Finding words to describe Ubud and its enchantment is something I have been thinking about since we left. It is intertwined with the jungle, and as the saying goes, the jungle consumes all.
The lushness of Ubud’s streets found in the intermix of palms, vines, and rice fields is magical. The town is destined for an atmosphere of peace that immediately tugs at your heart. It’s sprinkled with what seems to be a temple on every corner, making each step feel sacred. Slow lunches on rice fields, vast views over the jungle canopy, and explorations through saintly spaces make Ubud one of the best places to visit in Bali.
There’s plenty to experience, and of course, no lack of great cuisine. Whether you yield towards a warm bowl of soto ayam or lust over the crackling of babi guling, you can taste the flavors that make Ubud rich in agriculture. With fresh fruit and endless juice shops, each day you can wake up feeling refreshed. Ubud is known for zen retreats and the raw cafes and yoga studios are limitless.
The Immersive Guide to Ubud
What to Know Before Visiting Ubud
- Mosquito spray is an absolute must.
- Cash is needed for almost everything here.
- It’s okay to negotiate with taxis.
- The town is easily walkable, however, watch for a lot of broken/loose stones.
- You need to be covered to enter temples.
- Be careful of the monkeys at the temple, though cute, they can be aggressive.
- Remember water should only be consumed from a bottle.
- Hotels will charge a premium for any excursions, to say the temples or rice fields. It is okay to take a business card from a taxi as many often do day tours. If you find one that you like, then they could be a cheaper option for your entire stay.
Where to Stay in Ubud
We tried out two hotels as we stayed for a week in Ubud. Splitting the time across two sides of town was nice to experience two different areas.
- Bisma Eight: This hotel has been just rated one of the best in Bali for service and design. It’s hip, beautifully outfitted, and close to the center of town. I loved the scenic pool over the jungle, and, while close to everything, felt off the path.
- COMO Uma: A luxury hotel that offers villas to sleep in with private pools. The hotel feels more old-world in a classic way, with traditional style rooms. The grounds are stunning and the yoga pavilion is out of this world. The location is removed from the center of town, and costs around 60,000 Rupiah by taxi.
Bisma Eight COMO Uma
Where to Eat in Ubud
- Naughty Nuri’s: World famous ribs at a small warung on the side of the road.
- Minami: An upscale Japanese restaurant known for sushi.
- Warung Pulau Kelapa: My favorite warung for classic Indonesian dishes like soto ayam.
- Mozaic: This is a high end take on Indonesian dishes in a beautiful space.
- Alchemy: Organic and raw cafe with yummy breakfast bowls.
- Umah Pizza: Who knew pizza would be in Ubud, this place is always packed and their $3 pizzas are incredible
- Lazy Cats Cafe: Newly opened, this cafe has breakfast and lunch and serves good coffee.
- Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka 3: Anthony Bourdain famed this spot when he stopped here on his show, and I have to say it was one of my favorites on the trip for suckling pig.
- Hujan Locale: Reservations needed for this classic Indonesian restaurant that is mid-market.
- Seniman Coffee and Anomali Coffee: Come here for coffee!
- Tukies Coconut Shop: Everything coconut and be sure to try their ice cream!
- Cafe Wayan: Great spot for cheap eats.
- Restaurant Locavore: Upscale and modern take with local ingredients.
- Watercress Cafe Ubud: An Aussie cafe in a beautiful space.
- Folk Kitchen & Espresso: Owned by the people who do Bisma Eight, this is a nice spot for breakfast.
- Bebek Bengil: Also known as Dirty Duck Diner, come here for all things duck.
What to Do in Ubud
- Campuhan Ridge Walk: Accessible from town, this walk along the forest is beautiful. For photography, best at sunrise.
- Saraswati Temple: Checkout this temple and the lotus pond.
- Tegalalang Rice Terrace: Hire a driver and get here early to beat the crowds.
- Ubud Traditional Art Market: Great spot to pick up local gifts.
- Ubud Palace: Stroll through the historic buildings and gardens.
- Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary: Take a look at the local wildlife and feed the monkeys!
- Yoga Barn: For yoga, head here.
- River Rafting: Plenty of options to go down the river, try Bali Adventure Rafting.
- Tegenungan Waterfall: Visit the beautiful waterfall by car.
- Green Village: Take an ecotour of this beautiful village built by bamboo.
- Mt. Batur: Visit the volcano and take a sunrise hike.
- Tirta Empul Water Temple: Come here for a traditional water cleansing ceremony.