Ubud is often described as the cultural heart of Bali. It’s common to see a Balinese ceremony during your time in Ubud, which is a special experience to have. Ubud village itself can be quite busy but surrounding Ubud you will find beautiful green seas of rice fields.
This is one place you should definitely stay when on your Bali holiday. For at least a few days. There’s something about it. It forces you to slow down, look at things differently. Ubud village may be quite touristy but that’s exactly why I think a day trip doesn’t do it justice. It’s in the evening or early morning when you get to really see Ubud. And if you stay in the beautiful surrounds of Ubud you will have all the peace you need.
Ubud village is full of restaurants, yoga studios, spa’s and shops. You’ll walk past temples and wander through markets. Although it’s still busy, attracts a lot of tourists and has heavy traffic at times, somehow you end up forgetting about this. The food here ranges from local warungs to fine dining, with a lot of vegetarian and vegan options.
There are so many things to do in Ubud. From getting a massage, eating, doing a cooking lesson, shopping, visiting an art gallery or learning some local arts and crafts. The local Ubud market is also excellent. From walking through the rice fields, to whitewater rafting. There are also lots of tours and day trips available here. If you want to experience Bali’s beautiful scenery, culture and meet the locals, try a bicycle tour through the villages.
Bali Airport is 1.5 – 2 hrs away. Sanur is about 1 hr away. Padang Bai is about 1.5 – 2 hrs away. Kuta/Seminyak/Legian are about 1.5 – 2 hrs away.
From Ubud you can hire a private driver and explore surrounding areas, including rice fields, waterfalls, Bedugal, Beratan Lake, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Temple and Munduk.
FEEL // Healthy, Nature, Cultural.
BEST FOR // Rice fields, Scenery, Yoga, Food, Boutique Shops, Spas, Art Galleries, Learning Balinese art and craft.
LOCATION // Located in central Bali.
GET THERE // Ubud is about 1.5 – 2 hours from the airport, depending on traffic. You can get a taxi from the official airport stand at the airport when you arrive, or arrange a transfer with your hotel. If you’re coming from another area in Bali, you can take a taxi or a private driver if you want to stop off along the way.
GET AROUND // The best way to get around Ubud is by walking. If you want to go further outside Ubud you can use the local village transport service (make sure to arrange a price beforehand) or hire a private driver for a half day or full day. If you’re staying at a hotel surrounding Ubud, they may offer a free shuttle service into the village.
THE UGLY TRUTH // Traffic can be quite congested in the village. There are a lot of tourists here.
THE SILVER LINING // If you stay in the village, you can walk everywhere so traffic isn’t really a problem. So many cheap spas. The scenery is peacefully beautiful. Lot’s of healthy options (spa’s, teas, food, yoga etc). Full of culture.
ACCOMMODATION // Luxury, mid-range and budget accommodation options. Read More.
TYPE OF HOLIDAY // Fun, Friends, Family, Couples, Luxury, Romantic, Weddings, Honeymoons
READ MORE // Find all of our Ubud Blog Posts here.
One of the best websites I have found to research Bali, thank guys!
Thanks so much Hannah hope you have a great trip :)
I came across many blogs about traveling to Bali. Your blog was THE BEST and BEAUTIFUL. Me and my wife are leaving to Bali in 2 days. We have booked a travel guide to take us to the Ulun Danu Temple, Tanah Lot temple with Sunset, Mount Batur Trek, Tegenunga waterfall, Tibubene waterfall, Spice Garden, Nusa Penida. It is a 4 day trip. Have we missed anything that we must see? Please advise.
Hi, Thank you so much for your comment, that means so much to us :) Sorry to get to it too late, hope you both had an amazing time!
Hi Mandy & Chris!
I love your website! The best I’ve come across in my planning. I’m going solo in June & have booked 3 days in Seminyak & 5 days in Ubud. After reading your site, I don’t know if I should change it to spend more time in Seminyak…?
Also, do you think there would be an issue catching a morning flight from Ubud or would you recommend staying the night before in Seminyak?
Hi Jess, Thanks so much that means a lot :) 3 days in Seminyak and 5 days in Ubud sounds great. It just depends if you want more beach/cafe/shops time (Seminyak) or more cultural/nature time (Ubud). As for the morning flight from Ubud, as long as you leave more than enough time it should be fine, so make sure to leave an extra hour or more than what you think. I always prefer staying closer to the airport so I don’t need to think about it, but staying the night before in Seminyak might seem like too much moving. But as you’re wanting to spend longer in Seminyak, it could be a good option for you too ;) Basically, either way can work! Hope you have a great trip :)
I’m interested in outdoor activities like snorkelling & white water rafting. Are there any good places ot trips I can do while in Ubud or Seminyak?
Hi Jess, Whitewater rafting would be best when you’re in Ubud. We have actually never done rafting in Bali but Sobek Rafting has consistently great reviews. https://balisobek.com/Rafting.asp
Another activity from Ubud that we have loved is bike riding. There are many companies and hotels that will do a good one. (Bali Eco-Cycle is a good one).
With Snorkelling, I would say you would need to do a day trip or stay overnight somewhere like Amed, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Gili’s. Other areas you can still snorkel but depending on where, you may not see much corals or fish. From Seminyak there some great cooking classes (Bumbu Bali) and you could do a surf lesson or just visit some of the beaches in the Bukit Peninsular/Uluwatu area. Enjoy your trip!
Hi Guys, next week my partner and I are going for our week long trip in Bali and are spending the first night in Kuta before transferring to Ubud as we arrive in the airport at night time. Our Villa has offered a one way shuttle to pick us up from Kuta and take us to the Villa in Ubud for 400,000IPR but I feel this is a little steep. How do you guys recommend getting from Kuta to Ubud in the cheapest, but most reliable way? xx
Thanks for your comment, looking at the date you will have been and gone already, hope you had an amazing trip :) Did you end up using the villa transfer? If not what price were you able to get from Kuta to Ubud?
Hey there Mandy and Chris!
Yours is certainly one of the most beautifully scripted blogs.
And Bali through your eyes seems a whole lot of fun.
I was wondering what would be a good means of travelling around; a metered taxi do you suggest? (And how much do they charge per kilometre?)
Thanks for your comments we appreciate your words Bali is definitely a fun place :) We generally use Bluebird Taxis where we can. They are easy and the meter is fare. Just make sure the meter is on and you have small change.
The meter starts at 7,000 IDR and is then 6,500 per kilometre.
In Ubud, however, there are no taxis. They can drop off (if you come from elsewhere) but cant pick up a fare. In Ubud, they have a village private driver system. It might seem like you are getting into anyone’s car but this is the way. Generally, all cars and drivers are nice enough. Just negotiate a price first (ask you accommodation what to expect to get back from Ubud village to the hotel for example).
Let us know if you have any more question :) Have a fun trip!
Your blog is excellent! Do you think is a safe place to travel by single.?
Thanks so much :) I think travelling solo you need to be careful no matter where you go, but we have personally not had any problems in Bali. As long as you stay in reputable accommodation, use bluebird taxis, and of course all other common sense things when travelling solo, I’m sure you will have a great trip :)
It’s a great blog with great tips, thank you!
How is Ubud it in terms of the mosquitos? Did you get vaccinations or were you taken the malaria tablest?
I will be staying in a no con dorm for a week.
Thanks a mil.
Hi Nat, thanks so much :)
It’s best to see your doctor before a trip to Bali to just check on the latest advice, but every time we have gone, the best thing to do is use mosquito repellent with DEET and cover up to prevent any bites, I think the biggest risk in Bali is Dengue. We have never been advised to take Malaria tablets in Bali, it’s not usually required but again just check with your doctor first. Have a great trip :)
My husband and I are leaving today for Bali :)
We will be staying 10 days in a villa in Seminyak. We have 5 days remaining where we aren’t sure where we should go. Any suggestions?
We were thinking 3 days Nusa Dua , 2 days Ubud?
We wanted to stay longer in Ubud however I have heard due to rainy season we may get confined to our hotel/villa? thoughts?
Hi, hope you’re enjoying Bali!
Nusa Dua is nice for big resorts and as a base, and for less waves at the beach, but if you wanted to stay somewhere else near the beach I would also explore Jimbaran or Uluwatu too, as they have a nice laid back feel with seafood dinners and markets etc.
You could definitely spend the 5 days in Ubud too. We were in Ubud during rainy season, and over a week, it rained on about 2 days for a couple hours each time. It can of course rain more, or less, it’s a little unpredictable. It has never ‘dampened’ any of our time there though ;) When it rains, it’s a good time to get a massage!
I am looking into Ubud & Seminyak for my honeymoon this November, but I’m concerned about the weather.
Any thoughts/suggestions about traveling to Bali during “rainy season”?
We are in Bali at the moment and it is rainy season. In 2 weeks, it’s rained 4 times but for half an hour each. We have barely noticed it, otherwise the days are hot and sunny. Having said that, it can rain more, but it can also rain in the dry season. Our last dry season trip it rained every day for a week?! So it can be unpredictable, but I don’t think you should be too concerned about it, when it rains here it doesn’t usually last long.
Hope this helps and have an amazing honeymoon :) let us know if you have any other questions…
I’m planning a vacation for my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary in Bali. I see a lot of ideas for youngsters, but finding a hard time curating something for them on a more relaxed and laid back note. Any help will be greatly appreciated! :)
There are so many options for all types of travellers in Bali :) If they want something more relaxed, perhaps staying in a beautiful resort (Bali has so many!) in a couple of locations, so they can relax at the resort or get out and about too. Ubud and Jimbaran would be a nice mixture of beach and natural scenery. We recently stayed at Padma Resort Ubud and that would be a great option. Getting a private driver for the day would also be nice so they can different areas, and they can self-pace it. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions and hope they have a great trip :)
We are planning a 3-4 week stay in Bali next April/May.
We love the sound of Ubud and we are thinking of basing ourselves there for the duration with side trips to other places on the island during our stay. We are thinking of checking out AirBnB places.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Tracey & Della,
We love Ubud and it would be great to spend a lot of your time here.
A few things to think about:
1. If you stay in Ubud for the entire month and do day trips to other areas, it may take you on average 2hrs or more to get to places like Seminyak, Jimbaran, Uluwatu etc. So if you wanted to go to other areas, perhaps staying 1 – 2 weeks in these areas then spend 2 – 3 weeks in Ubud would cut down driving time and transport costs, and probably be less stressful.
2. If you plan to spend the majority of your holiday in Ubud, just make sure you pick the location that’s right for you. You can stay in Ubud town, which is busier but also more convenient in terms of getting to restaurants, shops, massages etc. The other option is on the outskirts of Ubud which is more relaxing/tranquil, but you would also need transport to get into the town. If you stay with Airbnb in the outskirts, make sure you have transport available.
As for Airbnb, I think this would be a great option, especially if you’re staying a bit longer as you can get cheaper weekly rates. You may also have a kitchen to cook and some more space. But again, just check the location, because this will have a huge impact on your holiday if you’re going to be there for a few weeks.
Hope you have an amazing time in Bali :)
Let us know if you have any other questions.
I’m planning on landing at like 9pm and then getting to my hostel in Ubud, do you think this would be a dangerous move? Or really expensive?
If you land at 9 pm you may not get out of the airport straight away, then around 1.5 – 2 hrs to get to Ubud. So you might not get there til after midnight. The price should be the same, airport taxi to Ubud is 195,000 IDR. However, this might not be the nicest way to start your holiday, but it’s definitely do-able. The other option would be to stay nearby for the first night or two, in places such as Seminyak, Jimbaran, Kuta, Legian etc.
Have a great time in Bali, let us know if you have any other questions :)