Top Things to do in Ubud
Ubud, the must-see village in Bali. Known for its rice terraces and relaxing vibe, Ubud is the place to be for nature lovers. Great for excursions, the sacred monkey forest, and great food, you won’t run out of things to do in Ubud. The great thing about Ubud is that it offers something for each sort of traveller. To find out our favourites, read our top 12 things to do in Ubud.
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1. Tegalalang rice terraces
If you’re planning a trip to Bali, you’re sure to have seen the magnitude of photos at Tegalalang Rice Terraces. There’s nothing worse than visiting an attraction you have seen amazing photos of, getting there and being disappointed. But don’t you worry. Tegalalang Rice Terraces is not one of these places. We’re sure you’ll be blown away just like we were.
This must-see place is one of the biggest draws to Bali with good reason. Displaying jaw-dropping views of lush green fields, palm trees, and blue skies, it’s a must-visit. Wander around the different levels, chat with the locals and don’t forget to take lots of photos! You can even pay to enjoy the views whilst swinging over the valley on one of the many swings.
Top Tip: It might seem obvious, but don’t forget to bring some water. Exploring the terraces can get very hot and sweaty and the local warungs charge a small fortune for a drink.
Parking/Entrance fee: 10000 IDR (£0.55) This fee is paid opposite the entrance on the other side of the road.
Whilst walking around the fields, locals will ask for donations. These donations are 10000 IDR each time you enter a different person’s land. This fee is for maintenance of the area and for the pure fact you’re walking on their rice fields!
2. Campuhan ridge walk
There’s nothing better than a leisurely walk in nature. Locals and visitors alike flock to the 2km long walk to escape the hustle and bustle of Ubud town. You’ll see locals walking their dog, people enjoying a run in the early mornings and late evenings and tourists snapping away to get that insta-worthy shot.
Make sure to complete the whole walk and visit the warungs near the end. Stop off and grab a drink with a view before heading back to town.
Top tip: Head there early in the morning to enjoy the walk. It’ll be cooler at this time and hopefully less busy.
3. Ubud Monkey Forest
Another one of Ubud’s main attractions is the Sacred Monkey Forest. You can easily spend a couple of hours here, exploring the magnificent rainforest, finding hidden stone sculptures and of course monkey watching!
Expect to see A LOT of monkeys. Big, small, babies and whole monkey families spend their days eating bananas, climbing the trees and sometimes stealing the possessions of tourists.
Even though these wild animals are now used to human interaction, it’s still advised to follow certain rules. This means not looking directly into their eyes and not smiling. Monkeys see this as a sign of aggression. The last thing you need on your trip to Bali is a visit to the hospital with a monkey bite.
Aside from that, if you respect the rules you’ll be sure to have a great day out with these cheeky animals.
Top tip: Leave the accessories at home or put all loose items in a secure bag. The monkeys love to ‘steal’ anything they can get their hands on. This includes jewellery, sunglasses, phones, and food. One monkey even tried to unzip Becky’s bag!
Price: 80000 IDR (£4.40)
4. Pura Tirta Empul
The place to come if you really want to experience the Balinese Hindu culture. Pura Tirta Empul (also known as The Holy Water Temple) is a large temple complex located only 15km from Ubud, in the town of Tampaksiring.
Balinese Hindus visit the temple for an important purification ritual whereby they ‘clean’ themselves using the holy spring water from the 13 different fountains in the temple grounds. This is to wash away any sins and ward of any evil spirits.
Visitors can merely observe the locals participating in their prayers and rituals or choose to get involved and have a go themselves. We jumped right in, hired sarongs from the temple and followed instructions from our guide.
Top tip: Book a driver or tour guide for this experience. We rarely do this ourselves, but having a knowledgeable local tell us all about the legends, culture and facts was a great experience and worth the extra money.
Entrance fee: 50000 IDR (£2.79) per person + additional cost for sarong and locker
5. Visit the Lotus Pond at Saraswati Temple
Ubud is certainly not short of temples. But one worth a visit, and right in the centre (behind the Starbucks) is the Saraswati temple. To say it’s located right in the heart of the bustling ‘centre’, once you enter the grounds you’ll feel like a million miles away. The draw here is the pond filled with beautiful lotus flowers.
6. Tibumana waterfall
Tibumana waterfall may not be the longest or biggest waterfall in Bali but in our eyes, it’s certainly the most photogenic.
It’s an easy and beautiful walk down from the ‘parking area’ through the lush jungle. Once at the waterfall, you can have a dip in the water. Be sure not to go too close though, as the water force is strong.
Get here early in the morning to be alone or come later in the day for swimming when the sun is hitting the water.
Top tip: Don’t forget to stop and take in the views on the road to Tibumana. This palm tree-lined road is a great photo spot.
Price: 15000 IDR (£0.84) per person
7. Tegenungan waterfall
Another one of Bali’s great attractions is the Tegenungan Waterfall. Albeit a lot busier than Tibumana, Tegenungan is worth a stop off whilst in Ubud.
Swimming is common here and there are even lifeguards to keep things in order. The walk down to the waterfall is easy and in true Bali style, lined with numerous photo opportunities along the way.
Price: 20000 IDR (£1.10) per person
8. Relax in the spa
Ubud town is full of spas. You can’t walk 100m without hearing the words ‘cheap massage’. Although it may be annoying for some, this actually comes in quite handy.
After the waterfall chasing and temple hopping, what’s better than relaxing in a peaceful spa. Massages are super cheap in Bali so why not treat yourself whilst in Ubud.
Prices vary but a typical 1-hour full body massage is around IDR 120000 (£6.60)
9. Stroll around the town
This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but don’t forget to allow time to stroll around the town itself. Ubud is a great little place, full of boutique shops, quirky cafes and fantastic arts and crafts.
Right in the centre of town is Ubud Royal Palace. It’s free to enter so you may as well take a quick look here whilst wandering around town.
10. Find a bargain at Ubud market
Ubud Art Market is your place to be if you’re looking for some bargain clothes and accessories in Bali.
This well-known market has enough trinket and souvenir stalls to make sure you leave Bali with a packed backpack! From beautiful jewellery to handwoven bags, from alluring ornaments to novelty goods, Ubud sells just about anything to tickle your fancy.
If you intend on buying anything, don’t be too shy to bargain. You can nearly always get 50% knocked off the ‘real price’.
11. Kajeng Rice Fields walk
This rice field walk is becoming more and more popular by the day but for good reason. The entrance is hiding in plain sight right in the town centre but is often overlooked.
This beautiful walk takes you through various rice fields, farms and terraces and is the perfect escape from the business of Ubud centre. As the walk is around an hour long and can go in different directions, we rarely even saw other tourists along the way.
This rice fields walk was definitely one of our favourite things to do in Ubud.
Top tip: Take a rest at ‘Sweet Orange Warung’. Cool off, grab a drink and take in the views at this quirky warung. You won’t miss it, just look for 100’s of cool (but strange) coconut heads.
12. Mount Batur Sunrise Trek
The Mount Batur Sunrise Trek is certainly one of our favourite activities from Bali, it may even be our number one!
Waking up at 2 am may not sound that fun, but we can assure you the early wake-up call is worth it. For those who like to hike (Jack), the trek isn’t all that hard but can be testing at times for those who are unfit (Becky).
We reached the summit for sunrise and hands down its the best sunrise we have ever witnessed. This, coupled with an awesome guide and fresh volcanic boiled eggs, is the reason why you need to add the Batur trek to your Bali itinerary.
You can book the Mount Batur Trek from most accommodation around Ubud or head to one of the many tourist information centres.
Prices vary and start from around 350000idr (£20)
Where to stay in Ubud
Budget – Putu’s Paradise Guesthouse
Your own private room surrounded by beautiful gardens at a backpacker price? Look no further. We loved our stay here, a highlight was the free breakfast each morning and the amazingly friendly owner Putu!
Mid-range – Budget – Villa Sonia Bisma
Perfect location and right next to the famous monkey forest! The rooms are spacious, the pool is great and the views at breakfast were fab! You even receive a free welcome massage! One of our favourite places to stay in Ubud.
Luxury – Sandat Glamping
Want to be surrounded by nature and fall asleep listening to the hum of insects and birds? Then Sandat Glamping is the perfect place for you. This 5 billion star resort is for those wanting ultimate luxury, a private pool and unique glamping experience.
Airbnb is also a great option for those on a budget! Want to save £25 off your first Airbnb Booking? Use our referral code!
Did you find our top things to do in Ubud helpful?
Have you been to or are planning to go to Ubud? What did you think? If you liked our post or have any suggestions, leave a comment below!