The second place we stayed during our Bali trip (after Canggu) was Ubud.
I didn’t know much about Ubud prior to going - other than the fact that tons of bloggers and Instagrammer’s talked about how “magical” and “healing” it was there. This totally enticed me, although to be honest I wasn’t really even sure what this meant.
Well, immediately upon arriving in Ubud, I FELT this change. It’s something I can’t put my finger on, but if you’ve ever been to Hawaii and felt the incredible vibe/feeling/energy of the island (whatever you want to call it) you know what i’m talking about.
The whole time we were in Ubud, I felt like I do after getting a great massage: relaxed, calm, inspired, positive, and high vibe AF.
This blog post is going to outline my top picks for delicious places to eat in Ubud, things to do, and where to stay. If you’re planning to visit Bali, you MUST spend a few days (at least) in Ubud.
Best places to eat in Ubud, Bali:
(all are either entirely plant based or have lots of plant based/vegan options)
Sayuri's Healing Food -
My first pick for AMAZINGLY delicious food in Ubud, Bali was Sayuri’s Healing Food. This restaurant is entirely vegan and mostly raw (something i’m not usually a huge fan of) and it was the most creative, innovative and delicious plant based restaurant i’ve ever been to! Erik even said that one of his meals at Sayuri’s was the best meal he’s eaten since we started traveling 4 months ago (<<< coming from a HUGE meat guy, this is saying a lot). We ate at Sayuri's pretty much every day while in Ubud (sometimes twice) and tried nearly everything on the menu so you can’t really go wrong, but my top recommendations are the peak performance bowl, breakfast burrito, and lasagna.
Be prepared to drive a little out of the way to get to Moksa (and be sure to make a reservation) but it’s totally worth it! Moksa is another entirely plant based/vegan restaurant in Ubud with food so incredible that any meat eater would be happy. Try the Thai curry and purple sweet potato fries! Moksa is also located on a permaculture farm which is pretty cool, so make sure to head there while it’s still light out so you can see everything!
Alchemy is every yogi, Nutritionist, Instagrammer, and wellness enthusiast's dream. The menu is 100% raw vegan which I wasn’t always in the mood for, but if you’re looking for something cooling and light, like a build your own salad or smoothie bowl, this is your place! It’s also super cute inside and has a little shop filled with body care products, supplements, etc. This is also where I picked up my favorite Tamanu face oil!
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Most Instagrammable places to eat in Ubud, Bali:
Clear cafe -
Clear cafe in Ubud, Bali could be easily passed by because, honestly, the sign on the outside of the restaurant is really ghetto (just being honest). So I was completely blown away to walk into a beautiful restaurant with a koi fish pond, Japanese style floor seating, a spiral staircase, and marigold flowers everywhere (they even spell out a new message in marigold flowers on the staircase every day!) They also have a massive menu with tons of vegetarian and vegan options. It does get really busy here at night so be sure to make a reservation or come early!
The Elephant -
The Elephant came highly recommended to me when I asked you guys on Instagram where to eat in Ubud, and unfortunately it was pretty far from where we were staying so we only ate here one time, but I would HIGHLY recommend it, even just for the location/view alone. The restaurant sits atop a hillside and has an incredible view of the jungle and Campuhan ridge walk (a beautiful hike that we didn’t end up doing…next time!)
Best coffee in Ubud, Bali:
Seniman coffee -
Admittedly, I tried about 4 different coffee places in Ubud before finding Seniman and was disappointed in all of them. After weeks of my beloved coconut cold brew in Canggu, the standards were set pretty high. Luckily I found Seniman (on google maps actually) and after looking at their menu and reading about their coffee credentials (seriously) I was sold. Their cold brew was the best I found in Ubud, and their “nitro” cold brew had an incredible presentation (and taste) I would highly recommend as well! Plus they have soymilk for a plant-based option.
Things to do in Ubud, Bali:
Monkey forest -
I might be partial to this one because I LOVE monkeys, but I definitely recommend going to the Ubud monkey forest one day while in Ubud. For a small fee you can get access to the Sanctuary where monkeys are literally EVERYWHERE. Just be careful because they are known to be naughty and will try to steal your belongings (or your water) and jump on your head. A super fun experience and I highly recommend it.
Tukad Cepung Waterfall -
The Tukad Cepung waterfall was about a 1 hour scooter ride from Ubud but totally worth it! Once you get to it, you’ll have to pay a small entrance fee and then walk about 10 minutes down a paved path to get to the waterfall. Be prepared to get tons of shots for Instagram…this waterfall is dark and dreamy in some areas and bright green and lush in others…perfect for any aesthetic. I would plan to come around mid day though since the waterfall is found within a valley, so if you get there too early or too late you’re not going to have much light.
If you’re planning to come to Ubud, the number one thing I would recommend doing is relaxing, going to the spa, meditating, eating delicious food, going to a yoga class/healing center, etc. These are the things that Ubud is known for, and you’ll have endless options when you come here! The yoga barn is one of the most popular places for yoga classes in Ubud and it also has it’s own healing center, restaurant, and villas to stay in. I didn’t actually ever go to the yoga barn so I can’t give my personal experience here but i’ve heard great things :)
Tegallalang Rice Terraces -
The Tegallalang rice terraces are an ABSOLUTE MUST if you're going to Ubud. Try to go at sunrise or sunset to get the prettiest light (and the least amount of other tourists!) Also, be sure to bring some cash with you because certain areas are still owned by families that will charge you a small fee to walk through their property.
Where to stay in Ubud, Bali:
Budget: Sang Fajar -
if you’re on a budget, there are still TONS of really affordable and beautiful places to stay in Ubud, like Sang Fajar. The location was great, the villa was large and had it’s own kitchen, and outside was a beautiful garden and shared pool. The location was awesome (and super close to Sayuri’s!) as well (For about $40/night)
If you're new to Airbnb, use this code to save $40!
*NOTE TO DIGITAL NOMADS: The internet in Ubud is HORRIBLE so I recommend not planning to do much (if any) work while you're there :)
Luxury: Zen Hideaway -
If you’re willing to splurge a little bit more, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend staying at one of the Zen hideaway villas (we stayed in #2). They are about 20-30 minutes away from the main part of Ubud which is kind of a pain, but totally worth it in my opinion to have a this million dollar view:
The villa is also huge so you could totally plan to stay with a larger group and split the cost, but only one of the rooms is actually enclosed/AC’d. But don’t worry, it’s actually not that hot in this area of Ubud and even bougie me opted to sleep in the open air with just a mosquito net around me. Plan to stay here at least 2 nights to fully enjoy it and make sure to wake up early for sunrise and get some epic photos on your OWN PRIVATE SWING!!! You can expect to spend $200-$300 USD a night here (depending on the time of year) which is still a steal in my opinion to get this nice of a place, multiple bedrooms and view.
For more Bali info on things like Visas, SIM cards, and transportation, check out my Canggu blog post here.
Have you been to Bali before or have I inspired you to visit? Tell me below!