You can not go to Bali without spending at least a few days in Ubud. Ubud is a unique and popular village in the center of Bali. Unlike coastal towns such as Canggu and Seminyak, Ubud is surrounded by lush jungle, magical rice fields and breath taking waterfalls. Ubud is also famous for its rich culture, Balinese history and relaxing vibe making it a great base for (yoga) retreats. It has something to offer for everyone, making it one of the highlights of your Bali trip. This perfect 3-day Ubud itinerary covers the top things to do, including how to get around, where to stay and recommendations for great cafes and restaurants (map included!).
Map of the perfect 3-day Ubud itinerary
Here is a useful map of all the places mentioned in this perfect 3-day Ubud itinerary. You can click the star next to the map name to save it to your Google Maps as a reference!
Day 1 – Ubud Center
1. Campuhan Ridge Walk
Start the morning with a walk along the Campuhan Ridge Walk. It is a short walk between the rice fields with amazing views on both sides. The Campuhan Ridge Walk is a popular trail with both locals and tourists. Get here at sunrise and watch the mist clear up and the beautiful jungle slowly come alive. Also, temperatures are still very pleasant at this time of day and it will be very quiet yet. Tip: the best views are until you reach the top of the hill. It takes about 15 minutes to get here from the start of the trail.
2. Ubud Water Palace
Visit Ubud Water Palace in the center of Ubud. Here you will find a sacred temple surrounded by a beautiful lotus pond and water garden. It is located on one of the busiest streets of Ubud, but you will forget this as soon as you enter the grounds of the Ubud Water Palace. It has a serene vibe but can be busy during the day.
Every night a classic Balinese dance performance is held at the temple. You can buy tickets for a show at the entrance, but otherwise entrance is free for everyone.
3. Sacred Monkey Forest
One of the most popular things to do in Bali and Ubud is to visit Monkey Forest. It is located in the south part of the center of Ubud in a large rainforest. You can explore the rainforest and observe the monkeys at ease, but there are few things to keep in mind: do not touch the monkeys, hide away everything in a bag, do not look them in the eyes and do not feed them bananas if you do not want them to get close to you. Entrance fee to Ubud Monkey Forest is 80.000 IDR (€5 EUR).
4. Ubud Market
Ubud Market is the place to be to purchase souvenirs, kitchenware, decorations, jewelry, clothing, paintings and the popular Bali bags. Although there are many other markets elsewhere in Bali, prices here are generally very good. However, do not forget to bargain! This is very common to do and vendors usually start exceptionally high knowing that you will bargain for a better price. For example, the prices for Bali handbags are much cheaper here compared to markets in other villages such as Canggu. Hence, make sure to wait until you visit Ubud Market instead!
Ubud Art Market is open starting from 9AM in the morning until 6PM in the evening. Until 8AM in the morning there is a traditional market first selling vegetables, fruits and meat. Here you find mostly locals who start their day either selling or purchasing food and herbs. This traditional Ubud Market is at the same location as the Art Market.
5. Drinks & dinner in Gootama Street
Jalan Gootama is one of the cosiest streets in Ubud with a lot of small restaurants. The street is located parallel behind Ubud Market and is the perfect area to finish your day with a few drinks and great food.
If you want to experience the vibe of this street with delicious food, make sure to check out Bonito. This tiny restaurant has no more than 6 small tables and serves amazing authentic and fresh food. In addition, the staff is the best! Other recommendations in this street are Toro Sushi and Warung Bernadette.
Day 2 – North of Ubud
6. Tegallalang Rice Fields
Set your alarm before sunrise and take the motorbike to Tegallalang Rice Terraces for the perfect morning. Tegallalang is a magical place, particularly at sunrise. Imagine the sun coming through the palm trees whilst the mist clearing, the sound of birds chirping and farmers starting their day. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the Ceking Parking Center at Tegallalang. From here it is a short 5-minute walk to enter the stairs to the rice terraces. First you will have to go down into the valley before going up to reach the epicenter of the rice terraces.
Tegallalang Rice Terraces are very popular and one of the main highlights in Bali. If you can not make it at sunrise, it is recommended to visit the rice terraces before 10AM to avoid the crowds.
Read more: Tegallalang Rice Terraces near Ubud
7. Pura Tirta Empul: Holy Spring Water Temple
If you want to truly experience some of the Balinese culture, then a visit to Pura Tirta Empul can not be skipped. Pura Tirta Empul is a Hindu Balinese Temple known for its pure and holy water springs. There are 30 sacred water springs divided over two purification pools. Both locals and tourists start the cleansing ritual on the left at the first fountain all the way until the last one. Each fountain has a different meaning and fountain 11 and 12 have to be skipped as they are only meant for cleansing the dead.
Besides the purification pools you can also explore other temple areas, courtyards and water pools. People come here to pray or relax after visiting the Tirta Empul Holy Water Temple. You will also pass through a large pool filled with koi fish. The pool is hidden between four walls which makes it a very calm and peaceful place to visit. Entrance fee to Pura Tirta Empul is 50.000 IDR (€3,25 EUR).
8. Pura Gunung Kawi
Pura Gunung Kawi is an ancient temple complex in a small village only 30 minutes from Ubud. The complex is built at the bottom of a lush river valley and can only be reached by descending nearly 400 steps. The steps are leading you through stunning Balinese views of rice fields and big trees. At the bottom you will reach the complex comprising of large carved out statues in the rocks. Entrance fee to Gunung Kawi is 50.000 IDR (€3,50 EUR).
9. Relax time at the pool
Time to relax after an early morning exploring the area north of Bali. Ubud can be a very humid and hot place as it’s surrounded by the jungle. Hence, an accommodation with a swimming pool can be very convenient. If you do not have a swimming pool at your stay, you can also visit a so-called “jungle club” a.k.a. “no beach beach club” in and around Ubud. The most popular option is Jungle Fish, located outside Ubud with a beautiful infinity pool. Another great option is Wanna Jungle Pool and Bar. Both options offer various day passes, of which a part of the entrance fee has to be spend on food and drinks.
10. Drinks & dinner in Raya Ubud Street
One of the busiest streets of Ubud with a lot of nice cafes and restaurants to start your night is Jalan Raya Ubud. Have some great happy hour cocktails at Cafe Luna, try a typical Balinese “Rijsttafel” at Nia or steak at MyWarung and finish with delicious gelato at Gelato Secret.
Day 3 – Waterfalls & Relaxing
11. Tibumana Waterfall
Tibumana Waterfall is one of the best waterfalls to visit in Bali and is located just a short ride away from Ubud. The waterfall is known for its fierce water stream and is often compared to a curtain. Although it feels very secluded and hidden in a scenic jungle area, Tibumana Waterfall can be reached within 10-minutes from the entrance. Tibumana Waterfall is the perfect waterfall to take a swim, enjoy the surrounding nature and take some of your best shots during your Bali trip. Tibumana Waterfall entrance fee is 15.000 IDR (€1 EUR).
Read more: Tibumana Waterfall Bali – A Complete Guide
12. Kanto Lampo Waterfall
Kanto Lampo Waterfall is only a short 15-minute ride away from Tibumana Waterfall. This waterfall is known for its large rocks with streams of water running down into the river. You can reach the waterfall very easily but there is not much space to leave your belongings or look out on the waterfall. If you are not planning to get into the water, then this waterfall might not be the place for you. Otherwise it is a great spot to enjoy the refreshing water and climb the rocks of the waterfall. Try to visit the waterfall on a weekday as this place gets crowded with locals during the weekends. Kanto Lampo Waterfall entrance fee is 20.000 IDR (€1,25 EUR).
13. Goa Gajah Elephant Cave
Pura Goa Gajah is a Hindu temple in a cave originated in the 9th century. It is a really small cave so do not expect too much from it, but it is located in a beautiful surrounding area. Besides the Elephant Cave you can also walk around other water temples and enormous Banyan trees in the jungle. Entrance fee to Goa Gajah Elephant Cave is 50.000 IDR (€3,50 EUR).
14. Relax time: Balinese massage
There is so much to see and do in and around Ubud, and by now you have seen most of the highlights in the area. Therefore, it is time to relax and what better way to do so with spoiling yourself with a typical Balinese massage. You can find Balinese massages at every corner of the street in Ubud. However, if you want to have a very affordable but perfect massage surrounded by rice fields then look no further than The Moksha. This was definitely one of the best massage experiences in Bali and only costs 100.000 IDR for 60 minutes (€6,50 EUR)!
Lunch tip: have a delicous pizza at Umah across the street and do not forget to order the best Oreo milkshake ever.
15. Ubud Rice Fields Walk
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Ubud’s center, then take a walk to the nearby rice fields. This walk is relatively unknown as it is slightly tucked away, although parallel to the famous Campuhan Ridge Walk. It is a beautiful place to quietly enjoy the rice paddies, palm trees and farm life. The best time to visit is before or at sunset.
Along the path there are a few cafes and restaurants to enjoy the sunset with a beautiful and serene vibe. This walk is highly recommended if you want to immerse yourself with the magical nature of Ubud whilst only being a few steps away from the lively center. The rice fields walk takes about one hour starting from the center of Ubud.
16. Drinks & dinner in Ubud Center
There are so many streets to find gems of cafes and restaurants. Another popular street to have drinks is Jalan Dewisita. Sip on a happy hour cocktail and enjoy people watching at Mingle Cafe. Head to one of the many great restaurants that Ubud has to offer afterwards. A few options to consider are: Three Monkeys, Ibu Rai, Hippie Fish and Milk & Madu (there is one in Canggu too!).
How to get to there and how to get around Ubud
Ubud is a 1-hour drive from Denpasar Airport and approximately 45 minutes from Seminyak/Canggu area. However, due to the heavy traffic in this part of Bali it usually takes a little longer than this.
Getting around Ubud can either be done by motor bike or with a private driver. Motorbikes can be rented from 50K IDR (€3,50 EUR) per day. However, if you’re not comfortable driving a motorbike you can also hire a driver for the day. Prices for hiring a driver usually start from 500K IDR (€35 EUR) for a day.
Driver recommendation: contact Nyoman about where you want to go and what you would like to see.
Where to stay in Ubud
There is a large variety of hotels and guesthouses available in Ubud. Decide for yourself if you want to stay in or near the busy centre or in a more remote location in the jungle. Most hotels provide shuttle busses for drop off and pick up to the main area of Ubud. If you are looking for an accommodation at walking distance from all the sights, shops and restaurants then Jalan Bisma is a great option. Close to everything in Ubud, but quiet and located between beautiful rice paddies.
Hotels in Jalan Bisma
- The Runik Ubud ($$)
- Meruhdani Boutique Hotel Ubud ($$)
- Bliss Ubud Abangan ($$$)
- Alamdini Resort Ubud ($$$)
- Villa Ubud Sunshine ($$$)
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