The Gili’s are one of the most popular places for tourists to visit from both Bali and Lombok, so here’s our list of the top things to do on Gili Trawangan.
Top 9 Things To Do On Gili Trawangan + 1 DON’T!
What To Pack? We’ve put together our Ultimate Travel Packing List for every type of trip.
The easiest way to get from Lombok to Gili Trawangan is via Bangsal ferry port.
All ferries from Bangsal run daily starting at 9am and finishing at 6pm.
Once you arrive at Bangsal ferry port you will have two options:
Public boat – 15,000 IDR – Takes roughly 30 minutes and leaves every time there are 40 people ready. Which usually isn’t long as there as lots of locals!
Fast boat – 85,000 IDR – Takes roughly 15 minutes and leaves every hour, on the hour.
Tickets can be bought on the morning of travel from the port.
Another option is to book a private Full-Day Gili Islands Snorkeling Trip from Lombok tour. Which includes transfers to and from Lombok, as well as your guide to exploring the Gili Islands.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
The best time to visit the Gili’s is between April and October, the island’s dry season.
The Gili Islands are one of the most popular spots for tourists to visit from Bali or Lombok, so it can be pretty hectic upon arrival at the port.
However, there is so much to do on the islands that people do spread out, and the best time to head anywhere is always earlier in the morning to beat the crowds!
If you’re a diver then Gili Trawagan is a popular spot for you! We’d certainly recommend going down into the deep waters of the ocean, as here is known to be one of the best areas for marine life among the islands!
WHAT TO PACK
Underwater Camera: GoPro HERO7
Waterproof Phone Case: LifeProof Fre Waterproof Phone Case
Sunscreen: Banana Boat Sunscreen SPF-50
Microfibre Towel: Microfibre Quick Dry Towel
1. Rent Bikes & Explore
Gili Trawagan is the perfect size to explore by bicycle!
You can rent bikes for around 40,000 IDR per day from all over the island, and you’ll see many tourists taking to two wheels to explore everything there is to see on Gili T.
The whole island can be cycled in less than an hour and is best done around sunrise.
If you get up and take a bike around the island early in the morning you’ll miss all the tourists. However be prepared, the paths are not always concrete – you will hit some sandy sections of beach that you may have to walk across.
2. Snorkelling Trip
The most popular of the things to do on Gili Trawangan is to go snorkelling with turtles.
Most tourists head over from Bali or Lombok especially for it!
Booking a snorkelling trip is doable at nearly every shop along the main strip of Gili T or online here.
Public Boat – 100,000 IDR per person
Private Boat – 250,000 IDR per person
Up to 25 people can fit on the boats and usually they will pack out the public boats to the maximum. We opted for a private boat for the 4 of us, paying 250,000 IDR each.
Known for its beautiful fish, turtles and underwater statues a snorkelling trip is a must when visit the Gili Islands.
Book your Gili Islands Snorkelling Trip: Gili Trawangan, Air & Meno Island: Snorkeling Day Trip
3. Chill At The Many Beaches
Why else would you go to a beautiful Indonesian island?
As you hop off the ferry onto Gili Trawangan you’ll immediately be greeted by crystal blue water and white sand beaches.
Our favourite of the beaches on Gili T has to be in front of The Exile Bar, right where the famous sunset swings are located.
It’s clear blue waters in the day make for a great place to hang out, and come sunset it’s full of beanbags – giving a great view of the horizon at golden hour.
4. Take A Massage On The Beach
If you really want to unwind how better than to take a massage on the beach!
The prices start at around 150,000 IDR per hour and local massages can be found all over Gili Trawangan.
The majority of massages are available in spa’s, however at the South East side of the island you will find a few dotted along the sand.
So for those that don’t want to party it up with the sound of speakers, how about being put to sleep by the sound of the ocean?
5. Visit The Gili T Swings
One of the most famous things to do on Gili Trawangan!
With photos on social media making these touristy spots go viral, swings have now been dotted all over the island.
However the best side is the West side if you want to capture a great photo at sunset, and there are also plenty of hammocks to sit back, relax in and enjoy the view.
Our favourite spot is just in front of The Exile Bar where you can really take in the Gili T sunset vibes.
Make sure to head down early if you plan to visit at sunset though, as the swings and beanbags can get pretty busy from around 6pm.
6. Eat At The Night Market
Located on the main square next to the port, the Gili Trawangan night market begins every evening at 6pm.
From your typical tourist bargains, to some authentic Indonesian cuisine and homemade cakes, everything can be found in one place.
Compared to most ‘touristy’ markets in Indonesia, this one is extremely cheap and still has a very local feel to it. You will see many Indonesians residential to the island stopping here for their evening meals.
We highly recommend stopping at the Gili T night market after dinner to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings!
7. Enjoy A Night Out At Sama Sama Reggae Bar
Although we prefer more of a chilled vibe, one of the top things to do on Gili Trawangan is definitely to party.
However not night out has to revolve around a rave!
There are clubs and bars dotted all the way along the main strip of Gili T, but the most recognisable of them all has to be Sama Sama Reggae Bar.
It’s become somewhat known as the place to just relax and wind down in the evenings, with great live music every night from 7pm.
8. Stroll The Shops
As well as the standard souvenirs, Gili T actually has some quirky little bikini and clothing stores.
If you’re looking for some fashionable items for your travels, or something to take home, then there are plenty of hipster shops along the main street.
A couple of our favourites are Lost In Paradise and Mahalo! Of course you have all the street stalls and markets too.
9. Dinner On The Beach
Last but not least, one of most popular things to do on Gili Trawangan is to enjoy dinner on the beach!
Every night without fail we’d sit for hours at the coast eating freshly prepared food.
Our favourite place to visit was Blue Ocean 2 – offering pasta and pizza deals from 25,000 IDR (including a free salad and soup buffet!)
If you walk along the main street on Gili T you’ll definitely be able to find anything you fancy, especially fresh seafood!
AND DON’T RIDE THE HORSES!!
Please whatever you do don’t buy into the animal cruelty that exists on on Gili Trawangan.
There are no motorised vehicles allowed on the island, therefore the options are to walk, bike or use a horse and cart.
The animals are treated extremely badly and it’s so sad to see. We witness horses being whipped for no reason, being overloaded with luggage, having glasses and hats put on them and salivating in need of water.
It’s common sense that it’s unethical to ride these horses and there’s been rumours that the locals even cut the electricity poles at night so tourists feel the need to ride horses around for safety.
Of course in these kind of situations your safety should always come first, but if you can avoid using the horses at all costs we feel you’d be doing a great thing!
Luxury – Kelapa Villas – Kelapa Villas is located in a coconut plantation in northwest Gili Trawangan. All villas have an enclosed fence and come with a private pool. Gili Trawangan Beach is just a 5-minute bike ride from the property. Every villa comes with landscaped gardens and a unique lay out and design. All of the air-conditioned villas have a seating area and a flat-screen TV. The private bathrooms are either indoor or open-air. Some villas include a kitchen and living/dining room. Kelapa Villas is a 15-minute bicycle ride from the lively centre of Gili Trawangan.
Mid-Budget – White Coconut Cottage – White Coconut Cottage is situated in the northern part of Gili Trawangan, 900 yards from Sunset Point. Free WiFi is available in all areas. All rooms come with air-conditioning, a private terrace, day bed and outdoor furniture. Guests can enjoy garden and pool views. Decorated with white timber furniture, the rooms features a fridge, a kettle, and a personal safe. White Coconut Cottage also includes an outdoor pool. Light meals and drinks are also available. Turtle Conservation Gili Trawangan is 0.6 miles away.
Budget – DPM Gili T. Diving Hostel & Bar – DPM Gili T. Diving Hostel & Bar features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Gili Trawangan. Located around a few steps from Sunset Point, the guest house with free WiFi is also 50 yards away from Gili Trawangan Art Market. The property is non-smoking and is located a few steps from Turtle Conservation Gili Trawangan. At the guest house every room comes with air conditioning and a private bathroom. A continental breakfast is available daily at DPM Gili T. Diving Hostel & Bar.
For more places to stay in Gili T you can check the latest prices here.