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Exploring Cultural Heart of Bali: A Guide to Ubud

Updated 04 Jul 2024
Guide to Ubud

Ubud isn’t just a destination, it’s an experience. Located in the heart of the greenery of Bali, surrounded by lush rice terraces and rolling hills, Ubud is where Bali’s soul truly shines. It doesn’t matter if you’re after an adventure, some peaceful yoga under starry skies, or just want to dive into the rich culture, Ubud will always be a special place for everyone who visits.

Top Must-See Spots in Ubud

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

tegallalang for honeymoon

Imagine a green landscape, with steps of rice paddies stretching to the horizon. That’s Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Walk along the paths and admire the hard work of Balinese farmers. It’s a perfect spot for photos, so don’t forget your camera! This destination is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site so please be mindful and don’t litter (this advice also applies to wherever you go on this island).

Read more: Top 10 Beautiful Scenic Spots to Propose in Bali

Monkey Forest

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Get ready to meet some cheeky residents! The Sacred Monkey Forest is home to hundreds of grey macaques. Wander through ancient temples hidden in the lush forest, but watch out for the monkeys—they’re known for their playful theft! so we advise you to take care of your small belongings such as glasses, smartphones or pouches.

Tirta Empul Temple

Tirta Empul Temple

Step into the spiritual heart of Bali at Tirta Empul Temple. This water temple is where locals perform purification rituals in the holy spring baths. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and the serene beauty of this sacred place. Since this place is a sacred temple, you might be required to wear a sarong, which you should be able to purchase at the entrance.

Campuhan Ridge Walk

bukit campuhan ubud

Put on your walking shoes and explore the Campuhan Ridge Walk. This scenic path winds through greenery, offering stunning views of the valley. Breathe in the fresh air and consider visiting at sunrise or sunset for a magical experience. Bring your own bottled water so that you can keep hydrated during your walk here.

Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Agung)

Puri Saren Agung

Visit the Ubud Palace to see Balinese culture and history up close. The palace, with its beautiful carvings and traditional design, is a sight to behold. In the evenings, you can enjoy traditional Balinese dance performances here.

Experience Ubud’s Essence

Yoga and Wellness

Ubud is a paradise for yoga and wellness lovers. From open-air studios with rice field views to peaceful retreats in nature, there’s something for everyone. Start your day with a yoga session and let your worries melt away.

Spa Treatments

Treat yourself to a traditional Balinese massage or a relaxing holistic therapy at one of Ubud’s famous spas. These treatments will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to explore more.

Art and Craft Workshops

Tap into your creative side at a Balinese arts and crafts workshop. Try batik dyeing, wood carving, or silverwork with local artisans. You’ll leave with a beautiful handmade souvenir and a deeper appreciation for Balinese art.

Culinary Adventures

Explore Balinese cuisine by visiting local warungs (eateries). Try babi guling (roast suckling pig), bebek betutu (spiced duck), and nasi campur (mixed rice with various toppings). Don’t be afraid to try new flavors—you’ll love it!

The Best Time to Visit Ubud

Ubud is great year-round, but the dry season (April to October) has the best weather. Check out cultural festivals like the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival or the Bali Spirit Festival for a mix of books, yoga, music and dance.

Getting to Ubud

Getting to Ubud is easy. Fly into Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport and take a taxi, a private transfer, or use a ride-hailing app. In Ubud, you can stay in luxurious resorts with rice paddy views, budget guesthouses with a local vibe, or private villas in the greenery. Some accommodation also provides airport pickup service, so we suggest you ask about it when you book your accommodation.

Read more: Ubud, Seminyak & Nusa Dua : Ultimate Bali Trifecta

Accommodation Options for Every Traveler

Ubud offers a stay to suit every taste and budget. Ranging from luxurious indulgence, a social hostel vibe, or a tranquil retreat, here’s a quick guide to Ubud’s diverse accommodation scene:

Luxury Escape

Immerse yourself in paradise at Ubud’s renowned luxury resorts. Imagine private infinity pools overlooking rice paddies, pampering spa treatments, and impeccable service. Check out the Viceroy Bali or COMO Shambhala Estate for an unforgettable experience.

Boutique Bliss

For a more intimate and stylish stay, Ubud boasts a fantastic selection of boutique hotels. Expect personalized service, unique design touches, and a relaxed atmosphere. Consider Adiwana Bisma Ubud or Bisma Eight for a charming stay in the heart of Ubud.

Budget-Friendly Stays

Ubud caters to budget travelers too! Cozy guesthouses and hostels offer comfortable accommodations at affordable prices. Ubud Tropical, with its dorms and social atmosphere, is a great option for meeting fellow travelers.

Nature’s Embrace

Ubud’s stunning rice paddies provide an opportunity for unique eco-friendly stays. Choose from bamboo villas nestled amidst the greenery or charming bungalows overlooking the Ubud countryside. Look for eco-lodges promoting sustainable practices.

Accommodation tip: When picking your Ubud accommodation, consider your travel style, budget, and desired location. Ubud offers something for everyone, from the heart of the action to a quiet escape surrounded by nature.

Exploring Beyond the Tourist Spots

Ubud’s magic goes beyond the main attractions. Here are some off-the-beaten-path destinations we encourage you to visit:

  • Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave): An ancient cave temple with carvings of mythical creatures. It’s a peek into Bali’s rich history.
  • Tegallalang Village: Visit this village to see daily Balinese life. Walk through markets, meet friendly locals, and see traditional customs.
  • Cooking Class: Join a cooking class to learn how to make Balinese dishes from scratch with fresh, local ingredients.

Ubud is a place that will stay with you forever. Whether you’re looking to dive into culture, seek adventure, or just relax, Ubud has something special for everyone. Pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and get ready to explore the heart of Bali in Ubud.

Read more: Canggu vs Ubud, Which One Should You Visit First When in Bali

Frequently Asked Questions About Ubud

1. How many days should I spend in Ubud?

Ubud itself can be explored in a couple of days, but if you want to delve deeper into the surrounding areas like rice terraces, waterfalls, and temples, plan for a longer stay. Five days is a good amount of time to experience the town and take day trips.

2. What are the must-do activities in Ubud?

Ubud offers a delightful mix of nature, culture and relaxation. Hike scenic trails, explore temples like the Monkey Forest or Elephant Cave, immerse yourself in Balinese culture with a dance performance or cooking class and unwind with a spa treatment.

3. Where should I stay in Ubud?

The ideal location depends on your preferences. If you want to be close to the main attractions like the monkey forest, Royal Palace and art markets, stay central. Ubud is quite walkable, but traffic can get busy. Consider areas within 5km of the intersection of Jalan Raya Ubud and Jalan Raya Monkey Forest Road for easy access.

4. What’s the best way to get around Ubud?

Walking is a great way to explore the central areas of Ubud. For venturing further afield, you can rent a scooter, which is a popular and affordable option in Bali. Taxis and ride-sharing apps are also readily available.

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rifka arianti

rifka arianti

Journeying through life with a camera in hand, Rifka Setia Arianti is a passionate explorer of the world's diverse landscapes. Currently settled in Bali as a web designer, her lens captures the essence of her travels, weaving together a tapestry of stories that encapsulate her love for both photography and adventure.

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