Balikpapan is the second largest city in East Kalimantan Province. Balikpapan has the largest airport in Borneo, the airport is the Sepinggan International Airport. It is also the busiest airport in Kalimantan and with large aircraft. Airlines currently using the airport are Lion Air, Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Batavia Air, Trigana Air, Kartika Airlines, and Sriwijaya Air (domestic routes), and Air Asia, Garuda Indonesia, Mandala Airlines, and Silk Air (international routes).

Balikpapan also has 2 seaports: Semayang and Kariangau. Semayang serves commercial boats to many destinations in Indonesia, such as Surabaya, Makassar, Jakarta, Pare Pare, and Manado. In the 1990s, transportation using ships was very popular. Today, due to more affordable and efficient airplane travel, more people choose to fly.Taking the ferry is an alternative for traveling to other coastal areas in East Kalimantan, such as Penajam.

Balikpapan has many tourist attractions such as Wain River Protected Forest, Kemala Beach, Manggar Beach, and Lamaru Beach.