Bali Travel: What to Do in Ubud

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ubud traditional art market paintings

The town of Ubud is where you can see and experience the rich culture of Bali. It is known as the center of traditional art, the location of numerous Hindu temples and shrines, and is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, certainly not limited to rice paddies and lush forests. And there’s the smell of incense everywhere you go! Strangely, that’s one of the things I missed so much when I went home.

I didn’t get to visit every attraction there is in Ubud during my trip to Bali, but if you’re ever planning to visit, I hope this list can help you come up with an itinerary.


One doesn’t simply spend time in Ubud without visiting the famous market. This place is the home to the well-loved rattan bags and a lot more.

It’s quite a big place, so you need to spend more than just a couple of hours to see everything. And trust me, there’s a lot to see… and buy!

ubud traditional art market paintings

ubud traditional art market souvenirs

You can find tons of different things in Ubud Traditional Art Market, such as bags, clothing, souvenirs, accessories, paintings, and even local street food. Make sure you bring your bargaining skills if you plan to shop here because it’ll really come in handy.

 Open from 6 AM to 6 PM 


Free-roaming monkeys are part of Ubud’s charm. One of the well-known tourist destinations in the area is the Sacred Monkey Forest, which is a sanctuary for the Balinese long tailed monkey.

ubud monkey forest

There, you will find hundreds of monkeys just going about their daily lives, eating sweet potatoes and walking amongst throngs of tourists. They sometimes wander out of the forest, climbing on top of motorcycles in the parking area.

 Open from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM 

Read more about it in my Ubud Monkey Forest blog post.


Enjoy a relaxing treatments in one of the spas and wellness centers in Ubud. There are quite a number of spas in the area that offer various kinds of services, such as massages, body scrubs, floral baths, and many more.

Sang Spa Ubud Bali

When I was in Ubud, my fiance and I went to Sang Spa on our first night, after roaming around the Art Market and then swimming under the rain in our villa’s pool. We had Balinese massages and a flower bath.

 Open from 9 AM to 10 PM 

Notes: Book ahead via email. Their services include hotel-spa-hotel transfers.

Other attractions in Ubud…

We didn’t get to visit all the attractions in Ubud because we didn’t have enough time, and I’m not one who likes rushing from one place to another, so here’s a list of other places you might like to add to your list:

  • Puri Saren Royal Palace
  • Pura Taman Saraswati Temple
  • Campuhan Ridge Walk
  • Blanco Renaissance Museum
  • Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)

Other activities near Ubud…

Ubud is surrounded by other Gianyar Regency districts that have tons of attractions as well, just like Tegallalang, the home of rice terraces and Instagram-famous Bali swings.

Here are some of the things you can do around Tegallalang:


As one of the most famous attractions in Bali, the Tegallalang Rice Terraces is a must-see. It boasts, not only of stunning views, but also the traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system, locally known as subak, which maintains the lush greenery of the rice paddies.

tegallalang rice terraces with farmer

Not only is it a picturesque place that opens up a lot of photo opportunities, it is also where you can find works of local craftsmen, such as sculptures. You can also find very affordable rattan bags outside!

 Open 24 HRS 


From swings, photo-ops, to coffee and tea tasting, Uma Pakel is an enjoyable destination in Tegallalang.

uma pakel swing tegalalang bali

There are plenty of swings with scenic views around Bali. If you’re in Tegallalang, visit Uma Pakel. It has a cheaper admission fee compared to Bali Swing, the most popular one in Bali, so if you want to try a budget-friendly jungle swing and take photos in giant man-made bird nests, I recommend this place.

uma pakel nest

uma pakel tea tasting

The free tea and coffee tasting in Uma Pakel Agro Tourism is a must-try. They also have a shop where you can buy a pack of any tea or coffee that you like. It’s not compulsory or anything, but their offerings have such amazing flavors that you are likely to end up buying some to take home with you!

 Open from 7 AM to 7 PM 


I love animals and seeing an animal for the first time brings so much joy to me. If you want to see elephants in real life, there are several places to do so in Bali. Mason Elephant Park & Lodge is a rescue facility in Tegallalang and is a sanctuary of more than 30 endangered Sumatran Elephants.

bali elephant sanctuary

One of the reasons why I originally wanted to go to Thailand for my first out-of-the-country trip, as I said in my 2018 travel recap, was because I wanted to see elephants. When I decided on going to Bali instead, I didn’t know about the elephants in the island. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks before the trip that I found out I could meet elephants in Bali, too.

Read about my experience in the Elephant Park here. I talked about why we should not support elephant riding and my feelings when I saw the gentle giants for the first time.

I’ve got a few more Bali-related posts coming up, so if you’re interested to read them, stay tuned! 🙂

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