Ubud is a town in the Ubud district of Bali island in Indonesia. This town can be a perfect base for traveling around the island if you like to have a fixed place and take day trips, but you can also just spend up to 3-5 days exploring all the things Ubud has to offer. We have put together the perfect list of things to do and see in Ubud!
How to get to Ubud from Bali airport?
If you fly into Bali airport (Ngurah Rai International Airport), you can take either a taxi or a public bus to Ubud. Taxis have a set rate fare of 19.5€ (300,000 IDR) and take 40 minutes to reach Ubud, while the public bus takes at least 100 minutes but costs just 3.46€. You can also take a Grab taxi (online taxi app) that is highly used in Bali, but it is only permitted outside the touristic areas. You can order a Grab taxi everywhere, but you need to be careful because the local taxi drivers can get mad, they don’t like online taxi drivers and they mark their territories near to the touristic areas. For example, you need to go outside the airport to order an online Grab taxi, as the airport area is the territory of the local taxi drivers …
Our map to explore the Ubud area
Here you can see the map that we made for exploring Ubud, you can click on it to see all the interesting places!
Are you ready for the adventure? Do you already have a travel insurance?
World Nomads has the best insurance options for backpackers, young travelers and digital nomads.Click here to get your insurance
How long should I stay in Ubud?
Ubud can be a perfect base for your explorations around Bali, but you can also just visit the city for 4-5 days. It really depends on your personal preferences how long do you stay in Ubud.
- Very busy, traffic is huge, especially in the central areas. You can of course easily get around by scooter or motorbike, if you can drive one, but it’s very dangerous, especially in the center of Ubud because of the big traffic.
- Ubud is central in Bali, so it’s a perfect base for traveling around the island, as every attraction or spot is max. 2-3 hours away by car or motorbike. Ubud has rice terraces, lots of stores and markets, yoga centers, cute cafés and restaurants, museums and temples.
- Ubud is not authentic, as there are mainly tourists in the city, so everything is only written in English. You can find many yoga classes, artsy stores, clothes, jewelry, smoothie bowls,…compared to other parts of Bali, Ubud area is a bit more expensive.
Do you have everything ready for your next trip?
We have prepared the Ultimate Travel Essential Packing List with Eco-friendly products + a downloadable checklist!Click here for the ultimate packing list!
What can you do in Ubud for free?
Ubud is full of activities that can be enjoyed for free, the town is not really that big, so even if you don’t rent a bike, it will be easy for you to move around walking. Some of the best activities to do for free are:
Visit the Campuhan Ridge Walk.
This road is amazing to appreciate the beautiful nature and palm trees of Bali. You can read about it in the Nature section of the article.
Visit the Ubud Market
Ubud is full of incredible artwork and souvenirs that you can take with you after your visit. The Ubud Market is the best place to go and get the best souvenir for you. Remember to check first all the stores, to find the best prices, you can find the same product with different prices around the market.
Check the Ubud Royal Palace
The Ubud Palace used to be the home of the original royal family of Ubud. The palace is a great photo spot and it is very close to the market so you can visit both on the same day.
Explore the Taman Saraswati Temple
This is one of the most impressive temples in the Ubud region and in the whole of Bali. The most impressive landmark is the lotus lake that surrounds the entrance of the temple.
Hike in the Tegalalang Rice field
The Tegalalang Rice Field is the most famous in Ubud. The entrance to the fields is free, but if you want to enter the inner part you will need to pay a little extra money.
Is Ubud safe?
Yes, if you don’t ride a motorbike 😀 But seriously, Bali, in general, is safe! People do not steal, because they believe in karma, so you don’t have to be afraid of pickpockets. The only thing we found dangerous is transport in general, as there is no public transport on the island: only cars, scooters, motorbikes… There are no rules, pedestrians cross the street when they can, between two fast driving scooters and cars, and they pray for their lives 😀 So: only drive a motorbike and car, if you’re really sure you can drive safely on the crazy roads of Bali! And take care when you cross the street!
What is there to do and see in Ubud?
Explore and shop at the Ubud Art Market
The Ubud Art Market is the central market in Ubud, where you can find traditional clothes, little statues, scarves, crop tops, handmade bags, and hand-crafted goods. If you’re on your holiday, then this might be the perfect place to shop for souvenirs. You can also bargain for the prices! You can find the same kind of products all over Ubud in the stores (like pants, shirts, clothes are the same style and color), but this market is super colorful, and you can find the cheapest products here.
Visit the monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest
The Sacred Monkey Forest is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Ubud. The Monkey Forest is an important spiritual, educational and conservation center for the Balinese people.
It’s open daily from 8.30 until 6 PM. The entrance fee for adults is 80.000 IDR (5 EUR or 5.50 USD) in 2020. The Sacred Monkey Forest is a 15 minutes walk from the center of Ubud.
The place offers a walk through the forest while watching and interacting with some monkeys. There are some important rules that you have to follow, observing all the monkeys. The rules will be written everywhere, but here are some: – Do not go and touch a monkey, and do not interact with them. They might come to you if they will, but it’s not allowed to call them or touch them, because they can get angry or aggressive. It’s also forbidden to watch right into their eyes because they can take it as an offense and they can find you dangerous. When we were there, we only observed the monkeys, while they were running around, doing their things.
The monkeys will come to you at some point anyway, they might check out your bag for example. They can also steal, so it’s important to put everything in your bag and take care of your stuff. When we were there, one monkey jumped on the backpack of Dante, and tried to open it, he was most probably looking for food. In this case, it’s important not to panic and just wait until he goes away.
Watch a dance show at the Ubud Palace
Bali is the only Indonesian territory where the majority of the population practice Hinduism. Their cultural-religious heritage is very rich and you can literally watch it in every corner of the island. The Ubud Royal Palace is the cultural center of Ubud, where you can watch dance performances, usually barong or Kecak dances.
Most of the performances at the Ubud Palace begin at 7:30 pm, but it is recommended that you arrive early if you want to get good seats.
Ubud is also known for its yoga retreats. You will find different yoga studios here, where you can take yoga classes (Yoga Barn is the most popular and biggest yoga studio in Ubud). You can take only one class, or join a 3-day retreat.
In Ubud, we stayed at Prashanti Eco Resort and Yoga, where they also organize yoga retreats. Click here to check out our review of our stay there!
Try a smoothie bowl
Yes, Bali is famous for its smoothie bowls, so it’s a must thing to do in Ubud. There are cute cafes all over the city and you will for sure find a good place to try some smoothies and bowls. The Green Widow, Acai Queen, Blu Cafe, Buddha Bowl and many more!
Eat Balinese kitchen
We could write pages about Balinese food! We absolutely love the veggies, noodles, rice, different foods called “Goreng”. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, make sure you order something without meat or ask about vegetarian foods. It’s very easy to get food without meat in Bali, just always tell them that you don’t eat meat or dairy products. Most of the time Balinese kitchen also includes eggs, just remind them that you don’t need eggs in your rice. But otherwise, definitely try all the buffets at the restaurants called “Warung” (cheap Balinese restaurants with local food/buffet).
Take a cooking class
After you tasted the Balinese food, for sure you will want to try cooking it for yourself as well. During a professional cooking class, you can also learn more about the ingredients, traditions, history, and culture.
Check out the different cooking classes here :
Try the Balinese spa and massage
If you came to Bali to relax, then one of the best things to do in Bali is to enjoy a traditional Balinese massage! We got a massage and trust us, it was unbelievable: we felt so much better after some tiring days of walking and hiking! In the Balinese massage, they relax every part of the body (from the head to the feet) and they also use oils. There are lots of spas offering massages, in different price ranges. In Ubud, the massages are affordable, and we think that you should definitely experience it at least once in a lifetime.
Museums and temples
Museum Puri Lukisan
This museum displays the beginnings of the modern Balinese art movement. It was in Ubud that Balinese artists started to abandon purely religious themes, and started to explore other styles and topics. The works of Balinese and foreign painters are also here in an exhibition, in wonderful Balinese style buildings. There is also a park where you can relax. There is a free tea or soft drink included in the museum entrance ticket, you can drink it in the little cafeteria of the museum. The entrance fee is 145 000 IDR (about 10 EUR/ 10.50 USD), the museum is open from 9 AM until 5 PM. This museum is in the center of Ubud, it’s actually very close to the market.
Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
This museum has an impressive collection of Balinese art from artists of the 1930s to contemporary artists. They also support contemporary Balinese artists. We didn’t have time to visit this museum, but we will definitely visit it when we return to Bali on our next trip!
Neka Art Museum
This museum has the biggest collection of Balinese artwork. They have exhibitions of traditional and contemporary paintings as well. You can see various schools of art, there are lots of halls and exhibitions rooms. This museum is a little further from the center, about 20 minutes walking.
Pura Taman Saraswati
Known for the incredible lotus pod that surrounds the entrance, this palace is one of the most impressive ones in Ubud. It was designed by the Balinese artist and architect I Gusti Nyomand Lempad ordered by the prince of Ubud in 1951.
If you visit the temple you will be able to see all the little details that make the Hinduism temples of Bali so impressive. A lot of the statues that decorate the temple were made personally by the hand of Lempad. The temple is dedicated to Saraswati, goddess of knowledge, art, music, wisdom, speech, and learning.
This place is also known as the water palace due to the pod that flows under and through the palace. You can enjoy this palace for free and check around the restaurants and bars located next to the main entrance of the place.
Ubud Royal Palace – Puri Saren Agung
This palace is in the center of the city, it’s a cultural center and the most visited attraction as well. It serves as a cultural repository of art, dance, and literature. The front of the palace, the Palace of the King of Ubud is open for visitors during the day, and it’s free as well. You can enter the palace for free until 7 PM.
Although in the evening you need to pay to enter and watch the dance performances that start at about 7.30 PM.
There is a dance performance every evening, you can get the ticket for it during the afternoon at the royal palace. Come early to get the best seats at the performances!
Watch the sunrise at the Teggalalang rice terraces
Teggalalang rice terraces are about 20 minutes by motorbike or car from Ubud. You can definitely spend 2-3 hours there, exploring all the roads in the rice fields.
How to get to the rice terraces?
If you want to get to the Teggalang rice terraces, you can rent a motorbike and go on your own (if you really know how to ride a motorbike or a scooter, and you really know how to drive on the left side of the road) If you don’t ride the motorbike, get a Grab online taxi from Ubud, and ask the driver to wait for you until you explore, and then he can take you back or take you to your next destination. The Grab driver will ask you some extra cash for waiting for you up to 2-3 hours.
If you hire a private driver for your visit, you can include the Tegallalang rice terraces in your itinerary.
It’s possible to walk around the rice terraces for free, but sometimes the owners of the fields in some parts charge you if you want to trespass their fields (you can pay 5K up to 50K IDR). To get to the famous viewpoints that you might know from Instagram, you need to pay 50 IDR to the local owner.
There are also some photo locations at the entrances, like nests and hearts and swings, but you need to pay to take a photo in them.
OrganiCup Menstrual CupCheck pricing!
Double Edge Safety Razor with Long Natural Bamboo Handle | Safety Razor Wood | Eco FriendlyCheck pricing!
Natural Wood Hair Brush with Wooden Bristles Massage Scalp Comb and Peach Wood Beard Comb for Men and WomenCheck pricing!
Bamboo Toothbrush with Travel Case - Biodegradable - Eco and Vegan, Charcoal Infused BPA-FreeCheck princing!
Ubud Urban Rice Terraces
The entrance is on the right side of the Museum Puri Lukisan. You will need to walk through a narrow path for 5 minutes.
There is no entrance fee, but if you want to go inside the rice field to take a photo, better ask the farmers if you see them there.
There is a restaurant at the top of the rice terrace, Sweet Orange Warung.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Walking on the Campuhan Ridge Walk is one of the most relaxing things to do in Ubud. It’s perfect for running or just walking around, or admiring the sunrise or the sunset over the rice fields. The ridge walk is a road on a hill full of palm trees.
It looks incredible from above, and we wish we had a drone to take photos from above! If you have a drone, don’t forget it at home.
How do you get to Campuhan Ridge Walk?
The entrance to the Campuhan Ridge Walk is located right next to a hotel entrance. We got super lost because we followed the Google Maps, it’s not there where it shows you… If you can’t find the entrance, try to ask a local.
Admire the Botanic Garden in Ubud
The Botanic Garden is a 14 acres green park area in the busy town. It was designed by a German journalist, who modeled the area on the royal garden in Berlin. You can even find some greenhouses in the Botanic Garden! If you need some fresh air in the middle of the noisy Ubud, then the best thing to do is visit this garden.
Where to stay in Ubud?
We recommend you to stay a little bit outside of the center of Ubud, as it’s full of traffic, it’s very loud and noisy. Of course, if you like a busy place, then the center of Bali is a good choice for you. Otherwise, it might be better to stay in a calm place some kilometers outside of the central area, perhaps near to some rice fields with a view of the Campuhan ridge walk?
We usually use booking.com to book our stays, check out the best deals below: