Ubud is a melting pot of culture and one of our favorite places to visit in Bali. Its central location makes it a great jumping off point to venture wherever your wandering heart desires to go.
Ubud is home to a wide variety of culinary delights ranging from local cafes and warungs to resort style restaurants.
Take a walk around the streets of Ubud and you will find hundreds of shops and large street bazaars, many selling goods from the region’s artisans (good time to practice your bargaining skills!).
Venture down some of the back alleys and you will find gardens, rice fields, and swimming ducks.
We found that the cheapest and most convenient way to get to Ubud from the Denpasar area was hiring a Grab (local Uber). It is a quick hour and 15-minute drive from the airport and will cost you around 90-130k IDR.
Local taxis and other shuttle services will try to charge upwards of 300-500k+ IDR to make the short journey into Ubud.
Ubud’s reputation continues to blossom, one because it is so awesome and two due to all the hype generated by Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love.
These days Ubud can feel very overcrowded in the cities center. Traffic can be a bit chaotic, but it is easy enough to walk around that you don’t really need a motorbike or taxi unless you are staying outside of town.
If you are traveling to Bali you will not regret spending at least a few days in this beautiful cultural intersection, although days can quickly turn into weeks here.
Recommendations for Ubud, Bali:
Lodging in Ubud
There are many great Airbnb options from around $30 US per night (sleeps 4). New to Airbnb? Get $33 off your first booking on us. If you’re like us and want a little bit of peace and quiet, stay a few miles outside of Ubud and rent scooters to get to and from the village (30-60k IDR per day). We stayed two nights at a cozy, bright two-story villa with a friendly, peaceful atmosphere and delightful (and very deep!) swimming pool.
Of course, if you are looking to spend a little less per night there are many great hostel options to choose from. We recommend staying at Puji Bungalows which offers a great social atmosphere perfect for meeting new travel companions. We were lucky enough to meet an adventurous couple who are traveling the world together for a year and we spent the next few weeks traveling the Gili Islands and Uluwatu with them.
Accomodation We Recommend In Ubud
Affordable Guest Houses/Villas:
Restaurants in Ubud
A must for Anthony Bourdain fans keen on devouring some top-notch suckling pig. Pairs well with an ice cold Bintang.
Best bargain we found for great pizza and pasta. Right next to the Puji Hostel, we came here most nights for cheap beers.
Amazing cocktails crafted with local ingredients and flavors. These guys are some of the friendliest staff we have encountered throughout our travels.
Great for happy hour, buy one get one deal on tasty dragon fruit mojitos!
Healthy food at a great price. Be prepared to wait a little, but the home cooked food will warm your soul.
Exploring The Island
Day 1 in Ubud
Spend the day walking around Ubud getting familiar with the area, the people, and settling into your villa/hostel. There are numerous streets, great local cafes, western restaurants, lots of shopping, outdoor markets, off the beaten path back alleys and so much more.
Just spend some time meandering and you’ll find yourself captivated by all of the beauty and the daily life taking place around you.
Day 2 in Ubud
Visit the Ubud Monkey Forest. For 50,000 IDR you can spend the afternoon walking through a beautiful jungle filled with playful monkeys. They are super friendly – if you adhere to the guidelines that are clearly marked when you enter the forest then you’ll be fne. We’re talking common sense stuff like not trying to pet the monkeys or chasing them when they steal your stuff. Which, in all likelihood will happen, so be warned!
Don’t take any food in with you or they will attempt to dig it out of your bag. TJ was groomed by an especially playful one who thought he’d find a buffet in his hair.
Day 3 in Ubud
Rent a private car for the day and visit the Tegalalang Rice Terraces.
Pro tip – make a stop at the Luwak coffee plantation on the way to the terraces for the world renowned Luwak coffee. Also referred to as “Cat-poop-ccino” as the beans are “processed” by a Luwak who can only digest the berry and leaves the seeds behind!
The best part is that you get to try 12 different flavors of coffee and tea for free. However, a cup of the Luwak brew will cost 50k IDR ($5).
After you trek through the rice terraces you will want to cool off, so hop in the car and head over to swim at one of the awesome Kanto Lampo or Tegenungan waterfalls.
Day 4 in Ubud
Rent bicycles and cruise around Ubud to all the temples.
Pro tip – If you are looking for a truly authentic Balinese experience, then rise with the sun and check out the Ubud morning market.
There are two big markets in Ubud, one for tourists and one for locals. The catch is, you must get there early before the sun rises to truly get the local experience, as most of the locals have finished their shopping by 9am (market opens at 4am and the majority of the restaurants get their food from here) and the market turns into more of a tourist destination.
Heading To Bali? Then You Will Definitely Want To Check Out These Posts Too!
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- Cost Of Living In Bali For Couples
- 8 Ways To Save Money In Bali
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Temples To Explore
- Bali Temple Guide: Pura Tirta Empul
- Bali Temple Guide: Pura Gunung Kawi
- Bali Temple Guide: Pura Mengening
- Exploration Guide: Pursuit of Paradise – Gili Islands & Lombok
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