Traveling Ubud is like experiencing the authenticity of Bali.
On my trip to Bali, I spent 4-days in Ubud. During this time, I ate at a lot of cafes and restaurants of Ubud (YES!! Food is my primary expenditure during the trips), walked down the streets, visited tourist places, clicked a lot of pictures, and had a coffee at one of the most beautiful Starbucks in the world.
In this Ubud Travel Guide, I’m going to tell you everything about Ubud. From mind-blowing cafes to places to stay and from markets in Ubud to its places of interest.
So read on this detailed Ubud travel guide, which will surely help you in planning your trip.
Detailed Ubud Travel Guide – Witnessing the Best of Ubud
About Ubud – The Cultural Capital of Bali
The only word through which I can describe Ubud is – ‘Idyllic.’
Located just 38 KM from the Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Ubud boasts the cultures and traditions of Bali. From the scenic rice fields to the age-old temples and from picturesque cafes to traditional markets, Ubud is a complete package.
Trust me on this, a holiday of a few days in Ubud will turn to a month or even years, and you won’t even realize. Such is the aura of the ‘Cultural Capital of Bali.’
Mesmerized??? Not yet?
Then, let’s go for a walk amidst the streets of Ubud and behold the best of Bali’s craftsmanship, most beautiful temples, and immerse into some of the best delicacies that Ubud has to offer.
Best Time to Visit Ubud
If you are thinking WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT UBUD or I should say WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BALI? The answer is here:
The best time to visit Ubud or the complete Bali is from June to October, out of which July & August being the peak season.
During these times, the days are mostly sunny and warm and the evenings are pretty cool and clear.
It is recommended that you make the confirmed hotel or restaurant bookings before reaching Ubud as most of them are going to be occupied during these times. Not to forget, the traffic in Ubud is also going to be at its peak.
On the other hand, if you want to save a few bucks and also avoid the crowd, you should plan your trip to Ubud between December to May. During these times, there are fewer people in Ubud, and hence, you might get better and cheaper deals on hotels and tours in Ubud.
The only issue is, it might get rainy sometimes but the scenery of Bali is at its peak.
I traveled to Bali from February 28 to March 10 and trust me, this was one of the best trips of my life. Lush green farms, clean roads, and cozy weather made my trip a memorable one.
How to Reach Ubud from Various Parts of Bali?
Reaching Ubud from Ngurah Rai International Airport
Ubud is around 38 KM from Ngurah Rai International Airport. In moderate traffic, it takes around 45-minutes to one-hour to reach Ubud from the Ngurah Rai International Airport.
There are primarily four ways to reach Ubud from the Denpasar Airport, viz. Public Buses, Airport Taxi, Metered taxi, primarily Blue Bird Taxi, which you will get from outside of the airport, OR go for the private airport transfers at the cheap prices.
Reaching Ubud from Public Buses:
Public buses are one of the cheapest options to travel to Ubud from the airport. Where the buses are available 24/7, there’s no set schedule for them.
To reach Ubud, you need to take the bus going to Batu Bulan from where you need to hire a van to reach your desired destination in Ubud.
Tickets of public buses cost around IDR 3500 only but as mentioned above, you need to hire a van too, which will cost you around IDR 50,000.
You can only pay to the bus driver in cash and hence, it is advisable that you carry exact change whilst traveling on the bus. Also, there’s not much space for the luggage and hence, if you have a lot of luggage, it is advisable to go for a private taxi.
Reaching Ubud from an Airport Taxi:
The next option to reach Ubud from the Ngurah Rai International Airport is via a taxi.
Taxis are a little costly but are comfortable and a good option, especially if you are in a group of people.
There is a set fair of IDR 300,000(subject to change) that you have to pay at the taxi kiosk right outside the international arrivals section of the airport.
Taking Metered Taxi from the outside of the airport:
The third option is to go with the metered taxis, primarily the Blue Bird Taxis.
You’re not going to get these metered taxis from inside the airport as most of the app-based taxi services are banned in most of the Bali areas. Hence, you need to step out of the airport and book one for yourself.
As these are the metered taxis and hence, the fair will depend on your destination.
Private Airport Transfers:
The fourth and final option to reach Ubud from the airport is to book a private airport transfer for yourself.
This is the safest and most comfortable option if you are arriving at the International airport and looking for a hassle-free ride to your destination in Ubud.
Once you arrive at the airport, the driver will be already waiting for you with your name on a placard. Just meet him at the arrivals and you’re good to depart for your destination.
For private transfers, the bookings have to be done online, and hence, you don’t even have to worry about carrying cash.
Here are a few amazing deals from Klook for private airport transfers:
Reaching Ubud from Other Parts of Bali:
Ubud is located in the central part of Bali province and hence, the travel time to Ubud from around Bali is approximately one to two hours.
Here I’ve mentioned the approximate duration to reach Ubud from various parts of Bali:
1.) Sanur: 1-hour
2.) Padang Bai: 1.5 to 2-hours
3.) Kuta/Legion/Seminyak: 1.5 to 2-hours
You can easily hire taxis to reach Ubud from anywhere in Bali or you can even book your private car.
Places to Visit in Ubud
Now you know how to reach Ubud from the international airport and also from various parts of Bali.
Next, in this detailed travel guide to Ubud are the places that you MUST visit whilst you are in the town. So, let’s hop on and get ready to behold some of the most beautiful gems of Ubud.
1. Goa Gajah Temple
The first in the list of places to visit in Ubud is Goa Gajah. It is also known as the Elephant Cave Temple.
Located around 6 KM from Jalan Raya Ubud, Goa Gajah dates back to the 11th century. It is one of the holiest temples of Bali. The Goa Gajah was primarily built for the enclosed meditations and prayers.
One of the most attractive features of the Goa Gajah is its entrance. Shaped like a demon’s open mouth, the entrance is carved out as a rock face and leads to a dark cave. Inside this cave, you will find the statue of Lord Shiva.
To reach the temple, you need to go down a flight of stairs from the parking area. The parking area holds myriads of refreshment shops, souvenir shops and much more.
Important things to note about Goa Gajah
2. Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Our next stop is the very famous Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
Home to around 700 grey long-tailed macaques, the Ubud Monkey Forest is one of the most visited destinations. It is surrounded by the natural nutmeg forest and has paved pathways throughout the same.
These paved pathways inside the Ubud Monkey forest lead to various ancient and beautiful temples. These temples are also part of this beautiful place. Most of the temples date back to the 14th century and a few are totally dedicated to the village funerals.
Important things to note about Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
3. Ubud Royal Palace
Any trip to Ubud is incomplete without exploring the majestic Ubud Royal Palace. Also known as Puri Saren Agung, the Ubud Royal Palace is located on Jalan Raya Ubud, and right in front is the entrance to Ubud Art Market.
Built around the 1800s, Puri Saren Agung boasts well-preserved architecture of Bali and the beautiful gardens. Apart from eye-catching Balinese art, the Ubud Royal Palace is also famous for holding the traditional dance performances.
These dance performances start around 7 PM in the evening. One can buy the tickets at the entrance of the palace usually after around 12 Noon.
Important things to note about Ubud Royal Palace
4. Ubud Art Market
‘Pasar Seni Ubud’ or the Ubud Art Market is one of the best places in Bali to buy souvenirs. This place is the home to umpteen craftsmen who come here from nearby villages to sell their handmade products.
Just in front of Ubud Royal Palace is this amazing Ubud Art Market. It is a long street, surrounded by various shops. These are filled with authentic hand-made Balinese products, which you can buy as souvenirs.
Some of the products include silk scarves, handmade bags, dream-catchers, statues, and much more.
I’ve written a detailed guide to Ubud Art Market, which you can read to know more about the same. In the blog, I’ve mentioned a little history of the Ubud Art Market, what you can buy from there, and other important aspects.
Important things to note about Ubud Art Market
5. Campuhan Ridge Walk
Next in the list of Ubud travel guide is the scenic Campuhan Ridge Walk.
Campuhan Ridge Walk is one of the most famous and must-visit places in Ubud. Surrounded by lush green rice terraces, the Campuhan Ridge Walk is around 2-KM long.
It starts from the Jalan Raya Ubud and ends around Karsa Cafe. However, it is not mandatory to walk through the whole Campuhan Ridge Walk. Depending on the availability of your time, still, I would recommend spending at least half-hour to 45-minutes here.
I’ve also written a detailed guide to Campuhan Ridge Walk where I have shared how to reach Campuhan Ridge Walk, what to expect, and other important aspects of the same.
Important things to note about Ubud Art Market
6. Pura Taman Saraswati Temple
As the name suggests, Pura Taman Saraswati Temple in Ubud is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. Boasting the essence of authentic Balinese architecture, the Pura Taman Saraswati Temple is surrounded by a beautiful pond filled with blooming pink lotuses.
On the right-hand side is Starbucks, which lets you behold the serenity of Pura Taman Saraswati Temple, and on the left is Cafe Lotus.
Trust me, this is the most beautiful Starbucks I’ve ever been to.
Sitting on a rainy day with a cappuccino and witnessing the temple might be a great way to spend some quality time.
Pura Taman Saraswati Temple has an open stage in the front where there is dance performance every day. The tickets for the same can be bought at the entrance of the temple after mid-day.
Important things to note about Pura Taman Saraswati Temple
Places to Visit Near Ubud
So, our Ubud Town exploration is complete. Next, in this Ubud travel guide, let me take you to places that are in the vicinity of Ubud Town and demand your attention.
All the places that are mentioned below are around 1-2 hours’ drive from Ubud. So let’s get started.
1. Tegallalang Rice Terrace
Within 30-minutes of a drive from Ubud is the beautiful Tegallalang Rice Terrace.
Lush green rice farms located on slopes offer a great photo opportunity for everyone, visiting Bali. Not only for the photo-stop, but Tegallalang Rice Terrace is also famous for its innovative irrigation techniques.
Tegallalang Rice Terrace has a high roadside entrance along which there are umpteen cafes and souvenir shops, perfect to enjoy the scenery of the same.
Hence, after the rice terrace exploration, you can sit in a coffee shop whilst sipping on a refreshing coffee or you can do your souvenir shopping from the nearby shops.
Bargaining is a YES YES at these shops.
Also, you can take a picture of the very famous Bali Swing located here.
Important things to note about Tegallalang Rice Terrace
2. Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
During my whole Bali Trip, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan was the most beautiful place I witnessed.
From Ubud, it takes around one hour to reach Pura Ulun Danu Beratan and the journey goes through the picturesque road bends and green hills.
Built-in the 17th century, the Pura Ulun Danu Beratan worships the Hindu trinity (Brahma – Vishnu – Mahesh) and the goddess of Lake – Dewi Danu and is located in the central part of Bali Province.
Ulun Danu Beratan is the picturesque landmark of Bali and famous amongst visitors exploring the province.
Located just alongside Lake Beratan, the temple boasts the majestic misty Bedugul Mountain range in the backdrop, enhancing the scenic beauty of the same.
The day I visited Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, it was raining heavily. Hence, I couldn’t see the Bedugul Mountain as it was completely covered in the mist. However, the sight at the temple was still breathtaking and too refreshing.
Important things to note about Pura Ulun Danu Beratan
3. Pura Ulun Danu Batur
On the eastern side of Bali in the Kintamani area is the beautiful Pura Ulun Danu Batur.
Pura Ulun Danu Batur was built in 1926 and sits around 900-meters from the mean sea level. It is also the second most significant mountain temple after the Besakih Temple and is dedicated to Dewi Danu, the goddess of lakes and rivers.
The temple consists of around 9-smaller temples with almost 300-shrines, which depict the god and goddesses of agriculture, art, crafts, water, springs, etc.
Wearing sarong inside the temple is mandatory and hence, I recommend carrying one with you. However, if you don’t have one, you can rent the same from the local shops, which are right in front of the temple.
Important things to note about Pura Ulun Danu Batur
4. Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple
Our next stop in this detailed travel guide to Ubud is Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple.
If you’re in search of a tranquil and beautiful place, Gunung Kawi Sebatu is your destination. Just 12 KM from the Ubud Town, Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple is around a 20-minutes drive. It is surrounded by beautiful shrines and water gardens. The ponds hold mostly mountain spring-fed water and comprise of the blooming pink lotuses.
The temple is located in the village of Sebatu of Tegallalang area.
Upon the entrance, you can have a good bird’s-eye view of the temple. Before entering the temple’s compound, it is mandatory to wear a sarong, which you can get near the ticket counter.
Important things to note about Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple
5. Tirta Empul Temple
Came into existence in around 926 AD, the glorious Tirta Empul Temple is just 14-KM from Ubud and makes another worth visiting temple around Ubud. It is located in the village of Manukaya in central Bali and is also the national heritage cultural site.
Tirta Emplul Temple is dedicated to Hindu-God of water, Lord Vishnu, and is considered to be one of the holiest temples in Bali.
Tirta Empul literally translates ‘holy spring water’ and is the name of the water source, which originates from the inside of the temple. It is the primary source for various holy baths, fish ponds, etc. and all the water later flows down to Tukad Pakerisan River.
Important things to note about Tirta Empul Temple
6. Lempuyang Temple
Situated at the height of 1,175 meters from the mean sea level, Lempuyang Temple is one of the oldest and most revered temples in the whole Bali Province.
For every traveler who comes to explore Bali, Lempuyang Temple is the highlight of the itinerary. Lempuyang Temple is located on the eastern side of Bali and is around 70 KM from Ubud.
The drive to Lempuyang is extremely scenic and passes through the rice fields and remote villages, which will let you behold the untouched parts of Bali.
The Lempuyang Temple is complex comprises of seven different sanctuaries. It is also known as Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang and is one of the six main temples of Bali Province. The other five temples include Pura Uluwatu, Pura Gua Lawah, Pura Pusering Jagat, Pura Batukaru, Pura Besakih.
The temple gate is famously known as ‘Gates of Heaven’ and is the most famous photo-stop for the people exploring Bali.
The only drawback is that – if you want to get your picture clicked at the ‘Gates of Heaven,’ you need to wait in line for at least 1-hour. Hence, the choice is up to you.
I reached Lempuyang at around 1 PM and despite being cloudy, the weather was humid and hot and hence, we decided not to wait for the picture because the queue was already very long.
Important things to note about Lempuyang Temple
7. Lovina Beach
If you’re in search of a spot to go for dolphin watching in Bali, Lovina Beach is your destination.
Generally, the dolphin watching season in Lovina is from May to January as the rains are heavy and unexpected between February to April, which is the Chinese Lunar New Year period. During the dolphin watching activity in Lovina, you are more likely to witness the dark-skinned spinner dolphins.
Apart from indulging in dolphin watching activity, you can also go for snorkeling activity.
Situated in the Buleleng region of Northern Bali, Lovina Beach is spread around 2 KM from east to west. Serene black sand, calm waves, nightlife scenes, and umpteen cafes, serving delicious food are the highlights of Lovina Beach.
It is a great and peaceful alternative to the more famous and often crowded beaches of south Bali, viz. Legian, Kuta, Seminyak, etc.
I got to know about Lovina Beach from our driver who dropped us from the airport to our stay in Ubud. And while visiting the Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, we drove to the northernmost part of Bali to explore the Lovina Beach.
It was a beautiful and calm afternoon and after driving for so long, I was damn hungry. Hence, we directly headed to a seaside cafe and feasted on delicious Nasi Goreng with some Bintang beers.
Lovina Beach is around 72 KM from Ubud but it deserves a visit. Hence, I would say, if you’re to witness the calmer side of Bali, a visit to Lovina Beach is a must.
If you are in search of the guided Dolphin watching tours in Lovina, here are a few great options:
Important things to note about Lovina Beach
Staying in Ubud
Staying in Ubud can be extremely confusing. The reason being, Ubud is full of luxury resorts, amazing hostels, and eco-friendly villas.
Hence, in this Ubud Travel Guide, I’m now going to tell you about the places where I stayed in Ubud.
During my visit to Ubud, I stayed at two of the below-mentioned places:
1. Puri Saraswati Bungalows
Right next to the Pura Taman Saraswati Temple is the Puri Saraswati Bungalows. Because of its location on Jalan Raya Ubud, these became my favorite. Hence, I strongly recommend everyone to stay here, who likes easy access to almost everything in Ubud.
Puri Saraswati Bungalows offer comfortable large authentic Balinese style bungalows at a reasonable price. The services at Puri Saraswati Bungalows are of top-notch. With ample parking space, swimming pool to relax, and an open dining area, Puri Saraswati Bungalows are a perfect place to stay in Ubud.
Within 200 meters, you have Ubud Royal Palace, Ubud Art Market, and a 5-minutes walk and you can also reach Sacred Monkey Forest. Not only the famous tourist spots but umpteen restaurants, and cafes are next to Puri Saraswati Bungalows.
Right in front, you can find the currency-exchange outlet and 24-hours marts where you can buy all the required products anytime. So, basically, staying at Puri Saraswati Bungalows lets you witness the hustle & bustle of Ubud’s nightlife.
If you’re an Indian and craving for Indian food, there’s a vegan Indian Restaurant in Ubud called – Roti Daal – right outside the bungalows. Another one called Queens of India, Indian Restaurant in Bali is just 200 meters from the bungalows. It serves all the veg & non-veg Indian cuisines.
Apart from this, there are various other beautiful cafes where you can taste scrumptious Indonesian Cuisine, seafood, etc.
2. Firefly Eco-artistic Rice-field Apartment
Located amidst the lush green rice-fields away from the hustle and bustle of Ubud Town is the Firefly Eco-artistic Rice-field Apartment.
If you are spending at least 5-7 days or more in Ubud and want to explore the same at a slower pace, Firefly Eco-artistic Rice-field Apartment is the perfect option.
The only way to reach the apartment is via walking through the trails passing through the rice fields.
However, it is not an apartment but a complete cottage. It had one large room with a twin-bed, where a small kitchen platform was also there. It was stalked up with almost everything that you need to cook something. From a small stove to the utensils, coffee, tea bags, sugar, etc.
There was also a small space at the top, where two more people can be accommodated. To reach there, you need to take small wooden stairs.
There was also a small balcony with a small coffee table and two chairs. Basically a perfect place to enjoy your coffee in the morning with a view.
The most attractive part of the rice-field apartment was its washroom. It was an open washroom, from where, if you stand, you can behold the lush green rice-fields whilst you take the shower.
It is a perfect abode if you’re in a group of 3-4 people and can spend your days slowly whilst exploring the serene town of Ubud.
Eating in Ubud
Our Ubud Travel Guide is incomplete without adding information about eating in Ubud.
Almost every street and every road in Ubud is lined up with beautiful cafes and restaurants. Talking about the delicacies, they serve EVERYTHING. From authentic Indonesian Nasi Goreng to Japenese mouth-watering sushis to finger licking Indian, Ubud has everything on its plate.
For Indians, who crave for Indian Food in Ubud, there are a few options for you too.
Indian Restaurants in Ubud
1. Roti Daal, Ubud
The first one amongst the Indian restaurants in Ubud is Roti Daal.
Roti Daal is a fully vegan/vegetarian Indian restaurant in Ubud. So, if you’re in search of a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Ubud, Roti Daal is a perfect choice.
It serves delicious Indian meal-combos and their menu varies every day. Even being a vegan restaurant, the food is literally scrumptious and is extremely pocket friendly.
Roti Daal is located on Jalan Raya Ubud and is right next to Pura Taman Saraswati Temple.
2. Queen’s of India, Indian Restaurant in Bali
The second in the list is Queen’s of India, Indian restaurant in Bali. It is located on Jalan Suweta, which is just 100m from Jalan Raya Ubud and Ubud Royal Palace.
Unlike Roti Daal, Queen’s of India, Indian Restaurant in Bali serves every Indian delicacy. Be it North Indian, South Indian, vegetarian, non-vegetarian, and whatnot.
Hence, if you’re craving up for some Tandoori Roti and Butter Chicken, look no other than Queen’s of India, Indian Restaurant in Bali, because it’s a real hunger savior.
Transportation in Ubud
In this Ubud Travel Guide, I will tell you in detail about the various mode of transports that you can use to explore Ubud.
1. Rent Your Own Two-wheeler
The first and one of the best ways to explore Ubud by getting a two-wheeler of your own.
There are many two-wheeler rental options in Ubud, which will offer you the bike of your choice at extremely reasonable rates.
Approximate cost of renting two-wheeler in Ubud:
- Daily Cost: 50,000 IDR to 70,000 IDR
- Weekly Cost: 200,000 IDR to 250,000 IDR
- Monthly Cost: 650,000 IDR to 750,000 IDR
Here are a few links from where you can book two-wheeler rental for your Ubud trip:
2. Rent a Self-drive
The second way to move around Ubud and its nearby places is by renting a self-drive car, which I also opted for.
The reason being, both of my friends didn’t know how to drive and I did not want to hire a car with a driver. Because I, generally explore places at my own pace. Hence, I rented a self-drive car from DriveInBali
I booked a Toyota Agya for 9 days and it cost me for USD $125, which comes to around IDR 1,800,000
You need to pay in cash once you get the car. Also, you have to return the same amount of fuel, which is at the time of receiving the car.
3. Rent a Private Car with Driver
If you do not want to get into all the hassle of driving in and around Ubud, the best way is to rent a private car with a driver.
In this way, you will just sit back and relax whilst you explore various beautiful destinations and your driver will take care of the rest of the things.
If you want, along with the driver, you can also have options to get a guide who will acquaint you with the places you’re going to explore.
If you want to rent a private car, most of the time, your hotel can provide it for you but it might be a little costly.
Hence, here are a few cheap and best deals on booking of a private car with driver in Ubud
Apart from this, you can also check below-mentioned deals to hire a private car for Ubud exploration:
So, these are a few transportation options to explore in and around Ubud.
If you ask me, I would recommend that the best way to explore the serenity of Ubud by taking either a self-drive or a two-wheeler rental. The reason being, you get to travel at your own pace and can spend as much time as you want at a particular spot.
Also, driving around Ubud is AN EXPERIENCE everyone must-have.
Summing It Up
So, this was the detailed Ubud travel guide. Here I acquainted you about everything you need to know before traveling Ubud.
There are a lot more blogs coming in from my Bali trip. Till then do read this detailed travel guide to Ubud and let me know in comments if you have any suggestions about traveling Ubud.