Travel Guide: 7 Places to See in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ubud, situated in Central Bali, is a sleepy town known for its traditional arts and crafts, Hindu rituals, ancient shrines and temples, scenic rice paddies, and lush jungles. With Ubud being the core of culture in Bali, one cannot visit The Island of the Gods and not spend a day or two here. Think of foggy and glorious mornings, where locals begin their religious rituals while everyone else is still asleep. Imagine biking along endless greens, along beautiful rice fields. Bali has a certain kind of charm, and I believe Ubud makes up most of that distinct feeling.

For me, Ubud was, quite literally, a revelation. I arrived in Bali late at night, when the town is completely dark and quiet except for the croaking of frogs. And when I woke up, I saw how magical and beautiful everything is for the first time—and I knew that my heart is tied and that I will be coming back. It somehow felt like a home I never knew I had, one that I never even thought I was looking for. There’s just something about its vibe that will make you want to visit again and again.

7 Places to See in Ubud

1 | Tegallalang Rice Terraces

In all honesty, I still think the rice terraces in my home country, the Philippines, are more majestic than Tegallalang, but Bali’s has a certain charm. Hell—we had only planned to stay here for an hour but we ended up staying for 3 hours! The layers are small, not enormous like the ones in Batad, and there are palm trees everywhere. It’s just nice to look at, even if it’s a baby version of Batad. While Batad is breathtaking, Tegallalang is calming, pacifying, hypnotic. There are a couple of swing installations too in case you want that IG-worthy photo.

Entrance: 10k IDR/PhP37 (donation excluded)

2 | Pura Tirta Empul

Bali has numerous water temples, with Pura Tirta Empul being one of the most popular. It’s actually a temple complex, the highlight of which is the petirtaan or bathing structure, a holy spring where Balinese Hindus perform a purification ritual. Tourists can actually go into the spring and bathe (after wearing the appropriate clothes provided), but as much as I was tempted to, I didn't simply because ... I am not Hindu and it's their sacred ritual.

Entrance: 10k IDR/PhP37 (donation excluded)

3 | Bali Swing

Did you even go to Bali if you didn’t do the jungle swing? Kidding. Although it’s an incredibly touristy thing to do (#IGWorthy), I wanted to do it anyway—it was super FUN. There are many swing installations around Bali but the Bali Swing is actually like an eco-park where guests can do water rafting, lounge in the swimming pool, and of course, ride the swing. Entrance is pretty steep at $35 but this includes a buffet meal.

Entrance: 540k IDR/PhP2,000/$35 (donation excluded)

4 | Sacred Monkey Forest

Ubud’s Monkey Forest is the home to hundreds of Balinese long tailed monkeys, centuries-old trees, and sacred temples. I was expecting a rugged landscape before we went but it was actually very well-planned. It was my first close encounter with monkeys and I really found them adorable! Word of caution though: don’t attempt to hide food in your pockets or bag or they will jump on you. Also, keep an eye on your valuables because they tend to run away with shiny pieces.

Entrance: 50k IDR/PhP185 (donation excluded)

5 | Saraswati Temple

Also known as the “Water Palace”, the Saraswati Temple features a lovely lotus pond with a pathway in the middle leading to a Hindu temple. The temple itself has elaborate details—it’s dedicated to the Hindu goddess of learning, literature, and art.

Entrance: none

6 | Tegenungan Waterfall

Perhaps the most famous waterfall in Bali—but I am guessing only because it’s easy to go to. We went here around sunset and we were disappointed with the number of tourists. It’s hard to find a quiet spot and enjoy the place when there are too many people. I still found it beautiful though (but it quickly got outshined by another waterfall we went to in Northern Bali, the Sekumpul Waterfall). Still, I think that while you're in Ubud, it's worth checking out.

Entrance: 15k IDR/PhP56 (donation excluded)

7 | Campuhan Ridge Walk

If you love hiking, you might want to add this to your itinerary. Campuhan features a hilly pathway with greens all around. There’s no shade at all, so I would say the best time to go there would be around sunset or early morning. We went on a noontime though because we wanted to do something else for sunset on our first day in Ubud. Admittedly, it’s more beautiful if you have a drone. I was quite disappointed that there were only shops and restaurants at the end of the trail, but at least I discovered a nice café there operated by this really cool and friendly guy whose nasi goreng is the best!

Entrance: none

Other Places of Interest:

Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Kanto Lampo Waterfall
Ubud Market
Goa Gajah

Ubud Map:

Click on the pins to view details.

Have you been to Ubud? How did you find the place? Would you ever come back? Any other places not listed here that are worth checking out?

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