Visiting Bali is every travelers dream, but is it out of reach? Is Bali expensive?
Well tropical islands do have a reputation for being on the pricey side with their luxurious accommodations and rich fine dining. Then, Bali in particular has become something of a victim of its own success and prices have really soared in recent years.
However, compared to the Caribbean or even European Islands, Bali is a budget destination….if you do it right that is..
I have visited Bali several times and spent well months backpacking the ‘Island of the Gods’. As such I have a pretty good grasp of what it costs to visit Bali for all budgets. Keep on reading to discover the cheapest street food options, the best hostels to stay in on a budget as well as some other cost saving hacks. My personal insider tips cover everything for sleeping, eating, drinking, shopping, and sightseeing on the cheap. We’ve got plenty of examples and recs!
Let’s dive into it, here’s everything you need to know about how to travel to Bali on a budget!
So, How Much Does a Trip to Bali Cost on Average?
You’ve bitten the bullet and finally decided to visit Bali – great, you are guaranteed a holiday you will never forget.
Here is the thing, the Bali digital nomads may have claimed a lot of the diverse and tropical landscapes as their own, creating a spike in prices for just about anything in those areas, but there are still so many hidden gems among the jungles and rice paddies. It’s pretty easy to explore the island on a budget.
From cheap local food stalls to high class 7-course fine dining, quaint friendly hostels to lavish and extravagant beachfront villas, no matter your wallet size there is a place for you in Bali. The island doesn’t judge – there’s a reason this has become a nomad haven and backpacker paradise.
I have put together some average costs for everything that may cross your path. And, I’ve even gone and converted everything into USD to make it super easy peasy for you – aren’t you lucky. Remember prices change, as do conversion rates! As of April 2023 it is IDRp.14,955 to $1 USD.
For a quick reference, here is a basic summary of vacation costs for a single day and a two-week trip.
14 Days in Bali Travel Costs
|Expenses||Estimated Daily Cost||Estimated Total Cost|
|Food||$6 – $15||$84-$210|
|Total (excluding airfare)||$17-$128||$238-$1,792|
ESTIMATED EXPENSE: $500-$800 for a round trip ticket
First things first – airfare. It’s going to be your biggest expense for your trip, but will be totally dependent on where you are flying from and what time of year.
There is only one airport in Bali, it’s located in Bali’s capital city of Denpasar. The airport’s official name is I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, but it’s more commonly referred to as Denpasar Airport.
Generally, the cheapest time to fly to Bali is October to November as peak season has finished and rainy season is beginning. However, consider a more expensive time of year if you want the best weather!
These are average prices from select destinations – subject to change.
- New York to Bali: USD433 – 700
- London to Bali: GBP501 – 560
- Sydney to Bali: AUD289 – 514
- Vancouver to Bali: CAD625 – 1,631
You will be paying more for decent flight times, routes and seats. If you aren’t fussy then you can pick up pretty great deals! Airlines frequently promote special deals, and there’s always the chance of grabbing a deal from error fares!
ESTIMATED EXPENSE: $7-$50/day
Next up we have accommodation! Deciding where to stay in Bali is dependent on what you want to get out of your trip. The island has it all – hostels, Airbnbs, guesthouses and hotels, budget accommodations aplenty!
Accommodation in Bali is generally very affordable, unless you are looking for spectacular luxury – then you’ll be forking out some big bucks. Here are some of our favourite places to stay.
Hostels in Bali
It’s not surprising, backpacker hostels in Bali are cheap and quite excellent. The average budget hostel will cost between $7 and $10. They can come with great money-saving perks too, like self-catering kitchens and free breakfast! There are also some boutique and trendy spots for those who have a bit more to spend.
Hostels in Bali are known for having an exceptionally social atmosphere. They often feature swimming pools and bars – they’re all about making your vacation as chilled-out and relaxed as possible.
Our favourite hostel in Bali is Tribal Bali – Bali’s first custom-designed, purpose-built co-working hostel and definitely where you want to stay. This is the place where backpacker babes, aspiring entrepreneurs, adventurous explorers and vagabond hustlers alike come together to work, eat, play and fall in love… well, at least with the absolutely fantastic coffee and beautiful views!
Mingle, share inspiration and find your tribe whilst working in the TREMENDOUSLY FUCKING HUGE co-working space and shooting a game of pool on Tribal’s electric pink billiards table. There’s a gigantic pool as well so it’s always time for a refreshing dip to break up the day’s hustle, brainstorming, work, and games…
With epic food, legendary coffee, awesome cocktails (Tribal Tonics are the best signature cocktails you’ve ever had in a hostel – I guarantee you that!) and a dedicated co-working space, this is the place where you want to be when visiting Bali.
Here are a few more cheap hostels, located in three of Bali’s most popular areas for backpackers: Ubud, Canggu, and Seminyak.
- Puji Hostel: This Ubud hostel has an outdoor pool that’s perfect for hot days, and the free breakfast will fuel you for a busy day!
- Last Day Surf Hostel: With four pools, an all-day bar, and a super laid-back vibe, this Canggu hostel is perfect for a relaxing vacation.
- Kosta Hostel: A chic and modern design with a glistening swimming pool and onsite restaurant, this Seminyak hostel is an ideal place to stay.
Airbnbs in Bali
Airbnbs in Bali are also pretty affordable! Although they’ll cost more than hostels, you can find some amazing spots for a fraction of what they would be in other countries. If you’re traveling with friends, you can end up saving money by splitting the price between you.
You’ll have more privacy and access to home amenities, like a kitchen, dining area, and a lounge – perhaps a private pool and garden if you’re lucky!
Within our Airbnb category, we have the different types of places you can find –
Apartments – Airbnb is the best site to use when searching for an apartment. A budget apartment on Airbnb will cost between about $20 – $30 a night, plus the service and cleaning fee.
- Seminyak Flat This spacious apartment bungalow is a quiet oasis in bustling Seminyak. It fits perfectly into Bali’s tropical setting, and even has a swimming pool!
- Scenic Rice Paddy Hideaway: This Ubud villa exudes beauty and tranquillity. You’ll have picturesque panoramic views of the surrounding rice paddies right from balcony.
- Entire Apartment – Good Location: Although close to beaches, shopping centers, and Bali nightlife, this cozy apartment is a peaceful reprieve. It can sleep up to three guests.
Private Villas – Starting from $50 per night, private villas in Bali don’t have to be crazy expensive, although they’re generally more expensive than apartments. If you can afford it, take your trip to the next level and rent out a private villa for your stay. For a couple of hundred dollars a night, you could be in INCREDIBLE luxury.
Here are three awesome options:
- Stunning Private Villa: This private villa in Ubud is perfectly blended with nature, and Bali’s lush tropical landscape. Lounge in the sun beside the shared pool and sip cocktails as the sun sets behind the rice paddies.
- Stylish Interior and Pool Villa: Restaurants, bars, and markets are walking distance from this central villa. The beach is just a short drive away!
- Romantic Pool Villa In Seminyak: Lay by the pool with a cold drink and great book, or use the free scooter to zip around the island.
Hotels in Bali
Normally, hotels come with a much higher price tag than hostels, however, in Bali, this isn’t always the case. Budget hotels in Bali can cost between $20 to $40 a night – extremely cheap!
Here are a few Bali hotel options to consider for your stay:
- Grandmas Plus Hotel Seminyak: This modern hotel is super affordable! It’s just a two-minute walk from Seminyak Beach, and has an on-site restaurant and bar.
- Pertiwi Bisma 2: Tucked into a the jungles of Ubud, with beautifully landscaped pools and spa services, this hotel will put you into full vacation mode!
- Koa D Surfer Hotel: With beautiful bamboo architecture, walkable beach access, and a rooftop lounge with a swimming pool, what more could you ask for on your Bali vacation?
ESTIMATED EXPENSE: $2-$30/day
Let’s take a look at prices for getting around Bali!
You have a few options for exploring the island during your stay – rental scooter, private drivers and taxis/ride services. Scooter rental is the most popular option for visitors, and renting a scooter is relatively easy – even if you haven’t driven one before.
How you choose to venture around the landscapes of Bali will depend on what you are doing, and who you are traveling with. Here’s a deeper dive of each!
Renting a Motorbike/Scooter in Bali
From the moment you step out of the airport in Bali, you will hear the toots and revs of the millions of scooters that populate the island. It is the easiest and quickest way to get around, and is the most affordable.
There are so many scooter rentals in every area of Bali that offer cheap and cheerful rentals. We would suggest going off recommendations for a good rental spot, as there will be the occasional business who rents out scooters that haven’t been serviced or well looked after.
Expect to pay between $3 to $5 a day, or $15 – $20 for a week. With the price of petrol as little as $1 per litre, it is understandable why its the most common way to travel.
It’s important to note that it’s not for everyone. Bali has heavy traffic and road rules aren’t enforced. If you’ve rented a motorbike in an Asian country before, you’ll know what to expect. If you haven’t, consider giving it a try for a day on quiet road and see how it goes, before you commit to a full week or two.
Taxis in Bali
Metered taxis are a common way of getting about in the South of Bali. They’re convenient and easily found in the thriving tourist hotspots. The Blue Bird Taxi company is the most reliable with its own app and guaranteed metered service (dodgy taxis will try to negotiate the price rather than stick to the meter).
Fares can vary, but to give you an example, riding from Bali airport to Ubud takes a little longer than an hour, and costs between $25 and $30.
Indonesia has its own version of Uber for ride services. Both Grab and GO-JEK are must-have apps for booking car and motorbike taxis – as well as many other services. You will see the driver approaching, have an agreed price as per the app, and be able to share your journey with friends. It’s ideal for solo women travelers!
Renting a Car in Bali
Renting a car in Bali isn’t strongly advised for foreigners. If you want to travel by car, consider looking into hiring a driver (who normally come with their own vehicle). This will allow you to leave the driving and navigating to someone more familiar with the roads.
Costs for a full day average between $30 and $50. If you’re traveling solo, this might not be in your Bali budget but if you’re part of a group, you can split this cost.
Hiring a driver is common in Bali, and everyone has their favourite to recommend. Make sure you check with your accommodation if they have one on speed dial, or ask your friends who have traveled to Bali previously!
A bonus to hiring a car with a driver is that you’ll be cruising around Bali with a local. They can provide valuable insight and give you advice on local hidden gems and the best places for Bali sightseeing.
Bus Travel in Bali
Public bus services in Bali aren’t very common, but there are a few in operation.
- Kura-Kura Bus is a public shuttle bus service covers areas of South Bali and Ubud. They operate every day and have free Wi-Fi onboard. A one-way ticket can cost between $2 – $6, depending on the distance.
If you plan on traveling a lot during your trip, you can pick up a one-day, three-day or seven-day pass which provides for unlimited travel.
- Perama Bus: This tourist-bus operator provides transfers and tour bus services. It tends to be more expensive than the other bus option, but it’s still relatively affordable. For example, a one-way transfer from the Denpasar Airport to Ubud will cost $4. Day tours start at about $21 per person.
- Trans Sarbagita: This bus service links some of Bali’s less visited areas. Tickets are super cheap and can cost $1 – $5 for a one-way ticket. However, delays are frequent and the service isn’t known for being the most reliable.
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ESTIMATED EXPENSE:$6 – $15/day
Ah, my favourite part – Bali food! My mouth is already watering. From traditional street food gorengan and nasi jinggo to fancy babi guling, there isn’t one dish you shouldn’t try at least once.
Overall, the price of food in Bali is low. There are expensive restaurants on the island, of course, but for the most part, it’s all very affordable. If you stick with local options, you can expect to spend as little as $2 – $4 per meal! Western dishes can start from $5.
Here are some traditional Indonesian dishes to look out for – and we HIGHLY recommend;
- Sate: Tasty grilled skewers of chicken, beef, goat, or pork, sate is served on sticks and found all over the island. They’re marinated with spices, sometimes coconut milk, and served with rice (nasi) or rice cakes (lontong).
- Nasi Goreng: A simple dish of fried rice has never tasted so good. With the option of veg, chicken, seafood or pork, nasi goreng is found everywhere is can be one of the most affordable ways to eat throughout your Bali visit, without getting bored!
- Urap: This veg-friendly meal is rich in flavour and nutrients. It’s a type of salad that includes spinach, cabbage, green beans, bean sprouts, and cassava leaves. It’s served with a rich coconut dressing.
Where to Eat on the Cheap in Bali
As a general note, travelers in Canggu and Ubud will find cheaper eating, whereas Uluwatu and Seminyak tend to be more expensive. With that being said, it’s still possible to find cheap meals all over Bali – especially if you are willing to eat street food.
Now that we’ve covered Bali’s street food, here are a few popular restaurants that offer Western dishes at affordable prices.
- Mozzarella Ubud: This small pizza and pasta restaurant offers large portions at very reasonable prices. You can expect to pay just $4 – $5 per meal!
- Yoshinoya: This Japanese style eatery is one of the cheapest places to eat in Bali. A filling rice and beef bowl costs just $3.
- Suka Espresso: This cozy restaurant offers different kinds of western and Indonesian food – including vegetarian options.
Shopping at supermarkets is another way you can save some money on food costs. You’ll find big stores all over the island with very cheap groceries, as well as many local markets with locally grown produce. Pepito Supermarket is one of the most popular stores with a large variety. However, with restaurant and street food prices so low, it’s worth taking advantage of the local cuisine as much as possible, and save the hassle of cooking your own meals.
Nothing beats a fresh fruity cocktail or ice-cold beer on the beach at sunset. Thanks to its swim-up bars and endless nightlife, Bali has a notable drinking culture. Party hostels contribute to this, as do buzzing beach clubs and a lively music scene.
Similar to food prices, alcohol in Bali can be pretty affordable, depending on your tipple of choice. It’s easy to find in restaurants and supermarkets, as well as bars and clubs.
- Beer: Beer is the cheapest alcohol in Bali, with Bintang being the most popular local brand. A bottle of domestic beer at a local restaurant or bar will cost $1.50 – $2.50. If you buy it from a supermarket or a convenience store, it will be slightly cheaper, at about $1 – $2 per bottle.
- Cocktails: If you’re a cocktail person, expect to pay about $5 – $7 per drink. But, to save a bit of money, look out for bars and beach clubs that offer two-for-one cocktail specials!
- Wine: Wine is the quite expensive in Bali. A bottle of local wine will cost about $15, while a bottle of mid-range imported wine will cost between $30 – $50.
- Spirits: Import taxes are wild, and most noticeable on spirits. Marked up at least 20%, you are better off trying local brand spirits rather than the name brands.
With stunning waterfalls, beautiful beaches, and endless rice paddies, the island has a naturally stunning landscape. There is a magnificent list of things to do in Bali, but are they expensive?
The public beaches in Bali are mostly free to visit, but there are spots that will ask for a small donation. If you want to rent a surfboard, you’ll pay between $6 – $8 per day, and a surf lesson will be about $25 for a two-hour session. Exploring all the beaches is great for those traveling Bali on a budget.
Most of Bali’s top attractions do ask for an entrance fee, but they are incredibly reasonable. As an example, this is a few of the best spots and their prices;
- Uluwatu Temple: $2
- Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary: $5
- Ulun Danu Beratan Temple: $5
If you’re an aquatic enthusiast, Bali is a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving. There are epic dive spots all over, heavy with coral and calm waves. For a scuba diving or snorkeling tour expect to pay between $75 – $115. You can even rent snorkel equipment for about $3 – $5 per day!
Visiting Bali is a budget backpackers dream as adventures, tours and experiences don’t need to cost an arm and a leg!
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As well as our outlined costs, there are always some hidden and unexpected costs that come with traveling. Along with our guide, be sure to budget some extra dosh for when things get tight – or for when you want to splash out on a night in a 5* hotel.
If you want to get technical, save up an additional 10% as a little emergency/treat fund. If you’re planning to visit Bali on a longer term, there is a whole different cost of living. Island life isn’t all coconuts and hammocks.
Tipping in Bali
Tipping isn’t mandatory in Bali, but it is very much appreciated. Considering most service workers don’t earn a decent wage, a small tip can make a big difference!
If you feel like you’ve received good service, let the server keep the change or hand over an extra IDR50,000 – they will beam!
Don’t feel like you need to do this everywhere you go, it’s totally up to you, and as we said, tipping in Bali is not required – or expected.
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Some Final Tips for Saving Money in Bali
Before we head out, we have some final must-know Bali budget tips that will make your holiday even more frugal.
- Live within your means: Bali is very affordable, but make sure to keep your spending in check. It’s very easy to have a ‘living large’ mentality when the prices you’re used to paying back home are much lower – especially when you’re on vacation. Just remember that the little things can add up fast.
- Take advantage of the free stuff first: Tours are great, but try out the free stuff first. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet a group of friends at the hostel you’re staying at that want to go on a group hike. Or, maybe there’s a sweet snorkeling spot right next to your accommodation.
- Bargain buy: If you’re planning to go souvenir shopping at the local markets, don’t be afraid to bargain. Don’t worry, the vendors are used to it – they even enjoy it!
- Happy hour: These magical hours are very common in Bali, with many bars and beach clubs running regular daily specials.
- Pack the essentials for Bali: Things like sunscreen are expensive on the island. Really expensive. Save some money and plan ahead!
- Have a water bottle: Don’t waste money on plastic, bottled waters; carry your own and refill it in the fountains and the tap. If you’re worried about potable water, get a filtered bottle, like the GRAYL, which filters out 99% of viruses and bacteria.
- Earn money while you travel: Teaching English while traveling is a great way to make ends meet! If you find a sweet gig, you may even end up living in Bali.
- Become a volunteer with Worldpackers: Give back to the local community and volunteer in Bali, in exchange, your room and board will often be covered. It’s not always free, but it’s still a cheap way to travel in Bali.
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So, is Bali Expensive?
Ultimately, the price of your trip will depend on you and your Bali itinerary. But, we think it’s safe to say that exploring Bali doesn’t need to cost you your life savings.
Just to recap, here are our five top tips for saving money:
- Eat and drink like a local – the street food is incredible!
- Stay in a hostel, or split the cost of a hotel, apartment, or villa with friends
- Take the bus or hire a motorbike
- Take advantage of Bali’s free attractions, like public beaches and free hiking trails
- Bargain when you shop for souvenirs
Bali is a very accessible island destination. It’s stunning, beautiful, and there’s an incredible amount of activities, culture, things to do, and festivals to celebrate on a trip to Bali. It’s an affordable island paradise that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Even solo travelers can visit on a shoestring budget.
With such great deals, there’s no reason not to go!
We think an average daily budget for Bali should be: $30
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!