Ubud is a treasure trove of the ultimate in cultural delights, in an amazing blend of old with the new, ranging from ancient palaces to majestic temples, all conveniently located near the cool upland district of Bali.
The town itself is famous for Balinese arts and crafts and in addition offers a wonderful view of the surrounding paddy fields and the green hillsides.
Apart from breathtaking beaches affording stunning sunsets, there are a number of other places, some popular and some tucked away, but all offering unending delights. So whether you are traveling on your own or with your near and dear ones, Ubud is a one stop tourist attraction that promises a wide range of activities for everyone, all within short distances.
Ubud also boasts of some of the best villas in Bali with pools and paddy field views.
What to See and Do During Your Next Trip to Ubud, Bali
#1 Savour a Meal at the Paradiso
A perfect dining outlet to spend an evening with the family can be had at the unique concept of a café in Ubud. This is one restaurant where one can relish plenty of delicacies and watch a state of the art cinema show at the same time.
The food in Paradiso is not only affordable but the seats at the movie are for free. Around 150 guests can watch some world class movies in their fully equipped theatre.
#2 Witness a Bird Invasion at Petulu
Come sunset and an unbelievable invasion of herons occur at the village of Petulu situated on Jalan Tirta Tawar. During the peak evening hours between 5pm and 6pm, an estimated 20,000 birds can be seen roosting on the trees of this village.
This extraordinary vision of white is really a sight to behold, especially at the south end of Petulu. A small shack in the middle of the rice fields provides cold drinks and serves as an excellent vantage point to see the winged visitors flying in together.
#3 Visit the Elephant Cave
The Elephant Cave or Goa Gajah is said to be one of the most impressive archaeological wonder of Ubud. The cave is located near the Bedulu village, which itself is a place of historical value.
The 11th century cave opens to a relic strewn courtyard. The cave walls have rock carvings on them depicting Hindu influences. Two small streams meet here, making the place an ideal place to meditate, as was envisaged for Goa Gajah when it was first built.
#4 Get Close to Nature at the Ubud Monkey Forest
One of the best managed and easily accessible sanctuary for long tailed macaques, and perhaps the most well known is Ubud Monkey Forest. The forest lies adjacent to the Padangtegal village, situated on the outskirts of Ubud, and is also sometimes referred to as the Sacred Monkey forest because of several sanctified religious places located deep within the forest grounds.
The Ubud Monkey forest, besides serving as a base for scientific research of the monkeys, is also a site for beautiful ancient temples and stone statues shown as guarding the area.
#5 Witness the Splendor of the Royal Palace
Puri Saren Agung, the abode of the royal family of Ubud, is just a short distance away from the Ubud Art market. Built in the nineteenth century, the palace is a prominent landmark of Ubud, and has been well maintained by the successive heirs.
The palace is set among charming gardens and is best admired for the Balinese art and architecture it so vividly depicts. Every evening, the lawns of this splendid building come alive with special dance performances, highlighting the history of Ubud.
#6 Spend Time at the Blanco Renaissance Museum
Don Antonio Blanco, was a flamboyant maestro, who was born in Philippines, and subsequently became the biggest collector of art and paintings of nude Balinese women.The present residence turned museum in his name, houses an astounding collection of paintings, collages, poetry illustrations and lithographic artworks of his favourite pastime.
The family members of the late artist still reside in this lavish residence, and host the visitors off and on, by offering a guided tour. The lush surroundings and the thought provoking art on view makes for a great day to spend while in Ubud.
#7 Walk Along the Campuhan Ridge
There is nothing better than a stroll in natural environment in order to escape from the hustle and bustle of Ubud. Cool fresh air and stunning hillside views await you on the Campuhan Ridge Walk.
The route commences at the Gunung Lebah Temple, from where a concrete path leads to the main entrance. Directions along the route are clearly marked, and as you ascend a few hundred meters up, the hinterland of the valley will come into view. Sunset and sunrise are the best times to enjoy this trek as the skies are clear and views good.
#8 Get Mesmerised at the Bird and Reptile Park
This two hectare of lush tropical paradise offers an excellent family opt to view almost a thousand species of birds, not only from Indonesia, but all over the world. This unique educational attraction is a mecca for birding enthusiasts, who can watch their favourites flying freely in the vast open aviaries.
The adjacent Reptile Park located in the horticultural garden, houses a large number of reptiles and amphibians.The start guest here is, undoubtedly, the huge Komodo Dragon. Free Flight bird shows are organised at selected times, where visitors marvel at the antics and abilities of the winged wonders.
#9 Get Awed at the House of Masks
The Setia Drama Mask and Puppet house is a unique concept museum which has carefully preserved the most colorful heritage items of Indonesia, mainly masks and puppets. Currently nearly 1000 masks and 4000 puppets from Indonesia are on display.
#10 Have a Splash at Tegenungan Waterfalls
Located midway between Bali and Ubud, the Tegenungan falls are a scenic natural phenomenon close to the city. A pleasant 30 minute drive from Ubud, past green fields brings you to this impressive place.
Have you ever visited Ubud in Bali? What would you recommend that others do in and around this area?