Ubud is the lively centre of Bali’s traditional arts and crafts scene, as well as home to good restaurants and cafes. A 2hr-drive north from Ngurah Rai International Airport, Ubud offers a completely different vibe from the busy south of Bali. It is surrounded by lush rainforest and terraced paddy fields, so if you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere, you know where to go. Here are some things to do in Ubud that you can easily fit into a day, or even a half day 😉
Things to Do in Ubud, Bali
1. Eat Balinese Crispy Fried Duck by the Paddy Fields
As mentioned earlier, Ubud is surrounded by terraced rice fields, so no journey to Ubud is complete without a meal (or a massage, or a yoga class 😉 by some green paddy fields. One of the restaurants offering this option in Ubud is Bebek Tepi Sawah, which literally means “duck by the paddy fields”.
If you are visiting Bebek Tepi Sawah, we would recommend getting the original crispy fried duck. It’s one of the signature dishes of Bali that any visitor should try. But the best thing is not just the fried duck dish, but the whole experience of dining by the rice fields, lesehan-style (sitting on the floor on mats, Indonesian-style!). Bebek Tepi Sawah also serves very good sambal matah (sliced chilli with chopped red onions), so make sure you try some! Even if you don’t eat spicy foods, we would still highly recommend you to try it. It is really good 🙂
2. Get Your Caffeine Fix at Seniman Coffee
Going to Bali is a yearly affair for O but she has not been to Ubud in a while. And while researching about Ubud for this trip, many online recommendations featured Seniman Coffee – it is indeed quite famous that A, who does not drink coffee, even knew about it! So it followed that after lunch we stopped by this cafe for a quick coffee break.
Seniman Coffee offers a wide-selection of single origin beans from across Indonesia and other countries like South America and Africa. Another plus point? As with many other establishments in Ubud, they are very environmentally conscious – even the cup holder is made of recycled material.
O had a flat white, but it was a bit too strong for her liking (she prefers the more creamy type). If you love a good caffeine boost, come and pay Seniman Coffee a visit. And if you prefer to brew your own coffee at home, the beans are also available to purchase, and they can grind them for you to suit your brewing technique.
3. Relax with a Massage at Sang Spa 2
Lunch, coffee, and massage – what a perfect afternoon. Sang Spa is a massage chain with three different locations in Ubud, but many people recommend Sang Spa 2. It’s located in a small alley off the main roads, but don’t worry, you can still drive to the doorstep. The premises is very tranquil and serene, the massage good and the staff friendly. Prices are also reasonable, so we’d definitely recommend slotting in an afternoon of pampering at Sang Spa 2 if you’re in Ubud.
4. Join an Art Class at WS Art Studio
Ubud is the arts capital of Bali, so if arts and crafts is your thing, this should be on your things to do in Ubud list. There are many studios offering art workshops – some of them are longer programs for pottery and the likes, but if you just fancy a short afternoon stint, WS Art Studio is your best bet. They offer a wide range of activities, from shadow puppet-carving to stone-sculpting to traditional Balinese dancing. Bonus point? The sessions are conducted in an outdoor pavilion, right in the middle of paddy fields 😉 Call in advance to book your slot.
Read our full review of WS Art Studio here>>
Cafe Pomegranate is one of the best spots in Ubud to watch the sun set over the mountains, and… you guessed it, more paddy fields. The cafe is not exactly accessible by car, but there are a few ways to get there. If you’re feeling adventurous you can hike the famous Campuhan Ridge before coming here, or simply walk up the small winding dirt path from Ubud’s main street. We were not in the mood to walk, so we hopped on two ojeks (motorcycle taxis) instead. You can even ask the ojek to come pick you up again at a later time, so you don’t have to walk all the way back to the main street from the cafe.
6. Eat Dinner at Hujan Locale
Book a dinner slot at Hujan Locale (we’d recommend the later sitting at 830pm!) and end your day out in Ubud with a lovely meal at this establishment helmed by celebrated Chef Will Meyrick. Hujan Locale prides itself in its farm-to-table concept, and serves food inspired by traditional Indonesian dishes, but with a twist.
Read our full review of Hujan Locale here>>
So that’s it! This list is by no means comprehensive, and we’ll update it from time to time, so throw in your favorite things to do in Ubud down in the comments