Getting Connected in Paradise: SIM Cards for Your Bali Trip

Getting Connected in Paradise: SIM Cards for Your Bali Trip

With its stunning beaches, lush jungles, ancient temples, and pulsing nightlife, it's no wonder Bali draws visitors from every corner of the globe. Backpackers, honeymooners, digital nomads, adventure-seekers - people of all stripes flock to this Indonesian island paradise to experience its natural beauty, rich culture, and famously friendly locals.

But with so much to see and do, staying connected is crucial when exploring Bali. Imagine being lost deep in the jungle with no Google Maps. One surely would not like to be unable to share those jaw-dropping Balinese sunset shots because of no mobile data. Suddenly that dream vacation becomes a lot less dreamy. That's where getting a Bali SIM card comes into play.

Are You Confused About Bali SIM Cards?

Picking the right SIM can feel daunting with the array of options. Physical SIM or eSIM? Which provider offers the best coverage and fastest speeds? How much data will you need? The choices are enough to make your head spin.

Don't worry, we've got you covered. Through extensive research and first-hand experiences, this guide will break down everything you need to know about getting a quality SIM card for your Bali adventures.

Why Buy a Local SIM Card in Bali?

With so many awesome things to see and do in Bali, staying connected through a local SIM card is an absolute must. There are several compelling reasons to pick one up:

  1. Avoid excessive roaming charges and slow overseas data speeds from your home carrier. Roaming can get very expensive very quickly.
  2. Have full access to maps, rideshare apps, messaging, and all your favorite apps without relying on spotty public Wifi that isn't always secure.
  3. The ability to make local calls/texts and get in touch with anyone on the island without crazy international fees.
  4. Freedom to upload all those gorgeous photos and videos to socials in real time, instead of waiting until you find WiFi.
  5. Peace of mind knowing you can easily look up information, get necessary help, and be reachable by friends/family back home.

While Bali has WiFi in many hotels, restaurants, and cafes, you'll be much better equipped to explore with your dedicated local SIM and data plan. It's an affordable way to embrace the convenience of modern travel.

The Top SIM Card Options in Bali 

Several major telecom providers are operating in Bali, each touting competitive pricing and island-wide coverage. But a few stand out from the pack:

Telkomsel - The Island's Heavyweight Champion 

With a vast network of cell towers across Bali, including extremely remote areas, Telkomsel provides superior coverage and blazing-fast 4G/5G speeds that leave the competition in the dust.

Telkomsel was the first provider to roll out 5G in Bali and continues rapidly expanding its next-gen network. You can count on a strong, stable Telkomsel signal whether surfing in Canggu, trekking in Ubud's dense jungles, or island hopping to Nusa Penida.

Sure, they are a touch pricier than some alternatives. But those few extra dollars are well spent for reliability and performance. After all, what's the point of a cheap SIM if you can't even get online when you most want to?

Key Highlights 

  • The most advanced 4G/5G network in Bali
  • Was first to launch 5G, continues rapid expansion
  • Wide coverage, even in remote areas
  • Data plans from 18GB (30 days) to 200GB (30 days)
  • Costs start at 250k IDR (~$16 USD) 

XL Axiata - Competitively Priced Runner-Up 

XL Axiata has rapidly emerged as a capable runner-up in the Bali SIM game. Their 4G coverage is solid across tourist hotspots, and they've started deploying 5G around hubs like Denpasar and Seminyak. 

XL's competitive pricing offers big data packages at rates lower than Telkomsel. They may not have Telkomsel's reach in remote areas, but XL is a viable and affordable option for most visitors sticking to Bali's highlights.

Key Highlights 

  • Good 4G/LTE coverage, expanding 5G network
  • Data plans from 18GB (30 days) to 85GB (30 days)
  • Costs start around 250k IDR 

Indosat - Decent Service, Lower Prices 

Indosat (also known as Ooredoo or IM3) offers good 4G coverage at lower price points than the top dogs. For budget-minded travelers who don't need the absolute fastest speeds, Indosat could be a good fit. 

Their island-wide coverage can't quite match Telkomsel's, particularly in off-the-beaten-path locales. But for basic needs like messaging, email, navigation, and social media, Indosat provides reliable service at rates that will leave your wallet happy.

Key Highlights 

  • Decent 4G coverage
  • Plans from 18GB (30 days) to 84GB (30 days)
  • Prices similar to XL Axiata 

Smartfren - Covering the Basics 

Smartfren is another budget player that covers the basics well enough for some travelers' needs. Their 4G network spans major tourist areas decently, and their prices undercut Indosat's already low rates. 

However, Smartfren's network is weaker once you stray from hotspots like Kuta or Seminyak. Though these premium options negate any cost savings, they are the only provider selling eSIMs directly for tourists. For most visitors, Smartfren is probably not the best Bali SIM choice. 

Key Highlights 

  • Currently Limited 5G rollout
  • Plans from 20GB (30 days) to 60GB (30 days)
  • Prices start around 250k IDR 

Prices and Packages

No matter the provider, buying a SIM card tourist package in Bali is quite affordable compared to excessive international roaming fees. Here are some typical SIM card data package prices as of early 2024:


  • 18GB for 30 days: Rp 250,000 
  • 25GB for 30 days: Rp 400,000 
  • Up to 200GB for 30 days: Rp 1,250,000 

XL Axiata

  • 18GB for 30 days: Rp 250,000 
  • 25GB for 30 days: Rp 350,000 
  • Up to 85GB for 30 days: Rp 650,000 


  • 18GB for 30 days: Rp 250,000 
  • 30GB for 30 days: Rp 350,000 
  • Up to 84GB for 30 days: Rp 550,000 


  • 25GB for 30 days: Rp 250,000 ($16)
  • 30GB for 30 days: Rp 300,000 ($19)
  • Up to 60GB for 30 days: Rp 450,000 ($28) 

Why Telkomsel Is the Best Network for Travelers? 

Of the four major networks, Telkomsel stands out as the top recommended choice for international visitors traveling in Bali. While it may cost a few extra dollars compared to competitors, here is why you'll get much better value with Telkomsel:

  • Near-Island-Wide Coverage: Telkomsel's network blankets Bali more completely than others; whether you're exploring the towns, jungles, or coasts, they'll keep you connected. This is great for spontaneous adventuring off the beaten path.
  • Lightning Fast Speeds: Telkomsel leads the pack regarding 4G/LTE performance. You'll enjoy buffer-free HD video chatting, streaming, gaming, and more versus frequent lags on other networks.
  • Reliability in Remote Areas: While all providers may struggle with signals deep in jungles or mountains, Telkomsel generally fares better here than competitors like Indosat and Smartfren. Minutes and gigabytes won't go to waste.
  • 24/7 Support: Telkomsel shops and customer service centers are ubiquitous, so if you run into issues, their speedy support can get you back online. Other brands have sparser local assistance. 

While a few extra dollars for your SIM card or data plan is worth it for Telkomsel's superiority, their competitive pricing on larger data allotments offsets the higher base cost. In the end, you’ll save more versus wasteful roaming fees at home or struggling with weaker competitors abroad.

The Best Ways to Get a SIM Card in Bali

So Telkomsel has emerged as the top Bali SIM card choice. But where should you buy it upon arrival on the island? You've got several convenient options to explore:

  1. Order Online Before Your Trip

The easiest path is to order your Bali SIM card online through Bikago before even stepping on the island. They'll deliver it wherever in Bali you're staying - hotel, Airbnb, you name it.

No waiting in lines, no registration hassles, no language barriers to navigate. Just purchase your Telkomsel SIM card package online, provide your Bali delivery address, and it will be waiting for you upon arrival. Talk about a stress-free way to get connected.

  1. Airport Booths Right After Arrival

The next most convenient option is to purchase your SIM card right at Denpasar International Airport after going through customs and immigration. Follow the exit signs and spot several booths and kiosks offering SIM cards and internet packages from all the major providers. 

It's an incredibly easy process - just show your passport and choose your preferred package, and the vendor will activate your SIM card and mobile number in minutes.

The main downside is prices are inflated compared to other options around Bali. But the airport kiosks sure beat wandering around looking for a phone shop if your hotel is nearby.

  1. Browse Local Shops and Kiosks Around Bali

If you want the absolute lowest prices on your Bali SIM card, your best bet is to browse the local shops, kiosks, and street stalls around the island away from the airport area.

The mom-and-pop shops scattered around Bali cater to local customers, so their SIM and data package rates are much lower than the inflated tourist prices at the airport.

The tradeoffs are dealing with potential language barriers, over-eager vendors trying to rip you off, and the need to negotiate a bit for the best deals. It's also not the most convenient option if your hotel is far from the shops.

  1. Visit an Official Provider Retail Store

A solid middle ground is visiting an official retail store for your desired provider, such as Telkomsel or XL. There are authorized outlets scattered around Bali's tourist hubs near Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud, and more.


You get the conveniences of an airport kiosk - quick service, no language issues, easy activation process. But you avoid those inflated airport pricing schemes. It's the sweet spot of convenience and value for many visitors. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Data Package

Don't just default to the lowest cost data bundle without considering factors like:

  • Your typical daily data usage from apps, streaming, social media, etc. Lean toward higher bundles for heavy use.
  • How long you'll be in Bali - opt for larger bundles that align with the length of the trip to avoid waste.
  • Spotty WiFi availability at your hotels/rentals - more mobile data is needed if relying on cellular.
  • Data roaming costs with home SIM - a larger local bundle can offset roaming overages.
  • Streaming quality preference - 1080p video uses 3x the data of 720p, plan accordingly. 

How to Recharge SIM Cards in Bali

Once you've secured your Bali SIM and started using data, you must recharge when your initial package expires or data runs low. Fortunately, there are multiple convenient ways to top up:

  1. At an Official Provider's Store 

 The easiest option for tourists is to head to a nearby store or authorized agent of your trusted SIM card provider. The staff will be experienced in helping travelers recharge. 

Simply let them know you must top up, provide your phone number or SIM details, specify the desired recharge amount, and complete payment. They'll process the recharge, and you'll receive a confirmation when it's done.

  1. By Telephone 

Every major provider has a customer support number (typically printed on the SIM instructions). Dial this number and follow the automated voice prompts. 

You'll be guided to select your recharge amount and payment method. Provide the necessary information like your SIM number, confirm the transaction details, and the balance will be updated.

  1. By Mobile App

Most top providers, like Telkomsel and XL, have official mobile apps you can download. Open the app, log in, or create an account if needed.

Then navigate to the recharge or top-up section, pick your recharge amount and payment method, and confirm everything. The app will show your updated balance after processing. 

Whichever method you choose, recharging is a simple process. The staff at official stores makes it especially easy for tourists. Just let them know your needs, and they'll handle the rest. 

In no time at all you'll have that Bali SIM topped up with data and be back to posting envy-inducing beach shots, navigating hairpin turns through the jungle, and calling Gojek drivers to whisk you away to your next island adventure. 

Wrapping Up

So, in short - if you want the ultimate convenience, order online before your Bali trip or swing by the airport booths. For the best prices, brave the local kiosks and stalls. Find one of the official provider shops around town for a happy medium. 

Whichever path you choose, getting set up with a quality Bali SIM card like Telkomsel is easy and affordable. Stay connected, keep those Instagram pics flowing, and make the most of your dream island escape! 


  1. Do I need a new phone to use a Bali SIM card?  

No, as long as your current phone is unlocked and has a SIM card slot, you can just pop in a new local SIM card without needing a new device.

  1. How much do Bali SIM cards cost? 

Prices can vary but expect to pay around 250k-400k IDR ($16-25 USD) for a 30-day data package with 18GB to 51GB from top providers like Telkomsel.

  1. Where's the cheapest place to buy a SIM card in Bali?  

The lowest prices are found at local shops and kiosks around Bali, away from the airport. But airport and official provider stores offer more convenience.

  1. Do I need to register the SIM card somehow?  

Yes, foreigners must register with their passports at the time of purchase. The store staff can assist with this process.

  1. Can I use my Bali SIM card on other Indonesian islands too?  

Yes, SIM cards from major Bali providers will work across Indonesia, though coverage may be slightly reduced in remote areas away from Bali.

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