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22 Best Things to Do on Gili Trawangan Island

22 Best Things to Do on Gili Trawangan Island

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover all of the epic things to do on Gili Trawangan island in Indonesia– from snorkeling to world-class sunset spots.

Gili Trawangan is the most popular of the famous Gili Islands in the north of Lombok. Although ‘Gili T’ is regarded as a party island, the truth is that there are just so many unique and fun activities, even if you don’t like to party. From wreck snorkeling, swimming with turtles, and exploring the island by bike, one thing is for sure, you won’t run out!

I’ve visited Gili Trawangan countless times and in this blog post, I will reveal all of the best things to do on Gili T based on my own experience exploring the island. This also includes a complete travel guide covering the top attractions, activities, where to stay, and more, plus a bunch of photos from my trips that I hope will inspire yours.

Gili trawangan snorkeling with a turtle

How to Get to Gili Trawangan

Below I've written a compacted guide on how to get to Gili Trawangan and the Gili islands. For more information, read my guide on how to get to Gili Trawangan from Bali.

  • From Lombok: If you're already in Lombok, you can take fast boats or a public ferry from Bangsal Harbor. Tickets are available at the harbor office from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, costing approximately 20,000 per person for the public boat. The 45-minute to 1-hour trip departs when the boat is full.
  • From Bali: To reach the Gili Islands from Bali, you can take fast boats from Padang Bai or other ports on the East Coast. Costs range from 350K to 450K. I recommend booking this fast boat in advance for the best experience.
Where are the gili islands? , indonesia

Best Things to Do on Gili Trawangan

With that out of the way, let's jump into the full list of what to do on Gili Trawangan. I haven't ranked this list in any specific order, so you'll just need to pick and choose the Gili Trawangan adventures that suit your travel style!

Below I've also included some links to some of the best-rated tours and experiences on Gili Trawangan for those who prefer to have something booked in advance.

1. Snorkeling With Sea Turtles on Gili Trawangan

Let's start with the most popular of the things to do on Gili Trawangan (besides chugging a Bintang). The island is surrounded by incredibly crystal clear waters and healthy coral reefs.

There are also what seem like hundreds of sea turtles that laze around Gili Trawangan and the surrounding Indonesian Islands. For these reasons, snorkeling is one of the funnest activities Gili Trawangan.

Gili trawangan snorkeling with a turtle

If you'd prefer to be shown some of the best snorkeling sites around Gili Trawangan and the other Gili Islands like Gili Meno and Gili Air, then you can also book a half-day snorkeling trip.

This tour is one of the best-rated online and visits the best spots across the islands.

2. Snorkeling from the Beach to "Turtle Point"

What's great about Gili T snorkeling is that you can just walk straight into the water from the beach and be surrounded by healthy marine life.

The best spot to snorkel with turtles is "Turtle Point". However, the confusing thing is that every establishment calls their part of the beach this. The real Turtle Point is located at the northern end of the main street near "Escobar".

If you're wondering about the best places to snorkel on Gili Trawangan, then you might want to check out my snorkeling guide.

Tip: There are loads of turtles on these small islands. If you're heading to Gili Meno, you could also check out the turtle sanctuary!

Snorkeler beside hard coral on gili trawangan
Snorkeling on Gili Trawangan

3. Watch The Famous Gili T Sunset

After a long day of snorkeling and exploring, the best way to unwind is to enjoy the world-famous Gili Trawangan sunset. The best places to view the sunset are on the Northwest or west side of Gili Trawangan or at the famous "That Sunset Tree" (popular for sunset yoga).

On a clear day, you can watch the sun slowly creep behind Mount Agung in the distance and cast its fleeting rays onto the shallow coral waters. It's true that sunsets in this part of the world are something else!

Gili trawangan sunset point
Sunset on gili trawangan

4. Eat at the Night Market

This isn't a food blog, but checking out the night market is still one of the coolest things to do on Gili Trawangan.

There are fish, meat, and vegetable skewers and a wide range of epic side dishes to go with it. The Gili Trawangan night market is located just past Sama Sama Reggae Bar. You'll find it pinned on Google Maps as " Trawangan Night Market".

Locals cook all the food at the market on scolding BBQ coals and everyone gathers around a communal-style park eating area. It's here that you'll find the best value food on the island, and there are plenty of options to try.

I usually went with a vegetable skewer with 4-side dishes and rice for 20,000 IDR.

Night market at gili trawangan
Gili Trawangan Night Market

5. Take the Local Boat to Lombok

After you've explored Gili Trawangan, make sure to keep the adventures going! Right next door is the island of Lombok, one of the best places to visit in Indonesia if you love raw travel.

The local boats, known as 'perahu', depart regularly from Gili Trawangan and are an economical way to reach Lombok for around 23,000 IDR.

Once in Lombok, check out the famous "Lombok Loop", an epic adventure that I think is better than the Ha Giang Loop in Vietnam. You can explore traditional Sasak villages, climb Mount Rinjani, and discover some of Indonesia's most beautiful beautiful beaches and waterfalls.

Related: Visit the "Secret Gilis" on Lombok

Local boat from gili trawangan to lombok

6. Workout on the Beach at the Free Beach Gym

I get it, a workout is probably one of the last things you'd want to do on Gili Trawangan during your holiday. However, if you've been traveling for a while or enjoy a morning workout, then there's a free beach gym located right in front of Blue Marine Dive Shop.

There are chin-up and dip bars, a bench, some mats, and a few weights to use. It might not be a lot, but it's definitely enough to get a good workout in. In the early morning, there's usually no one here, so you can pretty much have all the equipment to yourself.

Also, if you get up early enough, you can even catch the sunrise on this side of the beach.

Beach gym on gili trawangan
Gili trawangan beach gym

7. Rent a Bike to Get Around

Pumped after your morning beach workout and ready to explore?

By far, the best way to get around on Gili Trawangan is to rent a bike. Typically, vendors were charging around 50,000 per day for a bicycle. However, with a bit of bargaining, you can probably get this down to about 30,000 per day.

Once you've got your wheels, you can easily and quickly explore this beautiful tiny island!

Tip: Make sure to also check if your accommodation offers free or discounted bike rental!

Riding a bike around gili trawangan
Riding bikes through the middle of the island

8. Scuba Dive

When you first arrive at Gili Trawangan, you'll notice the endless array of dive shops almost immediately. That's because scuba diving is one of the most popular things to do on Gili Trawangan.

If you're already certified, there are some epic dive sites including Shark Point, Manta Point, and the Gili Wreck; Meno Bounty.

For those that have a little more time, it's also possible to get your PADI or SSI scuba license over 5 days. Due to the popularity and supply of dive shops, Gili Trawangan is one of the cheapest places in the world to get certified. So, if you've been thinking about it, now's the time!

I've dived a lot on Gili Trawangan across many shops. I recommend Trawangan Dive and Mango Dive as the best options currently for price and quality of gear and instructors.

Scuba diving on gili trawangan

9. Try Not to Get Run Over By a Horse Drawn Carriage

There are no cars or motorbikes on Gili Trawangan. In fact, there are no motorized vehicles at all! As a result, most people get around on bikes. There are also several horse carts which are known as "Cidomo".

You'll definitely need to watch out when you're walking or riding around, as they can come screaming around corners unannounced.

You'll need to use your own judgment on whether you'd want to actually pay for horse riding. I decided that I'd prefer not to use them, considering how overworked the horses looked.

However, the Gili Eco Trust is working with local Cidomo drivers to take better care of the island horses.

The main street of gili trawangan
Horses will drive down this main walking street.

10. Go Island Hopping To Gili Meno and Gili Air

Some of the best things to do on Gili Trawangan aren't actually on Gili T at all! If you're on the Gili Islands, then it'd be a shame if you didn't get to experience Gili Meno or Gili Air too!

To get between Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, it costs 35 000 per person for a one-way boat ticket.

I know this is more expensive than the much longer shuttle boat to Lombok! However, I'm sure that you'd understand how tourist demand plays into this pricing.

Regardless, at the end of the day, the cost to explore more of the Gili Islands isn't that much. If you've only got time for one, then I'd recommend going to Gili Meno for the epic, turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and awesome snorkeling spots around the island.

Gili islands from above at sunset
Beach and boats at gili trawangan

11. Explore the Island's Interior

One of the most overlooked things to do on Gili Trawangan is to head inland. I understand that the beaches and reefs are hard to leave, but if you want to see what real island life is like, you'll have to take a walk or bike ride to the interior.

There are fields of symmetrical palm trees and super scenic roads.

If you've already spent plenty of time on the beach, then I'd recommend taking one of the interior roads when you head for sunset on the west side of Gili Trawangan. This way, you'll probably save time and get to experience the island interior at the same time!

Girl walking amongst palm trees on gili trawangan

12. Gili Trawangan Beach Cleanup

While you're on Gili Trawangan, one of the most helpful things you can do is to dispose of your trash properly. For those extra passionate about limiting plastic pollution, you can join in on the weekly Gili Trawangan Beach Cleanup.

The beach cleanup starts at 5 PM sharp every Friday night in front of the Gili Teah Restaurant. It's organized by the awesome guys and girls at the Gili Eco Trust.

This is a great way to help out, meet some like-minded travelers, and best of all, you'll get a free beer at the end!

The Gili Eco Trust doesn't only do beach cleanups. They do great work on the Gili Islands, building the first recycling facility in 2014 and helping the community rebuild with recyclable bricks. If you want to find out more, you can visit their website at the link above.

Gili t cleanup gili eco trust
Gili t cleanup gili eco trust

13. Gili Trawangan Hilltop: The Highest Point on the Island

As you can probably see from the drone photos, the Gili Islands are really flat. However, there is one hill on Gili Trawangan that is worth climbing.

The Gili Trawangan Hilltop Viewpoint is the highest point on the island. From the top, you'll get expansive 360-degree views over the Gili Islands, Lombok, and even out to mainland Bali.

It's not super tall, only around 100 meters in elevation. Still, chilling on the top of this hill is going to offer one of the best sunset spots on Gili T island!

Gili trawangan viewpoint hilltop sunset

14. Listen to Live Music at the Sama Sama Reggae Bar

The Sama Sama reggae bar is on most lists of things to do on Gili Trawangan for a reason.

Many people visit the Gilis every year because of the nightlife. If you prefer live music over nightclubs like me, then you won't be disappointed by the Sama Sama Reggae Bar, located close to the Gili T Boar Harbour.

Motorbike on lombok

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15. Indonesian Cooking Class on Gili Trawangan

If you search for the best-rated tours and activities on Gili T, you'll find this particular cooking class right at the top. It's also mentioned in tonnes of blogs and even in the Lonely Planet guide!

The class is called Sweet and Spicy, and focuses on traditional Indonesian cooking. Of course, you'll learn the basics with common dishes like Nasi Goreng. But, you'll also be taught some interesting combinations that you can keep making easily on your travels through South East Asia.

Cooking class on gili trawangan

16. Masjid Agung Baiturrahman Mosque

The Masjid Agung Baiturrahman is the largest mosque and an important cultural and religious site on the island located near the main ferry pier.

Many tourists don't realize, but Gili Trawangan is an island off Lombok, not Bali. This means that the majority of locals here are Muslim, not Hindu.

Travelers can visit the island mosque but it's important to be respectful and follow the local customs. In my experience, asking about their religion and a willingness to learn and understand always results in a warm smile.

Mosque on gili trawangan island

17. The Gili T Boat Party

One of the most iconic party events happens weekly in Gili Trawangan on a traditional boat cruise around the islands. This trip is organized by My Mates Place hostel and you receive a discount if you are staying there.

I went on this boat party with a few friends during one of my trips to Gili Trawangan and it was pretty wild. I'd recommend doing it once if you're on Gili and you're looking to meet other travelers.

Sunset on gili trawangan island

18. The Famous Gili Trawangan Swing

If you're looking for the most iconic "Instagram" photo on Gili T, you'll want to head to Ombak Sunset Resort located on the western side of the island on Gili Trawangan Beach.

This swing has become a symbol of the island, offering stunning views of the sunset over the ocean. Also, since it's positioned on the western side of Gili Trawangan, it's the perfect spot to capture memorable photos while enjoying the tranquil beauty of the island's sunsets.

GPS Coordinates: 8°20'59.7"S 116°01'41.1"E

Gili trawangan beach swing from above

19. Gili Islands Underwater Statues

One of the most intriguing attractions near Gili Trawangan is the underwater sculpture park, created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

This unique dive and snorkel site is located off the coast of Gili Meno (which is very close to Gili Trawangan). It features a series of hauntingly beautiful human figures arranged in a circle, known as "Nest."

The sculptures are not very deep so you can swim down to them. Furthermore, they're made from pH-neutral concrete to encourage coral growth and support marine life, serving both as an art installation and an artificial reef!

GPS Coordinates: 8°20'58.6"S 116°03'04.0"E

Underwater statues on gili trawangan

20. Enjoy Fresh, Local Seafood

Gili Trawangan is a paradise for seafood lovers with an abundance of fresh, locally-fished seafood available almost everywhere.

For an authentic experience, head to the night market located in the main area of Gili T, where you can try a variety of grilled fish, calamari, and shrimp. Alternatively, for a more upscale dining experience, I recommend Ko - Ko - Mo Restaurant on the Southeast side of the island. Here, you can enjoy a beachfront meal with options ranging from freshly caught lobster to succulent crab.

Tip: To avoid getting sick, always make sure you check the live seafood first. Avoid any fish with "milky" eyes.

Fresh seafood meal

21. Sip Cocktails at one of the Beach Bars

Gili Trawangan's laid-back vibe is perfect to simply sit back and enjoy a cocktail at one of its many beach bars.

Popular spots like Sunset Bar and Pearl Beach Lounge are renowned for their great sunset views, making them perfect to unwind after a long day of adventure

Beach bars from above on gili trawangan

22. SUPS & Water Sports

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and various water sports are popular activities on Gili Trawangan. They offer a fun way to enjoy the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island and get a little exercise in!

You'll find tental shops along the beach providing equipment for SUP, kayaking, and other water sports like jet skiing and banana boat rides.

Kayaking on gili trawangan

Where to Stay on Gili Trawangan

With so many options for staying in the Gili Islands, I have compiled a list of the best accommodation options for your next stay.

Pondok santi estate bedroom with swimming pool

1. Pondok Santi Estate Luxury

Located on the beachfront with stunning views, private pools, spectacular gardens, and on-site wellness packages. This luxury accommodation option is a great pick.

Hotel lumi gili trawangan

2. Hotel Lumi Mid-Range

Want to relax away the hours in your own private bungalow at an exceptional price? Set on stunning grounds with a large outdoor swimming pool it's hard to beat.

Outdoor swimming pool with ocean views at mad monkey gili trawangan

3. Mad Monkey Budget

Looking to meet other backpackers whilst hanging out in the enormous outdoor swimming pool? Look no further than the Mad Monkey Hostel.

Gili Trawangan Budget Food Guide

For travelers used to Lombok food prices, you might be shocked at the cost of a meal on Gili Trawangan. However, this is understandable considering the entire island is catered to tourism.

However, don't stress, you can still grab a cheap bite by opting for local food. The night market listed in the above things to do on Gili Trawangan offers good quality budget food. If you eat vegetarian food, you can easily walk away refueled for under 25,000 IDR. Otherwise, expect to pay a little more for fresh seafood or meat.

I also found a great little warung with fair prices just one street back from the beach and the main strip.

You'll find it on Google Maps under Kafe Kecil's - Ristorante Italiano. I'm not sure why it has this name since it's mostly local Indonesian dishes. Meals are around 15-25K, and they even have translated words to help you learn some Bahasa Indonesia.

Beyond Gili Trawangan: More Indonesia Travel Guides

I hope this travel guide featuring the top things to do on Gili Trawangan has been useful for planning your adventures!

While you're here, below are some more blogs you might enjoy, especially if you're planning your adventures through Indonesia!

Gili trawangan drone 2

Plan Your Gili Islands Accommodation

Still in the planning stages of your trip? Perhaps you're booking on the fly. The below accommodation guides will help you plan where to stay in the Gili Islands.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.