Lombok or Bali – Which Island is Better to Visit?

Author Carina Klein
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Should you visit Bali or Lombok? Our comprehensive comparison shows the main differences and similarities of Bali and Lombok.

Both Bali and Lombok are Indonesian islands. Although they are located right next to each other, they are quite different from each other. Our quick Lombok vs Bali comparison will tell you everything you need to know:

Lombok vs Bali – An Honest Comparison to Help You Choose?

Is Bali Worth Visiting

Is Lombok Worth Visiting

Yes! Yes!

Bali Accessibility

Lombok Accessibility

Bali has an international airport with many flight connections. Lombok has an international airport but the connections are much more limited.

How to Get from Bali to Lombok

How to Get to Lombok from Bali

You have two main options: the ferry or the speedboat. You have two main options: the ferry or the speedboat.

Bali Main Religion

Lombok Main Religion

Hinduism. Islam.

Bali Where to Stay

Lombok Where to Stay

The main areas to stay in Bali are:
  • North: Lovina, Pemuteran
  • East: Amed
  • South: Canggu, Kuta, Sanur, Seminyak
  • Centre: Ubud, Sidemen
The main areas to stay in Lombok are:
  • North: Senaru: Mt Rinjani
  • South: Kuta and Sekotong
  • West: Senggigi

Bali Islands

Lombok Islands

Bali Best Things to Do

Lombok Best Things to Do

Bali Beaches

Lombok Beaches

We think the beaches in Bali are a bit underwhelming: They can be crowded and littered. Additionally, many of Bali's beaches are not white. You have to make a bit of an effort to reach the off-the-beaten-path white sandy beaches. The beaches in Lombok are much quieter and cleaner. Additionally, it’s much easier to find white sandy beaches.

Is Bali Better for Surfing?

Is Lombok Better for Surfing?

No. While there are world-class waves at the Bukit Peninsula, you have to move to the east coast in winter.
Bali is better for experts.
Yes. You can surf all year round.
There are spots for every level from beginner to expert.

Bali Snorkelling

Lombok Snorkelling

Mainly at the North Coast (Amed, Lovina, Taman Bali Barat National Park) + Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Mainly on the Gili Islands as well as on the Secret Gili Islands.

How Many Days Should You Stay in Bali?

How Many Days Should You Stay in Lombok?

If you’re a fast-paced traveller like we are, 2 days in Bali is the bare minimum.
A week in Bali would be better for changing bases and exploring more areas.
The sky is the limit.
Many travellers only take the time to visit the Gili Islands (which are worth a visit!).
You should also take the time to visit Lombok itself.
Again, 2 days is the absolute minimum. If you’re a beach bum like us, you can stay until your visa runs out 😉

Bali Tourism

Lombok Tourism

Bali gets roughly double the amount of tourists than Lombok.
Bali has the better tourism industry but is also much more crowded.
Lombok gets roughly half the amount of tourists than Bali.
Lombok is still more off-the-beaten-path and quieter than Bali.

Bali Traffic

Lombok Traffic

Let’s be honest: The traffic in Bali can be a shit show. Everybody and their mom seem to be crowding the narrow roads on their scooters. We experienced much less traffic in Lombok. It’s also the better place to rent a scooter if you’re a beginner.

Is Bali More Expensive than Lombok

Is Lombok Cheaper than Bali

To be honest, we thought Bali would be more expensive than Lombok before visiting but it’s actually cheaper. More competition keeps the prices down we guess. Surprisingly, Lombok is more expensive than Bali.

Bali Food

Lombok Food

You find less traditional warungs and more Western food in Bali.
Bali is famous for its hip, Instagramable, vegan and/or gluten-free food scene – especially in Ubud or Canggu.
You find more traditional warungs and less Western food in Lombok.
Beware that Lombok is Muslim majority so pork is less available.

Bali Nightlife

Lombok Nightlife

Bali is the clear winner: Areas like Kuta and Seminyak are renowned for their nightlife. You don’t go to Lombok for the nightlife. The best option to find some is in Senggigi and to a lesser extent in Kuta.

Bali Accommodation

Lombok Accommodation

There are some out of this world accommodation options in Bali: From private pool villas over tree houses to crazy luxury resorts. We found much less accommodation options in Lombok.
We absolutely loved Silver Fern Beach Retreat in Sekotong.

Bali Conclusion

Lombok Conclusion

Bali is great for
  • party people
  • Yoga enthusiasts
  • vegans
  • advanced surfers
  • people interested in the Hindu culture
  • luxury accommodations
  • adventure lovers and people who want a lot of activities
  • hikers
  • snorkelers and Scuba divers
  • photographers
Lombok is great for
  • getting more off-the-beaten-path
  • beaches
  • tiny paradise islands
  • beginner surfers
  • hikers
  • snorkelers and Scuba divers
Picture of Bali Picture of Lombok

Bali vs Lombok: Our Personal Conclusion

To be honest, we were prejudiced against Bali before we visited. In hindsight, we had a great time and should have stayed longer. We stayed in a private pool villa, had amazing (raw vegan) food, and tried some wellness and spirituality. While it might sound cheesy, we enjoyed it a lot. Additionally, all the beautiful Hindu temples are 100% worth a visit.

Lombok’s main charm lies with the islands and beaches. While the three Gili Islands Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air are far from hidden gems these days, we found our personal paradise on the Secret Gili Islands. We did some of the best snorkelling of our lives there.

If we had to pick one, we would choose Bali. You can find pretty beaches in a lot of places but Bali is very unique.

Lombok and Bali!

As absolutely always we say ¿Por qué no los dos? Why no visit Bali AND Lombok. Both islands have their distinct advantages and disadvantages which complement each other surprisingly well.

It’s extremely easy to travel between Bali and Lombok so do yourself a favour and visit both!

Bucketlist2life tip: While we’re at it: Don’t forget about the other Indonesian islands like Java or Sulawesi 😉 Indonesia is so much more than Bali.

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