12 Best Offbeat Things To Do In Ubud
One of the highlights of Ubud is its thriving arts scene. The town has numerous art galleries, museums, and cultural centers where visitors can explore traditional Balinese art, painting, sculpture, and crafts. The Ubud Art Market is a vibrant hub where locals and tourists come together to shop for unique handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. There are some things to do in Ubud.
Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscapes. The Tegalalang Rice Terraces, with their cascading emerald-green fields, is a sight to behold. The Campuhan Ridge Walk offers a scenic trek through lush hills and picturesque valleys. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a sanctuary for monkeys and a serene forest temple complex where visitors can immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.
Ubud is also renowned for its wellness and spiritual practices. Yoga and meditation retreats and traditional Balinese healing therapies are popular among visitors seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The town is dotted with spas and wellness centers offering various treatments to soothe the mind, body, and soul.
Ubud, located in the heart of Bali, is a captivating destination that embodies the cultural and artistic essence of the island. Known for its lush greenery, serene landscapes, and spiritual atmosphere, Ubud offers a tranquil escape from the bustling coastal areas of Bali. Bali Trip Packages can be planned to keep you hooked to Bali’s natural beauty.
Cultural Experiences In Bali enable you to witness traditional dance performances, attend cooking classes, and participate in temple ceremonies. The annual Ubud Writers & Readers Festival attracts renowned writers, thinkers, and artists from around the world, showcasing the intellectual and creative spirit of the town.
Ubud’s culinary scene is diverse and vibrant, with many local and international dining options. From traditional warungs serving Balinese specialities to trendy cafes and restaurants offering organic and vegan cuisine, food lovers will find many options to satisfy their taste buds. There are a number of Things to do in Bali that can be done to enjoy the most of the trip.
Bali offers a perfect blend of art, nature, spirituality, and cultural experiences with many things to do in Ubud. Whether you seek serenity, creative inspiration, or a deeper connection with Balinese traditions, Ubud will undoubtedly captivate your heart and leave you with cherished memories of your time in this enchanting town.
Top 12 Things To Do In Ubud, Bali
1. Visit the Saraswati Temple
The Saraswati Temple in Bali is a beautiful Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Saraswati, revered as the deity of knowledge, arts, and wisdom. Situated in the cultural hub of Ubud, this temple holds immense significance for the locals and draws visitors worldwide. Temples in Bali are the reason why this place is known as the Islands of God.
The temple’s architecture is a sight to behold, featuring intricate carvings, traditional Balinese designs, and beautiful lotus ponds that add to its serene ambience. The entrance is adorned with a majestic stone gate and statues of Saraswati, inviting devotees and tourists to enter the sacred space. This is the simplest and most historic thing to do in Ubud, Bali.
Inside the temple, worshippers pay their respects to Saraswati through prayers and offerings, seeking blessings for knowledge and creativity. The tranquil surroundings provide an ideal atmosphere for meditation and introspection.
Visiting the Saraswati Temple in Bali is a mesmerising experience that offers a glimpse into the spiritual and cultural essence of the island. It is a must-visit destination for those seeking tranquillity, artistic inspiration, and a deeper understanding of Bali’s cultural tapestry.
Entry Fee: Free
2. Elephant Cave
The Elephant Cave, also known as Goa Gajah, is an enchanting archaeological site in Bali, Indonesia. This historic and sacred place holds immense cultural significance and attracts tourists from around the globe.
Dating back to the 9th century, the Elephant Cave is a unique blend of Hindu and Buddhist influences. The entrance to the cave is adorned with intricate stone carvings of demonic creatures and mythical beings, showcasing the ancient craftsmanship of the time.
As visitors enter the cave, they are greeted by a meditative atmosphere and the sight of ancient rock-cut shrines, bathing pools, and a central courtyard.
Surrounded by lush greenery and serene landscapes, the Elephant Cave provides a tranquil escape from bustling city life. It offers a unique glimpse into Bali’s ancient past and reminds of the island’s cultural heritage. The list of things to do in Ubud is incomplete without visiting the elephant’s cave.
Entry Fee: 250-300 INR
3. Take a Dip In Banjar In Bali
Banjar Hot Springs, located in the village of Banjar in Bali, is a hidden gem that offers a truly rejuvenating experience. As you step into this natural oasis, you’ll be greeted by a serene atmosphere and the soothing sounds of flowing water. The hot springs are known for their healing properties and are believed to have therapeutic benefits for the body and mind. This is one of the most relaxing things to do in Ubud.
The hot springs have three main pools, each with a different temperature. The water is enriched with sulfur and minerals, which benefit the skin, joints, and muscles. As you immerse yourself in the warm waters, you’ll feel a sense of relaxation and relief from any tension or stress. Things to do in Ubud are not just about the therapeutic benefits but also about embracing the tranquillity of nature. Take time to unwind, soak in the healing waters, and be fully present. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and connect with yourself.
After your dip in the hot springs, you can relax in the nearby gardens or enjoy a traditional Balinese massage for ultimate relaxation. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit, towel, and a change of clothes.
Entry Fee: 100-150 INR
4. Explore The Rich Rice Terraces
The lush rice terraces of Tegalalang and Jatiluwih in Bali offer a breathtaking and immersive experience of the island’s natural beauty. Located in the central highlands of Bali, these terraces showcase the timeless agricultural traditions of the region and the stunning harmony between humans and nature.
Tegalalang Rice Terraces, just north of Ubud, are renowned for their picturesque landscapes. As you navigate the terraced fields, you’ll be greeted by a mesmerising panorama of emerald-green rice paddies. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are located in the western part of Bali. These terraces offer a more extensive and grandeur experience. The terraced fields extend across vast stretches of land, creating a dramatic landscape that unfolds before you. The Jatiluwih area is known for its organic farming practices and preservation of traditional Balinese agricultural methods. As you explore the terraces, you’ll witness farmers diligently tending to their crops, showcasing the deep connection between the local community and the land.
Visiting the rice terraces of Tegalalang and Jatiluwih allows you to immerse yourself in Bali’s rural beauty and gain a deeper appreciation for the island’s agricultural heritage. Things to do in Ubud are a chance to escape the bustling tourist areas, reconnect with nature, and witness the breathtaking landscapes that make Bali unique.
Entry Fee : 100-150 INR
5. Cycle Tour In Rural Bali
Embarking on a cycling tour through Bali’s rural landscapes is a fantastic way to explore the island’s hidden gems and immerse yourself in its authentic culture. As you pedal along, you’ll witness the enchanting beauty of the countryside, passing through emerald-green rice fields, palm groves, and vibrant plantations. The gentle breeze and peaceful surroundings create a serene atmosphere perfect for leisurely cycling.
One of the highlights of the cycling tour is the opportunity to visit traditional villages. You’ll have the chance to interact with friendly locals, observe their way of life, and gain insights into their unique customs and traditions. You may see skilled artisans creating intricate handicrafts or villagers engaged in traditional farming practices.
The scenic beauty of Bali’s countryside is truly captivating. You’ll come across breathtaking vistas, lush valleys, and picturesque rivers.
Things to do in Ubud enhance your experience, cycling tours typically include knowledgeable guides who provide exciting commentary and share fascinating stories about the places you visit. They may also introduce you to local delicacies and take you to lesser-known spots off the beaten path.
Entry Fee: 300-350 INR
6. Cooking In Bali
Taking part in a cooking class in Bali is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the island’s rich culinary traditions and discover the secrets behind authentic Balinese cuisine. Led by skilled local chefs, these classes offer hands-on experiences that take you on a gastronomic journey through the vibrant flavours and aromatic spices of Balinese dishes.
During the class, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the key ingredients used in Balinese cooking, such as lemongrass, turmeric, galangal, and chilli. You’ll discover the art of blending these flavours to create the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, sour, and savoury tastes that define Balinese cuisine. This is the offbeat thing to do in Ubud.
The cooking process typically involves preparing traditional dishes like Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice), Satay (grilled skewers), Lawar (a mixed vegetable salad), or Babi Guling (spit-roasted pig). You’ll learn essential cooking techniques, knife skills, and the importance of presentation in Balinese cuisine.
The best part of the cooking class is the opportunity to savour the fruits of your labour. After you’ve prepared the dishes, you’ll sit down to enjoy a delicious meal, appreciating the flavours you’ve created with newfound appreciation.
A cooking class in Bali not only teaches you how to prepare traditional Balinese dishes but also allows you to bring a piece of the island’s culinary heritage back home with you. It’s a wonderful way to engage with the local culture, bond with fellow food enthusiasts, and create lasting memories through the joy of cooking and sharing a meal.
Entry Fee: 800-1000 INR
7. Discover the underwater world
Diving in Tulamben offers a unique opportunity to explore the mesmerising underwater world and discover the USS Liberty Shipwreck, one of Bali’s most iconic dive sites. Located off the northeast coast of Bali, the shipwreck is a haven for divers seeking an unforgettable underwater adventure.
The USS Liberty was a United States Navy cargo ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during World War II and later beached in Tulamben. Over the years, the wreck has become an artificial reef teeming with marine life and coral formations. As you descend into the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be greeted by an abundance of colourful fish, vibrant corals, and other fascinating marine creatures that have made the shipwreck their home.
The dive site is suitable for divers of various skill levels, with depths ranging from shallow to deep. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, you can explore different sections of the wreck, including the intact hull, deck, and cargo hold. The visibility is generally excellent, allowing for clear views of the underwater marvels.
Diving in the USS Liberty Shipwreck offers a sense of awe and wonder as you navigate through its corridors and swim past schools of tropical fish. You may encounter reef sharks, turtles, barracudas, and various vibrant coral species. The diversity of marine life and the fascinating history of the shipwreck create truly memorable things to do in Ubud. This place is different from the Beaches In Bali, giving more space to explore the underground world.
Entry Fee: 2000-2500 INR
8. Trek to Mount Batur
Embarking on a trek to the summit of Mount Batur is an exhilarating adventure that promises breathtaking views and the chance to witness a mesmerising sunrise over Bali. Mount Batur is an active volcano located in the Kintamani region with an elevation of 1,717 meters (5,633 feet).
The trek begins in the early morning hours, allowing you to reach the summit in time for sunrise. As you make your way up the well-marked trail, guided by experienced local guides, you’ll navigate through volcanic terrain and lush vegetation. The trek can be moderately challenging, but the rewarding views make every step worthwhile.
As the first light of dawn breaks, you’ll be treated to a spectacular panorama. The rising sun casts its golden hues across the surrounding landscape, illuminating the nearby Lake Batur and the rolling hills of Bali. The sight is truly awe-inspiring and offers a moment of tranquility and serenity.
You can find a perfect spot to sit at the summit and marvel at the beauty unfolding before you. Take the stunning vistas, capture memorable photographs, and bask in the peaceful atmosphere. You can also enjoy a light breakfast while savoring the ethereal surroundings.
Trekking to the summit of Mount Batur and witnessing the sunrise is a truly unforgettable experience thing to do in Ubud. It allows you to connect with nature, challenge yourself physically, and appreciate the sheer beauty of Bali’s volcanic landscape. The combination of adventure and natural beauty makes this trek a must-do activity for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers visiting the island.
Entry Fee: 500-800 INR
9. Watch The Traditional Dance
Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Balinese culture by watching a traditional dance performance, such as the Kecak or Legong dance. These captivating dances are integral to Balinese heritage and offer a glimpse into the island’s rich artistic traditions.
The Kecak dance is a dramatic and mesmerising performance characterised by a chorus of men chanting “cak” in rhythmic harmony. Often clad in vibrant costumes, the dancers depict ancient mythological stories, such as the Ramayana, through intricate movements and expressive gestures. The synchronised chanting and the hypnotic rhythm create a mesmerising atmosphere that transports the audience into a different realm.
The Legong dance, on the other hand, is a graceful and delicate dance form performed by young girls. With intricate footwork, delicate hand gestures, and complex facial expressions, the dancers tell tales of love, mythical creatures, and the eternal struggle between good and evil. The Legong dance is a visual delight, with the performers adorned in ornate costumes and headdresses.
Watching a traditional Balinese dance performance is the most delightful thing to do in Ubud. It allows you to delve into the soul of Bali, witness the beauty of its cultural expressions, and gain a deeper understanding of the island’s artistic heritage. It’s an experience that will leave you captivated and inspired by the rich tapestry of Balinese traditions.
Entry Fee: 700-1000 INR
10. Get a Relaxing Spa and Massage
Indulge in the ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation by treating yourself to a traditional Balinese massage and spa. Bali is renowned for its spa culture, and experiencing a Balinese massage is a must-do activity for those seeking a blissful escape.
Balinese massage techniques combine acupressure, deep tissue massage, and aromatherapy to create a truly soothing and therapeutic experience. Skilled therapists use long, flowing strokes, gentle stretching, and palm pressure to release tension, improve blood circulation, and promote overall well-being. The aromatic oils used in the massage further enhance the sensory journey, leaving you feeling deeply relaxed and rejuvenated.
Beyond the massage itself, many spas in Bali offer a range of luxurious treatments to pamper your body and mind. The options are endless, from body scrubs using local ingredients like coffee or coconut to soothing flower baths and traditional herbal compress therapies. You can also enjoy facials, foot reflexology, and other specialised treatments tailored to your needs.
Spa facilities in Bali often boast serene settings, with lush gardens, tranquil pools, and a peaceful ambience that allows you to escape the outside world and fully immerse yourself in tranquillity. Many spas also incorporate traditional Balinese design elements, creating an authentic and calming atmosphere.
Entry Fee : 1000-1500 INR
11. Underwater World In Bali
Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world of Bali by snorkelling or diving in its crystal-clear waters. With an abundance of colourful coral reefs, diverse marine life, and excellent visibility, Bali is a paradise for underwater enthusiasts.
Snorkelling in Bali allows you to explore the shallow reefs close to the shore, even if you’re not a certified diver. You can glide through the turquoise waters with just a mask, snorkel, and fins, admiring the beauty beneath the surface. Bali’s snorkelling sites, such as Blue Lagoon and Menjangan Island, offer a kaleidoscope of coral formations and many tropical fish, including clownfish, parrotfish, and butterflyfish. Bali’s warm waters and year-round diving conditions make it an ideal destination for beginners and experienced divers. Dive operators and dive centres are readily available, offering guided trips and courses for those who want to explore the depths. These things to do in Ubud are full of fun and adventure at the same time.
Snorkelling or diving in Bali’s waters offers a glimpse into a world of vibrant colours, teeming with life. It’s a chance to witness the intricate ecosystems of coral reefs, swim alongside fascinating marine creatures, and create unforgettable memories in Bali’s underwater playground.
Entry Fee : 1500-2000 INR
12. Visit The Temples In Bali
To truly immerse yourself in the spiritual essence of Bali, a visit to the sacred temples of Uluwatu and Besakih is a must. These ancient temples are architectural marvels and important pilgrimage sites that hold deep religious significance for the Balinese people.
Perched on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean, Uluwatu Temple is a breathtaking sight. Dedicated to the sea gods, this temple is renowned for its stunning sunset views and traditional Kecak dance performances. Explore this thing to do in Ubud which is made up of intricately carved stone walls, wander through the temple complex, and soak in the spiritual aura surrounding you.
Besakih Temple, the “Mother Temple of Bali,” is the island’s largest and holiest Hindu temple. Nestled on the slopes of Mount Agung, this sprawling temple complex consists of multiple temples and shrines. With its grandeur and serene setting, Besakih Temple offers a truly awe-inspiring experience. Discover the intricate Balinese architecture, observe religious ceremonies, and learn about the rich cultural heritage preserved within its walls.
Both Uluwatu and Besakih temples offer a glimpse into Bali’s deep-rooted spirituality and cultural traditions. As you explore these sacred sites, you’ll witness devotees engaged in prayer and rituals, hear the melodic sounds of traditional music, and feel the energy that resonates within these hallowed grounds.
Entry Fee: Free
Frequently Asked Questions About Things to Do in Ubud
1. What are the best places guests can visit during their holiday in Ubud?
During their holiday in Ubud, guests can visit several captivating places that showcase the beauty and culture of the region. Some of the best places to explore include the Ubud Monkey Forest, Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), Blanco Renaissance Museum, Ubud Art Market, Tirta Empul Temple, Saraswati Temple, and the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Additionally, guests can participate in activities such as cycling tours through the countryside, cooking classes to learn Balinese cuisine, and sunrise hikes up Mount Batur. These attractions and experiences offer a wonderful blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and immersive experiences in Ubud.
2. What is Ubud Bali famous for?
Ubud, Bali is famous for its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant arts scene. It is known as the cultural heart of Bali and has attracted artists, writers, and spiritual seekers for decades. Ubud is renowned for its traditional arts and crafts, including painting, sculpture, and woodcarving. The town is also surrounded by lush rice terraces, ancient temples, and serene forests, offering a tranquil and picturesque environment. Ubud is a hub for yoga and wellness retreats, home to numerous galleries, museums, and cultural events. Ubud offers a unique blend of art, spirituality, nature, and relaxation.
3. What are the top attractions to visit in Ubud?
Ubud offers a plethora of top attractions to visit. Some must-see places include the Ubud Monkey Forest, where visitors can interact with playful monkeys in a lush forest setting. The Tegalalang Rice Terraces showcase stunning cascading rice fields that are a sight to behold. The Ubud Art Market is a bustling market with unique handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is another popular attraction, home to ancient temples and friendly monkeys. The Blanco Renaissance Museum, Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), and Campuhan Ridge Walk are also worth exploring for their cultural and natural beauty.
4. What are the most popular things to do in Ubud with children?
When visiting Ubud with children, several popular activities can be enjoyed. The Ubud Monkey Forest is a favourite among kids, as they can observe and interact with the playful monkeys. The Bali Bird Park offers a chance to see various bird species up close, while the Bali Zoo allows children to get acquainted with various animals. The Tegenungan Waterfall provides a refreshing and scenic spot for kids to splash. The ARMA Museum and Cultural Park offer art workshops and exhibitions suitable for young ones. Finally, the Bali Safari and Marine Park offer an exciting wildlife safari experience.