Ubud is the hub for everything relaxing, artistic, natural and eco-friendly. Surrounded by expansive luscious rice paddies, jungles and rolling hills, it is the perfect place to escape the craziness of the South and reconnect with yourself, and your loved ones.
A thriving town filled with activities to do and sights to see, I have created a list of the things to do in Ubud that shouldn’t be missed. From spas to swings, buggies to pyramids, there is something for everyone in the heart of the island.
Grab your travelling companions, and be ready for anything!
Wake Up to Tropical Jungle Views
If you are going to have the ultimate serene Ubud experience, then it’s important to find the perfect accommodation. A private villa in Ubud, perched on the edge of a hill overlooking expansive tropical jungle views is the epitome of Ubud vibes. Whether you are travelling with friends or for a romantic getaway with your partner, search through our Where to Stay in Ubud guide to find stunning accommodations at every price.
Swing Like Tarzan & Jane
Hold on tight, you are in for a magnificent ride! There are a number of these picturesque swings dotted throughout the Ubud jungles where you can hop on and capture the most beautiful pictures, as well as experience a thrilling ride. Located high above the valley floor, you are pushed out – safely – into the air for a moment of freedom and exhilaration. It’s a memory you will treasure forever and one of the unique things you can do in Ubud.
Descend the Luscious Terrace of Tegallalang
You haven’t read a guide book or travel website about Bali that hasn’t mentioned Tegallalang Rice Terrace. One of the most famous images of the island, this is one of the must-do Ubud activities. Trek down the terraces, passing by the hard-working farmers on the way, or settle at the restaurant perched at the top for an ice-cold drink overlooking the beautiful landscape. It’s hard to visit Ubud without at least glancing at this stunning scenery.
Hop on a guided tour to see all the hidden gems around the rice terrace.
Champion Campuhan Ridge Walk
I’m not much of a hiker or trekker, so I can vouch that Campuhan Ridge Walk is an easy and flat ‘hike’. Surrounded by luscious greenery with far-off views of rolling hilltops, it is a beautiful place to spend a cool late afternoon. Take a calm stroll across the pavement, or rent a bicycle and join a tour. You can wander at your own pace taking in the unbelievable scenic sights.
Create your own tour with a private drive, and make sure to add Campuhan Ridge Walk!
Hold Onto Your Hats at the Monkey Forest
Monkey Forest has become a ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ attraction thanks to the furry locals. Their reputation of stealing belongings has scared away tourists. I personally love wandering through. Leave your bags, sunglasses and hats in the car, and take care when walking not to bother the babies and their mamas. You can have a memorable and enjoyable experience, if you are properly prepared. The monkeys in Bali are infamous!
Reconnect with Your Body at The Yoga Barn
The Yoga Barn hosts a wide range of different types of classes that will have you reconnecting with yourself and your mind. From beginners yoga, to ecstatic dance, to meditation, to reiki – everything you could imagine is under one roof. Whether you attend for just one lesson or become a regular, it is one of the best things to do in Ubud for your mind, body and soul.
Have a Spiritual Awakening with the Pyramids of Chi
After reconnecting with your body, it’s time to reconnect with your mind. The Pyramids of Chi are one of the unique things to do in Ubud that bring people from all over the island, country and world. Offering sound healing, cacao ceremonies, breath workshops, and light therapy, you can take the time to venture to the deepest parts of your mind. An outstanding setting in the jungles of Ubud, you will regret it if you don’t try.
Eat, Pray, Shaman
Many people come on the quest following Julia Roberts to a local healer. Each village has their own version of a shaman or medicine man who uses natural earth grown substances to heal illness and injuries. Ubud has some of the most famous commercial healers who will take donations to aid your ailments. Even without a problem, it is interesting to witness the processes of these shamans and see how they use the earth to heal. It is one of the best cultural tours to take in Bali.
Don’t Forget Your Swimmers for River Rafting!
Grab your friends and go on a wild adventure through the jungles on the Ayung River. Rafting down the refreshing river, this is not for the faint hearted. Encountering rocks and obstacles, you bounce your way across the water – perhaps even splashing into the current yourself! With all the protective gear and a friendly guide provided, you are ensured a fun and memorable time.
Make sure you use a reputable and safe service!
Climb Your Way to the Sunrise at Mount Agung
Catching the sunset is a popular pastime in the south of Bali, but here in Ubud, we do better – we chase the sunrise. Waking up, when you normally go to sleep, and heading to the base of Mount Agung will have you high on anticipation. The moderate-hard hike takes hours until you reach the peak, just in time for a sensational sunrise. You will be catching your breath from the hike, before losing it again from the view.. The volcanoes of Bali are incredible hiking experiences and a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Make sure you go with a guide!
Peddle Your Way Around Town
Bike tours are a great way to be able to explore Ubud’s stunning nature and countryside up close. Venturing through the expansive rice fields, to the centre of the town, you can spend a fun and energetic day with your loved ones. A great Ubud activity for the adventurers among us, you can enjoy escaping the crowds to find beautiful hidden gems.
Charge Through the Jungle on Buggies
Zooming round a jungle track in a 4-wheel buggy sounds like a fun day out! Mason Adventure Tours has a 4.5km track where you can race your friends solo or with a passenger. The varied track will keep you on your toes, and not knowing what lies behind the next corner. And after the exhilarating ride, the loser can buy everyone dinner in the on-site restaurant – Koko Bambu.
Hit ‘em Where It Hurts
Add to your adventurous and competitive day with a round of paint balling. With specially created sets among the tropical rice paddies, you can duck and hide from your opponents behind oil barrels and walls. Fight it out for the ultimate winner status by battling on the multiple themed fields.
Sample the Most Expensive Coffee in the World
Luwak coffee is one of the most famous and expensive coffees in the world. Made from coffee beans that have – how do I put this nicely? – passed through the luwak animal.. to be roasted and ground into coffee powder. You can see the process of roasting the beans take place, and sample some of the liquid gold as well as other fruity teas. A quick 45 minute stop on your way to another activity, this is a great place to visit in Ubud.
Explore Goa Gajah – The Elephant Cave
A world of mystery – no one is quite sure when, how or why Goa Gajah was formed. Showing both Hindu and Buddhist imagery, it is likely to have been constructed in the 9th century. Used as a meditation room or sanctuary, it is a truly mystical and interesting place to explore. With ancient bathing baths, statues and carvings, it is like stepping into history.
Witness the Magic of Legong Dance
Legong dancing is an ancient form of Balinese entertainment featuring dancing, acting and humour. The intense and very expressive form of dancing is usually performed by women, while the men take on characters of ancient jokers, gods and ‘baddies’. Most commonly compared to Western pantomime, it is one of the most entertaining and educational things to do in Ubud.
Walk Through Bali’s Artistic History
The Agung Rai Museum of Art is filled with artworks from Balinese and Indonesian artists, with pieces ranging from the 1930s until today. Representing a part of Balinese culture that is not normally seen, you can assess the progress and development of the country through the artwork. Preserving the stories, as well as the art, the museum is a beautiful place where you can learn the histories of this famous tropical island.
Welcome to the House of Masks
As the cultural hub of Bali, Ubud is filled with museums and centres exhibiting historic artefacts of the island. Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets is one of those spots, brimming with colourful, enthusiastic and sometimes creepy pieces. A combination of conference halls, exhibition rooms and a theatre, keep an eye on the events that take place here weekly.
Wash Away Your Sins at Pura Tirta Empul
Pura Tirta Empul is the Ubud water temple where Balinese purification rituals take place. Cleansing underneath the pouring water, locals and tourists alike gather to hopefully cleanse away their impurities. As with all the temples in Bali, visitors must wear a sarong and remain respectfully covered – even in the water. A special and unique experience in the heart of Ubud, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity.
You can join a full cleansing and spiritual tour that will show you how to do it right at the temple.
Let’s Go Chasing Waterfalls!
Don’t listen to TLC, chasing waterfalls is one of the best things to do in Ubud to immerse yourself in nature. Have the ultimate tropical island day scouring the hillside for the tracks down to the waterfalls. Dip your toes into the water or go head first under the shower – be aware there are some waterfalls too strong to swim under. Get amazing pictures and enjoy being witness to such an outstanding natural sight. Bali’s waterfalls are some of the most beautiful spots on the island.
Like the Disney Castle, But on Water
Puri Taman Saraswati is Ubud’s Royal Water Temple. Surrounded by koi ponds and lily pads, it is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Sarasvati. Built in 1952, it has been a place of worship for the local Balinese, and a place of wonder for the international tourists. You can spend an afternoon wandering the pathways and reading the literature about the ceremonies and traditions that take place there. Much like Pura Tirta Empul, make sure you are covered up for entry.
I’ll Take One of Everything at the Markets
In my opinion, the Ubud markets are some of the best on the island. Filed with accessories, clothes, souvenirs, figurines and knick knacks you can shop for your loved ones or for yourself. Haggle with the friendly stall owners, and help the locals by purchasing handmade wares. Thriving with action, visiting the markets is one of my favourite things to do in Ubud.
The Royal Palace of Ubud
Home to hundreds of generations of the royal family, Puri Saren Agung is one of the most prominent and famous spots in Ubud. A stunning and cultural spot, this is a great Ubud activity for a lazy afternoon. Only 15 minutes to wander the whole palace, you can take beautiful pictures in front of the ornate carvings and bright painted doors. A Balinese dance performance takes place every evening, which is worth extending your visit.
Fight Extinction at the Bali Bird Park
By supporting the Bali Bird Park you are helping them to fight extinction of the amazing tropical birds. Explore the park to find majestic birds and creatures of all colours and sizes. Spend a day with the children learning about the different species and watching the daily show where they showcase the birds special skills.
Pamper Beside the River by Sungai Spa, Nandini Bali
Normally spas use a CD of nature sounds to make you relax, but at Sungai Spa you get to listen to the real thing. Be massaged in the open air on a wooden terrace overlooking the jungles and river. You are promised the most relaxing and tranquil spa experience ever. Whether you want a solo pamper day, or a couple’s massage with your loved one – this is at the top of the list for the best things to do in Ubud.
A Beach Club, Without the Beach..
Jungle Fish is one of the only pool clubs in Ubud that welcomes people from outside of the hotel. A luxurious infinity pool sitting at the edge of the hill overlooking expansive jungle views, this is the perfect way to enjoy a pool day if you are staying in an accommodation without. Featuring a restaurant, bar and comfortable day beds, enjoy a day of delicious food and jungle sun.
Get Lost in the Luscious Botanic Gardens
For an escape from reality, you can wander the vast and expansive Ubud Botanic Gardens. Filled with exotic species of plants and wildlife, it is an amazing attraction even for the not-green-fingered. Take your time to explore the huge land winding through the trees and greenery. Learn about the tropical vegetation and the effect the environment can have on their lifespan.
Dine Above the Treetops in a Bird’s Nest
A romantic and intimate setting for a memorable dinner, you will be seated in an intricately woven bird nest high above the jungles. Overlooking luscious views and the Ayung River, you can spend quality time with your loved one with a tropical edge. Serving a menu of Indonesian and Western dishes, it is a relaxing and special dining experience.
Row for Romance with a Boat Picnic
At the Kamandalu Resort they will pack you a picnic and send you off on the lagoon for a romantic and private afternoon. An expansive menu of delicious snacks, drinks and desserts will have you full and relaxed as you float through the luscious gardens.
Sweeten Up Your Life in a Chocolate Making Class
When you don’t know what to do in Ubud on a super hot or rainy day, you can attend a chocolate making class. Learn about the entire process of growing and nurturing the cacao beans, until you melt it down and set it into the deliciousness that we intake – everyday if you are me..
What’s On the Big Screen?
Sometimes you just fancy watching a movie, and what better place to do that then in an air-conditioned, comfortable cinema. Paradiso Ubud is a cinema-cum-vegan restaurant showing old classic and brand-new movies. Tuck into some delicious grub while an 80s hit plays on the big screen. A respite from the sun and heat, it is a great place to enjoy an afternoon.
The cultural heart of the island is filled with fun things to do. If you are enjoying a romantic escape or want to reconnect with yourself, Ubud is the place to do.
Wander stunning landscapes, luxuriate with massages and enjoy the majestic nature.