If you are heading to Bali and looking for all the best things to do in Ubud then you are in the right place. Ubud is a popular village located in the center of Bali and is completely different from other popular areas in Bali like Canggu or Seminyak. The quest for what to do in Ubud is very different from other places, but exciting nonetheless. As the cultural capital of Bali, Ubud is full of art galleries, museums, and temples.
However, beyond the cultural aspect of Ubud, the village has become increasingly popular due to its beauty and activities like the powerful waterfalls, captivating rice fields, and jungle-like surroundings. It is a place everyone should visit while in Bali to see a different side to this magical island. This stunning Balinese village is one you do not want to miss with all the excitement it has to offer.
Find out about the 15 best things to do in Ubud, Bali, and be prepared to be blown away but this Indonesian gem of a destination.
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15 best things to do in Ubud, Bali
Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest
- Cost: 80,000 Indonesian Rupiahs (around 5 euros)
- Location: Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
The monkey forest is one of the most popular places to visit in Ubud. Right in the center of the village, you will find a huge park with no fence that is home to over 700 monkeys! When asked what to do in Ubud, this is usually the first place people go.
The park itself is a huge rainforest with paths and trails that bring you around and make you feel like you are deep in the jungle. This is one of the things that draws various people to enter despite not being interested in the monkeys.
There are also some sacred temples located in the sacred monkey forest. And the monkeys in here are said to be the spirit animals that guard them!
Spirit animals or not, it is important that you follow the rules in the forest because these monkeys are a little bit aggressive and have been known to be quite cheeky. Just be sure to follow the rules:
- Do not feed them
- Remove all loose items like jewelry or lose cash because they might take it
- Do not look them in the eyes or show your teeth (they take this as a sign of aggression)
- Do not touch the babies
The Ubud Monkey Forest is one of the signature attractions of Ubud and no visit is complete without stopping by.
Go shopping on Jalan Raya Ubud
- Cost: Free
- Location: Jl. Raya Ubu
Jalan Raya is the main road that runs through Ubud and is said to be Balis cultural and artistic center. It is located quite near to the Sacred Monkey Forest and is the perfect place to go shopping! The street is full of all types of shops that are perfect for picking up some clothing, new artwork, or anything else.
This street is 2km long and beyond the main street there are various side streets with little shops and boutiques to be discovered. If you are looking to pick up a cultural item go to Manik Bali Ikat or Thaikila and look through their offering of high quality textiles.
Explore the Tegalalang rice terraces
- Cost: Entrance is 15,000 IDR
- Location: Jalan Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are one of the most popular attractions in Bali and a must-do while visiting the island. The spot is famous for its unique landscapes and people are eager to stop here to capture the iconic views for themselves. Of course, when thinking of what to do in Ubud, the rice terraces are the first thing that comes to mind because they are undeniably one of the best places to visit in Ubud. The unique stepped landscape is made from an irrigation technique that is centuries old called ‘subak’.
The best time to visit the rice fields is early in the morning before it gets too busy and too hot. By heading here early you can explore and take photos without other people in them. In the fields, you can choose to walk around by yourself or you can even learn how to plant rice.
Go swimming with a view
- Cost: Varies
- Website: https://tisrestaurant.com/
There is nothing better than enjoying a pool day in Bali with some of the most magical views in the world. Since Bali is extremely humid most months, it can be hard to find things to do during the day that won’t cause you to overheat. So the best thing to do in Ubud in the afternoon is to find a pool and wait out the heat. In Ubud, the best place for this is Tis Restaurant, which is located directly across from the Tegalalang Rice Terraces.
At Tis, you can rent a sun-bed for 200,000 IDR for the whole day and enjoy the stunning views of the rice fields from the blue water infinity pool. Plus, this is also a restaurant so you can keep full of food and drinks all day long.
Take a ride on the Ubud Swing
- Cost: 500,000 IDR per peron
- Location: Jl. Dewi Saraswati No.7, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Kec. Abiansemal, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352, Indonesia
There are actually quite a few swings in Ubud (15 to be exact) that bring you high over the hills and offer stunning views of the scenery. They are very famous nowadays due to the explosion of insta-famous people going on them and showing the beauty of Ubud. This means they come at a price, 500,000 IDR to be exact!
However, with this price, you don’t only get an unlimited number of swings but also access to the hanging bird’s nests.
Admire Tegenungan Waterfall
- Cost: 15,000 IDR Entrance
- Location: Jalan Ir. Sutami, Kemenuh, Sukawati, Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali 80581, Indonesia
If you ask anyone what are the best places to visit in Ubud and what to do in Ubud the answer will almost always be waterfalls! Tengenungan waterfall is one of the many beautiful waterfalls in Ubud and is a hot place to visit for all the adventure travelers. It is located 30 minutes from Ubud in the direction of Bali’s capital, Denpasar. The drive to the falls is stunning, the streets are paved and there are stretches of stunning rice fields to admire along the way.
At the entrance of the waterfall, you will find a booth to pay for entrance tickets and parking tickets. You can then park and start the short 5-minute walk to the waterfall. The walk itself is beautiful. Within the dense jungle of Bali, and the powerful waterfall is a sight to see.
If you want to enjoy the waterfall with fewer people be sure to arrive early in the morning as this is when the least amount of people are here. Warning: it does get very busy as the day goes on.
Enjoy Delicious Food
One of the best things about Ubud and Bali in general is the food. The amount of healthy and aesthetic restaurants is amazing, plus there are a ton of vegan and vegetarian restaurants with unbelievably tasty options. The food is amazing which is why one of the best things to do in Ubud is to try out new restaurants and dishes.
The best restaurnts in Ubud that were vegetarian / vegan friendly are:
- Acai Queen – Smoothie bowls, acai bowls, special drinks. All plant-based and handcrafted.
- Simply Social – A more upscale restaurant that is great for a fancier dinner. This is vegetarian friendly and has amazing cocktails.
- Earth Cafe Ubud – Completely vegan and primarily locally sourced. Fully of nutrient-dense foods, that also taste amazing.
- Ubudian Cafe Bali – A fun, trendy restaurant with tons of vegetarian options.
Walk Around Ubud
With all the exciting activities and things to do in Ubud, one can easily get caught up in constantly running around to different places and fail to explore the village of Ubud properly. There is a lot to see and do in Ubud, and the village itself is packed with shops, restaurants, and spas which are perfect for taking some time to sit back and relax from all the hectic traveling.
Be sure to take some time to see the village in its entirety both during the day and at night. Walking the city center streets after dark is a great option for those wondering what to do in Ubud at night.
Go to Tibumana Waterfall
- Cost: 10,000 IDR Entrance
- Location: Jl. Desa Apuan, Apuan, Susut, Kabupaten Bangli, Bali 80661, Indonesia
Just 25 minutes from Ubud is the beautiful and captivating Tibumana waterfall. This waterfall is one of the less popular ones (for now) in Ubud which makes it perfect a more private waterfall experience. This is one of the best places to visit in Ubud to get a real taste of the jungle and the natural beauty of Ubud. However, past 11 AM this waterfall gets busier and you will not have a private experience at this time.
The waterfall is easier to get to by car or scooter and only requires a short 10 minutes walk to arrive at. Nonetheless, the walk through the forest is beautiful and is not very difficult. Just beware at this waterfall that the force of the water is very strong and going under it is not suggested. For a complete guide on Tibumana waterfall check out this post.
Get purified at Pura Tirta Empul
- Cost: 15,000 IDR Entrance
- Location: Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Pura Tirta Empul (also know as the water temple) is an important and holy place in Ubud because of the fresh holy water that comes from the ground. This is what to do in Ubud option that is cultural and enlightening, which makes the temple is one of the best places to visit in Ubud.
The water feeds purification baths, pools, and waters all within the temple complex. The most popular thing to do here, for both locals and tourists, is to visit the purification baths and join in a purification ritual. The purification process involves a cleansing at all 30 stations going from left to right.
Just know that this is a temple and you should dress respectfully. You need to wear a blue or green sarong to enter the pools. Plus, any women with their period are asked to not enter the temple or sacred site and enjoy the perimeter of the temple.
Admire the Temples
In addition to Pura Tirta Empul, there are a ton of other temples in Ubud worth seeing and exploring. For a little adventure when wondering what to do in Ubud, you can explore the city and surrounding areas on the hunt for the most magical temples! Some other great options are:
- Mengening Temple
- Pura Taman Saraswati
- Gunung Kawi
- Pura Penataran Sasih
- Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple
- Pura Gunung Lebah
- Pura Samuan Tiga
Visit Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)
- Cost: 15,000 IDR Entrance
- Location: Bedulu Village, Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Goa Gajah also called the Elephant Cave, is an impressive and famous archaeological site in Ubud. It is a mediation cave dating back to the 11th century, and it is carved out of a rock. Goa Gajah also has a Hindu temple and a communal pool inside. Visitors must wear a sarong inside and they are available for free at the entrance.
Get a Souvenir at the Ubud Market
- Cost: Varies
- Location: Jalan Raya Ubud, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
A visit to the Ubud market is a must while visiting Ubud. This market is very unique and full of interesting items. However, there are two distinct offerings here, from 3 AM – 8 AM it is a traditional food market, and from 9 AM onwards it transforms into an art market.
The Ubud art market is the best place to find authentic clothing, paintings, bags, and jewelry. All of which are handcrafted and made locally. Not only does the market have everything you could ask for, but everything is at a relatively fair price when you bargain. Bargaining is 100% fair game here and you can usually shave quite a bit off the original price.
Walk the Campuhan Ridge Walk
- Cost: Free
- Location: Jalan Raya Campuhan, Sayan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Sunset is the perfect time to go to Campuhan to walk the ridge where the two rivers meet in Ubud. The ridge walk offers a welcome escape from the craziness of central Ubud and is the perfect place to let loose and just enjoy your surroundings. It is popular for both locals and tourists as a place to walk, take photos, and relax.
- Cost: 60,000 IDR per day
The best way to see Ubud and its surrounding areas is by renting a scooter! Scooters in Bali are very cheap and a very efficient way to get around. With a scooter, you can go to the main attractions and things to do in Ubud and also go off on your own route and see other interesting attractions.
When to visit Ubud
The best time to visit Ubud for its weather is from April to October. These are the dry months of the year which means they get less rain and lower humidity. However, June – August are very busy months in Bali therefore, prices are higher.
If you don’t mind a little rain for a few minutes each day and prefer fewer crowds, then visiting anytime from January – May during Bali’s rainy season is best.
How to get to Ubud
The best way to get to Ubud is by flying into Balis’s main airport and taking a taxi from there to the city. From the airport, you can either take a local taxi like BlueBird or a Gojek. It should cost around 200,000 IDR.
How to get around Ubud
- Scooter – This is the most popular way to get around Bali and costs only 60,000 IDR per day.
- Grab / Go-Jek – Similar to Uber. With this, you can get picked up in a car or scooter and driven around. The scooter option is a very cost-effective way to get around. The Go-Jek app is very useful for calling a car wherever you are. Just beware; it can sometimes be hard to get a Go-Jek in Ubud because local taxi’s want them boycotted so they can overcharge tourists. As a result, you have to get picked up in obscure spots.
- Taxi – If you can’t get a Go-Jek then open the app and see how much the Go-Jek would have cost you and tell the taxi driver how much it says and get them to charge about the same.
Where to stay in Ubud
Below are some great places to stay in Ubud.
Tips for visiting Ubud
- Bring a water bottle everywhere
- If you are travelling on a scooter wear sunscreen and cover up
- Be wary of clothing when you visit Temples and sacred places
- Have cash on you at all times when visiting attractions
With so many things to do in Ubud, it is obvious why this magical village is so popular. If you are visiting Bali and wondering what to do in Ubud, and what the best places to visit in Ubud are, be sure to save this post!
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The sacred monkey forest and the swing are places I often see (and they are definitely worth a visit), but I haven’t heard of Tibumana Waterfall. I didn’t get to experience that but I did the sunrise hike up Mount Batur in Bali. That was super challenging!
Linda (ld holland) says
Your blog post brought back great memories of our visit to Ubud. We had a very busy day and did not see it all. Next time we would stay so we could see more. Although I might still pass on the Monkey Forest. We were chased away by the monkeys misbehaving when we went to Uluwatu. I like the idea of a pool with a view out over the rice terraces. A cooling break and a view too. We would want to find the Tengenungan or Tibumana waterfall. Our guide took us to a deserted spot to swim which was great. But not very picturesque.
Mel Butler says
I had my honeymoon in Bali 10years ago and I have been wanting to go back and as we never really explored much. I did go to the monkey forest and monkey put his hand in my nose 😉 I definitely love to spend a day at a pool with a view, especially Tis Restaurant, located across from the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. My only problem is I wouldn’t want to leave. Campuhan Ridge Walk is also something I will be adding to my next trip there and thanks for the tip about going at sunset. An added bonus 🙂