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Our Selection of the 20 Things to Do in Ubud Bali

In Bali by Asian WanderlustLeave a Comment

Things To Do In Ubud Bali – Ubud is a town in the uplands of the island of Bali and is officially one of my favorite destinations in Asia. Famous for its gorgeous landscapes and cultural diversity, Ubud has so much more to offer than picturesque views and authentic experiences. There’s a peaceful and almost mystical aura about the whole place that makes you fall in love with it, and I did!

Needless to say, Ubud is a major stop on the tourist route, especially downtown Ubud. You can still have a great time in Ubud (and all over Bali to be honest) if you know where to go and what to visit because the best discoveries you can make there are sometimes just a few feet away. If you open your eyes and spirit, magical moments are waiting for you in Bali.

But enough romance, let’s get real for a moment and discuss accommodation and means of transportation in Ubud. Once you know where to stay and how you can move around, I’ll share with you my 20 favorite places to visit in Ubud and its surroundings.

Ubud Bali Hotels

I tried three different hotels in Ubud and each of them had its advantages and drawbacks. Here’s an overview of all three, starting from the cheapest to the most expensive.

Guesthouse – Kori Bali Inn 1

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Hotel Kori Inn

The Kori Bali Inn is the cheapest hotel I stayed at; it’s one of my favorite hotels nonetheless. You can probably tell from the pictures that the rooms are very simply furnished but have more or less everything you might need. It was rather comfortable even though it doesn’t look like the luxurious hotel that has the kind of beds and sofas you’d literally sink into. For one thing, it has hot water, a luxury that’s not always available in other Ubud hotels.

What I really liked about the Kori Bali Inn though, is the fact that the hotel was a traditional Balinese house, with the architecture and the design of a typical Balinese home that has beautifully carved wooden doors.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Hotel Kori Inn 1

The other good things about the Kori Bali Inn are its location and its affordable prices. I booked a double room for only $7 a night! If you decide to stay at this hotel, try to get a room on the top floor to enjoy this wonderful view. I already miss the breakfasts I had on this terrace:

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Hotel Kori Inn 2

Hotel – Mathis Retreat

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Mathis Retreat Hotel 3

If you’re willing to spend more money on accommodation, you can try the Mathis Retreat, north of Ubud. I think the pictures speak for themselves, don’t they? The setting is absolutely beautiful, the hotel is surrounded with rice fields and the whole peaceful country vibe will eventually get to you! Relax, have a swim and enjoy the view!

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Mathis Retreat Hotel 2

The rooms are also really nice. The interior design is beautiful, the soft atmosphere and the dimmed lights give it all an enjoyable romantic touch.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Mathis Retreat Hotel 1

The Mathis Retreat is the perfect hotel to book if you’re traveling with a partner or if you’re on your honeymoon. The hotel restaurant is really great and offers romantic dinners in this cute little hut that you can book directly at the Mathis Retreat.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Mathis Retreat Hotel 4

As far as prices are concerned, a double room costs around $160 per night which isn’t very expensive for a luxurious hotel like the Mathis Retreat but keep your eyes open for occasional sales, especially during low season.

Resort – Komaneka at Tanggayuda Ubud an infinity pool haven in Ubud Bali

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Komaneka Tanggayuda Hotel 1

This is clearly one of the best hotels in Bali. I spent one night at the Komaneka Tanggayuda and it was truly out of this world. One of the absolute wonders of this hotel is its infinity pools, the edges of which merge with deep green jungles and beautiful rice fields. Here’s a glimpse of could be waiting for you:

Just like the Mathis Retreat, the Komaneka Tanggayuda is not that expensive for a five-star hotel that offers this level of comfort and luxury. It’ll cost you around $230 a night by the way.

You’ve got some hotels to choose from, now let me tell you about the most practical ways you can move around Ubud.

Ubud Bali – Moving around

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Moto Scooter

When you first get to Ubud (or to Bali), you’ll quickly notice that motorbikes are the most frequently used means of transportation. But if you prefer to avoid scooters for security reasons or because you travel with your friends and family, the other useful options is to rent a car with a private driver for one or more days.

Things to do in Ubud Bali

Let’s start this list with 8 places to visit near downtown Ubud, they’re numbered from 1 to 8 on this map to help you plan your own trip. The 12 remaining spots will be located in the surrounding area.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Carte 8 endroits à visiter à Ubud

1. Things to do in Ubud Bali – Monkey Forest

Things to do in Ubud Bali - Monkey Forest

Location : https://goo.gl/maps/4Fzrhscg1dC2

Entrance fee : 50,000 rupiahs (around $3.5)

Influx : High

Ubud’s monkey forest is certainly the town’s most popular tourist attraction. As the name suggests, the forest is a natural reserve, home to some 600 monkeys that climb its trees, as free as monkeys can be. Many monkey species live there but each one has its own territory in the reserve.

You’ll most probably melt into the crowd of tourists visiting the forest but I think it’s one of Ubud’s must-visit attractions nevertheless. There’s also a set of rules you need to be mindful of at the reserve so among other things, be sure to:

  • not look the monkeys in the eyes because they think you’re provoking them.
  • keep your stuff with you and make sure to close your backpack, purse, etc. Monkeys are curious creatures; if they spot something lying around, or if they see something shiny or that has a bright color, they will steal it. When I visited the forest, I saw a monkey steal a phone that was on a selfie stick. You can imagine how impossible it is to retrieve a phone that’s been stolen by monkeys in a monkey forest…
  • avoid touching the monkeys, especially young ones. You might think it’s obvious but it’s something people need to be reminded of. Mother monkeys can be around and will barge in to protect their young.
  • avoid giving monkeys food, apart from the bananas that are sold on the spot, although I think they shouldn’t be given anything to be honest. It disrupts their wilderness and they can become aggressive or even dependent upon external food sources.I hope you didn’t scratch Ubud’s monkey forest from your list after reading those rules. There’s nothing to be afraid of really, but since you’re going to be interacting with wild animals, it’s always better to know how to behave in their presence. Here are a few pictures I took when I went there:

2. Things to do in Ubud Bali – Ubud Palace and The Puri Saren Temple

Things to do in Ubud Bali - Ubud Palace and The Puri Saren Temple

Credits : Peter Stuckings

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/sfDEtCQmAgS2

Entrance fee: Free

Influx: Average

Ubud Palace is situated right in the heart of the city and is still the royal family’s residence. Nowadays, the king of Ubud has more of a symbolic role but intervenes in the cultural and religious affairs of the town. Inside the palace, there’s the royal family’s private temple and the Puri Saren which is open to the public and offers traditional Balinese dance shows.

By the way, if you’re looking for interesting activities to do in Ubud to get a closer look at the Balinese culture and traditions, you can try cooking courses! You can book Balinese cooking courses in the town of Sidemen at this website.

3. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Saraswati Temple

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Saraswati Temple

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/TJUBuVXiPVo

Entrance fee: Free

Influx: Average

The Saraswati temple is a wonderful place to visit. It is situated downtown Ubud and is best enjoyed early in the morning, before it welcomes its usual crowds of tourists. The temple’s architecture is typically Balinese, with great statues symbolizing famous demons of the Balinese mythology.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Temple Saraswati 2 Statue

Beds of lotus flowers decorate the temple’s entranceway.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Temple Saraswati 1 Fleur de lotus

4. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Puri Lukisan Museum

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Puri Lukisan Museum

Location : https://goo.gl/maps/rxVYvaRgmGx

Entrance fee : 85,000 rupiahs (around $6)

Influx : Low

As you can see in the picture above, the museum’s entrance is a Balinese work of art on its own. The only drawback here is the relatively expensive price you have to pay to see the rather limited series of artwork inside. I liked visiting the Puri Lukisan anyway, especially for its calm and relaxing atmosphere. I was also offered a drink towards the end of my visit.

Inside the museum are four rooms where you will get to enjoy paintings and sculptures of the daily lives of the people of Ubud as well as a few episodes of the Mahayana, one of the holy books of the Hindu religion.

5. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Campuhan Ridge Walk

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Campuhan Ridge Walk

Location : https://goo.gl/maps/tFT4qJnBxCv

Entrance fee : Free

Influx : Free

Campuhan Ridge Walk is a trek just outside Ubud that gets you out of its urbanness and offers you lush greenery and hilltop views to enjoy. Hiking at Campuhan is a really pleasant activity; you won’t find many tourists there and you will get a good dose of fresh air in a peaceful and quiet nature just outside the city.

When you’re done exploring Campuhan Ridge Walk, have a look at the Gunung Lebah temple that would be on your left at the end of the walk. I’m not sure why nobody is interested in this temple but it’s a great one! There was a Balinese ceremony when I walked in so I decided to attend it!

6. Things to do in Ubud Bali – Ubud’s Hidden Rice Fields

Things to do in Ubud Bali - Ubud's Hidden Rice Fields

Location : https://goo.gl/maps/2XaCdqsL32J2

Entrance fee : Free

Influx : Low

You might think that you need to drive out of town to find rice fields and you’d be wrong! There are really nice rice fields within a five-minute walk from downtown Ubud. I got lost looking for Campuhan and I found them on the way. Getting lost can be useful sometimes, right?

So you can follow the link to the Google map or you can look for a tiny alley next to the Puri Lukisan museum. If you find a muddy alley that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere, you’re on the right path!

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Rizieres secrètes chemin

Keep going and you’ll find this path that is bordered by rice paddies.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Rizieres secrètes chemin 1

I really enjoyed unwinding here in this part of Ubud and I’m sure you’ll like it just as much. It is so peaceful and inspiring that a painter goes there everyday to paint. His name is Wes and he can teach you to paint if you ask him to! The young girl on the right is actually one of his students.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Rizieres secrètes 3 Atelier de peinture

7. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The City Market

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The City Market

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/X8FWVkogBU12

Entrance fee : Free

Affluence : High

Don’t miss out on Ubud’s market, it’s the best place to buy the most authentic souvenirs. Prices are affordable and it’s totally okay to bargain when you want to buy something. It’s part of the Balinese culture, among other things. To give you an idea of how things go, these statues cost 60,000 rupiahs each which is around $4. A good deal, right?

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Marché d'Ubud 02

You’ll also find weird objects like these… keychains, I guess?

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Marché d'Ubud 03

You can find red, blue or black ones and even ones with flower designs. They’re all in there, ladies! I mean come on, don’t get me wrong, those are fertility symbols in Balinese culture! 😉

8. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Blanco Renaissance Museum

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Blanco Renaissance Museum

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/iDVSQkZZQGB2

Entrance fee: 80,000 rupiahs (around $5.5)

Influx: Average

This is the last attraction I’m mentioning in Ubud. The Blanco Renaissance Museum exhibits Don Antonio Blanco’s works of art. Doesn’t sound very Balinese, does it? Of course it doesn’t, because Don Antonio is of Spanish origin. He was born in Manila, Philippines, in 1911 and settled in Bali much later.

Don Antonio Blanco Musée Ubud Bali

Blanco is the most well-known artist to have ever lived in Bali and local Balinese people used to like him very much.

Don Antonio Blanco Musée Ubud Bali 01

You cannot take pictures inside the museum so I was given some pictures of his works to share them on my blog. For your information, he left some unfinished paintings around.

Things to do around Ubud Bali

There are a lot of things to do and many places to visit outside Ubud so here’s a map to help you find your way to the attractions I mention in the rest of this list.Ubud Bali Indonesie - Carte 20 endroits à visiter à Ubud et ses environs

9. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Goa Gojah Temple

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Goa Gojah Temple

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/hAt8v19f3mk

Entrance fee : 15,000 rupiahs (around $1)

Influx : Low

East of Ubud, you will find the Goa Gojah temple. It’s the kind of temple that makes big first impressions. It was built during the 9th century and has sacred water fountains where you can wash your face so that the water works its purification magic.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Temple Goa Gojah 03

The main attraction of the Goa Gojah temple is most certainly the Elephant Caves you see in the picture below. I admit that getting inside this demon’s open mouth was a bit intimidating.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Temple Goa Gojah 04 Elephant Caves

Inside the caves are altars where monks bring offerings multiple times a day. Food is also brought as a gift to the gods so don’t pick up their lunch!

10. Things to do in Ubud Bali – Petulu, the White Heron Haven

Things to do in Ubud Bali - Petulu, the White Heron Haven

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/d9frFRS29XG2
Entrance fee : 20,000 rupiahs (around $1.5=
Influx : Average

Petulu is situated north of Ubud and is a peculiar village that welcomes hundreds of herons every afternoon. If you go there around 5PM, you’ll see those beautiful white birds perched on the trees. How can you spot heron trees? Easy, instead of looking up to the sky, look for white spots on the ground. You guessed it, those are yesterday’s poops because nothing betrays your presence like poop does! 😉

11. Things to do in Ubud Bali – Terraced Rice Fields in Tegalalang

Things to do in Ubud Bali - Terraced Rice Fields in Tegalalang

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/2KEG1V3d3hD2

Entrance fee : Free

Influx : High

Tegalalang is probably the best known terraced rice field spot around Ubud. To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed and the tourist crowds didn’t help at all. People can now walk and even sit down for coffee inside concrete structures in the actual rice fields. Nonsense!

But if you walk some more and wander around Tegalalang, you’ll find remote spots, forsaken by tourists, that you can admire as much as you want. The picture above speaks for itself.

12. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Gunung Kawi Seb Templeatu

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/y2DuqXrf7ur

Entrance fee : 15,000 rupiahs (around $1)

Influx : Low

I absolutely loved this place! It’s a beautiful and peaceful place that’s almost never visited by tourists. I know I didn’t see any when I went there! Only a few local people washing themselves in the temple’s water springs. Have a look!

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Gunung Kawi Sebatu 06

Will more pictures make you want to visit? 🙂

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Gunung Kawi Sebatu 02 Ubud Bali Indonesie - Gunung Kawi Sebatu 02 Ubud Bali Indonesie - Gunung Kawi Sebatu 02

13. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Sebatu Temple

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Sebatu Temple

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/pwdw7awpkqj

Entrance fee: Free

Influx : Low

The Sebatu temple is the kind of temple you never forget about even if you’ve seen a whole lot of them. It’s not just the landscape or the sculptures or the local people, it’s the whole setting, the positive energy and the peaceful atmosphere that make you feel calm and excitement at the same time!

By the way, I’d like to thank Jo, a Belgian photographer I met in Ubud, who told me about this place. You can follow him on Instagram @Bali Rétro and discover the places he visits through his motorbike’s mirror. How cool is that?

If you look around the Sebatu temple, you’ll find gorgeous rice fields that’ll make you forget about those in Tegalalang!

You will also find sacred water springs that are supposed to purify your body and your mind.

14. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Pura Tirta Empul Temple

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Pura Tirta Empul Temple

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/apreZ4dVVDL2

Entrance fee : 15,000 rupiahs (around $1)

Influx : High

Let’s get you soaked again in this water temple! At the Pura Tirta Empul entrance, you will go through the famous Balinese gates and pass by beautiful buildings.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Temple Pura Tirta Empul 02

First, you have to present offerings at the main temple as the tradition requires.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Temple Pura Tirta Empul 04

You can then access the sacred water springs to plunge your head in the water and shake off negative thoughts and demons inside you.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Temple Pura Tirta Empul 03

The problem with the Pura Tirta Empul is that it is a very popular temple that gets crowded rather quickly so if you’d like to avoid crowds, I recommend the Pura Sebatu, a much more authentic temple in my humble opinion.

15. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Gunung Kawi Temple

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Gunung Kawi Temple

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/bKKkkGfHr9Q2

Entrance fee : 15,000 rupiahs (around $1)

Influx : Low

This is another must-see temple around Ubud. It was built during the 11th century and what’s interesting about it is its beautiful shrines that have been carved into the cliffs as you can see in the picture above.

There are also breathtaking views on terraced rice paddies.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Temple Gunung Kawi 01 Rizières

16. Things to do in Ubud Bali – Green Village

16. Things to do in Ubud Bali - Green Village

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/r6qLE3sdd5B2

Entrance fee : around $30

Influx : Average

Book here: The Green Village

The Green Village is a very particular attraction in Bali. As the name suggests, it’s an environmentally friendly village where houses are made of bamboo and bamboo only! Which means the stairs, the ceiling and the furniture are also made of bamboo.

16. Things to do in Ubud Bali - Green Village

17. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Pura Kehen Temple

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Pura Kehen Temple

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/xnTpWgChePH2

Entrance fee : 30,000 rupiahs (around $2)

Influx : Low

The Pura Kehen is another great temple around Ubud and I really recommend you visit it. It’s the main temple of the Bangli village north of Ubud. The temple’s façade is amazingly arranged with layers of plants and a statue of an elephant extending his trunk out. Simply put, don’t miss out on the Pura Kehen! 😉

18. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Penglipuran Village

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Penglipuran Village

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/RPK83Ue2SiG2

Entrance fee : Free

Influx : Average

We’re still in Bangli, in the very authentic Penglipuran village. In the picture above, you can see the village’s main street. Some of the houses there offer traditional Balinese dishes. I tried the Nasi Goreng dish which is some sort of Balinese fried rice and it was delicious. We were even invited to visit their kitchen to see where the people of Penglipuran prepare their food.

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Village de Penglipuran 02

There were truly amazing statues bordering the main street of the Penglipuran village, look at this one!

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Village de Penglipuran 01

19. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Tucked Cepung Waterfalls

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Tucked Cepung Waterfalls

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/28MgXSpbRp52

Entrance fee : Free

Influx : Low

The Tucked Cepung waterfalls are not very far from Pura Kehen and Penglipuran. They’re rarely visited by tourists but are awesome anyway! You’ll have to walk through a jungle for about 20 minutes before getting to the waterfalls. It was raining the day I decided to visit them so I had a hard time taking good pictures. Sorry about that!

Ubud Bali Indonesie - Chutes d'eau Tucked Cepung 02

20. Things to do in Ubud Bali – The Tegenungan Waterfalls

Things to do in Ubud Bali - The Tegenungan Waterfalls

Locationhttps://goo.gl/maps/XdfsofSVH8K2

Entrance fee : 15,000 rupiahs (around $1)

Influx : High

This last attraction on the list is a quite popular destination that brings a large influx of tourists. Nevertheless, the Tegenungan waterfalls are really amazing. There are restaurants where you can eat and look at the view you see in the picture below but you can also get closer and even swim in the waterfalls.

I’ll let you enjoy these pictures and call it a day. I hope you liked this blog post and that it will help you plan your visit to Ubud and its surroundings. Please leave me a comment down below if you’d like to share some of your favorite spots in and around Ubud.

Meanwhile, let’s keep in touch on social media where you can follow my crazy adventures in Asia via FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

See you around and have a good trip!

MF

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