Top 15 Things to Do in Ubud Including Goa Gajah

Top 15 Things to Do in Ubud Including Goa Gajah

Read on to discover the fun available in Ubud and beyond!

Known as the cultural capital of Bali, Ubud is the hotspot for tourists to go to relax and have an invigorating vacation.

Not sure what you can do in Ubud? Hindu temples and rice fields dot the land, but there’s more to visit than just these classic spots. If you’re still unfamiliar with Ubud, or are looking for more things to do, here are some helpful suggestions!

1. Visit the Monkey Forest

Monkey Forest

Image credit: Dewi Meutia

The Monkey Forest Sanctuary is perhaps Ubud’s most popular attraction. Populated by many Balinese long-tailed macaques, the Monkey Forest lives up to its name. Within walking distance of the Ubud Town Centre, it’s easy to see why tourists are drawn to the site. These monkeys can be quite mischievous though, so do watch out for your belongings!

2. Enter the Ubud Royal Palace

After visiting the Monkey Forest, you might want to head to the Ubud Royal Palace for some cultural immersion. Just minutes away from the Monkey Forest, the Ubud Royal Palace stands proud with its exotic architecture. During the day, visitors can walk through the palace and take photos, while dance performances liven up the palace at night.

3. Head to Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah

Image credit: Amelia Isa

While it may be known as the Elephant Cave, Goa Gajah does not actually feature elephants roaming around despite its name. Not that it should turn you off visiting it – not for nothing was it nominated as a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site! With plenty of ancient relics, wall carvings and stone statues to marvel at, Goa Gajah promises visitors a rewarding time.

4. Walk Through the Tegalalung Rice Terrace

Tegalalung Rice Terrace

Image credit: Aussie Assault

Walking through rice fields is a definite activity on the checklist of things to do in Ubud. The Tegalalung Rice Terrace is not only one of the most photogenic spots in the town, but also offers scenic landscapes of the surrounding greens, due to its terraced rice fields. There is even a designated “IG spot” for visitors to take a photo — at the start of the field, a swing seat coupled with a Love Bali sign can be found.

5. Join A Yoga Class

What’s more appropriate than joining a yoga class when in Ubud, the spiritual centre of Bali? The variety of yoga studios in Ubud means more choices! For beginners, check out studios like Intuitive Flow or Ubud Yoga House, both of which offer small classes. If you’re looking more a yoga class at an intermediate level, the Yoga Barn and Radiantly Alive are good choices as well, though their classes are generally more packed.

6. Shop at the Ubud Art Market

As you soak in the cultural sights and relaxing atmosphere typical of Ubud, don’t forget to bring some souvenirs back as keepsakes! An assortment of souvenirs can be found on sale at the Ubud Art Market, ranging from Balinese handicrafts to paintings and woven bags.

7. Soak in Tirta Empul’s Springs

Tirta Empul

Image credit: Eduard Marmet

The Tirta Empul temple is famous for its holy springs, where locals go to bathe in the waters for purification. This Holy Water temple is considered one of the holiest temples in Bali, with one of the most holy water sources. At the purification pools, visitors queue up to cleanse themselves with the water spouts in a ritual known as melukat. The entrance fee for Tirta Empul is 15000 IDR per person.

8. Savour Bali’s Vegan Delicacies

A trip to Ubud would not be complete without at least sampling some of the vegan food that it has to offer. If you’re looking for something particularly unique, head to Kokolato for some vegan dessert. Alternatively, the Lazy Cats Cafe, Sayuri Healing Food Cafe and Earth Cafe also offer some great vegan options for the health-conscious.

9. Attend a Cooking Class

Perhaps after tasting the delectable vegan dishes that Bali has to offer, you might be interested in learning how to make your own. With the many cooking classes that Ubud provides, you can be sure to find a class suited to your preferences. If cooking isn’t your thing, there are other options including painting classes and jewellery-making classes to occupy your time.

10. Admire the Waterfalls

Believe it or not, there are some beautiful waterfalls around Ubud. Some of the more well-known ones are Tegenungan waterfall, Kanto Lampo waterfall, and the Tibumana waterfall, all of which are less than an hour’s drive away from Ubud. Known for their natural aquatic beauty, these waterfalls are definitely entice you to splash around in them.

11. Go Whitewater Rafting at Ayung River

Ayung River

Image credit: Bali Tours

Itching for something more exhilarating than a dip in a waterfall? Try your hands at whitewater rafting in the Ayung River. Ayung River is well-known for Alternatively, tubing is also an option if you prefer to engage in a different kind of water sport.

12. Witness Fireflies at Taro Village

How could you not marvel at the fireflies that abound Taro Village? Located in the north of Ubud, daily evening tours are conducted to bring visitors to witness the glory of the fireflies. This is your opportunity to see these little fiery creatures in their natural habitat, in unpolluted rice fields away from crowded places. A nocturnal miracle indeed.

13. Get a Massage

Still wishing for more relaxation as you tick off the activities on this list? Ubud’s spas and massage parlours will help you get rid of the cricks in your back. Lose yourself in the sensations of the treatments available at these parlours. The Putri Bali Spa even has a full body chocolate massage, if you’re up to try that!

14. Check Out the Campuhan Ridge Walk

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Image credit: Artem Beliaikin

An easy trail within walking distance of Ubud, the Campuhan Ridge Walk provides great views of the surroundings throughout the trek. The hike takes about an hour one-way; shorter if you decide not to stop along the way to rest.  Make sure to take some food and plenty of water along if you want to maintain your level of energy for the trek!

15. Explore the Saraswati temple

Saraswati Temple

Image credit: Jorge Franganillo

Another famous temple in Ubud is the Saraswati temple, which has an arresting lotus pond on its grounds. The temple is dedicated to a Hindu goddess, Saraswati, who is often depicted with four arms and seated upon a swan or lotus flower. Ancient carvings cover the temple’s exterior in honour of Saraswati, giving the temple an exquisite appearance.

Despite being a small town, there are plenty of things to see and do in Ubud. Surround yourself with the lush nature and sprawling vistas that Ubud has to offer, and make the most of your time there. Perhaps now a trip to Ubud is in order…

Also read: Hot Springs in Bali: The Best 7

About Author

Jean Wong
Jean Wong

For someone who's a homebody, Jean sure loves stepping out of her house to travel. When she's not busy exploring quaint towns, she can be found with her nose in a book, sipping on her daily dose of bubble tea.


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