Is Ubud Worth Visiting in 2023? 8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Ubud
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Yes, Ubud is worth is worth visiting. Ubud is Bali’s cultural center, and it’s a great place for travelers to experience authentic Balinese arts and culture. There are also plenty of beautiful temples and gorgeous rice paddies.
I’ve compiled a list of awesome things for travelers to do in Ubud. Read on to see what you could be up to during your stay here!
#1 Ubud’s Grand Palace and Temple
The grounds of the palace are expansive, and the building itself is simply stunning, with rich reddish-orange hues and intricate stone carvings decorating almost every surface. Roosters wander around at all times, a sign that this place is still very much in use by locals. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of one of the members of the royal family who still resides there.
There are also several temples within the palace grounds. Each temple has its own purpose and reason for existing, but perhaps most interesting to visitors is Saraswati Temple, which is known for its lotus pond filled with large pink koi fish. People throw offerings into it throughout the day; some of them make it down to rest on the bottom or float on top until they get eaten by one of their finned neighbors.
As with most Balinese temples, women who are menstruating cannot enter this temple (or any other). In general, women should wear knee-length skirts if they are in doubt about where they can go; long pants will often be okay as well as long skirts that fall below your knees.
#2 Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest
Ubud is known for its monkeys, and the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is the best place to meet these little guys. Located at the edge of Ubud’s town center, you can wander through its pathways and see hundreds of monkeys frolicking around their natural habitat. At first sight, this sounds like a great opportunity to take some photos with a monkey or two, but you should know that these adorable creatures are not pets; they are wild animals that live in this forest.
Please note: Monkeys have been known to snatch purses, hats, sunglasses and other accessories. In fact, one even tried to steal my GoPro stick! If it’s not attached very well, you may lose your item forever. Monkeys have also been known to bite visitors who try to feed them or provoke them in any way. To prevent any unpleasant situations from happening while you visit the monkey sanctuary in Ubud, please avoid eye contact with the monkeys and do not touch them or attempt to feed them when they approach you (especially if you happen to be holding food). The monkeys here are friendly creatures that won’t hurt anyone unless provoked—that is why it is important for all visitors to remember not be afraid of them so that they don’t get scared and attack someone unintentionally because they feel threatened.
If possible bring a camera into the forest as there will be many photo opportunities with these cute creatures in their natural habitat.
#3 Ubud’s Traditional Markets
One of the best ways to experience Ubud, is through its traditional markets. You can find some really amazing souvenirs here such as hand-made bags, clothes, and handicrafts.
The markets are located right by the Royal Palace, so when you’re strolling down Monkey Forest Road and want to do some shopping these are places that you should definitely hit! The two markets are referred to as the Ubud Market and the Ubud Art Market.
The art market is where you’ll find a lot more tourists shopping around for beautiful crafts and trinkets to take home with them. The market has a more touristy feel than the other one does because it’s close to many cafes, hotels in Ubud and restaurants.
#4 Ubud’s Ancient Rice Fields
Ubud’s iconic rice fields are the epitome of Bali’s beauty. The best way to enjoy them is on a bike, so you can get up close and personal with all their details (and they have a lot of details).
The rice fields are definitely Instagrammable, but there’s so much more to them than that. They’re a UNESCO World Heritage site, and exploring them makes it easy to see why: the lush greenery, the playful waterfalls that dot the landscape, and the traditional irrigation system itself make for an unforgettable experience. In addition to being beautiful, the rice fields are useful—and you can even help out! You can volunteer at Campuhan Ridge Walk and learn how to grow rice from one of the local farmers. There’s also a great view from this spot!
#5 Ubud as a Base for Sightseeing
Ubud is also an excellent base for sightseeing. If you stay in a hotel or villa with car and driver, you can easily arrange trips to nearby attractions. Many of these are less than an hour away by car, so it’s possible to visit several sites in one day. The most popular attractions include the following:
- Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave). Located about 15 minutes from Ubud by car, this interesting site includes a rock-cut cave with a stone statue of Ganesh inside as well as a small Hindu temple and bathing pools.
- Tirta Empul (Holy Spring Temple) at Tampaksiring. This temple is located on the way to Goa Gajah and features an impressive bathing pool fed by springs that are believed to have healing powers.
- Gunung Kawi (King’s River). This 10th century temple complex is located just outside Ubud near Tampaksiring and features amazing rock-cut temples set into the hillside overlooking the Petanu River. It’s about 30 minutes from Ubud by car.
- Pura Besakih (Mother Temple) at Bali Aga Village on Mount Agung. Dedicated to Sakti, Goddess of Power, this important temple is located high on Mount Agung overlooking Lake Batur near Kintamani and features beautiful architecture carved from black volcanic rock with views over the surrounding countryside below including Mount Batukaru in the distance. It takes about two hours to reach this site from Ubud by car along Balinese back roads through rice fields and small villages before climbing up through lush tropical forest all the way up Mount Agung where you will find Pura Besakih at 1,000 meters above sea level.
- Taman Ayun Temple at Mengwi Village near Denpasar or Tanah Lot Temple at Beraban Village near Canggu are both located on
#6 Ubud’s Arts and Crafts
What is the biggest draw of Ubud? The arts and crafts.
Ubud is the home of Balinese art and crafts. Bali’s renowned for its woodcarvings, lacquerware, cross-stitch embroidery and paintings. Traditional Balinese painting is characterized by intricate details and highly stylized depictions of natural subjects like flowers and animals. Although these traditions are still practiced today, modern Balinese art also draws inspiration from Western influences.
In Ubud you can see the work being created in small workshops that have been converted into studios or galleries where artists put on display their latest projects. A visit to one of these workshops can be an interesting experience as well as a unique opportunity to get some insight into how a particular product is made or to learn about artistic techniques with which you might not be familiar with ( Batik for example). A good place to start exploring Ubud’s art scene is at Neka Art Museum which houses an impressive collection of contemporary Indonesian paintings from all over the archipelago as well as some other Southeast Asian countries like China and Vietnam where traditional painters still use ancient ink techniques on handmade paper that has since become a rarity in Bali due to its high cost (also check out is Ubud expensive for a backpacker).
#7 Ubud and Yoga
- Bali is a fantastic place to do yoga and Ubud is the best of all the Balinese cities for it.
- All of Bali’s cities are good for yoga but what makes Ubud so special is there are many world-renowned yoga studios located in and around Ubud.
- The peaceful atmosphere and beautiful scenery make it a great place to practice yoga while on vacation in Bali.
- If you’re looking to relax, reflect, recharge and refresh then Ubud should be at the top of your list of places to visit while in Bali!
#8 Yes, there are many good reasons to visit Ubud in Bali.
Ubud is the cultural capital of Bali and has many things to do. Here are a few that you can’t miss:
- Monkey Forest:
- It’s a nature reserve with monkeys. What more could you want? These guys might steal your glasses, so be aware!
- Tegallalang Rice Terraces:
- These rice terraces are absolutely gorgeous. Take instagram-worthy pics here, because they will blow up your feed!
- Goa Gajah Elephant Cave Temple:
- Check out this literally cave with some elephants carved into it from the 9th century.