Travel guide Kuta Lombok – Things to do, eat, sleep, and party
This travel guide to Kuta Lombok, includes information on guesthouses, hotels, attractions and advice on travel, restaurants, nightlife and more. Overshadowed by Bali, Lombok is becoming the next travel spot for backpackers and other travelers in Indonesia. Kuta Lombok is the place for exploring some of the best beaches and surfing spots, Lombok has to offer. Kuta Lombok is also well known for its pristine beaches, amazing landscapes, good parties, and international restaurants. Despite Indonesia´s alcohol rules, the nightlife in Kuta Lombok is great!
General information about Kuta Lombok
Kuta is a village on the island of Lombok in the Indonesian province West Nusa Tenggara. It is the place for exploring some of the best beaches and surfing spots, Lombok has to offer. Overshadowed by Bali, Lombok is slowly making a transition from backpacker place to a more mainstream destination and must visit place. Lombok is well known for its pristine beaches, amazing landscapes, good parties, and international restaurants. Furthermore, Kuta in Lombok is a well-developed place. It has access to ATMs, has a good telephone signal, and many hotels, restaurants, and guesthouses offer free WiFi in Kuta.
How to get to Kuta Lombok; air, public ferry or boat
There are different ways to get to Kuta Lombok. The island has a relatively new airport called Bandera International Airport. From here, you can take a taxi and you will reach Kuta in about 30 minutes. If you don’t like planes, or rather see more from the surroundings, the public ferry or fast boat is a good alternative. The fast boat to Lombok departing from Padang bai Bali, will bring you in about 2.5 hours to Bangsal harbor Lombok. The public ferry to Lombok will depart from Padang bai harbor to Lembar harbor every hour. Crossing by ferry will take about 4 to 5 hours, but is cheap and fairly comfortable. I took the fast boat and paid around IDR 500.000 (about € 31,00) for an open return ticket. From Bangsal harbor to Kuta Lombok, it will take you around 2 or 2,5 hours.
What to do in Kuta Lombok
Most travelers take Kuta Lombok as base and spend time outside Kuta exploring the surrounding beaches and cultural sights. These are some things I can recommend you to do in Kuta Lombok:
Go swimming and soak up the sun at one of the many beaches
There are plenty of amazing beaches close to Kuta Lombok. There is Pantai Kuta, Mawun beach, Mawi beach, Selong Belanak beach, Sedek beach, Tanjung Aan beach, or Pink beach. Another post will tell you all the details about these beaches. Remember, to be careful about leaving your valuables on the beach unattended.
Become a surf pro
Kuta Lombok is a surfer’s paradise. There are over 17 different surf spots that can be accessed from Kuta. There are beaches with beginner waves and epic beaches for professionals. The best beginner beaches are Selong Belanak, Tanjung Aan, and Mawun Beach. Professionals can visit Desert Point beach.
Visit the traditional Sasak village
This place is a traditional village where you can experience how the Sasak people have been living for centuries. It is a touristic place, but still interesting to explore.
Enjoy the sunset over Kuta Lombok from Ashtari coffee house
This place is a must visit! Ashtari coffee house is located up a hill next to the busy centre of Kuta. From here you have an amazing view over Kuta and you can see one of the best sunsets ever. The views are truly stunning!
Try local food in Kuta Lombok
There are plenty of great restaurants and cafes in Kuta Lombok. Further down this post, you can read about some amazing places!
Get to know the bracelet kids
Everywhere you go, you will find kids selling bracelets. Sometimes they are annoying, but when you take the time to get to know them better, they can be quit fun.
Hire a scooter and explore the area
The best way to explore Kuta Lombok is by scooter. A scooter costs around 50,000 IDR a day (not including fuel). A scooter will give you access to plenty of beaches, towns and other spots just waiting to be explored. This post, will tell you everything you need to know about driving scooter in Indonesia. Where to rent a scooter? For what price? Are there traffic rules? What to do if a police officer stops you?
Where to party in Kuta Lombok
Kuta Lombok knows many bars and restaurants. Despite Indonesia´s alcohol rules, the nightlife in Kuta Lombok is great! In the evening, I can recommend you going to the Bus, Sunset Café, Reggae Bar, Gecko Lounge and Bar, or the Surfers Bar for drinks and live music. Every night at one café or bar will be an organized party. You can ask a local or fellow traveler where the hot spot is that night, and party your ass off in Kuta Lombok. This is a selection of some good nightlife places in Kuta Lombok:
The bus is a Volkswagen van that has been transformed into a cozy bar. There is always a great atmosphere and it is the perfect place to meet other travelers. The Bus in Kuta Lombok also serves good pizzas, Mexican food, cocktails and will play nice music. Here you should definitely spend an evening when you are in Kuta Lombok!
This is one of the best places in Kuta Lombok to have dinner. The owner and staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and the food is great! They serve traditional Indonesia food, but also excellent pastas. In the evening, this place is great to have beer. I recommend you visiting around 22:00.
Rasta beach bar
When you ride to the beach, you will find the Rasta beach bar (reggae bar) on your left. The bar itself is nothing special, but they have a campfire most nights next to the beach which attracts some locals and backpackers to enjoy some beers together.
Surfers Bar is a laid-back beer and cocktail bar with a relaxing atmosphere just located at Kuta beach. I believe there is live music every Monday night. I did spend quite some time at this amazing bar and can recommend everybody to visit it. You will be amazed by all the dance moves and flirting skills of the local surfer guys.
Dwikis Cuisine Bar & Restaurant
This sport bar is mainly known because of its amazing pizzas, but you can also enjoy a beer in the evening while seeing some sport or a movie.
In the night, at the hot spot bar or café, some local guys will try to sell you some helium balloons or magic mushrooms. Please remember that drugs, and so the mushrooms, are illegal in Indonesia! You can try a helium balloon for about IDR 30.000 (€2,00) and the magic mushrooms for about IDR 50.000 (€ 3,00).
Where to eat?
In Kuta Lombok are plenty of locally owned warungs, but also restaurants serving international food. Here are some of my favorite places to eat:
Jawa one and two
These warungs serve delicious food. The menu is large and the dishes are tasty and cheap.
El Bazar Café & Restaurant
If you’re looking for something more Western, El Bazar Cafe & Restaurant is a good choice. The number one choice of TripAdvisor actually! This restaurant offers Mediterranean and Moroccan dishes. The menu card is pretty small, but the food taste great and believe me, every night all the tables will be full! I can recommend you order the combination dish. With this dish, you get the chance to try all kinds of small delicious Mediterranean dishes.
Kuta Steak House
A new restaurant which is sister restaurant to the Bali Steak House. They import high quality beef from Australia which makes a nice change from the local food.
Riviera Bar and Café
This restaurant is well known by the vegetarians in Kuta Lombok. It is a local café serving some of the best veggie curries.
This place has some really good pizzas!
Mexican in town
This place is pretty new and offers some really tasty Mexican food. You can eat all kind of things here like tacos, quesadillas, or other Mexican dishes. They even have vegetarian tacos and quesadillas with jack fruit. Very delicious! Happy hour is between 13:00 and 18:00.
This place is great. If you want to skip meat for a night I can recommend you trying the Falafel wrap. I am vegetarian and this wrap was truly delicious. The portions are also big. Warung Drifters also serves great burgers, wraps, and more…
Ashtari coffee house
This place is a must visit! Ashtari coffee house is located up a hill next to the busy centre of Kuta. From here you have an amazing view over Kuta and you can see one of the best sunsets ever. The views are truly stunning! The place also serves very good food. I tried some paste here, and it was delicious. They also offer several yoga classes.
Where to sleep?
Kuta Lombok is now dotted with many home stays and budget accommodations. Booking.com is a good place to book your stay here. I stayed at JM hotel Kuta Lombok, which is a nice and good hotel with a medium class price. If you are looking for a cheaper stay, I can recommend you Ike’s hostel, Botchan hostel and Pipes hostel. A very good and hospitable home stay is Join Homestay.
I hope this information can help you prepare and enjoy Kuta Lombok. I am sure you will enjoy Kuta Lombok as much as I did. If you have been to Kuta Lombok and know any other good things to do, food to eat, hang out places or general advises to other travelers, please let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about them.
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