Bali has a name for its beaches and towering hills, but a place which certainly tops the list is Ubud with its varying collection of picturesque landscapes. One day you can enjoy a spiritual experience at water temples and the next day can stroll through the art markets and museums. With so much to experience, 2-3 days might fall short to witness every shade of the city. From couples to families and kids, everyone gets a fair share of a memorable experience in Ubud.
We have compiled a list of 25 best places to visit in Ubud Bali for you to enjoy your Indonesia trip to the fullest:
Tirta Empul which stands for “the Holy Water Spring” is one of the biggest and most crowded water temples in Bali dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu God of water. The inner courtyard of the temple has two sacred pools with 30 waterspouts meant for a purification ritual known as melukat. Each day, people belonging to the Balinese Hindu community turn up to take a bath under the waterspouts which are known to wash away all their sins and purify their souls. It might be a great idea to visit this temple during the full moon day when many special religious customs are performed at the temple. The beautifully decorated Hindu shrines which contrast with the white clothing of devotees who come here is another worth mentioning highlight of the temple. This place is undoubtedly one of the top free places to visit in Ubud.
This worthy addition to the places to visit in Ubud has a name for its gold and silver jewellery ranging from intricately designed rings, and necklaces to bracelets and earrings. The artists here have been crafting handicrafts for the international market for generations so you are assured of getting perfect quality items. In addition to jewellery shops, you’ll also find some galleries teaching you how to make your own silver jewellery. Other than jewellery there are several options for souvenirs, ornaments, and medals which you can take back home as a memory of your Bali trip. Once you’re done shopping do not miss out on relishing some scrumptious Balinese cuisine from the various food stalls.
Founded by a Balinese art collector, Anak Agung Gde Rai, this famous museum was found to preserve art and share it with the people who appreciate art and is one of the highly visited places to visit in Ubud Bali. The building is composed of a museum, resort, restaurants, an open stage for art performances, and painting classes. The museum part of the building includes paintings from artists from local and foreign land including the likes of Rudolf Bonnet, Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres, Raden Saleh Syarif Bustman and Willem Dooijwaard. In addition to the awestruck artworks, you can enjoy music, theatre, and traditional local dance performances here at the Agung Rai Museum of Art daily. The museum opens at 9 in the morning and closes at 6 in the evening. The entry fee for the museum is 100,000 IDR per person.
Once you’ve been to the art museums and appreciated different forms of artwork, its time to take some pieces of art home. The Ubud Art Market, locally known as ‘Pasar Seni Ubud’ is the talk of the town for its exclusive collection of handmade items including lightweight shirts, silk scarves, caps, and jewellery. You may also look to buy the traditional Balinese clothing, Sarong which is available in varying patterns and designs. The market is the best place to put your bargaining skills into use to make sure you come out with the best deal for your item. Interestingly, the Ubud Market is also the spot where the Hollywood movie, ‘Eat Pray Love’ was shot so you know this place is indeed a famous name among tourists.
This natural sanctuary also known as the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padantegal, is home to a population of more than 700 long-tailed macaques and at least 115 species of trees, and is one of the top places to visit in Ubud. The forest also houses some sacred temples including the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal, the holy spring temple Pura Bheji, and the Pura Prajapati which is visited by the public for cremation ceremonies. Apart from meeting the animals, you can also enjoy live Balinese performances in the forest. This natural reserve and temple complex is proximate to numerous restaurants and stays so you can consider stopping by the Ubud Monkey Forest for a day to make the most of your exploration experience. The entry fee is 40,000 IDR for adults and 30,000 IDR for children.
A famous Hindu holy place in Ubud, the Pura Taman Saraswati Temple is a place of worship of the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, Saraswati. The temple catches many eyeballs for its intricate carvings created by several artists in Ubud. In addition to this, the temple has a pool of pink lotus flowers which is one of the main highlights of the location. There is a bridge connecting the main gate to the outer area of the temple which is lined with statues at the edges. However the entry fee to the temple is free of cost but if you wish to watch a live Kecak dance performance then it cost you around 80,000 Rp. The dance performance starts at 7:30 in the evening and can also be watched from Café Lotus near the temple.
Locally known as Puri Saren Agung, this palace is an epicentre of rich and vibrant Balinese art, dance, and literature featuring well-preserved Balinese architecture and lush green gardens. This historical complex consists of a meeting hall known as Wantilan and a shady banyan tree. The palace which today is one of the best places to visit in Ubud Bali was built during the rule of the late Ida Tjokorda Putu Kandel and has been kept preserved as a centre for Balinese art lovers for decades. In the evenings, the palace hosts local dance performances along with gamelan percussive orchestras. Tourists can visit the royal palace at any time between 8 in the morning and 7 in the evening.
The name Puri Lukisan means “royal residence of paintings” which is indeed the case looking at the extensive collection of Balinese artwork. The museum composes of six buildings, each having exhibitions of fine Balinese art and intricate wooden carvings. The museum was built out of a need to preserve Balinese art and improve the skills of local artists without losing their identity as Balinese artists. This movement is known as the Pita Maha artistic movement led by famous Dutch artist, Johan Rudolf Bonnet gave Ubud the Puri Lukisan Museum which is visited by thousands of tourists each month for its spell bounding artworks. Entry to this museum attracts a fee of 50,000 Rp per adult while for children below the age of 15 it is free of cost.
The Guwang Art Market, locally known as Pasar Seni Guwang is popular for its items being pretty similar to those sold in the famous Sukawati Art Market. Of its lively atmosphere, this is one of the top places to visit in Ubud at night. So, if you wish to avoid the crowds of the Sukawati market then heading to this market would be a great idea. The market area is divided into three different blocks called ‘bloks’ by the locals, namely A, B, and C. Blok A is the place for wooden carvings and souvenirs and is located to the left of the entrance. Blok B located to the right sells colourful sarongs and various motifs. Blok C is the area between A and B which also has an area for you to sit down and relax in between shopping.
If walking on a stone pathway with a pond of water lilies on both sides interests you then we’re sure that the Balinese architecture of the Ubud Water Palace will amuse you. This location which was initially home to the Sukawati royal family of Ubud is today a temple of the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, Saraswati. The structure of the temple is composed of three Mandala zones which is the Nista mandala which connects the temple to the outer world, Madya mandala which is the path leading to the inner layers of the temple, and the Utama mandala which holds the statue of Goddess Saraswati. The temple also hosts Balinese dance performances every evening at 5.
Founded by renowned art collector, Suteja Neka, the museum is one of those places to visit in Ubud is famous for its extensive collection of art inspired by the natural beauty, life, and culture of Bali which serves as a source of inspiration, research, information, and education for visitors from all parts of the world. The museum consists of six buildings having a diverse collection of ancient traditional and modern artwork including classic puppet-style paintings from the 17th century and a plethora of Ubud-style paintings. The museum also features a souvenir shop where you can shop for antiques to take back home.
Known to be one of the largest temple complexes in Bali, Gunung Kawi is a collection of ten 7-metre-high shrines carved directly into rock cliffs which make it a famous archaeological site in Ubud. These shrines also known as ‘Candis’ are believed to be constructed by King Wungsu in honour of his father, the great Udayana of the Warmadewa Dynasty. To reach the temple, you’ll have to climb down the valley running through the town of Tampaksiring. The water from the Pakerisan river streams by the site is also a source of holy water for Balinese Hindu rituals. You can also enjoy views of the river and paddy fields from the temple itself. The entry fee to this site is 15,000 IDR for adults and 7,500 IDR for children.
If you’re here in Ubud for a luxury vacation then it would be a bad idea to skip the Hanging Gardens which is one of the most sought-after places to visit in Ubud Bali. This resort overlooks the Ayung river which offers breathtaking views from your room’s balcony. In addition to this, the property features a river-style pool, fitness centre, and an authentic restaurant. You’re provided with an option of three different rooms; Country rooms, Victoria rooms, and Traveller rooms, each equipped with best-in-class amenities to provide you plush experience. This property located in the heart of the Balinese jungle also boasts a garden filled with lychees, rambutan, and coffee for you to have a morning walk.
Another addition to the ever-lasting list of places for art in Ubud is the Komaneka Fine Art Gallery. The gallery houses unique pieces of artwork created by young artists trying to represent the ways of life of contemporary epicureans. Of the most offered craftsmen in the gallery, is the famous artist, I Made Djirna whose works have been acknowledged globally. The location praises the efforts of a family committed to conserving the world’s finest accumulations of Indonesian and Balinese craftsmanship.
Situated on a hilltop overlooking the valley of Campuhan, the Blanco Renaissance Museum is the home gallery and studio of the late artist, Don Antonio Blanco. The museum consists of lithographic artworks of nude Balinese women placed for display in its large marble hall and is one of the most crowded places to visit in Ubud. As soon as you enter the museum building, you’ll be amazed by the illusions of art in progress and 60s era paintings, paintbrushes and dried paint. Another highlight of the place is the Mario Studio which displays the artworks by Blanco’s son, Mario. Apart from this, the museum also features a café, gift shop, and a lush green garden.
An easy and refreshing 2-kilometre nature trek in the central highland town of Ubud, the Campuhan Ridge Walk is a scenic presentation of rice paddy fields and river valleys. The best point of the ridge walk is the golden spot which offers a serene view of grasslands with few coconut trees on either side of the path. This spot comes somewhere in the middle of the pathway and is perfect to capture some breathtaking views on your camera. It is of no surprise that the best time to come here for a walk is during the sunrise or the sunset.
This village in Ubud is one of those places to visit in Ubud known for the white herons which gather here during the day and the evening time. Some say that these herons are the lost souls of people who lost their lives during the counter comrade slaughter in the mid-60s. The herons leave during the day and return during the evening time to spend the night on fig trees before leaving in the morning again. Make sure you have enough space in your camera because this place is sure to keep the photographer in you busy. The village attracts thousands of visitors each year for heron-watching.
Simply one of the hottest places for art and craft in Bali, the Tegallalang Handicraft Centre is home to one of the longest rows of art shops in the world. The cottage industries dealing with manufacture and worldwide export of sculptures and furniture items have a great influence on the type of items you get to see on display at the Tegallalang Handicraft Centre. At the centre you can shop for a plethora of items including furniture, Balinese curios, jewellery, and ornaments providing for a complete shopping experience. Even though the prices are fixed as stated by the vendors, you can try bargaining to get a good deal for your items.
The Pura Puseh temple is known for its rustic beauty and traditional Balinese architecture. During your festival season, the temple receives an overwhelming amount of flowers and fruit offerings made to the deities of the Holy Trinity of Hindu religion; Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. The temple is a part of the Tri Murti concept which was taught by respected Mpu Kuturan to the people of the Balinese Hindu community. Visitors are advised to wear a sarong or a sash to the temple. The temple opens its door for tourists from 6 in the morning till 6 in the evening. Undoubtedly, the temple is one of the best free places to visit in Ubud.
This park is home to the largest collection of reptiles and amphibian creatures in Indonesia. During your time at the Rimba Reptile Park, you get to meet a plethora of creatures including frogs, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, and huge Komodo dragons behind glass. The location is surrounded by streams and waterfalls around every corner which are easy on the eye. With so much to explore, it will take you a while to go through each corner of the park. There is an open-air courtyard where you can gather courage to interact with the animals. Last but least, do not forget to get a picture clicked with a gigantic 6-metre-long python. The entry to this park costs 432,000 IDR for adults and 216,000 IDR for children.
Undoubtedly one of the most insta-worthy temples in Ubud located on an off-shore setting with waves constantly crashing the shrine walls. ‘Tanah’ means earth and ‘Lot’ means sea and after looking at the temple’s structure you know why. At the entrance lane itself, you’ll be amazed by the huge Balinese gate and numerous shops selling handicrafts, woodcarvings, paintings, and t-shirts. In addition to this, you can find restaurants serving you lip-smacking breakfast and lunch. The whole vibe of the location is different, with waves crashing to the shore, cool breeze flowing towards you, and sun setting from the horizon, all in front of your eyes. Every 210 days a ceremony is held at the temple. The ceremony starts with a prayer at Beji Kaler which is sacred spring located below the temple. This is followed by another prayer and drinking of the Holy water before entering the main temple.
A worthy addition to all-in-one places to visit in Ubud, there’s so much you can do during your time in the Amed Beach. From snorkelling to diving, there’s so much to this beach than relishing views of sunsets from the sandy shore. The beach has a name in Ubud for salt farming and if you’re lucky you can witness the process. The black sand at the beach is pebbly hence it advised to wear shoes. During your snorkelling experience you’ll be left short of words to explain the vibrant and colourful aquatic life and coral reefs. Being an untouched beach, couples can enjoy some quality time here.
If you miss out on visiting the Rimba Reptile Park, you need not worry as the Bali Bird & Reptile Park is there to amaze you with its extensive variety of reptiles and birds. During your time at the park, you get to witness crocodiles, lizards, turtles, and Komodo dragons. It doesn’t end here, the park boasts exhibitions of birds belonging to the South America, South Africa, Sumatra, Borneo, Papua, Java, and Bali descent. Apart from these, the location houses a 4D theatre, Guyu Guyu corner, and Pelican feeding area.
Known as the Hindu temple of death, this sacred temple located in the Ubud Monkey Forest attracts tourists in masses due to its elegant architecture. The temple boasts a deity of Lord Shiva whose worshippers gather from all corner of the city to seek blessings. This Hindu Balinese style Shiva temple is known to have been built in 1350 and is highly revered among the local community. The entry fee for this temple falls around 20,000 IDR per person and opens for tourists between 8:30 in the morning and 6 in the evening.
This famous spot has a wide collection of masks and puppets collected from different regions in Indonesia and around the world put on display since 2006. With more than 1300 masks and 5700 puppets displayed over more than 1 hectare land in the middle of a traditional Balinese village and paddy fields, the Selta Darma Masks & Puppets House is a talk of the town among tourists. The buildings houses exhibition rooms, conference hall, performance buildings, theatre, wedding venue and much more. Tourists can visit this place anytime between 8 in the morning and 4 in the evening.
With so much to experience, Ubud leaves you at loss of words with its never-ending list of places to visit in Ubud from beaches and art markets to museums and water temples. If you’ve had enough of the beaches in Bali then it’s time to head to Ubud to enjoy its collection of eye-catching tourist spots to complete your memorable experience In Ubud.
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