Life & Business in Bali

When we mention Bali, most people imagine beautiful beaches and surfing, but many of us have no idea this island can offer much more. You can find here anything you need for having a peaceful life. Just, it all depends on the location. In the villages that are more far away from the airport, people live the traditional island life and the Western service is less available. On the other side, you find many locations with excellent infrastructure and availability of all possible services.


In case that you are considering not only living but also establishing a business, then Bali is for sure an amazing opportunity. The Island of the Gods can surprise you by variety of options.


Team Bali Mania Indonesia will gladly help you with the choice of the most suitable location – for living and also for business – as well as give you advice on the other questions you might have related to living or business in Bali. It’s our pleasure to give you reliable information about where could be a good possible location for you to settle down so that you have available everything you need for a happy life as well as provide you exact and correct information about what documents and steps you need to do for establishing a successful business here.


Among the most common locations for settling down in Bali definitely belong the Canggu area (Batu Bolong, Berawa, Umalas, Pererenan, Tumbak Bayuh), as well as Ubud, Sanur and Uluwatu. All of these places have easily available services, sporting areas and an option to become a part of the expat’s community. 

Canggu-Umalas-Pererenan are perfect “strategic” villages from which it’s close going everywhere. The advantages are excellent services, schools, restaurants and hospitals, shopping, leisure time activities, and access to everything that a Western person needs. You can also find a strong expat’s community here and meet people who made Bali their home over a decade ago. This will bring you a welcoming feeling of not being a tourist here. Most of the families that live here for a long time found their happiness on the Island of the Gods and were able to leave their stereotypical lifestyle. This area is also famous for its business activities and relationships. You can find fitness centers and yoga studios almost on each corner.

Umalas is the first place (considering the distance from the airport), followed by Canggu (Berawa, Batu Bolong) and Pererenan. All of these places are situated by the ocean. The advantage of living in Pererenan and Umalas is a peaceful lifestyle while having the “active” Canggu only 5-10 min away.


Ubud is situated inland and surrounded by rice fields, forests, and waterfalls. The air is fresh there and people feel peace and harmony. Lots of people who are on their spiritual path settle down here, but this is not necessary. Ubud offers lots of services that people need for life. The disadvantage is that you need to drive to the ocean for about 45 min.


Calm and quiet area Munduk is interesting not only for investors that would like to rent the land but also for those who are interested in buying one.


Sanur is a very peaceful family village in the Eastern part of Bali with a beautiful promenade and beaches. It became a place for many expats with small children and that desire a peaceful atmosphere.


Uluwatu is situated on the south half-island Bukit and is typical for its white-sand beaches. It’s also famous as a world-known surfing paradise. The services are just a little bit less available than for example in Canggu but you find everything necessary or can drive a few minutes to have more options as well. Uluwatu often becomes a traditional weekend’s center for people living in the “active” villages, mainly because of its crystal clear water and calming atmosphere. By bike, you can read Uluwatu (from Canggu) within 45 min. By car, it’s a bit longer.


Life in Bali with a child can be easier than you think if you know a few tips. You can find many kindergartens and educational centers. 

Bali became a center of a few world-known international schools, for example, Green School, Australian Independent School, Bali Island School, Canggu Community School, Lycée Français de Bali, Montessori School Bali, ProEducation School (for children with special needs), and Udayana University. All of these schools offer international learning programs with high-quality teachers.


You can find a wide variety of ways to spend your leisure time, such as sport centers, that are not only suitable for children but also adults. Many of these offer high-quality service with international coaches. If you are a fan of the Western lifestyle, there is a wide variety of shopping malls and you can also visit the cinema.

What are the most common activities in Bali? In the first place, we have to mention surfing, snorkeling, diving, hiking the volcanos, waterfalls, rafting, wakeboarding, bouldering, of course, you can do traditional sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming or tennis. In Bali, you even find an ice skating rink and trampolines. Probably the most common leisure time activity is lying on the sunbed with a coconut.


The traffic in Bali depends a lot on the location and daytime. You can find slow drivers and hectic traffic jams here. Most of the people use motorbikes and scooters. 

Local people are very cautious while driving a bike, mostly, when they see a tourist who is not an experienced driver yet. The traffic rules are not always respected, however, most of the drivers can correctly evaluate the situation and leave the space for “scooter newbies”.


If you don’t drive a scooter or are just a beginner, there exist many other transport options. The first of them is the car. The disadvantage of driving a car is that the transport takes longer. Other alternatives are the services like Gojek or Grab. There drivers can pick you up and bring you wherever needed to. The service is very cheap and easily available, the driver always comes at the setup time. Using these options is highly recommended for people who don’t feel they are experienced enough yet, to drive a scooter. The monthly fees for scooter rental start from 600 000 IDR / 35 € for the simplest ones. An international driving license is required, it depends on your home country how you can obtain it.


The advantage of the touristic part of Bali is the high level and quality of hospitals. Especially the international hospitals like SILOAM or BIMC can offer you service of high standards.

Normally, Bali is visited yearly by Australian tourists requiring high quality service which helps to improve the quality of the medical assistance on the island. If you have international insurance or travel insurance, you don’t have to be afraid of your health. The international hospitals are very clean as well as the small medical centres that are available almost everywhere.


In case that you decide to live in an expat’s part of Bali, you can rely on a perfect medical service for you and your family. If you have a business in Bali or a working Kitas, you can ask for BPJS, which is a form of Indonesian health insurance. To be honest, we would rather recommend you to get an additional one on the top of the BPJS to be sure all your needs are covered.


Bali is known as one of the places in the world where you can find the most delicious food. The cuisine is a combination of international and local. You can find almost everything here and don’t have to be afraid of losing the opportunity to have your favorite Swiss cheese, French croissant, Mexican tacos, Russian dumplings, or Austrian Schnitzel.

The biggest advantage is that even people who have food allergies or intolerances can find the products they need. Bali also welcomes fans of raw food or carnivores. Thanks to the title of becoming one of the world centers of health, Bali also provides you lots of possibilities to find any type of food or medicine you need.


One of the most helpful services on the island that a lot of parents truly appreciate is the possibility to have a nanny and housekeeper. A person like this can simplify lots of errands and can help you to make your life easier.

The local salaries are pretty low which means that most of the families are hiring such a house helper and nanny. This gives the local people the opportunity to work and support their own families. Balinese nannies and helpers are amazing, giving lots of love and maintaining the smile on the children’s face, they are automatically becoming a part of the family and bringing fresh energy and ease into the lives of many expats.


Depending on your agreement, a Balinese woman can take care of your children, household, laundry, shopping and many other errands while you can enjoy the time for yourself or with your family. A monthly salary for such a person starts on 1 million IDR / 60 € in case that the person only takes care of the house (3x a week, ca 4 hours). The prices can vary depending on the location, service and the amount of time spent helping the family. In most of the cases, the salary for housekeeping is already included in the villa renal price.


If you speak English you can be completely sure your life in most of the locations will be easy for you. Lots of expats in Bali can even manage to have a comfortable life here with only basic English.

Thanks to the perfect internet connection you can always have the option of using the translator in your phone and sort out the simpler errands this way. There are a variety of language courses available in Bali and online. For living in the expat’s places on the island, you don’t need to speak the Indonesian language. But if you feel like that, everyone who learns it says it’s a very simple language and you can learn a lot in just a few weeks.


The advantage of Bali is that you find lots of expats communities. You can try to look on Facebook and see whether there exists a group of people from your country that lives on the island.


At the moment is possible to entry Indonesia only with confirmation about Covid-19 full vaccination or with an exception provided by an authorized medical professional. If your vaccination was finished earlier than 14 days before flying to Indonesia, you do NOT need to show valid PCR test neither to absolve the quarantaine.

As the full vaccination is considered 1x Johnson & Johnson, 2x and 3x vaccination. Booster, also called third vaccination, is not required for entering Indonesia.


In case that you started your vaccination process less than 14 days before you leaving to Indonesia, you have to provide also negative PCR test (3×24) as well as absolve 5 days quarantine.


In case that you are not vaccinated or don’t have medical confirmation, we do NOT recommend you to travel to Indonesia at the moment. However, the rules are slowly getting looser. The confirmation about vaccination is recommended to the application Peduli Lindungi. In case that the system doesn’t work, make sure you also have the copy of your vaccination documents with you. For entering Indonesia is required to be vaccinated, the validity is not questioned at the moment.


Vaccination – children: Children under 18 years old have to be guided by assignment given by their parents or caregivers. In case that the child is not vaccinated, it is required to show negative PCR test (3x 24). For the domestic flights reasons is recommended vaccination from the age of 12 years old.


From July 17th all the travelers flying to Bali through Jakarta who don’t have booster need PCR test (3×24) or antigen test. (1×24).


For entering to Indonesia is also necessary to bring your return ticket.


*Note: The length of the quarantine can be changed in case that you are NOT vaccinated.


In this section, we will try to give you an idea about the cost of living based on the location and lifestyle. Please, take into consideration that these numbers are not exact and that each of us is individual and has different demands and needs.

As an example, we tried to divide three variants for a family with children:


  1. Cheap
  2. Middle
  3. Luxurious


In the case of the cheap variant, a monthly rental for a 2 bedroom villa with the pool and kitchen is around 15-20 mil. IDR / month (850-1100 €), in case of a cheap variant around 20-40 mil. IDR / (1100-2200 €), in case of a luxury variant it’s around 40 – 80 mil. IDR / month (2200-4500 €). 


The price of food in case of the cheap variant, which means that you eat in a local warung (similar to street food) is around 15 000 IDR for lunch (0,85 €). In the case of the middle variant, the food prices are between 45 000 – 90 000  IDR per lunch (5,30€). In the case of the luxury variant, the price starts from 150 000 IDR for lunch (8,70€). It’s also possible to have a cheap breakfast here – the local markets have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also find here Western supermarkets with different types of foods (Pepito, Frestive, Carrefour). 


It only depends on you, whether you want to prepare the food by yourself or you prefer eating in the restaurants. Most of the expats who live here get used to food delivery from their favorite places using Gojek or other delivery services. This way it’s possible to save lots of time spent cooking and the prices are still affordable, it only depends on your demands.


The prices of education are very different. In the section Schools, we mentioned the most-known international schools on the island. If you have more questions, please contact the school directly and they will provide you with more information. The good news is that the prices dropped down due to the pandemic situation.The prices of the motorbikes start from 35 € for the simplest one. A normal price is around 50 € which can be much less in case of a long-term rental. The car rental costs of course more, depending on whether you also want it to be rented with a driver.


The prices of the leisure activities are quite low and the prices of the nanny and house helper vary from the location and working hours. More about nannies you find in the section Children and Household.