Bali is considered a favorite location for traveler’s due to beautiful beaches, affordable boutique hotels and resorts, delicious local food, friendly natives, and amazing culture make Bali an action-packed vacation with never a dull minute! There are so many activities it may be hard to pack everything into one trip. But, were are making it easy on you by sharing the top things to do in Ubud.
Bali, Indonesia is a very popular destination for honeymooners, but it also attracts digital nomads and travelers attracted by cultural and spiritual sites that are available in an affordable location. The world-class surfing, lush rice terraces, exquisite temples are just a few reasons to make a visit.
How To Spend One Perfect Day in Bali
If you are going to Bali, your trip would not be complete without some time in Ubud. Located about an hour from the airport, Ubud is considered by many as the cultural center of Bali. Here you can find many temples to visit, local art galleries and street markets full of authentic Balinese crafts and goods.
Here are my recommendations on how to spend a perfect day in this beautiful island paradise.
Things To Do in Ubud For a Perfect Day
There are many activities to consider while staying in Bali. Surf n sand, sightseeing, volcano trekking, fishing, snorkeling, shopping, taking in the local culture and wildlife, touring rice terraces to name a few.
Go To The Beach
One of the main reasons Bali is so popular is the beaches. There are several beaches that are close to Ubud that allow for easy access. Keramas Beach is the closest beach to Ubud, taking about 30 minutes to get there on a motorbike. Not only is it close by, but it is beautiful and is not anywhere near as busy as some beaches in Bali.
Visit the Monkey Forest
The UBUD Monkey Forest, also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, is considered a natural forest sanctuary and home to over 750 monkeys, 186 species of trees in 12.5 hectares of forest.
You can stroll along the paved pathways through the tropical nutmeg forest while you watch monkeys in their natural habitat. They will keep you entertained while swinging through canopies, eating bananas right off the banana trees, and interacting as families talking and grooming their young.
Stroll Along the Ubud Traditional Art Market
One of the most famous art markets in Ubud, this market was featured in the movie, Eat, Pray Love starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. If you’re looking for an authentic market experience that doesn’t have the same standard tourist items, this is your place.
Located in front of the Ubud Royal Palace, the market has something for everyone and you can find a great deal by negotiating the final price with local vendors. The items are unique and are of a higher quality made by local artisans so when you make a purchase, you are helping to promote the local Balinese culture.
Also within walking distance of the art market and the monkey sanctuary is Puri Saren Royal Palace where in the evenings, locals perform traditional Balinese dances on its open stage.
Goa Gajah Elephant Cave
Created in the 9th century, Goa Gajah is a sanctuary with an elephant like carved figure guarding the entrance, likely to ward off evil spirits. The cave is fairly small but is surrounded by a courtyard with additional carvings.
Swim at the Tibumana Waterfall
This secluded waterfall is located close to the Tegalalang Rice Terrace and is surrounded by lush tropical jungle. There are worn paths and it’s about a 10-minute walk down to the waterfall once you enter the park.
The Tibumana is the largest waterfall in Ubud and is also one of the best hidden gems in the area. If you are looking for solitude, the waterfall is quiet and secluded. A temple is located onsite and the landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. There are many different species of birds, butterflies, plants, and flowers. You can hear the soothing sound of the waterfall along the trek downward. The water is cool and a great spot to swim. Enjoy this amazing natural site!
Visit the Tegalalang Rice Terrace
The Tegalalang Rice Terrace is one of Bali’s most famous true tourist attractions, attracting visitors from all over the world… Panoramic views of the terraces provide an amazing experience. It is actually an irrigation system locals call Subak, dating back to the 8th century.
Take in the lush greenery, amazing views, and stroll down all the different levels, and make new memories by taking lots of photos, especially swinging over the edge for the perfect Instagram post. The best time to arrive is early before 10 am or at sunset to avoid the tour buses and crowds.
The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are about 9km north of Ubud and about a half an hour’s drive. From the main Ubud art market, head east to the large statue intersection and head further up north.
Best Hotels in Ubud
When it comes to accommodation in Ubud, there’s everything from beautiful guesthouses, cheap hostels, affordable hotels, to luxurious jungle retreats, decadent spas.
For backpackers and those on a budget looking for low-cost places to stay for a night or two, you can find homestays, hostels and budget accommodation in the Ubud area from around USD $11 a night. The most popular budget hotels are Ojek’s Homestay, Pangkung Sari, Kenari Guest House, and Ketut’s Place.
If you’re seeking luxury, you’ll find many five-star hotels offering high-class facilities and services, making your stay more inviting. The popular choices of luxury hotels include, but not limited to, Kayumanis Ubud Private Villa & Spa, COMO Uma Ubud, Bali and of course the uber-luxurious Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan.
The best time to Ubud
Bali is a good year-round destination. There is a wet season but it can still be a fine time to visit Bali. If you want to save money the best months to visit Ubud are May, June, and October.
The weather in July & August (peak season) is sunny and very warm during the day, and generally clear and cool in the evenings.
Fun Facts About Bali, Indonesia
- Bali is home to the most expensive coffee in the world. This coffee is called Kopi Luwak and is made from the beans of the digestion of the Civat Cat.
- Even though Bali is famous for pristine, sandy white beaches it is also home to incredibly stunning black volcanic sand beaches.
- Most Balinese people have one of these four names: Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut. It simply means “firstborn”, “second born”, “third-born” and “fourth born”.
- Bali only has two seasons: dry season (from April until October) and wet season (from October until April).
- The Balinese calendar only counts 210 days. Traditionally, they follow a calendar which has its origins in Hindu religion.
Check out this article for 52 More Reasons to Visit Indonesia
Ubud Day Trips & Tours
I love to do a combination of exploring on my own as well as a few organized tours when I travel. I love to learn about the history and culture in a new location and tours with local experts is a great way to do this. I recommend Get Your Guide because you can cancel most bookings for free up to 24 hours before they start and their customer service is available 24/7 in multiple languages.
A few Top Tours in Ubud, Bali
It’s hard to have a bad day in Ubud, but with a little planning, you can have a perfect day! How would you spend a day in Ubud?
Recommended Travel Resources
- Travel Insurance: World Nomads.
- Transport: AirfareWatchDog and Skyscanner (Best Sites to Research Flight Prices)
- Accommodation: Hotels.com and Orbitz
- Airbnb, Sign up here for a $40 credit.
- Top Ubud Hotel Reviews: TripAdvisor
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Dan Bagby is passionate about food and travel and enjoys writing about it on his blog, HoneymoonAlways, a couples site dedicated to helping couple travel more to stay in or reconnect to their honeymoon phase.