Best Things to do and See in Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Ubud, to describe it succinctly, is ubod ng ganda (very beautiful in Tagalog). It is known as the cultural hub of Bali and is home to a handful of natural wonders. This small town has been featured in bigwig publications, like Conde Nast and Vogue.
People can’t get enough of what Ubud has to offer, and if you can’t, too, here is a list of things to do and see in Ubud, for starters:
Chill at Monkey Forest
The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary colloquially referred to as the Monkey Forest, is one of Ubud’s most famous tourist destinations. Just as the name implies, the Monkey Forest is home to over 500 Balinese monkeys who live in harmony with the well-preserved forest. Besides the monkeys, this attraction is known for housing three temples, the Pura Dalem Agung, the Pura Beji, and the Pura Prajapati.
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Hike up and down the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are just one of the many wonders of Ubud. The rice terraces are located in a village where residents engage in agriculture as their main income source. Besides the evergreen color of the rice paddies and the overlooking cliffs, the cool atmosphere, and the friendly locals, Tegallalang Rice Terraces is an Instagram-worthy, close-to-nature tourist destination that is the embodiment of refreshing.
Admire the rock formations of Goa Gajah Elephant Cave
Despite this tourist destination’s name, there are no elephants here, and it is definitely more than just a cave. The rocky façade of the “Goa Gajah elephant cave” is engraved with scary-looking creatures, but inside, there is a Hindu temple, a garden with a paved path, stone angels, statues, and ponds that date to as far as the 10th century.
Get a souvenir from Ubud Art Market
Locally known as Pasar Seni Ubud, this art market located in the arts and culture hub that is Ubud, does not disappoint. Here, shops and stalls abound with silk scarves, shirts, handicrafts, woven souvenirs, kites, bowls and cups, and other interesting artworks.
See the lotus pond of Pura Taman Saraswati Temple.
This popular landmark is known for its lotus-filled pond and water garden, which magnificently greets guests before they can even step into the temple grounds. There are no entrance fees, but you must strictly wear a sarong to cover your knees and ankles. If your schedule permits, try to come at 7:30 PM to witness the dance performances.
Visit the Green School Bali
Even if you are visiting as a tourist and not as a researcher, you should definitely visit Green School Bali. This school is built in a very sustainable and environmentally-conscious manner. Classrooms are wall-less, everything is made of bamboo, and everywhere is either green (the trees and grass), blue (the ponds), or azure (the bright sky above). They offer kindergarten to the high school curriculum.
Conquer Campuhan Ridge Walk
If you are traveling on a rather tight budget, you can come to Campuhan Ridge Walk for half the day and conclude the day with a smile. This majestic hiking trail is free and is a fantastic getaway for those who would like to see their pedometers’ limits. While there, you will pass by a bridge, the Sungai Wos River, and a temple complex, which can serve as your short stopover in this nine-kilometer stretch.
Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practice that has been around since the 5th century. It is a tried and tested art that increases flexibility, improves energy and vitality, and even helps lose weight! There are yoga schools in Ubud, like The Yoga Barn and Radiantly Alive Yoga.
Dine with a view at Bebek Joni Restaurant
Imagine a glass of cold tropical juice, your choice of Balinese soup, fresh and crunchy vegetables, and ice cream. Now add to your imagination a spectacular view of Ubud, with the aroma of these food being cooked in the kitchen nearby. This is how dining in Bebek Joni Restaurant feels like.
Bathe in Tirta Empul Water Temple
Although bathing in public may sound taboo to some cultures, many pilgrims travel thousands of miles from their hometowns to visit Tirta Empul Water Temple. This temple is most known for its 13 spouts where crystal-clear, mountain water flows out from. This is where pilgrims bathe in after a series of prayers to purify themselves.
Bathe again… this time in Tegenungan Waterfall
Cascading falls, an unexploited environment, and a relatively easier hike. These are some of the reasons why Tegenungan Waterfall is a hot tourist destination in Bali. There are some shops where you can get some food before heading to the falls. The water volume and pressure is strongest from October to April (wet season).
Shop ’til you drop
Besides the Ubud Art Market (honorable mentions: Sukawati Art Market and Guwang Art Market), consider saving up for these places: Mas village (has the best silver and goldsmiths), Jalan Raya Shopping Street and its fashion boutiques, textiles, and lace collections; and Ewa Oceanic Gallery and its mystic masks, antique ornaments, and woodcrafts.
Explore Puri Saren Palace
The Puri Saren Palace, or the Ubud Royal Palace, is perhaps one landmark you should not miss if you want to get a good start to feel Ubud. The palace, built in the 1800s, has stunning architecture, and the grounds are known to be well-kept. Come at sundown and catch the evening performances.
Visit Blanco Renaissance Museum
Antonio Blanco is a Spanish-American man who was born in Ermita, Manila, Philippines. He was a devoted artist who traveled a lot, but in Bali, he decided to settle down. The Don Antonio Blanco Renaissance Museum in Ubud was built in memory of him and his timelessly dreamy paintings.
It takes a lot of time to fully explore Ubud’s artistic and cultural town, but with these things in mind, you will get a head start to grasp its beauty. Just be wary of religious places (wear proper clothing), avoid the rainy season, and wear a hat and some sunblock when exploring Ubud, and you’re all set.
Ubud Travel and Tour Packages
Pure Ubud Tour
- See over 250 species of birds from around Indonesia at Bali Bird Park and have a close encounter with a Komodo Dragon
- Get spiritual at the nearly 1,000-year-old Pura Desa Batuan, one of the best-preserved examples of Balinese Hindu Temples on the island, and Goa Gajah, with marvelous reliefs and wall carvings
- Feast at one of Ubud’s top-rated restaurants, Bebek Bengil, and enjoy Balinese crispy duck in a beautiful villa-style restaurant
- Stroll through the art markets and galleries of Ubud and find the perfect souvenir in Bali’s cultural capital
- Pass by some of Bali’s most stunning rice paddies and sawas to get your fill of nature
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