If your holiday to Bali is centred around Seminyak or Kuta, we strongly recommend getting out of these Aussie and backpacker hubs and making the most of our itinerary of things to do in Ubud. You’ll get a better sense of the Balinese culture and have the chance to eat in some of Bali’s best restaurants.
After giving advice to some of our friends about things to do in Ubud, we thought we’d share the information with you in case you want to venture to the land full of rice paddy fields, craft shops and food.
Start your day at The Elephant
You’ll want to leave Seminyak or Kuta at about 8am because it takes an hour or so to reach Ubud. You can hire a driver for around 500,000 IDR a day, and it’s worth getting daily transport unless you want to hire a scooter once you reach Ubud.
One of our favourite breakfast restaurants in Ubud is The Elephant which is Australian owned and specialises in delicious coffee and vegetarian fare. You can eat a big breakfast ranging from eggs to bircher muesli as you over look the beautiful rice paddy fields.
Take note of the walking ridge in between the fields in the distance as that’s where you’ll be headed next on your list of things to do in Ubud.
Address: Hotel Taman Indrakila, Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Bali
Price: 30,000 – 65,000 IDR for breakfast, excluding drinks
Campuhan Ridge Walk
Get your driver to head back in to town and pull over as they go over the bridge. On your left you’ll see a temple. Follow the path on the right side of this temple and you’ll arrive at the start of the Campuhan Ridge Walk.
The walk takes you high up through the rural parts of Ubud, with a valley on either side. Towards the end of the walk you will be in Eat, Pray, Love land, crossing some of the famous rice paddy areas featured in the film.
It’s a spectacular trail and if you’re there before the heat of the day it’s extremely enjoyable. Depending on your pace, the walk takes about two hours, and it’s roughly 5km long.
Jungle Fish for lunch
Get your driver to pick you up at the end of the trail, which finishes about a 15-minute drive north of the Ubud town centre.
A short drive from here is Jungle Fish which features one of the best pools in Bali. It’s the perfect spot to come for lunch and a few cocktails as you lay by the water and admire the view of the infinity pool stretching to the valley below.
I must confess, we haven’t eaten lunch here before, but the food looks good.
Address: Chapung Sebali Resort & Spa.Jl. Raya Sebali, 80561 Keliki, Ubud, Bali
Price: 55,000 – 145,000 IDR for lunch, excluding drinks
Yoga at Intuitive Flow
You’ll be feeling suitably relaxed now, so take advantage of your loose limbs and head to a yoga class. After all, no trip to Ubud would be complete without a few “oms” surrounded by other yogi hippies.
Our favourite studio is Intuitive Flow which is on the right side of the road back near the bridge where you started your ridge walk. Get your driver to drop you at the taxi sign and walk the 150 metres up the steps to the secluded studio.
This is our favourite place to practise yoga in Ubud as it doesn’t have the hordes of yogis the yoga barn attracts, and the studio itself is stunning. Overlooking the greenery of Ubud, Intuitive Flow has floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise the breathtaking view.
After class, if you’re feeling a little thirsty, turn left out of the studio and walk 30 metres to the Yellow Flower Café for a healthy organic juice.
Address: Jl. Raya Tjampuhan, Penestanan Kaja, Sayan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali
Price: 120,000 IDR for a drop in class
Do the tourist thing
If yoga isn’t your scene, you can always head to where the tourists go when they visit Ubud – The Monkey Forest. I first went here when I was 18 and it is an intriguing place to visit. And frightening.
The monkeys are highly intelligent and can be aggressive, so watch out. I’ve written a guide to visiting the forest, but keep in mind not to bring in any water or food as you’ll attract them to jump all over you. (Unless, of course, that’s what you want.)
Address: 30,000 IDR for an adult
Price: The Monkey Forest is near the centre of Ubud, on Monkey Forest Road.
Time to relax
After the adventures of The Monkey Forest, you’ll probably be feeling like you need a chance to relax, so go and get a massage – one of our favourite things to do in Ubud. The spa we love the most is Bali Botanica and you can get a one hour Balinese massage here for 180,000 IDR.
You won’t be disappointed by the experience – each of the massage rooms overlooks the jungle and has its own bath right in front of the window. Utter bliss.
However, make sure you book in advance as this popular spa books out quickly.
Address: Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali
Fine dining for dinner
Our absolute favourite restaurant in Ubud is Locavore. You can choose from a five or seven course degustation and the meal will tantalise your senses. At about 650,000 IDR per person (excluding drinks), the price is extremely reasonable for the fine dining scene.
Be warned though – although you might order seven courses, it’ll end up being more than 10 as the waiters bring out other things to try in between dishes.
The menu changes each week and is always inventive and creative, with some foods pushing the boundaries of your imagination.
This is another place you need to book in advance as it’s been rated as one of the best restaurants in Asia so it’s popular!
Address: Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud
Stay the night
If the pull of Ubud is too strong (and we don’t blame you!) you might want to consider staying the night and continue with your own list of things to do in Ubud the following day. Rest assured, Ubud has grown over the past decade and there are now numerous hotels in Ubud to choose from. Bebek Tepi Sawah is a highly rated and luxurious yet peaceful place to stay.
Address: Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Br. Teges Peliatan, Ubud