The complete guide to being a digital nomad in Bali: Visas, coworking spaces, accommodations & more

Image: Midjourney
Image: Midjourney

So, you want to live out your digital nomad dreams of coming to Bali so you soak up the island’s sun, surf and good vibes in between work sessions hunched over your laptop.

Well, as longtime Bali residents, we wholeheartedly welcome those of you who want to enjoy everything that the Island of the Gods has to offer remote workers, as long as you are prepared to do it in a responsible and respectful manner. 

Towards that end, we have put together this comprehensive guide covering the nitty-gritty of remote working in Bali, from legal issues and visas to the best co-working spaces and places to live, so that you come to the island fully prepared to make the most of it. It has the most up-to-date information regarding visa and legal information and we will update it should there be any changes.

Before you pack your bags and board that flight, it’s essential to understand the legal side of working remotely in Bali. 

While Indonesian labor laws do allow digital nomads to work remotely for companies outside of Indonesia while under any of the visas listed below, you absolutely cannot work for local companies or offer commercial services locally (so no offering surf lessons or yoga classes as a side hustle, for example).

Many foreigners in Bali have gotten in trouble for working illegally recently for this very reason and you will most likely get deported if you are caught doing so.

As for taxes, make sure you’re compliant with both your home country’s regulations and don’t forget to double-check your employment contract to ensure you’re abiding by your employer’s remote work policies.

Visa matters: What are your options?

No one wants to be a visa outlaw, so let’s break down your options for working remotely in Indonesia:

  • Visa-on-arrival: Citizens of 84 eligible countries (here’s the official government list) can get a 30-day Visa on Arrival (VoA). Each VoA is eligible for a one-time 30-day extension. The cost of a VoA is IDR 500,000 (US$33).
    • Indonesia recently launched an online portal ( that you can use to apply for an e-VOA before arriving in Indonesia as well as extend your VOA online. You can also extend your VOA at a local immigration office.
  • Visa-free entry for ASEAN countries: If you are a citizen of an ASEAN country (Brunei, Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos) you are able to enter Indonesia visa-free for up to 30 days. However, this is not extendable.
  • Single-Entry Visitor Visa (B211a): Citizens from other countries and anybody wishing to stay in Bali for a longer period of time will want to get a B211a visa, which allows for a 60-day stay that is extendable twice for up to 180 days.
    • You’ll need an Indonesian citizen or organization to sponsor a B211a. A simple Google search will show numerous visa agents and companies that offer to sponsor these visas as a service. You will also need their help with meeting the visa’s other documentation requirements. Many are reliable but there are some shady operators out there so be sure to do your research before using any of them.
    • Each 60-day extension needs to be processed via the agent or facilitator that provided you with the necessary guarantor letter. You will also need to appear in person at the immigration office to take a photo and fingerprints for each extension.
    • Please note that you cannot apply for a B211a while in Indonesia after arriving on a VOA, you must apply for it and receive one before entering the country. You also cannot leave Indonesia while on a B211a. If you leave the country you will need to apply for another B211a.
  • Multiple Entry Business Visa (D212): This visa is good for one year and allows the holder to stay in Indonesia for 60 days at a time. You may leave Indonesia and return on the same visa within the year it is valid. 
    • To be clear, this visa does not give the holder permission to work in Indonesia. Rather, it is meant for people to conduct business activities related to a company based outside of Indonesia, such as holding meetings and purchasing goods, that requires them to travel to the country frequently. 
    • You will need the assistance of a visa agent or agency to meet its various requirements, including a guarantor letter, and the costs are higher than those associated with the B211a. 
Doesn’t Bali have a digital nomad visa?

Although Indonesian government officials had been hyping up the possibility of a digital nomad visa for quite some time, in the end they introduced the Second Home visa last year instead. 

Although the Second Home visa is good for a period of 5 or 10 years, its steep requirements make it an unrealistic option for most remote workers, the toughest being proof of funds in the form of an Indonesian bank account under your name or that of a sponsor with a value of at least IDR 2 billion. This visa also does not allow you to work legally for an Indonesian company or offer commercial services locally. 

Where to live: The most popular parts of Bali for digital nomads

Now that you’ve got your visa sorted, let’s find you a place to rest your weary head (or hang your hammock) after a long day of remote working. Here are the most popular digital nomad areas in Bali.

Image: Midjourney
  • Ubud
    • Pros: The cultural heart of Bali offers a peaceful setting for digital nomads seeking inspiration and serenity. Lush surroundings and tons of great options for those who are into wellness, yoga and art.
    • Cons: Can be difficult to find fast, strong internet connections so you will be more reliant on co-working spaces. Far from the beaches. Not much in the way of nightlife. Lots of “Eat, Pray, Love” wannabes and other “woo-woo” types.
  • Canggu
    • Pros: Known for its surf beaches and laid-back atmosphere, Canggu is a digital nomad’s playground, complete with plenty of expats and remote workers with a wealth of co-working spaces as well as diverse nightlife and F&B options
    • Cons: Some might say that the density of digital nomads in the ‘gu’ is already too high, major streets are often clogged with traffic, prices can be high
  • Seminyak 
    • Pros: If you’re looking for a bustling area with upscale restaurants and shops, Seminyak is the place to be. Plus, it’s just a short stroll from the beach. 
    • Cons: More of a touristy area so fewer long-term residents to meet, prices tend to be a bit higher as well
  • Sanur
    • Pros: For a more relaxed pace of life, consider Sanur. This quieter beach town is home to a mix of locals and expats, making it perfect for those seeking a more authentic experience.
    • Cons: A bit sleepy so fewer nightlife and restaurant options 
  • Uluwatu
    • Pros: If you’re a thrill-seeker,  Uluwatu is where you’ll find stunning cliffs and world-class surf breaks. Less touristy and has plenty of secluded spots to enjoy.
    • Cons: Things are more spread out in this part of the island so you’ll have fewer options within easy reach, the high-end places around here are gorgeous but can be quite pricey.

Accommodation options

  • Hostels and guesthouses: Budget-friendly and perfect for short-term stays or solo travelers.
  • Private villas and apartments: Ideal for those seeking privacy and comfort, from modest apartments to luxurious villas. Prices have increased quite a bit since the pandemic, but there are still some reasonably priced options out there.
  • Co-living spaces: Get the best of both worlds with accommodations that combine co-working facilities and living spaces. Options range from budget to luxury and most offer monthly rental rates. 

Consider your budget, proximity to co-working spaces, and access to amenities when choosing your Bali abode.

Co-working spaces: Your Bali office awaits

Now that you’ve figured out where to stay, it’s time to figure out where to work. Bali’s co-working spaces are as diverse as its landscapes, but here are a few top-rated favorites:

  • Dojo Bali: Located in Canggu, this coworking space offers a comfortable workspace with a cafe and an outdoor swimming pool. It has a reliable internet connection and a vibrant community of digital nomads. You can also choose from various coliving options nearby. 
  • Outpost Bali Coworking: With three locations in Canggu and Ubud, these coworking spaces provide a spacious and modern environment with ergonomic chairs, standing desks, meeting rooms and private offices. They also have cafes, a pool and a rooftop terrace. You can enjoy events, workshops and networking opportunities with other members.
  • Biliq Coworking Space: Situated in Seminyak, this coworking space features a cozy and stylish design with natural light and greenery. It has high-speed internet, Skype booths, lockers and printing facilities. It also has a rooftop lounge where you can relax and socialize. 
  • Tropical Nomad: Located in Canggu, this coworking space offers a tropical vibe with wooden furniture, plants and hammocks. It has fast internet, air conditioning, free coffee and tea, and a kitchenette. It also has a pool table, board games and books for entertainment. 
  • Kumpul Coworking Space: Located in Sanur, this coworking space offers a friendly and collaborative atmosphere with fast internet, comfortable desks and chairs, meeting rooms and event spaces. You can join various community events and programs to learn new skills and meet new people. 
  • Colabo Coworking1: Situated in Jimbaran, this coworking space features a minimalist and elegant design with natural light and ocean views. It has high-speed internet, air conditioning, free coffee and tea, lockers and printing facilities. It also has a lounge area where you can relax and network with other professionals. 
  • Livit Hub: Located in Sanur, this coworking space offers a cozy and creative environment with fast internet, ergonomic furniture, Skype booths, meeting rooms and private offices. It also has a kitchenette where you can prepare your own meals or order from nearby restaurants. You can also access various perks such as gym membership discounts, visa assistance and health insurance plans.

What if a coworking space isn’t really your vibe? You can also check out this list we’ve put together of laptop-friendly cafes where you can get your work done while enjoying fantastic food and views:

Laptop-friendly cafés in Bali where you can get the work done
A curated list of some of the best places in Bali for you to open your laptop, plug in, and get the work done Read more.
Laptop-friendly cafés in Bali where you can get the work done
A curated list of some of the best places in Bali for you to open your laptop, plug in, and get the work done Read more.

Practical tips for living the Bali dream

You’re all set with your work, accommodations, and visa. Now, let’s get down to the practical stuff:

  • Transportation
    • Rent a scooter: Renting a scooter in Bali is relatively cheap and easy (though don’t forget your international driving permit). You’ll certainly see plenty of people on the road not using helmets but never forget to wear yours. Police have been cracking down on the bare-headed but, more importantly, Bali’s roads can be dangerous and wearing a helmet is your best protection against traumatic brain injury. 
    • Use ride-hailing apps like Grab and Gojek: Convenient and easy to use, these apps allow you to hail both cars and motorcycle taxis (if you feel adventurous) as well as order delivery. There are certain parts of the island they won’t serve, however, due to pressure from local taxi companies.
    • Taxis: Some Balinese taxi drivers will refuse to use the meter (or say it’s “broken”) and try to set a price for the trip at a markup. If you can find them, BlueBird taxis are by far the most reliable and their drivers will always use the meter.
  • Staying connected: Grab a local SIM card for affordable data plans and reliable mobile coverage. XL and Telkomsel are two good service providers. It’s also worth investing in a VPN service to use while connecting to public Wi-Fi networks and to bypass Indonesia’s internet censors.
  • Health and safety: While Bali has many fine medical facilities, you should still get adequate traveler’s health insurance that can cover you in case you have a medical emergency that might require overseas treatment. Consult your doctor for recommended vaccinations, and familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and reputable hospitals in Bali.
  • Learn the language: Many Indonesians living in Bali speak excellent English, but putting in the effort to learn a bit of Bahasa Indonesia will make it easier for you to befriend Indonesians, get around, and order food at the kinds of restaurants locals frequent (which are often amazingly cheap and delicious). 
  • Respect local culture and law: We’ve written far too many stories about foreigners in Bali getting into trouble for disrespecting local culture (for example, by dancing around naked on sacred mountains) and flaunting local laws (like making money here illegally without a proper work permit). Just because you’re a nomad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a gracious and respectful guest.    
  • Stay informed: Yes, we’re gonna plug ourselves here. But honestly, if you want to know the latest happenings on the island, Coconuts Bali really is your best source for finding out the local buzz. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

And there you have it – everything you need to know to be an ethical digital nomad in Bali. Now you’re ready to come work, play, and sip on coconuts in this tropical paradise. Happy travels and selamat datang!

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