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Slow down, refresh and get your mojo back
Ubud is Bali’s secret haven. It is the perfect pace to slow down, chill out and revitalise! Discover the best things to do in Ubud to get your mojo back!
Just an hour’s drive north of Denpasar, the small village of Ubud has an atmosphere of peace and harmony. Explore ancient temples, royal palaces, the Monkey Forest Sanctuary and World Heritage listed rice terraces.
Ubud is considered Bali’s cultural heart and is famous as a farming region and a hub renowned for stunning arts and crafts.
My favourite things in Ubud
- The Sacred Monkey Forest
- Tegalalong Rice Terraces
- Goa Gajah – the Elephant Cave
Things to see and do in Ubud
There’s much you can see and do in Ubud.
Ubud is a picturesque little town with many of the highlights are within easy distance of the town centre.
Explore World Heritage listed rice terraces, ancient temples, royal palaces and spectacular waterfalls.
Go on a carefree cycling tour through the hills, attend a wellness retreat or try out white-water rafting in the nearby rivers.
Puri Saren Agung (Royal Palace) was built in the early 1800’s. Featuring Balinese architecture, the royal palace and is set in gardens in the centre of Ubud.
The royal palace appeared unpretentious and quite humble. Whilst the living area for the royal family is not accessible to the public and there were no visible guards at the palace gates. We were permitted to wander throughout the outer courtyard and gardens.
Every evening, Puri Saren Agung hosts performances with gamelan percussive orchestras. Well worth the experience.
Goa Gajah is one of Bali’s most impressive archaeological sites. Also known as the Elephant Cave, the complex is in Bedulu village about 5 km southeast of Ubud.
The main entrance to the 11th-century cave leads inside to rock-wall carvings and a place for meditation. Excavations have unearthed a temple and an impressive communal pool with stone sculptures and fountains. The last excavations occurred in 1954.
Read more: Goa Gajah – Bali’s Sacred Elephant Temple
The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud
The Sacred Monkey Forest is one of the ‘must see’ destinations in Ubud. Centrally located, this wildlife sanctuary is one of the most fascinating Ubud experiences.
There are around 700 long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) roaming freely amongst the visitors to the sanctuary. Keep your bags zipped as they have been known to steal handbags, sunglasses, hats and anything else you might carry with you!
Read more: Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
Etched into the hillside, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces are one of the most spectacular places to visit in Ubud. Famous for their terraced rice paddies and their innovative irrigation system, these cascading fields are part of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province UNESCO World Heritage listed site.
The rice fields continue to be worked by local rice farmers. Take the time to walk through the rice terraces.
Ubud Art Market
The Ubud Art Markets are locally known as Pasar Seni Ubud and are a great place to search for traditional Balinese art, crafts and trinkets.
You will find beautiful silk scarves, shirts, kites, woven bags, baskets and hats hand made in the neighbouring villages.
Bali Bird Park
Bali Bird Park is home to almost 1,000 exotic birds of 250 species. The birds come from the Indonesian archipelago, South America, the African Savannah, Papua New Guinea and Australia. The Bali Bird Park is in the village of Batubulan, about 11 km south of Ubud.
Bali Bird Park hosts animal feeding sessions throughout the day. Bali’s famous kecak (fire dance) performances take place at Bali Bird Park amphitheatre.
Tegenungan Waterfall can be found halfway between Ubud and Bali’s provincial capital of Denpasar. A short 30 minute drive along the paved village roads through rice fields will take you to these spectacular falls.
Once you pass the ticket booths, art and souvenir shops and local food stalls (warungs) it’s about a 5 minute walk to reach the falls. Dense forest frames the cascading waters of Tegenungan Waterfall, and well worth the visit, any time of year.
Bali Zoo & Safari Park
Committed to wildlife conservation in Indonesia, Bali Safari Park is home to over a thousand amazing animals. It is the place to go for an adventurous, fun and educational animal experience.
Safari Tours through rough terrain, take visitors through an ‘African experience’. This themed resort offers a unique holiday experience with Safari-inspired ambiance.
Casa Luna Cooking School
Casa Luna Cooking School at Honeymoon Guesthouse is a popular culinary centre in Ubud. Founded by Janet de Neefe, a published author of a series of memoirs and cookbooks.
Learn to cook your favourite dishes. The choices are varied and include market tours, smoked duck on Sundays, fish dishes on Monday and beginner-friendly meals on Fridays. If you’re staying at Honeymoon Guesthouses you can enjoy a 10% discount on all cooking classes.
Setia Darma House of Masks & Puppets
The Setia Darma House of Masks & Puppets is a unique shop preserving some of Indonesia’s most colourful heritage items. It also provides a cultural and educational part of many tours to central Bali.
The gallery has around 1,300 masks and over 5,000 puppets from all over the Indonesian archipelago, as well as from Africa, China, Latin America and Europe.
Shopping in Ubud
Jalan Monkey Forest lined with shops and boutiques as well as many restaurants and cafes.
You will find art galleries and see artists painting in their studios as you walk by. Order yourself some tailor-made clothing or a newly spun silk scarf from tailors with working looms at the front of their shops.
Visit the local silversmiths to select a hand designed piece of jewellery or have something made especially for you. Explore the antique shops showcasing Indonesian artifacts, masks and wood carvings. Prices will vary, depending on your bargaining skills!
Restaurants and Cafes in Ubud
Ubud is home to some of the most delicious food in Bali. You will discover a wide selection of quality restaurants and cafe’s featuring a variety of cuisines and delicacies.
Be adventurous. Whilst there are many great restaurants in the main town centre, exploring wider afield will provide some unique dining experiences!
Our ‘must try’ recommendations:
- Monsieur Spoon – Freshly baked French Pastries to die for!
- Three Monkeys Restaurant – unique and contemporary Balinese
- Bridges Bali Restaurant – carved into the riverbank overlooking dense rainforest
- Mozaic – French-inspired Michelin Star Restaurant
Wellness retreats, massages, yoga, meditation and spas
Ubud has a range of spas and wellness centres offering healing packages for visitors and an opportunity to explore traditional therapies.
Massages in Bali are inexpensive and available almost everywhere. Yoga retreats and meditation centres often overlook beautiful lush rice terraces. It’s the perfect locale for pampering.
Hot springs can be found throughout Bali. Indulge yourself. Locals and tourists claim that the hot springs have healing powers.
Where to stay in Ubud
We have chosen to stay at the Alaya Resort, several times when visiting Ubud. Alaya Resort is a boutique hotel with beautiful Balinese style rooms with enormous stone bathtubs. It’s the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.
Alaya Resort had a full range of spa treatments, therapies and luxurious massages available for guests. The ultimate luxury for tired and overworked visitors in need of some pampering.
Ubud is the perfect place to get your mojo back. Pin this to Pinterest.
Have you been to Ubud in Bali yet? What did you enjoy most? Care to share your favourite experience with us below … we’d love to know!