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March 5, 2024
Lifestyle Insights

Where Do Most Expats Live in Bali in 2024? Best Expat-Friendly Areas

A question that persists in the mind of any future Bali expatriate is, "Where do most expats live in Bali?" With its myriad of bustling communities, tranquil landscapes, and eclectic blend of cultures, the answer isn't simple. 

When choosing where to live in Bali, there are numerous variables to consider, from personal lifestyle preferences to local amenities. 

This article seeks to alleviate some of your concerns by providing a comprehensive overview of the most popular regions among expats in Bali. 

From the vibrant social scene of Canggu to the serene landscapes of Ubud, our in-depth guide will help you explore Bali’s expat-friendly neighbourhoods and make a well-informed decision.


Canggu, a seaside town on the island's southwest coast, has rapidly evolved into Bali's expatriate hotspot. Previously a sleepy fishing village nestled amid emerald rice paddies, Canggu is now a buzzing locale that successfully marries traditional Balinese charm with a contemporary flair. 

Home to an ever-growing community of expats, the area boasts a lively atmosphere that captures the essence of a modern bohemian lifestyle while retaining an idyllic Balinese ambiance.  Choosing where to Live in Canggu will be your next question.

Canggu offers a wide range of property options for expats, from modern villas to buy nestled amidst lush rice fields to chic apartments for sale close to its renowned surf spots. The region's development has led to an increase in rental and buying prices, though the cost is balanced by the area's appeal and amenities. For those looking to buy Land, you are in the right place to get the best advise on the market.

Whether you're a digital nomad in search of the best co working spaces in Bali, or a retiree looking for a tranquil yet engaging environment, Canggu has something for everyone.

Things To Do In Canggu

In Canggu, life moves to the rhythm of the waves that lap its black-sand beaches, and there's never a shortage of things to do. 

Start your day with an invigorating surf session at the world-renowned Batu Bolong or Echo Beach, renowned for their ideal surf breaks that cater to both beginners and seasoned surfers.

If surfing isn't your thing, a leisurely stroll along these stunning beaches is equally invigorating.

Canggu's vibrant culinary scene is another standout feature. 

Health-conscious foodies will appreciate the Shady Shack, known for its delicious vegan menu and serene tropical setting. Nude, on the other hand, offers an extensive menu ranging from hearty breakfasts to mouthwatering burgers and tantalizing smoothie bowls, ideal for satisfying any craving.

The town's vibrant social scene comes alive as the sun sets, with a variety of venues hosting live music, dance performances, and movie nights. Old Man’s, a beachfront beer garden, serves as a popular watering hole for locals and expats alike, offering drinks, food, and weekly events. 

Pros And Cons Of Canggu

Living in Canggu comes with many perks. It offers a thriving international community, making it easy for newcomers to settle in and find like-minded people. 

The town's focus on wellness is evident in its abundance of yoga studios, gyms, and health-focused eateries, aligning perfectly with the needs of health-conscious expats. Furthermore, Canggu's well-balanced blend of a relaxed lifestyle and bustling social scene offers a fulfilling and entertaining living experience.

However, this coastal paradise is not without its challenges. The rapid development and growing popularity of Canggu have resulted in increased traffic, particularly during the high season, which can disrupt the area's relaxed vibe. 

Additionally, the cost of living has steadily risen, with property rentals and dining out becoming significantly more expensive. This might deter budget-conscious expats or those looking for a quiet, undeveloped haven.

Despite these downsides, the sheer magnetism of Canggu's vibrant community, thriving social scene, and stunning natural beauty has expats continually flocking to this corner of Bali. 

This place successfully captures the essence of Bali's allure - the perfect harmony of traditional culture and modern living, set against a breathtaking natural backdrop. 

For many, the pros of living in Canggu far outweigh the cons, making it a preferred choice when moving to Bali.

Browse our vast array of property listings in Canggu, and get in touch with our team of Bali based real estate agents for more information.


Sanur As a gem on the east coast of Bali, Sanur is often celebrated for its calm and soothing ambiance. Unlike the bustling southern part of the island, Sanur stands out with its slower pace of life, remarkable sunrises, peaceful beaches, and an overall tranquil atmosphere. 

Sanur offers a mix of property types, from apartment complexes to beachfront villas. The area has managed to retain a relaxed village atmosphere despite its growth, making it a sought-after destination for expats looking for a slower pace of life.

The town also features an impressive mix of traditional Balinese culture and modern comfort, making it a favourite spot for travellers seeking a peaceful retreat.

It is worth noting that Sanur is also one of the best places to retire in Indonesia.

Things To Do In Sanur 

Sanur presents a wide variety of attractions and leisurely pursuits for both the adventure lover and the relaxation seeker. Your day could begin with a leisurely stroll along the long stretch of Sanur Beach, where you can enjoy the tranquil waves and the first rays of the sunrise painting the sky. The beach also provides the opportunity to engage in water sports, including windsurfing, surfing, and kitesurfing.

For diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, the vibrant marine life in the clear waters around Sanur offers a delightful experience. You can explore the colorful coral reefs and encounter a variety of tropical fish. Boat trips to the neighboring island of Nusa Penida are also available, which can be a fun and exciting day trip.

Sanur also boasts numerous historical and cultural attractions, including the Blanjong Temple, which houses the oldest known artifact in Bali – the Blanjong Pillar. The Le Mayeur Museum is another attraction that art lovers might find interesting.

Pros And Cons Of Sanur 

Sanur offers an attractive lifestyle with its calm environment and easy access to the beach, making it a popular choice among retirees and families. 

The community here is tight-knit and friendly, and the area offers a range of services and amenities including international schools, healthcare facilities, and a variety of restaurants and shops. 

Its location on the eastern coast of Bali also means it is less exposed to the mass tourism seen in areas like Kuta and Seminyak, providing a more peaceful and authentic Balinese experience.

However, this tranquility might not appeal to everyone. For those craving a vibrant nightlife, bustling shopping streets, or a highly active social scene, Sanur might feel a bit quiet. 

The area does have bars and restaurants, but the nightlife is relatively tame compared to places like Seminyak or Kuta. 

Sanur is ideal for those who enjoy a slow-paced, beach-oriented lifestyle, but it might not meet the expectations of those who are seeking a lively and dynamic city atmosphere.

Visit our comprehensive compilation of property for sale in Sanur, and engage with our Bali-based real estate professionals for further information.


Seminyak, an upscale coastal enclave situated on the west coast of Bali, has carved a reputation as the island's fashionable heart. 

Known for its trendy hotels, chic boutiques, luxurious spas, and vibrant nightlife, this bustling beach town exudes a cosmopolitan charm that's hard to resist. 

Seminyak, being a top-tier tourist destination, has a property market predominantly filled with luxury villas and upscale apartments. While the property prices are among the highest in Bali, the stylish living experience, amenities, and thriving expat community often justify the cost.

It's wide sandy beaches, framed by lush tropical landscapes and the azure Indian Ocean, present an inviting picture of tropical luxury. 

An expatriate in Seminyak is someone looking for a refined taste of island life, making it a perennial favourite among the chic and stylish international crowd.

Things To Do In Seminyak

Seminyak boasts a myriad of activities to satisfy even the most discerning of expats. This upmarket district is home to a wealth of designer boutiques that line the famous Jalan Laksmana, offering an eclectic mix of high-quality local and international fashion, homewares, and art.

The town's culinary scene is an epicurean dream, housing some of Bali's most esteemed restaurants. 

Equally renowned are Seminyak's beach clubs. Iconic spots like Potato Head offer day-to-night enjoyment with their exquisite food, creative cocktails, relaxed pools, and mesmerizing sunset views.

For art enthusiasts, the Nyaman Gallery offers a treasure trove of contemporary and traditional Indonesian art, while the Pura Petitenget Temple, a centuries-old Hindu site, offers cultural insight and hosts vibrant ceremonies that are a feast for the eyes.

Pros And Cons Of Seminyak

Living in Seminyak is akin to experiencing a continuous vacation, with its high-end amenities, impressive dining scene, luxury shopping, and dynamic nightlife. 

The town’s vibrant energy and luxurious offerings create a fascinating blend of beach town relaxation and city buzz.

However, this glamorous lifestyle comes with a significant price tag, making it one of Bali's most expensive areas to live. While perfect for those who can afford the luxury, it may be less appealing for budget-conscious expats.

Additionally, the bustling nature of the town means that traffic can be quite heavy, especially during peak hours and tourist season. This urban buzz, while exciting for some, might not be ideal for those who prefer a more serene, traditional Balinese setting. 

Despite these considerations, for those who crave the high life and are unfazed by the bustling crowd, Seminyak remains an unmatched choice.

Take a look at our large selection of properties for sale in Seminyak, and don't hesitate to contact our team of dedicated real estate agents for any further queries.


Ubud, the spiritual and cultural core of Bali, is a picturesque town nestled amongst the island's central highlands. Known for its lush rice terraces, dense jungles, sacred temples, and a bounty of artisanal crafts, Ubud attracts expats with its slower pace of life, rich cultural heritage, and an overwhelming sense of serenity. 

Ubud's property market is characterized by traditional Balinese houses and luxurious villas surrounded by nature. Despite its popularity, Ubud offers more affordable prices than the coastal areas, making it an attractive destination for expats seeking tranquility and culture.

As the epicenter of Bali's thriving arts scene and a haven for wellness and holistic living, Ubud offers a truly immersive experience into the island's soul, making it a compelling choice for expats in search of a deeper connection with their surroundings.

Things To Do In Ubud

Ubud is teeming with enriching activities and experiences. Step into the Ubud Royal Palace and witness the mesmerizing traditional dance performances held every evening, a spectacle that showcases Bali's rich cultural tapestry. 

Art connoisseurs can delve into Ubud's thriving arts scene by visiting the Agung Rai Museum of Art or the numerous local galleries scattered throughout the town, each housing a diverse array of traditional and contemporary art pieces.

Health and wellness are integral to Ubud's charm. The town is home to a plethora of yoga and meditation studios, like the famed Yoga Barn, where one can practice mindfulness amid the tranquil natural surroundings. 

Ubud also prides itself on its health-conscious culinary scene, with eateries like Kafe Ubud and Alchemy serving up organic, plant-based delicacies that satisfy both the palate and soul.

The Ubud Monkey Forest, a sacred nature reserve and temple complex, is another must-visit spot, where one can interact with the resident long-tailed macaques while exploring the ancient temples nestled within the forest.

Pros And Cons Of Ubud

Ubud offers a distinct living experience characterized by peace, natural beauty, and a strong sense of community. The town's focus on wellness, spirituality, and culture makes it a perfect sanctuary for those seeking a meaningful and tranquil existence. Ubud is also know to be one oft he best areas in Bali for families and kids.

However, Ubud's laid-back lifestyle might feel too quiet and isolated for those accustomed to the hustle and bustle of city life. Its location in the highlands means that the area lacks beach access, a drawback for those who dream of seaside living. 

The climate in Ubud tends to be more humid and receives more rainfall than the coastal areas, which could deter those who prefer a drier, beachside climate.

Nevertheless, the wealth of cultural experiences, the warmth of its local community, and the undeniable charm of its serene, verdant landscapes make Ubud a unique and rewarding place for expats to call home.

We invite you to navigate our ample collection of properties for sale Ubud, and liaise with our experienced Bali real estate team for more comprehensive insights

Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua, a beautifully manicured enclave situated on the southeastern coast of Bali, is synonymous with luxury and tranquility. 

Famous for its high-end resorts, pristine white-sand beaches, and world-class amenities, Nusa Dua presents an opulent living experience away from Bali's bustling tourist hubs. 

The property market in Nusa Dua is highly exclusive, featuring luxurious villas and upscale apartments, often within gated communities. Though the cost of living can be high, the impeccable maintenance, security, and access to high-quality facilities make it a favored spot for those seeking an opulent lifestyle.

With its well-maintained infrastructure, abundant recreational facilities, and peaceful ambiance, Nusa Dua has become a popular choice for expats looking for a blend of luxury and serenity in their tropical island living experience.

Things To Do In Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua boasts a plethora of activities to indulge in, whether you're a thrill-seeker, a golf enthusiast, or a leisure lover. 

Adrenaline junkies can partake in various water sports at Tanjung Benoa, including jet-skiing, parasailing, and diving. 

Golf aficionados can enjoy a round at the Bali National Golf Club, one of Asia's top golfing destinations, featuring a beautifully landscaped and challenging 18-hole course.

For those interested in marine life, the Bali Marine and Safari Park provides an unforgettable experience of exploring Bali's underwater world and its diverse inhabitants. 

Nusa Dua also houses a rich culinary scene with fine dining restaurants serving mouthwatering local and international cuisines. 

For shopping enthusiasts, the Bali Collection provides an upscale retail experience, offering a mix of international and national luxury fashion brands, as well as souvenir shops.

Pros And Cons Of Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua offers an idyllic living experience characterized by stunning beaches, top-notch facilities, and a serene, well-maintained environment. Its excellent infrastructure and high standards of cleanliness add to the area's appeal, ensuring a comfortable, hassle-free living experience.

However, the area's very exclusivity can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it ensures a peaceful, crowd-free environment, but on the other, it might make the area feel quiet for some. The cost of living, especially housing, can be significantly higher in Nusa Dua compared to other parts of Bali, which might be a deterrent for those with a tighter budget.

Despite these challenges, for those who seek a luxurious lifestyle coupled with tranquility and superior amenities, Nusa Dua is undoubtedly an attractive choice among the various expat-friendly locales in Bali.

Dive into our diverse array of properties for sale in Nusa Dua listed on our site, and please feel free to communicate with our professional Bali real estate agents for more specifics.


Where do retired expats live in Bali?

Retired expats in Bali tend to gravitate towards areas like Ubud for its tranquillity, culture, and natural beauty, and Nusa Dua for its high-end facilities and peaceful beaches. However, the best area will depend on each individual's lifestyle preferences and needs.


In conclusion, the question of "Where do most expats live in Bali?" doesn't have a one-size-fits-all answer. Each area has its own unique appeal. 

Your choice will ultimately depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and what you want to get out of your Bali living experience. 

We hope that this guide has provided you with a clearer picture of what life can be like in some of Bali's most popular expat destinations. 

Safe travels and happy home hunting!

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