Ubud - Cities and Areas

Ubud - Bali's culture and art capital

 Ubud has a lot to offer and it's very different to any other areas in Bali as it tries to stay self-governing. To understand Ubud and Bali in general, you should be aware of the fact that village law in general stands above the federal law.

This fact makes Bali partially ungovernable, but isn’t this fact also the little chaotic charm which attracts us here in the first place?

Have you ever seen an American fast food brand in Ubud such as KFC or MC Donald's? No, even though this business is growing so massively on Bali, the Banjar, (the leader of the local community) has not given permission to build any American Fast Food Businesses in Ubud yet, and hopefully it stays like this. Also, apart from the local drivers you can’t find any big Taxi companies based in Ubud as well.

Both facts should provide enough evidence that Ubud continues to massively fight against western influence, the power of large concerns and desires to keep the original charm of a Balinese village/region, is working so far.

Ubud attracts everybody, with its many places of interest such as the Monkey Forest, Ubud Market, the numerous museums (Antonio Blanco Museum, Neka Museum or Agung Rai Museum of Art), dance performances (Kecak Dance, Legong Dance and Barong Dance), galleries and even art shops. Ubud, therefore is clearly a must see and/or must stay destination when you come to Bali.

In case you are looking for a special Bar in Ubud, check out the Round Bar!

10 tips - Things to do in Ubud:

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 1 - See a Dance Performance

Balinese Dances are mysterious and mystical. The three most popular Balinese dances are

  • Barong (a story about Rangda, practicing black magic)
  • Kecak (the fight of Vanara and Rama against the evil King Ravana)
  • Legong (Royal Entertainment, originated in the 19th century)

All of the dances are different, with the Barong dance reminding you a little bit of a carnival, the Fire Kecak Dance to a boy's night out and the Legong Dance to a Ballet. It is definitely worth seeing all of the Balinese Dances if you can find them during your holiday time. Make sure, if you have decided on the Kecak Dance, that you see the Fire Kecak Dance performance. Many restaurants in Bali offer Entertainment Dinners, including a dance performance and this is the perfect way to see a performance and save some of your valuable time.

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 2 - Do the Campuhan Hill Walk

Enjoy the nature in Ubud. Campuhan Hill is a perfect place to stroll around and free the mind. This walk can be managed by everybody.

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 3 - Visit some Museums

There are plenty of Museums (Art Galleries) to be found in Ubud and most of them are really worth a visit, but don't buy anything there! They are completely overpriced. 

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 4 - Go to Ubud Art Market (Pasar Seni)

To be honest with you, after the renovation, Ubud Art Market has lost a little of its charm. However, it is still worth a visit as it's the perfect place for negotiating. You can find paintings, handicrafts, jewellery, clothes, fruit, vegetables and ceremony items there. Don’t forget to negotiate as you can get a price reduction of 50% and more (sometimes up to 70%).

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 5 - Eat Babi Guling Bali (Suckling Pig – Balinese Style)

In case you are not Muslim and are allowed to eat pork, you should try Babi Guling at least once. Babi Guling is Bali’s most popular dish, as in former times it was only prepared for special occasions. In the event that you like the taste and you’re thinking of a garden party when you are back home, offer your friends the flavour of Bali.
Recipe - Suckling Pig - Balinese Style (Babi Guling Bali). 

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
TOP Tip 6 - Join a Silver Making Class

The complete Ubud Area (village and outskirts) is very well known for its filigree artwork. Allow yourself to be guided by the knowledge of Ubud’s silversmiths and do something which only can be found in here. Join a silver making class and make your own pendant, ring or necklace. It will remind you of the great time you had in Bali whenever you wear it.

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 7 - Round Bar Ubud

The Round Bar Ubud is a very funny place as it offers you the opportunity to do a workout straight after you have enjoyed their delicious square pizza.

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 8 - Enjoy doing yoga and meditation at White Lotus

One place in Ubud in particular is highly recommended for doing Yoga and Meditation – White Lotus Ubud. Not only is this sweet and neat little guesthouse very special because it is cheap, informal and offers an outstanding view but the also the owner is too. Miss Sandeh is over 70 years old, spiritual and speaks about 5 languages fluently! This place is highly recommended to everybody apart from those looking to party. Even if you are staying outside of Ubud and you have paid for your hotel already, think about an overnight stay at the White Lotus. In case you are about to plan your holiday, book two days less in Kuta, Jimbaran or Seminyak and stay in Ubud instead. You will love it!

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 9 - Join a cooking class

Bali’s cuisine is unique and attracts people from all over the world. Learn how to cook the Balinese way and surprise your friends back home. Prepare a Balinese dish whenever you need a break. It will help to calm you down and bring those holiday memories flooding back!

Check the category recipes for more cooking ideas!

What to do in Bali – What to do in Ubud
Tip 10 - Watch a Ceremony

The Ceremonies in Ubud are far better than average and most are extremely magnificent. Obviously it is not possible to plan such a highlight so keep your eyes open, speak to local people and ask the hotel staff or drivers for more information. If you are lucky and can find one, you will understand what the real magic of Bali truly is!


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