Updated 11 months ago

Straddling the equator between the Indian and the Pacific oceans, Indonesia is one of the most diverse countries on Earth. With 18,307 islands and 300 spoken languages, Indonesia is a fascinating mix of landscapes and cultures and one of the most popular destinations in the world for digital nomads.

Why Indonesia?

Home to lime-coloured rice fields, breathtaking volcanoes, Hindu temples, paradise islands and beautiful beaches, Indonesia has a lot to offer to any traveller and has long become one of the most frequented destinations for those working remotely.

Decent internet even in remote locations, a good selection of places to work from, and a growing digital nomad community all make the country a highly attractive choice for both experienced and aspiring freelancers.

Best cities to work from

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and its largest city, as well as a political, economic, and cultural centre. Those who choose to settle in Jakarta mostly do so for the city’s vibrant nightlife, many shopping centres, and the general advantages of living in a big city. With that said, some of the main disadvantages of living in Jakarta is busy traffic and heavy pollution — the two factors that are guiding a lot of travellers away from the city and towards the island of Bali.

Bali, one of Indonesia’s largest islands, offers plenty of suitable working spots, the two most popular of which are Canggu and Ubud.

Canggu is the name of a small village in South Bali. However, the name usually refers to a larger coastal stretch of land from the north of Seminyak to the south of Tanah Lot. Canggu was once a quiet rural area of rice fields just a short walk from the shores of some of the most beautiful beaches in Bali. Today, the area is developing fast but has still managed to preserve its quiet farm-like feel. With a friendly collection of small local businesses and casual cafes, Canggu is welcoming more and more digital nomads every year who come for the up-and-coming entrepreneurial scene, reliable infrastructure, and beautiful nature.

Ubud is about yoga, smoothies, meditation, and raw food. Popularised by the famous book “Eat, Pray, Love” (and later a movie with Julia Roberts of the same title), the town offers the ultimate getaway into the world of healthy living with its organic eateries, vegan cafes, boutique coffee shops, and cleansing resorts. Despite the overall relaxing atmosphere, Ubud is a popular choice among those who work remotely. Ubud’s first coworking space, Hubud, has been named one of the top 10 coworking places in the world by Lonely Planet.

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world — and this means that there are plenty of small idyllic islands to explore if you are willing to give up some of the big city comforts in Gili Islands, Lombok, and Sumatra.

The internet and coworking spaces

Indonesia is not in the leading position when it comes to internet speeds, but the situation has improved greatly in the recent years and continues to do so. According to Akamai Technologies, the internet speed in Indonesia is currently clocked at the average of 7.2 Mbps.

Working in Indonesia is convenient, whether you prefer to work in a coffee shop or a coworking space. Jakarta will give you a good list of coworking spaces to choose from, while smaller towns in Bali like Canggu and Ubud will have at least a few to consider.

Coworking spaces in Jakarta

WorkOUT Coworking Space, Kawasan Perkantoran Grand Panglima Polim, Kav 90, Jalan Panglima Polim Raya No. 16-17, RT.2/RW.1, Pulo

EV Hive The Maja Coworking Space, The Maja Lantai 1, Jalan Kyai Maja No. 39, RT.12/RW.2, Gunung, Kby. Baru

Conclave Wijaya, Jalan Wijaya 1 No. 5C, (Tendean-Wijaya Intersection), RT.7/RW.4, Petogogan, Kby. Baru

Coworking space in Canggu

Dojo Bali, Jl. Batu Mejan No.88

Coworking space in Ubud

Hubud, Jl. Monkey Forest No.88X

Leisure in Indonesia

Indonesia is the perfect setting for nature lovers, hikers, eco-travellers and all those who love to combine hours in front of the laptop with leisure activities including the discovery of beautiful views. One of the country’s unique natural attractions is the Komodo National Park, home to the three-metre-long Komodo dragon lizards and the stunning islands of Flores and Padar. Many Hindu and Buddhist temples are sprinkled across the country: Borobudur (the largest Buddhist temple in the world), Tanah Lot (a traditional Balinese temple located on a rock in the water), and Prambanan (a 9th-century Hindu temple) only to name a few.

What to know before arriving

Indonesia has a rather relaxed visa policy, which makes it even more attractive for international freelancers. Residents of most countries can travel to Indonesia visa-free for up to 30 days — but note that in this case, you cannot extend your entry. If you want to stay in the country for up to two months, you can get a visa on arrival, which you can further extend for 30 more days. For those who wish to stay in Indonesia even longer, it’s advised to apply for a 60-day tourist visa in advance — this visa is extendable for 30 days each time for the total length of stay of up to 180 days. It is advisable for nomads to have a work permit, especially if using co-working or office spaces. Not having a proper work permit could lead to fines, prison time, or even deportation.

 Useful links:

Indonesia Tourism Office

Map of free Wi-Fi hotspots in Indonesia

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.