Most travelers who pull themselves away from Bali’s beaches to spend time in the town of Ubud do so for the fabulous cultural scene, where fine art plays a fundamental role. Whether a seasoned art aficionado or a causal appreciator, visitors are sure to be pleased with Ubud’s artistic offerings.
For a survey of the history and modern trends of Balinese art, start with Ubud’s museums and galleries. The Museum Puri Lukisan, housed in a series of buildings on beautiful garden-like grounds, displays a variety of works, from paintings to wood carvings. The Neka Art Museum covers the history of Balinese painting and includes a gallery space with works by up-and-coming Indonesian artists. Just south of Ubud, the Agung Rai Museum of Art features an impressive English-labeled collection and often hosts a variety of cultural events and performances.
The best factories and shops for the Indonesian art of batik can also be found in and around Ubud. On a Bali Arts and Crafts Tour, visit the small artisan villages scattered in the countryside around Ubud, where generations of craftspeople teach not only about batik, but also about Balinese painting and woodcarving. Learn about traditional Balinese artwork before considering purchasing and bringing any pieces back home to identify quality and get the most for your money.