Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

Planning to visit Ubud? This Ubud travel guide will help you plan your itinerary and discover the best things to do in Ubud.

Ubud is located in the heart of Bali and it is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, lush landscapes, and serene ambiance. Known as the cultural hub of Bali, Ubud offers a myriad of attractions and activities that cater to various interests. 

This Ubud travel guide will cover everything you need to know before visiting Ubud. Starting from the best things to do in Ubud and ending with a lot of practical tips to make your trip smooth and enjoyable.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Things to know before visiting Ubud

How to get to Ubud?

How to get to Ubud?

The nearest international airport to Ubud is Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport (DPS). Once you arrive at the airport, there are multiple ways to reach Ubud from the airport.

There are shuttle bus services available from major tourist areas in Bali, such as Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, and Sanur, to Ubud. These shuttle buses are usually reasonably priced and offer convenient pick-up and drop-off services. You can see the prices and book your transfer here.

Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are available in Bali. You can book a taxi or a ride through the Grab app or find a taxi at designated taxi stands. Also, you can speak directly with your hotel as a lot of them offer transfer services from the airport.

Hiring a private driver is a popular and convenient option in Bali. You can arrange for a private car and driver through your hotel or a local tour operator. This is the best option if you want to do some sightseeing straight away, however, if you need to rest after a long flight, opt in for a transfer instead.

You can also rent a scooter or a car and explore Ubud by yourself. Remember that you will need an international driver’s license and possibly other documents, so make sure you check the requirements before.

How long to stay in Ubud?

How long to stay in Ubud?

The length of your stay in Ubud depends on your preferences, schedule, and the activities you wish to engage in. Ubud offers a wide range of attractions and experiences, including cultural sites, rice terraces, yoga retreats, spas, and other unique experiences.

I would say that 3-4 days allow a satisfying exploration of the area. This way you can visit the main attractions, participate in local experiences, and immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere that Ubud is known for.

However, if you have specific interests such as attending workshops, retreats, or engaging in extensive trekking activities, you may want to extend your stay to accommodate those activities. Ubud also serves as a great base for exploring other parts of Bali, so you might consider allocating more time if you plan to take day trips to nearby destinations.

Ultimately, the ideal duration for your stay in Ubud depends on your personal preferences and the experiences you wish to have. Take into account the time you have available, your interests, and the pace at which you prefer to travel to determine the length of your stay that suits you best.

How to plan a day trip to Ubud?

How to plan a day trip to Ubud?

Let me just point out that I don’t recommend making a day trip to Ubud, because there is so much to see. However, if you have limited time and you want to tick off just a few attractions of Ubud, I recommend you join an organized tour or hire a private driver.

Ubud: Waterfall, Rice Terraces & Monkey Forest Private Tour

Not only do you get to see the highlights of Ubud with a professional guide, but you also have the option to get an early pickup. This way you can beat the crowds and the traffic that gets pretty bad in Ubud during the peak hours.

Bali: Customized Private Car Charter with Optional Guide

If you have your own itinerary and the places that you want to visit, I recommend booking a private driver for the day and exploring the best of Ubud on your own. Also, make sure you communicate with the driver before the day trip so you can agree on the route, pickup location, etc.

How to move around Ubud?

How to move around Ubud?

Ubud itself is a relatively small town and everything within the center is walkable. However, a lot of attractions are spread outside of Ubud, so you will need transport to move around.

Renting your own transport is a great option, but suitable only for experienced drivers. If that is not your case, renting a car with a driver is the best way to explore Ubud. This is just one of the options.

Grab is also available in Ubud, but overall, it is going to be pricey to explore the area. You can use Grab for a few attractions, but not for a full-day rental.

Where to stay in Ubud?

Where to stay in Ubud?

Ubud offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for luxury resorts, boutique hotels, budget-friendly guesthouses, or serene retreats, there’s something for everyone.

Luxury: Adiwana Suweta

Photo credit: Adiwana Suweta via Booking.com

For an exceptional experience of luxury and comfort, look no further than Adiwana Suweta. Nestled amidst beautiful greenery, this hotel boasts a stunning natural backdrop that will truly enchant you. With its array of facilities and picturesque pool, Adiwana Suweta provides an unforgettable retreat.

Unique: Jannata Resort and Spa

Photo credit: Jannata Resort and Spa via Booking.com

Experience a one-of-a-kind pampering at Jannata Resort and Spa in Ubud. This exceptional hotel has garnered immense popularity through social media, thanks to its stunning surroundings and exquisite amenities. With its dedicated staff and a wide range of enriching experiences, it is one of the most sought-after accommodations in Bali.

Mid-Range: Nyoman Homestay Ubud

Photo credit: Nyoman Homestay Ubud via Booking.com

Situated just a stone’s throw away from Ubud Palace, Nyoman Homestay Ubud is a charming homestay that provides a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Each accommodation is equipped with air conditioning, breakfast is included and what’s more, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool during your stay.

Affordable: Narendra Guest House

Photo credit: Narendra Guest House via Booking.com

If you’re seeking an affordable yet comfortable stay in Ubud, Narendra Guest House is an excellent choice. This guest house offers clean and private accommodations, each equipped with a private bathroom and air conditioning.

What sets it apart is that it is a family-owned establishment, providing a wonderful opportunity to connect with the locals and experience their warm hospitality.

Best things to do in Ubud

Discover Saraswati Temple

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

Saraswati Temple is located in the heart of Ubud and it is one of the highlights of Ubud. Dedicated to the goddess Saraswati, who represents knowledge, arts, and wisdom in Balinese Hinduism, the temple stands as a revered symbol of creativity and education in the local culture.

One of the most striking features of the Saraswati Temple is its exquisite architecture. As visitors enter the temple grounds, they are greeted by a grand entrance adorned with traditional Balinese stone carvings and intricate statues. 

The temple’s central courtyard is a sight to behold. It is surrounded by tranquil lotus ponds, which are often teeming with blooming lotus flowers. These elegant blooms create a serene and picturesque setting, adding to the temple’s ethereal charm.

Visiting Saraswati Temple is one of the best free things to do in Ubud as there is no entrance fee. It won’t take a lot of your free time, but it is still a must-visit place in Ubud.

Get lost at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud
Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

Tegalalang Rice Terraces is hands down one of the most beautiful places in Ubud. These terraces stand as a living testament to the harmonious relationship between humans and nature. Not only it captivates the eye but also preserves the rich agricultural heritage and cultural traditions of Bali.

Considering the popularity of this place, I highly recommend visiting Tegalalang Rice Terraces early in the morning. When we arrived around 7 am, we could access the fields without an entrance fee, but after leaving I saw people selling the tickets. I heard the entrance fee is around 25k IDR per person.

You will find a lot of Instagrammable places around the fields like swings, nests, I love Bali signs, etc., however, keep in mind that you will have to pay for all of these spots. The prices are affordable, but I believe you should just focus on the rice terraces itself and there is no need to queue for these tourist spots.

Also, make sure you bring water, some snacks, and comfortable shoes. The terraces can get extremely muddy, so if you are planning to visit more attractions after, bring an extra pair of sneakers. Oh and don’t forget your camera!

Get spiritual at the Tirta Empul Temple

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud
Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

The Tirta Empul Temple, also known as Pura Tirta Empul, is a revered Hindu water temple located in the village of Tampaksiring, just a short drive from Ubud. This sacred site holds great cultural and spiritual significance for the Balinese people and is renowned for its holy springs and purification rituals.

The main highlight of the Tirta Empul Temple is its natural spring water pools, which are believed to possess purifying and healing properties. These springs are sourced from a holy mountain spring and are channeled into various fountains and pools within the temple complex. 

Visitors can also engage in a spiritual cleansing ritual known as “melukat.” The ritual involves a series of steps, including prayers, offerings, and bathing in the holy springs. It is believed that by participating in this ritual, one can cleanse their body, mind, and soul.

It is open from 8 am to 6 pm and the entrance fee is 50k IDR.

See the Ubud Monkey Forest

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

The Ubud Monkey Forest is a lush forest sanctuary that is not only a haven for playful monkeys but also a conservation area that preserves the natural habitat and biodiversity of the region. And it is one of the best things to do in Ubud.

The highlight of the Ubud Monkey Forest is undoubtedly the chance to observe and interact with the resident macaque monkeys. These long-tailed macaques are known for their mischievous nature and entertaining antics. As you stroll through the forest, you’ll witness them swinging from trees, grooming each other, or playfully engaging with visitors.

Not that you have to be careful and keep your distance from the monkeys. Also, avoid bringing valuables and food with you. Don’t leave your bags unattended at any time.

The Ubud Monkey Forest welcomes visitors every day from 9 am to 6 pm with the last entrance at 5 pm. The entrance fee is 80k IDR per person.

Trek at the Campuhan Ridge Walk

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

If you are looking for a relaxing activity, visiting Campuhan Ridge Walk is one of the best things to do in Ubud. It is a scenic trekking trail offering breathtaking views of lush landscapes, rolling hills, and the gentle flow of the Campuhan River.

The Campuhan Ridge Walk is suitable for people of various fitness levels. The trail is well-marked and relatively easy to navigate, making it accessible for both experienced hikers and casual walkers.

The entire route stretches for approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), providing a leisurely stroll that can be completed in around 1-2 hours. And at the end of the hike, you will find multiple cafes in case you want to take a break or get some food.

Go to the Pos Pecalang Desa Ubud, take the path on the left, and follow the directions. Once you see cafes like Hilltop Cafe Ubud or Warung Widi Coffee, you are at the end of the path, so this is where you can take a break and go back or get a ride back to your hotel instead.

See the traditional Balinese dance at the Ubud Palace

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud
Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

The Ubud Palace is a historical and cultural landmark that offers visitors a chance to witness traditional Balinese dance performances. It was one of the highlights of my time in Ubud and I highly recommend it adding it to your Ubud itinerary.

The Ubud Palace is renowned for hosting nightly traditional Balinese dance performances. These performances showcase the richness and beauty of Balinese culture through intricate dance movements, vibrant costumes, and expressive storytelling.

The dances range from the dramatic and mythical Barong dance to the elegant Legong dance and the fiery Kecak dance. Each dance has its own unique characteristics and significance, providing a captivating glimpse into Balinese artistic traditions.

Make sure you arrive a bit earlier before the show starts, so you can get the best seats. Also, you can bring your own food and drinks, but please pick up your trash after the show. I was shocked to see how it looks once people start to leave.

One of the waterfalls near Ubud: Tegenungan Waterfall, Kanto Lampo Waterfall, or Layana Waterfall

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

Ubud is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, including its mesmerizing waterfalls. With numerous waterfalls to explore, it can be a daunting task to visit them all. Therefore, it is advisable to select a few favorites and plan a visit to 2-3 waterfalls during your trip to Ubud. 

Here are three stunning waterfalls that are within close proximity to Ubud and offer awe-inspiring views.

Tegenungan Waterfall is one of the most popular and easily accessible waterfalls near Ubud. Located in the village of Tegenungan, it boasts a majestic cascade of water surrounded by lush greenery. As you approach the waterfall, you’ll hear the powerful rush of water and feel its refreshing mist in the air. 

Situated in Beng Village, Kanto Lampo Waterfall is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This lesser-known waterfall offers a unique and enchanting experience. The gentle flow creates a serene and magical atmosphere, enhanced by the soft sunlight filtering through the surrounding foliage. 

Tukad Cepung Waterfall, located in Tembuku Village, offers a truly ethereal experience. To reach this gem, you’ll need to navigate a short trek through a narrow canyon. The waterfall, framed by towering cliffs and lush vegetation, creates a mesmerizing play of light and shadows. 

Additionally, limiting the number of waterfalls you visit provides an opportunity to savor each moment and create lasting memories.

Sweet Orange Walk Trail

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

If you’re seeking hidden gems in Ubud, the Sweet Orange Walk Trail should be a priority on your list. Despite its central location, it often goes unnoticed by visitors.

This trail offers a captivating journey through picturesque rice fields, making it a perfect haven for photography enthusiasts, especially during sunset. The interplay of golden hues and the serene ambiance create an ideal setting for capturing breathtaking shots.

To begin your exploration, set Sweet Orange Warung as your destination and rely on the convenience of Google Maps to guide you along the way. By following this route, you’ll uncover the beauty of the Sweet Orange Walk Trail and appreciate the tranquility it provides amidst the bustling heart of Ubud.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to immortalize the enchanting landscapes and cherish the unique experience of traversing this lesser-known trail. Prepare to be captivated by the serenity and natural charm that awaits you along the Sweet Orange Walk Trail in Ubud.

Shopping at Ubud Market

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud
Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

Shopping is one of the best things to do in Ubud. And Ubud market is known for its wide variety of local handicrafts, artworks, clothing, accessories, and traditional goods. Great place if you are looking for souvenirs to bring back home.

Whether you’re looking for traditional Balinese crafts, handmade textiles, intricate wooden masks, or aromatic spices, the market offers an extensive range of items to suit every taste and budget. It’s an opportunity to find distinctive treasures that reflect the local culture.

By shopping at Ubud Market, you directly contribute to the local economy and support the livelihoods of talented artisans and vendors. However, haggling is a common practice at Ubud Market, and it adds a fun and interactive element to the shopping experience.

Enjoy some of the best coffee shops in Ubud

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud
Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

Among the myriad coffee shops scattered throughout Ubud, one of my personal favorites is Seniman Coffee. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll find coffee shops on practically every corner of this charming town.

Seniman Coffee stands out for its extensive selection of local beverages, delectable pastries, satisfying food options, and a range of refreshing drinks. You can indulge in the rich flavors of Balinese coffee while immersing yourself in a cozy and inviting atmosphere. 

What sets Seniman Coffee apart is not only its commitment to serving quality beverages and delectable treats but also its dedication to promoting sustainability and supporting local farmers. They prioritize ethical sourcing practices and maintain strong relationships with coffee growers in the region.

Make sure to include a visit to Seniman Coffee in your Ubud itinerary, and let the enticing aromas and delightful flavors enhance your experience in this enchanting town.

Where to eat in Ubud?

where to eat in Ubud
where to eat in Ubud

When it comes to dining in Ubud, you’ll be spoiled for choice with a wide range of culinary options. Whether you’re in the mood for local Indonesian delicacies, international cuisine, or healthy smoothie bowls, there’s something for everyone. 

Here are some of the best restaurants in Ubud:

For a lively evening spot, head to Simply Social. This vibrant restaurant and bar offer a welcoming atmosphere, music, and a menu featuring a fusion of international and Indonesian dishes. It’s an ideal place to enjoy a fun-filled night out with friends, savor delicious food, and soak in the lively ambiance.

Milk & Madu Ubud is a popular eatery known for its cozy and relaxed setting. This cafe-style restaurant serves up a diverse menu, including brunch favorites, wood-fired pizzas, hearty burgers, and healthy salads. 

For an exquisite fine dining experience, Mozaic Restaurant is a top choice in Ubud. Renowned for its innovative approach to gastronomy, the restaurant offers an intimate and elegant setting. The menu features a fusion of French and Indonesian flavors.

If you’re looking to savor authentic Indonesian cuisine, Hujan Locale is a fantastic option. This restaurant celebrates the diversity of Indonesian flavors with a menu that highlights traditional dishes crafted with a modern twist. 

For a relaxing and tranquil dining experience, head to Folk Pool & Gardens. This serene venue boasts a leafy garden, a pool with a swim-up bar, and comfortable loungers. The menu offers light bites, refreshing cocktails, and a selection of dishes inspired by global flavors. 

For a healthy and refreshing option, Acai Queen is a must-visit place in Ubud. This vibrant eatery specializes in delicious smoothie bowls, packed with fresh fruits, superfood toppings, and acai berry base. It’s the perfect place to indulge in a nutritious and flavorful treat while nourishing your body.

Further reading for Ubud travel guide

Or read more about: Bali | Nusa Penida | Indonesia

Other useful tips for visiting Indonesia

🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Indonesia? Use Rentalcars
🚂 If you need transfers, bus or train tickets, check 12Go
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo

In conclusion…

Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

This is the end of the Ubud travel guide and I am sure that by now you are fully prepared for your trip and know how to visit Ubud in Bali. Make sure you follow these tips and make the most of your trip to Ubud.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

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Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud
Ubud Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Ubud

One Comment

  1. Bali stole my heart ❤️ and there are so many cool things to do in Ubud

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