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An aerial view of houses on the Ubud coastline near dawn.

Things to do in  Ubud

Welcome to Ubud

Set in Bali's verdant central foothills amid sculpted rice terraces and swaths of rain forest, Ubud is the island's cultural and spiritual center. Modern Ubud is something of an international hotspot, with a dizzying variety of outdoor activities, shopping spots, day spas, and restaurants serving world cuisine. But its picturesque temples and traditions were luring expats and travelers long before the era of “Eat, Pray, Love,” and Ubud remains proudly Balinese at heart. A village tour will take you to the grand Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Palace), the striking Saraswati Temple, and Ubud Monkey Forest Sanctuary—where you must keep a tight hold on your belongings; the resident macaques have no fear. While these sights should not be missed, Ubud’s lasting charms are its people and traditional culture. This is the place to experience authentic Balinese life: Try out a woodcarving or ceramic-making class; learn Balinese cooking; chat with locals at the market; and make sure to catch a Barong or Keris dance performance—usually accompanied by live gamelan music and drumming. Just an hour north of Denpasar and the international airport, Ubud makes an ideal inland retreat and perfect base from which to explore the highlands. Sacred Hindu sites such as the magnificent Tirta Empul Temple and Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) are popular day-trip stops, along with Petulu Village, famous for its droves of Kokokan birds. Explore the valley's rich art and handicraft heritage with private tours to nearby artisan villages like Batuan, Batubulan, and Celuk.

Top 15 attractions in Ubud

Ubud Monkey Forest (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary)

A Balinese Hindu site, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is populated by some 700 long-tailed Balinese macaques that live in and around the forest. The monkeys are believed to protect the area and the three Hindu temples within—Pura Dalem Agung, Pura Beji, and Pura Prajapati—from evil spirits.More

Tegenungan Waterfall (Air Terjun Tegenungan)

Not far from Ubud, Tegenungan Waterfall foams in a white cascade over black stone cliffs into a quiet pool. At around 66 feet (20 meters) high, it’s an impressive flow, and that’s not all the site has to offer. Besides climbable cliffs, a secret smaller waterfall, and simple food stalls, a charming grotto houses a sacred spring.More

Tegalalang Rice Terrace (Sawah Terasering Tegalalang)

The stunning Tegalalang Rice Terrace, part of the Cultural Landscape of Bali Province UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprises cascading emerald-green fields worked by local rice farmers. Just outside Ubud, it has become a destination for travelers making their way between Bali’s sandy beaches, towering mountains, and steaming volcanoes.More

Neka Art Museum

In Bali’s cultural capital, Ubud, the Neka Art Museum is one of the town’s big three art galleries. Founded by Suteja Neka, its airy pavilions are home to a treasure trove of Balinese and Indonesian art, as well as a collection of wavy daggers known as “keris.” The Balinese Painting Hall is a good place to explore the work of local artists.More

Tirta Empul Temple (Pura Tirta Empul)

Bali’s most popular sacred spring, Tirta Empul Temple dates back more than 1,000 years. Travelers from around the globe flock to its holy waters to bathe beside Balinese pilgrims; accept blessings from healers, priests, and shamans; or simply soak up the atmosphere. The temple is northeast of Ubud in Tampaksiring, not far from Gunung Kawi.More

Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah)

With a history dating back more than 1,000 years, one of Bali’s holiest Hindu sites (and most popular attractions) is a grotto covered in carvings of mythological creatures. While Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) has uncertain origins, it's believed that Hindu priests dug it out by hand to use as a hermitage.More

Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Agung)

Home of Ubud’s royal family since the late-19th century, Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Palace or Puri Saren Agung) sits in the heart of downtown Ubud near the traditional art market. Explore the pavilions and gardens. There are also traditional Balinese dance performances in the courtyard each evening, a must for any visitor to Indonesia.More

Campuhan Ridge Walk

The classically Balinese combo of rice fields and river gorges is what makes Ubud’s landscapes so beloved, and the Campuhan Ridge Walk, the best-known walk in Ubud, is the perfect way to appreciate them. Starting at Pura Gunung Lebah, choose between a 2-hour circular route around Campuhan and Sanggingan or a longer hike to Keliki and Taro.More

Celuk Village (Desa Celuk)

One of a cluster of craft villages in Bali’s Gianyar regency, Celuk is known as the “silver village” for its jewelry production. Artisans here create silver and gold jewelry and handicrafts in their homes and workshops as they have for centuries. A visit to Celuk gives travelers a chance to see the artisans in action and buy direct.More

Saraswati Temple (Pura Taman Saraswati)

Dedicated to the Hindu goddess of learning, wisdom, music, and art, Ubud’s Saraswati Temple is a beautiful spot for worshippers and visitors alike. Water gardens and lotus ponds flow up to the elegant structure, which is enriched with ornate carvings. The temple makes an atmospheric setting for Balinese dance performances.More

Batuan Temple (Pura Batuan)

Known for its distinctive painting style, the village of Batuan, outside Ubud, remains an artists’ community. Unsurprisingly, Batuan Temple is a classic piece of Balinese architecture, with split gates, stone guardians, thatched shrines, and detailed carvings. It’s one of three village temples dedicated to the gods of the Hindu trinity.More

Don Antonio Blanco Museum

Ubud’s Don Antonio Blanco Museum celebrates the colorful life and baroque-erotic work of Philippine-born Spanish artist Antonio Blanco. Blanco arrived in Bali in 1952 and married a famous Balinese dancer. Set on a hill amid elaborate gardens and an aviary, the museum’s architecture, a hybrid of Spanish and Indonesian influences, is a highlight.More

Mas Village (Desa Mas)

Probably the best known of the craft villages around Ubud, Mas Village is famous for its wood carvers, and it’s possible to pop into the workshops of mask-makers and sculptors around town. There are also a number of more formal galleries, such as Tony Raka, which has expanded beyond carvings into modern art and tribal pieces.More

Bali Zoo

Sprawling over 20 acres (8 hectares) of tropical forest and gardens, Bali Zoo is home to an eclectic mix of animals, including Indonesian favorites such as Sumatran elephants, Borneo orangutans, and babirusa pig-deer. Visitors are encouraged to get up close with experiences such as “breakfast with orangutans” and elephant encounters.More

Bali Bird Park (Taman Burung Bali)

Indonesia is home to more than 1,600 species of exotic birds, and many find their home at the Bali Bird Park. Ubud's top wildlife attraction hosts eight separate exhibits showcasing 250+ bird species from Papua, Sumatra, Bali, Java, Borneo, and beyond. Don't miss the bird-feeding sessions and free flight shows.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Ubud

How to Spend 2 Days in Ubud

How to Spend 1 Day in Ubud

How to Spend 1 Day in Ubud

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Recent reviews from experiences in Ubud

Fantastic full day
Gary_T, Mar. 2023
Ubud Tour - Best of Ubud - All Inclusive
The tour introduced us to all the things to see in the Ubud area.
Great adventure
Lukas_D, Feb. 2023
Ubud Tour - Best of Ubud - All Inclusive
I got to see all the cool Ubud places such as Monkey Forest, rice terrace and others.
Great tour and guide
Jess_H, Feb. 2023
Ubud: Swing - Monkey Forest - Waterfall - Temple - Rice Terraces - Art Crafts
I would book again for a tour, as I visited Ubud and some other locations, and had a safe and comfortable experience with an air-conditioned vehicle and an English-speaking driver.
Wonderful day!!
Ann_K, Oct. 2022
Ultimate Bali Countryside Cycling Adventure
We got to see parts of Bali that are not touristy.
Suuuper nice day away from the crowds
Tobias_H, Oct. 2022
Ultimate Bali Countryside Cycling Adventure
We got to see very different view on Bali, coming from slightly touristic Ubud.
Wonderful experience
Chris_J, Feb. 2023
Ubud Tour - Best of Ubud - All Inclusive
The tour allows you to see so many different landmarks in Ubud.
Nice flexible tour of sites near Ubud.
Joseph_P, Oct. 2022
Private Tour : Highlight of Ubud with All inclusive
Temple, waterfall, Monkey forest, and a short stop at woodworker studio.
Tour that can be changed to suit you!!
Rebecca_H, Mar. 2023
Best of Ubud: Monkey Forest, Temple, Waterfall, Rice Terrace & Art Villages
I feel as though we got to see the best of Ubud 100% catered to us.
We perform checks on reviews

A local’s pocket guide to Ubud

Author Theodora Sutcliffe looks to the side.
Theodora Sutcliffe

A freelance writer, Theodora has been based in Bali, on and off, for almost a decade and writes regularly about it and other Indonesian islands.

The first thing you should do in Ubud is...

go for a walk. Ubud is about the only place on Bali that’s easy to get around on foot, and the Campuhan Rice Field Walk is a great way to get out in nature.

A perfect Saturday in Ubud...

starts with a yoga class or a spa treatment, involves visiting an art gallery and at least one temple, and wraps up with dinner and drinks at one of the town’s top-notch eateries.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Ubud Monkey Forest. Between the jungle and the gorge and the macaques and the temple statues, it’s as atmospheric and photogenic as it looks.

To discover the "real" Ubud...

join a workshop or watch a dance performance at Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA). You can try your hand at everything from silversmithing to batik painting.

For the best view of the city...

Ubud’s best views are natural ones of rice terraces and river gorges. Visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace, join a walking tour of the terraces around Campuhan, or go for dinner or drinks beside the Sayan Gorge.

One thing people get wrong...

is dressing for the beach instead of for an inland town. While the popular temples all offer sarongs to cover up with, it's best to dress in street clothes instead of beachy ones while sightseeing.

People Also Ask

What is Ubud known for?

Ubud is known as Bali’s art and cultural capital, home to galleries, museums, temples, craft shops, an art market, and a palace, as well as bars, cafés, restaurants, and yoga studios. Travelers flock to Ubud Monkey Forest, a temple on a river gorge full of macaques, as well as to Balinese dance performances.

How long should I spend in Ubud?

Depending how long you have in Bali, Ubud is worth 2–5 days. A gallery, a temple, and a rice field hike are essential. Instagrammers love waterfalls such as Tibumana and Tegenungan; history buffs adore the 11th-century Gunung Kawi shrines; foodies won’t want to miss Locavore; while spiritual travelers will be transported.

How do you explore Ubud?

Unusually for Bali, central Ubud is compact enough to navigate on foot, although many of the sights are outside walking distance. Rules-based driving can prove dangerous in Balinese traffic, there’s little public transport, and rideshares are banned, so the safest option for exploring further afield is to hire a driver or join a tour.

What should an adventurous person do in Ubud?

One popular Ubud adventure combines white-water rafting the grade II-III rapids on the Ayung River with an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) backcountry trip. Other options include Hidden Canyon, a scramble through water, rocks, and waterfalls, and the Bali Swing, an Instagram favorite that sends you soaring high above jungle and rice fields.

What can you do in Ubud for a day trip?

The Kura-Kura bus links Ubud with some south Bali destinations. Without hiring a driver, you can easily explore Ubud Monkey Forest and Ubud Palace, eat Indonesian food at one of many excellent restaurants, discover Balinese art at the ARMA, Puri Lukisan, or NEKA galleries, and stroll the Campuhan Ridge Walk.

What is there to see in Ubud?

The Ubud area includes dazzling rice terraces—Tegalalang are most famous—dramatic waterfalls, and the craft villages of Celuk and Mas. Besides Ubud Monkey Forest, cultural sights include Tirta Empul, with its sacred springs, Gunung Kawi, with its ancient shrines, and Goa Gajah, a cave carved with elephants. There are a wealth of art galleries.


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