Top 5 Ubud Temples to Visit in Bali

Spirituality is the main vibe in Bali, and Ubud, as the center of Bali, came with few of the best temples in Bali. Visiting temples in one of the things to do in Ubud besides the museums, spa, massages, and shopping.

The main religions here is Balinese Hinduism and its temple is known as pura. The term pura is originated from the Sansrkit word that means “walled city” or “palace” and has now evolved aptly to mean temple complex in the Balinese language.

Pura Taman Saraswati temple, Ubud

This temple is built 60 years ago and dedicated to the Goddess of Arts. It is well known for its lotus-filled pond, which is often called the “Lotus Open Pond Stage”. The gardens and pond can be visited during the day but only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. There is also a Cafe Lotus attached where you can slowly soaked in the serenity. This temple hosts a variety of traditional dances on different days and is touted to be one of the best in Bali.

How to get there:
Located in Ubud, this temple can be found at Jl. Kajeng.

Pura Taman Saraswati
Pura Taman Saraswati. Photo by Phil Whitehouse

Pura Dalem Taman Kaja, Ubud

Well-known for its kecak dance, it is touted to be the best place to enjoy this popular dance in Bali. You can find the shows on Mondays and Wednesdays. This temple is located beneath a huge banyan tree and the stairs leading up to it are lit by oil lamps. A truly magical experience going into the temple.

How to get there:
Located in Ubud, this temple can be found at Jl. Raya Ubud.

Forest Temple, Ubud, Indonesia
Forest Temple, Ubud, Indonesia. Photo by McKay Savage

Goa Gajah Temple

Goa Gajah temple is a temple dated back to the 10th century and is known as the Elephant cave. One of its main attractions is its carved entrance of menacing creatures and demons. Inside the cave, you will find statues of the Lord Ganesha (the God with the elephant head). Also within the site are an extensive bathing pools, which are not only excavated until the 1950s.

How to get there:
It takes only 10 minutes drive from Ubud city center.

Goa Gajah Temple, Ubud, Indonesia
Goa Gajah Temple, Ubud, Indonesia. Photo by Kohei

Pura Tirta Empul Temple

Also known as the water temple in Ubud, Pura Tirta Empul has its own sacred spring water with healing properties. This temple dates back to 926 AD and is well revered by the locals. Many will come and climb up to the temple for a bath and meditation in the long main pool. It is believed to bring good fortune and health. Base on a legend, this spring us created by the God Indra as an antidote to the poisonous spring of an evil demon King.

How to get there:
To get to Pura Tirta Empul would take 30 minutes drive from Ubud

Pura Tirta Empul, Ubud, Indonesia
Pura Tirta Empul, Ubud, Indonesia. Photo by Christ06

Pura Gunung Kawi Temple

This temple, known as the “valley of the Kings’ is located in the cliffs between rice fields at the south of Tampaksiring, Bali. The Pakerisan river flows through the ravine and flanking the river is the shrines and carved stones that are meant to commemorate the 11th-century kings and queens. Though technically not a temple, it is still revered as a holy place by the locals. This site is more of an actual tomb for the royalties that are cremated here base on Balinese customs.

How to get there:
This also takes 30 minutes drive north from Ubud

Gunung Kawi, Ubud, Indonesia
Gunung Kawi, Ubud, Indonesia. Photo by @yb_woodstock

As you can see, Ubud is a strong spiritual center of Bali with its variety of temples worth a visit. Along with the temples, you will also find shows and festivals that are bound to entertain. When I visited here, I have also chose Ubud as my central place to explore Bali, especially with so many good places to stay.


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 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.

Related article:
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Top 10 Best Restaurants in Ubud, Bali

Ubud is famous for its food, besides culture, and this is one of the best places in Bali to sample a wealth of local Indonesian food. This is why it is also home to some of the best restaurants in Bali. One of the best things about Ubud is the sheer variety of bites on offer and you can spend the day sipping on freshly pressed local juices made with exotic fruits and sampling the street food bought piping hot from carts on street corners.

If your appetite and budget allow, then you can also enjoy a variety of fine dining in Bali which are located in Ubud, but there are also, of course, lots of affordable food to be found here.

Here are our very own top 10 best restaurants in Ubud.

Locavore

One of the most famous restaurants in Ubud is Locavore which is the brainchild of two chefs called Ray Adriansyah and Eelke Plameijer which has an emphasis on local ingredients. You can select from a variety of tasting menus here including one which features nine courses and is paired with wine, and just some of the highlights include traditional Indonesian oxtail or freshly caught barramundi.

Opening hours: 12 pm – 2.30 pm, 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm
Address: Jl. Dewisita No.10, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571; Tel: +62 361 977 733

Famous Locavore restaurant in Ubud Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Famous Locavore restaurant in Ubud Kabupaten Gianyar, Ubud. Photograph by Indus and the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

Ibu Oka Warung

Ibu Oka Warung is one of the most famous spots in town and enjoys a strategic location across from the Royal Palace in Ubud. The reason to come here is for the babi guling which is traditional roast suckling pig. Expect it to be simple but delicious. Basically, you get large slices of roasted pig served with rice and some side vegetables, all of which are accompanied with a delicious spicy sauce.

Opening hours: 10.30 am – 10 pm
Address: Jalan Tegal, Ubud; Tel: +62 361 976 435

Ibu Oka Warung, one of the famous spot near Royal Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Delicious roasted pig at Ibu Oka Warung. Photo by Kars Alfrink

Hujan Locale

Hujan Locale has made a splash on the Ubud food scene thanks to its delicious Asian cuisine. The restaurant is modeled in the colonial style and menus have headings such as ‘From the farm’ and ‘From the sea’. Some of the delicious plates you can expect here include juicy lamb curries inspired by Yogyakarta and fish curry cooked in the Acehnese style.

Opening hours: 12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 11 pm
Address: Jalan Sri Wedari, Ubud; Tel: +62 361 849 3092

Bebek Bengil Restaurant

Bebek Bengil Restaurant translates as the Dirty Duck which is the main feature on the menu. The restaurant has a secret recipe developed in-house in the 1990s and the duck is boiled in a flavorful broth before being massaged with a blend of traditional Balinese herbs and spices. The meat is then fried until it blisters to create some of the most delicious duck on the island.

Opening hours: 10 am – 10.30 pm
Address: Padang Tegal, Jl. Hanoman, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571; Tel: +62 361 975 489

Bebek Bengil restaurant is known for Dirty Duck as main menu, Ubud, Indonesia
Bebek Bengil restaurant is known for Dirty Duck as its main menu. Photo by (WT-shared) Shoestring at wts wikivoyage

Fair Warung Bale

If you want to support the local community while you have your dinner, then consider a trip to Fair Warung Bale. Owned by the Fair Future Foundation, the proceeds of your meal will go to healthcare in the Ubud community. Some of the items you will find on the menu here include toothsome curries as well as some international fare.

Opening hours: 9.30 am – 11 pm
Address: Jalan Sriwedari 6, Ubud; Tel: +62 361 975 370

Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique

One of the best known upscale restaurants in Ubud is called Mozaic and is known for its French-Indonesian fusion food. All the dishes are the brainchild of Chef Chris Salans and you will find French dishes that have been made with local Balinese ingredients. One of the highlights here is the tasting menu which is made up of local treats like blue fin tuna and other fresh seafood delights from around the region.

Opening Hours: 17.45 – 1.00 am
Address: Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud; Tel: +62 361 975 768

 Cooking Class at Mozaic restaurant, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Cooking Class at Mozaic restaurant. Photo by Ubud Writers Festival

Cafe Lotus

Cafe Lotus is now actually a chain that exists all over Bali but it started in Ubud in 1982, so if you eat here you will be coming to the source. This restaurant looks out over a pretty lotus pond (hence the name) and you can come here to try the traditional Balinese dishes such as fish rubbed in a spice blend made of lemongrass, galangal, and turmeric which is then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked.

Opening hours: 7.30 am – 11 pm
Address: Jalan Raya Ubud; Tel: +62 361 975 660

Café Lotus a chain that exists all over Bali, Indonesia
Cafe Lotus chain in Ubud, Bali. Photo by Dee M

CasCades at the Viceroy

CasCades at the Viceroy is one of the most upscale restaurants in Ubud and you will dine in a Balinese pavilion covered with a traditional thatched roof. The restaurant looks over the lovely Petanu Valley and you can choose from French dishes that have an Asian twist. To that end, you will find Balinese, Japanese, and even Thai influences here and there is a tasting menu that comes with scallops, rack of lamb, and a selection of delicious cheeses.

Opening hours: 7 am – 10 pm
Address: Jalan Lanyahan, Banjar Nagi, Ubud; Tel: +62 361 972 111

Moksa

If you are a vegetarian or just want to eat more greens, then consider a trip to Moksa. This restaurant is based around a permaculture farm and is focused on simple yet delicious plant based meals. Some of the dishes are raw while some have seen a little eat and you can expect a changing menu with dishes such as vegan pasta made with vegetables and covered in ‘cheese’ made from nuts.

Opening hours: 10 am – 9 pm
Address: Gang Damai, Ubud; Tel: +62 361 479 2479

Try Moksa restaurant for vegetarian, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Try Moksa restaurant for vegetarian, Ubud. Photo by Xenia Blair and the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

Bebek Tepi Sawah

If you are in Ubud then one of the restaurants that you absolutely can’t miss is Bebek Tepi Sawah located at the Tepi Sawah Villas in Peliatan. The name is a reference to the ducks that line the rice terraces here and as a result, you can expect to find plenty of duck on the menu. If you are not a fan of this meat however then you will find plenty of other delicious plates featuring mixed seafood platters as well as delicious pork dishes like braised pork ribs.

Opening hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Address: Jalan Goa Gajah, Banjar Teges, Peliatan, Ubud; Tel: +62 361 975 656

Plenty duck menu can be found at Bebek Tepi Sawah restaurant, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Bebek Bengil (Crispy Duck). Photo by Naotake Murayama

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1 Day Ubud Itinerary – What to do and visit

1 Day Ubud Itinerary, Bali – What to Do and See

Ubud is Bali’s heart and soul, with so many things to do, you can easily spend more than one day here, but our itinerary will help you to maximise the time you have. 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 1 day itinerary in Ubud, you will check out the few main attractions in Ubud, then head out for a short excursion to the temple and rice fields and return in time for massage and spa, Kecak Dance performance and live music afterwards.

Ubud Itinerary Map

Morning – Market, Monkey Forest and Museum

Wake up early and check out the public market (pasar umum). This market is a beautiful chaos 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. Then head on to the popular Sacred Monkey Forest of Ubud before it gets too hot. This is a lush jungle dotted with temples, transporting tourists away from the urban sprawl of Ubud. 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.

Lady selling flowers at the Market @ Ubud, Bali

Lady selling flowers at the Market at Ubud, Bali. Photo by David Stanley

Afternoon – Excursion of Paddy Fields and Temple

Then it is time to discover the wonders that surround the Ubud city. Head west and ride (you may want to rent a motorbike or hire a car for the half day) down the beautiful road to Kendaran, with sloping coconut palms flanked by paddy fields and volcanic mountains. On the way, we stop by at 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. At the end of the road, turn north to Tegallalang, a village handicraft shops.

Rice fields terraces, Tegalalang, Ubud, Bali

Rice fields terraces at Tegalalang. Photo by Pandu Adnyana

Evening – Kecak Dance

Return in time to Ubud to catch a traditional dance performance with live music. This is one of the must do in Ubud to sum up your experience. If there is still time, squeeze in some massage and spa at the many choices you can find in Ubud. End the day with a sumptuous dinner at one of the best restaurants in Bandung. After that, if you still have the energy, check out one of the many places that play live music at the center of Ubud.

Kecak Dance at Bali, Indonesia, Indonesia

Kecak Dance at Bali. Photo by Meru Muhammad


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 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.

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3 Days Itinerary in Ubud and Around, Bali

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.

Lady selling flowers at the Market @ Ubud, Bali

Lady selling flowers at the Market at Ubud, Bali. Photo by David Stanley

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.

Legong and Barong Traditional Dances, Ubud, Bali

Legong and Barong Traditional Dances. Photo by Arian Zwegers

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.

Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali

Monkey Forest at Ubud

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.

Rice fields terraces, Tegalalang, Ubud, Bali

Rice fields terraces at Tegalalang. Photo by Pandu Adnyana

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