For many people Ubud, Bali is an add on trip. You can easily visit for months but I think exploring Ubud for 3 days while on vacation is just right. When you hear the name Bali, beautiful beaches come to mind as well as chill island vibes. Ubud is about 45 minutes to an hour from the airport in Bali. It has a compact town that you can walk around for a good hour, I did this while there. Be careful though because sidewalks are extremely narrow and in some places you may have to walk on the road itself.
How to spend 3 days in Ubud, Bali
Ubud is one place where going to the tourist sites are worth it in my opinion.
First, enjoy a leisurely breakfast with fresh tropical fruits where you are staying and lounge around a bit before all your sightseeing adventures. I like to take it slow in a place like Ubud. Stay a bit out of the town in an area where you can walk to town in about 10 minutes. It is usually quiet and great for just being still. I stayed in this area and it was easy to walk to town and also enjoy being immersed in the greenery around.
Next, start your adventures with the local driver/guide you have secured for the day or half day through your lodgings. It is worth spending money on a driver, so you do not tire yourself trying to find your way around, in such a short period of time. Some people rent scooters and go around much cheaper. Know where you want to go and what you want to do and do not leave this only up to your driver.
Visit the Tegallalang Rice Terraces and spend an hour or more walking up and down the various paths. There are many photo opportunities but it is also great to just soak up nature and be at one with it. Everything is green, verdant and teeming with live. It may be a bit hot and humid so take some water with you. Also prepare for the tenders who will ask for a donation. Yes, you pay an entry fee but they still ask. This is not something you must do but giving even the smallest donation maybe something you can do. You can also play around with the things the tender will offer you. Take it all in stride I say. While you are it if you are traveling solo have the tender take your picture of you enjoying a piece of Ubud, Bali.
Prepare for the children who will be selling different souvenir items. They can be pesky but try to remember they view us as the privileged, who may help to fund their needs.
After tromping up and down the terraces you are now good and sweaty haha. The nice breakfast is very much appreciated at this stage. I was just awed by the symmetry of the paddies and the obvious care given to them to keep them so lush.
Next up is a visit to check out Tegenungan waterfall where you can take a dip and cool off for a while. You can buy an ice cold coconut and refresh yourself before. Of course you will pay the tourist price but it is not outrageously expensive. Explore the area around the falls and discover different flora and fauna. Ubud is really a nature lover’s paradise. Shoes with good grip are needed here as well as at the terrace since the ground is uneven in many places and rocky. It also goes without saying that if one decided to swim swimming gear is needed.
After enjoying the scenery here and enjoying the waterfall drive around the area and see what daily life is about before going back to your hotel. N.B. The climb down to the falls is trying. The steps are ‘sharp’. If you have knee problems this is something to consider, also coming back up involves a steep climb. Many people had to stop on their way up. It really is quiet the climb on those sharp steps. This is also the case for some places in the terraces. Ubud will give you a good work out for sure.
Take a yoga class after this to relax even more. There are many reviews online, google then compare and contrast them to find the best one for you. There are also many vegan and vegetarian options in Ubud as well. It is becoming something as a health food city.
After getting back to the hotel it is time to relax a bit. Starbucks (haha after yoga), is also a good place to hang out for a while or one of the local coffee shops. If you are a coffee lover check out a plantation tour to see how Luwak coffee is made and have some. It would make great souvenirs for the coffee lovers in your life.
Local restaurants, both Indonesian and Foreign offer a variety of food for even the pickiest eater.. I enjoyed having some Mexican food at this place when I was there. I stayed in Ubud for a week so I wanted something in addition to Indonesian food after three days. There are also different night time entertainment available. The people working at the lodgings are the best people to get advice from about these.
Go temple hopping to learn more about that side of the culture if it interests you. You can walk to some in the town while for others you will need to get a taxi to get to them. See a few of them here. This may take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day.
End your sightseeing adventures on this day with a visit to Bali swing to get your adrenaline rush. It makes for great photo ops. I have friends who have enjoyed visiting and seen many pictures form other visitors who enjoyed it. Since I don’t do heights I skipped this.
I enjoy strolling around the places I visit and chatting with the natives. This is something that you can do to know more about the lives of the people you are visiting. Take a bike taxi and ask the driver to give you a local tour around the town and take you to a place he/she likes eating. Tip him/her well to show your appreciation. If you are an introvert this might not be your cup of tea, I know.
Get up early and go for a walk on the Campuhan Ridge. This link includes very detailed information about all you need to know. It is advisable to go in the morning before it gets hot and humid. The humidity is no joke so, have some water with you. This walk/light hike provides a great opportunity to see locals going about their day. You will also see different rice paddies and farmers tending to them.
After the hike have breakfast then head to the Monkey Forest and spend some time exploring there and meeting famous the cheeky mountains. You can easily spend 1-2 hours or more here. Since, you will be good and tired after walking around in the heat think about enjoying some time at one of the loads of spas in town. Don’t book any over the internet. There are many good spas that you will find in the town that are reasonably priced. You can actually enjoy a massage daily since they are so affordable.
Relax at one of the restaurants that offer a view of the rice paddies and enjoy dinner. There are loads of recommendations from others that Google will unveil for you. Have at it.
Money Stretches Far in your Travels to Ubud
Ubud was by far one of the most affordable places I have visited. I went in March 2017 for 6 nights and 5 days. I spent just under 1,000 USD. The majority of this was 750 for my flight and hotel. Flying anywhere from Tokyo is pricey. If you are a low budget traveller you can travel well here. Many digital nomads set up shop in Bali for this reason. Ironically, I felt there were more tourists than locals in town. It could have been when I went though. Ubud is worth visiting, add it to your list.
I enjoyed eating at local restaurants called Warung. The most I spent for a meal was $5 and that included friend rice, fruit salad and a fruit smoothie. I went to the same warung in one case for about three days straight. It was nice to chat with the people working there and learn a bit about them and vice versa. Ahhh I wish I was there now, the food was simple but so so good. The most I paid for a meal was at
the Mexican place I linked above nope, it was actually a fancyish restaurant that loads of people recommended. It was so not worth it. I was disappointed and mad, guess places suggested aren’t always good eh. This is why I don’t always pinpoint places. You do not always know if bloggers offering reviews are doing so genuinely. This is a pet peeve of mine. it is especially annoying when it is for a rip off place in somewhere like Ubud where things are affordable.
I hired two local taxis for a half day on two days and this amounted to around $60 in total. I travelled solo so if you are travelling with others your money can go even further. My transportation to and from the airport was covered in my travel package from Expedia. I did much lounging around because this was the one week after the school year ended that I had off work. It was spring break. Ubud is perfect for taking it easy, having lazy mornings, getting massages and sightseeing leisurely.
N.B. Nyepi Day is a holiday in Ubud that might affect your travels. Check when it is for the year you are traveling. I was there for Nyepi Day in 2017. It is a great celebration but there are many restrictions for a full day that may affect you. Everything closes down so you will need to stock up on food and have a lounge day. When you book your accommodations this is explained clearly. It was the day before I left, so I lounged in bed, read and enjoy the stillness everywhere.