A Complete Digital Nomad Guide To Bali
Digital Nomad Guide to Bali
What this Guide covers
Favorable weather throughout the year and affordable cost of living encourage digital nomads in Bali, businessmen, and remote workers to make this destination their new home. This comprehensive guide is specifically created for digital nomads looking to move to the beautiful island for working remotely. It contains detailed information on key aspects one should be aware of before traveling to Bali to lead a digital nomad lifestyle.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia, Bali is particularly attractive for budget travellers, backpackers, and digital nomads. Every year, over 6 million people visit this large island known for its favorable climate, rich culture and history, and world-class beaches. There is so much to explore in Bali including lush terraces, gorgeous landscapes, incredible surf spots, ancient temples, scenic volcanos, and a lot more.
Why becoming a digital nomad in Bali is a great idea?
In the past couple of years, the island of Bali has transformed from being a top tourist destination to one of the epicentre’s of remote working. And it has happened for a good reason. From incredible surf spots and luxury accommodation to massage spas and clubs, it is almost like a treat for those who want to work away from their office.
Bali has become one of the favorite destinations for digital nomads mainly because of the budget-friendly cost of living. According to some estimates, living in Bali for a month with free WiFi, a villa with a pool, and helpers doesn’t cost you more than 900 EUR. However, Bali can be expensive at times if you are tempted to spend on surf equipment, gym membership, yoga classes, or drinks. The average cost of living in Bali is about 10 EUR-20 EUR per day including three meals, a beer, or coffee.
Surfers and sun lovers will find the weather in Bali perfect because it has consistent temperatures through most parts of the year. When you are in Bali, you don’t need to worry about packing boots, jackets, or coats because the island has only two distinct seasons – wet and dry.
People in Bali are friendly and love to talk. You are likely to get familiar with anybody talking to you for the first time. English is widely used in Bali but you should consider learning a few Indonesian words if you are planning to stay longer.
High Speed Internet
Bali is known to offer a speedy internet connection and passes the Netflix test which means it is easy to stream videos and upload content without any problem. Every café, restaurant, hotel, and villa offer free Wi-Fi to let you work from anywhere.
Bali is one of the most visited destinations in the world, with flocks from different corners of the world coming to explore the landscape and natural beauty every year.
There is also a large community of expats and digital nomads seen networking either at coffee shops or on Facebook groups. Residents and businesses respect foreigners, giving them a safe place to relax and work.
Getting Around Bali
If you are going to be based as a digital nomad in Bali for some time, you must know that it struggles with traffic congestion, and you may find it difficult to navigate when you first start out.
The most common mode of getting around is using a two-wheeler, like a scooter that makes it easy and fast to drive through narrow streets. You can rent a scooter at affordable prices and most lenders don’t even ask for a license or deposit.
Walking in Bali
If you are staying in a small town like Kuta or Ubud, it is easy to walk from one place to another. You can also walk around to find the essentials and amenities for everyday living. However, most people use vehicles to get around the island.
Driving/Cycling In Bali
Scooters are by far the most common mode of getting around in Bali. You can rent a scooter for a day at about 50,000 IDR. If you can negotiate, you can reduce the cost when renting for a few days. Though driving seems to be difficult in Bali, most people get used to it quickly.
If you don’t prefer moving around on a two-wheeler, you can choose a ride-sharing service to get around Bali. These services available through Grab and Gojek are quite popular and affordable. Such services offer rides in scooters and cars.
Public Transports In Bali
Bali also offers some form of public transport system. Some public buses transport tourists between major parts of the island like Nusa Dua, Ubud, Kuta, and Jimbaran.
Buses are air-conditioned and can even have Wi-Fi. Fares are affordable starting at only 20,000 IDR. However, there are limited buses and bus stops.
Taxis in Bali
Taxis are available in Bali but not considered to be a safe option. One of the most regulated taxis are from Bluebird recognizable with a blue color and bird logo. They operate with a meter and cost about 100,000 IDR for a 10-minute ride.
For day trips and longer distances, you can consider hiring a car and a driver to take you around. The benefit of hiring a driver is that you can make several stops and get rid of dealing with multiple drivers. Prices start at 500,000 IDR per day including fuel and parking charges. However, buying and renting cars is not so common in Bali due to narrow roads and busy traffic.
Accommodation For Digital Nomads in Bali
Best Places To Live In Bali
Most tourists prefer to stay in areas of Seminyak, Kuta, and Legian which are famous for their nightlife and eateries.
Villas in these places are smaller with less outdoor space available but there are several coworking spaces available in these regions which makes them ideal for digital nomads in Bali.
Canggu is probably the best area to lead a digital nomad lifestyle in Bali. It has transformed into a hub for remote workers in the past few years with an incredible range of villas to choose from though prices can sometimes go high.
Canggu can be crowded at times but you should not find it difficult to find cafes, restaurants, and coworking spaces to do your work.
Ubud is ideal for those who find Kuta and Canggu too crowded for living. It is a quiet neighborhood with a vibrant culture, yoga, and meditation facilities.
A lot of remote workers in Bali choose to travel to Ubud for a few days during their stay to find the perfect atmosphere for productivity and comfort.
Most people live in shared or private villas in Bali. You can find a huge variety of villas in different sizes waiting to be rented out for longer periods. By renting for six months or one year, you can save some money. A double room villa with a private bathroom can cost about 200EUR per month on a shared basis and can even go up to 1000EUR depending on the location and amenities.
For example, if you are looking for a modern villa in Canggu with a pool, you can expect to pay 450EUR or more per month for a room.
The most common options are two-bedroom villas though you can find villas with multiple bedrooms. Sharing a villa with other digital nomads in Bali can bring down the price considerably. Single-bedroom villas can be expensive.
A coliving space is a great way to meet other techies and remote workers in Bali. Such spaces are ideal for networking and avoid feeling alone during your stay in the island! If you want to become a digital nomad in Bali, book your accommodation before arrival and make sure you have a peaceful stay!
Finding a trustworthy Hosts and available digital nomad accommodation in Bali can be challenging! We share with you some options of verified properties available to safely book on Sharedd
Coworking Spaces For Digital Nomads In Bali
Working productively as a digital nomad in Bali is challenging. While some prefer to get their work done from the comfort of accommodation, most digital nomads find it more beneficial to work from a restaurant, café, or coworking space for increased productivity.
Bali has a large selection of beachfront coffee shops and restaurants that provide the perfect vibe for remote working. These are open, modern spaces equipped with amenities like a strong Wi-Fi connection and affordable foods and beverages.
Some digital nomads head to coffee shops and restaurants at times but most prefer coworking spaces that provide comfortable desks, a work environment, and high-speed internet. These are also great places to connect with other digital nomads. Here are some popular coworking spaces perfect for remote workers in Bali.
Outpost has two locations in Ubud and one in Canggu, boasting a huge interconnected community of coworking individuals. The bright, airy space boosts the productivity of the engaged digital nomads. Amazing amenities like a pool, private rooms, and Wi-Fi connection make it a cool spot to work from.
You can find, at all the locations in Bali, deck spaces, outdoor gardens, and indoor hubs with robust internet, Skype rooms, standing desks, and more. It is a well-done coworking space designed to be social and productive where you can work, live and hang out all at the same place.
The most popular coworking space in Bali, Dojo is a cool spot in Canggu that attracts artists, web developers, bloggers, and other creative remote workers, building a community of young, aspiring people from around the world.
It packs a lot of useful amenities including air-conditioned conference rooms, robust internet connection, sound-proof Skype rooms, and other facilities, and even boasts a glittering pool with green gardens. Dojo is a great choice for any digital nomad in Bali looking for a complete experience.
The first coworking space on the island, Hubud is considered to be the benchmark of digital nomad coworking in Bali. The breezy space offers plenty of indoor-outdoor seating arrangement that attracts a large number of techies, creatives, business people, and others working on their own terms.
With amenities like coaching, co-living accommodation, and corporate retreats, Hubud helps lead a new office-less lifestyle. It also has a beautiful garden café that serves roasted organic coffee and fresh salads.
A relatively new coworking space located in Canggu, Tropical Nomad offers a modern, airy atmosphere with essential amenities like ergonomic chairs, strong Wi-Fi, in-house café, and conference rooms. It is more focused on productivity and provides you a distraction-free spot to concentrate on your work. You can buy day passes starting at 13 EUR or choose affordable monthly and unlimited packages depending on your needs.
A leader in the coworking space industry, GoWork has more than 15 locations in Indonesia. You can find one in the heart of Kuta with inspiring workspaces in modern interior and natural sunlight.
The space blends nicely into Bali’s natural landscape without compromising on amenities like conference rooms, private desks, and lounges. Featuring a blend of technology, spatial design, and services, GoWork is definitely a go-to for digital nomads.
Biliq CoSharing Space
This one-of-a-kind coworking space located in Seminyak is the first on the island to offer pay-per-minute pricing, making it one of the most affordable options for digital nomads in Bali. At the center of the cool coworking space is a pool with laptop supports installed.
You can find endless work spots and a super-speedy Wi-Fi connection for a pleasant workday here. On top of these, Biliq serves awesome coffees, delicious smoothie bowls, and a lot more to make through a busy workday.
Coffee Shops with Fast WiFi in Bali
Being a digital nomad, you get the freedom to work from any corner you like to sit in. But the most difficult task is finding the little corner with strong Wi-Fi.
Fortunately, most coffee shops and cafes in Bali offer Wi-Fi, so digital nomads in Bali can choose a bright space with natural light to stay inspired to work. Here are some of the best coffee shops to work from in Bali.
A coffee shop catered to remote workers, digital nomads, bloggers, and other creative professionals, Ingka is an inspiring place for a workday, and you can see people sitting with laptops on different tables.
Each table has enough plugs for powering laptops. Their menu is diverse with something for everyone.
Resembling an institution in Seminyak, Shelter is a unique place to work. It has a big open rooftop terrace with greenery radiating island vibes.
It is not a typical coffee shop but a great spot to head to on a lazy day. You can enjoy some delicious salad bowls and milkshakes during your breaks to keep the day going.
This venue serves delicious food and remains open all day, making it an excellent place to work. Internet is quite fast and you can find enough plugs to power your laptop. It is quite busy in the evenings but quiet and empty in the daytime.
The staff is friendly, coffee is top-notch, and the food is divine. The best thing about Basil Kitchen is the affordable prices of its food items.
This popular café in modern Australian vibe serves appetizing brunch dishes. You can grab some sandwiches and burgers while working comfortably with strong Wi-Fi available.
Though the place is quite busy with digital nomads, you can always spend a workday sitting on a bench overlooking the streets. It also offers a strong internet connection to keep you going without any lag.
This coffee shop is famous for its coffee and food. A lot of people find it a go-to for delicious Indonesian, Asian, and Western dishes.
It is also the perfect place for digital nomads because there is a quiet area filled with people and laptops upstairs. Though not so bright, you can find all you need to get a few hours of work done here.
Trendiest Places To Eat In Bali
Bali is home to a large number of restaurants and eateries that serve food and beverages for a relaxing experience after a workday.
Different areas like Canggu, Kuta, Denpasar, and Seminyak have some great restaurants serving a variety of cuisine ranging from American fast food to Indonesian flavors and more across the world.
Potato Head Beach Club
One of the best places to eat some tasty, healthy food during your trip to Bali, Potato Head Beach Club boasts an attractive colorful window shutter architecture.
Located in Seminyak, Bali, this beachfront restaurant not only serves some flavorful dishes but also lets you enjoy a unique vibe for a refreshing evening.
You can find delicious options which are a mix of the east and west. Digital nomads in Bali can head to the spot in the evening for some leisure time watching the sunset beside the sea with tasty salads and seafood dishes.
Ku De Ta
The perfect place to enjoy a brunch or get over the previous night’s party hangover, Ku De Ta is a beachfront restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating as well as lounge chairs.
You can enjoy food from a mix of continental and local cuisine and choose from a selection of cocktails that go perfectly with these foods.
Finns Beach Club
One of the best places to relax and chill in Bali, Finns Beach Club offers not one but five spaces to eat and drink.
You can choose from Surf Bar, Pool Bar, Sushi Bar, Lounge Bar, and a restaurant that all serve great dishes and beverages and give you the freedom to decide how you want to spend the day. This club even hosts local DJs to set up mood with their melodies.
Designed to offer a unique dining experience, the Rock Bar is one of the trendiest restaurants in Bali. The spot is located on a luxury resort built on the rocks beside the ocean, providing spectacular views of the waters unlike anywhere else. Some of the most famous dishes here include California Maki and Stuffed Grilled Sardines.
Merah Putih Bali
If you are looking to try some Indonesian dishes at a new restaurant in Bali, Merah Putih is one of the must-visit places. This restaurant serves delicious native food with a unique, authentic taste that comes from the use of exclusive ingredients. Chefs at this restaurant keep experimenting with different spices and flavors resulting in delicious dishes served with attractive presentation.
Gyms and Yoga/Pilates Studios For Digital Nomads in Bali
There is no shortage of options in Bali when it comes to staying fit. Most digital nomads and expats choose to head to one of the gyms located in the Kuta and Canggu areas.
While gym memberships are somewhat expensive in Bali, they offer a wide range of facilities and amenities including fitness classes, swimming pools, and saunas. Bali also hosts a large number of fully-featured yoga/pilates studios for those looking for some relaxation.
Prices range from 50EUR-150EUR per month depending on what amenities you want to access. Most of these places offer daily passes ideal for digital nomads and travelers.
workout spots that offer flexible options for those who tend to move between destinations. Most gyms have plenty of equipment and a variety of classes to choose from, in addition to steam rooms, sauna, swimming pool, and other offerings.
Body Factory, Canggu
Featuring the most advanced set of equipment, this gym is a great place for serious workouts. It is a fitness facility in Canggu with an outdoor training zone and an indoor air-conditioned gym designed to suit everybody from beginners to athletes. You can use the facilities with daily, weekly, and bi-weekly passes or monthly memberships.
This fitness center is a fun destination for hip-hop, Zumba, and belly dancing classes. It is a fully equipped gym with the right number of people to give you the perfect atmosphere to engage in some workout under the guidance of friendly trainers.
Ubud Fitness Centre, Ubud
This fitness center is a fully-equipped, AC gym with all the weight and cardio equipment and facilitates aerobics, squash, boxing, and more. It has a team of expert trainers that help you reach your fitness goals. You can also relax in the café with some snacks and coffee after you have finished working out.
Odyssey MVMT, Canggu
A power-combo of gym and yoga studio, Odyssey Movement combines cardio, strength, mobility, and flexibility to help you bring out the best in you. The best thing about this center is that you can start your 45-minute class at any convenient time. You can choose from long-term memberships, personal training, private yoga sessions, and drop-in classes to enjoy flexibility when it comes to fitness goals.
COMO Uma Canggu, Canggu
One of the biggest fitness centers in Bali, COMO Uma Canggu hosts advanced fitness facilities to suit individual preferences and goals. It not only has an air-conditioned gym with high-quality cardio, free weights, and toning equipment but is also home to two yoga and pilates studios. It also includes the first Suspend Studio in Bali – a suspension class combining movements from body-weight resistance, yoga, pilates, barre, and more.
Groceries and Shopping for Digital Nomads in Bali
While living in Bali for remote working, there is no better and cheaper way than to cook your own food. Fortunately, this island isn’t short of places to shop for groceries. You can find a large number of fresh markets along with supermarkets and local shops spread across the area.
There is no better place to find organic, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and fish than the nearest farmers market in Bali. Here are the most popular ones.
Sindhu Market, Sanur
This market in Sanur sells various items including fruits, vegetables, pork, meat, etc. from early morning. The place transforms into a night market around sunset with local food stalls and delicacies sold for cheap prices. Tourists flock to the market to enjoy some tasty yet budget-friendly Balinese dishes. You can try some lamb satay, fried rice, grilled chicken, and other local recipes while moving around for a pleasant evening.
Samadi Sunday Market, Canggu
A must-visit for tourists looking for organic produce, the Samadi Sunday Market in Canggu is located near Echo Beach. It is set up every Sunday as a part of an effort to promote wellness initiated by a yoga center.
At the market, you can buy locally grown products including fruits, vegetables, chocolate, and coffee as well as jams, juices, and fresh-baked foods. You also get a chance to meet health-conscious locals and travelers and yoga practitioners.
The largest traditional market in Bali, the Badung Market is a great source of fresh produce from farmers. Here, you can also shop for other items like farming tools, household things, fabrics, and kitchen utensils. You can bargain and get your fruits and veggies at a much cheaper price than elsewhere.
Apart from organic farmers’ markets, Bali has several local shops and supermarkets to provide you all the essentials you need for daily living. There are many online grocery stores as well that take orders and deliver to your destination.
This market has been around for years and has two floors with the first floor dedicated to all the essentials including towels, stationery, clothing, cutlery, luggage, and more. The ground floor hosts groceries and fresh produce like vegetables, fruits, juice, alcohol, milk, condiments, and frozen meats
Situated in Seminyak, the supermarket has been known to stock fresh produce and imported cheese. It is a great place to stop by and stock up on essentials including beer, water, and sunscreen. You can even find an ATM inside the market.
Located in prime locations around Bali, this supermarket offers a huge range of fresh fruits and vegetables and imported goods. Fresh bread is delivered every day and you can find a big selection of seafood and meats.
Health System For Digital Nomads in Bali
An important aspect of leading a digital nomad lifestyle in your favorite place is health. It is always a good idea to have good medical insurance to avail necessary treatment during your stay. Bali is no different. Being a popular destination for tourists and digital nomads, the island offers easy access to good medical care for travellers.
Booking an appointment with a health practitioner is easy and quick. Medical staff at most hospitals and clinics in Bali speak English and are accustomed to dealing with tourists coming with common problems like stomach ache and injuries from accidents. You can also find several pharmacies in the area to buy over-the-counter medicines.
Bali has many public and private hospitals, with the biggest located near Kuta and Denpasar. There are three BIMC hospitals, the most popular for foreigners, located in Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Kuta. The Kuta branch is the largest and ideal for patients who need emergency medical care. Facilities include ICU, 24-hour medical center, 24-hour accident and emergency center, radiology department, and pharmacy.
Talking about the private clinics and hospitals, one of the best options is Siloam Hospital in Denpasar which hosts a number of specializations along with a 24-hour emergency department. If you get admitted here, you can expect to pay room rates starting at 120EUR. This hospital is also ideal for minor problems like common cold and upset stomach.
Prices for treatment are not so high in Bali, but having medical insurance proves to be useful when traveling abroad. Sometimes, the cost of private medical care can go high in absence of travel insurance. If you are looking for a long-term stay in Bali, the most efficient and affordable way is to get insurance from your home itself.
If you don’t travel with insurance, there are several options available in Bali. However, they are often expensive and don’t offer much coverage. So, it is best to get medical insurance options before arriving in Bali to be on the safe side. When visiting a doctor in Bali, don’t forget to carry your passport for identity. Your insurance company reimburses all the costs you pay for the treatment at the hospital.
3 Must Do Activities For Digital Nomads in Bali
What makes Bali a popular option for digital nomads is the rich landscape and colorful nightlife. There are so many places around Bali for day trips, offering you endless opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the island while getting relaxed.
While you can always head to a nearby place to enjoy the scenery and relaxing atmosphere, here are the top activities you should consider during your stay in Bali for some extra fun and thrill.
Bali provides an excellent opportunity for beginners to learn how to surf. You can find ideal conditions for inexperienced surfers, particularly around Canggu, Seminyak, and Kuta, though south Bali is somewhat challenging for beginners.
There are many surf schools you can choose from to learn the basics of surfing and probably be able to stand up on the board. Surf lessons are affordable, starting at about $20 for 1-2 hours. You can even find private teachers on the beach ready to guide you for this unique experience.
Enjoy the Waterfalls
There are several waterfalls found in jungles around the island. Some of the must-visit waterfalls around Bali include Sekumpul, Tukad Cepung, Gitgit and Tegenungan. Many of them are located in hard-to-reach areas, so it should take good time to reach there, making it an ideal activity for a day trip during your stay. The best part is you can swim in these waterfalls, which is a great way to relax after a tiring work week.
If you are a diving enthusiast or curious about learning how to dive, Bali offers you many possibilities. The little town of Amed towards the northeast of Bali has a beautiful underwater world with amazing dive spots and reefs. Snorkelers would also enjoy a lot as there is so much to see here, like the old Japanese shipwreck lying in Lipah Bay. This town is also a good place to stay if you want to experience the quieter face of Bali.
Legal Matters Every Digital Nomad Must Keep In Mind When Moving to Bali
Bali is one of the locations participating in Indonesia’s visa waiver scheme which means you don’t need to apply for a visa before traveling. People from 169 countries can stay in Bali for up to 30 days without any visa. However, digital nomads in Bali may not find this period enough and should look for other options to stay longer on the island.
60-Day Tourist Visa
If you want to stay longer in Bali, you can consider applying for a 60-days tourist visa beforehand and extend it further. This visa is also applicable for those who are coming from countries not included in the visa waiver. If you belong to an ASEAN country, you should apply for a tourist visa from your home country before arriving for remote work in Bali.
Sosial Budaya Visa
This visa is largely used by digital nomads traveling to Bali. It is officially meant for visiting friends and families in Indonesia but used liberally by those who want to reside in Bali for a few months. This visa has a validity of 60 days and can be extended four times which means a total of six months. Currently, the Sosial Budaya visa is the best option for digital nomads looking to work remotely from Bali.
Working and Residency Visa
Residency and working visas are difficult to obtain in Bali unless you work for a large corporation that can send you to Indonesia for work. Another way to get a working visa is to start your own business in Bali, which is a good option if you are looking to settle permanently.
How To Get to Bali?
Bali is well-connected to major cities around the world through air and water routes. There are many airlines offering direct flights from global cities to this island. Tourists can also travel from neighboring countries through cruise ships.
The Ngurah Rai International Airport is located at about 13km from the capital city of Bali. The airport connects to major international airports around the world. Some of the biggest airlines like Korean Air, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Cathay Pacific serve the airport for the international and domestic commute.
Many cruise liners coming from South-East Asia stop at Bali. You can take a flight to Sumatra, Java, or Singapore and book a ferry to Bali to enjoy cruising. You can also use motorboats to reach Bali from surrounding regions.
There is no way to reach Bali by train, bus, or car. You must use an air or sea route to reach a city closer to Bali and then use the ferry ride running between towns. A popular ferry ride operates between Bali and Jakarta which takes 23-hours and is not generally preferred. Flights are the best way to get to Bali.
Bali is the perfect digital nomad destination with amazing weather, plenty of surf, incredible coffee shops, and restaurants, and people from different cultures. Overall, the island contains a mix of fun, peace, culture, weather, and networking opportunities to suit a digital nomad lifestyle. Even if you travel alone, you are sure to enjoy a warm welcome from the digital nomad community.
We hope this guide helps you understand all you need to start exploring what Bali has to offer while working remotely from one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.