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Emigrating Bali: Tips for Living on the Island

Are you thinking of living in Bali for a longer period of time?

Maybe you have the island as yours new adopted home chosen, and would like to emigrate to Bali.

Maybe you just want to settle down on the island for a longer (or shorter) break.

Now you are wondering where you are good Long term rentals find which visa you have to worry if you Indonesian (or even Balinese) and how best to do it in the long term from A to B.?

Then you are exactly right here.

In the following we write about our experiences with “emigrating Bali” and “living in Bali”.

Do you have any questions at the end? Then use the comment function. We would love to expand this article with your help!

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Emigration Bali: Are you thinking about living in Bali for a longer period of time? Then you are exactly right here!

Table of Contents

What are the options for a long-term rental in Bali?

1 | Share houses with other expats

Many Bali expats rent a room own house (often referred to as a villa) and share it with other "emigrants".

This allows you to be pretty comfortable for relatively small money live and have at the same time (Hopefully nice) roommates.

It is best if you start your search on Facebook start. In the countless Housing Facebook groups represent homeowners and tenants new offers every day and you get a realistic price feeling for the different regions in Bali.

It is advisable to post a request with your wishes in different groups before your departure, which you can then look at in peace.

For every well-known expat region (like Canggu, Ubud, Jimbaran or Seminyak) there is a separate Facebook group:

Plus there is "General" groups for long term rentals in Bali, regardless of the region:

Otherwise you can also go to the general Community Facebook groups search for a specific region (e.g. Uluwatu or Amed):

Alternatively, you can rent a scooter and drive around the area. All over the island there are signs with "Villa for Rent"Or"House for Rent“.

Also theNotice boards the numerous cafes in Ubud, Canggu, Uluwatu and Seminyak can be a great place to go for your new home.

And if you still haven't found what you are looking for, just ask locals on site. Most of the time, you get a small commission, which is one of the reasons why you are very helpful.

Most houses are priced somewhere between3,000,000 and 12,000,000+ IDR per month (190 euros to 750+ euros).

If you have a room long term Airbnb want to rent, you probably will pay a lot more. It is therefore worthwhile to search through the Facebook groups. For the first few weeks, however, you can of course also rent the Airbnb of your choice and then go on-site talk to the landlord personallywhether he or she gives you one discounted price for several months can offer. If you register with Airbnb via our link, you will receive a discount of 34 euros on your first booking.

At Long term rentals the rent is often requested a year (or even several years) in advance, but we would not recommend this. The whole real estate market in Bali is unfortunately very confusing and unfortunately it is too many rip-offs on road.

You should also avoid renting a house or room directly from other expats if they do not have a work permit. It always should a locals act as a landlord. Renting out accommodation without a work visa is illegal and can be stopped by the police at any time. Very rarely do western landlords have a license (Pondok Wisata) for their homes (unless they have an Indonesian partner). Expats illegally renting out chic rooms and entire villas on a large scale are now driving prices skyrocketing in southern Bali. And it doesn't do much good for the local economy either. We shouldn't necessarily support that, should we?


We are huge fans of mosquito nets as they keep mosquitos and other insects away while sleeping. You should make sure that the mesh size of your net has a MESH (holes / inch2) of at least 156 in order to enable optimal air circulation in humid climates and optimal protection against mosquitoes in the tropics. The larger the MESH number, the smaller the mesh and the poorer the air circulation. You only need a particularly high MESH in countries where particularly small mosquito species such as black flies occur (e.g. in Scotland and Scandinavia). In Bali the mosquitoes are bigger, but all the more dangerous because they can transmit dengue fever, among other things.

Private villa hidden in a rice field in Bali - Photo: Daniel Cox

2 | Long-term rentals in guest houses

We recommend spending the first few months in a simple room in one Homestay or Guest house to live.

On the one hand, you can then see whether you really like your desired location. And on the other hand, you can then take a look at apartments and houses until you have found your dream accommodation.

Simply ask for a discounted long-term rental in a homestay of your choice.

Long-term rental in a guest house or homestay is a great option for yours first one to two months in Baliuntil you find your own little home.

Because in the long run it can be exhausting if you live in a guest house where short-term guests are constantly arriving and departing. But for the first few months it is ideal as a contact point for your apartment search on the island.

A long-term rental in a homestay or guest house is a great option for your first few months in Bali

3 | Kos Kosan: The local version

Do you have a relatively small budget for your accommodation and want to live like a local? Then you can look out for so-called "Kos Kosan". these are furnished rooms in local residential complexes that are rented out monthly.

We lived in Sanur for four months and were very satisfied with our Kos Kosan. We paid there 110 euros per month. We included one air conditioning, hot water, a mango tree in front of the door, ten minutes by scooter to the sea and a night market around the corner.

There are also cheaper Kos-Kosan variants. Of course, there are no upper limits.

The main advantage of a Kos Kosan is the low monthly rent. You come into contact less with tourists than with people who already have live longer in Bali and of course also with locals. So you get a more authentic impression right at the beginning and learn a lot more from the country and its people.

Since the rents are so cheap, you can also travel for several weeks without feeling guilty. However, one should not overuse this, as one unnecessarily “takes away” otherwise affordable housing from Indonesians.


With little tricks you can make your life in Bali sustainable. Tips for sustainable laundry, possible Water filter or environmentally friendly cleaning agents can be found in the following article: 13 simple tips for sustainable accommodation in Bali.

Above the roofs of Padangbai - Photo: Sebastian Würfel

How is the health system in Bali?

Bali has a few very good hospitals. The BIMC Hospital Bali and the Siloam Hospital Denpasar are particularly recommended. There are also a large number of smaller practices in Ubud and Canggu.

For people who prefer to alternative healing methods resort, Bali is a paradise. There are many practices that specialize in Ayurvedic medicine and the like.

But which diseases should you familiarize yourself with before emigrating to Bali?

One is particularly frequented on the island by the infamous Bali Belly. Otherwise, dengue fever, which is transmitted by tropical tiger mosquitoes, should not be underestimated, which is why you should attach great importance to mosquito protection.

You should also be in front of the intense sun protect in Bali, always a helmet wear it when driving a scooter, and just be on the island with your wits and senses.

A must in any case when emigrating to Bali is a foreign health insurance. Because the statutory Indonesian health insurance BPJS unfortunately cannot keep up with the standard of international and German health insurances. Even those who are insured with the BPJS through an Indonesian employer should think about additional private insurance cover.

There are now a large number of them Long-term health insurancewho specialize in expats who have deregistered their place of residence in Germany. A good point of contact when emigrating to Bali is, for example, the BDAE. With the BDAE Expat Infinity tariff, your stay in Bali is also insured for visits to your home in Germany for up to 6 months. The monthly contributions (Basic, Classic, Premium) depend on various factors, such as the country of residence, deductible, previous illnesses and age. Please note, however, that the basic protection of the Expat Infinity does not cover enough for an emigration to Bali. Outpatient treatment and dental treatment, for example, are not included in this tariff. The BDAE's Expat Private Premium is also an option for emigrating to Bali.

Correct international health insurance is usually a bit more expensive, but it also offers lifelong and worldwide protection and is more like "full health insurance". The Global Health Foyer is suitable for everyone who wants to live partially or permanently in Bali. It covers all existential risks such as hospital stays, specialist consultations and patient repatriations and can be tailored to your needs with modal modules.

If you are not yet sure how long you will really live in Bali, you can also get one from your German health insurance company if possible Entitlement inquire. An expectancy insurance guarantees you a revival of your previous insurance contract at the original conditions. In addition, the long-term care insurance remains in place, which is not always the case for longer stays abroad without entitlement.

Ayurveda Detox Retreat in Bali

Do you have to learn Indonesian if you want to live in Bali?

Basically you need no Indonesian or Balinese to “survive” in Bali. Because many Balinese now speak a useful English and then prefer to speak in English in order to deepen their language skills.

However, the further you drive inland and away from the tourist regions, the worse the locals' English becomes.

Life in Bali can perhaps be compared to everyday life in Berlin in Germany. In Berlin, too, nobody HAS to speak the national language in order to live comfortably for several years.

However, if you have a sustainable and authentic life want to build on the island, Respect for the locals want to prove, and want to be seen more as a long-term guest, you can't avoid it a little Indonesian and a few chunks Balinese to learn.

The official language in Bali is Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). However, the Balinese speak to one another Balinese. This very own local language is not really similar to Indonesian and even has its own characters. For Bahasa Indonesia, on the other hand, the Latin alphabet is used and the language is much, much easier for us Germans, Austrians and Swiss to learn.

We can really only recommend that you study Indonesian for a few weeks before you emigrate to Bali. Language skills give you insane plus points in Indonesia and they will open more hearts and doors for you than you think.


Before you emigrate to Bali, we recommend investing a few weeks in learning the Indonesian language. This is particularly suitable private Indonesian lessons via Skype. For example, there isPreply a wide range of tutors offering Indonesian tutoring at affordable prices. You can choose your Indonesian teacher yourself based on assessments, foreign language skills and lessons that have already been completed. You may need to try a few tutors before you find your favorite teacher. With fixed dates, the probability is simply much higher that you actually take the time to study. You can learn your basic Indonesian skills on site in Bali private lessons on site deepen (e.g. at Kubu Bahasa).

Your tutors from Kubu Bahasa in Bali - Photo: Home Sweet Home

The Insider's Guide to Bali: 122 Things to Do in Bali

You can get even more tips for Bali in our Bali travel guide 122 Things to Do in Bali. On 372 pages in the 2nd edition we provide you with countless insider tips for the island of the gods, so that you can experience the most beautiful, authentic and adventurous corners of Bali up close - including recommendations for sustainable travel! HAPPY TRAVEL! 

What is the best way to get around?

Buying one is recommended in Bali Rollers using a Long term rental (about 700,000 rupiah per month). With the two-wheeled vehicle you are simply incredibly flexible, mobile and independent.

Every now and then there is Police checks. So always have yours international driving license with it. Ride slowly and carefully and always wear one helmet, as accidents are not uncommon in Bali.

Fuel is very cheap in Bali. The best prices are available from Pertamina gas stations. Otherwise you can also buy gasoline in glass bottles in the countless small "tokos" (local supermarkets).

Foreigners without a KITAS visa can unfortunately don't buy a vehicle - or ultimately it fails when the vehicle is registered. To buy and register you need a local who ultimately owns the scooter. To do this, you should know someone you trust 100%.

If you don't feel like taking a scooter around Bali, you can Taxi services how Over or GO-JEK use. However, this can be relatively expensive in the long run.


A own helmet is very important when you are on your scooter in Bali. The helmets that you get at many rental shops are very worn and often do not fit perfectly on your head, which can be very dangerous if you fall. If you want to live in Bali for a longer period of time, then it is worth it Purchase of your own helmet. There are many specialized helmet shops in Bali. Just search for “helm bali” on Google Maps and you will see a number of shops in your area. In Indonesia every helmet needs a so-called one SNI seal. This is similar to the ECE quality mark here in Germany. You should therefore always buy a helmet that meets the requirements of the country in which you are using it.

Reading tip: Rent a scooter in Indonesia: Tips for driving a scooter in Bali and other islands

A scooter is by far the best way to get around Bali

Which visa is suitable for a longer stay in Bali?

Before emigrating to Bali, you should come from Germany (or any other country outside of Indonesia) to get a so-called Visit Visa To take care of.

With the Visit Visa you can60 days without extension andup to 6 months by monthly renewals stay in Indonesia.

You can find out in detail what you need to apply for and renewal here.

Working is not allowed with this visa. Working as a digital nomad is currently still a gray area.

Alternatively, you can also use the new electronic B211A Single entry Business Visa for Humanitarian activities, Volunteering, Family reunion, Business or Investment visit einreisen.

After 6 months in Bali you have to leave the country. A further extension of the Visit Visa or E-Visa is then no longer possible. Then you have to look around a new visit visa in an Indonesian embassy outside of Indonesia (e.g. in Singapore or Kuching) or another e-Visa apply for.

The uncomplicated (and absolutely affordable) way of extending a visa is via a Visa agency (e.g. Visa4Bali or MPG Visa Agency).

A work visa or KITAP visa is very expensive and time-consuming to apply for. It's only worth it if you want to work permanently in Indonesia.


If you don't have the time (or inclination) to get your visa yourself, take a look at Visabox.de. For a service fee, the employees of visabox a smooth procurement of your Indonesia visa.

What about internet, WiFi and coworking spaces in Bali?

The mobile internet is super fast in Bali. Much faster than in Germany. During my time in Bali, I rarely had an e-network on my cell phone.

The best thing to do is to get a prepaid SIM card from right at the beginning XL, Telkomsel or Simpati and book you in Internet package on mobile phone. This is absolutely affordable (e.g. 52 GB for 180,000 rupiah at Telkomsel) and makes life on the island a lot easier for you (e.g. to use Google Maps on the go).

Most homestays, guest houses and villas naturally also have good ones WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS. This is now standard in Bali.

And if you do then again really really really fast internet If you need, there are countless coworking spaces on the island where you can book in for a day (or monthly).

WIFI on the beach? No problem! - Photo: Bernard Hermant

What is the cost of living in Bali?

The best ways to get money in Bali are Credit cards and ATMs (ATMs). We never actually change money on site.

If you want to live in Bali you should different credit cards have with you and store them in different places. Because nothing is more annoying than being stuck in Bali without a credit card.

Tampered ATMs are no longer uncommon on the island and many credit cards are automatically blocked after fraud. Then you should be able to use other credit cards.

We are actually often with them four different credit cards equipped with the DKB credit card (as the main card), the comdirect credit card (because we have our ETF savings plans at the bank), the Santander Bank (as a back-up) and the Revolut prepaid credit card (as an additional back-up).

You can find even more tips on withdrawing money in Bali, credit cards for Indonesia and tips on manipulated ATMs here.

The following table gives you an overview of the Living expenses in Bali.

positionCosts (in euros)
Monthly rentapprox. 123 euros - 620 / month
Yoga classfrom 6 euros to 9 euros / hour
Divingapprox. 50 to 90 euros / 2 dives
Surfboard rental / hour3 to 9 euros
Surf Lesson / 2 hours17 euros to 33 euros
Small beer (supermarket)approx. 1 euro / Bintang
Small beer (Beach)approx. 1.50 euros / Bintang
Local mealapprox. 1.50 euros
Western mealabout 4 euros
Local coffee (Kopi Bali)less than 1 euro
Western coffee (e.g. cappuccino)about 1 euro
coconutabout 1 euro
Scooter rental dailyabout 4 euros
Monthly scooter rentalapprox. 50 euros
Car rentalapprox. 17 euros / day
Taxi (long drive)approx. 20 euros / longer route
Taxi (short drive)approx. 3 euros / shorter route
petrolapprox. 50 cents / 1 liter
Pack of cigarettesabout 1 euro
massageapprox. 6 euros to 15 euros / hour
Laundryapprox. 1 euro / kilo
Local SIM cardapprox. 2 euros / SIM card
Internet flat rate for mobile phonesapprox. 12 euros / 52 GB
Waterfall entriesapprox. 60 cents
Temple admissionsapprox. 1 to 2 euros
Coworking space day passapprox. 14 euros
Indonesian tutoring / hourapprox. 12 euros / hour

You can get by on very little money in Bali, but you can also spend a ton of money - Joyce Romero

Can I work in Bali?

In Bali it is rather unusual for a foreigner to get a job easily. Most of the expats are Online entrepreneur, live of Savings or have one stationaryBusiness with the Indonesian partner. The former is currently still a gray area when the money is made with foreign customers.

Jobs that are often held by "bule" (western foreigners) are Diving instructor or Yoga teacher. The problem is that a work visa is very expensive, so it is not worthwhile for most companies to hire a foreigner.

Actually a good thing, because you don't want to snatch the jobs away from the locals.

Here are a few interviews with expats who have made a living in Bali:

Some companies put “bule” in black to save costs. However, this can lead to high fines for both the employee and the employer. Foreigners who work illegally may have to pay up to 10,000 euros fine numbers. It can also take up to 7 years entry ban give. Therefore we advise against it.

One of the most famous jobs in Bali: diving instructor and yoga teacher - Photo: Celline (@ ikan.jerman)

How can I adopt a dog in Bali?

There are many in Bali Street dogswho are urgently looking for a new home. You can find offers, for example, in Facebook groups such as Bali Adopt and Rehome Pets.

However, you should keep in mind that it is not so easy to go for a walk with dogs in Bali. Because the street dogs defend their territories tough. The easiest way to walk is on the many beaches.

If you want to take your new protégé with you to Germany later, when your time in Bali is up, you will find helpful tips in the following article: How can you bring a dog from Bali to Germany?

Petr has lived in Bali for many years and now also lives with the adopted dog Bowie.

Is Life Safe in Bali?

Basically, life in Bali is relatively safe. However, like everywhere else, there are a few things to consider before emigrating.

A look at the travel and safety information from the Foreign Office is certainly a viable way to prepare for the eventualities that await you in Bali.

earthquake and volcanic eruptions des Gunung Agung are unfortunately not uncommon in Bali. Again and again there are smaller and sometimes larger tremors.

We recommend that you read this article carefully before emigrating to Bali: Earthquake Indonesia: Fast facts about tsunamis, earthquakes and seaquakes.

Before entering the country, you should check that you have all the recommended vaccinations for Bali. Next to the Basic vaccination protection should you have one Typhoid vaccination and a vaccine protection against Hepatitis A & B to have.

A few Dogs, bats and monkeys are in Bali with the Rabies virus infected. What to do after a monkey or dog bite, Dr. Interview with Thomas Ly Vaccinations for Indonesia.

You should also make sufficient preparations for everything to do with mosquito repellent. Because in Bali, tropical mosquitoes can transmit pretty nasty diseases.

In the Balinese tourist hotspots (Seminyak, Canggu or Kuta) the Theft rate higher than elsewhere. Nevertheless, we would not (!) Call Bali a dangerous place. You should just be careful when walking alone in the side streets of the hotspots as a woman at night. Inconspicuous clothing in the evening and no conspicuous handbags can help. But we're also pretty sure that there is more crime in Berlin than in Bali.

Indonesia is also considered to be one of the strictest countries in terms of things Drug use and trafficking. That is why we would generally advise against consuming drugs (with the exception of commercial alcohol) in Bali.


Anyone who lives in Bali is never immune from the fact that not one medical or criminal emergency entry. Make a note of the most important contact details for your stay in Bali.

police: 110 or 112 (SMS 1717)
ambulance: 118 or 119
fire Department: 113
Tourist Police (Bali): +62 361 754 599 / +62 361 224 111
German Embassy in Jakarta: +62 21 398 550 00
Honorary Consulate in Sanur: +62361288535 (also takes care of Austrians)

Respect and consideration

And finally, we have an important request to everyone who wants to live in Bali.

Take a look at the calm, consideration and respect of the Balinese and Indonesians.

Are not outrageous, are not arrogant and do not think that you are better.

Yes, actually it is unnecessary to mention this point, but in conversations with locals we are often told how arrogant many foreigners behave in Bali.

Respect the local culture, do not be abusive or reprimand anyone in public.

We like to remind ourselves that things are different all over the world, every person, every culture, every country has its own reality and truth.

We ourselves practice every day to respect the country and its people, not always to condemn everything across the board and to remain open.

Respect, respect, respect!

There are a few tips for rules of conduct in Indonesia here: Do’s and Dont’s: Tips for behavior for your trip to Indonesia.

Did we forget something? Let us know which points we can add on the subject of "emigrating Bali" and "living in Bali". Bring it on in the comments!

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