Bali is a dream destination. This guide will show you how to explore Bali on a Budget.
Visiting Bali is a must if you want to see all that Asia has to offer. And while the island is not the cheapest destination, it is possible to explore Bali on a budget. Observe amazing sunsets at the beach, chase waterfalls and explore temples.
Just like my budget guides about Vietnam and Sri Lanka, this one gives a general estimate of the costs based on my own spendings as well as some tips and recommendations. I wrote down every rupiah I spend because I might be a little freaky as I love knowing how much I spend while traveling.
The prices in this spending diary are in Indonesian Rupiah and in Euro. The exchange rate as of January is as follows: 100.000 IDR is 6,67 EUR, 7,36 USD, 5,62 GBR, or 10,75 AUD.
Bali on a Budget
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Accommodation: 1.005K IDR / 64,68€
Just like in Bangkok, I decided to stay in hostels that allowed me to have my own personal space. Both hostels I stayed in were amazing with their capsule-style rooms and amenities, so I can only recommend them to you.
Food & Drinks: 1.624K IDR / 104,52€
While exploring Bali I ate both local food and at those trendy instragramable places.
The local food is amazing and you will want to eat a lot of it. It is cheaper and perfect if you travel to Bali on a budget. But if you also want to see the expat side of Bali, you should check out other restaurants. There are several amazing international restaurants in Canggu and Ubud.
Transport: 525K IDR / 33,79€
Airport Transport: 230K IDR
Upon arrival, I did not get a sim card right away and therefore I had to rely on the airport wifi to order my transport to Canggu. But the drivers kept canceling the trips as I never got their messages and was therefore unable to answer in any way. Eventually, I just thought ‘damn it’ and took a taxi that was way too expensive. The way back to the airport was the exact same route and it only cost me 53% of the price I paid upon my arrival in Bali.
So if you want to save money, I can only recommend getting a sim card at the airport. Just ensure that you get a tariff plan that works everywhere in Indonesia and that you can easily recharge.
Grab 525K IDR
Getting around in Canggu: 65K IDR
Canggu – Ubud Return Trip (0.5x): 460K IDR
Try to find someone that is willing to share a Grab with you if you decide to take one between Canggu and Ubud.
Scooter: 400K IDR / 25,74€
During my two weeks in Bali, I rented a scooter on 5 different days. Hereby the price for a good and reliable scooter is usually between 60K and 70K a day. I saw offers for less, but from what I saw, those scooters did not look as safe. If you rent a scooter for less, you should check if the scooter is in a good condition and take pictures from all angles to avoid any potential issues and scams.
If you know how to ride a scooter and do not mind driving on the left side of the road, a scooter is the best way to explore Bali. On some days I drove more than 100km and it was perfect. Using a scooter allowed me whenever I wanted to enjoy the view and to explore the picturesque rice fields.
Just keep in mind that no insurance will cover you if you do not have the correct motorbike license. A simple 45CC one will no suffice in Bali as all scooters have more power.
You can pay ‘a fine’ if the police stops you, but the moment you crash, you are screwed. Whether you decide to do so is up to you, but I wanted to give you all the important facts. Please be careful and have fun exploring Bali!
Entrance Fees: 250K IDR / 16,09€
Bali has many temples and waterfalls and visiting most of them costs a small fee.
Activities: 1.000.000 IDR / 64,36€
Gili T Trip
I booked a trip to Gili T and spend two days there. As it was a special photographer trip, I cannot recommend a specific company in case you want to book the trip as a package. However, the price of the transport to the ferry port, the ferry rides, and accommodation on Gili T should cost approximately the same. You can book the ferry ride to the Gili Islands on 12GoAsia. Alternatively, you can book it at the departure location, but the ferry can be full so it is best to buy your ride in advance.
If you do not mind splurging for a night and want a bit of luxury, the Gili Islands are perfect. There are many private villas with pools and everything for fair prices. The experience is worth it. The Gili Islands are a paradise.
Sim Card: 180K / 11,58€
I ended up getting a rather large amount of data that is valid in all of Indonesia. Tell the salesperson what your plans are and they will recommend the best data plan. Keep in mind, that many phone tariffs are regional and that your Bali data plan might not be valid if you plan to visit the Gili Islands and Lombok.
It is a lot cheaper to get a local plan upon arrival than to buy a worldwide plan with your usual provider.
Washing: 59K IDR / 11,58€
Souvenirs & Shopping: 405K IDR / 26,06€
Bali offers many amazing souvenirs and handmade things, so just add a certain amount of money to your budget when you plan your expenses for Bali.
For the amount of money states I got three bracelets, two magnets, five sarongs, a bowl made of a coconut and fish food at Tirta Gangga.
Spending that are not a Part of the Calculation
I decided no to add these costs to the budget as I hope that you will not be as dumb as I was. I managed to get a ‘Bali Kiss’ when I burned myself on a motorbike’s exhaust. And let me tell you that getting what I needed at the pharmacy was not cheap when compared to other prices in Indonesia. However, the service I received at two different pharmacies was amazing.
Pharmacy #1: Gaze and tape – 161K IDR
Pharmacy #2: Gaze, disinfectant and two waterproof bandaids – 102,3K IDR
Do yourself a favor and be careful when you get off a motorbike. And bring basic first aid utensils when visiting Bali.
Daily Budget on Bali: 419K IDR / 26,97€
Total Cost of 13 Days on Bali: 5.448.000 IDR / 350,62€
Further Readings: Bali and beyond
Overview: Indonesia Travel Guide
Bali – 10 Days Itinerary
Things to do in Canggu
Things to do in Ubud