Ubud is one of the most popular towns in Bali because there is so much to see and do. We used Ubud as our home base for two weeks as we explored both the busy town center and took many daytrips outside of Ubud. You can easily get to Ubud by Canggu or Denpasar by car and will take about an hour. Once you get to Ubud, it is best to rent a motorbike or you’ll have to walk around town. In this guide to Ubud, you’ll find some insight into our lodging, where to eat, things to do in the area and where to volunteer!
During our time in Ubud, we stayed at an AirBnB for two weeks. It had everything we needed plus a pool for the days where we wanted to relax after early morning wake-up calls. Our lodging included breakfast and the staff was incredibly nice and sweet. We also rented a motorbike from a local family right down the road for a reasonable price. There is also a place to get your laundry done as well. Its close enough to town but not in the middle of the hustle and bustle!
If you’re an adventure seeker or want an easygoing vacation, there are so many options during your time in Ubud. Here’s what we recommend:
Tegalalang Rice Terraces – This place is a must do when you’re in Ubud. Make sure to wake up early. We suggest leaving your accommodations around 7AM and starting your day at Tegalalang. By doing so, you’ll miss the crowds and avoid the heat. You’ll have to pay suggested donations to the rice terrace owners to pass through each of their areas. You decide how much you would like to give.
If you’re interested in checking out other rice paddies, make sure to take daytrips to Jatiluwih or Sideman. Both of these spots are a little over an hour away via motorbike from Ubud and not as crowded as Tegalalang. The entrance fee for Jatiluwih is 40K IDR/$2.85 USD per person.
Sacred Monkey Forest – One of the most popular things to do in Ubud is to check out the Monkey Forest. Located in the center of town, you’ll find a beautiful park where there are tons of monkeys wandering around. The entrance fee for the sanctuary is 80K IDR/$5.70 USD. We found the monkeys to be a bit aggressive so always remember to not look them in the eyes, don’t smile at them (showing teeth is a form of aggression), don’t feed them, don’t touch the babies, and remove all loose items like sunglasses or hats. Make sure nothing is sticking out of your backpack as the monkeys will try and take it from you in exchange for food.
Explore waterfalls – Chasing waterfalls is probably are our most favorite activity and Ubud has plenty of them. It’s best if you take a motorbike to check these out. The traffic and roads outside of Ubud center are not as congested and they are the most scenic roads we’ve seen in Bali. Our favorite waterfalls are Timbumana, Nungnung, Leke Leke and Kanto Lampo (only if you go early). All of these waterfalls have entrance fees ranging from 20K to 50K IDR/$1.45 to $3.50 USD. There are plenty of others to explore as well like Sekempul, Tegenungan, and Goa Rang Reng.
Explore all the various temples – There are so many temples in Ubud and they are all worthy checking out. Our favorites are Saraswati Temple, Ubud Water Palace, Pura Dalem, Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave). Most temples will have sarongs by the ticket counter that you may need to wear before entering.
Yoga in Ubud – If you’re into yoga, Ubud is the place to do it. There are plenty of studios in which you can sign up for a class. Radiantly Alive, Yoga Barn and Ubud Yoga House are some of the popular studios.
Mount Batur trek – If you’re interested in doing a sunrise hike to Mount Batur, you can typically book this either with your guesthouse or at one of the tour stands on the main road. Expect a very early wake up call. We we’re picked up by our tour group at 2 AM. The trek up and down is also not that easy as there is a lot of loose gravel but doable. Make sure to wear proper sneakers or hiking boots and bring a sweater or blanket. It gets a little chilly at the very top but will heat back up once the sun is out. A fair price for transportation, a guide, and a breakfast should be around 400K IDR/$28 USD per person.
Ubud Market – This is the place to find all of your souvenir needs! You can buy everything from wicker bags, kitchenware, postcards, magnets, paintings, woodcarvings, clothing, etc. Just make sure to haggle!
Ubud Rice Field Walk – In the center of town, you’ll see a sign that says “Magical Rice Fields of Ubud”, follow that narrow path all the way to the very end and you’ll be able to walk along the rice paddies and farms. It’s a great place to check out sunset.
Campuhan Ridge Walk – Another great spot to check out sunset is at Campuhan. The entire ridge walk is about 2 kilometers and a very popular walking path for both tourists and locals. Entrance is free and it’s a nice way to end the day in a middle of a bustling town.
If you’re traveling anywhere in Asia, TripAdvisor is without a doubt the best place to check out restaurant reviews. Dan’s TripAdvisor page has a more robust amount of reviews and pictures of our meals.
Suka Espresso – This is a good spot to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner. We enjoy breakfast here twice and the options were always great. Coffee was always really good as well. Staff and service was always excellent. They also have a location in Uluwatu!
Milk and Madu – This has to be our favorite spot in all of Bali. M&M offers 2-for-1 pizza days (Sunday and Tuesday) after 5pm. This means we were here every Sunday and Tuesday! The atmosphere is just right, the live music was always amazing, and the staff and service were the best. We really can’t say anything bad about this place. They also have a location in Canggu, which we were also regulars at. We can’t recommend this place enough as well as any restaurants from the Good Food Brotherhood (The Common, Bangkok Hustle, Shmurger Burger, Watercress).
Warung Made Becik – Love ribs? Well this place has delicious ones! We loved this place so much; we ended up coming back multiple times. The staff is so friendly and the Balinese décor is just right. This is a perfect dinner spot with a local vibe to it.
Warung Sun Sun – This is one of our favorite warungs in Bali. You’ll enter a family’s traditional Balinese home where the main area is filled with tables (some with no chairs). The staff makes you feel so welcomed, the food is delicious, and inexpensive. They only have eight tables so make sure to get there before the dinner crowd!
The Fair Warung Bale – We checked this place out because we liked that the restaurant gave back to the local community. A portion of proceeds of this warung helps support Balinese people who need medical care. The food was good, a little pricier than we normally pay at a warung, but we knew that our money would be going toward a good cause.
Warung D’Atas – Known for its pork ribs, this spot is located a bit outside of town. If you’re hungry and ready to splurge on massive amounts of pork ribs, you have to check this place out.
Warung Falafel – If you’re hungry whilst on your shopping adventures in Ubud Market, this spot is conveniently located in one of the side streets in the market. You can quickly grab a bite to eat and continue on your shopping adventures soon after!
Melting Wok – This spot has a very limited menu. It only has noodles and rice dishes (hence the name). With that being said, the food was good and the tables are limited. You can also make a reservation in advance.
Chatime – Michelle loves bubble tea and this place was conveniently located right by our AirBnB. If you love bubble tea, this is the spot to go to. It often gets busy and the line moves pretty quickly.
JFC – A go-to favorite of ours. This local chain has some of the best spicy fried chicken we’ve had in Bali. Some days when we didn’t want to go to a sit down restaurant, we would stop by and pick up some spicy fried chicken and rice to go. Make sure to get the chili sauce too!
Lazy Cats Café – This beautifully decorated lunch spot has some cool cat vibes to it. It’s a vegan restaurant and definitely has some healthy but yummy options.
The Elephant Restaurant – Beautifully decorated and dimmed lights, this place has a little bit of a fancier feel to it. The vibes and atmosphere were perfect for a nice sit down dinner with some friends. We all really enjoyed the dishes very much.
We unfortunately didn’t get to volunteer in Ubud, as there was so much to see and do, during our time there. However, we know of two amazing organizations that are definitely worth mentioning. If you’re in Ubud and looking to do some good, check these two organizations:
BAWA – Bali Animal Welfare Association – is a non-profit organization based in Bali and works to save, protect, and improve the lives all animals in Bali and beyond. BAWA is one of the larger animal rescue organizations and does amazing work all over Bali.
If you are interested in volunteering with BAWA, it would be best to contact them directly and see what type of help they need. From our understanding, volunteers are required to commit a minimum of 2 weeks, you must have proof of a recent rabies shot, and you will have to fill out a formal application. If you don’t fit those requirements and would still like to help, they are always looking for people to adopt their animals or donate funds to be able to continue their work. Make sure to check out their website!
Trash Hero Ubud – Our friends at Trash Hero have an active chapter in Ubud and they are doing some great work keeping the town clean! Check out their Facebook group to see when their next cleanup will be. Trash Hero is one of our favorite organizations so check out their website to see if there is an active Trash Hero chapter in an area near you!
Also, if you know any other volunteer opportunities in the Ubud area, we would love to feature it on our page. Reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram (@jetsetforgood).