There are two main beach towns on the island of Lombok and chances are you’ll only choose to visit one on your trip to Indonesia. Which Lombok beach town is best? Kuta VS Senggigi depends a lot on your circumstances, but if you’re looking for a quick answer without the annoyance of having to read this post, it’s Kuta.
Kuta VS Senggigi
I’ll give you a quick overview of both Senggigi and Kuta. It’ll be pretty clear which one you’ll prefer, but I’ll also sum it all up at the end!
Senggigi is only a 30-minute drive from Bangsal, where the boats to the Gili Islands go from. You can skip Lombok entirely and get a speed boat to the Gilis, but if you’re arriving in Lombok by plane, or slow boat from Bali (or a ferry from another island in Indonesia) you’ll pass through Senggigi on the way to the Gilis.
It’s a good place to rest for a night on the way to the Gilis as there are heaps of hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars. If you’re spending a few days in Senggigi there is a bit to explore. Or just stay at a nice resort and relax!
There are some great beaches in Senggigi, including Nipah Beach and Malimbu Beach. They were mostly clean (and very quiet) when I visited — a little bit of trash at beaches like this in Indonesia is par for the course. You’ll have to travel outside of town for those beaches — the main beach in town isn’t somewhere you’d want to be for too long!
The Drive from Senggigi to Bangsal
A taxi from Senggigi to Bangsal should cost around 150,000 IDR. There are some great views along the way, so if you’re getting a taxi make sure to ask if you can stop at a couple of the viewpoints along the way. “Ghost Villa” and Nipah Hill are the best — from the latter you’ll get a view of all three Gili Islands.
READ MORE: Which Is the Best Gili Island for You?
Kuta is a slightly less developed tourist town in the south of Lombok and is mostly known as a surfing area. Again, the main beach in Kuta isn’t somewhere you’ll want to hang out at — you’ll need to travel to get the better beaches.
There are some stunning beaches around Kuta, including Mawun Beach and Tanjong Aan. There was a bit of trash problem when we visited in 2018 but I talked to some people who went recently and they raved about the place. I didn’t ask about trash (it’d put a bit of a downer on the conversation) but it’s a problem in lots of places in Indonesia and seems to come and go a bit.
Kuta feels like a dusty border town, but there are plenty of good places to eat and drink, and accommodation to suit any traveller. We were hosted by Novotel on our honeymoon and it was a good spot — far enough from town for the beach to be good yet close enough to walk in and get some food.
Tanjung Aan, a beach close to Kuta, is close to an awesome short walk. Bukit Merese rises above the white sand and there are some beautiful views — surely some of the best in Lombok.
So, Which Is Best?
Kuta. The town is (slightly) nicer, although neither are all that inviting. The nearby beaches are definitely better in Kuta, although Nipah Beach and Malimbu Beach in Senggigi are more than decent. Senggigi is way closer to the Gili Islands, so if you just want to spend a night or two on the way to or from the Gilis it’s a good option.
Are you planning a trip to Lombok? Which beach town will you choose? Let me know in the comments below!