The cost of living in Indonesia differs greatly between rural and urban areas. In general, though, Indonesia has a lower cost of living than many Western countries. In Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Survey, Jakarta was ranked as the 151st most expensive city out of 227 cities surveyed.

Expats in Indonesia working for large organisations often receive international salaries and extensive compensation for their basic expenses, including housing, schooling and transportation. These expats may consider the cost of living in Jakarta relatively low, and their lives will be far more luxurious than those of most locals.

As an expat, accommodation will most likely take the biggest portion of one's salary. Education, medical care and utilities are also relatively expensive. Groceries in supermarkets are relatively cheap and even cheaper in small shops and at local ‘wet’ markets. Imported products are generally much more expensive, especially wine and liquor.

Cost of accommodation in Indonesia

The cost of accommodation in Indonesia's different cities is highly variable. In general, foreigners with an expat salary will be able to rent a luxurious apartment or house in the best neighbourhoods in Jakarta. Expats with a lower budget will be able to rent a simple apartment in a decent and safe neighbourhood.

Cost of groceries and clothing in Indonesia

Food and clothing will probably not take up a great portion of an expat's salary, provided expats do not buy a lot of imported products and internationally branded clothing.

Local food, clothing and personal care products are cheap compared to their imported equivalents, so it’s often worth trying local products instead of ‘trusted’ Western products and brands.

Cost of transport in Indonesia

Transport won't constitute a great portion of an expat's salary in Indonesia, even if they regularly take a taxi or have their own driver. Car prices are comparable to those in other countries. Fuel prices are very low compared to other countries, but are rising quickly. 

Public transport is much cheaper, but also far less comfortable and not very safe. Buses and minibuses can be packed. They often don't have air conditioning and can be relatively unsafe, particularly for expat women.

If looking for cheap transportation, an ojek (motorbike driver) or a bajaj (tuk-tuk) are other options. It is best to negotiate the price, and if unable to speak Bahasa Indonesia, expats will probably pay almost as much as they would pay for a taxi. It's therefore useful to learn some key phrases in Bahasa Indonesia for situations like these.

Cost of education in Indonesia

International schools are expensive in Indonesia, particularly in Jakarta. Though pricey, the quality of international schools is most often significantly higher than the quality of local public schools. Most schools also have additional charges for extracurricular activities. 

Cost of healthcare in Indonesia

Healthcare services are relatively expensive in Jakarta and vary significantly in quality. It's therefore important for expats to find a good local hospital with affordable rates as soon as possible.

Expats should also familiarise themselves with the medical coverage provided by their company and ensure that it will provide for medical concerns, major emergencies and medical evacuation to another country.

Cost of living in Indonesia chart

Prices vary across Indonesia – these are average costs for Jakarta in January 2023. Prices may vary depending on product and service provider.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

IDR 18,200,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

IDR 10,030,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

IDR 7,580,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

IDR 4,260,000


Milk (1 litre)

IDR 20,000

Loaf of white bread

IDR 19,000

Rice (1kg)

IDR 12,800

Dozen eggs

IDR 28,600

Chicken breasts (1kg)

IDR 56,000

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

IDR 28,800


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

IDR 1,816

Internet (cable/ADSL)

IDR 435,000

Basic utilities (electricity, water, gas)

IDR 1,960,000

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant

IDR 350,000

Big Mac Meal

IDR 52,000


IDR 34,500

Bottle of local beer

IDR 34,300

Coca-Cola (330ml)

IDR 9,200


Taxi rate per km

IDR 4,550

City-centre public transport fare

IDR 3,500

Petrol (per litre)

IDR 11,900

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