What to do in Ubud, Bali

rijst dessert koffie plantage Ubud Indonesië
Ubud is known as the Yoga capital of Bali. That’s why it was at the top of my list of must-see cities in Indonesia. I imagined it to be some sort of Indonesian version of Rishikesh. Small, with a yoga community, an alternative vibe and not to popular with mainstream tourists. I must honestly admit that I was a bit disappointed at first. Ubud is in fact a very busy toeristy town. But a few days in Ubud made me come around. It is indeed a lovely town. That has so much to offer! So I made a list with things to doin Ubud to make you fall in love with Ubud too.

What to do in Ubud 1 – Downhill mountain biking

mountainbike tour ubud indonesie

Yes, that’s right, downhill. In general, I like to stay active and fit when backpacking. But riding up those Ubud hills with a bike in the Indonesian heat was more than I thought I could take. So downhill sounded just perfect for me 😀

We had a nice little group consisting of a Belgian girl, a newly married German couple on their honeymoon and me. Seeing we were young and fit, the guide adapted the tour to our physique, making it a bit more challenging and exciting. So we ended up deviating somewhat from the normal route.

So if you are wondering what to do in Ubud, Bali a cycling tour is one of the most budget friendly things to do. It is also a nice way to escape from the tourist center. You drive through small villages and get a little glimps of the real local life style.

I have to say that even though I chose the cheapest provider (300K IDR), the service was certainly not low-budget. We got decent bikes, a bottle of water, helmets and a mini van following us just for safety.

Check out Cédrics Bali travel blog, on Continents & Condiments, with information and advice about the entire island.

What to do in Ubud 2 – Yoga classes

Ubud Yoga Saraswati

As I said before, Ubud is the place to be when it comes to yoga. So it just has to be included on your list of thing to do in Ubud.

There is most definitely no lack of studios, The Yoga BarnUbud Yoga House, Radiantly Alive, Taksu, Yoga Saraswati, … Finding a yoga studio that suits you is the difficult part. I myself preffered the classes at Saraswati. It’s a cosy and down to earth studio where teachers are able to adjust the class to the students and also could correct students when necessary.

Other Yoga related posts:


What to do in Ubud 3 – Traditional music and dance eveningTraditional dance Ubud

Looking for things to do in Ubud still? I happened to walk past an open-air theater where there was a music and dance show on the program. For 100K (this meant going over my daily budget, but I figured it might just be worth it) I bought a ticket. Most seats were already occupied. Because I was alone I could conquer a place on the 3rd row. One of the advantages of traveling solo 😀

It was a nice show, a true performance with colorful clothing, bright make-up and lots of gold jewels.

Warning: The downside to the 3rd row is that the music (traditional Indonesian percussion) was very loud. Although I had enjoyed the performance, my ears were also very happy when it was over.

What to do in Ubud 4 – Buy souvenirs

Ubud souvenir market

Ubud is known as the place to be to buy silver. You will find beautiful pendants that are the ideal backpacker’s souvenir due to their small size and light weight. Don’t miss this opportunity to buy pretty gifts for your loved ones at home. I didn’t and I regret it still! On the up side it does give me an excuse to go back and visit Ubud again. And this time I’ll write it down on my list of fun things to do in Ubud.

ubud souvenir market

Bought to many souvenirs? Keep your budget under controle with these tips.

What to do in Ubud 5 – Half day of sightseeing

I scheduled an entire day of sightseeing, but half a day was more than enough to cover the following attractions. This also means that this little tour will leave you with just enough time to spare to have a full body Indonesian massage and take an afternoon yoga class.

Moreover, there is no enterance fee at any of the stops. So this day of sightseeing is very budget friendly! If you do everything on foot of course 😉 So put your sneakers on and enjoy a day of walking and taking pictures.

‘Water Palace’ Pura taman Saraswati

The Pura Taman Saraswati, or the ‘water palace’ is definitely worth a visit. The Pura Taman Saraswati is a bit hidden from sight, by the entrance of a bistro.

Pura taman saraswati waterpaleis ubud

The temple with its beautiful lotus ponds is an oasis of peace in the otherwise quite busy Ubud.

Pura taman saraswati waterpaleis ubud

So enjoy the tranquility. Walk all the way to the end of the complex where the temple stands and take some beautiful pictures 😉

Royal palace Puri Saren Agung

Koninklijk paleis Puri Saren Agung 

The royal palace is certainly worth a stop on your sightseeing tour. It is not very big, but there are such beautiful Indonesian sculptures to admire.Koninklijk paleis Puri Saren Agung 

It is truly unbelievable how every gate, wall, door, … is decorated. The beautiful statues give the complex an almost magical vibe. So certainly do not skip the palace.

Koninklijk paleis Puri Saren Agung 

During my visit they were some renovation works in progress. This meant I was able to see how the detailed ornaments are created with chisel and hammer.

Temple Pura Desa Ubud

Pura desa tempel Ubud Bali

Pura Desa is a beautiful temple. Be aware however that, like most temples, it can only be visited during certain religious celebrations. Luckily you can still make beautiful pictures from the sidewalk.Pura desa Ubud Bali

Market Pura Melanting

Ubud souvenir market The Pura Melanting is a (souvenir) market popping with color. You’ll find clothes, figurines, handbags and other tourist souvenirs.

ubud souvenir market

Although I would not really recommend buying a souvenir here, it is a nice place to stroll through. It can get very busy in the afternoon and evening. So I would go there in the morning if I where you.


What to do in Ubud 6 – Pamper yourself with a massage

No need to spend time on Tripadvisor research, I’ve already done that for you. It led me to Yeh Pulu, budget friendly and with a great price/quality value.

The Spa itself I quite small and modest. So do not expect a spa as we are used to in the West. But the tables were clean, the staff friendly and you could take a shower afterwards.

I went for the full body massage followed by a full body scrub. The massage was one of the best I have had in Indonesia. The staff was clearly well trained. They also offer training for massage therapists, which I personally found a good indication of the level of training their own massage therapists would have.

Then came the body schrub … That was a special experience, in my opinion a slightly to intimate experience. I wouldn’t book it a second time. I’m curious to find out how others have experienced Indonesian full body scrubs. Have you already had a full body scrub in Indonesia? Be sure to share your experience in the comments!

What to do in Ubud 7 – Take a walk out of Ubud city center

Standeeld op brug net buiten Ubud As said, Ubud is a fairly busy town. If you want to get away from the noise and the crowd for a moment, just walk up to the north. You exit the touristy center and enter calm rural daily life.

Kleine tempel net uit het centrum van Ubud

It wouldn’t be Indonesia if you wouldn’t encounter some beautiful small temples along the way. I was surprised to find even bridges decorated with those nice typical Indonesian statues.

What to do in Ubud 8 – Eat a raw lasagna

Even if you are not a vegetarian, vegan or raw food eater, jump into the Seed of Life. You can enjoy the tastiest dishes, such as raw lasagna. Or order a jug of tea, they have a wide selection of special teas to choose from. And the atmosphere is just amazing. Love vegetarian and/or vegan food? Visit these restaurants the next time you are in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Apparently they also offer yoga classes. Which I found out too late to test it myself. Have you ever followed a yoga class in The Seed of Life? Then let me know for sure, I’m curious about your experience!

Did I forget one or more of the fun things to do in Ubud? Please share yourtop tips of what to do in Ubud, Bali!


Corporate Marketing Manager turned Personal Yoga Coach | After over 750 hours of intensive yoga and coaching courses, Lara now helps female professionals to replace stress and its negative impact on your body, with balance, energy, and well-being.

4 Responses to “What to do in Ubud, Bali

  • Some really quality posts on this website , saved to favorites .

    • Hi Talia,
      Thank you very much! Hope you’ll come back to herbackpackbliss.com from time to time. Make sure to register for the newsletter to be sure not to miss any new posts (newsletter goes out once or twice a month, I’ll not spam you 😉 )
      Have a lovely day!

  • Hellow my name is MartinNed. Wery proper article! Thx 🙂

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Did Yogyakarta in Indonesia change me as a traveler? | Drifter Planet :

    […] Now here I am, thinking of my fondest memories of my travel in Indonesia, and what’s the first thing that comes to my mind? Spending many hours with the locals, learning more about their culture, learning their language and creating new things every day with my own hands in Yogyakarta after watching how the locals did it. Yogyakarta isn’t the only place that I visited in Indonesia − I spent a few days in spectacular Raja Ampat with dream like beaches and picture perfect Bali with lovely rice terraces in Ubud. […]

    2 years ago

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