After hearing countless horror stories about the ferries from Bali to the Gili Islands we were more than a little skeptical. Nevertheless, when we arrived in Amed late from an all day island tour we booked the tickets through our hotel with Freebird Express. Here we’ll break down our trip from Amed to Gili Trawangan which continues to Gili Meno and Gili Air!
Amed to Gili Trawangan Pick Up
Travel Time: 1.5 Hours w/ Hotel Pickup
Cost: 460 IDR
Departure Location: Amed Ferry Port
Arrival Location: Gili Trawangan Main Beach
We booked the boat transfer with our hotel in Amed Bali. However if you want to guarantee yourself a spot on the date you plan to travel you can pre book your Amed to Gili Trawangan tickets online.
It’s good to note that the boat also continues on to Gili Air with the last stop being Bangsal port in Lombok island.
There was more than a little confusion to start the day, but I think this had to do with a miscommunication on our hotels part. First, we were told the transfer would be there at 9am to take us to the ferry.
So when someone showed up at 7am and told us our transfer was there, we were more than a little confused!
Knowing the boat left at 9:30am there was no reason for us to go that early except to wait on the beach. Naturally, we asked if they could come back later.
Jake went back to bed, and I headed out for a nice sunrise walk in Amed with the volcano as my backdrop!
At 9am the driver returned and we loaded on to a 12 person passenger van that made a few quick stops on the way to the ferry port.
Freebird Express Check In
The unofficial Amed Ferry Port is really just a beach that the boat pulls up to. There is a small table where you have to show your passports and then you’re given official Amed to Gili Trawangan boat tickets. You can pay for the tickets at your hotel or when you arrive, just make sure to have cash!
*If you have a ticket from your hotel or booking agent and try to get on the boat you’ll still have to go back and show your passport.
Amed to Gili Trawangan Cost Breakdown
Amed to Gili Islands: 460 IDR
Ubud to Gili Islands: 350 IDR (With Transfer)
Sanur to Gili Islands: 200-300 IDR
Originally, we heard different prices for the ferry tickets. They are MUCH cheaper if you leave from the main ferry port of Sanur. Yet, if you add in the additional cost and time of getting from Amed to Gili T it didn’t make sense for us.
460 IDR ($30 USD) is the most you should pay for this ticket leaving from Amed to Gili Trawangan. However, it’s also important to know that the cost you pay often reflects the type of boat you have.
We’ve learned this the hard way traveling over the years, and transportation is one of the few things we happily pay more for.
Bali to Gili Islands Boat Ride
The boat was actually better than we expected! Fun island music played over the sound system while we were given information about the boat and journey. Prior to taking off we were offered complementary waters as we watched the massive mountains of Bali fade into the distance.
About 40 minutes into the hour long journey the sea did get a little rough! Luckily they closed the windows to keep the ocean water from splashing passengers. Even on the most beautiful looking day you can expect bumpy seas from Amed to Gili Trawangan.
Pack some seasickness pills if necessary, and take care of any bathroom business beforehand… There was unfortunately no bathroom on the Freebird Express boat!
Arriving on Gili Trawangan
We made it! After a little over an hour we arrived in the Gili Islands ferry port. The boat slides up to shore and you’ll have to crawl down the front ladder into the sand. After the passengers who are staying in Gili Trawangan are off the boat the bags will follow.
Everything from backpacks and suitcases to full cases of Bintang beer are passed in a human line down from the boat and literally thrown onto the ground. This may seem comical to watch, unless I guess you have something you truly care about in your luggage! Make sure anything that is fragile or breakable is out of your bag.
There are only three ways to get around the island once you get from Bali to Gili Trawangan. Walking, rent a bicycle, or take a horse carriage (which we don’t support for a multitude of reasons). There are no cars once you get to the Gili Islands so plan accordingly!
Have any questions about the ferry trip from Bali to Gili Trawangan, continuing on to Gili Air, or want to share your own experiences with other travelers? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where To Stay on Gili Trawangan
Ultra Luxury – Pearl of Trawangan – This beach front luxury hotel hosts two swimming pools and a rustic tropical design. Living up to its name as the Pearl of Trawangan, it features massive modern furniture and beautiful balcony views.
Fun Vacation – PinkCoco Gili Trawangan – As we’ve recommended before, the PinkCoco Indonesia chain is one of the best places to stay on the islands. Expect spacious modern rooms with both an indoor and outdoor living design. You’ll find this hotel on Sunset Beach tucked away from the main party scene.
Travel Couple – Havana Hideaway – Located a few streets away from all the action, Havana Hideaway is a perfect place to escape the noise of the Gili T party scene. Cute and small rooms with fun island decor.
Hostel Life – Gili Beach Bum – Searching for the party on Gili Trangawan? Honestly, you wont have to look far, but Gili Beach Bum hostel is at the epicenter. It also features a beach side pool bar, air conditioned rooms, and free breakfast.
For more places to stay in Gili Trawangan you can explore the latest prices here!
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Indonesia Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Bali. We recommend taking a sunrise Mount Batur hike with breakfast, an authentic cooking class in a local village, and the Ubud waterfall tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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