What is there to do in Ubud, you ask?
I get this question a lot. So, I am sharing my current local hangouts here. Keep the following notes in mind while reading this list.
- These are places I’ve been to more than twice i.e., hangouts.
- These places can be reached in 15 minutes or so by foot from the Ubud Palace area (Ubud Centre). Most articles I’ve read about what to do in Ubud tell you about places that are 30 minutes to 2 hours away by car.
- * means a must-see or must-do. If you’re in Ubud for only a day, do these.
Ubud is like my mood–constantly changing. Check back often for updates, photos, & descriptions.
Campuhan Ridge Walk* (straight out of Dr. Seuss)
If Bali had a concept of a protected nature area for public use, Campuhan Ridge would be its poster child. The locals and expats keep it nice and clean. Please help keep it that way. We regularly take our dogs for walks here. I hold photos shoots here.
In the main area, a lonely palm tree surrounded by lush tall grass, perched on a high ridge overlooking the Wos rivers is right out of a Dr. Seuss story. If you go in the afternoon, you will understand why Campuhan Ridge is also known as (aka) bukit cium (kissing hill).
The feature photo for this post of the farmer in the grass is Campuhan Ridge before it was a “thing”.
Pasar Ubud* (Ubud Market – you can see Bali as is time stood still here before 7am)
I can’t think of a better place to experience Balinese culture than the pasar (traditional market). But, you must get to the market early especially for Pasar Ubud. At Pasar Ubud, I’ve seen vendors in full-force as early as 4 am in the morning. By 7 am, the traditional market sellers are getting ready to “pulang” (go home). By 8 am, all the fruit, spices, kue (Balinese pastry), & banten (Balinese temple offerings) vanish giving way to a sea of oleh oleh (tourist souvenirs).
After 10 am, Pasar Ubud has a complete different vibe. It’s worth it to experience both the early morning and mid-day moods of Ubud’s traditional market. Be sure you have your bargaining skills with you when you go.
Pura Taman Saraswati (wedding photographers paradise)
Monkey Forest (hide your shiny stuff)
Lempad of Bali House (Bali’s late legendary sculpture and painter)
Patung Arjuna (Arjuna Statue)
Yoga Barn* (the one and only)
ARMA (Walter Spies)
Neka (Arie Smit)
Sika (local contemporary)
Pasar Ubud* (to practice your bargaining skills go here after 9am)
Jalan Gootama (also spelled Goutama)
Definitely my favourite street to take a leisurely stroll. A great alley way for window shopping and grabbing a bite to eat. It’s a shame motor vehicles are allowed on this narrow street. But, dodging dogs/roosters/motor bikes/tour buses are all part of the fun of Ubud.
Threads of Life
Puteri Minang Padang Food*
Excellent Indonesian cuisine from Padang. Very reasonable prices. Bonus: recently put in a dedicated vegetarian section with red rice option.
Red rice, vegetarian lumpia, tempe gorengan, and es jeruk (no sugar no straw) is my usual. Conveniently located next to Bali Buda and Ganesha Books on Jl Raya Ubud. The main post office and plenty of ATM machines are near by.
Mamma Mia (Pizza)
Kafe (original home of the Yoga Barn)
Confiture de Bali
Halal Ubud Burger (veggie burger available! yes!)
Seniman Coffee Studio* (innovative, unique, cool, and delicious)
In operations since 2011, Seniman broke the mold. There was nothing in Ubud (probably all of Bali) before they arrived. Even now with the boutique coffee scene explosion, there is no place in Bali that can match Seniman’s exceptional coffee and ambience.