First off, we are sorry but days in Ubud have to start early. The light shortly after sunrise is just too beautiful to miss. The rice terraces illuminated in golden light, the jungle in the early morning surrounding Ubud and everything else is just too picturesque to miss. There is just too much to do to sleep in! Despite its beauty, the most important thing in Ubud is not to rush but to slow down and enjoy! In the following we will summarize our 15 Things to do in Ubud!
To make your life easier, we have decided to structure the post in times of the day. That means we will list all things after the time of the day we recommend visiting. There’s a lot to see in Ubud, so let’s jump right into it!
Things to do in Ubud: In the (early) morning
We would suggest to get up early, have a kopi and leave! Traffic is not only a lot less hectic but you will – most likely – arrive before the tourist crowds. Also, if you like to take photos, the light will be much nicer for your shots!
1. Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Let’s start with one of the most famous sights in and around Ubud. The rice terraces in Ubud are our #1 Things to do in Ubud. They are beautiful but well-known!
That’s why you need to go early. I personally would say the earlier the better. We have been here around 8:00am, which was already a tiny bit too late. Our mistake was not checking the way in detail the night before assuming that it is just around the corner. It’s not! In reality it’s at least a 35 minute drive from Ubud!
Little hint: Having said that, don’t do the same mistake as we did having a super-relaxed breakfast with pancakes and then slowly leave, haha!
Once arrived at Tegalalang, you’ll find your way easily to the rice terraces. Now, it is just about exploring the area and walk around. Take a break where you like it most! Try to find the benches around, have a snack and relax.
2. A day trip to the Blue Lagoon
After snorkeling at the Blue Lagoon you might get an environmentalist! The underwater world is so incredibly beautiful, that you want to protect it.
At least that was the way I felt. Right after spending time here I joined my first beach cleanup. Since then, we try to pick up trash when spending time at the beach and invest 5 meaningful minutes daily to contribute to saving the underwater world of our planet.
While snorkeling peacefully in the blue, I had the great honor to see a ocean sunfish (aka Mola Mola). One of the most impressive animals on our planet – what an experience! Fingers crossed that you are as lucky.
Due to the fact that the ‘Blue Lagoon’ is a bit further from Ubud than the rice terraces, leaving early also make sense here. We just parked somewhere, walked around, went to the beach and joined a boat for a snorkel trip. Easy as it can get!
Many fish seen, with new experiences in the pocket, you now can get a small bite and relax a bit in the sun. If you fancy a real good restaurant now, just continue reading – #3 our things to do in Ubud is waiting!
Lunch Time! One of the best restaurants in Ubud
Ubud is a true food-heaven! Ani invited me to one of the nicest restaurants I have ever been to on my birthday. Having lunch here will certainly be remembered!
3. Have lunch at “The Elephant”
Here, you will order food in the most peaceful place you can imagine. Being surrounded by jungle you can listen to the tropical birds singing and to some light music playing in the background.
The food is a bit more costly than what you would usually spend eating out in Indonesia. We had extremely tasteful Italian pasta, which was a great treat after a loads of (great) Nasi Gorengs.
Take your time for your lunch. Here it’s less about getting full than more about the experience.
4. Waterfall action!
#4 of our things to do in Ubud! Ubud is surrounded by a gazillion of waterfalls. So let’s pick one we really liked – Kanto Lampo!
Jumping in the chilled water is a proper refreshment in the blazing heat during the day, that’s why I would recommend visiting it in the early afternoon. Of course, if you want to escape the tourist crowds, you also would need to be earlier.
The waterfall is located a few kilometers east from Ubud and easy to find. After you’ve parked your scooter you can change and leave your belongings in a drawer (as you can’t lock it, I wouldn’t leave any valuables here).
Our tip: We brought an ocean bag from home. Through this, our cam and other equipment stayed dry at all times :)
Things to do in Ubud – Getting ready for the sunset
When watching the sunset is a fixed part of your daily schedule, you know that you are doing everything right. Most likely you are traveling! We rarely see sunsets at home, living in the city. But for us, getting ready for the perfect sunset spot is certainly an integral part of the day. The only problem is to find the perfect spot, as there are many in and around Ubud. I will just pick one, to make your life easier, the other options will be listed later in the article.
5. Campuhan Ridge Walk (Tjampuhan’s Sacred Hills)
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is certainly one the most famous and nicest hikes in Bali and that’s why it’s our #5 things to do in Ubud. Best thing here: It’s super easy to reach as it’s located just outside the city, approximately one kilometer from Ubud’s famous market. After the first meters, you will find yourself in the middle of lush green hills, valley’s and tropical jungle.
You will reach the highlight after roughly 10 minutes walking, the Bukit Campuhan (bukit stands for hill). Take your time, don’t rush and enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding you. Absorb the incredible sunset!
Campuhan Ridge Walk tip: If you would rather prefer having the hike and jungle for your own, leave early in the morning. The sunset is, for us, the ideal time to visit as the lush green looks even better illuminated in the golden light. Mornings – in contrast – are comparatively empty!
Puh, what a day! On one day in Ubud slowly comes to an end. We started the day at the Rice Terraces, continued to the Kanto Lampo waterfall and then had the fabulous lunch at ‘The Elephant‘. After that we chilled a bit at the pool and then strolled through the city and its markets!
More things to do in Ubud
Now we have covered already a few things you can do in Ubud. Let’s jump to the next section. Here we will suggest many more things you can do in and around Ubud.
6. The Sacred Monkey Forest
The famous Ubud monkey forest lies in the village of Padangtegal, which is also directly located in Ubud. Locals see in the forest more than just a tourist attraction but rather an important spiritual and economical centre. The sacred forest is home to round about 700 cheeky monkeys.
With all its old temples the hike through the jungle certainly is a highlight during your stay in Ubud. Due to the fact that the Monkey Forest is one of the most famous sights in town, we would also suggest an early visit.
To have a good time in the forest, please follow the instructions given at the entrance and respect the animals. Especially important is not to get too close to monkeys and not to look straight in their eyes, as this tends to provoke them.
If a monkey jumps on you, just ignore it and continue walking. As cute and interesting these culprits are, they also can be dangerous and hurt you.
Here, Julian did the mistake and had a rest at the wrong place. But this little guy was friendly and cleaned Julian’s scalp. Thanks, buddy!
7. Saraswati Temple
This really famous and equally beautiful temple was built to honor Hindu Goddess Saraswati. The lotus pond makes this temple certainly stand out from a lot of other temples you will see in Bali. During lotus blossom this sacred temple is extraordinarily beautiful and an absolute must see!
As in a lot of cases we would also recommend visiting Saraswati Temple in the morning as most tourists tend to come later. We also didn’t make it early and still had a few calm moments, so you surely can be lucky.
Due to its handy location in the city centre of Ubud, you could also check and come back later if it’s too crowded when you are around.
Note: Directly in front of the temple, you will find the Lotus Café. Our very personal experience with it was extremely bad and we wouldn’t recommend going. The waiters have been super rude and the food was far below average. The vibe just wasn’t positive and that’s what you certainly don’t need in peaceful Ubud!
8. Get a scooter and explore the area
If you read until here, you might have guessed already, that we drove a lot of scooter. It’s not only the cheapest way to get from A to B but also a lot of fun. This independent way of traveling enables you to go where you want. Ubud is the perfect location for getting a scooter as there are multiple things to explore in the area. Thus, a couple of days in Ubud will definitely not get boring!
Even though traffic in Ubud is comparatively calm, do yourself the favor and wear a helmet at all times. We saw many many tourists with bad injuries from crashing their scooter.
9. Tegenungan Waterfall
Another famous waterfall close to Ubud and our #9 of things to do in Ubud – Tegenungan Waterfall!
Even though, that it is just located 10 kilometers outside of Ubud, you do not feel the hustle and bustle of the city anymore. Once you have arrived in the village you will need to pay a few bucks entrance fee and then park your scooter, free of charge.
After a few minutes of walking, you will reach the waterfall! Now, enjoy!
As this waterfall is, as mentioned quite famous, try to come early. An idea here would be to combine multiple waterfalls in one day. Could be worst, right?
10. Stroll through the city and its markets
Coming home from a place like Bali it’s always great to bring some souvenirs to your friends and family. The markets in Ubud are perfect for this purpose – #10 of our things to do in Ubud. Take a bit of time and stroll over these markets, bargain a bit and get some gifts. Perhaps also for you at home.
We, for example, got chopsticks, bamboo straws and a bracelet for a few bucks. Now at home, we always think back of the great time we had, when we drink a smoothie with our bamboo straws! Cheers, Ubud!
11. Treat yourself! Get a hotel with an infinity pool for a night
You can get great accommodation for a couple of bucks in Ubud but you can also treat yourself and get something unique. In Ubud you will find many hotels that have an infinity pool where you can take a dip being surrounded by jungle.
These hotels are (a bit) more expensive but a great treat or a perfect place to end you vacation, a proposal or your honeymoon :)
This hotel has excellent reviews and is certainly ‘worth’ the money!
The Alia Ubud*
A 5 start hotel out of this world. Staying here would be a great honor!
When spending a lot of money for a night, have a closer look at all other options. Check this link* to find even more options.
A little hint here would also be ‘The Hanging Gardens’ in Ubud!
12. Have one vegan day!
Ubud is known as the vegan capital of the world – and that for a reason! #12 of our things to do in Ubud: We decided to go for a couple of vegan days in our time.
We were curious how all the different dishes tase. Julian – at first – was a bit skeptical but after our first visit at Sawobali he was eager to try everything.
Beside countless good vegan options in Ubud, Sawobali is truly incredible. The vegan buffet for a bargain, offers insanely tasteful and healthy dishes. Do yourself a favor and try everything!
We enjoyed the challenge to just eat plant-based for a few days, as it makes you more aware on what you fuel your body with. Since Ubud, we include a few vegan days in our weekly routine. Not only good for our health also great for the planet! So give a vegan diet a try in Ubud!
13. Bonus Tip: Get a haircurt
Julian needed a haircut in Ubud. Badly. He didn’t see a barber since we left Germany and got a hair cut in Ubud on his birthday. That day could have easily ruin Julian’s mood but it didn’t. For a few bucks he got a great hair cut and we had a great conversation with the barber.
Often all of us are too careful trying new things and this ‘bonus tip’ is about trying something new. Perhaps the new cut from from Ubud also give you some inspiration?!
14. Agung Rai Museum of Art
If you are interested in art and the development of the Balinese culture over the last centuries the ARMA has a couple of gems for you to see. The permanent exhibition of (mainly) Balinese and Indonesian paintings have the purpose of showcasing the culture of the highly spiritual people.
Definitely an interesting stop in case you have a few rainy hours!
15. Day trip to Pura Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul, meaning ‘holy water spring’, is another beautiful temple in central Bali and certainly a great option for a (half) day trip. The holy place that was built around 960 AD and combines beautiful typical Balinese architecture with holy water installations.
Pop by if you can’t get enough of temples and you want to escape the crowds.
There’s a lot to see in and around Ubud as you have witnessed! These were just a couple of things to do in Ubud, but there are many more waterfalls, temples and other beautiful places close by.
Ubud, surely can be crowded but it managed to retain its vibe. We loved it and enjoyed exploring our neighborhood with our scooter! Wear a helmet, drive carefully (on the left) and you will have a blast! Tell Ubud Ani & Julian say ‘hi‘.
More things to do in Ubud? Have we forgotten anything, or do you have any questions? Leave us a comment!
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