Find your inner serenity in Ubud – Bali’s exotic inland escape. With its wealth of cultural attractions, and health and wellness activities, it’s also a great base for exploring the island’s natural beauties. Wonder at the vivid green rice terraces, explore its jungles, trek its volcanoes, shop, or learn about Balinese life and culture.
The best way to discover the town is by bicycle or on foot. For example, the recently restored Gunung Lebah temple is easy walking distance from the central art market. Its intricate stonework is even more magical when lit up at night. The temple is also close to the well known Campuhan Hill Ridge with its scenic two kilometre walking trail.
Ubud’s Monkey Forest temple is in a gorgeous jungle and bamboo setting, complete with hoards of monkeys. Feeding them is not recommended. They can get aggressive if you’re carrying food, and they do bite! The monkeys also like to rifle through bags and pockets and are known to carry things off. Best keep your pockets empty and bags zipped.
Ubud is also the place to find the best of Bali’s traditional performance arts, like the authentic Legong dance performances at Ubud Palace. With dramatic lighting, costumes and gamelan orchestra accompaniment, they’re an unforgettable experience.
The art market in the centre of town is always thronging and a must for market and handicraft enthusiasts. Otherwise, many small workshops in and around the town sell silver wares, carvings, paintings and textiles. Plenty of neat, small shops sell clothes, homewares and plenty more. And if you’re not happy to merely watch the performances and buy the crafts, Ubud offers an incredible range of classes for visitors. Workshops and studios all over town teach dance, arts and crafts, yoga, meditation, cooking, and much more. Many also cater to children.
Relaxation is also an Ubud specialty, with dozens of spas offering luxurious massages and beauty treatments.
Visit in October for the internationally renowned Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.
Many local tour companies offer day trips to surrounding attractions, or hire a car with a driver. The 11th century Gunung Kawi stone shrines are cut into seven metre niches in a hillside, and adjacent to temples and gorgeous rice terraces. The atmospheric Ulun Danu Bratan temple, at the edge of Lake Bratan, is backed by a dramatic mountainscape. Don’t forget your camera, and perhaps an extra battery.
Golfers love the Bali Handara Kosaido golf club in the magnifient and mountainous Bedugul region. Join jungle and waterfall hikes, or have fun on a ziplining adventure through the treetops with the kids. Photograph the incredible shades of green of Jatiluwih rice terraces in Tabanan. Or perhaps take a sunrise trek to the top of Mt Agung, Bali’s highest point, for a spectacular vista that extends to the neighbouring island of Lombok.
Ubud is also an hour to ninety minutes drive from the attractions and activities of the popular Bali beaches of Kuta, Seminyak and Nusa Dua.
Ubud travel facts
Read our Bali Traveler’s Guide for info on entry visas, and best times of the year to visit.
Ubud is about 75 minutes drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar). Many of our holiday packages include airport transfers. Otherwise, some accommodations can arrange a pick up, but that can be more expensive than simply hiring a taxi from Denpasar airport. Look for the prepaid taxi desk just outside arrivals at the airport. Other taxis are known to overcharge.
Hire a car or van with a driver at a reasonable price for extended outings.