A weekend in Ubud
Ubud was one of the places we first visited when we arrived in Bali 2 years ago. If we’re completely honest, after our first visit it really wasn’t our vibe. The whole place felt like a tourist trap with overpriced restaurants and shops everywhere.
Fast forward two years and several more visits and we now love coming up to this area of Bali. What changed you ask? Not Ubud certainly, there’s as much tourism here as ever. Our way of travelling when we come here has though. We remember that Ubud is so much more than just the center of town. There are so many beautiful places to see right outside of Ubud that will take your breath away. We try to spend more time in these places and less time walking the boutique lined streets.
So to celebrate our new found appreciation of Ubud, we thought we’d share with you some tips. This guide for budget travellers has the essentials on how to make the most of your time here while easily spending less than 30$ per day. It is truly an amazing region with so much to see and do!
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Stay just outside the center
Unless your in Ubud for a retreat or can’t drive a scooter, we’ve found it best to stay a bit outside the center. It gets hectic and extremely busy on the roads in the center of Ubud pretty much all day. You’ll also get better value for your accommodation.
It’s amazing value at only 15$ per night. Being just a 4 minute ride into the center is great and it has a pool, great AC and decent wifi. It’s also on a really quiet street so you won’t here any traffic day or night.
There are also amazing & unique accommodations in the Ubud area on Airbnb: Click here for a 45$ discount on your first stay!
Our favorite way to start any day in Ubud is visiting a beautiful waterfall. Tibumana is a great choice if you’re short on time because it’s only a 30 minute drive from the center of Ubud. The entry fee is quite reasonable at only 15K (around 1 USD) and it’s very well maintained.
An additional bonus is that the road leading up to this waterfall is incredible for photos. Especially if you go early in the morning, (which we of course recommend to avoid the crowds) the lighting on the palm trees is just gorgeous.
Brunch at Suka Espresso
Not really a budget choice but we couldn’t leave it out. Our favorite restaurant in Bali now has a branch in Ubud and we couldn’t be happier! We highly recommend the smoothie bowls (the dragonfruit one is particularly amazing). They also make a great coconut milk latte / flat white for those that like us are trying to drink more alternative milks. Prices are around 90-150K per person for a main and a drink.
Note: the photos below were taken at their branch in Uluwatu. The menu in Ubud is pretty much the same and the presentation is just as good as well!
Breakfast on a budget: If you want to save money on food, it’s really easy in Ubud to find a guesthouse which will include a wholesome breakfast. Usually they will charge 3-5$ more per night and you’ll have a few choices. On Booking.com, you can just tick the breakfast included filter!
Sunset at Camphuan Ridgewalk
Before heading out for supper, go and catch sunset at this amazing walking path right outside the center of Ubud. The lone palm trees make for great pictures and it’s a great place to go work up an appetite. There is no entry or parking fee which is also rare in Bali nowadays. If you’re going specifically to take photos, you’ll want to go for sunrise as this is pretty much the only time you’ll be alone here.
Sunrise at Tegallalang Rice Terraces
As photographers, this is the highlight of any trip to Ubud. Tegallalang is a place that we feel you need to visit at sunrise to witness its true beauty. There’s few better places to start a day in Bali than watching the morning light break over the terraces. It’s also not the place you want to be when the crowds and the afternoon heat arrives.
Insider Tip: Walk to the top of the path and then towards the back of the terraces for the best photo ops.
Be warned: The locals here are savvy businessmen. They’ve built gates that limit access to the best areas which you now need to pay for them to open. Expect to pay between 50-100K to gain access to the best areas for photos depending on your negotiating skills.
Balinese Lunch at Mama’s Warung
Our little hidden gem of Ubud. We’ve found it difficult to find a good, reputable local restaurant so this was a great discovery! You can eat like a king for under 5$ and the food is made with love. Definitely don’t sleep on the traditional Balinese coconut pancakes. Their very sweet but oh so delicious.
Go explore Ubud traditional market
One of the main tourist attractions in Ubud but one we feel shouldn’t be missed. There really is everything under the sun here from fruits and veg to handbags and macrame. Ubud market isn’t the cheapest place to buy your souvenirs, but it’s very convenient and has a terrific atmosphere. You may get better prices earlier in the day as we’ve been told locals believe it to be good luck to make your first sale as early as possible!
Negotiating: Typically in markets you can take 30% off the initial price. However here, remember that tourists do pay outrageous amounts for cheap goods. Therefore, you can often cut the first quoted price in half. Be respectful but firm, if the seller won’t meet you in the middle you can always walk away!
End your weekend with some Yoga
No weekend in Ubud would be complete without a bit of Yoga! We ended our weekend by joining a sunrise yoga class at Ubud Yoga House with Sandi, a yoga teacher who we met a few years back. This is totally not sponsored we just love the way he teaches and want to encourage him and this great Yoga center. The sunrise class is perfect for beginners like us.
Not only is the setting of this center just beautiful, the Ubud Yoga House also supports the John Fawcett Foundation by sponsoring mobile eye clinics offering free eye care and cataract surgery for Indonesians living near Ubud.
The class is 150K and totally worth every penny. If you’re going to be around Ubud for a while they also offer 10 class packages which come out to 100K per class and the pass can be shared with a friend!
The “if you want to splurge” recommendation: Jungle Fish
If you want to break the bank once in Ubud, Jungle Fish is where we recommend you do it! This incredible infinity pool in the jungle is an incredible place to spend an afternoon. The entry price has more than doubled since we first visited in 2017, and now stands at 350K. This price includes 200K of credit to spend on food and drink which allows you to stay for several hours.
We hope you enjoyed this budget friendly 48h guide to Ubud. If you have any other tips or favorite places in Ubud, leave them in the comments below!