The Ultimate Guide to Ubud, Bali

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Ubud, Bali is a town known for its beautiful landscapes, traditional dances and crafts, and peaceful yoga retreats. There are also Hindu temples scattered throughout the area, which means it really has it all! Now let me tell you, it is actually overwhelming when trying to write about all of the things you can do here- because there are literally SO many things to do. So use this guide to see what's important to you- otherwise, completely just indulge in yoga, meditation, and delicious, locally sourced foods and you'll still love your time here in this magical town!


Where to stay

Astaloka- super budget ($3.50 USD/night for dorm)

This is a super basic hostel, but the owner is so amazing and the location is perfect. The owner helped call around until she found a company that would take me to nusa Penida in the afternoon after my sunrise trek, since most only do it in the morning. AC was great, wifi worked well, and there are privacy curtains on all the beds which was nice. Great place for the price! (All the signage will be for "Joker Hostel" - it must have been their previous name)


Soni Backpacker House- budget ($6 USD/night for dorm)

This place is awesome! I intended to only stay 2 nights, but ended up staying 4. The owner is so kind and really makes you feel like family. Every morning he'd say, "Britney Spears! Yoga today?" and give me a high five. There are individual huts with 4 beds, an ensuite bathroom, AC, and wifi in each. It's cleaned everyday and even has a porch with a hammock, table, and chairs. You can't go wrong with this place!

Sura Inn Ubud- mid-range ($15 USD/night for private double room)

This place is just down the road from Soni Backpacker's, and I definitely recommend it if you have 2 people in your group or just need some alone time (the case for me!). The rooms are so clean and they each have an ensuite bathroom, porch, TV, AC, and wifi. You really can't beat it for the price, especially if you have 2 people to split the costs!


What to do

Monkey Forest

This is right in the heart of downtown Ubud! It's an awesome place to see literally hundreds of monkeys everywhere. But be careful- they are cheeky! They love to steal any object they can, so hold on tight to your phone and make sure your bag is zipped up tight. Also, don't bring any food into the park. They can smell it and will get aggressive trying to get it from you. There are multiple workers throughout the park who will offer an awesome photo-op like the one below if you just ask!

Fee: 80,000 Rp ticket + 2,000 Rp parking


Saraswati Temple

Just a 10 minute walk from the Monkey Forest, a nice temple to walk around. It's quite small, but filled with water and lily pads which makes it quite lovely. It's also right across the street from a large market and surrounded by great restaurants!

FREE


Ubud Traditional Art Market

A large market right in the downtown area with so many stalls it can be overwhelming. There are so many clothing options, along with artisan crafts and souvenirs. Make sure to bring small bills and bargain! They will always start extremely high for everything, but you can get them down to a very low price if you're firm. My tactic: always walk away when they tell you the price, and they'll always shout a ridiculously low price at you as you're walking away because they don't want to lose the sale!

FREE


Campuhan Ridge Walk

About a 15 minute walk from Saraswati Temple. It's a nice walk that offers views of rice paddies, a small river, and endless palm trees. When you get to the end of the walk, there are lots of local restaurants with great views you can stop for a drink or snack!

FREE


Yoga Barn

Ubud is known as a retreat for yoga lovers around the world. And where do they come? Yoga Barn of course! It's an amazing facility that has gardens everywhere, multiple yoga huts, a restaurant, a spa service, accommodations, and more! Once you step on the grounds, you feel like you've entered an oasis- you'll never want to leave. They offer so many amazing yoga and meditation classes it's almost overwhelming trying to pick. The prices are as followed:

1 class- 130,000 Rp

3 class pass- 360,000 Rp

5 class pass- 550,000 Rp

10 class pass- 1,000,000 Rp

20 class pass- 1,400,000 Rp

30 day unlimited pass- 2,600,000 Rp


Tegallalang Rice Terraces

You'll need to rent a motorbike (60k for 24 hours) or rent a taxi (around 80k each way) to get here. It's only about a 20-30 minute drive. It can seem very touristy up at the top when you're parking, but once you get down to the rice terraces, they're quite large so you can easily find your own private spot to enjoy the views or take pictures.

FREE (locals will ask for donations throughout the area- so just have small bills ready)


Kanto Lampo Waterfall

You'll need to rent a motorbike (60k for 24 hours) or rent a taxi (around 65k each way) to get here. It's only about a 15-20 minute drive. Now the waterfall itself is GORGEOUS. But the only bummer is that the space is very small and flooded with tourists. In order to get a picture, you have to wait in a really long line. But it's still worth coming for the views even if you don't want to wait in line!

Fee: 20,000 Rp ticket + 2,000 Rp parking


Tibumana Waterfall

You'll need to rent a motorbike (60k for 24 hours) or rent a taxi (around 90k each way) to get here. It's only about a 20-25 minute drive. This waterfall is smaller than Kanto Lampo and not as popular, but that's actually what I liked about it. There weren't as many tourists and it's honestly very close to Kanto Lampo anyways, so you might as well come see both!

Fee: 20,000 Rp ticket + 2,000 Rp parking


Mount Batur Sunrise Trek

You'll have to book a tour for this one! You'll be picked up at your hotel around 2am (yes you read that correctly), you'll stop for coffee and bananas around 3:15am, and you'll begin the hike at 4am. You'll arrive at the top around 6am for sunrise. After the trek back down, you'll visit a coffee plantation and be back at your hotel around 11am-12pm. Everyone warned me that it would be a super intense trek, so I was a little nervous. I'm here to tell you- it was incredibly EASY. I didn't even break a sweat or breathe hard the entire way up. But the sunrise really was incredible!

Fee: 325,000 Rp for tour


What to eat

Just like I said about Canggu- the food is amazing. So many fresh, wholesome options it seems overwhelming at times. There are definitely more local restaurants in Ubud offering Indonesian choices, but there are still lots of western cafes if that's what you're looking for! Here are some of my favs:


Suka Espresso

This place is absolutely amazing. The ambiance, food, and staff are all superb. I highly recommend the Piggy Benny- eggs benedict with onion rings, pulled pork and spinach. Another plus for this place is that they accept both Visa and Mastercard with NO fee- I ended up being a regular here and knew all the staff. I can't recommend it enough! (There is also another location in Uluwatu)


Clear Cafe

The aesthetics and ambiance of this place is what drew me in- absolutely incredible. A circular door that opens up to a koi pond where you can sit on the floor and enjoy the views- they even have a spiral staircase right in the middle of it all! There's also a spa upstairs with amazing prices. Their food is also super delicious- I highly recommend the open-faced tuna melt with avocado!


Yoga Barn Cafe

As I mentioned before, the amazing oasis that is Yoga Barn has a restaurant- and it's delicious. Such fresh ingredients and great options! They also have tons of pressed juices, shakes, and smoothies. You can't go wrong eating here after your yoga or meditation session. I highly recommend the Super Anti-Oxidant Shake with raw cashews, raw cacao, honey, flax out, banana & soy milk!


Hippie Fish

This place is up near the art market and doesn't have the biggest menu, but the food is amazing. The ambiance is also super hipster and they have live music on the weekends. I got the salmon panini and it just melted in my mouth.


Ubud Raw Chocolate Factory

This chocolate is to DIE FOR. They make all of their chocolate with only 4 ingredients: Raw Cacao, Cacao Butter, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Sugar. You can even buy a chocolate spread to put on toast- 1000x better than Nutella. It's very rich in flavor so you don't need much, the prices are as followed:

Small: 12,000 Rp | Medium: 17,000 Rp | Large: 40,000 Rp (Pictured below)


Day Trips

For all these places you'll either have to rent a motorbike or grab a taxi for the day (or at least a couple of hours!)


Nung Nung Waterfall

This was my favorite waterfall in Bali! Just the size of it alone makes you stand back in awe- it's massive. You'll park at the top and walk down stairs for about 15 minutes to reach it, but the way back up is a bit brutal. The stairs are pretty steep, so just take your time and know it'll be over soon.

Fee: 20,000 Rp ticket + 2,000 Rp parking

Hours: 9am-4pm


Tirta Empul Temple

This is a Hindu Balinese water temple, and it really is such a unique experience. It is famous for its holy spring water, where Balinese Hindus go to for ritual purification. There is a line of spouts pouring out the holy water, so you go in a line one by one, with your hands in prayer position over your heart, and dip your head in each fountain. Although it might seem crowded on the outside, once you get into the water you feel this sense of solitude that's so powerful. I really enjoyed this experience!

Fee: 50,000 Rp ticket (If you wish to enter the water for the ritual, you must rent a specific gown for an extra 10,000 Rp. There are also lockers available for 15,000 Rp)

Hours: 8am- 6pm


Gunung Kawi

This is one of Bali's oldest and most important monuments. It's a river-valley complex that consists of 10 huge candi (shrines) cut out of rock faces. Each is believed to be a memorial to a member of 11th-century Balinese royalty! It's not a very touristy place so it felt so peaceful walking around. There are many different parts of the area you can explore and enjoy, I highly recommend it for a peaceful hour or 2.

Fee: 50,000 Rp ticket + 2,000 Rp parking

Hours: 8am-5pm


Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

This is an awesome temple that seems to be floating on water in the middle of Lake Beratan (when the tide is high). Around the temple there are nice gardens and lots of photo opportunities. It's pretty large so you can definitely find your own spot to be alone and admire the views in peace.

Fee: 50,000 Rp + 2,000 Rp parking

Hours: 7am-7pm


Handara Gate

This is about a 5 minute drive from Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. It's the infamous Bali picture with the two gates and a road leading down the middle. Now I highly suggest getting there early because I got there around 4:30pm and had to wait in a ridiculously long line to take the photo. I would've left, but you have to pay before you get in line so I didn't want my money to go to waste!

Fee: 30,000 Rp (5 minutes max of photo taking)


Bukit Cinta

This is a great viewpoint for Mount Agung, and the best part? Not a single soul in sight. I just sat there and admired the mountain and rice terrace views for awhile because I loved just feeling such peace. It's a little far from Ubud, about a 1.5 hour drive, but I really think it's worth it.

FREE


Tirta Gangga

This is about 15 minutes from Bukit Cinta, and it's a beautiful garden. I actually thought it was going to be a lot larger than it was, but it was still nice. I went around 3:30pm and it was ridiculously crowded you couldn't get a decent photo at all. So I recommend going right when it opens and buying the fish food (5,000 Rp for 3 bags) in order to get an awesome photo surrounded by the large koi fish.

Fee: 50,000 Rp

Photo by @smilewithjeryl | Instagram ©

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