Quick Guide to the Gili Islands, Bali

Gili Trawangan: 

Ultimately known for its party atmosphere, many tourists and backpackers flock to Gili Trawangan. There is so much more Gili T offers; Beautiful beaches, tasty restaurants, trendy upscale hotels, and diving lessons, are just a few things to experience. I recommend at least spending 1 night in Gili Trawangan. If you do plan to party, I suggest visiting Gili Trawangan first then relaxing and recovering on Gili Air. 

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  • Pearl of Trawangan
    • This tropical paradise has a rustic and tranquil atmosphere. The property has a large beachfront area and a huge outdoor pool with a swim-up bar. Centrally located and close to many restaurants and bars, but still remains quiet at night. 

For even more stay options, check out my pre-filtered list of hotels on Gili T.


  • Rent Bikes & Explore
    • Gili Trawangan is the perfect size to explore by bicycle. The entire island can be cycled in less than an hour. 
  • Soak up the sun at any of the many beaches
  • Swing!
    • Exile Bar is one of the best places to swing and watch the sunset.
  • Go Snorkeling or Diving
  • Wander through the night market.
  • Bar hop! 


  • Lazy Coconut
  • Jali Kitchen
  • Cool Cafe Restaurant


  • Sama Sama Reggae Bar
  • Jiggy Bar

Gili Air:

This tiny quiet island is surrounded by white sand, crystal blue water, and tons of underwater life. Want to experience pure relaxation? Then look no further. Gili Air is all about a laid-back lifestyle. Relax on Gili Air for two nights.


Mowies on the Beach

Located on the quieter west coast beach of Gili Air. Mowie’s Gili offers the best sunset, dining, and accommodations. Not to mention the food is delicious. 

For even more stay options, check out my pre-filtered list of hotels on Gili Air.


  • Bike around the Island
    • One of the best and easiest ways to see the entire island! Follow the coast to find nice beach areas and restaurants or ride through the center of the island to experience a more local vibe.
  • Swing over the ocean
    • There are many swings owned by the beach restaurants. My personal favorite was the pink swing at PinkCoco.
  • Watch the sunset in a bean bag chair while listening to live music
  • Snorkel at the Sculptures
    • Explore the underwater world of the Gili Islands. There are sculptures located right off the coast of Gili Meno


  • Mowies
  • Scallywags
  • Gili Lumbung Beach Club
  • Classico for coffee
  • Warung Sunny
  • Camila


From Bali, take Bluewater Express to the Gili Islands. After doing extensive research, Bluewater Express seemed like the safest choice. I am sure you have read the horror stories about how horrific the boat crossing can be. That being said, it is worth the extra cost to book with Bluewater. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and more importantly safe it was. Bluewater Express will pick you up directly from your hotel in Bali and transfer you to the Gilis. If you are following my exact Bali Itinerary and coming from Ubud, Bluewater Express will pick you up from your hotel in Ubud and bring you to the correct dock.

If you are coming from another Gili Island, there are smaller boat companies that run daily.

I hope this quick guide to the Gili Islands helps prepare you to plan your own perfect Bali Itinerary! If you need any help planning or have any questions, please reach out or message me on my contact page! I would love to hear about how your trip went as well. Tell me in the comments below!

Following my Perfect Bali Itinerary? Click here to go to the next stop: Uluwatu!

Meet Mel

I started Mel’s Scene to showcase my trips and offer my personalized itineraries to other global wanderers. I have never cared for material things, I care more so for the experiences and memories that each travel destination has given me.


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