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Top 15 Things To Do in Ubud: Bali’s Cultural Gems

things to do in ubud, Top 15 Things To Do in Ubud: Bali’s Cultural Gems

Welcome to Ubud, the heartbeat of Bali’s cultural tapestry! This place is calling out to you with its immersive experiences, captivating landscapes, and a perfect blend of tradition and modernity. No matter if you’re an art enthusiast seeking inspiration, a spiritual seeker on a journey of self-discovery, or a nature lover craving a lush green escape, Ubud has got it all! We’re here to help you uncover the 10 best things to do in Ubud, so you can make the most of your trip to this cultural oasis.

This is the top 15 things to do in Ubud that will make your holiday unforgettable

1. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Don’t miss out on visiting this incredible spot in Ubud – it’s a must-have addition to your list of things to do in Ubud! The Sacred Monkey Forest offers a unique opportunity to engage with long-tailed macaques as they roam freely in the serene surroundings of Bali’s lush forests.

With approximately 1,200 monkeys currently residing in this sanctuary, the site holds rich historical significance, with temple structures dating back to the 14th century, pre-dating Indonesia itself. Among the attractions are three Hindu temples: Pura Dalem Agung, Pura Beji, and Pura Prajapati. Monkey Forest welcomes visitors from 9 AM to 5 PM, with an entrance fee of IDR60,000 for children and IDR80,000 for adults.

While interacting with these playful creatures can be a memorable experience, it is essential to stay cautious as monkeys can display unpredictable behavior at times. Fortunately, the sanctuary is monitored by guards 24/7 to ensure safety. Additionally, it is advisable to keep a close eye on your belongings, as monkeys can be quite curious, especially if they sense the presence of food.

2. Bustling in Ubud Art Market

Your Ubud trip won’t be complete without visiting the true gem of Bali’s bustling markets. You’ll find a captivating selection of authentic artisanal goods lovingly crafted by talented locals. From unique silk scarves to beautifully handmade crockery and charming woven bags, you are sure to discover the perfect souvenir to bring home and share Bali’s magic with your loved ones. If you are looking for fresh produce and groceries, go to the eastern part of the market.

If you are eager to dive deeper into the market’s vibrant atmosphere and learn about the fascinating world of Balinese crafts, you can join a local market tour. These tours often come with exciting visits to other top-notch Bali attractions, giving you a well-rounded and enriching experience on this incredible island. 

3. Hot Air Balloon Experience with Meals at Ubud

Witnessing the spectacular display from above with the Island of the Gods’ first and only ballooning opportunity in the legendary Ubud, especially in the Tanah Gajah area. This one-of-a-kind adventure takes you up in the air aboard a 23-meter hot air balloon, featuring a cozy wicker basket for travelers.

During each flight, you’ll soar thrillingly 50 meters above rice fields, floating gracefully at the end of a tether. On sunny days, before the darkness sets in, prepare to be amazed by awe-inspiring panoramas stretching from Ubud’s lush tropical forests to the holy Mount Agung on the eastern horizon. 

4. Alas Harum Swing, things to do in Ubud for Instagrammer

If you are seeking thrilling activities that offer breathtaking views, look no further than the amazing attraction of Alas Arum.

Dubbed the Extreme Swing, this experience lives up to its name, allowing you to swing from heights of 15 meters above the ground. But wait, there’s more! For the ultimate adrenaline rush, you can take on the Super Extreme Swing, soaring 25 meters high.

To enjoy this heart-pounding adventure, you can purchase tickets ranging from IDR175,000 to IDR225,000, tax not included. For that extra touch of elegance, why not rent a long dress to wear while on the swing, adding an aesthetic flair to your daredevil escapade?

5. Bali Cycling Tour 

Get ready for an unforgettable day of authentic exploration, where you will forge connections with the heart and soul of Bali. When else can we enjoy Bali in a relaxed manner and explore places that we might not be able to enjoy if we drive by car?

You can embark on an enriching journey through the authentic side of Bali as you step into everyday local life. For the adventurous souls, gear up for the ultimate cycling experience, pedalling through scenic landscapes and hidden gems, unearthing the true essence of this captivating destination. Besides enjoying the scenery, you can also visit various temples along the way which will make this bike tour unforgettable.

6. Cretya Ubud 

If you’re going to make your Ubud visit feel exclusive, luxurious, and full of pure enjoyment, spending your day in Cretya Ubud might be the perfect answer. You’ll be in the awe-inspiring panorama of lush green rice terraces, complemented by three inviting azure blue pools, and a daily DJ performance to elevate your experience.

This peaceful nature retreat draws its inspiration from the generous spirit of the Tegalalang locals, creating a paradise where you can escape the urban hustle and bustle and savour delectable cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds. From Organic Green Salad to their mouthwatering Wagyu Striploin, everything will satisfy your palette.

Whether you seek a refreshing Morning Getaway with a floating breakfast experience or a mesmerizing Night Retreat for enchanting night trekking, the choice is entirely yours! Embrace the freedom to tailor your mood and indulge in the finest pleasures at Cretya Ubud.

7. ATV Adventure

Your Ubud experience won’t be complete without hopping on an ATV for an exhilarating adventure. Kickstart your day with a thrilling 1.5-hour exploration of Ubud’s finest spots.

Get ready to journey through a diverse landscape, from scenic rice fields and flowing rivers to stunning waterfalls, mysterious tunnels, and dense jungles with challenging off-road terrain – a complete package of excitement!

Even if you’re new to ATV riding, fret not! The entire experience is expertly crafted for beginners, and you’ll have the support of a professional guide throughout the ride. So, gear up for an unforgettable adventure where you can have it all!

8. Ubud Royal Palace

Bali has captured the hearts of travellers, becoming the most enchanting and desirable tourist destination in Indonesia. With its stunning tropical beaches, majestic volcanoes, and captivating terraced rice fields, the island offers a serene and soothing escape. Yet, to truly complete your Bali journey, immerse yourself in its rich cultural essence and head to Ubud, particularly the Ubud Royal Palace.

Famously referred to as Puri Saren Agung, this unassuming palace has served as the residence of Ubud’s royal family since the late 19th century and bears witness to the glorious history of the Kingdom of Ubud. Situated in the heart of Ubud town, the Ubud Palace is conveniently located just a 2-minute walk away from the Ubud Art Market. 

9. Yoga Classes in Ubud, things to do in Ubud for wellness seeker

Ubud is truly a yogi’s paradise, offering an abundance of yoga classes and serene spaces for practitioners to indulge in their practice every day. With a diverse range of styles available, from spiritually-focused sessions to dynamic vinyasa and power flows, there’s something to suit every yogi’s preferences.

What’s even better is that the yoga classes in Ubud are affordable, especially if you opt for a class pass, which can cut the drop-in price (usually around IDR130,000/AUD12.5) in half. One of the most renowned yoga studios in Ubud is The Yoga Barn, where you’ll find an impressive selection of up to 20 yoga and meditation classes offered daily. It’s truly a “wow” experience!

However, do note that The Yoga Barn’s classes can be quite large, accommodating up to 60 people per session. As such, it’s best suited for experienced practitioners who enjoy the dynamic of bigger groups and are eager to explore a variety of yoga styles during their stay in Ubud.

10. Subak Cooking Class

Step into a new and exciting experience as you delve into the world of Balinese culinary delights. It’s time to embark on a journey that goes beyond cooking – a journey that uncovers the essence of Balinese culture through its flavours.

In this cooking class, you will not only master the art of preparing 9 authentic Balinese specialties, but you’ll also get the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the bustling local market and learning about the rice-making process, starting right from planting the rice.

To be a part of this enriching class, each participant is required to make a payment of IDR375,000 (approximately AUD 37), and the minimum booking must be for 2 people. Get ready to ignite your culinary passion and let the flavours of Bali take you on a delightful adventure!

11. Enjoy sunrise or sunset at Campuhan Ridge Walk

Campuhan Ridge Walk in Ubud is an excellent location for viewing the sunrise and sunset. The trip through the village, rice fields, Ubud Valley, and the temple is very breathtaking. The Campuhan Ridge trek should be on your bucket list as one of the activities you must do while in Ubud. This location provides a smooth path and a lovely sunset or sunrise, surrounded by the greenery of Ubud’s forest and hills.

It will show you a nature-side panorama of Ubud along the way. The best time to visit Campuhan Ridge Walk is early in the morning at 6 AM for sunrise or late in the afternoon at 6.30 PM for sunset. The walking distance is around 2.5 kilometres, and it takes about 40 minutes to walk from Ubud Main Street to Sebali Main Street. Because you’re going on a trek, dress comfortably and appropriately for the occasion.

12. Visit the beautiful Saraswati Temple

The Pura Taman Saraswati tourist attraction is one of the most popular in Ubud. It is quite easy to access via Jalan Kajeng, which is adjacent to Jalan Raya Ubud because it is located in the central sections of Ubud. This temple features a big pool of pink lotus blossoms as well as a nicely kept water park. There are also several frangipani flower trees gracing the pond’s edge, along with a bridge connecting the temple’s outer region to the main gate area.

When you cross the bridge, you will notice many statues lined up along the side. Then you’ll notice the main gate, which has three massive doors with gilded embellishments. However, tourists are not permitted to access the temple area because only those who intend to worship are permitted to do so. Because the background of the Balinese temple building with lotus flower arrangements is so lovely, most tourists who visit the Saraswati temple will take a photo.

13. Rafting at Ayung River, things to do in Ubud for the adventurer

Ubud Rafting is a must-do if you enjoy an adrenaline thrill. Discover the magnificent, exotic natural splendour of the Ayung River’s verdant jungle and waterfalls. It costs approximately IDR 350,000 and includes a life jacket, helmet, paddle, buffet lunch, insurance, and an experienced instructor.

The Ayung River is Bali’s longest and most popular rafting river. The river runs 68.5 kilometres from the active volcano to Kintamani in southern Bali. It provides a 12-kilometre track excursion and approximately 2 to 2.5 hours on the raft for rafting. You’ll not only experience an adrenaline rush but your eyes will be treated to a breathtaking panorama of the rice paddies and waterfall. What a wonderful river journey, right?

14. Luwak coffee plantations

Do you know what Luwak coffee is? Luwak coffee comes from coffee berries that have been consumed by the Asian Palm Civet (Luwak) and then passed through its digestive tract. In Bali, you may learn everything there is to know about luwak coffee step by step. From the preparation of the coffee until the encounter with the Luwak

This is a novel opportunity to process and exploit natural resources while learning about the unique coffee-making process. The ideal method is to learn something new and expand your knowledge while on vacation! You will be able to have a few sips of coffee at the end of the tour at a lovely table facing a stunning backdrop of green-tiered rice terraces and palm trees.

15. Goa Gajah Temple

Goa Gajah Temple, also known as Elephant Cave, is a must-see historical monument on Ubud excursions. The temple’s history and the reason behind its name are unknown; however, it is thought to have been constructed for spiritual meditation. The complex includes Hindu and Buddhist imagery, such as the Shiva sign and the image of Ganesha. A big pond near the cave is guarded by six angel statues.

The Goa Gajah Temple admission cost is IDR50,000 per person, and it is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM. This temple is open 24 hours a day for any type of worship. Every full moon of Sasih Kapat in the Balinese calendar, around September or October, a ceremony is held in this temple. During this time, you can witness traditional Balinese dances with gamelan.

As 2023 unfolds, the allure of Ubud remains timeless, offering an array of enriching experiences that leave an indelible mark on every traveller’s heart. From exploring iconic temples like the Ubud Palace to witnessing the artistic brilliance at the Ubud Art Market, this cultural haven never ceases to amaze. Embrace the 10 best things to do in Ubud, and you’ll find yourself immersed in an extraordinary journey of discovery, awakening, and joy in this captivating slice of paradise.

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