If you are not sure what to do in Bali then you should put ‘Ubud’ on top of your list. This village just an hour drive North from the popular beaches in the South is perched in and between rice fields and is where you will find the authentic Bali feeling.
Places to see in Ubud
There are many cool places to see around here so make sure you reserve a couple days to stay and admire this green paradise, revitalize in its amazing green resorts, eat fabulous food and enjoy the amazing activities in Ubud.
Rent a scooter
To make the most out of your visit to this lovely village I recommend you to rent a scooter. It is the best things to do in Ubud believe me. Everywhere around town you will see signs ‘scooter rental’ and so far I have never heard a bad story about them. I have always been renting from the same lovely lady (+62 812 46774696) for about $4 per day. She is very flexible and provides helmets. Driving around on a scooter in this area is such a great feeling and to me the best way to see all the Ubud attractions.
You will see many advertisements saying ‘Ubud Tour’ accompanied with fantastic waterfalls, but is there really a waterfall in Ubud? No! You will have to take a taxi or drive a scooter to these spectacular spots. There are 3 waterfalls around: Dusun Kuning Waterfall, Waterfall Kanto Lampo and Tegenungan Waterfall. A little further out is the Nungnung Waterfall.
This place is one of the most popular places to see in Ubud and therefore I recommend going here as early as possible to avoid the crowds. Cross the river and climb up the second level where you can try the 10m cliff jump if the water level is high enough.
Here is a little Tegenungan Waterfall map on how to get there.
Waterfall Kanto Lampo
Just 10km out of town is the enchanting Kanto Lampo waterfall. It is a perfect spot to cool down as the water splashing down is not too strong and you can sit in this multi level fall.
Dusun Kuning Waterfall
This is one of the lesser known waterfalls but only 20km from Ubud. It is located in the little village of Dusun Kuning close to Bangli. Away from the tourist trail and fits perfect in a Ubud sightseeing tour.
This is a Ubud must see! The coolest waterfall in Bali I have seen. I actually can’t really call it a waterfall in Ubud anymore as it is about 35km out of town. Though the amazingly scenic scooter ride will not be boring at all as you drive through the countryside and pass little villages on your way. After parking your scooter there are about 500 stairs downhill that lead you to the waterfall. When I was visiting this hidden gem there were only two other people. Unfortunately it started raining like hell as soon as I hiked to the waterfall and I did not get to see it in its most picture perfect setting.
Here is a little Nungnung Waterfall map on how to get there.
Tegalalang rice terraces
The most famous rice fields and may be even one the most photographed Bali tourist attractions out there. Due to its photogenic scenery the Tegalalang rice terraces are an old time favourite and only a 20-minute scooter ride away from Ubud. It is free to visit, although to get to the remoter areas some checkpoints will ask for $1. Tegalalang is one of the beautiful places to visit in Bali, click on the link to see them all.
I have been here now a couple times, but never really hiked around. Last time I started exploring the area and I was amazed by what was around hidden corners. Unfortunately the sun was setting, but next time I will come early and hike around. There are a couple local sheds where you can buy a coconut, water or snacks on your hike around.
Visit an Ubud coffee plantation
There are many places to try coffee and they all say they have the best coffee in Ubud. I have been to a couple different ones. All of them are nice to visit, but of course they all want you to buy some coffee in the end. My best experience I had at Bali Geo close to the Tegalalang Ricefields. I told them straight up that I was not interested in buying coffee but they did not care. They guided me around the plantation and let me try 14 different shots of coffee and tea. I was so overwhelmed that I gave them $3 tip; I actually could have better bought a bag of coffee, as they are probably even cheaper! LOL
Campuhan Ridge Walk
There are a couple Ubud hiking trails, but the most scenic is the Campuhan Ridge Walk. The hike follows the Tchampuan river gorge and will pass through villages, a forest, rice fields, luxurious villas, and charming local houses. The hike offers fantastic views over the hilly countryside.
Bike tour Ubud
This is a great way to see more of the backcountry of this lush green paradise. I once joined a bike tour and I really liked it, but don’t underestimate this. More than half of the group had to walk a lot, as riding a bike is not easy in the hilly countryside. There are several Ubud bike rental places, but I would recommend joining a group as the skilled guides bring you to the best-kept secrets of Ubud plus there is a lunch included which is super yummy!
Welcome to one of the most notorious activities in Ubud. The monkey forest is close to the city center and a fun place to go when walking around town, but be careful! Somehow these monkey are among the rudest I have ever seen. The best thing is to don’t bring anything, as they are cheeky bastards. They open zippers, steal sunglasses, throw water bottles and so on. It is fun to see as there are always people around that try to play with them, but mostly they end up running away scared. Nothing serious will happen if you don’t really interact with them, but there are many tourists who get scratches or bites from the monkey here.
Close to the city center there is a rafting station for white water rafting in the rivers around. There are a couple different grades depending on the season. I have never done it myself as I think it is a bit pricey, but I have heard very good stories. Best is to book with one of the many travel agencies around town, they all include a pick-up and a drop-off.
For sure yoga is one of the most popular things to do in Ubud. The yoga scene is huge here and telling people that you are not here to practice it will sometimes make eyebrows frown. Apparently it is a big thing and many fanatics come together here. It gives Ubud an extra chill vibe plus its healthy vegetarian and vegan food scene is vibrant and out of this world.
Day trips from Ubud
As you have noticed there are many places to visit in Ubud. The numerous rice fields, the spectacular waterfalls, coffee plantations, great resorts and cool hikes. The list of tourist attractions is long and therefore it is wise to make day trips from Ubud and stay here a couple days.
Where to stay in Ubud
There are many lodging options, but there are two resorts that I really fancy. Padma Ubud and Maya Ubud are both two 5* resorts and among the best resorts in Ubud. There is very little to say about them, both amazing places.
If you want a central location, but completely shut from the outer world due to its jungle setting then you should opt for the Maya resort.
I stayed in a villa with private pool in total privacy with outdoor shower overlooking the green surrounding hills. Nature is everywhere around you in this majestic resort. Click here to see actual prices for Maya Ubud.
Padma Ubud Resort has a different style and is a unique hotel in Bali because it has the biggest infinity pool on the island, plus it is heated. The views here are endless and can reach as far as the ocean on a clear day. The hotel is about 20 minutes from Ubud, but the resort offers a free shuttle service! Seriously love this place and its endless views, such a hidden gem!
Where to eat in Ubud
It is hard to give you a guide to the best restaurants as there are popping up new eateries constantly. According to some locals I had to try out Spice restaurant and I am glad I did. This fine dining has creative preparation techniques, which will make the food a unique tasting experience. The amazingly spontaneous and talkative manager/chef prepares super tasty food. I tried the salmon/tuna burger with the homemade sauce. WOW! The place is a little pricey, but the quality is out of this world.
A much more simple place, but definitely one of my favourites is AA Juicery. It is a little out of town and you need a scooter to get there, but you will love going trust me. This super laid-back family-run vegetarian restaurant serves all the healthy options you can think of plus the best juices in town. Try the Tempeh Stake!
Things to do in Ubud
As you can see it was hard to make a list with of the top 10 things to do in Ubud, I found already 14 things and probably forgot a couple as well. But believe me there is more to explore in this lovely area of Bali, sightseeing never stops. There are many backroads to discover and for sure in the next times I visit I will find some more interesting places to see in Ubud.
Do you have any cool spots that definitely can not be missed or some cool activities in Ubud to add? Let me know in the comments and I will surely check them out next time!
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