Ubud is the rich central hub with its marvellous mix of nature scenes and cultural highlights. Here you can admire age-old temples and palaces set alongside profuse art galleries, as well as beautiful rice terraces and valleys. You can also score some great bargains at local markets or go beyond to see more of ‘real Bali’.
Top things to do in Ubud
1. Sacred Monkey Forest
It is one of the most known sacred forests inhabited by grey long-tailed macaque.Ubud Monkey Forest is a place where you can have a close-up experience with the monkeys but it’s also a place of scientific research as well as a site of spiritual and cultural aspects with temples sanctified places. Combine your trip with tasting local delicacies or with a visit to other enigmatic places around.
2. Experience the Balinese culture
Visit the famous temples and palaces in and around Ubud. Learn more about local customs and be part of local ceremonies, or watch traditional Balinese dances to experience Bali’s artistic and cultural heartland.
3. Attend a yoga class or visit a Balinese healer
Attend a yoga class to strengthen and relax your body, mind and soul in a quiet atmosphere in the middle of the lush trees. Since “Eat, Pray, Love” Ubud is also known for its special healers, who will offer you solutions according to Balinese belief regarding health, life, and other questions.Visit the scenes of the famous movie to experience the special vibes of the island or go on a spiritual journey with a Balinese shaman.
4. Waterfalls and rice paddies
Make amazing pictures at the most beautiful terraced landscapes in Southeast Asia and visit the Tegallalang rice terraces created by Bali’s traditional, centuries-old cooperative irrigational system known as ‘Subak’. Bathe below waterfalls and visit small hidden streams for purification and prayer.
5. Art markets and artist villages
Do a shopping tour in Ubud’s famous art market or visit the surrounding villages famous for their paintings, crafts and woodcarving.
Our insider tips
Ben’s recommendation
The natural landscape especially around Ubud is breathtaking, but in order to conserve it we need to be conscious. When I first visited the beautiful bamboo campus of the Green School I was already impressed, but learning about their community outreach projects and how they teach environmental awareness and conscious decision making to kids and adults alike is really extraordinary. Visit the greenest school on earth and learn about Bali’s local wisdom how it can help to preserve the island and get inspired.
Trevor’s recommendation
Visiting a balinese healer definitely changed my life. The local wisdom
Adam’s recommendation
Recently arrived in Bali I was impressed by the ancient culture of the Island. The deep connection of the locals to their ancestors and the several ceremonies taking place constantly in one of the villages are truly amazing. Witnessing one of the local traditional ceremonies gave me more insight into their mystic heritage and at the same time I felt welcomed by the Spirits of the Island. I’d recommend not to miss the opportunity to be part of a traditional local ceremony, getting closer to local people and customs.
Good to know

Monkey safety

Wear minimum accessories when visiting the monkey forest. Don't feed or approach the monkeys unsupervised – they are wild animals, not pets.

Respect the culture

On temple visits you must wear a sarong, usually with sash (waistband) around your waist. Temples are generally very cheap or free to visit. However, most keepers will show visitors to a 'donation box', or offer sarongs at the entrance (don't worry if you didn't bring one). Always use right hand for gesturing; never left hand or feet.

Don’t be afraid to barter

Besides fancy boutiques, restaurants and convenience stores - the first price you're quoted is rarely the actual price, so don't be afraid to haggle, especially at the art markets.

Choose your healer wisely

To visit a traditional Balinese healer or shaman can be a unique experience, but make sure to visit on the recommendation of a trustworthy person or organization.