Getting up at 7am on a cold winter morning when it's dark.
Forcing yourself to drink coffee and drag yourself into a warm shower before rushing to catch a bus full of tired, unhappy faces heading to that day's grind.
Is it really what you want?
I have followed this pantomime of mediocrity for many years, but then I decided that it was time for something else, for a change of scenery and a little daily sun.
And so I moved to Bali.
Now my daily routine consists of a morning chorus of birdsong, a competitive motorcycle sprint to my favorite coffee shop for coffee, and the exchange of smiles across healthy, happy, tanned faces.
I am not writing this to gloat or to rub your face in the mud.
Rather, today I write this epic post about live in bali as a guide to help you follow your dreams.
Example activities to do in Ubud, Bali
Why move to live in Bali?
Bali is now a very popular tourist destination (maybe too popular) and you have probably all seen the images of the magnificent ancient temples, the lush rice fields and the smiling inhabitants.
Backpacking Bali is something of a right of passage for some youngsters.
And while reality isn't all infinity pools and Instagram models, there's no denying the truth that Bali offers an incredible standard of living.
Moving to Bali offers the chance to experience a decent standard of living at a fraction of the cost of an average Western life.
Living in Bali means a nice climate (usually).
Nature and fresh air are abundant, food is delicious and healthy, and the pace of life is relaxed. Here the best beaches in Bali.
Of course, Bali is not exactly an economic powerhouse and it is not rich in minerals.
Therefore, people don't usually move here to earn a lot of money and Bali often attracts self-employed people, innovative entrepreneurs and digital nomads who come here to earn money online.
Since the living costs in Bali are relatively low, it can be a great option.
How much does it cost to live in Bali being Spanish?
Before we get into the ins and outs of what it means to live in Bali, I think it's imperative that we take a hard look at the costs of living in bali.
That is, you have to know if you can afford to settle here before spending time planning your move.
Bearing in mind that Spain is not an expensive country, we should know that in Bali we will find cheaper things than in Spain, such as rent, and more expensive things, such as alcohol.
Of course, It goes without saying that the cost of living in Bali can and will vary depending on each person and how much or little they want to do on the island..
I know some people who can live here on 500 euros a month, while others spend 3,000 euros.
The data we present here has been collected through a sizeable survey of expats and travelers who have spent time residing in Bali.
|Rent (Private Room Vs Luxury Villa)||€300 – €1,200|
|Eat out||€120 – €250|
|Housewife (less than 10 hours)||€100|
|Car or motorcycle rental||€50 – €250|
Living in Bali PRICES
The figures above are a general guide.
Although useful as a starting point, the next task is to take a closer look at these costs, what they entail, and how they may vary.
Rental housing in Bali
Your biggest cost in Bali is going to be rent and housing costs (unless you develop a serious gambling or drug addiction).
Just like anywhere in the world, Rental costs will vary depending on the type of property and the exact place you want to live or stay in Bali.
For example, a room in a shared house will be much cheaper than renting an entire villa.
Also, areas like Ubud and Canggu are now very popular with expats, which means rental prices have skyrocketed.
First of all, you have to decide if you want to share a property or if you want to have your privacy.
If you are moving as a family or as a couple, a place of your own is probably best; Solo travelers can appreciate the company that comes with living in a shared house.
A tip to save costs is to expand the network. Many Popular areas have suburbs or satellite towns that are much cheaper and can often be reached within 5 minutes by bike.
Note that most Bali property rental websites usually focus on short term vacation rentals and they're not necessarily the best place to look for a long-term perspective.
The best way to find a rental property is to go to the lot and start looking.
Alternatively, there are some Facebook groups, such as Ubud rentals or Kuta villas, which can be a useful starting point.
When you arrive, it is best to hire accommodation on Booking (it is one of the best search engines to find cheap hotels) to start exploring.
However, in many cases these groups are used by westerners who, in reality, sublet properties that they do not own, so you often get a better deal if you go directly to the source.
Room in a shared villa in Canggu – €350 – €550
Luxury villa in Canggu – €700 – €1000
Standard Villa in Canggu – €550 – €830
We also recommend if you do not want to use booking, book an Airbnb before arriving in Bali and use it as a temporary base while you find accommodation in the medium or long term.
If not, you can easily find a hostel in Bali.
Keep in mind that, in most cases, when you rent a villa or a house, the bills are included in the price. However it is not always so.
Rice fields in Ubud
Forget your worries and retire with your loved ones to this idyllic and exquisite villa on the outskirts of central Ubud.
Ideal for a quiet weekend, you can spend the day overlooking the endless lush rice paddies.
Transportation in Bali
To get around, you will need a motorcycle or a car: public transport in Bali is almost non-existent.
There are plenty of operating scooters and pedicabs that you can find on the street, or through apps like GoJek.
Please note that in some areas GoJek is not available due to direct interference from local drivers, who jealously guard their monopoly.
In this post I talk to you in depth about how to rent a motorbike in bali.
Most people who spend long periods of time in Bali choose to rent a motorbike., since it is always the most comfortable and cost-effective way to get around.
The cost of renting the motorcycle varies according to the model you choose, the time you agree to take it and how much you negotiate.
You also have to take gasoline into account, which is quite cheap and available on many streets. Oh, and keep in mind that if you damage the bike while it is in your possession, you will most likely have to pay for the damages.
Taxi ride (from Canggu to Ubud)) – €13
50cc Scooter Rental – €50
Riding a Dragon – Priceless
food in bali
Food in Bali is delicious, varied and ubiquitous. You can barely stroll down the street without being tempted by the enticing aromas wafting through your nostrils.
A big variable in your living expenses in Bali will be whether you decide to generally eat out or at home.
I know several Bali residents who never cook their own food and eat out (or order food delivery) for every meal. This, of course, can be very expensive.
Restaurant costs in Bali fluctuate as much as anywhere else.
You can find cheap "Warungs" that make plates full of local food for a few euros, you can find expensive "western" style places that charge €10 for a pizza and everything else.
The prices of groceries and supermarkets also tend to vary depending on where exactly you are: areas inhabited by foreigners tend to be more expensive, so it is always worth taking the bike and looking for the cheapest supermarket.
Also keep in mind that local products are usually affordable, but imported products (pasta, cheese) can be much more expensive than in Spain and Europe.
Rice (1Kg) – €2.50
Vegetable Bag – €9 (from the local market)
Chicken (double breast) – €3.50
Vegetable oil - €1.80
Bread (Mold bread) – €1.50
Eggs - €1.50
Milk - €3.5o
Drink in Bali
Tap water in Bali is not good to drink.
Although you can probably get used to it, it's best to buy bottled water.
You can buy 1 liter bottles for €0.50 each or the large 20-liter ones for €1.80.
How much you consume in a week is obviously up to you, but I personally recommend staying hydrated: carry a water bottle and fill it up every time you see a water source.
Drinking alcohol can also be quite expensive.
The local Bintang beer is the cheapest and costs €1.50 in a supermarket and 23 in a bar or restaurant.
Imported beer or cider can cost twice as much, and wine is also very expensive; the unsatisfactory local product is around €15 and an imported bottle of average Australian wine will cost from €20.
Staying busy and active in Bali
Presumably you are not planning to move to Bali just to sit at home and watch Netflix and you will probably intend to do some sort of activity once you arrive, right?
The good news is that in Bali there are many things to keep you busy.
Among the most popular activities are surfing, yoga, hiking, ecstatic dancing, crossfit, ax throwing, the seal club, and there seems to be a massage parlor on almost every corner.
There are also several yoga retreats in Bali, which are more expensive and intense than simply attending walk-in sessions, but can be good for serious yoga devotees.
Taking all these variables into account, I find it quite difficult to advise what your activity budget should be, but still, here are some sample prices to get you started:
Surf lesson (1 hour) – €7 – €18
Surfboard rental (1 day) – €7
Guided tour of Mount Batur – 10 – 30 € (depends on the package)
Balinese massage – €7 – €35
Yoga class - €11
Gym Membership – From €35
Living in Bali with children
Moving to Bali with children is becoming a viable option and it gives you a spiritual feeling.
It is important to do some research to find out which area best suits you and your family before living in Bali with children..
We can affirm that Denspasar (capital), Seminyak, Canggu and to a lesser extent, Sanur and Ubud you will find a large community of expatriates so that your children do not lose western social relations. Of course you will find the best international schools in these areas.
If you've been to Bali before, you'll know that these areas are well-equipped with all the modern conveniences, facilities and necessities of today, such as international schools, internationally accredited hospitals and clinics.
You will also find large modern supermarkets and all kinds of shops.
To choose your homeHere there are beautiful private villas, amazing beaches, restaurants and beach clubs, shops and spa, and as we have said, a thriving expat community.
School for your children in Bali
If you are moving to Bali with school-age children, you will have to think about their education.
Bali normal schools are probably not a suitable option, even if they accept your children.
you shall find a private or international school to send your brood to.
The Private schools are never cheap and Bali is no exception..
Rates range from €8k – €20k USD per student and per term.
Medical expenses in Bali
The Health care standards in Bali are not world class and if you ever find yourself needing Serious treatment, it is best that you go elsewhere.
Still, if you're healthy and fit and don't plan on falling into ill health, the medical care on offer in Bali will probably be adequate.
If you need healthcare in Bali, you will have to pay for it.
The cost will vary depending on exactly what you need, but it is generally important to have some form of private health insurance or travel insurance when you arrive.
In this post I talk about Intermundial, The best travel insurance in Bali, with a discount of 20% from our link.
Intermundial offers a monthly healthcare plan that covers digital nomads, expats, and long-term travelers.
We've been using them ourselves for a long time and find them to be great value.
Visas in Bali
If you think To stay for a while or even move to Bali, you will need a proper visa.
If you intend to live in Bali for 2 months or less, you can stay on a 2-month Indonesian tourist visa (however, you have to sign up for it as soon as you arrive at the airport, so No fool yourself by accepting the free 28-day visa on arrival).
2 month visa the tourist visa costs 35 euros at the airport, and then you will have to formally register the extension at a later date.
A A tourist visa will allow you to stay in Bali for 60 days, but strictly speaking, you will not be allowed to work.
If you make a living as a digital nomad, you should be aware that working online will technically be a violation of your visa conditions.
For For longer stays in Bali, you should consider the single entry business and social visa option.
This allows you to stay in Bali up to 180 days (half a year) and costs €300.
You will need to apply through an agent and find a sponsor before attempting to enter Bali.
In the application, you will need to specify why exactly you want to stay in Bali, and how you intend to support yourself.
We are not qualified to advise on this process and we strongly recommend that you find a reputable visa agent.
To stay longer, you have to look for a KITA visa but these can be very expensive.
Interesting video about him cost of living in Bali:
Banks in Bali
Opening a bank account in Bali is possible and may be something you want to do if you are going to stay in Indonesia for the long term.
Bali is still primarily a cash society. Larger, westernized businesses will accept card payment, but local establishments almost certainly won't.
There are many ATMs in Bali's cities and resorts, but they are less common in rural areas and local neighborhoods.
Use the bank card of your country of origin (either to make a payment or withdraw cash) it will end up costing you a small fortune in transaction fees and are best avoided.
Instead, we recommend getting several travel bank cards, as they all offer some level of fee-free ATM withdrawals.
If you get one Transferwise, Revolut and Monzo card, you will be able to withdraw around €600 per month and you will have a limit on card payments.
To make and receive international bank transfers without incurring any fees, we recommend using Payoneer.
Taxes in Bali
People used to say that the only 2 certainties in life were death and taxes, but between them, Jesus, Dracula, Google and Starbucks have since proven otherwise.
Even so, commoners like us are born to die and are legally required to pay our taxes.
If you work or have a business in Bali, you will have to pay taxes. If you have a job in Bali, your employer will take care of it. But if you intend to open a business, find a local accountant who will tell you what to do.
If you plan to live in Bali by independent means either working as a digital nomadyou will probably still be forced to pay taxes in your country of origin.
However, if you intend to become a full-time resident of Bali, you will probably need to pay your taxes there, as you will ultimately benefit from the island's clean air, policing, and social stability.
Hidden expenses of living in Bali being Spanish
Moving to another country almost always comes with hidden and unexpected expenses that you have never budgeted for.
Of course, by its very definition, something that is hidden is not easy to see and it really is a bit of a stretch to foresee the unexpected.
Still, in this section I'll do my best to list some Bali costs of living that you may not have thought of; I can't give exact amounts or list all the possibilities, but I hope they make you think
First of all, you have to take into account what it costs to get “home”. What if you have to fly abruptly to your home country to attend a funeral or take care of some important business?
Note that flights booked at short notice are often quite expensive, and flying from Bali to Europe in a hurry can easily cost you between 500 and 1,000 euros. Ouch.
Other hidden costs are less dramatic: Western toiletries can be quite expensive, as can small electronics.
My Sony headphones died when I was in Bali and I was shocked to find that I had to pay double what I had paid for them in the UK.
You would be wise to make sure you have a few thousand euros saved up before moving to Bali, just in case.
Safe to live in Bali
Bali is not dangerous: it is, for the most part, a safe and happy place to live. However, things can go wrong. Crime is not common, but it does happen.
Likewise, both tourists and expatriates suffer motorcycle accidents, surfing and tropical diseases.
I already recommend that you take a look at the Travel and Health Insurance of interworld, but in case you missed it, click the button below to take a look at their page.
You have a 20% direct discount thanks to this direct link from our website mithotelperfecto.com.
Moving to Bali – What you need to know
Now that the costs are out of the way, you should have a clearer picture of whether or not life in Bali is for you.
Assuming you think it is, let's take a closer look at the ins and outs of moving to Bali.
Where to live in Bali
Bali is quite a small island, but don't think of it as a city.
There are some important distances and the various towns, cities and villages of interest are quite spread out.
You have to think well in which part of Bali you want to live.
We suggest you stick with this decision until you've had a chance to take a look around and get to know the zones.
In the short term, you can always get an Airbnb and get an idea of what life is like in the area.
let's look closely to some from the most popular areas;
Best areas to live in Bali
Denpasar is the capital of Bali, flavored with concrete, gritty and gritty. The airport is located here, as well as most of the government offices.
Denpasar is a good place to do your shopping, banking and administrative procedures, but it is not exactly the Bali you dreamed of.
There is no beach to speak of, there is not much vegetation and the pace of life is a bit hectic.
In general we don't like Denpasar.
Most of the visitors go through Denpasar and end up there.
In the last decade, Canggu has become a hub for surfers, hipsters and digital nomads. There are plenty of boutique shops, restaurants and hostels, and the streets are always full of beautiful people.
Canggu's popularity means property prices have skyrocketed and you won't find any bargains.
Most of the digital nomads in the area share a house, since the villas are more expensive.
Having said that, You can save yourself some money by expanding your network and searching for homes in the Canggu area.
Modern and lively.
Canggu is the hub of Bali's digital nomads, a modern and cosmopolitan place.
The seaside town is now a mini modern mecca that also offers relative peace and sanity.
Imagine a thousand Australians burping at once and you've more or less imagined Kuta. Kuta is Bali's answer to Benidorm, where on weekends they come to drink, burn and misbehave.
It can be a fun place to hang out for a few nights, but it's a bit raucous for those looking to settle down, unless you really like finding puddles of fresh beer-flavored vomit every morning.
Kuta is not really a good place to live.
Located inland, far from the glorious beaches, quiet Ubud is green, hilly and somewhat spiritual, with temples and monuments at every turn.
The general vibe in Ubud is one of hippie yuppies with iPads instead of guitars – imagine Goa but with Starbucks instead of Psytrance.
There are many different neighborhoods in Ubud to satisfy all desires.
Other than that, I love Ubud and can recommend it as a decent base in Bali.
There are plenty of things to do, from meditation workshops to cocktail bars.
It is an ideal place for those who want to get to work during the day and relax at night..
You can usually find a decent rental here much cheaper than on the beaches.
Endless rice paddies, amazing yoga classes and retreats, breathwork and amazing coffee – that's what you can find in Ubud's laid-back hippie hub.
Uluwatu, to the south, rivals Ubud as the spiritual heart of Bali, but unlike Ubud, it has gorgeous, dramatic classic Balinese beaches that offer world-class surfing.
Uluwatu is popular with surfers and short-term travelers, but not yet as established for long-term ones. He Uluwatu Sea Temple It is one of the holiest places in Bali.
Please note that the internet in Uluwatu is notoriously patchy and digital nomads will need a lot of patience.
Where to live in Bali if you are a surfer or you like surfing
As a quiet yet popular place, you can enjoy Bali at its most organic and rustic. Enjoy incredible waves, white beaches, breathtaking landscapes and a fascinating culture.
Tabanan is the area just north of the famous Tanah Lot temple that aims to become the "new Canggu" in a couple of years.
More and more families and expatriates are moving towards Tabanan to escape the busy streets of Batu Bolong and Berawa.
It is a rural area with beautiful rice paddies, a calm and safe environment and offers an almost empty black sand beach.
Tabanan can be reached by motorbike in 20-30 minutes from Canggu (depending on where you stay), but since the area is quite remote, the drive there is actually very pleasant.
The only thing Tabanan lacks are western cafes, like you can find in Canggu. However, they are expected to appear soon
An emerging area. Relatively quiet and peaceful, but just enough buzz to keep an expat in Bali entertained.
Located in the south of Bali, Sanur is known for its many family-friendly activities, great schools, and beautiful white-sand beach.
Unlike Uluwatu, Sanur is less focused on digital nomads and surfing.
Here you can find many expats who plan to stay for a long time.
Sanur is not as cheap as other parts of Bali, but in general it is very safe and the infrastructure is a little better than in other cities.
In Sanur is also the port that connects Bali with the other islands of Indonesia.
If you want to snorkel, scuba dive or take a day trip to Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan, staying in Sanur is the ideal base. You can also find many great accommodation options here.
Ideal for families.
Sanur, in the south of Bali, is a great place for families and long-term residents. It is more expensive than other areas, but offers a high standard of living.
Balinese are very polite and welcoming to foreigners.
You will find the Balinese very hospitable whenever you interact with them.
However, many expats in Bali tend to mix in expat circles and don't really have local "friends" as such.
This is partly due to the language barrier. If you're serious about settling in Bali, it's definitely worth making the effort to learn a little Balinese or Indonesian.
Pros and Cons of living in Bali
Unfortunately, every silver lining has its rain clouds and nothing in life is perfect. If you are moving to Bali, there are important pros and cons to consider. Let's take a closer look:
Advantages of living in Bali:
Climate – The weather in Bali is sunny and pleasant most of the time. It can get very hot during some parts of the year and then you have to take into account the rainy seasons.
Rhythm of life – The pace of life in Bali is much slower and more leisurely than in the West.
Nature – In Bali, you are never far from green fields and tropical jungles. Regular walks and fresh air will add years to your life.
cost of living – You can rent a luxury villa with a pool in Bali for less than the cost of a flat in London.
Disadvantages of living in Bali
Rainy season – The rainy season (between October and April) can be quite annoying. It is damp and wet all day. Still, it's better than a British winter.
Limited job opportunities – If you have a business or a private income, life in Bali can be great. If you need to find a permanent job, it is not a good place for a foreigner.
Health and social services – If you get sick or go through difficult times, there is not much help or a support network for you. Make sure you have insurance, savings, and someone local to help you if you run into problems.
schooling – If you have children, schooling is very expensive.
Living as a Digital Nomad in Bali
The Island of the Gods that is Bali is well established as a true hub for Digital Nomads.
In fact, no less than 4 people from our team are based here.
Bali is not the cheapest place for digital nomads to live and it does not have the same pulse as, for example, Bangkok or Chiang Mai, but it is a great option for those looking for a mix between serenity and modernity.
Most of the Digital Nomads in Bali live on their own with pre-arranged businesses and income streams.
It is a good place to come if you are looking for work as a Digital Nomad, as there are many more networking opportunities.
Internet in Bali
Despite being a veritable mini-mecca for digital nomads, Wi-Fi in Bali can be quite patchy.
There are plenty of cafes and workspaces that offer reliable internet, and they are often the best option if you need to get something done.
Hostel and villa Wi-Fi is usually enough to run a blog, but struggles for anything that requires higher bandwidth, like video calling or trading cryptocurrency.
If work is a priority, I recommend that you consider staying in Ubud, Canggu, Kuta or Denpasar; moving to a more rural part of the city can mean that you are constantly struggling to get online and always losing your job; Trust me, I've been through it.
Visas for digital nomads in Bali
At the time of writing this article, Bali does not issue visas for Digital Nomads and most of them enter with tourist visas.
Technically, working as a Digital Nomad is a breach of visa conditions, but on the other hand, Digital Nomads cannot obtain business visas either.
Hopefully this gray area clears up at some point in the future.
Co-working spaces in Bali
A great option for digital nomads is consider co-working spaces.
While you can simply work from your bed and not even bother to get dressed, co-working spaces offer a number of advantages.
They offer superior Wi-Fi, the chance to meet like-minded people, and the psychological “go to work” high that can work wonders against the old nemesis that is procrastination.
Our personal favorite for Co-Working AND co-living is Tribal Bali.
Looking for the perfect place to live, work, play and stay in beautiful Bali? Tribal Bali is Bali's first custom designed and purpose built work hostel, and the epic brainchild of OG broken backpacker Will Hatton.
This is where backpackers, aspiring entrepreneurs, adventurous explorers, and drifters gather to work, eat, play, and fall in love… well, at least the great coffee and gorgeous views.
There's also a gigantic pool, so it's always time for a refreshing dip to break up the hustle and bustle of the day, brainstorming, work, and play.
With epic food, legendary coffee, amazing cocktails (the Tribal Tonics are the best signature cocktails you'll ever have in a hostel, I guarantee) and a dedicated co-working space this is the place you want to be when you visit Bali.
In this article you can discover all that Bali has to offer if you want to go on vacation first.
If you like the place and want to support Will, please drop by the next time you're in Bali 😉
Living in Bali – FAQ
Let's take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about life in Bali.
How expensive is rent in Bali?
The cost of housing can vary between €200 and €2,000 per month. It all depends on your lifestyle and how much you want to spend.
Can I live in Bali permanently?
Yes, you can live permanently in Bali, but it requires a special visa which is expensive and a high monthly income, even after retirement.
Relocating to Bali permanently is possible, but it is not easy and it is inconvenient.
What is the cheapest place to live in Bali?
You can find cheap accommodation anywhere in Bali, regardless of the city. Living outside the tourist areas will be the most affordable option.
Downtown area in Ubud and Catur are the cheapest areas of the island together with Sawan which is in the north.
Kuta, Canggu and Uluwatu are the most expensive areas of the island, especially when it comes to renting a home.
How much money do you have to earn to live comfortably in Bali?
You can live like royalty in Bali if you earn more than 2,000 EUR per month. However, you can easily get by on 1,100 EUR.
How much does it cost to live in Bali?
Some people can live in Bali on 500 euros a month, while others spend 3,000 euros.
That being said, the expenses of an average person living in Bali without spending anything even with certain luxuries are approximately these.
Cost of living in Bali, monthly:
Rent (Private Room Vs Luxury Villa) €300 – €1,200
Mobile phone €10
Eating out €120 – €250
Housewife (less than 10 hours) €100
Car or motorcycle rental €50 – €250
Gym Membership €35+
Final Thoughts on the Cost of Living in Bali
To move or not to move? I hope this guide on the cost of living in Bali has been helpful to you. and that you have already decided what to do with your life Bali is an amazing place to live and you will be very happy there. 🙂
Citations and bibliographical references:
- «Bali: A Paradise Created» by M. Geertz, published in the book «The Bali Reader: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives» edited by LJ Lombard and JD Mitchell, Duke University Press, 2010.
- «Bali and Beyond: Exploring the anthropology of tourism» by JJ Brasser, published in the book «Tourism and Anthropology» edited by JJ Brasser, Routledge, 2013.
- “Tourism and Development in Bali: A Sociocultural and Environmental Perspective” by K. Law and JJ Brasser, published in the book “Tourism and Development in the Developing World” edited by R. Sharpley, Channel View Publications, 2008.
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I am a passionate traveler with an innate desire to discover the world. To date, I have had the privilege of visiting 31 countries and most of them have left an indelible mark.
During my travels, I have gained valuable knowledge on how to travel efficiently. I have perfected itinerary planning, accommodation selection, and making the most of each experience. I am proud to share my tips and tricks with you so that you can enjoy hassle-free and unforgettable trips.
On this blog, you'll find a carefully curated selection of destinations, practical tips, and honest reviews of hotels and tourist attractions. My goal is to inspire you and provide you with useful resources so that you can plan your own adventures with confidence and peace of mind.
May travel fill you with joy and open you up to new possibilities!