Ubud is Bali’s heart and soul, with so many things to do, you can easily spend 3 days here. Geographically it is also located in the center of southern Bali. Ubud can seem to offer too much sometimes, with rice fields to traverse, traditional dances to relish, art museums and galleries to explore, cooking courses and yoga classes to join and traditional markets and villages to discover.
In this 3 days itinerary in Ubud, you will explore in depth the village of Ubud with a full day walking tour, and then a day around the tourist attractions of Ubud and lastly a short excursion out to caves and rice fields.
Ubud Itinerary Map
Day 1 – walking tour of Ubud village
Today would be a walking tour day in the village of Ubud. The best starting point is the public market (pasar umum). This market is a mesmesrizing place itself, offering many things in a bargain, from T-shirts and bangles to tea leaves and bananas. Start here before 8 am to catch the mass local produce before they disappear as the souvenir stalls take over.
From the market walk to the opposite to Ubud Palace, also known as Puri Saren Agung, to admire the architecture and the gamelan instruments on display. These instruments are used in the evening’s traditional dance performance.
Continuing down the main road you will see Pura Dalem Ubud temple, closed to the public but good to admire from the outside. Further on is Pura Taman Saraswati, a majestic temple with a pond full of lotus flowers. Close by here is the Museum Puri Lukisan if you are keen on a collection of works by local and foreign artists inspired by Bali.
Walk down Jalan Raya Ubud to Panestanan and spend some time here enjoying the peace, passing yoga and meditation centers. From here you can choose either to explore the nature by doing one of the best walks in Bali at Campuhan ridge or get a motor taxi (ojek) and head to Neka Art Musuem for its marvelous artworks and lush gardens. End the day with dinner, drinks and dance at Jazz Cafe Tebesya.
Day 2 – Around Ubud
Wake up early morning and head to the popular Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud. This is a lush jungle dotted with temples, transporting tourists away from the urban sprawl of Ubud. Exit through the southern gate to Nyuhkuning, a charming village renowned for its wood carvings. This village is also a good place for cycling (bike available for rent here) due to its flat roads.
Then head south to the magnificent Aung Rai Museum of Art with expansive collections and beautiful gardens. From here head to Jalan Suweta for lunch of the famous roast pig (babi guling) of Ubud at Ibu Oka. After that walk off the meal at Botanic Garden (open 8 am to 6 pm daily). Turn up at the main street of Petulu between 4-5pm to watch the flocking of thousands of herons and egrets there. End the day with a sumptuous dinner at Bali Buddha.
Day 3 – Day trip excursions from Ubud
Today we will discover the wonders that surround the Ubud city starting with Goa Gajah Cave. This mysterious and fascinating cave is known for its T-shaped that was created over a thousand years ago. It contains Hindu and Buddhist artefacts and bizarre carvings around the entrance.A travel tip is to come here early before 9 am to escape the crowds from tours.
Next head on to Gunung Kawi, where massive shrines are carved into cliffs surrounded by stunning landscapes. Not far down from here is the Kafe Kawi, a perfect place for lunch. Further on we head to Tirta Empul, one of the top 10 temples to visit in Bali, with a complex of pools, temples and gardens. The hot water springs are regarded as holy in Bali and have the magical power to heal, resulting in its invasion by locals and tourists alike.
Head west and ride down the beautiful road to Kendaran, with sloping coconut palms flanked by padi fields and volcanic mountains. At the end of the road, turn north to Tegallalang, a village handicraft shops. Return in time to Ubud to catch a traditional dance performance with live music. This is a must to sum up your experience in Ubud.
Where to stay in Ubud
Stay in Ubud for culture, nature, arts and markets. Ubud has plenty of places that tourists will enjoy staying at. There’s the Como Shambhala Estate *, which is a health retreat deep in the rainforest. There’s also the Hanging Gardens Ubud *, which has a spectacular view and private pool villas. The Purist Villas & Spa * is another popular place to stay in Ubud, as it’s a stylish boutique villa complete with meal and spa facilities. A popular boutique hotel is Uma by COMO *, which is located on the hillside in Ubud.