Best Ubud Activities Guide: What to Do When in Ubud?
Traveling to Bali without visiting Ubud is such a loss. Ubud is a place of authenticity. It’s known for its strong culture, tradition, and beauty of its arts. And because of its calmness and warmness of locals, many come to Ubud with the hope to find a new self, recover, healed, and rejuvenated.
So, how to really enjoy what Ubud has? How to find calmness in Ubud? And what are the best places to visit?
Keep reading to find out Ubud activities guide from top natural destinations, culture, and tradition, to the best art galleries to visit in Ubud!
Tegalalang Rice Field
Going to Ubud without seeing the beauty and smell the nature in Tegalalang Rice Field is just not complete. Imagine sitting down with a view of rice terrace stretches in all your eyesight, so refreshing right? Interestingly, there are many cafes around the rice field which allows you to enjoy its view while drinking a warm cup of tea.
You can come either in the morning when the air freshness still at its peak or in the late evening after a full day of traveling and feel your energy recovers.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
A walk at Campuhan Ridge is simply one of the best walks you can experience in Bali. The walk allows you to see the fine scenery of Ubud natures. Along the clear paved path, you will see the greenery of the jungle and beauty of the hills. For a great traveling experience, do the walk here as early as you can around 7 AM — 8 AM. Pretty sure it’s going to be the greatest start of the day before continuing to discover other destinations in Ubud.
Walking in Campuhan Ridge takes around 45 minutes to one hour. However, everybody has their way of enjoying things so take as slow as you can if you feel great. Throw away all your boredom and go back with a new fresh mind.
Pura Taman Saraswati or Ubud Water Palace
Pura Taman Saraswati is a temple dedicated to the Goddess of Sarasvati, the Goddes of Wisdom and Art that blessed Ubud to be what it is today. As a matter of fact, this place is one of the most sacred places in Bali to this day. A visit here allows you to enjoy the greatness of traditional carves and statues along the temple and a majestic lots pond that would refresh your mind in a nutshell.
If you stay in Ubud and want to do something in the evening, visit this place again because there is a traditional performance every day, except Friday evening. The performance starts at 7.30 PM and would vary each day. Notably, regular schedules for the majestic Kecak traditional dance are every Tuesday and Thursday.
Indeed, this is one of the top destinations in Ubud that you shouldn’t miss.
Ubud Royal Palace
Puri Saren Palace, known as the Ubud Royal Palace, is a place where the royal family of Ubud still lives to this day. However, they allow visitors to visit and see some parts of the place. Date from the 18th century, this place holds a rich history of Ubud and Bali.
You can expect to learn lots of history, tradition and cultural values of Ubud when visiting the palace. Also, don’t forget to see the throne of the royals that have led Ubud to keep being authentic.
Ubud Art Market
When learning about the life of locals in a certain place, learn not only the history but also the contemporary arts. There you will discover the ideas of society. That’s why you should visit the Ubud Art Market. All of the items sold here are locals-made that are only available in Ubud and Bali.
It’s better to visit this place in the late afternoon as you will be more relaxed when walking around choosing an item you’ll fall in love with. Take one and bring it to your home country, put it in your room, it would be a nice way to remember your adventure in Bali.
Ubud Art Market is located near to the Ubud Royal Palace.
Surrounded by majestic rain forests, there lies a mystical Elephant cave that its history dated back from the 11th century which remains sacred to this day. This place is called Elephant Cave due to its proximity to the Elephant River. There is a cave with a demonic statue in the gate, describing the darkness of the underworld. Near from the cave, there are seven fountain statues, come from the Hinduism concept of Sapta Tirta, which the water is considered sacred. Many locals still pray here in the hope of blessed from Gods.
If you want to explore a little more, walk to the Southern part and follow the small streams that lead you to see a calm river.
Ubud Monkey Forest
Another top choice of Bali excursion in Ubud is a visit to Ubud Sacred Monkey Sanctuary, a sacred forest dated from the 14th century which even older than Indonesia as its home country. In total, the sanctuary hosts around 1000 monkeys which locals believe they are sacred creatures who guard the temples within. To this day, the three temples inside the sanctuary remain to exist including Pura Dalem Agung Padang Tegal or also called ‘The Temple of Death’. To sum up, a walk in the monkey forest is the fusion of natural and cultural experiences.
During the walk, lots of monkeys will be playing around as the forest is their home. Yes, you walk around their home. But it’s fun instead of dangerous. The monkeys are tamed. However, be careful with your belongings to avoid them being stolen by the monkeys, especially foods. And don’t give them any food unless you are readily being followed by more of them along the walk. In the end, it’s one of the unique things you will experience during traveling.
Bali Bird Sanctuary
Indonesia is a country home to thousands of species, including birds. Bali Bird Sanctuary, the only bird park in Bali, is a great place to learn about species of birds in Indonesia. This park houses more than 1000 birds from around 250 species. This park is simply a truly magical place in Bali. The park is set to several divided areas that allow you to imagine natural life from Sumatera, Borneo, Java to Papua, the Eastern part of Indonesia. Further, you will also be satisfied with a bird show in the park.
But don’t imagine that the birds are caged like most bird parks around the world. In this park, the birds roam freely. You can feed them and sometimes the birds don’t even fly away when you touch them. Notably, the price is 300k IDR which some consider it a bit expensive. But in fact, the experience is very much worth the price.
A waterfall that is only thirty minutes away from the center of Ubud can be an option if you want to enjoy more natural sights. The waterfall is surrounded by green forests and lots of palm trees. While there are many waterfalls that visitors are not allowed to swim in Bali, you can enjoy swimming here as the natural pool is quite wide and safe.
However, don’t expect to visit this place for a quiet escape. In fact, this waterfall is quite touristy thanks to its popularity and easiness to visit. We don’t recommend visiting here during a high season especially in the mid of summer such as August. But it’s worth to enjoy during low season time.
Kanto Lampo Waterfall
For a little more adventure, pay a visit to Kanto Lampo Waterfall. You will see breathtaking sights of water endlessly falling through beautiful rocks formation below. The hiking is quite short to reach the waterfall which takes only ten minutes. The route is quite easy. However, its beauty would make you feel that you just find a hidden gem in Bali. From Ubud, it takes around thirty minutes to reach the location.
Unlike Tegenungan Waterfall, this waterfall is not recommended to visit during the monsoon season. The water level will be high and may not be accessible. The best time to visit is during the summer season which lasts from April to September. However, you may be able to visit during October if the monsoon season is not starting yet. Try to go early in the morning to feel a fresh atmosphere in the waterfall area.
Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul Temple history is dated from 902 AD. Famous of its sacred fountains, many visitors still come here for the sacred bath session. It’s believed that the sacred bathing processes here would bring one to healing and rejuvenation. There will be lots of visitors but all come with the same intention, to get blessed. It’s not something to avoid, but something to enjoy when visiting such a place in Bali.
Right beside the temple, you can see one of the six Indonesian presidential palaces called Tampak Sirih Palace.
Threads of Life Indonesia Textile Art Centre
For an experience of learning Indonesian traditional industry, this is the place to be. It showcases fabrics from the production of a natural dyed process, which I Indonesian traditional technique dated centuries ago. The art center exists as a charity to support local maintaining the traditional textile production which is currently fading away. Therefore, a visit here also means contribution and support to the local charity.
The Threads of Life also offers an experience of the textile-appreciation course which allows you to learn the technique.
Agung Rai Museum of Art
Agung Rai himself founded the museum as his dedication to the preservation of Balinese art and culture. The museum showcases rich collections of arts not only from Agung Rai but also from many other great local and Indonesian artists and foreign artists such as Willem Gerard Hofker who ended up falling in love with Ubud. Further, it showcases arts range from traditional to contemporary arts and makes you understand the development of arts in Bali and Indonesia.
There are some workshops you can register. If you bring children, there are children learning centers too.
Some More Things to Know about Ubud
We have met so many people who come to Ubud only for several days ended up staying longer. Days became weeks, and weeks became months. It’s not a wonder because Ubud is truly a place that makes anyone feel homey. For a more memorable vacation in Ubud, staying for several days even more than a week is highly recommended. If you plan to stay more, these are some Ubud activities and experiences you can do.
Ubud Cafe Culture is on the hype!
In fact, many digital nomads choose Ubud as their semi-permanent home. Why? Because it’s a very calm and relaxing place. On the other hand, it’s also because of the café culture in Ubud. There are so many cafes and coffee shops around Ubud that offer peaceful ambiance. Imagine enjoying a cup of coffee with beautiful rice fields view while breathing very fresh air. Imagine sitting in a café so clam that your brain starts to think deeper about life and generate lots of ideas. So, when you travel to Ubud, make sure you try to pay some visits to the cafes around Ubud.
Ubud is a Spa and Yoga Destinations!
Yes, there are so many good spas in Ubud. Such a pity if you come to Ubud and not trying to experience spa and yoga. Not only because the spas and yoga in Ubud are good technically, but also because many spas in Ubud are located in some perfect and relaxing places. You can enjoy spa and yoga in a place with rice field views, hills views, sounds of rivers, and so on. Choose the place that interests you, and try the experience of the amazing Ubud activities.
Wander around Ubud with a scooter
Ubud has amazing natures. Even staying in the central part of Ubud is enough to enjoy nature. But, there are more to see if you wander around with a scooter. Just try to drive around Ubud, try some new roads to the countryside, and who knows you will discover great things during your exploration. And that’s what traveling is all about! Rent a scooter for at least a day, and we promise you won’t regret it. Well… you’re welcome!
The last and the best: experience rafting in Ayung River!
Rafting in Ayung river offers you thrilling experiences of rafting through river bank that stretches in the rainforest of Bali. During the raft, imagine watching Bali Hindu shrines from the river sights, and rafting through waterfalls. Beautiful right? Don’t miss that one!
Book the Rafting in Ayung River with us if you are interested!
Now you have known a lot about Ubud. You might already have an imagination of what to do in Ubud and what your travel plan in Ubud is going to be. Don’t hurry, take your time to think.
If you prefer to explore Ubud in a simple way, our Ubud daily tour to visit some best places in Ubud might interest you. Feel free to ask us for recommendations and assistance from traveling in Ubud and Bali! You might discover something you don’t know when going alone.