Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Currency code: IDR
While Bali is considered one of the most affordable destinations in Southeast Asia, Bali is the city with the third highest living cost in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. The average price on the island also varies, depending on which area you choose to stay.
Places like Denpasar, Badung, and Gianyar are considered the most expensive areas, so you can expect to pay higher for accommodation, food, and other items in these districts. Meanwhile, while areas like Karangasem, Tabanan, and Buleleng in Bali aren't very popular with tourists, they are known as the areas with the cheapest living costs on the island.
As a popular tourist destination, most attractions in Bali offer a flat rate for entrance tickets for both domestic and international visitors. Depending on the site, the entrance ticket for some popular destinations in Bali typically starts from IDR 50,000 per person.
In this section, we will dive deep into money matters in Bali, from the best way to pay in Bali to the average price for regular items around the island.
While debit and credit cards are widely accepted in big establishments like malls or restaurants, it is advisable to carry cash, as shops usually have a minimum amount of transactions to accept card payments in Indonesia.
Alternatively, you can also sign up for a digital wallet in Indonesia through apps like Ovo or GoPay (via Gojek). Most establishments in Indonesia currently accept digital payment using QRIS, which is accessible through these apps.
QRIS stands for the Quick Response Code Indonesian Standard, a payment method using a QR code from the Bank of Indonesia to cater to faster and safer digital payment.
To use this system during your trip, you can top up your balance manually via Grab driver for Ovo, or Gojek for GoPay. If you use Wise, you can also top up your balance by transferring the money directly from your Wise account.
ATMs in Indonesia have many features, as people can use ATMs for anything from withdrawing money to paying electricity bills or flight tickets.
You can use ATMs in Indonesia 24/7. Unfortunately, ATM scams like phishing or skimming are not uncommon in Bali, so be vigilant before choosing a machine to withdraw your money from the ATM on the island.
If you withdraw money from other currencies while using a travel card like Wise or Revolut, it is recommended to use BCA or CIMB Niaga ATM. Not only are both banks reputable to be safer than other Indonesian banks, but their foreign exchange rates are also among the best.
Another thing you should be considered is that you may face issues with ATMs running out of money later in the day, especially when you use ATMs at minimarkets. The best ATM to use for withdrawing money would be one that's located at the bank office, if not the ATM centre at a shopping centre.
ATMs usually dispense either 50,000 or 100,000 IDR banknotes; each machine is usually labelled accordingly near the screen. Some ATMs also provide both, and you can usually choose which banknote you want to receive when withdrawing money in Bali.
A common scam in Bali is a foreign exchange scam, which usually happens at smaller money exchange offices on the island. Typically, they will have an excuse that they only have smaller banknotes, that you'll get too overwhelmed to calculate them only to find that you receive less money than you should.
If you have to exchange money at one of these offices, you can insist on receiving only banknotes of 100,000 IDR to avoid being a victim of this scam. While skimming and phishing scams through ATMs in Bali are not unheard of, you can also minimise them by setting a maximum withdrawal on your card.
With the influx of tourists around the island, you may also experience scams in the other form, including the following:
Overpriced taxi rides. Conventional taxis with the brand labels on the car must use taximeters before taking any passengers, so make sure the driver turns on this taximeter before agreeing to any taxi services.
Petrol price higher than the standard. Unfortunately, this is quite common even at some official petrol stations. Make sure to check the machine's monitor and start it from "0" before filling your vehicle's tank.
Getting ripped off at the local warungs or restaurants. When the price is not written on the menu, ask for the price before making an order.
Getting approached by strangers offering various services. Whether they provide a massage on the beach or offer you to take a photograph at some touristic place, be aware that they usually come with a catch.
Overpriced items at the local markets. Make sure to bargain the price before purchasing the local products at the shop, especially if it's in a popular tourist area. Typically, you can haggle up to 30% off the offered price. However, the price is non-negotiable if the shop puts a price tag on items they sell. So if you happen to stop by a shop like this, avoid haggling at all costs!
Here are the typical prices for some common items you may want to purchase on the island:
Hostel accommodation: starting from IDR 100,000 per night
Hotel accommodation: starting from IDR 400,000 per night
Public bus: starting from IDR 3,500 per ride
Airport transfer: starting from IDR 150,000
Balinese kebaya/traditional dresses: starting from IDR 100,000 per piece
Barong shirt: starting from IDR 30,000 per piece
Rattan bag: starting from IDR 100,000 per piece
Balinese spa kit: starting from IDR 100,000 per set
Beer: starting from IDR 30,000 per can
Planning a trip to Bali? Read our Bali travel guides
Last Updated 6 July 2023