Ubud was my favorite location in Bali. Between the overall focus on wellness, the rainforest views, and the amazing food, the vibes were high and I was on cloud 9 throughout my time in Ubud. Out of the 4 destinations we hit in Bali within our 12 days there, Ubud hands down took the cake. I'm already dying to go back and stay for a month! It's the perfect place to visit if you're looking for a truly relaxing, healthy, holiday with lots to do. It seemed like the biggest "town" with a few really cute central streets filled with boutiques, spas, yoga studios, restaurants, and more.
To get to Ubud, you'll probably want to use a private driver. More on getting around Bali, including info for a private driver, in this post. Once you're in Ubud, you should rent a scooter to get around - driving in a regular car will mean you'll be sitting in traffic (it's pretty terrible in Ubud believe it or not!) Most of the scenic places that you'll want to visit are within about a 30 minute drive -- there's plenty to do and see!
Nom, nom! There are SO many restaurants in Ubud, ranging from organic, healthy and fresh, to local "warungs" (small, local kitchens) where you can get an amazing meal for $2-3 USD, Ubud is a foodie paradise. See all of my recommendations below.
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There are so many views that you can't miss while you're there. From swinging over rice terraces, to the amazing monkey forest, to the nearby waterfalls and hikes, you can't go wrong. You can even getup and go for a sunrise hike of Mount Batur (one of Bali's active volcanoes... but not to be confused with the one that was acting up recently, which is Mount Agung). Many of the hotels and villas even have infinity pools overlooking valleys of rice terraces and amazing & lush green rainforests. I could go on forever.
There's plenty of yoga studios in Ubud, so you can't go wrong. My favorite studio (and the most insta-famous) was The Yoga Barn. It's basically the globe's mecca for yoga lovers. It sits among a lush jungle with multistory bamboo structures as studios and people from all over the world who come to practice. Love the fact that yoga is blind to language - it helps everyone speak the same one! You'll surely meet some amazing souls here, and definitely snag a smoothie at their cafe after class. You can do yoga retreats or teacher trainings here too!
My absolute favorite thing we did in Ubud was the eco cycling tour. This takes about a half day (or longer, depending on how many times your group stops) and our amazing guide took us on bamboo bikes through the rice terraces, local villages, temples, an eco luwak coffee tasting (if you dare to know how the strongest coffee in the world made... it is shocking!), and more. It was amazing how you get to go inside the villages and interact with the local people who are truly some of the nicest and most welcoming that you'll come across. This bike tour was recommended to me by my friend, and I have to share it out because I could not recommend it more!
My Ubud Travel Guide
Luxury Accomodations - in Bali, everything's pretty cheap, so while you can get an amazing spot for under $50/day, you can also get one of the nicest villas/hotels you've ever stayed in for about the same price as a crappy hotel in NYC or SF! Here are some recommendations if you're looking to go bigger:
Viceroy Bali - this luxury villa has views for days with an amazing pool overlooking the rainforest
COMO Ubud - an amazing luxury resort focused on holistic wellness across their food, activities, and overall experience.
Villas: there are plenty of amazing villas for groups of all sizes, and all budgets on Airbnb!
Miko Villa is where we stayed. The location, hospitality, pool, and price were all perfect for us.
Bali Eco Cycling Tour - like I said above, this was my favorite thing in Ubud. The following activities are all included on the bike tour, but if you don't do the bike tour, make sure to plan these in because they are all amazing!
Balinese spice garden visit with coffee and tea tastings (included if you do the bike tour) - this tasting includes the famous Luwak Coffee (the strongest in the world and very shocking to learn how it's made!)
Visit local rice paddies and
Monkey Forest - where you'll see tons of monkeys out and about causing mischief. Just wait till you see moms carrying their babies -- too cute!
MASSAGES & SPA DAYS - we got them so often while in Ubud & they are SO cheap. I would recommend this place, but book it about a day or two in advance.
The Bali Swing - outside of Ubud (about a 30 minute drive on the scooter). You pay to get in and can ride any of them - around $30 USD, which included waters and soft drinks. It's really awesome views but you wait in a long line and its pretty touristy. Very instagrammable though! ;)
Tegenunguan Waterfall - about 30 minutes from Ubud too and is a pretty popular thing for tourists to do. There's a cool swing that goes over the river with the waterfall in the background too.
The Yoga Barn - one of the most famous yoga studios in the world. Try to take a class here! They have great smoothies to get after class too.
Lots of good shopping here! There are some markets you can go to, but also just some really cool stores along the main streets.
Hike the local mountain (Mt. Batur) - You start at 1 in the morning (or sometime similar) and hike to the sunrise. You'll want to arrange a guide/driver & your guide will make you breakfast and coffee at the top!
Bali Buda - amazing, organic spot. We went here a few times for lunch. It was my fave!
KAFE - another organic food spot. Great for lunch or dinner or even for a glass of wine. They have a second floor that overlooks one of the main streets, so eat upstairs!
Tukie's Cafe - so good! Everything is coconut based. They have some amazing coconut froyo. I would go for dessert. They also serve fresh young coconuts for you to drink.
Warungs - meaning 'small kitchen' which are more local, super authentic food places (typically cost like $2-3 for huge portions)
Warung River View
Locavore - nicer dining, cool restaurant.
Next, check out things to do in Uluwatu, Bali!