Located in the Gianyar Regency in the center of Bali, Ubud is the cultural and spiritual capital of Bali. This village is one of the most traditional of the island and also one of the best known among the tourists who visit Bali. If you want to dive into the Balinese culture and life, Ubud is a must-stop on your trip to the Island of the Gods. On this page we have put together the main points of interest of Ubud and a map with the location of each one of them.
HOW TO GET TO UBUD
From the airport
Ubud is located 36 kilometers from Denpasar airport (Ngurah Rai) and it takes about an hour to get there, depending on the traffic. The best options for getting from the airport to Ubud are by taxi or by car with a driver. The price for a taxi from the airport to Ubud is approximately 300,000 IDR (less than €20) and for a private driver you will be charged more or less the same, but you will have to negotiate.
Another option would be to go by bus, but you will have to go to Kuta first and from there take another bus to Ubud. The public bus that goes from the airport to Kuta is from the company Trasarbagita and it passes with a frequency of 40 minutes during the whole day. This journey costs 3500 IDR (€0.25) which is paid to the driver and it takes approximately 30 minutes. The bus from Kuta to Ubud costs 60,000 IDR (€3.5) and it takes about an hour. The companies that provide this service are Perama Tours and Kura Kura and tickets can be purchased on the 12go.asia website.
WHAT TO SEE IN UBUD
Ubud Palace or Puri Saren Agung
The Ubud Palace, also called Puri Saren Agung, is located in the center of Ubud, in one of the main streets of this village. The Ubud Palace was built in 1800 but suffered great damage due to an earthquake and was refurbished in 1917. It is currently the royal residence, but you can visit the interior courtyard. The entrance to the palace is free and it is open from 8:00 to 19:00. Every night, Balinese dance performances are held in the central courtyard of the palace. If you want to enjoy an authentic experience, attending one of these shows is one of the things that cannot be missed in your stay in Ubud. Tickets for the shows are sold at the door of the palace and cost 100,000 IDR (around €5) per person.
Ubud Art Market
The Ubud Art Market is one of the most visited places by tourists. The Ubud market consists of several streets full of hundreds of stalls where they sell crafts, clothing, souvenirs, and food. Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, walking around the Ubud Art Market is an activity you can’t miss on your visit to Ubud. Here you can see how the Balinese work, how they make different decorative pieces, paintings and much more. The Ubud market is usually quite full of people, so we recommend that you visit it early in the morning. Also, after walking around the market you can continue your visit to the Ubud Palace and the Taman Saraswati temple, which are very close by.
Taman Saraswati Temple
The Taman Saraswati temple, also called the Lotus Garden, is certainly the most beautiful temple in Ubud. The Taman Saraswati temple is located in a garden with two ponds full of lotus flowers and is one of the most famous postcards of Ubud. This temple is dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, culture, and all arts. Every year, in her honor, the Saraswati festival is celebrated with the blessing of books.
Located in a secret location, hidden behind the famous Café Lotus restaurant, this temple is one of the most spectacular places in Ubud. It is unlikely that you will arrive at Pura Taman Saraswati by chance, as it is not visible from the street, but if you take the cafe as a reference you will find it without any problem. In addition, this temple is located very close to the Ubud Palace and the market, so you can use the walk in the area to visit all three sites in one morning.
The entrance to the Saraswati temple is free and it is open from 7:00 to 17:00. In the evenings there are also Balinese dance shows in the courtyard of this temple.
One of the best-known attractions in Ubud is the Monkey Forest. Monkey Forest is a tropical forest, a small jungle in the area of Ubud. Inside you can see hundreds of long-tailed macaques, a temple and a river to walk by.
If you want to make a complete visit to the Monkey Forest and also visit Pura Dalem Agung, the temple that is inside. The visit will take about two hours to complete. Monkey Forest is open every day from 8:30 to 18:00 and the entrance fee is 50,000 IDR (approximately €3).
Monkeys are quite unpredictable animals and certain precautions should be taken when visiting Monkey Forest:
- Don’t wear shiny objects like glasses or jewelry as these attract the attention of the monkeys and are more likely to be ripped off.
- Don’t carry food in your bag or backpack as the monkeys will smell it and will try to get it at all costs.
- Do not touch or hold the monkeys. No matter how cute they are and how much you want to cuddle them, it’s better to keep a distance as they are very unpredictable and can steal or even attack you at any time.
- Never look the monkeys directly in the eye. This is a challenge for them and they may jump at you.
- Don’t feed the monkeys. This rule applies not only to the Monkey Forest but to any place where there are animals in the wild. Wild animals are used to finding their own food and feeding them disrupts their natural habits.
- If a monkey jumps on you, don’t panic, act normally and it will go away if you don’t pay attention to it.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Campuhan Ridge Walk, also known as the Palm Tree Trail, is one of the must-see places on your visit to Ubud. This trail runs between rice fields and landscapes full of vegetation and is a route of approximately 2 kilometers where you can make an easy walk. Along the path, there are several cafes where you can stop for a drink and rest. The Campuhan Ridge Walk begins next to Ibah Villas and ends next to Karsa Kafe, although you can also do it the other way around, depending on where you are staying in Ubud.
We recommend walking along this trail at sunrise or sunset in order to enjoy beautiful views of the rice fields. In addition, this path does not have much shade, so on a sunny day, you may be very warm if you go at midday. Campuhan Ridge Walk is an all-weather trail and you don’t have to be in great shape to walk it.
Pura Gunung Lebah
Pura Gunung Lebah, also known as the Campuhan Temple is located very close to Campuhan Ridge Walk. This was the first temple built in Ubud and the one that gave birth to this town. Pura Gunung Lebah was built in the 8th century by a Buddhist priest and expanded in the 16th century by the sage Danghyang Nirartha, a Hindu traveler of the time. It is said that powerful earthly energies are concentrated in Gunung Lebah Temple. This temple is located 2 minutes from Ibah Villas, one of the starting points of the Campuhan Ridge Walk, so you can visit both sites in the same morning.
Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
The Agung Rai Museum of Art is a cultural center dedicated to the preservation of Bali’s artistic and cultural objects. Inside the ARMA you can find both paintings by Balinese artists and Western painters who lived on the island.
The art museum is part of ARMA Resort which offers luxury accommodation and has beautiful gardens to explore. In addition, the resort organizes many activities such as Balinese dance, cooking classes, batik classes, and much more. The museum is open every day from 09:00 – 18:00 and the entrance fee is 80.000 IDR (approx. €4,5).
Puri Lukisan Museum
The Puri Lukisan Museum is the oldest art museum in Bali and is specialized in traditional Balinese paintings and wood carvings. This museum holds collections of paintings from the period before the independence of Indonesia (1945) to the present and exhibits copies of different schools of art from all over the island. In addition to the two buildings housing the artworks, the Puri Lukisan Museum has a beautiful garden and a café where you can sit and have a drink.
The museum is open every day from 9:00 to 18:00 and the entrance fee is 85,000 IDR (less than €5). The entrance fee includes a snack and a drink that you can enjoy in the cafeteria in the garden. The Puri Lukisan Museum is a must for any art lover visiting Ubud. The museum also organizes classes in gamelan (a traditional Balinese musical instrument), painting, wood carving, Balinese dance, and much more.
Neka Art Museum
Neka Art Museum is one of the best art museums in Bali. In Neka, both Balinese and European artworks from different periods are exhibited. The aim of this gallery is to tell the history of Balinese art over time and give exposure to local talent. Neka Art Museum exhibits paintings, jewelry, textiles, and even a collection of swords.
Neka Art Museum is open every day from 9:00 to 17:00 and the entrance fee is 75,000 IDR (approximately €4).
Blanco Renaissance Museum (Museo Antonio Blanco)
Antonio Blanco was a Filipino-Spanish painter and one of the best-known artists who lived on the island of Bali. The current museum was his private residence and is a building that mixes Balinese architecture with elements of Spanish architecture.
The Antonio Blanco museum houses an interesting collection of works from different periods of the career of the artist who was called the Balinese Dalí. Don Antonio Blanco was fascinated by the female body and this is why many of his works have a certain erotic content. The Antonio Blanco Museum is open every day from 9:00 to 17:00 and the entrance fee is 50,000 IDR (about €3).
WHERE TO STAY IN UBUD
In Ubud, there is a wide variety of accommodations for all budgets. From modest guesthouses to luxury villas with infinity pools, you can find dreamlike accommodations in the cultural capital of Bali. Even if you do not have a large budget, there are many accommodations in typical Balinese houses in Ubud that are very authentic.
WHERE TO EAT IN UBUD
Ubud is famous for its gastronomy and also for the food festivals that are held every year. Being such a touristy place, in Ubud, there are restaurants of all kinds. Apart from the local restaurants serving Balinese food, you can also find Italian, Greek, Mexican restaurants, etc. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, don’t worry, there are plenty of options for you too.
WHAT TO DO IN UBUD
Apart from the aforementioned points of interest, there are a lot of activities you can do in Ubud. Among the most popular is a massage in one of the hundreds of salons, watch a traditional Balinese dance show, sign up for a cooking class, practice yoga or painting, have dinner in the rice fields or simply stroll through the streets as you will find beautiful places at every step.
PLACES OF INTEREST NEAR UBUD
If you have enough time to spend in this area, there are many more things to see around Ubud. The rice fields of Tegallalang are one of the best-known places around Ubud, but you can also visit the Tirta Empul, Goa Gajah, and Gunung Kawi temples or the Tegenungan waterfall. All these places belong to the Gianyar Regency and are located close to Ubud.
If you want to know more about Bali, Ubud is an ideal starting point as it is located in the center of the island. We recommend that you hire a car with a driver and visit the lakes of northern Bali, the temples of the east, or the rice fields of Jatiluwih declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.