The Cost of Living in Ubud, Bali

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This isn’t a post about how to live in Ubud as cheaply as possible. We wanted to take advantage of everything the town had to offer—affordable villa rentals with private pools, delicious vegetarian food, a wide variety of yoga classes, and fun activities like cooking classes and bike tours. You can have a high quality of life in Ubud at a very reasonable price (read more about our Ubud life here).

We are living in Ubud for four months from September 2015. As always we track our expenses in our travel budgeting app Trail Wallet. I have taken our total costs for our first three months and divided them by three to get our average monthly expenses.

These are our monthly expenses in USD for two people:

Monthly Expenses in Ubud
Accommodation $836
Eating Out $478
Food Shopping $215
Coffee $33
Drinking Water $20
Motorbike Rent $40
Petrol $11
Other Transport $47
Yoga $94
Other Entertainment $57
Laundry $16
Cleaner $25
Phone Credit $7
Visa Extension $59
Other Miscellaneous $116
Total Monthly Expenses $2054 (£1342) for 2 people

Please note that the exchange rate varied widely during our stay and we got a much better rate at the beginning of our stay (when we paid for the first two months of our accommodation). The amounts above are calculated with the exchange rate at the time of purchase. The amounts given below are in Indonesian rupiah (IDR) with an approximate rate in USD based on the current rate: 1 USD = 14,000 IDR.

Here’s what $1027 (£671) per person a month got us in Ubud:

Accommodation

We paid 12 million IDR ($860) a month for a two bedroom house with private pool, wonderful views, good WiFi, and A/C. It’s in a quiet location in Junjungan village a 5-10 minute motorbike ride north of Ubud centre. The rent includes all bills except gas and cleaning which I’ve included in miscellaneous below. You can read more about it in my post on how to rent a house in Ubud.

Cost of living in Ubud - villa rental with poolWe chose to pay more for a house that had everything we wanted. You can find much simpler one bedroom houses from 3 million ($215) a month.

Eating Out

Trail Wallet screenshot - eating out costs in UbudUbud has a fantastic food scene with many healthy vegetarian, vegan, and even raw restaurants (read my full guide here). We want to take advantage so we eat out a lot more than we usually do when we have access to a kitchen—about seven meals a week. I was pretty shocked by how much we spent on eating out but it was worth it!

While you could eat only local dishes for 15,000-30,000 IDR ($1-2), we crave variety and often eat at more expensive international and organic restaurants. A meal out for two costs us from 100,000 IDR to 300,000 IDR ($7-21) including one or two dishes and a fresh juice each. Alcohol is expensive but we don’t drink much—Simon has the occasional beer with dinner and we had some cocktails when we visited Gili Air for his birthday. Juices and smoothies cost from 15,000-35,000 IDR ($1-2.50).

Jukut Arab at Warung Bintangbali

Jukut Arab at Warung Bintangbali

Here are a few example prices:

  • 15,000 IDR ($1.07) for jukut arab (a Balinese vegetable salad) at Warung Bintangbali
  • 29,000 IDR ($2.07) for nasi campur (red rice and seven vegetable, tofu and tempeh dishes) at Wulan Vegetarian Warung
  • 42,000 IDR ($3) for tempeh coconut noodle curry at Melting Wok
  • 47,000 IDR ($3.35) for salad bar with four toppings at Alchemy
  • 55,000 IDR ($3.92) for vegan tempeh tacos at Sage
  • 55,000 IDR ($3.92) for raw Mexican lasagna at Seeds of Life
  • 58,000 IDR ($4.14) for 8 layer veggie burrito at Taco Casa

Most of the more expensive restaurants add 10% tax and 5% service to your bill.

Food Shopping

Trail Wallet screenshot - food shopping costs in UbudWe eat most breakfasts and lunches at home and about three dinners a week. We do most of our food shopping at the organic farmer’s market on Saturday mornings at Pizza Bagus and rarely spend more than 100,000 IDR ($7) for a load of fruit and vegetables. Organic red rice costs 25,000 IDR ($1.78) a kilo.

Our food shopping costs are increased by buying imported and health food items. We often buy rye and multigrain bread at Bali Buda, and muesli ingredients, hummus, and cheese at the Pizza Bagus deli (it’s cheaper than other health food shops). Simon buys excellent quality Indonesian coffee beans from Seniman which they grind to order and cost about 130,000 IDR ($9.28) for 290g. We also indulge in chocolate, cakes from Caramel Patisserie, bliss balls, and kombucha.

Coffee

Trail Wallet screenshot - coffee costs in UbudSimon loves the coffee at hipster coffee shop Seniman which costs 28,000 IDR ($2) and comes with a little snack.

Drinking Water

Trail Wallet screenshot - water costs in UbudWe exchange our reusable 19 litre jug at local shops every two days which costs 16,000-20,000 IDR ($1.14-1.43).

Transport

Trail Wallet screenshot -transport costs in UbudThis includes motorbike rental and petrol as listed separately in the table above (I use tags in Trail Wallet to track subcategories like this). It costs 550,000 IDR ($40) a month to rent an automatic Scoopy scooter and 20,000 IDR ($1.43) to fill our tank with petrol. As we live outside town we drive everywhere.

Other transport costs include taxis around town when we had guests (50,000 IDR/ $3.57 a ride), and two side trips we took. We paid 370,000 IDR ($26.42) for a taxi from Balangan beach a few hours away to Ubud and 600,000 IDR ($43) each for a return speed boat ride to Gili Air where we spent four days.

Entertainment

Trail Wallet screenshot - entertainment costs in UbudThis includes yoga which was listed separately above. Yoga is a major focus for me in Ubud. The $94 a month cost was for an average of 19 classes a month at about $5 per class. The usual drop in class rate is 120,000 IDR ($8.57) but you can halve that by buying class passes. I tried five yoga studios and bought two 20 class passes (1.2 million IDR/ $86) at the Yoga Barn, and a mix of one and three class passes at the other studios. Read my review of the various yoga studios in Ubud .

Other entertainment costs include (per person):

  • Two museum entrance fees – 75,000 ($5.36) and 80,000 IDR ($5.70)
  • Temple entrance fees – 15,000 IDR ($1.07)
  • Snorkelling gear hire on Gili Air – 25,000 IDR ($1.78)
  • Cooking class with Payuk Bali – 350,000 IDR ($25)
  • Kecak dance performance in Junjungan – 75,000 IDR ($5.36)
  • Eco cycling trip – $35
Kecak performance in Junjungan village

Kecak performance in Junjungan village

Miscellaneous

Trail Wallet screenshot - miscellaneous costs in UbudThis includes the sub categories laundry, cleaner, phone credit, and visa extension:

  • There are many laundries in Ubud. Each week we usually pay 25,000 IDR ($1.78) to wash our clothes, and 16,000 IDR ($1.14) for our sheets and towels.
  • The cleaner costs 50,000 IDR ($3.57) for two hours—she came twice a week in our first month and once a week after that.
  • A data plan for our phone costs 80,000 IDR ($5.70) for 2GB of data.
  • We got a 60 day Indonesian tourist visa before we arrived which we then had to extend each month. A visa extension by an agent costs 605,000 IDR ($43) each—see my visa post for details.

The rest of our miscellaneous expenses include:

  • Gas for cooking – We used two bottles at 23,000 IDR ($1.64) each.
  • House purchases – We spent about $150 at the beginning of our stay buying things for the house—Aeropress coffee maker, rice cooker, frying pan, knife, cushions, mattress chair, and other kitchen items (our kitchen wasn’t very well equipped).
  • Doctor visit – 625,000 IDR ($45) including consultation fee and medication.
  • Other medications
  • Toiletries including suncream, shampoo, and shower gel.
  • Simon haircut – 75,000 IDR ($5.36).
  • Guitar – 350,000 IDR/ $25 (which wouldn’t stay in tune—don’t buy cheap guitars!).

Although we spent more in Ubud than in other places we’ve lived we absolutely love it here and think it’s good value for money for a high quality life.

For more information see our guide to living in Ubud for digital nomads

You might be interested in our other digital nomad cost of living posts:

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26 thoughts on The Cost of Living in Ubud, Bali

  1. Wow thanks for such a useful post – you really broke down your expenses and made it really easy to understand. I love Bali and would love to spend more time there but (even though its still amazing value compared to the UK) compared to Goa where I live comfortably for less than $500 a month Bali looks expensive. 🙁

  2. Pingback: How Much Does it Cost to Live in Ubud, Bali?

  3. Pingback: How to Rent a House in Ubud, Bali

  4. That home is GORGEOUS ! 🙂

    Thanks for all the detailed info . I’ve viewed many of your Thailand posts, but am now beginning to check out the other areas you’ve highlighted !

    We are currently in the ” selling all the stuff ! ” phase of our travel . This is definitely NOT the fun phase , so I really enjoy reading what things will look like once we ” lighten up ” and become mobile!

  5. Oh wow, impressive. Your stats make me want to visit even more. Bali is one of my Top 10 Dream Destinations. I keep saying next year but that next year is here. Yippee. Come November. Happy dance then off to Vietnam. Dang, I just realized I’m following your path only like a year later. lol

  6. Bali is a beautiful country, the cost of your living is relatively high compare to what I got last September. then again, like any other country, Bali also you get options. to be honest i don’t like their local food, i used to have noodles always 🙂

  7. We love reading your blog and you have been our inspiration before we went to Chiang Mai in Thailand. We are surprised that you spent so much money in Ubud though! We’ve been there this year and we didn’t spent that much! I guess it all depends on the people, everyone has different needs 😉

  8. That’s still a very reasonable tally for two people living a comfortable to mildly lavish lifestyle. Bali is an amazing place if you can get used to the chaotic roads and find a decent internet connection.

    • We think so 🙂

      We find living outside of town helps with the chaotic roads issue and have been surprised by how many places have fibre optic now. I think our internet here is better than we had in Thailand. It is definitely becoming an easier location to be a digital nomad.

  9. I was wondering why you spent so much on food and after learning about all the delicious food you experienced.. I was like wow. I’m going hungry with that photo you shared.

    • There is an incredible amount of delicious food in Ubud – we haven’t held back! Next month I’ll be sharing our favourite vegetarian-friendly places to eat with lots of options for vegans and raw foodies too.

  10. You drink nearly 5 litres of water each a day? I guess that also includes for cooking. Still, seems like a lot, or have I misunderstood/miscalculated that number?

  11. I guess it depends on your budget and what way of living you would like to have in Bali, for example we can get cheap room when there is a sharing house or a house without a pool. Decision, decisions!

  12. Great post. I was actually surprised with the cost of Ubud. I thought it would be dirt cheap and while it was, there were definitely a few tourist traps that I fell into when I was there. Interesting to see the cost of living though from someone stationed there. It’s really not as far off my living expenses in Canada as I would have thought either!

    • You could definitely live in Ubud for far less than this – accommodation is available for a quarter of what we paid and you could eat in cheap warungs. We chose to take advantage of being able to afford a lovely house with private pool, all the delicious healthy restaurants, and lots of yoga classes.

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