Is Bali Cheap for Backpackers?

Is Bali Expensive for Backpackers? Is Bali Cheap for Backpackers?

If you're like me, always seeking the next adventure without breaking the bank, you might have heard mixed reviews about Bali's affordability for Travel Backpackers. First off, let's address the elephant in the room: Is Bali expensive for backpackers? No, Bali is not expensive for Travel Backpackers. There are plenty of ways to explore this tropical paradise without emptying your pockets.

Is Bali Expensive for Backpackers? Let's Break Down The Costs?

A Travel Backpacker's Budget is always the following:
Accommodation + Food + Transportation + Activities


One of the biggest expenses while travel backpacking is accommodation, but don't stress because Bali offers many budget-friendly options. Hostels are scattered across the island, especially in popular backpacker hubs like Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud. Prices for hostels can vary depending on the location and facilities, but you can find dorm beds for as low as $5 per night. Some hostels even offer free breakfast, making them a steal for Budget Backpackers.

If you are a Digital Nomad and staying for a longer period of time, consider renting a guesthouse or homestay. These family-run accommodations not only offer a cozy atmosphere but also provide a glimpse into the local way of life. Prices for guesthouses in Bali typically start around $20 per night for a double room, with shared or private bathrooms. WIFI at guesthouses could be hit or miss, I would suggest bringing a WIFI hotspot and getting a sim card.

Hostels: $5-$20 / night
Budget Hotels & Guesthouses: $20-$50 / night
Mid-Range Hotels & Resorts: $50-$150 / night
Luxury Resorts & Villas: Over $150 / night


Now let's talk about everyone's favorite topic: food! One of the best things about Bali is its vibrant culinary scene, which caters to all tastes and budgets. While fancy beachfront restaurants may charge a premium, you can easily find delicious and affordable meals at local "warungs" (small eateries) and street food stalls.

A plate of nasi goreng (fried rice) or mie goreng (fried noodles) from a street vendor will set you back around $1 to $2, while a hearty meal at a warung might cost between $2 to $5. For those craving western cuisine, Bali is home to numerous cafes and restaurants offering everything from burgers to sushi at reasonable prices. I even saw a Swiss restaurant full of sausages, pretzels, and potatoes in the middle of Bali!


Getting around Bali is relatively easy and affordable, thanks to the island's well-established transportation network. For short distances, you can hop on a bemo (minibus) or a motorbike taxi known as Go-Jek or Grab. These rideshare apps are incredibly convenient and cost-effective, with fares starting from as low as $1 for a short trip. 

If you're feeling adventurous, why not rent a scooter and explore Bali at your own pace? Scooter rentals are widely available and can cost anywhere from $5 to $10 per day, depending on the type of bike and rental duration. Just remember to wear a helmet and drive safely, as Bali's traffic can be chaotic, especially in touristy areas. Also, get yourself a Cross Body Pouch or Cross Chest Bag for when you're on the scooters. This is also true if you are going to visit any of the island's monkeys.


No trip to Bali is complete without indulging in the island's activities and attractions. From surfing in Kuta to hiking Mount Batur at sunrise, there's something for everyone on this enchanting island. The good news is that many of these activities are budget-friendly, allowing you to experience Bali's natural beauty without breaking the bank.

For beach lovers, spending a day lounging on the shores of Padang Padang or Uluwatu won't cost you a dime. Make sure to bring a travel towel and a waterproof sunglass case. If you're into culture and history, explore Ubud's ancient temples and traditional villages, where you can immerse yourself in Bali's rich heritage free of charge. Additionally, don't miss out on Bali's vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs offering drink specials and live music.

Is Bali Cheap for Backpackers?

So, is Bali cheap for backpackers? The answer is a resounding yes! As long as you're willing to embrace the island's laid-back vibe and explore its hidden gems. By opting for budget-friendly accommodation, sampling local cuisine, using affordable transportation, and seeking out free or low-cost activities, you can experience the magic of Bali without burning a hole in your wallet. I wouldn't say anything is truly a rip off but it does depend where you put value. To spend $30 to hop on an insta-famous swing for a photo is not worth it for me, but maybe somebody else would find the value there. 




I’m Mark, the Founder of Generation Nomad, Avid Travel Backpacker & Digital Nomad. I am passionate about helping others discover the world through my experiences. I solo backpacked for months at a time, lived abroad, and even speak two foreign languages. Besides collaborating on the best lightweight travel accessories for Travel Backpackers, I also love sharing my travel photography.
Favorite Trips: Spain, Egypt & Vietnam 
Favorite Cuisines: Italian, Peruvian & Japanese
Quote: “Be a circle and just roll with it” 
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