Exciting Things to Do in Ubud [2023]: Unique Sights!

Updated on:  
January 4, 2023
Reading Time:  
Abigail Sinsona
If you’re looking to escape the party scene and tourist traps of Bali, head north to Ubud. It’s a hub for backpackers on a budget and people who want to see more of Bali's traditional and cultural side. Learn about 6 exciting things to do in Ubud when you’re looking to have the best experience on your trip!

Ubud is well-known as the center of traditional art in Indonesia. This town is also home to lush jungles and beautiful rice fields. So if you want a break from the luxury resorts and white sand beaches of Bali, Ubud is the place to go. 

Once you arrive, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful landscapes, traditional temples, and delicious authentic eats. To make sure you don't miss out on any of the fun and interesting activities, learn about 6 of the top things to do in Ubud in this quick read.

Things to Do in Ubud in 2022!

With all of Ubud's unique attractions and activities, you’ll surely have a full schedule! 

Need help building your itinerary for this trip? Here are some of my favorite things to do and see in Ubud to help you get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

rice fields on the hills in ubud bali
Photo by Frans Daniels on Unsplash

7. Go Chasing Waterfalls

Ubud is known for its dense jungles and is better suited for nature lovers. When visiting Ubud, an activity you need to make time for is exploring the waterfalls.

When it comes to the best waterfalls in Ubud, Bali, the Tibumana Waterfall ranks first. This picturesque waterfall is located on a secluded trail. The Tibumana Waterfall is not only picture-perfect but also boasts a natural pool below it that is safe to swim in.

Another popular waterfall in Ubud is the Kanto Lampo Waterfall. It is packed on weekends, so you should schedule a visit on a weekday if you want to avoid the crowd. This is a seasonal waterfall with a spot where tourists can climb and jump into the water below.

6. Indulge in Ubud Spas

When you’ve had a long day of exploring Ubud, there is no better way to end your day than with a relaxing visit to the spa. Luckily, Ubud is home to many spas.

Even if you're on a tight backpacker’s budget, the spas in Ubud are a fraction of what they would cost in Bali or other popular tourist destinations. Many of these spas are also in beautiful garden settings to deliver a truly relaxing experience.

The Hanging Gardens of Bali is one of the more expensive spas in Ubud. However, the quality of the massage here is worth every penny. Therapists use traditional techniques to release tension from your muscles and reinvigorate your body and soul. The sound of the rippling Agung River from afar offers the best backdrop to your spa experience.

You can also visit Ubud Traditional Spa, where you can choose from a variety of massage techniques such as the Bali traditional massage, Balinese reflexology, Ubud royal massage, and rice farmer massage.

5. Join a Yoga Class or Retreat

Many of those who visit Bali are eager to attend a yoga class or retreat. It’s one of the top things to do in Ubud, especially if you’re a yoga enthusiast.

Yoga is an ancient practice that promotes wellness of the body, mind, and soul. Ubud is well-known for having some of the best yoga retreats and teachers. There are dozens of yoga studios to choose from, but Yoga Barn tops the list.

Whether you’ve been practicing yoga or you want to try it for the first time, you're welcome at the Yoga Barn in Ubud. Those who’ve attended the classes before claim that it was a physically and spiritually rejuvenating experience. The yoga studio is in a remote location, so you can leave your worldly problems behind.

Yoga Barn also offers accommodation for those who are traveling to Ubud to practice yoga. After you spend a few days in this yoga retreat, you’ll never want to leave!

woman enjoying the sunrise doing yoga poses
Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

4. See the Kecak Fire Dance

Ubud, Bali is known for its traditional dance, the Kecak Fire Dance. Seeing this traditional dance should be on your list of top things to do in Ubud.

This dance dates back to the 1930s and features a performer in a classical monkey costume. Most of the performers of this traditional dance belong to the Pekraman Taman Kaja traditional group.

The Kecak Fire Dance is typically performed in the courtyard of Pura Dalem Temple. There are up to 100 performers who are part of the entire show, and they don’t have music to dance to except for live chanting. The performance is inspired by a Balinese epic.

This cultural dance is performed on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

3. Explore Archaeological and Historic Sites

Ubud is the cultural and historic center of Bali, so while visiting you need to make the time to visit one or more of these historic sites.

Sacred Monkey Forest

The Sacred Monkey Forest is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ubud, and it’s 100% worth the visit!

This attraction is located within a natural forest that was a temple during the 14th century. The grey, long-tailed monkeys in the forest are considered sacred by the locals. They also serve as guards of the temple.

Aside from interacting with the monkeys, you can also explore the forest. If you enjoy spending time in nature, this is definitely a stop you should include in your itinerary. From the town center, this attraction is approximately a 20-minute walk away.

Ubud Royal Palace

The Ubud Royal Palace should also be on your list of the best things to do in Ubud. Located at the heart of the town, this palace was built in the 18th century.

The Ubud Royal Palace is a must-visit because of its ornate architecture, which you can admire as you walk within the palace grounds. The Ubud Royal Family still calls it home, but some parts of the palace have been made available for tourists.

Elephant Cave

History lovers will also enjoy a visit to the Elephant Cave, or Goa Gajah Bali. Despite being six km from Ubud's center, this historical site is well worth the short trek to experience.

The Elephant Cave has been a well-known place for spiritual meditation since the 11th century. The cave features a courtyard filled with relics, rock-wall carvings, bathing pools, fountains, and a central meditation area. There are also various Hindu and Buddhist statues all over the cave.

Tegallalang Rice Terraces

Next, there are the Tegallalang Rice Terraces. You’ll encounter many rice paddies in Ubud, but nothing like the terraced paddies on a cliff. 

The amazing scenery is impressive, but what’s most interesting about the rice terraces is the traditional Balinese irrigation system used to sustain them throughout many centuries. This agricultural and cultural icon is located in a village north of Ubud and is a must-add to your itinerary.

Monkey relaxing in the forest
Photo by Wesley Balten on Unsplash

2. Sample Local Flavors

Balinese cuisine is famous all over the world. When you visit Ubud, you shouldn’t skip out on the delicious local food that is within your reach. The Gianyar Night Market is one of the best places to go for a satisfying taste of local cuisine and an authentic Balinese street food experience.

The Gianyar Night Market is one of the best night markets in Ubud and Bali. Make sure to look for food stalls that serve traditional dishes like jaje Bali, klepon, and babi guling. The best part is that the food in Ubud is extremely affordable, so you can indulge without the guilt.

You can also find many unique places to eat in Ubud. Atman Nourish Kafe is special because you can enjoy delicious Balinese food with a view of rice fields. In this lovely cafe, you can get away from the city’s hustle and bustle and enjoy your food in peace.

Thai food dish on a table
Photo by Atman Nourish Kafe on Unsplash

1. Hike and Sightsee

Ubud is surrounded by a lush landscape filled with forests, rice paddies, and valleys. But some of the best views in Ubud are waiting for you after a hike at the famous Campuhan Ridge Walk. This popular trail is sought after by tourists and is one of the top things to do in Ubud if you're into sightseeing.

Access to the famous trail is also free, which makes it one of the best free things to do in Ubud. As you walk through the hilly area, take in the astounding views of the valley and enjoy the cool breeze.

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Ubud is a true gem filled with many things to do for tourists of every kind. If this is your first time in Bali, be sure to plan where you want to stay in Ubud and surrounding areas

Aside from Ubud, there are many other cities in Bali you might want to consider as your next destination. But if you’re ready to plan your Ubud trip, do it with Pilot!

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Published on:  
October 9, 2022

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