How is Expat Life in Lombok?

villa for the Expat Life in Lombok

Lombok, an island in Indonesia, is increasingly becoming a popular destination for expatriates looking for a tranquil yet vibrant lifestyle. Lombok offers an appealing alternative to the more tourist-heavy Bali with its beautiful beaches, affordable cost of living, and friendly local community. This guide provides a comprehensive look at what expat life in Lombok entails.


Moving to a new country can be both exciting and challenging. Lombok, with its natural beauty and cultural richness, offers a unique experience for expatriates. This island is ideal for those seeking a slower pace of life, a close-knit community, and a relatively low cost of living.

Cost of Living in Lombok

One of the main attractions of Lombok for expatriates is the affordable cost of living. Here’s a breakdown of typical monthly expenses:

  • Housing: Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around $200-$300 per month, while a similar property outside the city center costs about $150-$250 per month.
  • Utilities: Basic utilities, including electricity, water, and internet, cost approximately $50-$75 per month.
  • Food: Eating out at local restaurants is quite affordable, with meals costing between $1.50 to $5. Monthly groceries for one person are approximately $100-$150.
  • Transportation: Renting a scooter costs around $50-$70 per month, while car rentals are about $300-$500 per month. Public transportation options are limited but inexpensive.
ayam taliwang and satay - local lombok restaurant

Housing and Real Estate

Expatriates in Lombok have a variety of housing options, ranging from budget apartments to luxury villas. Popular areas among expats include:

  • Senggigi: Known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and well-developed infrastructure.
  • Kuta: Popular for its stunning beaches, surf spots, and laid-back atmosphere.
  • Selong Belanak: Offers a quieter, more serene environment with beautiful beaches.
  • Mataram: The capital city provides better access to amenities like shopping centers, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions.
Villa construction in Lombok

Community and Social Life of Expats in Lombok

Lombok has a growing expatriate community, primarily consisting of Australians, Europeans, and Americans. This community offers support and camaraderie, making it easier for new expatriates to settle in. Social clubs and gatherings provide opportunities to meet fellow expats and build a social network.

  • Social Clubs and Events: Many expat clubs organize regular meet-ups, social events, and activities, fostering a sense of community.
  • Local Integration: Learning basic Bahasa Indonesia can significantly enhance your experience and help you integrate into the local community. The locals are generally friendly and welcoming to expatriates.
live music night Gecko kuta lombok restaurant

Activities and Lifestyle

Lombok offers a wide range of activities for expatriates, catering to various interests and lifestyles:

  • Beach Life: Enjoy the stunning beaches, whether you prefer sunbathing, swimming, or water sports like surfing and snorkeling.
  • Outdoor Activities: Hiking, cycling, and exploring the island’s natural beauty are popular among expatriates. Mount Rinjani offers challenging treks with breathtaking views.
  • Cultural Experiences: Engage in local traditions, visit temples, and participate in festivals. The Sasak culture adds a unique charm to life on the island.
  • Volunteering: Many expatriates find fulfillment in giving back to the local community through volunteer work, particularly in education, healthcare, and environmental conservation.
Surf camps in Lombok

Healthcare and Medical Facilities

Healthcare is a vital consideration for expatriates. Lombok has several hospitals and clinics that provide basic medical services. For more specialized treatment, many expatriates prefer to travel to Bali or Singapore. Health insurance is recommended to cover any unexpected medical expenses.

  • Local Healthcare: Basic healthcare services are available at reasonable costs. Private clinics offer higher standards of care compared to public hospitals.
  • Travel for Treatment: For serious health concerns, Bali, with its advanced medical facilities, is just a short flight away.


For expatriates with families, education is an important factor. Lombok has several international schools catering to the expatriate community:

  • Sekolah Nusa Alam: An international school in Mataram offering a curriculum in English.
  • Montessori School Lombok: Located in Senggigi, providing a Montessori-based education.

Challenges and Considerations for Expats in Lombok

While Lombok offers many advantages, expatriates should also be aware of potential challenges:

  • Language Barrier: Although English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning basic Bahasa Indonesia can be beneficial.
  • Infrastructure: Developing infrastructure may not meet all Western standards. Power outages and limited internet connectivity can be occasional issues.
  • Isolation: Some areas can feel isolated, especially during the off-peak tourist season. Access to certain goods and services may be limited.


Expat life in Lombok offers a laid-back lifestyle, immersed in nature. With its affordable cost of living, growing expatriate community, and diverse activities, Lombok is an attractive destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. While there are challenges, the benefits of living in this Indonesian paradise often outweigh them. Whether you’re looking for a place to retire, work remotely, or simply enjoy a slower pace of life, Lombok might just be the perfect place for you.

FAQs on Expat Life in Lombok

Is Lombok a good place for expatriates to live?

Yes, Lombok is a good place for expatriates due to its affordable cost of living, beautiful natural environment, and welcoming local community.

What is the cost of living for expatriates in Lombok?

The cost of living in Lombok is significantly lower than in many Western countries. Monthly expenses for housing, utilities, food, and transportation are relatively affordable.

Do people speak English in Lombok?

English is widely spoken in tourist areas and by younger generations. While Bahasa Indonesia is the primary language, many locals, especially those in the hospitality industry, can communicate effectively in English.

What kind of activities can expatriates enjoy in Lombok?

Expatriates in Lombok can enjoy various activities, including beach life, hiking, cultural experiences, and volunteering. The island offers a relaxed lifestyle with plenty of opportunities for exploration and engagement.

What are the healthcare facilities like in Lombok?

Lombok has several hospitals and clinics for basic medical needs. For specialized treatment, many expatriates prefer traveling to Bali or Singapore. Health insurance is recommended.

About Nour Estates

We started Nour Estates with a simple idea: to make finding your dream land in Lombok as easy and enjoyable as a day at the beach. Our team is a mix of local folks and people from around the world who fell in love with Lombok just like you. We’ve been in your shoes, faced the challenges of buying land here, and learned all the ins and outs. Now, we’re here to share that knowledge with you.

We are here to find you the perfect land to invest in. Contact us today, and let’s start this exciting journey together!

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