at the airport!

  2. Arrive with plenty of time for baggage drop-off. Trust us, those queues can stretch long, and you don't want to stress about getting to your flight or risk missing out on your adventure.

  3. After dropping off your bags, safeguard your baggage sticker - you will need it if anything happens to your bag.

  4. Save yourself time and stress with iVisa by securing an e-visa before your arrival. Skip the long visa-on-arrival lines and breeze through immigration effortlessly.

  5. Download and set up a Grab account - Grab is the fastest, safest, and most reliable way to get around Bali. Plus, they have a free, air-conditioned lounge to use while you wait for your ride.

  6. Shop duty-free on arrival. It's easier and avoids the hassle of carrying extra bags through security before you go.

Arriving at Ngurah Rai International Airport: first impressions

As my aircraft descends towards Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia, the shimmering ocean waters surrounding this island nation offer an island welcome. Peering through the plane's window, passengers are treated to a captivating vista, gliding over ocean waters and the picturesque beaches of Bali. This seamless fusion of land and sea serves as a fitting introduction to the diverse beauty of Indonesia's archipelago.

Top tip: Before touchdown, it's advisable to utilize the restroom facilities onboard, as there are none available until after passing through immigration.

For travelers holding an e-visa, the journey from the arrival gate to clearing immigration typically takes no more than fifteen minutes, often even less. However, for those without a visa, expect potential delays of over an hour as you queue for a visa on arrival and fulfill the necessary tourist tax requirements.

Immigration: A breeze with an E-Visa

Thanks to Indonesia's streamlined process, facilitated by the adoption of an international eVOA (Electronic Visa On Arrival) for travelers, passing through immigration at Ngurah Rai International Airport was an exceptionally smooth experience.

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A welcome to Bali sign right before immigration | iVisa.

Upon reaching the immigration area, travelers are greeted by a spacious hall where visa presentation is required. While a visa-on-arrival option is available, it often entails lengthy queues and necessitates payment of the tourist fee, potentially causing anxiety if faced with credit card issues or insufficient cash, as ATMs are only accessible after immigration and customs clearance. That's why it's a great idea to obtain yours before you travel.

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Passengers at Ngurah Rai International Airport are directed into immigration lines, one for a visa on arrival and the other for E-Visa holders | iVisa.

However, holders of the pre-acquired eVOA (Electronic Visa On Arrival) enjoy a swift bypass of the visa on arrival queue, directed straight to the e-gates on the right. Here, a seamless process unfolds as travelers scan their passports, granting them immediate entry into the country without the need for an interview or presentation of the approved e-visa.

Should any confusion arise during the immigration process, assistance is readily available from the friendly and English-speaking staff stationed throughout the area.

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Travelers with an e-visa approach the electronic immigration gates | iVisa.

Upon completing immigration formalities, travelers proceed to another hall to retrieve their belongings and navigate customs procedures.

Conveniently situated immediately after immigration, a duty-free shop offers a range of essentials for travelers, from sunscreen and aloe to snacks, alleviating the need to pack these items beforehand. Should the queue be lengthy or specific items be unavailable, there are additional shops after customs clearance.

iVisa Pro Tip: Buy your sunscreen for the beach here to save suitcase space and money!

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Travelers walk through Bali Duty Free directly after immigration | iVisa.

Customs and Baggage pick-up: Everyone has to fill out a form.

Upon entering the baggage collection and customs area, travelers are met with a spacious hall housing multiple baggage carousels catering to the influx of international flights that Ngurah Rai International Airport accommodates daily.

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Travelers wait for luggage at baggage claim | iVisa.

Given the likelihood you will wait before your luggage retrieval due to the airport's high passenger volume, travelers can utilize this time efficiently by completing their customs declaration form.

Conveniently located outside the customs gate, a QR code and several computer terminals are provided for this purpose, as it's mandatory for all passengers to fill out a customs form.

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Flyer hangs outside of Customs with QR code for the Bali customs declaration form | iVisa.

  • Bali Transport: For those who haven't already done so, waiting for your baggage is a good time to download the Grab app and set up an account. Serving as the region's equivalent of Uber, Grab offers a reliable, secure, and cost-effective means of transportation from Ngurah Rai International Airport and around Bali.

  • Airport wifi: Fortunately, Ngurah Rai International Airport boasts one of the fastest free Wi-Fi connections among airports, surpassing even major hubs like Houston George Bush International Airport and Frankfurt International Airport; travelers can easily stay connected to complete the necessary forms without any connectivity issues.

Once travelers have retrieved their baggage and obtained their customs QR code, they proceed through customs where an agent will swiftly scan their QR code. If there are items to declare, travelers will address them directly with the customs agent.

  • It's essential to note that the airport exercises strict vigilance, particularly regarding perishable food products. Any suspicious items detected in the baggage scan may result in the airport confiscating the bag for additional examination. To avoid such inconveniences, travelers are advised to leave any questionable food products on the plane rather than attempting to bring them through customs.

Arrivals Hall: Your one-stop-shop for everything you need

Once you've passed through customs, you've officially entered the stunning island of Bali!

The arrivals hall is your one-stop destination for all your immediate needs.

  • ATMS and money exchange: First and foremost, you'll find currency exchange counters and banking facilities, along with conveniently located ATMs. While cash is often preferred in many establishments across Bali, credit cards are widely accepted, although some places may levy a small surcharge, typically around 3.5% of the transaction cost.

It's worth noting that the money exchange services at the airport may charge higher fees and offer less favorable exchange rates compared to ATMs.

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Money counters at Ngurah Rai International Airport after Customs | iVisa.

  • Sim cards: Moving further into the main hall area, you'll encounter various telecommunication providers offering SIM cards at reasonable prices, ensuring you stay connected with excellent cell service throughout the island.

iVisa Pro Tip: Have your passport ready when you purchase your SIM card, they will ask for it before they can set up your SIM.

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SIM card providers at Ngurah Rai International Airport | iVisa.

  • Food options: In addition to essential services, the arrivals hall boasts an array of dining options, coffee shops, and convenience stores that cater to travelers at any hour of the day. Even if your arrival is late in the evening, you'll still find ample opportunities to grab a meal and refreshments before proceeding to your hotel.

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Travelers get a post-flight coffee at Ngurah Rai International Airport | iVisa.

Transportation guide: Your way into Bali

From the moment you step out of baggage claim until you reach your ride, be wary of taxi drivers attempting to scam you. It's best to avoid them altogether, as they may try to deceive you, particularly if you've landed at night. With limited street lighting and sparse traffic, they may take longer routes to inflate fares.

It's best to use the Grab app or pre-book a reputable driver.

It's crucial to exercise caution and avoid engaging with these taxi drivers, who may attempt to deceive you by posing as Grab drivers, flashing logos or accounts. The only reliable way to secure a certified Grab driver is by booking your ride through the app.

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Grab rideshare app lounge outside of Ngurah Rai International Airport | iVisa.

For those opting for Grab, there's a complimentary air-conditioned lounge conveniently located just outside the arrivals hall, accessible by following the signs for taxi services. However, entry to the lounge is permitted only upon demonstrating a confirmed booking on the app.

This lounge provides respite from the persistent harassment of other taxi drivers. Once your designated Grab driver arrives, the attentive Grab staff will announce your name and escort you to your awaiting vehicle.

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Travelers charge their phones inside of the free Grab lounge outside of Ngurah Rai International Airport | iVisa.

Alternatively, if you've arranged for a pre-booked driver, they'll be stationed just outside the arrivals hall, holding a sign bearing your name. Be wary of taxi drivers who may attempt to misdirect you; instead, remain among the cluster of drivers displaying passenger names.

It's advisable to ignore any unsolicited offers from other drivers to ensure a safe and hassle-free journey to your destination.

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Driver waits in designated area to pick up passengers who pre-booked a driver | iVisa.

As you settle into your taxi and embark on your journey to your accommodation, brace yourself for traffic. Bali's population of over four million residents, combined with the influx of five million tourists annually, often results in crowded roads. If you have immediate plans for excursions upon arrival, it's wise to factor in extra time for potential delays.

Entering Bali: You’ve aced Ngurah Rai International Airport!

As Ngurah Rai International Airport fades into the distance, its distinctive wave-like architecture peeks through the lush foliage, serving as a symbolic welcome to this enchanting island nation.

For any help regarding visa processes and requirements, you can contact iVisa via chat or WhatsApp for more information and professional guided services.

Departing Ngurah Rai International Airport: Come early

After enjoying your remarkable Bali trip, it's time to navigate through departures.

For travelers with checked baggage, ensure you arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to your scheduled departure. Most airlines commence check-in procedures three hours before departure, so aiming for this window is optimal. Arriving earlier won't allow you to check in ahead of time.

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Travelers wait in a long queue for departures at Ngurah Rai International Airport | iVisa.

Expect lengthy queues for baggage check-in across all airlines at Ngurah Rai International Airport. Before you can check into your airline, you'll need to go through exit customs, where your luggage will undergo a scan. Ensure you're directed to the appropriate customs area based on your gate, with guidance available just outside customs.

Following customs clearance, proceed to check-in and baggage drop-off. Afterward, proceed to security. Remember to remove all electronic devices.

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Shops in Ngurah Rai International Airport | iVisa.

After clearing security, you'll pass through exit immigration and undergo a quick passport check. Once past immigration, explore the numerous restaurants and shops within the airport. Adjacent to the duty-free area upstairs, there are three lounges available for purchase, irrespective of your airline. These lounges offer air conditioning, refreshments, and fast Wi-Fi.

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Inside lounge at Ngurah Rai International Airport | iVisa.

Ensure you arrive at your gate at least 15 minutes prior to departure, bidding farewell to your Bali getaway.

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