The Gili Islands offer a unique travel experience. Consisting of Trawangan (the largest), Air, and Meno, the islands form a small archipelago in Indonesia. The islands are the perfect place to swim, catch a wave, backpack, or watch the sunset among towering palm trees.

The Gili Islands have become a popular tourist destination with plenty of nightlife. There are no powered vehicles on the islands, so visitors can choose to walk or bike to their destinations. Most destinations are just a few short minutes away, however.

There is no airport on the islands. Instead, guests must travel from Bali or Lombok via boat. Although Trawangan is the largest and most populated of the islands, visitors may want to tour the coconut plantations on Meno or head to Gili Air to snorkel, view the reefs, or watch turtles.

Editor’s recommendation: Best Hostels in Canggu for Solo Travelers Hostels Canggu

New hotels pop up all the time, but the traveler on the budget will find no shortage of affordable and friendly hostels on the islands, many of which have rooms that open directly to the tropical air.

Daily boats run between the islands, so no matter where a guest’s hostel is, they won’t miss out on the other two islands. 


Mad Monkey Gili Trawangan (BEST PARTY)

Book on Hostelworld Book on from $15 / 3-dorm 4.6/5 Map

**prices are shown for weekdays in Mid-season (May)


  • Live music
  • Teepee-style private rooms
  • Tours provided by staff

The newly-opened Mad Monkey is the beach lover’s dream. First, there’s a 12-meter infinity pool that is the perfect place for a leisurely lap or two. The hostel also boasts a beach volleyball court. After the big game, visitors can relax on a beanbag on the deck, which sometimes has live music, or enjoy a drink in the spacious outdoor restaurant and bar. 

The Mad Monkey is close to the shore, and the hostel’s design matches the tropical ambiance perfectly. Visitors will enjoy stepping directly onto outdoor patios from their dorm rooms, which overlook the pool and have a fantastic view of the sunset. Guests who prefer private rooms can bunk with a friend in teepee-style accommodations with twin and double beds and locking storage. Even the shared bathrooms nod to the atmosphere with outdoor sinks.

Mad Monkey’s location couldn’t be better, either. It’s a short walk from eating and drinking venues, and guests can rent bikes to get around the island. The hostel provides tours as well.

My Mate’s Place

Book on Hostelworld Book on from $16 / 3-dorm 4.5/5 Map

**prices are shown for weekdays in Mid-season (May)


  • Wii games
  • Foosball table
  • Fitness center

The name of this hostel sounds like your best friend’s house, and guests can certainly make themselves at home at this hostel, which received the honor of being the best hostel in Indonesia from HostelWorld in 2019. 

My Mate’s Place is ideal for the socialite. The large social area features tables where guests can drink and dine, and there are comfy beanbags for relaxing on off to the side. There’s an onsite bar with daily specials. 

Of course, visitors won’t want to spend all their time at the hostel. Staff will show visitors to Trawangan’s hottest party spots, including a pub that gives the island the honor of being the smallest in the world with an Irish pub. Plus, they can check the weekly calendars for outings such as snorkeling and yacht trips.

Editor’s recommendation: Best Hostels in Seminyak for Solo Travelers 2020Hostels Seminyak

M Box

Book on Hostelworld Book on from $11 / 3-dorm 4.4/5 Map

**prices are shown for weekdays in Mid-season (May)


  • Sofas in private rooms
  • Three-person rooms
  • Gym and yoga room

The owners of M Box Bali have expanded to Gili Trawangan with an even bigger hostel! M Box offers 26 three-bedrooms and fifteen private rooms. Visitors can also take advantage of the unique three-person private rooms at M Box. Each room comes with soap and shampoo to use in the shared bathrooms.

M Box is just far enough from the beach to offer guests peace and quiet at night but not so far as to be inconvenient. The beach, like the public harbor, are both just four minutes by foot. A 15-minute walk will bring guests to the night market. Guests can rent bikes from the hostel to make these trips even faster.

Guests will find plenty to do at the hostel, however. Visitors can spend downtime playing beer pong, make friends with other guests, stop by the restaurant for a meal or to order fresh coffee or tea. The hostel’s bar is affordable and convenient. Guests can lounge in the pool or patio chairs as well. M Box even offers a gym and yoga room to help visitors remain healthy and relaxed.

This hostel takes security seriously with locked boxes in every room and a security gate that locks after midnight.

Check here for more hostels in Gili T


Begadang (BEST CHILL)

Book on Hostelworld Book on from $11 / 3-dorm 4.6/5 Map

**prices are shown for weekdays in Mid-season (May)


  • Mushroom-shaped pool
  • Movie nights
  • Family suites

Begadang hostel is on Gili Air. This hostel’s claim to fame is its unique mushroom-shaped pool, which is big enough to swim and relaxed enough to float in. Poolside seating, sports, and games make it the perfect place to lounge and work on your tan. The social areas are a great place to meet new friends, and Begadang has been rated the top hostel for solo travelers on the island. 

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, however. In fact, the hostel’s name translates to “to stay up all night” in Indonesian! Gili Air promises beautiful sunsets and unobstructed views of the night skies. The hostel hosts two movie nights every week, and guests can order delicious drinks from the bar after dining at the restaurant, which guests have raved about.

Tipsea Turtle

Book on Hostelworld Book on from $8 / 3-dorm 4.8/5 Map

**prices are shown for weekdays in Mid-season (May)


  • Friday pizza night
  • Sunday day party
  • Assistance with travel

One of the newer hostels on Gili Air is the Tipsea Turtle. Guests of this hostel will be able to take advantage of the jam-packed schedule. There is an event scheduled every day of the week, and some events take place at night. Tipsea Turtle events include beer pong on Mondays, Tuesday movie nights, Wednesday BBQs, Thursday games and to-go dinners for families, Friday pizza parties, cocktails on Saturday, and Sunday day parties.

The hostel coordinates their events with local bars such as Luckys and Cheeky Monkey, so guests don’t have to choose between activities. Tipsea Turtle also offers periodic activities such as free yoga. Of course, you can always lounge by the pool when you need downtime.


The Rabbit Tree Hostel

Book on Hostelworld Book on from $8 / 10-dorm 4.7/5 Map

**prices are shown for weekdays in Mid-season (May)


  • DVD movies
  • Board games
  • Hot tub

The Rabbit Tree on Gili Meno pairs clean and comfortable accommodations with modern amenities. The hostel offers movies, video games, game nights, and restaurant delivery for guests who enjoy creature comforts. When it’s time to unplug, there are plenty of onsite sports and games to choose from as well. These activities are a great way to meet people and are so much fun that visitors might not want to leave the hostel!

Like several other hostels on this list, The Rabbit Tree’s rooms are themselves unique. Each of the dorms is different from the others. The wooden construction of the 7-bed mixed dorms feels rustic yet whimsical thanks to the curtains that separate beds and line the roof. Light creeps in creating a wonderful ambiance. The 9-bed mixed dorm is more modern and boasts bold colors. Even private rooms have natural touches and views of flowering trees.

Travelers debating which of the Gili Islands shouldn’t worry that they will miss out based on where their hostel is located. Daily boats ensure that guests can enjoy the nightlife on Trawangan and the shipwrecks surrounding it, the beaches of Meno, or the natural features and wildlife of Gili Air with ease. With so much to offer, the Gili Islands are the perfect destination, whether a traveler is solo or with friends.