Ubud is not the type of place where you need a lengthy to-do list. None of the sights or actions are"must-dos".
If all you ever did during your stay was eat, walk through the rice fields, and perhaps get a massage or take a yoga class, then that is a successful Ubud visit in my opinion.
That said, if you're feeling more energetic, there are lots of things to do in Ubud to occupy your time.
The very top things to do in Ubud include exploring historical temples, majestic royal palaces, and green hillsides and rice terraces.
A treasure trove of cultural landmarks, this Balinese town and its outskirts inside the Gianyar regency, are where a number of the planet's notable artisans and collectors have visited and worked in.
Most of the local galleries and museums are along the main Jalan Raya Ubud not far away Bali Villas near the main road of Ubud. There are plenty of natural landscapes and attractions that are within a brief drive beyond the town centre. Prominent and unmissable landmarks in Ubud comprise Ubud Monkey Forest and the photogenic Tegallalang rice patio.
What are the top things to do in Ubud?
THINGS TO DO
As a first-time guest to Ubud, among the first things you might see is that the architecture. It's difficult not to as ornate and eye-catching since Balinese architecture is!
Of all of the architectural eye candy in Ubud, two of the most significant constructions are Pura Taman Saraswati (pictured below) and Puri Saren Agung. The prior is a water temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess of wisdom and art called Dewi Saraswati, although the latter is that the palace of the imperial household.
Both attractions are all free to see and located within minutes of this Ubud Art Market. From what I've read, cultural dance performances are held in both areas in the evenings as well.
Temples in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Saraswati Temple and Ubud Royal Palace may be the most noteworthy but there are plenty of interesting buildings in Ubud. I propose taking a stroll without having any real strategy. Balinese architecture is intriguing and fun to picture.
Temples in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
These ornately decorated split gates are called candi bentar and are a frequent sight in Bali.
Estimated Time to Purchase: 2-3 hours / Entrance: FREE
Observe Monkeys in the Holy Monkey Forest Sanctuary
The Sacred Monkey Forest is among the most visited attractions in Ubud.
It's a lush forest sanctuary that's home to more than a hundred grey long-tailed macaques. They're free to roam the playground so you'll find them walking along avenues in troops or gorging on fruit at designated feeding channels such as this one.
They're cute and tempting to interact with, but they're still wild creatures so you're advised to keep your space. They've been known to snatch loose bling and escape into the forest canopy.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
The macaques might be the main attraction, but I might have appreciated the sanctuary itself even more. It's a heavily wooded area with many walking trails along with a stream at the base. There are a couple of moss-covered temples within the forest too.
I explored the monkey forest with a tour guide from bali villa management but if you'd like to go as part of a guided Ubud tour, then there are a few you can reserve on Get Your Guide.
Suggested Length of Visit: 1-2 hours / Entrance: IDR 80,000 for adults, IDR 60,000 for children (ages 3-12)
Shop at the Ubud Art Market
In case you're looking for presents or souvenir items in Ubud, then that is most likely the ideal place to get them.
Located near Ubud Royal Palace, Ubud Art Market is a vibrant network of stalls selling a broad range of products like jewelry, scarves, fabrics, bags, hats, and handcrafted goods. I have read this is the best spot on the island to purchase these types of goods.
The art and souvenir segment of this marketplace is geared toward tourists but if you're interested in seeing a more local facet to Ubud, then you may want to have a look at the wet marketplace section as well.
Liveliest early in the morning, there you will find vendors selling average market create like meats, fish, and vegetables. We made a stop there on the road into some fun cooking class at Paon Bali.
Visit an Art Museum or Gallery
There are plenty of museums and galleries in Ubud featuring art which range from the traditional to the contemporary.
This was one of the things that surprised me most about Ubud when we first visited. I'm utilized to seeing kitschy folk art made for tourists in similar island destinations, however in Ubud, there's a serious arts community creating thoughtful contemporary art.
Take a stroll around town and you will find plenty of museums and galleries to consume your time. Some of the most notable include the Blanco Renaissance Museum, Neka Art Museum, Museum Puri Lukisan, and Agung Rai Museum of Art.
Estimated Time to Spend: About 3-4 hours / Admission: Varies
This is one of my favourite places in Ubud, only because it gave me short respite from the crowds of tourists who flock to Ubud in July.
Campuhan Ridge Walk is precisely because it names suggests -- a paved course at the crest of a mountain. The road begins off busy Jalan Raya Ubud and provides you uninterrupted views for around 9 km.
It is an easy walk but there's no cover so that it's best to go early in the morning or just before sunset, prompting you like baking in the scorching heat of Bali's midday sunlight.
Here's me saying hello to the aliens. Campuhan Ridge Walk is an excellent place to fly your own drone. I went on my own but in the event that you want to go on a guided walking tour, then you can reserve one through Get Your Guide.
Estimated Time to Spend: 2-3 hours / Admission: FREE
Go on an Instagram Tour
Ubud is a Instagrammer's paradise. If you are active on IG, then I'm sure you've seen dozens of scenic travel photos shot in Ubud and Bali.
What you see isn't trickery. It really is that amazing.
If you really ant to liven up your feed, then you might want to go on this Instagram highlights tour. It'll take you to popular photography spots like the Gates of Heaven (pictured below), Tirta Gangga, and also the Ubud rice terraces and jungle swings.
Woman posing at the Gate of Heaven at Bali
PHOTO:"Gate of Heaven" by Enrico Strocchi, utilized under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom
Take a Cooking Class
Ren's a fantastic cook so we attempt to make time for a single cooking course on each excursion. In Ubud we chose this superb cooking course at Paon Bali Cooking School at which we learned how to create courses Indonesian dishes such as sate, gado-gado, and pepes ikan. For me, there's no better way to find out about a new cuisine than to take a cooking class. It is like looking under a cuisine's hood.
If you are considering taking a cooking course in Ubud, then you can have a look at this list of Ubud cooking classes on Cookly.
Cooking class in Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Receive a Massage
Among the best things you can do at an island destination such as Bali would be to disconnect and relax, and the better way to get you in a more relaxed condition than a massage? Every time that I get a massage I almost instantly fall asleep, which can be perfectly fine in a location like this.
We had time to kill until our lunch reservation at Locavore therefore we randomly walked right into a reflexology center nearby and got a foot message. There are loads of massage centers in Ubud, however you are likely to get a better one in a proper spa.
You can choose from many options on Klook (Option 1 | Choice 2) and Access Your Guide.
Massage in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
As described, Ubud has become a mecca for yoga in Southeast Asia. If you have even the slightest interest in yoga, then you are probably going to need to do it .
Have a look at this superb article on all things yoga at Ubud for hints and insider hints.