Have you ever wondered how much does it cost to go to Bali? The country is a dream destination for many travellers. Beautiful villas, green rice terraces, towering waterfalls, and sandy beaches. But is Bali expensive to visit? Well, that depends on several factors including where in Bali you want to go, your travel style, and what your plans are.
Bali may be a small island, but there is plenty to see and do. Hundreds of temples, stunning natural attractions, and a variety of towns to visit mean you won’t ever be bored. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest a one-week (7 days, six night) itinerary in Bali. This will include return airfare, average meal costs, transportation, accommodation, and more. Please note that this guide is based on the costs for a single person. If you are travelling as a couple, make sure to double these costs (except for hotels).
Bali trip cost for one week
|Accommodations||$480 ($100 X 6 nights)|
|Transportation and attractions||$120|
|Food and drink||$175 ($25 X 6 7 days)|
The above estimate is in American dollars. Please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.
This estimate is assuming that you’re using shared taxis/hired drivers to get around and has not rented a motorbike. For motorbike costs and information, see the transportation section.
Also keep in mind that this is just an estimate. Bali can be both budget friendly and costly, depending on your travel style. Throughout this article, I’ll be sharing tips on how to keep costs low to best stay on, or even below, your budget.
Airfare to Bali will probably be your biggest cost, especially if you are coming from North America. To help lower these travel costs, avoid travelling during the holidays (Christmas and Easter) as well as during July and August which is high season. You’ll want to budget about $850 for your flight to Bali.
If you are travelling from Canada or the United States, Bali is quite far (especially from the Eastern parts of both countries). Direct flights will be impossible to find, so play with some different itineraries. For example, it may be more affordable to fly to Bangkok, Singapore or even Hong Kong, then find a cheap flight with a budget airline to Bali. If you can be flexible, it’s definitely worth doing a few different searches as you may be able to save a couple of hundred dollars with the added bonus of getting to experience another city.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a signup bonus of 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $600 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with airport lounge access.
When it comes to accommodation, Bali has it all. From world-class luxury villas with infinity pools and jungle views, to a single bed in a shared dorm room of a hostel. For the sake of this article, I’ve estimated the average nightly price to be $80, which is what you can expect to pay for a 3-star nice hotel in a central location. However, this price can both inflate and deflate drastically depending on your travel style. Here are a few recommendations depending on what you are looking for. Regardless of which country you’re from, make sure you apply for a credit card with no foreign exchange fees before you depart.
Bali’s hostels are definitely the cheapest choice. Dorm rooms will have the lowest cost but you can get some nice private rooms as well. Dorm options average at about $8/night while private rooms can be found for $20/night and up. I’ve written a detailed guide on the best hostels in Bali which covers Ubud, Seminyak, Canggu, and Kuta, so check that out now.
Balinese homestays are basically like staying in a bed and breakfast. Travellers will stay on a local family’s property in a private room with breakfast included. These properties are usually basic, but clean, comfortable, and homey. Average nightly costs are about $35/night.
Bali has plenty of nice midrange hotels with good amenities and in great locations. Prices can range quite a bit, but it’s easy to find a room for about $100/night.
Luxury Hotels and Villas
If you have ever wanted to really splurge on a luxury hotel, then Bali is the place to do it. From elegant villas to resorts. Bali does luxury like nowhere else.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $200 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus (must apply by May 15, 2021).
Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 65,000 Marriott Bonvoy when using a referral link. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $700.
Local transportation is the biggest hassle when travelling through Bali. Public transit is non-existent and transfers can get pretty pricey.
The most affordable and easiest way to travel around the island of Bali is by motorbike. While it is the best deal money wise, it can be dangerous and should not be considered if you have no motorbike driving experience. Keep in mind if you plan on renting a motorbike in Bali, you will need an international driver’s license. While it is not necessary for renting purposes (they just need a copy of your passport). Police will pull you over to check. The average price for renting a motorbike in Bali is between $20-$30USD for the week. Make sure to ask around to find a reputable place, and be sure to check the bike over ahead of time for any scratches or damage so you don’t get the blame upon return.
For those who don’t want to rent a motorbike, expect to pay significantly more to get around as you will have to rely on local drivers.
Uber does exist, however there are a lot of problems between Uber drivers and taxis that have led to violence and problems. Uber is not allowed in most areas and while there are some drivers, they will take off and leave you hanging if they don’t feel safe. For this reason, Uber is not a reliable form of transit.
Taxis are common in the main areas of Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu. As with many countries, the taxi drivers here have a reputation of ripping off tourists. The best advice if to use Blue Bird taxis when possible and, of course, make sure that they turn on the meter.
If you plan on going any distance (for example, Seminyak to Tulumben) you will need to hire a private driver. This will cost $50 per trip or more. You can always try to haggle, but know that this form of travel can be quite expensive.
To save money on transportation costs, your best bet is to base yourself in one, maybe two areas during your stay and rely on group day trips.
Bali is absolutely stunning and plenty of the attractions across the island are natural. From waterfalls to beaches to rice terraces; the terrain is stunning. While nature is normally free to explore, a few spots do come with small fees. For example, the famous Tegalalang Rice Field near Ubud has an entrance fee of 15,000 IDR which is equal to about 1.10USD. A very minimal fee.
Bali’s other predominant attractions are the beautiful temples spread across the island. These include Tanah Lot, Uluwatu Temple, Goa Gajah, and Tirta Empul. All of these temples also come with a small fee, usually just a couple of dollars.
Bali’s attractions are actually quite cheap; however, the real cost comes in getting to them. If you have chosen to rent a motorbike you only need to worry about petrol and parking costs (both minimal). However, if you need to hire a private driver a day trip will likely cost about $50USD for the car. The best way to cut down on these costs is to make a full day out of it to see as much as possible, and to find other people to go with since the price is for the day, not per person.
Insider Tip: If you do find a driver you like, you can probably make an agreement for a discounted rate for multiple day trips. The driver will happy for the business and therefore more likely to give you a better deal.
I should add that I have not included costs for adventure activities in this estimate. Bali is a scuba diving paradise, so if you are a fan of the sport I highly recommend you do at least a couple of dives. Average scuba diving costs are approximately $100-$120/day for two dives including lunch, transportation and equipment rentals. Snorkelling is also very popular.
The other attractions people tend not to think about but are usually worth it are day passes at other hotels where you’re able to access their pool and beach. Daytrips and tours are also a good solution if you don’t want to hire a driver.
Here are some Bali attractions you may want to book in advance.
- Uluwatu Temple sunset and Kecak fire dance
- Bali swing in Ubud
- Bali safari and marine park
- Mount Batur sunrise trekking experience
- Lembongan reef cruise by Bali Hai Cruise
- Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort day pass
- Instagram tour with a photographer
Food and drink
Food and drink, like accommodation, will really vary in price depending on what you are going for. If you opt for western-style food, you will be spending probably triple the amount of money than if you stick with local food which can cost as little as $2 per meal. I expect that most travellers will eat a mix of the two styles, so the budget estimates in this article allow for a bit of both.
- Breakfast: $0 (included in hotel/hostel/villa stays)
- Lunch: $5
- Dinner: $20
This amounts to a total of about $25 a day and includes a drink. Since the majority of hotels in Bali include a free breakfast (often eggs, banana pancakes, or fresh fruit) I have not included a breakfast allowance in the estimate.
If you plan on drinking alcohol, remember to add more to your budget as well. Beers in Bali (Bintang is the most popular brand) are significantly cheaper than wine or cocktails. If you are more of a cocktail person, keep an eye out for the 2 for 1 specials. Pretty much every bar and beach club has them.
Bali isn’t a shopping mecca, but there are a few souvenirs you may be interested in. Batik sarongs, tea, and coffee tend to be the most popular souvenirs. Quality varies, but none of the above are particularly expensive (unless you plan on buying copious amounts of the Kopi Luwak coffee).
What you probably will spend your money on are massages. Bali is famous for its cheap massages and travellers tend to indulge on this practice, many even going every day. While I don’t expect that to be the case for everyone, I imagine you will at least go once or twice during your stay. Basic massages are about $10 for one hour (not at a fancy resort spa). It is customary to leave a small tip.
With shopping and massages in mind, you should budget an extra $100 for random spending.
So how much does it cost to go to Bali? I suggest setting aside US $1,725 for your trip. This includes airfare, accommodation, food, transportation, attractions, and more. If you’re travelling with two people, you would double all the costs except for accommodations.
Yes, Bali is often considered to be a luxury travel destination, but this guide shows that a visit to this Indonesian island doesn’t necessarily have come with a hefty price tag. Budget travellers and backpackers can have an equally enjoyable experience if they are flexible and follow the tips and advice listed in this guide. For more inspiration, check out my guides on Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Maldives, Dubai and Southeast Asia.
Is Bali expensive to visit?
It depends on your travel style but overall, no. Bali is quite affordable. Of course, Bali is getting more and more popular so prices are creeping up. However, if you compare budget prices in Bali to European destinations, then you will see your money can go much further in Bali. Take a look at my article on Bali on a budget for some examples. Alternatively, if you aren’t too worried about your Bali trip costs and want to splurge, Bali is a good place to do that too. You can get some pretty fancy villas and hotels for a reasonable price.
What is the best month to go to Bali?
You can visit Bali year-round, however, depending on when you go you will either experience dry or rainy season. Dry season is May to September and rainy season is October to April. Most people end up wanting to go to Bali in North America’s winter months to escape the cold. While this is considered the rainy season, don’t worry too much. It doesn’t rain all day- normally just a couple of hours. You will still get your heat and sunshine.
Is $100 a day enough for Bali?
Definitely. One hundred dollars per day is a very generous daily budget for Bali as long as you aren’t looking for high-end luxury.
What is Bali famous for?
Bali is best known for its temples. There are hundreds around the island including some truly spectacular ones such as Tanah Lot and Uluwatu. Bali has also become a very popular destination for yogis and spiritual travellers (especially Ubud) as well as digital nomads.
What should I avoid in Bali?
Bali, as a popular tourist destination, does have several common scams to be aware of. There are typical things like overcharging on taxi rides or for drivers (have them use the meter or agree to a rate ahead of time) or individuals offering free guided tours of temples and then demanding a fee at the end. Just be smart about these types of things and if something seems too expensive or not right, then don’t do it.
One thing all visitors should be mindful of is the local Balinese drink called arak. It is a legitimate drink, however, over the past several years there have been reports of locals mixing it improperly with methanol rather than alcohol which may cause blindness or death. For this reason, I suggest just avoiding any offers of arak.
Things to do in Bali at night
Bali has a pretty big night-life scene. Kuta is known as the party place where most of the young backpackers go. Head to Canggu or Seminyak for some more upscale beach bars, lounges, and restaurants.