Considered as the cultural center of the island, Ubud Bali presents a host of amazing sights ranging from quiet countryside to vibrant streets pulsating with activities. To take in Ubud, we recommend spending a couple of days but if you are pressed for time and you only have a day to explore this Balinese hotspot, add these stops to your itinerary:
Visit the Silver Jewelry Shops
Photo credit: Yin Jewelry
You simply cannot miss the silver and jewelry shops in central Ubud. Local artisans make these fine jewelry by hand using precious metals and gems and stones of many colors. Some of the shops even offer short courses on jewelry making, something to keep in mind the next time you stay in Ubud for longer. Handcrafted accessories make the perfect souvenirs of your time in Bali or gifts to take back for loved ones. Some of the best silver shops in Ubud are WS Art Studio, Chez Monique and Studio Perak.
Shop for Batik
Batik is a beautiful Balinese textile made using a traditional dyeing process. It takes a certain level of skill and creativity to painstakingly apply the eye-catching pattern of the Batik using a special wax. The cloth goes through hours of careful processing to complete its intricate design.
If you’ve always been curious how these colorful textiles are made, why not visit a Batik studio and discover the intricate art of batik making? There are dozens of art studios that demonstrate Batik making but we love Widya Batik Studio for it informative demos and fabulous displays. If you don’t have time to make your own batik, hit the market or visit Ikat Batik or Threads of Life to see and buy some of the most spectacular batiks.
See a Temple
There are loads of beautiful temples in and around Ubud Bali that are lovely to visit. One of the most beautiful temples in Ubud is Saraswati Temple. The shrine is known as the “lotus pond temple”. Saraswati temple was constructed to honor the Hindu goddess of knowledge, Saraswati.
Photo credit” @sayang.residence.bali
Inside the temple complex is a beautiful lotus pond, perfect for taking pictures. The temple features carvings by local artisans. If you stay into the evening you can also watch a dance performed at the entrance of the temple. One of the most atmospheric spots in Ubud!
See Woodcarvers in Action
Wood carving is a specialty of many artists from the Ubud area, so you’ll see wood sculptures all over Ubud. Certain villages in the Ubud area are known for fantastic wood crafts, so make sure you stop by Mas or Singakerta to watch local artisans make beautiful artworks out of wood and even take them home.
Photo Credit: Putu Bali Tour Guide
The sculptors of Mas use high-quality softwood and leave their creations unpainted. Artisans can make tortoises, fish heads, horses, gods and goddesses out of any piece of wood right on the spot! You can make a stop at Mas, take a leisurely walk along the main road where shops are lined up and see the carvers working. Bargain for the best prices, it’s fun!
Taste Authentic Kopi Luwak
Bali is home to the world’s most expensive (and unique) coffee, Kopi Luwak. Kopi luwak is produced by processing fermented coffee beans from the droppings of Asian Palm civets. Once the civet cat excretes the coffee beans, they are cleaned thoroughly and processed to bring out their natural robust flavors.
Photo credit: @kwann_nara
You can get kopi luwak at selected coffee shops in Ubud Bali or visit one of the many plantations in the Ubud area. In Ubud Anomali Coffee has kopi luwak by the cup. For more on coffee plantations you can visit, check out our post 8 Coffee Plantations You Can Visit with the Whole Family.
Visit the Monkey Forest
A trip to Ubud is not complete until you make a stop at the famous Monkey Forest. The Monkey Forest is a sanctuary inhabited by hundreds of gray long-tailed macaques. The forest is located in Padangtegal Village, on the south side of the main Ubud center.
Photo credit: @tati_shakhova
It’s fun just walking along the trail that leads up to the Monkey forest, getting to know the locals, and by that we meant the monkeys, and taking in the lush landscape. The monkeys are pretty tame; they will follow you around, and maybe even hang out on your shoulder. But watch out, some of these monkeys are very mischievous so watch your belongings, especially drinks, sunglasses and hats! .
Get a Massage
Photo credit: Bali Botanica Day Spa
Bali is known for it’s spas and in Ubud there are loads of spas and wellness centers that offer a range of body treatments, including massages, lulur body scrub, and nail and hair treatments! Getting a massage is a great way to spend an hour or two, especially if the rest of your day is packed with activities. Most spas offer their unique mix of massage oils and body treatments so indulge away and feel the stress melt away!
There are tons of great spas that don’t cost a fortune, and even ones that offer kids treatments!
Tour the Rice Terraces
Terraced rice paddies are not unique to Bali, but Ubud’s terraces are some of the most beautiful on the island. Tegallalang rice terraces, located north of Ubud’s town center, are stunning to look at and even more stunning to walk through. Enjoy the simple, tranquil country living, and stop along the way to chat to the locals.
Photo credit: @caseyjohanna
Ubud Bali has become a hotbed of vegan, vegetarian and organic food. If you love eating clean or you are game to try something new, there are loads of excellent restaurants in Ubud. Clear Cafe, Kafe, Warung Sopa, Down to Earth and Alchemy are just a few.
Photo credit: @downtoearthbali
You’ll find organically grown fruits and vegetables and the smoothies and juices in any of these vegan and vegetarian restos are guaranteed fresh, healthy, and delicious. There are also plenty of delicious treats like vegan cakes, raw chocolate goodies and gluten free pies to try!
For recommendations of our faves in Ubud and other areas of Bali, check out 10 Clean Eating Restaurants in Bali
Ubud Bali in a Day
If you don’t want to stay over in Ubud, plan a day in and around the town experiencing the culture and beauty of the area. From eating and drinking, touring the temples and rice field to watching craftsmen at work, here is something very special about Ubud, so don’t miss it!