Photo by Mahmud Ahsan on Unsplash

Bali has become one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads. Whether you’re looking for a short sightseeing trip, a longer workation, or even thinking of staying long-term, Bali is the kind of gorgeous place that you’ll never want to leave.

But what is it that keeps people coming back? Let’s take a look at what Bali has to offer.

Why is Bali so Popular Among Digital Nomads?

Photo by Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash

Beautiful Beaches and Lush Nature

One of the first things that come to mind when you think of Bali is likely the deep-azure sea and gorgeous beaches, and you’re not wrong! Bali has some world-class beaches, great surf spots, and even black sand beaches for those moody beach photo-ops. But it also has so much more! 

Stroll by the peaceful green rice terraces as far as the eye can see, or take an adventure through lush jungle, or climb a volcano. You could even head further into the sea and go snorkeling or scuba diving, and take your trip to the next level. 

This is not your average vacation to simply get away from work and lie by the pool, this is a destination to get back to nature. 

Convenient with a Well-Established Tourism Scene

Whether you’re only staying for a few days, or intend to live that digital nomad life in the area for a while, you’ll find that Bali is incredibly convenient. As long as you’re in the built-up areas, you’ll find great WiFi that can stand strong with your favorite streaming services, and great places to work or stay. 

You’ll find that most people in Bali’s central areas can at least speak basic English, especially the younger crowds. But if you plan to venture out to the smaller villages, it would be wise to learn some Indonesian beforehand – and if you can use it elsewhere it’ll be greatly appreciated and welcomed with warm smiles all around! 

The Island of the Gods is also pretty easy to get around, and you can rent a scooter for around 80,000 rupees (about $5) for a day, or get a better deal to rent it for longer and do some exploring!

Unique Art and Lively Culture

Bali is often mistaken for a country of its own, largely because of its unique and colorful culture! In front of almost every shop and street, you’ll find colorful flower offerings to the gods, and at every turn, you’ll find another piece of gorgeous architecture and amazing colorful clothing. You can even experience some of their ancient cultures by heading to one of their museums, such as the Bali Museum with its impressive architectural structures. 

The people of Bali are cheerful and lively, and you can see that in almost every aspect of their unique culture. It’s precisely this culture that attracts artists from around the world, and even many looking to experience the art of yoga and mindfulness. 

Low Cost of Living

Another great thing about Bali is the low cost of living. It makes sense that digital nomads would love to stay in paradise without paying an arm and a leg! Of course, how much your trip will cost you is going to depend on your budget and what you choose to prioritize. 

If you’re on a low budget, you can find food for as little as $1, and a bed in a shared dorm for as little as $5 a night. But if you’re staying a bit longer on a mid-range budget you could treat yourself to a two-bedroom villa, and even that could cost as little as $550 for an entire month. But for a mid-range budget, a total of $1,000 for a month is probably about right.

Top Destinations for Digital Nomads in Bali

The main urbanized areas in the south of Bali are Kuta, Canggu, Seminyak, and Ubud, but of those Canggu and Ubud are, without a doubt, the most popular among digital nomads, and for good reason.

Canggu

There are many beautiful beach resort areas in Bali, and Canggu, a small village and 8km coastal strech just north of Seminyak, has been known as a great surfing spot since 70’s. In the recent years, Canggu has gathered popularity not only among surfers, but also among digital nomads.

Some people would argue that Canggu is the best place to go as a digital nomad, and that’s partly because of its wealth of co-working and co-living spaces, in addition to, of course, the laid-back surfer groove.

Ubud

If you’re looking for somewhere a bit more peaceful, away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, but not confident enough in your Indonesian to travel too far off the beaten track, Ubud could be the perfect place for you. 

Ubud is more well-known for its laid-back atmosphere. Without the distractions of the city, here you’ll find that you can get a good amount of work done in the peace and quiet, and then truly relax afterward by taking a serene walk among nature or taking part in one of the many yoga classes or retreats that go on in the area. 

Ubud is a great place for getting closer to nature… without compromising on the fast WiFi!

Visa Options for Digital Nomads in Bali

Of course, before you head off for your workation in Bali, you need to make sure you’ve got all the paperwork in order. 

As of October 2021, there are currently a few short-term options for digital nomads looking for a visa in Bali:

  1. Tourist visa, claimed on arrival: Many travelers looking to stay in Bali for a shorter time period opt for this visa. At the airport, you pay $35 for a visa that allows you to stay for 30 days. Once the visa is up, you can extend it for another 30 days. 
  2. Single entry visa: This visa requires a sponsor, which can either be friends or family, or a company. This allows an initial 60 days, and can be extended by 30 days up to four times. However, you cannot leave Indonesia during that time. 
  3. Multiple entry visa: This visa is valid for 12 months. You can visit Indonesia multiple times, for up to 60 days at a time.
  4. Work and stay permit: This allows you to stay for 12 months, but you must be employed under a local company, and the permit is much more expensive than the above types.

However, the Indonesian government has announced plans to start up a Digital Nomad Visa, which would allow you to stay in the country for five years! If you’re making your money from abroad, you do not have to pay taxes within Bali, but if your work is domestic to Bali, you will. The government is currently waiting for the coronavirus situation to calm down before setting up this visa, but this is great news for anyone who wants to experience Bali to its full potential!  (Source: Bangkok Post)

Coworking Spaces in Bali

If you’re intending to try out the digital nomad lifestyle in Bali, you’ll be spoilt for choice with where to work! There are tons of coworking spaces all around, and many of them have coliving spaces too.

In Bali, the coworking spaces can range from cozy cafes with great internet speeds all the way up to resort-style spaces with pools and gyms! For example, Outpost Canggu has bright and spacious areas for working, an onsite masseuse for breaks, several private rooms for meetings, and even a café that can take your order through Slack and bring it straight to your desk! Other coworking spaces offer yoga sessions, host events, and some even hold parties! 

If you want to find out more about coworking spaces in Bali, check out our article below!

Great YouTube Videos About Being a Digital Nomad in Bali

Before heading out to Bali you probably have a lot of questions and are wondering just what it feels like to live there. These are some of the best videos about working as a digital nomad in Bali, including what you can look forward to and what to look out for.

1. Lost LeBlanc

LeBlanc quit his full-time job years ago to follow his passion for filmmaking and travel. Since then he has traveled the world and has some great information on living as a digital nomad, and he even has a full course on how to become a professional creator. He has of course spent some time in Bali, and here is his video on the cost of living that shows some of the gorgeous scenes you can expect to see for yourself:

HOW MUCH does BALI COST? Digital Nomad Lifestyle

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt_NLJ4McJlCyYM-dSPRo7Q

2. Joose / TravelingHawks

Joose moved to Bali in 2021, and has since been making a ton of informative videos about different areas, all the while giving some great insight into life in Bali and the beauty of the region. In the video below he gives a great overview of what Canggu is like for digital nomads, with in-depth WiFi speed testing and a tour of the workspace.

Canggu, Bali the Best for Digital Nomads / Remote Workers in 2021?? 🇲🇨Vlog 10

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsJIlMFmqPinElAe6RsrxCA

3. Zoey in Bali

Zoey also moved to Bali in 2021, leaving her home to live the much sought-after digital nomad lifestyle. Her videos are in a vlog style, where she talks about her general day-to-day and how it has changed since being in Bali. This is a great channel if you want to get a taste of how it feels to live in Bali.

DIGITAL NOMAD LIFE IN BALI | Productivity, Balance & Having FUN 🌴

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM0jIhsNedk47zLDVK_Xrlg

4. Chris the Freelancer

Chris has been all over the place, working as a freelancer and hopping from country to country. He has a lot of useful tips on how to make it as a digital nomad and freelancer, and what to be aware of. He also has some informative videos about Bali, like this video comparing the two main digital nomad hubs, Canggu and Ubud:

BALI FOR DIGITAL NOMADS: UBUD VS CANGGU

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbxtV_oVIXBtLRmyPfcLKVg

5. Natasha Vilaseca

Natasha is originally from the UK, and is living an entrepreneurial lifestyle which she started with a great LinkedIn marketing strategy. She has a lot of tips and strategies on how to use LinkedIn to network and generate leads, so if you need help starting out as an entrepreneur, this is a great first base. She spent some time in Bali and gives an overview of the reality vs. her expectations in the video below:

Moving To Bali For 2 Months | My Experience Being A Digital Nomad

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClWfiIi6pqo3hWF6K5ovfnQ

Facebook Groups for Digital Nomads in Bali

Whether you’re looking for information before you go, or want to keep a finger on the pulse while you’re there, Facebook groups are a great way to stay in tune with the community and ask questions – for which you’ll get real answers and practical help from people in the know. Here are some of the most helpful Facebook groups for digital nomads in Bali.

Bali expats

This group has been active for over 10 years, so has a wealth of useful information already piled up, making it easy to search for topics before asking your own question. As the group name suggests, it is home to expats living in Bali, so most members have been in the area for a while, or are looking for information for long-term commitments. Incredibly useful if you want to ask something more specific!

Bali Best Things

This group is best for the latest product, restaurant, and accommodation information. If you’re thinking about where to go next or want some handmade items, this is a good one to keep in the back of your mind:

Digital Nomads Bali

Digital Nomads Bali shares more varied information. Here you can find details on events, tips for freelancing, tips for working in Bali, and an open space to discuss Bali life and ask questions.

Bali Expat Community

This is a private group that may take a few hours to approve your request, but as long as you answer some simple questions you’ll have no problems getting in. The group is well-maintained by admins and is very welcoming to tourists and expats alike.

Wrapping Up

Whether you just want a taste of the digital nomad life for a week or two, or intend to stay in Bali for longer, you won’t be disappointed! There’s so much to do and see, and even if you don’t have too much saved up, you can still have a great time living and working on this paradise island! 

Cassandra is a British writer and translator living in the suburbs of Japan. She loves trying out new food, whether that's on the road or at home!

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