What to do in Ubud, Bali: TOP 15 in 3 to 4 days

Ubud is the cultural and spiritual capital of Bali. Traditional dances, Hindu temples, rice terraces, shrines, monkey forest: this is Ubud! It is a must-see place in Bali. We will see here how to visit Ubud in 3 or 4 days, the best things to do – including some unique experiences -, an itinerary for 3 to 4 days, and some of the best places to eat in Ubud.

things to do in Ubud, Bali

15 unmissable and unique things to do in Ubud, Bali

Before presenting the the 3 to 4 days itinerary, let’s start with the TOP places to visit in Ubud. You can reach some areas on foot since they are in downtown Ubud, while you will need a car or a scooter for more remote locations. You can rent and drive a scooter yourself, take a car with a driver for the day, or book a guided tour.

Good to know! In Indonesia, to order a taxi (car or scooter) or to order food, the main applications are Grab and Gojek. You will not find anything on Uber.

1. Visit the Monkey Forest in Ubud

The Monkey Forest is a must-see in Ubud! Here, several hundred monkeys roam in total freedom in the middle of temples in lush vegetation. Whether on a 3 or 4 days itinerary to Ubud, you must experience this unique thing to do in Bali! Find out more in our dedicated article: Monkey Forest in Ubud.

Good to know. Be careful of your belongings: monkeys are not shy and will steal anything they want. If you want to take pictures with the monkeys, ask the guides on-site to help you. You can buy tickets in advance (see prices here) or on-site.

Alternative. Another monkey forest is 17 km from downtown Ubud: Sangeh Monkey Forest. It is much less touristy. It is a place to visit in Ubud if you want to get off the beaten track. However, beware, the monkeys are more aggressive and less used to human visitors!

Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali

2. See traditional dances

You cannot visit Ubud without seeing traditional Balinese dances, especially the Kecak dance. It is a beautiful discovery that gives you an overview of Balinese culture.

You can see his dances at several places in Ubud, such as the Royal Palace of Ubud, the Saraswati temple, and the Dalem Taman Kaja temple. Every dance last almost an hour. The performances take place only 2 to 3 times a week.

3. Visit Tirta Empul Temple from Ubud

Among the best things to do in Ubud is to visit Tirta Empul Temple. It is 15 km from downtown Ubud. The Balinese come here to purify themselves by bathing in sacred spring water. In the morning, Titra Empul Temple is quiet and peaceful. It is a beautiful place to visit in Bali from Ubud! Several excursions include this temple in their itinerary (visit to temple, including transport).

Alternative. If you rent a scooter to visit places in Ubud or its surroundings or book a car with a driver, you can also see the Taman Mumbul Sangeh temple. The temple is 14 km from downtown Ubud. You will find fewer tourists there than in Tirta Empul.

Tirta Empul Temple

4. Do a traditional Balinese massage

Balinese massage is essential in Ubud and Bali (read our article: What to do in Bali)! In Ubud, booking a massage at a salon off the busy roads is best. Thus, you will enjoy this moment more, far from the noise of cars. Treat yourself to this moment of relaxation if you visit Ubud during a 3 to 4 days itinerary.

5. Fly over the jungle

Swing above the Balinese jungle? You can do it in Ubud! Several places offer this extraordinary experience. For example, Bali Swing, Swing Heaven, Aloha Ubud Swing, or Alas Harum. In addition to the incredible sensations the swing offers, you will engrave beautiful memories of your trip to Bali through exceptional photos. Some places also rent gorgeous dresses that fly when you swing.

You can also book a tour including the most Instagrammable spots in Bali: view here photos and availability.

Swing activity in Ubud

6. Take a scenic ride

Ubud hides plenty of quiet places, even within walking distance of its city center. The main roads can be very noisy sometimes, but when you leave them, you find much more peaceful places. If you like walking, come and discover the Bukit Campuhan hiking trail. A beautiful ride awaits you, just a few minutes from downtown Ubud!

See our Campuhan Ridge Walk guide here.

Alternative. Do not miss another trail nearby, smaller and much less frequented: Sweet Orange Walk Trail.

During a 3 to 4 days itinerary in Ubud, it is ideal for the last day. Instead of waiting at your hotel for the transfer, leave your luggage at the reception and use this time to walk in the rice fields. Thus, your last image of Ubud will be incredible views of rice fields.

Walk in Ubud

7. See the rice fields of Tegallalang

When you go to stay in Bali, you can take the opportunity to visit the rice fields of Tegallalang. It is a unique thing to do in Ubud, Bali. The rice terraces of Bali are known all over the world! Tegallalang is close to Ubud so you can visit this place from here. You can go there alone with a taxi or a scooter or book a tour that includes the rice fields (here is an example).

See here our practical guide to visiting the rice fields of Tegallalang.

8. Visit Goa Gajah Temple in Ubud

Among the essential places to visit in Ubud is the Elephant Cave, also named the Goa Gajah temple. This temple has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. It was built during the 9th century. Sarongs, traditional attire for entering Balinese religious places, are loaned free of charge at the entrance to the temple.

To visit Ubud, you can find a driver once there or book a day with a driver-guide in advance online who can offer you a customized itinerary (see prices).

Ubud Temple

9. Take a guided hike on Mount Batur at sunrise

Climbing Mount Batur is one of the must-do things in Bali. It is an activity you can do from Ubud. A magical moment to live! Mount Batur is Bali’s most accessible volcano. However, you have to be in good shape to ride it. To find out more, see this example of a guided tour. If you are interested in this visit, read our article: Tips for visiting Mount Batur.

10. Discover Balinese art in Ubud

When you go to visit Ubud, you will see many art galleries. To discover more about Balinese art (in sculpture, paintings, and photographs), you can visit these places in Ubud: Neka Art Museum and Agung Rai Museum. Both of these museums are in downtown Ubud.

11. Visit Bali Waterfalls from Ubud

Among the most visited waterfalls from Ubud, there is the Tegenungan waterfall. Nevertheless, you can visit other waterfalls if you want to go off the beaten track. For example, Suwat Waterfall, Goa Rang Reng Waterfall, or Kanto Lampo Waterfall.

Tegenungan Waterfall, visit from Ubud, Bali
Tegenungan Waterfall

12. See the statues of Taman Dedari

It is not a temple or a museum, but a restaurant! Its name is Taman Dedari. Here you will see impressive statues and an incredible view of the Balinese jungle! It is an excellent place to eat in Ubud, even though some travelers come here only to take pictures.

13. Discover the markets of Ubud

Several markets can be found in downtown Ubud. It is an opportunity to find some souvenirs or to stroll. The Ubud Art Market is the most visited one.

Ubud Market, Bali

14. Discover Balinese coffee

Balinese coffee is a coffee with a slight bitterness. You can taste it in almost every warung in Bali. Around Ubud, you can also visit a coffee plantation and do a tasting.

Balinese coffee Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world! The making of this coffee is unimaginable. You can visit one of these places of manufacture or taste this coffee in a Balinese restaurant.

Taste Balinese Coffee

15. Do a yoga session

Bali is a great place to do yoga! And all the more so in Ubud, the spiritual capital of Bali. There are several yoga schools in Ubud. Some guesthouses also offer yoga sessions. It is a dream place for those who practice yoga!

Bonus: Visit the Blanco Renaissance Museum in Ubud

The Blanc Renaissance Museum is dedicated to the art of the painter Antonio Blanco. The museum is located in downtown Ubud. The house is splendid. The parrots roam free in the magnificent museum garden! It is a place to see if you visit Ubud on a 3 to 4 days itinerary and want to get off the beaten track.

Blanco Renaissance Museum

Visit Ubud in 3 days

3 days is the minimum duration to visit Ubud. Here is an example of an itinerary to visit Ubud in 3 days. Find our good places to eat in Ubud at the end of this article.

Day 1: afternoon and evening in Ubud

If you arrive late morning or early afternoon, here is what you can do in Ubud.

  • Visit the Monkey Forest: plan between 1 and 2 hours (buy tickets in advance).
  • Have a Balinese massage at the end of the day
3 to 4 days itinerary in Ubud, Bali

Day 2: full day in Ubud

For this whole day in Ubud, it is best to visit the essentials close to the city to spend less time in transport.

  • Visit the temples of Tirta Empul and Goa Gajah
  • Discover the rice fields of Tegallalang
  • See Tegenungan Waterfall
  • It is possible to include all the places in a single guided tour (see the prices for a tour that has all the essentials of Ubud: the temples, the rice fields, and even the Tegenungan waterfall)
  • See traditional Balinese dances in the evening (generally, performances start at 7 p.m.).

Day 3: morning in Ubud

If you still have the whole morning ahead of you:

  • Take a scenic stroll along Ubud’s hiking trails
  • Lunch in a warung in the middle of the countryside of Ubud after the hike

Where to stay to visit Ubud in 3 days?

Suppose you are going to spend 2 nights in Ubud. In that case, it is crucial to choose the geolocation of your accommodation carefully to avoid unnecessary travel and to enjoy more on-site. Walking in Ubud is challenging and sometimes impossible (for further advice, read our article: Where to stay in Ubud).

Among the good places in the heart of Ubud are the In Da Garden guesthouse and a magnificent hotel close to the monkey forest: Anumana Ubud Hotel. If you want the comfort of a hotel close to the city center, there is also: SenS Hotel and Spa. If you want to take advantage of unbeatable rates, book the homestays.

Ubud View

Visit Ubud in 4 days

Here is an example of an itinerary to visit Ubud in 4 days.

Day 1: afternoon and evening in Ubud

Just like for the 3 days in Ubud, you can start with these two activities:

  • Visiting the Monkey Forest: plan between 1 and 2 hours (buy tickets in advance).
  • See traditional Balinese dances in the evening (generally, performances start at 7 p.m.).

Day 2: full day in Ubud

For the first day in Ubud, you can visit the must-see places located north and west of Ubud.

  • Take a guided hike on Mount Batur at sunrise (see prices here)
  • Discover Ubud in the evening, and in particular, Jl. Gootama Street, which becomes much more pleasant at the end of the day

OR

  • Visit the Tirta Empul temple and the Tegallalang rice fields
  • Eat at the Taman Dedari restaurant enjoying these magnificent statues and their views
  • Fly over the jungle on a swing

You can adapt the tour itinerary with a private driver-guide. It’s a good idea to save time (see prices for a day’s visit with a private driver).

3 days itinerary in Ubud, Bali

Day 3: full day in Ubud

You can use this second day to visit several exciting places east of Ubud.

  • Visit the Goa Gajah Temple in Ubud
  • Discover the magnificent waterfalls of Bali
  • Have a Balinese massage at the end of the day

Day 4: morning in Ubud

If you still have the whole morning ahead of you:

  • Discover Balinese art in Ubud or take a scenic walk in the quiet parts of Ubud (see hiking trails above)

Where to stay to visit Ubud in 4 days?

If you are staying 4 days and 3 nights in Ubud, you can use the places above or book a less central accommodation. For example, Alam Wayang Ubud, or this magnificent resort in the middle of nature: Kastara Resort.

4 days itinerary in Ubud, Bali

Best places to eat in Ubud

Over the years, Ubud has transformed from a quiet little town to a much more touristy place. The main roads through Ubud are now bustling and noisy. The restaurants and cafes along these main roads can be unpleasant if you are looking for a peaceful place.

Here is our selection of the best places to eat in Ubud.

Cempaka Warung: Balinese cuisine, impeccable service, and a superb setting close to the monkey forest!

In Da Compound Warung: this hidden warung in downtown Ubud is a gem! Ideal for tasting Balinese food and fresh fruit juice (dragonfruit)

Lazy Cats Café: an old and trendy place to eat in Ubud. Perfect for a tasty avocado toast.

Sunny Coffee: perfect for having a coffee!

The Lair: a bar that offers the perfect setting for an unforgettable evening in Ubud!

Warungs are the typical restaurants where to eat in Bali. Typical Balinese dishes are nasi goreng, mie goreng, or nasi campur. You will find them in almost all warungs.

Mie Goreng
Mie Goreng

Ubud is the best place to visit the heart of Bali. Even if this city is becoming increasingly touristy, you can still enjoy peaceful and unique places if you get off the beaten track.

Is 3 nights in Ubud enough?

3 nights in Ubud can be enough for visiting if you experience some activities elsewhere. For example, you can take a Balinese massage in Seminyak or Sidemen, making room for other unique things to do in Ubud.

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