Read more about my Self Care Sabbatical and the other places I’ve visited!
I did a whole lot of nothing in Ubud. And by nothing I mean I spent my time relaxing, doing yoga, eating, and a little bit of hiking around. But Ubud and the surrounding area is quite large and there is a lot to do while you are there. Or you can be like me and do nothing and you will still have a great time.
Things to Do:
I relied on Culture Trip to help me plan out what to do in Ubud…even though I didn’t really do much. They have great suggestions for places to see and where to eat, as well as a guide for spending 48 hours in Ubud. One thing I did notice while reading about some of these sights is that you will be charged for nearly everything: entry, parking, even places to take photos. Just a warning. And, for the most part, going early in the day is the recommendation if you want to avoid crowds.
- The Monkey Forest Sanctuary is really fun to see but go early in the morning before it gets crowded. You can spend about an hour to two hours here. Even if you are a little nervous about the monkeys, if you follow the rules, you will be fine!
- Walk along the Campuhan Ridge. It is really beautiful – suggest going early in the morning or around sunset/dusk for the best views. The ridge walk is about 2 miles and there are some places to stop for food/drink at the end of the ridge walk.
- Check out some of the waterfalls in the area as well as temples. Pura Gunung Kawi and Tukad Cepung falls were both recommended for being a bit less busy. Tegenungan falls are supposedly beautiful but very popular with tourists.
- See the famous rice terraces. Just know that it will be crowded and plan accordingly.
- If you want to do yoga, you have to check out The Yoga Barn. This place is MASSIVE. They have various studios, a cafe, a juice bar, and more. They offer classes all day from 7am until 8 or 9pm. You can buy a class card if you will visit 3 or 5 times during your stay (or more if you are in Ubud for a while) which makes it quite affordable. I loved every class I took here. All of the studios are beautiful and offer views of the jungle (mosquito spray available for the open-air studios).
- Go to the spa. There are spas everywhere in Ubud. Check out Jaens Spa!
- See some art. I never actually visited any of the museums or galleries in Ubud, but there are quite a few places to go and see local art. Great if you are escaping the rain or just looking for a way to spend an afternoon.
- It is also possible to use Ubud as a base and visit other parts of Bali from here since it’s rather centrally located. There are many tour companies in Bali offering trips around the island.
Feeling Like a Regular in Ubud
Ubud is one of those digital nomad capitals and it is easy to see why. There are a ton of great cafes and restaurants with delicious food and good wifi. It’s also quite easy to eat healthy here and most of the restaurants offer vegan options. I found a few places I loved and stuck to those during my time in Ubud – I just loved feeling a bit like a regular while I was there. These three places were the only places I ate while I was there. There are so many restaurants though – including lots of Western options – so you will have no shortage of places to try. Or you can be like me and just visit your favorites every day.
Warung Sopa – All vegetarian Balinese food. Various soups, nasi campur (where you can pick from a variety of dishes with rice), and staples like fried rice. I had both the fried rice and the nasi campur here – all fantastic. They also have fresh juices and drinks – get the hot ginger and turmeric drink! This restaurant is a bit cheaper than a lot of the Western cafes you find in Ubud (about 40-50% cheaper).
Kafe – My favorite spot to eat whilst in Ubud. Super relaxing vibe and delicious food. Serve breakfast through dinner and have a variety of food available, mostly healthy options. I was drawn here by the mezze plate because I was craving something Mediterranean. Also had some great salads here as well as breakfast. Highly recommend this spot!
Atman Cafe – Huge menu. Serve breakfast through dinner and breakfast is available until 6pm. Lots of veggie and vegan options.
- Local food: Dayu’s Warung
- Coffee: Seniman Coffee studio
- Western options: Watercress Cafe, Earth Cafe, Who’s Who, Taco Casa Ubud
- Raw/Vegan food: The Seeds of Life, Clear Cafe
Getting There: Ubud is about 90 minutes from Padang Bai and also from the airport. Your best bet is to hire a driver if you are going to/from the airport – your hotel may be able to arrange the transfer for you. There are also taxi drivers EVERYWHERE in Ubud so it shouldn’t be hard to find a ride (warning: they are SUPER annoying about asking if you need a taxi). If you are coming from a boat ride to Padang Bai or Sanur, you should be able to arrange a transfer with the boat company.
Where to Stay: Ubud is quite a large area. There is a main part of town marked by shops and restaurants – there are plenty of hotels and homestays set off from the main road. This is a good bet if you want to be able to access a lot of things without having to get a taxi or rent a scooter. There are also plenty of resorts that are further away from the town, offering a bit more seclusion and relaxation. If you can drive a scooter, I would suggest renting one to get around and see areas outside of Ubud. Otherwise, you are stuck going in a taxi or with a tour group. I think it would be a lot easier to visit these places on your own, exploring various waterfalls and temples (especially those that are less popular/crowded).