Unlike its busy neighbour Bali, Lombok has a more laid back vibe.
This island is where you’ll find long, often near-deserted stretches of white sand beaches, amazing swells, beguiling waterfalls, and the majestic Mt. Rinjani, one of Indonesia’s highest volcanoes.
Soaring cliffs, beaches and crashing surf makes up much of the South Lombok coastline and is a true surfing mecca. The main tourist hub is Kuta, which is more peaceful than its hectic namesake in Bali. Expect a vibrant traveller’s scene in Kuta, providing a perfect base for exploring the region and the many world-class surf breaks.
Senggigi on the west coast is the most developed area and makes a great base for organising the Mount Rinjani trekking. Lombok’s capital Mataram is just a short drive away, while much of Lombok’s rural interior of artisan villages, waterfalls and hiking can be easily reached from Senggigi.
If you travel to the northern part of the island, you’ll see the heavenly Gili Islands, a group of 3 small islands that you can easily reach via a 20-minute boat ride from Lombok. Ferries coming from Bali also stop first at the Gili Islands before arriving on the Lombok mainland.
Want a surf lesson? I can highly recommend taking a surf class with Bibi. From beginner to intermediate, he is an amazing teacher for all levels. You can contact him here via his Instagram page.
How to get from Bali to Lombok?
There are 3 ways to get from Bali to Lombok: by Flight (40 minutes), by Fast Boat (1.5-3.5 hours) and by Slow boat (4-8 hours). Ticket costs start from 57,000 IDR ($3.85) and 635,000 IDR ($43).
Which option to take all depends on where you are staying in Lombok. As most visitors will either stay in Senggigi or in Kuta Lombok, we will focus on these two destinations.
Staying in Senggigi
Fast boats used to be very convenient when staying in Senggigi, as this used to be the main arrival port in Lombok.
However, since, the pandemic, fast boat operations to Senggigi haven’t been resumed yet. The only fast boats operating are the ones going from Bali to Gili Islands, which also make a stop in the north of Lombok. From here, it’s a 30 minute trip to Senggigi.
This route is still shorter than the 1.5-hour distance from Lombok Airport to Senggigi, but in the end, the travel time by fast boat will be around the same as by plane. See here the summary:
by Flight: 40 minutes + 1.5 hours
by Fastboat: 1.5-2 hours + 30 minutes
by Slowboat: 4-8 hours + 1.5 hours
Staying in Kuta Lombok
Flights arrive at Praya Airport, which is only about 30 minutes from Kuta, Lombok. With a flight time of only 40 minutes, this is by far the fastest option to get from Bali to Kuta Lombok.
If you take the fast boat to the north of Lombok, it will take another 2 hours to reach Kuta Lombok.
See here the durations of all options to travel from Bali to Kuta, Lombok:
*COVID-19 UPDATE: The fast boat from Bali to Senggigi (Lombok) has not yet resumed. Only ferries from Bali to Bangsal are available.
When coming from Bali, taking the flight to Lombok only takes 40 minutes, with airfares starting from 635,000 IDR ($43) – excluding luggage.
Ferries to Lombok take about 1.5 hours to reach Bangsal Pier in the north of Lombok. From here, you can reach Senggigi in about 40 minutes and Kuta (Lombok) in about 2 hours by taxi/van.
PRO-TIP: If you take this fast boat, consider spending a few nights in the Gili’s before you head to Lombok. From the Gili Islands, there is a public ferry going to Lombok two times a day and the boat drive only takes a maximum of 30 minutes.
As an alternative to the fast boat, you can also take the 4-8 hour slow ferry from Bali to Lombok (discussed here). However, we would only recommend this ferry if you want to bring your motorbike or car.
Bali to Lombok by Flight
Duration: 40 minutes Costs: 635,000 IDR ($43)
All flights from Bali depart from Denpasar Airport. The plane lands at Lombok International Airport in the south of Lombok.
The flight only takes about 40 minutes and fares start from 635,000 IDR ($43). Airlines serving the route include Garuda Indonesia, AirAsia, Lion Air, and Wings Air.
Note that the airport in Bali, also known as Ngurah Rai International Airport, is not actually in Denpasar. Ngurah Rai airport is located just south of the beach resort town of Kuta. It’s about a 30-minute drive away from Kuta or 1 hour from Canggu.
Depending on your departure point, the easiest way to get to Denpasar airport in Bali is to order a Grab or Go-Jek ride via their respective apps.
However, be aware that these taxi apps are not allowed in some areas in Bali. We recommend asking your hotel or guesthouse if it’s possible or asking them to arrange the transport.
Arrival at Praya Airport
Lombok (Praya) Airport is only a 30-minute drive from Kuta in the south of Lombok – the main tourist destination in Lombok for most travellers. From Senggigi, it’s a 1.5-hour drive.
Damri shuttle busses used to operate hourly schedules from the airport to the main destinations in Lombok. However, we couldn’t confirm yet if they resumed operations.
Shuttle buses departing from Praya Airport
At Praya airport, there are used to be 2 main airport shuttle lines operated by Damri bus company. One bus was serving the route between Mataram-Ampenan-Senggigi. The other bus service operated between the airport and Selong in East Lombok.
The Damri shuttle buses used to depart every hour from 07:00 to 22:00. Tickets can be bought at the Damri counter in the outdoor arrivals concourse or on the bus itself. Fares are only about 25,000 IDR ($1.65) – 35,000 IDR ($2.35).
Important note: As we couldn’t confirm whether Damri resumed their operations, we would love to hear any updates in a comment. If you can share their updated schedule, we can update this route and help many travellers with this new information.
An alternative to the shuttle bus is taking a taxi from the airport to your accommodation. You can either hail a taxi from the airport or book one through the taxi applications Gojek or Grab.
Taxi fares range from about 100,000 IDR ($6.50) to Kuta Lombok, while it’s around 125,000 IDR ($8) to Mataram and 170,000 IDR ($11.50) to Senggigi.
When travelling from Bali to Lombok by fastboat, you have several options. There are several companies operating on this route, but they are not all leaving from the same port in Bali and neither arriving at the same port in Lombok.
Ferry ports in Lombok
Currenly (June 2022), there are no ferries arriving at Senggigi Pier. The only option is to take a ferry to Bangsal pier in the north of Lombok.
Pre-pandemic, there used to be two arrival ports in Lombok:
– Senggigi Pier (West Lombok)
Senggigi Pier was the most popular port to arrive. Obviously, it’s the best option if you stay in Senggigi, and also if you stay in Kuta.
– Bangsal Pier (North Lombok)
Bangsal Pier or also called Teluk Kode is situated just across the strait from the 3 offshore Gili Islands where most boats call at before reaching the mainland.
This port is the gateway to North Lombok, which is dominated by the awesome Mount Rinjani volcano but also provides a few diving opportunities. If you have already booked a Rinjani trekking online, your company might include free-pick up from Bangsal harbour.
If you want to continue to Senggigi, it takes a 30-40 minute drive to Senggigi or a 2 hour drive to Kuta in the south of Lombok. Private taxi fares to Kuta are approximately 400,000 IDR ($27).
Ferry ports in Bali
From Bali, you can currently leave from two different ports.
Although the location of Serangan looks more convenient when you are staying in the south of Bali, there are fewer ferry companies operating from this port. These ferries are also more expensive than the ones departing from Padang Bai.
– Padang Bai (Northeast of Bali)
Most ferries from Bali to Lombok depart from Padang Bai. Therefore, you can also find the most competitive ticket fares from this port, as well as more regular departures.
Ferry schedules from Padang Bai to Bangsal (Lombok)
Besides the fast ferries, there is another option to travel from Bali to Lombok by sea, which is the slow ferry.
However, the slow ferry is an extremely time-consuming journey that can take up to 8 hours. The official schedule says it should take 4-5 hours, but more often it’s closer to 7 or 8 hours.
Considering this long journey, it’s only recommended if you are taking a car or motorbike across to Lombok. It’s the only roll on-roll off vehicle ferry connecting the islands. One other reason to take this slow ferry could be because the oceans are too wild for the smaller fast boats.
The slow ferry, also called public ferry, departs from Padang Bai and arrives at Lembar Port in West Lombok. This port is about 1.5 hours south of Senggigi and 1.5 hours west of Kuta, Lombok.
Schedule of the slow ferry
Pre-pandemic, the public ferry used to operate each hour 24 hours a day. As of March 2022 though, they only operate every 2.5 hours.
Departure times are 6:30, 9:00, 11:30, 14:00, 16:30, 19:00, 21:30 and continues during the night. Make sure to be there at least 30 minutes in advance, as you will need to buy a separate card to buy your tickets.
The fee is 148,000 IDR ($10) for a motorbike and 285,000 IDR ($19) for any vehicle above 500CC (e.g. cars). If you don’t bring a vehicle, it’s 57,000 IDR ($3.85) per passenger.
The sea crossing takes at least four hours (often longer). The seating varies a lot per ferry. The large ferries have different compartments including good aircon seats and even resting areas with matrasses. However, the smaller boats only have limited air-conditioned rooms and seating is very basic.
We only recommend the slow ferry when you want to travel from Bali to Lombok with a motorbike or car.
How to reach the ferry ports in Bali?
In Bali, you can choose from 2 ferry ports to reach Lombok: Padang Bai and Serangan Port.
Luckily, most ferries include (free) pick up from the main tourist centres in Bali, including Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Jimbaran, Sanur and Ubud.
However, if your ticket doesn’t include pick up, you can use this guide to learn how to get to Padang Bai or Serangan Port in Bali.
From Canggu, Seminyak or Kuta
Going to Padang Bai
If you need to make your own way to Padang Bai from Canggu, Seminyak or Kuta, there are 2 options. You can take a taxi for around 1.5 hours 400,000 IDR ($27) or a minibus ride that takes up to 2 hours 220,000 IDR ($14.50).
Note that with the minibus, you may need an additional taxi transfer from Canggu and Seminyak as the departure point is in central Kuta.
Travelling by taxi from Canggu, Seminyak or Kuta to Padang Bai costs around 370,000 IDR ($25). It’s a great option if you’re travelling with a small group. We recommend booking a taxi with Grab as they are often more affordable, but Gojek is also a good alternative.
The minibus is the cheaper option at only 220,000 IDR ($14.50), but the departure is located in Kuta. If you’re coming from Seminyak, you will need to take a short taxi ride to Perama Tour Office at No. 39 Jalan Legian in the centre of Kuta. If coming from Canggu, a 30-min taxi ride costs about 141,000 IDR ($9.50).
Note that there is now only 1 trip per day for the minibus from Kuta to Padang Bai. Thus, if you miss this only bus, you would be forced to take the taxi to Padang Bai. This is waste of money if you already took a taxi from Seminyak or Canggu to Kuta hoping to ride the minibus.
We suggest taking a taxi from Canggu, Seminyak, or Kuta straight to Padang Bai for a hassle-free trip.
If you are leaving from the Kuta area, taking a boat from Serangan Port to Lombok is the best bet. Kuta is only 20 minutes away from Serangan Port by taxi and fares start at 120,000 IDR ($8).
From Canggu or Seminyak, Serangan Port is 40 to 50 minutes away and a ride costs about 200,000 IDR ($13.50).
Going to Padang Bai
None of the fast boat ferry operators provide free transport from hotels in the Uluwatu area, so you will have to make your own transport arrangements. Padang Bai is at least 2 hours away from Uluwatu if you take a taxi. Taxi fares cost around 675,000 IDR ($45.50).
You can also take a combined taxi and minibus ride via Kuta. First, hop in a taxi direct to Perama Tour Office at No. 39 Jalan Legian Road in Kuta for 225,000 IDR ($15). From here, transfer to a minibus bound for Padang Bai, but note that there is only 1 trip in a day at 07:00. A minibus ticket costs Origin currency no defined.
Going to Serangan Port
Taking the boat from Serangan Port to Lombok is more convenient (and cheaper) if leaving from Uluwatu. A taxi ride only takes about 1 hour and costs around 300,000 IDR ($20).
Going to Padang Bai
If you do not have the opportunity of a hotel pickup from Ubud, there are 2 ways to reach Padang Bai: either by minibus or by taxi.
The minibus is the cheaper option at only 170,000 IDR ($11.50), but only 1 bus departure is available daily. Travel time is at least 1.5 hours. The minibus departs from the Perama Ubud Office at Pengosekan Street.
If you’re traveling with a group, you can also opt to take a taxi for a little over an hour. Fares start at 270,000 IDR ($18). This option would be cheaper than the minibus after splitting the taxi fare among your group.
Going to Serangan Port
Serangan Port is about 1 hour away by taxi from Ubud. A trip costs about 345,000 IDR ($23).