The beating cultural heart of Bali, Ubud embodies a blend of nature and history, overlaid with a refined sense of beauty and wellbeing. Perched in the hills above Bali’s beach resort areas, this is a serene oasis like no other and the centre of Bali’s art scene.
Despite the inroads of the modern world, Bali’s unique culture as been carefully preserved down the generations and nowhere more so than in Ubud. It’s easy to see why travellers have long enjoyed the exquisite aesthetic and relaxed atmosphere of this special place on holidays to Bali.
In Ubud, artistic tradition is nurtured and wild monkeys roam free in overgrown temples.
Bali’s cultural heartland
The thriving art and craft scene in Ubud Bali draws both on traditional culture and contemporary inspiration.
Ubud and its nearby villages are full of art galleries and markets selling intricate local crafts and contemporary art. Wandering around the streets of the town you will find dozens of shops selling antiques, woodcarvings, crafts, textiles, paintings and jewellery. Make sure to see one of the scheduled dance performances for a wonderful cultural experience.
Top things to do in Ubud, Bali
The Sacred Monkey Forest of Ubud is very beautiful and deservedly one of the most famous attractions in Bali. Wander through the Monkey Forest, home to around 600 monkeys, all of which are being carefully looked after in this lush conservation centre.
Stroll through the rice fields surrounding the town, perhaps walking to one of the relaxing cafes, and observe the subak traditional cooperative irrigation system used in Bali.
The Tegallalang rice terraces are just north of Ubud and feature traditional rice fields climbing a steep hillside.
Tirta Empul water temple draws pilgrims to bathe in its holy spring water and often has colourful festivals of ritual purification.
Make sure you book in some pampering while in Ubud because the spas here are divine. There are lots of options, and you don’t have to be staying at a five-star resort to visit their spa.
The annual Bali Spirit Festival is an inspiring celebration of wellbeing and music, taking place each March with an extensive line up of performance artists and yoga events. It’s hard to imagine a better place for such a festival than Ubud.
With predominantly smaller boutique hotels, Ubud offers a slice of tranquility that will make the everyday world feel a million miles away. Soak up the stunning views of jungle and rice terraces, and visit ancient temples for a taste of Bali’s rich culture.