Cost of living in Bali


There are so many destinations in Asia that are definitely worth visiting when you are on a lifetime travel. But among them, all Bali is the most tempting. Small cozy island with picturesque nature, beaches and mountains, rich culture and friendly people. If moving to Bali is in your schedule, then take a look at the article to have an impression of the approximate budget for life on this island from experienced travelers Maria and Ajay.

Long-term apartment or house rental in Bali

There is a wide choice of rental properties. You can rent a mini house in the inner yard of a Balinese house for 500 000 Indonesian rupees (IDR) per month. For the same price, you can also rent a very modest studio apartment or a room at the guesthouse. Average 1-2 bedroom apartments or houses cost from 2 million IDR/ per month. Higher level rental properties with nice furniture and garden – starting from 3 million IDR. Price usually includes charges for water and electricity, sometimes even cleaning services.

Scooter, motorbike and car rental in Bali

Living in Bali is more comfortable when you can move around the island. The most popular means of transport are scooters and motorbikes. A scooter for a short period of time would cost from 40 000 per day, a motorbike – from 50 000 – 60 000, and cars – from 100 000 per day without a driver or 200 000 with a driver.
If you rent for the long term then the price will be significantly cheaper: scooters – 450 000 per month, bikes – 500 000. Gasoline in Indonesia costs about 4 500 rupees per liter.


As always in Asia, do not take the words “counter is broken” too seriously and don’t ask the price before getting into the car. Just sit down, tell the address and make sure that the counter is on. It turns out quite cheap.

Public transport in Bali

Foreigners might find it hard and confusing to use public transport in Bali… There are small minibusses called bemo running between Ubud and Denpasar. In Denpasar they depart from 4 different bus terminals, in the small towns bus station is usually located near the market. They don’t run very often, so you’ll probably have to spend a lot of time waiting for bemo at the station and then sitting inside, waiting till the minibus gets full. Drivers usually try to cheat on foreigners, asking for a much higher price. The best way to save money is to sit silently, pretending that you live in Bali for ages. Check how much locals pay and pay the same. Usually, a ride within the city costs 2 000 – 2 500 IDR, and between the towns – 12 000 – 15 000 IDR.


If you plan to move to Bali for a longer period, then you’ll probably need an Internet connection for work and leisure. There are various internet providers in Bali, but Maria and Ajay have chosen Smart. This is one of the few companies which provides unlimited mobile internet. Rates are from 45 000 to 275 000 per month, but you’ll also need to buy EVDO-USB-modem (approximately 1 million) or router (about 1,4 million) if you don’t have one.


The choice is huge!

  1. Small mobile cafeterias looking like wooden cupboards on wheels offer local fast food: soup bakso (meatball soup), cooked noodles mie rebus and chicken soup Soto Ayam. Portions are not large and cost 3 000 – 8 000 depending on size and ingredients.
  2. Filthy little cafeterias under the eaves alongside the roads. The choice is a little more varied, prices are from 8 000 for a good portion of something with meat.
  3. Warungs – simple restaurants with traditional Indonesian food, mostly for locals. The menu, if there is one, is usually written on the board hanging on the wall. Prices are from 8 000 to 15 000 for a full meal. Basically, all dishes include meat, but there are also roasted vegetables. Drinks are from 2 000. The most common drink is iced tea with ice (es teh), but there is a local coffee and juices.
  4. Warungs for foreigners. Usually, they have a paper menu, a choice of fresh juices, and local alcohol. This is generally a cross between a restaurant and a local cafe. A full meal will cost you around 20 000. These warungs usually offer Indonesian cuisine, but sometimes you may come across European dishes, like spaghetti.
  5. Western-style fast foods – KFC, McDonald’s, etc. Burgers of all sorts for 30 000, local dishes (like rice and chicken) – 15 000 IDR.
  6. Restaurants where you will hardly meet locals. Expensive, absolutely the same as a restaurant in any other part of the world.

In general Maria and Ajay spend about $900 per month. This sum includes all the above-mentioned: apartment rent, scooter rent, food (mostly at home, but also once in a while a visit to a warung for locals), Internet and also clothes, which is very cheap, just like elsewhere in Asia.

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