If you’re planning to visit Bali, but don’t know what to expect, where to go in Bali or what to do in Bali this is the post for you.
Any trip to Bali would be incomplete without a visit to Ubud. This is the heart and soul of the country (in my opinion) and when you’re there, you feel transported to the Bali you imagined.
The one from Eat, Pray, Love that inspired so many people to come to this little island. Ubud is the best place to visit in Bali because it’s full of Indonesian culture, fitted with amazing temples and lush forests – quite the opposite of places like Seminyak and Kuta where it’s very Western, full of shops, brunch spots and beach clubs.
Ubud is easily one of my fave places in the world and there is so much to do! Here are 17 things to do in Ubud, Bali.
1. Visit the Monkey Forest
There are so many things to do in Ubud, but this should be the first on your list. I was really scared to go here because of the horror stories I heard about the monkeys being really aggressive and crazy.
I didn’t spring for the rabies vaccination because it was really expensive and generally unnecessary unless you’re going to really rural areas.
I heard stories of people getting bitten and a guy I met while traveling even got attacked by one!
Naturally, the night before we planned to go I googled stories about monkey attacks in Monkey Forest – which only added to my ridiculous fear. Like all animals and generally everyone, if you don’t bother them, they wont bother you – but I definitely kept my distance and avoided eye contact 😐
There were lots of people feeding them and letting them climb on top of their heads and shoulders but not me! I tried to get a selfie with them but I didn’t want to get too close so it just looked weird lol.
2. have Lunch at Dirty Duck (Bebek Bengil)
After exploring the Monkey Forest, talk a short walk and have lunch at Dirty Duck – Bebek Bengil restaurant located at Jalan Hanoman, Padangtegal, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia.
The food was amazing and the ambience was incredible. You’ll be seated under a beautiful hut, sit down tables and surrounded by flowers, trees and a beautiful garden located in the middle of the restaurant. SOOO beautiful.
3. visit Jungle Fish Restaurant
Jungle Fish features a huge infinity pool over looking a vast green forest. Looking out was amazing and makes for a pretty sweet background too.
They serve food and drinks here and is one of the most beautiful places in Ubud to relax and enjoy nature.
4. Visit Goa Gajah (The Elephant Temple)
I really loved the Goa Gajah temple in Ubud. The cave is carved with creepy looking creatures and the primary creature was once thought to be an elephant, hence the name: Elephant cave.
You can enter the cave and get some awesome pics! But my favorite part was exploring the rest of the grounds.
There is a jungle to explore as well as a small market where people were creating the art right in front of you.
There’s also a fountain where people believe it’s Holy water and they sip some and pray for blessings there.
5. Visit Tegalalang rice terrace.
From what other traveler’s have told me, the Tegalalang rice terrace in Ubud is absolutely breathtaking. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to go there on this trip but here are some pics!
6. Explore the city’s many temples
There are so many temples in Ubud, just take your pick. The architecture, statues and intricate details of Balinese temples are starkly different than the other temples I saw while traveling through South East Asia in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Just make sure you go to the Pura Taman Saraswati. It’s the most beautiful temple I’ve ever seen. Located in the heart of Ubud, it honors the Goddess of knowledge, literature and art.
You will definitely want tons of pictures here so don’t forget your camera!
7. Get a Massage
As you walk along Monkey Forest road (yes, the road is literally named Monkey Forest Rd. creative, I know :P) there will be tons of women asking if you want a massage.
It’s hard to know which place is a good one so just go and check it out before deciding to do it. For $6-$12 you really can’t go wrong!
8. Buy some cool art and wood work
Ubud has a huge art scene. There are art markets where you can get some truly unique and beautiful pieces for a fraction of the cost as back home in North America.
You should haggle if the price seems outrageaous, but keep in mind that this art is hand made. It takes time, patience and craftsmanship. Never try to undercut or devalue their work either.
9. Watch a Kecak Fire and Trance Dance Show
Spend an evening in Ubud enjoying a traditional dance performance call the “Kecak Fire Show.” The performances are usually approximately 1.5 hours and tickets can be purchased near Ubud palace. Even if you don’t really care for the performing arts, the costumes alone are worth going to see.
10. Have dinner at Café Lotus and enjoy a free traditional Balinese dance show
The show starts at 7:30pm nightly. Reserve seats early to get a closer view. The performance is on stage in front of the Pura Saraswati temple which is the backdrop of Lotus café.
From the restaurant, you won’t get a close view, but you will be able to see it. If you really want to just see the dance, you can purchse tickets for this show for 80,000 IDR.
11. Order Rainbow shots at CP Lounge.
I don’t care if you’re alone and you think this is too many shots. DO IT. The shots aren’t that strong to be honest but the show is amazing. It cost 150,000 IDR and is worth every rupiah.
They light them all on fire after making the rainbow shots!
12. Listen to live music and enjoy shisha at Shisha XL lounge.
When we went there were two girls who performed and sounded AMAZING. It’s a huge place, has a really relaxed atmosphere and is a lot of fun.
13. Do a yoga session at the Yoga Barn or anywhere really.
At The Yoga Barn, it costs 130,000 IDR per class. Come early for the class you want to take as they don’t sell tickets. It’s first come, first serve and they’re usually packed. There are several outdoor studios, a juice bar and a full restaurant.
14. Try the food at the local warung’s.
A warung is a small family-owned business usually a small, modest restaurant or cafe in Indonesia. You should definitely give them a try because we got some of the best and most inexpensive food at every Warung we went to.
There usually weren’t many people in it, probably because they usually didn’t really look too appealing, but the food was so good!
Any place I can get a full meal with a beer for less than $5 is where I want to be! It also felt good to know that we were supporting local businesses and not some business with an international owner.
15. Take a traditional Balinese cooking class
16. Do a bike tour along the country side.
17. Go White Water Rafting!
Bali Adventure Tours is the white water rafting tour group that google was pointing us too because it had great reviews so we looked for that one first. Unfortunately, that one wasn’t available at most tour shops and cost double the price.
We found out that was because it was Australian owned and the cheaper rafting companies were Indonesian owned. We chose to go with a local company called “Ubud Adventure Rafting” and we got it for only 700,000 IDR for both tickets!
$35 CDN each! It even included lunch, pick up and drop off. We saw an amazing carved wall, stood under a water fall, rafted down some rapids and swam in the river while the current took us down stream. It was a lot of fun.
There are the 17 Best things to do in Ubud, Bali. I hope that it helps in planning your trip and that you get to enjoy this beautiful city to the fullest! Good luck, and happy travels!
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