Is Lombok the new Bali? Lombok vs Bali

Lombok Bali

Trying to decide whether you should visit Bali this summer? Read on to find out why you should visit Lombok instead of Bali. Escape the crowds and experience Indonesia at its best with beautiful hidden beaches, incredible mountains, and vibrant culture. This guide will show you why Lombok is the preferred choice for a truly authentic Indonesian experience. Over the last few years, Bali has become one of the world’s go-to tourist destinations.

Lombok offers beautiful beaches, incredible mountains, and an epic culture without the overwhelming crowds. This guide will show you why it’s the preferred choice for a truly authentic Indonesian experience. I spent two weeks on the island to get a real feel for what it offers beyond its famous surf scene.

Furthermore, with Elon Musk recen announcement of Starlink’s expansion in Indonesia, the islands now have the chance to expand their internet capabilities. This means they can host more guests and grow in popularity, just like Bali. Over the last few years, Bali has become one of the world’s go-to tourist destinations. Despite its development, Lombok retains a serene charm and continues to provide nearly all the experiences Bali offers but in a more relaxed environment.

After living in Bali for nearly a month and a half, I found myself drawn to Lombok’s unique allure. Let me share why you need to consider this beautiful island for your next Indonesian getaway. Lombok is broadly known for its surf scene, but I wanted to know if there was more to this place than sea and surf.

Lombok vs Bali

  • How to get there?
  • Where to stay in Lombok: Accommodation Guide
  • Explore Lomboks Best Beaches
  • Culture in Lombok, Bali
  • Nature & Hiking in Lombok
  • Food, Drink, and Nightlife in Lombok
  • Coworking in Lombok
  • Overal view on Lombok: pros & cons

How to get to Lombok, Bali?

There are a number of ways you can get to Lombok from Bali. The great thing about Lombok it has an airport and a port meaning you can access it by sky or sea. If you are currently traveling through Indonesia and want to come from Bali you can get a flight from Denpasar to Lombok for around $70, however if you want an even cheaper alternative you can take the speedboat from Sanur to Lombok. The ferry boat to Lombok only takes 2 hours and is only $30 (However please be warned Sanur is 2 hours away from Canggu when traffic is good.)

» Going to Canggu as well? Read our ultimate Canggu travel guide for your first visit

Accommodation – where to stay in Lombok

I stayed at four amazing locations while I was in Lombok. Each place gave me a different perspective on the island. Compared to Bali, I found the accommodation to be more affordable and easier to book. The island offers options for all types of travelers. For those on a budget, there are hostels and guest houses available starting at $10 a night. However, there are also luxurious stays like Azana which are only $60 a night. This would most definitely be triple the price for a lodge on a private beach in Bali. Also, new accommodation is being built every day here so there is a lot to offer for travellers. While I was there, I stayed at a beautiful village of luxury villas that are set to open on the east side.

Discover the 4 top accommodations to book in Lombok

Best beaches to visit in Lombok

I rented a bike and visited several different beaches recommended by locals. Most of the beaches were empty, and I didn’t see a tourist in sight. The sands were pristine, and these were some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. There was a lot of driving involved, but it led me to find my own private beaches.

♥ Explore the 5 top beaches in Lombok

Cultural Insights into Lombok

You can’t deny that Balinese culture is beautiful, and it’s a big reason I love the country. However, Lombok also offers a rich cultural heritage as it is home to the Sasak people. I had some of my most genuine travel interactions with the people here. I stayed at Tunnack Cottage where I learned a lot from the manager about the giving community and the projects they run to grow the tourism industry in Lombok.

♥ Lover of the Indonesian culture? Discover our guide for cultural experiences in Bali

Nature & Hiking in Lombok

Lombok isn’t just for those who want to chill on the beach, but also for those who seek adventure. Home to the famous Mount Rinjani, countless waterfalls, national parks, and stunning cliffs, Lombok provided me with the nature reset I needed after being in the hustle and bustle of Canggu. Although Bali offers these waterfalls ofcourse too.

I found the waterfalls in Lombok to be less crowded and more peaceful. One waterfall I visited was the Tetebatu Waterfall. Right in the heart of Lombok this provided for some jaw dropping photo opportunities and is a must if you love a good instagram spot. You can scooter here however there are many tours which will take you to this beautiful national park.

There is also some amazing National Parks and Wildlife Parks you can visit, Gunung Tunak and Taman Nasional Gunung Rinjani.

I took several treks here, walking along cliff paths with beautiful views of West Nusa, often having the route completely to myself. While I stayed at Azana Essence Villa Tabitha Lombok they took me to see sunrise at the cliffs above their resort, and it truly was one of the most special moments from my stay.

If you want a challenge, one thing that Lombok is famous for is it’s volcano in the North of the island called Mount Rinjani. It is the highest point in the island and if you are feeling brave you can choose to opt to hike to the top. However this is not meant to be for the faint hearted. If you are fit you can do a 2 Day 1 Night hike, however most people opt to do the 3 day 2 night hike. When you get to Kuta there are many tour offices that offer this hike to book and it is also available to book here.

Food, Drink, and Nightlife in Lombok

I had some amazing meals in Lombok, both local and Western food options. Here’s a breakdown of my experiences:

Western Options

If you are looking for the variety of food Lombok has to offer then do not worry. Kuta has a variety of Wester options like ‘Treehouse’ offering great burgers and ‘La Cantina’ servicing some of the most authentic tacos.

Local Indonesian Food in Lombok

  • Warungs: There are countless Indonesian Warungs serving some of the best Indonesian food for under 2 euros. These Warungs are easier to find than Western options and are typically open spaces with no door, where a friendly local might invite you to try their food.

Must-Try Dishes if you ask me

  1. Ayam Taliwang: A famous grilled chicken dish with made with rich spices.
  2. Ikan Bakar Pantai: A grilled fish dish traditionally served with sambal and rice.
  3. Sate Tanjung: A type of fish satay.

Memorable Meal

  • Tunack Cottage: The best meal I had in Lombok was here, where I was served ‘Kenning Perengking,’ a dish made with baby octopus and local ingredients. The fish was caught fresh from the beach in front of the lodge that morning and cooked with love by the local Lombok residents. It was one of the best dinners I had during my stay. I highly recommend trying any of the dishes made with fresh seafood.

Vegan/Vegetarian Options

Don’t worry about eating vegetarian in here as I can guarantee you will find delicious options for you too. Ofcourse i’m talking about the famous tempeh dishes! Eating local in Lombok provides a rich and authentic culinary experience, and I highly recommend trying the local dishes.

  • Must try: Gado-Gado: One of its famous dishes made with tempeh and peanut sauce, and personally one of my favorites.

Coworking in Lombok

As a digital nomad, I always check out the co-working spots in each place I visit. In Lombok, I found that most of the internet was okay, but the co-working space ‘Co Create’ provided the best working environment and super fast internet.

Overall View on Lombok vs Bali

As you can tell, I loved Lombok; and it will forever have a place in my heart. To give you a balanced view, here are my personal pros and cons of the island based on my experiences:

Pros – Bali vs Lombok

  • Countless untouched beaches and nature spots
  • The locals are lovely and so welcoming towards tourists
  • There are loads of lovely hikes and walking trails
  • It is a surfers paradise with countless empty beaches with spots
  • Roads are so much less busy and congested than Bali, with fewer potholes, making it easier to drive around
  • Prices are quite similar to Bali, but accommodation is slightly cheaper than in Canggu

Cons – Bali vs Lombok

  • No Grab Bikes, only local taxis which can be expensive
  • Internet could be better, but this will change soon; perfect for those needing a digital detox
  • No gyms with air conditioning (unlike those in Canggu)
  • Nightlife is limited; there are events, but no vibrant nightlife scene like Bali
  • Kuta is really small, and you might want to move on after a few days, which can be difficult if you can’t drive
  • Great food options, but not as many as in Bali

Overall, if you prefer a quieter Indonesian escape, Lombok is THE ONE for you. However, if you want a party-style vacation with lots of food options and fast internet, Bali is the better option.

READ MORE OF NATHALIE AND HER ADVENTURES

Meet Nathalie, our guest writer and everyone’s favorite travel bestie! Known as the queen of slow travel, Nathalie left her corporate job to embrace a life of adventure and discovery across Southeast Asia. Now a freelance social media manager, she continues her travels, passionately sharing her experiences with remote work and life on the go.

Growing up in a multicultural household, Nathalie developed a deep love for diverse cultures and enjoys sharing stories from her journeys. Whether hiking, diving, or exploring local cuisine, Nathalie’s posts are rich with personal insights and practical tips.

Stay tuned for Nathalie’s engaging stories and useful tips, offering a fresh perspective on the joys of slow travel. Discover more about her adventures and life lessons on our team page.

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