Are you hoping to work remotely in a beautiful country filled with kind locals, amazing food, and outdoor adventure?
If so, you’re in the right place. In this digital nomad guide to Indonesia, we’re going to share everything you need to know, including why nomads love Indonesia, the best cities for working remotely, and other helpful tips.
Read more: The Best Asia Visas for Remote Workers (and how to apply)
Why Digital Nomads Love Indonesia
One perk of being a digital nomad is being able to explore new places and experience all their benefits. There are many reasons digital nomads love visiting and working remotely in Indonesia. Here are the tops ones:
- Affordable cost of living: Like many digital nomad destinations in Southeast Asia, the cost of living in Indonesia is relatively low. Accommodations, food, and activities are much cheaper than in many other comparative places, so it’s ideal for digital nomads on a budget.
- Kind locals: The locals in Indonesia, especially in the cities listed below, are incredibly kind. They’re very welcoming of visitors, making it easy to get to know new people and learn about the community.
- Countless cafes: With Indonesia attracting so many nomads, especially in the province of Bali, there are so many cafes to work at. There are also some coworking spaces, which offer opportunities for networking and attending events with other remote workers.
- Many English speakers: In the Indonesian cities that attract digital nomads and other travellers, there are many local English speakers. While learning important phrases in the local language is always helpful, locals speaking English makes it easy to communicate.
- Nature lover’s paradise: Many people visit Indonesia because of its incredible landscapes. From white sand beaches and cascading waterfalls to massive mountain peaks and lush rice paddies, there are endless outdoor beauties to explore.
Read more: 16 Cheapest Places for Digital Nomads & Remote Workers
Best Cities for Digital Nomads in Indonesia
Below, you’ll find six of the best cities in Indonesia for digital nomads. These places welcome and offer many opportunities for remote workers.
The first three cities are in the popular province of Bali, where you can join many other digital nomads. We’ll also share other cities outside of Bali that are lesser-known while still popular for remote workers.
Canggu, Bali is the go-to destination for digital nomads looking for a laid-back yet fun lifestyle. Not only is Canggu gorgeous, but it also offers some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Between working at cafes and coworking spaces, you can spend your time hanging out on the beach, learning how to surf, and eating delicious food. And if you’re a yogi, you’re in luck because Canggu has countless yoga studies. On the weekends, it’s easy to take day trips for hiking to volcanoes, exploring other cities, and checking out new beaches.
Coworking Spaces & Cafes in Canggu:
- Dojo Bali Coworking: a stylish coworking and coliving space that offers various working spaces, events, and networking opportunities.
- Crate Cafe: a popular cafe with a trendy vibe.
Read More: The Best Travel and Health Insurance for Digital Nomads
Ubud is a city surrounded by jungles and rolling foothills. It’s the ideal place for digital nomads seeking wellness and cultural experiences, where you can find meditation centres, yoga schools, and iconic temples.
There are several coworking spaces and cafes to work at in Ubud, where you can meet other nomads and attend events. Like Bali, there’s excellent food and nearby attractions to enjoy during your off time.
Coworking Spaces & Cafes in Ubud:
- Outpost Ubud Coworking: a tranquil coworking and coliving space with stunning views.
- Ubud Coffee Roastery: a quiet cafe with delicious coffee.
Seminyak is an excellent destination for digital nomads in Indonesia who want a more upscale beach feel. The city boasts luxury hotels, villas, shopping, dining, and spas. You can also appreciate gorgeous sunsets and a lively night scene in Seminyak.
When it’s time to work, there are plenty of coworking spaces and cafes to choose from. Best of all, many of them are a short walk to the beach!
Coworking Spaces & Cafes in Seminyak:
- Biliq Seminyak Coworking Space: a conveniently located, comfortable coworking space.
- The Farmer Brews Coffee: a cute coffee shop with rice paddy views.
Read More: A Complete Digital Nomad Guide to Bali
If you enjoy city life, Jakarta might be the best destination for you! Jakarta is Indonesia’s capital and largest city.
Being a major city, Jakarta is a bit more pricey than other digital nomad destinations in Indonesia. With that said, it’s still affordable compared to other big cities around the world.
In Jakarta, you can find ample places to work and opportunities for meeting fellow digital nomads. During your off time, Jakarta is a great place for shopping, sightseeing, and enjoying a vibrant nightlife.
Coworking Spaces & Cafes in Jakarta:
- GoWork Pacific Place: a cosy coworking space with various settings for working and networking.
- Giyanti Coffee Roastery: a unique photo-worthy coffee house.
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If you want Bali vibes but prefer to explore somewhere more off the beaten path, Lombok might be what you’re looking for.
This Indonesian island is just east of Bali and is known for its beautiful beaches with excellent surfing and snorkelling opportunities.
While Lombok is gorgeous, fun, and offers digital nomads the chance to get away from the hustle, it isn’t for every digital nomad. The lack of infrastructure in Lombok affects the internet quality. However, you should be just fine if you have a remote job that doesn’t require super-high speeds.
Coworking Spaces & Cafes in Lombok:
- South Lombok Cowork: a new coworking space with a modern vibe and ocean views.
- Rock Gilis Coffee Shop: a coffee shop with an extensive food menu, too.
Note: Lombok doesn’t have many coworking spaces yet. But, as the digital nomad community grows, we see that changing. There are also several cafes which are great for working.
Downsides to Being a Digital Nomad in Indonesia
As you can see there are many advantages to working remotely in Indonesia. However, there are a few downsides to being a digital nomad here, just like in any place.
- The air pollution is pretty bad in Indonesia. If you’re eager to visit Indonesia but want to steer clear of the worst pollution, we recommend avoiding Jakarta.
- Indonesia can get pretty hot, and the sun’s rays are quite strong. Fortunately, beaches and pools around Indonesia offer the perfect opportunity to cool off.
- Indonesia doesn’t have the best reputation for being LGBTQ+ friendly. With that said, it is one of the most Muslim-populated countries in the world and has a “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude. Because of this, there is an LGBTQ+ community, especially in the cities we shared above. LBTQ+ people are generally safe, and we recommend visiting Bali if you’re looking for an area in Indonesia that welcomes and celebrates all travellers.
Cost of Living in Indonesia
Compared to Western countries, the cost of living in Indonesia is relatively low. This is one reason many digital nomads are drawn here. It’s easy to live a comfortable lifestyle here, with a reasonable work-life balance.
Overall, you can live comfortably in Indonesia for under $1,000 per month for food, rent, accommodation, and activities.
Here’s an idea of what you can expect to spend while working remotely in Indonesia, according to numbeo:
- A meal at a local restaurant: ~ $1.70
- A 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant: ~ $9
- A beer: ~ $3
- A coffee: ~ $2
- Monthly rent for a 1 bedroom apartment: ~ $160 – $260
Of course, there are opportunities for splurging. A coffee at newer, nicer cafes may cost a bit more. And, many digital nomads in Indonesia live in a villa with a pool, which includes regular cleaning service at a total of up to several hundred dollars per month.
As far as the internet, many accommodations include WiFi. However, I recommend buying a SIM card, which costs about $15 per month.
When it comes to getting around Indonesia, most people rent a scooter. This costs about $50 per month, including the scooter rental and gas. You can also use rideshare services like Grab (similar to Lyft or Uber), which costs up to a few dollars per ride.
Visa Options for Working Remotely in Indonesia
As of mid-2022, digital nomads can go to Indonesia on a 60-day tourist visa. Many people do this and extend it by taking a visa run (a short trip out of the country) every 60 days. To do this, you must reapply for your tourist visa before reentering.
The good news? There’s currently talk about Indonesia introducing a new “digital nomad” visa, which would allow remote workers to live in Indonesia for up to 5 years.
Finding Accommodation in Indonesia
Since Indonesia is a travel hotspot, finding accommodations is incredibly easy. Whether you’re looking for a short or long-term stay, there are plenty of options.
During my time in Bali, I booked a villa in all 3 cities through Airbnb. Facebook pages like Bali Expats & Community and Expats Jakarta are also excellent ways to find rentals. You can also find rentals in Indonesia on online booking platforms like Agoda and Booking.com.
Read more: How to Find Accommodation for Digital Nomads (16 Great Options)
We hope you found this digital nomad guide to Indonesia helpful! If you’re interested in learning about other amazing destinations in Asia, you might like reading our guide to Malaysia for digital nomads and remote workers.