What are the best places to stay in Bali? It’s a question digital nomads ask (or get asked) a lot since Bali has become the digital nomad hotspot in the world.
Island of the Gods. Lush and green, surrounded by oceans, covered in jungles. Temples, rice terraces, black sand beaches, waterfalls, and volcanoes. A Hindu enclave in an otherwise mostly Muslim Indonesia. The scent of incense mixing with the wet and heavy aroma of the tropics.
No wonder people love it here.
In the 1970s, it was the hippies and surfers, who discovered a paradise for themselves. These days, while the surfers remain and the tourists flood in every day, another group of people has discovered Bali: digital nomads.
We remote freelancers, entrepreneurs and employees flock here to such an extent that Bali is now the No. 1 location on Nomad List – not just in Asia, but the whole world. But why does it beat out other digital nomad hotspots like Chiang Mai in Thailand or Medellín in Colombia? And where in Bali are the best places for digital nomads to settle for a month or two – or more?
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Why Bali Has Become the Digital Nomad Mecca of the World
There are many reasons why coliving in Bali is so popular among remote workers.
The first word that comes to mind when describing Bali is “green.” From jungles to rice fields, Bali shines in every shade of green, the most restful color for the human eye. Even if you’re on the island to work, all this green is like a vacation for your senses and mind.
And of course, green goes well with the almost perpetual sunshine, ornate temples, colorful Balinese decorations and deep blue oceans.
It’s Always Warm
No matter what time of year you go to Bali, the warmest clothes you’ll ever need in coastal areas is a light sweater during the “cold” months between May and October. This is the dry season in Bali, and temperatures at night can drop down to 21°C.
While average temperature highs range from 26 – 30°C during the entire year, the dry season is the most comfortable time of year to visit Bali because the humidity is at its lowest. During the rainy season from November to March, even the coastal areas swelter beneath a muggy blanket.
But if you need to cool off, you can always head into the mountainous inland areas. Here, temperatures can drop to 10°C at night – and if you’re remote enough and it’s a cloudless night, the Milky Way is spectacular.
All in all, though, you don’t need to worry about being cold in Bali.
From accommodation, over yoga classes and massage sessions, all the way to the amazing food, Bali is comparatively cheap.
If you’re on a really low budget, you can find a homestay with a private room and bathroom on booking.com for as little as 250-300 USD (3,580,000 – 4,300,000 Indonesian Rupiah IDR) in Canggu, where most digital nomads end up. It won’t be anything fancy, and the shower may not have hot water for that price, but you can live very cheaply here. Hostels are even cheaper, and often not just filled with backpackers.
The longer you stay, the lower the prices get. Stay for three months and you’ll be paying around 18 USD (250,000IDR) for a nice room with warm shower in a guest house with a swimming pool in central Canggu.
Of course, Bali also offers beautiful four to five star hotels, luxury resorts and beachfront private villas. And you still won’t get close to Western prices.
Food and Drinks
Warungs are local Indonesian restaurants where you can get a good meal and a beverage for as little as 4-6 USD (60,000 – 90,000 IDR). Cafes and restaurants aimed at tourists are a bit more pricey, but also won’t break the bank at around 10 USD (150,000 IDR).
Bintang, the local beer, is cheap at 1.50 – 3 USD (20,000 – 40,000 IDR) a bottle, depending on the venue. Alcoholic beverages like wine and spirits are comparatively expensive, but frequent two-for-one happy hours and such will cut the 9 USD cocktail down to half.
A top-notch 1-hour massage won’t cost you more – and usually, quite a bit less – than 20 USD (300,000 IDR). Yoga lessons max out at 8.50 USD (120,000 IDR) per lesson. The same goes for a good manicure or pedicure.
All in all, you can get by comfortably on about 1,300 USD (1,900,000 IDR) per month in Canggu. Of course, the sky’s the limit.
There’s no end of excitement and adventure to be had in Bali. You can
- hike up a volcano,
- take a day trip to a remote lake,
- go jungle trekking,
- bathe in waterfalls,
- stroll through rice fields,
- dance the night away at beach clubs,
- visit ocean-side temples like Tanah Lot,
- enjoy water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing,
- walk through tropical gardens and pet monkeys at the Monkey Forest,
- experience Balinese culture up close,
- do yoga in open-air shalas,
- go white-water rafting down the Ayung river,
- take a speed boat to neighboring islands like Lombok, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, or the white sand beaches of the Gilis,
- bask in dazzling sunsets on beautiful beaches,
- marvel at rice fields from infinity pools, and
- delight in sea views from rooftop bars.
Even if you stay for a long time, Bali never gets boring. There are always new places to explore, new adventures to be had.
Speaking of which…
It’s Easy to Stay Long-Term
Tourist visas run for 30 days for people from most countries, but it’s possible to get a 60-day Visa on Arrival (VoA) at the airport immigration. There are also social visas, which can be extended up to four times every 30 days after the first 60, and student- or family Limited Stay Permit Cards (KITAS) for 12 months stays – but you’ll need a local sponsor for those. If you’re planning to stay for that long, though, these extensions and permits are worth checking into. Hire an agency like Visa4Bali to support you with them.
The alternative is to make so-called “visa runs” to other countries. Same-day return flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, can be as cheap as 80 USD. You can come back into Bali on the same day you left, thereby renewing your 30- or 60-day visa, no problem. There’s no limit to how many times you can leave and come back.
It Has a Thriving Digital Nomad Community
Don’t worry if you’re coming to Bali for the first time or by yourself. Especially in Canggu and Ubud, the digital nomad community is thriving and easy to become a part of. Just sign up at a coworking space, visit the workshops and take part in activities. You’ll meet like-minded people, potential business partners and new friends in no time.
All these reasons are what makes Bali The Best Place to start out as a digital nomad – and why so many get stuck here for longer than planned.
The Top Best Places to Stay in Bali as a Digital Nomad
We’ve already mentioned Canggu and Ubud, which are the most popular locations in Bali for remote workers. But they’re not the only ones. Let’s have a look at them all and see what makes them so popular – and which one may be right for you.
Let’s start with Nomad List’s No. 1 digital nomad location in the world: Canggu.
On the island’s west coast, about 60-minute drive from the airport in Denpasar, “The ‘Gu” was mostly rice fields and a stretch of beach just five years ago. Since then, it has been discovered by surfers, tourists and digital nomads alike, and most of the rice fields have been turned into accommodations, cafes, restaurants, bars, yoga studios, gyms and surf schools for the clamoring masses.
If you’re a digital nomad who likes to catch the waves or would like to learn, Canggu’s the spot for you. Bali’s south-west coast has a lot of wonderful surf spots, but many of them have become overcrowded. While it can get busy on the surf on really good days in Canggu, too, it’s not quite as crazy as other places.
Fitness And Mindfulness At Your Fingertips
No matter how you stay in shape, you’ll find your poison here. Canggu has a myriad of both gyms and yoga studios, where you can drop in just before class, buy multi-class passes or even monthly memberships.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Canggu is great for the night owls and party-goers. After a hard day’s work, you can dance the night away at one of the many bars and beach clubs.
Cafes And Coworking Spaces
Any cafe and most restaurants in Canggu offer free wifi with your meal, so you can bring your laptop and work as well as eat and enjoy a java. Fan favorites are
- Cafe Mocca,
- Peloton Supershop,
- Zin Cafe, or
- Betelnut Cafe.
But they’re just the beginning. You’ll find someone typing away on their laptop at almost every cafe at every hour of the day.
There are also a whole bunch of beautiful coworking spaces in Canggu, like
- Dojo Coworking,
- Tropical Nomad Coworking,
- Connco Work Hub,
- Outpost Canggu, or
- Matra Co-Living and Co-Working.
Most of them offer a free trial day and cost between 55 – 200 USD per month, depending on the package you get.
Located a 45-minute scooter ride from Canggu in central Bali and surrounded by rice terraces and jungle, Ubud sports a large community of artists, mindfulness enthusiasts and, you guessed it, digital nomads. While you can still go out and have fun partying in Ubud, it generally has a more laid-back vibe than Canggu, and if you’re a true yogi or spiritual searcher, this is the place for you.
The Jungle ‘Bud
Ubud is surrounded by tropical rain forest and everything that implies. If you love jungle trekking, waterfalls or rice terraces, Ubud is your best base to head out from. You can strike out on your own or book a tour with a myriad of providers, including a sunrise hike up a volcano.
Mindfulness And Yoga
Where Canggu caters best to surfers, Ubud is the town of yogis and meditation. If you’re looking to deepen your mindfulness practice while working remotely, definitely check out the many yoga studios and meditation centers in town.
Cafes And Coworking Spaces
Similarly to Canggu, you can go to almost any cafe to work from in Ubud, including popular ones like
- Kebun Bistro,
- Chill Out Bar and Restaurant,
- Cat Cafe,
- Watercress Ubud, and
- Clear Cafe.
Ubud also sports several beautiful coworking spaces:
Kuta lies just north of Bali’s southernmost tip on the Bukit Peninsula and is one of Bali’s first tourist development beach and resort areas. Kuta is probably the most famous part of Bali. And here’s why.
Of all the shopping places in Bali, Kuta’s nightlife is one of a kind. Here you can dance the night away until the wee hours of the morning every single night for several weeks without hitting the same spot twice.
Surfer Boys And Beach Bods
The Kuta beaches are covered in soft, golden sand and have some of the most beginner-friendly waves for surfers in Bali. The beautiful promenade flanking one of Bali’s best beaches, Kuta Beach, is host to a myriad of cafes, restaurants, and beach hotels, where surfers and tourists strut their stuff.
If Kuta Beach gets too crowded for you, simply walk to neighboring Legian Beach, where the sand is just as golden, but also a little cleaner.
Bali itself isn’t exactly known for amazing shopping experiences, but that doesn’t mean there’s none to be had – and Kuta offers the best. Whether you head to Surfer Girl for surfing gear, mall it up at Beachwalk, or go green at Upcycle, you can find anything and everything to shop here.
Cafes And Coworking Spaces
While Kuta isn’t as digital nomad centered as Canggu or Ubud, you’ll still find enough places to work from. Let’s start with some popular wifi-friendly cafes:
- Buro Concept Store & Coffee
- Brown & Butter Cafe at Berry Biz Hotel
- Tuck & Trap
And even here, there are enough coworking spaces for you to take your perfect pick:
Situated along the west coast of Bali, smack dab between Kuta and Canggu, Seminyak provides a nice alternative from brash Kuta.
The nightlife focuses a bit more on beach clubs where you can sip a beer with your feet in the sand, though there are still enough nightclubs to get your groove on. And the shopping and surf at Seminyak Beach are just as great as in Kuta.
Cafes And Coworking Spaces
As one of the more touristy places on the island, as well as being so close to Canggu, Seminyak is home to many beautiful cafes and restaurants that offer free wifi to their guests, for example:
- Whale & Co.
- The Coffee Library
- Sea Circus
- Shelter Cafe Bali
And there are also a couple of coworking spaces located in Seminyak:
Jimbaran is a fishing village and coastal resort south of Kuta. Another surfer’s paradise with golden beaches, Jimbaran Bay is best known for its seafood restaurants and the lively, open-air Kedonganan fish market with its colorful boats. But it’s not all about fish; boutique hotels and luxury resorts like the Four Seasons established themselves here, for guests to enjoy the comparative peace and quiet in luxurious surroundings.
Cafes And Coworking Spaces
Being much quieter than party city Kuta just to the north, Jimbaran doesn’t come with as many wifi-friendly cafes as the other locations mentioned so far. But even here, you won’t have to go hunting for a good work spot for too long. Try one or all of these places:
- Fat Chow Temple Hill
- The Espresso Room Bali
This far from digital nomad center Canggu, you may expect to find no coworking spaces at all, but you’d be wrong. It’s home to Colabo, a pretty coworking space with indoor and outdoor seating. You can drop in for just a few hours without having to sign up for a pricier package.
Uluwatu is the most popular area on the Bukit Peninsula, best known for Uluwatu Temple. This Hindu temple is situated on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean and is regarded as one of the six most important temples in Bali.
Uluwatu is home to Bali’s most scenic luxury villas, beach resorts and restaurants on towering cliffs that offer majestic sunsets over the water. You’ll find hidden beaches and amazing surf breaks. If you’re looking for a spot in Bali away from crowded party towns, Uluwatu is the place for you.
The closest coworking space is Colabo in Jimbaran, but why not try Suka Espresso Cafe for amazing coffee and good wifi.
Another local fisher spot is Nusa Dua and its beach, locally referred to as Pantai Mengiat. There’s an offshore reef break that allows for calm and comfortable swimming and snorkeling close to the beach, but offers a great playground for surfers beyond. You can also head out on fishing trips and glass-bottom boat rides.
With several five-star resorts and luxury hotels like the Grand Hyatt Bali stretching along the beachfront, Nusa Dua is more of a luxury vacation spot than a party location.
Hub Bali also has a site in Nusa Dua, and the fact that it’s currently booked out until September 2019 proves that digital nomads love this more relaxed and quiet spot.
Denpasar is Bali’s capital city, located in the southern part of the island. As the hub that connects the many tourist destinations in Bali, the island’s largest city has a reputation of being a crowded place with lots of traffic congestion and not much charm.
But that isn’t the only side of Denpasar. The city is made up of tightly knit villages and communities, and offers the most accessible way to see the real Balinese life. Shopping in Denpasar is also a joy for its variety and mostly local prices. Sanur Beach on the east coast offers sunrise views, and the famous Bali Arts Festival takes place in Denpasar every year.
Denpasar is a great location to get to know more of the “real, uncompromising” Bali, as the locals know and live it.
Tempatkita is a coworking space in Denpasar with a leisurely vibe. You’ll likely see more locals here than at most other coworking spaces in Bali. There are also local cafes that offer free wifi and from which you can work, although you probably won’t get as many people working on their laptops here:
- Kedai Kopy Kong-Ko
- Coffee Secret’s
- Veranda Cafe
Situated on the coast of east Bali, the town of Amed is your oasis for a relaxing time, lots of snorkeling, scuba diving, and sunbathing on black sand beaches edged by jungle. The locals are super friendly, you have scenic views of the closest volcano, amazing sunrise vistas and lots of local reggae bands playing at the beach bars.
Whether you want to hike up Mount Agung volcano for sunrise (when it’s not erupting) or take yoga lessons in beautiful studios – Amed runs the gamut from adventure to mindfulness in a laid-back way that a lot of remote workers dig.
Although the coworking scene here isn’t very large. As of now, there are no coworking spaces in Amed, but try The Cup Resto, which offers breezy views, amazing coffee and fast internet.
Have You Found Your Bali Hotspot?
There you have them – the best places to stay in Bali. Some of Wifi Tribe’s most popular chapters are held in Canggu several times a year. Check out our upcoming chapter locations here to find out when the next one is taking place.