A Guide To The Best Things To Do In Ubud, The Cultural Capital of Bali
Are you ready to be wowed by the very best 13 best things to do in Ubud. So what exactly is Ubud? Located in the uplands of Bali, Ubud is a traveller’s paradise. Unlike the crazy populated and busy atmosphere in tourist areas like Seminyak and Kuta, Ubud has a tranquil and peaceful vibe. But there is still plenty to see in Ubud. And the accommodation in Ubud is amazing and cheap. There is amazing hotels like the Kamandalu hotel.
The city is popularly known as the cultural capital of the island majorly because of the cultural diversity, colorful art galleries, widespread temples, yoga studios, delicious restaurants and enchanting museums it has. If you’re a traveler who is looking for more than just parties and nightclubs, Ubud is your place to be in! You can check out the awesome Ubud monkey sanctuary, or the Zen Hideaway Bali swing in Ubud. There is plenty to get stuck init
One of the things that makes this village unique than other places in Bali is the bohemian vibe it has which is attractive and comforting. The fine dine restaurants in Ubud are not just delicious but also healthy serving vegetarian and vegan dishes. The variety of things you can do in Ubud are endless ranging from attending a Balinese dance performance to visiting the beautiful Royal Palace in the center of the town.
Check out the amazing kamandalu ubud
If you are planning to visit Ubud soon, here’s a list of things you have to do in the amazing city. But let’s have a quick look what’s in this post for you;
- The Ubud travel guide overview
- Your 13 best things to do in Ubud
- Where to stay in Ubud
The 13 Best Things to do in Ubud
- Visit the Monkey Forest
The Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud of Padangtegal or popularly known as The Monkey Forest is one of the most popular attractions in Ubud. The natural forest was previously a temple dating back to the 14th century. Looked after by a community-based management program, the forest is home to a flock of grey long-tailed monkeys. Locals believe that these macaques are sacred animals that guard the temple.
Other than watching these monkeys swing from branch to branch, you can also take a walk down the pathways in the forest’s cool environment while feeding the primates bananas. However, make sure you take care of your belongings because these monkeys like playing pranks on the visitors.
- Take a walk down the Campuhan Ridge Walk
If you want to enjoy the amazing scenery in Ubud, you are bound to walk down the Campuhan Ridge Walk – the place you can resort to if you want to escape a traffic jam. The hilly area gives a beautiful view of the valley and its rice paddies. The view is best during sunrises and sunsets.
Try closing your eyes and taking in the cool breeze that hits your face, and it’s the best refreshment you can get. This is why this is one of the best things to do in Ubud on your visit to Bali.
- Get enchanted by the Puri Saren Palace
This is one of the must do things on the list of things to do in Ubud. Located in the center of the town the Palace is the Ubud Royal Palace. The antique building dates back to the 18th century when the King Ida Tjokorda Putu Kandel built it.
The palace is home to Balinese ornate architecture that you can admire as you take a walk inside the palace. Even though the Royal Family still resides in various sections of the palace, the historical building is open for tourists to visit.
Guess what, since the Palace is located in the center of Ubud, the Ubud art market and other commercial areas are easily accessible from there. Simples.
- Enjoy the Kecak Dance Performance
Ubud is known for its traditional dance. That’s why, Kecak fire Dance is a must to include in the list of top things to do in Ubud. Kecak Dance is a classical monkey dance performed by dancers from the Pekraman Taman Kaja. The traditional dance dates back to 1930s.
It is held in the courtyard of Pura Dalem Temple, the audience seated on either side of the temple. There are 100 men who perform without any musical instrument except for their chanting and singing. Their performance is based on the epic from Ramayana that they recreate in front of their audiences.
The Kecak performance is held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 pm in the temple of Junjugan Village on Jalan Titra Tawar. Unlike commercial performances that are crowded, these are relatively more fun to attend. The cost of the Kecak Performance is 75,000 IDR.
- Treat your taste buds the delights of Gianyar Night Market
A 10-kilometer ride from Ubud is the Gianyar Ubud Night Market, a place best suited for hungry and curious travelers. The market looks and feels more interesting after sunsets when the lamps on each vendor stall light up making the market look like a feast from a movie.
At the Gianyar Night Market, you would be able to reach the level of satiation when it comes to hunger and tasting new dishes. Traditional dishes like babi guling, jaje Bali, palm sugar-filled klepon and various other items of food are served on banana wraps here. Meals at the Gianyar Night Market start from 25,000 IDR, going down to even 5,000 IDR. Cheap, so this is another awesome thing to do in Ubud, Bali.
Apart from food, the market also sells toys, jewelry, DVDs, Balinese Hindu ritual items like flowers and canang offerings.
- Appreciate the Botanic Garden Ubud
We have mentioned before about the stunning greenery Ubud possesses, and The Ubud Botanic Garden is a proof to that statement. The garden was built by a German, Stefan Riesner, and his Javanese wife.
The 14-acre land has a botanical collection of international and local species. They also have themed gardens like a Great Fountain, a Chocolate Grove, a Meditation Court, and several others. The garden also has a children’s area and is one of the delights of Ubud.
- Take a dive in the Tegenungan Waterfall
Right from the moment you start your journey to the utterly breathtaking Tegenungan Waterfalls in Ubud, all you encounter is the beauty. On the way to the famous Waterfall, you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the rice paddies on either side of the road. Upon reaching your destination, you come across various shops and the famous restaurant, Bebek Tamarind which serves finger licking Balinese style crispy fried duck.
This is another on the epic things to do in Ubud top list.
Following the meal, you can go down towards the waterfall which is a scenic and dream-like view in itself. From the green canopy flows a stream of fresh water. You can take a relaxing dip into the water and reminisce the serenity of the scene, storing the experience in your heart forever.
- Bali’s Elephant Cave – Goa Gajah
A historical site, must visit for all history lovers, deserves to be in our list of things to do in Ubud. The Goa Gajah or the Elephant Cave is located six kilometers out of central Ubud. The cool weather in Ubud makes the trip even more enchanting than it already is.
In the 11th century, the Goa Gajah was built as a spiritual place for meditation. The Cave has a relic-filled courtyard, bathing pools and fountains, rock-wall carvings and a central meditation cave. The cave has various Hindu as well as Buddhist structures and indentations which indicates where meditating priests centuries ago sat.
The location of Goa Gajah too is strategic as it is built on a hillside where two streams meet forming a river junction which is considered sacred by locals.
- Zen Hideaway: The Ubud Swing
If you’re visiting Ubud and you don’t experience the Bali swing in Ubud, then there’s a lot o self-pity you should be indulging yourself into. In the list of things to do in Ubud, we saw many things that stirred peace and calmness inside you. However, the Ubud Swing at Zen Hideaway would fasten your heartbeat and give you the perfect kick you need!
You can find the swing in a village called Bongkasa, the ideal place for you to soar high finding the dense jungle, palm trees and the Ayung river beneath you. The swing is your best source of exhilaration in Ubud. What’s even better is the combination of the beautiful weather of Ubud and the swing that make the experience unforgettable.
- Get a Spiritual Reconnect at the Yoga Barn in Ubud
Like several other things, Ubud is also famous for its yoga retreats. Among the several yoga studios it has, the most loved one is the Yoga Barn in Ubud.
The place is open for everyone who wants to give a shot to yoga once in their lives. Even people who know nothing about it can come and attend the classes. Several people who did take the class claim the experience to be refreshing not only for themselves physically but also spiritually. The place is a getaway from all your worldly problems and tensions.
- White Water Rafting on the Agung River
If you’re looking for something adventurous in Ubud, then this one should be on top of your list of the things to do in Ubud. White Water Rafting is one of the most famous outdoor activities in the city. In Ubud, the sport is done on the white waters of the Agung River.
You are picked up from your hotel in the morning and taken to a class where are briefed the do’s and don’ts of rafting. Other important basics are taught, and the adventure starts at 10 am, ending at noon. The experience is exhilarating and results in an adrenaline rush in your body. Ubud would successfully fulfill another of the things from your bucket list.
- A trip to the Agung Rai Museum of Art
If you are interested in learning about new religions and cultures, then Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) is your go-to place in Ubud. The place is an encyclopedia about Balinese traditions and cultural aspects. ARMA is surrounded by tropical gardens and features notable and praise-worthy work of Indonesian artists like Affandi and Raden Saleh.
ARMA is not just an art gallery but shares information about traditional Balinese orchestras, Balinese history and dance, wood carvings, conventional cuisines, and native fabrics. The visitors are usually accompanied by guides.
Moreover, in the afternoon after viewing the art collections, visitors can have snacks in the local café or enjoy a traditional Balinese dance performance.
- Walk through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Another important tourist attraction to add in the things to do in Ubud is a walk through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud and others. Rice paddies are very commonly found in Ubud, even if you take a walk down the streets of the town you will enjoy their view. However, this activity here is overlooking the rice terraces from Mount Batur.
Along with walking, you can also learn how to plant and harvest rice here. A trip to the Tegallalang Terraces is considered to be the highlight of their vacations to Ubud by several tourists.
Tip: For all the photographers, the Tegallalang Terraces have the most picturesque views that you ought to capture through a lens. Also, for best photos visit early in the morning or late in the afternoons.
Where to stay in Ubud?
- There is plenty of great accommodation in Ubud. You can find luxury and cheap places to stay in Ubud. The hotels and home stays in Ubud cater to all types of visits. Ubud is a perfect place for backpackers and honeymoon holidays. The accommodation in this amazing place offers epic budget rooms and some amazing luxurious hotels for those of you wanting to experience a more luxurious stay in Ubud.
- We stayed in a few places around this amazing place in Bali. I’m going to share with you some of the best places to stay in Ubud.
- kamandalu ubud – The Kamandalu hotel in Ubud is a perfect chance for a Balinese experience with all the comforts of a 5 Star resort. Kamandalu has an amazing deluxe pool villa for its privacy and amenities. There is very friendly resort staff throughout your stay. There is a mega spa at this top hotel in Ubud. The Kamandalu is truly an enchanted Balinese village waiting to satisfy you with a perfect experience. Obviously this is a luxury hotel so if you are on a budget, this one is not for you.
- Banana Homestay – This homestay hotel in Ubud is in perfect location and it’s within walking distance with all the top things to do in Ubud. This homestay offers very clean and comfortable rooms. These come with hot showers, free tea and coffee all day long. There is also free breakfast included with this homestay in Ubud. The service here is also amazing and you will feel very welcomed on your stay. Also, the Wifi is very good here, always a tip essential. Overall making it a top place to stay in Ubud.
- Undis Homestay – This is another great cheap place to stay in Ubud. It’s a budget homestay that offers amazing service, clean rooms and free tea/coffee. There is a good view of this homestay and you can even get a view of the flowing river that runs by it. You will be treated very well at this budget accommodation in Ubud and this is definitely a top place for backpackers to stay.
- Ubud village hotel – If you are looking for a more luxurious place to stay in Ubud, then this is definitely it. This is a classic Balinese hotel that is in perfect walking distance to most of the main attractions in Ubud, as it’s located in a great spot between the monkey forest and the town centre. The rooms at this top hotel in Ubud are large and very clean. You will receive a great Buffett breakfast and plenty of tasty fruit to set you up for a great day out in Ubud.
For cheap places to stay check out
Summary of what to do in Ubud
Ubud, unlike other cities, is located uphill in Bali making it a relatively cooler place. Thus, the weather in Ubud is pleasant with not too many downpours neither much sun. It’s a combination of both, which makes the weather in Ubud extremely beautiful and pleasant.
There are several things that you can do in Ubud to fill your time like visiting museums, having delicious meals in restaurants, visiting temples, taking yoga classes and indulging yourself in other creative activities the city offers. The city is rightfully called the cultural capital of Bali as it gives a detailed look inside the centuries-old customs, cultures, and traditions of Bali. Not only that, the land is diverse in a way that it represents the history of various religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. This again proves that the land of Ubud is surely distinct and sacred. Also, it’s a traveller’s paradise!