Bali is becoming increasingly popular as a destination for visitors worldwide. And not without reason. We also fell in love with the charm of this wonderful island. With its traditional architecture and multi-faceted culture, this paradise simply captivates everyone.
But with growing popularity, also a higher price is waiting for you. In this post, you can find out whether it’s still possible to visit Bali on a Budget or whether the Bali cost is too high to do so. You can find our exact Bali trip cost and we give you many practical and helpful Bali Budget tips.
What to find out in this post
Bali Trip Cost
In the following section, you can see exactly what we spent during our trip to Bali. That way, you can get a more accurate picture of your approximate Bali budget. Note, however, that we were traveling on a very small budget. You can find more about that later in this post.
Author’s note: All the given prices below have been paid in the main currency of the given country (Indonesian Rupiah – IDR). The prices only have been converted into Euro and US-Dollar for better understanding. Any discrepancies may result from rounding and converting. State of the exchange rate IDR to Euro & USD: April 2019
Our Bali Vacation Cost for 6 Days
Total per Person: 92.23 € / $ 104.20
Transport: 29.20 € /$ 32.99
Breakfast Included in accommodation
Lunch: 8.79 € /$ 9.93
Dinner: 9.67 € / $ 10.93
Water: 0.78 € / $ 0.88
Entrance Fees & Activities: 19.32 € /$ 21.83
Random: 3.99 € / $ 4.5
Accommodation: 20.48 € / $ 23.14
Average Bali Cost per Day
Total per Day: 15.37 € /$ 17.36
Transport: 4.87 € / $ 5.5
Lunch: 1.47 € / $ 1.66
Dinner: 1.61 € / $ 1.82
Water: 0,13 € / $ 0.15
Entrance Fees & Activities: 3,22 € / $ 3.64
Random: 0,67 € /$ 0,76
Accommodation: 3,41 € / $ 3,85
Cost of Things in Bali
- Budget Accommodation (Private Doubleroom) per night: ca. 7 €
- Lunch Streetfood or local Restaurant: ca. 1,50 €
- Dinner Streetfood or local Restaurant: ca. 1,60 €
- 1,5 Liter Water: ca. 5.500 IDR (ca. 0,35 €)
- Entrance Fee Temple: Between 10.000 – 30.000 IDR (ca. 0,60 – 1,90 €)
- Ice cream (bought in Covenience Store): 3.000 – 5.000 IDR (ca. 0,20 – 0,35 €)
How to travel Bali on a Budget
A Bali trip really doesn’t have to be expensive. Especially if you are planning an individual journey, you can save a whole lot of money. After learning how much we spent in Bali in the previous section, we’d like to give you a closer look at how we managed to travel Bali on the cheap and how you can do it, too with a few easy travel tips in this section of this article.
General Budget tip for traveling Bali – Bargain but don’t go too far
In Indonesian culture, bargaining over the price is well anchored and totally normal. As a result, the first price mentioned is usually much higher than the actual price the seller expects. Even if you are not practiced in negotiating, you will get the hang of it very quickly. Just say a price that’s lower than what you’re actually willing to pay. So you can get closer and closer to each other’s price and end up in the middle at a price that you are both happy with.
But please do not overdo it with the bargaining. Many locals are reliant on the money the tourists bring and, what for us may be just a few cents, for them, it can already make a huge difference. In particular, in places such as supermarkets or hotels shouldn’t be negotiated about the prices as they are fixed, just as you probably would never try to negotiate the price at your supermarket back home.
Extra tip: There are quite some tourist scams in Bali and traders often try to overcharge tourists. So try to find out in advance how much you should pay for the product or service. You can do this, for example on the Internet or simply by asking at your accommodation.
On such a popular island like Bali, you might think that public transport is well developed and easy to use. But the reality is not that easy. We had to learn about this already on arrival at the port of Bali after our passage from the neighboring island of Java. Although buses run from here to the (for tourists) most important places, such as Denpasar, Ubud, and Kuta, however, there are no fixed prices. (Theoretically, there are, but it is impossible to find someone who is willing to take a tourist to the actual prices.)
In many places in Bali, the transport companies have merged into a kind of mafia to raise prices for tourists. Even with a group of 8 people reaching Bali, it took us a whopping 30 minutes to negotiate a price with our bus driver (we still paid far more than the actual price). Although, as a tourist, you usually pay more than the locals, public transport prices are still relatively cheap compared to western transport costs.
Bali Budget Tip: For some connections, you can also book your tickets online. This way, you can avoid being overcharged or scammed for your ticket. Make sure, however, that book your ticket on a trustworthy site, as there are also some scam sites. I usually book my tickets online via 12 Go Asia.
Bali Budget Tip 2: Before buying your ticket, check on the Internet about the actual price of your bus ticket. Let the bus driver know that you are aware of the actual price and try not to pay much more than the locals.
Rent a Scooter in Bali
A scooter THE means of transport in Bali. Although the roads in Bali are partly well developed and safe, traffic here is anything but quiet. Especially in the rainy season, accidents are more frequent. Only drive if you really feel confident to do so. Even better if you are already an experienced scooter driver. Note, above all, that there is left-hand traffic in Indonesia. The prices for scooter rental in Bali are usually quite affordable and so you can rent your scooter for about 50,000 – 75,000 IDR (about 3 – 5 €) a day. Otherwise, there is still the possibility to order a scooter taxi via Uber.
If you want to visit more remote places in Bali (If you follow our Bali Itinerary 10 days, you will probably want to do so), you will soon realize that there are relatively few buses on the island. For this reason, sometimes you don’t have a change but to take a taxi if you don’t want to drive yourself. Here you have to compare prices and negotiate. Find out online about the average fare for your trip so that you get an idea of what you should pay for it.
You’ll probably quickly find that it seems like every second person in Bali is a part-time taxi driver and offers you a ride. You might not want to agree to the very first person you talk to, but to talk to different people and compare prices. If you are looking for a taxi with a taximeter, you should only take the official Bluebird taxis. (You can also download the Bluebird app, which will allow you to call a taxi at any time.)
Bali Taxi Budget Tip: Do you see other travelers looking for a taxi as well? Why not just share the taxi? This will save you all a lot of money and maybe you will even make some new friends or travel companions along the way.
Grab is the Asian version of Uber and works on the same principle. Anyone who has ever been in Indonesia, but will realize that it is not that easy to organize a Grab taxi. Since Grab is prohibited in most touristy areas, it is almost impossible for a foreigner, to find a ride from there via the platform. Even though some drivers accept your request, that does not mean that they actually turn up. Often they cancel the job after a few minutes. However, other drivers who take the risk of taking you with them write you a private message claiming far more money than the app set.
Cheap Flights to Bali
Those traveling to Bali will most likely not be able to avoid taking a flight. It is important to book your flight on time and to compare prices. For that, I prefer to use flight comparison sites like Skyscanner and Momondo.
Food in Bali
Avoid Tourist Restaurants
I am only too happy to remember the incredibly delicious food in Indonesia. Those who previously traveled on other islands of the country, such as Java, shouldn’t hope to find these low prices in Bali as well. At no other location we visited in Indonesia, we could see such a huge difference in price between tourist restaurants and local restaurants (warungs).
In some parts of Bali, such as Ubud or Kuta (although we can not recommend a visit to Kuta unless you are looking for party), it is not that easy to find a restaurant without tourist prices. Luckily, our Ubud accommodation was a bit out of the city center, so we passed a small restaurant that was exclusively run by locals. Here we could enjoy delicious Nasi Goreng at reasonable prices. But also in the city center of Ubud, such restaurants can be discovered. Especially if you choose to eat from the buffet you can save a lot.
Bali Budget Tip: Just take a look around, where the locals eat and compare prices. Instead of looking directly in the tourist center, try out the side streets – because the prices can vary a lot, even between different streets.
Another way to really save a lot of money and immerse yourself further in Bali’s culture is street food. In addition to the typical dishes such as Nasi Goreng, you will also find many other delicious snacks and Indonesian delicacies. For about 1 € you can already enjoy a complete meal at some places.
Refill your bottle
Some accommodations allow you to refill your bottle free of charge or at least inexpensively with fresh drinking water. With this method, you not only save money but also help the environment by avoiding plastic garbage. To do this, it makes sense to put a refillable bottle on your packing list.
If there is no refilling of your water bottle offered in your accommodation and you still have to buy bottled water (please note that tap water in Bali is not suitable for drinking unfiltered!) You should refrain from using small water bottles. The bigger the bottle you buy, the less the water costs per liter. So buy the water in 1.5-liter bottles rather than in 0.5-liter bottles.
Or how about not spending money on water at all?
Yes, that’s right, you read that correctly. You can travel through Bali without buying water. So not only is your wallet spared, but you are also doing something good for the environment. The trick? Tap water! And no, the tap water in Bali is unprocessed Not (!) Drinkable. Despite everything, there is an easy way to make the tap water drinkable. And with a so-called Lifestraw. (Click here for current prices and further information) This great invention disinfects and filters the water for you in order to make it drinkable.
Entrance Fee & Activities
In Bali, the entrance fees differ somewhat from each other. While some temples and attractions can even be visited free of charge, others have to be paid. However, usually, the entrance fees in Bali are pretty affordable.
As you can see in our Bali Cost overview at the beginning of this post, we spent an average of € 3.22 per day for entrance fees and activities. A day we took a tour with a private driver is particularly heavy as we have put together a tour with sights that were pretty far apart from each other. However, we were able to minimize expenses by teaming up with two other travelers we met on the ferry from Java to Bali.
You can save money in terms of entrance fees only if you do without certain things. But that’s exactly what we don’t want to do, right? Accordingly, you can get information in advance if the entrance fees are worth their price. For example, check out our detailed Bali Itinerary or check out the TripAdvisor reviews.
If you want to join a tour, it’s worth comparing providers and picking reliable tours. I prefer to book my tours through GetYourGuide or Viator. There you can choose between different providers and see directly the reviews and comments left by travelers who have already participated in the tours.
The accommodations in Bali are usually a little more expensive than in less touristy parts of Indonesia, such as Java.
You can often save money by staying in a dorm instead of a private room. However, if you’re traveling with more than one person, staying in a private room might be worth it. Shared prices are usually not even that high.
Should I book in advance?
Although it is not absolutely necessary to look for a room before your arrival, you can still play it safe by booking your accommodation in advance. Especially, who travels to Bali in the high season (especially around Christmas and New Year) should make sure to get a stay beforehand in order not to end up in the cheapest dump. The big advantage of booking online is that you have access to various reviews and comments from previous guests. If you use Booking.com to find accommodation, you have a wide choice of accommodation in all price ranges. With various filters and the order by price function, you have great opportunities to find the perfect accommodation for you while still saving a few dollars. Most accommodations can also be canceled free of charge up to 24 hours before arrival, which will make you more flexible on your trip.
As you can see in our editions, we have not even spent so much on miscellaneous and random things. One reason is that at our favorite restaurant in Ubud, where we spent most of our time in Bali (there are simply so many things to do in Ubud), there were free bananas to go with each order, so we spent less on fruits and juices. On the other hand, we were often traveling off the beaten track.
Most of our money, as you can imagine if you followed our other travel budgets, went for ice cream and snacks. We just can’t resist. By the way, on this list, we did not include a picture, which we had bought from a local artist after we had talked to him about his culture and life in Bali for barely an hour. By the way, as I type in these lines, I look at this picture in a typical Balinese style, which is now hanging framed in our living room.
Did you know that Indonesia is the country with the most Muslims in the world? Although Bali’s population is predominantly Hindu, high taxes on alcohol apply here, which does not always make it cheap. Despite everything, you can always find relatively affordable deals. Especially if you are looking for local beer. This can be found in some places for only 15,000 Rupiah (about 1 €). The cheapest place to buy a cold beer is to go to hostels and convenience stores like Circle K. Also, for cocktails, depending on where you enjoy them, you don’t even have to spend a fortune in Bali. In some places, they cost no more than 4 €. But keep your eyes open, because in other places you pay 10 € for your cocktail. However, most restaurants and bars have their menus posted outside the door. Definitely, compare prices here!
Sim Card in Bali
In Bali, almost every accommodation has free wifi, so a sim card is not essential. However, if you still like to stay mobile, you can either buy a sim card on-site or arrange online before you arrive, (e.g. here) such as: In any case, check beforehand about the prices of the various tariffs and options so that you don’t tap into a tourist trap on the spot.
For more practical information about Bali make sure to also read our following articles
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