Indonesia
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Straddling the equator between the Indian and the Pacific oceans, Indonesia is one of the most diverse countries on earth. With more than 17,000 islands and 300 spoken languages, Indonesia is a fascinating mix of beautiful landscapes and charming cultures. Today, this fantastic archipelago has become one of the most popular destinations in the world for digital nomads.

Why Indonesia?

Home to green rice fields, breath-taking volcanoes, magnificent temples, paradise islands, and beautiful beaches, Indonesia entices many foreigners each year. Whether you’re looking to explore its rich culture and gorgeous destinations or looking to work remotely in the country, Indonesia has a lot to offer to you.

With cheap living costs, decent internet connection, wonderful options of accommodations, a good selection of places to work from, and a growing digital nomad community, the archipelago has become one of the top destinations for digital nomads from all around the world. No matter if you’re an experienced digital nomad, a digital business owner, or an aspiring freelancer wanting to explore the world, Indonesia is a highly attractive option for you.

What you should know before arriving in Indonesia

Indonesia has a rather relaxed visa policy, which makes it even more attractive for international freelancers. Residents from 169 countries do not require a visa visit for less than 30 days. But note that the visa-free stay doesn’t allow you to extend your entry. If you want to stay in the country for up to two months, you can get a tourist visa. This visa lasts for 60 days and is extendable for 30 days each time for the total length of stay of up to 180 days. However, note that these types of stays wouldn’t allow you to get a work permit, which is often needed to use a co-working space in Indonesia.

If you intend to stay and work longer in Indonesia, it is advisable to apply for a limited stay visa (KITAS). This type of visa allows you to stay for up to 12 months in Indonesia and allows you to apply for a work permit.

It is advisable for digital nomads to have a work permit, especially if you’re planning to use co-working or office spaces. Not having a proper work permit could lead to fines, prison time, or even deportation. For more information about this, you may want to check out our other articles of Visas in Indonesia and Working in Indonesia.

The best Indonesian cities to work from

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of the best Indonesian cities to stay in as a digital nomad.

Canggu

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, but today, the area is developing quickly while still preserving the 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.

Living in Canggu is quite affordable though not exactly cheap. With around $300 to $500 each month, you can rent a small but comfortable place to live in. The general living cost is also moderate at around $500 to $800 per month.

Ubud

Ubud is all about yoga, smoothies, meditation, and raw food. Popularised by the famous book and movie 'Eat, Pray, Love', 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.

Living in Ubud can be a great way to relax while working. However, since it’s a popular tourist spot, living there can be a bit pricey. Renting a place in Ubud costs around $350 to $650 per month. Meanwhile, the living cost is rather high, ranging around $800 to $1300 per month.

Jakarta

As the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is an urban sprawl of opportunities and creativity just perfect for digital nomads. With access to numerous busy offices, huge malls, delicious street food vendors, vibrant nightlife scenes, and interesting communities, you’ll never get bored while staying in Jakarta. Of course, there are also downsides to living here, such as having to deal with pollution and terrible traffic. Nevertheless, the busy city is a creative and inspiring city for digital nomads.

As a big city, it’s understandable that living in Jakarta can be quite costly. That said, you can still find numerous cheaper options. The cost of rent in Jakarta ranges from $300 to $800 per month. As for the cost of living, you can expect it to be around $500 to $1,000 each month.

Makassar

One of Indonesia’s largest cities, Makassar is the bustling capital of South Sulawesi. This city may be less popular compared to other cities on this list, but that’s what makes it amazing. This city is well off the beaten track, so it can offer you an authentic Indonesian urban experience. With all the convenience of a large city and the peacefulness of a smaller city, living in Makassar will be a comfortable experience for you.

Living in Makassar isn’t too expensive nor cheap. Rent can cost anywhere from $300 to $500 per month. Meanwhile, the general cost of living in the city ranges from around $500 to $650 each month.

Bandung

Dubbed as Paris van Java by Europeans back in the day, Bandung has its own unique charms for travelers. It’s a cool and creative city with plenty of shopping malls, culinary delights, and interesting nightlife scenes to explore. Busy yet peaceful, you can simply order a cup of joe from a cute cafe and watch the world go by in Bandung. Located in West Java, Bandung also lies close to numerous splendid natural sites to explore, such as Kawah Putih and Tangkuban Perahu.

Known in Indonesia as a city for students, living in this metropolis is surprisingly affordable. With just $150 per month, you can rent a small yet comfortable kost room or studio apartment. The general living cost in this city is also quite low, ranging from $400 to $600 per month.

Malang

Despite being a small town, Malang shouldn’t be overlooked. Here you can find interesting architectures, picturesque colorful villages, ancient historical sites, tasty food vendors, as well as beautiful natural sites. Lying close to Mount Bromo, this town is perfect for digital nomads with an adventurous soul.

Malang is a quiet and peaceful town that will let your creative side thrive. Moreover, living in this beautiful town is quite cheap, perfect for aspiring digital nomads on a budget. Renting a small apartment or tiny house in Malang ranges from $300 to $450 per month. Meanwhile, the cost of living in this town will only cost you anywhere from $500 to $700 each month.

Medan

With incredible gastronomic scene, amazing view, and friendly locals, living in Medan can be a great experience for digital nomads. Here you’ll find beautiful heritage sites and astounding natural views such as Lake Toba as well as busy and crowded streets alike. In recent years, Medan has become a business hub with nice and affordable housing close to all the facilities and amenities you could ever ask for.

But living in Medan can be a bit pricey, despite it not being an especially large metropolitan. The cost of rent in Medan can be anywhere from $500 to $700 per month. Meanwhile, the living cost ranges from around $700 to $850 per month.

The Internet in Indonesia

Indonesia is not in the leading position when it comes to internet speed. But the situation has improved greatly in recent years, since the introduction of 4G and fiber optics. According to Akamai Technologies, the internet speed in Indonesia is currently clocked at an average of 7.2 Mbps. As a digital nomad, it should please you to know that the Indonesian government is making plans to improve the country’s internet speed.

Aside from relying on Wi-Fi in public spaces, you will also find getting a SIM card very useful. Getting a local SIM card for your phone allows you to call, text, and use mobile data on your phone. As soon as you arrive at the airport, you can immediately get a SIM card at the small price of IDR 50,000 (around $4). The best-known carriers are Indosat, Telkomsel (SimPATI) and XL Axiata. A monthly mobile data package ranges from anywhere around IDR 30,000 to IDR 150,000 (around $2 to $10). Cheaper plans give you anywhere from 500 Mb to 2 GB per month, while the more expensive plans can give you up to 50 GB.

Coworking spaces in Indonesia

Working in Indonesia is convenient, whether you prefer to work in a coffee shop or a co-working space. Bigger cities such as Jakarta will give you a good list of options regarding co-working spaces, while smaller towns like Canggu and Ubud will have fewer options.

Coworking spaces in Canggu

Dojo Bali, Jl. Batu Mejan No.88

Tropical Nomad Coworking Space, Jl. Subak Canggu No.2

Outpost, Jl. Raya Semat No.1

Co-working spaces in Ubud

Hubud, Jl. Monkey Forest No.88X

Outpost, Jl. Raya Nyuh Kuning

IGDORE Indonesia, Jl. Made Lebah No.12

Co-working spaces in Jakarta

WorkOUT Coworking Space, Kawasan Perkantoran Grand Panglima Polim, Kav 90, Jalan Panglima Polim Raya No. 16-17

EV Hive The Maja Coworking Space, The Maja Lantai 1, Jalan Kyai Maja No. 39

Conclave Wijaya, Jl. Wijaya 1 No. 5C

Werkspace Soho Capital, Podomoro City, Jl. let. S Parman kav 28 Soho Capital, 19th Floor

GoWork Coworking and Office Space, Chubb Square, Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.10

CoHive Pos Indonesia, Jl. Lap. Banteng Utara No.1

UnionSPACE, Jl. Pantai Indah Kapuk No.6

Co-working spaces in Makassar

Confie Cafe & Coworking Space, Jl. Penjernihan Raya, Kompleks PDAM No.7

Miles Coworking Space, Jl. Jambu, Losari

Co-working spaces in Bandung

EduPlex Coworking Space, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda No.84

CO&CO Space, Jl. Dipati Ukur No.5

Ruangréka Coworking Space, Jl. Raden Patah No.28

Co-working spaces in Malang

Ngalup Coworking Space, Jl. Sudimoro

Ruang Perintis Co-Working Space & Incubator, Jl. Candi Sawentar

Dilo Digital Innovation Lounge, Telkom Kayutangan, Jl. Jenderal Basuki Rahmat No.7-9

Co-working spaces in Medan

COHIVE at Clapham, Komp. Ruko Centre Point Medan Jalan Timor Blok G No. III/IV 2nd Floor

Dilo Digital Innovation Lounge, Jl. Mongonsidi No.6, Anggrung

 Useful link:

Indonesia Tourism Office
Map of Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in Indonesia
Freelancer Indonesia

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