Ubud, also known as the cultural heart of Bali, is home to art markets, temples, yoga studios, vegan cafés, rice paddies and waterfalls!
Although you can visit Ubud on a day trip covering the typical tourist trail such as the Ubud Art Market, Tegalalang rice terraces or Tegenungan waterfall, there’s so much more to do here than just breezing through the most popular attractions.
In this guide, I’ll show you exactly how to spend 3 days in Ubud, including how to get there, where to stay and essential tips to help you plan your perfect Ubud itinerary!
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Ubud Itinerary Day 1 – Downtown Ubud and Rice Field Walks
Ubud Art Market
Probably the most popular thing to do in Ubud, the Ubud Art Market is actually open from 2 a.m. You will find locals selling mostly fruits, vegetables and Canang Sari (offerings made of colorful flowers and coconut leaves).
Tip: If you want to get your hands on some Balinese cakes, go early at around 6 a.m before everything is gone!
At 9 a.m, the area transforms into a tourist market selling all sorts of all souvenirs, clothes, handicrafts, rattan handbags and pretty much anything you can think of!
Haggling is the way to go here! Start with 30 to 40% of the price and work your way up until you can agree on a reasonable price. If you want to score cheaper deals, go early in the morning. Once you’ve made a purchase, you will notice that the seller will tap your money all over the shop for good luck!
Ubud Palace, also called Puri Saren Agung, is the second most popular attraction after the Ubud Art Market. The palace is free to visit from 9 a.m to 6 p.m.
Though there isn’t much to see apart from the intricate architecture, Ubud Palace is mainly a photo spot.
Since the Royal family still resides within the complex, certain parts of the palace are restricted to the public.
Dance performances are held almost every night. You will usually find people selling tickets in the evening for IDR 100k (US$ 7.15).
Pura Saraswati temple
If you want to escape the chaos of downtown Ubud, it a good idea to visit the Pura Saraswati temple which is hidden behind the Lotus Café and Starbucks.
The impressive temple stands out at the end of a small alley in the middle of a lotus pond and is one of the main temples in Ubud. Since the Saraswati temple is free to visit, it should definitely be added to your 3-day Ubud itinerary!
You can also watch dance performances here at night for about IDR 100k (US$ 7.15) or for free if you’re dining at the Lotus Café.
Ubud Monkey Forest
If you love animals and are brave enough to walk past hundreds of cheeky monkeys, you should definitely pay a visit to the Monkey forest. For a better and safer experience, you need to follow a few guidelines:
- Don’t feed the monkeys
- Avoid looking them in the eyes
- Don’t show your teeth as they may feel threatened
- Stash away any loose items such as sunglasses, jewelry and especially food!
You will most probably see people trying to feed the monkeys to get a picture but it’s not recommended to bring food since the monkeys will not leave you alone UNTIL they get something to eat!
Apart from seeing the monkeys, there are other things to do such as strolling around the forest, visiting the temples and exhibition hall.
The Monkey forest is open from 8.30 a.m to 6 p.m and the last ticket sale is at 5.30 p.m.
Monkey forest entrance fee: IDR 80k (US$ 5.70) for adults and IDR 50k (US$ 3.60) for children.
Rice field walks in Ubud
Finally, end your first day in Ubud by taking a rice field walk while enjoying the sunset. The most famous one is the Campuhan Ridge walk which is found along a path right after Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas and Spa.
Keep in mind that it can get crowded at this time but most people don’t make it past Karsa Kafé where the most beautiful rice fields in Ubud are found!
If you prefer a more peaceful walk, head to Subak Juwuk Manis (Magical Rice Fields in Ubud). If you’re coming from the Ubud Art Market, make your way towards Saraswati temple until you see a wooden sign pointing to a narrow alley.
The third option is to visit the rice fields at Sari Organik restaurant. Just type “Sari Organik” on google maps and it should be easy to find the rice fields.
Related post: 7 incredible rice fields in Bali that you need to see!
Ubud Itinerary Day 2 – Waterfall Hunting + Get a Massage
Start your second day in Ubud by going on a waterfall hunting adventure! Bali is home to hundreds of waterfalls and you can’t say you’ve been to Bali without actually seeing some of them!
I have two options for you. The first one is visiting a few waterfalls near Ubud or you could go a bit further up north to visit other waterfalls which are just as spectacular, if not more!
The best and most comfortable way to visit the waterfalls is to hire a taxi for the day. Expect to pay about IDR 500k (US$ 35.80) if you decide to visit the waterfalls near Ubud or IDR 600k (US 43) for the waterfalls in North Bali. You can also rent a scooter for about IDR 60k (US$ 4.30).
Option 1: Visit the waterfalls near Ubud
Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Tukad Cepung was once a hidden waterfall near Ubud but due to its recent gain in popularity on Instagram, more and more tourists are visiting to get the perfect shot!
You can reach the waterfall by walking through the jungle and going down a set of stairs and finally by crossing an ankle-deep river. It can be very slippery, so you need to wear good hiking shoes.
The waterfall is found inside a cave and if you go early in the morning, you can see the sun rays peeking through from above the waterfall!
Tukad Cepung waterfall entrance fee: IDR 15k (US$ 1.10)
Dusun Kuning (Yellow Waterfall)
Dusun Kuning or Yellow Waterfall is located about 25 minutes from Tukak Cepung (type “Air Terjun Kuning” on google maps for the exact location).
As you hike down, you will eventually reach a small temple and from here, you just need to take the stairs on the right. About 10 minutes later, you will find the huge Dusun Kuning waterfall flowing from above 20 meters high!
You can also go down the waterfall and soak into the rock pools to cool off after the hike.
Dusun Kuning waterfall entrance fee: IDR 15k (US$ 1.10)
Related post: Guide to Dusun Kuning (Yellow Waterfall)
Goa Rang Reng Waterfall
Though not as impressive as the other waterfalls, Goa Rang Reng still deserves a visit if you want to skip the crowds. The waterfall isn’t very tall but instead cascades gently over a large rock wall. You can reach the top by using the ropes attached on the left side of the waterfall.
Goa Rang Reng waterfall entrance fee: IDR 15k (US$ 1.10)
A short 15 minutes hike is required to reach Tibumana waterfall. If you visit during the rainy season or just after, you will find that the waterfall is split into two!
Tibumana waterfall entrance fee: IDR 15k (US$ 1.10)
Saving the best for last, Pengibul waterfall is found only a few minutes from Tibumana. I’m not sure if there’s an entrance fee but it was completely deserted when I visited, so I just walked in for free! There are lots of steps before reaching the waterfall, so you might struggle a bit when getting back up.
Other waterfalls near Ubud are Tegenungan, Kanto Lampo and Bangkiang Djaran waterfalls. I haven’t been to these but I’ve heard that Tegenungan and Kanto Lampo can get crowded so you should plan to go early.
Option 2: Visit the waterfalls in North Bali
Git Git Waterfalls
Start your day by visiting Git Git waterfalls. Surprisingly, there are two Git Git waterfalls in Bali and the one I visited is located here.
As you make your way through the jungle, you will eventually reach a bridge. First, make your way to the twin waterfalls which are found on the left. You can then reach the second and third waterfalls by crossing the bridge. If you want to try the swing, it’s actually cheaper here for only IDR 50k (US$ 3.60).
Git Git waterfalls entrance fee: IDR 20k (US$ 1.40)
Getting to Jembong waterfall requires no hike at all. In fact, you can even see part of the waterfall from the entrance.
The force of the waterfall is very strong, sending water spray all over you as you get closer. If you’re not scared of heights, you can even zip line your way down for an additional fee!
Jembong waterfall entrance fee: IDR 25k (US$ 1.80)
Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls
If you’re a lover of waterfalls, you’ll be happy to know that Banyu Wana Amertha consists of not one but FOUR waterfalls!
Walk for about 10 minutes until you reach a sign pointing to the waterfalls. On the left, you will find Bwa waterfall with water bursting out of the rocks covered with lush vegetation and another waterfall that only appears during the wet season.
The path on the right leads to the Twin waterfalls and the massive Spray waterfall, my personal favorite!
Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls entrance fee: IDR 30k (US$ 2.15)
Related post: Guide to Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls
Wanagiri Pucak Manik Waterfalls
Wanagiri Pucak Manik waterfalls can be a bit hard to get to since the path is very steep but luckily there are metal stairs with railings in some parts to help you out. People may offer to take you to the waterfalls but I didn’t hire a guide since the trail is easy to follow.
About 15 to 20 minutes later you will be rewarded with two incredible waterfalls and if you visit during the wet season, you will find a third waterfall as well.
Wanagiri Pucak Manik waterfalls entrance fee: IDR 50k (US$ 3.60)
Banyumala Twin Waterfalls
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali, the Banyumala Twin waterfalls are located down a rocky path between the jungle.
The main attraction is the twin waterfalls which flow directly into a massive pool. If you explore a bit further from the main area, you will find other waterfalls as well.
Banyumala Twin waterfalls entrance fee: IDR 30k (US$ 2.10)
Related post: Ultimate guide to Banyumala Twin Waterfalls
Get a massage
What better way to end the day than by getting a massage in Ubud? A full body massage can be as cheap as IDR 100k (US$ 7.15) for one hour! A total bargain if you ask me! You will find spas every few meters, so you will be spoilt for choice.
Ubud Itinerary Day 3 – Rice Terraces and Yoga
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
End your Ubud itinerary by visiting the Tegalalang rice terraces, one of the most popular rice fields in Bali! Located about 25 minutes north of Ubud center, Tegalalang is famous for its neatly stacked rice terraces, swings and nest-like structures offering endless photo opportunities.
The famous Bali swing that you see photos of everywhere can be a bit pricey and cost about IDR 150-300k (US$ 10.75-21.50).
I recommend getting there first thing in the morning to avoid the huge crowd that usually swaps the rice fields from 9 to 10 a.m.
The entrance fee is IDR 20k (US$ 1.40) but it’s totally free if you go early. Once you get in, you will come across several donation points which help the locals to maintain the area.
You will need to pay IDR 50k (US$ 3.60) to access the “Instagrammable” section of the rice fields but it was already getting crowded at 7 a.m when I visited! If you prefer to skip this part, there are quieter sections where you can take photos.
Related post: 37 beautiful photo spots in Bali
Hiking in Sidemen Valley Rice Fields
Next head to Sidemen Valley, home to incredible rice paddies and lush mountain views! The village has an authentic local feel since it doesn’t attract too many visitors.
Sidemen Valley is located in East Bali and is an easy day trip from Ubud. Although you can roam freely through the rice fields, it’s better to hire a guide to help you uncover secluded spots that you would never have found on your own.
I did a 2-hour hike with Sidemen Tour and Trekking which cost me IDR 150k (US$ 10.75). The hike is perfect for all fitness levels and is a great option if you’re traveling with kids.
Yoga classes in Ubud are very cheap usually in the price range of IDR 75k (US$ 5.40) to IDR 150k (US$ 10.75) per session. The Yoga Barn is the most popular place to practice yoga but I didn’t go there after hearing that it’s very crowded.
Instead, I went to Ubud Yoga House since the atmosphere feels more relaxed and the studio can accommodate only about 10 to 12 people. The class can be a bit challenging but still accessible to beginners and costs IDR 150k (US$ 10.75) per session.
I also went to Yoga Saraswati, which is found along Jalan Suweta, just a few meters from the Ubud Palace. Classes are much cheaper here for IDR 75k (US$ 5.40) per session.
You can also check out this guide for the best places to practice yoga in Ubud.
Other things to do in Ubud
If instead, you’re wondering what to do in Ubud in 4 days, you can add these activities to your itinerary:
- Mount Batur sunrise hike
- Take a Bike Tour
- Attend a cooking class
- Gunung Kawi Temple
- Tirta Empul Temple
- Take a traditional painting class
- Visit Museum Puri Lukisan
Best time to visit Ubud
The best time to visit Ubud is during the shoulder season, which is around March/April and October/November.
If you can, avoid planning your trip during the rainy season which is from December to February. Though you can still visit Ubud during these months, you should expect rain almost every day but on the bright side, the waterfalls will look more spectacular!
How to get from the airport to Ubud?
You can get a taxi at the airport but keep in mind that it will be more expensive there, so your best bet is to book a private transfer in advance.
A taxi from the airport to Ubud should cost about IDR 300k (US$21.50) and the journey lasts for about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.
How to get around Ubud?
The most comfortable but also the most expensive way to get around Ubud is by hiring a private taxi. A private taxi costs about IDR 500k (US$ 35.80) for 10 hours depending on the distance covered.
If you’re comfortable riding a scooter, it’s the best way to get around Ubud. Keep in mind that traffic can be very hectic in downtown Ubud and you’ll most likely get pulled over by the Police for routine checks. So, better bring your international driver’s license and always wear a helmet!
Scooter rentals start from IDR 60k (US$ 4.30) per day and you can get a better deal if you rent for a longer period of time.
Grab and Go-Jek
Although much cheaper than a regular taxi, it’s a real pain trying to book Grab or Go-Jek in Ubud. You will find signs almost everywhere about ride-sharing apps being banned. I’ve even heard stories about Go-Jek drivers getting harassed by the local taxi drivers!
I was only able to book a Go-Jek once and had to meet the driver further away from the actual meeting point so that the local taxi drivers couldn’t see us!
Where to stay in Ubud?
If you want to stay close to the main attractions in Ubud, Alam Pangkung is perfect for you. Despite being on a busy street, the hotel was very quiet at night.
The room features a large double bed, air conditioning, private bathroom and a free breakfast is also included for only about US$ 15 per night.
Tanggal Merah Guesthouse
Located in a quiet spot, about a 10 minutes’ walk from Ubud center, Tanggal Merah Guesthouse is owned by the friendliest host!
For less than US$ 20, you get a spacious room with a private bathroom, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and the most delicious breakfast! Since the guesthouse has only two rooms, you can expect it to be quiet at night.
Best places to eat in Ubud
Warung Citta Ovest
One of my favorite places to eat in Ubud, Warung Citta Ovest serves the cheapest and most delicious Balinese-style pizza and pasta dishes. The restaurant is quite small and can get busy during the evening, so you need to go early to get a seat.
Looking for smoothie bowls which are just as insta-worthy as they are delicious? Acai Queen is the place for you! Prices start from IDR 65k (US$ 4.65) for a small bowl and IDR 95k (US$ 6.80) for a bigger one.
I went to Sari Organik since I was looking for a restaurant with a rice field view and it didn’t disappoint! Even though I didn’t eat the food, I had a mango smoothie and a carrot and ginger juice. Prices are slightly higher but you’re kinda paying for the view.
For a better and cheaper alternative to Sari Organik, head to Joglo Organik. They serve heaping portions of delicious Indonesian food with a rice field view to die for! I had the Gado Gado for only IDR 35k (US$ 2.50) and a watermelon juice for IDR 22k (US$ 1.60)!
Tip: If you’re looking for a nice and quiet hotel with a touch of luxury, look no further than the hotel at Joglo Organik. Prices start from US$ 50 for a deluxe queen suite including free breakfast!
Seeds of Life
I went to the Seeds of Life for a late breakfast and got a huge smoothie bowl with a raw cereal bar and ended up being so full that I didn’t even need to eat lunch! While the smoothie was creamy and delicious, the cereal bar was quite hard to chew on.
The restaurant serves raw vegan and gluten-free food and has a super chill atmosphere.
If you’re on a budget, make your way to Ijo Warung. The restaurant can be easy to miss since it’s located at the end of a narrow alleyway.
Their juices are super cheap for only IDR 15k (US$ 1.10) and main dishes start from IDR 15k (US$ 1.10). They sometimes serve buffet-style food where you pay a set price for each spoonful.
Sawobali Cake & Coffee Shop
Sawobali is one of the best places to eat vegan food in Ubud! Unfortunately, the price has recently gone up from IDR 50k (US$ 3.60) to IDR 75k (US$ 5.40) for an all you can eat buffet. But you’re still getting your money’s worth for its amazing quality and a wide selection of vegan dishes.
Ubud Travel Tips
- Get a local sim card: The first time I traveled to Ubud, I got a simPati Tourist sim card from Telkomsel which was supposed to be valid for one month but it actually stopped working a few days later and there was no way to reactivate it. So, during my recent trip, I bought a sim card on Klook for about US$ 7. Luckily, it had good coverage and worked well for the whole duration of my trip!
- Make sure you always haggle whether it’s for souvenir shopping or when booking a taxi or you’ll end up overpaying.
- Bring mosquito repellent if you’re planning on visiting the waterfalls or rice fields.
- Laundry in Ubud costs about IDR 20k per kg.
There you go! This is how you can spend 3 awesome days in Ubud, Bali! I hope this guide answered all your questions and feel free to share your personal recommendations! While you’re there, check out my Bali itinerary with all the best things to see and do if you’re planning to spend 2 weeks in Bali!
Need more help to plan your trip to Bali? Check out these posts:
- Bali Rice Fields: Should you skip the Tegalalang rice terraces?
- A complete guide to Nusa Lembongan
- How to spend a day trip to Nusa Ceningan?
- How to spend 2 weeks in Bali?
- Banyumala Twin Waterfalls: Best waterfall in Bali?
- How to visit Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfalls?
- Ultimate guide to visiting Dusun Kuning Waterfall
- 37 best Bali Instagram spots you need to visit!