Ubud Travel Guide: 30 Best Things To Do In Ubud Bali

No trip to Bali would be complete without a visit to Ubud, the artistic and cultural capital of the island!

Ubud is full of interesting markets, palaces, jungles, and temples to see, and of course lots of great cafes, restaurants and comfy luxury hotels.

After you’ve exhausted all of the top things to do in Ubud, there are even more waterfalls and rice terraces to see in the nearby areas of Gianyar and Bangli, which can be reached in 15 minutes.

Here’s my Ubud travel guide, with a list of 30 of the very best things to do in Ubud, Bali!


Where To Stay
 
Bali Private Driver & Motorbike Rental

If you want to explore Bali in the comfort and safety of a private car with a driver, my top recommendation would be Klook.

Their price is 450k IDR ($30 USD) for a full day of driving and sightseeing in Bali (up to 10 hours) for 1-5 passengers. That's the total price for the whole car + driver + petrol! It's a steal.

If you'd rather travel by motorbike, they have that too. Their scooter rentals start at 85k IDR (~$6) and include a helmet, rain coat, and pickup in the south Bali area.

We've used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great! Highly recommended.

Book Now: Bali Private Driver / Scooter Rental
 

Best Things To Do In Ubud Bali
1. Monkey Forest Sanctuary

First things first: the monkeys!

Swing by the famous Ubud monkey forest for a funny experience getting your pic taken with the Balinese macaques.

There are hundreds of them living in the jungle here, and they’re (mostly) friendly to outsiders.

More info: Ubud Monkey Forest


 

2. Ubud Market

Just up the street from the monkey forest, you’ll find the Ubud art market.

It’s full of interesting handmade souvenirs like wood carvings, paintings, coconut bowls, rattan hats and bags, and everything else you can imagine.

Feel free to haggle for lower prices, because some of the sellers here start a bit on the high side.

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3. Local Cafes

Ubud has great restaurants and cafes everywhere you look.

A lot of places serve familiar Western foods and fresh fruit juices (including smoothie bowls), but don’t forget to try the local Indonesian dishes too, like chicken satay and nasi goreng.

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4. Balinese Massage

Practically every third building in Ubud is a massage shop.

Balinese massage is fantastic and the prices can be very affordable, at 150k Rupiah ($10 USD) or less for a 1 hour body massage.

It’s the perfect way to unwind after a full day of hiking or touring.

Bali massage
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5. Ubud Royal Palace

On the corner of the Ubud town center is this fancy palace from the 1800s, with amazing Balinese stone carvings and courtyards. It’s a quick stop (15 minutes) but very worthwhile!

More info: Ubud Royal Palace


 

6. Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Bali’s most famous rice terraces are at Tegalalang, just a 15 minute drive north of Ubud. There are foot paths to walk through the whole valley and see the terraces up close.

More info: Tegalalang Rice Terraces


 

7. Bali Elephant Sanctuary

Mason Elephant Park is a rescue park opened in 1997, and they do a lot of great conservation work for the Sumatran elephants, which are critically endangered on their home island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

We had a great experience here, and I have to say every aspect of the park is very well managed and nicely maintained. The elephants are happy and healthy, and you can tell they love the attention from humans.

The park is a 30 minute drive from Ubud.

More info: Mason Elephant Park

    
elephant sanctuary bali elephant bali mason elephant park
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Ubud Temples
8. Saraswati Temple

The Saraswati water temple is in central Ubud and it has some of the coolest wall patterns and carvings you’ll see in Bali. The doors are insanely detailed and elaborate. Flowers, dragons, demon figures, and more.

More info: Saraswati Temple


 

9. Pura Dalem Temple

This is another temple in central Ubud and it’s known for having some of the most bizarre and intricate statues of any of the Bali temples. Creepy demon goddesses, lions, and other creatures stare back at you here.

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10. Goa Gajah Elephant Cave

This is one of the oldest temples I’ve visited in Ubud, and also one of the weirdest. The doorway to the cave is really bizarre and unique, and it feels like you’re walking into the belly of some underground rock monster.

More info: Goa Gajah Temple


 

11. Samuan Tiga Temple

This is a big temple from the 10th century between Ubud and Gianyar, just 800 yards from the Goa Gajah temple or a 10 minute drive from central Ubud. This temple is unusually quiet and only a few tourists seem to know about it, but it’s popular for Hindu ceremonies.

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Ubud Waterfalls
12. Layana Waterfall

This is one of the easiest waterfalls to visit in Ubud. Layana is just a 10 minute drive from the Ubud town center.

As an added bonus, there’s a warung above the waterfall where you can eat with the view — but it’s totally optional, you don’t have to order anything to visit the falls.

More info: Layana Waterfall


 

13. Tibumana Waterfall

Tibumana used to be a secret waterfall, but it’s exploded in the last couple years and now every Instagrammer comes here. It’s still worth a visit!

More info: Tibumana Waterfall


 

14. Pengibul Waterfall

This is another free waterfall just 500 yards from the entrance to Tibumana. It’s a small 2-step waterfall with no crowds, and you can reach it in 5-10 minutes.

More info: Pengibul Waterfall


 

15. Goa Rang Reng Waterfall

Watch out for slippery rocks! Goa Rang Reng has 3 different waterfalls, but my favorite is the first one, a big sloped cascade that looks like a natural Slip N Slide.

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16. Kanto Lampo Waterfall

Kanto Lampo is a cascade of waterfalls running over the rocks into a natural pool below. As an added bonus, you get to see some creepy carvings in the rock walls nearby.

This is a really nice waterfall and I’d definitely rate it as one of the best things to do in Ubud!

More info: Kanto Lampo Waterfall


 

17. Tegenungan Waterfall

Tegenungan is the busiest and most touristy waterfall in Bali. Don’t go here to escape the crowds, but it’s still a nice spot for lunch, and chances are you’ll be driving past it at some point anyway!

More info: Tegenungan Waterfall


 
 

Other Top Things To Do Near Ubud
18. Kemenuh Butterfly Park

This is a small park with hundreds of butterflies, but the best part is getting to hold an Atlas Moth, the biggest moth in the world. They also have giant stick bugs from Borneo.

More info: Kemenuh Butterfly Park


 

19. Bali Zoo

The Bali Zoo has a lot of great wildlife, including some species that are local to Indonesia. You can get your picture taken with tropical birds here, and the park facilities and animal care seem to be top notch too.

More info: Bali Zoo Review + Photos


 

20. Bali Bird Park & Reptile Park

This park has more than 1,000 birds and reptiles ranging from tropical parrots to Komodo dragons. The grounds have an ancient ‘Angkor Wat’ theme that fits perfectly with the wildlife, and everything is very well managed.

Red parrot and green parrot at the Bali Zoo
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21. Mas Wood Carving

Balinese wood carvings are some of the best in Southeast Asia, and the carvers at Mas village are known for being some of the very highest quality. Warning though, some of these can be very pricey. Research and haggle before you buy.

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22. Goa Giri Campuhan Waterfall

The Bangli area has lots of great waterfalls and it’s not far from Ubud. Start with Goa Giri Campuhan waterfall, in the north. This one is hidden and you have to sneak through a couple of cool caves to reach it.

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23. Goa Garba

This is an ancient cave temple and 12th century archaeological site in Pejeng village.

Goa Garba was a school and place of study for the Balinese kings and their children. Today, it’s a peaceful hidden spot in the jungle where you can see some ruins and escape the tourist crowds.

More info: Goa Garba


 

24. Gunung Kawi Ruins

Of course I can’t do an Ubud travel guide without mentioning Gunung Kawi!

In my opinion, this is one of the most unique and interesting temples in Bali. Gunung Kawi is actually an underground temple carved into the side of a cliff. It’s an 11th century temple, and the age of everything here is obvious when you look at it.

More info: Gunung Kawi Temple


 

25. Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple

The name and location of this temple is very close to Gunung Kawi, but this one is not near as famous. This is a water temple with a nice jungle setting.

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26. Tirta Empul Spring

This is one of the most well known temples near Ubud, partly because of the Hindu holy spring where visitors (including tourists) are allowed to bathe and pray, if that’s your thing.

More info: Tirta Empul Temple

  
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27. Batuan Temple

This is an ancient 10th century temple located in Batuan village, halfway between Ubud and Sanur. The whole temple grounds are open to tourists, and a lot of the buildings and carvings are different from what you normally see at other Balinese temples.

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28. Sangeh Monkey Forest

The Sangeh Monkey Forest is another protected jungle area in central Bali with hundreds of friendly (but wild) monkeys to play with.

If the Ubud Monkey Forest is too crowded for your liking, you might want to check out the one in Sangeh instead. It’s only 30 minutes from Ubud, but it’s quieter, cheaper, and less crowded.

More info: Sangeh Monkey Forest


 

29. Taman Ayun Temple

I think this is one of the best temples in Bali — very photogenic, but away from the major tourist areas so it doesn’t get too crowded. Taman Ayun is pretty close to Abiansemal and the Sangeh Monkey Forest.

More info: Taman Ayun Temple


 

30. Mount Batur Sunrise Trek

The Mount Batur hike in east Bali is a popular day trip from Ubud, especially for sunrise, where you can catch epic morning views from the top of an active volcano!

More info: Mount Batur Sunrise Trek

When To Visit Ubud Bali

The best time to visit Ubud depends on what you’re looking for:

☁ Bali’s rainy season runs from November to April. The weather during the day can be hot and humid at 90-95 F (32-35 C), but it’s less crowded during this time, and the rain is mostly at night.

☀ From May to August, the temps are cooler, and it’s more breezy and sunny. This is the windy season and it’s the nicest weather. It’s also the high season for tourists, so it’s generally more crowded.

With the exception of the waterfalls (which sometimes dry up near the end of the windy season), you can experience any of the other sights in this Ubud travel guide all year round!

Gunung Kawi Ruins
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Gunung Kawi Ruins near Ubud
Monkey crossing caution sign at the Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali
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I love this sign. It’s so authentically ‘Bali’. I want to hang it in my living room.
More Bali Travel Tips

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best things to do in Ubud Bali!

We plan to add more tips to this Ubud travel guide in the future, so check back later.

Don’t forget to check out my complete Bali Travel Guide for more tips, info, and photos!

Ubud Hotels
 
Bali Private Driver & Motorbike Rental

If you want to explore Bali in the comfort and safety of a private car with a driver, my top recommendation would be Klook.

Their price is 450k IDR ($30 USD) for a full day of driving and sightseeing in Bali (up to 10 hours) for 1-5 passengers. That's the total price for the whole car + driver + petrol! It's a steal.

If you'd rather travel by motorbike, they have that too. Their scooter rentals start at 85k IDR (~$6) and include a helmet, rain coat, and pickup in the south Bali area.

We've used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great! Highly recommended.

Book Now: Bali Private Driver / Scooter Rental

See Also