We truly believe that Bali is a great place to live for digital nomads. With so many cool towns to pick from, there’s something for everyone. Would you rather be by the beach or in the middle of the jungle? Would you rather go on diving adventures or surfing trips? Depending on your interests and what kind of routines you’re looking for, there’s surely a spot that fits your needs. Living in Bali means that you can make the most of the island vibes as well as being part of a fun community!

Let’s talk about the pros and cons related to life in Bali. We’ll discuss points such as the cost of living for expats as well as the visa situation.

What it’s like to live in Bali | Pros and Cons

There are many good reasons to live in Bali but there are also some things to consider before doing the big move. Let’s take a look at what it’s like to be living in Bali.

Pros

The friendly people

Balinese people are known to be super friendly and kind! They always smile and it’s, of course, important, to maintain good relationships with the locals when you decide to move somewhere. Balinese speak great English which makes it even easier for expats to connect with the locals.

The food scene

The food scene in Bali is incredible! From smoothie bowls to healthy juices, from Nasi Goreng to Western options, there’s a lot to eat in Bali! In places such as Ubud, Uluwatu or Canggu, you can find yourself surrounded by food options. If you’re after something a bit more fresh, you can always go to a market. The options are surely not disappointing!

The food scene in Bali is incredible!

The many islands to discover

If staying in one spot scares you away, you should know that Indonesia has thousands of islands which means you can’t be bored for too long. You can always explore more places around Bali or visit the islands around if you feel like you need a quick change of scenery.

The cost of living

The cost of living in Bali is pretty low. The Nomad List suggests a budget of more or less $1200 per month for digital nomads. Obviously, it’s possible to live in Bali for less if you’d rather stay in a hostel or more if you’d rather live in a villa.

The weather

The weather in Bali is well known across the world. We all heard of the sunshine, but Bali also comes with a rainy season from October to April. During the rainy season, you can expect unexpected showers, but it can still be sunny most days.

The relaxing vibes

If you’re after relaxing vibes, Bali won’t disappoint. Balinese tend to be pretty relaxed and chilled and so are the expats living in Bali. It’s hard to feel stress when you’re surrounded by island vibes.

It’s hard to feel stress when you’re surrounded by island vibes.

The lifestyle

Whether you like yoga, surfing, CrossFit or gym as part of your weekly routine, you can include a healthy and fitness twist to your Bali routine. There are a lot of options to keep you fit in Bali. With so many healthy options for food, you can also make sure to take care of yourself abroad.

Cons

The visa situation

The visa requirements in Bali can be a bit tricky. The longest visa available is known as the social visa and is valid for 6 months. Otherwise, you can always take the visa on arrival which allows you to extend your stay up to 60 days or you can opt for the free entry which is valid for 30 days.  That being said, your stay in Indonesia comes with a fair bit of visa runs. Look at the bright side though, you could always take this as an opportunity to explore other cool places in Southeast Asia.

The healthcare & health situation

The healthcare situation in Indonesia can be complicated. Sometimes, it could be worth it to go see a Doctor in other countries such as Singapore or Taiwan.

One big con about Bali is the Bali belly situation. When it comes to food and hygiene, standards are different and you could end up being sick eventually. It takes about a month for your body to get used to the food in Bali, so be patient, but also ready if it hits you.

One big con about Bali is the Bali belly situation.

The security

The security in Bali is not necessarily a major issue for most people. Although, you should be aware of the potential scams or ATM card skimming. To make sure you have a positive experience in Bali, you should ask people who have been around for longer periods of time their tips regarding scooter rentals as well as ATM.

Also, it’s strongly suggested that you don’t drive with your mobile phone in your hand and you put your purse inside the seat of your scooter at night to avoid theft.

Cost of Living in Bali

Living in Bali can be quite cheap. Let’s discuss the major expenses you can face in a month.

Monthly rent: from 3.500K to 12.000K

Monthly scooter rental: from 600K to 800K

Internet mobile data: from 45K depending on the packages you’re after

Meal: from 10K to 150K for a meal depending if you eat local food or western food

How to Live in Bali permanently?

Depending if you’re planning on starting a business in Indonesia or if you’re working for a foreigh business, you can get a different type of visa. You could get a KITAS if you’re running a business in Indonesia or if you’re working for an Indonesian company. Otherwise, you can get away with visa runs, visas on arrivals or social visas. You can read more about the visa situation here.

Where to Live in Bali?

The three more popular spots where to live in Bali are Ubud, Canggu and Uluwatu. You can also find smaller expat community in places like Sanur and Amed.

The best way to find out about where you should live in Bali is to try them out and see what works better for you. Also, if you’re planning on signing up in a co-working space, you can use it as a key point to find your next location.

You can also consult our Facebook group for digital nomads in Bali or try one of our retreats to help you make your decision.