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Lombok – an island east of Bali, but less famous than its neighbor. While every year millions of tourists are attracted to Bali, many places on Lombok are still untouched. Over here mass tourism is still unknown.

Lombok: 15 fascinating sights you shouldn’t miss

Lombok offers many empty and often isolated dream beaches, friendly and interesting people, tasty food and fantastic nature. This year, after a stay of more than two months, Lombok and the Gili islands became my personal favorites – at least so far.

In this article you will find a few must-sees on Lombok.

How to get to Lombok

To get to Lombok there are only two options, the airplane and the boat. Flights operate from many cities in Indonesia to Lombok. But the international airport already welcomes flights from abroad, e.g. from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

To find the best and cheapest flights for your trip to Lombok, check out Skyscanner. There you can compare prices, departure times, flight duration and the different airlines.

You can take a boat to Lombok from e.g. Bali, the Gili Islands or Sumbawa. There is a difference between speed boats and local boats, because not only prices but the duration of travel can vary significantly. An overview of different boats can be found on 12go.asia.

Accommodation in Lombok – our hotel tips

Lombok is a relatively large island and offers almost endless possibilities to stay. Whether in southern Kuta, in the capital Mataram or in the tourist center of Senggigi on the west coast – on Lombok you will find many accommodations in all price ranges.

We personally recommend a stay in Senggigi and surroundings. A great hotel is the Qunci Villas, which is located on a secluded, quiet beach. The center of Senggigi is only a short taxi or scooter ride away. But also near the Qunci Villas you will find some restaurants and shops.

Garden and the Qozy Rooms with a garden view at Qunci Villas hotel in Lombok

Of course, there are also a number of beautiful hotels and homestays in Kuta, which you can book here.

1. The Gili islands

3 paradise islands – which seem tiny compared to Lombok – are located only 20 minutes away by boat: Gili Trawangan, the main island, Gili Meno and Gili Air.

The Gilis are very popular for scuba diving and snorkeling but also for relaxing, swimming and partying. Backpackers and tourists visit especially Gili Trawangan often. Over here you can feel the lively reggae-ganja-magic-mushroom-vibe. The Gili islands are a must!

View on Lombok from Gili Trawangan
View on Lombok from Gili Trawangan

You can also discover the colorful underwater world of the Gilis by snorkeling on a day trip from Lombok. With a little bit of luck, you can even spot turtles.

View from the Scallywags Gili Trawangan at Lombok, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan
Gili Meno, Lombok, Indonesia
Gili Meno

2. Mount Rinjani

The second highest volcano of Indonesia is definitely one of the highlights of Lombok! You can book multi-day, guided tours to the Crater Lake and even to the top at all touristy spots. The pictures speak for themselves…

View to the top of the Rinjani and the crater lake Segara Anak
View to the top of the Rinjani and the crater lake Segara Anak
View from the summit of Mount Rinjani to the crater lake Segara Anak and Bali
View from the summit of Mount Rinjani

3. Senggigi

Most tourists arrive in Senggigi because many hotels are located over here. It’s also great for going out at night or eating. One of the most popular surf spots for locals and tourists alike is Senggigi Beach.

At this beach the vendors and locals aren’t pushy at all but you can have a nice small talk if you like (mainly about football since Indonesians love football).

Senggigi Beach, Lombok
Senggigi Beach
View of Senggigi Beach and Ampenan and Mataram in the background
View of Senggigi Beach as well as Ampenan and Mataram in the background

Surfboard at Senggigi Reef on Senggigi Beach, Lombok

4. From Senggigi to Pemenang

To explore this road next to the coast it is best to use a scooter, which you can rent for example in Senggigi. One of the highlights is the viewpoint at Malimbu Hill 1 and 2. It offers a marvelous view over Malimbu and Nipah Beach and the 3 Gili Islands. Check out the other view points and beaches that you can find on this way as well since they are worth seeing, too.

If you leave Lombok with the public boats to the Gili Islands and would take a taxi from the airport or from Lembar (where the public ferry from Bali arrives) you will probably use the very same road (or you tell the taxi driver your preferred route) since this road goes directly to Bangsal, where public boats are leaving.

Setangi Beach, Lombok
Setangi Beach
View from Malimbu Hill at the Gili Islands, Lombok
View from Malimbu Hill at the Gili Islands

5. Pusuk Monkey Forest

Taking a winding road through a breathtaking mountain landscape is the second option to get to Bangsal. It’s were you find the so-called monkey forest, named after the numerous wild monkeys in the jungle and near the street. Feed the hungry and annoying little bastards at the view points if you like.

But be careful and look for your bags, backpacks and such. You can go there by scooter as well, but always “Hati Hati”, like the Indonesian says.

Monkey Forest, Lombok, Indonesia

If you don’t want to explore Lombok on your own with a scooter, you can also visit the Malimbu Hill viewpoints and the Monkey Forest on a guided day tour.

6. Kuta

After Senggigi, Kuta is probably the second tourist hotspot on Lombok. It offers beautiful beaches as well and lots of accommodations and restaurants.

From here you can explore the dream beaches of Mawun, Tanjung Aan and Selong Belanak since they are very close by (see below). Even Kuta Beach itself is worth a look.

Turquoise water at Kuta Beach Lombok
Kuta Beach

7. Mawun Beach

Now I will introduce you some of my favorite beaches of Lombok. One if them is Mawun.

Depending on the weekday and the time of the day, this beach with its soft white sand and turquoise water is still mostly deserted. Sometimes the waves are heavier over here. The beach is secluded and located west of Kuta in an almost enclosed bay, which you can easily reach with your scooter as well.

The deserted Mawun Beach in the south of Lombok

Mawun Beach Lombok taken from above with the drone

8. Selong Belanak and viewpoint

I believe I rarely saw such a wide and shallow beach like Selong Belanak somewhere else. You can perfectly surf or swim at this long beach.

I strongly recommend taking a look at the near viewpoint overlooking the beach and the bay. It’s located a bit north of Selong Belanak Beach. It’s still an insiders’ tip and you shouldn’t miss it when you do a scooter tour.

Sunbeds and turquoise water at Selong Belanak Beach near Kuta

Drone shot from Selong Belanak Beach on Lombok

Panorama view over Selong Belanak and the surrounding area, Lombok
Panorama view over Selong Belanak and the surrounding area

9. Tanjung Aan

Turquoise sea and white sand, the way I love it! Even here you can climb a rock to enjoy a breathtaking view over the two bays and beaches of Aan. A must-see!

View of the second section of Tanjung Aan Beach at Kuta, Lombok

Bamboo sunbeds on the beautiful Tanjung Aan Beach, Lombok

10. Pink Beach

It’s not really an insiders’ tip anymore, but still worth a visit! The drive is quite difficult since in my opinion the streets on the Ekas Peninsula (where the Pink Beach is located) cannot be called streets anymore. At least they are being improved bit by bit every year. If you actually make it there, you will be rewarded with a desolate quiet beach. It is called after its pink sand that consists out of coral.

The view from the near viewpoint is marvelous as well and the also worth seeing cliffs of Tanjung Ringgit are situated close by.

Pink Beach, Lombok, Indonesia

View at the Pink Beach during low tide, Lombok, Indonesia
View at the Pink Beach during low tide

11. Mosques and Hindu temples

In contrast to Bali, Lombok and the rest of Indonesia are mainly Muslim. That is why you can see and especially hear mosques everywhere. If you book your accommodation in advance, you should inform yourself if it’s closely located to a mosque. Especially around Ramadan it could become very noisy.

Islamic Center in Mataram, Lombok
Islamic Center in Mataram

The Balinese minority on Lombok got its temples like Pura Meru, Pura Lingsar, Pura Narmada or Pura Batu Bolong as well. 2 true insiders’ tips are Pura Gunung Sari north of Mataram and Pura Suranadi.

Most of them are located at the western part of the island in and around Mataram/Cakranegara or Senggigi.

Pura Suranadi, Lombok, Indonesia
Pura Suranadi

12. Waterfalls

Lombok got numerous waterfalls, mostly in the northern part of the island. Among others, there would be Tiu Teja, Tiu Kelep or Sendang Gile. In the center of Lombok you will find a few decent ones as well, for example the Benang Kelambu, Benang Stokel or Jeruk Manis near Tetebatu.

There is no fresher water than this! Drink it, swim or just let the ice cold water hail down your back – superb!

Benang Kelambu, Lombok, Indonesia
Benang Kelambu

The visit of the Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile waterfalls are great to combine, even with an organized tour.

13. Sasak culture

The Sasak are the indigenous people of this island, which today make about 85% of the total population of Lombok. Their culture is fascinating and as a visitor you definitely need to experience it.

Their food known for its spiciness, their handicraft, their music and dances, the typical Sasak houses or a Sasak wedding with (extreme loud) street parade with “Gendang Beleq” musicians you need to experience. There are plenty wedding parades on Lombok, especially on the weekends. Must-see!

By the way, many of the Lombok natives still speak the Sasak language, especially the older. But everyone speaks and understands the official language Bahasa Indonesia. English only helps in tourist spots, which makes a guided tour a great option to get to know the Sasak culture.

Sade Village; sign at the Sasak village Sade just before Kuta
Sasak village in Sade (near Kuta)
A typical traditional Sasak village on Lombok, Indonesia
A typical traditional Sasak village from the inside
Gendang Beleq, Lombok
“Gendang Beleq” at a traditional Sasak wedding

14. Traditional markets

The markets are typical Asian with fresh veggies, spices, fish and so much more.

I recommend the traditional market in Ampenan. Every now and then locals look in astonishment at a “Bule” (westerner) since they don’t come often over here. There is no cheaper or fresher place to do food shopping even though as a “Bule” you should consider paying more than a local. It is of advantage to speak a little Indonesian.

For stuff like clothes, jewelry or other souvenirs you should visit the Cakranegara Market (Pasar Cakranegara) in Mataram.

Traditional market in Ampenan, Lombok, Indonesia
Traditional market in Ampenan “Kebon Roek”

15. Mataram, Ampenan and Cakranegara

Counting around 420.000 inhabitants, Mataram is the capital of Lombok and the province Nusa Tenggara Barat.

Close by you find places like Ampenan where you can still find some old Dutch colonial style buildings. In the district Cakranegara (short: “Cakra”) are a few lovely Balinese temples and the Mataram Mall with its numerous shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants as well as fast food chains on different levels.

Even bigger and more modern is the recently built Lombok Epicentrum mall at the main street Sriwijaya.

Ampenan Old Town, Lombok, Indonesia
Ampenan Old Town (Kota Tua)

Plan your trip to Lombok now

More hotel recommendations for Lombok:

Lombok: Tours and tickets

Have you already been to Lombok? Which sight or beach did you like most? Do you even have more tips? Let us know straightaway!

Photos: Photo 4 (Rinjani crater lake): K_Boonnitrod/shutterstock.com – Photo 5 (Rinjani summit): Chanwit Ohm/shutterstock.com – Photo 26 (Sasak village): Farizun Amrod Saad/shutterstock.com


Hi, I'm Marcel! Blogger, author, web & graphic designer and digital nomad. I love traveling in Southeast Asia and exploring wonderful beaches and trying delicious food. My home base is Koh Phangan, Thailand. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.