Living in Lombok as an expatriate

Caffeinate Your Lombok Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today

Image of Lombok

Located east of Bali, Lombok is a fledgling paradise in Southeast Asia. Its natural beauty, unspoiled culture, and affordable cost of living make it an attractive destination for expats seeking a new start. From the idyllic Gili Islands to the surfer's haven of Kuta, Lombok offers a diverse range of attractions for all types of travelers. Lombok's economy is rapidly growing, particularly in the construction and manufacturing industries. As a result, job opportunities for expats are on the rise, and international companies are setting up office in the area. However, the job market can still be competitive, and it pays to have relevant experience and qualifications.

Tips for expats in Lombok

Visa requirements

Foreigners looking to move to Lombok will need to obtain a visa in advance. Currently, the Indonesian government offers a 60-day visa-on-arrival, which can be extended for an additional 30 days. Expats staying in Indonesia for more than 60 days will need to apply for a different type of visa, such as the KITAS (Work Permit) or KITAP (Permanent Residence). It is advisable to consult the Indonesian embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information on visa requirements.

Language resources

Although Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian) is the official language, English is widely spoken in Lombok, particularly in tourist areas. Expats looking to learn Indonesian can enroll in language courses at local language centers, such as Bahasa Indonesia Language School or Senin Cinta Bahasa, or opt for private tutors. Self-study resources, such as language apps and audio programs, are also available online.

Cost of living for expats in Lombok


Living costs in Lombok are relatively low compared to other Southeast Asian cities. Renting a room in a shared house typically costs around IDR 250,000 to IDR 350,000 per month (approximately USD 16 to USD 21). A one-bedroom apartment in a crowded area can cost around IDR 500,000 to IDR 700,000 per month (approximately USD 32 to USD 44), whereas a two-bedroom apartment may cost around IDR 1,500,000 to IDR 2,000,000 per month (approximately USD 96 to USD 125). Expats looking for more luxurious accommodations may want to consider renting a three-bedroom house, which can cost anywhere from IDR 4,000,000 to IDR 6,000,000 per month (approximately USD 256 to USD 374).


Groceries in Lombok are reasonably priced, with basic items such as rice, vegetables, and fruits costing less than IDR 100,000 (approximately USD 6) per week for a single person. Branded items such as imported foods and beverages can be more expensive, but generally, expats can live comfortably on a budget of around IDR 500,000 to IDR 700,000 per month (approximately USD 32 to USD 44) for groceries.


Transportation costs in Lombok are also relatively low. A one-way ride on a bemo (coach bus) costs between IDR 3,000 and IDR 10,000 (approximately USD 0.20 to USD 0.60), depending on the distance. Taxis are more expensive, with a 10-kilometer ride costing around IDR 60,000 to IDR 100,000 (approximately USD 4 to USD 6) during the daytime and around IDR 80,000 to IDR 150,000 (approximately USD 5 to USD 10) during the nighttime. Expats who prefer the convenience of a private car and driver can expect to pay around IDR 250,000 per day (approximately USD 16).

Climate in Lombok

Lombok enjoys a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 32°C throughout the year. The wet season lasts from November to March, with frequent rainfalls and high humidity. The dry season runs from April to October, with less rainfall and comfortable weather. Expats looking to move to Lombok should consider the wet season, as it may affect their daily activities and commuting.

Job market in Lombok

Lombok's economy is thriving, and international companies are setting up shop in the city. Some of the key industries in the area include construction, manufacturing, and tourism. Construction is a significant contributor to the economy, with the government investing heavily in infrastructure and new developments. The manufacturing sector includes textiles, furniture, and electronics, with a number of factories located in and around Lombok. As for tourism, the Gili Islands are a major attraction, with their pristine beaches and tranquil waters. Expat job opportunities are available in various industries, but competition can be fierce.

Healthcare in Lombok

Lombok has a decent healthcare infrastructure, although the quality of care can vary greatly depending on the facility. The SSUP (Sistem Sandiwara Seputar Umat) is a state-run healthcare system that provides basic healthcare services to the local population. Private healthcare is also available, with several international hospitals and clinics located in Lombok. Expats are advised to have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical emergencies and treatments not covered by the local healthcare systems.

Transport in Lombok

Lombok's public transportation system is relatively basic, with a mix of minibuses (drivers) and bemos (coach buses) operating on fixed routes throughout the city. Taxis are also available, but they can be expensive. The best way for expats to navigate Lombok is by using a private car and driver, which will provide a level of comfort and flexibility. Alternatively, expats can rent a motorbike or bicycle for short trips within the city.

Safety in Lombok

Lombok is generally a safe city, but expats should still take precautions to prevent theft and robbery. Petty theft is common in crowded areas, such as markets and beaches. Expats should avoid carrying large sums of cash, valuables, and jewelry in public areas. It is also advisable to be cautious of strangers offering rides or assistance, as they may have an ulterior motive. Certain areas, such as the Gili Islands, may be more prone to theft due to their secluded nature. Expats should stay alert and avoid walking alone at night.

Neighborhoods in Lombok

  1. Mataram

    Mataram is the capital of Lombok and the largest city in the region. It is located in the western part of the island and is home to a variety of cultural landmarks, such as the Nasrul Din Mosque and the Raja Masyhur National Museum. Mataram also has a bustling business district and is a hub for international companies. Expats living in Mataram can enjoy access to modern amenities, such as shopping malls, restaurants, and nightclubs. Accommodation options vary, with a mix of affordable hostels and spacious apartments available in the city.

  2. Ayam Bisa

    Ayam Bis issues from the temple Pura Penataran Agung, a significant cultural landmark for Balinese Hindus. It is a small district located southeast of Labuan Aji, with a peaceful and traditional atmosphere. Ayam Bis has a mix of houses and small businesses, with a strong emphasis on farming and agriculture. Expats living in Ayam Bis can experience the authentic Balinese lifestyle and learn about traditional customs and practices. Accommodation options are limited, with mainly homestays and small guesthouses available in the district.

  3. Cakranegara

    Cakranegara is a small district located north of Mangsapuri, known for its stunning beaches and natural scenery. It is a good choice for expats looking for a quiet and peaceful living environment, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Cakranegara has a mix of traditional and modern buildings, with a diverse range of restaurants and shops. Accommodation options are limited, with mostly homestays and small guesthouses available in the district.

Attractions in Lombok

  1. Beadalong Creek

    Beadalong Creek is a peaceful waterway located southeast of Mataram. It is a popular spot for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts, with a variety of bird species and mangrove forests to explore. Expats can enjoy a leisurely boat ride along the creek, observe local fishermen, and learn about the traditional fishing practices in Lombok.

  2. Majigere Village

    Majigere Village is a traditional Sasak village located north of Tanjung Aan. It is a cultural landmark that showcases the unique heritage of the Sasak people, with traditional houses, handicrafts, and ceremonies. Expats can learn about traditional crafts, such as weaving and pottery, and participate in traditional ceremonies, such as the Upacara Agung Bersaudara.

  3. Kuta Beach

    Kuta Beach is a tranquil beach located in central Lombok, known for its pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters. It is a popular spot for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing, with a variety of water sports and beach activities available. Expats can also enjoy a stroll along the beach, observe local fishermen, and enjoy the breathtaking sunset over the ocean.

International Schools in Lombok

  1. SMAN 1 Lombok Mandalika

    Jalan Kristi Wujudan, Tanjung, Kota Mataram, Nusa Tenggara Bar. Indonesia

    SMAN 1 Lombok Mandalika is a renowned high school in Mataram, focusing on science and technology education. It is an international school that adheres to the Indonesian National Curriculum, with a dual-language program in English and Indonesian. Expats with children enrolled in SMAN 1 Lombok Mandalika can expect a high level of academic standards and resources, and convenient access to modern amenities.

  2. The International School at Kota Kita

    Jalan Kawan Jepun, Tanjung Aan, Pemenang, Kota Mataram, Nusa Tenggara Bar. Indonesia

    The International School at Kota Kita is a private international school in west Lombok, catering to elementary and junior high school students. It offers a blended curriculum, combining the Indonesian National Curriculum with international standards and resources. Expats with children enrolled in The International School at Kota Kita can enjoy a safe and nurturing school environment, with a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities for professional development.

  3. Liberty English House Lombok

    Jalan Jambu Reinik, Cakranegara, Tanjung Bungkah, Kota Mataram, Nusa Tenggara Bar. Indonesia

    Liberty English House Lombok is a language center in northeast Mataram, providing English language courses for adults and children. It offers a flexible learning schedule, with morning, afternoon, and evening classes available. Expats looking to improve their English skills or prepare for English proficiency exams can benefit from the experienced instructors and personalized learning programs at Liberty English House Lombok.

Useful expat resources in Lombok

Expat destinations in Indonesia