Home of Ubud’s royal family since the late-19th century, Ubud Palace (Puri Saren Palace or Puri Saren Agung) sits in the heart of downtown Ubud near the traditional art market. Explore the pavilions and gardens. There are also traditional Balinese dance performances in the courtyard each evening, a must for any visitor to Indonesia.
No admission tickets are required for Ubud Palace, which, like Ubud Market, is free for everyone to enter. Tickets for the dances, however, are chargeable, and can be reserved around town or on the day. To get the maximum insight into the architecture, the history, and the beliefs behind the palace, it’s worth joining a day tour—whether of Ubud or Bali as a whole—that includes it.
The typical tour package makes only a short stop as the palace, while fascinating, is not large. Full day tours from Kuta and south Bali often include attractions such as the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Puri Lukisan art museum, ARMA Museum, Ubud Market, and the traditional art market at Sukawati.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wednesday and Thursday dance performances by the Panca Arta group are recommended when in Bali.
- As the palace is free to enter and still in ritual use, visitor facilities are limited.
- Many members of Ubud’s royal family still live in and use the palace rooms.
How to Get There
Ubud Palace is slap-bang in the center of Ubud, by Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Raya Ubud, and easy to walk to from most of Ubud. The cheapest way to reach the royal palace from south Bali is by the Kura-Kura tourist bus, although many prefer to hire a driver for the day, self-drive, or join a cultural Ubud tour or Bali day tour.
When to Get There
The central location and free admission means Ubud Palace can get very, very crowded. Visit early in the morning to beat the worst of the Bali tourist rush. The royal palace is at its most fascinating in the run-up to royal cremations—guides and accommodation will know when one is due to happen—but also colorful during major Bali festivals such as Kuningan and Galungan.
Bali’s Royal Families
For almost all of its history, Bali was ruled by a range of competing dynasties, typically comprising nine separate kingdoms. So, royal palaces, temples, and pleasure gardens are scattered among Bali island's rice fields and rice terraces. Ubud’s royal family, like other Balinese royal families, remain highly influential but have no actual power.