Ubud, on the island of Bali, has become a highly reputed tourist destination over the years. Rice fields, arts, culture, shopping – there’s something for everyone in this lively town. Who can blame anyone for wanting to visit when you see the lush greenery, taste the incredible food and receive the hospitality of the locals…..

So let’s dive right in to my top 15 things to do in Ubud!

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1. Campuhan Ridge Walk

Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud

My favorite place to go every time I visit Ubud, even when the weather is pretty bad, as is the case most of the time when I visit Ubud during the rainy season. It doesn’t matter to me, as I can enjoy the peace and quiet and the view all to myself.

The last time I was there, I found that the place hadn’t really changed much, apart from becoming wilder and greener.

What’s more, the start of the walk is right in the center of town and it’s totally free.

At the end of the walk, I recommend you take the time to wander around the village and admire the works of art created by the locals. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and a hat, as there’s no shade on the way.

2. Monkey Forest

Cost: ticket prices go from IDR 60.000 ($4) for a child and IDR 80.000 for an adult ($5)

Home to over a thousand Macaca fascicularis (or macaques), this popular attraction is more than just a sanctuary for monkeys. Although people tend to forget it, the complex also includes numerous temples, so don’t miss out when visiting the site.

Perhaps I should mention keeping your belongings in your bag or out of sight of the little creatures, as they’re quicker than you think and quite sneaky!

3. Have breakfast at Monsieur Spoon

If you’re looking for a good breakfast in a warm and friendly atmosphere, Monsieur Spoon is the place for you.
The croissants, cakes, bread… really taste of France, which makes sense when you consider that the place was opened by two French cousins in 2012.

Either way, this boulangerie is a not-so-hidden gem amidst all the other delicious restaurants in Ubud.

4. Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah in Ubud
Photo by Reena Yadav on Unsplash

Cost: IDR 30.000 ($2) for a child and IDR 50.000 ($3) for an adult with free sarong and scarf at your disposal

Also known as the Elephant Cave, Goa Gajah is located around 5 km from Ubud. Why the name? Well, although the giant face guarding the entrance represents a demon, no elephants can be seen in this sanctuary, sorry…

But you’ll be enchanted by its tranquility as you stroll through the jungle.

5. Pura Taman Saraswati

Pura Taman Saraswati in Ubud

Right in the center of town is the Pura Taman Saraswati or Ubud Water Palace, where you can admire traditional decorations, majestic architecture and sculptures.

If you come in the right season, you’ll even see lotus flowers in the pond surrounding Pura Taman Saraswati.

It’s a pleasant little visit amid the hustle and bustle of Ubud.

6. Do a little shopping in Ubud’s markets

Ubud's markets

Just across the street from Ubud Palace is the perfect place for shopping. Whether you’re looking for colorful new clothes, handicrafts or gifts, there’s no better place than the city’s markets. Take a look at the many stalls and soak up the atmosphere of one of Ubud’s liveliest streets.

Be prepared to bring out your best negotiating skills and only start the game if you intend to buy something. Smile, be polite and do your best to get a good price!

Tip: I always ask for half the asking price before finding a happy medium between the seller’s price and my own.

7. Enjoy a delicious meal at Sun Sun Warung

Ubud

Address: F7R6+PR8, Jl. Jembawan No.2, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali

A warung is like a small traditional restaurant, they are usually the best when it comes to local food and are also very affordable.
A friend introduced me to this one and the only thing I’ll say is: incredible. The food, the staff, the location, everything was perfect. I went there several times during my stay in Ubud.

If I had to recommend one dish, it would definitely be the vegetarian nasi campur. As you can see from the photo, it’s made up of numerous side dishes (vegetables, tempe, tempe satay, tofu, fried corn) and steamed rice. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE their tempe, you have to try it for yourself. And although they sometimes change the side dishes, one thing remains unchanged: the fabulous flavor of the food!

8. Tegallalang Rice Terrace

Tegallalang rice terrace in Ubud
Photo by Jared Lisack on Unsplash

Cost: IDR 50.000 ($3) without the photo on the famous swing

You can’t really come to Bali without seeing rice terraces, and a good place to do that is Tegalalang. A 15-minute drive from the center of Ubud, you’re surrounded by palm trees and green terraces as far as the eye can see.

As the place is full of farmers, don’t hesitate to talk to them to find out more about their work and about Tegalalang. They’ll be delighted to share their stories and lifestyles with you.

And if you’re dehydrated (or have forgotten your water) or want to cool off, there are even cafés and an infinity pool.

Tip: check with the locals before you go if the harvest season has not yet begun or ended (as the color of the rice terraces will be different).

9. Neka Art Museum

Cost: IDR 150.00 ($9) for an adult, free for children under 12

Curious about Balinese art? Then enter the Neka Art Museum and discover thousands of different works of art: keris (traditional dagger), paintings, sculptures…. that will amaze you with their detail and history.
You’ll find not only local works, but also foreign ones scattered throughout the pavilions.

You’ll discover how the Balinese lived in the early 1900s, and see many images of religious rituals regarded as important festivities celebrating life in all its aspects.

10. Get a Balinese Massage

For someone who is easily stressed, I can’t travel to Indonesia without getting a massage and relaxing my aching muscles. Balinese massages are so soothing and gentle that I really can’t resist them.

Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, I love it when they start putting pressure on the sensitive, stiff areas that need a little more strength. This kind of massage is perfect after a long hike or after carrying your backpack for a while.

Prices vary depending on where you have your massage, mine was IDR 100,000 (USD $6.50) at Tunas Spa in Ubud and the lady was absolutely lovely, energetic but gentle at the same time. A perfect moment of relaxation!

11. Succumb to your sweet tooth at Tukies Coconut Shop

If you love coconut flavors, you absolutely must stop by this store. With a wide range of desserts and ice creams, I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for!

The classic was a real treat, which I savored until there was nothing left on my plate!

12. Pura Tirta Empul

Pura Tirta Empul in Ubud
Photo by Ismail Hamzah on Unsplash

Cost: IDR 50.000 ($3) for an adult and IDR 25.000 ($1.60), sarong mandatory, you can ask for one at the entrance if you don’t have yours

Located in the village of Manukaya, a 30-minute drive from Ubud, Tirta Empul temple is famous among locals and tourists alike for the beauty of the place and for its famous purification ritual (Melukat ritual), which takes place at Jaba Tengah.

Follow the locals to take part in this spiritual experience designed to purify your body and soul, or simply watch the procession.

Finish your visit by exploring the other parts of the temple: the inner courtyard and the Tampaksiring palace for a beautiful view of the temple.

13. Puri Saren Agung

Puri Saren Agung in Ubud

Right in the center of Ubud is the Puri Saren Agung or Ubud Palace, not to be confused with the Water Palace mentioned above.

The many buildings, gardens and courtyard are free and open to the public, while entry to the temple at the rear of the palace is strictly regulated. Nevertheless, keep your eyes open and stroll around, admiring the details of the doors and the many statues inside.

The palace represents the history and culture of Ubud. What’s more, the visit doesn’t take long, so don’t miss out!

And in the evening, grab your tickets and take in a traditional Balinese dance performance that’s sure to delight all ages.

14. Have a lovely dinner at Kyoka

Address: Jl. Dewisita, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali

I sometimes think that Ubud is the place for all gourmets. You can sample a multitude of delicious dishes from all over the world. Have all the great chefs settled in town or what?

No, but really, ALL the food I tasted in Ubud was so tasty that I really considered living there.
Even though I love Indonesian cuisine, a friend of mine took me to Kyoka and I was seduced from the very first bite. Whether it was the cocktails, mocktails or dishes, everything was so good that you won’t be disappointed.
I sometimes forget to take photos of the food before devouring it, which was the case here because I couldn’t wait to taste it!

15. Attend a Legong Dance Show

Ubud

Cost: IDR 100.000 ($6.50)

Prepare yourself for a charming traditional show where you’ll see choreography filled with fast, supple movements, especially of the hands and fingers. The dancers wear beautiful costumes and headdresses, and are always accompanied by music.

You can read the story in the dancers’ facial expressions – it’s truly enchanting. The show is divided into several acts and lasts about an hour and a half.

By the end of the show, I was completely immersed in this magical, fun and entertaining world.

Ubud is a unique place that everyone must visit at least once during their stay in Bali. Despite the hustle and bustle of the city center, you’ll find peace here thanks to its verdant landscapes, culture and relaxing atmosphere.
And even if it’s a major tourist destination, Ubud remains Ubud: a charming, traditional town!

🎯 Would you like to go straight to my recommendations?

🛌 Hostel: In Da Lodge

🗺️ Recommended Tour:
Ubud Highlights Private Day Tour

👩‍🍳 Cultural Experience
Cooking Class

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