A Guide on Cost of Living in Indonesia

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Cost of Living in Indonesia

The cost of living in Indonesia varies depending on the specific region you intend to visit, as well as whether you choose to stay in rural or urban areas. In general, Indonesia is recognized as a country with a comparatively affordable cost of living when compared to numerous Western or European nations.  


To illustrate, if you are a tourist hailing from the Western world and have savings from your home country, you will find Indonesia to be pleasantly affordable.  

Among all Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia boasts one of the lowest costs of living. However, it is worth noting that it also hosts some of the most expensive hotels globally. As a result, if you are planning a luxurious vacation, expenses can add up significantly.

Why Choose Indonesia to Study Abroad?

Indonesia presents an excellent opportunity for international students seeking a quality education at an affordable cost. The universities in the country follow the conventional three-tiered degree system—bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral—and also offer Associate degrees. The country offers a rich blend of delectable cuisine, captivating landmarks, and hospitable locals, making it an ideal destination.  

Here are some of the reasons why Indonesia can be an ideal destination for studying abroad:

  • Across Indonesia, you’ll find a wide array of public and private higher education institutions, all overseen by the Ministry of Education and Culture. 
  • Since gaining independence in 1945, the education sector in Indonesia has witnessed remarkable growth.
  • Notably, four Indonesian universities, namely Universitas Indonesia, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Gadjah Mada University, and Airlangga University, are listed among the top 500 universities in the QS World University Rankings.  
  • The enrollment of approximately 6,000 international students at Indonesian universities signifies its popularity as a study destination. 
  • Many programs are taught in English or other languages, accommodating those who are not proficient in Indonesian. Nevertheless, studying in Indonesia provides a fantastic opportunity to acquire another language, which enhances the appeal of your CV/resume.

Also Read: Study Abroad: QS WUR: Asia 2024 Out Now! Peking University Tops the List Again

Cost of Living in Indonesia

The cost of living in Indonesia depends on what part of this country you are visiting. But generally speaking, it is renowned for its low cost of living when compared to various Western and European nations. 

Now, let’s understand what the cost of living in Indonesia looks like in detail: 


Let’s have a look at the cost of public transport:

Monthly Pass (Local bus) 200,000 Rp (INR 1.09k) 
One-way Ticket (Local bus) 5,000 Rp (INR 27.33) 
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 7,000 Rp (INR 38.26) 
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 5,000 Rp (INR 27.33) 

Indonesia boasts excellent transportation infrastructure, encompassing four distinct railway networks along with numerous ports, and well-maintained roads, making a total of 673 of them. 

As a result, it is generally effortless to locate suitable means of transportation such as buses, ferries, taxis, trains, or rental cars to reach your desired destination.

Food and Dining

One of the best parts of Indonesia is its cuisine. The country is known for its street food and has to offer a wide range of traditional Indonesian and Southeast Asian dishes. There are also numerous excellent restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines. If you wish to cook at home, then you are in luck because fruit, vegetables, meat, and poultry are very affordable. 

This is what the price of food at restaurants in Indonesia looks like: 

Meal TypePrice
A simple meal at an inexpensive restaurant25,000 Rp (INR 136.65)
A three-course meal mid-range restaurant for two individuals 200,000 Rp (INR 1.09k) 
McDonald’s Combo Meal50,000 Rp (INR 273.29)

Here is what the price of groceries looks like in Indonesia:

Milk (regular, 1 liter) 18,633 Rp (INR 101.96)
Rice (white, 1kg)12,829 Rp (INR 70.20)
A loaf of White Bread (500g)16,138 Rp (INR 88.30)
Eggs (dozen)21,208 Rp (INR 116.05)
Chicken Breast Fillets (1kg)47,103 Rp (INR 257.74)
Tomato (1kg) 14,112 Rp (INR 77.22)
Potato (1kg)17,788 Rp (INR 97.33)

Utility Expenses 

This is what the utility cost for an apartment looks like in Indonesia:

The monthly cost for an apartment (Heating, Cooling, Electricity, Garbage, etc.) 1,035,937 Rp (INR 5.6k)
The basic monthly payment for a home ((Heating, Cooling, Electricity, Garbage, etc.) 1,500,000 Rp (INR 8.2k)
Internet (60+ Mbps, Unlimited Data) 457,561 Rp (INR 2.5k)


In Jakarta, the rental rates for houses vary from $1,000 (INR 81.9k) per month to $10,000 (INR 8.19 lakh) per month for high-end properties, reflecting a wide range of options available. On the other hand, rental prices in other regions of Indonesia are significantly more affordable. For instance, in Kuta, one can secure a fully furnished three-bedroom apartment for as low as $500 (INR 40.9k) per month.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Taiwan: A Guide on Expected Expenses

Average Tuition Fees

The average tuition fees for international students in Indonesia range from $2400 (INR 1.9 lakh) to $6100 (INR 5.001 lakh) per year. The tuition fees will vary depending on the institution and level of study. If you choose to study at a medical degree, you can expect your tuition fees to be higher than this. For the Undergraduate program, the fees start from $2,650 (INR 2.17 lakh), Masters $2,650 (INR 2.17 lakh), and Doctoral $3,150 (2.58 lakh).

Things to Know When Moving to Indonesia

Indonesia is often preferred by expats, tourists, and students due to numerous reasons, which include the incredible natural beauty it offers. The country is home to some of the most stunning beaches, mountains, and forests. Whether you enjoy hiking, surfing, or just soaking up the sun, Indonesia has something to offer everyone. 

While this nation is among the most preferred destinations, you still need to keep a few things in mind before you go there.

Cost of Living in Indonesia

So, here are some of the things you should know before you move to Indonesia:


The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia. While English is spoken in many tourist areas and by some locals, learning basic Indonesian phrases can greatly enhance your experience and help with daily interactions.  

Cultural Diversity

Indonesia is a diverse country with various ethnicities, religions, and cultural traditions. Respect and embrace the local customs, traditions, and beliefs. Familiarize yourself with the etiquette, greetings, and gestures specific to Indonesian culture.  

Cost of Living

Major cities like Jakarta and Bali may have higher living expenses compared to smaller towns or rural areas. Consider factors such as housing, transportation, food, healthcare, and entertainment.  


Indonesia has a tropical climate with high humidity and varying weather patterns. Prepare for hot and humid conditions, as well as rainy seasons in certain regions. Pack appropriate clothing, including lightweight and breathable fabrics, as well as rain gear.  

Expatriate Communities 

Connect with expatriate communities and forums online or on social media platforms. They can provide valuable insights, advice, and support during your transition to Indonesia.  

Leisure and Recreation 

Indonesia offers diverse recreational opportunities, including stunning natural landscapes, cultural sites, and outdoor activities. Take advantage of exploring the country’s beautiful beaches, national parks, and historical landmarks.

Relevant Reads:

Cost of Living in Seychelles: A Comprehensive Guide on ExpensesCost of Living in Beijing: A Comprehensive Guide on Beijing’s Expense
Cost of Living in Malaysia: A Complete Guide on ExpensesCost of Living in Seoul: A Comprehensive Guide on Seoul’s Expense
Cost of Living in China: A Comprehensive Guide on China’s ExpensesCost of Living in Taipei: A Comprehensive Guide on Taipei’s Expense


How much does accommodation cost in Indonesia?

Accommodation costs can vary significantly depending on the location and type of housing. In major cities, renting an apartment can range from affordable options to high-end properties. In smaller towns or rural areas, housing costs are generally lower.

How much can I expect to spend on food in Indonesia?

Food expenses in Indonesia can be relatively affordable, especially if you eat local Indonesian cuisine. Prices can vary depending on where you dine, with street food and local eateries being more budget-friendly compared to upscale restaurants.

What about healthcare costs in Indonesia?

Healthcare costs in Indonesia can vary depending on the type of medical services you require and the healthcare facility you visit. Public healthcare is generally more affordable, while private healthcare facilities may have higher costs. During 2019, individuals in Indonesia typically incurred an average monthly expense of around 2.5 thousand Indonesian rupiah (INR 13.68) for outpatient care received at private hospitals as per Statista. This expenditure was not covered by the Indonesian National Health Insurance, known as JKN, and resulted from medical costs that were not included in the insurance coverage.

Is it necessary to tip in restaurants or for services in Indonesia?

Tipping is not mandatory in Indonesia, but it is appreciated for good service. In restaurants, a service charge may already be included in the bill. If not, a 5-10% tip is customary. For other services, such as taxi rides or hotel staff assistance, rounding up the bill or offering a small tip is considered a polite gesture, but not mandatory.

Are groceries expensive in Indonesia? 

The cost of groceries in Indonesia can vary depending on factors such as location, brand, and the type of items purchased. Generally, local and seasonal produce tends to be more affordable, while imported or speciality items may be relatively more expensive. Shopping at traditional markets or supermarkets can offer a range of price options.

Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign destinations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counseling session with Leverage Edu if you are also planning to study abroad

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