What To Do in Ubud
What To Do In Ubud Contents
Ubud is best know for being where Elizabeth Gilbert stayed in the last section of Eat, Pray Love. It’s where she went to see her spiritual advisor and fell in love. Top of any list of what to do in Ubud though has to be the incredible rice fields, which really are just as beautiful as everyone says. While staying in Ubud you should also take the time to visit some of the best waterfalls in Bali. Ubud is a great place to head out from to see a few of them and it’s definitely worth the trip.
Tegalalang Rice Fields Ubud
The Tegalalang rice fields are a bit of a way from the center of Ubud therefore it’s best to hire a scooter to go there or to go with a taxi you’ve hired for the day if you’re going there for a day trip from Kuta or Seminyak. They are entirely worth making the effort to go see though. To get an idea of how massive these rice fields are just check out how tiny the people are in the below pic.
One of the other main reasons people go to Ubud is to go to the market. It’s right in the center of town and one of the best places to stock up on souvenirs if you want to take anything home for friends and family or even just as somewhere to find extra sarongs or jewellery for yourself. If you’re nervous about having to haggle or need to brush up your skills before going check out my Top Tips for Haggling before you go there.
The Sacred Monkey Forest
Ok, full disclosure, I haven’t been to Ubud Monkey Forest. I’ve even been to Ubud with a large group of people who all went in and I still didn’t go inside the Monkey Forest. If you’re read my post on monkeys you’ll know why, but the short version is, I don’t like monkeys (don’t judge me, it’s for good reason – read the post). The Sacred Monkey Forest one of the other big draws in Ubud though, so I have to mention it. Lots of people, who do like, monkeys do really enjoy it. So if you haven’t been converted over to the monkey hating side by my post go right ahead. I’ve heard it’s fun.
Blanco Museum Ubud
Second to the rice fields this is the best thing I saw in Ubud. Don Antonio Blanco is a famous Balinese artist who not only created great art but also designed the entire of the house his work is displayed in which makes visiting the museum feel a lot like going to the house Gaudí designed in Barcelona. It’s such an interesting place to wander around for an afternoon. And the art itself is amazing. You’re not allowed to take photos whilst inside the gallery but here are the ones I managed to get outside of that. For some reason there are a load of really cool parrots in the grounds of the museum. Before you get a bit of a shock when you go, I should probably mention that as well as there being 2 or 3 rooms of Blanco’s incredible art, there is also another room specifically for his erotic art. It’s bizarre enough just to look at, but get one of the exhibition attendants to explain how each piece works about you will be thoroughly entertained!
If you’re pushed for time maybe drop this one, but it’s fun to walk round for a half hour or so.
Pura Taman Saraswati
I stumbled upon this beauty completely by accident last time I was in Ubud because my bank joyfully decided to cancel my bank card again, even though I’ve told them a thousand times I’m away, so I had to go to the Starbucks in Ubud (I know but the wi-fi can hold out for a Skype call which is very important at times) and the temple is just behind it. I didn’t have time to go inside but if the view from outside is anything to go by it’s well worth a visit.
Pools in the Jungle
There are plenty of jungle hangouts with pools in Ubud. Set up in the mountains these hotels and day clubs, like the jungle fish pool bar, offer spectacular views and a great getaway for those that are a bit travel weary.
Co-working Spaces in Ubud
Ubud is a digital nomad hub and therefore there are lots of co-working and even co-living spaces making it much easier to meet ex pats who will be around for a while.
I haven’t been to Hubud myself but I have a number of friends who have and it’s by far the most popular co-working space in Ubud and I’ve heard it’s great.
Food in Ubud
Ubud is a foodies dream. Especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan. The food there is incredible and like in Canggu there are no end of wonderful western restaurants you can go to. But finding local places to eat in Ubud can be much harder. Which also means if you’re traveling on a budget it’s very easy to spend more of your money on food each day that you might necessarily have intended to.
Climbing Mount Batur from Ubud
Mount Batur is the second highest Volcano in Bali. The largest is Mount Agung which you can get breathtaking view of from Batur and Bukit Cinta. It takes about an hour and a half by car from Ubud to Mount Batur but since people frequently go form Ubud to climb it you can organise to get picked up from your accommodation in Ubud the morning you would like to climb Mount Batur rather than having to stay in the town at the base of Batur. If you would rather go to Batur the night before, it’s an easy enough scooter ride there and has some beautiful views on the way there. There’s not need to book accommodation in advance as there are plenty of places to stay, just ask around in a couple of hotels when you get there to find a good price (you’ll only be sleeping in your accommodation for a few hours anyway as the trek starts about 4am so it really doesn’t matter how nice it is). The views are amazing. It is very much worth the early morning. The mountain you can see in the background here is Mount Rinjani in Lombok You have to trek up Mount Batur with a local tour guide. You won’t be allowed up on your own. We therefore stopped at the first tour office we saw on getting to Batur to book our guide for the next morning. There are three options of tours you can do.
- Straight up and down the volcano
- Same as number one but with a loop around one crater of the volcano
- Same as number two but includes going round some of the other craters too
If you go for option two it shouldn’t cost you more than 400,000 Rupiah per person including breakfast at the top of the volcano. The landscape that surround the volcano is absolutely incredible. If you are afraid of heights I’d strongly recommend you only do the first option of the tour rather than either of the second ones. This is because the paths you walk along to go round the top of the crater are crazy narrow with sheer drops either side (health and safety regulations going strong in Bali!) and I can imagine that would be some what terrifying if you’re scared of heights. You see those little specks on the top of the mountain? Those are people. Those are the thin narrow paths you walk around Staying somewhere in town works well as you leave so early in the morning to climb the volcano so that you can get to the top for sunrise that you’ll still be in time for a second breakfast at your hotel when you get back and a few hours sleep before you have to check out. I purposefully included this in my What To Do in Ubud post though as so many people just do it as an organized trip in a car from Ubud that morning, trek up and then go back down and straight back to Ubud. If you do it that way whoever you’ll probably book the transport and guide all in one rather than having find one when you get there as I described above.
How Long to Spent in Ubud, Bali
You can easily go to Ubud for a day and see a good amount of the sights but most people stay for longer to make use of the huge variety of yoga classes available there and just to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
How to Get From Ubud to Nusa Dua/Uluwatu and the Bukit Area
It’s a decent length drive to get down to Nusa Dua or Uluwatu and all the other locations nearby in the Bukit. It’ll take about an hour and a half to 2 hours by scooter so I’d only suggest driving it yourself if you’re comfortable and confident in your scooter driving abilities. If not just hire a taxi to get you down there. If going to Nusa Dua you could always stop at the Hidden Canyon on your way down too.
Or you can head north to Munduk which will take about an hour and a half to get to by scooter with incredible views through the mountains on the way.