Located on the upper terrain of Bali, Ubud has long been known as the cultural capital of the region. Offering a unique set of attractions and things to do, Ubud attracts visitors with the promise of a mesmerising cultural experience.
Here, we have listed the top attractions and experiences in Ubud that will guarantee you a memorable holiday.
Visit Campuhan Ridge Walk to Immerse in Nature
For an experience abounding in the scenic nature of Ubud, you should visit Campuhan Ridge Walk. Located within the beautiful hilly terrain of Bali, the walk brings you a delightful respite from the characteristic tourist bustle of Ubud. Mornings and late afternoons are the best time to visit when the temperatures are tolerable, and the sky bears the spectacular shades of the sunrise and the sunset.
More Pristine Nature at Gunung Lebah Temple
Your visit to Campuhan Ridge Walk should be followed by a visit to Gunung Lebah Temple, which is only a few minutes from the walk. The temple lies within a tranquil setting full of natural beauty – take a stroll around the temple and immerse yourself in the unspoiled nature of Ubud.
Visit Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary to See Cheeky Primates
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, probably the most visited and intrigue-inducing attraction in Ubud, lies within a nutmeg forest; the forest is home to around 700 long-tailed crab-eating macaques, also known as long-tailed macaques. Numerous pathways run through the dense foliage of the forest, dotted with moss-covered statues.
Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal is another attraction found here; this is a temple with a history going back to the 14th century. The sanctuary also functions as a research centre that studies the monkeys’ behaviours and breeding habits.
Keep a tight grip on your belongings; these monkeys will snatch whatever they can get their hands on.
Take Photos at Tegallalang Rice Terraces
If you are a nature photographer, we suggest that you visit Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Known for the gorgeous vistas of rice paddy fields and the pioneering irrigation system, these rice terraces will bring you excellent photo opportunities. The lush greenery of the paddies stretches down the slopes and out onto the far reaches of the rice terrain, and there are little shops that sell souvenirs. You can also take a picture with a local, but you’ll have to pay a small fee.
Cycling is the best way to get away from the chaos and experience the tranquil side of Ubud. Motorbike rentals are also available, but we don’t recommend hiring a motorbike if you are planning to travel the busy roads here – the traffic in Ubud can be overwhelming and driving safely seems to be the last thing locals care about.
Ubud is a haven for yogis. Take your pick from the list of yoga classes available and embark on your journey of wellness and spiritual satisfaction. The Yoga Barn, Ubud Yoga House, and Intuitive Flow are a few of the yoga classes you’ll find here.
Take a Cooking Class
Learn to make a local dish or two while you are here. Ubud is home to an array of cooking classes, conducted by experts in the traditional art of cooking. Casa Luna Cooking School Bali is one you should consider, and Lobong Culinary Experience Bali in Kedewatan is another initiative that brings you several cooking classes; the lessons are taught by the founders, who are all experts in the heritage cuisine of Bali.
Try Water Rafting
Sign up for water rafting for an adventurous experience. You will be exploring the verdant banks of the Ayung River. A range of rafting expeditions is available on a variety of budgets. Some packages are a combination of hiking, trekking, biking, and jungle tours.
Appreciate Balinese Architecture at Saraswati Temple
A beautiful temple located in central Ubud, Saraswati Temple, is one of the must-see places. This is a water temple with a gorgeous foyer and ponds. Traditional Balinese architecture enriches the interior and exterior of the temple. What’s more, you can sample the delightful local cuisine here.
Don’t forget to dress modestly when visiting the temple.
Visit Elephant Cave
Elephant Cave, a famous archaeological site in Ubud, is located around 300 metres from the Bedulu Village. The history of the cave goes back to the 11th century. The courtyard filled with relics is the main highlight, and the entrance adorned with a wide-eyed figure is worth noticing too. Inside the cave are several rock-wall carvings, and you’ll also find a meditation centre.
Join a Nature Tour to Tegenungan Waterfall
If you love nature, you will find Tegenungan Waterfall greatly to your taste. You can get here within 30 minutes from Ubud central, and the pathway laid across the verdant forest offers a pleasant journey. The plunge pool found here is ideal for a swim, which, however, isn’t a good idea if you are here during the rainy season. You’ll also find several restaurants onsite that serve traditional Balinese cuisine.
Discover Balinese Culture and Architecture at Ubud Royal Palace
The next on our list is Ubud Royal Palace, a must-visit if you are into culture and history. One of the most popular tourist attractions here, the palace belongs to the royal family. The palace is the perfect embodiment of Balinese architecture, and the garden surroundings enhance the ethereal beauty of the site. You can also see traditional Balinese dance performances here; the palace’s stage takes on a celebratory note every evening.
Buy Something to Take Home at Ubud Traditional Art Market
Ubud Traditional Art Market is the best place to shop for artistic items that you would want to bring home. From rattan bags to wooden bowls to paintings, the market sells everything that you are sure to fall in love with. The market is open every day of the week from 8 AM to 6 PM.
Bear in mind that haggling is necessary.
Visit Neka Art Museum to Support the Local Artistic Effort
Founded by Wayan Suteja Neka, an ardent art lover, Neka Art Museum holds a valuable collection of paintings and sculptures. There are 6 different adjacent buildings, all displaying treasures. Once you are done exploring the galleries, visit the Balinese-style garden found at the museum premises.
Visit Don Antonia Blanco Museum to See Artwork Inspired by Love
To witness an amazing collection of paintings and sculptures done by Don Antonia Blanco, visit Don Antonia Blanco Museum. Most paintings were born out of the love he had for his wife, who was his muse. The museum is housed inside a European-style building, and there’s a beautiful garden as well.
Admire Art at BIASA ArtSpace
A gallery that’s visited by those with a taste for sophisticated designs in apparel and homeware, BIASA ArtSpace, is the perfect coming together of the art world and day-to-day regular life; the place seems to have mastered the artistic expression that’s brought out in the mundane aspects of life.
You can buy anything here, from home essentials to décor to clothing. You can get to BIASA Art Space in 20 minutes from Denpasar airport.
Embark on a Journey into History at Gunung Kawi
Another temple that’s worth your attention, Gunung Kawi, is an 11th-century temple dedicated to King Anak Wungsu of the Udayana dynasty. There are several tombstones here, which belong to the king and his queens. The masterful way in which these tombstones are carved out of a cliff face is the attraction here.
Visit Rudana Museum for more Artwork
With a huge collection of artworks displayed inside a three-storey building, Rudana Museum invites those with an eye for beautiful things; the museum is located within 15 minutes of the Semar Kuning Artis Cooperative, another place you must visit if you love art. Outside the building is a gazebo where local artisans practice their craft, and around the building are several other bungalows packed with artwork.
Discover the Historical Appeal of Bali at Penataran Sasih Temple
Also known as The Moon Temple, Penataran Sasih Temple is an attraction that lends to the historical charm of Ubud. The temple houses Southeast Asia’s largest bronze kettle, and it has a history going back to AD 1266; the temple served as a state temple in the Pejeng kingdom. The chronogram at the entrance and the statues found inside are among the main highlights of the temple.
Appreciate Balinese Architecture at Pura Samuan Tiga Temple
Flanked by the Tegending and the Pande rivers and surrounded by tall trees, Samuan Tiga Temple, was a royal temple that goes back to the Udayana Warmadewa dynasty; the temple is only 20 minutes from Ubud central.
This is an excellent place to see ancient Balinese architecture. Also, Samuan Tiga Temple is host to the Siat Sampian, a Balinese celebration that takes place in April. According to locals, the temple was the meeting place of gods and saints.
Visit Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets
Visit Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets to see a huge collection of Balinese masks. The entrance is completely free, but if you want to, you can offer a donation. There’s also a café at the site that serves delicious coffee and food. The place is located in Mas Village.
Sightsee with Bali Bird Walk in Ubud
Sign up for a bird-watching excursion to explore the mesmerising countryside of Ubud. One of the most popular establishments in Ubud, Bali Bird Walk, was founded in 1990 by Victor Mason, a dedicated ornithologist. A number of guided tours are available, and the establishment seeks to educate visitors about conservation. This is one of the excellent things to do for families visiting Ubud.
Understand Indonesian life at Taman Nusa Cultural Park
For a day-out filled with insights into traditional Indonesian life, visit Taman Nusa Cultural Park. Located in Sidan Village, 45 minutes from the main Ubud region, the park is home to a wide range of open-air and enclosed displays, consisting of exhibits sourced from around the island.
Amongst the displays are 60 authentic Indonesian houses, adding context to the recreated traditional backdrop.
Visit Tirta Empul Temple for a Unique Discovery
One of the most important religious sites in Ubud, Tirta Empul Temple, is a holy mountain spring that feeds the surrounding fishponds, baths, and pools, used for religious purification. The temple has a courtyard with 13 sculptured spouts. Furthermore, tourists cannot partake in the purification bath ritual here; only devotees can.
Gain Insight into Balinese Village life at Yeh Pulu
A historical attraction ideal for families, Yeh Pulu Temple, is wedged between Pakerisan and Petanu Rivers. The temple has rock carvings depicting the Balinese village life. Found north of the temple is a sacred bathing place with naturalistic reliefs of women, horsemen, and Hindu deities.
See Artwork and Buy Souvenirs at the Agung Rai Museum of Art
A paradise for art lovers, the Agung Rai Museum of Art, is a gallery, a museum, and an accommodation venue. There are two buildings that house art classes, a bookshop, and several exhibition halls. The museum is also host to cultural workshops and theatre performances. Included in the valuable collection are paintings by both Balinese artists and foreign artists; some of the masterpieces go back to the 19th century.
Visit Gedong Arca Museum to See Ancient Relics
Home to around 3000 artefacts, including a variety of tools used in pre-Hindu bronze ages, Gedong Arca Museum, is located 6 km from central Ubud. One of the main discoveries is the Moon of Pejeng, which is among the largest bronze age relics in the world. There’s also a bronze kettle that can be traced back to 300 BC.
Discover a Blend of Art and History at Lempad House
Also called Lempad of Bali House, Lempad House is a historical site loved by art lovers. The house was owned by the celebrated Balinese artist I Gusti Nyoman Lempad; he designed many palaces and temples in Indonesia. His distinct way of drawing lines in his paintings was inspired by Balinese fork lore and has greatly influenced the Balinese art scene. You can enter the house free of charge.
Admire the Architecture at Tampaksiring Presidential Palace
Sitting atop a 700-metre hilltop, Tampaksiring Presidential Palace was built in 1957; this was the only presidential palace that came into being after independence. The palace has 5 main buildings, two of which are partitioned by a fissure in the mountain. You need permission to enter the building, but feel free to admire the beautiful exterior.
Let Bali Eco Adventure & Resort Teach you About Conservation
13 km from the main Ubud area is Tegallalang village. Found in the village is Bali Eco Adventure, an ecotourism initiative. A variety of hiking tours are offered to tourists who want more than just rice field visits. You will be led by a guide through a lush forest, a local plantation, and a labyrinth carved into a hill.
Visit Horizon Glassworks for a Unique Experience
Visit Horizon Glassworks if you love glass art. You can watch the locals blowing glass and shape it into various forms. The studio occupies 1,000 square metres and has a display of amazing glass works. We suggest that you call before you visit to make sure that there’s something special to be seen.
Visit Titian Art Space to appreciate the Young Talent
This is one of the most popular art studios in Ubud. Titan Art Space is an art studio and an art gallery. Here, you will find a huge display of artworks by young artists in Indonesia; children contribute to the display as well.
What’s special about Titian Art Space is that it provides you with an insight into the world of art within a cultural context.
Buy Something Unique at Dinata Antique Shop
If you want souvenirs that are less touristy and more authentic, you should visit Dinata Antique Shop. You will find a huge collection here, consisting of coins and statuettes. Items here can be a little expensive, but they are all worth the price – although your purchase decisions should be led by your budget.
Encounter the Mystic Aura of Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple
Also known as Pura Tirta Dawa Gunung Kawi Sebatu, Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple is found in Sebatu, a highland village 12 km from Ubud central. Inside the temple is an array of ancient shrines and ponds filled with lotuses and fish.
The garden setting of the temple is inviting to those who want an escape from the daily cares of life. Before you can set off on a sightseeing tour around the temple grounds, you need to buy a ticket. Also, make sure you dress appropriately.