Want to go on a vacation somewhere exotic and beautiful? Want to feel pampered while exploring a jungle and enjoying some incredible waterfalls? Want to taste mouth-watering food and discover amazing culture in what can only be described as a slice of heaven? Meet some amazing people? Then come and spend just one day in Ubud on the island of Bali, Indonesia and prepare to fall head-over-heels in love. All of this and so much more awaits you here, and you are without a doubt in for an adventure of a lifetime. Here’s exactly what to do and see in this town!
What’s the best time to visit Ubud?
As already mentioned, Ubud is on the island of Bali, which means it’s just under the equator. That should give you a pretty good idea of what kind of weather to expect there. Yes, it’s very warm all year round, but be warned – it’s also very humid. The best time to visit Ubud, however, would be the period from April to June. A couple of reasons for that: the peak season is in July and August, so you will get much better deals across the board, and the dry period starts in April and lasts until about October.
As for the events, Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud starts right at the beginning of April, followed by Ubud Food Festival. Both are excellent opportunities to get to know the town and the locals a bit better and should definitely be a part of your itinerary if you’re here at the right time, but there are other great festivals all over Bali, throughout the year.
A few facts about Ubud
Ubud is not a very big place – approximately 75,000 people live here. However, every year it is visited by quite literally millions of tourists, so it’s safe to say that tourism is the main industry around here. That being said, art is also incredibly important to Ubud, and one might say that it is the reason behind its growth in the 20th century, as the likes of Charlie Chaplin and H. G. Wells came here for visit and the artistic movement grew.
People of Ubud are also incredibly careful towards the environment because most of the industry around here is 100% sustainable. Incredibly commendable, and everyone who comes here should respect this fact and act accordingly. The nature around the town deserves it.
Finally, if you’re a fan of Eat, Pray, Love, you know how important Ubud is in the book. Not to mention the fact that the movie was actually shot here, too.
One Day in Ubud Itinerary
Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Ubud.
Start your day with some art
What to see in Ubud? Plenty of stuff! The town is renowned all over the world for its focus on art, so to get the feel of that stroll around a bit and explore some of the streets as a start of your Ubud itinerary. You will see loads of great art all over the place, be that in galleries or in the form of street art. Some art is even considered sacred as it performs the function of offerings to Hindu gods and spirits.
Go see Tegalalang rice terraces
Once you’re done with your morning walk, head out north to Tegalalang rice terraces. It takes only about 20 minutes to reach them by car, so you’ll be there in no time. The greenery of the place will hit you like a truck, and there are plenty of stunning views to enjoy. Therefore, you will be able to take a whole lot of incredible pictures and generally experience something very special. It may be hot here, but if you’re wondering what to see in Ubud, this will be right there at the top of the list of potential answers.
Get some authentic Ubud lunch
We have already said that the people here are doing their best to live in a sustainable way and in tune with nature. They are very careful about how they grow their food, and this is best exemplified in the Sari Organik restaurant. A lovely walk leads to it, as the place is surrounded by padi fields and loads of greenery. They will offer you freshly squeezed juices and home-made cocktails and some excellent organic dishes. It’s an authentic Ubud dining experience.
Take a stroll through the Monkey Forest
The Monkey Forest near Ubud is home to numerous macaques, which is the main reason why so many tourists come and visit it. However, it is also an important spiritual centre, with three Hindu temples being located within it. So, this place really should be an integral part of your itinerary, and the monkeys are quite used to humans at this point, which means you could get some spectacular photos along the way!
Refresh yourself at Taman Sari…
Once you’re done walking, it’s time to cool down! What to do if you want to refresh yourself? Head to Taman Sari, site of a fantastic waterfall and a pool below it where you can swim, enjoy and relax thoroughly in crystal-clear water. It’s easy to get to, as there is a road leading almost right to the waterfall, but it’s surrounded by lush forest so that you can forget all about the bustle of the town and focus on the nature.
…or at Tibumana waterfall
Just south of Taman Sari is another great waterfall – Tibumana. Again, this place can be reached fairly easily and it hides a waterfall that falls right to the ground, without any rocks interfering with it. While there is a small fee to be paid, it is well worth it to come and enjoy here. The gorge around it makes for an impressive background, and the place is usually not crowded. True, you could spend your day in Ubud just enjoying these two places, but there’s more!
End your day at Pura Taman Saraswati
After all that walking around and enjoying Ubud’s surroundings, come to Pura Taman Saraswati, a temple in the heart of the town.
Not only is the temple quite beautiful, surrounded by a pond and decorated in so many ways (fountains, carvings, etc.) to honor the goddess of wisdom and art, but you can also catch regular dance shows at 7.30 PM every day. An impressive way to end your one day in Ubud.
But what to do in Ubud at night? Don’t worry, there are plenty of great places around, and the atmosphere is pretty chilled-out. Night Rooster is an excellent place to get some pretty special cocktails, and XL Shisha Lounge is exactly what it sounds like. CP Lounge is open till 4 AM, which is a useful piece of information to have, but all in all, you will be able to find something for just about everyone here and spend a great night enjoying yourself in Ubud.
Where to stay in Ubud?
Bisma Eight Hotel
Jalan Bisma , 80571 Ubud
If you want ultimate luxury, Bisma Eight Hotel is the place where you want to stay in Ubud. Incredible suites with terraces surrounded by lush jungle, an infinity pool with a fantastic view of the sunset, lovely and welcoming staff and the incredible Copper restaurant… Those are just some of the reasons why booking a stay here will remain engraved in your memory forever. Incredible comfort right at the edge of a jungle! Check out the full review here.
Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa
Jl. Hanoman, Pengosekan, 80361 Ubud
When it comes to luxury in this town, though, Plataran Ubud Hotel & Spa is also a great choice. Right next to the Monkey Forest and surrounded by palm trees and rice fields, this exquisite hotel will make sure you are completely relaxed every second of your stay. Two infinity pools will help with that too, and the soothing mood around the premises will create an incredibly romantic mood. Fascinating!
Tapa Nata Ubud by Pramana
Jl Suweta, Bentuyung, 80571 Ubud
Tapa Nata Ubud is an absolutely gorgeous hotel on the outskirts of the town. It has a beautiful garden, a pool you can enjoy and will organize transport for you to and from the local airport. The rooms are spacious and well equipped, with amazing terraces from which you can enjoy the view of the greenery around you. Relaxation is guaranteed and the service you get is top-notch. Great value!
Pillow Inn Ubud
Jalan Bisma No 45 , 80571 Ubud
If you’re looking for a hostel in Ubud, Pillow Inn is a great choice. It’s right in the city center, so you’ll be able to get around fairly easily, but it also has two pools for its guests to enjoy, a garden, an on-site restaurant, and a rooftop bar. Even yoga classes are offered here! Because of all of that, this hostel is really hard to beat, not just in Ubud, but in Bali.
Day trips from Ubud
The selection of day trips from Ubud is great! After all, you are in Bali, a place that has something interesting to do pretty much wherever you are. Therefore, if you decide to spend more than one day in this town, consider visiting some of the following destinations.
Tour the island
This is a truly magical place, and you can easily spend one day in Bali just exploring all its nooks and crannies. The beaches of Uluwatu and the incredible sunset there, excellent food and drinks in Seminyak, the famous Kuta… no matter where you decide to go, you simply can’t make a bad choice! Not to mention the magnificent nature of the whole island.
Tanah Lot and other temples
Hindu temples abound on Bali, but Tanah Lot is something truly special. Built on a rock surrounded by the sea, it is an awesome sight, and the greenery growing there only adds to the surreal feeling. Ulun Danu Bratan is also a temple you should visit on this day trip, plus there is a whole lot of great beaches, lush green areas and other cultural sights you can see between the two locations.
If you want to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and every other water-related activity, go to Blue Lagoon. It is a place full of color and life, so if you’re into underwater exploration this is the perfect spot. Furthermore, you can visit the amazing Gate of Heaven along the way and enjoy an incredible view of the biggest volcano on Bali. This is Indonesia’s nature at its very finest.
Nusa Penida is a fairly remote island, a great choice if you want to visit a place that is serene and away from the crowds. The beaches here will blow your mind with their beauty, and the Angel Billabong lagoon is an obligatory stop for every visitor. This is another day trip from Ubud that will show you amazing feats of nature, but all in a much more peaceful surrounding.
Extra tips for visiting Ubud
– Traffic here is, well, hectic. Don’t be surprised if you find motorbikes going the wrong way. Keep your eyes open, no matter if you’re a pedestrian or a driver.
– Haggling is very much expected, especially on the market. Don’t be afraid to take the price down.
– Minimarts that are supposedly for tourists are often overpriced. Enter a shop where the locals go and the prices will be way lower.
– It’s hot and humid around here. Dress accordingly and drink water.
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Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).