Anyone who has seen the film ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ with no one other than Julia Roberts in the lead, has pictures in his/her head of Bali. Green rice fields, enormous rice terraces and that wonderful backpacker atmosphere with yoga studios, healthy bars and restaurants. Ubud is that place on Bali. Nowadays, Ubud is no longer an unknown place in Bali. Tourists from all over the world travel to Bali each year. And although I am not a fan of Ubud because it’s just too crowded, the area around Ubud is stunning. What to do in Ubud? In this article we share our favorite things to do in Ubud and the area around.
#1. Visit the water temple Pura Titra Empul
One of the best known and most sacred temples in Bali is the Pura Titra Empul. Also called the temple of holy water. The entrance fee is 15,000 IDR (approximately € 1.00) per person. Everyone (including men) must wear a sarong that you can borrow at the entrance free of charge. The temple is visited by the Balinese people who spiritually clean themselves with the holy water. According to Balinese culture, there are healing powers present in the water.
Nowadays, tourists can also participate in this ritual and that is fully done. Please note that the sarong that you can borrow at the entrance may not get wet. At the temple you can borrow other (green) sarong that you can use for this. As a tourist, only participate in this ritual when you are really serious and believe. Personally, I am sorry to see so many tourists in the healing waters. The authentic is still going and I have mixed feelings. It is just so beautiful to see the Balinese people here. Anyway, each his / her thing of course, but at least respectful to the locals.
#2. The Tegalalang rice fields and less crowded rice fields around Ubud
By far the most famous place in Bali are the Tegalalang rice fields north of Ubud. The rice terraces are huge. And super nice. It is a pity that it is now very touristy and that you see shops everywhere and is encouraged to buy something. You will also find the famous Instagram bench with the colored letter “I Love Bali”. The entrance fee for the Tegalalang rice fields is 10,000 IDR per person. Taking a look is recommended in any case, but we have a better option. When you drive a little bit further than the Tegalalang rice terraces you will naturally pass all other beautiful rice terraces where it is a lot less crowded and where you can walk through (for free!).
#3. Watching monkeys in Ubud Monkey Forest
Especially when you travel to Asia for the first time, monkeys are a special attraction. And although you can see them in several places in the wild in Bali, you can also visit the Monkey Forest in the center of Ubud. It is very touristy and I do not know if I really would recommend it, but I can imagine that people like it. In principle, it is a large forest in the middle of the city. You are not only literally and figuratively almost attacked by monkeys (so pay attention to your stuff!) But you will also find a number of temples. The entrance fee for the Monkey Forest is 50,000 IDR per person.
#4. To do in Ubud: Visit Gunung Kawi
Another temple in Bali that should not be missed between the Ubud tips. About half an hour away from the center of Ubud you will find another important temple, the Gunung Kawi. This temple complex was built in the eleventh century and can be accessed via a steep staircase of 371 steps. If you want to visit this temple you will have to wear a sarong. You can borrow a sarong at the entrance, free of charge. The temple is open every day until 16.00. With the exception of public holidays. Come as early as possible to avoid the biggest mass of tourists. The entrance fee is 10,000 IDR. Gunung Kawi is close to the Pura Titra Empul, so these two temples are easy to combine.
#5. Sleep in your own private villa
Spending the night in Bali generally does not have to cost that much. But especially around Ubud you can rent your own villa for awesome prices. Mostly even with a private pool. We’ve spend three nights just under Ubud at Villa Nini in a lovely villa with its own outdoor kitchen and lounge and swimming pool. From here you you can easily discover all beautiful sights in and around Ubud by motorbike.
If you still want to stay in Ubud and are looking for a cheaper place to stay, then I recommend Kabera House 2. You book a private room with bathroom for only €5 a day. A simple, but good breakfast is included in the price.
#6. Rent a motorbike to explore Ubud’s surroundings
The surroundings of Ubud are easiest to discover by renting a scooter for a number of days. You generally rent a scooter for about 60,000 rupiah per day and can be purchased at offices throughout the city. The traffic in Ubud itself can be quite chaotic, but once you are out of the center it becomes a lot quieter. Do not forget to go to the famous paths and dive into different streets. Before you know it you drive straight through beautiful rice fields and authentic villages.
#7. Things to do in Ubud: Try Balinese coffee
Everywhere you go on Bali you can try Balinese coffee. This is supposed to be one of the best coffees in the world. So don’t miss out on it.
#8. Going Local: Visit the morning market in Ubud
Every morning between six and nine you can visit the morning market in Ubud where fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers are sold. Visiting local markets on trips is always fun, so this is definitely recommended. Later in the day the market is transformed into a market for tourists with all sorts of souvenirs.
#9. Be healthy in Ubud
Ubud is a paradise for everyone who is concerned with his/her health. You will find dozens of yoga schools, vegan and vegetarian restaurants and fine bars with fresh smoothies. The choice in Ubud is giant. Our favorite bar in Ubud is Atman Nourish Kafe. Here they have delicious fresh smoothies that are all healthy and a very nice breakfast and lunch menu. The café is very cool and it is a popular spot for example for digital nomads who come here to work with their laptops. The back of the café is open and from here you have a beautiful view on the stunning rice fields op Ubud.
Address: Atman Nourish Kafe: Jalan Hanoman n0. 43B, Ubud.
What do you think are the coolest things to do in Ubud?