The boat from Bali to Lombok

The boat from Bali to Lombok

If you’re planning a wonderful trip to Indonesia, then Bali and Lombok are the perfect combination. These islands aren’t too large and are very close to each other. There are various ways to travel from one island to the other. Whether you’re heading from Bali to Lombok or the other way around, we’ve tried out all the options for you in recent months.

In this article

What is the best way to travel from Bali to Lombok?

It entirely depends on your preferences. Where do you start your journey? How much time do you have? And not to forget, what is your budget? Those are all things to keep in mind when deciding whether to take the ferry, fast boat, or a plane to Bali or Lombok.

  • Plane: The most expensive option but the fastest if you want to travel from Bali to Lombok and visit both destinations on the mainland. Check tickets at Airasia >
  • Fast Boat: Perfect if you’re staying on the Nusa or Gili Islands.
  • Ferry: The most budget-friendly option if you want to go from Bali to Lombok and our personal favorite.

The different boat options from Bali to Lombok

The most popular and affordable way to travel from Bali to Lombok is by boat. You have two choices: the ferry, also known as the ‘Slow Boat,’ or the Fast Boat. Ferries are much more economical, and although they are a bit slower, the difference in travel time compared to the Fast Boat isn’t significant. However, note that for the local ferry from Bali to Lombok, there’s only one departure point, from Padang Bai to Lembar, and vice versa.
Fast Boats are quicker but often make stops at various islands. Even if they advertise a ‘direct connection,’ it’s often not entirely true. A significant advantage is the ability to catch the Fast Boat at multiple locations, such as Padang Bai, Bangsal, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Gili Air, Gili Meno, or Gili Trawagan. If you’re not on the mainland, this is usually the logical choice. However, when you’re on the mainland of Bali or Lombok, the ferry can often be more comfortable, cheaper, and sometimes even faster.

The ferry from Bali to Lombok or vice versa

The ferry is our preferred way to travel from Lombok to Bali or vice versa. Not only is it the most affordable option, but it’s also comfortable. Ferries are spacious, with numerous benches and seating areas, a small shop where you can buy food and drinks, and sometimes even beds.
The ferry departs from the Padang Bai port in Bali and arrives at the port

What does the ferry from Bali to Lombok cost?

It will cost you approximately between 50,000 and 75,000 rupiah for a ferry ticket (around 3 to 5 euros). Ideally, you should buy the ticket online, but so far, we haven’t succeeded in doing that. Therefore, we always get our tickets on-site at the port. If you’re traveling from Lombok, just before the port on the right side, near the second-to-last shop, there’s a small booth where you can buy tickets. Here, you usually pay an extra euro for the service.
In Bali, we bought our ticket from a local man standing at the counter. It requires some bargaining, but if you mention that you’ve taken the ferry before, you can often negotiate down to around 70,000 rupiah per person.

If you’re traveling with a vehicle, additional costs apply. Here are the prices including the driver:

  • Normal motorbike: 80,000 rupiah
  • Motorbike <500cc: 170,000 rupiah
  • Motorbike >500cc: 313,000 rupiah
  • Car: 1.2 million rupiah

How long does the ferry from Bali to Lombok take?

The ferry crossing duration greatly depends on weather conditions, but typically, the trip from Bali to Lombok takes about 4 hours. However, it’s wise to check the ferry schedule.
The ferry schedules can be a bit confusing. Although they say a ferry departs every hour, we’ve experienced that this isn’t always the case. So, sometimes you might have to wait a bit longer at the port.

Here are some approximate departure times to consider: 6:30, 9:30, 11:30, 14:30, 16:30, 19:30, 21:30. But keep in mind, we even experienced the last ferry departing at 14:00 due to bad weather. So, departure times here in Indonesia aren’t set in stone but more of a rough indication.

Our advice? Make sure you’re at the port before 11 am and avoid relying on the evening ferries. It’s better to be early to accommodate any delays or changes in departure times.

What does the ferry from Bali to Lombok look like?

We were pleasantly surprised by the comfort the ferries offer, especially when compared to the fast boats. Most ferries have comfortable seats, sometimes even benches and beds. There are power outlets, convenient tables to work on, and a small shop where you can order food and drinks. Often, there’s also a television onboard showing movies during the journey. However, note that these are started randomly and might be turned off just before finishing.
The internet is mostly unavailable, so it’s smart to download some series or movies before departure. Personally, I found it nice to get some work done during the trip, tasks that don’t require the internet like editing photos and writing texts. This way, a travel day feels quite productive. It’s a great opportunity to handle some matters without distraction from the worldwide web.

The fast boat from Bali to Lombok

Although the fast boat is quicker on the water, the journey from Bali to Lombok can sometimes take longer than the “SLOW” ferry. This is because the fast boat stops at various places. The boat usually sails from Padang Bai or Sanur to Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno before arriving at Bangsal in Lombok.
The options for fast boats are numerous. There are numerous companies sailing in that direction, such as:

Our experience is that the choice of fast boat doesn’t make much of a difference; they all function about the same. It’s often chaotic, crowded, and the ride can be quite rough. A motion sickness pill isn’t a bad idea.

We’re not big fans of the fast boat because they are much more expensive, less comfortable, and often take a long time. Recently, we took the ferry from Nusa Lembongan to Gili Air, which took more than 5 hours. This was because we had to change boats once, and new people boarded at each island while others got off. Another significant drawback is that you have to hand over your luggage. Consequently, my backpack and its contents were soaking wet despite having a rain cover.

So why take the fast boat? Only if you’re traveling from Nusa to Gili or vice versa. From these islands, this is the easiest, fastest, and often the only way to travel from one to another.

For all other options, I would take a local ferry. This is also possible between the different Gili Islands and between Nusa Penida and Lembongan.

What does the fast boat from Bali to Lombok cost?

The price for a fast boat varies depending on the departure point and the chosen company. For a trip from Bali to Lombok, expect costs between 250,000 and 750,000 Indonesian rupiah per person, which is approximately 15 to 45 euros per person. Luxurious fast boats with extra amenities might be more expensive, while simpler options may be more affordable. Often, return tickets are available, where you might get some discount compared to two separate one-way trips. It’s wise to compare fares and check the availability of different fast boat companies before booking your tickets.

How long does the fast boat from Bali to Lombok take?

The duration of your fast boat experience depends on the departure point and the company you choose, but be prepared for a travel time of 4 to 8 hours. If you depart from Sanur or Padang Bai to Bangsal in Lombok, or vice versa, the journey from start to finish might take about 6 to 8 hours. Recently, we took the fast boat from Nusa Lembongan to Gili Air, which took about 4.5 hours.
Some companies make fewer stops or have smaller boats, reducing the boarding and disembarking, making these companies often faster. It’s convenient to consider this when planning your itinerary, depending on the desired speed and destination.

Arrival at Lembar Lombok with the ferry

If you take the ferry from Bali, you’ll arrive in Lembar. Many travelers then continue their journey to Kuta Lombok“> or Senggigi. The trip from Lembar to Kuta takes about 45 minutes. It takes a bit longer from Lembar to Senggigi, around 1.5 hours. If you don’t have your transport, it’s advisable to arrange a taxi in advance. Although you can also arrange something on-site or use a Grab, the former option is often easier and more cost-effective.
In our Lombok Travel Guide, we’ve added two local taxi numbers in Kuta Lombok and one in Bali. Download the Travel Guide here or send us a DM via Instagram. Typically, we pay around 400,000 rupiah for a ride from Lembar to Kuta Lombok. An alternative option is to arrange transportation in advance through accommodation.

Arrival at Bangsal Lombok with the Fast Boat

When you opt for the Fast Boat, you’ll arrive in Bangsal. This is a bit further from Kuta Lombok but more convenient if your first destination on the trip is Senggigi or North Lombok. It takes about 45 minutes from Bangsal to Senggigi. If you’re going to Kuta, it’s about 1.5 hours by car.
Various shuttle buses operate from Bangsal, which is the cheaper option. Often, you can arrange this in advance through your accommodation. Typically, you pay between 150k and 250k per person. If you want to arrive faster at your destination, you can arrange or book a private taxi on-site.

Useful tips for traveling from Bali to Lombok by boat

If you’re departing from the main island of Bali, the ferry isn’t just the most budget-friendly option but often the fastest and most relaxed way to travel.
Make sure to download some series or movies before departure to entertain yourself during the crossing. It makes the journey much more enjoyable!

For those prone to seasickness, taking a travel pill beforehand can provide extra comfort during the trip.

If you’re traveling with a fast boat and carrying a backpack, consider good waterproof protection to keep your belongings dry.

Plan your transportation to your accommodation in advance. Whether it’s a private taxi or a shuttle bus, a pre-arranged ride makes the arrival much smoother.

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