Ubud is one of the most popular tourist areas. It is easy to understand why. With its yoga studios, amazing clothes shops, delicious restaurants and many temples there are lots of things to do in Ubud. More than that though, Ubud has a relaxed and Bohemian vibe, which is unique to this part of Bali. To help you make the most of your trip to the city I decided to create a shortlist of some of my favourite things to do in Ubud. The list includes a few of the less well known tourist destinations.
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In no particular order, here are the highlights of my favourite activities around Ubud. I hope you enjoy my favourite cafe in the city 😉
1. Visit Monkey Forest
Staying in Ubud for more than a week helped me deal with my fear of monkeys. One fine day, I decided to visit the place. Monkey Forest (or Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary) is open from 8.30 am until 6 pm with IDR 20,000 for the entrance fee. I tried to prepare myself as best as possible for my encounter with the monkeys in Monkey Forest.
I really enjoyed my visit to Monkey Forest. It is a very nice place with a lot of monkeys (of course!). Some areas of Monkey Forest can be quite safe from monkeys sprinkles. Explore the entire area of Monkey Forest and spontaneously laugh with a group of other tourists when they are chased by a monkey and loose your unfounded fears of monkeys.
I saw a young woman, who loved monkeys (very much), repeatedly she provided rambutan fruit from her bag. She randomly got someone else to record a video for her when she was presenting rambutan to the monkeys on her head. She actually was on my top level in terms of relationship to monkeys. I respect her!
2. Walk Campuhan Ridge
I often hear and see the beauty of Campuhan Ridge Walk, but I never tried to find out about the place. When I finally decided to go to that place, I had trouble finding where to start the walk to Campuhan Ridge (and where exactly the place is) without asking some local people. Here I include a few photos so that you can easily find it without having to ask.
I am pleased that I decided to take walk to the top of Campuhan hill. The trekking was very pleasant. In total it was around 5 km, a great distance to do some sport during your holiday. I suggest to go early in the morning or before sunset.
3. Pura Saraswati
Lotus Garden Pura Saraswati is one place that I often passed by when I visited Ubud (obviously because it is located in Raya Ubud road). This place is one big complex with Lotus Restaurant and a Starbucks cafe. I can say that this place though is not too extensive, but very beautiful. This is one free place that I recommend visiting when you are in Ubud.
4. Gunung Kawi Sebatu
Gunung Kawi Sebatu is a beautful Hindu temple located 30-minutes outside of Ubud in the small village of Sebatu. The temple is designed around a series of ponds and pools, giving it a really peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to visit on a day trip from Ubud. You can find a great Ubud day trip itinerary that includes Gunung Kawi Sebatu here.
5. Tegenungan Waterfall
Tegenungan Waterfall is a 10-minute drive to the South of Ubud. The waterfall is located in a small gorge and there’s a path that leads all of the way to the base of the falls. This is a great place to visit, especially if you are a family with small kids. You can swim in the pool at the base of the waterfall and explore around the valley. Tegenungan Waterfall is a really nice option on a hot day.
6. Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul Temple is a 40-minute drive to the North of Ubud. The temple is part of a large Hindu Complex that is very busy with tourists and locals. The highlight of Tirta Empul are the ritual bathing pools. Most tourists visiting here forget that there’s a whole complex of shrines (along with a large natural spring) behind the pools. make sure that you’re not one of them 🙂
7. Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah is a temple complex located in the small village of Bedulu on the outskirts of Ubud. It’s a 10-minute drive from the city centre. The name of the temple means ‘Elephant Cave’ (which isn’t because of the famous cave. If you’re interested you can find out the reason here). It’s a large site and you need at least 30 minutes to an hour to explore everything.
8. Gunung Kawi
Gunung Kawi is set in a deep river valley next to towering cliffs. The site is most famous for the five funeral shrines that are carved into a tall cliff at the centre of the complex. The shrines are dedicated to a long dead Balinese king and are each over eight meters high. It’s an impressive site and just a 30-minute drive outside of Ubud. It’s definitely a place I’d recommend visiting if you have time. Check out this article for a complete guide to Gunung Kawi.
9. Stop off for a Coffee
There are so many nice, unique (and healthy) restaurants and cafes in Ubud. I love to try different places. Here are some of my favourite:
Located on Penestanan Road, open from 7am – 9pm. If you love raw food then you should definitely visit this restaurant. They sell mega salads that you can add different toppings to for IDR 40,000-ish. I think it is a really good price!
– Seniman Coffee Studio
Located on Sriwedari street, opens 8 am – 7 pm. I can say that this is such a wonderful place with so much innovation and creativity. I love their coffee, the way they serve the coffee and the rocking chairs!
– Kismet Cafe and Boutique
Located on Goutama road No. 17. Kismet is a small nice cafe with style. When I was there, they were preparing/renovating the first floor so they can have more customers enjoying Kismet. They provided great breakfast and coffee.
– KAFE Restaurant
Located on Hanoman 44b. This is probably my favourite place if we talked about good internet connection and nice coffee. They also provided great healthy food and drinks! You will get plenty of yogis around this restaurant, eating with their feet folded in the lotus pose.
So, that’s my recap of doing touristy things in Ubud. I love it and believe me that doing mainstream things wont kill you!
So, are there any touristy things in Ubud that you really enjoy? Let me know in the comments below.