Where To Live In Bali
South West Bali
In recent years Canggu has emerged as one of Bali’s top digital nomad hotspots. Located on the island’s south west coast, Canggu is a place where the surf is always good, the nightlife is fun, and the food is healthy & delicious. While it may not be as established as Kuta and Seminyak, Canggu benefits from being less crowded and more relaxed. As we mentioned, this little village is a popular destination for digital nomads, so while being less crowded, you still won’t have any trouble connecting with like-minded people through the many weekly/nightly events.
There are a growing number of co-working spaces here and also some trendy cafes that you can work out of. You may need a scooter to get around Canggu as not everywhere is easily accessible by foot and Uber/Grab are banned in this area. Overall, however, Canggu is one of the best places to live in Bali for digital nomads.
Kuta is about a 30min drive south of Canggu and about 10mins south from Seminyak. This area was one of Bali’s first tourist developments and is recognized as one of the more crowded places on the island. It’s also party central, so if you’re looking to meet new friends, Kuta is a great place to be!
The infrastructure in Kuta is perfect for digital nomads. There are several cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, laundromats, spas, shops, bars, and working spaces. Unlike Canggu, you probably won't need a scooter in Kuta with the number of things available to you within walking distance. Taxi services and ridesharing is also readily available in Kuta.
Another benefit to living in this area is you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to stay. There are always homes and villas available and homestays are also very common in Kuta.
Seminyak lies right between Kuta and Canggu and shares a lot of similarities to both. The parties here aren’t as crazy as the ones in Kuta but are livelier than what you’d find in Canggu. The crowds are tamer than Kuta and the restaurants, while trendy, aren’t as hip and diverse as the ones in Canggu.
Like Kuta, there are many homes in this area and a lot of great infrastructures. Seminyak can be seen as a bit classier than Kuta, and prices do reflect that. Overall, however, this is an ideal location for digital nomads who are into delicious cuisine, stylish boutiques, and gorgeous beaches.
If you’re looking for a more traditional Balinese experience, while also enjoying some of your western comforts, Ubud is where you’ll want to stay.
Located in central Bali, about a 50-minute drive from Canggu, Ubud is one of the more spiritual destinations on the island. Yoga, meditation, healthy living, and veganism are huge proponents of life in Ubud, which in ancient Balinese means ‘medicine’.
The town is very lively, and you will find several co-working spaces and cafes here to work out of and meet others. Even with its focus on health, Ubud does manage to still have fun nightlife.
It’s harder to get around by foot in Ubud, and taxis are generally more expensive than in other parts of Bali, so owning a scooter is a definite benefit.
Ubud is surrounded by jungles, waterfalls, temples, coffee plantations, rice terraces, and so much history, but the closest beach is an hour away. It’s the perfect place for digital nomads who are adventure & culture seekers and don’t mind missing out on the beach.
About an hour's drive south from Ubud, Denpasar is one of the best places to live in Bali for digital nomads who want to get things done. This is Bali’s business district and it's close to several important offices that digital nomads may need to visit, especially to start a business in the country. Transit is also readily available here and it's super cheap and easy to get around.
Denpasar is mostly urban, and other than a few gorgeous temples, there isn’t a whole lot to see here. In fact, the thing you’ll likely be staring at the most is traffic. However, there’s still so much to do in Denpasar with so many great restaurants, shops, and local markets for you to visit.
Also, rent in Denpasar is usually cheaper than in other parts of Bali.
Sanur is located on Bali’s east coast about 30 minutes away from Kuta. The expat demographic here skews a bit older with more retirees here than expats. Things are a lot more quieter on the east side of Bali, however, there are still plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars for you to frequent.
The water on this side of the island is also a lot calmer which means you can do things like swimming, diving, or snorkeling.
Generally, accommodations are quite cheap in Sanur, but there’s a reason for this. Living on this quiet side of the island means you won’t have access to all of the amenities and luxuries afforded to you in places like Kuta, Ubud, Canggu, etc. Cafes with WiFi and co-working spaces aren’t as frequent here since the digital nomad community is relatively small. However, if you want to live somewhere comparatively cheap, quiet, and scenic, you can’t go wrong in Sanur.
Jimbaran and Uluwatu are both located in southern Bali in the Bukit Peninsula, one of the best places on the island for experienced surfers. Jimbaran specifically has beautiful golden beaches and is considered a surfers paradise. Just a 20 minute drive south of Kuta, this fishing village is a lot more peaceful than its northern counterpart.
The cafes with WIFI and co-working spaces aren’t as prevalent here, but a few great ones do exist. Jimbaran remains very traditional Balinese and you will get to witness Hindu rituals on a daily basis if you decide to live here.
Uluwatu is one of the most stunning places to live in Bali. It’s also a super popular destination because of the Uluwatu Temple, which is recognized as one of the six most important temples in Bali.
This cliffside town overlooks the Indian Ocean and doesn't have all of the amenities as some of the other locations on this list. There aren’t as many cafes with WIFI or working spaces, and you will likely need a scooter to get around. The expat and digital nomad community aren’t as lively in Uluwatu, and as a result, you may need to look harder for good accommodation. However, the relative remoteness of Uluwatu also means that the beaches here aren’t as crowded. Uluwatu Beach is gorgeous, and there are several hidden ones for you to discover.
All in all, if you want breathtaking scenery to wake up to every morning, you should move to Uluwatu.
Important Things To Consider Before Making Your Decision
After you’ve decided where you want to live, you need to keep this in mind; Cash is king in Bali. You will likely have to pay for all of your rent upfront for the whole duration of your stay.
So even though you end up getting a better price by securing a longer-term, you will need to pay your rent for the entirety of your stay upfront. This can obviously be a huge burden for people who don’t have a lot of cash available to them.
It may be more difficult and expensive to find villas that rent out on a month-by-month basis, but they are out there if you look! Facebook groups are a great resource for finding homes to rent in Bali. You can also check out websites like Airbnb and Vbro for more variety.
You can also use GAFFL to connect with locals and travelers in Bali who can provide you with tips and recommendations for renting and even show you around the Island Of Gods.
Regardless of where you specifically reside, Bali’s confluence of affordability, accessibility, community, warm climate, and natural beauty makes it an overall great place for digital nomads to relocate to.