Bali, it’s the “island of gods”, one of the world top travel destinations and, for many people, a bucket list location they dream of visiting. Because of this ever-increasing rise in popularity, some have started to call Bali an expensive place to travel. But just how expensive is it? If you’re planning your own trip, you might be wondering “How much money to take to Bali in 2020?”
Luckily, as always, we’re here to help you plan your ideal travel budget. What we can tell you, before we go into more detail, is that Bali is still very much a cheap travel destination. Maybe it’s more expensive than it once was, but it’s still cheaper than most places we’ve travelled!
In this blog post we’ll look at:
- How much it costs to travel Bali in 2020 (i.e. typical accommodation, food and entertainment prices)
- The amount of money WE spent during our travels in Bali
- Tips for YOU to plan how much money to take to Bali yourself
- Examples for how much money to take to Bali for 1 week or 1 month
How much money to take to Bali in 2020!?, Jump to:
What’s a good amount of spending money for Bali in 2020?
First of all, let’s assume that you have your flights to Bali already booked. And, let’s also assume that you aren’t going to pre-book anything before you arrive.
If this is the case, then the answer to the question “How much money to take to Bali?” will essentially be the total of ALL your travel-related costs after you’ve stepped foot on the island. It won’t include any pre-travel expenses such as airfares or travel insurance.
Considering this, your spending money for Bali will need to cover five main areas. These are; Accommodation; Food & Drink; Entertainment; Transport and ‘Extras’ (i.e. Sim cards, tipping etc).
For each area of spending, we’ll give you an overview, as well as some typical Bali related travel costs.
Accommodation prices in Bali
The accommodation in Bali, on the whole, is very cheap in comparison to many of the world’s other top travel destinations. This is mainly because of its location in the still-developing Southeast Asia, where prices, in general, are lower than the worldwide average.
In Bali, there are levels of accommodation for all travel budgets. You’ll find everything from a £5 backpackers hostel to a £6,000 a night five-star hotel. Oh, and everything in between.
All of the best areas to stay in Bali have a wealth of great guest houses though. It’s easy to find a clean, double room, with breakfast included for as little as 300K (£15). If you’re lucky, you’ll even find one with a swimming pool for that price, or cheaper!
Typical accommodation prices in Bali (per night)
- Bed in a shared hostel dorm: 70K – 110K (£4 – £6)
- Basic private room in a guesthouse or homestay: 200K – 400K (£11 – £22)
- Higher-end guesthouse room with better facilities, or a cheaper end hotel room: 400K – 800K (£22 – £44)
- A nice mid-range to ‘affordable luxury’ hotel room: 800K – 2M (£44 – £110)
- Luxury, 5-star hotel stay: 2M per night and upwards. The sky is your limit.
There really is accommodation at all price points right across the island. So, when planning how much money to take to Bali, you’ll need to consider the standard of accommodation you want to stay in.
The room prices above are as accurate as possible and each level ranges in quality from the lower end to higher end.
Personally, we’ve found that a basic room in a guesthouse for 200K to 400K is the best price point. These rooms come clean, usually with good WiFi, en-suite bathroom, swimming pool and sometimes breakfast included in the price.
Also, be aware that these prices are for one night only. Many hostels, guesthouses/homestays and cheaper end hotels are willing to negotiate discounts for multi-night stays. The longer you stay, the cheaper it gets…to a point.
Food & Drink Prices in Bali
The local food in Bali is not only very good but exceptionally cheap. Think rice or noodle-based dishes, cooked with a variety of vegetables, spices and meats (if you’re a meat-eater that is). Lot’s of the best local dishes in Bali are vegetarian and even vegan friendly.
Western food is widely available across the island too. It is typically more expensive than the local eats, but still very affordable.
In some areas (like Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu), there are expensive restaurants and beach clubs as well. Though it’s easy to stay out of these when there’s such delicious local food available for as little as 20K (£1) a plate!
Typical food prices in Bali
- A cheap plate of vegetarian Nasi Goreng (fried rice) or Mee Goreng (fried noodles): 15K – 20K (Around the £1 mark!)
- A plate of food at a warung: 20K – 50K (£1 – £2.50) depending on the items chosen.
- Breakfast at a popular Canggu breakfast cafe: 40K – 70K (£2 – £3.40)
- Smoothie bowl at a brunch cafe: 50K – 80K (£2.50 – £4)
- Espresso or latte in a cafe: 20K – 50K (£1 – £2.50)
- Western food (like pasta, pizza or burger & fries): 60K – 120K (£3 – £6)
Obviously, you can save A LOT of money by only eating the great local food. But, you’d be silly not to try out the amazing brunch cafes, smoothie bowls and Western food that can be found throughout Bali.
Typical alcohol prices in Bali
- Can (or bottle) of Bintang beer from the supermarket: 18K – 30K (£1 – £1.50)
- Small bottle (330ml) of Bintang at a warung, small restaurant or bar: 30K – 40K (£1.50 – £2)
- Large (660ml) bottle of Bintang at a warung, small restaurant or bar: 50K – 60K (£2.50 – £3)
- Beer at a beach club: 60K to 100K (£3 – £5) depending on the beer brand and type (draught or bottled)
- Cocktails at a beach club: 100K – 150K (£5 – £7.50)
The alcohol prices in Bali are still fairly cheap. You can watch the sunset and grab a cold beer from a small beach bar for as little as £1. Many bars have great happy hours too, with discounted drinks or 2-4-1 cocktails.
On the other hand, if you plan to party at the fanciest beach clubs then you can pay close to western prices for your drinks. Getting drunk and partying is the hardest expense to account for. After all, you never know where you’re going to end up drinking. And, let’s be honest going out for “just one drink” is never just one drink…
Entertainment prices in Bali
Entertainment is hard to pin a specific value on, as everybody wishes to partake in different activities. It doesn’t help that there is such a wide range of things to do in Bali either. You can do amazing things like visiting the famous rice terraces, monkey forest, go snorkelling, take surfing lessons or even climb an active volcano!
Because of the wide range of activities, there’s a wide range of price points too. Typically more cultural events like visiting a temple or watching a local performance will be on the cheaper side. Whereas activities that require special equipment and/or a guide, like a surf lesson, will be more expensive.
In all cases though, there are still many great activities available at budget-friendly prices.
Typical entertainment prices in Bali
- Surfing lessons: 300K – 400K (£15 – £20) per person for a 2-hour lesson
- Climbing Mt.Batur: 1M – 1.5M (£60 – £80) for 2 people and a private mountain guide***
- Entrance fee to most temples: 20K – 40K (£1 – £2), though some are free
- Entrance fee and parking at most waterfalls: 20K – 60K (£1 – £3) per person
- Visiting the Tegallalang rice terraces: 10K (£0.50) for parking, “free” entrance***
- Snorkelling tour on the Gili Islands: 100K – 150K (£5 – £7.50) per person
- The cost of a one-hour Balinese massage: 80K – 140K (£4 – £7)
- Cost of watching a Balinese performance (i.e. the Kecak fire dance): 80K – 100K (£4 – £5)
- Entrance fee to the Sacred Monkey Forest: 80K (£4) as of 2019 (was previously 30K!!)
As you can see, there are some really good, and cheap, activities in Bali. But be warned, some people capitalise on tourists’ will to spend money and charge over the odds for some experiences.
You might see expensive tours to many of these places advertised. We recommend organising it yourself, by exploring Bali on a motorbike or hiring a private driver to take you around.
It’s also worth knowing that booking online or through a hotel will ALWAYS be more expensive. Booking most activities and experiences in Bali, at any small ‘Tourist Info” stand will be cheaper. You can even, in a lot of cases, haggle the price down even further!
1. Private Mt.Batur treks usually operate with a minimum of two paying guests. Solo travellers can either join a group trip or…make friends to share the private tour with!
2. The Tegallalang rice terraces are “free” to enter. But many farmers will ask for small donations when passing through their fields. We find that 5K – 10K (£0.25 – £0.50) is enough to keep them happy.
Getting around in Bali
Despite its large size and overwhelming traffic, getting around in Bali is both easy and cheap. There are a number of ways for you to make your way around and explore the island.
Your options for getting around in Bali are typically to: Rent a motorbike, hire a private driver or use a local taxi.
Typical costs for getting around in Bali
- Renting a motorbike/scooter: 50K – 70K (£2.50 – £3.50) per day
- Hiring a private driver for the day: 600K – 800K (£30 – £40) depending on how far you ask them to drive
- A taxi journey from the airport to Kuta/Canggu/Seminyak: 100K – 250K (£5 – £12) depending on location
- Small taxi journeys (we recommend Bluebird Taxis) within your local area: 30K – 60K (£1.50 – £3)
- Motorbike taxi (such as Go-Jek) in your local area: 10K – 30K (£0.50 – £1.50)
The cheapest and most fun way to get around Bali is to hire a motorbike and do it yourself. This is our favourite because of the flexibility and sense of adventure it offers. Bali’s roads are no joke though and you shouldn’t ride there unless you’re experienced.
Hiring a private driver for the day is another great option. This way you can visit many places and be in the comfort of a private, air-conditioned minivan. You can also negotiate a price with them for pick up and drop off in different parts of the island i.e. Canggu to Uluwatu.
We know a lot of people use motorbike taxis, like Grab or Go-Jek, for short and cheap local journeys. Though as we’re always travelling as a couple, we’ve never tried this one out!
Extra Travel Costs in Bali
Obviously, there are always some extra small things you can expect to spend money on.
In Bali, we’ve found some of the ‘extra’ things we spend money on include Visa fees (because we pay for the extendable visa and choose to stay in Bali for 2 months), getting a sim card and doing our laundry.
Typical ‘extra’ travel costs in Bali
- Visa-on-arrival fee & visa extension agent fees: Around 1.5M – 1.8M (£75 – £100)***
- Getting a local Telkomsel sim card with 6GB of data: 100K (£5), more data can be added for cheaper if you run out.
- Doing your laundry: 10K – 15K (£0.50 – £0.70) per KG of laundry
As we said, these are just random ‘extra’ costs we tend to encounter when we visit Bali. You may have more, or less, than us.
If you’re wondering ‘Is tipping necessary in Bali?’, the answer is no. Most restaurants and cafes will list both a tax and service charge, as a percentage, at the bottom of their menu. Generally, no extra tipping is expected.
Paying for a visa on arrival isn’t necessary if the length of your trip is less than 30 days. Read our Bali Visa Extension guide to find out more about the available visas and how to extend your visa for trips longer than 30 days.
How much money to take to Bali in 2020, then? Let’s see what WE spent…
So, we’ve discussed the typical travel-related costs that you can expect. But, to give you a better idea of what you’ll need in terms of spending money for Bali let’s breakdown what we actually spent per day.
How much spending money we needed for Bali:
- Accommodation: 350K (£17.50) per day
- Food & Drink: 400K (£20) per day
- Entertainment: 180K (£9) per day
- Transport: 120K (£6) per day
- Extras: 20K (£1) per day
In total, how much spending money did we need per day in Bali? Around 1,070K (1M) or around £50 – £60*** per day for the two of us as a couple.
If you’re trying to plan how much money to take to Bali as a solo traveller, you can simply half most of these costs. This goes for all but accommodation, as obviously, you pay per room and not per person. However, if you don’t mind hostels, this cost can also be cut in half!
Writing budget-related posts in the local currency is always difficult as exchange rates fluctuate daily. Throughout this post, we’ve rounded up the GBP to IDR exchange rate to £1 = 20,000 Indonesian Rupiah.
In reality, the pound hovers between 18,000 to 20,000 IDR on most days. But between £50 – £60 per day for both of us is an accurate range for our total amount of spending money in Bali.
How did we manage our spending money for Bali?
We appreciate that not everybody wishes to travel in the same style. Some people are happy roughing it, others want a little more luxury. Some people party a lot, others not at all.
Below, we’ve listed some key points relating to our own style of travel. Hopefully, you’ll be able to judge your own travel style in relation to ours when deciding how much money to take to Bali.
- We typically stayed in basic, but clean, private rooms (with an en-suite bathroom) in a typical Balinese guest house or homestay. Staying in hostels would have saved us a fair amount of money, whilst we could have also splashed out on more hotels.
- Most days we would eat at a nice cafe, enjoying a ‘fancy’ breakfast, smoothie bowl and nice coffee. For dinner, we mostly stuck to cheap local food, with the occasional Western meal too.
- Our drinking habits were pretty calm. We enjoyed a few beers (maybe 2-3 each) on most days, but we didn’t go out partying or enjoying the more expensive beach clubs.
- Getting around the island, we mostly used a scooter when travelling locally. Though getting between two parts of Bali, with all our bags, we’d hire a driver for the trip. On 2 occasions we hired a driver to take us around for a FULL day.
- In terms of entertainment, we didn’t hold back. In fact, we did all of the activities mentioned in the ‘entertainment’ section. Our top tip is to always book in person, and always haggle the price down!
How much money should YOU budget for Bali in 2020!?
Of course, there is no way for us to give you an exact figure. But if you answer the below questions, and consider what WE spent in Bali, you should be able to come up with a solid budget.
- What quality of accommodation will you stay in? If you’re happy to rough it in shared hostels then you can stay in Bali for CHEAP! For a more mid-range, affordable luxury experience, you’ll spend more, but it’s still very affordable.
- Which parts of Bali would you like to visit? If you stick to the Southern areas (Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu and Uluwatu) your transport costs can be minimal. If you plan to head far north (Lovina), or island-hop (Lembongan, Penida & the Gilis), you’ll have to account for those larger expenses. Fast boats can be pricey!
- What kinds of activities are you interested in? Only interested in local, cultural experiences? Great, you can save a lot of money! Only interested in climbing a volcano, learning to surf, free diving and scuba diving? Obviously, you’ll have to pay a lot more. You can find rough estimates of activity prices by just searching google.
- How will you get around? If you’re adventurous and an experienced rider, then using a motorbike to explore is super cheap. If you only plan to take taxis and hire drivers, be prepared to spend.
- Which types of meals will you be eating? The local food is so cheap. If you stick to just local eats, your food costs will also be minimal. Eating only Western food will be pricey and massively inflate your budget.
- Are you planning to party? There’s a difference between a few casual drinks on the beach and visiting a beach club. Bali has some world-famous beach/day clubs (Finns, Omnia and Potato Head for example). We can see the appeal, but spending too much time in them will quickly blow your spending money!
How much money to take to Bali for a week?
When we first planned our travels, we budgeted around £30 each per day for travelling Bali.
If we were to plan a trip now, knowing what we know, how much money would we take to Bali for one week? Probably about the same!
Our budget would look something like this:
- Accommodation: 200K (£10) per person, per day
- Food & Drink: 200K (£10) per person, per day
- Entertainment: 100K (£5) per person, per day
- Transport: 100K (£5) per person, per day
Total: 600K (£30) per person, per day
If you’re travelling as a couple or group, you’ll be able to save some money on sharing the cost of accommodation and transport. However, we’d still recommend budgeting enough to cover the trip for each person. This will give you a bit of extra cash for unexpected expenses and/or emergencies.
Total spending money for Bali for one week? (Budget, Mid-range & Luxury)
We consider ourselves to be fair ‘mid-range’ travellers. Think of it as ‘luxury backpacking’, or backpacking, but not on the smallest budget and not being afraid to treat ourselves. The suggested budgets below are a suggested daily/weekly budget for ONE PERSON.
- Backpackers budget for Bali: 400K per day / 2.8 Million per week (£20 per day/ £140 per week)
- Mid-range budget for Bali: 600K per day / 4.2 Million per week (£30 per day / £210 per week)
- Affordable Luxury budget for Bali: 1 Million per day / 7 Million per week (£50 per day / £350 per week)
- Luxury budget for Bali: 2 Million per day / 14 Million per week (£100 per day / £700 per week)
If you take a look at BudgetYourTrip (a website that collects and averages travel expenses from thousands of travellers) you’ll see that their suggested ‘budget’ and ‘mid-range’ categories aren’t too far from what we have suggested.
Their suggested luxury budget is significantly higher. But, it’s hard to find the average of ‘luxury’ when rooms start at £70 per night and go up into the thousands…
How much money to take to Bali for one month?
We have, on numerous occasions, spent a whole month (or two) in Bali. This can be a great way to save money on accommodation and transport as longer bookings usually lead to cheaper prices.
To give you an idea, let’s have a look at an estimate for how much money to take to Bali for a month. This suggested budget assumes you’ll share the cost of a private room and transport with your partner (or friend/family?). Sharing these costs can save you A LOT of money over the course of a month!
- Accommodation: 5 Million (£250) per month
- Food & Drink: 12 Million (£600) per month
- Entertainment: 6 Million (£300) per month
- Transport: 700K (£35) per month for a scooter rental
Total: 23.7 Million IDR (£1,200) per month for two people. This works out to be around 400K (£20) per person per day!!
Total spending money for Bali for one month? £20 a day, really!?
So, you might be wondering, is it REALLY possible to travel to Bali for just £20 a day? The answer is YES! How!?
- We share the cost of a room and ‘rent’ a nice guesthouse, with a pool, for 1 month in Canggu or Ubud.
- Rent and share the cost of a scooter/motorbike as our main mode of transport for the month.
- We eat at a lot of great breakfast/brunch spots but mainly eat local food for dinner. In reality, we don’t even spend the suggested £600 per month/£20 per day on food. This is more of an ‘upper-limit’.
- The £300 for ‘entertainment’ is also an upper limit. In reality, we’ve already done a lot of the more expensive activities in Bali. So we actually spent less than this. If it’s your first time in Bali, this will be a good budget.
- Have chilled days where you don’t spend much. I.e. spend some days exploring and some days just enjoying the sun and the beach, the perfect money saver!
Obviously this slower style of travel isn’t suited to everybody. If you want to explore Bali for one month, moving from place to place and exploring at a faster pace, then look at the weekly budget (above) and just multiply it by 4!
Have we helped you to plan your own budget for Bali?
Hopefully, after sharing all of this information, you’ll have a better idea of how much spending money you’ll need for Bali. You should be able to see that it can be an extremely cheap place to travel. On the flip side, you could spend your life savings there, if you wanted to luxury travel and stay at the islands 5-star mega-resorts.
We’d love to know if the information we’ve given you has helped. Have you been to Bali, would you agree with what we’ve said? In all cases, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!