Looking to learn about the cost of living in Bali in 2023?
Asia is known for being one of the cheapest places to travel and live. There are plenty of spots now teeming with expats who have chosen a more affordable lifestyle abroad.
It can, however, become exceptionally more expensive if you’re not careful.
So, if you’re thinking of moving to Bali, it’s a good idea to understand the costs involved and whether it’s feasible. We’re going to tell you all you need to know about the cost of living in Bali in 2023.
How Much Money Do You Need To Live Comfortably In Bali?
Bali has seen a lot of investors, especially in the popular areas such as Canggu, Ubud, and Uluwatu, which has helped its economy grow and develop.
Even so, it maintains its beautiful Balinese culture through daily religious offerings, ceremonies at grand temples, and local restaurants with delicious Indonesian cuisine.
Due to Bali’s popularity, the cost of living totally depends on the lifestyle you choose. It’s completely achievable to live in Bali for less than £650 / $770 a month, but if you like to go out to eat and travel, this is going to increase.
Although nothing remains constant, we will give you a good indication of what the current cost of living is in Bali in 2023, to better prepare you for your move to Bali.
Cost of Living In Bali: Overview
We’re going to dive into much more detail on these exact costs later in this post, but for now, here’s a quick summary of what you can expect:
|Activity||Cost of living in Bali 2023 (per month – renting)||Cost of living in Bali 2023 (item cost)|
|Flight (one way)||n/a||£450.00 / $532.58|
|Visa||£45.45 / $53.79||£230.00 / $ – 1st upfront payment|
|Accommodation||£240.00 / $284.04||n/a|
|Wifi||incl.||£17.14 / $20.29 – monthly|
|Sim Card||£4.00 / $4.73||n/a|
|Electricity||incl.||£128.50 / $150.00|
|Laundry||£6.40 / $7.57||£1.00 / $1.18 – per kilo|
|Scooter (rental)||£32.00 / $37.87||n/a|
|Insurance||£50.00 / $59.18||n/a|
|Petrol||£14.00 / $16.57|
|Groceries (for two)||£125.00 / $147.94||n/a|
|Eating out||n/a||£10.00 / $11.84 – per standard meal|
|Cocktail||n/a||£5.00 / $5.92|
|Yoga class||n/a||£7.49 / $8.86|
|Surfing lesson||n/a||£13.37 / $15.82|
|Massage||n/a||£8.02 / $9.50|
Flights will vary depending on many different factors. We flew in September and paid £450 / $532 per person one-way with Qatar Airlines from London Heathrow. We had one three-hour connection at the Doha International Airport.
Flight prices will change depending on the time of year; during off-season, you can find some pretty amazing deals. During high season, expect your flight to be well over £500 (one-way).
There are always deals you can tap into and it’s good practice to start looking early, but not too early! As a rule, 4-6 weeks before departure is a good time to buy.
We tend to use Skyscanner or Google Flights to make our bookings.
To stay long-term in Bali we had to apply for a business visa, which allowed us to stay up to six months. After your first six months, you can then apply for an onshore visa which gives you up to another six months, with monthly extensions after two months.
The initial visa cost 4,300,000 IDR (£229/$271) per person and then it is an additional 850,000 IDR (£45.45/$53.79) per month to extend.
This extension will only give you one month at a time. So, you have to wait for your passport to come back before you can apply for the next extension.
The onshore visa cost is 3,000,000 IDR (£160/$189) for two months and 850,000 IDR (£45.45/$53.79) for monthly extensions up to four months.
We used a visa company that dealt with our extension. There was an additional fee, but it saved us a lot of hassle and time. I would recommend using a visa company for your move, too. Check out Peak Solutions! They were great to work with.
Cost of Living in Bali: Housing
It’s very common to rent a room in Bali, or even stay in a guesthouse, which is what a lot of the younger Indonesian crowd chooses to do. It’s common for young people to move to Bali from Jakarta looking for jobs in the booming tourism sector.
Bali is also quite multicultural. While we were renting our room at the guesthouse, we were the only English couple there. We shared the communal spaces with a mix of Indonesians, Russians, French, and Americans.
Apartments are another option if you’re planning on staying long-term or even short-term. Due to Bali being super cheap, some people choose to rent a private apartment or villa for their entire stay.
However, accommodations vary in standard, which reflects in the cost. Don’t be fooled by the name. Sometimes a guesthouse will be more expensive than a villa.
Expert Tip: Most places will include fresh towels, toiletries, and room service every few days!
*For the purpose of this post, most of these costs are representative of the Canggu district which is where we spent most of our time. Canggu is one of the more expensive districts of Bali, so if you’re staying elsewhere, you can adjust your budget accordingly.
Cost of Renting in Bali
Conversion Rate: 20,000 IDR = £1/$1.39 (or thereabouts!)
We stayed at a guesthouse in Canggu called Frangipani House and Spa. It was amazing.
It is located in Batu Bolong, just off the main street, and surrounded by rice paddies. It’s also five minutes on scooter to the beach and central to the shops, supermarkets, and restaurants in the area.
It cost us 3,500,000 IDR (£187/$221) per month. In Bali, you pay by room and not by the person. So, if there are two of you, then it cuts the cost in half.
Note: We were there towards the end of the pandemic so we got a discounted rate. The usual cost is 4,500,000 (£240/$284) per month, which is still really affordable.
Our favorite place was Wina B&B in Ubud town. It’s a stone’s throw from the Royal Palace, Kajeng Rice Fields, and the Ubud market. Our hosts were extremely friendly and welcoming and served us the best breakfast we had in Bali.
It cost us 900,000 IDR (£48/$56) per week. This included an amazing breakfast each morning and use of their kitchen, plus daily room cleanings, fresh towels, and toiletries.
Expert Tip: If you’re staying long-term you can always negotiate the price and get better deals.
Cost of Buying A Home In Bali
Many people decide to buy a home in Bali as an investment. It’s important to understand that as a foreigner you cannot own land in Bali indefinitely. You will, in effect, rent the land from the landowner for long periods of time (usually around 25-99 years), but in the end, it will go back to the owner.
Cost of Living in Bali: Utilities
A few additional expenses you’ll need to prepare for include utilities. Here’s what you can expect for utility costs when living in Bali:
Wi-Fi Cost In Bali
In Bali, most cafes, restaurants, and hotels have an internet connection that is free to use if you’re using their facilities.
Generally speaking, when you rent a room in Bali, either through the guesthouse or an apartment, your Wi-Fi will be included in the price, too. It’s very unlikely that you will be asked to pay separately for the internet.
If you decide to set up your own WiFi, there are a variety of different options and price plans to choose from. The common providers are Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Smartfren and they provide the fastest connections.
Prices are around 300,000 IDR/ £17.14 / $20.29 per month for 8mbps.
Sim Card Cost In Bali
You will need to buy an Indonesian sim which can be done at a number of kiosks.
Some people buy them at the airport, but just know that you will pay a premium. If you are able, wait until you reach your district to search for a sim card as you will get a better price.
Prices of sim cards vary. We have been able to get some for 30,000 IDR (£1.71 / $2.02) while being charged 90,000 IDR (£5.14 / $6.08) for others (for the same data package)!
It takes some thrifty negotiation to get a fair price, which I feel is usually around 50,000 – 70,000 IDR (£2.86 / $3.38 – £4.00 / $4.73). This data deal will last about a month (if you’re connecting to free Wi-Fi when possible).
Telkomsel or XL Axiata are the best brands to purchase while you are in Bali. 5G has also been introduced to Bali by the XL Axiata network, which means even faster connections.
So, if you’re thinking of moving to Bali as a digital nomad, you won’t have any trouble with Wi-Fi connections.
Electricity & Water Cost In Bali
The monthly average cost of electricity and water is around £61.27 / $70.00 to £113.78 / $130.00.
Note: Electricity and water costs are usually lumped together in one bill.
One thing that is not typically included is laundry. Most guesthouses won’t have washing facilities, so you will need to get this done outside. Laundry services are available everywhere and really cheap. We loved getting laundry done in Bali!
For 1kg of washing in Bali, it will cost between 10,000 – 20,000 IDR (£0.53 – £1.07 / $0.63 – $1.27). They do a good job and are quick. We would normally wash 3kg a week if that.
Cost of Living in Bali: Transportation
To keep the cost of living in Bali down we rented scooters to get around the island instead of using taxis or buses. In truth, there are hardly any buses, especially when you get further into the districts. Therefore, most people choose to use a scooter to get around.
Buses do run, but they generally follow a ring road around the island and never take you directly or even close to where you need to go. If you choose not to use a scooter, then taxis are your best bet.
We actually decided to go on a scooter road trip around Bali for a month as we enjoyed riding our scooters around so much.
Cost of Public Transportation in Bali
If motorbikes aren’t your thing and you don’t fancy renting one, the next best option is taxis. You can find taxis easily by using apps such as Grab and Gojek.
You can either jump on a motorbike taxi or car (the motorbike being cheaper) and you’ll pay a set rate through the app, so there’s no need to negotiate on price.
|Typical Destinations||Motorbike Price||Car Price|
|Canggu to Berawa||21,000/(£1.12/ $1.31)||57,000 IDR (£3.05/ $3.56)|
|Canggu to Ubud||70,000/ (£3.74/ $4.37)||238,000 IDR (£12.73/ $14.87)|
|Canggu to Uluwatu||87,000/ (£4.65/ $5.43)||206,000 IDR (£11.02/ $12.87)|
|Canggu to Sanur||47,000/(£2.51/ $2.93)||114,000 IDR (£6.10/ $7.12)|
Note: We managed to get hold of an Indonesian license during our time on the island as we didn’t get our international license. This was done on a side hustle as you can only obtain an Indonesian license if you’re a resident or hold a KITAS, (or so we were told).
Many people don’t bother to get an Indonesian license. However, it does help avoid issues, especially with police fines and insurance. If you’re staying long-term, it’s worth looking into and should cost around 1,300,000 IDR (£69.51 / $82.27).
Cost of Renting A Motorbike in Bali
It cost us 500,000 IDR (£26.74 / $31.65) to rent a motorbike for one month. It’s really common to rent scooters long-term rather than purchase them. However, some people do choose to buy their own.
The cost of purchasing a scooter will vary depending on the make and model. But, as a ballpark figure, you’re looking at £1,700 – £2,000, ($2,011 – $2,367) for a brand new, top-of-the-line 125cc Honda.
Note: We were there toward the end of the pandemic and so got a slightly better deal than normal. The rental cost of a scooter in Bali should be between 600,000 – 850,000 IDR (£32.08-£45.45) per month, depending on the type of motorbike you get.
Fuel Prices in Bali
To fill up our scooter tanks we were putting in around 45,000 IDR (£2.58 / $3.01). Gas is super cheap in Indonesia, we were able to do around 60 km on one liter of fuel, and the motorbikes had a 4-liter capacity (just about 1 gallon).
Insurance Cost in Bali
Your insurance should be covered by your travel insurance. It’s very important that you purchase travel insurance before you leave for Bali.
Typically, a standard insurance cover for Indonesia will cost around £50.00 / $58.39 per month
➡️ We recommend getting travel insurance through SafetyWing. It’s affordable and VERY helpful when you need it.
You need to understand exactly what your insurance covers and doesn’t cover.
For example, for us to be covered to ride a scooter by our travel insurance, we had to wear a helmet and have the appropriate license.
An appropriate license is either an Indonesian license or an international license. The latter can be applied for at the post office for £5.00 (in the UK) before you leave.
You’ll need to find out how to apply for an international license in your own country of residence.
Fines In Bali
Fines are something you need to be aware of in Bali. If you don’t have an Indonesian license or an international license, or you’re not wearing a mask or helmet, you will likely get stopped by the police.
We got pulled over three times during six months. While we paid the first time, luckily we were let off after we obtained our Indonesian license.
Fines vary depending on the officer, but it can be anything from 100,000 to 2,000,000 IDR (£106.96 / $124!)
Cost of Living in Bali: Food & Groceries
Now let’s chat about the cost of food and groceries in Bali. What can you expect?
Is It Expensive To Eat Out In Bali?
This is a bit of a hard question to answer, as from our experience, it will completely depend on where you are eating out and how often.
So, to answer the question of whether or not it’s expensive to eat out in Bali… it depends on your lifestyle.
There are a lot of western restaurants in Bali which are significantly pricier than the local ‘warungs’. Warungs are local Indonesian restaurants that sell delicious homemade food for a fraction of what it would cost to eat in a western restaurant.
However, when in Bali, it’s nice to visit a variety of restaurants, and so the cost to eat out is going to vary day to day.
In general, it will cost about 150,000 IDR (£8.02 / $9.37) each time you eat out. (Unless it’s a local warung, which will be about 40,000 IDR/£2.14/$2.50).
There are so many wonderful places to eat in Bali, so we wanted to share a few of our favorite spots with you, including the prices of some dishes:
|Restaurant Name||Description||Dish & Price|
|The Shady Shack||A lovely vegan restaurant set along a quiet street overlooking rice fields. It’s got a rustic open-air hippie feel. It’s just off the main road in Batu Bolong.||Berry blush smoothie bowl – 50,000 IDR/£2.67/$3.12; Pulled jackfruit tacos – 75,000 IDR/£4.00/$4.67; Sparkling San Pellegrino – 40,000 IDR/£2.14/$2.50; Cacao Protein smoothie – 75,000 IDR/£4.00/$4.67|
|Joba Warung||Our favorite local restaurant which serves traditional Indonesian cuisine is set out in a display cabinet where you can pick your food. It’s on Main Street leading to Batu Bolong beach.||Nasi Goreng- 25,000 IDR/£1.34/$1.56; Mixed Plate – 20,000 IDR/£1.07/$1.25; Soda water – 7,000 IDR/£0.37/$0.43|
|Crate Cafe||This is a great breakfast place! It’s got an industrial lounge feel with huge plates of food. It’s found down a small side street connecting Batu Bolong to Pererenan.||Green Brekkie – 55,000 IDR/£2.94/$3.43; Shrooms – 55,000 IDR/£2.94/$3.43; Smoothie Bowl – 55,000 IDR/£2.94/$3.43; Fruit Smoothies – 40,000 IDR/£2.14/$2.50; Latte – 30,000 IDR (iced – 40,000)/£1.60/$1.87|
|Street Food||Popping up all over the place, these are quick and easy to grab.||Pork or chicken kebab- 5,000 IDR/£0.27/$0.32 (a skewer); Deep fried sweet potato – 10,000- 15,000 IDR/£0.80/$0.93 (a bag); Deep fried banana – 10,000 IDR/£0.53/$0.62 (a bag); Bakso noodle soup – 10,000 – 15,000/£0.80/0.93$|
|Dim Sum Sister||A little pricier than our normal eat-out places, but the dumplings here are delicious. They also do a great hot pot and yummy cocktails, plus they usually have some offers on!||Tempura crispy chicken hotpot – 100,000 IDR//£5.35/$6.25; Seafood wonton soup -56,000 IDR/£3.00/$3.50; Shanghai pork dumpling – 54,000 IDR/2.89/$3.38; Watermelon and avocado salad – 45,000 IDR/£2.41/$2.81; Whisky sour – 105,000 IDR/£5.61/$6.55; Pina Colada – 95,000 IDR/£5.08/$5.93|
|Bali Budha||Another one of our favorite and everybody else’s too! The food here is really good. plus they have a green initiative, organic produce and a health shop. There’s a few dotted around the island serving the same menu, be sure to try the golden latte- but ask for a shot of coffee in it!||Banana passion fruit stack – 41,000 IDR/£2.19/$2.56; Chicken pesto wrap – 53,000 IDR/£2.83/$3.31; Grilled cheese sandwich – 29,000 IDR/£1.55/$1.81; Supercharger smoothie bowl – 57,000 IDR/£3.05/$3.56; Vegan nasi champur – 45,000 IDR/£2.41/$2.81; Ayurvedic golden latte – 46,000 IDR/£2.46/$2.87|
Grocery Store Food Prices
We tried to eat at home at least once a day, if not twice, to keep costs down. There are a few places to grab good quality shopping without going to the larger supermarkets.
It’s also good to know that western food such as bread, cheese, and cereal is going to be more expensive than local food.
|Our standard shopping list for two people: (fruits and veg lasting about a week)||Item Cost|
|Bread – loaf||23,000 IDR / £1.23 / $1.46|
|Cereal – 150g||18-21,000 IDR / £1.12 / $1.33|
|Oats – 1kg||26-35,000 IDR / £1.87 / $2.21|
|Coconut milk – 1 liter||40-50,000 IDR / £2.67 / $3.16|
|Rice milk – 1 liter||(same price as coconut milk)|
|Chia seeds – bag||79,000 IDR / £4.22 / $4.99|
|Walnuts – 250g||50,000 IDR / £2.67 / $3.16|
|Tempeh – bag||10-12,000 IDR / £0.64 / $0.76|
|Tofu – bag||same as above|
|Turmeric – 100g||15,000 IDR / £0.80 / $0.95|
|Onion – small bag||5-7,000 IDR / £0.37 / $0.44|
|Garlic – 1 whole||same with onions under 10,000 IDR / £0.53 / $0.63|
|Small local beer||25-35,000 IDR / £1.87 / $2.21|
|Large local beer||35-50,000 IDR / £2.67 / $3.16 (depends which shop)|
|Mangosteen – bag||20-29,000 IDR / £1.55 / $1.83 (depends on season)|
|Watermelon – whole||10-19,000 IDR / £1.02 / $1.21|
|Mango – each||15-25,000 IDR / £1.34 / $1.59 (depends on season)|
|Pineapple – each||12,000 IDR / £0.64 / $0.76|
|Dragon fruit – each||15-25,000 IDR / £1.34 / $1.59 (depends on season)|
|Pasta – 500g||27-35,000 IDR / £1.87 / $2.21|
|Cabbage – each||5-9,000 IDR / £0.48 / $0.57|
|Spring onions – small bunch||5-7,000 IDR / £0.37 / $0.44|
|Tomatoes – bag||(same as above)|
|Rice – 1kg||40-45,000 IDR / £2.41 / $2.85|
Cost of Living in Bali: Entertainment
There’s a lot to do in Bali to keep you active. The health scene is really big.
I did yoga three times a week at a few places, but my favorite was Samadi Bali. You can purchase class bundles or monthly/yearly passes depending on the length of your stay.
We learned how to surf in Bali, too. We started in Canggu but later moved to Kuta for surf lessons because it was cheaper.
Bali is also renowned for its traditional Balinese massage, which is amazing (if you find the right place), We would each get one massage per week, and we were so lucky to find an incredible lady who would come to our guest house for 100,000 IDR (£5.35 / $6.33) an hour.
Sometimes we would stop and get a massage while we were out and they would be a little more expensive, around 150,000 IDR (£8.02 / $9.49).
Conversion Rate: £1.00 = $1.18
|Single Class||140,000 IDR / £7.49 / $8.86|
|6 Class Pass||700,000 IDR / £37.43 / $44.30|
|12 Class Pass||1,300,000 IDR / £69.51 / $82.27|
|Monthly membership||2,800,000 IDR / £149.72 / $177.19|
|Surf lesson in Canggu||250,000 IDR / £13.37 / $15.82|
|Surf lesson in Kuta||150,000 IDR / £8.02 / $9.49|
|Board hire||50,000 IDR / £2.67 / $3.16|
Cost of Living In Bali: Healthcare
Healthcare in Bali is private. You will need to pay for this in cash or through your insurance. Depending on what medical needs you require, sometimes it’s less hassle to pay for smaller issues out of pocket.
BIMC Hospitals are well-known and have exceptional standards. If you get into any trouble, these are the best ones to visit with specifically trained English-speaking staff.
There are also many pharmacies all over the island that typically to have English-speaking staff. In my experience, they are more than happy to help find the correct medication.
During our time in Bali, I, unfortunately, had a piece of sand embedded in my eye which I needed to visit the opticians to remove. Luckily, it was a simple process, dealt with privately and quickly.
I had to call and make an appointment first (after searching for one that looked professional) before having my appointment and I paid at the end of my visit. They checked everything to ensure my eye would heal properly and then numbed my eye before removing the piece of sand.
I paid 665,876 IDR / £38.28 / $44.90 for the appointment and two bottles of eye drops.
Learning The Ways Of Bali
When we first arrived in Bali, it was a haze of ‘Asian meets Western’. There’s a big difference in price between local restaurants and western-style ones, if we hadn’t been careful we would have quickly blown through our travel budget.
Now we have finally figured out the best places to visit, the best prices, and how to balance the Bali lifestyle with budget travel. It is possible to maintain an affordable cost of living in Bali.
Is Bali A Good Place To Live?
For us, we absolutely loved our time in Bali and do feel like it is a good place to live. It’s much cheaper to live in Bali than many other places around the world. And it doesn’t hurt that the climate is warm (perhaps a little too hot at times).
With the beach at your fingertips and a mixture of Eastern and Western culture, Bali is the perfect destination for setting up camp, even just for a little while.
There is a large expat community, so it’s easy to meet people and make friends. There are a lot of people who visit and end up staying too.
In general, Bali is an extremely beautiful and friendly place to be.
Where Should I Live In Bali?
There are three main districts that are the most popular in Bali. They include: Canggu, Ubud, and Uluwatu. We recommend that you consider moving to one of these three districts at first because it’s easy to find info.
If you’re looking for even cheaper places to travel and live in Bali, consider other areas such as Medewi and Amed. These are also fantastic choices, they tend to be less busy but still have great amenities, attractions, and island vibes.
There are some other areas such as Seminyak and Kuta, which are also well known and loved. These districts are the most expensive, but they always have something fun going on at any time of year.
Canggu is THE place for parties, beach, and fitness. Nearby beaches are good for surfing and the buzz around town is always fun.
There are restaurants specialized in all different types of cuisines, serving up national delicacies where you can taste delicious food.
The fitness hype around Canggu is huge with plenty of gyms, yoga classes, and healthy restaurant options. Many people who come to Bali for a boot camp or health kick end up in Canggu or Ubud.
Ubud is the spiritual center of Bali. It’s full of new-age hippies and yogis, vegans, and earth lovers – we fit in here pretty well. The vibe in Ubud is relaxed and friendly, we absolutely loved it!
Ubud is surrounded by rainforests and rice paddies, sitting in the middle of the mountains. The only issue is that it’s not by the beach – although it only takes an hour to reach Canggu and the ocean.
Uluwatu kind of sits in the middle between Canggu and Ubud. It’s the perfect spot if you’re a keen surfer, and love hidden coves and beaches, chilled vibes, and clifftop sunsets. If we go back to Bali, we’d really like to spend more time here!
Medewi is a small fishing village about one hour north of Canggu. It’s the perfect spot if you want a more quiet surf scene.
There are a few great spots to eat and drink, and it can get a bit lively on the weekends, but the main reason to stay here is the surf. The prices are much cheaper than anywhere else, you’re looking at half the price of Canggu!
Sanur beach is a fantastic place to lay your stakes if you are moving to Bali. It’s a quiet fishing village with affordable and modern housing, calm beaches, and it’s where you can jump on a ferry if you ever decide to visit nearby islands like Nusa Penida or Gili Trawangan
You can read more about Sanur beach and the amazing things to do there by clicking here!
Conclusion: Cost of Living In Bali 2023
As you can see, the cost of living in Bali in 2023 is a lot less than it would be in a western country. Bali has a lot to offer, and even if it’s just somewhere you choose to move temporarily, it certainly won’t disappoint.
To summarise: conversion rate £1.00 = $1.18
|Activity||Indonesian Rupiah IDR||Pound Sterling £||U.S Dollar $|
|Food Shopping||2,200,000 IDR (550,000 IDR weekly shop for 2 people)||£125.00 or £62.50 per person||$147.00|
|Scooter Hire||600,000 IDR/||£32.00||$37.87|
|Phone Credit/Data||70,000 IDR||£4.00||$4.73|
|Travel Insurance||931,051 IDR||£50.00||$59.18|
The cost of living in Bali is £430.00 / $509.00 for essential items per month.
If you choose to do Bali on a budget like us (meaning you’re not drinking too much, only eating out once a day, and doing some yoga and surfing every few days),the total cost of living in Bali for a month should be around £650 per person.
If you plan to go out to eat and drink, it’s around 80,000 – 150,000 IDR (£4-£7.50) per cocktail and 45,000 – 85,000 IDR (£2.50 – £4.50) for a local beer. So, you may consider a travel budget of around £900 per month to enjoy your time.
Huge thanks to Abigal Dalton for creating this amazing post following her time in Bali!