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  • Writer's pictureSotirios Seridis

Living in Bandung as a Digital Nomad

Bandung is the capital city of West Java, one of Indonesia’s provinces. The city has beautiful landscapes, historic landmarks and architecture, and amazing local cuisine. Located only a short distance from Jakarta, Bandung is connected to the Indonesian capital with multiple means of transport options such as by car, travel agent commutes, trains, and other options that make a visit to the city faster and easier.


Therefore, if you are a digital nomad visiting Indonesia and are spending a large part of your stay in Jakarta, you might be tempted to visit Bandung and fall in love with its lovely scenery. That’s why we have prepared a guide for living in Bandung as a digital nomad, offering advice on costs of living, neighborhoods, accommodation, and coworking spaces.



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Why Live in Bandung as a Digital Nomad?


Many location-independent workers like to analyze each city they go to so they can decide if visiting is a good choice. Here, we have listed for you the pros and cons of going to Bandung as a digital nomad.


Pros:

  1. It’s a highland city with fresher air and colder weather than Jakarta: If Jakarta is too hot and humid for you, Bandung will sort that out for you. It would be a nice change of pace, especially since it’s only a short distance away from Jakarta (2 hours by car, 4 hours by train, and a soon-to-be-open high-speed train), so you can go back and forth without losing too much time.

  2. A marvelous scenery: Bandung has beautiful landscapes, mountains, volcanos, tea plantations, waterfalls, and lovely hot springs. No visit is complete without spending some time in Kawah Putih, Tangkuban Perahu, and many other important (and amazing) landmarks. If you thought that Japan was the only place to enjoy hot springs, think twice, as Bandung offers the hot springs with real sulphuric water known to possess healing properties.

  3. Camping opportunities: if you get a kick at spending a night or two in the wild, there are many glamping spots in scenic forests where you can enjoy a secluded, naturistic life. Bobocabin Cikole and Ciwidey Valley Hot Spring Water & Resort are just some of these glamping spots. Many Indonesians choose Bandung as a weekend getaway place because of this.

  4. A little piece of France and The Netherlands: Bandung’s historical Dutch influence and architecture dub the city Parijs van Java (the Paris of Java) due to the Dutch historically settling in the area as a vacation spot. For this reason, in Central Bandung, you can still admire Art Deco buildings of Dutch colonial heritage Indische Style (assimilation of Dutch and local architecture) and neo-classical architectural styles. It is "the nation's laboratory of colonial architecture". There are also some nice, authentic Dutch restaurants in the city (for example, Tizzi). Some of the iconic Dutch buildings you cannot miss are the Gedung Sate, the Governor's office building, the present Bidakara Homann Hotel, and Gedung Merdeka, the venue for the Asian-African Conference with its attached museum.

  5. One-of-a-kind cuisine: Indonesia is known for its tantalizing flavors, and every city in Indonesia boasts different ones. A city unlike any other, Bandung’s local culinary scene is up-and-coming. It’s a mix of traditional street food and real Indonesian and Sundanese flavors that you can only find here.





Cons:

  1. Language barrier: The locals mostly speak in dialects and not many people who live there can hold a conversation in English. Learning some Indonesian words and phrases to order food, transport, or ask for a bill would be most helpful during your stay.

  2. Difficult roads and notorious traffic: Indonesia is notorious for small roads and plenty of forked paths, called jalan tikus by locals, a phrase which roughly translates to “mouse path". Thus, it is easy to get lost in the city if you're traveling on your own and sometimes Google Maps may not be as reliable as you would expect. Driving a car or a bike is not advisable for someone who is not accustomed to the roads, traffic, and driving behavior of the locals. The best way to get around is with ride apps such as Grab/Gojek app for short distances, or renting a car with a driver fee included for long-distance trips.

  3. Spice and hygiene: though unique, Bandung’s street food might occasionally lack cleanliness. Plus, the spice they add to their food is intense in comparison to countries that take a subtle approach to it. So be warned and respectful with chili and always check on the food’s hygiene before eating it.





What is the Cost of Living in Bandung?


The cost of living in Bandung is generally cheaper than in other big cities, but will also depend on where you intend to live and what sort of lifestyle you expect to have there. Here is a rough estimate of what you should be paying:


Total for a single person per month:

  • Low range (eating affordable food, cooking your meals sometimes, seldom nightlife outings, moderate activities, renting a scooter, and a very small amount of taxi rides, rent a room in a hostel): USD 250

  • High range (eating expensive food in restaurants/cafes often, indulging in nightlife, doing many activities, taking classes, renting a scooter/car, renting a whole villa): USD 1,300





Itemized prices for a single person per month:

  • Rent:

    • Airbnb (average for 1 bed): USD 38 per night

    • Average Studio: USD 96 per night

    • For long-term stays: the price can range between USD 38 - USD 640 per night

  • Utilities (water, electricity, phone, internet): USD 64 (price varies upon usage, some places also include utilities in the renting price)

  • Groceries: USD 25

  • Dining out and drinking an alcoholic beverage: USD 25 - USD 320

  • Transport (Ride-hailing/Rent car with a driver): USD 38 - USD 250

  • Activities (Glamping, Trekking, ATV, etc): USD20 - USD 200





What are the Best Neighborhoods to Stay In Bandung?


Let’s take a look at the best 3 neighborhoods to Stay In Bandung, based on what you can find there and your lifestyle.


Dago

This lovely place rests on the mountaintops, away from the city center. It offers the best views of the valley, with breezy winds refreshing your stay. Here, you will find national parks and natural wonders to see, like curugs (waterfalls) and parks. A lot of tourists from out of town also visit this area to get away from the city’s pace. There are also plenty of facilities such as easy access to transportation, restaurants, co-working spaces, shopping malls, banks, hospitals, schools, etc.


Best for: digital nomads who want to be close to the city but also enjoy nature.



Lembang

This neighborhood is filled with natural attractions and resorts such as Dusun Bambu Resort, Lembang Floating Market, and Tangkuban Perahu. You can find a lot of hot springs as well in case you plan for relaxing activities. A lot of people in Bandung also visit this area for a short getaway.


Best for: digital nomads who want to enjoy natural resorts and attractions away from the city.





Bandung Wetan

With a central location in Bandung, Bandung Wetan is a strategic place to stay, with easy access to the rest of the city and its surroundings. From here, you are not far from Paris Van Java mall, Ciwalk, Bandung Zoological, and Paskal area, to name a few hotspots. It is the main commercial area and the place for iconic historical buildings and nice hotels. However, it is notorious for being high-traffic and high-pollution, so it is more suitable for someone who has just arrived in Bandung.


Best for: digital nomads who are visiting Bandung for the first time and want to be close to the hustle and bustle.





How to Find Short-Term and Long-Term Accommodation in Bandung


If you are already thinking of spending some time in Bandung, let us share with you some tips on how to get accommodation. Let’s divide in terms of long and short stays.


Short-Term (days to weeks):

  • Airbnb: the place to go for standalone villas, apartments, and rooms. It’s the best choice for those traveling on a budget or looking to have amenities for cooking.

  • Booking.com / Traveloka.com / Agoda.com: in these sites, you will find a variety of hotels and villas. It’s best for those wanting to live in serviced areas and to avoid the cost of utilities (which is usually but not always included in the price, so make sure to double-check on that).





Long-Term (months):

  • Local Listing Sites:

    • mamikos.com: it’s best for travelers on a budget and those looking for individual rooms with shared amenities such as a kitchen and dining area (dorm-like amenities).

    • rumah123.com: the best option for those looking for a whole house/apartment.





Top 5 Coworking Spaces in Bandung


For digital nomads, a good coworking space is essential when traveling. There are many coworking spaces all across Bandung, so we have made a short list of 5 of the most popular ones:


An ideal space for entrepreneurs to network and collaborate. It offers space as a service, global connections, and opportunities to accelerate your startup’s growth. It also has coliving spaces in case you want the convenience of living and working in one space.


Location: Jl. Raden Patah No.28, Lebakgede, Kecamatan Coblong, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40132, Indonesia




Established in 2016, Eduplex is a co-working space that offers a relaxed and inspiring environment, with free coffee, wifi, and 24/7 facilities. Students, digital nomads, local professionals, and freelancers make use of their comfortable workspaces to network with like-minded individuals.


Location: Jl. Ir. H. Juanda No.84, Lebakgede, Kecamatan Coblong, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40132, Indonesia






This place serves as a hub for connecting and sharing knowledge, as well as for developing networks and collaboration opportunities with an impact on the community. CO&CO is a welcoming environment for community members, individuals, start-ups, SMEs, corporations, and many other workers.


Location: Jl. Dipati Ukur No.5, Lebakgede, Kecamatan Coblong, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40132, Indonesia




Koléga Coworking Space provides communal spaces and other rooms for digital nomads in Indonesia's major cities; Jakarta, Bali, and, of course, Bandung. Anyone can use their coworking space, meeting room, and event space.


Location: 3JJ7+GGM, Jl. Veteran, Kb. Pisang, Kec. Sumur Bandung, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40112, Indonesia




Conclave is a proactive coworking space. Their goal is to provide a stimulating working environment equipped with cutting-edge facilities throughout Indonesia. From modern and fully-furnished serviced offices, to spacious coworking spaces, to auditoriums and meeting rooms, Conclave is a great option.


Location: Jl. A. Yani No.134-136, Malabar, Kec. Lengkong, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40262, Indonesia






Top 5 Working Cafes in Bandung


There are many perks in coworking spaces, but many digital nomads also enjoy a good coffee spot. If you want to take your laptop somewhere nice and sip some coffee while working, you can try 5 of the best ones from the list below. There are many more to explore, as well.


This is a communal coffee place led by local women. With a cozy ambiance and affordable prices, you can both have a snack or a more complete meal during the day, enjoying their pasta and pizzas.


Location: Jl. Sukahaji No.126, Sukarasa, Kec. Sukasari, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40152, Indonesia




One of the most recommended coffee shops in Bandung. You can drink your coffee outside in a beach-like setting, and sunbathe during your working breaks.


Location: Jl. Sumur Bandung No.14, Lb. Siliwangi, Kecamatan Coblong, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40132, Indonesia






Bandung’s hospitality shows itself in Marka Cafe. They take it to a whole new level. With a clean and comfortable space, there is a smoking area, a private meeting room, and a prayer room. It might not be as cheap as other cafes, but visitors like its fresh food, good coffee, and office-like premises.


Location: Talaga Bodas St No.32, Malabar, Lengkong, Bandung City, West Java 40262, Indonesia




A relaxing spot in Bandung, with a chill atmosphere and soothing background music. Serving good coffee, they have their roastery and blending recipes, but the best choice is their signature Blackbird mocktail coffee. It has a large seating area that can get quite crowded during lunchtime, but there is good Wi-Fi, and office space available as well.


Location: Jl. Gandapura No.40, Merdeka, Kec. Sumur Bandung, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40113, Indonesia




Frequent visitors of this cafe find it one of the coziest in Bandung. Part of its charm is its beautiful design and relaxing atmosphere, quiet enough to work in. Pastries are one of GrindJoe’s specialties.


Location: Jl. Ir. H. Juanda No.69, Tamansari, Kec. Bandung Wetan, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40116, Indonesia






Closing Thoughts on Living in Bandung as a Digital Nomad


Bandung is often an overlooked destination. Being a smaller city, many digital nomads only go to Jakarta, Bali, or Yogyakarta, missing this hidden gem. Bandung has a charming style that makes it worth the visit. With this guide, you may have already noticed that Bandung is a perfect place for a short getaway or short stay when you're visiting Indonesia. If you intend to visit the country, do check if you are eligible for the Indonesia 10-Year Visa Program.





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