How To Get From Bali To Gili Islands

Literally Everything You Need To Know!

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How To Get From Bali To Gili Islands {Literally Everything You Need To Know!}

In case you weren’t aware, the Gili Islands are a perfect little slice of paradise comprising of 3 tiny islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno which are all situated just off the island of Lombok in Indonesia.

Our personal favorite is without a doubt Gili Trawangan (or Gili T for short) for its undeniably rambunctious, Wild & Away approved party scene.

Between the hostel pool parties, Jiggy boat party, bar hopping and Joss shots there isn’t much else to do here except laying under the sun to recover from the night before (of course in preparation for the night coming).

My best advice to you is get your body ready for around-the-clock self abuse for the next few days and condition yourself to the beach by day, party by night lifestyle in Gili T.

Now how the hell do you get to this magical place? Getting from Bali to Gili Islands isn’t all that hard, but there are a few different options to consider when planning your trip to this glorious island. We’ve broken them down into 3 different options to make it easier for you to decide how you’ll get there.

So keep on reading if you want to find out the three best ways to get from Bali to Gili Islands!

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Option #1 – FAST BOAT

The first and most popular way to get from Bali to Gili Islands is to get the fast boat!

It only takes 1.5 hours to get from Padang Bai Harbour to Gili Trawangan and the other Gili Islands! The boat leaves a few times a day, but the travel agent will tell you all the possible times when you’re booking. It’s best to book the day before you plan to leave!


You can buy tickets at any travel agent on the street throughout in Bali. They will organize a car to pick you up from your hotel and take you to Padang Bai harbor where you can then get on a boat to Gili Islands!

Pro Tip
If you happen to be on one of the Nusa Islands and want to get to any of the Gili Islands, that’s fine too! Just buy tickets at from any travel agent on the island and the boat will take you from where you are, and then take a little 30-minute detour to Padang Bai Harbor in Bali that will then go another 1.5 hours straight to the Gili Islands.


We ran into the problem during our stay in Gili T that there were no fast boats running to and from Bali due to bad weather and the waves being too dangerous! There was a slow boat running everyday still (the boat was much bigger and therefore not affected by the waves) however this takes around 12 hours to get from Gili T to Bali.

We had a flight from Bali to Australia so we could not extend our stay on Gili any more than we had planned, so we chose to get on a boat to Lombok and fly from there to Bali, because 12 hours on the slow boat sounded quite horrible.

Keep the weather in mind when you’re planning your trip to the Gili Islands just in case this happens to you!


– Slow Boat (read option #2)

– Fly to Lombok then boat from Lombok to Bali

Bali To Gili Islands Option 1

Option #2 – SLOW BOAT

Your second option (the least favorite option) is to take a slow boat from Bali to Gili Islands. The slow boat will take you 12 hours, but it is the cheaper option so if money is your first priority, this may be the choice for you.

The boat happens to go from Bali, to Lombok and then back down to the Gili Islands. The boat leaves less frequent than the fast boat, but again the travel agent will tell you the possible times you can depart.

Option #3 – FLYING

So if you don’t feel like being on a boat for two hours, or perhaps the fast boats have stopped running due to bad weather you do have the option to fly.

There’s no airport in any of the Gili Islands, however there is one in Lombok, which is about a 20-minute boat ride away to get to Gili Trawangan. There are frequent boats to and from the Gili Islands to Lombok every day!

Step 1: Fly to Lombok International Airport

Step 2: Take a taxi to Bangsal Harbour

Step 3: At the harbour you can buy a ticket to any of the Gili Islands (this should not cost you more than 100k IDR)

Step 4: Get your butt on that boat to your favorite Gili Island!

Bali To Gili Islands Option 2


There are no cars or motorbikes on the Gili Islands. To get around you can walk, hire a bicycle, or take a horse and carriage.

Although it may be cool to take a horse around the islands, please refrain from doing this. The poor little horsies are exhausted from the heat, they’re dehydrated, and transporting people all day and it just isn’t necessary. The islands are small enough for you to walk everywhere, and you can use a bicycle if you need.


My Mate’s Place (Personal Recommendation)

Bali To Gili Islands

Having stayed at two out of the three top party hostels, My Mates Place easily wins the crown for Gili Trawangan’s best party hostel.

Although they are missing a pool like Gili Mansion and Castle, they more than make up for this with their exceptional cleanliness, amazing party atmosphere, superior free breakfast, actual hot water showers and unequivocally awesome staff.   Not to mention that you can head down to Mansion or Castle for their pool parties and use the pool for free.

Our stay at My Mate’s place was such an awesome and revitalizing experience, especially after spending a rather disappointing and frustrating 5 nights at Gili Mansion, we wouldn’t ever think of staying at any other party hostel on Gili T. 

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Gili Castle

Bali To Gili Islands

Adding a unique twist on the standard hostel design, Gili Castle is set up just as the name implies… a castle.

Highlighting a distinctive 6-meter rock climb leading to an epic cliff jump, Gili Castle is widely recognized as the original party hostel on Gili Trawangan.

Although the rooms and facilities are a bit outdated and rather dirty, Gili Castle is still a sure thing for everything party, providing backpackers with a bonafide good ol’ time.

Pro Tip
Additionally, you might want to stick around for the Sunday Funday pool party. Although it won’t be the wildest pool party you’ll ever experience, it’s a still an amusing time.

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Gili MansionBali To Gili Islands

As the sister hostel to the more popular Gili Castle, we decided to stay here for our first five nights in Gili T.

Gili Mansion is pretty much identical to Gili Castle, just without the rock climbing wall and a significantly smaller jumping tower.

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