Ubud is a vibrant and wonderful place; our favourite in the whole of Bali! You know somewhere is really great when you ask various locals from all over Bali where their favourite place is and they say Ubud!
We stayed at Padma Ubud Retreat and fell in love with the place. There are so many amazing places to stay in Ubud that it’s hard to choose the best! There are lots and lots of retreats and resorts set in the city centre and also out in the country amongst the rice paddies.
It is very well known for the many, many health food cafés that sell delicious foods, as well as heaps and heaps of yoga studios and retreats where you can go to relaxxxxx.
We loved walking around the markets seeing all of the different colours and beautiful clothes that were for sale. If you go then make sure to barter with them, they expect you to! Ubud markets are one of the cheapest places to buy any souvenirs or clothes on the whole island. There are competitive prices and lots of people selling similar items making it easy to grab a bargain!
There is a temple very close by that is an easy and enjoyable walk from the centre of Ubud. We wandered down there on a nice sunny afternoon. We had wanted to go into the temple but upon arriving realised that you needed to have proper Balinese dress to go inside! We don’t recommend buying everything that is required to go in as there are plenty of other temples around Bali that let you enter with just a sarong/long trousers. So unless you really want to go inside this temple, give the extra clothing a miss.
If you keep walking past the temple there is a super popular walk which takes you along the beautiful rice paddies and give you breath taking views. It was nice to get a glimpse of the beautiful scenery outside of the hustle and bustle of Ubud it’s self
One of the reasons we came to Bali was to experience a new culture, so we made sure to book onto a cooking class! We went on a cooking class with Pemulan Bali who offer both traditional and vegetarian/gluten free cooking classes. We enjoyed every second of our class, It was great to try our hand at cooking traditional Balinese foods as well as picking our own spices/greens straight from the garden!
Be sure to visit the money temple while you’re in Ubud, it’s a super popular tourist attraction but has really beautiful grounds. You can buy fruit inside the temple to feed to the monkeys if you desire, however we didn’t want them anywhere near us! We watched a few people get bitten or scratched as they climbed up them like a human climbing frame!
We climbed up mount Batu and would really recommend it, however it’s not really worth doing in rainy season (not that the tour guides will tell you that!). The views from the top are usually breath taking, however when we went it was really cloudy and rained all morning. The clouds did give it a really magical feel… however if we had realised before booking it that it would be cloudy, we’d have probably left it until next time. 2.5 hours hiking in the dark at 3am is a little too much for a cloudy ‘sunrise’!
Tegenungan Waterfall & Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Be sure to hire a driver to take you to Tegenungan waterfall and the Tagalalang rice terrace. They are both so impressive! Be warned that they both have lots and lots of steps and are probably best to see on a sunny day. We didn’t make it to the rice fields as it was raining when we chose to go, and when I say rain I mean torrential rain! We’re hoping to come back to Bali very soon in the summer (when it’s not raining every day!) to see it in the sunshine.
There is lots more to do in Ubud if you chose this as your base in Bali, and you could easily stay here for a week or two. Most people hire drivers for the day and go to see other locations such as Echo Beach, Uluwatu Temple, Tanah Lot temple and many other places, but as we’d stayed in hotels around the island, we were able to take it a bit slower.
Kay and Dom
*All views and opinions are our own. We are not sponsored by any company(s), we just want to create great travel guides for people who want to know more about locations around the world.