Ubud, a cultural center of Bali is a place just an hour drive from airport to the north. Also known as the art & crafts cultural center, Ubud is full of communities in and around which are specialized in different cultural and traditional activities.
Apart from Volcano climbing, delicious delicacies, monkeys thriving, surfing in the waves, the archipelago of Bali has many other things to offer. Ubud is one of the villages in Bali flourished with art in the various museums by some of the legendary artist of Indonesia.
The art was and is passion for many artists ever lived in Ubud like Walter Spies, Rudolf Bonnet, Theo Mejer etc. but the passion made the culture of Ubud even stronger and diverse.
Now, different cultural experiences can be gained in Ubud while there on a trip. Bordom is not surely a word existing there. Here is the list of 10 incredible cultural experiences in Ubud, Bali.
1. Ubud Palace
Starting from the royal family of Ubud, the Ubud Palace is a spiritual epicenter of the village and is the official serving space to the royal family also. Feel the royalty and chance to feel royal yourself here. Get dressed in the traditional attire on-site.
The traditional Balinese architecture and the immensely green surrounding will make your mind soothing. The front side of palace is open for public and visitors can enjoy the beauty of the palace. You may get lucky enough to meet some family members too.
The palace is also known for its evening dance performance whose tickets are sold in afternoon. The gamelan orchestras and nightly traditional performance makes the day complete and enjoyable.
Address: Jl. Raya Ubud No.8, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Opening Hours: The palace is open from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM throughout the week.
Entry Fee: The entry is free in Ubud Palace.
2. Traditional Performance in Ubud Palace
Ramayana, Mahabharata are an important piece of mythology in Hindus. Many of Hindus have a soft heart for these story and their characters. The Ubud Palace offers the show of Ramayana Ballet or Mahabharata for the visitors and the Balinese Hindu to elevate the moment and share the dynamic story on stage.
This ancient drama when witnessed in front of the Royal Ubud Palace with a great intensity by the artists makes the jaw drop and the experience to be inevitable for life.
The 90 minute performance also includes a traditional dance performance, legong, barong etc. Different performances are scheduled on each days of the week. The cost per person for a traditional performance is 80,000 IDR.
3. Saraswati Palace
Also known as Pura Tamam Saraswati and Saraswati Water Palace, this temple is not easy to find. It is located behind the Lotus Café and starbucks, this temple is surely a treat for eye of visitors.
Built for the Hindu goddess Saraswati, god of knowledge and literature, Saraswati Palace was designed by the Gusti Nyoman Lempad. The temple is guarded by ponds filled with Lotuses and beautiful enough for a picturesque and warm welcome.
The palace is also famous for night performances. You can witness the artists practicing after evening and spend the beautiful time in this spiritual area with a sunset and people around you to talk.
Address: Jl. Kajeng No.24, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Entry Fee: The entry is free in the Temple but the night performance costs 80,000 IDR per person.
4. ARMA (Agung Rai Museum of Art)
Due to the culture of art & crafts, Ubud is also full of some of the best Art museums in the country. ARMA is one of the most famous art museums in the village.
It is covered by lush green gardens, and has a collection of famous art work from some of the famous artists like Walter Spies, Rudolf Bonnet etc. and some Indonesian artists too like Raden Saleh and Affandi etc.
It also displays the tradition and culture of Bali like traditional cuisines, Balinese dance, woodcarvings etc. You can also enjoy the traditional dance performance held every day in the evening and can also taste the traditional dishes prepared in the cafés inside.
Address: Jl. Raya Pengosekan Ubud, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Opening Hours: The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM throughout the day. Best time to visit is 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
Entry Fee: The entry fee is 80,000 IDR per person and includes a tea or a coffee.
5. Yoga Classes at Yoga Barn
Listed as one of the top 10 havens for yoga and meditation in the world, Ubud is a place to enjoy the rich culture, rice and paddy fields, beautiful cafes, refreshing cuisines and happy locals. All these factors constitutes to a happy mind and relaxed mood.
Yoga Barn is one of the Yoga Centers in Ubud which has a spiritual atmosphere, covered with paddy fields, immensely good instructors and a friendly ambiance. This artistic studio made up of wood and resembling nature offers classes and workshops your yoga and meditation.
It personalizes your own type of yoga or meditation and the process can make you feel intoxicated of different negativism for sure. Experience the cleansing of brain at Yoga Barn in Ubud yourself.
Address: Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Peliatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Opening Hours: The Yoga Center is open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM throughout the day.
6. Zen Hideaway
Ubud village is meant to explore, the real depth and the local residents and the beauty of the place. Zen Hideaway is a stay in a traditional Balinese village that offers the most spectacular stay you can have in Ubud. Feel like a local and live like them too.
All you can see is no road but rice and paddy fields, a mini waterfall, mount Agung and the nature. The rooms are made from 150-year old Teak wood and are semi-open intentionally to enjoy the Ubud country side air and essence of nature.
This place has a swing between coconut trees high atop hill which gives the immense beautiful view of the village and you can swing on that for adventure. Interact with locals, go gazing, farming and enjoy the night with traditional dancing celebrations with kind locals.
Address: Jalan Dewi Saraswati, Banjar Tegalkuning, Bongkasa Pertiwi, Abiansemal, Badung Regency, Bali 80352, Indonesia
Cost: A room for two may cost from 15,000 INR to 25,000 INR depending upon dates and availability.
7. Rice Farming- Four Seasons Sayan
The single most productive and cultural thing on the island is Rice. Rice is an important part of food and you can experience the work done by a farmer to grow rice in the fields yourself in Four Seasons Sayan.
In Four Seasons Sayan, a visitor can sign up for a one day experience of being a farmer. From planting seeds, transplanting shoots to meals in the fields, you can enjoy it all. Also you can enjoy the traditional bathing ritual and a massage after your hard work.
Enjoy the day learning about the things you’ll see the most during your trip and learn and experience the hard work of farmers to grow rice and use it to feed their family. It’s a big part of Ubud culture.
Address: Jl. Raya Sayan, Sayan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Cost: Full day: 31, 00,000 per person
Half day: 21, 00,000 per person.
8. Cleansing ritual at Tirta Empul Temple
Famous for its purification ritual, Tirta Empul Temple is one of the most amazing and beautiful water temples in Ubud. The temple has a petirtan or bathing pond which has sprouts on the boundaries with flowing holy spring water where people can bathe for purification.
Ask around the local for the rituals and rules or just hire a guide or your taxi driver for details. You’ll need to wear a sarung before entering. Purify yourself and infiltrate the negativity from your body following the culture of Balinese Hindus.
Address: Jl. Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Entry Fee: The entry fee is 15,000 IDR per person.
9. Cooking Classes
Indonesia is known for its cuisines. The archipelago of Bali offers some of the unique cuisines due to the number of travelers to that destination. Cuisine and cooking is a big culture in Ubud, Bali. The rice, paddy fields are rowed to get the best quality rice and rice is a big part of traditional Balinese food.
You won’t any place which doesn’t offer rice with almost every meal. You can also get involved to learn some traditional cooking recipes and cooking methods to experience the culture rightly. Many restaurants and centers provide cooking classes and also teach the history of cooking in Bali.
Create your own dish, coconut oil and other food stuff at any cooking class like Bali Farm Cooing School, Casa Luna Cooing School, Paon Bali etc.
Cost: The average cost at any center will be from 350,000 IDR to 400,000 IDR per person.
10. Eat, Pray & Love
If you are aware of the Julia Roberts starrer movie Eat Pray Love as Elizabeth Gilbert, you’ll know it. The cultural-spiritual activity has become much more popular among tourists after this movie came into light.
Recommended hotel is Kamandalu Hotel where you can experience well. Bike tour, couple spa, romantic dinner, visit to Ketut Liyer are some of the services. The old man from movie died in 2016 who was the traditional healer but there are others too who are still doing the practice.
Address: Jl. Raya Andong, Banjar Nagi, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Cost: The cost could lie between 30,000 INR to 50,000 INR depending upon dates and availability.