Many travelers have come to Ubud with plans to spend a day or maybe a night in town before returning to Bali’s famed beaches, only to find themselves lingering, enticed by its beautiful scenery, cultural offerings and easy-going vibe. If you, too, find yourself captivated by Bali’s cultural capital, here are a few ideas on how to spend your time.
Day 1: Balinese Culture
A first day in Ubud is the perfect time to get your cultural fix, and Monkey Forest Road, which runs right through the center of town, is a good place to start. While undeniably prime for tourists, the street’s collection of shops and restaurants helps visitors ease into the more authentic scene. Head all the way to the end of the road to see one of Bali’s most famous attractions, the Sacred Monkey Forest. In the afternoon, spend some time exploring the town's art scene with visits to the Agung Rai Museum of Art or the Neka Art Museum before catching a traditional dance performance in the evening.
Day 2: Nourish the Body and Soul
Balinese cuisine is one-of-a-kind compared to that of the rest of Indonesia, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is by learning to make it. Consider starting your day with a Balinese cooking class in the countryside just outside of Ubud, where most classes start with a visit to the market. Discover traditional Balinese ingredients and learn how to prepare several dishes before sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labor. After lunch, pick one of Ubud’s world-famous spas for an afternoon of pampering.
Day 3: Outdoor Adventure
Besides being known as Bali’s cultural heart and soul, Ubud is also a gateway to all of the outdoor adventures of the island’s interior. There’s something for just about everyone, whether it's pedaling past rice terraces and coconut trees on a leisurely bike tour of the countryside, waking up early to climb to the top of Mount Batur for sunrise or white water rafting through the lush interior.