Ubud is one of my favourite towns in Bali. Rice fields and rice terraces surround Ubud in every direction. It has more temples than I have ever seen, more monkeys than people and the most stunning places to stay! Read on to see my guide to Ubud, with what to do in Ubud. This includes the best cooking class and amazing waterfalls!
Guide to Ubud: Best things to do
If you want to see lots of monkeys, then this is the perfect place. However, make sure you have as little with you as possible, as they are very quick, and can also unzip any rucksack to get to some food! Don’t wear sunglasses, ideally have a lock on your backpack, don’t take any food and don’t look the monkeys in the eye as they see this as a sign of aggression. The walk through the monkey forest takes about 30 minutes depending on how many photos you take of monkeys!
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
A short drive from Ubud, Tegallalang rice terraces are the most famous rice terraces in Ubud. You can enter them at various spots, and at some you will have to give a donation to the land owners, they say this is due to the paths they have built. However, the paths are really not great and it can get very slippery so I would recommend wearing some proper shoes rather than sandals. The best time is at the end of the rainy season, as this is when the rice fields are the most green.
Here you can also try a Bali swing, although I didn’t as they aren’t cheap and I don’t like swinging! I would also say go as early as you can, as it gets very busy, and the drone shots are amazing from above of all the layers of rice and lush greenery. There are also LOADS of mosquitos, so make sure to wear plenty of repellent or you will be covered in bites like I was.
Cooking Class in Ubud
This was one of my favourite activities in Ubud, I hadn’t cooked for a long time while travelling and it was nice to get back in the kitchen. It always helps too when you have someone telling you exactly what to do and with pre prepared amounts! However, definitely don’t go hungry or you will be eating uncooked food and getting told off like I did. I would also recommend doing it in someone’s home as it makes the experience even more special. We chose Periuk Bali Cooking Class, a short drive from the centre of Ubud.
The first part of the cooking class is a small tour to a rice field, where you learn about how the rice is planted and harvested. You get to walk around for a bit and see where everything grows.
Then you head back to the cooking class location and they explain about how their homes are built. The whole family, all generations, live in one house. There are two main gates, one of them has a small temple in front of it to ward off any evil spirits. They also explained how everyday, they make offerings to the gods made out of bamboo and flowers and we even had a go at making some.
Then on to the cooking. We made a range of different dishes from curries, to salad, to soup, chicken satay, fish in a banana leaf and finally some pancakes with coconut filling for dessert. It really was great and the lady that ran it was so funny and helpful!
Guide to Ubud: Best waterfalls nearby!
Tukad Cepung Waterfall
This waterfall is famous for its light rays that stream through from the top all the way through the cracks in the rocks. It really is unique and breath taking. It’s not necessary to come too early, as the sun needs to be high up enough that it can reach the top of the waterfall to come through and light up the cave in the rock. Either wear shoes that can get wet or go without as you will have to walk through water to get to this one.
Kanto Lampo Waterfall
Make sure to head to this waterfall early as it was so busy when we got here! This photo was taken just at the right moment, but right after another 5 people lined up to get this shot! Also this waterfall, you will be hip deep in water and the spray is crazy so I took these photos with a go pro as a camera would be too risky.
Many of the waterfalls in Bali are sacred areas to Balinese people so you will see signs saying women on their period may not enter. Some do not allow pregnant women and no use of dirty words!
Shop at the local market in Ubud
There is a large market in Ubud, with all sorts of trinkets, clothes, jewellery, and bowls. If you want to get some souvenirs, definitely get them here!
Campuhan Ridge Walk
This is a stunning ridge right along the jungle like lush greenery below. Unfortunately, it poured the day we wanted to go here but I would definitely recommend going! Also a perfect place to drone and very instagrammable! Again, go as early as you can as it gets busy with people and tours later on.
Mount Batur Sunrise Hike
This is a VERY early start. We woke up at 1:30am and the hike takes a few hours to get to the top. It costs around 20-30 Dollars. You all get given torches and climb up to the top to see the sunrise. It’s very chilly at the top so make sure to take some extra layers! It was beautiful, but there were so many people, we ended up walking in a line to get to the top which made it harder to hike as you had to keep stopping. I would say climb a mountain nearby instead! These drone shots were taken by Boyan and actually from much further away than Mount Batur, nearer to some lower mountains nearby!
Guide to Ubud: Where to Stay
Best Hotel in Ubud – The Udaya
The Udaya is one of the most amazing hotels I have ever stayed in. I couldn’t believe how incredible the customer service was, we were taken care of so well. Our first nights we spent in a Garden Suite, which has a beautiful outdoor bathroom and you step out right to the main pool outside. After this we stayed in a Pool Villa, which has it’s own private pool and terrace outside for extra privacy.
The breakfast was incredible, fresh juice, fresh fruit and three courses to follow. Each day there was a new menu with new dishes to try. They had choices of Indonesian breakfast, Balinese breakfast or Western breakfast.
Apart from all of this, we went to the Kaveri Spa for a couples massage and a flower bath which was such a treat. The flower bath was so beautiful and such a unique experience.
Best Villa in Ubud – White Stone Villa
This is a jaw dropping villa. Set away in the jungle, it is a 4 bedroom villa and a total luxury stay. With views over your own private rice terraces that are a good competitor for the famous Tegallalang rice terraces! With a large kitchen, breakfast is available as well as amazing dinner spreads. They also offer transport services.
If you are looking for more budget options, hostels or smaller private villas then head here to see what other places are available to book for your trip to Ubud.
For a less pricey Villa – Lodtunduh Sari
Our first place we stayed in Ubud, there are three stunning villas around a pool overlooking rice terraces as far as the eye can see. The outdoor bathrooms are DIVINE. They also do very reasonable priced dinners, especially the chicken satay which was delicious.
Guide to Ubud: Where to Eat
There are so many restaurants in Ubud you will be spoilt for choice. Whether you wants traditional Indonesian food or you miss Western food, there is something for everyone! We had breakfast at our hotel in The Udaya which was amazing and at the White Stone Villa where we stayed. However, there are so many brunch spots in Ubud I still wanted to try.
Milk And Madu
I went here purely for the 2-4-1 pizza, which is available Tuesdays and Sundays after 5pm. They also have an amazing crispy chicken burger and cakes.
As Boyan has such a sweet tooth, we tried to go here but it was fully booked for a long time ahead! But if you want to indulge and love dessert, then I would definitely recommend going here.
Made’s Banana Flour Bakery
If you are obsessed with bananas or banana bread then go here. Everything is baked using banana flour and tastes divine.
How to Get Around Ubud
My first time here, there were a few us of so we hired a driver each day to get us to our locations! If it’s just two of you I would recommend a scooter, as it’s much easier to park wherever you like and you can weave in and out of traffic.