Sights and Attractions in Ubud
Long regarded as the cultural centre of Bali, Ubud draws artisans, health enthusiasts and those seeking a more sedate pace to life. Spas, yoga centres, retreats and cafes ooze serenity.
Ancient temples and remarkable Balinese architecture provide a touch of calm in an otherwise bustling Balinese metropolis. While the resident monkeys of the central forest exhibit the very essence of brazen cheek. There is a lot to see in this central Balinese district, so it’s hard to narrow down just a handful of places to visit. Here are our top sights and attractions in Ubud we think you’ll enjoy.
Visit the Traditional Market
Ubud’s sprawl is made up of 14 communities arranged around the central market space near Ubud Palace. Despite the name, the market is not as traditional as it used to be since tourist numbers skyrocketed in the area. There are three different levels to the market, with the more traditional products available in the basement and touristy souvenirs at ground level. Still, it’s a great place to visit early in the morning when the locals shop to see a little bit of the ‘real’ Bali.
See the Macaques of Monkey Forest
Located in the heart of Ubud, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary draws crowds from all over Bali keen to connect with the loveable little macaques who call this forest home. Wander through the moss-covered forest to see wild monkeys and witness the real meaning of cheeky. These hairy little primates are so used to visitors they’ll pinch anything not securely fastened to your person. You have been warned.
Take a Walking Tour through the Rice Fields
Veer off the main roads and head into the back fields where rice paddies spread out across the landscape. Watch the ducks waddle along the paths, searching for abandoned rice, see the farmers tend the fields and enjoy a wonderfully serene side of Bali. There are a number of guided tours available, or you can explore alone. If you’re looking for a more strenuous trek, head to the Campuhan Ridge Walk, which is a nine-kilometre nature trail running above the rice terraces in the highlands.
Watch the Wood Carvers at Work
Ubud is made up of lots of satellite villages, and Mas – about five kilometres south of the centre of Ubud – is the wood carving centre in the region. Even if you’re not looking to buy, wandering along the footpaths you’ll see some of the most amazing craftsmanship. If you do want to buy, remember the Balinese love a good haggle.
Stretch out at Yoga Barn
Visitors seeking enlightenment and relaxation on their break in Bali often head to Ubud, which is regarded by many locals and expats to be the centre for healing and spirituality. Here, alongside a plethora of spa and health retreats you will find yoga and meditation centres. Yoga Barn is perhaps the most popular studio. Opened in 2007, its founders created the holistic healing centre to give back to the island of Bali and bring together a like-minded community.