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9 Best Things To Do On Gili Trawangan

Also known as Gili T, this is our list of top things to do on Gili Trawangan. The largest and most popular of three islands, just off the northwest coast of Lombok Indonesia. 

Cars and motorbikes are prohibited on all three of the Gili Islands, making them ideal for a relaxing, tropical getaway.

Gili Trawangan is renowned for its beautiful white sandy beaches and pristine blue waters that are home to spectacular coral reefs and dive sites.

In addition, it also has a vibrant nightlife with a wide selection of restaurants, bars and entertainment.

Here’s our top things to do on Gili Trawangan.

1. Rent Bikes & Explore

Gili Trawagan is the perfect size to explore by bicycle and, with cars and motorised vehicles prohibited on the islands, one of the only ways!

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 ride around the island early in the morning, you’ll miss all the tourists and the midday heat.

However be prepared, the paths are not always concrete. You will hit some sandy sections of beach that you may have to walk across.

Things To Do On Gili Trawangan Things To Do Gili Islands Rent Bikes Gili Trawangan
You can complete all the things to do on Gili Trawangan on two wheels

2. Snorkelling Trip

The most popular thing to do on Gili Trawangan is definitely to go snorkelling with turtles.

Most tourists head over on their Bali itinerary or Lombok itinerary to get a piece of the action.

Booking a snorkelling trip is doable at nearly every shop along the main strip of Gili T. Alternatively you can book many Gili Trawagan snorkelling tours in advance.

Prices

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 visiting the Gili Islands.

Snorkelling Gili Trawangan Things To Do On Gili Trawangan Things To Do Gili Islands
A snorkelling trip is defintitely one of the top things to do on Gili Trawangan

3. Hop The 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 of Lombok.

Scuba diving and free diving are very popular here due to the beautiful coral formations and abundance of marine life including sea turtles.

Our favourite of the beaches on Gili T has to be the one in front of The Exile Bar, right where the famous sunset swings are located.

Its clear blue waters and soft sand make for a great place to hang out during the day and, come sunset, it’s full of beanbags that give you a comfortable view of the stunning horizon at golden hour.

Snorkelling Gili Trawangan Things To Do On Gili Trawangan Things To Do Gili Islands
Exploring beaches on Gili T

4. Take A Massage On The Beach

If you really want to unwind how better than to have 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 spas, 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 blaring, how about a gentle massage to send you to sleep to the sound of the ocean?

Massage Gili Trawangan Things To Do On Gili Trawangan Things To Do Gili Islands
A traditional beach massage with the sound of the waves crashing is a must!

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 in, relax 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.

A great way to visit the Gili T Swings is the Pink Beach and Southeast Gili Islands Full Day Private Tour.

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One of the most famous Gili T swings at the Exile Bar

6. Eat At The Night Market

Located on the main square next to the port, the Gili Trawangan night market begins every evening just before sunset.

The market is the main public dining area on the island and welcomes locals and travellers with open-air food stalls and warung style cafes.

Selling a variety of foods from fresh catches of the day, along with grilled meats, Indonesian favourites such as nasi goreng to irresistible cakes and much more.

Including, of course, your typical touristy bargains – literally everything can be found in this 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 resident to the island stopping here for their evening meals.

We highly recommend visiting the Gili T night market for dinner or just to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings!

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Night markets on Gili Trawangan

7. 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 every 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.

This is one of the most popular bars and, with talented musicians, friendly staff and inexpensive food and drink you can understand why it attracts so many people.

It’s definitely become known as THE place to relax and wind down in the evenings whilst also enjoying some great live music.

Nightlife Gili Trawangan Things To Do On Gili Trawangan Things To Do Gili Islands
The one and only Sama Sama Bar

8. Stroll The Shops

From the standard souvenir stalls on Trawangan Beach Street to some beautiful and quirky boutique stores. There is actually a good choice of shops to explore on Gili T.

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 lot of the shops have really attractive and elegant layouts, with displays that definitely draw you in to see what treasures lay inside.

You’ll find jewellers like Yin Boutique, selling beautiful copper and gold-plated copper creations. As well as stores like Casa Vintage selling antique furniture, textiles and decorative items.

A couple of our favourites are Lost In Paradise and Mahalo! Of course you also have all the street stalls and markets too.

Shopping Gili Trawangan Things To Do On Gili Trawangan Things To Do Gili Islands
The vintage shops on Gili T

9. Dine 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!)

However, if you walk along the main street on Gili T, there is such a variety of foods on offer that you’ll definitely be able to find something you fancy.

From local cuisine to Jamaican dishes and especially fresh seafood, you are spoilt for choice.

In addition, vegetarians, vegans and people looking for gluten free are also well catered for on the island.

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At night time there are plenty of beautifully lit restaurants sitting along the seafront

And Don’t Ride The Horses!

Please, whatever you do, don’t buy into the animal cruelty that exists 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 witnessed 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!

Horses Gili Trawangan Things To Do On Gili Trawangan Things To Do Gili Islands
Please do not ride the horse and carts on Gili Trawangan.

Where To Stay In Gili Trawangan

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 other places to stay in Gili Trawangan, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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9 Best Things To Do On Gili Trawangan

Jodie

Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

Thank you for mentioning the horses. I would never have thought not to ride them. I am planning a trip there in September and will now not buy into the animal cruelty.

Charlie Pauly

Thursday 23rd of June 2022

Love that! Thanks for taking note and hope you have a great trip!

Adelina Radu

Thursday 26th of September 2019

Very good advice about the horses! I went to Petra few years ago and I have seen adults riding poor donkeys. It made me so sad! If you're over 40 kg you're definitely too heavy for a donkey! It would be acceptable only if you were a kid :( but the kids were running around and adults were riding these poor babies.

Charlie Pauly

Sunday 29th of September 2019

I knowww! So sad. And Gili is crazy, they have 6 adults + all the suitcases it's not nice to see!

Laura Niese

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

OMMGG I was SO SAD for those horses when I visited!!! I wanted to rescue them all like why are they even there it makes NO sense!!!!!! UGHHH makes me so mad!!