If you’re planning a trip to Bali, you can’t miss the charming village of Ubud. It’s located in the center of Bali surrounded by the most beautiful rice fields, impressive nature scenes and there’s plenty to do. From white water rafting, visiting waterfalls, hiking volcanoes to cooking classes and meeting monkeys, here are our favorite and best things to do in Ubud.
Read also: Bali in 3 weeks/ travel itinerary + tips
Mount Batur Sunrise Hike
One of our favorite things to do in Ubud is definitely the Mount Batur Sunrise Hike. We love it so much that we even did it for our second time this year when friends came to visit us. You’ll need to wake up at 2 am, but the views you’ll get when you reach the top are unforgettable! The Mount Batur Sunrise Hike itself can be challenging, with some steep rocky parts at the end but doable for everyone. Be sure to wear good walking shoes as you’ll need to hike for 2-3 hours.
Prices are around $30 (guided)
We highly recommend this Mount Batur Sunrise Tour which includes a light breakfast, English-speaking guide, flashlight and hotel pick up/drop off.
Get a driver for a full day
If you are planning to do a lot of sightseeing and don’t like to drive yourself, you better get a driver for a full day. It’s super cheap in Bali and you will be traveling in a comfortable, air-conditioned car with an English-speaking driver. And the best thing: you customize your day yourself by visiting only the sights that you want to see.
You can get a personal driver for a full day around IDR 500.000 ($35)
Via this link, you can book the best and cheapest personal drivers + all with good reviews.
Visit the photogenic temples
A Bali trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting at least one of the photogenic and beautiful Balinese Hindu temples. There are more than 20.000 temples in Bali so choosing the best ones can be overwhelming. Our favorites which are located close to Ubud are the Ulun Danu Bratan (Lake temple), the Besakih Temple (Mother Temple), Goa Gahaj (Elephant Cave), Gunung Kawi (11th-century temple) and the Tirta Empul Temple (holy water temple).
Entrance fees are between IDR 5000 – IDR 50.000 per person.
Enjoy a white water rafting experience
An experience for all the adventure seekers out there… A white water rafting trip in Bali is super fun, especially if you’re traveling with friends or family. There are mainly two rivers in Bali where you can do a white water rafting adventure, one is the Telaga Waja River and the other one is the Ayung River. We did the Ayung River which is perfect for beginners, easily accessible from Ubud but has a lot more stairs to climb. Telaga Waja River would be more challenging, adventurous and remote.
Day trips are around $20
The trip we booked and we highly recommend is this Ayung White Water Rafting trip. (including pick up/drop off, medical insurance + buffet lunch afterward)
Take a selfie with the monkeys at Monkey Forest
This is such a fun thing to do and quite popular lately on Instagram. The secret behind those selfies is the guardians inside Monkey Forest who help you out by giving nuts to attract the monkeys. Be kind and give them a small tip afterward, they will highly appreciate it + you get some incredible cool pictures in return.
Entrance fee for Monkey Forest is IDR 50.000 per person + IDR 50.000 which is a reasonable tip
Monkey Forest, Ubud
Learn to cook traditional Balinese food
If you like cooking classes and want to learn to cook some authentic Balinese food, do it in Ubud. A cooking class in Ubud is most of the time organized by a Balinese family and starts with a visit to the traditional market where you can try different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Depending on the cooking class you will be cooking in a beautiful garden-kitchen and enjoy your meals afterward with stunning ricefields views. If you are plant-based, vegan, vegetarian or you have any dietary requirement, don’t forget to mention this. They will adapt the menu without any problem!
Prices are around IDR 400.000 per person ($28)
Find all the best cooking classes in Ubud here
Visit the Tegalang Ricefields
There are a lot of ricefields in Bali, but the most iconic and most seen on social media, are the beautiful ricefields of Tegalalang. They are located only 20 minutes from Ubud center which makes it super easy to go to. As it can be quite crowded, we recommend you to go as early as possible. You’ll not only have epic sunrise views but also better pictures + the ricefields for your own!
Entrance fee is IDR 10.000 per person
Tegalang ricefields, Bali
Visit the amazing waterfalls
Bali has plenty of impressive waterfalls and most of them are located around Ubud. We recommend renting a scooter and explore them all on your own. Another great option is getting a personal driver and do a full-day waterfall tour or combine it with some other sights too. We visited a lot of waterfalls in Bali, and some of our all-time favorites are Leke Leke, Tibumana, Kanto Lampo, Nung Nung, and the hidden Tukad Cepung.
Entrance fees are between IDR 10.000 – IDR 50.000 per person
Guided tours with a personal driver are around $25
If you like to visit the waterfalls with a personal driver, we highly recommend this Bali Hidden Waterfalls trip.
Visit the Jatiluwih ricefields
The Jatiluwih ricefields are located in central Bali and on the UNESCO World Heritage list which makes this a protected area. The best way to visit the Jatiluwih ricefields is by taking a private driver or renting a scooter, which is a 1-hour drive from Ubud. From the parking lot, you can take different hiking trails along the rice paddies all offering wonderful views. Count at least 2-3 hours to visit this place.
Entrance fee is IDR 40.000 per person + IDR 5000 for the car/scooter
Jatiluwih rice fields, Bali
Get on a Bali swing
Imagine swinging over rice fields, rivers, and stunning green landscapes… That’s exactly what you can expect from a Bali swing. The Bali swings have become such a hype that there are now so many swings to choose from. If you rent a scooter you can easily check them out yourself, but if you like to try different swings with amazing views you can check some great Bali swing tours here.
Most entrance fees are around IDR 150.000 per person ($10)
Rent a scooter
Renting a scooter is not only the cheapest but also the fastest way to explore all the surrounding areas and discover all the great spots at your own pace. The roads are not dangerous at all, easy to navigate and with some patience super easy to drive on. Above all, the cheapest scooters in Bali are the super cute Honda Scoopy’s. We bet you’ll love it!
Prices for scooters are around IDR 50.000 – 70.000 for a full day
The price of 1-liter gasoline is around IDR 8000
Drive always on the left side of the road
Enjoy a traditional Balinese massage
Who wouldn’t love a massage, especially on vacation? And in Bali, you’re at the right place, especially in the charming village of Ubud. With its stunning natural sceneries and hundreds of spas to choose from, it’s the perfect place to reconnect and enjoy a traditional Balinese massage. Above all, it’s so cheap here that you would want one every single day.
Prices are around IDR 150.000 per person (for a 1-hour massage)
Walk along the Campuhan Ridge Walk
If you love to have a scenic walk while being surrounded by beautiful green nature, you need to go to Campuhan Ridge Walk. It’s located right out of the center of Ubud, and especially around sunrise/sunset, it’s such a peaceful place. There is no entrance fee to be paid and easy to combine with all the other great things to do in Ubud.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Join one of the many yoga classes
Just like having a massage, joining a yoga class is a must when you are in Ubud. Most of the yoga studios are nestled right in the middle of the stunning ricefields near flowing rivers, making the experience extra magical. There are yoga classes in Ubud for every type of person, style, and level of practice. And when you’re new to yoga you can easily try it out for the first time by joining a drop-in class.
Drop-in classes are around IDR 100.000 per person ($7)
FAVORITE YOGA STUDIOS
The Yoga Barn (largest and most popular yoga studio with more than 100 different classes per week)
Ubud Yoga House (small boutique yoga studio overlooking rice fields)
Radiantly Alive (beautiful yoga studio with top quality classes like acro & sky yoga)
Walk around in Ubud town
In the last years, the town of Ubud got more and more crowded, but in our opinion, there is still a wonderfully laidback atmosphere. It’s a lovely place to walk around in the late afternoon after a full day of exploring and having dinner in one of the many great restaurants or cheap local warungs. Besides, it’s a shoppers paradise with lots of beautiful art galleries and boutique shops.
Ubud morning market (daily from 6 am – 9 am)
Lazy Cats (lovely lunch spot with an overlooking terrace over Ubud town)
Puspa’s Warung (lovely cheap, local warung with the best gado-gado and vegetable curries)
More favorite places to eat in Ubud in this article
Read also: The best hotels & hostels in Bali
If there is one place we fell in love with and only discovered during our last Bali trip, it’s Sidemen. When you enter the cute and still untouched village of Sidemen it feels as if time has stood still. It’s the perfect place for everyone who likes to escape the more crowded and touristy Ubud but still wants to be surrounded by stunning sceneries and ricefields. We recommend you to rent a scooter and drive yourself as it’s only located 45 minutes from Ubud.
Warung Tirta Unda (the best gado-gado for only IDR 28.000 or $2)
Now you’ve read all the best things to do in Ubud, you might be ready to go to Bali. Following websites can help you plan the perfect trip:
- Skyscanner to book the best and cheapest flights
- Booking.com to book your accommodation
- Lonely Planet to purchase a detailed Indonesia travel guide
- Tourradar to join one of the amazing group tours
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