20 Things To Do In Ubud

Things To Do In Ubud

Ubud, a charming town nestled in the lush greenery of Bali, Indonesia, is a hub of cultural richness, artistic expression, and natural beauty. Known for its serene landscapes and vibrant cultural scene, Ubud offers a myriad of activities that cater to travelers seeking both tranquility and adventure. From exploring ancient temples and participating in traditional crafts to enjoying the local wildlife and lush botanical gardens, Ubud promises an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a nature lover, a culture enthusiast, or simply in need of some relaxation, the array of things to do in Ubud will undoubtedly enrich your travel experience.

Things To Do In Ubud

  1. Explore the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is not just a tourist attraction but a spiritual and conservation center in Ubud. As you wander through this dense forest, you’ll be greeted by over 700 playful long-tailed macaques. The forest is also home to three ancient Hindu temples, draped in moss and often shrouded in mist, adding an air of mystique. Walking through, you’ll experience the monkeys up close, see beautiful temple carvings, and feel the spiritual ambiance that makes this place unique. It’s a perfect spot for photographers and nature lovers looking to connect with Ubud’s wild side.

  1. Take a Balinese Cooking Class

Immerse yourself in Balinese culture by taking a cooking class in Ubud. It starts with a visit to a local market where you’ll learn about the ingredients used in Balinese cuisine. Then, you’ll head to a traditional kitchen where a local chef will teach you how to prepare authentic dishes. Cooking classes often end with enjoying the meal you’ve prepared, surrounded by new friends in a scenic setting. This experience not only teaches you how to cook but also offers insight into the daily lives and traditions of the Balinese people.

  1. Visit the Tegalalang Rice Terraces

The Tegalalang Rice Terraces are a must-visit for anyone coming to Ubud. These terraces offer some of the most stunning landscapes in the region, showcasing intricate methods of rice farming that have been passed down through generations. The lush green paddies are layered along the slopes of the hills, making for breathtaking views, especially at sunrise or sunset. You can walk through the fields, chat with local farmers, and learn about the Subak system, a traditional cooperative irrigation system. The experience is both picturesque and profoundly educational.

  1. Relax with Yoga and Meditation

Ubud is known as a center for wellness and spiritual growth. Numerous studios and retreats offer yoga and meditation classes, catering to all levels from beginners to advanced practitioners. These sessions often take place in open-air pavilions, surrounded by calming nature, which enhances the experience. Participating in these classes is a wonderful way to connect with yourself while being in a beautiful, tranquil environment. It’s an ideal activity for those looking to unwind and find inner peace during their vacation.

  1. Discover the Ubud Art Market

For a taste of local art and craftsmanship, head to the Ubud Art Market, located in the center of town. Here, you can browse through a myriad of stalls featuring handmade goods such as silk scarves, lightweight shirts, handmade woven bags, baskets, hats, and many other crafts. Every item tells a story of tradition and skill, often passed down through generations. It’s a vibrant place to find souvenirs that are as unique as they are beautiful, and you’ll be supporting the local artisans’ community in the process.

  1. Experience the Ubud Royal Palace

The Ubud Royal Palace, known locally as Puri Saren Agung, is one of Ubud’s most prominent landmarks. Situated at the intersection of Ubud’s two main roads, the palace is a fine example of Balinese architecture, filled with ornate decorations and beautiful garden settings. It serves as the main venue for the Ubud Dance Performance, where you can watch traditional Balinese dances in the evenings. Visiting the palace gives you a glimpse into the royal history of the region and the cultural significance it holds in the community.

  1. Go on a River Rafting Adventure

For the thrill-seekers, river rafting on the Ayung River provides an exhilarating experience amidst stunning scenery. This activity combines adventure with the opportunity to observe the lush rainforest, towering gorges, and rice paddies from the unique perspective of the river. Suitable for beginners and experienced rafters, the journey includes rapids that are exciting yet manageable, with guides ensuring safety at all times. This is a refreshing way to experience Ubud’s natural beauty while adding a bit of adrenaline to your trip.

  1. Stroll Through the Campuhan Ridge Walk

The Campuhan Ridge Walk offers an easy and picturesque hike that promises breathtaking views of Ubud’s natural landscape. This free and easy trail starts at the Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas and Spa and leads you on a path between two rivers. Ideal for early mornings or late afternoons, the walk spans approximately 9 kilometers and offers panoramic views of hillside vegetation and vast skies. It’s perfect for those looking to escape the busier parts of town and immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.

  1. Attend a Traditional Balinese Dance Show

Experiencing a traditional Balinese dance show is a must-do in Ubud. Performances like the Kecak Fire Dance, Legong Dance, and Barong Dance are not only a feast for the eyes but also provide insight into Balinese culture and mythology. The dramatic performances are often held in temples or palaces around Ubud, featuring elaborate costumes and rhythmic music. This cultural experience is a wonderful evening activity that captivates audiences of all ages.

  1. Visit the Blanco Renaissance Museum

The Blanco Renaissance Museum is dedicated to the work of the Spanish artist, Don Antonio Blanco. Blanco lived and worked in Bali for many years, and his home has been converted into a museum that displays his flamboyant and erotic artwork. Located on a hilltop in Ubud, the museum is surrounded by lush gardens and offers a stunning view of the Campuhan River. A visit here is a journey through the passionate and eccentric life of one of Bali’s most celebrated expatriate artists.

  1. Visit the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)

The Agung Rai Museum of Art is not just a museum but also a cultural center, where you can explore the extensive collection of Balinese art. The museum showcases both traditional and contemporary pieces, including works by local Balinese artists and expatriates who were inspired by Bali’s beauty and culture. ARMA also offers cultural workshops, performances, and lectures that delve into Balinese history and arts. The lush gardens surrounding the museum provide a peaceful setting to reflect on the artwork and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

  1. Take a Herbal Walk through Local Gardens

Join a guided herbal walk in Ubud to discover the region’s rich array of medicinal plants and herbs. These walks usually take place in lush gardens or the countryside where an expert guide will explain the properties and uses of various local plants used in traditional Balinese medicine. This enlightening experience not only connects you with nature but also teaches you about Balinese herbal remedies and the island’s deep-rooted connection to holistic health practices.

  1. Enjoy a Spa Day with Traditional Balinese Treatments

Ubud is well-known for its luxurious spas and wellness centers. Spending a day at a spa here can provide the ultimate relaxation with treatments that use traditional Balinese techniques, such as massage, body scrubs, and aromatic baths using local ingredients like frangipani, coconut, and spices. These treatments not only soothe the body but also the mind and spirit, providing a holistic approach to wellness that is deeply rooted in local tradition.

  1. Cycle Through the Countryside

Rent a bicycle and take a leisurely ride through Ubud’s countryside. This activity allows you to explore the scenic landscapes at your own pace, from rice paddies and small villages to ancient temples and rivers. Many tours offer insights into rural life, with stops at local homes where you can learn about Balinese family traditions and farming techniques. It’s a healthy, eco-friendly way to see the sights and sounds of Ubud beyond the town center.

  1. Participate in a Silver Jewelry Making Workshop

Ubud is famous for its silver craftsmanship, and several studios offer workshops where you can learn to make your own silver jewelry. These workshops provide a hands-on experience in the art of silversmithing, from designing your piece to cutting, soldering, and polishing the final product. It’s a unique opportunity to create a personal souvenir and gain appreciation for the skill and precision involved in this traditional craft.

  1. Attend a Wood Carving Workshop

Ubud is renowned for its skilled woodcarvers, and attending a workshop allows you to delve into this intricate craft. These workshops are typically held by master carvers who share their knowledge of wood types, carving techniques, and the cultural significance behind their art. You’ll get the chance to create your own piece, which could be anything from a traditional Balinese mask to a more contemporary design, providing a unique, hands-on cultural experience.

  1. Explore the Pura Taman Saraswati Temple

Dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom, and learning, the Pura Taman Saraswati temple is a must-visit in Ubud. This beautiful temple features classic Balinese architecture, adorned with intricate carvings and surrounded by a pond filled with blooming lotuses. Attending one of the traditional dance performances in the temple’s courtyard in the evening offers a spectacular insight into Balinese culture and spirituality.

  1. Visit the Bali Bird Park

Located a short drive from Ubud, the Bali Bird Park is home to a vast collection of Indonesian and other tropical birds. The park’s lush setting mimics the natural habitats of its inhabitants, offering an immersive experience for visitors. You can see and interact with a wide variety of bird species, attend feeding sessions, and watch educational shows that highlight the importance of conservation.

  1. Wander Through the Bali Botanic Garden

Expand your visit to the great outdoors at the Bali Botanic Garden, Indonesia’s largest botanic garden, which offers a beautiful and educational environment. The garden is a haven for tree lovers and features a large collection of orchids, medicinal plants, and an extensive bamboo collection. It’s a great spot for picnics, bird watching, and simply enjoying the panoramic views of the lush greenery and mountains.

  1. Enjoy the Nightlife at Ubud’s Jazz Café

For a change of pace from daytime adventures, spend an evening at one of Ubud’s lively jazz cafés. These venues offer a blend of great music, delicious food, and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a fantastic way to unwind after a day of exploring, where you can enjoy live performances by talented local and international musicians in a cozy setting.


Ubud is a place where every path leads to discovery and every encounter offers a deeper insight into the island’s enchanting culture. With its diverse range of activities—from the tranquility of yoga and meditation retreats to the excitement of live music and vibrant nightlife—Ubud appeals to all types of travelers. Each activity listed in this guide not only showcases the best things to do in Ubud but also provides unique opportunities to engage with the local culture and landscape. Whether you spend your days immersed in art and nature or your evenings enjoying the rhythmic melodies of jazz, Ubud offers a rich tapestry of experiences, making it a must-visit destination on your travel itinerary.

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