IDR bills used for the Indonesia Budget

The Cost of Traveling in Indonesia

This post was last updated on February 19th, 2020 at 12:18 pm


The costs of traveling in Indonesia are not very high. Travelers can see and do a lot for just $30 a day. The price level is comparable with, for example, Thailand or countries such as Guatemala if you want to look for it outside of Asia. Are you going to travel or vacation to Indonesia and do you want to know what it costs? Then check out this page with our tips and experiences on managing a budget for Indonesia. Here we give you tips and information about the budget, including:

 

Our Budget for Indonesia

It is difficult to indicate a specific budget for Indonesia. You can eat in five star restaurants, but also low-budget at a night market. The same applies to accommodations and transportation. In any case, keep in mind that the prices can vary enormously per island in Indonesia.

 

Handy information – Backpackers can get by spending only US$25 to $30 per day per person. We spent US$35 to $40 per person per day.

 

It is possible to travel in Indonesia for US$25 a day. You then sleep in hostels and dorms (getting a part of the bedroom), travel by public transport as much as possible, and eat cheaply. That is possible, but it’s not for everyone.

 

What did we spend?

We are neither low-budget backpackers nor luxurious travelers. We always sleep in private rooms in hostels (which are just as inexpensive as a dorm for two people) and sometimes we travel with a minivan instead of the local bus. We also enjoy our fair share of restaurants and do not always eat street food.

 

Cost of Traveling in Indonesia

In a country where you are able to relax on unspoiled islands, see Orangutans in the wild, climb volcanoes and visit ancient, historic temples for around US$40 per day, it is a fascinating and accessible destination for almost everyone.

 

But what exactly does traveling in Indonesia cost per day? Where can you make adjustments in your Indonesia budget? And what do you spend it on? You can read it here.

 

Accommodation Cost in Indonesia

Accommodation is generally affordable. It depends a bit on where you are going and in which season you travel. The prices will rise in the high (peak) season. In addition, it depends on what kind of room you are looking for. Some double rooms have a private bathroom, while others have to share the bathroom.

 

For a shared bedroom in a hostel you pay around 80,000 IDR (US$5) per room. If you prefer a private room with a private bathroom in a hostel, you are heading towards 250,000 IDR (US$15) per night per person.

 

It can also get cheaper; we have slept in Pangandaran for 80,000 IDR (US$5) per person per night, including breakfast on the beach. That is only $2.50 per person!

 

An overview of some of our costs per night (all double rooms);

  • Jakarta Hostel US$16 per night
  • Pangandaran Hostel $5.50 per night
  • Overnight stay in Yogyakarta $14 per night
  • Hotel in Tana Toraja $25 per night
  • Overnight stay in the Togean Islands $34 per night
  • Hostel with swimming pool in Ubud $23 per night
  • Gili Meno Beachfront Bungalow $38 per night (was definitely worth it!)
  • Budget hostel Sengigi $12 per night

 

Cost Per Day

On average we lost around $21 per night. That is for a double room, so it is actually $10.50 per person per night. If you sleep in dorms you can reduce that amount, but you can also spend more easily. $10.50 per person per night is a great price. If you go for hotels it will be a bit more expensive, especially if you are traveling alone.

 

High Budget Hotel in Bali, Indonesia with a great view
If you’re on a higher budget you can enjoy many great views from your hotel!

 

Cost for Food and Drinks in Indonesia

The food in Indonesia is very tasty and also cheap. At night markets you can get a small snack for $0.45 and for $2.20 you can have a full meal.

 

If you start with a local meal you pay around 35000-40,000 IDR. This comes to about $2 to $3 for noodles, grilled fish or other well-known Indonesian dishes. Western food is more expensive, but still affordable with prices around 120,000 IDR ($8.50) for a meal and a drink.

 

An overview of some of our food costs (p.p.);

  • Fresh fruit US$0.65
  • Lunch in Warung (a gado gado meal) $1.60
  • Breakfast in Ubud $3.30
  • Western meal in a restaurant $5.50
  • Snack at the night market $1.10

 

Costs for drinks (p.p.);

  • Local beer $1.40
  • Coffee $1.60
  • Water (0.5 L) $0.45
  • Fresh smoothie $2.20

 

Cost Per Day

Food and drink costs vary per person. One simply eats and drinks more than another. In addition, some accommodations include breakfast with your room price. All those extras have an impact on your Indonesia budget. We spent an average of $9.10 per person per day on food and drinks. Then we are talking about breakfast, lunch, meals at night markets or at local restaurants, 2 liters of water a day and, every now and then, a cold beer.

 

 

Handy tip – You can keep your Indonesia budget lower by shopping in local supermarkets.

 

A Cheap Bowl of Noodles from South Sumatra
Eating delicious bowls of Noodles like this one will be very cheap. A great way to stay within the limits of your Indonesia budget!

 

Indonesia Transport Costs

Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands. Transport is, therefore, quite a challenge. If you want to travel from island to island, you have choices between the ferry and a flight.

 

The boat is often a nice and cheap means of travel, but it’s fairly slow. A ferry sometimes sails for 7,000 IDR (US$0.50) between Java and Bali. But a speedboat from Bali to the Gili Islands will easily cost you 450,000 IDR (US$32).

 

We only paid $33 per person for a flight from Bali to Flores. And if you are short on time, that is a great option.

 

For a bus ride the prices depend very much on the island, the season and the bus company. For example, we drove from Jakarta to Pangandaran, a 10-hour bus ride, for 90,000 IDR per person. That is around US$6.40!

 

An overview of our transport costs per person:

  • Bus from Jakarta to Pangandaran US$6.20
  • Minivan from Pangandaran to Yogyakarta $9.50
  • Makassar to Rantepao $9.50
  • From Rantepao to the Togian Islands $16
  • Flight from Yogyakarta to Bali $30
  • Scooter rental in Bali $6 per day
  • Scooter rental in Labuan Bajo $3.50 per day

 

Cost Per Day

The costs for transportation will be different for everyone. It depends on how often you travel, where you go, in which season and even with which bus or boat you travel. It is, therefore, difficult to attach an amount to transportation costs. We spent an average of $8 per person per day. We often rent a scooter and have booked domestic flights in Indonesia from Yogyakarta to Bali, from Labuan Bajo to Sulawesi, and from Sulawesi to Bali. That, of course, drives up the costs a bit. It can certainly also be cheaper!

 

One of Indonesia's tradition long-boats docked at an island
It might take longer but you will have a beautiful view of the Indonesian islands from a boat

 

Cost for Activities in Indonesia

In general, activities in Indonesia are quite cheap, but it will have the greatest impact on your budget in addition to the accommodations you stay at. There is a lot to do in this country, with many things being either cheap or free. For example, you can rent a scooter for $6 a day and enjoy driving yourself.

 

The best-known activities in Indonesia are climbing volcanoes and surfing. Both can get as pricey as you want, but often you pay around US$33 a day. A PADI course quickly costs US$380 while you can rent snorkel gear for US$3.30 per day.

 

Examples of our costs for activities per person:

  • 3-day climb at Gunung Rinjani US$92
  • Borobudur + Prambanan entrance fee $37
  • Surfboard rental in Sulawesi $5.40
  • 4-day boat trip from Lombok to Flores $115
  • Snorkeling gear rental on the Gili Islands $3.30
  • Rice field entrance fee for Tegallalang (Ubud) $1.10

 

Cost Per Day

On average we spent around US$11 to $13 per person per day on activities. This includes a 4-day boat trip that already costs more than US$110 per person, so that drives up the average. If you do not do multi-day tours you can count on a maximum of $5.50 per day.

 

The Indonesian Rupiah

The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). 100,000 IDR is approximately $7 (December 2019). You can view the most recent course on XE. The paper money used comes in 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 100,000 IDR notes. Coins come in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 IDR although you won’t use them that much.

 

Try to have a few of the 20,000 banknotes with you. If you give them 100,000 IDR banknotes they often don’t have enough change, especially in the less touristy places. American Dollars are always handy to have with you. You can exchange these at a good rate.

 

ATMs

ATMs can be found throughout Indonesia except in remote areas. You can withdraw a maximum of 2,000,000 IDR (US$142). Costs are charged per transaction. Always take enough cash with you. Please keep in mind that ATMs do not always work.

 

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