Is Ubud In Bali expensive in 2023?
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I’m going to cut straight to the chase. Is Ubud expensive? My answer to this question is no. Before I started living and working in Ubud, I had read that it was a backpackers-friendly town and had a high cost of living. But after spending time in Ubud, it was affordable for me.
Ubud is relatively cheap compared to Canggu or Uluwatu.
Canggu is a beach town and is more expensive than Ubud. Ubud is in the jungle, so it’s not near the beach and there aren’t any options for surfing. Since Ubud is much farther from the ocean, it’s also less humid, which can be nice since it gets super hot there during the day. We don’t do a ton of yoga in Ubud, but from what I understand Canggu has become a hub for yogis in recent years.
Ubud is super affordable!
You can live in Ubud for very little money. There are plenty of places to eat on the cheap and even more that serve great food at reasonable prices. Accommodation is easy to find at all price points, from $2 rooms to high end luxury villas. The markets are great for picking up fruit, veggies, meats and eggs at a fraction of what you’d pay back in Australia or Europe (or anywhere else). Transport is cheap. Activities like visiting temples and watching traditional dance performances cost next to nothing.
Here’s a breakdown of the cost of living in Ubud, Bali
Cost of Living Breakdown;
- Accommodation Costs = $450-$1,400/month
- Food Cost Per Month and Utilities Cost Per Month (Including Electricity, Heating, Cooling and Water) = $172.73/month
- Internet = $28.75/month
These costs include rent for a range of options including Ubud hotels, guesthouses and apartments; food cost per month is the price of buying some fruit and vegetables daily as well as basic meals at local spots; utilities cost per month includes electricity, cooling (if required) and water; internet is the cost for normal unlimited usage. There are also additional costs to consider including transportation to and from Ubud such as flights; once in Ubud there are several ways to get around including renting a motorbike or car or riding the bemos (local minivans).
$700/month budget would be considered low.
So with all of the above in mind, what’s the minimum you need to live in Bali? According to most sources, $700/month would be a low budget. So if you’re in Ubud and living off $700/month, chances are you wouldn’t be able to dine at fancy restaurants every night or drink your way through the island, but you can definitely live a comfortable life within your means.
Anything less than that is also possible, but you’ll have to start cutting corners. Don’t expect to always be able to eat out or buy copious amounts of alcohol while on this budget – it just won’t happen. If this sounds like it might be too restrictive for you and $700/month isn’t enough money either, then maybe Bali isn’t right for you right now.
If you want to live somewhere where there are more opportunities for work (and something else besides tourism) then I recommend going elsewhere instead of Ubud unless that is something that interests you as well. It would help if its nearby so that it’s still convenient for traveling seekers like yourself!
You can live in Bali on $700/month if you stay away from the touristy areas for food and lodging
If you are planning on moving to Ubud to live like a local, then your daily costs will be more modest than the average tourist (check out the Ubud tours for 2022). If you stay away from the touristy areas then it will be much cheaper. A meal at Warung Kecik, which is right in the centre of town, only costs 50k IDR (which is under $5).
Warung Kecik has lots of local customers and so does not serve western food. If you want western food then head to places like Bali Buddha or Bubur Ayam for breakfast (both are located two or three kilometres outside of Ubud) or to Three Monkeys Coffee House just off Jalan Monkey Forest for lunch (a meal will cost around 150k IDR or $14).
Stepping out of Ubud is also an option; drive 20 minutes north from Ubud and you will find villages where locals eat for less than 30k IDR ($3). You can even buy fresh fish that was caught that day for around 100k IDR ($9) and cook it yourself at home!