IndonesiaBali

Ubud Travel Guide

The spiritual heart of Bali. The island's famous beaches are nowhere to be seen, instead replaced with Ubud's omnipresent jungles, sacred temples, cheeky monkeys, chic yoga studios, and organic vegan restaurants.

Nature is the focus of any visit to Ubud. Main-Street-like shopping strips barely conceal the leafy flora, meditation-worthy rivers, and ancient temples. Hire a scooter to delve deeper into the highlands and visit cascading rice terraces at Tegallalang, the mystical Tukad Cepung waterfall, active volcano Mount Batur, or even try your hand at whitewater rafting or zip-lining.

Don't be fooled by droves of hipster zen-seeking tourists inspired by Eat Pray Love, Ubud's traditional community-focused culture is still alive and well. Local children are often seen playing in streams while farmers tend rice fields and women trek uphill sloshing water jugs atop their heads. Visit the Ubud Market at sunrise for a local food shopping experience. By 9am, brightly colored fruit and veg are replaced with jewelry, clothing, and homewares as the market transforms from local to tourist-oriented.

Ubud is a haven for the creatively-inclined with a steadfast focus on art and craft since the 1930s. Be inspired by a visit to the Blanco Renaissance Museum or unleash your inner creative with a Balinese painting or cooking class.

Private villas, rather than 5-star resorts, are the theme of accommodation in Ubud. Retreat to your own piece of paradise with the gentle sounds of frangipani trees swaying, cicadas chirping, and geckos croaking. Visit for a week, a month, or join the growing community of expats who never want to leave.

Inspiration

Who Will Like Ubud

Nature Lover

Explore Ubud's jungle landscapes while trekking along the Campuhan Ridge Walk, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tegallalang Rice Terraces, or watching playful macaque monkeys at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.

Wellness Pursuer

Book a daily yoga class at the famous Yoga Barn, or practice meditation and sound healing at the Pyramids of Chi. Book in advance to indulge in the signature Manis Klepon massage at DaLa Spa, inspired by the ingredients of traditional Balinese rice flour cakes. Start a juice cleanse at organic restaurant, Alchemy, or sample their raw, plant-based meals since holistic wellness starts on the plate.

Culture Buff

Immerse yourself in Balinese Hinduism by visiting sacred temples like Goa Gajah or Saraswati temple. Admire the strength of local women carrying rice and water on their heads while children play in streams and farmers cultivate rice using the UNESCO-recognized Subak System, cooperative water management used for over 1000 years. Discover Ubud's art scene by visiting the Blanco Renaissance Museum or taking a Balinese art class. More culture can be gleaned after dark, when folklore stories are told through traditional dances held nightly at many temples and at the Ubud Palace.

Relaxation Guru

Rent a villa with a private infinity pool for refreshing evening swims and enjoy a cup of locally-grown coffee as rays from the morning sun stream golden light across the surrounding rice fields and jungle landscapes. Visit a day spa for a relaxing massage or even better, have a massage therapist come to your villa.

Food Connoisseur

Show your body some love with healthy meals from organic restaurants like Alchemy and Bali Buda where raw, plant-based menu options abound. For traditional Indonesian or budget-friendly meals, hunt down small warungs, where bebek goreng (crispy duck) is a local favorite, or take a Balinese cooking class. Gluten-free eaters can finally indulge in burgers, pasta, and crumbed schnitzels at restaurants like the Gluten Free Kitchen.

Photography Whiz

Rise early in the morning to capture sun rays glistening on rice fields or to watch the sunrise from Campuhan Ridge. Keep an eye out for hand-carved, moss-covered stone sculptures as you wander through the town's narrow backstreets. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary provides a perfect opportunity for close-ups of cheeky Balinese macaque monkeys.

Retail Therapist

Walk along Jalan Hanoman for a combination of local and brand-name shopping stores. For more traditional, hand-made items, visit the Ubud Art Market where round, cane handbags are a big hit.

Bucketlist Bandit

Treat Ubud as your base to visit iconic sites like Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Mount Batur, and the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Visit Alas Harum Bali to sample luwak coffee and for Instagram-worthy photos in a giant birds nest or soaring above rice terraces on a Bali swing.

Luxury Maven

Book a full-staffed villa like Villa Amrita for 5-star, celebrity treatment. Take advantage of the private driver to chauffeur you around town, private chef to cook your meals, and don't forget the personal butler and cleaning staff.

Top Sights & Attractions In Ubud

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

Nature $$$$$

Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali 80561

Price: Rp15,000 (USD$1.02) Time spent: 1-1.5 hours

Hours: 8am-6pm, 7 days

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Bali Province Cultural Landscape. Stunning views with plenty of photo opportunities on giant swings and bird nests. Watch farmers and see the traditional irrigation system, Subak, at work.

Full attraction details...

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Wildlife Park $$$$$

Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Price: Adult: Rp80,000 (USD$5.43), Child: Rp60,000 ($4.07) Time spent: 1-2 hours

Hours: 8:30am-6pm, 7 days

Alongside Ubud's urban center is a section of pure jungle, home to over 1,000 Balinese monkeys. The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is located on spiritually-significant ground, constructed around 3 Hindu temples dating back to the 14th century. While tourists delight in watching the furry critters frolic and get into all sorts of mischief, measures are in place to protect visitors and also preserve the monkeys’ natural way of life.

website email +62 361971304

Full attraction details...

Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)

Religious $$$$$

Ubud, Bedulu, Blahbatuh, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

Price: Adult: Rp50,000 (USD$3.39), Child: Rp25,000 ($1.70) Time spent: 45-60 minutes

Hours: 8am-5pm, 7 days

An 11th century place of meditation, now made of 2 parts. 1 man-made cave contains small offering alters. Continue downstairs to a Hindu temple. Discover relics of stone carvings, bathing pools and water fountains. The site is full of moss-covered rocks with Indiana Jones vibes.

Full attraction details...

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Trail Free

Kelusa, Payangan, Jl. Raya Campuhan, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Price: Free Time spent: 1-3 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Ubud's jungle-like greenery, deep valleys, trickling rivers, and wooden chalets are best admired from Campuhan Ridge Walk, a 1.7-kilometer-long (1-mile) trail. The walk is inclusive for all fitness levels, with the most difficult section being the steep southern steps up the Wos river valley to the start of the ridge. The trail winds above two jungle-filled valleys as the East and West Wos rivers rush towards their confluence with the Cerik River, below the beginning of the trail.

Full attraction details...

Ubud Palace

Palace Free

Jl. Raya Ubud No.8, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Price: Free Time spent: 15-30 minutes

Hours: 8am-6pm, 7 days

The definitive example of traditional Balinese culture and art located within the heart of Ubud. The palace is the traditional home of the Sukawati royal family who still reside in the rear of the compound today. The front of the compound is open for visitors to wander and marvel at the Hindu-inspired architecture, sculptures and landscaped tropical gardens.

website email

Full attraction details...

Ubud Inspiration & Photos

Food & Drink in Ubud

Alchemy

Vegan $$$$$

Jl. Penestanan Kelod No.75, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Hours: 7am-9pm, 7 days

One of Ubud's first vegan restaurants and a pioneer in establishing the jungle-front town's reputation as a trendy sanctuary for veg-heads. Alchemy proves that by eating raw plant-based foods, you're not limited to simple salads. The restaurant's creative chefs craft raw versions of favorite meals including pizza, quiche, burgers, and a scrumptious range of desserts.

website email +62 81339457432

Full restaurant details...

Melting Wok Warung

French Fusion Indonesian $$$$$

Jl. Gootama No.13, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Hours: 10am-10pm, Tuesday-Sunday

A traditional Balinese warung so small only 8 tables fit in the semi-open dining area. These tables book out days in advance by diners eager to indulge in Melting Wok's authentic curries. Dishes scrawled on humble blackboard menus are few in number, usually 2 main curries and a daily special, meaning chefs focus on quality over quantity, preparing mouth-watering curries worthy of the wait.

website +62 82153666087

Full restaurant details...

Bali Buda Cafe

Healthy Indonesian Vegan Vegetarian $$$$$

Jl Jembawan #1, across from the Ubud Post Office, MAS, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Hours: 7am-11pm, 7 days

One of Bali’s first health-focused restaurants, Bali Buda uses hand-made ingredients and all-natural processes to create the highest possible quality of food, in terms of nutrition and taste. The diverse food menu caters to most dietary requirements including vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan. Meals can be enjoyed in the restaurant’s cozy dining area, or delivered to your accommodation via the Gojek app.

website +62 8113951202

Full restaurant details...

Taco Casa

Mexican $$$$$

Jl. Raya Pengosekan, MAS, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Hours: 10am-10pm, 7 days

Fresh Balinese produce blends perfectly with traditional Mexican flavors at Ubud's Taco Casa. Unlike many Mexican restaurant chains, Taco Casa's tortillas, taco shells, corn chips, guacamole, hot sauce, salsas and salad dressings are freshly made in-house with no MSG, preservatives, or other nasties.

website email +62 81224222357

Full restaurant details...

Gaya Gelato

Ice-Cream $$$$$

Jl. Raya Sayan, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Hours: 8am-10pm, 7 days

You may not expect to find authentic Italian gelato on the streets of Bali, but that's exactly what you'll get at Gaya Gelato. The chain of gelaterias make fresh gelato daily, combining the best practices and technologies from Italy with Bali's flavor-packed local fruit, nuts, and spices.

website email +62 361979252

Full restaurant details...

Food Delivery & Discovery Apps:

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Mobile app
Grab Food
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Mobile app
Gojek
Planning

Areas of Ubud

Ubud is a cluster of 14 different villages, each with its own identity.

The majority of budget accommodation is in the form of homestays. These tend to be located around the center of town, with very basic (and sometimes minimal) signage. So ensure you have bookmarked the location on Google Maps before you arrive for easy navigating.

Several small hotels can be found in central Ubud, while most tend to be scattered around the outskirts where space is abundant. Luxury resorts also tend to be further away, so be sure to have a plan for transport (eg. scooter).

Villas are the most popular option for mid-range budgets. They offer more space and the price often includes daily cleaning and breakfast. When using a booking platform, pay careful attention to the exact location as owners can be liberal with the use of the word "Ubud" - some of these can be over 20 minutes away from the center of town (by car).

Central Ubud is shaped like a "T" (with 2 legs) with Jalan Raya Ubud running east to west, and Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Hanoman running north to south.

Airbnb in Ubud:
Avg nightly rate
Rp195k
(USD$13.22)

Best Places To Stay in Ubud

Getting Around Ubud

Unlike other parts of Bali, rideshare services like Grab, and taxi company Bluebird are not allowed in Ubud.

Private Driver

Private drivers can be hired for a daily rate from companies like BaliCab for around Rp550,000 (USD$37.33) per day. Some rented villas may include the use of a car and driver while some hotels organize private drivers on guests' behalf. Ensure you negotiate to get the best price

Scooter

Scooter rental is available from small, private providers operating street-front stalls throughout Ubud between Rp50,000 (USD$3.39) and Rp90,000 (USD$6.11) per day. Prices can usually be negotiated down from the owner's first-stated rate, with cheaper prices offered for longer-term rentals. Make sure registration papers are provided with the scooter, as you will need to show these to police if you happen to get pulled over. Police may also ask to see an international driver's license and expect a bribe if you don't have one. Always take photos of existing scratches to avoid paying for damage you didn't cause. Scooters can also be hired through hotels, but for higher rates.

Taxi

Ubud taxis are unmarked vehicles run by the local "taxi mafia" (or "collective" depending on which side of the fence you sit) who charge higher rates than taxi services in other parts of Bali. Ubud taxis are unmarked, and can only be identified by drivers waiting along main streets holding signs reading "taxi" and calling out to tourists. Prices are fixed depending on your location and can usually be negotiated down slightly, but don't bargain too aggressively as there's a reason for the term taxi 'mafia'. A short drive within central Ubud should cost around Rp50,000 (USD$3.39).

Shopping

Ubud's artisan history makes it a popular place to purchase traditional and hand-made souvenirs. Popular options include silver and precious gem jewelry from the silver village, framed and canvas paintings from local artists, clothing and handbags from the Ubud Art Market, and wooden or stone homewares direct from artisan stores.

Most clothing and souvenir stores are located along Jalan Hanoman, Jalan Raya Ubud, and Jalan Monkey Forest, while jewelry stores are mainly on Jalan Desisita. Bartering is expected in most market-style stores with owners offering better prices in the morning, especially if you are their first sale, to bring them good luck.

Ubud Art Market

Market Free

Jl. Raya Ubud No.35, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571

Price: Free Time spent: 1.5 hours

Hours: 6am-6pm, 7 days

Artisan markets selling locally-made products. Items include clothing, jewelry, homewares, and souvenirs. Venders never offer their best price first, expect to have barter for a bargain.

Tip: Locals visit the market to buy fresh produce in the early mornings before clothing and souvenir vendors arrive around 9am. Visit close to 9 for the best prices as vendors will offer "morning price" to bring good luck to their day.

Full attraction details...

Best Time of Year to Visit Ubud

Due to its higher altitude, mountainous Ubud experiences cooler temperatures and higher levels of humidity and rainfall than southern parts of Bali (Nusa Dua, Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu). Rain tends to fall heavily in the afternoons, leaving most mornings free for sightseeing, however, most tourists avoid wet season and prefer to visit between May and August.

Dry Season

April-September, between 22°C and 32°C, minimal rainfall.

Wet Season

October-March, between 23°C and 32°C, humid with heavy rain in afternoons.

Best Photo Spots in Ubud

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

Nature $$$$$

Jl. Raya Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali 80561

Price: Rp15,000 (USD$1.02) Time spent: 1-1.5 hours

Hours: 8am-6pm, 7 days

A short drive from Ubud, these UNESCO World Heritage listed rice terraces provide stunning photographs in the early morning, when the first rays of sun fill the usually-green rice fields with a golden hue. Captivating portraits can be taken while walking along narrow pathways between the terraces. 2 iconic Bali swings are also located within the site.

Full attraction details...

Alas Harum Bali

Cultural Free

Tegallalang, Kec. Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561

Price: Free Time spent: 30-120 minutes

Hours: 9am-6pm, 7 days

This cultural center specializing in luwak coffee has converted its lower level into an Instagrammers paradise with photo spots including cascading rice terraces, giant birds' nests, stone-carved caves, and iconic Bali swings.

website email +62 81227842083

Full attraction details...

Tukad Cepung

Waterfall $$$$$

Jl. Tembuku, Dusun Penida Kelod, Tembuku, Kabupaten Bangli, Bali 80671, Indonesia

Price: Rp10,000 (USD$0.68) Time spent: 1-2 hours

Hours: 6am-5pm, Sunday-Monday
7:45am-5pm, Saturday

A local favorite now equally beloved by tourists, Tukad Cepung Waterfall gushes down a vertical drop into a semi-open cavern. Sun rays beaming through the rock roof provide a magical setting for landscape and portrait photographs.

Pura Titra Empul

Religious $$$$$

Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia

Price: Rp50,000 (USD$3.39) Time spent: 30-60 minutes

Hours: 8am-6pm, 7 days

Meaning Temple of Holy Water, Pura Titra Empul contains a series of bathing pools and fountains is a sacred Hindu site for ritual bathing and cleansing. Capture a portrait with water streaming down your face from the fountain. Always ask permission if photographing someone not in your group.

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Trail Free

Kelusa, Payangan, Jl. Raya Campuhan, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Price: Free Time spent: 1-3 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

A scenic elevated walking trail above 2 rivers lined with lush rainforests. From the trail's vantage point, a village filled with homestays can be seen beside endless rice fields. Visit early in the morning to capture a golden sunrise over the rolling landscape.

Full attraction details...

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Wildlife Park $$$$$

Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

Price: Adult: Rp80,000 (USD$5.43), Child: Rp60,000 ($4.07) Time spent: 1-2 hours

Hours: 8:30am-6pm, 7 days

A section of natural jungle preserved for the religious significance of 3 temples and as home to over 1000 Balinese macaque monkeys. Have your camera ready (and strapped around your wrist or neck for its protection) to capture the monkeys groom each other, leap between trees, and munch on sweet potato from designated feeding zones.

website email +62 361971304

Full attraction details...
Essentials

Money

Credit cards accepted: Many places

Most modernized restaurants and shopping stalls, as well as hotels and supermarkets, accept credit cards while market stalls and warungs take cash only. Credit card transactions may attract a fee of up to 3%, so it's preferred to always carry cash.

Contactless payments accepted: Hard to find

ATM Access: Somewhat easy to find

Most ATMs attract high bank fees and allow only Rp2,000,000 (USD$135.75) to be withdrawn per transaction. These are mostly located along Jalan Raya Ubud. The ATM attached to Permata Bank allows Rp3,000,000 (USD$203.63) to be withdrawn per transaction. Try withdraw as much as possible in one transaction to avoid paying multiple bank fees and decrease your risk of encountering a card skimming machine. Also avoid ATMs in mini-marts as they are more likely to attract card skimmers.

Currency exchangers: Somewhat easy to find

Dedicated money exchangers are located throughout central Ubud and offer better rates than banks and ATMs. Know the live currency exchange before changing your money to spot the best rates and avoid operators who charge commission. Always count your money before leaving and ask for a receipt. Avoid currency exchange counters in clothing stalls or down back alleys as these are more likely to be scammers.

Tipping is not mandatory but expected by most hotel and restaurant staff and some drivers. The standard tipping rate is 10%. Some sellers will accept Australian dollars, but charge a higher price than they would for Rupiah.

Budget

Daily Budget

BudgetRp285,000 -Rp500,000 (USD$19.34 - $33.94)

ComfortableRp700,000-Rp2,000,000 (USD$47.51 - $135.75)

LuxuryRp1,800,000-Rp5,000,000 (USD$122.18 - $339.39)

Accommodation

BudgetRp90,000-Rp350,000 (USD$6.11 - $23.76)hostel or 1 star hotel

ComfortableRp350,000-Rp800,000 (USD$23.76 - $54.30)3 star

LuxuryRp950,000-Rp3,000,000 (USD$64.48 - $203.63)4-5 star

Food

Street FoodRp25,000-Rp50,000 (USD$1.70 - $3.39)

Mid-Range RestaurantRp75,000-Rp150,000 (USD$5.09 - $10.18)

Fine Dining RestaurantRp150,000-Rp550,000 (USD$10.18 - $37.33)

Transport

Car with driverRp450,000-Rp2,000,000 (USD$30.54 - $135.75)Per day (10 hours)

Scooter rentalRp50,000-Rp90,000 (USD$3.39 - $6.11)Per day

Car rentalRp200,000-Rp500,000 (USD$13.58 - $33.94)Per day

TaxiRp50,000-Rp75,000 (USD$3.39 - $5.09)Short ride within Ubud

Activities

Yoga classFrom Rp130,000 (USD$8.82)1-hour class

MassageFrom Rp80,000 (USD$5.43)1-hour Balinese massage

Waterfall, Rice Terrace & Monkey Forest TourRp725,000 per person (USD$49.21)10-hour small group tour

Ubud Town TourRp110,000 per person (USD$7.47)90-minute private tour

Balinese Painting ClassRp400,000 per person (USD$27.15)5-hour private class with lunch

White Water RaftingRp275,000-Rp675,000 per person (USD$18.67 - $45.82)Morning session including lunch and hotel pick up

Internet, Mobile & Tech

Internet

Average Internet speed in Ubud: 7.20 Mbps

Public wifi access: Readily available

Mobile

The most common mobile providers are Telkomsel, XL-Axiata and Indosat Ooredoo with Telkomsel offering the best coverage for Ubud. Tourists must present their passport to buy a SIM card and should always check the SIM is unlocked. There are very few dedicated mobile phone stores in Ubud, SIM cards are mostly sold in minimarts and roadside convenience stores.

  • Telkom - "simPATI Tourist Pack" for Rp100,000 (USD$6.79) (14 days, 300 SMS + 300 minutes voice both national and international, 10GB of high-speed internet internet)
  • Indosat - "Unlimited 10 GB" for Rp100,000 (USD$6.79) (30 days, 10GB high-speed internet, 25GB application data, unlimited calls and SMS to IM3)
  • XL Axiata - "Combo Xtra Package 3" for Rp89,000 (USD$6.04) (30 days, 10GB of high-speed internet, 10GB YouTube, free 20 minutes to domestic numbers)

Getting Into Ubud

Ubud is a 1.5-2-hour drive from Denpasar Airport, depending on the time of day and traffic.

Car

Most hotels and villas in Ubud can arrange a driver to collect you from the airport or another region of Bali for a reasonable fee.

Ride Sharing

Rideshare drivers like Grab can pick passengers up from the domestic airport terminal (not international) or other regions of Bali and drop off in Ubud. However, rideshare drivers are not permitted to pick up in Ubud.

Taxi

Metered taxis can be booked through the Bluebird app and may be willing to drop off in Ubud from other regions of Bali. Be understanding if drivers refuse to go to Ubud as they receive threats from the taxi mafia. Unmarked, private taxis will drive to Ubud and are easy to find at the airport and in most main streets around Bali. Always negotiate a fixed price before getting in.

Motorcycle

Due to Ubud's significant distance from Bali's southern towns like Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu, motorbikes and scooters can be quite uncomfortable for the long drive, especially if it rains. If you don't mind the bumpy journey, weaving through traffic, motorbikes offer a cost-effective option at Rp50,000 (USD$3.39) to Rp80,000 (USD$5.43) per day. Keep in mind that motorbikes must be returned to the same rental agency they are collected from.

Shuttle Bus

Shuttle bus operator Kura Kura runs daily every 2-3.5 hours. Schedules and tickets are available online. Individual tickets cost Rp80,000 (USD$5.43) while 1, 3, and 7-day passes are also available from Rp90,000 (USD$6.11). Line 1C runs from Nusa Dua to Ubud; 2C from Jimbaran to Ubud; 3B and 3C from Kuta and Legian to Ubud; 4B and 4C from Kuta, Seminyak, and Sanur to Ubud. Buses stop at Coco Supermarket and Puri Lukisan Museum. An alternative option is Perama shuttle buses which travel to Ubud from Candidasa, Kuta, Lovina, Padang Bai, and Sanur. Tickets from Kuta cost Rp60,000 (USD$4.07) and the buses stop on Jalan Hanoman, south of the intersection with Jalan Monkey Forest.

Bemo

This open-air minibus with 2 rows of benches is often used by locals. Passengers can jump in and out at any point along the route. Bemos bound for Ubud leave from the Batubaulan Terminal near Sanur. Ticket prices vary, foreigners are always charged a higher rate up to Rp30,000 (USD$2.04) per person. Always keep your belongings on you and in your sight as Bemos are ripe for pickpockets.

Health & Safety

Compared to southern regions of Bali, like Kuta, Ubud is quite safe with low levels of crime and danger. The largest risks come from infections related to mosquito bites and traffic accidents due to the narrow, congested roads and frequent heavy rainfall which causes localized flooding and slippery roads. Travel insurance including medical coverage is recommended.

Is it safe to drink tap water? Not recommend

Tap water is not safe for drinking and should not be used for brushing teeth, especially if you have a sensitive digestive system. Ice blocks are most-often made from filtered water so safe to drink. Large bottles of filtered water can be purchased from minimarts for a low cost, while most villas and hotels include a water dispenser or daily bottles of water.

Important Phone Numbers:

Tourist Police: +62 361972374

Emergency: +62 361112112

Police: +62 361112112

Ambulance: +62 361118118

Fire: +62 361113113

Doctors:

Most doctors in Ubud operate out of medical clinics but will also offer home/hotel visits for a premium. Common issues requiring doctor attention include reactions to insect bites and tetanus and rabies shots (after being bitten or scratched by a monkey).

Hospitals:

Several small medical clinics operate in Ubud while Bali's large hospitals are located in the southern parts of the island, 1.5-2 hours' drive from Ubud. Medical centers are able to handle most common health complaints and basic medical procedures.

  • BIMC Ubud A modern center for quick and responsive medical assistance, available 24 hours
  • Toya Medika Clinic A primary and emergency medical care, available 24/7

Scams:

  • ATM Skimmers. Always wiggle the card slot in ATMs to check for skimming machines. If you suspect an ATM has been compromised, don't use it and report it to staff or police.
  • Currency Exchange. While not as common as southern parts of Bali, some currency exchange offices offer rates higher than live rates instead of fees, which means you'll end up paying more. Others charge lower rates, but add on commission while others still pretend to miscount your money, keeping a note or two aside for themselves. Always watch your money being counted.
  • Police Bribes. Local police conduct random license checks and will expect a bribe if you don't have one. Always keep a Rp50,000 (USD$3.39) note in your pocket, separate to the money in your wallet in case it is needed for a bribe. If police see more money in your wallet, they'll ask for a higher bribe.
Avoid:
  • Rideshare apps like Grab or Bluebird taxis. Ubud's taxi mafia prohibits these companies from operating in the area and will assault drivers who they perceive to be taking their turf.
  • Argue with taxi drivers. There's usually a small amount of wiggle room to negotiate down from the first stated price, but don't bargain too aggressively as drivers may perceive this as a threat. The encounter could become very unpleasant if they call more members of the taxi mafia over to back them up.
  • Touch the head of a Balinese priest. The head is considered a sacred part of the body, especially for a religious person.
  • Visit temples if you are woman during menstruation. Menstruating women are banned from entering Hindu places of worship. Come back in a few days later out of respect to the local customs.
Do:
  • Take your shoes off when visiting a temple or local house.
  • Wear a sarong and/or sash when visiting temples.
  • Wear insect repellant, especially at night or near water.
  • Barter with stall owners at the Ubud Art Markets, but be respectful of their final price.
  • Carry international driver's license when driving a scooter.
Travel Deeper

Ubud Culture & History

An ancient Balinese village, Ubud was founded by 8th century, Javanese Hindu-Buddhist priest, Rsi Markandya, who journeyed throughout Bali in search of medicinal herbs and plants. These medicinal herbs, called ubad, were found in the jungle surrounding Ubud, inspiring the town's name.

The combination of the medicinal herbs and the spiritual significance of the jungle's location at the confluence of two branches of the Wos River, led Rsi Markandya to remain in Ubud and establish a village.

Over time, Ubud developed a reputation as the centre of Balinese art, music and dance. In the early 20th century, Dutch and German travellers, including well-known artists Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet, were invited to Ubud by King Gde Agung Sukawati as part of his plan to make Bali a hub for tourism. The artists established schools and the King ordered the construction of traditional-styled bungalows to house the artists. Visitors now travel from all over the world to stay in such jungle-front holiday bungalows for an authentic experience.

Ubud, along with southern Bali, experienced mass modernization and urban development during the late 1900s, resulting in traffic-jammed roads and bustling shopping streets. However, the lush rainforest and rich spirituality can't be contained, with serene temples, trickling rivers, rice farms, and jungle landscapes patiently waiting mere meters behind the modern streets.

Despite the rapid modernization, Ubud's rich culture and spirituality has remained intact. Local villagers still collect water atop their heads and bathe in nearby rivers. Thousands of tourists visit Ubud each year to experience authentic Balinese culture in the form of traditional cooking or art classes, cultural dance performances, visiting sacred temples, or staying in a peaceful, jungle-wrapped villa.

Language:

Ubud locals speak their own dialect of Balinese language as well as the more common Bahasa Indonesian. Due to widespread tourism, English is commonly spoken by the majority of residents. Many tour guides are multi-lingual, with the most common languages being French, German, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, and Spanish. Laborers and rice farmers may not speak any English, so learning a few words of Bahasa or Balinese will go a long way when hiking in more remote parts.

Basic Phrases:

Bahasa Indonesian

  • Hello: Hallo
  • Goodbye: Selamat tinggal
  • Welcome: Selamat datang
  • Excuse me: Permisi
  • Thank you: Terima kasih
  • You're welcome: Sama-sama
  • How are you: Apa kabar?
  • Fine: Baik
  • How much is it?: Berapa harganya?
  • Too expensive: Terlalu mahal
  • Can I get it for less?: Boleh kurang?
  • What's your name?: Siapa nama?
  • My name is...: Nama saya...

Balinese

  • Thank you: Suksma
  • You're welcome: Mwali

Events & Festivals In Ubud

February - March

  • Nyepi: Known as the "Day of Silence" to commemorate the Saka New Year (Isakawarsa), Nyepi is celebrated with a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. Come nightfall, lights are kept off to remove distractions from self-reflection, plunging the island into a sea of darkness. Stargazers will never get a better view of the Milky Way, unhindered by light pollution, - just be sure to remain within the grounds of your hotel as travel is not permitted on Nyepi.
  • Bali Spirit Festival. An annual festival focusing on health and wellness. Visitors can join a number of health workshops, activities, and yoga classes.

April

  • Ubud Food Festival. A gastronomic event with the aim to promote the rich heritage of Indonesian cuisine to the world. International chefs share their expertise with the audience through different workshops, classes, and lectures, and there's plenty of free tastings, of course!

October

  • Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. An annual literary festival featuring workshops, book launches, youth programs and promotion of Bali arts and culture. The event gathers the speakers and writers from all around the world.
  • Galungan Festival. A festival organized on the 11th week of Bali's traditional 310-day Pawukon calendar. It marks the time when the ancestral spirits of deceased relatives visit the Earth. Balinese attend temple prayers and bring offerings to share and enjoy afterward.
Last Bit

Myth Busting

  • Ubud is too touristy. While the main streets are usually packed with tourists, there still several peaceful pockets. Many villas are on the outskirts of town, surrounded by rainforest and rice paddies. It's easy to escape the crowds by venturing a little further, off the beaten path.
  • Monkeys are dangerous. In years gone by, the Ubud Monkey Forest developed a reputation for monkeys biting, scratching, and stealing from tourists. After significant renovations and new rules, the forest is now much safer. Visitors are no longer allowed to feed the monkeys or bring food and drink, as this is what encouraged the monkeys to steal and act aggressively.
  • Ubud is only for vegans and yogis. While many yoga studios and vegan restaurants are located in Ubud, it's also home to numerous expats and digital nomads. Ubud is a quiet place for families to unwind, or art and cooking classes for the creatively minded.

After Ubud, Go Further

Most visitors to Ubud continue on to explore Southern cities within Bali, then go further to other parts of Southeast Asia, like Malaysia and Thailand.

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