Set in Bali’s lush interior, Ubud is the island’s cultural hub. As of late, it has become bustling tourist destination which bears little resemblance to a traditional Balinese village. Patches of paradise can still be found in Ubud, and it remains the center for spiritual tourism.
Ubud is located directly north of Bali’s capital, Denpasar, and is easily accessible via taxi or private car. The drive takes approximately one hour from Denpasar and takes you through small villages, rainforests, and rice paddies. Promoted as the arts and culture center of Bali, the town draws the interest of foreign travelers every year. You'll find beautifully designed resorts, museums, yoga centers, and plenty of shopping opportunity for a souvenir.
Arts and Culture
Immerse in the arts of Bali, whether it's Tek Tok, a traditional Balinese dance that is performed regularly at the Bali Culture Center, or visits one of its many art museums. The Puri Lukisan Museum is one of the oldest art museums that feature traditional Balinese wood carvings and paintings. You can also participate in creating some art pieces of your own, whether it's a jewelry-making, silver-making, or traditional Balinese painting classes.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is one of the most popular attractions in the area and attracts around 10,000 tourists through its gates per month. The forest is a nature reserve and Hindu temple, which is viewed by local residents as an important spiritual destination. The park is home to roughly 600 Balinese long-tailed monkeys and guests are encouraged to purchase bananas to feed the monkeys for an interactive experience.
Get hands-on experience with the local palette by taking a cooking class. The instructor will take you on a journey through local markets, picking essential spices and ingredients that make a delicious Balinese dish. If you're not inclined to cook, there are also a wide selection of restaurants to choose from, many of which boast amazing views while you dine. You'd be surprised at the number of gourmet dining places you can find in Ubud. World-class chefs come to Bali to hone their skills and present meticulously crafted fusion dishes you can't find anywhere else.
The narrow streets of Ubud are lined with charming restaurants and organic cafes, as well as shops selling handmade crafts and art galleries. For travelers with limited time in Ubud, accommodation near the center of town is recommended; this allows for easy and quick access to the key sights. If time permits, book a stay at a tranquil resort that offers yoga classes.