The best things to do in Ubud include exploring ancient temples, majestic royal palaces, and green hillsides and rice terraces. A treasure trove of cultural landmarks, this Balinese town and its outskirts within the Gianyar regency, are where some of the world’s notable artisans and collectors have visited and worked in.
Most of the local museums and galleries are along the main Jalan Raya Ubud. There are plenty of natural landscapes and attractions that are within a short drive outside the town centre. Prominent and unmissable landmarks in Ubud include Ubud Monkey Forest and the photogenic Tegallalang rice terrace.
Remember Eat, Pray, Love? Why not expierence a little magic of your own, so we have compiled 8 Wonderful excursions for you to enjoy on your journey
- Ubud Monkey Forest
The Ubud Monkey Forest, located on the fringes of central Ubud, is home to over 700 long-tailed macaques. This natural sanctuary is perhaps the best known in Bali thanks to its community-based management, location and ease of access. Overseen by the Padangtegal village, Ubud Monkey Forest is a place of scientific research and a site of spiritual and cultural aspects, as there are sacred temples sanctified by local villagers. The Ubud Monkey Forest is also called the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, and, by its official designation, Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana
- Tegallalang Rice Terrace
The Tegallang rice terrace is famous for its scenic landscape, where travellers to Ubud often stop by for snapshots of an iconic Balinese view. Bali’s traditional, centuries-old cooperative irrigation system (known as subak) has created some of the most beautiful terraced landscapes in Southeast Asia, and this valley is a great example.The quaint village of Pakudui is close to the Tegallang rice terrace. You can find a variety of ornamental woodwork and various carvings of mythical figures. Many souvenir stalls line the ledge of Tegallang, where you can pick up some gifts before continuing your journey to Ubud’s main centre
- Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)
Goa Gajah is one of the island’s most impressive archaeological sites. Also known as Bali’s ‘Elephant Cave’, the complex is 300 metres west of the Bedulu village, a region famous for its collection of historical sites, and about 5 km southeast of central Ubud.
Upon arriving at Goa Gajah, walk down a flight of stairs to discover a relic-filled courtyard and the main 11th-century cave. The entrance to the cave features a carving of a wide-eyed figure, while inside are rock-wall carvings and a meditational site. Goa Gajah also has a Hindu temple and an impressive communal pool with stone sculptures and fountains, excavated back in 1954
- Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Royal Palace)
Ubud Royal Palace, officially Puri Saren Agung, is the palace of the Ubud royal family and one of the most prominent landmarks in Ubud. Featuring well-preserved Balinese architecture and a charming garden setting, it was built during the lordship of Tjokorda Putu Kandel (1800–1823), and is well-kept by his heirs.
The Ubud Royal Palace is best known among lovers of Balinese arts as one of the main sites to view traditional dance performances. Every evening, Puri Saren Agung’s performance stage, with a backdrop of ornate angkul-angkul (traditional gate and guardian statues), hosts performances with gamelan percussive orchestras
- Ubud Art Market
The Ubud Art Market is a good place to find beautiful silk scarves, lightweight shirts, statues, kites, handmade woven bags, baskets or hats and many other hand-crafted goods. Locally known as Pasar Seni Ubud, the market is just opposite Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Royal Palace).
There are plenty of the common items that you’ll find all around the island, including beach clothes and shirts printed with “Bali” on them, as well as ikat (woven) skirts, Balinese-style paintings, woodcarvings and woven baskets. Most of the goods found at the Ubud Art Market are made in the neighbouring villages of Pengosekan, Tegallalang, Payangan and Peliatan
- Bali Bird Park
Bali Bird Park covers 2 hectares of fine tropical gardens and an onsite aviary that’s home to almost 1,000 exotic birds of 250 species. Many of these birds come from the Indonesian archipelago, South America, the African Savannah, and Australia. The family-friendly attraction is located in the village of Batubulan, about 11 km south of Ubud.
Serving as a fun and attractive playground for bird lovers, Bali Bird Park hosts animal feeding sessions throughout the day. There are also several reptiles living in the park, including Komodo dragons. Bali’s famous kecak (fire dance) performances take place at Bali Bird Park amphitheatre
- Tegenungan Waterfall
Tegenungan Waterfall is one of the great waterfalls nearest to Ubud. It’s halfway between Ubud and Bali’s provincial capital of Denpasar. Getting to the falls from Ubud is a pleasant 30-minute drive down paved village roads lined with stretches of green rice fields on both sides.
At the entrance you’ll find ticket booths, art and souvenir shops, together with warungs (local food stalls) selling snacks and cold drinks. From there, it’s about a 5-minute walk to reach the falls. Dense foliage frames the cascading waters of Tegenungan Waterfall, and the water volume is impressive at almost any time of year
- Gunung Kawi
Gunung Kawi is an 11th-century Hindu temple complex in Bali’s Gianyar regency. To get to there, you’ll need to descend a 300-step stone stairway leading to a beautiful valley, where you will find 10 memorials carved into the rock face. Towering at 7 metres, 4 of the memorials are found on the west side, 5 on the east side of the river, while to the south across the valley lies the 10th memorial.
These carvings are the memorial shrines of the king’s concubines and his family. The Gunung Kawi sanctuary hosts ritual ceremonies and locals gather periodically to pay homage to God, the ancient king, and his family